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NH injury lawyers

Civil Litigation Could Help End Human Trafficking

Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery. Traffickers use force, fraud, or coercion to control victims for the purpose of commercial exploitation. This can encompass sexual exploitation, indentured servitude, forced labor, forced marriage, or even organ harvesting. Human trafficking is a silent and insidious industry that affects an estimated 45 million people worldwide, including an estimated 57,700 right here in the United States.

Human Trafficking Types
2012 global estimate of forced labor, International Labour Organization

MYTHSex trafficking is the only form of human trafficking. FACTLabor trafficking – a form of modern-day slavery – is much more common but rarely prosecuted. According to the International Labour Organization, 68 percent of human trafficking worldwide (and a majority in the U.S.) involves forced labor, 10 percent state-imposed labor and 22 percent forced prostitution.

MYTH: Human trafficking occurs only on the black market. FACT: Human trafficking touches many legitimate industries, including agriculture, mining, hospitality, restaurant and food services, domestic and home services, health care, the garment industry and more. In fact, most consumers here in America and throughout the world have likely benefited at some point from low-cost products or services made possible by men, women, and children who are forced into slave labor.

“On the Cusp of a New Movement”

Very few perpetrators are ever brought to justice through criminal proceedings. In the United States, for example, only 208 federal indictments were handed down for human trafficking in 2014, and only 18 of those were for alleged forced labor. Many reasons are cited for this failure, from corruption to insufficient resources for law enforcement to lack of political will. But as pointed out in a recent report by The Human Trafficking Pro Bono Legal Center, “a number of landmark cases heard by civil courts, as well as by regional and international human rights bodies, have resulted in significant verdicts.”

human trafficking
Men hired after hurricanes Katrina and Rita were held in forced labor by a U.S. company.

In one recent case, a U.S. maritime services corporation paid corrupt brokers for hundreds of skilled workers from India to help repair damage from Hurricane Katrina. After several workers sued, a jury found the company held the men in forced labor, awarding the workers $20 million. Meanwhile, food giants Nestlé, Cargill and Archer Daniels Midland are facing lawsuits in the U.S. for the alleged use of child slaves in cocoa farming in the Ivory Coast.

How Civil Litigation Could Help End Modern-Day Slavery

Civil litigation hits companies where it hurts, both in the bottom line and in the court of public opinion. Government leaders and rights advocates are beginning to push for more scrutiny of global supply chains, as exemplified by the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act, which was written “to ensure that large retailers and manufacturers provide consumers with information regarding their efforts to eradicate slavery and human trafficking from their supply chains…”

According to the Human Trafficking Pro Bono Legal Center, “Slowly, victims held in modern-day slavery are learning that they can bring their own suits for damages against the perpetrators. We are on the cusp of a new movement: accountability litigation to end modern-day slavery.”

How You Can Identify and Support Victims of Human Trafficking

Most victims of human trafficking are fearful of physical or legal retaliation for attempts to escape their situation. They are also manipulated and exploited into complacency. There are, however, many federal, state and local protections in place to help these people come forward. This is true even if they are in this country illegally or are involved in forced illegal activity. Be alert to these signs of human trafficking:

  • High-security measures in living areas
  • Large debts that can’t be paid off
  • Excessively long or unusual hours
  • Is not paid, paid very little or paid only through tips
  • Fearful, anxious, or submissive, especially if law enforcement is mentioned
  • Avoids eye contact
  • Poor physical health, including signs of abuse or malnourishment
  • Has no possessions, is not in control of money or identification
  • No knowledge of whereabouts or inability to provide a home address

For more details, click here.

If you suspect trafficking or are a victim or survivor yourself, contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline. Call toll-free from anywhere in the country 24-7, text, or chat online with a volunteer. You can also send an email or submit anonymous tips. Assistance is available in more than 200 languages.

Experienced.  Knowledgeable.  Personally Committed to Justice.

NH injury lawyers

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Injured Workers: Don’t Overlook Third-Party Actions

Workers’ compensation insurance is required of employers to protect an injured employee while shielding employers from a lawsuit. In return, injured workers can file a claim to help with medical costs, disability benefits, lost wages, and death benefits.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 2.9 million workers were injured in the workplace in 2016, and 5,190 died from those injuries [download full report]. More than 30 percent of workers required time off because of an injury, and workplace injuries cost employees, employers, and insurance companies more than $250 billion a year.

Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Discuss Third-Party Liability Claims

workers' compensation
If a workplace injury is caused by defective equipment, manufacturers can be liable.

Many people think that workers’ compensation is their only source of benefits if they have an on-the-job injury. While workers’ compensation is provided without regard to fault on the employee or employer’s part, there are situations where a negligent third party might be held responsible. Called third-party claims, this legal action allows injured employees to seek additional compensation from the negligent party. There is a movement underway to cut workers’ compensation benefits in many states. As a result, a third-party claim may be critical to achieving full financial recovery from a devastating work injury.

Here’s an example: Let’s say a gravel truck driver working for one company backs over and severely injures a construction site worker employed by a second company. The accident investigation shows the trucking company disabled the backup warning horn on the truck. While the workers’ compensation insurance for the construction worker’s company would still cover medical bills and lost time at work, the construction worker might have an additional claim against the trucking company for disabling the horn.

Other types of third-party claims include:

  • Equipment or manufacturer defects: When equipment malfunctions and causes an injury, the manufacturer may be held accountable.
  • Improper safety practices: An employee may work for one employer on a job involving other companies (as described above). If the second company should have and did not follow proper safety guidelines, it may be held liable.
  • Premises liability: An injury sustained by a worker on someone else’s property as a result of a known danger. This may result in a third-party liability claim.

Bottom line, workers’ compensation is limited. It does not cover non-economic or punitive damages. Big bills can stack up quickly. If recklessness or negligence caused the injury, third-party claims might be one more path to justice.

Because these are often complicated legal issues, your best bet if injured at work – no matter how straightforward it looks – is to contact a personal injury lawyer at Manning & Zimmerman Law.

workers' compensation

Contact Experienced NH Workers’ Compensation Attorneys for a Free Consultation

Have you or a loved one been injured at work? If so, it is essential that you have competent legal representation from the onset of your case through litigation. Big insurance companies have lawyers looking out for their interests and you should too!

For a free consultation, contact the NH injury attorneys at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman PLLC. We may be reached at (603) 239-2315 or by email at info@MZLawNH.com. We may also be contacted by using the “contact us” or chat feature on our website.

Experienced.  Knowledgeable.  Personally Committed to Justice.

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The NH injury attorneys at Manning & Zimmerman Law invite you to subscribe to our newsletter. You can also follow us on Twitter.

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Truck Crashes Involving Multiple Parties

truck crashesOver the past five years, the number of truck crashes has increased by 20% in the United States. Any crash that involves a commercial truck requires a special investigation to determine the cause. Many of these crashes can create severe injuries to the parties involved in the crash. Damages can include lifelong disability, exorbitant medical bills and, sometimes, paralysis or death. Importantly, unlike car crashes, truck crashes often have multiple parties that may be liable for the damages.

The Law and Truck Crashes

There are a host of laws and regulations that affect how truck crashes are to be handled by the parties involved. Truck crashes involve more than just state laws. These collisions are regulated by federal laws and regulations as well. The liable parties could include the trucking company, the owner of the truck, the manufacturer of the vehicle, or other parties associated with the truck driver. Under the current federal laws, a trucking company may be responsible for damages caused by their truck drivers. Additionally, these parties have insurance companies who assess damages and provide financial liability support.

The Investigation Process

The investigation starts shortly after the crash. One of the major factors that should be included in the investigation is the number of hours the driver was on the road. Fatigue and exhaustion often contribute to truck crashes, and unfortunately, truck drivers often violate hours of service regulations in order to meet deadlines. In some cases, an expert will have to be hired to examine the truck and/or the black box data.

Trucking companies and their insurance companies will make sure they investigate the causes of the crash. Avoiding liability and paying out compensation will be the basis for their decisions. However, reviewing the trucking company’s past or present compliance failures can provide additional support for your case.

Within a short time period, what may seem like a clear-cut matter to you can become quite complex. With the complexity of the liability in these accidents, it is important for an individual injured in such a crash to consult with an experienced New Hampshire injury attorney. The experienced attorneys at Manning & Zimmerman Law will understand the common reasons for truck crashes. We can help to determine whether there are multiple parties who can be held liable for your injuries.

