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Youth Sports Concussions Are Causing Concern

By Richard Console on October 12, 2012 - Comments off

Like many sports fans, the traumatic brain injury lawyers at the Louthian Law firm are excited about the ongoing high school football season.

But this year parents, coaches and fans are watching the games with crossed fingers. Their anxiety is caused by a growing awareness of the dangers of sports injuries, particularly the risk of traumatic brain injury faced by football players.

High school football accounted for the greatest number of severe injuries of all fall sports in 2011, according to a sports injury research study at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.

In addition to an alarming number of brain injuries, there were two deaths, both involving head and neck trauma. One occurred when the athlete was being blocked during a game. The other occurred while the player was making a tackle in practice.

The Louthian Law Firm, located in Columbia, is dedicated to fighting for the rights of South Carolina youth who sustain personal injuries in sports activities, including bringing injury lawsuits against responsible parties to recover compensation for medical expenses, disabilities and pain and suffering.

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs when an external force causes a violent impact to the brain. Hard collisions can also cause spinal injuries. Both brain and spine injuries can result in permanent mental or physical disability.

A study at Purdue University shows that concussions are usually caused not by a single blow to the head but by repeated hits over time. And a 2011 study at the University of Pennsylvania found that a young adult who suffers a single traumatic brain injury can show changes in his brain years later, possibly leading to neurodegenerative disease similar to Alzheimer’s.

These concerns have led most states to pass laws intended to prevent concussions in youth sports. But the problem of concussions and other severe personal injury goes all the way up the sports ladder to the professional level. The National Football League has been rocked by a lawsuit from former players, suicides, and a growing body of research into the tragedy of TBI.

Dangers Beyond Football

While football has drawn the most attention, all youth sports pose health and safety risks. Following are statistics from the National SAFE KIDS Campaign and the American Academy of Pediatrics:

  • About 3.5 million children (ages 14 and under) get hurt each year playing sports or participating in recreational activities.
  • The leading cause of death from a sports-related accident is a brain injury.
  • Approximately two out of five traumatic brain injuries among children are associated with participation in sports and recreational activities – most involving contact and collision.
  • The most common youth sports injuries are sprains (mostly ankle), muscle strains, bone injuries, repetitive motion injuries and heat-related illness.
  • Most injuries (62 percent) occur during practice.
  • Children aged five to 14 account for nearly 40 percent of all sports injuries treated in hospital emergency rooms.
  • In addition to football, injury rates for boys are high in ice hockey, rugby and soccer. For girls, soccer, basketball and gymnastics are the most dangerous sports.

How can parents help protect their children? By insisting on proper equipment, conditioning and coaching techniques and educating themselves about TBI and other sports-related injuries. And they can make sure their child is immediately removed from action at the first sign of a concussion.

Youth sports play an important role in childhood development. They teach young people many important lessons. One of the most important lessons is how to enjoy the game while safeguarding your health.

Sources:

The above guest post has been submitted on behalf of the Louthian Law Firm in Columbia, S.C. Call the firm today toll free at 888-662-0430 or locally at 803-454-1200 for a free evaluation of your case.  

 

 

Jerry Sandusky Sentenced to 30 to 60 Years in Prison

By Richard Console on October 9, 2012 - Comments off

Jerry Sandusky, convicted of sexually abusing 10 boys over a 15-year period, received a minimum 30-year prison sentence on October 9 from Judge John Cleland. The sentence, which puts Sandusky in prison for no more than 60 years, could’ve ranged into the hundreds of years given the gravity of the crimes a jury convicted Sandusky of committing, though Judge Cleland opted for a realistic punishment that still places the man behind bars for the rest of his life. Several of Sandusky’s victims spoke at the sentencing hearing, offering their own perspectives on how the former Penn State assistant coach’s abuses have irreparably damaged their lives. Many of the victims, listed only by number, have filed personal injury lawsuits against Penn State alleging the university did nothing to stop Sandusky and even worked to conceal his illegal activities from the authorities.

Victims of Jerry Sandusky’s sexual abuses over nearly two decades deserve compensation for the life-changing, deplorable acts that they suffered due to the university’s seeming unwillingness to stop a predator in their midst. Penn State, for their part, has retained a Washington, D.C., law firm helmed by Ken Feinberg in an effort to resolve all claims by the end of the year, according to the Morning Call. Feinberg previously oversaw the Sept 11 victim fund – a $7 billion fund used to pay the survivors of those killed or injured in the 2001 terrorist attacks.

