WHAT IS A PATENT AND HOW TO I GET ONE?

Basis for Protection of Patents and Copyright in the U.S. US Constitution:

Article 1, Section 8, Clause 8 –“Congress shall have the power … to promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries.”

FIVE FACTS TO UNDERSTAND ABOUT PATENTS

  1. The right to a Patent is as old as the US itself;
  2.  Patents are issued by the USPTO (US patent and trademark office)
  3. There are basically three types of patents, utility, design and plant patents;
  4. Avoid online scams to “help” you file your patent application;
  5. Patent applications are complex and take a lot of time and a knowledgeable patent attorney is well worth the investment.

WHAT IS A PATENT

Patents are basically licenses issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office that protect inventions and new discoveries. There are basically three types of patents: utility patents, design patents, and plant patents.  The statute states that , any person who “invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof, may obtain a patent,” subject to the conditions and requirements of the law. The word “process” is defined by law as a process, act, or method, and primarily includes industrial or technical processes. The term “machine” used in the statute means a mechanical device. The term “manufacture” refers to articles that are made, and includes all manufactured articles. The term “composition of matter” relates to chemical compositions and may include mixtures of ingredients as well as new chemical compounds. These classes of subject matter taken together include practically everything that is made by man and the processes for making the products.  Over the last 240 years plus, many interpretations of the statute have been rendered by the courts that have defined the limits of the field of subject matter that can be patented. The courts ruled that “the laws of nature, physical phenomena, and abstract ideas are not patentable subject matter.” A patent cannot be obtained upon an idea. It is necessary to provide a complete and detailed description of the actual machine or other subject matter for which a patent is sought is required.

THE THREE TYPES OF PATENTS 

There are three basic types of patents and each type has its own eligibility requirements and protects a specific type of invention or discovery inventions  cross over and need two patents one for design and one for function.  The following are the three basic types of patents:

Utility Patents

utility patent is the most common type of patent  sought to protect inventions. This type of patent protects processes, machines , compositions of matter like formulas, and manufacturing processes.  A utility patent can also be obtained for new and useful improvements to patents that already exist for machines, compositions of matter and manufactures. Processes refer to any acts or methods of doing something, usually concerning industrial or technical processes. Compositions of matter are chemical compositions, like a mixture of ingredients or new chemical compounds. Machines include things that are generally defined as a machine, such as a blender, while manufactures are defined as goods that are or made.

Design Patents

To obtain a design patent, a design is defined as the “surface ornamentation” of an object, which can include the shape or configuration of an object. In order to be able to  obtain design patent protection, “the design must be inseparable from the object.” Although the object and its design must be inseparable, a design patent will only protect the object’s look aka design, and not the function.   To protect the functional component of an object, an inventor must also file for a utility patent.

Plant Patents

plant patent is just as it sounds and can be obtained to protect new and different varieties of plants. The requirements to obtain this type of patent are as follows:

  1. The plant cannot be a tuber propagated plant ; 
  2. the plant is not found in an uncultivated state;
  3. The plant can be reproduced by grafting or cutting the plant. 

How to Obtain Patent Protection

Patent protection is obtained by filing an application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for any of these three patent types.  There are two types of patents, a provisional and non-provisional  and both patent applications are available to patent-seekers. A provisional patent application protects your idea for a year while a permanent application is being finalized and it  gives the applicant more time to determine the details of the invention while still protecting the invention or discovery from being patented by someone else. An inventor who files a provisional patent application has one year from the date of filing to file the appropriate non-provisional application.

https://www.uspto.gov/patents-getting-started/patent-basics/types-patent-applications/provisional-application-patent

The process of obtaining a patent starts with the  non-provisional patent application being sent to the USPTO to determine if an invention or discovery is eligible to receive patent protection. The information that is required to be included in the patent application is contingent on the type of patent that is being requested.  The non-provisional patent application only needs to include a description and claim of the invention or discovery, drawings, an oath or declaration, and the appropriate fees. As per the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), a person can also file an international patent application at the same time to obtain international protection in certain countries. It is important to point out that a public disclosure (e.g., publication, public use, offer for sale) that is more  than one year before the provisional application is filed with the USPTO would prevent the patenting in the United States. Please remember that a “publication, use, sale, or other activity” only has to be made available to the public to qualify as a public disclosure meaning if you publicize your invention you may be barred from obtaining a patent. 

FEES

Fees are subject to change yearly. To locate the current fees, see current fees (37 CFR 1.16(d)) at www.uspto.gov or call the USPTO Contact Center (UCC) Monday to Friday (except federal holidays) at 800-786-9199 for fee information. Payment by check or money order must be made payable to “Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.” Or paid online.

HOW TO FILE YOUR PATENT APPLICATION

The provisional application papers (written description and drawings), filing fee and cover sheet can be filed electronically using EFS-Web or filed by mail with the USPTO.  Your application will be processed faster if you file online. To file online:

Electronically Using EFS-Web: The provisional application can be filed electronically only if EFS-Web is used. EFS-Web allows patent applications, including provisional applications, to be filed securely via the Internet. Applicants prepare documents in Portable Document Format (PDF), attach the documents, validate that the PDF documents will be compatible with USPTO internal automated information systems, submit the documents, and pay fees with real-time payment processing. When fillable EFS-Web forms are used, the data entered into the forms is automatically loaded into USPTO information systems. Further information on EFS-Web is available at http://www.uspto.gov/patents/process/file/efs/guidance.”

To File By Mail: The provisional application and filing fee can be mailed to:


Commissioner for Patents
P.O. Box 1450
Alexandria, VA 22313-1450

Filing for a patent is a complex process and there are numerous resources online to help new inventors.  However, avoid online scams offering to help for a low fee. Feel free to call the offices of TheOneLawyer.com and speak directly to attorney Laura Marie Payne-Hunt, Esq. for a referral to a reputable attorney.  If you are doing it yourself, take advantage of books ( I recommend the Nolo series) and free webinars. 

At the Law Offices of Laura Payne-Hunt, TheOneLawyer, we provide professional and personal service to each and every one of our clients. Although we handle personal injury matters, with 20 years’ experience, we can refer you to specialists in most fields of law that we have personal knowledge regarding their ability.   If you have a question regarding any type of personal injury or paying your medical bills from an accident, please don’t hesitate to call the offices of TheOneLawyer.com and speak directly to attorney Laura Marie Payne-Hunt, Esq. a Henderson Injury Attorney for over 15 years. Laura is recognized as one of Nevada’s Top 100 Lawyers.  She has the experience and knowledge to obtain the maximum settlement you deserve. Please call our office if you or a loved one is injured. We can make sure that you receive the care you need and deserve and advise on how to preserve evidence.  

At our office, we are experienced in helping injured victims get the compensation they are entitled to.  Insurance companies never have the best interest of the injured person at the top of their priorities. They want to pay as little on every claim as possible.  Having worked for an insurance company as an attorney for 9 years before opening my boutique law firm specializing in helping injured people, I have reviewed thousands of auto accident claims and policy provisions.   

At the Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury law offices of TheOneLaweyer.com,  Laura Marie Payne-Hunt and her staff are here to help you and your family in the event that accidents and tragedies occur.  For any of your legal needs, do not hesitate to contact our Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury offices. TheOneLawyer.com is a boutique, family owned law firm that specializes in helping injured people and the community of Las Vegas and Henderson Nevada  with legal issues involving auto accidents, wrongful deaths, slip and falls, truck accidents, injuries to children, bicycle accidents, dog bites, product liability claims, and all types of injury claims. Please do not hesitate to call us anytime you have a legal question or you or a loved one has sustained an injury at 702-450-(HUNT) 4868 and text 24/7 at 702-600-0032.

FIVE FACTS TO UNDERSTAND ABOUT A TRADEMARK

  1. A trademark includes any word, name, symbol, device, or any combination, used or intended to be used to identify and distinguish the goods/services  that distinguish one business from others in the market; 
  2. A trademark puts the public on legal notice of ownership of the mark;
  3. Trademark protection gives you the legal right to be the sole user of  your trademark in commerce;
  4. Trademark protection gives you the right to bring legal action against anyone who improperly uses your mark symbol;
  5. Registering gives you the right to use the symbol “R” with the 

circle around it to designate that your trademark is registered and cannot be used by others.

What is the definition of a Trademark under the Law?

