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Common Medical Malpractice Myths & Misinformation

09-10-21    

misconceptions about medical malpractice

Recent studies of the medical industry estimate that medical errors may account for as many as 251,000 deaths annually in the U.S., which makes them the third leading cause of death here. Experts also think that less than 10% of medical errors are reported each year, meaning that even fewer people get the help they need after they become victims of malpractice.

We at Rinehardt Injury Attorneys, located in central Ohio, have a theory that so many instances of malpractice go unreported because victims believe some common myths about malpractice claims, or misunderstand their rights in those situations. This is understandable because there are probably more myths and misunderstandings about medical malpractice than about any other area of personal injury law.

To help you educate yourself about malpractice law, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most common malpractice myths and misunderstandings. If you’ve been injured due to a doctor’s mistake or medical error in the Mansfield or Columbus areas, give us a call today to speak with one of our expert Medical Malpractice Attorneys.

I can’t afford to bring a medical malpractice suit

It’s a myth that clients have to pay out-of-pocket up front for medical malpractice claims. You don’t have to worry about coming up with large sums of money before filing a malpractice suit through Rinehardt. Our firm offers free consultations and a guarantee that we won’t ask for fees until we win or settle your case.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a malpractice incident, mistreated by a medical professional, suffered from surgical errors, or had a birth injury, you can’t afford not to bring a case. Not only do injury victims deserve financial restitution for lost wages, further hospital and medical bills, and emotional distress, but those at fault need to be held accountable.

I can file a malpractice claim on my own

While it might seem simple enough to file a medical malpractice claim — the doctor made a mistake or was neglectful in their duties, so you’re entitled to compensation — in reality, a number of complexities exist. These range from gathering substantial evidence to understanding the necessary paperwork and motions to file with court. In particular, you must prove these five elements of the case:

  • A doctor-patient relationship existed
  • A duty of care existed
  • The doctor breached their duty of care
  • The breach caused injuries
  • The patient suffered damages as a result

Drawing the line through all five of these elements can be complicated, and hospitals and their insurances have good reason to keep the truth concealed. You need a personal injury attorney to advocate on your behalf against these businesses.

Medical malpractice lawsuits are frivolous

Somehow, the popular mythology has begun including the spurious claim that medical malpractice suits are frivolous and drive up the price of health care. In reality, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Around 80% of medical malpractice cases are filed for severe injuries to the patient, including disability to death. 97% of those cases — almost all of them — bring strong evidence that those injuries were caused by medical errors or negligence, or in other words, malpractice. An experienced medical malpractice attorney like those at Rinehardt can assess your case and let you know if you have a valid claim. It doesn’t hurt to call.

Medical errors are not preventable

We like to believe that doctors always know what they’re doing and that medical mistakes only happen when they’re unavoidable. The truth is much more messy. Doctors are often overworked and exhausted, hospitals often cut corners on their care, and communication can be as hard in a doctors’ office as in any other workplace. As a result, over 70% of medical errors are preventable. Common preventable errors include the following:

  • Misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose
  • Improper medical treatments
  • Drug and medication errors

If you’ve experienced one of these, or another kind of injury in the Columbus or Mansfield areas, you need an expert medical malpractice lawyer to represent your interest. Give us a call or stop by our office for your free consultation with one of our experienced personal injury lawyers here at the law offices of the Rinehardt Injury Attorneys. We’re here to fight any and every insurance company to help you get the compensation you deserve. Our successful case results speak for themselves; reach out to an expert Columbus personal injury attorney today!


The Impact of a Car Accident vs Truck Accident

09-02-21    

No one wants to be in an automobile accident, whether it be with another passenger car or with a large truck. Both accidents can involve working with law enforcement, dealing with insurance companies, and potential injuries; however, car accidents and large truck accidents are not the same. There are additional factors when there is a collision between a passenger car and a large truck. That’s why it’s important to have an experienced truck accident attorney to help you navigate the difficulties an accident can bring.

flipped red car crash

Severity of the Accident

Truck accidents tend to be more severe than accidents involving multiple passenger cars. Accidents can involve all types of motorists, but when a motorcycle or car is involved in a large truck accident, the results are often catastrophic. Trucks, 18-wheelers, big rigs, tractor-trailers, and semi-trucks are tall, bulky, and significantly heavier than cars. The impact from these types of vehicles is often brutal, resulting in significant damage to the vehicles involved and major, sometimes life-altering, injuries. These injuries often result in high medical bills and ongoing therapy. It is important to have a truck accident attorney represent you to ensure that any offer you receive is the correct amount for the damages and injuries you’ve experienced. 

