BRAIN-EATING AMOEBAS: A WRONGFUL DEATH YOU CAN AVOID

If you are planning to head out of state to go to a water park, you may want to know about the risk of brain-eating amoebas. The amoebas have been in the news several times before, but in June 2017, it cost a young woman her life after she visited a water park in North Carolina. She was only 18. Her family now plans to sue the water park for her wrongful and preventable death.

Situations like this are difficult for anyone to deal with. In this case, the young woman had been whitewater rafting when the boat overturned and she went into the water at the U.S. National Whitewater Center’s attraction. Just a few days later, she was hospitalized and diagnosed with an infection from Naegleria fowleri, the brain-eating amoeba. It took her life in 11 days.

If you plan to go to a waterpark, you can avoid this amoeba with a little bit of education. It’s most common in warm freshwater and soil, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It doesn’t live in salt water, so it’s safer to go to pools or parks that use salt water in their systems. It enters the body through the nose where it has quick access to the brain, so wearing nose plugs and keeping your head above water can help you avoid an infection.

Incidents like this may be avoidable with the proper management of water systems. If you lose a loved one due to this infection, you may also have a claim for compensation.

Source: CNN, “Family of teen who died from brain-eating amoeba sues water park,” Amanda Watts, accessed July 18, 2017

MAN PINNED BETWEEN TOOL BOX AND TRUCK DIES

There are times when accidents happen between family members or friends. While no one wants to sue or to seek compensation from someone they’re close to, it’s a good idea to seek compensation after an accident. If you are hurt financially because of an accident caused by someone, even if that person is related to you or a friend, you deserve to be compensated.

This is a case that could present that difficulty. A man from Western Minnesota was killed when a truck being driven by his friend and sometimes coworker accelerated into him inside an auto shop. According to the news from Oct. 16, the man died after a pickup truck pinned him against a tool chest.

The man was working in the auto shop when his friend pulled the vehicle onto a lift. He pushed the brake down as far as it would go, but he accidentally hit the acceleration pedal with his heel. At that point, the truck rolled back over the safety bump on the lift and hit the 55-year-old man. There was nowhere for the tool chest behind the man to go, since it was against a brick wall. He suffered crushing injuries. Right now, the investigators believe this was an accident. The investigation is ongoing.

This is a sad event for the family of the man who died and his friend as well. In cases like this, it’s still important to file a claim for a loved one’s wrongful death. It isn’t personal; instead, look at the case as a financial decision. There is no reason you should have to suffer financially as a result of an error.

Source: TwinCities.com, “Western Minnesota man killed as truck accidentally accelerates in auto shop,” Oct. 16, 2017

ELDERLY WOMAN DIES FROM LISTERIA MONOCYTOGENES SEPSIS

When a company sells a food item, it’s important that it makes sure the item is safe. As long as it is within its appropriate dates, the vendor may not be aware of issues with the product. However, manufacturers and producers should be testing their products for safety. If a batch turns up with listeria or other serious bacterial contamination, it’s vital that no one eats the food.

Listeria caused a death in this case involving an elderly woman. Now, a woman from Rochester is suing Kwik Trip for her mother’s death. According to the Nov. 3 story, the woman’s mother died after eating a caramel apple in 2014. That apple contained listeria, which caused her to develop Listeria monocytogenes sepsis, a potentially fatal infection from a foodborne pathogen.

The woman fell ill on Nov. 22, 2014 and died just five days later. She was 83.

Her daughter, who is also her trustee, is seeking a minimum of $50,000 for the wrongful death of her mother. She has filed a claim against Excellence, Kwik Trip, PureFresh Sales, H. Brooks Co. and Bidart Bros.

The senior director of food regulations at Kwik Trip stated that the company doesn’t process, grow or manufacture the caramel apples, so he doesn’t believe that the company will be held liable for the death.

While not everyone in a case like this may be held accountable for a person’s death, it’s true that at least one company or manufacturer could be. Your attorney can help you file a claim against anyone who could be held responsible, so you have the highest chance of obtaining compensation for your losses.

Source: TwinCities.com, “Rochester woman sues Kwik Trip, others after mother died of tainted caramel apple in 2014,” S.M. Chavey, Nov. 03, 2017

BILL PAXTON’S FAMILY FILES LAWSUIT ALLEGING MEDICAL MALPRACTICE

When a surgeon takes risks that he or she doesn’t need to take, it could put a patient’s life at risk. It’s important for people who operate on patients to understand the full risks of procedures and to choose to perform only those they’re confident in.

Patients need to know the full truth about operations and treatments before they decide to get them. If they’re misled, it’s a good reason to file a claim for medical malpractice.

That’s what’s happening in this case involving the family of Bill Paxton. If you follow celebrity news, then you may remember the death of Bill Paxton. The actor had to have heart surgery, but something went wrong and he passed away.

