Blogs By K Ryan

What should you do at the scene of big truck accidents?

big truck accidentsAlthough some auto accidents are minor, those that involve large commercial trucks often lead to significant injuries, serious property damage, and even loss of life. With this in mind, what should you do at the scene of big truck accidents to protect yourself from liability? 

Let’s discuss the steps you should take immediately after a collision involving a commercial truck, and what you should consider in the months after your accident. Here are the things that you should know from attorneys with experience working with accidents.

1. Stay at the scene of the accident and notify emergency services.

After an accident, it is important to stay at the scene of a crash. If you leave the scene without waiting for emergency services to arrive and fail to provide the other driver with your information, you can receive a hit-and-run charge in several states.

In addition to staying at the scene, you should also consider whether or not to move your vehicle. If your vehicle is not in a safe place, move it to safety. If you do not need to move your vehicle, you are injured, or the vehicle is undrivable, keep it where it is. This can help ensure your safety and preserve the evidence until an officer can inspect the scene.

Because accidents involving commercial trucks often lead to significant property damage and physical injuries, you should call 911. Let them know whether you need medical attention. If you are suffering from injuries, have another person, such as a passenger, complete the following steps while you seek medical attention.

2. Check for injuries and property damage.

Another aspect of seeking medical attention is to aid others if other people are suffering from injuries after a crash. This can involve the other driver, passengers in either vehicle, or even pedestrians. 

In addition to securing medical attention for other parties, you should also assess the property damage resulting from your truck crash. Looking for property damage can alert you to potential safety hazards you can otherwise miss.

3. Collect photo and video, plus truck driver information.

After notifying the proper authorities and receiving medical attention for yourself or others, you should begin collecting evidence about the accident. This will involve:

  • Receiving the other driver’s information. You should write down or take their name, contact information, driver’s license state and number, vehicle details, and insurance information. Other than collecting information, there is no need to speak with the other driver.
  • Taking photographs of the road conditions, vehicles, injuries, and weather conditions.
  • Taking videos of the aftermath. Alternatively, you can shoot a video or series of videos. From your video, you can take individual images. You can even use this video to take audio recordings that help you explain the details of your accident. 

4. Contact your attorney.

After your accident, you have a limited amount of time to file a claim for damages against the other driver’s insurance company. This is known as the statute of limitations. Consult an attorney about your crash immediately after. Your attorney can start the investigation process, examine state laws and details pertaining to big truck accidents, and speak to insurance agents on your behalf.

5. Visit a doctor and follow your treatment plan.

The typical big truck accident leads to medical problems, some of which you might not identify at the scene. For this reason, it is important to go to the hospital immediately after an auto collision. Even if you or your passengers feel fine, you should all seek medical attention. Follow this up by doing as your physician directs.

Do you need help proving fault and winning damages in your big truck accident?

It’s important to act right away after you or a loved one suffers an injury from a truck accident. The best way to begin is by speaking with truck accident attorneys. There are several things you must prove to show that you were not at fault for an accident, and evidence gets harder to collect as time passes. 

At Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath, our attorneys can help you build a case, collect evidence, and work with insurance companies. Contact us using the live chat feature on our website, or by phone at (561) 655-1990. We can schedule a free, no-obligation consultation and inform you of the next steps for proceeding with a case. Contact us now to begin.

What To Watch Out for When Given a Defective Product for the Holidays

defective productHolidays are typically times where we can enjoy family, delicious meals, and celebrations. The last thing that we expect is for a gift that another gives us to result in our injury. But unfortunately, defective products and design flaws often go unnoticed until it’s too late. And in some circumstances, these defective or flawed products result in significant injuries to us and others. 

With that said, who is to blame for our injuries from a defective product given as a holiday gift? Let’s discuss what you should watch out for while giving and accepting gifts, and what to do if you suspect that a product you received caused your injury.

Who is liable when a dangerous or defective product injures someone?

When someone suffers an injury while using a product, they may think that they are at fault. However, this is not always the case, depending on what the product is and whether it was used as intended. If you believe that your injury is due to a defective product, it is always a good idea to discuss your accident with an attorney.

Typically, it is the manufacturer’s duty to provide safe products to consumers. They generally oversee the manufacturing of the products they sell to consumers. Therefore, it is their job to locate and stop defective products from being sold. Failure to do so can show negligence on the manufacturer’s behalf.

