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August 18, 2014

Transportation Company Found Liable for Driver's Negligent Acts

When an employee acts negligently and causes injury to another person, sometimes the employer of that employee can be held liable in a Kentucky personal injury action. That is exactly what happened in a recent case in front of the Supreme Court of Kentucky.

handicapped-410035-m.jpgMV Transport v. Allgeier: The Facts

Back in 2006, Allgeier was a passenger on a para-transit bus that was fitted with a lift to help passengers with boarding and exiting the bus. The ramp, under normal conditions, operates to lift people in wheelchairs from the ground onto the passenger level of the bus, and vice-versa.

On one occasion, however, the lift malfunctioned and there was a gap between the bus and the metal plate of the lift. The bus driver failed to see the gap and allowed Allgeier to attempt to disembark the bus, although it was unsafe to do so. As she tried to disembark, Allgeier's wheelchair got caught in the gap, and she eventually fell onto the ground below, shattering both femurs.

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April 3, 2009

After Injury Individuals Find That Independent Medical Exams Are Not Really Independent

Whether you have been injured in a car accident or at work, if you have made a claim for benefits (whether or not your claim has resulted in suit being filed) you might be subject to an Independent Medical Exam (IME).  An IME is designed by insurance companies and employers to reexamine an injured person to see if the doctor performing the IME agrees with the diagnosis and recommended treatment which was given by the injured individual's doctor.  However, as discussed below, many problems arise from these IMEs.   

doctor.jpgThe title of Independent Medical Exam can be very misleading as they are not really independent.  As a New York Times article explains, their review of case files, medical records and patient interviews in New York worker compensation claims indicated that exam reports that results from these Independent Medical Exams are routinely bias towards and benefit insurers and employers over the injured individual by minimizing or dismissing altogether the injuries sustained. 

The main reason for this bias is that employers and insurance companies are the companies that pay for these IMEs and therefore, if a physician starts producing reports that do not benefit the company's position on the injuries, that physician will likely not receive further IMEs from that company. 

Many injured individuals have been able to contest the findings of these IMEs and prevailed, however resolution can take many months or years and many people simply give up.  A personal injury attorney can assist an injured individual not only after a biased IME has been given, but before any IME has been conducted. 

If you have been injured in an automobile/trucking accident or at work and your employer or an insurance company is requiring an IME for your claim, conduct the the personal injury attorneys are Miller & Falkner to help protect your rights against unfair IMEs.
March 31, 2009

Kentucky and Indiana Restaurant Playgrounds Create Hidden Dangers

For many parents, the bright and colorful playground at many fast food restaurants all over Kentucky and Indiana can be as alluring if not more alluring than the fast food itself.  However, as an article from MSN points out, there are many potential dangers in these fast food playgrounds that result in serious injury to a child. 

playground.jpgThe Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that emergency rooms treat more than 200,000 children every year for playground-related injuries. These playgrounds found at fast food restaurants like McDonalds and Burger King are referred to as "soft-contained playgrounds."  While the restaurants are the ones that will profit from the playgrounds as they attract customers, restaurants argue that since they hire independent contractors to build the play structures, they are not responsible for their customers' safety.    

The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) sets the national standard for soft-contained playgrounds.  However, even if a restaurant complies with these standards, each chain is responsible for self-policing its playground for safety compliance.  The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) sets guidelines and regulations but does not have the staff to enforce its rules.  They have created a Soft-Contained Play Equipment Safety Checklist which parents can use to help determine if playgrounds are safe for their children's use. 

In some cases action has been taken by CPSC against fast food restaurants for safety code violations.  The agency fined McDonald's $4 million in 1999 regarding its soft playgrounds. 

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