Attorneys representing the victims are still waiting to see how Penn State plans to actually respond to the impending civil actions against the university and if the school will actually keep its word in working to reach expedient settlements. School officials could suffer yet another black eye if they delay compensating claimants or aggressively fight liability by making lowball settlement offers to those who’ve suffered so significantly.

Delays of settlements for accident victims are a popular tactic for the insurance industry. The Pennsylvania Manufacturer’s Association, the university’s liability carrier, has attempted to deny liability as it relates to the looming spate of abuse lawsuits stating that school officials did not properly inform the insurer of all known risks, according to CNN. Resolution of that legal battle could have far-reaching implications for the ability of victims to obtain the compensation they deserve for the horrors they endured.

If you or someone you love has suffered at the hands of an abuser, you have rights to compensation for your life-changing damages. Our Philadelphia personal injury attorneys pursue those who hurt others aggressively, and won’t rest until you have the peace of mind your circumstances demand.

 

Cherry Hill Hit-and-Run Driver Surrenders to Authorities

By New Jersey Personal Injury Lawyer on October 8, 2012 - Comments off

Cherry Hill police have arrested a suspect they believe is responsible for a violent hit-and-run collision near the Cherry Hill Mall. The Courier Post Online is reporting that 49-year-old Wanda Brown turned herself in to authorities Thursday and is currently held in Camden County Jail in lieu of $20,000 bail. Brown allegedly struck a pedestrian as he attempted to cross Route 38 and dragged him nearly 50 feet down the highway. Emergency medical responders rush the man, whose name hasn’t been released, to Cooper University Hospital with multiple fractures and severe head and neck injuries. He remains in critical condition. Police charged Brown with multiple offenses in connection with the crash, including causing serious bodily injury and driving on a suspended license.

My heart and prayers go out to the victim and his family in this case. They deserve justice and I’m thankful the alleged perpetrator elected to take responsibility and come forward to police. That action alone could be instrumental in obtaining compensation for the victim’s terrible injuries.

In 2011, Camden County was among the worst in New Jersey for fatal auto accidents. There were 46 fatal motor vehicle crashes in the county resulting in the deaths of 49 people, according to the New Jersey State Police. As of October 2012, there have been just 20 deadly collisions in Camden County leading to the deaths of 21 people. It appears as though the area will experience fewer roadway deaths than the previous year, which mirrors a downward trend for the state as a whole. New Jersey State Police estimate accident deaths are down about 5 percent from the previous year with three months left to go in 2012.

If you or someone in your family has suffered injuries due to the careless actions of another driver, you may have rights to compensation. Our car accident attorneys in New Jersey understand the hardships you’re facing and have the aggressive reputation your claim demands for the fastest resolution possible.

 

Charter Bus in New Jersey Crash Was Operating Illegally

By New Jersey Personal Injury Lawyer on October 8, 2012 - Comments off

Records uncovered by federal investigators show that a Canadian charter bus bound for New York City when it crashed in New Jersey had no authorization to operate as an interstate passenger service. NJ.com reports that AVM Max 2000 Charter Services didn’t have permission from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to operate across state lines and has had several license suspensions over the years. The FMCSA previously cited the charter bus company four times this year alone for violations of federal driving regulations, including requiring or allowing drivers to operate their vehicles for longer than 11 hours. The company’s bus crashed in Wayne on Saturday injuring 23 people. Three of those hurt remain hospitalized.

The federal government revoked the company’s carrying authority in 2002 for undisclosed violations, but reinstated it in 2008. The FMCSA again stripped AVM of its privileges in July, 2012 after the company canceled its liability insurance. NJ.com is reporting that the bus company does have a new $5 million liability policy in place as of August, 2012, but the FMCSA has yet to reinstate the company’s operating credentials.

The bus driver in the accident, Neville Larmond, alleges another vehicle cut him off as he attempted to exit Interstate 80 and merge onto Route 46 in Passaic County. The charter bus had 57 people on board at the time of the crash. There’s no word on how the federal government could elect to punish the charter bus company in connection with the event.