A trademark is a generally what we think of as a brand name. “A trademark or service mark includes any word, name, symbol, device, or any combination, used or intended to be used to identify and distinguish the goods/services of one seller or provider from those of others, and to indicate the source of the goods/services.” It establishes the brand of the goods and its origin or source. It can be a word, slogan, symbol, script, display and format combination of wording and design and combination thereof.  It can also be a sound, color, or smell. A trademark establishes the source of goods and a service mark identifying the source of services like accounting or landscaping. However, the terms are used interchangeably and provide the same protections and use the same process to obtain.

https://www.uspto.gov/trademarks-getting-started/trademark-basics

Exactly What Types of Things does a Trademarks Protect?

At the time you start a business and begin using a name and/or logo or symbol, you have common law trademark protection for the use of your slogan.  This protection may be of some help if someone infringes your trademark in your area or local market. However, it will not protect you if your business expands out of your limited local area.  Someone in another state could start using your slogan and symbol in their area or on the internet. In order to have nationwide protection, you should register your marks with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Your application can be rejected if there is already a trademark in use that is too similar to yours for the same or similar goods or services.  

How Do I search to see if my Trademark is already being used ?

The Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS)

 (found at http://tmsearch.uspto.gov/bin/gate.exe?f=tess&state=4802:5qno0v.1.1)  

is a database of all  U.S. trademarks that have been registered or applied for to date. Many of  the records in the TESS database include important elements of the mark and you should search each element. This allows you to find any marks that have common elements.  In order to do this, you must choose from three “search options,” or interfaces. They have different features, but all search the complete database. To start, choose your search option based on the specifics of your business and your mark.  There are three categories to choose from and they are as follows:

  1. Basic word mark search

Use this option if you are searching based only on the words in the mark, the serial number, the registration number, or the owner name.  This is a limited search option, likely searching a mark in use is registered. 

  1. Word and/or design mark search (structured)

This option is easy to use for a beginning TESS user and has all the functions of the advance option.  This will help you build your search and search in any field to help you format your last search criteria.     

  1. Word and/or design mark search (free-form)

For the final search, you will use the information from the word/ design search for this portion.   Detailed instructions are available in TESS. This requires you to use the prior options to set up your search.  This is where an attorney can be of great assistance. 

What is the difference between a Trademark and a Copyright?

A trademark protects “words, phrases, symbols, or designs identifying the source of the goods or services of one party and distinguishing them from those of others”  whereas Copyright protects “original works of authorship” Think of it like this, a book or movie is protected by Copyright, and a symbol like the Apple with a bite out like iphone or the swoosh of Nike is are trademarks.  Check out my previous blog on Copyright law for more information about Copyrights. A trademark is used to protect a brand name. A trademark or service mark includes “any symbol, word, name, device, or any combination, used or intended to be used to identify and distinguish the goods/services of one seller or provider from those of others, and to indicate the source of the goods/services.” 

https://www.uspto.gov/trademarks-getting-started/trademark-basics

What is the Benefit of Registering my Work for a Trademark?

You may ask is federal registration of my Mark required.    The short answer is no, but it will absolutely increase your rights when using your trademark in commerce.  There are, with certain goods and services being used in trade, legal rights in the mark known as common law rights. However,  those common law rights are meant to be limited and to only cover a limited geographic area. Also, it may likely be more difficult to enforce those rights than it would be if you have a federal registration.  Registering your Mark and obtaining Federal registration protection greatly enhances your rights. Specifically, federal registration of your trademark on the principal registry provides the following rights and advantages: 

1) It gives you a legal presumption of the exclusive right to use your mark nationwide on or in connection with the goods and services identified in your registration; in contrast to a state trademark registration that only gives rights within the borders of that particular state.  Federal registration will give you a presumption of rights throughout the United States and its territories

2) As the owner of the Mark, that’s a real advantage if you need to enforce your registration either in or out of court. However, be aware that even with that legal presumption of ownership, someone else could prove that they are the rightful owner because they started using the mark before you. This means a possibility exists that you might have to stop using your Mark

3) It puts the public on notice that you are the owner of the Mark.  If there’s a question as to ownership of the mark, it can be looked up in the US PTOs online database.

4) The fourth benefit is being listed in the United States PTO database.  This means that others considering the potential mark can find you or Mark when they search the US PTO database to see if their Mark is available. Existence of your mark in the database can help others avoid selecting a mark that is too similar to yours.  In addition, the US PTO relies on the same database for its own search and will find your Mark when examining someone else’s application. The US PTO will site your registration against a confusingly similar Mark later filed, preventing a potentially conflicting trademark from registering. But remember, you’re only searching in the US PTO database of pending, federally registered marks. It is not a search for state registrations from works that are not federally registered owners of unregistered marks may have superior Common law rights

5) A federal trademark registration gives you the ability to record your trademark with US customs and border protection. That agency will use your trademark registration to help prevent importation of infringing or counterfeit for a good.

6) You have the right to bring legal action concerning the registered mark in federal court; keep in mind that the US PTO cannot enforce your trademark rights or bring legal action against any infringement. It is your legal responsibility to police your trademark and protect it from infringement. Only your attorney may bring legal action against others infringing on your mark.

7) You have the ability to use your federal trademark Registration as a basis for applying for a trademark registration in many foreign countries.  It is a great benefit when your business takes off and you become a global phenomenon.

8) A  federal trademark registration means that you have the coveted  right to use the R in the circle symbol with your mark, something you cannot do unless your work is federally  registered. That symbol is typically placed on the right side of the mark and indicates that you have federally registered your trademark with the United States patent and trademark office.  It puts the public on notice that your mark is registered and that you have nationwide rights to the Mark. 

Registration provides a lot of benefits.  Millions of trademarks are registered with the United States trademark and patent office. If you need protection for your business trademark or symbol, I highly recommend applying for a trademark to protect your intellectual property.

What is a Trademark Clearance Search and Why should I do one?

The answer is definitely yes  A trademark clearance search is necessary to determine if  your trademark has already been registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.  When searching, you should look for existing trademarks, common law or unregistered trademarks (search the internet for your business to look for others that my use a similar mark), look for expired marks and pending applications, and abandoned marks as well.  

When assessing a trademark’s availability, pay close attention to any similar marks that may be used in association with any related services or goods. Assessing the similarity of a mark is accomplished by analyzing the aural, visual, and connotative likeness of the mark. Before applying for trademark registration or using a mark, it is recommended that you perform an adequate search to see if others are using the same trademark as your own or one that is comparable.

The USPTO grants trademark rights based solely on use alone and not necessarily on registration. Therefore, only researching the USPTO trademark database is not sufficient to determine whether your desired mark is free to use.

Will my Trademark be Recognized in other Countries?

The answer is no, a U.S. trademark registration will not protect your trademark in a foreign country. Trademarks are considered territorial  and owners of the marks must file in each country where they are seeking protection. . However, there is a way for qualified owners of trademarks to obtain registration in any of the countries that have joined the Madrid Protocol by filing a single application. The application is called the  “international application,” and it is filed with the International Bureau of the World Property Intellectual Organization (WIPO), through the USPTO.  As of April 2014, U.S. applicants can apply for protection in up to 92 countries in one application. For more information on filing an international application, see the Madrid Protocol at https://www.wipo.int/treaties/en/registration/madrid_protocol/

To file with a specific country, check WIPO’s list of international trademark offices at https://www.wipo.int/directory/en/urls.jsp .  It is important to consider registering transliterations (representations of words in the corresponding characters of another alphabet) when making trademark decisions in foreign countries.  The WIPO Madrid Protocol Fee Calculator found at https://www.wipo.int/madrid/en/fees/calculator.jsp is a tool for estimating filing costs using the Madrid Protocol.  It is an average of $200 per country or about $25,000 to register in all which is not likely necessary.

Your personal information will be available to the public when you receive your Trademark.

All information that is submitted to the USPTO  during the application and/or registration process will become public record, and this includes your name, phone number, e-mail address, and street address.  When you file the application, you will be required to acknowledge that YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO CONFIDENTIALITY in the information submitted. Anyone will be able to view this information in the USPTO’s on-line databases. This information will remain public even if the application is later abandoned, surrendered, cancelled, or expired. https://www.uspto.gov/trademark/trademark-updates-and-announcements/trademark-data-available-public

Can a domain name be Trademarked?

