It’s not a surprise that healthcare providers are more likely to make mistakes at the end of the day, when they are tired after seeing many patients. This is supported by a recent study in JAMA Network Open and was also a topic on Forbes too.Medical mistakes are more likely if your doctor is tired

The general conclusion is that afternoon fatigue is affecting many physicians. Based on this studies, some experts even suggest that you don’t visit your doctor later in the afternoon because the effects of later afternoon fatigue may compromise the patient’s safety.

Some doctors tend to order less of necessary testing/screening e.g. breast or colon cancer screening in the afternoon than in the morning. You might wonder if this has anything to do with medical errors. Well in this particular case, all patients were due for screening. However, the number of screenings ordered was highest in the morning and by the end of the day, those races were at least 10-15% lower. Many experts believe that fatigue is the main cause of this discrepancy. So based on these researches, primary physicians make mistakes in the afternoon that they wouldn’t in the morning.

Also, not only the primary physicians are the ones making mistakes due to fatigue. Did you know that radiology errors also increase as the day goes by? Some research says that the diagnostic accuracy drops by 4% later in the afternoon. This means that some fractures and nodules go unnoticed later in the day.

How to reduce medical mistakes

In order to reduce the mistakes caused by fatigue, healthcare providers could:

  • Take breaks every few hours
  • If possible try working in shorter shifts, up to 9 hours
  • Step away from the computer after you’re done with a few patients

Of course even patients can contribute to reducing the number of errors by:

  • Making appointments early in the morning
  • Stay well informed about the screening options
  • Make follow-up arrangements with your doctor.

In case that you or your loved one was misdiagnosed or received medical care and suffered an injury as a result, you should contact a personal injury lawyer to help you file a claim for compensation. A personal injury lawyer that has experience with medical malpractices will be able to provide you additional information on medical errors and inform you about your rights.

When it comes to personal injury claims, they all require you to have an experienced attorney who is well familiar with the process and knows the differences from cases involving auto accidents, nursing home abuse or neglect. But what are the main burning questions when it comes to personal injury law?Important questions about personal injury law

Is your personal injury claim valid?

If you want to pursue a successful personal injury claim, you need to be able to prove that your injuries are caused by someone else’s negligence. Extensive medical treatments are usually part of every personal injury case. However, not all personal injury claims have physical injuries. Some have non-physical harms or losses. A good example is if someone attacks your professional reputation or invade your privacy. These can all be good grounds for a personal injury claim.

How soon can you file a lawsuit?

This depends from one state to another. To be more precise, on the states ‘statute of limitations’. This statute basically determines how much time you have to file a personal injury claim. Of course the statute of limitation differs from case to case. Some states have a statute of limitation of 4 years for a personal injury lawsuit, but for medical malpractice this statute is only two years.

The best thing you can do is to pursue the lawsuit as soon as possible after your injury. This is because preservation of evidence is very important in these cases. Furthermore, a standard procedure involved in a personal injury case is investigation done by your personal injury attorney, which can take some time.

What is negligence exactly?

Negligence concerns actions taken in a specific situation by a ‘reasonable person’. For example, you would expect a truck driver (or basically any driver) to obey the traffic rules and to drive at full attention in order to avoid putting themselves and others at risk. In the event that they cause a car accident because they didn’t pay enough attention while driving, they can be liable for the accident.

So basically, someone is negligent if he/she fails to act in a way an ‘ordinary reasonable person would’ in a specific situation. Personal injury cases are generally found on negligence.

Will the person at fault be punished?

Personal injury cases are NOT criminal actions. They are civil actions. Jail terms cannot be sentenced to defendants in personal injury cases. The same goes for criminal fines. This is because there was no real malicious intent that caused the injury. The cause of the injury is negligence.

Nonetheless, in some rare cases, there can be punitive damages. Punitive damages have a goal to punish the defendants that were reckless OR didn’t act in the best interest of the public. The end result of punitive damages is to discourage defendants to behave in such way.

If you think that you have a valid personal injury case, because someone else’s negligence caused you harm, contact us today and let’s review your case together!

When someone gets injured due to someone else’s negligence, they assume that they are entitled to receive compensations for the medical bills. And they are right. However, that’s not the only damage available to you.

Determining lost wages

Sometimes, injuries will prevent you from working so naturally, you can pursue that your lost income be compensated as well. You will be able to get more information from your personal injury lawyer. He/she will provide more details on how to determine lost wages and what is the reasonable amount you should expect in a fair settlement. But before you speak to a personal injury lawyer, here are some tips on how you can calculate the approximate lost wages.

The calculation process starts with you collecting documents that will serve as proof to your claim and support the claim that your injuries are preventing you from working. The most common documents include:

  • Tax returns
  • Paycheck stubs or paycheck forms
  • Settlement sheet for three years prior and every pay period since the accident (if you’re a trucking owner or operator)
  • Business records or documents (even CPA letters) if you’re a business owner
  • Other documents depending on your unique circumstanced

In order to document that you need to take time off from work, you need to ask your doctor to issue a statement that will describe in detail, how much time you have to take off from work until you are fully recovered from your injuries. This is important as it will act as medical support to justify your absence from work. Your personal injury lawyer can help you secure this information through various reports or depositions.