Exits and entrances to highways remain trouble spots for drivers in New Jersey. Data acquired from the New Jersey State Police shows the majority of deadly accidents along well-traveled roads, particularly the Garden State Parkway, happened within one mile of exits or on-ramps. Drivers failing to yield properly to other vehicles entering the highway or changing lanes suddenly to exit are to blame for the majority of fatal collisions.

If you or someone close to you has sustained injuries due to the reckless actions of another driver, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact our New Jersey personal injury attorneys today to discuss your rights and options to pursue those responsible for the damaged they’ve caused.

 

Fungal Meningitis Outbreak and Proximate Cause

By Richard Console on October 8, 2012 - Comments off

The recent outbreak of fungal meningitis stemming from a tainted batch of steroid injections has reached 91 infections, with reports of seven people succumbing to the infection, across the nine states, according to CNN. This outbreak gives rise to potential litigation against the maker of the tainted steroid injections as well as impacts on current personal injury cases due to proximate cause.

The steroid injections involved with this outbreak are methylprednisolone acetate, which is injected into the spine to treat inflammation and pain. The injections were made by the Massachusetts-based compound pharmacy New England Compounding Center (NECC), according to CNN. The NECC has since recalled the affected drugs (and all other drugs they have produced) and has voluntarily surrendered their license pending an U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) investigation. The recall explains that the affected injections were administered to patients beginning on July 1, 2012—the drugs were reportedly distributed to 76 medical facilities in 23 states.

What Is Proximate Cause?

Proximate cause refers to injuries that arise that would not have, had the victim not previously been injured in another incident. For example, if someone sustained injury to their back in a car accident and was receiving the steroid injections to treat that condition thus contracting fungal meningitis than the person who caused the initial accident may be liable for the damages of the infection as well. This is because the victim would not have suffered the infection but for the initial negligence of the at-fault driver who caused them to need this treatment in the first place.

According to the legal dictionary provided by Law.com, proximate cause is:

a happening which results in an event, particularly injury due to negligence or an intentional wrongful act. In order to prevail (win) in a lawsuit for damages due to negligence or some other wrong, it is essential to claim (plead) proximate cause in the complaint and to prove in trial that the negligent act of the defendant was the proximate cause (and not some other reason) of the damages to the plaintiff (person filing the lawsuit). Sometimes there is an intervening cause which comes between the original negligence of the defendant and the injured plaintiff, which will either reduce the amount of responsibility or, if this intervening cause is the substantial reason for the injury, then the defendant will not be liable at all.

In the case of the meningitis, it would need to be proven in court that had it not been for the initial accident the victim never would have contracted the infection.

Liability on the Part of the Drug Maker

The potential for personal injury claims against NECC will be dependent on a number of factors, namely the completion of the FDA investigation to determine how the contamination occurred. If it is found that negligence on the part of the NECC led to the contamination, they too may be liable for resulting damages. This would then fall under the ‘intervening cause’ section of proximate cause thus making the initial defendant only partially (or not at all) liable.

If you believe you may have received a contaminated injection or to see the full list of facilities that received it, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention outbreak report. For any further questions with relation to liability, or to file a claim, contact the skilled New Jersey pharmaceutical injury attorneys at Console & Hollawell today at (800) 455-2746. We will inform you of all your legal rights and options and provide a full evaluation of your claim, free of charge.

Posted in: Featured Posts

 

23 Injured in Wayne Bus Accident, Three Still Hospitalized

By New Jersey Personal Injury Lawyer on October 8, 2012 - Comments off

A bus accident in northern New Jersey has left as many as 23 people injured and touched off an inquiry from federal investigators. WECT News reports that three passengers remain hospitalized after the crash, which took place near an exit ramp of Interstate 80 in Wayne. Authorities say the bus driver, 51-year-old Neville Larmond, stated another driver cut him off as he attempted to get off the highway. The bus swerved before rolling down an embankment and tipping onto its side. Investigators with the Federal Motor Safety Carrier Administration are working to determine if the bus company – the tour originated in Canada – was operating in the United States legally at the time of the accident.

My thoughts are with the victims who appear to have sustained non-life threatening injuries in the crash. Injuries from accidents involving commercial vehicles can be severe, and those involved in the event may still develop symptoms in the coming weeks.

