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Personal Injury Primer

Updated 3 days ago

Society & Culture
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Welcome to Personal Injury Primer, where we break down the law into simple terms, provide legal tips, and discuss topics related to personal injury law. Brought to you by the Law Offices Of David W Holub, an Indiana personal injury law firm concentrating on medical malpractice, auto accident, product liability and wrongful death litigation.

Read more

Welcome to Personal Injury Primer, where we break down the law into simple terms, provide legal tips, and discuss topics related to personal injury law. Brought to you by the Law Offices Of David W Holub, an Indiana personal injury law firm concentrating on medical malpractice, auto accident, product liability and wrongful death litigation.

iTunes Ratings

4 Ratings
Average Ratings
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Good podcast

By hairbeardown - Jul 10 2019
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I practice law as captive counsel for a large insurance carrier. This pod has been informative and interesting but most of all educational. I really like that it focuses on issues that are pretty universal to both plaintiff and defense.

iTunes Ratings

4 Ratings
Average Ratings
4
0
0
0
0

Good podcast

By hairbeardown - Jul 10 2019
Read more
I practice law as captive counsel for a large insurance carrier. This pod has been informative and interesting but most of all educational. I really like that it focuses on issues that are pretty universal to both plaintiff and defense.
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Personal Injury Primer

Latest release on Mar 25, 2020

All 10 episodes from oldest to newest

Ep 44 – Fault for an Injury Caused by a Display Tip Over

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Determining Fault for an Injury Caused by a Falling Museum Display

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I’m David Holub, an attorney focusing on personal injury law in northwest Indiana.

Welcome to Personal Injury Primer, where we break down the law into simple terms, provide legal tips, and discuss topics related to personal injury law.

Today’s question comes from a listen who said “I saw on the news where a museum display toppled over and injured a child who touched the display, who is legally responsible when such things happen?”

I read that same story about an Overland Park Kansas 5-year-old boy who was at the museum with his mom, when an exhibit piece accidently toppled onto him.

The video released by the museum on social media made the mom out to be a bad parent for not paying attention to what her child was doing. Well, being that 5-year-olds are curious about everything and like to climb on things…the piece ultimately fell, and was damaged.

The museum is blaming the mom for not keeping the boy in check. And, insisting the family pay $132,000 for the replacement cost of the broken sculpture. Now, was the family at fault? Some might think so. And, the video does show the sculpture being knocked over by the boy.

But, there were a few things left out of the viral video…

(1) there was a bridal shower going on in the museum

(2) and also a birthday party,

(3) the sculpture that was broken was not in any way, shape or form secured for safety,

(4) nor was protective glass placed around it.

And, you would think that being a museum they would have at least put up “Do Not Touch” signs so parents could warn their kids not to poke and prod exhibits.

Well, the museum sent Sarah Goodman (the mother of the offending child) an invoice for $132,000 and yes, demanded she promptly pay.

Now, in the normal course of breakage within a museum or commercial enterprise typically insurance is called upon to cover injuries or damages.

So, why make an individual pay?

In this case, the insurance company didn’t feel it was justified that they cover their client’s damages when it was, in fact, a curious child that broke the piece while the mother was distracted.

Yet, if the child was seriously injured in anyway because the museum didn’t take safety precautions the $132,000 would no longer be an issue. And most likely the museum and their insurance carrier would be on the hook for thousands if not millions in a personal injury trial case.

This matter reminds me of a Television Tip Over Case which resulted in the death of a child.

A television weighing 92 lbs. fell from a dresser resulting in a fatal head injury to an infant playing in front of the television on a play blanket spread on the floor. Analysis of the stability of the television established that as little force as 10 lbs. applied at the top of the television, where the channel and volume controls are located, will cause the television to tip. Like many similar televisions, the subject television did not contain any on product warnings relative to a tip-over hazard, nor any other appropriate warnings of any sort disclosing the hazard.

Although the museum piece is not a television, in both cases, the sculpture and television where placed on top of other items (a pedestal and a dresser) that created a potential tip over hazard, injury and or death.

I hope you found this information helpful. If you have questions about your legal rights if you get hurt due to the carelessness of another person, or as a result of substandard medical care, or due to a product defect, construction injury, or any other type of personal injury, please give us a call at (219) 736-9700. You can also learn more about us by visiting our website at DavidHolubLaw.com – while there make sure you request a copy of our book “Fighting for Truth”.

