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A Statement From Charlie Donahue

As an injury lawyer I want to connect with people; it’s about listening, understanding, caring and standing up for clients in a system that’s really stacked against the little guy.

It’s much more about the heart than the head. Lives are turned upside down and often times devastated by an injury; people are hurting and struggle. It’s not asking too much for an injury lawyer to connect on a human level and to tell somebody’s story with compassion, power and truth.

I am on a journey to be the best injury lawyer I can be, and I’d be honored to help you and your family.

~Charlie

You don’t need to impress me

I love being with real, ordinary and unpretentious people.

We are all on this journey together, and nobody is any better than anyone else.

Never been into trying to impress.

I meet my clients in a living room setting, not from behind a big mahogany lawyer desk.

I value good, old fashioned straight talk.

I want you to be at home.

In fact I meet many clients in their own homes.

If you’re looking for a stuffed shirt type of lawyer, I’m not your guy.

Charlie Donahue

Injury Lawyer

Nursing facility morphine overdose causes brain damage

When doctors don’t pay attention to what dose they prescribe for a drug, brain damage may happen.

This case is another that could have easily been prevented. It’s another situation where a patient was given an accidental overdose of morphine. If the doctor had been paying attention to what he was doing, this victim would not have suffered brain damage. The case happened just recently in Baltimore. A 57-year-old woman had foot surgery to repair a tendon. After the operation, she went to a nursing facility for recovery.

Less than six hours after surgery, the podiatrist who did the surgery ordered 50 mg of morphine when she should have ordered 50 mg of Demerol for the woman’s pain. The error wasn’t discovered until the next day and by then the woman had suffered brain damage. The case went to verdict and the jury awarded $2 million for pain and suffering and $1.1 million for medical costs. The punitive damages are still pending.

The jury found the nursing facility 90 percent responsible for the medication error. Her podiatrist was assessed at 10 percent for writing the wrong prescription in the first place. While that may seem a bit skewed, since the initial medication error was committed by the podiatrist, the jury felt the nursing facility should have discovered the error before they administered the medication. What makes this case even worse is the fact that the pharmacist who filled the prescription warned the facility that the dose was too strong.

Despite being warned that the dose was too high, the nurses on duty had to go get extra morphine from an emergency office supply to top up the woman’s dose to the 50 mg. They could only initially find 20 mg. This ghastly series of errors, one compounding the other, gave an innocent woman brain damage. Morphine overdoses need medical attention immediately, and that didn’t happen in this instance.

The shocking thing here is that being medical professionals, the doctor and the nursing facility RNs would know that morphine dulls the brain’s pain perception center. Overdosing may cause confusion, a weak pulse, extreme drowsiness, clammy and cold to the touch skin, faint or very shallow breathing or cessation of breathing. In other words, an overdose of morphine can stop someone’s breathing. That could have happened in this case as well, but instead, the woman suffered brain damage. While her family is grateful she is still alive, they wonder at what cost?

This case could quite well have been a wrongful death, and the fact that it wasn’t is a small miracle. If you have been in a similar situation, speak to a New Hampshire personal injury lawyer about filing a personal injury lawsuit. Find out your rights, how to proceed in an overdose case and what you may expect when the case goes to settlement or verdict.

Charlie Donahue is a New Hampshire personal injury lawyer located in Keene. Donahue handles injury cases in New Hampshire and across the United States. To learn more about New Hampshire injury attorney, Charlie Donahue, visit Donahuelawfirm.com.

Even an STD May Result in a Personal Injury Lawsuit

A jury found for the plaintiff in this personal injury case. The award was $1.5 million for contracting HPV from a dentist.

“Certainly, the truth can indeed be stranger than fiction and this is one instance where that is the case. I heard about this lawsuit thanks to another personal injury lawyer. It involves a woman who filed for damages against a dentist after she contracted the human papilloma virus, referred to as a sexually transmitted disease,” recounted Charlie Donahue who is a New Hampshire personal injury lawyer located in Keene. Donahue handles injury cases in New Hampshire and across the United States.