A new lawsuit from his family states that the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center allowed its surgeon to use an unconventional surgery technique that was extremely high risk. The family believes that the technique was not the right one for the job and was unnecessary. They claim the surgeon did not have the experience to perform the procedure and didn’t make clear the risks before getting Paxton to agree to the surgery.

The family’s lawsuit claims that the surgeon previously showed poor judgment regarding a patient’s needs. During Paxton’s surgery, the treatment resulted in excessive bleeding, a compromised coronary artery and cardiogenic shock, they claim. Paxton died 11 days following surgery from a stroke, according to his death certificate from Feb. 25, 2017.

Situations like this may come down to a patient’s individual health, but taking any risk beyond what’s necessary is negligent. Surgeons need to know better than to do something they’re not familiar with on a patient; patients rely on them to make good decisions. If you or a family member are hurt by a surgical error, remember that you can file a claim.

Source: ABC News, “Bill Paxton family sues hospital, doctor for wrongful death,” Feb. 13, 2018

CHILD RUN OVER DURING PARADE IN MINNESOTA SURVIVES

There is little more terrifying than watching a child get run over. These kinds of pedestrian accidents take parents’ breath away and have witnesses on edge as they wait to see if the child will survive.

This story is a perfect example of why it’s vital to be cautious even when drivers know there will be people on or near the roads. Not paying attention for even a few seconds is enough time to hit a pedestrian.

In a horrifying story, a trailer ran over a child during a parade that took place in central Minnesota. The July 9 news report stated that the child was picking up candy around the parade route on Highway 87 when the pickup truck pulling a boom trailer moved forward. A passenger, a 17-year-old, stopped the 24-year-old driver and alerted him to the child under the tire.

The driver quickly reversed off the child, and emergency responders were present and ready to assist. The 7-year-old child had to be flown to Sanford Children’s Hospital. Despite being run over, the child’s injuries have been reported as nonlife-threatening. The child was still in the hospital on July 9; however, his parents chose not to release his condition to the news team.

This situation was completely avoidable. While the police have not said if there will be charges against the truck’s driver, it’s situations like these that show why it’s so important to pay attention, even if you’re moving slowly. It only takes a few seconds for a vehicle to strike someone.

Source: West Central Tribune, “Trailer runs over child during parade in central Minnesota,” July 09, 2017

DELIVERY VEHICLE STRIKES HOMES, CAUSES INJURIES, PROPERTY DAMAGE

When a commercial driver is on the roads, he or she needs to pay attention to what he or she is doing. The vehicle has to be in tip-top shape, too. Even a minor problem with the mechanics of a large vehicle can result in its brakes or other systems failing, which could lead to a serious accident.

That’s what might have happened in this case, although the cause is not yet known. In the shocking piece of news, it was reported that a delivery truck went off the road and impacted two homes in Brooklyn Park. The vehicle collided with two residences before rupturing a gas line. The rupture forced the area to go without gas and for the roads to be closed for a short time while the line was repaired.

The crash, which took place at around 10:30 a.m., had two occupants. The driver had to be taken to an area hospital while the occupant in the delivery truck suffered minor injuries. Fortunately, no one in the residences was injured by the impact, even though at least one person was at home. So far, no one has been arrested for this accident, although the case is still under investigation.

In cases like this one, there are many people who may have a claim. For property damage, the homeowners may pursue a claim. The driver might have a workers’ compensation claim and the passenger could. If the passenger was not employed by the company, he or she might opt to pursue a claim against the driver for causing an accident that resulted in his or her injuries.

Source: CBS Local: Minnesota, “Delivery Truck Strikes 2 Homes In Brooklyn Park,” July 18, 2017

DO TRUCKS HAVE BLACK BOXES?

You never saw the truck behind you coming; the driver failed to stop for stopped traffic, and you just happened to be the one in front of him. Now, you have injuries and need to prove that the driver wasn’t doing his job correctly.

After a truck accident, one thing that can help your case is the truck’s “black box.” This is better known as an Electronic Control Module (ECM). The ECM is integrated into the engine and records the driver’s actions, similarly to the black boxes found on commercial airliners.

While the black box is actually there to help prove that engine warranties aren’t being abused, they help victims of trucking accidents, too. They can show important data such as how many hard stops the driver makes and the speed the driver was traveling before the stop. It can also help prove that the driver’s logs are or are not the same as the miles recorded by the black box.

Usually, an ECM records for approximately one month before it begins to record over data from the past. At that point, you can no longer access data from before the rewrite. In your case, it’s a good idea to have your attorney seek out the information from the black box immediately. If you wait longer than a month, this important evidence may disappear for good.

