Questions about the Firm
Questions about Medical Malpractice Cases
Questions about Pharmaceutical Liability Cases
Questions about Brain Injury Cases
Questions about Spinal Cord Injury Cases
Questions about Product Liability Cases
Questions about Motor Vehicle Accident Cases
Questions about Trucking Accident Cases
Questions about Sexual Assault Cases
Questions about Premises Liability Cases
Questions about Cases involving Work Place Injuries

Questions about the Firm:

How does the firm bill for services?

Clore Law Group offers initial consultations at no charge, and unlike a number of firms, works on a contingency basis. The attorneys at Clore Law Group only get paid when a client receives a settlement or jury verdict.

Why should an individual seek counsel?

Seeking legal help from a team of lawyers with extensive experience can help clients obtain appropriate compensation during what can be a trying time. The attorneys at Clore Law Group take an aggressive and thorough approach to resolving complex cases. They are prepared to handle a wide range of concerns and to navigate and resolve difficult legal matters for injured individuals and businesses.

Questions about Medical Malpractice Cases:

What is medical malpractice?

Medical malpractice is the failure of a health care provider to provide care in accordance with good and accepted medical techniques or principles. In other words, medical malpractice occurs when a health care provider does something not in keeping with good practice, or fails to do something necessary for the patient’s good care.

How is medical malpractice determined?

Generally, an individual should have expert medical testimony that a reasonable health care provider acted in a way no other would have. Expert medical testimony is necessary to prove that standard of care was not followed. Reasonable care is determined by available knowledge, geographic location of where the care occurred, and the state of medical practices at the time of the occurrence. Also, an individual must prove through expert testimony that negligence of the health care provider caused injury or death. It is possible, for example, that a doctor can be negligent but not liable if the injury or death occurred as a result of another factor.

Can a doctor be sued for releasing medical records to a person’s employer?

It is possible. In some cases, however, employers have a legal right to review an employee’s medical records covered by the company’s health plan.

Can medical malpractice be filed against someone other than a doctor?

Yes, a medical malpractice lawsuit can be filed against anyone who provides health care, including doctors, nurses, physical therapists, technicians, among others.

Can an individual file a case for what might have happened?

No, it is generally not acceptable to sue for what might have happened, especially if there was no negligence.

Do most medical malpractice cases go to trial?

Yes, most medical malpractice cases go to trial and are settled less often than other types of cases. This means that they can take more time and be more costly.

How can an individual find out if a doctor has previously been sued for medical malpractice?

It is best to check with the state medical licensing board first to see if the board will release information on the doctor, if available.

Is a misdiagnosis considered malpractice?

Not always. Errors in diagnosis are possible. The law simply requires that a doctor’s actions meet the standard of care set by state statutes and that a doctor act in accordance with what another reasonable physician would do in a similar situation.

Is there a set amount that can be recovered?

This amount depends on the injuries and extent of damages. There are no set limits unless dictated by state statute.

What expenses are generally paid by a settlement for a malpractice case?

State statutes generally control what a malpractice settlement takes into consideration. Typically, the following items are covered: medical expenses related to the injury caused by medical malpractice, other financial and economic damages that the malpractice caused, and compensation for pain and suffering.

What factors are taken into consideration in determination of a settlement amount?

Several factors are taken into consideration, including the impact the injury has on earning capacity, the impact the injury has on an individual’s ability to function, how the jury perceives the injured party, and the atmosphere in the geographic area concerning the malpractice.

What is “contributory negligence”?

Contributory negligence is an injured person’s failure to exercise due care, which contributed to the injury. One example of contributory negligence in a failure-to-diagnose case would be if a doctor recommends that the patient undergo a screening exam for cancer and the patient neglects to follow through with the doctor’s instructions, only to be diagnosed with cancer later.

What is “informed consent”?

When a doctor is going to perform a procedure, he or she is required to advise the patient of the procedure that is going to be performed and inform the patient of all possible consequences. This is referred to as “informed consent.” If the doctor doesn’t do this, it might lead to a medical malpractice case. There are some instances where a doctor isn’t required to obtain an informed consent, such as a case where the patient is unconscious, a family member can’t be reached in an emergency, or if there is no living will. As a general rule, attorneys will take these cases if the consequences of not being properly informed are great enough.

