Man signing a premises liability claim with attorney.

The Elements of a Premises Liability Case

A premises liability claim is the type of claim you file if you’ve suffered harm on another’s property due to an unsafe condition. It falls under the broad category of personal injury law, which helps injured victims recover compensation for their accident-related losses.

Filing a premises liability claim involves several steps, including proving the necessary details regarding this type of claim. If you have a valid claim and you’re able to establish all elements, you could receive monetary recovery for your injuries. 

Who is responsible in a premises liability case?

Premises liability law usually holds property owners or occupiers liable for injuries sustained on their property. 

One of the most important parts of a premises liability claim is determining who was in control of the property at the time of your incident. It could be the owner of the property or a tenant who occupies that property. 

The person responsible for your injuries depends on the location of the accident. Common places where premises liability claims arise include:

  • Grocery stores
  • Shopping malls
  • Hotels and resorts
  • Office buildings
  • Apartment buildings
  • Parking lots
  • Parks

Property owners and tenants have a legal duty to keep their premises safe for visitors. The exact legal duty an owner or occupier has depends on your legal status on the property at the time of the incident.

If you’re explicitly or implicitly invited onto someone’s property for business purposes, you’re an invitee. Property owners owe invitees the highest duty of care and must:

  • Regularly inspect for dangerous conditions
  • Warn against any known dangers
  • Fix potential hazards to keep invitees safe

When you’re invited onto someone’s property for social, non-business purposes, you’re likely a licensee. Property owners also owe invitees a duty to warn against known dangers, which the licensee is unlikely to discover. Owners do not, however, have a duty to regularly inspect their properties or make repairs.

Trespassers are individuals who have no legal right to be on a person’s property. Property owners owe no duty to trespassers, and trespassers usually have no claims against owners. 

Proving Negligence in a Premises Liability Case

One of the most crucial details you must prove in a premises liability case is your legal status at the time of your injury. Aside from that, you must establish the following elements for a successful claim. 

A Dangerous Condition Existed on the Property

You must show a dangerous condition existed on the property. Dangerous conditions can be anything from broken stairs to a lack of security. In order to receive compensation for your injuries, a risky situation must have existed to cause your harm.

The Property Owner or Occupier Knew (or Should Have Known) About the Dangerous Condition

It’s not uncommon for property owners or tenants to claim they didn’t know such a dangerous condition existed. You can obtain supporting evidence to show the risk was obvious or that they did know it existed and did nothing about it. 

The Dangerous Condition Caused Your Injury

Just because a dangerous condition exists doesn’t mean you have a claim for compensation. Therefore, you must prove the connection between the danger and your injuries. 

When you can show the dangerous condition was the cause of your harm, you’re more likely to be able to collect a monetary recovery for your injuries. 

A Premises Liability Attorney Can Help Prove the Other Party’s Fault and Fight for Compensation

Premises liability claims can be challenging, especially with several details you need to prove. Fortunately, a skilled personal injury lawyer can take on every case-related task, including proving negligence.

The attorneys at Hunt Law have extensive experience representing clients injured on others’ properties. We serve clients throughout Northern New Mexico. Contact us today to schedule your consultation.

medical malpractice

Who Can Be Held Liable for Injuries Caused by a Defective Medical Device?

Medical devices are wonderful tools for treating and preventing medical conditions, as well as saving lives. Still, just like any other product, a medical device can be defective. Unfortunately, a defective medical device can cause extensive harm and even death.

If you or a loved one have suffered harm as a result of a defective medical device, you may have a claim for product liability. Determining who is liable for the defect is one of the most important parts of a lawsuit for financial compensation. 

Types of Defective Product Claims

Every product liability case is unique. It’s necessary to determine what type of claim you have, as this can help give you some direction for your case. There are three major types of product defect claims. 

The first is the design defect. All products start with a design; when that design is faulty, problems can occur after the consumer gets the product in their hands.