Despite an appeal in 2008, the dentist lost once again and the high court ordered him to pay his victim $1.5 million for infecting her. Evidently the dentist elected not to tell one of his patients to take precautions when they had intercourse to protect her from contracting anything. The man even went so far as to claim he didn’t have any diseases, and that since he had been tested for STDs, he’d not had relations with anyone.

“As things progressed, the two did have intercourse and one year later the woman had an abnormal pap smear. The guilty dentist admitted he’d had sex in the time between his STD test and when he and the woman had intercourse. He had also been active with others while seeing this woman,” said Donahue.

To compound the problem, the dentist also said the other woman he’d slept with showed the same symptoms. The woman who filed the lawsuit claimed that because he gave her HPV, it will, for the rest of her life, affect her health and any relationships she may have. The court awarded $700,000 in compensatory damages and $800,000 in punitive damages.

“The dentist had the unmitigated gall to file a countersuit for libel, slander and malicious prosecution. That’s a frivolous suit that will haunt him in front of the jury, which will already be none too pleased with his actions. That was a terrible strategy, not to mention being dishonest,” added Donahue.

Personal injuries may be more than just physical wounds such as broken bones, bruises, cuts, fractures, scarring, burns or traumatic brain injury. Personal injury lawsuits have everything to do with harm that is negligently inflicted on another. This case speaks for itself. If you have been in a situation similar to this, you might want to speak to a veteran New Hampshire personal injury lawyer, who will do right by you,” said Donahue.

To learn more, visit Donahuelawfirm.com.

Med Mal and Expired Drugs Don’t Mix

Having expired drugs on board an EMS vehicle is a pretty serious infraction. Expired drugs may cost someone their life.

“I heard about this particular case, and it raises some very serious questions about the drugs on board EMS ambulances. While this instance was reported in Georgia, the ramifications could apply across the US, even down to a local ambulance service provider,” insisted Donahue.

“It was time for state inspections for ambulance crews and the results of the inspection in one county were quite disturbing. At least two of the local ambulances had expired drugs on board; drugs that are commonly used to save lives. For instance calcium chloride, the drug used to kick start a failing heart and EpiPen, used for people with severe allergies who are going into or have gone into anaphylactic shock,” recounted Charlie Donahue who is a New Hampshire personal injury lawyer located in Keene. Donahue handles injury cases in New Hampshire and across the United States.

Granted, not all drugs that reach their expiry date have gone “bad,” and in fact the shelf life of some of the drugs is a great deal longer. However, expiry dates are stamped on them for a reason; a “what-if something happened if we gave someone an expired drug and it harmed them” kind of reason. “More to the point, if anyone should have up-to-date drugs, it should be paramedic crews. That is mandated by law,” stated Donahue.

Unfortunately, one ambulance had nine expired drugs and another was found with two expired drugs. This was not only a breach of safety regulations, but a potential accident looking for a place to happen. There are a lot of people today that are drug sensitive. If they’d been administered an expired drug and the result was serious personal injury or death, the fault would lie with the paramedics and the ambulance company.

The scary part is that all paramedics in this particular county (and quite likely in other locations as well) are obligated to verify that all on board meds have “not” gone past their expiry dates. In fact, all drugs were/are to be checked the first day of every month and daily before responding to any calls. “Granted that an expired drug doesn’t go bad immediately, the point remains the same: having expired drugs on an emergency vehicle is simple not a safe option. The consequences could spell disaster for some unsuspecting person in need of medical assistance,” Donahue outlined.

Cases like this are tough ones because it is only the luck of the draw that uncovers the fact that there may be a potential serious issue. “A more difficult thing to comprehend is someone not doing their job and checking the on rig medications, as required by law. If you think something like this may have happened to you, you might want to check in with a New Hampshire personal injury lawyer to find out what your rights are, and if it is possible to file a lawsuit what your next step should be,” added Donahue.