Understanding the Cause

Car accidents are usually a result of human error; the driver could be speeding or distracted. Truck accidents tend to be caused by other factors, including: 

Driver Fatigue

While there are federal regulations that mandate driver rest breaks and limit driving time, many drivers violate these regulations to meet strict delivery deadlines. This results in driver fatigue, which can cause a truck driver to fall asleep at the wheel, or have slow reaction times causing an accident.

Improper Maintenance

Equipment failure is another common factor in truck accidents. Truck companies and drivers are responsible for maintaining the trucks on the road. Tire blowouts, faulty brakes, and other mechanical failures could mean that the truck company is responsible for the accident. 

Unbalanced Loads

Considering large trucks by definition carry significant loads, the cargo in these trucks must be properly balanced. If a dock worker or logistics company does not load the truck correctly, it can result in an accident. Trucking companies and drivers have a responsibility to inspect their vehicles to ensure appropriate balance at the beginning of a route.

Navigating the Aftermath of a Wreck

car accident doctor

When you get into an accident with a passenger car, you generally only have to deal with the owner of the car and their insurance company. When you are involved in a large truck accident, the truck company gets involved. You won’t just have to navigate the insurance company, you will also be dealing with their lawyers. That’s why it’s important to have a truck accident attorney representing you. We can help by leveling the playing field, so you don’t have to worry about being taken advantage of by an insurance company or any other party.

Available When You Need Us

rinehardt car accident attorneys

Rinehardt Injury Attorneys is the answer to your truck accident. Our team of attorneys and case managers represents clients in Columbus and throughout central and north Ohio. You can contact us online 24/7 or call our office anytime. We offer free initial consultations, and our personal injury clients owe no attorney fees until we secure compensation for their losses. If you have been in a truck accident and need a truck accident attorney, reach out to Rinehardt Injury Attorneys, and let us help you.


Most Common Construction Injuries

06-15-21    

Construction accidents in Columbus

Safety in construction is important to the team here at Rinehardt Injury Attorneys. Below are the top 5 causes of construction injuries in OSHA Construction Reporting and the most important measures for injury prevention:

Cause #1: Falling from Heights

Safety in construction solution: Of course, the most effective way to protect workers from the risk of injury from falls is to work from the ground wherever possible. Complete activities at ground level wherever possible. For example, use prefabrication methods and tools with extendable handles.

When working from steep heights is a necessity, four basic components of fall protection include:

  1. Proper worker training.
  2. Appropriate selection of equipment for the specific work environment.
  3. Ensuring that all equipment is properly fitted.
  4. Having frequent equipment inspections.

Cause #2: Trench Collapse

Safety in construction solution: Plan to place equipment a safe distance away from the trench opening and locate all utilities. Water and soil make mud, so always be extra cautious during and after rainstorms. Beware of low oxygen and toxic fumes. Never assume you have time to move out of the way if a collapse starts.

  1. Move extra excavation materials at least 2 feet away from the trench.
  2. Remove personnel from the edge of the trench who are not working on it.
  3. Keep all equipment away from the site to prevent cave-ins and blunt force trauma.
  4. Do not enter trenches that have not been reinforced or inspected at the start of the day or after a rainstorm.
  5. Do not work under suspended loads.
  6. Never start digging till all underground utilities in the area have been accounted for.
  7. Keep materials and soil piles at least 2 feet away from the edges.
  8. Make sure air tests are carried out if the trench is more than 4 feet deep. Oxygen deprivation is the second leading cause of fatalities in unregulated trenches.
  9. Evacuate the trench immediately if you smell a strange odor or see rainwater accumulating at the bottom.

Cause #3: Collapsed Scaffolding

Safety in construction solution: To prevent scaffolding from falling provide an access ladder. Only use scaffold-grade lumber. Install guardrails and toe boards on all scaffolding 10 or more feet above the ground. Make sure the scaffold can support four times the maximum intended load (including the weight of the scaffold).

  1. Inspect Scaffolding Before Use.
  2. Adhere to Guidelines.
  3. Train Workers Properly.
  4. Ensure Scaffold Stability.
  5. Use the Proper Safety Equipment.
  6. Know the Load Capacity.
  7. Beware of Power Lines.
  8. Stay Organized.

Cause #4: Electric Shock

Safety in construction solution: Use lock-out/tag-out practices to ensure that circuits are de-energized before servicing equipment. Ensure all electrical equipment is properly grounded or double insulated. Inspect tools prior to use and check extension and power cords for wear and tear. If damaged, remove the equipment from service.

The more aware you are, the lesser the risk of danger. Follow these preventative measures to protect yourself from electrocution:

  1. Be aware of overhead power lines and keep a safe distance.
  2. Use ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCI).
  3. Check tools and extension cords for cuts, abrasions, and damaged insulation.
  4. Do not use power tools and equipment in a way it was not designed for.
  5. Follow procedures for lockout/tagout.
  6. Receive proper training.