The second claim type is a manufacturing defect. Manufacturing a product requires much care and precision. A defect caused during this process can eventually lead to harm. 

The third and final product defect claim type is a failure to warn. Manufacturers have a duty to provide instructions and warnings for every product. Failing to do so can end in injury to the consumer. 

Figuring out the cause of the defect and the type of case you have can indicate who may be financially liable to you for your injuries and losses. 

Liability for a Defective Medical Device

Several parties can play a role in a defect that causes you harm. To ensure you’re holding the right party liable for your injuries, your attorney can conduct a thorough investigation. The following are some of the parties most often involved in defective medical device cases. 

The Designer 

When a medical device’s design is the cause of a dangerous defect, the designer of the product can be held liable. 

When the design of a product is defective, it’s often because the designer was rushed and failed to put enough time into ensuring their idea was effective. This is particularly problematic for medical devices because they are so critical to the recipient’s life and well-being. 

The Manufacturer

Product manufacturing can be hectic, especially when a product is mass-produced. There is plenty of room for error, and sometimes these errors can cause injury to consumers. 

Even the smallest mistake or shortcut can result in a defective device. Therefore, when a medical device becomes defective during the manufacturing process, the manufacturer can be held responsible. 

The Distributor

Distributors of medical devices are usually eager to push their products and sell as many as possible. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it often causes distributors to misrepresent their product and oversell its capabilities, which could result in harm to the consumer. 

Additionally, inadequate storage or mishandled shipping on the distributor’s part can cause medical products to become defective. These actions further increase the chances of injury.

The Medical Professional

Medical professionals who use or install medical devices have a duty to give their patients all the relevant information regarding the product, including warning of potential dangers. Failing to do so can cause significant harm to the patient. 

Consult With a Product Liability Attorney

If you or a loved one have sustained injuries as a result of a defective medical device, time is limited. Do not wait to discuss your case with an experienced product liability attorney. A lawyer can take the necessary steps to determine liability for your case and fight for your right to just monetary recovery. 

Hunt Law is a personal injury law firm dedicated to helping those injured by defective products. We serve clients throughout Northern New Mexico and Las Vegas, NV. Contact us today to request a consultation.

Cars driving after eachother

Determining Fault After a Rear-End Accident

While every accident is unique, each collision claim requires following certain steps on the path to compensation. One of the most critical steps is determining fault, which is easier to do in some cases than in others. 

In particular, establishing fault in a rear-end collision can come with certain challenges. Fortunately, a car accident attorney can assist. 

How do rear-end accidents happen?

A rear-end car accident results when a driver collides with the vehicle directly in front of them. Many factors can contribute to a rear-end collision. One main cause of these crashes is speeding, which is also simply one of the leading causes of accidents in general.

Another common cause of rear-end accidents is road rage. When someone drives while enraged, they often fail to follow street signs, lights, and other traffic laws, increasing their likelihood of causing a collision.

In addition, driving recklessly or while distracted can cause a driver to collide with the car in front of them. When drivers are acting recklessly, they put others’ safety at risk, and distractions while driving take a person’s eyes and mind off the road. As a result, these behaviors can easily cause rear-end collisions.

Rear-end crashes also often occur due to driver fatigue and inebriation. When a driver is tired, their ability to safely and successfully operate a vehicle is affected. The same is true when someone drives under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Both these conditions put the driver and everyone else on the road at risk.

Rear-end accidents can result in serious property damage and injury. When you’re involved in a rear-end collision, determining the cause of the accident is crucial to building your claim and pursuing compensation. 

Fault in Rear-End Collisions

Determining the cause of your collision comes first, and proving fault is the next step. However, fault for rear-end accidents is challenging to demonstrate under certain circumstances.

In most cases, the finger is pointed directly at the rear driver. But this is not always the case. Sometimes, rear-end collisions are actually caused by the driver in front. 

For example, if the front driver is brake checking, a risky driving behavior involving slamming on the brakes, they could easily catch the rear driver off guard and cause that driver to crash into them. 

