As of July 21st, it was reported that 20 motorcycle accident fatalities have occurred in Nebraska so far in 2017. Why is this an alarming number? This is the same amount of combined motorcycle crash fatalities that happened during the entire year of 2016. We still have almost half a year to go in 2017. Why have there been so many motorcycle deaths?
Finding a concrete answer to this question is difficult. In an attempt to answer it, the Lincoln Journal Star spoke to Fred Zwonechek, Nebraska Highway Safety Administrator. Zwonechek said that the amount of total licensed motorcycle riders in Nebraska spiked higher than ever in 2016, totaling over 100,00, but he didn’t feel that record was a factor. He did, however, state that the amount of motorcycle fatalities so far in 2017 has been unusual.
All of the attorneys and staff at Welsh & Welsh PC, LLO are dedicated to helping our local and nationwide communities navigate toward a brighter future. This year, we decided to start a scholarship that would help us do just that by assisting one college student with securing their college education. The first submission period for that scholarship, Fall 2017, just came to a close.
We were truly humbled by the amount of applications we received– 104 total– as well as the exceptional high quality of every essay. All of the essays were outstanding. Choosing just one winner was difficult!
We’re pleased to announce we’ve chosen a winner.
Congratulations to Nicole Quezada of Huron, California!
Nicole will be attending University of California, Davis as a Biomedical Engineering major this fall.
On Sunday, August 6th, a serious 3-vehicle crash occurred in Omaha on 99th Street and Blair High Road. The accident was reported at 2:11 PM and happened when a 2004 Ford Explorer Sport Trac ran a red light at the intersection and collided with the passenger rear door of a 2008 Honda Civic. As a result of the force of the crash, the Civic then collided with the front end of a 2012 Jeep Liberty that was waiting at the intersection.
An 8-year old Omaha boy, Ayden Jones, suffered from a potentially life-threatening head injury and remained in critical condition as of Monday, August 7th. The boy was a passenger in the Honda Civic. Three others were injured in the accident, including a relative of Ayden’s who was taken to the hospital with Ayden, treated, and later released. Two others were treated for minor injuries at nearby hospitals.
The I-70 in Indiana sees its fair share of car and truck accidents, but some of the most devastating are undoubtedly accidents caused by commercial semi-trucks. The large size and slow stopping speeds of most semis make it difficult for truck drivers to stop in time or swerve to potentially avoid an accident. The I-70 also experiences a great deal of traffic. This combination can spell disaster.
On July 21st in Clay County, a major truck accident on Interstate 70 occurred which began at 5 PM. Multiple cars and semis were involved, and the initial accident—which set off a chain reaction of sorts—started when a semi-truck went off the road at the 25-mile marker. This caused traffic to slow significantly.
According to a recent article and interview conducted by USA Today, many Uber drivers are driving dangerously long shifts in order to make ends meet. Uber does not enforce any limits on how many hours per day or week their drivers can work since they’re independent contractors. In addition, the company often runs incentives that encourage drivers to work for long shifts on the weekends.
Multiple interviewed drivers and past drivers stated that it’s common for some drivers to work up to 16 hours a day due to low pay or tempting driving incentives. The hourly rates drivers receive depend largely on the area and hours they drive during, but it’s not uncommon for many drivers to receive $5-$8 an hour on average if they’re not in a major city.
Steve King, Iowa Congressman, has been pushing a new medical malpractice bill in the state of Iowa that would place significant caps on the damages victims of medical errors can potentially receive after filing a medical malpractice claim against doctors or medical institutions in our state. This bill, H.R. 121 (often referred to as the anti-accountability bill), aims to limit the rights of U.S. citizens by taking away the right to obtain a fair settlement amount through trial by jury.
H.R. 1215 passed last month in the U.S. House of Representatives by a few votes, but every Democrat and several Republicans voted against it. Rep. King has tried to claim that the bill would encourage more doctors to practice in Iowa since it would lower the costs of practice insurance. This claim is misleading, however, since statistics point to the fact that Iowa doctors already pay some of the lowest insurance rates in the nation for medical liability.
A mass tort lawsuit, often referred to as a multidistrict litigation claim or MDL claim, is a type of personal injury case consisting of multiple claims from multiple clients across different areas going up against the same company, institution, or group. Plaintiff attorneys work together to handle the claims and bring them before a judge and jury as one cohesive case. This simplifies the trial process for every client and lawyer involved and helps strengthen the overall case.
The most common types of mass torts are product liability claims and dangerous drug lawsuits. Defective medical device claims are also common. These claims are ideal for multidistrict litigation since the claims often mirror one another. When multiple plaintiffs file claims against a drug manufacturer, for instance, the victims often share common complications, symptoms, and negative side effects that serve as grounds for that lawsuit.
At Welsh & Welsh PC, LLO, we believe that as lawyers, we should do our part to give back to the local community whenever possible and raise awareness about programs that help those in need of legal services. One such program that perfectly fits these ideals is the Volunteer Lawyers Project (VLP). The Volunteer Lawyers Project is part of the Nebraska State Bar Association’s pro bono program and aims to help the less fortunate in Nebraska obtain legal representation and pursue equal justice.
VLP and its network of volunteer lawyers was established in 1982. Since then, it has provided critical civil legal services to low-income Nebraskans. In 2016, the program helped more than 6,000 Nebraska residents receive help from lawyers and 2,800 more receive representation at county courthouses. Most cases VLP helps with involve issues affecting basic human needs. Volunteer lawyers often help families place children in a safer living environment, for example, or obtain the financial support they need to survive.
Some long-awaited news has finally come for Kansas farmers who bought and used Syngenta corn seed between the years 2009 and 2014. Syngenta, a Swedish agribusiness, knowingly sold seed containing a genetically modified trait that was not approved in China. Farmers in Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, and Missouri were unable to export most corn crops to China during this time since the crops were potentially contaminated by the unapproved trait. This caused financial disaster for many farmers.
On June 23rd, 2017, a federal jury in Kansas awarded these farmers with nearly $218 million in a verdict against Syngenta. The farmers sued stating that the company knew that the trait wasn’t approved in China yet sold the seed regardless. China is one of the largest importers of U.S. corn and the effects were apparent worldwide when farmers were unable to export their crops.
Flexible hernia mesh patches are often used to repair abdominal wall (ventral) hernias in patients to reduce the chances of hernia recurrence. Having a hernia patch inserted during repair surgery can also lessen the amount of complications that may cause the patient to require extra surgeries. Most types of hernia patches are made from porous, bioabsorbable materials that the body is able to partially absorb. This allows the body’s tissues to become stronger over time, reducing the chance of recurrence.
Many patients undergoing hernia repair surgery understandably ask themselves, “How dangerous is hernia mesh?” All surgeries are potentially dangerous, of course, but repair surgery that involves a hernia patch is generally safe and less invasive than other types of repair procedures that require the use of temporary sutures or multiple surgeries. Due to the natural components of most flexible hernia patches, the body’s tissues rarely react negatively to the patch, allowing for a faster and safer recovery.