Woman Injured In Prince Philip Crash May Sue

Emma Fairweather, 46, was injured in a recent crash involving the 97-year old Prince Philip’s Land Rover. The vehicle in which she was a passenger crashing into Prince Philip’s vehicle, leaving her with a broken wrist. Doctors say that Fairweather may be forced to miss as much as two months of work, which has reportedly lead her to consider filing a personal injury claim against the Prince.

Complicating matters further is the Royal Family’s alleged lack of concern for Fairweather’s injury. She claims that she was told only to keep quiet, and that she has not received an apology or even a message wishing her well. Fairweather is reportedly distressed at the Royal Family’s conduct in this matter.

The accident was allegedly caused by the Prince’s failure to yield as he entered the A149 from a side road. The incident occurred in Norfolk, just a few miles from the city of King’s Lynn. The Kia in which Fairweather was a passenger was already on the A149 heading south when the Prince’s Land Rover allegedly pulled out directly in front of Fairweather’s vehicle, which could not stop in time. The Kia broadsided the Prince’s Land Rover, sending it tumbling across the A149 and off the road. The Land Rover ended up resting on the driver’s side, and the Prince, who was not seriously hurt in the accident, had to be pulled out through the sunroof by Fairweather’s husband.

Immediately after the crash, the Prince allegedly told a witness that he couldn’t see Fairweather’s vehicle because he was blinded by the sun. Fairweather disputes this, as she says that the accident occurred on an overcast day. Whatever the cause, police and royal aids quickly swarmed the scene. They spirited Prince Philip away and allegedly told Fairweather multiple times to keep quiet about the incident.

The stretch of the A149 where the accident occurred had apparently been considered dangerous for some time by local residents. The speed limit on the stretch of road was lowered to 50 miles per hour in the aftermath of Prince Philip’s crash. The local council are reportedly considering further action to ensure road safety.

Three Ways To Find The Best Personal Attorney For You

If you’ve have had a personal injury, you might require an attorney. Sometimes trying to find a reasonable attorney can seem worse than the actual damage you’ve had. When you get injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, you deserve a chance to get back on your feet, which includes receiving a monetary settlement. For many, embarking the legal system alone can be a challenging and confusing task, so they opt out of the help they are justified to receive. Not taking action or going at it alone will set you up for failure, so it’s best to arm yourself with the right individual who will go to battle for you when you need it. Here are three ways to find the best personal attorney.

Get Out And About

If you have nowhere to start, begin by asking other family members and friends. Most of the time, a personal referral can be a great way to go because they’ll give you an honest review of their experiences. It might be challenging to find someone who has been in a similar situation such as yourself, so using networking will benefit. The state of Washington is full of natural beauty, state parks, and activities to do outside. More people out can allow you the opportunity to interact to see if you can gather any information on a reputable lawyer. You’ll be surprised what you can find out with reaching out to others this way.

If you’re still having trouble, think about other people you would encounter throughout your week. Asking your doctor or grocery clerk could prove to point you in the right direction. If you need a lifeline, consider asking another attorney with a different practice. Attorneys often work with each other to receive referrals.

Do Your Homework

Going with the first thing that comes across your face might be the worst thing to do when searching for an excellent attorney. Understandably, you’ll want to resolve your situation as quickly as possible, but having patience is the key. Take the time to pull up their information on the internet to look at their website. Don’t assume that a well-crafted website means excellent service. See how they are ranking on Google in regards to their competitors. Do they have a lot of positive reviews? According to Forbes, about 90% of individuals will look at reviews before considering services with them. If you’ve taken the time to get a recommendation, their website looks professional, and they have a good number of Google reviews, you’ve likely found the right person for the job. You might want to take it a step further to call the office to feel them out. Most of the time, you can get a good feeling within the first few moments of speaking to someone.

It Doesn’t Hurt To Grill Them

We aren’t talking about having them for a cookout, but you should ask many questions to get a better understanding of how they can serve you. Start by asking them how long they’ve been in practice. For your situation, you want someone who has had experience in severe cases. Someone who will battle for you to get the compensation you deserve. Inquire about their team to see if they had experience as well.

Establish a clear line of communication. You’ll want to ask how to contact them at all times, even if you need to call their personal secretary first. One of the most frustrating aspects of your case could be that you have no idea what is going on. Set the parameters from the beginning. If you feel contacting your attorney is going to be a headache, you might want to search elsewhere.