Mar 25 2020

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Ep 43 – Self Help with Nursing Home Injuries

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Nursing Home Injury Self-Help

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I’m David Holub, an attorney focusing on personal injury law in northwest Indiana.

Welcome to Personal Injury Primer, where we break down the law into simple terms, provide legal tips, and discuss topics related to personal injury law.

Today’s question comes from a listener who would like to know “what are the family’s legal rights if a family member is hurt as a result of abuse or neglect at a nursing home?”

We take seriously nursing home injuries that result from neglect or abuse. But, not every situation justifies the filing of a medical malpractice lawsuit. Malpractice cases are expensive to pursue and require expert testimony to be successful. Every situation needs to be evaluated carefully.

Where an injury quickly heals, a malpractice case may not be practical.

But, there are remedies available to families who have had a loved one fall victim to abuse or neglect at an assisted living facility.

Here we outline a few of the steps you should consider taking immediately to protect a patient’s safety and well-being.

Contact the Operators of the Nursing Home

If you suspect neglect or mistreatment, discuss the issue with the chief of staff at the facility or higher-level management at the facility.

Your goal should be to resolve the problem, and ensure better care for your loved one going forward.

Consider recording the conversations you have in person about your issues.

If you come to an agreeable understanding about the issue, ask the facility to put it in writing and ask them to sign it.

Thereafter, you must continue to monitor the problem to be sure that the solution is implemented, and that the patient is safe and secure.

Contact State Officials Charged with Supervising the Facility

Consider contacting your State’s Adult Protective Services agency, and/or nursing home licensing board.

Such agencies need to know of dangerous situations at a facility, and may be able to connect you with other resource agencies at the local and federal government levels.

Document with Photos and Videos Signs of Abuse or Neglect

If you see bruising and/or swelling, or what might be called common warning signs of abuse or neglect, you need to take action to preserve evidence of what you observe.

Factual proof that your elderly or vulnerable loved one may have been mistreated is important. Have the photos or video clips available when you discuss the matter with the operators of the facility and/or government regulatory agencies. Stay vigilant.

If your loved one has suffered a serious injury while at a nursing home, or extended care facility, contact a qualified attorney as soon as possible for assistance in holding the operators of the facility accountable for any wrongful conduct.

I hope you found this information helpful. If you have questions about your legal rights if you get hurt due to the carelessness of another person, or as a result of substandard medical care, or due to a product defect, construction injury, or any other type of personal injury, please give us a call at (219) 736-9700. You can also learn more about us by visiting our website at DavidHolubLaw.com – while there make sure you request a copy of our book “Fighting for Truth”.

Mar 18 2020

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Ep 42 – Covering Up a Botched Surgery

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My Doctor Botched My Surgery and Lied About It

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I’m Katelyn Holub, an attorney focusing on personal injury law in northwest Indiana.

Welcome to Personal Injury Primer, where we break down the law into simple terms, provide legal tips, and discuss topics related to personal injury law.

Today’s question comes from a listener who says “my Doctor botched my surgery and lied about what she did, can I sue?”

After discussing the matter further, it turned out that what was supposed to be a simple “walk in the park” 2-hour outpatient surgical procedure turned into a nightmarish 10-hour ordeal. What started out as a routine hernia operation became a litany of medical errors that almost put the patient at risk of losing his intestines.

The doctor who operated had performed hundreds of these hernia operations in the past and was known as the “go to” expert for this type of medical procedure. Unfortunately, what transpired during this event would not only haunt the patient for the rest of his lifetime, but would negate the expert status the doctor had worked so hard to achieve.

Somehow during the operation, a surgical instrument was left inside the patient’s body cavity then covered up with mesh fiber, then the belly button was sewn back together. The anesthesiologist discovered the patient was reacting differently to the anesthesia and was starting to wake up too early. Then the machines that monitor patient heart rhythms started to flash, beep and alert the medical team that something was wrong with the patient.

An inventory was ordered for all instruments used for the procedure. All were accounted for except one. More anesthesia was administered to keep the patient from gaining consciousness. The patient was wheeled into the X-Ray room to assess if indeed an instrument was left inside.

