What is the difference between a workers’ compensation claim and a third party negligence claim?
Workers compensation claims are against your employer and are intended to recover a portion of your wages and provide reimbursement for medical expenses related to your work injury. Workers compensation protects your employer from being sued for other damages in exchange for these benefits. Unfortunately, workers’ comp benefits do not cover all costs associated with an injury or the long term economic impacts, putting injured workers in a vulnerable position.
Third party claims are against someone other than your employer which may allow you to recover pain and suffering, lost wages, future wages, and other damages, which are not available through a workers’ compensation claim. Examples include suing a manufacturing company for faulty equipment that led to an injury at a construction work site or liability against a general contractor for maintaining unsafe electricity at a building that resulted in a worker getting hurt.
Few attorneys handle both of these types of claims which puts an additional burden on the injured worker and their family to assemble a legal team to get the compensation they need. If you have been injured at work, attorney John T. Hemminger can strategically handle both workers’ compensation cases and third party negligence claims to get the benefits you deserve. Contact our offices for help today.
Yesterday, the Iowa Supreme Court narrowly ruled that a Nebraska mom, whose 10-year-old son was killed in a boating accident on Storm Lake, Iowa in 2010, cannot sue the state of Iowa for damages. According to the court’s decision, the state is protected by Iowa’s public-duty doctrine which protects government agencies and officers from damage lawsuits when acting in a capacity that benefits the general public.
The case stems from a family outing to Storm Lake that turned tragic. The young boy died after being struck by the boat’s motor, which flipped into the boat after it hit a submerged dredge pipe prompting the mother to sue the state of Iowa for negligence in failing to warn boaters of a water hazard. Although she was not successful in her suit against the state, the mother was previously awarded a $1.2 million settlement in a federal court case against the dredge operator, the city of Storm Lake, Buena Vista County and the boat manufacturer.
Source: The Des Moines Register, “Supreme Court rules for state in fatal boat accident case”, by David Pitt, July 17, 2016.
So much of our safety when navigating the roads as motorists, pedestrians or bicyclists depends on our ability to hear the motors of approaching vehicles alerting us to their presence. The popularity of hybrid cars, which barely make a peep, has raised some safety concerns prompting Congress to pass the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act directing the NHTSA to develop noise alerts on hybrid vehicles.
Certainly there is some justification in their concern over the safety of pedestrians. In experiments led by a perceptual psychologist of the University of California, blindfolded subjects listening to recordings of cars approaching at five miles per hour could locate an approaching internal-combustion engine 36 feet away, whereas a vehicle running in electric mode came within 11 feet.
When realistic background noise was added to the recordings, nearly all the participants could not detect the hybrid model gliding by them in multiple trials, while all were able to hear the combustion model from an average of 22 feet away. According to a Scientific American journalist who gave it a try, “he would have been hybrid road-kill 40 times over” as would the majority of the other subjects participating in the study.
While the safety issues surrounding these silent vehicles are being worked out, pedestrians remain at risk. Since 2009, pedestrian accidents have increased nationally and one of the reasons could very well be that pedestrians simply cannot hear hybrid and electric vehicles approaching in the same way that they can pick-up on traditional gas-powered vehicles.
While pedestrians should be on the look out for these stealthy vehicles, it is the drivers of the hybrid and electric vehicles who may be liable if a crash occurs. To avoid accidents, drivers should continue to watch for all pedestrians, particularly for those who may be seeing impaired, have an obstructed view of traffic, and distracted for any number of reasons including electronic devices. Drivers of electric or hybrid cars should reasonably expect that pedestrians will not hear them and should exercise care to avoid hitting anyone in the road.
If you have been injured in a car accident, contact the Law Offices of John T. Hemminger for help.
Source: Scientific American, “Are Hybrid Cars Too Quiet to Be Safe for Pedestrians?”, by Sara Simpson, accessed June 17, 2016.
With many boomers and their parents reaching old age, nursing home care is increasing. Those residing in nursing home settings may be or may become victims of negligent or abusive care leading residents or their families to file complaints. Over the last decade, there has been a 55% increase in the number of grievances filed over nursing home evictions, which are believed to be, in some cases, retaliation over patients speaking up about abuse or neglect.
Federal law is clear on the matter. The law allows nursing home and care facility evictions only for certain reasons including failure to pay, closure of a facility, a resident posing a risk to others, a resident declining services or a facility not being able to meet the care needs of a patient.
Despite laws protecting nursing home residents from unlawful eviction, some nursing home management may be quicker to try to remove residents who repeatedly challenge the level of care they are receiving, which is not legal.
Nursing homes are required to provide proper care for all residents. When a family complains about the treatment of a resident, the facility does not have the right to evict that person. If your loved one has been harmed because of neglect or abuse in a nursing home, or has been improperly evicted, contact the experienced legal team of John T. Hemminger for help.
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