Finally, make sure the attorney who is working with you will handle your case. Try to get a sense of how they will conduct themselves so you can have the best chance to be awarded a settlement.

One Size Doesn’t Fit All

Certain attorneys mesh well with people and don’t work well with others. When you require a personal injury attorney, it’s crucial to find one that makes you feel comfortable. You shouldn’t feel wrong about interviewing several attorneys until you find the best fit for you. When it’s time to handle something to help yourself out, you need the best person to assist.

What To Do Next Following an Automobile Accident

Being involved in an automobile accident can be a horrifying experience, especially for first-time victims. Often, they’re terrified and possibly suffering from injuries sustained in the collision.

Under these circumstances, it can be quite confusing to know your next move following an automobile accident. Here are some helpful reminders to keep in mind if you’re involved in a collision with another vehicle.

At the Scene of an Accident

The scene of an automobile accident can be quite chaotic and overwhelming for all parties. First, do not move your car from the position on the road that it was struck by another vehicle. Then, call 911 for assistance.

It’s important that no one involved in the accident leave the scene before speaking with local authorities as this action is a criminal offense. The police will file an accident report that includes your statement on the events that took place prior to the accident. It’s important to get your thoughts down on paper as you cannot have gaps between the accident report and your insurance claim.

If anyone inside your car is injured, do not attempt to move them, especially if they’re experiencing neck/back pain or have fallen unconscious. The only cause to move an injured party would be if an immediate threat is heading in your direction. It’s better to wait for the first responders to arrive, so they can assess the victim’s injuries.

What Personal Information Should be Exchanged?

First, never offer details of your own car insurance policy, such as the dollar limit amounts for collision and liability coverage. Also, never admit fault to the accident to anyone other than a representative from your insurance provider.

It’s important to gather the following information:

The name, address, phone number and email address of all drivers, passengers and witnesses involved in the accident. Write down the address or location of the crash. Ask for the name of each driver’s insurance company, their policy number and provider’s office phone number. If the police arrived at the scene, then be sure to document the accident report number, the officer’s name and badge number as well.

Take Pictures of The Accident Site

Visual evidence of the accident will be helpful to validate your insurance claim and receive some form of compensation for the damages sustained to your car. This can be accomplished by using your cell phone to take pictures of the condition of each vehicle involved in the collision. These pictures become hard evidence that provide a distinct contrast to the opposing side’s claims and depict a true account of the actual car damage done in the accident.

Document The Extent of Injuries and Medical Expenses

Documenting the extent of your injuries and medical expenses can be a relatively easy process. Keep copies of all medical reports that state the severity of the injuries sustained from the collision. Each document will have the physician’s name and the date of their entry into your medical files.

Plus, maintain a written diary on the state of your injuries and how they impact your daily life. Keep account of missed time away from work and a list of common physical activities that can no longer be done on your own. If you’re seeking compensation for your medical expenses, then retain copies of all medical bills, which should include follow-up examinations, rehabilitation sessions and pain relief prescriptions. This information will characterize your pain and suffering in a possible personal injury lawsuit.

When Insurance Companies Won’t Settle

Waiting for an insurance settlement can try anyone’s patience.  You’ve filed a claim. You’ve even made follow-up calls. Nothing happens.  What Can You Do?

How Insurance Companies Work

First, you and the insurance company are not on the same page.  You want the largest settlement possible. The insurance company wants the smallest. That statement may sound uncaring, but insurance companies are businesses, which means they have to show a profit to survive.  Every time the company pays a claim, it loses money. 

That doesn’t mean the insurance company can dismiss claims without cause.  At the same time, they have the right to investigate claims before paying a settlement.  Most insurance companies approach the settlement process in good faith.  Sadly, some do not; instead, they try to stall

Stalling tactics help insurance companies in the following ways:

  • Statute of Limitations.  The clock starts the moment the accident happened.  Depending on where and how the accident occurred, you may have anywhere from one to six years to file a lawsuit.
  • Loss of Momentum.  You may give up and let the statute of limitations come into effect.
  • Lack of Evidence.  With time, witnesses disappear or their memories fade.  They are no longer as sure as they were.  Similar things happen with physical evidence.  Evidence gets lost, misplaced, or the quality degrades.  The lack of credible documentation weakens your case, which may result in a lower settlement amount.