Regardless of whether you’re the driver in the back or the one in the front, it’s entirely possible for the other driver to have caused your rear-end collision. Proving that the other driver is at fault for your collision is crucial to the success of your claim.

Proving Liability After a Rear-End Accident

Usually, rear-end collisions are caused by negligence. Establishing the other driver’s negligence is necessary, and the process involves satisfying the elements of negligence. For instance, you must show that:

  • The other driver owed you a duty of care
  • They breached that duty of care
  • Their actions caused your rear-end collision
  • You suffered injuries and losses as a result of the accident they caused

Evidence can help prove the other driver’s negligence and strengthen your claims. Some of the evidence most commonly used in rear-end accident cases includes:

  • Police accident reports
  • Witness statements
  • Traffic camera footage
  • Medical reports

It is not unusual to encounter hurdles on the road to proving fault in a rear-end accident. However, a skilled car accident attorney can take on the challenge. 

A Car Accident Attorney Can Assist with Your Case

Determining and proving fault after a rear-end accident can be the most challenging part of a claim, but it’s entirely possible with the right help. A car accident lawyer can handle all aspects of your case. They’ll do what needs to be done to help reach the most successful outcome, including investigating your collision and gathering evidence.

The attorneys at Hunt Law proudly serve car accident clients all throughout Northern New Mexico and Las Vegas, NV. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

Doctor holding brain scans

Traumatic Brain Injuries Suffered in Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle accidents are particularly dangerous for riders, and substantial injuries are commonplace. Among the injuries riders often face, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are some that occur most frequently. 

A traumatic brain injury can cause extensive damage to the brain and change a person’s life forever. If you or a loved one have suffered a TBI in a motorcycle collision, it’s best to discuss your case with a qualified lawyer. 

Motorcycle Accident Brain Injuries

A motorcycle accident can result in several different types of brain injuries, depending on the circumstances and severity of the impact. Below are some of the most common TBIs suffered by motorcycle riders. 

Concussions

When your head is struck by an item or collides with an object, your brain moves around in your skull. The movement causes the brain to hit the skull, producing an injury.

Concussions can range in severity. Minor concussions usually only require rest and over-the-counter painkillers, but more severe concussions need more extensive medical intervention. 

Brain Hemorrhages

A hemorrhage refers to uncontrolled bleeding. When you suffer a brain hemorrhage, it means there is extensive bleeding either on the surface of the brain or within the brain. 

These injuries are usually localized to one area. While they can cause less long-term damage than other types of TBIs, they can still cause significant harm if they are not treated correctly and timely. 

Intracranial Hematomas

A hematoma refers to a collection of blood outside of the affected blood vessels. There are several hematomas concerning the brain, including:

  • Subdural Hematoma: A hematoma under the layer of protection that surrounds the brain
  • Epidural Hematoma: A hematoma between the skull and the brain
  • Intracerebral Hematoma: A hematoma within the brain

Hematomas are dangerous, as symptoms often don’t appear until several days after an accident. Signs of a hematoma in or around the brain can include persistent headache, dizziness, and slurred speech. 

Diffuse Axonal Injury (DAI)

A diffuse axonal injury is one of the most severe kinds of traumatic brain injury.

When the brain is twisted or shaken inside the skull, the connecting fibers in the brain, called axons, tear. Neurons affected by the DAI can no longer communicate, causing a loss of function. 

These tears in the axons, even though tiny, can cause extensive damage. Symptoms of a DAI depend on the location of the injury and the number of tears. 

Coup-Contrecoup Brain Injury

The name coup-contrecoup is French and refers to two injuries in one. The “coup” injury is the one at the location of the impact, and the “contrecoup” injury is on the opposite side of the brain.

Usually, these injuries result when the head slams against a stationary object, like the ground. These injuries are usually extensive and require much medical care. 