As the patient was being X-rayed his spouse was in the facilities comfort room awaiting the results. It was going on 4-1/2 hours now and she was worried. Yet, no one had come out to speak to her as to what was happening with her husband.

Around the five-hour mark the patient was rushed into the Emergency Room and his belly button reopened. Now the mesh that had been installed to prevent the hernia from getting worse needed to be cut open so the doctor could find his lost medical instrument. Unfortunately, in removing the instrument from the body cavity part of the intestine was cut. Yet, somehow no one on the medical team noticed. Then the patient received another mesh insert and was sewn up.

Six hours had now gone by and the patient’s wife was getting antsy. She wondered where her husband was. She demanded answers. The doctor finally came out and flat out lied and said her husband had reacted badly to the anesthesia and should be ready soon.

However, this was not to be the case.

The damaged intestine was now leaking into the patient’s body cavity and the patient was beginning to run a fever. A nurse took the man’s vitals and alerted the doctor yet again. Another x-ray was ordered. This time alerting the doctor to the need to once again open up the patient.

So now the patient would be opened up yet again. The mesh lining installed for the hernia cut again. But now, this time, the intestine would need to be operated on to fix the damage caused when the lost medical instrument was removed.

The patient after almost 10 hours was now awake. The patient’s wife was livid and wanted answers. Sadly, the doctor and her team decided not to be forthcoming and didn’t want to share the reasons why the surgery took 8 hours longer than it was scheduled.

In this particular medical scenario, it does seem that the doctor was careless and didn’t want to be forthcoming with answers. Yet, is it classified as negligence?

Let’s examine what negligence means in this case.

Negligence by a medical professional can be the result of an error in diagnosis, treatment or illness management. Negligence is based on a failure to follow accepted standards of practice. For example, a hospital may provide improper care in not properly assessing a fall risk resulting in a patient fall. Or, there may be an error in dispensing medications, or a failure to maintain sanitation or providing below standard nursing care.

So yes, negligence did occur. But can the patient sue?

The law involving medical malpractice is designed to protect patients’ rights to compensation if they are injured as the result of negligence. But malpractice suits are rarely simple, and they are costly to fight. Sometimes the time and money needed to pursue compensation for an injury that is minor or heals quickly should not be spent.

Physicians and hospitals rarely admit mistakes. Even in cases that seem to be clear cut, you can expect a defendant to fight any claim of wrongdoing.

The field of medical malpractice does not only apply to doctors. It can also apply to nurses, dentists, osteopaths, physical therapy facilities and others providing health care services.

We have successfully handled many medical malpractice claims covering a range of errors–from birth injuries to brain injuries to failure to diagnose cancer, nursing home abuse injuries, medication dosage injuries, and infectious disease claims due to contamination.

I hope you found this information helpful. If you have questions about your legal rights if you get hurt due to the carelessness of another person, or as a result of substandard medical care, or due to a product defect, construction injury, or any other type of personal injury, please give us a call at (219) 736-9700. You can also learn more about us by visiting our website at DavidHolubLaw.com – while there make sure you request a copy of our book “Fighting for Truth”.

Mar 11 2020

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Ep 41 – Can’t We Just Make the Defendant Take a Polygraph

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Can We Make the Defendant Take a Polygraph and Use that as Proof?

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I’m Katelyn Holub, an attorney focusing on personal injury law in northwest Indiana.

Welcome to Personal Injury Primer, where we break down the law into simple terms, provide legal tips, and discuss topics related to personal injury law.

Today’s question comes from a caller who says “I want to sue my neighbor for backing into my parked car, I know he did it, even though I have no evidence, can’t we just make him take a polygraph, and use that as proof?”

Great question. Unfortunately, the answer is no.

TV legal drama programs often use lie detectors. Federal agents must in certain internal security matters submit to polygraphs.

But, in most civil case situations you cannot make someone take a polygraph. Under some employment contract situations, such as high security businesses, people, as a condition of employment, agree to submit to lie detectors, and agree that employment decisions can be made using test results.

Let’s explore why courts don’t rely on and allow polygraph results to be admitted into evidence.

The prime reason is that the lie detector can’t really reliably tell a truth from a lie. And if you (the person being questioned) truly believe something to be true, even if it’s been wholly fabricated, the lie detector will in fact shows signs of you being truthful.