Why do attorneys sometimes turn down malpractice cases?

There can be a number of reasons why an attorney won’t take a case, including:

  • There isn’t a credible expert to say there has been malpractice or that malpractice was a cause of the injury or death. Without such expert testimony, cases generally cannot prevail in court.
  • The cost of bringing a case to trial exceeds what the case could reasonably be expected to return. It is generally very expensive to obtain the medical experts necessary to even get a medical malpractice case into a courtroom. Also, insurance companies are less likely to settle in this area and more willing to take cases to trial, which increases the costs of suits for victims.
  • The severity of the injury caused by the malpractice is an important consideration. A truly serious injury with long-term consequences, such as injuries during birth, a heart attack, stroke, or permanent disability, are more likely to bring a viable lawsuit than a minor, temporary injury.

 

Questions about Pharmaceutical Liability Cases:

What is “pharmaceutical liability?”

The term “pharmaceutical liability” refers to legal theories that a manufacturer of a pharmaceutical product, including prescription and over-the-counter medications, medical devices, dietary supplements and herbal remedies, can be held responsible when its products injure people.

Are such cases brought against doctors?

A lawyer may conclude that an individual’s doctor might share responsibility for the injuries sustained. In some states, a jury may decide to assign the doctor a percentage of fault, even if the doctor is not sued. In other states, the manufacturer may have to pay all damages.

What if the doctor failed to tell the patient of a particular drug’s side effects?

Doctors are usually familiar with the drugs they prescribe. However, drugs are tested on only a small number of people and some side effects might not become known until the medication is on the market and a much larger number of people are using it. In addition, because the FDA approves new drugs all the time, doctors may not be aware of a particular medication’s side effects.

Does FDA approval mean that a drug is safe?

If the FDA approves a drug, it means that the drug’s benefits outweigh its known risks. An FDA-approved drug is not necessarily safe for everybody. The FDA reviews a manufacturer’s research to determine whether the drug works and if it is safe for most people. In addition, some serious side effects are rare and will not be discovered before the drug is approved.

Is it possible to pursue a claim along with a group of people also experiencing problems with a particular medication?

Yes, a group of people with similar problems may be able to bring a single lawsuit and recover as a group in a class action. It is best to speak with an attorney to see if an individual would be better off litigating as a group or as an individual.

Questions about Brain Injury Cases:

How is the existence of a brain injury proven?

There are several ways in which medical and psychological professionals diagnose brain injuries. The method will depend on the nature and extent of the injury. Some examples of diagnostic tools are MRIs, CT scans, PET scans, and EEGs. In addition, professionals may study a person’s behaviors, movements and personality.

What disabilities and effects are associated with a brain injury?

A brain injury can be accompanied by a wide range of possible effects, depending on the location and severity of the injury. A severe head injury may affect a person’s ability to work, learn, and live with his or her family. Possible physical effects include difficulty with mobility and coordination, difficulty talking and communicating, severe headaches, and difficulty with sensation. Possible behavioral effects include personality changes, depression, short attention span, learning difficulties and memory difficulties.

Questions about Spinal Cord Injury Cases:

What is a spinal cord injury?

A spinal cord injury (SCI) occurs when there is traumatic injury to the spinal cord resulting in a loss of function, such as mobility and sensation, below the level of injury. The part of the spine that is injured and the severity of the injury will dictate how much function is lost. Most spinal cord injuries do not result in a severance of the spinal cord, but in a fracture of the vertebrae that compresses the cord, causing injury.

What are the most common causes of spinal cord injuries?

The most common cause of a spinal cord injury is a motor vehicle accident. Other common causes of spinal cord injuries include deliberate acts of violence (such as a stabbing or shooting), falls, and sports-related injuries.

What are the symptoms of a spinal cord injury?

It is not always evident that a person has a spinal cord injury, especially if it is caused by the onset of an illness or growth of a tumor. Symptoms may include weakness, poor coordination, numbness or tingling, loss of sensation, loss of bowel or bladder control, paralysis, and pain.

What kinds of medical complications can arise from a spinal cord injury?

Depending on which segments of the spine were injured, people with spinal cord injuries face a number of other health problems because of the injury, including chronic pain, bladder and bowel dysfunction, irregular heartbeats, low blood pressure, pressure sores, spasms, and reproductive and sexual dysfunction. They are also at risk for heart and respiratory problems and blood clots, among other conditions.

