Personal Injury Lawyers

Baltimore Kids at Risk of Injuries from Scalding & Burns

Parents throughout Baltimore, Montgomery, Prattville, and surrounding areas need to be aware that their children are at risk of suffering serious injuries due to burns. Yahoo News reports that burns send approximately 440,000 children to emergency rooms or urgent care centers seeking medical assistance every year in the United States. Children who are young are especially vulnerable to being badly burned and needing medical assistance. child sad

Burns frequently occur in accidents caused by negligence. If someone’s carelessness causes a child to suffer a burn, a personal injury lawyer should be consulted for help.

Burn Injuries Endanger Children

There are many different causes of burn injuries among young children. Gas fireplaces in the home are a top source of burn injuries.  As of a 2012 survey, more than 10 million homes in the United States had a gas fireplace installed that had a front made of glass. Many people are not aware of it, but this glass can become very hot to the touch and children can get burned. To try to protect kids, there are new standards going into effect. As of January 1, 2015, all gas fireplaces that are manufactured and certified must have a protective barrier or a safety screen. Any gas manufacturer not in compliance with safety rules or who makes an unsafe fireplace can be held legally liable if children get burned.

Very young children are at the greatest risk of sustaining all types of burn injuries. A UK study of 1,215 children who had sustained burns over a two-year period of time found that 72 percent of the kids that got hurt were under the age of five.  Among the kids in this study, more than 700 suffered burns because of scalding.

Scalding can happen because of hot beverages served at restaurants. One famous example of an injury due to scalding that resulted in litigation was the McDonald’s coffee case. This case is often cited (usually by people who want to deprive plaintiffs of their legal rights) as a reason to reform the civil litigation system in the United States. People who do not know the truth of the incident may feel that it was silly or frivolous for a person to sue because she was burned by hot coffee, and they think that the verdict was inappropriately large.

The reality is very different. As the Daily Mail  reports, the plaintiff in the hot coffee case sustained burns on 16 percent of her body. The coffee was 180 degrees, which can cause third degree burns in only 15 seconds. McDonald’s had received more than 700 complaints about the hot coffee prior to the incident, and had not done anything to correct the issue. And, the money awarded to the plaintiff was based on how much McDonald’s makes daily from selling coffee.

Hot soup is another top cause of scalding injuries, especially noodle soup. Kids are served soup in Styrofoam containers that can quickly get too hot. If kids drop the soup, they can suffer injuries to their trunk and legs. Noodle soup is most dangerous because the noodles stick to the skin. One study showed that noodle soup burns usually lead to significantly longer hospital stays than burns from other soups.

Restaurants and stores serving children need to be careful to avoid carelessly harming kids with the food they serve. Parents need to be aware of the risks and monitor their children to help prevent a tragedy.

Accident lawyers in Montgomery, Alabama can help if you have been injured in an accident. Contact the Mike Slocumb Law Firm at 1-800-HURTLINE or visit www.slocumblaw.com.  Serving Montgomery, Prattville, and surrounding areas. 

Back to School Safety Advice to Prevent Child Injuries in Washington D.C.

When kids head back to school for the year, they face new risks that they did not experience during the summer months. Schools have the responsibility of ensuring that pupils are kept safe during school hours. Parents should also do their part to ensure that kids know safety rules and do not engage in high-risk behavior.

If a child is injured in a bus accident or due to negligence at school, parents need to understand their rights to make an injury claim. A personal injury lawyer can provide representation to victims and their loved ones.

Back to School Safety Advice

For children under the age of 15, unintentional injury is a leading cause of death. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that there were 5,401 young people who were killed over the course of the year. Preventing accidents can reduce the number of children who lose their lives.

The National Safety Council has some tips for safety practices to follow to prevent injury as kids go back to school. The NSC’s checklist includes transportation safety tips such as:

  • Ensuring that children who walk to school know the rules for staying safe including walking on sidewalks when possible and always looking both right and left before crossing the road.
  • Doing a practice walk to school with kids, especially if it is their first time walking on their own or if they will be taking a different route to school.
  • Providing kids who bike to school with a helmet that fits properly and requiring the helmet be worn at all times when bicycling. Bicycle riding children should also be reminded that they must ride on the correct side of the road and that they should come to a full and complete stop before they cross.
  • Requiring that kids who take a bus to school stand at least six feet back from the curb while waiting for the bus and cross at least 12 feet in front of the bus.