Cause #5: Failure to Use Appropriate Protective Gear

Safety in construction solution: Involve employees in discussions concerning what specific protective gear brands, colors, and models to purchase since they will be the ones using it during the workday. Ask employees how their protective gear is working for them and what recommendations they have for the next time you are purchasing more. Address complaints promptly and keep open communication with employees to provide the most comfortable and appealing equipment possible.

  1. Create a Company Culture of Safety. Creating a company culture in which the health and safety of all employees are a priority will instill an internal motivation in workers to wear protective gear.
  2. Conduct a Hazard Analysis.
  3. Carry out regular protective gear training.
  4. Choose the right protective gear.
  5. Enforce Your Policy.

4 Common Types of Wrongful Death with Famous Examples

05-04-21    

While any death in the family is extremely hard for families and friends involved, they can be even more complicated when caused by someone else’s ineptitude or carelessness. Wrongful death is a term defined as when an individual’s death is directly caused by the wrongful actions or negligence of a person or business entity.

Wrongful deaths can be determined through numerous factors and situations. The following outlined are the most often committed wrongful death scenarios. Plus, a sneak peek into famous cases where a wrongful death attorney was needed. Wrongful death settlements, are normally in the millions of dollars, regardless of who you are, so, any celebrity wrongful death cases don’t receive special treatment. But we will highlight some cases surrounding them that went down in the history books.

Medical Malpractice

The overwhelming majority of doctors and nurses are highly skilled, however, they’re still human and mistakes do happen. These mistakes can occur when a medical personnel cuts corners, neglects to follow correct procedures, or simply overlooks something completely.

In medical malpractice, the most common wrongful death causes are either a misdiagnosis of a condition or a failure to diagnose a particular condition. Surgical errors or mishaps when treating conditions are also common causes of wrongful death in medicine.

Famous Medical Malpractice Wrongful Death Cases:

  • Hulk Hogan: Sued for malpractice involving unnecessary spine surgery
  • John Ritter: Family sued the hospital for wrongful death
  • Andy Warhol: Doctors overloaded him with fluids
  • Michael Jackson: The doctor helped him overdose on a cocktail of drugs including propofol

Car Accidents

Car accidents are actually the most common cause of wrongful death because of the sheer number of drivers, how often people drive, and the risks involved. 

The grand majority of car accident fatalities are the result of driver’s negligence, whether it be speeding, reckless driving, driving under the influence, or not paying attention to the road. If any of these negligent conditions apply, the driver can be liable for the deaths of anyone else involved in the accident.

If the accident occurred due to issues with the road, then the city or county could be liable. There are even such situations in which an accident occurred and neither driver was negligent, although these are rare wrongful death cases.

Famous Wrongful Death lawsuits from Car Accidents

  • Venus Williams – In 2018, Venus Williams was in a car crash at a Palm Beach Gardens intersection where the passenger in the car that hit her passed away. His wife had been driving the car that hit Williams. Jerome Barson died two weeks later. Barson’s family filed a wrongful death suit against Williams. However, the surveillance footage of the intersection was reviewed, and Williams wasn’t in violation of any laws. The case was dismissed.

  • Actor Paul Walker’s Daughter Settles With Porsche – In October 2017, the daughter of late Fast and Furious actor Paul Walker settled her wrongful death lawsuit against Porsche. Walker was driving a Porsche Carrera GT when he collided with a tree in Santa Clarita on the night of November 30, 2013. The car caught fire and both Walker and Roger Rodas, the car’s driver, died at the scene.

Meadow Walker’s wrongful death lawsuit against Porsche alleged that the car’s engine and lack of safety features prevented her father from getting out of the crash alive. The lawsuit said the actor was trapped because of the vehicle’s seat belt design and was alive for a minute and 20 seconds after the collision before the car caught fire. Meadow Walker and Porsche decided to keep the terms of the settlement confidential.

Defective Products aka Product Liability Cases

If a person dies because of using a defective product, the manufacturer of the product is then held liable. Product liability is one of the reasons why manufacturers spend so much time testing products to make sure they’re safe. Some common examples of this type of wrongful death include defective pharmaceutical products, toxic food products, unsafe children’s products, and defective automobiles.

Some of the Biggest Recent Product Liability Cases

Since 2018, there have been product liability cases that have paid out billions of dollars to claimants. These include cases against:

  • Bayer and Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer, which contains cancer-causing glyphosate
  • Johnson & Johnson’s talc products, which contain traces of toxic asbestos
  • Hoffmann-LaRoche’s acne drug Accutane, which failed to warn of possible gastrointestinal side-effects
  • Pacific Gas & Electric’s utility equipment, which caused fires that killed dozens of people.

