Most Wilmington residents can probably tell that if a person suffers a blow or other impact to the head and winds up in a coma, then he or she has suffered serious brain trauma. On the other hand, there may well be a common misconception in Delaware and in the rest of the country that if a person can get up and walk away from a traumatic brain injury, then all will be well and the person can go about his or her life, writing off the injury as an accident almost akin to skinning one’s knee or pulling a muscle.
However, the symptoms of even what doctors call a minor traumatic brain injury can seriously interfere with the way a Delaware resident works and even lives his or her daily life. For instance, even if a victim does not actually go unconscious, he or she may have a dazed or confused feeling. Additionally, the person may have his or her sleep patterns altered and may also feel constant sensation of being off balance. Headaches and nausea are often common as well.
Furthermore, someone who has suffered a minor brain injury may experience difficulty with processing sensory information and could experience blurry eyesight or difficulty with one’s ears. Furthermore, the injury can affect a person’s ability to remember things or to pay attention to details, skills which are quite often necessary for a person to complete his or her work. Anxiety and depression can also affect a person with a brain injury.
In short, while a brain injury may be minor relative to falling in to a long-term coma, no brain injury is minor in the sense that it is really no big deal. All brain injuries are going to require some recovery time and expense, including the possibility that one has to miss work for days or even weeks. These circumstances can set a person back financially, but they may be able to get compensation for their injuries if a negligent party caused them.
A previous post on this blog discussed how the right to sue for wrongful death falls upon a deceased person’s closes relatives. After all, they are the ones who are most likely to suffer both emotionally and financially when someone dies in connection with a preventable accident caused by another person’s negligence.
Some of the expenses a family will no doubt face are funeral expenses and whatever medical bills got charged in connection with any efforts doctors made to save the person’s life before he or she died. Additionally, if the person who died worked, the family will likely be out that person’s wages, a fact which can put long-term financial strain on a family and even force them in to bankruptcy or poverty.
Furthermore, a family who loses a loved one also loses the inherent value that love, affection and companionship that person brings to their lives. This inherent value, though hard to put an exact figure on, is worth some monetary compensation, as is the pain and suffering the victim of the accident suffered before death.
Our law office works hard to get our clients the most compensation we can expect in a given case. We work closely with experts of various fields in order to get a full picture of what someone’s untimely death really costs a family, as that figure is often a lot higher than what anyone might think. We then use that full picture toward getting the best result at trial or during a negotiation or mediation.
While no amount of money can bring a person back, we do try to use the law to help our clients with their bills and costs following a tragedy and, in the process, hold those who could have prevented the loss accountable.
A fatal accident at a Delaware intersection left a 62-year-old woman dead at the scene of the crash. The accident involved a commercial dump truck.
According to police, the driver of the dump truck approached and intersection but disregarded the stop sign. The woman was driving her own car also entered the intersection, where the dump truck struck her vehicle. The driver of the dump truck was not hurt.
While police say that they do not expect that alcohol or illegal substances played a role in this accident, it was not clear whether the driver will be cited for running the stop sign or if he will also face additional citations or even criminal charges in connection with this tragedy. Police spent four hours investigating and cleaning up the crash.
This sad story illustrates that while being drunk or drugged certainly can cause a fatal accident, fatalities can happen on the road for any number of reasons. For instance, the driver of the dump truck could have been too fatigued to drive or could have been distracted by something in his vehicle or even by a thought in his own head. He may well have just simply made a mental error or just didn’t see the stop sign.
Whatever the reason, though, motorists in Delaware, particularly if they are driving a commercial vehicle, have a obligation and important responsibility to follow all traffic laws, including obeying traffic signs and signals. In this case, eligible members the victim’s family may have the option of pursuing compensation against the truck driver and, possibly, his employer by filing a wrongful death cause of action.
Source: Delaware Online, “Woman dies in crash with dump truck southeast of Felton, police say,” Alonzo Small and Xerxes Wilson, Sept. 16, 2017.
Although many people are impacted emotionally, and maybe even financially, after a Wilmington, Delaware resident dies unexpectedly, not everyone can file a wrongful death suit after a fatal accident, even if the accident was caused by someone else’s carelessness.