Playground accidents are also a risk for young people. Children should not be allowed to play on playgrounds that are located above concrete, grass or a dirt. Schools that provide playground facilities need to ensure that there is a soft surface below the playground in case a child falls. In addition, kids should be supervised carefully at all times, and the use of climbing equipment should be limited. School playgrounds should not have monkey bars available and parents should not allow kids to climb on monkey bars.

Finally, kids face the potential for back injuries as a result of heavy backpacks. It is advisable for parents to make sure that kids have a backpack that fits them properly and that does not weigh more than 10 to 20 percent of a young child’s body weight. Kids should be encouraged or required to carry the backpack with the straps over both shoulders.

By following these best practices for safety, hopefully kids can have a safe and fulfilling school year and the risk of injuries will be reduced.

Accident lawyers in Washington, D.C. can help if you have been injured in an accident. Contact the Mike Slocumb Law Firm at 1-800-HURTLINE.


Elder Abuse in Mobile a Growing Threat

Elder abuse and neglect of senior citizens is becoming an international problem as people throughout the world age. Recently, the Daily News painted a chilling picture of serious problems of poverty and neglect. Seniors are facing a lack of proper care not just in nursing homes but even when under the care of family members in their own home. A ProPublica Investigation into assisted living homes also painted a chilling portrait of what life is like for seniors in assisted living facilities. 

When seniors cannot count on nursing homes, assisted-living facilities or even their own children to provide an adequate level of care, there are very few places for these individuals to turn.  An experienc0ed nursing home abuse lawyer in Mobile knows that many of the seniors who are victims of abuse or neglect end up losing their lives or giving up the will to live, and these outcomes are tragic. Seniors should not have to put up with substandard care, especially in nursing homes and assisted-living facilities which are paid to provide for residents and which the law says must meet the basic needs of the elderly charges under their care.

Elder Abuse is Becoming a Major Worldwide Problem

By 2050, senior citizens are expected to outnumber children for the first time in history. These aging seniors may live at home with children or family members as caregivers, or they may live in assisted living or nursing home environments. Many will be very poor, as only one in five older people worldwide has a pension to provide for them in old age.

Even those with money may experience significant financial hardships due to their medical costs, as seniors represent a large portion of the 100 million people each year who fall into poverty as a result of medical expenses. Medicaid in the United States should cover nursing home costs for eligible seniors in the United States, but even when in the care of a nursing home, seniors aren’t guaranteed a comfortable environment.

The problem is that nursing homes and assisted-living facilities are often understaffed and under-regulated, which has serious consequences. Assisted-living facilities may be especially dangerous because as ProPublica indicates, they are not subject to federal requirements that the facilities be inspected once every 15-months as nursing homes are. However, while nursing homes do need to be inspected by law, violations may not be identified immediately and seniors may be unable to speak up for themselves when there is a problem.

Getting a clear picture of the number of seniors who are abused or neglected is difficult precisely because so many seniors cannot stand up for themselves. However, the Daily News recently indicated that anywhere from four to 10 percent of seniors receiving their care are at home are abused, and that as many as four to six percent of seniors in developed countries like the U.S. suffer from abuse in nursing home or other assisted-living environments.

Despite the prevalence of elder abuse, however, the U.S. did not pass the Elder Justice Act until 2010, and no more than two cents out of every dollar spent on family violence by the U.S. government goes to elder abuse. Far too little is being done to help seniors, especially as the rapid aging of the population leaves many seniors looking for care.

Contact the Mike Slocumb Law Firm in Mobile, AL at 1-800-HURTLINE to schedule a free consultation.

D.C. Medical Malpractice "Never Events" Happen More Often Than You'd Think

When you hear the term “never event,” you likely think of something that does not occur. This is an accurate definition, and it explains why the term is used to describe medical mistakes that should never, ever happen. For example, a doctor operating on the wrong patient is something that should never happen. A doctor operating on the wrong surgical site should not ever occur. A doctor leaving a sponge or surgical instrument inside of a patient should not ever happen.