In 2011, there were 27 fatal traffic accidents in Passaic County resulting in the deaths of 28 people, according to the New Jersey State Police. As of October 2012, the county has nearly equaled its fatality total from the previous year with 23 deadly accidents claiming the lives of 24 people. The vast majority of fatal crashes have occurred on state highways

Prompt treatment of injuries suffered in motor vehicle accidents is necessary to both begin the recovery process and to create a tangible record of the physical damage you suffered. The insurance company involved in your accident claim may use any gap in your treatment or delay in diagnosis to deny your legitimate right to benefits under your policy. The delay and denial game is part of a routine gambit the insurance company and its employees run every single day.

If you or someone in your family has sustained injuries due to the negligent actions of another driver, you may have rights to compensation. Damages obtained in a personal injury settlement can help erase mountains of medical debt from your accident and replace the wages you lost from your inability to return to your previous position at work. Our car accident lawyers in New Jersey are always available to help you get your life back on track.

 

McQueary Files Whistleblower Lawsuit Against Penn State, Seeking $4 Million

By Richard Console on October 3, 2012 - Comments off

A criminal act that leads to personal injury claims can spawn a host of other actions depending on the conduct of the plaintiffs or defendants in the weeks following the original event. The whistleblower lawsuit filed by former Penn State assistant coach Mike McQueary on Tuesday shows just how far afield personal injury issues can travel over the course of the claims process. McQueary’s lawsuit alleges officials at Penn State discriminated against him after he was the key witness in the prosecution’s case against the now-convicted Jerry Sandusky. Court documents, according to CNN, claim McQueary was the only former employee not reimbursed for his legal fees surrounding Sandusky’s trial, was the only coach not invited to interview for a new position with the incoming football coach, and that he received severance pay from the university late.

McQueary is seeking $4 million in damages from Penn State – the equivalent of his salary had he remained as a coach at the university until he retired.

Jerry Sandusky is currently awaiting sentencing after being convicted on 45 counts of sexual assault, rape, and other charges this summer. Victims of his repeated attacks have filed lawsuits against Penn State alleging inaction by high-level administrators as directly contributing to Sandusky’s access to potential victims. Former Athletic Director Tim Curley and former Vice President Gary Shulz also face felony counts of perjury for their alleged roles in covering up Sandusky’s abuse of children and lying about it later.

The culture at the university in the years while Sandusky was at Penn State created cracks that are still spidering outward to this day. The lives of those abused by Sandusky won’t ever be the same, and if McQueary’s suit has merit, it appears his ability to move on from these tragic events may’ve also been affected by the actions of university officials. Victims have rights to compensation through the civil justice system. They’ve done nothing wrong. McQueary, on the other hand, could face greater public scrutiny due to the role he played in convicting Sandusky. The former assistant football coach never approached police about the abuse he witnessed in Penn State’s now infamous shower room. Instead, he chose to inform the late Joe Paterno of the incident.

If you or someone you love has been the victim of sexual abuse, you may have rights to compensation for the terrible damages you suffered. Our Philadelphia injury lawyers have been working with victims since 1994 and have helped thousands get started on the long road to recovery.

 

10-Year-Old Steals Van, Crashes into Parked Cars on Market Street

By Pennsylvania Personal Injury Lawyer on October 2, 2012 - Comments off

Police in Philadelphia believe a 10-year-old boy swiped a white Ford van while the owner was unloading furniture and proceeded to drive down Market Street. NBC Philadelphia reports that the boy proceeded to crash into five parked cars before exiting the vehicle and attempting to flee. Witnesses stopped the boy from leaving the scene and kept him there until authorities could arrive. A nearby security camera caught the entire series of car crashes and shows the van driving awkwardly down Market Street before careening into a row of vehicles. No one sustained injuries in the crash, though several of the vehicles likely have heavy damage as a result. Police are charging the child as a juvenile. He’d reportedly had several run-ins with authorities in the past, but was too young to arrest.

The outcome of this incident could’ve certainly been much worse, despite the significant property damage. Several important questions remains unanswered as the police continue their investigation, and it’ll be interesting to find out what prompted the child to steal a commercial van. If an adult forced the boy to get behind the wheel, they might also face criminal or civil penalties in connection with the event.

In 2011, there were 10,965 motor vehicle accidents in Philadelphia County, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. Those crashes led to 8,535 injuries and 84 deaths. All three statistics were the highest of any county in the state for 2011 and represented a high percentage of Pennsylvania’s total accidents, injuries, and auto-related deaths.

