A personal injury trial can require knowledge of much more than just personal injury laws. A lawyer often needs to present argument and testimony that go beyond law and into varying fields of expertise.

A medical malpractice case will require argument about medicine and anatomy. Negligent security cases may require testimony about generally accepted security procedures. Slip and falls may require argument about building codes. Any case involving a product may require knowledge of how the product is assembled. These are all areas that are often outside the technical expertise of both lawyers and juries.

Using Experts

Sometimes the law takes a while to catch up to emerging technology. This is especially true where new inventions radically change the world in which we live. One such invention, the driverless (or self-driving) car, is not ripe for public consumption yet, but it is still fun to think about what the issues may be in automobile accident injury lawsuits if and when such a car becomes mainstream.

Driverless Car in an Accident

Recently, Google’s self-driving car prototype suffered a minor incident when it hit a bus. According to Google, the incident occurred when the car attempted to evade some sandbags obstructing the road. The collision occurred at under 15 miles per hour.

We often think of sports injuries as being “part of the game.” When players are injured, it is easy to forget that sometimes there may be a responsible party, and the injury may not be an accepted risk of playing the sport.

Student Athlete Injuries

One subject that has gotten much attention nationally is the proliferation of concussion injuries suffered by professionals. Even the NFL has instituted a number of guidelines designed to recognize and treat concussions. School and recreational leagues are only now starting to realize the concussion problem and consider ways to protect student and child athletes.

Most of us know that when products are defective and injure people, a consumer has the right to sue the manufacturer and the seller for damages. We usually think of defective products as ordinarily safe items that are made poorly, or “one-offs,” which come off the assembly line different than other similar products.

But often, products that we use every day, and which perform as expected, can injure people and be the subject of a product liability suit. Often, defective items are ones that you may use every day.

The Dangers of the Key Fob

When someone is injured in an accident, particularly a catastrophic accident, we often focus on the person who was injured and label him or her the victim—as we should. But it is easy to forget that in these kinds of cases, there are other victims as well, and the suffering can often extend beyond just the person who is injured.

Law Allows for Consortium Claims

We tend to overlook the loss suffered by family members of a victim who is injured. They are often burdened not just with coping with a loved one’s injuries and needs, but the loss of the way things used to be.

A recent United States Supreme Court case has upheld an arbitration clause in a class action dispute against DirectTV. While the case may seem more applicable to contractual or consumer claims, as the law crawls towards upholding these kinds of clauses, personal injury victims may also find their rights adversely affected.

What is Arbitration?

Arbitration is a process by which a plaintiff’s case is heard before an arbitrator instead of in open court. The arbitrator is often not a judge, but rather a practicing attorney or retired judge. The process can be faster and much less formal than a full trial in a court. The arbitrator makes the decisions in the case, instead of a jury. Thus, a victim’s claims are no longer decided by his or her peers as they would be with a jury. In many cases, arbitrators derive significant business from insurance companies and big businesses, including the ones whose cases they hear, creating an inherent conflict of interest.

For many of us, taking pills and medicines is a routine of everyday life. Whether to cure disease, avoid disease, or improve our lifestyle, we depend on the safety of medicines every day. While there is never a guarantee of effectiveness, we do expect medicines to work the way they are supposed to and do what they say they will.

When they do not, we are probably all aware that a lawsuit can be filed from the barrage of attorney class action ads that run on television, informing consumers of the negative effects of medicines that have harmed people.

One kind of pharmaceutical that we often do not consider in this category is birth control. Surely, if birth control medicine harms us, there can be a lawsuit. But what happens when birth control simply does not work or perform as advertised? A recent lawsuit is exploring this interesting legal issue.

People who are injured in catastrophic accidents often have injuries that can be seen. Broken bones, herniated disks, lacerations, scars, and loss of the use of limbs can have immediate impact on a jury when a case goes to trial. Often the most catastrophic type of injury is the kind that can not be immediately seen—injuries to the brain, which can be subtle and often require in-depth storytelling to allow a jury to understand the severity of these types of injuries.

Brain Injury Can Be Difficult To Demonstrate

Part of the problem with traumatic brain injury (TBI), is that unlike physical injuries, for a jury to understand its severity, the jury must have an accurate before and after picture of a victim. A jury can assume someone who is paralyzed could walk before the accident, but it may be harder to understand that someone who is now ornery and mean because of a TBI used to be kind and understanding. Stereotypes such as “he is sleeping a lot because he is lazy, not because he is injured,” often need to be overcome.

Sometimes accidents happen and they are nobody’s fault. Not every accident ending in injury constitutes negligence. A typical example is someone driving into a tree. At first glance, it does not seem like anybody is responsible for injuries sustained in that kind of accident.

Often, accidents need to be looked at more closely. When they are, it is often revealed that there is more to the accident than meets the eye.

The Death of Paul Walker

In catastrophic injury cases, especially those involving larger companies, there is often more than one defendant that needs to be considered liable for a victim’s injuries. It is common for a good personal injury attorney to use multiple causes of action to make sure that all responsible parties are held accountable for negligence.

Truck Accident Involves Driver With a History

A good example of suing all responsible parties is a recent suit that was filed involving an accident that occurred in Howard County. The accident, involving a commercial truck, caused horrific injuries. A father suffered permanent brain injury and his 7-year old son lost his leg and also sustained permanent brain injury. They were injured when their car, stopped at a traffic signal, was rear ended by the defendant, driving a Ford F-350.