Your attorney can file an immediate protective order to make sure the ECM data stays put, which helps you guarantee the evidence is available for your case. It could help you get more when you seek a settlement or help support a win at trial.

Source: FindLaw, “Preserving the “Black Box” After a Truck Accident,” Joseph G. Klest, accessed Dec. 15, 2017

GET THE COMPENSATION YOU NEED AFTER A SERIOUS COLLISION

Winter weather is daunting for many drivers, including those behind the wheel of semitrucks. While the weather isn’t in a driver’s control, how he or she reacts to it is. When the weather is bad, drivers need to know how to respond to it to make sure they don’t cause crashes.

Sometimes, the design of the truck actually makes a difference in safety. For instance, aftermarket guards are made for some trucks that help prevent rollover accidents. Why? Drivers with them on their vehicles are less likely to swerve to avoid an impact, like if an animal runs into the street or they are sliding off the road. Knowing that the front is safer to hit at a lower speed means that a driver won’t necessarily overcompensate while sliding and cause a crash.

Some trucks protect drivers by having collapsible parts. This helps others as well. For instance, those with multiple-piece design hoods crumple under pressure. This reduces the overall impact to the other vehicle as well as to the semi itself.

It’s impossible to avoid cold weather or dangerous weather conditions, but keep in mind that there are many things drivers can do to avoid sliding or causing a crash. Driving slower, having good winter tires with appropriate tread and avoiding distractions all help keep people safer on the roads.

Drivers can change things about their vehicles and take steps to pay attention, but if they cause a crash, they must be held accountable. Our website has more on what to do if you’re hit by a truck.

WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT BWIS IN MINNESOTA

This weekend, people all across the state will be celebrating Memorial Day with friends and family. Not only is this a three-day weekend, but it is also the unofficial start of summer. And as any Minnesotan knows, it’s vital to soak up every day of this season, rain or shine.

This means that many people plan to get their boats in the water at cabins or in lakes around the Cities during the holiday weekend. If this is part of your plan, remember that there are strict boating laws in place, especially with regard to boating and drinking. With this in mind, readers should understand a few important things about boating while intoxicated, or BWI, in Minnesota.

Drinking on boats is not prohibited

State laws allow people to drink alcoholic beverages on boats and have open bottles on watercrafts. And the laws prohibiting drinking and operating a boat do not apply if an boat is anchored, docked or being propelled by a non-mechanical means.

But there are still strictly enforced limits

Make no mistake, though: operating a boat while legally intoxicated is unlawful. To be considered legally intoxicated, a driver will need to have a 0.08 percent blood alcohol concentration, which is the same limit for operating a car.

Penalties can be the same for BWI and DWI

Convictions for both boating while intoxicated and driving while intoxicated can lead to jail time, loss of license and driving privileges, fines and loss of vehicle.

Stay safe and know your rights this weekend

Law enforcement agents often ramp up drunk driving patrols during holidays like Memorial Day, and these crackdowns happen on roads and the water. To avoid arrest and the potential for crashes, it is best to refrain from driving any vehicle if you are going to drink.

However, if you do wind up arrested for a BWI or DWI, understand that you have the right to speak with an attorney to defend yourself. With legal guidance, you can work to avoid exposure to the harshest penalties and minimize the impact a drunk driving offense has on your future.

YOUR PERFECT BLOOD ALCOHOL CONCENTRATION: STAYING HEALTHY

There is a significant difference between getting tipsy while you’re drinking and ending up drunk. Walking that line can be difficult, especially if you don’t have a way to test yourself.

While drunk driving is never a good idea, that doesn’t mean that drinking is bad for you. In fact, drinking a moderate amount of alcohol is actually good for you. It’s known to help reduce the risk of diabetes, helps reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia end even reduces the risk of ischemic stroke.

What is moderate drinking, though? How can you stay safer on the roads by drinking only moderate amounts?

Moderate drinking means having no more than two standard drinks during each day of the week for men or women under the age of 65. Those over 65 should have no more than one standard drink daily.

It should also be fairly clear that one or two standard drinks per day is not likely to cause you to become intoxicated, although there are other factors that play a role in your blood alcohol concentration (BAC). When you drink only moderate amounts, your BAC is more likely to fall between .04 and .05 percent, which makes it perfectly legal for anyone who is not a commercial driver to get behind the wheel.

When you drink more than a moderate amount, it’s possible to see intoxication begin. Once your BAC reaches .04, you may feel good, and that might make you drink more. Avoid the trap, since it can end up causing you to be over the limit. If you do get behind the wheel, you could be arrested for having a BAC of .08 or higher. When that happens, you’ll want to talk to your attorney about defending yourself as soon as possible.

Source: BAC Track, “The Perfect BAC: Threading the Needle Between Tipsy and Drunk,” accessed June 23, 2017

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