Rittgers & Rittgers Official Blog

Q&A: Does It Matter If The At-Fault Driver Faces Criminal Charges?

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Our clients have asked us a lot of good questions over the years. When we hear a question more than once, we know that there are probably a lot of people out there wondering the same thing. For that reason, Rittgers & Rittgers will regularly answer client questions on our blog. Here is one such question and answer (Q&A).

I was seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident and the at-fault driver is facing criminal charges. How will this impact my case?

Gymnast's Lawsuit Shows Need For Careful Supervision In Sports

The uneven bars are perhaps the most challenging of all gymnastics equipment. An uneven bars routine requires a gymnast to twist or flip in the air while travelling the five feet from one bar to the other.

If a high school was conducting a gymnastics practice, it is pretty reasonable to expect that a supervisor would be spotting and coaching any student using the uneven bars. Unfortunately, that did not happen when one high school freshman was recently using this piece of equipment.

The teen fell from the uneven bars and landed on her neck. The impact temporarily knocked her unconscious. When she came to, she had severe pain in her neck and experienced tingling in her forehead and chin. Rather than call 911, a coach forced her to sit upright and ice her neck. When the girl's mother arrived at the gymnasium she immediately called 911.

Premises Liability Claims Range From Slip-And-Falls To Assault

Premises liability claims are a type of personal injury case where the harm was caused by an unsafe or defective condition on another person's property. Premises liability lawsuits can involve injuries suffered on the property of a business, homeowner or even public property.

A popular example of a premises liability case is a slip-and-fall claim. A slip-and-fall usually involves a patron visiting a business who slips on a liquid or ice. These claims can occur inside or outside of a building. Similarly, a trip-and-fall claim involves things such as an unsecured mat or rug, a broken stair, or a step-up or step-down that isn't sufficiently marked to warn pedestrians. A recent lawsuit against a Holiday Inn hotel reveals that premises liability claims may involve injuries other than falls.

How We All Benefitted From SUV Rollover Lawsuits

Not long ago, SUV rollover lawsuits were filling the dockets at an alarming rate. While auto-safety improvements are still necessary, a new study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) shows that the automakers quickly shored up safety defects in SUV and light-truck models.

The IIHS study found an average of 28 motorist deaths for every million vehicles that were 2011 models. For 2008 and 2009 models, that statistic was 48 deaths.

Undoubtedly, personal injury lawsuits helped spur this change. Far too many drivers and passengers were dying from rollover crashes in the 2000s, and product liability lawsuits held manufacturers liable for safety shortcomings. Some tried to blame SUV motorists but scientific data showed that many SUV models were unacceptably rollover-prone, and did not sufficiently protect occupants when rollovers occurred.

Multi-Million Dollar Hazing Lawsuits Show Persistent Problem

It seemed like harmful hazing rituals were on the decline, but several new lawsuits show that the serious problem still persists throughout U.S. high schools and colleges.

In Maryland, a recent graduate of Stevenson University filed a $4 million lawsuit against Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity, claiming that hazing caused him to be hospitalized for a week. In New Jersey, a high school student filed at $1.5 million lawsuit against Sayreville Public Schools for the sexual assault he suffered in the football locker room from seven teammates.

Patient-On-Patient Violence At Nursing Homes: Who Is Liable?

Disturbing headlines have appeared in newspapers throughout the country after a man allegedly raped a woman at a Cincinnati nursing home on Sunday. A 57-year-old man has been accused of raping a fellow patient who he had a prior relationship with.

The alleged victim told police that the accused became angry when she moved back to the Mount Airy nursing home after temporarily leaving the facility. She claims she pleaded for him to stop, but he raped her vaginally and anally with objects.

The horrifying allegations have raised questions about nursing home security.

1 In 3 Accident Victims Does Not Get Correct Medical Treatment

Have you ever wondered why one car accident victim may get transported to one hospital while another victim goes to a different one? Why one may be flown to a hospital and the other taken by ambulance?

This is because of medical triage, the process of sorting people based on their need for immediate medical treatment. A new medical study reveals that 34 percent of patients who suffer major trauma are undertriaged.

This is horrible news, because a mistake in triage can have a profound impact on a patient's ultimate prognosis - and may mean life or death.

Traffic Deaths Decreased In 2013; Does It Further A Trend?

caraccident1.jpgThe U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) released its 2013 data on traffic deaths, revealing an improvement from the prior year. Nationally, 32,719 people died in crashes in 2013, a 3.1 decrease from 2012 (33,782 fatalities).

The data is consistent with a trend of fewer traffic deaths that spans at least a decade, leading many people to ask, "What is responsible for the fewer traffic deaths?"

There is not one answer, but a series. Here are some of the biggest difference-makers in traffic safety:

Impaired Driving Awareness: About More Than Alcohol, Drugs

The holiday season brings out the worst in driving behavior. Mix winter conditions with stressed out drivers - many of whom have been drinking alcohol - and you have a recipe for a bad accident.

December is National Impaired Driving Prevention Month. Many wrongly believe it focuses solely on drinking and driving. Actually, impaired driving describes three dangerous behaviors by motorists:

  • Distracted driving
  • Drugged driving
  • Drunk driving

Bad Early-Winter Driving? Psychology Plays A Big Role, Says Expert

winterdrivingtruck.jpgEver wonder why it seems people drive better in a February snowstorm than one in December? Is this phenomenon simply in your imagination because you are impatient about how early-winter snow impacts your travel time?

No. Bad early-winter driving is a real phenomenon, according to a psychology professor at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.

"Very often, the world changes faster than the brain learns, creating a learning lag," explains David Havas.

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