Unfortunately, a recent study shows that these “never events” actually aren’t never events at all. Instead, they are far too common and happen thousands of times per year. Our Washington, D.C. personal injury attorneys want to warn everyone seeking any type of medical care about the new study showing the prevalence of never events. We urge patients to review the reputations of their surgeons and hospitals very carefully before undergoing any medical treatment in order to avoid becoming the victim of an unthinkable medical mistake.

New Study Shows “Never Events” Are Common Events

The new study was conducted by Johns Hopkins University using a review of past medical malpractice claims and judgments over the past twenty years. Based on the information available to researchers, estimates were arrived at regarding how often “never events” occur. The never events were defined as operating on the wrong patient or the wrong site or leaving something inside of a patient.

The data revealed that:

  • Around 80,000 never events happened between 1990 and 2010 at hospitals throughout the United States.
  • Never events happen at least 4,000 times annually throughout the U.S. The estimates may be low because sometimes a patient doesn’t find out for weeks, months, years or ever that a surgical instrument has been left inside.
  • Approximately 39 times each week, a surgical towel, surgical tool or other medical device is left inside of a patient who has undergone a surgical procedure.
  • Approximately 20 times each week, a patient wakes up to find that a doctor performed the wrong surgical procedure on him or her.
  • Approximately 20 times every week, a patient undergoes surgery on the incorrect body part.

These figures are shocking and tragic. When a doctor makes a mistake of this type and this severity, patients suffer greatly. In some cases, patients may never recover 100 percent or get back their full health because of what the doctor has done to them. In especially tragic cases, a patient may die as a result of the mistake the physician made. For example, a patient with a surgical instrument left inside could develop an unexplained infection and could be killed as a result before anyone gets to the bottom of what occurred.

When these never events occur, doctors must be held accountable for making a mistake that should never be made. The doctors who make these types of mistakes are very obviously negligent, and patients can thus file medical malpractice claims in order to obtain payment of medical costs and other compensation for their resulting injuries and losses.

If you have been injured by medical malpractice, contact the Mike Slocumb Law Firm at 1-800-HURTLINE.

The Holiday Season is Prime Time For Shopping Accidents

Over the holidays, spending time at the mall, the grocery store or other retail establishments is a given for most people. Getting gifts for friends, picking up food for entertaining and picking up decorations are all on the holiday to-do list for most people. With so much to buy, it is no surprise that the festive season is the time of year when retail stores make the most money and when people may spend more of their time shopping than at any other time of the year.

As you visit shopping malls and retail stores this winter season, our Chicago accident attorneys urge you to exercise caution and to be aware of some of the key shopping dangers. Going to stores over the holiday season can be risky and you don’t want your shopping excursion to turn into a disaster.

Holiday Shopping Risks

There are a lot of different holiday shopping risks that customers might encounter as they do their purchasing over the season of celebration. For example, some of the hazards awaiting shoppers include:

  • Unruly crowds. You’re especially likely to encounter large mobs on the most popular shopping days like Christmas Eve.
  • Crowded aisles. Even when the stores aren’t completely packed with people, they may have a ton of inventory stacked up and around to try to meet the holiday demand. People may also not put items back in their place, resulting in even more congested store aisles.
  • Unsafe shelves. Stores may overload shelving space to try to fit in all of the products they want to sell, and customers may place items back on shelves without making sure that the items are secure. With too much stuff on shelves and items precariously placed, there’s a very real chance that something could fall off of a shelf and onto you.
  • Slippery floors. It is inevitable that other shoppers are going to track snow into stores when they come in from outside if there is snow on the ground. Between snow, slush and other bad winter weather, floors may become slippery very quickly. A slippery floor can also result from store staff trying to clean up the floors after crowds of shoppers come.
  • Dishonest thieves. Prime shopping days tend to bring out people who want to steal from other shoppers.
  • Dangerous escalators and elevators. Each year, people are caught in escalators and are seriously hurt. Elevator accidents, while not as common, can also be dangerous or deadly as a shopper could fall down an elevator shaft or be crushed in the doors.

These are just a few of the many hazards you may encounter when shopping for the holidays. In almost every case, the store may be considered to be responsible for causing your injury and/or negligently failing to protect you as a customer. This can be true even in cases where you were robbed by a third party if the store was considered to be negligent in providing security. If the stores’ negligence or carelessness led in any way to your injury, you may be able to file a premises liability claim against the store.