Contact Experienced NH Personal Injury Attorneys for a Free Consultation

Have you or a loved one been injured due to another person’s careless acts? If so, it is essential that you have competent legal representation from the onset of your case through litigation. Big insurance companies have lawyers looking out for their interests and you should too!

For a free consultation, contact the NH personal injury attorneys at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman PLLC. We may be reached at (603) 671-3156 or by email at info@MZLawNH.com. We may also be contacted by using the “contact us” or chat feature on our website.

Experienced.  Knowledgeable.  Personally Committed to Justice.

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The NH injury lawyers at Manning & Zimmerman Law invite you to subscribe to our newsletter. You can also follow us on Twitter.

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Who’s at Fault When Robot Cars Crash and Injure People?

New Hampshire car crash lawyers
Engineers rank vehicle automation from zero to five. Click chart to expand.

Where We Are Today

Most cars now already feature some form of self-driving technology. This includes cruise control and electronic stability control. It also includes recent innovations like automatic braking, lane departure alerts, and self-parking. The latest technologies, like Autopilot from Tesla and Drive Pilot from Mercedes-Benz, automatically steer, adjust speed, and brake. Instead of relying on eyes, ears and a brain for control, autonomous vehicles depend on data. This includes data from cameras, radar and high-tech sensors that detect light – all fed into an onboard computer.

Since we share the road with both old and new vehicles, all with a mix of technologies, the Society of Automotive Engineers created a six-level ranking system. Level Zero, One and Two vehicles still require human drivers to monitor the driving environment. Level Three, Four and Five vehicles put the computer in charge of monitoring the driving environment. Only Level Three vehicles, like the Tesla, are commercially available today. But traditional manufacturers, along with new players like Google and Uber, are testing fully autonomous Level Five vehicles. They predict these cars will be available to the public in the early 2020s.

What Autonomous Vehicles Mean to You

New Hampshire car crash lawyers

The most encouraging prediction from the transition to driverless cars is a dramatic reduction in crashes. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 37,000 people died in auto accidents in 2016 and millions more were injured. NHTSA estimates that 94 percent of crashes are caused by human error.  Self-driving cars are never tired, distracted, or impaired. They could dramatically reduce accidents, saving 30,000 lives or more each year.

The reality, however, is that Americans will still suffer injuries and deaths from auto crashes as self-driving technology is perfected. No technology is foolproof, especially when it involves the highly complex sensors and artificial intelligence central to self-driving cars. We’ve also learned the hard way that automakers deny responsibility or cover up manufacturing defects to protect profits. And even if Level Five automation is available to the public in 2020, it will be another 15 to 20 years before all vehicles on the road have the latest self-driving technologies.

Operators Still Blamed for Crashes

According to the car crash lawyers at Manning & Zimmerman Law, in a collision involving autonomous vehicles, the question of liability is murky at best. Is the operator at fault, the manufacturer, the software designer? Unfortunately, the trend has been to blame the operator. Manufacturers suggest that humans should be ready to take over when self-driving systems hand over the controls. Research shows, however, that humans are not well adapted to re-engage with complex tasks. These tasks include driving in an emergency situation, once attention has been allowed to wander.

As more and more vehicles become completely driverless, it makes less and less sense to hold their human operators liable. Instead, the car crash lawyers at Manning & Zimmerman Law see strict liability as the best solution, where manufacturers take full responsibility for crashes when the robot system is driving. This same principle already applies to common carriers like bus companies, airlines, or train operators, where passengers are completely dependent on the carrier for their safety. Auto insurance as we know it today would be eliminated under this scenario. Who needs an insurance policy if they’re not driving?

In the Meantime …

Self-driving technologies and eventually fully autonomous cars will likely be a reality sooner than later. Consider these tips along the way:

      • Do your research: Cars that already have backup cameras or automatic braking are already on the road today. Before you purchase a new car, review safety ratings for both the mechanical and the computer-driven technologies already on board.
      • Stay vigilant: Just like driving a car with no automated features, keep your attention on the road. It’s tempting to believe that once self-driving cars are introduced, you can relax your focus. Don’t exclusively rely on automated features to keep you safe.
      • Support accountability: There are laws currently being written about liability and safety when it comes to driverless cars. Support the laws and lawmakers that insist on strict liability for autonomous vehicle manufacturers.