Questions about Product Liability Cases:

What constitutes a product defect?

A defect is an imperfection that renders a product unsafe for its intended or reasonably foreseeable uses. There are three general kinds of defects: design defects, manufacturing defects, and warning defects:

  • Design defects exist when a whole class of products is inadequately planned, such that it poses unreasonable risks to consumers.
  • A production or manufacturing defect, on the other hand, arises when a sound design plan is not followed and the product is improperly manufactured.
  • Improper labeling, instructions, or warnings on a product can also make the product defective. Dangerous products must carry warning labels that explain their proper use, the circumstances that are likely to cause harm, and what steps should be taken in an emergency involving the product. The Food and Drug Administration sets the minimum labeling standards that manufacturers must follow. Proper labeling requirements also apply to claims made in sales materials, product displays, and advertising. If these requirements are not met and a consumer is injured, a products liability suit can enable the consumer to recover the resulting damages.

What is proximate cause?

The plaintiff in a products liability case must prove that the product was defective when it left the defendant’s hands and that the defect proximately (directly) caused the injury. A defect has been said to be a proximate cause of an injury if the injury was a direct, natural, or probable result of the defect’s existence. The issue of causation in a products liability case can be complicated, especially if the defect in the product involved was an indirect or remote cause, or only one of a number of potential causes. The determination of whether the defendant’s negligence or breach of warranty proximately caused the plaintiff’s injuries is very much dependent on the facts of the particular case.

What is the difference between a negligence claim and a strict liability claim?

In a products liability negligence claim, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant did not exercise the proper degree of care when manufacturing or otherwise providing the product to the consumer. Everyone in the chain of distribution must exercise reasonable care, including the designer, the manufacturer, and the seller. The duty is owed to anyone who is likely to be injured by the product if it is defective, including the initial purchaser, his or her family members, bystanders, and persons who lease the product or hold it for the purchaser. The duty of care includes the duty to make adequate inspections during product manufacture, the duty to use proper packaging, and the duty to issue adequate instructions and warnings. If any of these duties are breached and someone is injured, the consumer or other injured party can bring a claim based on negligence.

In a strict liability case, on the other hand, the plaintiff need not prove any violation of the standard of care. Under this theory, the defendant is responsible for any defects in its products that threaten the safety of a consumer’s person or property, even if it exercised care in handling the product and even if the plaintiff had no direct dealings with the defendant, such as when the consumer bought the product from someone other than the defendant. Strict liability applies when the defendant is engaged in the business of selling the product that caused the injury, and the product is expected to and does reach the consumer without a substantial change in the condition in which it was sold.

Questions about Motor Vehicle Accident Cases:

Does someone involved in a motor vehicle accident have to go to court to recover monetary damages?

It depends. Some cases settle before a lawsuit is even filed, while others go all the way to trial and involve a jury verdict. The majority of car accident lawsuits are settled before going to trial, but this depends on the facts, the law, and the parties involved.

How soon should a legal claim be brought against the other driver?

It is best to speak with an attorney right away. The time limits for taking legal action vary by state, and they may also be affected by the specifics of the insurance policy. The nature of an individual’s injuries may even determine the amount of time given to file a claim.

What if the insurance company offers an individual a check right away?

Before accepting or signing anything from an insurance company, it is important that an individual be made aware of his or her legal rights and options. Accepting a check may mean giving up the right to take legal action at a later date. It is best to consult an attorney before negotiating with an insurance company.

Questions about Trucking Accident Cases:

What is a “commercial truck”?

Examples of commercial trucks include are tanker trucks, freight trucks, eighteen-wheeler, tractor-trailers and delivery vehicles.

What are the most common factors in collisions between commercial trucks and automobiles?

Generally speaking, trucking accidents are caused by a combination of a truck’s characteristics and performance capabilities (including limits associated with acceleration, braking, and visibility) and car drivers’ ignorance as to those characteristics.

Can an individual file a suit against the truck driver’s trucking company?

It depends on whether an employment relationship is established between the truck driver and the trucking company. If such a relationship is shown, the company can be held legally liable for the driver’s negligence under a legal theory known as “respondeat superior.” Establishing the liability of a company can become problematic when a truck driver is an independent contractor of the company. In such a situation, the key issue becomes the amount of supervision exercised by the company.