Long-Term Consequences of TBIs

The brain is critical to the body’s function, and it is very delicate. Therefore, injury to the brain often results in long-term effects.

Some of the common kinds of lasting consequences related to TBIs include:

  • Seizures
  • Memory loss
  • Paralysis
  • Visual changes
  • Problems with balance
  • Issues communicating
  • Hearing loss
  • Behavioral changes
  • Depression and anxiety

Additionally, when a traumatic brain injury is particularly serious, victims can remain in a coma or vegetative state for extended periods.

While recovery from a brain injury is possible, a serious TBI can affect a person’s life forever. 

Consult With a Motorcycle Accident Attorney

If you or a loved one have sustained a brain injury in a motorcycle collision, don’t wait to discuss your case with a motorcycle accident lawyer. An attorney can provide valuable guidance and advice and determine how to proceed with your case.

Talk to a personal injury attorney at Hunt Law. We serve clients throughout Northern New Mexico. Contact our firm today to request your consultation.

Man meeting with doctor

Misdiagnosis and Medical Malpractice: Seeking Compensation for Diagnostic Errors

Everyone has different motivations for visiting the doctor. When you need answers regarding your health, you rely on the knowledge and expertise of your treating physician. 

Still, medical professionals are human, and mistakes in the medical field are made every day. If a diagnostic error has harmed you, do not hesitate to consult with a medical malpractice attorney. 

What is a diagnostic error?

A diagnostic error is a mistake involving a diagnosis you’re given. Common diagnostic errors include delayed and incorrect diagnosis and a failure to diagnose.

When it comes to medical matters, time is often of the essence. If you receive a diagnosis that’s delayed, you may face additional harm or lose your ability to recover from your condition.

An incorrect diagnosis usually means your physician has misidentified the condition you actually have. This could result in receiving the wrong medical treatment and having your true condition worsen. 

A failure to diagnose means you’re never given a diagnosis for your condition. When a doctor fails to identify any negative medical condition, causing you to go untreated, you can experience severe injury or even death. 

Diagnostic errors happen for a number of reasons, but they are usually attributed to negligence. When a diagnostic mistake results in harm, you may have the opportunity to take action and seek financial compensation. 

Do I have a case for medical malpractice?

Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare professional’s act or omission causes harm. These cases fall under personal injury, an area of law that allows victims to pursue monetary recovery for their injury-related losses.

Not every instance of a medical mistake results in a viable medical malpractice lawsuit, but many do. Determining whether you have a case is the first step in proceeding with your legal claim.

Usually, to prove the healthcare professional is liable for your injuries, you’ll need to take steps to prove certain details. For instance, you must show that:

  • You and the responsible party had an existing doctor-patient relationship
  • The physician deviated from the acceptable standard of care
  • This deviation in care caused you harm
  • You suffered losses as a result of your injuries

Evidence can help substantiate your claims of negligence, including medical records and doctor’s notes. 

A qualified medical malpractice lawyer can investigate your case to determine whether you have a valid claim. Once that is established, they can take the necessary steps to protect your rights and fight for fair compensation on your behalf. 

Potential Compensation for a Medical Malpractice Case

Monetary damages for a medical malpractice claim aim to compensate you for the tangible and intangible losses stemming from your injuries. The damages you’re entitled to receive are based on the specifics of your case, but they could include:

  • Past and future medical expenses, including surgery and medication
  • Therapy and rehabilitation
  • In-home medical care
  • Lost earnings
  • Diminished or lost earning potential
  • Emotional distress
  • Pain and suffering
  • Permanent disability
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

Punitive damages may also be available in some cases. They aim to punish defendants for their reckless, intentional, or malicious actions and deter potential future actors from behaving in the same manner. 

A diagnostic error can have a profound impact on your financial and physical health. For this reason, fair monetary recovery can help relieve undue stress and protect your future. 

Consult With an Experienced Medical Malpractice Attorney

If you’ve suffered harm due to a diagnostic error, a medical malpractice lawyer can help you seek compensation. 

