Child sexual abuse is a form of child abuse that involves sexual activity with a minor and is harmful to the child’s mental, emotional or physical welfare. A child cannot consent to any form of sexual activity. When a person engages with a child this way, they are committing a crime and the victim may experience lifelong, lasting effects. According to Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN), a child is sexually assaulted every eight minutes in the U.S.
If your child says he or she was touched inappropriately, it’s important you take action immediately. Don’t leave your child alone with anyone other than yourself. You could also consider removing your child from any extra-curricular activities that may put your child in the path of the person who allegedly committed the abuse, until an investigation is complete.
We don’t like to believe that someone close to us or a family member could be capable of harming our children, but in fact, the majority of perpetrators are someone the child or family knows. According to RAINN, 93 percent of victims under the age of 18 know the abuser and 34 percent of the perpetrators are family members. Often times, the abuser already has a relationship and has developed trust with the child and their parents.
Many times abusers use their position of power over the victim to intimidate. The abuser may threaten the child in order to keep them quiet or if the child refuses to participate. Listed below are warning signs a child may show if they have been sexually abused:
Changes in hygiene (refusing to bathe or bathing excessively)
Exhibits signs of depression
Has trouble in school
Inappropriate sexual knowledge or behaviors
Nightmares or bed-wetting
Overly protective of siblings
Returns to regressive behaviors such as thumb sucking or need of security items
Seems threatened by physical contact
Bleeding, bruises or swelling in the genital area
Bloody, torn, or stained underclothes
Difficulty walking or sitting
Frequent urinary or yeast infections
Pain, itching or burning in the genital area
A child’s mental health is affected greatly after experiencing sexual abuse. Sexual abuse victims are more likely to experience mental health challenges including depression and developed phobias. For example, victims are about four times more likely to develop symptoms of drug abuse, about four times more likely to experience PTSD as adults and about three times more likely to experience a major depressive episode as an adult.
Adult sexual abuse survivors live with haunting memories for a long time and they may encounter feelings such as guilt, shame and blame. They may feel guilty that were not able to stop the abuse or that they didn’t tell an adult what was happening. They may feel shame of what was done to them and feel they are to blame because they believe something they did made the abuser choose them as their victim.
Adults may struggle with intimacy and relationships, especially if their first sexual experience came as a result of sexual abuse. It is normal that they experience painful flashbacks while engaging in intimacy even if it is consensual. Setting boundaries that ensure safety in relationships may also be difficult for victims of sexual abuse.
Another area that a sexual assault victim may struggle with is self-esteem. Having one’s personal safety violated and possibly ignored if they attempt to tell someone can result in low self-esteem. A victim’s relationships, health and everyday encounters may be affected by the way they feel about themselves.
Although we cannot be with our children 24 hours a day and seven days a week, it is comforting to know we have done everything to reduce the risk of them being harmed.
It is important to be involved in your child’s life. Show interest in their day-to-day lives by asking various questions surrounding what they did during the day and who they spent their time with. Talk to them on a regular basis about the games they played while at the playground or the activities they did at daycare. Make it common to ask and talk openly about your child’s friends and their families, teachers and coaches so that your child will feel comfortable talking about the people they encounter.
Encourage your child to speak up. It is helpful to teach children their body parts at an early age to give them the ability to communicate when something is wrong. It is never too early to teach them it is not ok for anyone to touch them or make them feel uncomfortable. It is important your child understands their body is their own and it is just as important they understand they do not have the right to touch anyone who does not want to be touched either.
Talk to your child about secrets. Communicate to them and make sure they understand you are an exception when someone tells them they cannot share a secret with anyone.
If you suspect your child is being sexually abused, talk to and listen to your child. You will want to create a non-threatening environment where the child will have an easier time opening up to you. Below are a few tips:
Watch your tone. Your child may get worried or scared if you start the conversation in such a serious tone. This would push the child to give you answers that they think you want to hear, instead of the truth. Make the conversation more casual to help put your child at ease and provide you with information.
Listen. Allow your child to talk and follow up with anything that made you feel concerned.
Reassure the child. Make it clear to your child that they have not done anything wrong and they are not in trouble.
Sexual assault may be one of the hardest, if not the hardest experience to recover from, especially for a child. Recovery is a unique process that looks different for everyone. There is no timeframe for healing as it can take weeks, months, years or even a lifetime for some victims. There are resources such as therapy to help deal with challenges victims are facing.
If you or a loved one is a victim of sexual abuse, you do not have to go through it alone. Here at The Carlson Law Firm, we have a compassionate team of attorneys who are passionate about seeking justice for sexual abuse victims. Take back control and contact us today for a free, confidential consultation. We care, we can help.
A dog bite is no simple matter. An animal attack can be traumatic enough to change one’s life. With a dog bite taking place every 75 seconds in the United States, knowing what to do in the moments immediately following an attack can make the aftermath of a very scary situation a little less stressful.
1.Seek medical attention immediately.
You want to have a medical professional examine the dog bite right away to rule out infection and to determine if stitches are needed. Whether the dog bite is big or small, you run the risk of infection even if you don’t think you will require stitches. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), out of the 4.5 million dog bites that occur in the United States annually, 900,000 of those bites become infected.
2. Report the incident.
The American Red Cross advises victims who have been bitten by an unknown dog should not try to stop, catch or hold the animal. Instead, contact animal control right away so they can attempt to capture the dog. Immediately report the incident to the police and obtain a copy of the police report.