With that said, sometimes a manufacturer does not need to be negligent to be found liable for your injuries. This is true with products that are inherently dangerous or come with known health risks. Although this adds some complexity to defective product cases, it gives peace of mind to consumers who know that manufacturers must sell products that are as safe and reliable as possible.

What holiday gifts most commonly have defects?

Over the holidays, a lot of our gift-giving centers around providing toys to children. Unfortunately, children often lack caution while using toys, which can lead to injury. Although a majority of toy-related injuries do not lead to serious health consequences, some do lead to hospitalization and even result in fatalities. 

Here are some of the most common causes of toy injuries:

A toy presents a choking hazard.

Children’s toys are often small and may contain small pieces that children put in their mouths. If a child chokes on or swallows an item not meant for consumption, this is often a serious incident that requires medical treatment. This is something to watch out for with gifts that are not preassembled, which often contain several small parts.

A toy presents a suffocation risk.

A toy itself or even its packaging could be a suffocation risk for a child. Even if someone suffers an injury from packaging, the manufacturer may still be at fault. This is the case if the manufacturer fails to warn about suffocation risks with the product or packaging.

A riding toy, such as a scooter or another children’s transportation device, can lead to an accident.

The most common accidents occur with riding toys. This can involve non-motorized items like bicycles and scooters, or powered ride-on vehicles. These accidents often involve a misunderstanding of how to operate the riding toy. For example, injuries often occur when a child rides their toy into a body of water or on unfamiliar terrain.

What should I know about product liability?

There are several types of product liability claims to know. Defective products, defective designs, and a failure to warn are different types of product liability that can determine how you prove your holiday defective product claim.

A defective product alone is not a reason to bring forward a claim. Instead, the use of a product must lead to specific injuries and damages that you can prove in court. An attorney will help you determine whether you have a case. They can also help you determine which party or parties are liable for your defective product injuries.

What should you do next if you received a defective product that caused your injuries?

Whenever a loved one purchases a gift for a family member or friend, they expect that gift to work properly. If you have purchased or received a defective product that accidentally injures you, we can help. The law offices of Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath will explain complex product liability claims in terms that you understand. 

Contact us using the live chat feature on our website, or by phone at (561) 655-1990. During your free consultation, we can help you decide whether to file a lawsuit and determine what your next actions should be. Contact us today.

Why Do Seniors Endure Abuse? Questions for an Elder Abuse Attorney

Why Do Seniors Endure AbuseAs family members and friends of senior citizens, we expect our vulnerable adults to live out the remainder of their lives in peace. Unfortunately, elder abuse is a common problem, regardless of whether the senior lives at home or in a long-term care facility. In many circumstances, elder abuse goes unreported. 

Additionally, there are instances where cognitive decline, mobility limitations, or other factors keep seniors from relocating to a safe place. If you suspect that a relative or friend is the victim of abuse, what can you do? Here’s some important information about seniors that endure abuse, and what steps you should take to report negative living situations to an elder abuse attorney.

Causes of Ongoing Elder Abuse

Several factors contribute to a vulnerable adult staying in abusive environments, including:

Mental Illness

As we age, we become more susceptible to mental illnesses. Vulnerable adults that have a mental illness are typically easy targets for abusers, who seek people who have trouble communicating or sharing their feelings. 

A vulnerable adult that has a mental illness might not be able to identify forms of abuse. Also, they might worry about retaliation, have trouble determining who to share experiences abuse with, or fear a change in their living situation if they report an abuser.

Dependence On Drugs or Alcohol

Those who abuse drugs or alcohol also find themselves as victims of physical, emotional, and sexual elder abuse. Their use of drugs or alcohol can be a coping mechanism due to the abuse, or it can be a problem that started before abuse took place. 

Vulnerable adults who have an addiction to drugs or alcohol might feel anxiety about their legal or illegal activities and may feel like it is better to put up with the abuse than seek help for their problems. Often, these cases are extreme and require not only a different living arrangement but inpatient treatment as well.

Dependence On the Abuser

Elder abuse attorneys will tell you that abuse can happen anywhere, including within the vulnerable adult’s own household. Due to the dependence on relatives or caregivers, elder abuse victims can be hesitant to report instances of abuse. 

If they are unable to manage their finances, take care of themselves, or have an emotional dependence on an abuser, it’s not always easy to speak up. Vulnerable adults may avoid speaking to other family members or friends about the instances of abuse because that would lead to significant lifestyle changes.