Yes. A mark that contains  a domain name may be registered as a trademark or service mark in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The domain name is registrable as a trademark only if it serves to identify a certain source of goods or services offered. 

How Long does the Process Take? 

The process generally takes about three to six months if your application is successful.  The time depends on a number of factors that can include: Difficulty level of material; Whether physical deposit was online or paper; Whether the Copyright Office needs additional information; and The Number of staff available at any given time.

At the Law Offices of Laura Payne-Hunt, TheOneLawyer, we provide professional and personal service to each and every one of our clients. Although we handle personal injury matters, with 20 years’ experience, we can refer you to specialists in most fields of law that we have personal knowledge regarding their ability.   If you have a question regarding any type of personal injury or paying your medical bills from an accident, please don’t hesitate to call the offices of TheOneLawyer.com and speak directly to attorney Laura Marie Payne-Hunt, Esq. a Henderson Injury Attorney for over 15 years. Laura is recognized as one of Nevada’s Top 100 Lawyers.  She has the experience and knowledge to obtain the maximum settlement you deserve. Please call our office if you or a loved one is injured. We can make sure that you receive the care you need and deserve and advise on how to preserve evidence.  

At our office, we are experienced in helping injured victims get the compensation they are entitled to.  Insurance companies never have the best interest of the injured person at the top of their priorities. They want to pay as little on every claim as possible.  Having worked for an insurance company as an attorney for 9 years before opening my boutique law firm specializing in helping injured people, I have reviewed thousands of auto accident claims and policy provisions.   

At the Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury law offices of TheOneLaweyer.com,  Laura Marie Payne-Hunt and her staff are here to help you and your family in the event that accidents and tragedies occur.  For any of your legal needs, do not hesitate to contact our Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury offices. TheOneLawyer.com is a boutique, family owned law firm that specializes in helping injured people and the community of Las Vegas and Henderson Nevada  with legal issues involving auto accidents, wrongful deaths, slip and falls, truck accidents, injuries to children, bicycle accidents, dog bites, product liability claims, and all types of injury claims. Please do not hesitate to call us anytime you have a legal question or you or a loved one has sustained an injury at 702-450-(HUNT) 4868 and text 24/7 at 702-600-0032. 

FIVE FACTS TO UNDERSTAND ABOUT A COPYRIGHT

  1. Copyright Protection is found in the US Constitution.

Article I, Section 8, Clause 8 of the United States Constitution, known as the Copyright Clause

Stated above

  1. Copyright covers published and unpublished works.
  1. Copyrights protect original works of authorship including books, movies, songs, architecture, plays, computer software,  dance routines, and most original written works
  1. Copyright does not protect ideas, facts, or how something works.
  1. A Copyright is different from a trademark in that a trademark protects phrases, symbols or designs which designate the source or label of goods.

The U.S. copyright law is found in the Copyright Act, which is codified in Title 17 of the United States Code. Copyright Office regulations are codified in Title 37 of the Code of Federal Regulations.  Copyright Office practices and procedures are abridged in the third edition of the Compendium of U.S. Copyright Office Practices, cited as the Compendium. The copyright law, regulations, and the Compendium are found free to the public on the Copyright Office website at https://www.copyright.gov/

What is the definition of a Copyright under the Law?

Copyright is generally defined as “the exclusive legal right to reproduce, publish, sell, or distribute the matter and form of something (such as a literary, musical, or artistic work.”  https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/copyright  A Copyright is a form of legal protection that is found in the in the U.S. Constitution and grants protections of law to “original works of authorship” fixed in a tangible medium of expression. It is important to note that Copyrights cover published and unpublished works.  However, to bring a lawsuit for copying of your legal written or artistic work, you must have obtained a copyright to be allowed to sue for infringement of your copyright protected work.


Exactly What Type of Works Do Copyrights Protect?

A Copyright one type of intellectual property protection afforded by the US Constitution to protect “original works of authorship.”  Copyrights do not protect “facts, ideas, systems, or methods of operation.” Examples of copyrightable works include the following:

    Literary works;

    Musical works( including any accompanying words);

     Dramatic works, (including any accompanying music);

     Pantomimes and choreographic works;

     Pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works;

     Motion pictures and other audiovisual works;

     Sound recordings; 

     Architectural Drawings.

This list contains the types of works that are copyrightable and are construed broadly for copyright purposes.  

What do Copyrights Not Protect?

Copyrights do not and cannot protect every type of expression.  The following are some of the things that are not protected under copyright protections: “Ideas, procedures, methods, systems, processes, concepts, principles, or discoveries, works that are not fixed in a tangible form (such as a choreographic work that has not been notated or recorded or an improvisational speech that has not been written down), titles, names, short phrases, and slogans, familiar symbols or designs, mere variations of typographic ornamentation, lettering, or coloring, mere listings of ingredients or contents, typeface, fonts, lettering, layout and design.  In fact, as a general rule, the Copyright Office will not accept a claim to copyright a “format” or “layout.” The US copyright office states in their advisory materials that “The general layout or format of a book, page, book cover, slide presentation, web page, poster, or form is copyrightable because it is a template for expression. Copyright protection may be available for the selection, coordination, or arrangement of the specific content that is selected and arranged in a sufficiently creative manner. The claim, however, would be limited to the selection and arrangement of that specific content, not to the selection and arrangement of any content in that particular manner.” https://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ33.pdf

How Do I Get a Copyright to Protect my Work?

Although Your work is under copyright protection the moment it is “created and fixed in a tangible form that it is perceptible either directly or with the aid of a machine or device,” you cannot bring a lawsuit and recover damages for infringement unless you have obtained copyright protection.

In order to register your work for a copyright with the US copyright office, you must submit an application form, and a nonreturnable copy of the work that you are registering.  https://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ01.pdf#page=7   An application for copyright registration must contain three necessary parts:

1) An application form

2) A nonrefundable filing fee;

3)  A nonreturnable deposit which means a copy of the work being 

     registered and “deposited” with the Copyright Office. 

When your registration certificate is issued by the Copyright Office the effective date of registration will be the date the office received all required information and payment in the proper form, regardless of how long it took to process the application.   The office will mail the certificate of registration once the process is complete. The time to review applications and issue certificates varies depending on the amount of material the office is receiving and the method of application. You can apply to register your copyright online or via US mail. If you mail anything, be sure to keep copies of everything you send and send with tracking.  Fees range from $35.00 to $55.00 dollars. https://www.copyright.gov/fls/sl35.pdf   For additional general information, you can call the Copyright Public Information Office at (202) 707-3000 or 1-877-476 0778 (toll free). Staff members are on duty from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm, eastern time, Monday through Friday, except federal holidays. Recorded information is available 24 hours a day. To request paper application forms or circulars, call (202) 707-9100 and leave a message.  You can mail in your application to Library of Congress Copyright Office–PUB 101 Independence Avenue, SE Washington, DC 20559. For more information or to file online, go to the Copyright Office’s website at www.copyright.gov.


What is the difference between a Copyright and a Trademark?

Copyright protects “original works of authorship” whereas a trademark  protects “words, phrases, symbols, or designs identifying the source of the goods or services of one party and distinguishing them from those of others.”  Think of it like this, a book or movie is protected by copyright, and a symbol like the Apple with a bite out on the iphone or the swoosh of Nike are trademarks.  Watch for an upcoming blog on trademarks for more detail.  

What is the Benefit of Registering my Work for a Copyright?

I highly recommend protecting your original work with a copyright. Plagiarism is not illegal in the United States even though schools and the work place can inflict very harsh consequences. Plagiarism is a moral and ethical issue, not a legal issue. If you register your work, your copyright is public record and you  have a certificate of registration. Registered works may be eligible for statutory damages and attorney’s fees in successful litigation. In addition, if registration occurs within five years of publication, it is considered prima facie evidence in a court of law. https://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ01.pdf  Copyright infringement is legal statutory authority for suing the infringing party for damages if they use your work.   If you have a copyright to your work, you can sue them and also file a  DMCA Takedown Notice for work online to have the post taken down. The DIGITAL MILLENNIUM COPYRIGHT ACT  can be found at https://www.copyright.gov/legislation/hr2281.pdf

Once you obtain a copyright, copyright infringement is automatic. If your copyrighted work is used without your permission in a way that violates your exclusive rights, the unauthorized user is engaging in copyright infringement. In order to have a claim, there are three elements of infringement:

  1. Your work has a valid copyright
  2. Your work is used without your permission 
  3. The use is in a manner for which you have exclusive rights which is most unauthorized use.