3. Identify witnesses.
Gather the name and contact information of the dog owner, if possible, but do not engage in any discussions regarding the incident. If you get a call from the owner’s insurance company, do not speak to them. Take down the names, phone numbers, and addresses of anyone who saw the attack happen. If any of the witnesses’ mention this is not the first time that particular dog has attacked, they will be key in determining negligence on the owner’s behalf.
4. Document with photographs
Photograph the dog that caused your injuries along with all visible injuries the canine caused. You also want to take pictures of the location where the attack took place. Nothing helps prove the extent of what you went through like photographs from the beginning and throughout the entire healing process.
5. Consult an experienced Dog Bite Attorney
It is well known that insurance companies are trained to give low ball settlement offers that can come across as offensive to someone who has lost so much not only financially, but physically and mentally as well. You will want to contact a Dog Bite Attorney who has vast experience handling these type of cases to be able to navigate city, state and federal dog bite laws and recover the maximum amount of compensation on your behalf.
According to the Insurance Information Institute, one-third of all homeowner’s insurance liability claims (in dollars) result from dog bites or dog-related injuries. The insurance industry paid more than $570 million in dog bite-related claims in 2015. The average cost per claim was $37,214.
Dog bite victims may seek compensation for the following:
Pain and suffering
Past and future medical expenses
Cost of rehabilitation or reconstructive surgery
Lost income and diminished earning capacity
Other losses related to the injury
All animal bites can transmit bacteria and cause infection. , as bacteria in a dog’s mouth and saliva can enter the wound after making contact with your skin. As bacteria multiply, the body’s immune response causes common symptoms of infection including swelling and inflammation. Dog- bite infections are very serious and can be fatal if left untreated.
Tetanus is a serious bacterial disease affecting the nervous system and is a common result of puncture wounds.
Rabies is a viral illness that spreads from the saliva of an infected animal. Exposure to a rabid dog does not always result in rabies. Rabies can be prevented if treatment is initiated promptly following a rabies exposure. If a person develops clinical signs of rabies, and rabies exposure was not treated, the diseased almost always results in death.
A dog bite that does not break the skin is not at risk of infection, while scrapes and scratches that graze the skin’s surface have a slight chance of infection. Lacerations have a higher risk of infection, with puncture wounds having the highest risk of infection. Common signs of infection include:
Although you’ll need professional medical attention the same day, while waiting for medical professionals to arrive, or before going to see a primary doctor, you should clean and sterilize your wound to fight the risks of infection.
Superficial wounds. A superficial wound is a scrape or gash. Clean the wound thoroughly with running water first, then clean it with hydrogen peroxide or isopropyl alcohol. Apply a topical antibiotic and cover it with a sterile bandage.
Puncture wounds. The flow of blood out of a wound helps cleanse it. As long as blood is not gushing out forcefully and your wound is not on your head or neck, press on the wound gently to help flush out as much bacteria as possible.
Once it has bled for about five minutes, cleanse the wound by rinsing it under water with mild soap. Slow the bleeding with a clean cloth and apply over-the-counter antibiotic cream. Do not use hydrogen peroxide, rubbing alcohol, or iodine for puncture wounds as it can slow healing. Wrap the wound with a sterile bandage until you see your doctor.
If a dog attacked you or a loved one don’t hesitate to contact The Carlson Law Firm. We have extensive experience in dog bite claims and have been assisting dog bite victims for over 40 years. Let us deal with the insurance company while you focus on a healthy recovery. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We care, we can help.
Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation. Hablamos español.
When someone suffers a visible injury, like a broken leg, juries tend to empathize with the victim because they can see the pain. Soft tissue injuries, such as whiplash, are more difficult to prove, and the suffering they cause tends to be less visible. Therefore most people who suffer soft tissue injuries run the risk of not being fairly compensated.
Many unrepresented whiplash victims have their claims denied because they did not think they needed an attorney and did not know insurance companies have a system where they use tactics to take advantage of those who have suffered internal injuries.
Even if all whiplash injuries don’t require extensive treatment, the injuries are usually significant enough to make daily activities painful, keep you from work, and contribute to costly medical bills.
Whiplash occurs when an abnormal motion of force is applied to the neck. The neck is pushed in a sudden forward motion and then snaps back violently causing movement beyond the neck’s normal range of motion. Whiplash is the most common soft tissue injury in car crashes but may also occur in slip and falls and sporting activities.
The proper medical terms for whiplash are a cervical strain, sprain or hyperextension injury.
Whiplash has the reputation of being a mild to moderate injury in which most people fully recover. Much of what you read on the internet will repeat whiplash is not overly serious. A clinical discussion of whiplash does not consider the weeks and months victims spend dealing with the injury and its consequences.
Whiplash has the potential of causing long-lasting problems that affect your ability to work and live your life as you did before your injury. Victims who suffer whiplash can be in significant pain for weeks or months after the accident. This can make it difficult to work, take care of yourself or enjoy your hobbies like playing sports or working out. Depending on what your tasks are at work, you may have to take time off because you cannot get through a full day of work experiencing constant pain and lack of range movement. You may need your family to help you with everyday tasks such as cleaning your home and doing laundry.
Whiplash only occurs in collisions involving high speeds. False. Whiplash does commonly occur in high-speed collisions. However, it also happens regularly during low-speed and low-impact collisions as well.
Whiplash is not a serious injury. False again. Whiplash injuries can actually be quite dangerous because they often go undetected for long periods of time, which causes the severity to increase. Remember that whiplash generally occurs around the neck, and our spine is in our neck.