The legal team at Hunt Law has years of experience helping injured clients secure the financial compensation they need and deserve. We serve personal injury clients throughout Northern New Mexico and Las Vegas, NV. Contact us today to schedule your consultation.

Man with hurt arm in a cast filing a personal injury claim

What Are the Leading Causes of Crush Injuries?

An accident can happen at any moment, leading to unexpected injuries and financial losses. Crush injuries are among some of the kinds of injuries that can result from multiple types of accidents and dangerous scenarios.

If you or a loved one has sustained a crush injury, a personal injury lawyer can provide strong representation and work toward achieving the best possible outcome. But what exactly are crush injuries, and what types of accidents typically cause them?

Understanding Crush Injuries

A crush injury results when there is excessive force or pressure on a certain part of the body. The resulting injury and the severity depend on the exact area of the body affected. Crush injuries can look different for everyone but often cause bleeding, bruising, and open wounds. 

In some situations, crush injuries can be deceptive. You may believe your injuries are minor, especially when the arms or legs are involved, but the injury may be more serious than it feels or appears. This further emphasizes the importance of seeking timely medical care in the event of an accident. 

Potential Complications of a Crush Injury 

Crush injuries can affect your physical health not only in the short term, but sometimes also in the long term. These injuries can result in severe, lasting consequences, including:

  • Nerve Damage: A crush injury can cause nerves to become permanently damaged, resulting in unpleasant consequences, like numbness and weakness 
  • Infection: When strong force results in an open wound, bacteria can easily enter the body and cause different infections, which could lead to long-term damage
  • Tissue Damage: A crush injury can disrupt blood flow to surrounding tissue, which could lead to permanent damage to the tissue
  • Crush Syndrome: Crush syndrome can develop after a crush injury, causing major shock and renal failure
  • Compartment Syndrome: Excessive pressure built up in the muscles can decrease blood flow, which could result in the need for amputation

The health issues caused by a crush injury can affect you well into the future, impacting your ability to work, socialize, and live life as you once did pre-injury. 

The Top Causes of Crush Injuries

Crush injuries are common injuries resulting from various types of accidents. The following are some of the ways crush injuries most often occur. 

Car, Truck, and Motorcycle Accidents

Motor vehicle accidents, including those involving cars, trucks, and motorcycles, can all result in unfortunate crush injuries. This is particularly true when the impact is severe, causing extensive, life-changing consequences. 

Crush injuries in vehicular accidents usually result from the pressure of a heavy object. For example, when a motorcycle rider gets pinned under their bike in an accident, the weight of the motorcycle can easily cause a crush injury. 

Pedestrian Accidents

A pedestrian accident involves a vehicle hitting a pedestrian on the road. These types of accidents regularly result in substantial injury, as pedestrians have no protection in the event of a collision. 

Crush injuries in a pedestrian accident frequently occur due to the impact of the vehicle on the body. 

Construction Accidents

Construction sites are dangerous locations, both for construction workers on the job and pedestrians in the surrounding areas. 

Crush injuries are specifically common on construction sites, as there are plenty of heavy objects, tools, and machinery. These injuries are caused in many ways on construction sites, including getting caught between two objects, being stuck by falling objects, and limbs getting caught in machinery. 

Product Liability Accidents

Almost any product can become damaged or defective, from kitchen appliances to children’s toys. Use of a defective or malfunctioning product can be dangerous to the consumer, resulting in crush injuries to various areas of the body. 

Bring Your Crush Injury Case to a Personal Injury Attorney

When you sustain a crush injury as a result of another’s wrongful actions, you may have a valid claim for personal injury. A personal injury lawyer can protect your rights and pursue favorable compensation on your behalf. 

The legal team at Hunt Law has extensive experience representing injured clients throughout Northern New Mexico and Las Vegas, NV. Contact us to request a consultation with a compassionate and skilled personal injury attorney today.