What does “poor man’s copyright” Mean and does it work?

I have heard people talk about what has been referred to as a “poor man’s copyright”.  This was historically the practice of sending a copy of your own work to yourself in a sealed envelope and not opening the envelope.   It is important to understand that there is no provision in the copyright law regarding any such type of protection, and this practice will not be recognized as a legal copyright in the United States.

Is Copyright Registration Necessary to Protect my Work from Plagiarism?

No. In general, registration is voluntary. Copyright exists from the moment the work is created. You will have to register, however, if you wish to bring a lawsuit for infringement of a U.S. work. 

See https://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ01.pdf



Will my Copyright be Recognized in other Countries?

The United States has copyright relations with most countries throughout the world, and as a result of these agreements, we honor each other’s citizens’ copyright in many but not all countries Click here https://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ38a.pdf for a list of countries and the nature of their copyright relations with the United States, International Copyright Relations of the United States. 

Can You use a Pen Name to Register Instead of your Real Name.

The answer is yes, there is not a legal requirement that the author, composer, choreographer, etc. be identified by their name on the application form. For further information, see https://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl101.pdf .  It is important to note that ownership of the copyright will be under a fictitious name.  It would be wise to contact an attorney before filing under a pen name.


Your personal information will be available to the public when you receive your Copyright.

This is important to know.  When you register your claim to a copyright in a work with the U.S. Copyright Office, you will be making a public record. All of  the information you provide on your copyright registration is available to the public and will be available on the Internet. https://www.copyright.gov/registration/docs/processing-times-faqs.pdf  

Can a domain name be Copyrighted?


“Copyright law does not protect domain names. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) https://www.icann.org/, a nonprofit organization that has assumed the responsibility for domain name system management, administers the assigning of domain names through accredited registers.” However, original contents on a website may be protected by copyright. “This includes writings, artwork, photographs, and other forms of authorship protected by copyright.” For Procedures for registering the contents of a website go to https://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ66.pdf Copyright Registration of Websites and Website Content. For additional information on specific things that can be subject to copyright, go to https://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/faq-protect.html#domain

How Long does the Process Take? 


The Copyright Office’s processing times vary based on many factors including the following:

  1. Difficulty level of material.
  2. Whether physical deposit was online or paper;
  3. Whether the Copyright Office needs additional information;
  4. The Number of staff available at any given time;

For questions on pending claims, please contact the Public Information Office by phone at (202) 707-3000 or 1-877-476-0778 (toll-free), or online at www.copyright.gov/help. The average claim filed online takes three months without correspondence and the average claim filed by mail takes 6 months.  For more specific timeline information see: https://www.copyright.gov/registration/docs/processing-times-faqs.pdf

At the Law Offices of Laura Payne-Hunt, TheOneLawyer, we provide professional and personal service to each and every one of our clients. Although we handle personal injury matters, with 20 years’ experience, we can refer you to specialists in most fields of law that we have personal knowledge regarding their ability.   If you have a question regarding any type of personal injury or paying your medical bills from an accident, please don’t hesitate to call the offices of TheOneLawyer.com and speak directly to attorney Laura Marie Payne-Hunt, Esq. a Henderson Injury Attorney for over 15 years. Laura is recognized as one of Nevada’s Top 100 Lawyers.  She has the experience and knowledge to obtain the maximum settlement you deserve. Please call our office if you or a loved one is injured. We can make sure that you receive the care you need and deserve and advise on how to preserve evidence.  

At our office, we are experienced in helping injured victims get the compensation they are entitled to.  Insurance companies never have the best interest of the injured person at the top of their priorities. They want to pay as little on every claim as possible.  Having worked for an insurance company as an attorney for 9 years before opening my boutique law firm specializing in helping injured people, I have reviewed thousands of auto accident claims and policy provisions.   

At the Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury law offices of TheOneLaweyer.com,  Laura Marie Payne-Hunt and her staff are here to help you and your family in the event that accidents and tragedies occur.  For any of your legal needs, do not hesitate to contact our Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury offices. TheOneLawyer.com is a boutique, family owned law firm that specializes in helping injured people and the community of Las Vegas and Henderson Nevada  with legal issues involving auto accidents, wrongful deaths, slip and falls, truck accidents, injuries to children, bicycle accidents, dog bites, product liability claims, and all types of injury claims. Please do not hesitate to call us anytime you have a legal question or you or a loved one has sustained an injury at 702-450-(HUNT) 4868 and text 24/7 at 702-600-0032. 

Ask My Lawyer Mom: What do I do if There is More then two Cars Involved in an Accident?

What do I do if There is More then two Cars Involved in an Accident – Ask My Lawyer Mom https://accidentlawyerhenderson.com/https://theonelawyer.com/ Key words accident attorney henderson henderson accident attorney the one lawyer henderson car accident lawyer henderson bicycle accident lawyer henderson motorcycle accident lawyer henderson wrongful death attorney truck accident attorney henderson henderson injury attorney henderson personal injury attorney car wreck lawyer las vegas las vegas auto accident lawyer auto accident lawyer las vegas las vegas car accident lawyer car accident lawyer las vegas las vegas accident attorney las vegas car wreck lawyer las vegas wrongful death attorney injury attorney las vegas las vegas personal injury attorney henderson attorney female attorney las vegas female lawyer las vegas las vegas attorneySHOW MORE

The nuts and bolts of a Medical Malpractice claim in Nevada

FIVE MOST IMPORTANT TAKE AWAYS REGARDING MEDICAL MALPRACTICE CLAIMS

  1. Call an Attorney immediately if you are the victim of Medical Malpractice
  2. Damages for Pain and suffering are capped in Nevada
  3. Damages for medical bills, lost income and future medical needs are not capped.
  4. The time to bring your claim is strict and short.
  5. You must have a medical expert before you file your claim.  Call TheOnelawyer.com now. 702-450-4868

As patients we look to our medical professionals to help us make critical decisions about our health. We want to trust the doctors and their staff. Unfortunately, sometimes their treatment and opinions may fall below the standard of care; often causing grave injury or even death to the patients they are sworn to serve. This does not mean that every time there is a bad result in medical care that it rises to the standard of medical negligence. However, there are circumstances when a Doctor’s negligence contributes to or causes serious injuries and sometimes even fatal injuries to their patients. In these cases,  you need to seek legal advice immediately. You need an attorney to file a claim against doctors for professional negligence due to the complexity of the laws. A lot of people do not realize how critical the timeline is when you are the victim of medical malpractice. Nevada’s medical negligence claims are governed by NRS chapter 41A and there are numerous requirements under the statute that the plaintiff must meet to go forward. Without significant legal training, medical malpractice is one area that you cannot handle yourself. If you believe that you have been a victim of medical malpractice call our office today. TheOneLawyer.com, Laura Payne-Hunt, Esq.  has been helping injured people for over 15 years and we are available 7 days a week for a free consultation to discuss your possible medical negligence action. 

Under NRS 41A, there are many parts to the statute that are required to be followed to bring your claim against your medical professional. The following are the basic requirements and elements of bringing a medical malpractice claim in Nevada under the statute.

 Professional negligence defined 

In Nevada, professional negligence is defined as the failure of a provider of healthcare, such as a doctor, specialist, or licensed medical professional, to “use the reasonable care, skill, or knowledge ordinarily used under similar circumstances by similarly trained and experience providers of healthcare.“ NRS 41 A.015.  This may sound like a simple test however there are volumes of case law that govern whether a providers actions were “reasonable“ and that will be the subject of expert testimony.

Experts are necessary

In Nevada, the statute requires that a plaintiff obtain a medical expert to establish that their treating provider was negligent under the statute. NRS 418A.071 requires plaintiffs to submit an affidavit signed by a professional who works in the same field of medicine as the accused provider. The affidavit must be detailed and must provide a basis to substantiate the claim of negligence against your treating provider in detail. The affidavit cannot simply state that the provider was negligent. The affidavit must meet criteria that establishes that the doctor who treated you fell below the standard of care. In addition, the professional or doctor signing the affidavit that will be attached to the complaint must be properly qualified to render such opinions. Sometimes it is necessary to find an expert physician who is from out of state to critique the treating doctor and state that their care fell below the standard. A claim cannot be originated or filed in Nevada against a treating doctor without such an affidavit. This is contrary to most every other area of negligence in Nevada law. 