Although this blog has discussed this before, several months ago, it is worth repeating who can sue for wrongful death and, assuming compensation gets awarded as a result of the suit or of a settlement, who will receive payment.
Under Delaware law, the people who have priority for suing for wrongful death or the deceased person’s husband or wife, children, brothers and sisters, or parents. If those people are unable to decide to file a suit, then any person who is related by blood or an in-law can file a wrongful death action. The idea behind the law is to balance the fact that others really are hurt when someone dies unexpectedly and the death is preventable against the fact that the law simply cannot allow anybody to sue in these circumstance.
The proceeds from a wrongful death case, if any, will go to the deceased person’s heirs or those whom the person wanted to inherit as specified in the patient’s will. This makes sense because those close to the person are the most likely to suffer emotional damages and also the most likely to feel the financial pinch of the person’s death.
Although not every accident is necessarily anyone’s fault, many accidents in Delaware that lead to the untimely death of a person are preventable. In such cases, a grieving family should remember that they have legal options for pursuing compensation, and they may even wish to discuss these options with an experienced Delaware wrongful death attorney.
As previous posts on this blog have reported, motor vehicle accidents are far and away the most common cause of spinal cord injuries. Despite horror stories about sports-related injuries causing an athlete permanent paralysis, a Wilmington resident puts his mobility at risk every time he or she gets behind the wheel.
The reason that car accidents lead to serious spine injuries is that the human back and neck are not designed to sustain the power of an impact like what one experiences following a car accident, and no safety feature on a car can change this or mitigate the risk of a serious back injury completely.
More specifically, when a car accident happens, the back muscles and ligaments are put under a lot of immediate stress. Additionally, certain joints in the back also absorb most of the blow from the accident.
One serious type of injury which is all too common after a car accident is a fracture in the spine, which is in fact made up of several disc-shaped bones called vertebrae. A single vertebra can get compressed during a crash or can even get separated from each other as the seatbelt pulls on the victim’s lower body while the upper body moves forward. A broken vertebra can knick or even sever a person’s spinal cord, which can cause paralysis or other symptoms.
A person who suffers spinal cord injury during an accident will likely need extensive medical care and will also need rehabilitation, especially if they have been completely paralyzed in part or most of their bodies. They will also likely not be able to work for a very long time, assuming they are able to go back to work at all. These people will therefore need financial support, and they can get some of this sort by filing a personal injury action against the driver which caused the accident.
Previous posts on thig blog have discussed how many truckers who travel and through Delaware have to follow certain rules which require them to pull over and take a nap. This blog has also discussed the danger fatigued driving presents, particularly when the driver of a big rig or other large vehicle is too tired to operate the vehicle safely.
Unfortunately, many trucking companies ignore or at least wink at the rules and have little disregard for the dangers fatigued driving presents to other motorists. It may be simply the perception that such considerations are not important in the grand scheme of things, while others may take it a step further and deliberately put profit ahead of safety.
These sorts of attitudes are what can land a Delaware resident in the hospital for weeks or even months recovering from a serious accident, as a fatigued driver is much more likely to plow in to a smaller car, causing catastrophic damage. In the worst cases, a victim may die or be permanently disabled, unable to work and needing constant medical care.
Our law office has extensive experience in handling truck accident cases, so we know the signs of fatigued driving and what unscrupulous trucking companies might do to cover it up or get around rules meant to prevent it. We now use our experience to hold such parties fully accountable for such careless and thoughtless behavior, and we have successfully helped many of our past clients get the compensation they needed.
There is little doubt that a trucking company, particularly one with a culture that does not take driver fatigue seriously and put profit over people, is going to want to fight having to pay for their actions. Our office makes every effort to make sure they do pay up as they should.
Rescuers had to take three people, all of who were under 30 and one of whom was a teenager, to the hospital following a crash at a Wilmington-area intersection. According to reports, the crash involved more than one vehicle. Authorities initially thought at least one of the victims had gotten trapped in their car.
According to reports, one of the victims was experiencing pain in the neck, and the teenager had suffered some sort of head trauma as well as other internal injuries. The other person was taken to the hospital after complaining that he was feeling pain after the accident. The victims were reported to be stable, but the exact extent of their injuries was not known. Likewise, the status of the police’s investigation in to the cause of the crash was not clear.