If you have been injured in a Chicago accident, contact the Mike Slocumb Law Firm at 1-800-WIN-WIN-1.

Chicago pedestrian injury accidents a serious danger

Attention Chicago pedestrians! Serious injury accidents happen all the time in Illinois. In 2010, a total of 114 people were killed and 5,013 were injured in pedestrian accidents in Illinois, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation. Most pedestrian accidents (3,114) happened on busy “city streets and roads” in major urban centers like Chicago. That might explain why Chicago is the 38th most dangerous city in America for pedestrians, according to a recent New York Times article. Other American cities high on the list include Atlanta (11th), Birmingham, Alabama (16th), Baltimore (32nd) and Washington, D.C. (34th).

Pedestrian accidents happen fast. Knowing what to do can be difficult. You need an experienced Chicago personal injury attorney who will fight for your rights. You need the Mike Slocumb Law Firm. Serving clients throughout Illinois, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Alabama, Atlanta and the rest of Georgia, our knowledgeable Chicago personal injury attorneys have dedicated their careers to helping pedestrian injury victims just like you. We understand what you’re going through after an accident. You might not be able to work. Bills pile up fast. And insurance companies can often be uncooperative. They don’t scare us. We’re ready to take on anyone who stands in your way to justice and get the compensation you rightfully deserve. We will carefully examine the details in your case. We regularly review accident reports to determine if the driver who injured you was breaking the law and put you in harm’s way. Put your trust in a Chicago personal injury lawyer who puts people first. Contact the Mike Slocumb Law Firm.

Pedestrian accidents often happen when you least suspect them. The vast majority (62 percent) of pedestrian injury accidents in Illinois in 2010 happened during daylight hours.

Serious accidents demand serious attention. Don’t leave your future to chance. If you’ve been injured in a pedestrian accident, take action now! Contact the Mike Slocumb Law Firm. Your initial consultation is free. You don’t pay unless you win. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

The Mike Slocumb Law Firm – fighting for justice for you!

A Chicago train accident lawyer can explain your rights

A train accident is a terrifying event. Due to the size and speed of the train, injuries can be significant. Passengers can be traumatized and may have to cope with psychological injuries in addition to physical injuries.

A Chicago train accident on May 13 resulted in the death of a truck driver and injuries to dozens of people aboard the Metra commuter train. The train was traveling about 50 mph when it collided with a dump truck in the suburb of Mount Prospect. While the train and truck accident is under investigation, witnesses said the trucker suddenly drove into the train’s path by going around the gates. Witnesses also said warning lights were flashing and the train had no time to stop.

At the Mike Slocumb Law Firm, we have represented people injured in all types of accidents involving negligence. We understand how difficult your life can become after a serious accident. If you were seriously injured, or someone you know was hurt or sustained fatal injuries, it’s important to talk to a train accident lawyer in Chicago to learn about your rights. You may be entitled to compensation for medical costs, rehabilitation costs, lost wages, pain and suffering and other damages. Our aggressive Chicago train accident lawyers thoroughly investigate accidents for our clients to determine who is liable for injuries or a wrongful death.

The train accident in Chicago is a reminder about the importance of using caution when approaching a railroad crossing. Drivers are required to stop at least 15 feet from the nearest rail upon detecting an oncoming train at a railroad crossing. They must wait until the train has cleared the crossing before proceeding.

Train accidents of one type or another happen every day in the United States. In 2009, nationwide there were 1,850 train accidents, including derailments, collisions and other types of accidents, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. There were a total of 106 injuries and four fatalities.

As Chicago personal injury lawyers, our goal is to help those who have sustained serious injuries. We aggressively work for our clients by putting experience and resources to work for them. At Mike Slocumb Law Firm, we are prepared to represent people injured in a variety of cases, including train accidents. For a free case review, contact a train accident attorney in Chicago.

Winter personal injury accidents in Chicago demand swift action

Rear-end collisions, slip and fall accidents, concussions, broken bones – these are just some of the injuries and accidents that happen every winter in Chicago. What would you do if you sustained an injury in a winter accident? You need a tough Chicago attorney who will fight for your rights. You need Mike Slocumb Law Firm.