Usually, you can file your lawsuit and obtain information before having to retain experts. In the field of medical malpractice it is just the opposite. You have to obtain an expert affidavit to establish that your treating doctor was negligent before you filed a lawsuit. At TheOneLawyer.com, Laura Payne-Hunt, Esq.  has worked with hundreds of injured victims over the years to obtain compensation for injuries sustained as a result of negligence. If you believe you have been a victim of medical malpractice call our office today for a free consultation. 

 Causation 

The injured victim must have evidence that the medical negligence caused their injury. In order to win a lawsuit as an injured victim, the expert testimony of one or more doctors must establish that the injuries you sustained are a direct and proximate result of your doctors’ negligence.  NRS 41A .100 states that expert testimony must establish that the defendant doctor fell below the accepted standard of care and that breach, in fact, caused the injury sustained by the plaintiff. It will not be enough for an expert to simply state that the doctor was negligent. They must be willing to testify and state in their affidavit that the negligence of the doctor caused the injuries sustained.

Time allowed to bring a lawsuit. 

Perhaps one of the most critical elements of the medical malpractice statutes in the state of Nevada is that a medical malpractice claim must be filed within three years of the injury or one year of its discovery.  NRS 41 a .097 is very clear on these timelines. Often time’s medical malpractice is not discovered for a significant period of time. For example a missed diagnosis of cancer may not be caught for several years until the cancer grows and causes symptoms. A missed diagnosis of a disease similarly may not be revealed until the injured victim suffers violent symptoms which are recognized by a new medical provider. 

In instances where the medical negligence is not realized until years after, it is critical to contact an attorney as soon as you are diagnosed. One year may seem like a long time but the clock ticks quickly and most people are so overwhelmed dealing with the medical care and injury that they are suffering from that calling an attorney is not first on their list. An attorney can start working on your case right away while you are receiving treatment. It takes time to find the right expert and collect the necessary records to prepare a complaint on your behalf against the original negligent doctor. Therefore, if you are diagnosed with an injury or illness that you believe should have been diagnosed or addressed by a prior doctor called Law Offices Of TheOneLawyer.com, Laura Payne-Hunt, Esq. immediately. We can evaluate and assist you regarding your possible medical Malpractice claim at no charge for the consultation.

Damages allowed to compensate victims of medical negligence

Unfortunately Nevada voted years ago to allow caps on non-economic damages in the state of Nevada. You are still entitled to any of your wage loss, all of your medical bills and most importantly all of your future medical care. However pain and suffering is limited to $350,000. Although most people and attorneys agree this number is ridiculously low to compensate some of the heinous medical malpractice cases that are brought, it is nonetheless the law in Nevada. An attorney can retain the proper experts that can demonstrate your future lost income as well as your future medical bills to establish the full extent of your injury in order to establish the damages you are legally entitled and make sure you receive all of the compensation you deserve. Under NRS 41 8.35, the scope of economic damages suffered as a result of medical negligence are the cost of medical bills, lost wages and future medical bills and there is no cap on these economic damages. It is only damages for pain and suffering that you are capped in the state of Nevada at $350,000. This is another reason it is extremely important to obtain counsel to handle your medical negligence claim. At TheOneLawyer.com, we have helped thousands of people recover damages for injuries they have sustained as a result of the negligence of someone else or a medical professional. If you have been a victim of medical malpractice and sustained an injury call our office immediately to set up a free consultation. 

Special cases where negligence is automatic

In Nevada, there are some situations that are so egregious that the legislature decided they will be considered negligent automatically. In that case, that means that the defendant has to prove why he should not be held liable. In every other area, the plaintiff must carry the burden of truth and prove their case. Under NRS 41A 100(1) the following situations are instances where the negligent medical provider or doctor is considered to be at fault under the law

1) Situations where a surgical procedure is conducted on the wrong patient or a wrong part of the patient’s body. For example a surgeon removes the good kidney and leaves the bad kidney in the patient.  This sounds like it cannot happen in this day and age but unfortunately it does.

2) A situation where a patient who sustains an injury to a part of their body other than the part being treated. For example an incision is made in the wrong area and sutured up prior to the real procedure. Or a situation where a patient is transferred to a gurney for surgery and a limb is broken in the process.

3) There must have been someone in the legislature who sustained some kind of burn during a treatment because there are two types of instances that involve automatic negligence regarding burns. The first is where a burn is caused by heat, radiation or chemicals during any type of medical treatment. In such a situation, you are automatically entitled to your medical bills and pain and suffering.

4) Another situation where negligence is automatically assumed involving a burn is when there is an explosion or a fire started by a substance used during your treatment. This would be a rare circumstance however it has happened.

5) The most common automatic negligence is invoked when a foreign substance other than medication or a prosthetic is accidentally left in the patient’s body. You have probably seen x-rays (there are numerous examples on the Internet) where surgical instruments and sponges etc. are left inside the patient’s body during a surgical procedure. If this happens, you are entitled to all medical costs to remove the foreign item, the pain and suffering associated therewith and any future medical needs that are required as a result of the instrumentation being left inside the patient.


CONTACT TheOneLawyer.com

At the Law Offices of Laura Payne-Hunt, TheOneLawyer, we provide professional and personal service to each and every one of our clients. Medical malpractice cases can require lengthy litigation and are complex in nature.  The stakes are very high for the doctors accused in these cases and they will fight for their reputation. Laura Payne-Hunt., Esq. the one at TheOneLawyer.com has many years of experience representing injured plaintiffs and can provide aggressive representation. If you have been a victim of medical malpractice call TheOne Lawyer.com today

If you have a question regarding any type of personal injury or paying your medical bills from an accident, please don’t hesitate to call the offices of TheOneLawyer.com and speak directly to attorney Laura Marie Payne-Hunt, Esq. a Henderson Injury Attorney for over 15 years.  Laura is recognized as one of Nevada’s Top 100 Lawyers. She has the experience and knowledge to obtain the maximum settlement you deserve. Please call our office if you or a loved one is injured. We can make sure that you receive the care you need and deserve and advise on how to preserve evidence.  

At our office, we are experienced in helping injured victims get the compensation they are entitled to.  Insurance companies never have the best interest of the injured person at the top of their priorities. They want to pay as little on every claim as possible.  Having worked for an insurance company as an attorney for 9 years before opening my boutique law firm specializing in helping injured people, I have reviewed thousands of auto accident claims and policy provisions.   

At the Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury law offices of TheOneLaweyer.com,  Laura Marie Payne-Hunt and her staff are here to help you and your family in the event that accidents and tragedies occur.  For any of your legal needs, do not hesitate to contact our Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury offices. TheOneLawyer.com is a boutique, family owned law firm that specializes in helping injured people and the community of Las Vegas and Henderson Nevada  with legal issues involving auto accidents, wrongful deaths, slip and falls, truck accidents, injuries to children, bicycle accidents, dog bites, product liability claims, and all types of injury claims. Please do not hesitate to call us anytime you have a legal question or you or a loved one has sustained an injury at 702-450-(HUNT) 4868 and text 24/7 at 702-600-0032. 

Who is going to pay my medical bills when I’m in the accident?

FIVE MOST IMPORTANT TAKE AWAYS

  1. Always give the hospital your Health insurance card
  1. Do not give your car insurance information to the Hospital
  1. Protect yourself by having your own Underinsured Motorist coverage
  1. Keep all medical bills and insurance Explanations of Benefits sent to you in a file
  1. An attorney can navigate the sea of paperwork required when multiple insurance Policies exist and return your Subrogation forms to your health insurance company

Being in a serious automobile accident is one of the most traumatic things that will happen to most people in their lives. Panic, nervousness and fear set in and often people are confused, angry and uncertain as to what to do at the time. The prevailing thoughts from our clients are that when someone is in an accident that is not their fault, “everything will be taken care of and they will pay all my bills.”   Unfortunately, in the society we live in, and especially in the state of Nevada, this is absolutely not the case. Most of my clients are shocked to hear that drivers are only required by law to carry $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident on their vehicles. This means that each person who is injured in an accident can only collect $15,000 for their injuries against the insurance company of the other driver. Of course, the other driver is still personally liable for any bills that you may have, but often people do not have those funds or they declare bankruptcy before it is ever paid or it can take years to get a legal judgment.