If you feel the insurance company is not operating in good faith, it’s time to see an attorney.

How Attorneys Work

You don’t have to wait until you think the insurance company is stalling before you speak with an attorney.  If you believe your claim was wrongly denied or the company was unjustified in denying your claim, you should contact an attorney.

Personal injury attorneys can help navigate the claim and settlement process by:

  • Evaluating Your Claim
  • Collecting Evidence, including witness statements
  • Filing the Claim before the Statute of Limitations takes effect
  • Negotiating a Settlement
  • Filing a Lawsuit, if necessary
  • Participating in Arbitration
  • Representing You in Court 

Feel free to use the contact form on the right if you feel you have a case.

5 Common Claims for Head and Brain Injuries

A brain or head injury is a serious disability that can cause both temporary and permanent damages. The cranial area is very delicate and should be guarded with great care. Unfortunately, untimely events or unforeseen circumstances can wreak havoc on even the best protected individual.

Car Accidents

Car accidents are very common reasons that people receive a TBI and file for injury claims. In 2014 alone, vehicle crashes accounted for over 70% of all TBI hospitalizations. Violent collisions with cars and other objects will thrash the body back and forth, jiggling the soft brain against the hard sides of the skull. Concussions, brain bleeds, and even permanent brain damage can result from these injuries.

Medical Negligence

The negligence of a medical professional can lead to a myriad of health-related issues, most notably head and brain injuries. Without proper oxygen flow supplied to the brain during surgeries, the body may acquire traumatic damage by asphyxiation. Patients slipping, falling, or being dropped by a medical worker is another common injury. Adverse reactions to medicines and drugs are another way that negligence can cause damage to delicate brain tissues. In many cases, these injuries can result in the loss of movement, personality changes, and even death.

Childbirth Brain Trauma

Childbirth is dangerous process, made worse by negligent or incompetent physicians who fail to act responsibly during labor. Newborns may acquire brain injuries through undiagnosed infections that result from improper birthing environments or procedures. Umbilical cords tangled around infant necks may asphyxiate newborns and damage their jelly-like cranial bones. When forceps or vacuum extractions are used during the birthing processes, the chances for head injuries and infections become much higher.

TBIs at Work

Brain injuries include damages received at work due to third-party negligence. This causes high medical costs, lost wages, and extended pain and suffering to the victim.

Wrongful Death

If a victim receives a death-resulting TBI, their family members are eligible to make a claim on their behalf. Wrongful Death Claims are only viable if the brain injury would have been valid as the subject of an injury case.

If you are suffering from a brain or head-related injury, speak with trustworthy attorney to begin the claiming process today.

New Michigan Law Changes PIP Coverage Forever

The State of Michigan is well-known for its steep auto insurance coverages and costly personal injury protection requirements, or PIP. However, serving State Governor Gretchen Whitmer recently announced new bipartisan legislature with members of the Michigan government that plan to revolutionize the future of state mandated PIP forever.

Personal Injury Protection Coverage (PIP) is offered by insurance companies in the event of a severe collision requiring medical coverage. Michigan State Law mandates that insurance carriers be responsible for holding unlimited lifetime medical coverage, contingent upon certain factors that result in an assigned monthly rate. Not all States require drivers to own such exhaustive PIP coverage, and some do not require PIP at all. In fact, Washington State Law (RCW 48.22.100) affirms that motorists are not required to own PIP coverage, but can add some to their insurance portfolio if they so wish.

The new “auto no-fault” legislation will be ratified into law on July 1, 2020, available to all motorists in Michigan. Drivers are now able to specifically choose the amount of PIP they desire to carry, from unlimited coverage to a slim $50,000 option offered to those using Medicaid and health insurance plans. In some cases, residents can opt out of PIP coverage entirely.

In addition to changing coverage requirements, the law will also ban insurance company’s use of non-driving factors to determine rates, including:

  • Zip Code or City Location
  • Marital Status
  • FICO Credit Scores and Averages

This may seem like an exciting turn of events for motorists, but many attorneys and law officials are less enthused.