Contact Experienced New Hampshire
Car Crash Lawyers for a Free Consultation

Have you or a loved one been injured by another person’s careless acts? If so, it is essential that you have competent legal representation from the onset of your case through litigation. Big insurance companies have lawyers looking out for their interests and you should too!

For a free consultation, contact the Manchester car crash lawyers at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman PLLC. We may be reached at (603) 239-2315 or by email at info@MZLawNH.com. We may also be contacted by using the “contact us” or chat feature on our website.

Experienced.  Knowledgeable.  Personally Committed to Justice.

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We invite you to subscribe to our newsletter. You can also follow us on Twitter.

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New Hampshire Injury Lawyers: Protecting Civil Justice

Profit Motive Fuels Attack on Civil Justice Protections in 2017

Advocates for individual rights, including the New Hampshire injury lawyers at Manning & Zimmerman Law,  might someday call 2017 The Year of Reversal for an unprecedented number of attacks on America’s civil justice system. Pick your poison, for examples:

      • The rollback of restrictions on forced arbitration
      • Passage of legislation that will weaken protections against medical malpractice and nursing home abuse
      • A slew of proposed “tort reform” measures

      At the root of these initiatives is corporate profits rather than the safety and legal rights of all Americans. Here’s a closer look:

      Forced Arbitration Is Forced Injustice

      New Hampshire personal injury lawyers

      Forced arbitration clauses, now used in a wide range of product, service, and employment contracts, prevent a wronged party from bringing a case to court. Instead, the dispute must be settled in secret arbitrations, usually by an arbitrator chosen by the defendant. These clauses often ban class-action lawsuits as well. Such lawsuits are used by thousands of consumers to hold major companies accountable for illegal or deceitful behavior. Think Wells Fargo charging millions of customers for accounts they didn’t open, for example. Or the recent Equifax data breach that exposed 143 million people to identity theft and fraud.

      Following a comprehensive, multiyear study, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a rule banning financial institutions like credit card companies and banks from adding forced arbitration clauses to customer contracts. However, in October the Senate voted to overturn this rule, giving big financial corporations the upper hand when customers are ripped off.

      Forced arbitration clauses buried in employment contracts also keep employees from suing, in some instances, for discrimination, sexual assault and harassment, and workplace safety concerns. An executive order called the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces rule prohibited these clauses in federal contracts. But in March this rule was eliminated, compromising workplace protections and denying 28 million American workers their day in court if wronged on the job.

      Medical Malpractice Caps Penalize Injured Patients and Families

      NH nursing home lawyers

      An estimated 200,000 to 400,000 people die each year from preventable medical errors. Patients are injured or killed by mistakes at hospitals, clinics, pharmacies, and nursing homes, or by faulty medical devices. Many victims of medical malpractice have little choice but to retain the New Hampshire injury lawyers at Manning & Zimmerman Law to take those responsible to court to receive some semblance of justice. But a bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives was passed earlier this year that will cap medical malpractice damages at $250,000. That’s a slap in the face for those who have suffered extreme trauma or loss. It makes it clear that some members of Congress will only protect insurance companies and negligent healthcare providers. They should instead protect injured people.

      “Tort Reform” Will Delay and Deny Justice

      NH lawyers

      Several other attacks on civil justice were launched this past year under the guise of “tort reform.” This is a phrase used by corporations and their allies to justify measures that would curtail access to the courts. It is also intended to reduce compensation to injury victims. One such bill, H.R. 725, would allow corporate defendants to move cases from qualified state courts into overburdened federal courts, resulting in delays and increased costs to plaintiffs and taxpayers. Another bill, H.R. 985, will “shield powerful corporations from being held accountable from scamming, injuring and discriminating against Americans” by limiting the ability of consumers and workers to join together in class action suits. One part of this bill even forces asbestos victims to add their private information to publicly accessible databases. This furthers their victimization and makes them vulnerable to identity theft and online trolls.