Your personal injury accident case might seem straightforward. But injury cases can quickly get complicated, especially once insurance companies and other lawyers get involved. Let an experienced Chicago, IL attorney at our nationally-renowned law firm give your case the attention it deserves. This may be your one shot at justice. Don’t take chances with your future. Contact a Chicago lawyer who gets results. Contact Mike Slocumb Law Firm.

This winter has been especially harsh in Chicago. The Windy City received 28.7 inches of snow in February, shattering the Chicago snowfall record of 27.8 inches set in February 1896. That’s nearly 60 inches of snow already this winter, far more than Chicago’s average annual snowfall of 38.5 inches. The city’s all-time seasonal snowfall record stands at 89.7 inches set in 1978-1979.

Injury accidents in winter can wreak havoc on your life. You may not be able to work for weeks or even months at a time. How would you pay your bills? What if your insurance company refused to cooperate? Don’t be a victim. Stand up and take action. Contact Mike Slocumb Law Firm. We mean business!

Dangerous toy accidents happen fast. Be prepared. Know the facts.

Dangerous toy accidents happen fast. One second, your child is safely playing with a new toy. The next second, they’re choking on a toy or screaming because of a serious eye injury. Dangerous toys are no joke. Your child’s life could be at risk.

In 2009, an estimated 186,000 children under 15 years old were treated in emergency rooms for toy-related injuries, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. In contrast, 152,000 kids sustained toy-related injuries in 2005. Dangerous toys were also linked to 12 deaths in 2009, down from 24 toy-related fatalities in 2007 and 2008, the CPSC reports.

The CPSC recalled 44 toys in fiscal year 2010, which ended Sept. 30. More toys have been recalled since then. Click here to find a complete list of recalled toys.

What makes a toy dangerous? Some have small, detachable parts which can pose a choking hazard. That’s why Fisher Price recalled several toys designed for young children. Other toys like rocking horses received safety warnings from the CPSC since the reins on the toy horse pose a threat of strangulation to children.
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Seatbelt usage increases. But seatbelts not always perfect. Get the facts.

Putting on a seatbelt when getting into a car has become automatic for most people. There’s a reason why. Seatbelts often save lives in serious car accidents. But seatbelts are not always perfect.

As seatbelt usage has increased, the fatality rate for motor vehicle accidents has steadily declined. In 1994, just under 60 percent of motorists wore seatbelts. That year, the fatality rate for car accidents was 1.4 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled, the standard measurement for accidents. By 2006, the fatality rate dropped 21 percent to 1.1 deaths and 80 percent of motorists wore seatbelts.

Safety advocates have linked this sharp decline in fatal accidents to increased seatbelt usage. The increase in seatbelt usage coincides with tougher seatbelt laws in many states throughout the country. States like Alabama, Georgia and the District of Columbia have primary enforcement seatbelt laws. This means police can pull someone over for not wearing their seatbelt and issue them a fine. The fine in Georgia is $15; Alabama, $25; District of Columbia, $50. States with primary seatbelt laws report that 88 percent of motorists wear seatbelts. States without such laws report that 75 percent of motorists wear seatbelts.

But seatbelts aren’t always perfect. Sometimes, a defective design can make a seatbelt not function right. A gifted young professional baseball player, Brian Cole, was killed when his Ford SUV rolled over and his seatbelt failed to hold him in place. An investigation found that Cole had his seatbelt on at the time. Recently, a jury ordered Ford to pay Cole’s family $131 million, claiming the seatbelt did not operate correctly and contributed to Cole’s death.

Accidents happen fast. In an instance, a serious injury can change your life forever. What would you do if you were injured in a car accident? How would you pay your bills? What if your insurance company refused to cooperate? You need someone who knows how to make insurance companies compensate victims. You need someone who will hold corporations responsible for defective products. You need someone you can trust to get straight answers to your important questions. You need the Mike Slocumb Law Firm.

Our lawyers have years of experience successfully representing car accident victims in Alabama, Georgia and Washington, D.C. We know the games insurance companies and car makers try to play to avoid paying victims. Level the playing field. Call a law firm committed to getting results for our clients. Contact Mike Slocumb today. We’re on your side.