For this reason, it is extraordinarily important to be wise about your medical bills when you are involved in an accident.  If you find yourself at the hospital following an accident, always give your health insurance information, if you are one of the fortunate Americans to have such coverage, to the hospital. The hospital is required by state law to bill your health insurance before they bill anywhere else.  Nevada Law states as follows on this issue:

NRS 449.757  Limitations on efforts of hospitals to collect; date for accrual of interest; rate of interest; limitations on additional fees.

      1.  When a person receives hospital care, the hospital must not proceed with any efforts to collect on any amount owed to the hospital for the hospital care from the responsible party, other than for any copayment or deductible, if the responsible party has health insurance or may be eligible for Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program or any other public program which may pay all or part of the bill, until the hospital has submitted a bill to the health insurance company or public program and the health insurance company or public program has made a determination concerning payment of the claim.

      2.  Collection efforts may begin and interest may begin to accrue on any amount owed to the hospital for hospital care which remains unpaid by the responsible party not sooner than 30 days after the responsible party is sent a bill by mail stating the amount that he or she is responsible to pay which has been established after receiving a determination concerning payment of the claim by any insurer or public program and after applying any discounts. Interest must accrue at a rate which does not exceed the prime rate at the largest bank in Nevada as ascertained by the Commissioner of Financial Institutions on January 1 or July 1, as the case may be, immediately preceding the date on which the payment becomes due, plus 2 percent. The rate must be adjusted accordingly on each January 1 and July 1 thereafter until the payment is satisfied.

      3.  Except for the interest authorized pursuant to subsection 2 and any court costs and attorney’s fees awarded by a court, no other fees may be charged concerning the amount that remains unpaid, including, without limitation, collection fees, other attorney’s fees or any other fees or costs.

      (Added to NRS by 2007, 1497; A 2011, 1525)

      NRS 449.758  Limitations on efforts of hospital to collect when hospital has contractual agreement with third party that provides health coverage for care provided; exception.

      1.  Except as otherwise provided in subsection 2, if a hospital provides hospital care to a person who has a policy of health insurance issued by a third party that provides health coverage for care provided at that hospital and the hospital has a contractual agreement with the third party, the hospital shall proceed with any efforts to collect on any amount owed to the hospital for the hospital care in accordance with the provisions of NRS 449.757 and shall not collect or attempt to collect that amount from:

      (a) Any proceeds or potential proceeds of a civil action brought by or on behalf of the patient, including, without limitation, any amount awarded for medical expenses; or

      (b) An insurer other than a health insurer, including, without limitation, an insurer that provides coverage under a policy of casualty or property insurance.

      2.  This section does not apply to:

      (a) Amounts owed to the hospital under the policy of health insurance that are not collectible; or

      (b) Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program or any other public program which may pay all or part of the bill.

      3.  This section does not limit any rights of a patient to contest an attempt to collect an amount owed to a hospital, including, without limitation, contesting a lien obtained by a hospital.

      4.  As used in this section, “third party” has the meaning ascribed to it in NRS 439B.260.

      (Added to NRS by 2011, 1524)

 You must also understand that you will not know the policy limits of the other driver and your hospital bill can easily exceed the $15,000.  Please do not think that the other driver is off the hook if you have health insurance. That is far from the truth. The collateral source doctrine in Nevada as held by the Nevada Supreme Court states as follows : 

We now adopt a per se rule barring the admission of a collateral source of payment for an injury into evidence for any purpose.  Collateral source evidence inevitably prejudices the jury because it greatly increases the likelihood that a jury will reduce a plaintiff’s award of damages because it knows the plaintiff is already receiving compensation

Proctor v. Castelletti, 112 Nev 88, 911 P.2d 853, 854 (1996).

This means that regardless of who pays your medical bills, the adverse driver is also liable for them and they are not entitled to the reduced rate that your insurance company may have negotiated to resolve those bills. This means, as we are all familiar with, that when your hospital bill comes in and it is $25,000 and your health insurance company pays their negotiated rate of $3,000, the adverse driver is still liable for $25,000 bill. However, if he only has a $15,000 policy, you can at least collect the $15,000 to help compensate for everything that you have been through.  This is also one of the reasons it is extremely important to make sure that you are covered through your own policy. 

I  will have separate blogs on  underinsured motorist coverage and uninsured motorist coverage. When you see your declarations page it will list your different coverages including collision, comprehensive, bodily injury,  UM/UIM, towing, rental, medical payments coverage (etc.) (all covered in other blogs). 

Briefly, Collision coverage is coverage to fix your own vehicle, usually subject to a deductible.  Comprehensive Coverage covers damage done to your vehicle from events other than accidents like theft, vandalism, fire, impacts with deer, etc.  Comprehensive is not collision coverage but they are generally sold together. Bodily injury coverage is coverage to pay other drivers that you may injure.  UM/UIM is coverage that covers you if the other driver is not insured or underinsured. You should always carry UM/UIM coverage. 

I never understand why agents would recommend to clients that they cover themselves less than they cover other drivers on the road.  In fact, in Nevada, insurance companies must offer you this coverage and if you reject uninsured /underinsured coverage you must sign a waiver that the insurance company must produce at a later time in the event of a claim that you knowingly rejected this coverage.   

            I highly recommend that you carry underinsured and uninsured coverage to protect yourself. Unfortunately, the Nevada state legislature does not protect our drivers.  Nevada is one of the lowest bodily injury coverage states in the country. Only Florida, Ohio, Oklahoma, Mississippi and Louisiana have lower limit requirements. South Carolina, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, California and Arizona also have $15,000.00 state minimum requirements.

If you have a question regarding any type of personal injury or paying your medical bills from an accident, please don’t hesitate to call the offices of TheOneLawyer.com and speak directly to attorney Laura Marie Payne-Hunt, Esq. a Henderson Injury Attorney for over 15 years.  Laura is recognized as one of Nevada’s Top 100 Lawyers. She has the experience and knowledge to obtain the maximum settlement you deserve. Please call our office if you or if a loved one is injured. We can make sure that you receive the care you need and deserve and advise on how to preserve evidence.  

At our office, we are experienced in helping injured victims get the compensation they are entitled to.  Insurance companies never have the best interest of the injured person at the top of their priorities. They want to pay as little on every claim as possible.  Having worked for an insurance company as an attorney for 9 years before opening my boutique law firm specializing in helping injured people, I have reviewed thousands of auto accident claims and policy provisions.   

At the Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury law offices of TheOneLaweyer.com,  Laura Marie Payne-Hunt and her staff are here to help you and your family in the event that accidents and tragedies occur.  For any of your legal needs, do not hesitate to contact our Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury offices. TheOneLawyer.com is a boutique, family owned law firm that specializes in helping injured people and the community of Las Vegas and Henderson Nevada  with legal issues involving auto accidents, wrongful deaths, slip and falls, truck accidents, injuries to children, bicycle accidents, dog bites, product liability claims, and all types of injury claims. Please do not hesitate to call us anytime you have a legal question or you or a loved one has sustained an injury at 702-450-(HUNT) 4868 and text 24/7 at 702-600-0032. 

INFECTIONS FROM SURGERY, THE RISKS YOU SHOULD KNOW

WHAT IS A SURGICAL SITE INFECTION 

A surgical site infection happens when pathogens multiply at the site of a surgical incision, causing an infection. Other infections can result from surgery as well including urinary tract infections and respiratory infections.   Surgical site infections are not uncommon and occur in two to five percent of surgeries that involve incision to the skin rather than procedures involving scopes.  The rate of infection is different depending on the type of surgery being performed. It is estimated that as many as 500,000  surgical site infections occur in the United States yearly. Most surgical site infections are staph infectionshttps://www.cdc.gov/hai/ssi/ssi.html  In fact:

“Approximately 27 million surgical procedures are performed in the United States each year, with up to 5% resulting in surgical site infections. Trends in the incidence of SSI are monitored by the National Nosocomial Infections Surveillance (NNIS) system of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). According to NNIS data, SSIs are the third most frequently reported nosocomial infection and are associated with substantial morbidity that can endanger a patient’s life, increase the number of days in the hospital, and increase healthcare costs.”   https://www.infectiousdiseaseadvisor.com/home/decision-support-in-medicine/hospital-infection-control/surgical-site-infections/

Three types of surgical site infections are the most common. They’re categorized according to the severity of the infection. Infections are caused by germs that enter your body during or after surgery. In severe cases, surgical site infections can cause conditions such as sepsis and can even cause an infection in your blood that can result in organ failure.

