Personal injury law concerns injury to the person or body, as opposed to damage to property, caused accidently by another person or entity’s failure to exercise reasonable care under the circumstances or by an intentional act. Personal injuries may be caused by negligence, recklessness, or may be intentionally caused.
Mr. Shisler has successfully represented injured persons in personal injury claims and lawsuits arising from automobile collisions, motorcycle collisions, bicycle collisions, slip and falls/premises liability actions, dram shop actions, dog bites, assault and battery, and intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress.
Personal injury losses include a myriad of negligently or intentionally inflicted injuries and may also include wrongful death. A wrongful death action is a claim or lawsuit by the estate of a deceased individual for damages for a death caused by the wrongful act or negligence, recklessness, or unlawful violence of another.
Mr. Shisler has successfully represented the estates of decedents where the deaths were caused by medical malpractice and by negligent operation of motor vehicles.
Medical malpractice is medical professional negligence. It consists of a negligent, careless, or unsafe performance by a physician or other healthcare provider, of the duties imposed on him or her by the professional relationship with the patient. It is also malpractice when a physician or other medical provider shows a lack of proper knowledge, care or skill in the performance of a professional act. A physician must have the same knowledge and skill and use the same care normally used in the medical profession. A physician whose conduct does not meet this professional standard of care is negligent. A physician who is a specialist in a particular field of medicine must have and exercise the same degree of knowledge, skill and care as other specialists in the same medical specialty. A physician must also keep informed of the contemporary developments in the medical profession or in his or her specialty and must use current skills and knowledge.
Where a physician fails to possess or exercise the degree of knowledge and/or skill required by this standard of care, and his or her failure to meet this standard of care injures the patient, the physician or other medical provider is liable to the patient for malpractice.
Medical malpractice cases successfully handled by Mr. Shisler include birth injuries to the baby and to the mother caused by medical negligence, wrongful death of a newborn child caused by the failure to diagnose a bowel obstruction, failure to diagnose cancer and other medical conditions, failure to properly read diagnostic tests, unnecessary surgeries, surgeries performed on the wrong body part, including erroneous hand surgery and spinal surgery, laceration of a major nerve during surgery, podiatric malpractice causing gangrene and necessitating surgical amputation of the leg, negligent cholecystectomies (surgical gallbladder removal), negligent appendectomies (surgical removal of the appendix), and other types of medical malpractice.
Mr. Shisler has also successfully represented plaintiffs in pharmacist malpractice cases, where pharmacists have misread prescriptions and provided incorrect medication or the incorrect dosage.
As in medical malpractice, legal malpractice is professional negligence, and arises when an attorney fails to possess and/or exercise the proper degree of knowledge and skill required by the professional standard of care under the circumstances. In legal malpractice cases, the plaintiff must not only prove the professional negligence of the attorney, but must also prove that the plaintiff would have been successful in the underlying case, had the attorney not committed malpractice.
Mr. Shisler has successfully represented plaintiffs in legal malpractice cases where the defendant-attorneys have failed to timely file a lawsuit within the period of the statute of limitations, resulting in the permanent preclusion or dismissal of the lawsuit, where the underlying cases involved motor vehicle collisions, premises liability/trip and falls, and products liability.
Products liability occurs when a person is injured by a defective product. The product may be defectively designed and/or defectively manufactured, may lack appropriate safety systems, may have been improperly assembled, improperly tested, improperly inspected, may lack clear and safe instructions for use of the product, or lacks proper warnings for safe and proper use.
Mr. Shisler has successfully represented plaintiffs in numerous product liability lawsuits, including lawsuits involving defective drilling and milling machines, handguns, commercial pasta makers, parking lot gates, reverse osmosis machines, riding lawn mowers and hand mowers, sand trap rakes, motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, snow throwers, disposable cigarette lighters, and pallet invertors. Many of these product liability lawsuits involved traumatic amputations and involved related workers’ compensation claims.
Work Related Injuries
The Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act provides weekly disability income benefits, medical care, specific loss benefits for the loss or loss of use of a limb, and benefits for facial disfigurement for workers who have been injured on the job. It also provides for death benefits to surviving family members of workers who die from work related injuries.
An employee is entitled to workers’ compensation benefits from his or her employer for injuries or disease sustained by the worker that arises in the course and scope of his or her employment and is causally related to the injured worker’s employment. This includes injuries sustained on the employer’s premises, as well as injuries sustained off of the employer’s premises which are incurred while the employee is engaged in the furtherance of the employer’s business.
Often, there may be a related third party liability claim in which the injured worker may also be legally entitled to pursue claims against another party, including related product liability, motor vehicle collision, and premises liability claims against individuals and/or entities other than the employer.
Mr. Shisler has successfully represented injured workers in numerous workers’ compensation claims and related third party liability claims, including but not limited to claims involving work related complex regional pain syndrome/reflex sympathetic dystrophy, traumatic amputations, facial disfigurement, spinal injuries, other neurological injuries, fractures, and other serious injuries.
Needlestick injuries occur when needles are inserted by medical personnel incorrectly or in an incorrect location, and result in an improper injection of medicine, or an improper volume of medicine, or a nerve injury such as complex regional pain syndrome/reflex sympathetic dystrophy (CRPS/RSD).
Mr. Shisler has successfully represented plaintiffs in medical malpractice cases involving improper placement of needles which has resulted in the plaintiff-patient incurring CRPS/RSD.
Vaccine injuries are caused by vaccinations. Vaccine injuries may include reflex sympathetic dystrophy/complex regional pain syndrome from vaccinations to prevent human papilloma virus (venereal warts), paralysis from Guillain-Barre Syndrome which is caused by flu shots, chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy, a nerve injury, which is also a side effect of a flu shot, and other vaccine related injuries. Claims against vaccine manufacturers must be heard in the United States Court of Federal Claims in Washington D.C.
Mr. Shisler works with colleagues based in Washington who specialize in vaccine cases.
Insurance Bad Faith
Insurance Bad Faith occurs when an insurance company breaches its duty of good faith and fair dealing owed to its insureds. While the claims for the tort of insurance bad faith are not permitted in many states, Pennsylvania provides a statutory right for insureds to pursue claims against their insurance carriers for damages for insurance bad faith. Pennsylvania’s insurance bad faith statute provides for an award of unpaid insurance benefits, interest, punitive damages, court costs, attorney’s fees, and punitive damages against one’s own insurance carrier for bad faith. Bad faith actions often include additional claims for violation of Pennsylvania’s Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law.
Mr. Shisler has successfully represented plaintiffs in claims for insurance bad faith in cases arising from automobile insurance accidents in which the plaintiff’s own insurance company refused to pay underinsured motorist benefits, failed to produce favorable reports of independent medical examiners, failed to pay medical bills, and failed to produce peer review evaluations by doctors hired by the insurance companies which were relied upon for non-payment of medical bills.
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