Here’s why…a polygraph (although deemed up to 85% accurate by certain studies) has no real capacity for telling if a statement is the truth or is false – the device simply measures biological processes such as blood pressure and heart rate.

When hooked up to a lie detector, sensors are placed on your fingers, chest and even your forehead which monitor your body’s response to certain questions.

Usually the test operator starts off with basic questions such as asking your name, where you live, your occupation. These questions are supposed to create a baseline, which then will be used to compare to the responses of additional questions.

Then the test operator asks some challenging questions, ones that are designed to get you to review detailed answers or create confusion with your replies.

When the needle measuring your response goes wild, the operator makes a note on the readings indicating maybe you lied, or you just felt pressured or that you were just nervous.

The machine will record your nervousness or sweating or even the temperature change of your skin.

Does that mean you lied? Maybe you were nervous being hooked up to a machine or being scrutinized in that fashion … and now you’re tagged as guilty of a lie. See the problem?

And, if your memory has been manipulated, nothing you say will be a lie so your blood pressure or heart rate will not spike. Now you’re probably thinking… “manipulated”? How can someone be “manipulated”?

Memory is pliable, memories can be altered, details added later and some events fabricated.

People under hypnosis, for example, can be implanted with false memories. And they recall events as if they were there in that moment, yet the event never really happened. And people who suffer traumatic experiences (injuries, assaults, accidents, war) may create false memories to protect themselves, to shield themselves from remembering what actually happened.

If it came down to memory recall the person who was able to share the more vivid, more detailed memories would garner the more favorable result … a win.

It gets worse. In a newspaper commentary in 2018, a writer pointed to a study where it was relatively easy to “implant” false memories in a significant number of lab subjects by showing them an official-looking poster of Disney characters, including Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny.

When questioned later, many subjects remembered meeting Bugs Bunny on a childhood trip to Disneyland. Some even reported that Bugs had touched them inappropriately. … Here it comes … that memory could not possibly be legitimate. Bugs Bunny is not a Disney character.

If Lawyers, Judges or Juries were to make decisions based solely on the recall of someone’s memory, the one who remembers the most would win every time regardless of if their statements were really the truth.

This is why evidence is so important (by that I mean physical evidence like footprints, DNA, fingerprints). Physical evidence tells us what happened better than our memories.

I hope you found this information helpful. If you have questions about your legal rights if you get hurt due to the carelessness of another person, or as a result of substandard medical care, or due to a product defect, construction injury, or any other type of personal injury, please give us a call at (219) 736-9700. You can also learn more about us by visiting our website at DavidHolubLaw.com – while there make sure you request a copy of our book “Fighting for Truth”.

Mar 04 2020

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Ep 40 – Don’t Hire a Fake Lawyer

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What Can People Do to Avoid Falling for a Fake Lawyer Scam?

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I’m Katelyn Holub, an attorney focusing on personal injury law in northwest Indiana.

Welcome to Personal Injury Primer, where we break down the law into simple terms, provide legal tips, and discuss topics related to personal injury law.

Today’s question comes from a person who called to say “I hired a law firm and found out later that it was a fake law firm, what can people do to avoid being scammed by a fake lawyer through a fake website?”

Well, unfortunately this is becoming a problem across the US.

Several times a week we get people calling us about being ripped off by a fake lawyer or law firm. Yes, I did say fake.

Apparently through the power of “cut and paste” websites these “want to be” lawyers have convinced people to hire them.

One caller said she shelled out hundreds of dollars just to tell her story. And, they wanted even more money to start her claim.

Another caller revealed he had given someone he thought was a real attorney, his credit card number only to be swindled out of thousands of dollars. He then had to spend countless hours trying to rescind all the bogus charges racked up on his card.

A caller just the other day said the firm they had thought they “hired” had the name of a once legit firm out of New York that had filed bankruptcy so she thought the person she hired was a legitimate attorney. She had lots of phone calls. Never signed anything though.

You might be thinking, “why didn’t these people do their due diligence?” Why didn’t they check these attorneys out?

Well, from experience, I can tell you that when we receive a call from someone who has been injured, they are not thinking as a cautious person would think.

For the most part their guard is down.