The legislation’s rushed timeline has made some individuals wary, unsure of the potential ramifications the law could have on the insurance industry and the safety of the consumer. Saving money on auto payments per month by lowering or waiving PIP protections may not necessarily be a wise decision should a vehicle collision occur. In fact, some drivers may no longer be able to pay for claims against them without proper PIP coverage.

Consumers from Michigan are encouraged to begin doing research now to understand more about PIP and the types of coverage they should own. For more information about this law and PIP options, reach out to an experienced official.

Muncie Murder-Suicide Leads to Wrongful Death Lawsuits

Two wrongful death lawsuits have been filed in Delaware Circuit Court 5 by Jason Delk, a local attorney who was retained by Brandi Ritchie. Brandi Ritchie has had the suits filed against the estate of a Mr. Casey L. Ritchie, 58, who allegedly killed her mother and sister. She has been appointed as personal representative of her deceased family’s estates.

Casey Ritchie’s sister, Kathy Clary, is the personal representative of Mr. Ritchie’s estate. She has been named defendant in the suit.

The bodies of Brandi Ritchie’s mother, Denise E. Miles, and sister, Rylee Nicole Ritchie, were discovered in April of this year. Mr. Ritchie allegedly killed himself with the same gun after shooting the two women.

According to Delaware County Sheriff Tony Skinner, the case is still under investigation but there is ‘conclusive’ evidence that Mr. Ritchie shot the female victims and then shot himself. Delaware County Prosecutor Eric Hoffman has also stated that the investigation into these deaths is ongoing. Most of the interviews have been completed, but DNA tests and ballistic testing are pending. Also pending is a review of the contents of the home’s computers and cellphones.

The bodies were discovered on April 28. However, according to the lawsuit filed, Miles was shot and killed on April 25. That is three days before the bodies were discovered. The lawsuit alleges that Brandi was falsely imprisoned and abused by her father over those days before she was also shot.

The lawsuit further states that Rylee Ritchie was abused throughout her lifetime by Casey Ritchie. In its text, the suit cites hat the father’s alleged ‘unlawful and tortious conduct’ opens his estate to survival claims on behalf of Rylee Ritchie’s estate. This is in addition to compensation for the girl’s wrongful death.

A second suit filed seeks damages for Denise Miles’s death. According to this suit, a judgment is sought for the damages Brandi Ritchie sustained due to the loss of her mother’s love and affection.

Denise Miles was 45 years old at her time of death, and Rylee Ritchie was just 14 years old. An impromptu memorial with candles has been created outside of their Muncie home.

Poor Late-Term Abortion Practice and Cover-Up Blamed for Death

The family of 23-year-old Keisha M. Atkins filed a wrongful death lawsuit against abortion practitioner Curtis Boyd and the University of New Mexico (UNM). Ms. Atkins passed away during a late-term abortion procedure, in February 2017. The family alleges that death was due to an error during procedure and that this was covered up by UNM.

The Situation

That February, Ms. Atkins turned to Southwestern Women’s Options (SWO) for a 24-week abortion from late-term abortionist Curtis Boyd. She arrived on January 31, 2017, to begin the process of the abortion. February 3, she returned with difficulty breathing and a high fever. Due to the severity of this, she was rushed to the operating room to complete the abortion – delivering the stillborn fetus after a lethal injection. After this, she went into cardiac arrest. She was transferred to the UNM hospital, passing shortly after arrival.

The Defendants

The lawsuit lists the defendants as: Curtis Boyd, SWO, UNM (branches Health Systems, Health Sciences Center and Board of Regents), and Dr. Lauren Dvorscak (pathologist).

The Claim

The plaintiffs claim the SWO is in violation of the NM Unfair Trade Practices Act by asking Ms. Atkins to not contact or consult with any medical facility or health care provider other than the SWO clinic employees. The plaintiffs further claim Dr. Dvorscak assisted with disguising the true cause of Ms. Atkins’ death by stating in the autopsy report that cause of death was natural and due to pregnancy.

The plaintiff’s attorney, Michael Siebel, said “Keisha Atkins’ medical treatment was a series of negligence and malpractice which ultimately led to her untimely death-these actions were compounded by the fact that she was instructed to not seek emergency room care by Southwestern doctors.”