Rose on tombstone

How Long Can a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Take?

Wrongful death lawsuits can vary in length, ranging from months to years. If you’re wondering how long a wrongful death lawsuit can take, here is an explanation of the factors that may be involved and how they can affect the process.

Timeline

The timeline for a wrongful death lawsuit can vary. That’s because wrongful death lawsuits are typically initiated by the deceased person’s family. Because of this, they play out much differently than personal injury cases. 

Another reason for the varying length is how dependent these types of lawsuits are on the circumstances surrounding the deceased’s passing. For example, if the death was caused by someone else’s recklessness or negligence, it could take some time to prove their culpability in court.

What if the individual is found responsible?

If it is found that the accused individual is responsible for the wrongful death, the court or jury will determine what damages should be awarded to the family. When calculating damages, the judge or jury will consider all of the following factors:

  • The physical condition of the victim
  • The age of the victim
  • The earning capacity of the victim
  • The estimated years remaining in the victim’s life
  • How much the victim contributed to their family

It is important to note that a variety of other factors could be weighed in addition to those listed above. However, many of these factors depend on the nature of the situation and can be difficult to predict in a clean and concise manner.

Initiating a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

A wrongful death lawsuit usually begins when the deceased’s family members or representatives contact an attorney who specializes in wrongful death lawsuits. 

Once retained, the attorney will help the family navigate the process of initiating a wrongful death lawsuit. This includes identifying the liable party, filing the lawsuit, and assessing damages.

Probate and Damages

Following the death of the victim, the victim’s estate must go through probate. If the deceased did not have a will, the process can be more complicated. This is due to the fact that the court will now have to decide how to divvy up their property and assets. 

On the other hand, if the deceased did have a will, then the assets will be allotted in accordance with their wishes. This speeds up the probate process and ensures that the property of the deceased reaches its intended recipients.

When seeking damages, your attorney will calculate the deceased’s expenses, including mental and physical anguish and medical bills, as well as the expenses and anguish the surviving family members have suffered as a result of the victim’s death. Damages for the surviving family members can include all of the following:

  • Funeral costs
  • Burial costs
  • Mental anguish
  • Lost wages 
  • Victim’s loss of earning capacity
  • Loss of support
  • Extraneous services
  • Loss of consortium
  • Pain and suffering

As you can guess, the most extensive damages are those incurred by the surviving family. This is one reason why wrongful death lawsuits can become complicated and often take longer than personal injury lawsuits.

Need representation? Contact Hunt Law

If you or a loved one has been the victim of negligence, recklessness, or any other action that resulted in the death of a loved one, you may be entitled to compensation. To get a better idea of what options are available to you, contact Hunt Law today. 

With nearly two decades of servicing the Northern New Mexico region in cases involving medical malpractice, wrongful death, catastrophic injury, and personal injury, Hunt Law has a nuanced understanding of applicable laws and will work diligently to advocate on your behalf. Don’t spend another minute wondering what to do — contact us today.

Woman having gauze wrapped around her burn injury

Determining the Severity of Burn Injuries: What Qualifies as Catastrophic?

Burns are a form of skin damage that can arise from a variety of different scenarios. They are an extremely common form of injury for adults and children. Burns range in severity and can require medical treatment.

Burns can result from any of the following situations:

  • Sunburn
  • Excessive heat
  • Chemical contact
  • Electrical contact
  • Radiation

If you or a loved one are suffering from a burn, this post will provide helpful information to determine the severity so you will know if you need medical attention.

Classification of Burns

Burns are separated into three distinct categories, which are organized by the severity of the burn. These categories are first-degree burns, second-degree burns, and third-degree burns. Each degree differs in terms of treatment.

First-Degree Burns

First-degree burns are considered superficial and generally only affect the top layer of skin. The first symptoms you will likely notice are redness and pain. In regards to recovery time, first-degree burns tend to heal within a week and usually do not leave any scars since they only affect the outer layer of the skin.