In addition to all these documents stated above, you should also ask your employer to give you copies of your most recent checks or pay stubs. This will show how much did you earn before you got injured. And as the final document, you need to ask your employer to write you a statement that will confirm the information about your employment.

Calculating your lost wages

Calculating your lost wages, mainly depends on how you’re paid. It will be different if you’re paid by the hour, you receive a salary or you’re paid by some other basis.

When you’re paid by the hour, you will multiple your hourly wage with the total number of hours you missed because of your injuries.

So for example, if you’re paid $20 per hour and you work 8 hours a day and you missed 22 days of work, your lost wages will be:

20 x (8 x 22) = $3,520

In other cases, where you’re paid on a salary basis, the calculation is a bit different. Your annual salary gets divided by 2,080 (the number of working hours in a year). Then you will take that number and multiply it with the number of working hours in a day (so 8) and with the number of days you didn’t work because of your injury (let’s keep it 22 as before). If we assume that your annual salary is $50,000 the calculation will look like this:

$50,000 / 2,080 = 24.04

24.04 x (8 x 22) = $4,231 in lost wages

Of course, lost wages aren’t the only income that you can recover. If you receive other forms of income such as regular overtime, commissions, bonuses etc. these can be recovered too. Your personal injury lawyer will ask you about those as well and he/she will provide more information.

Lost income of Self-employed people

Let’s assume that you’re a self-employed person, maybe a web designer working from home. Even through you’re technically not employed by anyone, you can still claim your lost income. What’s different in this scenario is that your lost income consists of your earning AND profit that you would make if you weren’t injured. In this case, you have to gather documents and records that will prove the earning that you expected from the day you were in an accident until the date of judgement or settlement. Useful documents are: 1099 forms, invoices you issue to your clients / customers, records from your bookkeeper or accountant, receipt, communication between you and your clients/customers and so on.

Other income losses

Aside from your past income that you lose because of your injury, you might also be entitled to claim certain future income losses and your lost earning capacity. This will require your personal injury lawyer to work with an economist or vocational expert to establish your lost opportunities in the labor market.

Even through determining lost wages might seem like a pretty straightforward process, it can be rather difficult and complicated in some cases. That’s why you should work with a personal injury who is well informed about this and who can really help you. You can of course do some calculations on  your own, but it’s best to let the attorney do the real math and negotiate on your behalf.

In our previous blog posts we’ve summarized that car accident are life-changing events that can occur out of nowhere. Useful tips on settling a car accident claimOne moment driving down the motor way listening to the radio, and in the next your car is totaled, your body is aching with pain and you’re trying to grasp what has happened.

We also talked about what insurance companies usually do, how they want to deny or minimize your claim payment and what reasons (or tricks) they use to deny your claim. Today we will be focusing on the tips on settling a car accident claim.

Contacting the authorities

If you wish to successfully settle your car accident claim, there are several things you need to do immediately after the accident.

First and foremost, you need to contact the authorities and wait until the police arrives at the scene. Once the police arrive, make sure to tell them exactly what happened and seek medical attention if you need to. You might not feel that you need help from a doctor, but that can be a result of the shock your body went through. So make sure that you get examined by the doctor. Once the effects of the shock settle down, you will feel the effects of the accident. This can take a few hours.

Once the doctor establishes that you’re safe and not injured, take photographs of both damaged vehicles and make sure that the license plates are clearly visible. You should also make notes about the other car e.g. the make, model, color and exchange information with the owner of the other vehicle. Taking photos of the scene and location is also a good idea because this will provide useful information on the weather, traffic signs and even skid marks.

Doing this, you’re starting the car accident settlement the right way. Also, you need to keep in mind that you might not be settling the claim directly with the owner of the other vehicle, but rather with his insurance company.

Consult a Personal Injury Lawyer

Not all accidents will lead to a totaled car. Some will just end up with minor property damage, for which you don’t heel to have an attorney. It’s easy to settle this.

But if the accident caused severe damage to your vehicle and caused significant injuries to you, you should really consider getting help from a skilled and experienced personal injury lawyer. It might help your claim.

Experienced personal injury lawyers are well informed about the process to come and can anticipate the strategies that the other side will implement so he/she can be well prepared.

The goal of the insurance company is to protect the bottom line and their self-interest. They do this by offering you very low settlements and they might even try to dispute the entire claim. But having a good personal injury lawyer in these cases can help you a lot because he/she will be negotiating on your behalf.

Recorded statements and documents

It’s not uncommon practice, that insurance company representatives will contact you as soon as they learn about the accident. The representative might sound reasonable, friendly, polite and helpful but keep in mind one thing…they work for the insurance company, not you. The goal is to minimize the value of the claim. And since many car owners aren’t exactly skilled in these matters, the insurance representatives will even try to use some rather questionable methods to get what they need/want.

One of the things they might use are recorded statements. If you get asked to give a statement, politely decline and tell the insurance representative that you will be speaking with an attorney first. This is your right before giving any statements. You might as well use it.

Another thing that insurance companies also do, is send you documents like a medical authorization or similar. The strongly advise that you DO NOT sign any type of authorization that comes from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Why? Well because then the insurance company can then dig through your medical history looking for a way to prove that some of your previous injuries were the cause of the accident.

So when settling a car accident claim, it’s imperative that you speak to a personal injury lawyer. He will be negotiating with the insurance company, he will release any medical records and advise you on giving statements.