IT IS IMPORTANT TO RECOGNIZE INFECTION QUICKLY

A surgical site infection is classified as a condition that begins at the site of a surgical wound less than 30 days after the incision is made. Symptoms of a surgical site infection after surgery include:

  • redness and swelling at the incision site
  • drainage of yellow or cloudy pus from the incision site
  • fever

Recognizing a Skin infection after surgery

A surgical site infection that affects the layers of your skin at the incision site is called a superficial infection.   If you see any signs of infection at the site of your incision it is critical to obtain competent emergency care immediately.

Bacteria from the surgical facility, a surgeon’s hands, and equipment at the surgical center can be transmitted into your wound at the time of your surgical procedure. Since your immune system is focused on recovering from surgery, the germs then multiply at the site of your infection.  These types of infections can cause pain but usually can be cured with antibiotics. In severe cases, your doctor may need to open your incision and drain the infection.

Muscle and tissue wound infection after surgery

A muscle and tissue wound infection after surgery, also called a deep incisional SSI, involves the soft tissues surrounding your incision. This kind of infection goes deeper than your skin layers and can result from an untreated superficial infection.

These can also be the result of medical devices implanted in your skin. Deep infections require treatment with antibiotics. Your doctor may also have to open your incision completely and drain it to get rid of infected fluid.

Organ and bone infection after surgery

An organ and bone infection after a surgery involves any organ that’s been touched or manipulated as a result of a surgical procedure.

These kinds of infections can develop after an untreated superficial infection or as the result of bacteria being introduced deep in your body during a surgical procedure. These infections require antibiotics, drainage, and sometimes a second surgery to repair an organ or address the infection.

Know your risk factors

Infections occur more commonly in older adults and those with certain health conditions.  Diabetes, obesity, smoking, and a history of skin infections are risk factors that may cause you to be more likely to suffer infection following a surgery.  However, everyone is at risk of a surgical site infection from unsafe facilities and that is why it is important to monitor your own symptoms following a procedure.  

When to seek medical care 

If you have any symptoms of a surgical site infection following a procedure, you should contact your doctor immediately.  Such symptoms include:

  • Pain, and irritation at the surgical site
  • Fever that spikes at 100.3°F (38°C) or higher for more than 24 hours
  • Any type of drainage from the site that is yellow, tinged with blood, cloudy, or odorous. 

Prevention

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides continuously updated recommendations  for medical providers to help prevent site infections. There are also steps you can take before and after surgery to reduce the risk of infection.

Things to Do Prior to surgery:

  • Wash with an antiseptic cleanser from your doctor before you head to the hospital.
  • Don’t shave, as shaving irritates your skin and can introduce infection under your skin.
  • Quit smoking before you have surgery, as smokers develop infections. Quitting can be very difficult, but it’s possible. Speak to a doctor, who can help you develop a quit smoking plan that’s right for you.

Things to do following surgery: 

  • Be sure to keep the sterile dressing that your surgeon applies to your wound for at least 48 hours.
  • Take preventive antibiotics that are prescribed.  If they are not prescribed ask your doctor about them.
  • Pay special attention to the instructions on how to take care of your incision site, 
  • Always wash your hands with soap and water before changing the dressing,
  • If you are in a hospital, be hands-on in the hospital about your care, noting how often your dressing is being changed , making sure your room is sterilized and clean, and that medical staff are washing their hands and wearing gloves when handling your incision.

Unfortunately, surgical site infections aren’t uncommon and knowing your risk before surgery is the best way to prevent infection. Your doctor should follow-up to check your incision for signs of infection after surgeries and should have procedures in place to advise patients what to look for and have after hours medical care accommodations.

If you have any signs of a surgical site infection call the doctor right away.  The biggest complications from surgical site infections result from waiting too long to get treatment.

SEVERE CASES OF INFECTION

In some rare but life threatening and severe cases, you can contract an infection known as Necrotizing fasciitis (NECK-re-tie-zing FASH-e-i-tis) which is a rare bacterial infection that spreads quickly in the body and can cause death.   That is why it is critical to get immediate medical attention at the first sign of infection. To survive this type of infection, also known as flesh eating bacteria, accurate diagnosis, rapid antibiotic treatment, and prompt surgery are important to stopping this infection.  Seek medical care right away if your skin becomes red, warm, swollen, or very painful soon after an injury or surgery. A later blog will focus further on this rare but deadly complication.

CALL US TO DISCUSS YOUR CLAIM

If you or a loved one had a serious infection after a surgical procedure, call our office today.  Our personal injury lawyers at TheOneLawyer.com are ready to listen to your situation and help you determine the right course of action to take. Your consultation is free and you do not pay any legal fees until after we settle your case.  Contacting an attorney quickly after an injury is critical to your success in being able to recover money damages against the at fault party.

If you have a question regarding any type of personal injury, please don’t hesitate to call the offices of TheOneLawyer.com and speak directly to attorney Laura Marie Payne-Hunt, Esq. a Henderson Injury Attorney for over 15 years.  Laura is recognized as one of Nevada’s Top 100 Lawyers. She has the experience and knowledge to obtain the maximum settlement you deserve. Please call our office if you or if a loved one is injured. We can make sure that you receive the care you need and deserve and advise on how to preserve evidence.  

At our office, we are experienced in helping injured victims get the compensation they are entitled to.  Insurance companies never have the best interest of the injured person at the top of their priorities. They want to pay as little on every claim as possible.  Having worked for an insurance company as an attorney for 9 years before opening my boutique law firm specializing in helping injured people, I reviewed thousands of auto accident claims and policy provisions.   

 At the Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury law offices of TheOneLaweyer.com,  Laura Marie Payne-Hunt and her staff are here to help you and your family in the event that accidents and tragedies occur.  For any of your legal needs, do not hesitate to contact our Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury offices. TheOneLawyer.com is a boutique, family owned law firm that specializes in helping injured people and the community of Las Vegas and Henderson Nevada  with legal issues involving auto accidents, wrongful deaths, slip and falls, truck accidents, injuries to children, bicycle accidents, dog bites, product liability claims, and all types of injury claims. Please do not hesitate to call us anytime you have a legal question or you or a loved one has sustained an injury at 702-450-(HUNT) 4868 and text 24/7 at 702-600-0032. 

A YEAR TO HOLD DRUG COMPANIES AND BIG CORPORATIONS ACCOUNTABLE MASS TORTS – WHAT ARE THEY AND WHY ARE THEY CRITICAL TO CONSUMER SAFETY

What is a Mass Tort?

To make it simple, a mass tort is a civil action involving a large number of plaintiffs against a single or small number of defendants for exposure to the same product that caused an injury.  It is called a “mass” tort because the injury occurred to a group of victims as a result of the use of a specific product for the same purpose. In order to maximize resources to fight the large companies, the claims are grouped together in a “class.”  The term refers to mass exposure of a defendant for their product or actions in causing injuries to a large group of plaintiffs. Mass torts often involve pharmaceuticals, vehicles, consumer products, medical devices, or toxic torts.  

WHY SHOULD YOU BECOME PART OF A MASS TORT ACTION?

There are several reasons for the increase in mass tort cases.  First, prescriptions drugs and medical devices are being rushed into the market without long term and adequate testing.  The pharmaceutical companies have lobbied Congress to streamline the FDA approval process to get drugs to the marketplace faster and as a result, more unsafe drugs have entered the market.   As a consequence, the harmful side effects which only become known after a mass release, have injured consumers. Sadly, the FDA has recalled at least twelve drugs since 1997 including:

  • Valdecoxib (Bextra) Time on the market: 2001-2005. …
  • Pemoline (Cylert) Time on the market: 1975-2010. …
  • Bromfenac (Duract) Time on the market: 1997-1998. …
  • Levamisole (Ergamisol) Time on the market: 1989-2000. …
  • Rofecoxib (Vioxx) Time on the market: 1999-2004. …
  • Isotretinoin (Accutane) …
  • Sibutramine (Meridia) …
  • Terfenadine (Seldane)
  •  Accutane
  •  Baycol,
  • Fen-Phen, 
  • Rezulin 

These were drugs taken by millions of people and yet they were deemed so unsafe as to have the FDA recall them from market. Fortunately, Plaintiff attorneys who handle mass torts coordinate their legal strategy against the large corporate defendants to prove their products injured people.  There have been many famous mass tort cases in the past which have made headlines. The first mass tort case was in the 1970’s with Agent Orange. Asbestos exposure is another example of an early mass tort case. In the 1980’s, silicone breast implants, the Dalkon Shield, and Norplant were mass torts case that made headlines and new mass tort claims have continuously emerged every year since.  The movie “Erin Brockovich” and “A Civil Action” with John Travolta which detail environmental mass torts and their devastating effects on communities and families.  