The signs of whiplash typically include neck pain and muscle stiffness. Depending on the severity of the injury, signs and symptoms may also include:
It is important that you seek medical attention if you are experiencing these symptoms. If you do not get a complete evaluation of your injuries, your level of pain will likely go up and you will decrease possible compensation since one of the largest areas of recovery is medical expenses. Whiplash injuries do not generally go away on their own. Without treatment, they actually worsen.
If Emergency Medical Services (EMS) was called to treat the injuries, they will generally place the patient on a backboard and in a cervical collar strapped around the neck to stabilize it and prevent further neurologic injuries.
Once the patient arrives at the hospital, the doctor will examine the patient’s head and neck and look for external signs of trauma including bruises and cuts. The doctor will press on the patient’s neck to check for pain, numbness, tingling in the arms or legs, or any other abnormal feelings. This examination will help the doctor determine:
The range of motion in neck and shoulders.
The degree of motion that causes pain or an increase in pain.
Tenderness in the neck, shoulders or back.
Reflexes, strength and sensation in the limbs.
It is likely that the doctor will order imaging tests to be able to rule out other conditions such as a fracture that could be contributing to the neck pain. The possible tests are:
X-rays of the neck taken from various angles to identify fractures, dislocations or arthritis.
Computerized tomography (CT) is specially designed X-ray technology that produces multiple cross-sectional images of bone to reveal details of bone damage.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses radio waves and a magnetic field to produce detailed 3-D images. MRI scans can detect soft tissue injuries like damage to the spinal cord, discs or ligaments.
If it is determined that the patient has a moderate case of whiplash, the doctor will work to restore the patient’s normal range of motion of strength while controlling the pain. The patient will be advised that rest is needed along with, heat or ice, pain medication and you may need to perform certain exercises.
If the whiplash injury is more than a moderate case, you may need prescription drugs, specialized pain treatment or physical therapy.
It can be concerning when all you hear from loved ones is to see a doctor, but your bank account says otherwise. Most reputable attorneys have relationships with physicians who will treat you contingent on you recovering money in an accident. The doctor will be reimbursed for their time and treatment when your case is determined successful.
By law, you are entitled to compensation for the losses you suffer as a result of someone else’s negligence. However, proving soft tissue injuries like whiplash can be very difficult because these injuries typically don’t show up with diagnostic tools the same way other traumatic injuries do. This is why you should seek legal advice. A qualified personal injury lawyer will have the knowledge and resources to protect your rights while fighting to recover for your damages.
Insurance companies play a vital role in how difficult the process will be and will try to downplay your injuries. Instead of dealing with the stress of having to deal with insurance companies, you can focus on healing while your lawyer is navigating your insurance claim and defending your injuries to the insurance company to achieve the best possible outcome in your case.
If you have suffered whiplash due to someone else’s actions, you can count on us to be aggressive in our pursuit for justice on your behalf. Here at The Carlson Law Firm, we have extensive experience handling all types of personal injury cases and know what it takes to get the best outcome possible. There is no cost to begin your case, and you will owe us nothing for our services unless we recover on your behalf. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation.
The thought alone of being hit by an 18-wheeler can send shivers down the spine of any driver. Given the size and mass of large trucks, the injuries resulting from a crash involving big rigs or 18-wheelers are often severe and life-impacting. If you suffered damages due to a crash caused by a truck driver, you have the legal right to hold the truck driver and their employer responsible for their actions.
In order to be successful in doing so, the best advice is to seek legal guidance from an experienced Truck Accident Attorney whose goal is for you receive the maximum amount of compensation to which you are entitled.
The initial attorney meeting, which is known as a consultation, will provide your attorney a chance to get to know you, your claim and a can provide you a chance to explore your options. During your initial consultation, you will be asked many questions about yourself, the trucking company, your vehicle, how the collision occurred, and details about your injuries. These questions are posed to ensure that you are provided the best representation possible.
Following an accident with a big rig, it’s important to act quickly. Your firsthand knowledge and impressions of the crash can be priceless. The purpose of this guide is to help make the most of your initial truck accident attorney consultation and to ensure your attorney receives all the necessary facts upfront. With an experienced litigator on your side, no stone will be left unturned.
1. Details about the trucking company and driver
Be prepared to provide your attorney with any identifying details about the trucking company and the truck driver. You will want to have the name of the trucking company and truck driver involved, what was being hauled, the license plate number, and the contact information for the trucking company, along with any other information you have learned about the trucking company or the truck driver. If you aren’t sure of these details, don’t worry. Your attorney, along with the help of an investigator will be able to determine the answers.
2. Specific details about the truck accident
Give your attorney a detailed account of the crash. Advise your attorneys as to when and how the crash occurred, along with everyone who was involved. You will also want to state what the weather was like and what the traffic conditions were at the time of the crash. If you’re able to, request a copy of the police report and gather contact information for any possible witnesses. Also, try to remember if you recall seeing any traffic cameras. Nothing is too small to mention.
3. Medical records after the truck accident
Have your medical records on hand containing bills, x-rays, and other scans. Any information concerning your injuries will prove vital in evaluating your claim. Tell your attorney what your diagnosis was and what the predicted outcome is including future treatments and medical devices that are now needed. Express any difficulties you are having in your everyday life activities after you sustained injuries in the trucking collision. Such difficulties may include running and playing with your children. Don’t forget to inform your attorney if additional treatments, tests, or surgeries are needed and if you are improving or getting worse.