They are looking for answers. They want direction. They think that if a person has a web-site they must be legitimate.

They want to hear that someone is going to help them, represent them and defend them.

They want to know that the person will be there every step of the way.

Sadly, if the person they are calling gives them that sense of security, that everything is going to be alright, it makes it easier for the scam to occur.

Look up the definition of the word grifter. These fake law firms prey upon people and gain their confidence.

The fact is, that rarely do people ever look for an attorney unless they are facing some crisis, injury or injustice.

Unfortunately, by then, their cognitive thinking is in panic mode and they are scrambling to find someone.

In some areas of the United States the amount of phony legal firms being reported is almost 1 a day.

So how do they do it? How do they convince people to call them?

These con artists create bogus websites, filled with copied images, slogans and even names of real lawyers to give an air of credibility. Some of these sites have even mirrored articles, cases and even testimonials off real law firm sites to add to the illusion of being a legitimate firm.

So how do these fake lawyers make money?

Well, these scammers require up-front funds.

They state these fees are for processing your case, for administration work, or the cost to pull your file.

But once they get the money, they come up with excuse after excuse why your case has slowed down or they just don’t return your calls at all.

Here are 8 tips to avoid being taken by a fake law firm.

1) Meet your lawyer in person at their office. Offices are harder to fake then websites.

2) Never pay an attorney online or over the phone.

3) Ask around, get a referral from someone you know and trust.

4) Dive deep into the prospective lawyer’s online reputation; notice inconsistencies. For example, we have 80 videos on YouTube. We have more videos on our website. We have this podcast. We are in short, everywhere. … Duplicating that kind of a web presence and online reputation would be extremely difficult and probably more costly than what they expect to make off of the scam.

5) Ask a lot of questions, look for answers that make sense.

6) Hire a Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney.

7) Look for an attorney with an honest and ethical reputation.

8) Select a lawyer who can explain the law to you in a clear concise manner. … A fake attorney unlikely would be able to explain the law.

When it comes time to select the right attorney for your needs you need to have the knowledge to choose wisely and get the absolute best representation for your case.

For us, the whole team here at the Law Offices of David W. Holub, we believe first and foremost hiring an attorney should be a matter of trust.

I hope you found this information helpful. If you have questions about your legal rights if you get hurt due to the carelessness of another person, or as a result of substandard medical care, or due to a product defect, construction injury, or any other type of personal injury, please give us a call at (219) 736-9700. You can also learn more about us by visiting our website at DavidHolubLaw.com – while there make sure you request a copy of our book “Fighting for Truth”.

Feb 26 2020

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Ep 39 – Who is Legally Responsible When a Robotic Car Causes a Crash?

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Who is Legally Responsible When a Robotic Car Causes a Crash?

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I’m David Holub, an attorney focusing on personal injury law in northwest Indiana.

Welcome to Personal Injury Primer, where we break down the law into simple terms, provide legal tips, and discuss topics related to personal injury law.

Today’s question comes from a listener who said

“Did you see that Hawaii-5-0 episode with the robot car? Who would be legally responsible if a robotic car caused a Car Crash?

This is an interesting question. Robot cars, or what they call autonomous driving vehicles are supposed to be very common by 2025. In fact, many manufactures expect that 5G wireless networks will make self-driving cars the primary means of transportation.

For now, we are just seeing occasional headlines about self-driving cars. Soon we’ll either have one or know of people who have one.

But will a self-driving car be able to avoid collisions without human intervention, and do so safely and securely without risking injury to passengers in the event of a crash?

Do you really want a robot driving you around in a four wheeled vehicle at highway speeds on a scenic cliffside highway?

Do you want to risk injury to your family because of a crash caused by some algorithm or formula that does not recognize correctly the edge of a cliff? Or, misreads a red traffic signal as green? Or rear-ends you because you forgot to turn on your headlights (and taillights) when you left the grocery store and it could not discern your car on the highway?

When a crash happens, how do you hold a machine responsible for injuring a person?

My educated guess, and that is all it is, is that the law will hold the owners of the vehicle legally responsible for mistakes made in driving by the vehicle. And, the law will hold manufacturers responsible for manufacturing defects that contributed to cause the crash.

Right now, when a car component, such as an airbag malfunctions, the car maker, and the component supplier (for example Takata in the case of Takata airbags) can be held legally responsible.