To learn more, visit Donahuelawfirm.com.

Is a Medical Emergency an Excuse in a Bus Crash?

This unusual case has many twists and turns. The bottom line is whether or not a sudden medical emergency is a defense for wrongful death.

I’ve been practicing personal injury law in New Hampshire for over 27 years, and I’ve seen a lot of interesting cases and a lot of lives thrown into chaos. This case was interesting to me when I read about it, because it has a variety of elements that will make it a difficult case in the long run for the families of the two dead women who lost their lives in a bus crash.

In this instance, the young son of one of the deceased women filed a wrongful death suit against the driver of a tour bus and the tour bus company itself. The crash in question took place in 2009. The deceased was 52-years-old at the time of the wreck. She and several other people were on the bus that had taken them to a casino, when all of a sudden it went out of control, crossed the median and flipped over on its side in a ditch. Two passengers were killed and 20 others were seriously injured.

The woman’s son, who was 17 at the time of the wreck, filed the wrongful death suit when he turned 18 and is seeking compensation for the death of his mother. The suit argues that the driver of the bus failed to control it and was reckless and negligent in driving it, causing it to crash. The suit further alleges that the driver was unfit to be driving that day and that the bus tour company was negligent in entrusting their bus to his care.

The bus line company filed a countersuit asking to have the case dismissed, as they state the driver had a medical emergency that he didn’t cause to happen, and thus under the rule of law in the state where the accident took place (Minnesota), the crash was a “sudden, unforeseen medical emergency” and state law precludes any liability on the part of the defendants in those circumstances. They added the driver was fit to drive at the time of the crash.

The interesting thing here is that the driver alleges he lost consciousness because he had a rapid onset of an undiagnosed condition. This makes me consider something about human nature. If he lost consciousness then, due to a medical condition, chances are he had done that before and had not informed his employer because it hadn’t happened at work – yet. Certainly the case would bear closer scrutiny, but there are some warning flags for a personal injury attorney that would make me dig deeply into the bus driver’s medical condition.

Every personal injury case is different, and while things may look one way on the surface, what you find later may be something entirely different. Never take an accident at face value. Talk to a skilled New Hampshire personal injury attorney and find out if there is more than meets the eye in “your” personal injury accident.

Charlie Donahue is a New Hampshire personal injury lawyer located in Keene. Donahue handles injury cases in New Hampshire and across the United States. To learn more about New Hampshire injury attorney, Charlie Donahue, visit Donahuelawfirm.com.

Narcotics and Cars Don’t Mix

Why people think that taking narcotics and driving is safe is unbelievable. This case is a clear example of the deadly consequences of mixing narcotics and cars.

Being a New Hampshire personal injury attorney, I often have the chance to read about other cases that involve things like car crashes, motorcycle accidents, slip and falls, and medical malpractice and wrongful death. This one case stood out for me because it seemed senseless. It involved a rollover that killed one and injured four others, including a toddler.

This was a single vehicle crash and from the looks of the police report, it happened when a silver Infiniti was heading east on the highway, when the driver tried to pass a slower vehicle on the left. Just as the passing Infiniti got to the midway point in passing, the driver saw another oncoming car, swerved right suddenly and hit the right shoulder, causing the vehicle to flip over and land on its roof in the ditch.

When EMS crews arrived they immediately took the backseat passenger, a 60-year-old man, to the local hospital. He was dead on arrival. The driver, a 32-year-old man, his wife and two kids (2 and 12) were taken to the hospital by other rescue teams. Thankfully, although badly shaken up and sporting a variety of crash related injuries, they were all treated and released. Narcotics were found on the 60-year-old man who died in the hospital. There will be a full investigation.

The presence of narcotics raises a lot of unanswered questions, and it’s a good bet the local police will be running tests on the driver of the car to check for drugs and other substances. No one knows for sure if the man in the back seat was related in any way to the driver and his wife, or was a friend.