4. Your vehicle after the crash
Provide your attorney with the year, make, and model of your vehicle. Bring an estimate to repair the damages and an estimated replacement cost. If possible, bring photographs of your damaged vehicle.
5. Your personal financial details
Offer personal financial details such as your employment status and wages. Describe how your injuries affected your job, how many hours you have taken off work, and your paystubs to calculate lost wages. This information can help determine additional compensation you may be eligible to collect. You will also need to provide your insurance information and details regarding any traffic violations on your driving history.
Not only do trucking accidents cause catastrophic injuries and wrongful death, they make it their mission to ensure compensation is very difficult to pursue. Bringing this information to the initial meeting with a truck accident attorney will speed up the legal process. Trucking companies and their insurance providers will spring into action immediately following a crash, which is why time is of the essence. Remember that the person in the best position to get your attorney information is you.
If you or a loved one was seriously injured or killed by the recklessness of a truck driver or trucking company, don’t wait another moment to have aggressive representation on your side. This is not a situation you will want to handle on your own because it can prove to be long, complicated and frustrating. Here at The Carlson Law Firm, we have extensive experience dealing with trucking accidents and fighting for maximum compensation on behalf of our clients. We take pride in treating our clients like family. Se habla español.
We work on a contingency basis, which means you will never have to pay any upfront legal fees and we only get paid if we recover compensation for you.
Contact us today for a free case evaluation. We care, we can help.
It’s every parent’s worst nightmare. That dreaded phone call saying your child has been injured. This terrifying turn of events has actually happened to many parents in Texas and across the nation.
About 40 percent of children under five spend at least part of their week in the care of somebody other than a parent.The facilities we trust our children to, such as daycares, after-school programs and camps, aren’t providing the quality of care they are required to, and children are being hurt because of this negligence.
Daycare workers are responsible for the care of all the children in their charge. When they fail to maintain a reasonable level of care, they are acting negligently and can be held legally liable for their actions. If your child has suffered harm at the hands of a child care employee, whether it be physical abuse, sexual abuse, verbal abuse or child neglect, we may be able to help you fight for the justice you and your children so rightly deserve.
Daycare abuse can easily go unnoticed, which is why knowing exactly what to look for can help you to identify a problem early on before it’s too late.
• Your child is always hungry or thirsty when they arrive home.
• Your child has recurring nightmares.
• Your child regresses to infantile behavior or clinging.
• Your child is sent home with a soiled diaper, or has long-lasting diaper rashes.
• Your child has unexplained bruises, scratches or other injuries.
• Your child starts acting out in social situations.
• Your child begins to have an unusual interest in sexual behaviors.
• Your child develops a fear of certain places, people, or activities; an excessive fear of going to daycare.
If your child is still a baby look for signs of shaken baby syndrome (SBS) including:
• Your baby has glassy eyes.
• Your baby appears rigid.
• Your baby appears lethargic.
• Your baby has loss of appetite.
• Your baby starts vomiting.
• Your baby has started crying frequently.
• Your baby is unable to focus on an object.
• Your baby started having seizures.
It is hard to leave your child under the care of someone who you don’t personally know very well. Since appearance alone cannot discern whether a daycare worker is “good” or “bad”, it will be helpful to have an understanding on behavioral cues that may give signs of a bad caregiver.
• Your child is quiet and withdrawn around a specific person.
• Your child often states how scared they are of a particular daycare worker.
• The caregiver always has an excuse as to why things are not running as they should.
• When you visit, the daycare worker is always on the computer or smartphone.
• Your child frequently comes home with soiled clothes.
• The caregiver has a bad attitude, a short temper, or appears unhappy while at work.
Parents should adhere to these tips to ensure that their children are being placed in a safe and secure learning environment.
Make sure that the daycare center is designed so that parents are free to come and go, with no requirements to call first and no areas off limits to parents.
Make sure that the bathrooms do not contain areas where children can be isolated. Find out who takes the children to the bathroom, for what purposes, and at what times. Two-thirds of all daycare sexual abuse and exploitation occurs during toileting.
Ask about the extent of education and training of all daycare personnel interacting with your children, and determine if they were screened for criminal history, emotional instability, or substance abuse. Be aware that volunteers or teacher’s aides are not likely to have been carefully screened. Abuse in daycare can result from a failure in the hiring process.
Find out who will be interacting with your children in addition to the daycare provider and staff. Much of the sexual and physical abuse and exploitation associated with childcare centers occurs at the hands of individuals not directly involved in teaching or child-care responsibilities: bus drivers, janitors, and relatives of the daycare center providers. In 36% of cases examined by a nationwide study of daycare abuse, children were sexually molested by family members related to the staff — mainly husbands or sons. Make sure that your child’s contact with such persons is limited, and question your child closely about them.
Discuss in depth with the daycare provider how the discipline of children is handled — who administers it, under what circumstances it is used, and what form it takes. Make sure to talk to your children each day about what happens at the daycare center, paying close attention to what punishments were used under what circumstances and any other incidents that made the child uncomfortable.
If you believe your child is being harmed at his or her daycare center, after-school program, camp or any other child care facility, please don’t hesitate to contact our team of experienced daycare abuse attorneys at The Carlson Law Firm. We are available to speak with you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We care, we can help.
Files from daycareabuse.com, familyeducation.com
Occupational exposure injuries occur when working conditions cause a worker to develop an illness or disease due to the exposure to toxic chemicals, substances, noise, or radioactive materials in their line of work.
When workers inhale contaminants over the course of their job, they may suffer from diseases further down the road. It may also refer to exposure to substances that are touched, absorbed through the skin, or ingested accidentally.
