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Double Whammy for DUI Car Accidents

Car accidents are by definition unintentional, and even when death or serious injury occurs, it does not necessarily make it a tort or wrongful act case. For example, if both drivers in an accident exercised reasonable caution but external factors i.e. poor visibility due to bad weather causes them to collide, there is no negligence, so there is no tort. Another example would be if a defective tire causes a rollover that involves multiple vehicles, the driver is not liable for any injuries or property damages, although a case against the tire manufacturer may be applicable.

But some car accidents due to driver negligence are civil torts, rendering the driver vulnerable to civil litigation and financial claims for injuries, deaths and property damage, and possibly pain and suffering. This type of negligence would include distracted driving, driver error, and speeding. If you suffered injuries due to this type of car accident, it is possible to get compensation but only if you get the right lawyer. An article on the website of the Law Offices of Yvonne Fraser with practices in Waco points out that civil litigation is not a simple process. It requires the right kind of legal representation to assess, prepare and present a case successfully.

In still some other cases, a car accident may be both a civil tort and a criminal offense even if there was no actual intent to do harm. A good example is a car accident caused by a driver who was driving under the influence of an intoxicant (DUI) whether alcohol or drugs. While the accident itself was unintentional, the driver knew or should have known that driving while intoxicated would make an accident likely. A DUI car accident is considered a criminal offense anywhere in the US. But even if the driver is charged for the crime of DUI, victims may also bring a civil case to recover damages. Because of this double whammy, it makes no sense to risk everything by drinking and driving.

Hospital Negligence Leading to Birth Injuries

Giving birth in a hospital is considered routine nowadays, and most mothers-to-be do not usually have reason to fear that hospital negligence leading to birth injuries will occur. But it happens more frequently than most people think, and when it does, the consequences for both the baby and the family are usually far-reaching, often devastating.

Hospital negligence is defined as the failure to provide reasonable care to its patients. According to the hospital negligence lawyers at Boston-based Crowe & Mulvey, LLP, it can take the form of:

  • Anesthesia errors
  • Delays in treatment
  • Lack of qualified supervisions
  • Lost or delayed test results
  • Poor communication among medical stuff
  • Post-surgical infections
  • Medication errors
  • Surgical errors

These apply to the general patient population, including new mothers and neonates. In birth injuries, however, based on an article in the website of the Missouri-based Driscoll Firm, hospital negligence takes on unique forms such as the improper use of forceps, failure to monitor the mother and fetus for distress, blood loss, or infection, or delays in performing an emergency caesarian section even when clearly indicated.

For example, a child whose oxygen supply is restricted or is subjected to brain trauma during birth may acquire cerebral palsy, a lifelong, non-progressive condition which can prevent the child from fully achieving certain milestones in growth and development. Cerebral palsy as the result of some error or oversight during birthing may be the basis for a hospital negligence claim, which is normally filed by the child’s parents when the condition is first diagnosed. However, it does take specialized skills and knowledge to conduct a proper tort claim, so it is recommended that legal representation should be chose based on the portfolio of the law firm or attorney with regard to hospital negligence cases.

How Common are Cruise Ship Accidents?

It would seem from recent events that cruise ship accidents happen quite frequently. According to cruise enthusiast Ross Klein, 31 cruise ship accidents occurred in the first quarter of 2013. This was comprised mostly of ships running aground or power outages that left passengers stranded, hungry and wallowing in sewage. Despite these figures, Mr. Klein says that in general cruise ship accidents happen rarely.

Officially, there are no statistics available that would enable a definitive longitudinal assessment of cruise ships in terms of passenger safety. This is because most cruise ships, while they cater to the US market, are usually registered in other countries and are not subject to US regulations or reporting requirements. The figures available from sources such as Mr. Klein are mostly self-reported by cruise lines, so there is no way of knowing how many unreported accidents occur unless deaths or cruise ship injuries occur.

When cruise ship accidents do occur, the most common cause is power outages, which essentially results in the ship and its passengers being adrift at sea. Usually, though, such outages last for just a few hours. Fires are also fairly common, and so are overflowing toilets. Sinking, however, is a rare occurrence these days. It is more likely that a ship will run aground rather than sink, and most passengers are evacuated safely. There are exceptions, of course, and these can result in deaths and serious injuries.

According to the website of the Louis A. Vucci, PA based in Miami, Florida, passengers on cruise ships who suffer injuries due to some type of negligence on the part of the cruise ship operators may be eligible for compensation. However, because cruise ships are often registered outside the US, there are unique problems associated with any litigation involving a foreign company. It is important that any legal representation retained for a civil tort claim has experience in handling cases involving cruise ship injuries.