This would raise the issue of whether the man’s family could file a wrongful death lawsuit for the negligence of the 32-year-old driver for attempting to pass while it was not safe. If the investigation shows negligence, a civil suit can be expected. There may also be a chance of a criminal investigation. In circumstances like this, you sometimes you get both. “Frankly, it looks like someone screwed up, because passing while unsafe to do so is negligence, plain and simple, and this case screams for a civil suit,” added Donahue.

Like many personal injury car crashes, sometimes things look one way on the surface, and yet on further investigation, they turn out to be something else. If you have been involved in a car accident or other vehicle crash, and you suspect drugs may have been involved on the part of the other driver, you might want to speak to a seasoned New Hampshire personal injury lawyer; one whose only job is to help injury victims.

Charlie Donahue is a New Hampshire personal injury lawyer located in Keene. Donahue handles injury cases in New Hampshire and across the United States. To learn more about New Hampshire injury attorney, Charlie Donahue, visit Donahuelawfirm.com.

Fire Power Can Kill in Any Form

Who would think to rearm a grenade with kids around is totally baffling. A young boy was seriously injured due to someone’s stupidity.

Fire power is best left for wars, not as souvenirs kicking around someone’s house. While many people may indeed have old guns, pieces of shrapnel, bullets and other mementoes of serving in the Armed Forces, they need to be locked up safely and out of the reach of children. In this case that New Hampshire personal injury lawyer Charlie Donahue heard about, someone had the stupidity to take a WW II hand grenade and rearm it. What on earth was that person thinking?

Aside from the fact that it obviously took a remarkable lack of brain cells to do something like that, a 9-year-old boy was seriously injured when it exploded in his hand. The young boy had a lighter in one hand and the rearmed hand grenade in the other. Being a child, he was playing, as children do, and touched the grenade with the lighter. It detonated.

Not only was the child critically injured, shrapnel flew through pretty much the whole house. It was not a small blast by any means. The 9-year-old was listed in critical condition when he arrived at the hospital. The responding police officers were stunned, to say the least, that some moron in the family had taken an empty grenade and armed it with a detonating device, and then used it for a paperweight.

Once the police investigation is done, they hope to identify the person who armed the WW II memento. Whoever the person turns out to be, they’re likely going to wish they’d never done something so completely idiotic. Stupidity certainly prompts some people to do very weird things at times. Even if the idea of having an armed grenade as a paperweight was intended as a joke, it showed incredible lack of foresight and intelligence.

To say that the 9-year old’s family would have a good personal injury lawsuit here would be a slight understatement. The whole premise of personal injury law is based on – but for the negligence of another – this critical accident would not have happened. This case definitely involves reckless negligence.

Charlie Donahue is a New Hampshire personal injury lawyer located in Keene. Donahue handles injury cases in New Hampshire and across the United States. To learn more about New Hampshire injury attorney, Charlie Donahue, visit Donahuelawfirm.com.

Two Teens Injured by Snowplow

Following the rules of the road applies to everyone. That includes snowplows.

“The way I heard about this case was that it involved a snowplow operator who blew a yield sign,” explained Charlie Donahue, a New Hampshire personal injury lawyer.

The way this accident happened was that two teens were headed home in their white Pontiac Grand Prix when they were broadsided by a snowplow. “While the plow operator admitted he was tired and wasn’t seeing straight, there is still a duty on the driver to take care and obey the rules of the road – more so because of the size of the vehicle he was driving and the fact that he didn’t pay attention to a sign right in front of him,” said Donahue.

The other question here was how fast was the snowplow operator going, as the impact totally crushed the car; enough so that the EMS crews needed the Jaws of Life to extricate both teens. “Both teens were immediately taken to the nearest medical facility for treatment, where it was discovered they had sustained non-life threatening, yet serious head and leg injuries,” Donahue outlined. At the scene, the plow operator admitted he’d put in some very long hours clearing snow. If that was the case, one wonders why he was behind the wheel of a deadly vehicle.