This type of injury is many times the result of years of dedication and hard work in a dangerous environment. These conditions frequently develop at a slow pace which leaves the victim confused as to what their injuries are resulting from, and they do not connect them to the work they have performed.
Chemical Exposure. Comes from breathing in dust, fumes, asbestos, or other harmful chemicals for an extended period of time. Factory workers, warehouse workers, industrial workers, and those working in enclosed spaces are at risk.
Repetitive lifting. Involves jobs where repeated lifting is required. Packing, loading, unloading, nursing home orderlies, nurses, warehouse workers, and construction workers are all examples. Repetitive lifting may result in chronic pain in the back, legs, shoulders, knees or feet.
Repetitive motion. Includes jobs that require repetitive motions of the wrists or hands. Embroiders, assembly line workers, secretaries, mechanics, and food preparation employees are all required to use repetitive motion. This exposure may result in carpal tunnel syndrome of the wrists, arthritis, or chronic pain in the hands or arms.
Occupational diseases and injuries are common consequences of exposure to toxic substances. Workers who have experienced chemical exposure can develop:
Pulmonary burns, scars and other lung injuries
Reduced reproductive and sexual capacity
Skin scarring and disfigurement
Approximately 20,000 cancer deaths and 40,000 new cases of cancer each year in the United States are attributable to occupation according to the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health.
Many workers are aware they are being exposed to chemicals, but they are unaware of cancer-causing risks associated with it.
Mesothelioma- caused by asbestos exposure
Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML) – benzene exposure
Bone disease and liver cancer- vinyl chloride exposure
Bladder cancer- working in rubber, chemical, and leather industries
Levels of exposure to certain toxic substances vary depending on the industry. Workers should be informed of the risks of exposure that are associated with their work before they begin training. Some common occupational exposure substances include:
Fungus, molds, and bacteria
Sawdust and other fine dust physical by-products
Various chemicals such as asbestos or silica
Heated metal substances
Some common jobs with known risks of occupational diseases are listed below.
Power plants, refineries, and industrial settings
Pipefitters and plumbers
In 1971, The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was established in an effort to help control occupational exposure to harmful substances. Past occupational hazard lawsuits have shown some industries have failed to warn their employees of the risk of workplace cancer only because of the economic implications such as purchasing safety gear, higher salaries, and mandatory employee resting periods.
In many instances, a medical condition brought on by overexposure to harmful substances or toxins is not identified until long after the damage is done. If you have a medical condition or a disease that was brought on from prolonged hours in an unhealthy work environment, you may be entitled to compensation.
Many people believe the only compensation available for work-related diseases is through worker’s compensation. What they are not aware of is that it is also possible to file a third-party liability claim against a party responsible for the disease or conditions suffered.
Occupational disease claims are complex and require strict proof. Since toxic exposure at work can take years to develop into illness, it will be difficult to prove that the illness is a work-related illness. Since the defendants for this type of matter are typically well-funded corporations, it is critical to obtain aggressive legal representation. An experienced Occupational Exposure Attorney will have the knowledge and tools to guide you through the process of recovering for your medical bills, additional treatment needed, loss of wages, and more.
If you or loved one has been diagnosed with a disease, been harmed, or lost a loved one due to occupational exposure, we are ready to assist and invest in your case. Here at The Carlson Law Firm, we are committed to getting our clients the compensation they are entitled to in the most efficient manner possible. We understand and will take into account how your condition may affect your future ability to work and enjoy your everyday life. We are available 24/7 because we care, we can help.
Contact us today for a free case evaluation.
When a loved one passes due to a wrongful death, complex legal issues may arise, leaving mourning families confused.
Although we cannot go back in time to reverse what has occurred, many families are unaware of the various claims they can pursue on their loved one’s behalf.
If you have recently lost a loved one to wrongful death, you may benefit from pursuing survival action, also known as a survival claim.
The survival statute got its name because a survival claim permits a personal injury lawsuit to “survive” the deceased.
The goal of a survival claim is to compensate the estate of the deceased for the losses the individual suffered prior to death. Survival claims are basically a personal injury claim on your loved one’s behalf, and the case will be prosecuted in the same way as a personal injury lawsuit.
A survival action focuses on the suffering of the deceased person instead of the agony and financial losses of the family. In a survival action, the decedent’s estate may be eligible to recover damages relating to the incident, similar to what the person could have recovered in a personal injury lawsuit if he or she had survived.
If the deceased lived for any amount of time after the incident, even momentarily, a survival claim allows the estate to recover for the decedent’s pain and mental anguish incurred as a result of the incident.
Damages of a survival action include, but are not limited to:
• Accident-related medical expenses the deceased accrued before death
• Funeral and burial expenses
• Lost earnings
•The accident-related pain, suffering, and emotional harm the deceased experienced between the time of the incident and the time of death.
If the victim passes immediately as a result of someone’s negligence, the estate would be entitled to pain and suffering, if pain and suffering can be proved. However, the estate would not be entitled to damages for the deceased’s lost earnings by filing a survival claim.
Scenario 1: Gaby is carrying groceries up to her apartment on the second floor. One of the stairs she steps on gives in, and she falls breaking her ankle on the way down. Gaby goes to the hospital to get x-rays, pain medication, and a cast. On the way home from the hospital, a drunk driver slams into Gaby’s car, and she is killed. Gaby’s death has nothing to do with her broken ankle injury, but since her spouse will still receive the hospital bills, her estate’s representative is able to sue on her behalf to take care of her debts.