When treating a first-degree burn, soak the affected area in cool water for about five minutes. If you require pain relief, ibuprofen or acetaminophen should be enough. If you are still experiencing discomfort, you can apply a topical gel such as aloe vera or lidocaine. Once the sensation has calmed down, apply some antibiotic ointment.

When treating a first-degree burn, it is important to refrain from applying ice to the affected area, as it could increase the severity of the damage.

Second-Degree Burns

Second-degree burns breach the top layer of skin and affect the second layer of skin, known as the dermis. This can result in white marks across the skin, blisters, and intense pain. These types of burns are very volatile and require a higher standard of care than first-degree burns.

If the second-degree burn is mild, you can treat it by holding the affected area under cool running water for 15 minutes or more. Again, ibuprofen or acetaminophen can go a long way in regards to helping with the pain. Treat any blisters with antibiotic cream and seek medical attention if the burn does not seem to be getting better or appears more severe.

Third-Degree Burns

Third-degree burns are extremely serious injuries. This is when the burn affects all layers of skin, including the layer of fat underneath the dermis. This can result in intense pain, numbness, and damaged nerves. 

Symptoms of a third-degree burn include all of the following:

  • White coloring on the skin
  • Charred skin
  • A leathery texture on the skin
  • Undeveloped blisters

The wounds caused by a third-degree burn can leave the victim with severe scarring and deformities. Healing can be prolonged, uncertain, and painful. If you or a loved one have experienced a third-degree burn, seek medical attention immediately.

Complications

Those afflicted with third-degree burns can experience a variety of complications. Because burns are open wounds, they can become a breeding ground for bacteria, which puts the victim at risk of contracting sepsis. Additionally, the afflicted individual may experience severe blood loss.

In addition to the burn itself, the individual may have sustained internal injuries due to smoke or hot air inhalation. This is why it is important to consult a medical professional after any accident involving a third-degree burn.

Need compensation? Contact Hunt Law

Contact Hunt Law today if you are suffering from a burn injury and need compensation. Hunt Law has served the Northern New Mexico area with excellence for almost two decades. If your case involves medical malpractice, wrongful death, catastrophic injury, or personal injury Hunt Law wants to hear about it.

Emergency room corridor

Common Risks Associated with the Early Release of Hospital Patients

In the event of serious injury or illness, certain individuals may be required to stay at the hospital for a prolonged period to receive consistent medical attention. Unfortunately, hospitals are often overcrowded and taxed beyond their means. Because of this, hospital staff are frequently encouraged to discharge patients early.

Sadly, patients who are discharged from the hospital early can experience a variety of health problems. These can range in severity and potential complications but almost always negatively impact the patients and those around them.

If you or a loved one were discharged early and experienced unexpected complications as a result, it’s important to know what options are available. To help, this post will identify some common risks associated with the early release of hospital patients.

Does early release constitute medical malpractice?

To take legal action for damage resulting from an early discharge from the hospital, you’d need to sue for medical malpractice. Whether an early discharge constitutes medical malpractice is dependent on a few factors.

You must be able to prove two things to substantiate a medical malpractice claim.

First, you’d need to prove that the provider or providers who treated you were negligent in some way. You’d also need to demonstrate that their negligence resulted in injury to your person or property.

Does proving negligence require expert testimony?

Medical malpractice, or medical negligence, happens when a doctor, nurse, or other medical provider fails to uphold an applicable standard of care. 

Similar to the duty of care motorists have when driving, the standard of care requires all medical personnel to provide the kind of care that any other medical professional with the same amount of training and experience would provide under similar circumstances.

For these reasons, medical malpractice claims typically require expert testimony from another professional in the accused practitioner’s field.

Negligence Isn’t Enough

When it comes to medical malpractice, merely proving negligence isn’t enough. To mount a successful claim, you must prove that the negligence directly resulted in an injury.