      According to the New Hampshire injury lawyers at Manning & Zimmerman Law, both of these anti-safety, anti-consumer bills passed the House and are now before the Senate.

      Contact Experienced New Hampshire Injury Lawyers for a Free Consultation

      Have you or a loved one been injured by another person’s careless acts? If so, it is essential that you have competent legal representation from the onset of your case through litigation. Big insurance companies have lawyers looking out for their interests and you should too!

      For a free consultation, contact the Manchester injury attorneys at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman PLLC. We may be reached at (603) 239-2315, by email at info@MZLawNH.com, or by using the “contact us” or chat feature on our website.

      Experienced.  Knowledgeable.  Personally Committed to Justice.

      nh car accident lawyers

      We invite you to subscribe to our newsletter. You can also follow us on Twitter.

NH dog bite lawyer

Dog Bites Can Be Prevented With Better Education

Manchester dog bite lawyersDogs, we love them! They are many times our closest companions and considered one of the family. Many of us at Manning & Zimmerman Law are dog owners – and dog lovers! But any dog can be territorial and unpredictable when it feels threatened or when defending puppies, owners or food. “Our dog has never bitten anyone before” is a common refrain heard by those responding to dog bite situations.

The numbers tell the story. More than 4.5 million people are bitten each year in the United States. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), one in five require medical attention. Half of the victims are children and are far more likely to be injured. The Insurance Information Institute also reports that the number of dog bite claims is on the rise, accounting for more than one-third of all homeowners insurance claims paid in 2013, or $483.7 million nationwide.

How to Avoid a
Dog Bite

First of all, assume any dog can bite, not just breeds often thought to be more aggressive. Always be cautious around strange dogs, respecting their space especially when sleeping, eating or chewing on a toy.  Other important tips:

    • Never leave a baby or small child alone with a dog. Teach them to be cautious around pets and ask first before approaching a dog.
    • Pay attention to a dog’s body language, looking for cues that it might be uncomfortable like a tensed body, stiff tail, pulled-back head or ears, yawning and intense staring.
    • If it looks like a dog might attack, resist the impulse to scream or run away. Stay motionless with your hands at your side. Once the dog loses interest, slowly back away.
    • If the dog does attack, “feed” it your jacket, hat, purse or anything else you can put between you and the dog. If you fall, curl into a ball and lay as still as possible with your hands over your head and neck.
    • After a dog bite, immediately wash the wound with soap and warm water. Seek medical attention as soon as possible and then report the bite to your local animal control agency.

For more information, download this brochure from the AVMA.

Be a Responsible Dog Owner

According to the Manchester dog bite lawyers at Manning & Zimmerman Law, there is a lot you can do as an owner to ensure that your dog doesn’t bite anyone. Not only is it the right thing to do, but it is also your obligation under state and local law. Start by consulting a veterinarian on suitable dogs for your household. Then consider these tips:

    • Because so many dog bites happen to young children, you might want to wait until your children are 4 years old or older before bringing home a dog.
    • Socialize your pet as a puppy so it feels at ease around people and other animals.
    • Train your dog on basic commands like “sit,” “stay,” “no” and “come” to build a bond of obedience and trust. It is also important to exercise and spend time with your dog as dogs left alone too much can develop behavioral problems.
    • Keep your dog healthy and feeling well with all required vaccinations. Neutering your pet can also lessen aggression.
    • Follow the rules by licensing your dog and obeying leash laws.

Contact Experienced Manchester Dog Bite Lawyers for a Free Consultation

If you or a loved one have suffered a dog bite, contact the Manchester dog bite lawyers at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman PLLC. We may be reached at (603) 210-4464, by email at info@MZLawNH.com, or by using the “contact us” or chat feature on our website.

If you or a loved one have been injured by another person’s careless acts, it is essential that you have competent legal representation from the onset of your case through litigation. Big insurance companies have lawyers looking out for their interests and you should too!

The Manchester dog bite lawyers at Manning & Zimmerman Law invite you to subscribe to our newsletter. We are also on Facebook and you can follow us on Twitter.