Scenario 2: Jerry has $1,000 in cash and a car that is paid off. He is debt free aside from the $100 he owes in utility bills. Jerry is killed in a work-related incident where he fell off a ladder and suffered numerous broken bones, dying at the hospital a few days later. Up until the time of his death, he would have had a work injury case. The work injury case would have compensated him for the injuries suffered. Let’s say that Jerry’s injuries entitled him to $100,000 in compensation and his hospital bills amounted to $20,000. The person in charge of his estate will use his $1,000 in cash to pay his $100 utility bill and sell his car for $5,000 . The estate representative will then sue the party whose negligence was responsible for Jerry’s injuries and settle with that company for $100 ,000. Jerry’s estate assets should look like the following:
• $6,000 in cash (amount Jerry had in cash plus the money made from selling his car)
• $100,000 in cash paid for work injury claim
• $100 to pay a utility bill
• $20,000 in medical bills incurred before his death
Once Jerry’s estate is probated, his estate will have the remaining assets amounting to $85,900. This money will be disbursed to the beneficiaries according to what Jerry’s will outlined, or according to the states probate law if he did not have a will.
Many times, the survival claim is filed by close family members depending on who the representative of the estate is. If the deceased had a will, the person indicated in the will is the representative. If there is not a will, an heir such as the decedent’s child, parent or spouse can be the representative. There are instances where there will not be a surviving heir. In such case, a personal representative who is either a family member or someone appointed by probate court may bring a survival action on behalf of the estate.
Any award obtained for the damage is first paid to the estate of the decedent’s and not directly to the surviving relatives. The decedent’s debts will be paid, such as hospital bills and if there is money left over, it will be divided among the beneficiaries. This means compensation is not exclusive to the decedent’s parents, spouse or children, it is also available to beneficiaries such as siblings or grandparents.
In Texas, the wrongful death claim is taken by a surviving spouse, parent, or child, but in a survival claim, the action is taken by the heir or personal representative of the estate. Wrongful death claims address the damages that are sustained by the claimants. Survival claims, on the other hand, address the damages that are sustained by the decedent and his or her estate.
Losing someone in an early death because of someone’s actions does not only affect loved ones emotionally, they are greatly affected financially as well. The loss of a family member results in lost income, lost inheritance, household services, and the list goes on. Now that your loved one is not able to provide, you must make up the financial differences somewhere. Compensation is not meant to make anyone filthy rich; it is about replacing the finances that were wrongfully taken.
The financial support your loved one provided is needed. Your household will need that money to pay for groceries, school, the mortgage, and everything else you need to live your life as normal as possible following a tragedy. There is also significant financial loss incurred regarding funeral costs and counseling.
The bottom line is, it is important to pursue compensation because finances were taken from you unfairly. This money was yours and was supposed to be used for your needs as well as your families. You deserve to have your money back.
If you lost a loved one because of someone else’s careless actions, you may have the right to seek compensation for their estate. Here at The Carlson Law Firm, we understand that it can be overwhelming to work through legal challenges on your own after the loss of a loved one, which is why we want to help. We have a compassionate team of attorneys, on staff nurses and private investigators ready to fight for your loved ones right to compensation.
Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation. We care, we can help
The National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act has been utilized by the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration since 1966 to ensure manufacturers produce vehicles that adhere to safety standards and recall vehicles that are defective and do not meet those standards. Since this act, there have been 390 million vehicle recalls, 46 million tire recalls, and 66 million pieces of motor vehicle equipment.
According to The U.S. Code for Motor Vehicle Safety, a “defect” in an auto product or part as any defect in performance, construction, a component, or material of a motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment. Such defects create a risk to both driver and passenger safety.
There are two ways in which an automotive product defect can come about:
Manufacturing defect of car or car part: A manufacturing defect exists in one specific car rather than the entire line of cars within that make or model. Failing to inspect or discover a faulty error during the manufacturing process could lead to a defect.
Defectively designed car: This occurs when all cars that are a specific make or model have been defectively designed, and the design of the car poses an unreasonable safety risk.
Common defects in vehicle components and equipment include:
Steering systems that break suddenly causing loss of vehicle control
Auto roof crush
Defective gas tanks
Leakage to fuel system components
Sticking accelerator controls
Engine cooling fans that break
Wiring systems that increase the chance of fire
When manufacturing a vehicle, several components within a supply chain may bear some of the liability for a defective part that contributed to a collision. The party that you can hold responsible will depend on the nature of the product that malfunctioned.
Product liability is the legal responsibility to the consumer that every vehicle manufacturer must ensure the auto parts they sell are safe. Possible defendants include:
Car manufacturer. The manufacturer should always be considered. When it comes to motor vehicles, sometimes more than one manufacturer could be liable. In some cases, the car manufacturer fails to issue a recall notice, or they fail to warn of the danger of a safety defect they are aware of.
Parts manufacturer. Car manufacturers use parts that are made by a different company. The maker of the car parts may be responsible for causing the collision and your injuries.
The middleman. Any other party that participated in the chain of distribution will also be considered. Sometimes parts pick up defects when handled by a shipping company, where the parts are stored, or the company that distributed the parts.
The cause of the crash will need to be examined closely to determine who holds liability. It may also be possible that more than one party was responsible for the defective car part. It is important to factor in every possible option when it comes to determining liability for a successful outcome.
In some design defect cases, there may already be an existing class action lawsuit that you can join. For example, an experienced lawyer may already be prosecuting the manufacturer for certain models having defective tires.
