Category Archives for Injury Claims

Baby Powder linked to Ovarian Cancer

Talcum baby powder has been linked ovarian cancer. As more and more women learn about the link, more lawsuits are being filed nationwide. Women with ovarian cancer can get help from Sadler Ladenburg. Our Tacoma personal injury attorneys help those impacted by ovarian cancer caused by baby powder and other Talcum products.

Johnson and Johnson developed their baby powder more than a century ago. Recent lawsuits have exposed their corporate practice to manipulate information about the product’s safety for more than 40 years. A jury verdict last year ordered the company to pay $127 million in damages to two families impacted by ovarian cancer linked to Talcum powder usage.
Recently the jury’s verdict on the talcum powder’s lawsuit left many people shocked worldwide. If Johnson & Johnson was found guilty and ordered to pay $127 million in compensatory damage, is this the irrefutable proof that their famous cosmetic product can cause cancer? And if so, why science keeps claiming that there’s no consensus on whether this substance is truly dangerous for our health?

In one case, the Court was provided the court with a damaging document. In Johnson & Johnson’s internal correspondence, a medical consultant suggested that denying the possible risks could damage the company’s own image.

In another recent case, a woman was awarded $110 million after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer at the age of 57. She alleged that Johnson $ Johnson concealed the possibility that talc in its baby powder and Shower to Shower products can cause cancer. The company has now lost verdicts of $72 million, $70 million and $55 million. Johnson & Johnson faces multiple federal class-action suits according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

For more information on recent lawsuits, read this news article.

For more information on how Sadler Ladenburg Personal Injury Attorneys can help ovarian cancer victims who used baby powder, please call us at 253-573-1700.

Car Accident Attorneys Sadler Ladenburg recommend taking photos at the scene of a car accident

“What Should I Do After a Car Accident?”



COMMON QUESTIONS FROM VICTIMS OF CAR ACCIDENTS

As a Car Accident Attorney, every day I speak to people who have been injured in car accidents and have questions about what they can expect when they bring a claim against an insurance company. I have compiled and answered the 50 most asked questions here in this blog over the next several weeks. The sections are broken down into several subsections starting with questions people may have about what to do at the scene of a car accident and finishes with questions people have about car accident settlements. If you have questions that are not answered here, please feel free to contact me. I speak to people everyday who have been in car accidents in Tacoma, Seattle, Olympia and throughout Washington. My initial consultation are always free and if you need to hire our firm (Sadler Ladenburg), our fee is only paid when we obtain money for you.

AT THE SCENE

What should I do at the scene of a car accident?

After a car accident it is important to try to remain calm. The first priority is to assess any injuries you or your passengers sustained. If anyone is in need of immediate medical help, call 911. If a person is seriously injured, is unconscious, has neck pain or back pain do not move the person until medical help arrives unless their safety is in danger.
If there is significant damage to vehicles or anyone is injured, call the police and ask that a report be filed. Get a card from the investigating officer and copy of the incident report number. With or without the help of an officer, gather as much information as possible.

What information should I get at the scene of a car accident?

It is very important to gather as much information at the scene as possible. If you have a camera phone, use it to take lots of photos including:
A. damage to the vehicles
B. scene of the collision
C. location of the street signs and stop lights
D. people involved in the collision
E. driver’s license of the other drivers involved in the collision
F. insurance card of the other drivers involved in the collision
G. license plate of the other drivers involved
If you don’t have a camera available, write down as much information pertaining to all the items in the above list as you can. Also get the names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses of any witnesses to the collision.

Who should I talk to at the scene of a collision?

You should talk to the other driver but do not discuss who was at fault for the collision. Your conversation with the other driver should be for the exchange of information only. You should also talk to any witnesses to get a summary of what they saw and their contact information. If a police officer investigates, you will need to provide a description of the events to the officer.
You should not talk to the other driver’s insurance company at the scene or at any point without first consulting an attorney. Never provide a recorded statement to the other driver’s insurance company.

Is it okay to move my car from the scene of collision?