Experienced.  Knowledgeable.  Personally Committed to Justice.

nh workers' compensation attorneys

Opiate Addiction Treatment for Injured Workers

Suffering Injuries on the Job

NH workers' compensation attorneysThe NH workers’ compensation attorneys at Manning & Zimmerman Law have represented hundreds of New Hampshire men and women who have been hurt at their place of work. Often these are highly skilled workers with years of experience. Their hard work has allowed them to earn a good living with the hope of someday enjoying a well-deserved retirement.

Suffering an injury at work, especially an injury requiring surgery and a long recovery period, can be financially devastating. When workers are injured during the course of their employment, they are entitled to compensation. The workers’ compensation system has been the law in New Hampshire for more than 100 years.

One of the essential benefits provided to injured workers is the entitlement to have reasonable, necessary, and related medical treatment paid for by the employer’s insurance carrier. During treatment and rehabilitation, workers experiencing significant pain may be prescribed painkillers, and often this means opiate-based medications.

Use of Opiates to Treat Pain

Even if a worker is taking this type of medication for the first time, the worker may develop an addiction to these very powerful drugs. The science of addiction is such that opiates can change a person’s brain chemistry, leading them to crave these medications. Tragically, some workers who have been injured and are treated with opiate painkillers develop an addiction and begin a downward spiral.

In recent years, New Hampshire has seen the deaths of hundreds of our citizens resulting from opiate overdoses. This has been the subject of national attention, and far too many individuals and families have experienced the tragedy of losing a loved one to the disease of addiction. To hold the manufacturers of these highly addictive drugs responsible, the New Hampshire Attorney General filed a lawsuit against an opiate manufacturer in August 2017. The charges include that the manufacturer “engaged in a long-running campaign of deception to create and sustain a market for its opioids.”

Resources Available for the Treatment of Addiction

The New Hampshire judicial branch has developed a Drug Court that links offenders to treatment facilities. Cities and towns are creating “safe houses” at fire stations, including in Manchester and Nashua. And organizations such as Hope for New Hampshire Recovery and many others are working tirelessly to help victims of addiction.

Fortunately, for injured workers who have developed an addiction to opiates prescribed to treat an injury, there is hope. Their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier can be held responsible for the cost of addiction rehabilitation in many circumstances. Injured workers who develop an opioid addiction should speak with an experienced attorney about their options for treatment and care. The earlier an attorney becomes involved, the more likely they will be able to assist with getting the care needed.

Contact Experienced NH Workers’ Compensation Attorneys

Workers are often worried about how they are going to pay for an attorney. Attorneys in the workers’ compensation system in New Hampshire are generally paid on a contingency fee basis (a percentage of any future recovery). They may alternatively be paid by the insurance company after a successful hearing. Thus, in most cases, workers do not need to pay any fees up-front.

At Manning & Zimmerman Law, we are proud to fight for the rights of workers who have suffered workplace injuries. It is essential that you have experienced legal representation from the onset of your case through litigation. Big insurance companies have lawyers looking out for their interests and you should too! For a free consultation with our NH workers’ compensation attorneys, call (603) 624-7200, send us an email to info@MZLawNH.com, or use the “contact us” or chat feature on our website.

Experienced.  Knowledgeable.  Personally Committed to Justice.

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Manchester Injury Attorneys

Manchester Injury Attorneys: Medication Errors

As Americans Take More Drugs, Medication Errors are on the Rise

According to the Manchester injury attorneys at Manning & Zimmerman Law, a medication error occurs when a mistake is made in either prescribing, dispensing, or taking medicine. The Institute of Medicine estimates that about 1.5 million people are injured by medication errors annually in hospitals, nursing homes, or outpatient settings. Meanwhile, a recent study published by the journal Clinical Toxicology estimates that the number of medication errors occurring at home doubled from 2000 to 2012. Many of these injuries are serious, hospitalizing 200,000 patients or more every year and accounting for 7,000 deaths.

Learn How Drug Errors Occur

Manchester Injury Attorneys
Maintain an updated medication list and share it with all your care providers. Download one by clicking on this image.

Knowing how and where medication errors occur can help you prevent them

Wrong Dose: According to the Manchester injury attorneys at Manning & Zimmerman Law, incorrect dosage is the most prevalent medication error. This can occur when a mistake is made by either the patient or healthcare provider. Transposing a dosage by just one decimal point when writing or filling a prescription can have serious consequences. Adults who take multiple prescriptions can easily double a dosage when two pills look similar. Dosage errors are also common with small children, as their dosages are limited by weight.

