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If one injury leads to another injury which can be fatal, is the party that caused the initial injury responsible for both?

Los Angeles, CA |

Hello.
A corporation's sign fell on my friend's foot which caused her to use crutches.
She has breast cancer and the crutches rubbed the skin on her breast raw after only a few hours use. She now has exposed tumors and never had them before. Her doctors are now afraid of infection setting in which could kill her. She has always been against having Chemotherapy & her doctors said she could have the surgery to remove the cancer without Chemotherapy. But now, after the injury, they'll ONLY operate WITH Chemotherapy. She already knows she has a malpractice suit against the hospital for giving her crutches, knowing she has breast cancer, but does she ALSO have a FULL suit against the corporation? In California, is the act of the fallen sign responsible for EVERYTHING that follows?
Thanks

Attorney Answers 8


  1. Best answer

    This is a very complex issue. The law was generally that if someone caused you injury and in the course of getting reasonable treatment for the inury, medical malpractice occurred causing fy=urther injury, the original party responsible for the injury could be liable for the damage due to subsequent malpractice. It was deemed legally forseeable. A few years ago the law changed when the court said that the deft should not be responsible for all damages if some were caused by another party who malpracticed. Now the original party can point a finger at the treaters to avoid paying for all damage. If your friend brings a med mal case, it may be best to consolidate it with the case against the original party causing injury. Your frined needs to have good legal representation in both matters to make sure she/he recovers for all damages.


  2. Although there is a theory in the law that if injured the defendant is also responsible for injuries which occur as a result of receiving treatment for the injury. There is also a defenses for pre-existing condition. This is a very complicated case.

    I would recommend that your friend meet with medical malpractice attorney who can review her medical records.

    Good luck.

    AVVO DISCLAIMER I am licensed in Minnesota only and my answers on Avvo assume Minnesota law. The answers I provide are for general information only and are NOT INTENDED AS LEGAL ADVICE and therefore must not be relied upon. Legal advice must be based on the interaction between an attorney and client and specific exact facts and the law. I do not retain clients without a signed RETAINER AGREEMENT. The Avvo forum does not allow for the discussion and the interaction necessary to form a complete legal analysis. Therefore the answers given to any specific question would most likely be different if there was attorney-client interaction. The exchange of information through this forum does not establish such an attorney client relationship. An attorney-client relationship is established only by personal and direct consultation with me followed by the execution of a written attorney-client agreement signed by each of us. The communications on this website are not privileged nor are they confidential and I assume no duty to anyone by my participation on Avvo or because I have answered or commented on a question. All legal proceedings involve deadlines and statutory time limiting statutes. So that legal rights are not lost for failure to timely take appropriate action and because I do not provide legal advice in the answers to any question, if you are an interested party you should promptly and personally consult with an qualified attorney for legal advice licensed in the proper jurisdiction. Finally, see Avvo's terms and conditions of use, specifically item 9, incorporated by this reference.


  3. My colleague is right. There are a multitude of issues at hand here. Luckily, I have personally had many clients with these same sorts of injuries in California and can speak to it. Pre Existing medical conditions can complicate the case significantly. so care should be taken in how that is presented. Irregardless of that pre existing cancer, your friend has a very strong case on many levels. She may have previously survived the cancer without chemotherapy, however now due to the injury chemotherapy is required which puts a strain on her life, which in turn can lead back to the sign falling. I have had numerous clients win large settlements that took them through their last days and left a nest egg for their family with injuries like this. I urge you to contact a local attorney immediately to address this suit. Time is of the essence when dealing with these things so you should call immediately.

    Check out my website below and give me a call for a free consultation if you are a California resident 877-427-2752 or you can email me at Michael@Kingofpersonalinjurylaw.com www. KingofPersonalInjuryLaw.com I am licensed in California only and my answers on Avvo assume California law. Answers provided by me are for general information only. They are not legal advice. Answers must not be relied upon. Legal advice must be based on the interplay between specific exact facts and the law. This forum does not allow for the discussion of that interplay. My answer to any specific question would likely be different if that interplay were explored during an attorney-client relationship. I provide legal advice during the course of an attorney-client relationship only. The exchange of information through this forum does not establish such a relationship. That relationship is established only by personal and direct consultation with me followed by the execution of a written attorney-client agreement signed by each of us. The communications on this website are not privileged or confidential and I assume no duty to anyone by my participation on Avvo or because I have answered or commented on a question. All legal proceedings involve deadlines and time limiting statutes. So that legal rights are not lost for failure to timely take appropriate action and because I do not provide legal advice in answer to any question, if you are an interested party you should promptly and personally consult with an attorney for legal advice. Also, see Avvo's terms and conditions of use, specifically item 9, incorporated by this reference


  4. In California, the defendant "takes the plaintiff as they find them" and may be responsible for injury that would not have occurred but for some physical condition that may have made the more susceptible to injury. She should consult a personal injury attorney about the sign issue. She will need to show that the company knew or should have known that their sign created a dangerous condition. As far as the potential "medical malpractice" claim, this is highly speculative and would require a doctor providing an opinion that prescribing crutches for a patient with a foot injury who is also known to have breast cancer is below the "standard of care". There are strict time deadlines on filing both types of claims so, she should consult with and/or retain an attorney immediately if she wishes to pursue one or more of these claims.

    Nothing in this communication should be construed as creating an attorney client relationship. This is for informational purposes only. Attorney will take no action on your behalf unless and until a written retainer agreement is signed. There are strict time deadlines on filing claims and, as such, you are advised to consult with and retain an attorney immediately to file such claims timely or you will lose any right to recovery. Any testimonials or endorsements should not be construed as a guarantee, warranty or prediction of the outcome of your case.


  5. This sounds like a question from a law class in college, am I right?

    Only 29% Contingency Fee! Phone: 215-510-6755 www.InjuryLawyerPhiladelphia.com


  6. (This is a complicated fact scenario and medical question which really cannot be answered specifically. Your friend should take all of her medical records to a competent attorney and have them reviewed. Generally, all of the consequences which flow from an original negligent act are compensable, even malpractice committed after the initial injury. All are foreseeable consequences of the original injury.

    Legal Disclaimer:

    If this information has been helpful, please indicate below.

    Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.

    This ans. does not create an attorney/client relationship.


  7. If there is liability in "tort" (e.g., negligence or strict liability) for the sign falling on your friend, then there should be liability for damages and complications reasonably foreseeable which follow from that trauma except for superseding causes (e.g., like your friend assuming the risk of further injury as by refusing necessary medical treatment or some third party's extraordinary criminal behavior). Your friend will need competent evidence that the trauma of crutch use caused or exacerbated her breast cancer.


  8. The egg shell skull doctrine, which is applicable in most states, says that hypersensitive plaintiffs can recover for damages which a healthier person would not have sustained. That is, your friend can recover for her otherwise unforeseeable injuries even if they only occurred because of her preexisting condition being aggravated.

    Also, subsequent reinjury and subsequent medical treatment negligence injures are foreseeable damages to a plaintiff in most jurisdictions.

    Consult a local attorney.

    Answers to questions does not create an attorney/client relationship. I only am your attorney if I have entered into a written contract, signed by me, wherein I expressly assent to be your attorney. Nothing I post should be construed as legal advice to be acted upon, it is merely a legal opinion.

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