If there are no injuries from the collision or only very minor injuries, you should move your vehicle off the road safely.

Car Accident Attorneys Seattle Tacoma Personal Injury attorneys insurance claims

Breaking Down Auto Insurance

Most people have car insurance but many do not fully understand their policies and what is covered. Often people do not even read their policy until after they have been injured in a car accident and are considering hiring a car accident lawyer to help them recover their damages. This articles breaks down the basic categories of auto insurance so you can know what you need before you are injured in a car crash. Do not wait until you need a personal injury attorney because you might not have the coverage you need. 

COMMON CATEGORIES OF MOTOR VEHICLE INSURANCE
Bodily Injury Liability
Personal Injury Protection
Property Damage Liability
Collision
Comprehensive
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Bodily Injury Liability

This covers injuries that you, the designated driver or policyholder causes to someone else. It also covers you and the family members you list in your policy when driving someone else's car (with their permission).

Personal Injury Protection

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) pays for medical bills incurred to treat injuries to the driver and other people in the car. PIP will pay the medical bills no matter who is at fault for the collision.

Property Damage Liability

Property Damage Liability pays for damage you or whoever is driving your car (with your permission) causes to someone's property, such as their vehicle. But it can also include fences, telephone poles or other structures you hit with your car.

Collision

This pays for damage to your car if you collide with another car or object, or your car flips over. It can also pay for damage to your car due to driving over potholes.

Comprehensive

This will reimburse you for loss due to theft or damage caused by something other than a collision with another car or object. This could include fire, vandalism or contact with an animal, such as a deer.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage

Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage reimburses you if you, a family member or your designated driver is hit by an uninsured driver, a hit-and-run driver or an unidentified vehicle that forces you to have a collision. Generally, you should report (based on your policy) any accidents involving a hit and run or unidentified vehicle to local law enforcement with 72 hours and get contact information from anyone who witnessed the accident. Be sure to talk with your agent and check your policy for specific requirements.

Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Underinsured Motorist (UIM) coverage reimburses you if you, a family member or your designated driver is hit by another driver who has insurance but his or her policy does not provide enough money to pay for all your damages.

"How Much Auto Insurance do I need?"

Do not assume that if you are involved in a collision, the other driver’s insurance company will pay your damages. Even though it is against the law to drive a vehicle in Washington without insurance there are far too many people on the road without insurance. In fact, according to the Insurance Research Council, 16% of the drivers on the roads in Washington do not have insurance. That means if you are involved in a collision there is at least a 1 in 6 chance that the other driver does not have insurance. The actual probability of being hit by an uninsured driver is probably greater than 1 in 6 because the same people who are irresponsible enough to drive without insurance are also irresponsible on the roads. They may have been involved in several accidents or received several tickets and now cannot afford insurance. Do not let them destroy your life too.

Even if a person who injures you in a motor vehicle collision has insurance, they probably do not have adequate insurance. The minimum liability coverage that an insurance company must offer to a resident of Washington is $25,000. With the skyrocketing cost of medical care, $25,000 is not enough for most motor vehicle injuries. Even a “minor impact” collision can cause substantial harm both physically and financially. Most of our clients who are involved in rear-end collisions with relatively minor damage to the vehicles suffer back and or neck injuries. They typically treat with a combination of chiropractic care, massage therapy, or physical therapy. Just a few months of treatment can cost more than $5,000.

More serious injuries can cause the medical bills to skyrocket quickly. Just an initial visit to the ER with a CT scan or MRI will likely exceed $10,000. Any time a person is admitted to a hospital or needs surgery, the cost can quickly become too much for any middle class family to bear. With the right insurance coverage, however, those bills can be an afterthought and you can focus on your recovery.

When deciding what coverage to get, always err on the side of more. A policy with $35,000 in Personal Injury Protection is a good start. The Underinsured Motorist Coverage should be at least $100,000 but $250,000 is much better. Never settle for the minimum policy even if it saves you a little money up front. No one expects to be involved in a collision but if you are, it is nice to know that you have a policy that can take care of your finances so you can take care of you.