DO YOU HAVE A CLAIM FOR A MASS TORT?

When individuals across the country sustain injuries because of a product, or company, they can take civil action through mass tort litigation against the liable parties. At TheOneLawyer.com we can review your claim and file an action or join an action on your behalf. Call us today. Claims can arise from different types of products against different defendants.  There are several primary or common claims:

  • Pharmaceutical claims involve Defective or dangerous drugs that  injured millions of victims at a time across the country. Victims who have suffered hazardous side effects can have claims against the manufacturer.
  • Consumer product claims: Involve defective products such as vehicles or any type of product that injures adults or children based on the defective product.  
  • Environmental torts: Victims who have suffered health or property damage due to environmental hazards such as toxic drinking water or chemical spills caused by corporations can join actions against the liable parties. Examples of these claims include oil spills, water contamination and other types of mass environmental disasters.

What is the Difference Between a Mass Tort and a Class Action?

Although most people think they are the same, mass torts and class actions are not the same.   The difference is in how each is handled. In a class action suit, there is one trial in one court for all the plaintiffs in the suit. In a mass tort proceeding, all the cases undergo the same pre-trial investigations and process, and are each then sent back to the local courts that were filed in. Unlike a class action claim, mass torts are handled as individual claims. This allows each victim to recover damages that are specific to their claim.

CALL US TO DISCUSS YOUR CLAIM

If you are not sure whether your case qualifies as a class action or a mass tort, call our office today to talk to Laura Payne-Hunt.   Our personal injury lawyers at TheOneLawyer.com are ready to listen to your situation and help you determine the right course of action to take. Your consultation is free and you do not pay any legal fees until after we settle your case.

If you have a question regarding any type of personal injury, please don’t hesitate to call the offices of TheOneLawyer.com and speak directly to attorney Laura Marie Payne-Hunt, Esq. a Henderson Injury Attorney for over 15 years.  Laura is recognized as one of Nevada’s Top 100 Lawyers. She has the experience and knowledge to obtain the maximum settlement you deserve. Please call our office if you or if a loved one is injured. We can make sure that you receive the care you need and deserve and advise on how to preserve evidence.  

At our office, we are experienced in helping injured victims get the compensation they are entitled to.  Insurance companies never have the best interest of the injured person at the top of their priorities. They want to pay as little on every claim as possible.  Having worked for an insurance company as an attorney for 9 years before opening my boutique law firm specializing in helping injured people, I reviewed thousands of auto accident claims and policy provisions.   

 At the Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury law offices of TheOneLaweyer.com,  Laura Marie Payne-Hunt and her staff are here to help you and your family in the event that accidents and tragedies occur.  For any of your legal needs, do not hesitate to contact our Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury offices. TheOneLawyer.com is a boutique, family owned law firm that specializes in helping injured people and the community of Las Vegas and Henderson Nevada  with legal issues involving auto accidents, wrongful deaths, slip and falls, truck accidents, injuries to children, bicycle accidents, dog bites, product liability claims, and all types of injury claims. Please do not hesitate to call us anytime you have a legal question or you or a loved one has sustained an injury at 702-450-(HUNT) 4868 and text 24/7 at 702-600-0032. 

KICKING OFF A NEW DECADE, CHOOSING AN ATTORNEY AND TAKING TO YOU-TUBE TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTIONS

Kicking off a new decade is an exciting time filled with opportunity and promise. We live in a world where big industry still prevails over individual safety and if the past decade is any indication, it seems to be moving more so in that direction. More large scale marketing is hitting the airways via TV and internet ads, and billboards line the roadways.  These large scale and expensive advertising tools try to push consumers to make decisions based on image rather than character, experience and integrity. We live in a world where we gain our information and knowledge from ten to fifteen second newsbytes, Instagram and TikTok. When choosing a professional it is critical to choose someone that has your best interests at the forefront.   When advertising costs exceed seven figures, clients become less about the individual and more about the number of clients.  

In continuing with our long-standing tradition we hope to provide information to keep our clients safe and informed on the laws that impact their lives and at the same time providing information to assist in keeping you and your family safe. In the spirit of providing information to our current and potential clients, we will be adding a YouTube informational series this year as well as providing information thru blogs about mass torts.  As a family owned practice, the series will be entitled “Ask Mom Lawyer Mom.” Our channel will consist of short interview videos on specific topics that impact our clients. We will welcome imput from our viewers for any questions you have and hope to make our channel interactive and informative while at the same time entertaining.  

At the Henderson accident injury law offices of TheOneLawyer.com we are excited to start this new chapter of video blogging. Finding accurate and relevant information on the Internet can be difficult with the sea of advertising and misinformation out there. It is our hope that you will turn to our channel for a source of reliable and accurate information to answer your questions. We also look forward to questions from our viewers. We will provide accurate and helpful consumer tips to allow you to make informed decisions when traveling or should you become involved in an accident.  We are excited to reach a large number of potential clients and assist you and your family in locating the right legal services and answering your consumer questions regarding the law. As long time community members we have been asked thousands of questions by clients and potential clients over the years and provided volumes of information. It is my hope that this information can be presented to our clients for easy access and assistance in a fun, family-friendly, entertaining format.  

A mass tort is a class action lawsuit where someone has been impacted by a product that was found to be unsafe to be in the marketplace.  We handle these claims and partner with national firms to provide our clients the best representation possible at the local level and national level at no additional cost to our clients.  It is a sad reality that companies often put profits before consumer safety. This can be anything from pharmaceutical companies to cosmetic companies to every day products and even to professional‘s such as attorneys and investment companies.  As a small law firm we have a tradition of putting our individual client’s interests first and we look forward to continuing that tradition into the new decade. 

At TheOneLawyer.com, we look forward to providing information to helping our clients stay safe and informed. Even more so, we look forward to continuing our long-standing tradition of representing every client on a personal, compassionate, and professional level. We strive to treat every client as though they are our only client. Your safety and that of your families is important to us and it is our hope that if you or  a loved one is in need of an attorney you will contact our office. Even if you need an attorney in another field we have a great network of trusted professionals and are happy to make a referral.

If you have a question regarding any type of personal injury, please don’t hesitate to call the offices of TheOneLawyer.com and speak directly to attorney Laura Marie Payne-Hunt, Esq. a Henderson Injury Attorney for over 15 years.  Laura is recognized as one of Nevada’s Top 100 Lawyers. She has the experience and knowledge to obtain the maximum settlement you deserve. Please call our office if you or if a loved one is injured. We can make sure that you receive the care you need and deserve and advise on how to preserve evidence.  

At our office, we are experienced in helping injured victims get the compensation they are entitled to.  Insurance companies never have the best interest of the injured person at the top of their priorities. They want to pay as little on every claim as possible.  Having worked for an insurance company as an attorney for 9 years before opening my boutique law firm specializing in helping injured people, I have reviewed thousands of auto accident claims and policy provisions.   

At the Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury law offices of TheOneLaweyer.com,  Laura Marie Payne-Hunt and her staff are here to help you and your family in the event that accidents and tragedies occur.  For any of your legal needs, do not hesitate to contact our Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury offices. TheOneLawyer.com is a boutique, family owned law firm that specializes in helping injured people and the community of Las Vegas and Henderson Nevada  with legal issues involving auto accidents, wrongful deaths, slip and falls, truck accidents, injuries to children, bicycle accidents, dog bites, product liability claims, and all types of injury claims. Please do not hesitate to call us anytime you have a legal question or you or a loved one has sustained an injury at 702-450-(HUNT) 4868 and text 24/7 at 702-600-0032.