Wrong Medication: Like dosage errors, taking or prescribing the wrong drug can result in a medication mishap. One patient might receive a different patient’s medication at a hospital or nursing home because of sloppy record keeping, for example.

Wrong Administration: Even if you are taking the right medicine in the right dose, it must be taken as directed. Many patients skip scheduled dosages or stop taking a medication altogether. Other medicines shouldn’t be taken on an empty stomach, with other over-the-counter drugs or while drinking alcohol.

Where and When: Patients are at greatest risk to medicine mistakes during the transition from one health care setting to another, whether from one part of a hospital to another, from hospital to nursing home, from hospital to home or even from one pharmacy to another pharmacy. Miscommunication during a hospital or nursing home shift change can also trigger a medication error.

First Line of Defense: Communication

Manchester Injury Attorneys
Use pill boxes to organize multiple medications by day of the week and time of the day

Use pill boxes to organize multiple medications by day of the week and time of the day.

Many medication errors can be tracked to a breakdown in communication between patient and healthcare provider. Thus, patients should partner with their health care providers and be proactive in understanding and monitoring their medications. Conversely, health care providers should take steps to better educate, consult with and listen to their patients. Here are a few more practical tips on how patients can avoid medication errors:

Understand and Double-Check

Make sure you know the name and dosage of the medication your doctor has prescribed. Understand when and how the medication should be taken, and what side effects might occur. In addition to talking to your doctor or pharmacist, check out your prescription on the FDA’s Drugs.com. When you pick up the prescription from a pharmacist, check that it’s the exact medication your doctor ordered (different drugs often have names that look or sound similar). And contact your doctor or pharmacist immediately if you are experiencing any unexpected changes in how you feel after starting a new medication.

Take as Prescribed
Your medication could be in a pill form, or maybe it needs to be injected. Eyedrops and eardrops can easily be confused. Always take your medication in the prescribed method. DO NOT chew pills if they are not meant to be chewed, cut pills if they are not meant to be cut or take any dosage other than the one specifically prescribed to you.

Create a Medication List
It may sound simple, but an accurate, updated medication list can prevent a lot of drug errors. Sit down with every one of your prescriptions and record the name, reason taken, dose, time of day, form (liquid, capsule, tablet, etc.) and any special instructions. Add the same information for over-the-counter medications, and then update the list any time there is a change. Honesty is critical, so don’t leave anything out.

Now take your list with you and share it EVERY time you meet with a health care professional, even if you have done so already in the past. There are lots of electronic medication lists available online or on your smartphone. Download one here from the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists.

List Drug Allergies
Disclose any allergic or adverse reaction you’ve experienced when taking a medication, no matter how long ago it occurred. Add these reactions to your medication list and consider a medical ID bracelet, smartphone alert, or other type of notification in case of an emergency.

Organize Your Medications
Store prescriptions in their original labeled containers. The more medications you take, the higher the risk for confusion or error, so use a pillbox if you take more than one medication a day. Thirty-six percent of seniors use five or more prescriptions.

Contact Experienced
Manchester Injury Attorneys

If you have been injured by another person’s careless acts, contact the Manchester injury attorneys at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman PLLC at (603) 239-2489 for a free consultation. It is essential that you have competent legal representation from the onset of your case through litigation.  Big insurance companies have lawyers looking out for their interests and you should too!

To subscribe to our Manchester injury attorneys newsletter, click here. We are also on Facebook and you can follow us on Twitter.

Experienced.  Knowledgeable.  Personally Committed to Justice.

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personal injury attorney

What to Expect at Your First Meeting With a Personal Injury Attorney

1. Bring all relevant documents

These may include accident or incident reports, medical bills, medical records, witness statements and/or lists of potential witnesses. Also included are any papers or journals you have kept to describe your injuries, recovery, and limitations, etc.

2. Write things down before the meeting

It is important to have all information available that may help your attorney get you a fast and positive result. Remember, it’s a team effort. Make lists of potential witnesses, insurance companies covering your property damage and injuries, and healthcare providers, with contact information. Keep a journal listing your injuries, your limitations, your doctor visits, and how your injuries are progressing over time. A meeting (and a legal case) will always progress more smoothly if you come prepared.