In the case of an early release, you’d have to show how that decision caused an injury. For instance, a patient who goes to the hospital with a condition affecting their balance and equilibrium and is released prematurely could fall and injure themselves upon returning home.

When is early discharge considered medical malpractice?

As stated, any successful medical malpractice claim requires you to prove that you were injured. In the case of an early discharge, you must make a compelling argument that you were discharged too quickly. 

There are three primary ways to demonstrate that you were discharged prematurely. One is to show that you developed a condition that wouldn’t have manifested if you’d been under continued medical observation. A second option is to prove that you sustained an injury that wouldn’t have occurred had you been in the hospital.

Finally, you may be able to prove medical malpractice if you can show that the problem got worse following your discharge when it could have been treated during a prolonged stay.

Contact Hunt Law Today

If you or a loved one have sustained an injury resulting from another party’s negligence or reckless behavior, you might be eligible to seek compensation for your injuries.

Hunt Law has spent nearly two decades advocating for personal injury victims in the Northern New Mexico region. Our thorough understanding of the applicable laws has enabled us to obtain settlements for individuals in a variety of difficult situations.

Whether your claim relates to catastrophic injury, wrongful death, personal injury, or medical malpractice, chances are good that we’ve handled similar cases in the past.

At Hunt Law, we approach every case with understanding and compassion. Contact us today and let us know how we can serve you.

Cop car flashing lights at night

The Importance of a Police Report in Your Personal Injury Case

If you are injured as a result of someone’s negligence or recklessness, you will need to prove they are liable for your injuries. If you are unable to prove liability using evidence, you will not be able to recover compensation. A police report is one of the most valuable pieces of evidence you can use to prove liability. Here’s why.

How to File a Police Report

A police report is filed after a police officer responds to an incident. It is usually created on-site and can be accessed shortly after the incident. A police report contains a description of the incident as well as the officer’s perception of what occurred.

Additionally, a police report can be filed if the victim goes to the police station within 24 hours of the accident and asks to file a report. In these instances, the victim will usually be interviewed by officers at the station prior to the submission of their report.

If you need to go to the hospital after the accident, you can also request that the police meet you at the hospital to file their report.

What is included in a police report?

A police report contains all of the following information:

  • The time and location of the incident
  • All parties involved in the incident
  • The officer’s personal opinions on the liable party
  • Witness contact information
  • Statements from all relevant parties
  • Citations
  • Description of any property damage or injuries

After the officer takes your information, make sure to ask for a copy of the police report. Depending on where you live, the officer may be able to give you a copy of the report immediately. If you are unable to obtain a copy of the police report right after the accident, contact the department that responded and request a copy.

A Police Report Is Important for Personal Injury Cases

Once the at-fault party’s insurance company learns of the accident, it will request a copy of the police report. From there, it will turn the report over to its insurance adjuster, who will subsequently evaluate its contents and make a decision regarding what transpired and who is to blame.

After they have finished their initial evaluation, the insurance adjuster will conduct their own investigation. Once this is completed, the adjuster may agree with the contents of the police report or object to some of the information while agreeing with other information.

If the insurance adjuster feels you are liable for the damages and pushes back against the police report, having the police corroborate your version of the story in the report can greatly bolster your case.

Hearsay

Unfortunately, police reports are not typically counted as admissible evidence in court. That is because the court considers the information therein to be hearsay. However, police reports can come in handy during settlement negotiations. 

A qualified personal injury attorney will understand how to use the police report as leverage during negotiations to advocate for a fair settlement claim. While the report itself may not be admissible, the information in it can be used to construct an airtight case. 

Injured? Contact Hunt Law Today

If you have been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence or recklessness, Hunt Law wants to hear from you. We have nearly two decades of experience serving the Northern New Mexico area in matters related to personal injury, catastrophic injury, medical malpractice, and wrongful death.

Our years of experience helping people just like yourself have given us a valuable understanding of the law that we will gladly use to assist you with your case. Contact Hunt Law today and let us know how we can help.