Unfortunately just having the right coverage does not always mean you will be fairly compensated. Protecting your rights and your financial well-being starts with being prepared and knowing what to do if you are involved in a collision. Stopping your insurance company from delaying, denying, or wrongfully defending your legitimate claims is the focus of practice. If you need help with a car accident injury claim, please do not hesitate  to contact our attorneys at Sadler Ladenburg. We help victims of car accidents in Tacoma, Seattle, Olympia and all of Washington.  If you just want to learn more about auto insurance and the injury claim process, you can request a free copy of Erik Ladenburg's book What Insurance Companies Don't Want You To Know by clicking here

Most people have car insurance but many do not fully understand their policies and what is covered. Often people do not even read their policy until after they have been injured in a car accident and are considering hiring a car accident lawyer to help them recover their damages. This articles breaks down the basic categories of auto insurance so you can know what you need before you are injured in a car crash and need a personal injury attorney.

Medical Malpractice attorneys Sadler Ladenburg help victims of medical mistakes

2.6 Million Dollar Verdict for Failure to Diagnose Cancer

Medical malpractice attorneys have helped a victim of malpractice obtain justice from the VA. A U.S. Army veteran sued the Veterans Administration alleging the VA failed to timely diagnose his prostate cancer. The 18-year veteran has won a roughly $2.6 million judgement against the Phoenix VA Health Care System after a week long trial before a U.S. Magistrate. According to the ruling, the VA should have ordered follow-up test and referred the veteran to a urologist after his 2011 prostate exam in 2011. If found early, doctors say the cancer was curable. Due to the medical malpractice on the part of the VA, the cancer went diagnosed for about a year.

Failure to diagnose case is a common basis for medical malpractice claims. The personal injury attorneys at Sadler Ladenburg help victims of medical malpractice obtain the justice they deserve. If you or a loved one have been a victim of medical malpractice, contact us today for a free consultation to learn your rights and options.

Car crash injury attorneys Sadler Ladenburg help victims with insurance claims and jury trials get full compensation

Hope against the erosion of our constitutional right to a jury trial.

The 7th Amendment to our nation’s constitution provides “in suits at common law . . . the right of trial by jury shall be preserved . . .” which is a cornerstone of our judicial system. The founding fathers were well aware that a court of law, with a jury of our peers was the only forum in which a common man could attain justice against the government, the rich, and the powerful.

“I consider trial by jury as the only anchor ever yet imagined by man, by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution.” -Thomas Jefferson

“In suits at common law, trial by jury in civil cases is as essential to secure the liberty of the people as any one of the pre-existent rights of nature.” -James Madison

“That in controversies respecting property, and in suits between man and man, the ancient trial by jury is preferable to any other, and ought to be held sacred.” -George Mason

In the past 15-20 years there has been an attack on our right to a jury trial. The attack has come from many angles. Tort reform legislation has limited the authority of juries to decide cases. Media campaigns from insurance companies and big business have caused people to believe juries are “out of control” which has prejudiced the jury pools before they even hear any testimony. Lastly, the proliferation of arbitration clauses in many areas of our lives such as cell phone contracts, employment agreements, student loans, insurance policies, credit card agreements, and nursing home contracts has stripped many consumers of their right to a jury trial.

Arbitration clauses force disputes into a private justice system where cases are resolved behind closed doors by a professional arbitrator. Unlike juries who decide one case, based on the facts of that case, professional arbitrators work with the same attorneys, insurance companies, and corporations on many cases. Their decisions may be impacted by their desire to continue to be hired as an arbitrator. Most troubling, however, is the fact that these decisions are made away from public scrutiny. The system allows corporations to hide facts of their wrong doing from the public which makes them less accountable. Patterns of wrongdoing that can be brought to light in court proceedings can be kept under wraps and allowed to continue in the arbitration arena.
Supporters of arbitration clauses argue that these clauses are in a contract the consumer has agreed to be bound by. This playing field is not level. These contracts are not ones in which the consumer really has any bargaining power. They are “take it or leave it” contracts.