Accidents at Work

Higher-risk occupations such as dangerous manual labor and construction jobs have higher instances of workplace fatalities, but a wrongful death can occur at the office or outside work if the employer has put an employee in a dangerous situation. One example of an accident happening outside of work is a nurse who was forced to work multiple 12-hour shifts and then ended up in a fatal car accident on the way home due to exhaustion.

5 of the worst workplace disasters in History
  • The Halifax Explosion – 2,000 dead, 9,000 injured

On the morning of the 6th December 1917, in Halifax, Canada, the world bore witness to the largest man-made pre-atomic explosion in history.

  • The Bhopal Gas Leak – Up to 16,000 dead

The Bhopal disaster took place on the night of the 2nd of December 1984 at Union Carbide India Limited. Union Carbide India was a pesticide plant located in Bhopal and this disaster is considered to be the world’s worst industrial disaster.

  • The Sinking of the Titanic – 1,503 dead

On the night of the 14th of April, 1912 the RMS Titanic, otherwise known as the unsinkable ship, hit an iceberg and sunk on its maiden voyage in the North Atlantic ocean. In total 1,503 people died in the incident out of the 2,208 passengers and crew.

  • Honkeiko Colliery Mining Disaster – 1,549 dead

This disaster took place on April 26, 1942, during the height of WW2, in the Japanese captured Honkeiko Colliery Coal Mine in the eastern Liaoning province in China. On that day there was a gas explosion in one of the shafts beginning what would be known as the worst mining disaster of all time.

 


What to do After You’ve Been in a Truck Accident

04-26-21    

Every year, the number of truck accidents and fatal truck accidents increases, and Ohio is no exception to this. Last year alone there were a reported 13,971 commercial-related crashes in Ohio, with 1,372 occurring in Hamilton County. In 2019, there were 153 Commercial Motor Vehicle involved fatalities. Being involved in a semi or 18 wheeler accident can be a scary, unfortunate incident, and it’s important to know the steps to take if you find yourself in such an uncertain situation. Our lawyers here at Rinehardt Injury Attorneys have come up with a list of our top 5 things to do after you’ve been in a truck accident.

Truck Accident

1. Call the Police.

When you’ve been in an accident, you need to call law enforcement. Filing a report with the police is important, even if it may not seem like a big deal at the moment or there is little to no property damage. You or a loved one could have sustained injuries and damages that may not be immediately noticeable. If you do end up having to seek medical treatment, you’ll be glad you have the police report to support you!

2.  Seek Medical Attention

After being involved in a truck wreck, you need to be checked out by a doctor. From serious to minor injuries, it’s important to take your health and safety seriously and make sure that you are physically okay. Additionally, having an official medical report can help to uncover any late-onset injuries associated with the accident. If you take too long to seek medical attention or are hoping to receive a settlement before going in, the insurance company could dispute your claim. When this happens, the insurance company can simply say that since you did not get checked out by a physician immediately after the crash, you were not hurt as a result of the semi-truck accident. 

3. Gather and Document Evidence

We understand that during the aftermath of a wreck, everyone is experiencing a whirlwind of emotions and it can be easy to forget what you need to do. One thing you must remember to do, however, is to gather evidence and document everything. Take pictures of the collision, any vehicle damaged in the accident, and any visible bodily injuries. Just as important is the need to write down and document what happened. Record any details you have about those involved in the truck accident, including the responding police officer. Collect insurance information, and if there are witnesses, get their account of the incident and contact information as well. Things tend to get hazy over time, and after a traumatic incident such as this, it’s easy to forget important details.

4. Protect Yourself

For our fourth suggestion, this is more of a “what not to do” when involved in an 18 wheeler accident. All of these tips are centered around taking care and protecting yourself, and it is paramount that you protect yourself by saying nothing and signing nothing. You may have to speak to the truck driver’s insurance company, witnesses, and even your own insurance company. State the facts, but don’t go into details. Oftentimes, the truck company will try and get involved and offer you a settlement to avoid going to court. Speaking with the truck company’s insurance may be tempting to take the offer, but we recommend holding back on signing anything until you’ve spoken with your lawyer.

5. Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer

Finally, be smart, call Rinehardt! When up against a major truck company after being involved in a truck accident, you deserve to have someone on your side who has the tools and the knowledge to help you understand your rights and will fight for them for you. With Rinehardt Injury Attorneys, you can have peace of mind knowing you have someone in your corner who specializes in truck accident cases and who will stand up to the insurance company. Rinehardt Injury Attorneys have your best interest at heart and will make sure you get what you’re owed. Our team is experienced, committed, and has been successful in handling truck accident cases. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Ready to get Started?

We’re here to help you and your family get back on track after an accident. Reach out to us today for a free case evaluation.