What happens when an accident is caused by a big-rig that “jackknifes?” Can an individual automatically recover against the truck driver?

Not necessarily. The fact that a truck jackknifes is not in itself proof of operator negligence, because many accident situations present difficulties in which there is no practical way to avoid jackknifing without risking some other catastrophe. For example, operation of a truck that has jackknifed may be held to be non-negligent where the jackknifing was due to unforeseeable slipperiness of the road, or to an abrupt turn undertaken to avoid a motorist or stalled truck.

Questions about Sexual Assault Cases:

What is sexual abuse?

Any instance of sexual behavior between an adult and a child is sexual abuse.  Even if it only occurred one time, it is still sexual abuse and can be criminally punished.  Abuse does not necessarily require touching.  Even discussing sexual subjects with a child can constitute sexual abuse, depending upon the situation.  For example, an adult showing young person pornography or discussing inappropriate sexual topics in order to fulfill the adult’s own sexual desires is abusive.

Can a person file a case even if the abuse occurred several years ago?

It is possible, depending on the circumstances.

What can a person do about an organization or institution that condoned or ignored reports of sexual abuse?

If sexually abusive behavior was known about and tolerated or ignored, the individuals or group who turned a blind eye to the actions are committing an almost equal betrayal.  A sexual predator who targets children can be shuffled from location to location to avoid an embarrassing scandal, leaving dozens of victims in his or her wake.  These associations or organizations may be held accountable for their actions.

Will the privacy of an individual who chooses to file a suit against an institution be protected, or will that individual be the subject of media attention?

Survivors of sexual abuse respond differently to taking action against their abuser(s).  Some choose to be very vocal about their experiences and welcome the public and the media into the lawsuit.  Others do not want to be known or discussed by anyone; they simply want justice.  In most instances, the anonymity of the victim can be protected.

Questions about Premises Liability Cases:

What is “premises liability” law?

Premises liability” is the body of law that determines the responsibility of a property owner for injuries suffered by others while on his or her property. It includes circumstances arising while an individual is in the home or on the property of another individual, and while an individual is at another’s place of business.

Under what circumstances is a property owner responsible for injuries occurring to individuals on the owner’s property?

A property owner is not necessarily responsible simply because someone has been injured while on the property. Generally, a property owner is responsible for injuries on the property if the owner was “negligent.” A property owner is negligent if the property owner breached a duty of care owed to the injured individual. For example, an owner of a grocery store would likely have a duty to keep the floor dry (or post a warning if the floor is wet) in order to prevent shoppers from slipping and injuring themselves. An owner of an apartment complex has a duty to repair a broken stair so that a tenant or visitor descending the stairs would not get hurt. An office building owner would have a duty to comply with electrical safety codes in order that tenants in and visitors to the building would not be placed in harm’s way.

What duty of care does a property owner have?

The law that governs a property owner’s duty of care may vary depending upon the jurisdiction. In many jurisdictions, a property owner owes a property entrant a different duty of care depending on the status of the entrant as a business invitee, a social guest, or a trespasser. A business invitee is on the property owner’s premises at the invitation of the property owner, and ordinarily for the mutual economic benefit of both. A social guest is on the premises at the invitation of the property owner, but not for the economic benefit of the owner. A trespasser is on the premises without permission. In those jurisdictions that base a property owner’s duty of care on the status of the entrant, the property owner generally owes the highest duty of care to a business invitee, and the lowest duty of care to a trespasser. Some jurisdictions no longer consider the status of the entrant and hold the property owner to the same duty for all entrants on the premises.

Questions about Cases involving Work Place Injuries:

What is a workplace injury?

An on-the-job or workplace injury is one suffered by an employee while working. Workplace injuries can occur by accident or as a result of an occupational disease or exposure. Depending on the situation, workplace injuries may be covered by Workers’ Compensation laws, tort law or both. The laws surrounding work-related injuries are complex and can be difficult to understand without the assistance of a qualified attorney.

What is third party liability in a workplace injury?

If a worker suffers an injury while on the job that occurs because of faulty equipment (if a worker is injured when a ladder breaks, for example), that worker could potentially pursue a third party case against the manufacturer and/or seller of the faulty product, along with a worker’s comp claim against the employer.

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