“The sad reality is that today too many Americans must choose between forfeiting their legal rights and getting adequate medical care,” Senator Patrick Leahy

There is some hope, however, that these arbitration clauses will finally be seen as an attack on our constitutional rights. On September 28, 2016, the U.S. Health and Human Services Department issued a rule that bars any nursing home that receives federal funding from requiring that its residents resolve any disputes, including nursing home neglect in arbitration, instead of court. The rule promises to restore a fundamental right to more than 1.5 million residents of nursing homes. Last May, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the nation’s consumer watchdog, drafted rule that would prevent credit card companies from using arbitration clauses that bar consumers from banding together in a class-action lawsuit.
These recent changes by federal agencies are a good start but more needs to be done. Legislative change might seem impossible as insurance companies and large corporations have pumped millions into their lobbying efforts. However, if enough people become aware of the proliferation of arbitration clauses and the impact they have on their constitutional rights, maybe our voices can be heard by our representatives. Maybe a grass roots campaign can prompt the legislature to act to preserve our right to trial by jury.

Tacoma Personal Attorneys Sadler Ladenburg help car accident victims file insurance claims

Traffic Fatalities on are the Rise

Cars are safer now than ever before. In general our roads are safer now than ever before. Yet, a jump in traffic fatalities last year pushed deaths on U.S. roads to their highest level in nearly a decade. According to the National Safety Council, fatalities rose 6 percent in 2016, reaching an estimated 40,200 deaths compared to 37,757 deaths the previous year, according the National Safety Council. The group gets its data from states. The last time there were more than 40,000 fatalities in a single year was in 2007 which had 41,000 deaths.

The deaths in 2015 were significantly higher than 2014 as well. In fact, the two-year increase in traffic death was the sharpest rise the U.S. has seen in 53 years.

It is difficult to know for sure the cause of this increase. One possible cause could simply be because Americans drove more miles last year. Compared to 2015, Americans logged in 3 percent more miles. This is likely due to continued lower gasoline prices and an improving economy.
Another key factor in the increase in traffic fatalities is distracted driving. Traffic deaths had been decreasing steading until reaching their low point in 2011. About that same time, the use of smart phones rose dramatically and the death rate also began to rise. The combination of more miles being driven and more phones in the hands of drivers is recipe for disaster.

There are things you can do to lower your chances of being in a collision. Put your phone out of your reach when you are driving. Slow down. Speed kills so follow the speed limits. Be aware of your surroundings and other drivers. If you see someone driving while distracted, create distance between you and that driver.

Not every collision is avoidable. If you find yourself a victim of a collision, please do not hesitate to contact Sadler Ladenburg for free advice. Our personal injury attorneys represent car accident victims throughout Washington.

Our Wrongful Death Law Is All Wrong

What is a life worth? It seems like an impossible task to place a monetary value on a person’s life. In our civil justice system, juries are asked to do just that when someone is killed by the negligence of another person, business, or government. Although it is difficult to think what number might be fair, most people believe that some amount of compensation is owed to the family of the victim.

Take a moment and think about which of these four scenarios are reasonable. Assume for each case the person died in a car crash that was not their fault:

Case 1.  A jury awards $2,000,000 to the parents of a 17 year-old who died the day before she turned 18.

Case 2.  A jury awards $0.00 to the parents of an 18 year-old who died the day after she turned 18.

Case 3.  A jury awards $2,000,000 to the retired parents of a 35 year who hadn’t seen his parents in 5 years but had been helping them pay their rent

Case 4.  A jury awards $0.00 to the retired parents of a 35 year old who had been living with them, providing emotional and domestic support but not financial support.

 

What if I told you that the law in Washington does not even allow juries in scenario 2 and 4 to make a decision? In those cases, the parents are not even allowed to bring their case to a jury. The law in Washington does not allow the parents or siblings of an adult to bring a claim for wrongful death unless they were financially dependent upon the decedent. The day your child turns 18 is the day their life has no value to you under Washington law.