Finding compensation for the victims of accidents when an under-aged driver is involved can be difficult, Naturally, the driver (a child) lacks any auto insurance to provide coverage for resulting property damage and medical bills from sustained injuries. Victims may look to the auto coverage of the child’s parents as well as their own auto insurance to provide compensation.

If you or someone close to you has sustained injuries due to the actions of an at-fault driver, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages. Our Philadelphia accident lawyers have the answers that can turn a time of great uncertainty in your life into a clear picture of recovery.

 

Candlelight Vigil for New Jersey Teen Killed in Car Crash

By New Jersey Personal Injury Lawyer on October 1, 2012 - Comments off

A candlelight vigil Sunday evening paid tribute to beloved high school junior Christina Lembo who died in a car crash the previous night. The Bloomfield Patch reported that Lembo was a passenger in a Honda Civic that collided with an oncoming Chevrolet Camaro about a block from the Bloomfield High School soccer star’s home. Four others involved in the accident sustained injuries, but were not severely hurt. Hundreds gathered around the crash site to remember Lembo, share stories, and grieve. The Essex County Prosecutor’s Office has yet to file charges in connection with the deadly collision. Toxicology reports are still outstanding. The Bloomfield Patch reported comments from Mayor Raymond McCarthy stating an “excess rate of speed” was to blame for the crash that claimed Lembo’s life.

As a parent, words cannot express the grief Christina’s own family and the entire community is feeling at her sudden loss. My heart and prayers are with everyone affected.

In 2011, there were 50 fatal traffic accidents in Essex County, which resulted in the deaths of 52 people. This figure was tied for second-most out of all counties in the state in terms of deadly motor vehicle crashes, according to the New Jersey State Police. As of October 2012, there have been 30 fatal accidents killing as many people, including the collision mentioned above. Many concerned citizens and lawmakers have looked into the increasing number of young people killed on New Jersey roadways. Last week, New Jersey Transportation Commissioner Jim Simpson announced plans to review accident data to determine why more than half of those killed in collisions on the Garden State Parkway are drivers in their early 20s.

If you or someone in your family has sustained injuries due to the careless actions of an at-fault driver, you may have rights to compensation. Our New Jersey car accident lawyers can provide accident victims with advice to preserve their rights to money damages and develop a strong defense to eliminate insurance company attempts to derail or reduce the value of their claims. Don’t allow the guilty to get away with hurting you, or someone you love.

 

Two-Car Crash Kills Father and Young Son in Holmdel

By New Jersey Personal Injury Lawyer on October 1, 2012 - Comments off

A motor vehicle crash on Sunday has resulted in the death of a Middletown man and his young son. NJ.com reports that 38-year-old George DiCostanzo and his six-year-old son Christopher died after DiCostanzo’s Subaru collided with a Jeep Cherokee driven by 44-year-old John McCormack in the morning near Galloping Hills Road. Emergency medical responders pronounced DiCostanzo dead at the scene while Christopher died a short time later at Riverview Medical Center. The man’s four-year-old daughter, Pearl, suffered minor injuries and was taken to Jersey Shore Medical Center. McMormack and Stephanie Pavlicek, a passenger in his Jeep, sustained non-life threatening injuries in the accident. Authorities in Holmdel continue to investigate the cause of the crash.

This is a terrible tragedy for all involved.  My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families, especially those who lost two loved ones. The accident photos taken from the scene show the mangled wreckage of DiCostanzo’s Subaru, which appears to have its entire passenger side caved in. It’s a miracle more people weren’t severely injured.

The results of the investigation are critical for determining fault in the wreck and who has rights to compensation. A young girl is going to life the rest of her life without her father and older brother. She deserves real help for those significant losses.

In 2011, there were 31 fatal accidents in Monmouth County resulting in the deaths of 34 people, according to the New Jersey State Police. As of October 2012, there have been 26 total traffic-related deaths in Monmouth County for the year, including the two occurring on the last day in September. State police continue to point to human error, including distracted driving and failing to obey traffic signs, as the leading cause of collisions across New Jersey. Greater attention on the roadway can help reduce deadly motor vehicle crashes by improving driver reaction times and avoiding potentially dangerous situations.

If you or someone in your family has sustained injuries due to the careless actions of another driver, you may have rights to compensation. Our car accident attorneys in New Jersey have been working with accident victims since 1994, and have the experience you need to get the compensation you deserve.

 

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