3. Be prepared to fill out some paperwork

When a personal injury lawyer decides to take your case (and sometimes before taking the case), one of the first and most important things that will happen is the collection of medical records related to your injury. You will be asked to sign releases to allow the medical providers to send your records to your attorney for review and use in your case. If the attorney takes your case, he or she will mail these releases to everyone who has treated you, with
requests for your records.

Another thing that might happen is that the attorney will ask you to sign a contract for his or her services. In a personal injury case, this will usually mean that you agree that your attorney will receive a percentage of your compensation in the case of a courtroom victory or settlement. This is known as a contingency fee arrangement which is agreed upon instead of paying for legal services on an hourly basis.

The Importance of Being Thorough and Truthful with Your Attorney

4. Answer all your lawyer’s questions thoroughly

Your lawyer will need to gather as much information as possible to assess whether your case is worth pursuing and what the likely outcome of your case will be. Questions can include, among other things:

• The details of the accident;
• The details of your treatment;
• Which daily tasks you can and cannot do since becoming injured;
• How long will your recovery take;
• If a full recovery is possible;
• How the injury has impacted your personal and professional life;
• Your pain level; and
• Your medical bills and costs to date.

This is where journaling about your injuries and writing down the information about your accident and the health care providers can really come in handy! Lists of other people the attorney can talk to, like witnesses, insurance companies, and healthcare providers, are also useful at this stage. The more information you can provide, the
easier it will be for the attorney to decide how to move forward with your case.

5. The importance of being truthful with your attorney

In addition to providing all the necessary information, it is also important to be truthful with your personal injury attorney. Do not withhold details that you are concerned to talk about because they are too personal or even embarrassing. Your attorney has a duty of confidentiality. Your case will go more smoothly if your attorney has all the information about your case.

Be Sure to Listen to Your Personal Injury Attorney

6. Listen to your attorney: He or she will give you a preliminary opinion and explain what happens next

If you have been able to provide your attorney with a pretty thorough breakdown of your injuries, expenses, and limitations, the attorney will most likely be able to provide a preliminary opinion on your case at the initial consultation (though he or she may need to gather more information first).

You might find out if the attorney thinks you can win this case in court, whether it is best to settle your case outside of court, and what some of the parameters are for figuring out the compensation you should seek. Considered here are your medical and loss-of-work expenses, your long-term limitations, and the level of fault of the other party. Your attorney may decide to take your case or, in some cases, refer your case to another attorney who may be able to better assist you due to your particular circumstances.

The personal injury attorney representing you may also tell you that you should wait to begin your case until you have reached your maximum level of recovery from the injury.

Contact an Experienced New Hampshire Personal Injury Attorney

If you have been injured by another person’s careless acts, contact a personal injury attorney at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman PLLC at (603) 239-2489 for a free consultation. It is essential that you have competent legal representation from the onset of your case through litigation.  Big insurance companies have lawyers looking out for their interests and you should too!

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Experienced.  Knowledgeable.  Personally Committed to Justice.

© James Publishing

Laura, a New Hampshire Personal Injury Client

“Anna and her staff were very helpful and still are available for any questions we have had about our case and really anything. I felt she truly puts her heart into her work. You can tell she became a lawyer to help people. Hopefully, I won’t need a lawyer again but if I did she would be the one I would call.”

New Hampshire personal injury attorney

Contact New Hampshire Personal Injury Attorneys for a Free Consultation

If you or a loved one have been injured through no fault of your own, it is essential that you have competent legal representation from the onset of your case through litigation. Big insurance companies have lawyers looking out for their interests and you should too! New Hampshire personal injury attorney Anna Goulet Zimmerman has more than 20 years experience representing injury victims and would be glad to speak with you about your case.

For a free consultation, contact the experienced New Hampshire personal injury attorneys at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman at (603) 239-2489, complete a request for a consultation on our website, or send us an email.

To subscribe to our newsletter, click here. We are also on Facebook and you can follow us on Twitter.

Experienced  *  Knowledgeable  *  Personally Committed to Justice