Just a few days ago, a local judge dismissed a case against the defendants in the Ride the Duck tragedy that killed 5 people in Seattle. Do you think the legislature should change the law to allow parents to recover damages in cases like these?

Extra Precautions During Dark Winter Months

This time of year is filled with festivities and celebration, but as we all know it is also the darkest time of the year. Here are a few tips to help this season be a little brighter and safer.

Injury Attorney Tips in Dark Hours

  1. Check your car lights.

When was the last time you took a look at your car headlights, brake lights and fog lights? If you’re like most of us it has been a while. The next time you have a moment, turn those lights on and walk around your vehicle to be sure they are all shining their brightest. Having good illumination can make a big difference in your vision and can help others on the road see you better too. An added bonus: it’s preferable to find out before you’re told by someone else in the form of a moving violation ticket.

  1. Give yourself extra time.

With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season in full swing, we are all crunched for time to get things done. Unfortunately, this can mean stressful and sometimes speedy driving. This combined with the later sunrises and early sunsets can be a dangerous combination. Try to give yourself an extra 5 or 10 minutes to get where you’re going and you will be less likely to take risks with speed.

  1. Check exterior home and office lights.

Exterior lights can sometimes be an afterthought because we only use them for the brief moments coming or going to our homes or workplaces, however having well lit walkways and porches can make these regular trips much more pleasant and safe.  How often have you arrived to your entryway to a dim or burned out bulb and an armful of packages or groceries while trying to find your keys? Fresh, bright bulbs will make these everyday trips easier.

  1. Wear reflective and bright clothing.

Keeping active in the winter months can be a great mood boost, but we also need to keep safety in mind while walking, running or riding our bikes. Ditch the dark colors for some bright white or yellow and you will be more visible to motorists. Adding a reflective strip or a flasher is another great way to help you been seen and staying safe.

These simple steps can go a long way toward making the season safer. If you are the unfortunate victim of a negligent driver, please do not hesitate to contact the personal injury attorneys at Sadler Ladenburg. We help victims of car accidents everyday.

“Hidden” Brain Injuries

When mild to moderate impact collisions happen on the road, some injuries are expected.  It is not uncommon for people to sustain injuries to the back and neck.  There is a also serious, often initially unnoticed injury that can occur from a seemingly “mild impact” collision.  A mild traumatic brain injury can often go undiagnosed after a collision because there is no outward sign of injury.  The victim’s life may change forever and he or she may never connect the changes to the auto collision.

     A victim of mild traumatic brain injury is one who has suffered any period of loss of consciousness, or loss of memory before or after the collision, or suffered an alter mental state, or experiences focal neurological deficits.  The injury can occur after being struck on the head or after the brain undergoing an acceleration/deceleration movement without direct external trauma to head.  Many mild traumatic brain injury victims do not realize they have a head injury because the damage was caused by the brain moving within the skull and not by the head being struck.

      Most victims of collision have other injuries that are perceived to be more acute or more serious.  They may be experience severe neck pain and spasms.  They may even have nerve pain radiating to their legs.  Those injuries will often over shadow a mild traumatic brain injury, at least initially.  When the victims acute injuries stabilize and the victims attempts to return to their normal daily routines, they symptoms of the mild traumatic brain injury become more apparent.

      The symptoms of mild traumatic brain injury can be very persistent and include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, headache, blurred vision, sleep disturbance, quickness to fatigue, lethargy, concentration problems, memory loss, speech or language problems, irritability, quickness to anger, and other behavioral changes.

      It is important for victims of auto collision to explain all their symptoms to their health care providers even if they do not relate a particular symptom to the collision.  Many victims of mild traumatic brain injury will settle their injury claim with the insurance company before they even realize their memory loss or mood swings are a result of the collision.  As a result, they are compensated for a few thousand dollars of medical bills for treating a sore neck but they are stuck with a cognitive disability that will impact their employment and social life for years, maybe forever.

If you have suffered a brain injury due to negligence, please call Sadler Ladenburg today to learn about your rights and options.