How to Know if You Are the Victim of Defamation of Character
Social media has made it easier than ever to make and immediately publish a defamatory statement that will reach thousands of people. If one of these statements is disparaging to a person’s reputation, a lawsuit for defamation of character may soon follow.
Defamation is an inclusive term covering any statement that hurts a person’s reputation. The two forms of defamation are libel and slander. Libel is defamation in a published writing. Slander is a published, spoken statement of defamation, i.e., hurtful statements via radio or television. Neither are criminal acts, but rather civil wrongs or torts, which require a lawsuit against the person making the defamatory statement.
Segway Accidents – Studies Indicate Segways May Be Dangerous Fun
Since the Segway Personal Transporter was unveiled in 2001, it has become increasingly popular for use in law enforcement, tourism and personal recreation. The battery-powered transporter can reach a maximum speed of approximately 12.5 miles per hour and is operated by standing upright on a platform, leaning forward to go straight ahead or speed up and returning to upright or leaning slightly backward to slow down or stop. While many view Segways as an amusing or environmentally-conscious way to get around, they can be dangerous according to researchers at George Washington University Hospital. And as their popularity has risen, so have the number of Segway accidents.
Injuries resulting from Segways are becoming more common, according to a 2010 study. Researchers examined records for 41 people who visited the emergency room at George Washington University Hospital with injuries suffered while riding Segways. They found that 10 patients were admitted to the hospital for treatment, four of which were sent to the intensive care unit with traumatic head injuries.
Lawn Mower Safety Precautions Can Help Avoid Serious Injury
Mowing the lawn is generally considered a necessary chore and is performed by millions of homeowners during the warm months. But it’s also potentially dangerous. In 2010, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission stated there were approximately 253,000 injuries related to lawn mowers, with nearly 17,000 of those involving children. Between 2010 and 2012, an average of 38,000 injuries occurred from walk-behind mowers. Riding mowers or small tractors run over an estimated 800 children every year. Lawn mower safety should be at the top of every homeowner’s list when performing this routine task.
Many people tend to become careless when using lawn mowers given that they are such a common household machine. However, with a sharp blade rotating at an average of 2000 revolutions per minute, safety precautions are essential. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS), this speed can cause injuries similar to those of a .357 magnum pistol. Injuries generally consist of mangled hands and feet filled with dirt, grass and other contaminants. These often require painful reconstructive surgery and physical therapy and can take months, or even years, to fully heal.
When Should You Accept an Offer to Settle Your Personal Injury Case?
In the following video, Northridge personal injury lawyer, Robert J. Mandell, explains the factors that determine whether or not you should accept a settlement in your personal injury case, and who is responsible for making that decision.
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What to Do After a Slip and Fall Accident
A “slip and fall” accident typically occurs when a person is injured after falling due to a dangerous condition on the premises where the fall occurred. Sixty percent of falls are caused by slipping or tripping, usually because of a foreign object, a flaw in the walking surface, a slippery surface or an impaired physical or mental condition.
When an accident occurs, you must decide to what degree your own carelessness may have attributed to the fall. If, however, the fall was due to a dangerous condition on the premises – spilled liquids or food, cracked sidewalks, objects on the stairs, ice and snow, broken floor tiles, uneven steps, potholes, dim lighting, missing handrails, etc. – the owner of the property may be responsible for your injuries. Falls may occur both inside and outside and, despite the use of the term “slip,” a fall from a stumble, twist, overextension or other movement due to an unsafe condition underfoot will qualify.
Creating a Safe Sleep Environment for Your Children
Sleep is an important component to a child’s development, but one that can present unique dangers if certain precautions are not taken. Small children are susceptible to a variety of risks due to their smaller size, including suffocation, choking and the unexplainable Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), the leading cause of death for infants in the first year of life. Similarly, smaller children may be subject to choking and suffocation hazards in their sleep. A safe sleep environment is the best protection against these tragedies.
While the cause of SIDS is unknown, unintentional suffocation is commonly caused by:
- The unintentional smothering of a child by someone sleeping with the child
- A child’s face becoming wedged in a small space, such as between a mattress or cushions
- Heavy blankets or furniture covering the face or chest
- Choking on a small object, such as a piece of food or a toy
- Strangulation by dangling objects, such as a rope or cord
Study Reveals Increased Risk of Operating Room Errors
A recent study indicates technology and equipment problems are the cause of one-fourth of operating room errors and cited as a cause in 15% of malpractice claims. The study — a comprehensive review of 28 published studies based on operating room errors — concludes that preoperative surgical checklists could reduce that error rate by half.
The studies reviewed varied as to type of equipment and the nature of the surgery. The results show an average of approximately 15 errors occurred during a typical operation, with equipment failure accounting for 24% of these errors. Overall, it was found that the rates of error were higher the more heavily a surgery relied on technology. Despite these findings, technological advances have improved the quality of surgery available and increased patients’ chances of survival. The authors of the study note, however, that technology raises the complexity of surgeries and therefore may cause an increased risk of error due to equipment failure.
Why Families Should Be Alert for Possible Elder Abuse
The issue of elder abuse and mistreatment is gaining more attention as more Americans are living longer lives. Currently, approximately 1.5 million Americans live in nursing homes or some type of assisted living facility, approximately 25% of which have been cited for abuse or neglect in one form or another. Additionally, a 2007 study estimated that nearly one in ten seniors living in a nursing home reported experiencing some form of mistreatment.
Nursing homes are businesses with the same potential as other profit-driven organizations to place priority on earnings over quality control. Too often, nursing home workers are low-paid, overworked and poorly trained. Yet sometimes nursing home abuse can occur inside facilities that appear clean, professional and well-run to most outside observers. Unfortunately, the elderly are a very vulnerable population and not likely, and often not able, to complain about abuse, making them easy targets.
What Are Typical Attorney Fees in Personal Injury Cases?
Personal injury attorneys generally accept cases on a contingency fee basis, which can be helpful for those short of cash who need to file a lawsuit. In these types of cases, a lawyer’s fee is “contingent” – or dependent – upon a successful outcome for the client. The lawyer will only be paid if he or she is able to negotiate a monetary settlement or win a judgment on the client’s behalf. This means that clients typically do not have to pay attorneys up front in order to hire them, and there should be no attorney fees in personal injury cases where the plaintiff does not receive compensation.
Contingency fees are generally a percentage of the amount received in a settlement or judgment. This percentage varies from state to state but generally average 33.33% to 40% of the personal injury award. Some lawyers offer a sliding scale based on how far along the case is when it is settled, for example, charging a smaller percentage if the case is settled before a lawyer carries out the work needed to go to trial. Although it may be possible to negotiate a lower rate, personal injury attorneys – especially the good ones – may not be willing to negotiate.
Infant Sling Deaths Trigger Warnings and Recalls
Infantino, LLC, a maker of baby and infant products, has agreed to a settlement of $8 million to the mother of a child who died in one of its shoulder-sling infant carriers. The lawsuit stemmed from Anthoinette Medley’s allegation that the SlingRider’s flawed design caused her infant son to suffocate. Other infant sling deaths have been reported.
In 2009, Medley carried her twin sons, then seven-and-a-half-weeks-old, in separate SlingRiders while traveling to appointments. When she was unable to awaken her son Nelsir, she performed CPR and contacted emergency medical help. After being pronounced dead at the hospital, an autopsy was performed on the infant but his cause of death remained “undetermined.”