One thing that is clear, however, is that, since this crash happened at an intersection, it is reasonable to guess that it, like other car accidents at intersections, happened because two vehicles entered the intersection at the same time. Usually, such accidents happen because, for whatever reason, one driver probably went in to the intersection without having a legal right to do so.
It Is always sad when a car accident like the one in this case causes young people to suffer, as such an accident could in the worst cases ruin a young person’s life and future, all because someone was not paying attention, tried to beat a light or doing something else that, however innocent seeming, can cause accidents on the road.
Even in the early stages of an accident investigation, victims can still begin evaluating their options for getting compensation for their injuries.
Source: The News Journal, “3 injured in crash near Prices Corner,” Alonzo Small, Aug. 17, 2017.
There are many ways a Wilmington, Delaware, resident can suffer a traumatic brain injury, and some of these ways are actually quite preventable so long as people exercise some reasonable care and caution.
For example, the most common cause of traumatic brain injury, or TBI, as of 2013 was falling, which accounting for almost half of all TBIs that required a visit to the hospital. Falling down and hitting one’s head particularly affected the oldest and youngest victims of TBI, with almost 80 percent of all emergency room visits and hospital stays for TBIs that affected people over 65 had some connection to falling. Likewise, over half of all TBIs which required a hospitalization or trip to the emergency room for a child under 14 were caused by a fall.
Rounding out the top three reasons for TBI, getting hit by an object or running in to an object accounted for 15 percent of all TBIs requiring hospitalization, and car accidents accounted for about 14 percent of the same.
Car accidents are almost always preventable by somebody, as in the vast majority of motor vehicle accidents, one of the drivers could have done something or not done something, such as slow down or not try to drive and talk on one’s phone at the same time, which could have prevented the accident. Even falls and getting hit by an object are often preventable.
For example, a Delaware store has an obligation to keep its walkways clean and dry, and it also has to take care not to let pile of merchandise fall from a high place.
Those who have been victims of a TBI or their families may have the option of pursuing compensation against the party whose negligence contributed to the accident.
As a previous post on this blog discussed, although all spinal cord injuries are permanent since the spinal cord itself does not heal, not all such injuries will land a victim in a wheelchair. If the injury is in the lower back, a person may still be able to walk and do some of the things they used to do, although they could experience incontinence and difficulty walking without some sort of help.
While in some sense a Wilmington resident is probably relieved to walk away from an injury still being able to move all four limbs, in another sense, these injuries can be difficult to get full and fair compensation for since they aren’t the classic type of spinal cord injury, that is, the type that leads to paralysis.
As such, an insurance company or the public at large may have a tendency, even unconsciously, to minimize the injury and not see how it affects the professional and personal life of the victim. This is where the experienced attorneys at our law office can be of valuable assistance. Using a network of financial and medical experts and relying on our trial experience and knowledge of the law, we can help you give a clear picture of the full extent of your injuries, even when they do not include total paralysis.
While we obviously cannot promise a result in a given case, we have a track record of success in neck and back cases in which we were able to secure a noteworthy verdict for our client. We are up to the fight that often ensues after a victim claims compensation for injuries following neck or back trauma.
All spinal cord injuries could rightly be called “very serious,” and it is in fact a rare day when a person is able to walk away from a spinal cord injury and not experience some sort of permanent handicap which will affect the way the victim lives the rest of his or her life.
However, it is equally important to remember that not all spinal cord injuries will end in complete paralysis and, in some cases, a victim may not be completely immobile at all. The extent of the injury usually depends on where in the backbone the injury is located.
If the damage to the spinal cord is located closer to the head, a victim will likely suffer complete paralysis of all four limbs and may not even be able to breathe or swallow effectively. They will likely require constant medical attention and treatment for the rest of their lives.
An injury in the middle of the back will likely mean a person will be able to use his or her upper body but will have paralysis in the legs. While this type of victim might be able to function with some level of independence, obviously he or she will be dealing with a serious and permanent disability.
A person with an injury in the lower back, depending on the exact location of the injury and other circumstances, has a good chance of still being able to walk, although perhaps not terribly well. Incontinency may also be an issue, but, on the whole, the person may be able to continue performing all of their daily life functions and may even be able to return to work. Still, they will face several physical and emotional challenges since doing their daily tasks will be much more difficult.