Which causes me to ask, would you buy a self-driving car system made by Takata?

If you or a loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle collision (whether caused by a person or a robot) please call to speak with one of our attorneys about your situation.

I hope you found this information helpful. If you have questions about your legal rights if you get hurt due to the carelessness of another person, or as a result of substandard medical care, or due to a product defect, construction injury, or any other type of personal injury, please give us a call at (219) 736-9700. You can also learn more about us by visiting our website at DavidHolubLaw.com – while there make sure you request a copy of our book “Fighting for Truth”.

Feb 19 2020

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Ep 38 – Legal Options When a Social Media Account is Suspended

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What are my Legal Options if my Social Media Account is Suspended?

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I’m David Holub, an attorney focusing on personal injury law in northwest Indiana.

Welcome to Personal Injury Primer, where we break down the law into simple terms, provide legal tips, and discuss topics related to personal injury law.

Today’s question comes from a caller who says “My social media account was suspended, what are my legal options?”

Well, this question is a bit off topic. It does not deal with personal injury law directly. But, since we do often advise people of the hazards of posting to social media while a lawsuit is pending, we’ll address the question anyway.

Freedom of speech is a simple concept.

Modern day social media is little more than an electronic traditional daily newspaper which affords people the opportunity to state their opinions for free. Like a newspaper printing a letter to the editor.

Of course, the social media platform makes money by permitting people to by ads and intersperse those ads along a user’s media time line. Pretty inventive way to make money isn’t it?

Since the social media platform essentially owns the paper, ink and printing press, the law permits the platform owner to decline to publish the opinions of those with whom he or she disagrees.

So, if your social media account is suspended is there nothing you can do?

Maybe not. But, since modern social media publishing piggy backs off of radio signals owned by the public couldn’t the government step in and “regulate” and set strict criteria for blocking ideas not welcomed by the owner of a media site? Sure. But would government end up further restricting free speech?

Though a well-crafted narrow statutory limitation, i.e. “media outlets may only limit speech explicitly calling for physical violence”, might be enacted to throttle social media publisher efforts to limit speech, bureaucratic “regulators” could abuse regulatory power and expand the definition of speech that could be suppressed. That is the slippery slope argument you often hear.

But, what about a law that, instead of regulating social media sites through an unwieldly government regulatory agency, simply permits a person who has their speech blacked out for an illegitimate reason to sue in court for liquidated damages? Liquidated damages are basically predetermined damages that can be obtained so as to eliminate the need to prove specific harm.

A law permitting liquidated damages might be very effective and would read something like:

“… any person who has been restricted in their freedom to post to a social media platforms which utilizes public radio frequencies for any reason other than for speech explicitly calling for physical violence, may sue for an injunction to compel the unrestricted dissemination of such speech, as well as liquidated damages of $50,000.00 per day per violation”.

Such a law would be self-enforcing. The person seeking to enforce the law would have to hire an attorney and spend money to pursue the remedy. But having to pay money to wrongly blocked users might make media sites hesitate to arbitrarily shut down a user’s speech, or shadow ban their account.

But what can people who fear being blocked legally do as a means of self-help right now? Here are some thoughts:

  1. Social media opinion-maker-stars who thrive on posting and who fear being blocked could buy their own modern-day newspaper. They could invest in their own domain name and make sure that name is widely known, and set up a website with a host that will not block them. Then if a block on a social media site occurs a platform exists for their followers to seek them out.
  2. Social media stars could be more social. Follow back all their followers and encourage all followers to follow other followers. This could make it much more difficult to isolate people who are well interconnected. Further, sharing of email addresses could make newsletter dissemination of opinions via email impossible to stop if a media platform gets frozen.

I hope you found this information helpful. If you have questions about your legal rights if you get hurt due to the carelessness of another person, or as a result of substandard medical care, or due to a product defect, construction injury, or any other type of personal injury, please give us a call at (219) 736-9700. You can also learn more about us by visiting our website at DavidHolubLaw.com – while there make sure you request a copy of our book “Fighting for Truth”.

Feb 12 2020

6mins

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Ep 37 – Legal Options Available When You are Hit by a Train

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What are the Legal Options Available When You are Hit by a Train?