Collisions that arise due to defective car parts have been proven to cause catastrophic injuries including:
When there is harm caused by the negligence of a manufacturer, the victim has the right to seek compensation for damages suffered. The plaintiff is entitled to compensation for pain, suffering, past and future medical expenses, loss of wages, and other losses that came as a result of a defective auto part. Special damages are also available in many personal injury claims. The defendant does not directly cause these damages, but they are still connected to their conduct such as caretaker expenses and future lost wages.
It is an unfortunate fact that some vehicles roll off the assembly line with dangerous problems, but you shouldn’t be left to clean up the mess caused by someone else’s negligence.
You will want an experienced Defective Auto Products Liability Attorney in your corner to recover the compensation that you deserve. It is critical to start an investigation immediately to determine the cause of the crash, liability, and who may be held responsible for your injuries.
Auto manufacturers are usually wealthy and powerful companies with plenty of resources. It is common for these companies to employ claim denial specialists to try to deny or underpay damages. You will need the knowledge and guidance of a seasoned attorney to knock down their tactics and fight for a fair outcome.
If you or a loved one was involved in a car crash and suffered injuries as a result of a defective auto part, don’t go another moment without an aggressive Defective Auto Products advocate on your side. We have extensive experience in product liability law and understand the tricks insurance companies use to minimize their liability. Here at The Carlson Law Firm, we have a team of attorneys, on staff nurses, and private investigators that fight hard to secure full compensation for our client’s injuries.
Contact us today for a free case evaluation. We care, we can help.
It is not uncommon to see pieces of a tire scattered across the highway. Many of us would think this is due to excessive wear. However, this is also a sign of a defective tire that blew with no warning putting everyone on the road in danger.
The National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) estimates that more than 8,000 car collisions every year are attributed to tire blowouts. This could lead to collisions leaving drivers, passengers, and even nearby pedestrians seriously injured.
Tire failure can occur in the manufacturing process, at the body shop, tire shop, or it may be a result of conditions that you can control or avoid. Some common examples are:
Tread and steel belt separation
Tire made without all specified components
Belt and ply losses
Improper puncture repair
Tire not suitable for vehicle
Tire damaged during the mounting process
Tires that look good but are old
Tire failure occurs when there is a defect or weakness in the material or design of a tire. Many times, the heat caused by driving at high speeds will affect the weak areas of the tire and lead to a rupture. Some of the most common defects that result in tire failure include:
A common cause of tread separation comes from design defects or manufacturing defects. When steel belting fails to bond properly with the tread, it has the potential to create defects that result in separation. If tread separates, it is often followed by a complete tire blowout leaving the vehicle destabilized and prone to a rollover collision.
Our vehicles depend on four tires to support its weight along with our weight and the weight of all our belongings. Air can escape rapidly, causing the tire to lose its inflation and its ability to support a car.
During the manufacturing process, structural defects can produce poor adhesion of tread and belts that may potentially result in blowouts.
Faulty mounting procedures such as not using bead lubricant on a rim can be damaging to tires. The tire needs to be positioned correctly to prevent bead damage and leaks that can occur from improper seating. If the tire changing machines are in poor conditions, they may damage the tires creating a potential problem on the roads.
A faulty tire stem is another mistake that causes defective tires. Sometimes tires appear to be fine, and all of a sudden they separate, go flat, or lose air unexpectedly.
The use of old or poor quality materials during manufacturing can result in weak tires. It is especially dangerous to travel with brittle tires at high speeds.
Some tire manufacturers try to cut costs and maximize profits by designing tires with fewer layers of material instead of layers of steel, nylon, rubber, and liners with substances to prevent degradation of the other components.
Final inspections in tire plants should be taken seriously. The final inspection should take about two minutes per tire. However, some plants take as little as 15 seconds per tire.
Being involved in a collision due to a defective tire is scary because the outcome is unpredictable. The defective tire may cause you to lose control and slam into another vehicle or cause your vehicle to roll over. Regardless of what type of collision occurs, injuries are likely in defective tire crashes. Some common injuries are:
Tire defects are obvious in some situations, and others are hard to determine with an untrained eye. Below are potential signs of faulty or bad tires to look for.
Unusual tire vibration
Uneven tread depth wear
Cracks or splits in the sidewall
Blisters or bulges on the tire
Rapid deflation for no reason
Lack of traction
Tire rim flange markings
Taking time to check your tires to ensure they are safe may save you from experiencing a tire blowout. Proper inflation is vital for your tires. Check the tire pressure and make sure your tires are inflated to the recommended PSI. Keep in mind that too much inflation is just as dangerous as too little inflation.
If you feel vibrations while you are driving, don’t take a risk, have your car checked by a mechanic. Set up a routine to check your tires at least once a month and look for signs of damage and defects such as:
Cuts and cracks in the rubber
Bumps or bulges due to internal damage
Visible or damaged cord
The evidence is going to be key in this type of case. It is critical that you consult with a Tire Defects Lawyer as quickly as possible to preserve any salvageable evidence. An experienced attorney will understand evidence will enable them to build a strong case. If it is found that defective tires were the cause of the collision, you will have the right to recover losses such as pain, suffering, lost wages, and other losses. The company or manufacturer that was negligent will have their own attorneys and insurance company trying their hardest to shift liability and leave you with an undervalued settlement. You don’t have to go through this stressful process on your own.
If you or a loved one was harmed due to defective tires, don’t hesitate to contact The Carlson Law Firm. If we find that defective tires were to blame, we will battle any obstacles and fight for maximum recovery. We have a team of attorneys, on staff nurses and private investigators ready to fight for maximum recovery on your behalf. We are available to you 24/7. We care, we can help.