Poor Housing Conditions

When we take our relatives or friends to live in a long-term care facility, we expect that the vulnerable adult’s needs will be met. Unfortunately, it’s possible to make a mistake while selecting the proper institutional settings for our seniors. 

Specific situations make elder abuse more common, such as when a facility lacks the staff or resources to meet all their resident’s needs. A vulnerable adult might not have access to formal services to address instances of abuse, while burned-out staff members might overlook or fail to realize that abuse is occurring.

How can I identify elder abuse?

There are two main ways that we can protect elders from instances of abuse at home and in long-term care facilities. First, members of the community should regularly build relationships with vulnerable adults. The more people who can check on the living conditions of our seniors, the easier it will be to identify instances of short and long-term abuse. 

Second, there should be regular monitoring of what occurs in senior care facilities. This should include training for employees, visits by social workers, and other procedures that make it easy to monitor the health and wellbeing of our seniors.

Do you need an elder abuse attorney to help get your loved one out of an abusive living situation?

For our vulnerable citizens, it can be a real challenge to leave an abusive household or long-term care facility. If you believe that someone is suffering from elder abuse, it’s important that you get advice from an elder abuse attorney. Contact Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath if you need advice on removing your loved one from an abusive environment and bringing those responsible to justice. 

We are ready to discuss your case during a no-obligation consultation and inform you of how best to handle the situation. Contact us using the live chat feature on our website or call us at (561) 655-1990. The sooner you act, the quicker you can get your loved one into a safe environment.

Improperly Informed: What To Do If The Risks Weren’t Fully Explained

informed consent claim

When Should You Make an Informed Consent Claim?

We trust medical professionals to inform us of the risks of medications, surgeries, and actions that affect our health. But what happens when our doctors, nurses, or pharmacists make a mistake that puts our lives at risk? In these cases, there can be significant impacts on our health and wellbeing. 

Are you or a loved one suffering from an injury that could have been avoided if you knew all the facts? Here’s how to decide whether you should make an informed consent claim when a medical professional fails to inform you about the risks of a medical procedure.

 

What is informed consent?

Informed consent occurs when your healthcare provider explains your illnesses, medical conditions, and treatment options to you. Since you base your decisions about treatments on this information, it is important that doctors and other medical professionals provide adequate detail. 

Without receiving information about your medical condition and treatment options, it is impossible to make informed decisions that can have long-lasting impacts on your health. If a physician fails to explain your conditions and the risks of specific treatment options, you may have grounds for a medical malpractice suit. However, not all failures to inform reach the level of medical malpractice.  

 

Do my physicians always need to provide informed consent?

Generally, physicians should always receive informed consent from their patients. However, the amount of information that someone needs to receive to give informed consent varies based on the procedure. 

For example, minor surgeries or common treatments that typically do not result in side effects usually require the least amount of information. On the other hand, major surgeries and operations, complex procedures, and even some tests may require a higher level of informed consent.

In addition, there are times where consent is not necessary or possible. This includes emergencies, where the physician must act quickly to preserve the life of their patient. Similarly, when a patient cannot understand their condition or the risks of a medical procedure, another decision-maker will need to decide on the patient’s behalf. It is important to understand the laws in your specific state when determining whether consent was necessary in your specific case.

 

How should medical professionals provide consent for specific treatments?

Doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals typically receive consent in two ways. First, they explain the patient’s condition and treatment options verbally. After explaining treatment options and the risks that come with those treatments, a physician may ask whether the patient agrees to a specific form of treatment. This is generally for conditions and treatment options that do not carry significant risks.

But what happens if your conditions and treatment options are potentially life-altering? In these events, you typically must receive a written document and sign this paperwork to provide consent. 

And what happens if you move forward with a medical procedure without knowing about the potential complications? Here’s how to tell whether your physician’s failure to inform you about the risks lead to a case of medical malpractice.

 

Identifying Failure to Inform and Provide Express Informed Consent

Failure to receive consent only happens when specific events occur. To decide whether you were the victim of medical malpractice, these things must happen:

  1.  You have a doctor-patient relationship with the individual that did not explain all the risks of a condition or treatment.
  2. The doctor, nurse, or medical professional did not provide information on the risks of a procedure or test, which any competent professional with a similar background would normally provide. This is known as the medical standard of care rule.
  3. Because you were not informed of all the risks of a procedure, you suffered an injury. You must be able to show that there was negligence by your medical professional in either giving the treatment or informing you of the risks.
  4. Due to this negligence, you are suffering from quantifiable damages. This could be in the form of additional medical care, pain and suffering, or even loss of life.