“It should be mentioned here that head injuries have a nasty habit of turning out worse than they may appear, simply because the head is a very vulnerable area. If there was any traumatic brain injury involved and it is permanent and debilitating, one or both of these kids will need a serious settlement to be able to live a normal life,” Donahue added.

Responding police personnel issued the snowplow driver with a citation for failure to yield the right of way causing bodily harm. Whether or not alcohol or another drug played a factor in this case, no one is quite sure. The investigation will turn up that kind of evidence later.

Both teens will be in a good position to file personal injury lawsuits to recover the costs of their medical expenses, therapy, medications, pain and suffering, disability, impairment, anguish, counseling, loss of wages if they had jobs, possible wheelchair and rehab expenses, renovations to homes to allow for their injuries and possible home care if one of both of them are permanently impaired. While it may take a while for the case to get to court, they should stand a good chance of getting a fair and equitable settlement.

Being in an accident like this, or any other type of accident, is devastating for those involved and they feel like their lives are out of control. “My best advice to those facing something like this is to call an experienced personal injury attorney immediately and discuss the case. Find out what your rights are; find out how to handle the fallout from the case; and find out if you may be able to receive compensation from the person at fault in the accident,” added Charlie Donahue, a New Hampshire personal injury lawyer.

Charlie Donahue is a New Hampshire personal injury lawyer located in Keene. Donahue handles injury cases in New Hampshire and across the United States. To learn more about New Hampshire injury attorney, Charlie Donahue, visit Donahuelawfirm.com.

Falling Asleep at the Wheel Causes Serious Injury and Death

This vehicle rollover killed one and severely injured four others. Falling asleep at the wheel can be fatal.

This is a case that Charlie Donahue, a New Hampshire personal injury lawyer, heard about that took place in Idaho and involved several young adults. The odd thing is that it took place early in the morning, not late at night, and thus falling asleep at the wheel was rather strange. It would likely prompt the responding police to check for alcohol or drugs in the driver. The outcome of any tests would certainly make a difference in what types of charges may be laid, or what evidence would be needed in court.

The Chevrolet Cobalt was heading east on the highway when the driver, a 20-year-old male fell asleep while driving. When the car sideways angled toward the side of the road, the driver jolted awake, instantly over reacted and did a sudden and deadly overcorrection at high speed.

The vehicle responded by rolling over and ejecting three backseat passengers, none of which were wearing seatbelts. The backseat passengers ranged in age from 9 years old to 22 years old. The 17-year-old ejected from the backseat and was alive when EMS crews arrived and airlifted him to a medical facility where he later died from his trauma.

The other survivors, including the driver who dozed off and another front seat passenger, were transported to the nearest medical facility to have their injuries treated. Both the driver and front seat passenger managed to come out of the crash with non-critical injuries.

In this case the driver is clearly at fault for this horrific single vehicle crash, and he can be thankful he didn’t hit another vehicle at the time or the body count would be higher. The survivors of this accident will have solid grounds to file personal injury lawsuits to recover damages for their medical bills, etc. The family of the young boy killed in this accident should be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit based on the facts of this case. All they would need to do is to contact a New Hampshire personal injury lawyer.

If anyone is faced with a situation like this one, don’t wait to contact a skilled New Hampshire personal injury lawyer. Time is of the essence in any case like this and if you wait too long before filing, you may run afoul of the Statute of Limitations. Find out what your rights are. It’s a call well worth making.

Charlie Donahue is a New Hampshire personal injury lawyer located in Keene. Donahue handles injury cases in New Hampshire and across the United States. To learn more about New Hampshire injury attorney, Charlie Donahue, visit Donahuelawfirm.com.

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Atticus Finch was right:
“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view…until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”

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