Contact us today for a free case evaluation.
Your children are the most precious cargo that you transport; and by that standard, the question of when a child should use a booster seat is worth far more than a quick Google search. The safety of your children is so important that the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) issues new safety recommendations whenever new evidence is found to reduce injury in children. The last time the AAP recommended updates was in spring of 2011 when it advised parents to keep their toddlers in rear-facing car seats until at least age 2, or until they exceed the maximum height and weight for their seats. Car crashes are the leading cause of death among children. However, even with all of this evidence, state laws are still lagging behind on new recommendations for child car safety.
The serious lag in information between state laws and the AAP recommendations contributes to many parents simply following the child safety laws of their state when they move their children from a car seat to a booster seat. This lag can have serious consequences for families of young children. For example, Texas leads the nation in fatal car crashes. However, in Texas, the child occupant laws simply state that all children under 8 years are required to be in an age appropriate seat. Some states, like Alabama, have laws that only require children to be in a child restraint system until the age of 6.
Often, states have oversimplified laws that do not take a child’s weight or height into consideration. There are several factors parents should know before moving their child into a booster seat:
- The longer the better. The longer you keep your children rear facing the safer they will be. Sixty percent of car accidents are frontal impacts. When a child is in a rear-facing seat, the force of the crash is more equally diffused along the shell of the car seat and the neck and spine stay in line. Children in rear facing seats are five times safer than their front facing counterparts.
- Read the instruction manual. Follow the height and weight requirements specified on your child’s car seat. Generally, infant seats with five point harnesses have a height limit of 19”-32” and weight limits of 22-30 pounds.
- One inch rule. It is impossible to give a height limit on car seats because children’s body differ in growth. To know if your child has reached the maximum height of their car seat, remember that there should be at least one inch between the top of a child’s head and the top of the car seat.
- Do your research. There have been many advances in car seat technology. There are newer convertible seat models with weight limits of 45 to 50 pounds.
- Register your product with the manufacturer. Since 1998, more than 10 million car seats have been recalled. The best way to stay aware of your car seat’s recall status is to register your product with the manufacturer.
The benefit of rear facing is a big one: it saves lives. But there will come a day when your child maxes out of their car seat in both height and weight. When that day comes, there are different styles of booster seat options to choose from.
- Five point harness booster seat: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends using a five point harness until your child outgrows it.
- Highback: a highback booster seat does a better job at guiding a car’s seat restraint system to properly across a child’s body. This is also a good choice for children who like to sleep in the car, tend to slouch or otherwise slump out of a position where the child safely protected.
- Backless: Your children can safely use a backless booster seat when they have reached the maturity to do so. This means that your child is no longer a wiggler and keeps his or her posture during long car rides. To ensure the maximum safety, be sure that your child has a head restraint behind their head.
As children age, parents become more relaxed about booster seat use. When your child gets in the car with a friend or family member, are you giving them a booster seat? If your child is carpooling with a friend or neighbor to soccer practice, are you giving them a booster seat? Did you cave into your child’s complaining about being in a “baby seat” when all of their friends are using seat belts? Are you just following your state laws without taking your child’s height and weight into consideration?
These are all factors that can lead to parents transitioning their children out of booster seats before they’re ready. In the above, we used Texas as our example state to point out the lag in new information outpacing state laws. But, the law gets more general once a child reaches 8 years old. At age 8, children in Texas are only required to use the adult-sized safety belt in any vehicle—no matter how tall they are or how much they weigh.
Only 3 percent of parents report that their child was the 4’9 height requirement for a seat belt when they switched them over; and only six percent of parents say their child reached the 80 pound weight requirement. Many children between the ages of 4 and 8 are nowhere near the height and weight requirements to safely use a seat belt without the assistance of a booster seat. For children between the ages of 4 and 8, booster seats reduce the risk of injury in a car accident by 45 percent in comparison to children who are using a seat belt.
A 2014 survey by Safe Kids Worldwide, a global organization of groups working to prevent accidental childhood injuries, found that 71 percent of parents did not know the height and weight a child needed to be before moving their child out of a booster seat. The test for when a child should use a booster seat is actually quite simple:
If your child has hit the maximum height and weight requirement of their car seat, but is not yet 4’9 and 80 pounds, then your child should still be using a booster seat.
Children need to stay in booster seats until a seat belt falls in in the right spots. Seat belts are made for adults and will not fit a child properly. In addition to the height and weight requirements, there are some visual cues you can take to see if your child is ready to sit in the car without a booster seat.
- Your child’s knees should bend at the edge of the seat when he or she is sitting all the way back against the vehicle seat.
- The shoulder belt should fit comfortable across the middle of the chest and shoulder
- The lap belt should fit low and snug on the hips and upper thighs, not across the belly.
- Your child can stay seated like this for long trips.
Parenting is tough and everyday parents are presented with new information that may lead them to second guess the decisions they make. It has long been established that seat belts save lives, but when moving your child from car seat to booster seat and from booster seat to seat belt can be confusing because there is so much competing information out there.
Many of us at The Carlson Law Firm are parents and want to keep our clients informed on the latest trends in safety for their children. Children who have been in car accidents can suffer from traumatic brain injuries from the force of a car wreck from another’s negligence or from faulty car seat or booster seat equipment. If you or a loved one has been injured from either of this situations, contact The Carlson Law Firm today for a free consultation.