 

What are your next steps for making an informed consent claim?

It is important to act immediately if you suffer an avoidable injury because a medical professional did not inform you of all the risks. At Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath, we will help you understand your rights involving your medical malpractice case. We will help you gather evidence, build your case, and argue the facts in court so that you receive justice. 

Use the live chat option on our website to speak with a representative or schedule your consultation by phone at (561) 655-1990. Our consultations are at no cost nor obligation to you and your family. Speak with us today.

Medical Liability & Your Rights

medical liabilityAs a patient, you expect that your doctor will provide you with a certain level of care. However, just like in any field, accidents can occur. But what can you do if your physician does not appropriately attend to your medical needs? And what steps should you or your loved ones take if your health treatment leads to an injury or death? Let’s discuss medical liability, also known as medical liability, and your rights as a patient.

Understanding this term will help you determine whether your doctor is liable for the injuries you have suffered after visiting a health care provider.

What are Medical Liability and Medical Malpractice?

Medical liability law helps patients who have not received the proper level of care recover damages from a doctor or health care provider. Medical malpractice occurs whenever a doctor fails to provide care that would be expected from another reasonable physician. If a doctor’s or medical provider’s failure to provide a standard of care results in your injury or death, then they are legally liable for their actions. 

However, if other doctors would provide a similar level of care, or you do not suffer injury because of the physician’s actions, malpractice has not occurred. Because negligence from a medical professional can have devastating consequences, medical malpractice lawsuits are some of the largest awarded personal injury cases.

Common Ways Medical Malpractice Occurs

There are many ways that a physician can commit medical malpractice. It’s important to note that these actions by themselves may not qualify as malpractice. However, if you can prove that a competent medical professional would have provided a higher level of care and the action or inaction caused you injury, then these events are considered malpractice. 

This list is not comprehensive and may not include your specific situation, but the most common forms of medical malpractice include:

  • Failing to identify an illness or misdiagnosing a patient. This can include receiving incorrect treatments to solve a health problem. Healthy patients receiving unnecessary treatment due to misdiagnosis is also considered medical malpractice.
  • Identifying an illness but failing to treat you adequately. Likewise, a doctor can diagnose your illness properly, but fail to treat it. Most often this occurs whenever a doctor is working with too many patients. Because they’re too busy to provide a standard level of care to their patient, they may forget to refer a patient to a specialist. Further, the doctor may not follow up or release their patients too soon, resulting in injury.
  • Making surgical errors. Some of the most well-known medical malpractice cases are due to surgical errors. There are significant problems that can occur during surgery, which can lead to many long-term health complications. Even if you sign a form stating that you understand the risks of having surgery, this does not mean that you cannot recover damages.

How To File a Medical Liability Lawsuit

If you have been injured by a medical professional because of their negligence, you should receive compensation for your suffering. Here is the process you should take to start a medical malpractice case.

  1. Consult an attorney. Medical malpractice law is complex and requires significant resources. Be sure to discuss your malpractice case with a reputable medical malpractice law firm with proven experience.
  2. Have your attorney start an investigation. This will include gathering evidence, depositions, and finding experts for trial.
  3. Settle or go to trial. Your attorney will work with the physician’s insurance company to fairly compensate you for your damages. If they cannot agree on a settlement, then the case outcome will be determined by a judge or jury.
  4. Follow all procedures for bringing forward your medical malpractice case. The steps your attorney follows will depend on the state you live in. Forgetting to file, failing to meet with a medical review board, or delaying the suit can result in your case being thrown out. For this reason, it is always best to work with an experienced West Palm Beach medical malpractice attorney.

Discuss Your Case With a Medical Malpractice Lawyer Today

We trust medical professionals to provide adequate care for our illnesses. When you suffer an injury during medical treatment, the negligent party should be held accountable. 

If you suspect that you or a loved one has experienced medical liability and would like to know your rights, please contact us. Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath can advise you on which actions to take. Call us at (561) 655-1990 to receive your free medical malpractice suit consultation.