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I’m David Holub, an attorney focusing on personal injury law in northwest Indiana.

Welcome to Personal Injury Primer, where we break down the law into simple terms, provide legal tips, and discuss topics related to personal injury law.

Today’s question comes from a listener who asked:

“My son’s SUV was hit by a train, the gates didn’t come down and there was no whistle, my granddaughter’s injury is serious, I’m trying to help them get legal advice, can they sue the train operator?”

When you hear about a car or SUV being struck by a train, you know the outcome is rarely going to be anything but tragic for the occupants of the motor vehicle struck by the train.

Yes, railroad operators can be sued. The sooner we can start investigating a case, the better things will go however.

When we investigate railroad crashes, often we find that the crash could have been prevented, either by the installation of proper safety equipment, such as gates and flashers, or through proper maintenance of existing safety equipment, which we frequently find was neglected and failed to function as intended.

Also, when we are hired for a case involving a railroad we often find that there have been other reported crashes at the same intersection, or close calls that occurred at the same intersection, or complaints that gates and flashers had not been working for a period of time at the intersection, or complaints that the train is routinely not sounding its horn when it approaches the crossing.

The way the law handles a railroad intersection is that the train has the right-of-way when it claims the right-of-way by signaling its intent to cross the intersection by the sounding of its horn or whistle, and/or by triggering crossing lights to flash and/or crossing gates to close.

Horns work well in most rural locations where there is very little traffic.

But in metropolitan areas the most effective safety mechanism is gates that come down when the train approaches the intersection, or at the very least flashers that activate when the train approaches the intersection.

The activation of gates and flashers can be very complex.

First the signaling equipment has to include sensors to reveal when a train approaches an intersection, crosses the intersection, and completes its crossing of the intersection.

All this information has to be known so that the crossing warnings activate when they are supposed to and then deactivate when the train is clear.

You do not want flashers to provide false warnings when there is no train, because then drivers using the roadway will be conditioned to simply ignore those flashers.

Important maintenance has to be routinely completed. For example, sometimes sensors that note the presence of a train will malfunction. Or, lightning may hit a steel rail and burn out a sensor.

Systems should be in place to alert the rail line headquarters of malfunctions.

It could amount to a breach of care if such a warning system is not in place to alert a maintenance crew.

It can be a breach of care if alerts of malfunctions are not promptly addressed.

Often we find that governmental studies have been performed that show that traffic has increased on a rural road (perhaps due to a new subdivision) so as to trigger regulations that require flashers, only to find out that the railroad has delayed or refused to install flashers or gates.

Of course, sometimes we find that the crew operating a train was simply negligent, or using drugs or alcohol, and that crew negligence cause the failure to sound a horn or otherwise caused the crash.

I hope you found this information helpful. If you have questions about your legal rights if you get hurt due to the carelessness of another person, or as a result of substandard medical care, or due to a product defect, construction injury, or any other type of personal injury, please give us a call at (219) 736-9700. You can also learn more about us by visiting our website at DavidHolubLaw.com – while there make sure you request a copy of our book “Fighting for Truth”.

Feb 05 2020

5mins

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Ep 36 -Work Injuries Due to Defective Product

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“My husband was injured when a chunk of wood flew out from a machine he using, can we sue?”

https://personalinjuryprimer.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Podcast-036-Work-injury-Due-to-Defective-Product.mp3

I’m Katelyn Holub, an attorney focusing on personal injury law in northwest Indiana.

Welcome to Personal Injury Primer, where we break down the law into simple terms, provide legal tips, and discuss topics related to personal injury law.

Today’s question comes from a caller whose husband was injured when a chunk of wood flew out from a machine he was using at work and was nearly driven clear through his stomach; he luckily survived, and she wanted to know if she could sue the machine manufacturer as well as her husband’s employer.

This is a common question for us to answer. It is very important in Indiana since workers compensation benefits in Indiana are very minimal.

Workers all across the country suffer serious injuries or are killed on the job as a result of defective industrial products each year. The type of industrial products involved in worker injuries includes manufacturing equipment, farming equipment and construction equipment.

Many times, when our legal team investigates a worker’s compensation case, we discover that a defective industrial product is what lead to the on the job injury. That can be a fortunate discovery because that piece of information allows the injury claim to go beyond the typical bounds of Indiana’s worker’s compensation laws.