UNM’s Response

A UNM spokesperson stated the UNM hospital and providers maintain a high-quality standard of excellence for all New Mexicans, but that – due to litigation protocol – they are unable to make any comments regarding the allegations and will honor all obligations to protect patient privacy.

The NM Medical board is independently launching an investigation into Curtis Boyd and determined it necessary to conduct further review to determine if a violation of the Practice Act did, indeed, occur.

Tragic Wrongful Death Story Continues

The ongoing story of the wrongful death lawsuits being filed against one medical institution and a doctor continues with yet another case. This is the 30th filing of such charges, stemming from a patient in 2017 that was treated by the aforementioned, Dr. William Husel.

Mount Carmel Health System, the medical institution being charged along with Husel, according to the alleged charges, issued lethal doses of fentanyl. This occurred, based on the filing, following an initial visit for a broken toe.

The patient named in the wrongful death charge, Danny Mollett, was then diagnosed with hypertension and diabetes. It was in December of 2017 when Mollett was admitted to the ICU under the care of Dr. Husel, for issues related to peripheral vascular disease and a gangrene infection in his toe.

Citing the lawsuit, the charges claim that, ” Mount Carmel failed to prevent massive doses of CNS drugs such as Fentanyl from being accessed by nurses utilizing the AMDS system. A properly programmed AMDS system would deny a request for an excessive dosage of Fentanyl, and the machine would not permit any trays to be opened. “

The most shocking charges according to the lawsuit allege that Dr. Husel directed that 1,000 micrograms of fentanyl be administered. Medical experts suggest the maximum dosage for Fentanyl not exceed 100 mcg. What makes this story even more frightening is that the lawsuit also states that the drug was to be given by “…IV push all at once over the period of three to five minutes.”

To record, there have been 35 patients who have died under the care of Dr. Husel between the years of 2014 to 2018. Husel was indicted earlier this month on 25 counts of murder tied to the 25 patients who allegedly received 500 mcg of fentanyl or more.

Mount Carmel, following its own internal investigation, dismissed Dr. William Husel due to concerns raised over patient care. The hospital has made a public apology and has made internal changes to restrict such access to these types of drugs. They have also retrained the entire staff in addition to paying out more than $4 million in settlements.

Husel has pleaded not guilty and speaking on his behalf, criminal defense attorney Richard Blake said that these accidents were unintentional. Perhaps, even for the sake of the victims, we all hope so.

Multi-Million Dollar Verdict Against Tobacco Company Overturned

A Florida jury has cleared the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company of a previous wrongful death ruling that originally would have cost the company $23.6 billion.

In a July, 2014 verdict that attracted national attention, an Escambia County jury awarded Cynthia Robinson that multi-billion sum for her husband’s death. Michael Johnson, Sr. passed away from lung cancer in 1996. According to his widow, he began smoking at around 13 and died at 36 years old. During this trial, Cynthia Robinson’s legal team argued that the tobacco company was negligent in informing customers like Johnson about the risks and harmful effects of smoking tobacco cigarettes.

The $23.6 billion verdict was one of the largest damages ever awarded in wrongful death tobacco cases. The tobacco company’s vice president Jeffery Raborn responded to the original ruling by declaring the damages grossly excessive and unconstitutional. R.J. Reynolds’ legal team filed post-trial motions and those damages were later reduced to a still substantial $17 million of compensation.

As of June 25, both the company’s spokesperson and Cynthia Robinson’s attorneys have not commented on this latest development in the case. Mrs. Robinson’s attorneys can still appeal this ruling.

This was the largest but not the only wrongful death lawsuit that the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company has lost. However, this company has also had success appealing some of these cases. For instance, earlier this year the same legal team from Jones Day that worked on this case cleared the company of a Massachusetts wrongful death suit. In March, R.J. Reynolds also appealed a $14.7 million verdict for the death of a South Florida. That sum was eventually reduced by 30 percent.

R.J. Reynold’s legal entanglements will likely continue as thousands of lawsuits have filed against multiple tobacco companies over the last ten years. These so-called “Engle progeny” cases stem from a Florida Supreme Court ruling in 2006. That ruling established critical findings about the dangers of smoking tobacco and misrepresentation of those risks by cigarette makers. In part, it said that smokers need only prove that there was an addiction and that smoking caused illness or death. This has created a clear path for individuals seeking wrongful death compensation from tobacco companies.