What type of product defects are we talking about? You name it. Machinery may lack proper safety guards, or perhaps there were no safety instructions or warnings with the product.

Sometimes we find that the fault lies with the employer for failing to instruct an employee to use the product properly. Sometimes we find that a machine was shipped with a safety guard, but the employer removed it.

Tough to hold the product maker responsible for an employer removing a guard, unless the maker didn’t post a warning instructing that safety guards are not to be removed. Or, maybe the maker could be held liable if it failed to install an interlock that would prevent the machine from starting if the safety guard was removed. This type of interlock is similar to a car not starting unless your foot is on the brake.

When a worker is seriously injured or killed on the job, it is important to look closely at the working environment. Was the machinery involved to blame? Was the worker simply not being careful? All such factors need to be looked at carefully.

The importance of examining third party claims when helping a worker pursue workers’ compensation benefits can’t be overstated. Third party claims permit the recovery of past and future pain and suffering, past and future mental anguish, and loss of income, as well as loss of future income earning capacity. Additionally, spouses of injured employees can file loss of services claims.

These types of damages are not recoverable under workers’ compensation laws, which set forth very limited benefits that an employer must legally pay as a consequence of an employee injury.

Though workers’ compensation benefits are important, and provide a way that employees can hold employers accountable for work-related injuries, lawsuits against manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, and others who make products available that are used in the workplace, are a good means of holding responsible every party that is related to an injury connected with a product.

I hope you found this information helpful. If you have questions about your legal rights if you get hurt due to the carelessness of another person, or as a result of substandard medical care, or due to a product defect, construction injury, or any other type of personal injury, please give us a call at (219) 736-9700. You can also learn more about us by visiting our website at DavidHolubLaw.com – while there make sure you request a copy of our book “Fighting for Truth”.

Jan 29 2020

4mins

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Ep 35 – Hands Free Phones and Distracted Driving

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“Is hands free phone usage as distracting when driving as putting the phone to your ear?”

https://personalinjuryprimer.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Podcast-035-Hands-Free-Phones-and-Distracted-Driving.mp3

I’m Katelyn Holub, an attorney focusing on personal injury law in northwest Indiana.

Welcome to Personal Injury Primer, where we break down the law into simple terms, provide legal tips, and discuss topics related to personal injury law.

Today’s question comes from caller who says, “I was in a crash and the other driver seemed distracted at the time. It looked like he was talking to someone when he hit me. When I asked him, he said he was using a hands-free cellphone and that he was driving safely. How can that be if he was distracted when he hit me?”

While we all have been told that it is not safe for drivers to use a hand-held cellphone while they are behind the wheel, does that mean hands-free cellphone driving is safe? Not surprisingly, many drivers have turned to using hands-free cellphones. The companies that sell hands-free devices claim they are a safe alternative to hand-held cellphones, but is that true?

The AAA group published a study not long ago that strongly suggests that using a hands-free cellphone while driving causes a significant amount of cognitive distraction and may lead to a car accident.

During the study, researchers measured participant heart rate, eye movement, and brain activity while operating a car set up with monitoring equipment. The participants were given various tasks to complete during the study to test how their concentration was impacted while they performed the task and operated a motor vehicle.

The results showed that drivers who used a hands-free cellphone were only slightly less distracted than when they used a hand-held cellphone.

It seems that the brain cannot fully focus on two complex tasks simultaneously. The brain allocates competing attention to both tasks on an alternating basis.

In other words, for a discrete amount of time the brain focuses on driving, then for a few seconds focuses on talking and listening and formulating language responses, then switches focus back to driving. This frequent change in focus leaves cognitive gaps where drivers are not concentrating on the road. Thus, the risk of a serious accident is not greatly different between hands free and hand held calling. Both contribute to the problem of distracted driving and can result in more vehicle collisions.

I hope you found this information helpful. If you have questions about your legal rights if you get hurt due to the carelessness of another person, or as a result of substandard medical care, or due to a product defect, construction injury, or any other type of personal injury, please give us a call at (219) 736-9700. You can also learn more about us by visiting our website at DavidHolubLaw.com – while there make sure you request a copy of our book “Fighting for Truth”.

Jan 22 2020

3mins

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