Ohio Birth Injury Lawyer: My Goals for Your Case

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When someone calls me because their child was a victim of a birth injury, I relate to them on two levels.

First, I relate to them as a father. I think about how I would feel if I was in their shoes. I think about devastated I would be, and I think, if I was in that position, what would I need from my lawyer?

Secondly, I relate to them as a birth injury lawyer. It’s my job to find out what went wrong. I have to figure out how the tragedy could have been avoided, and what it is going to take for this family to be made whole again.

As an Ohio birth injury lawyer, I have two goals. My first goal is to get the family the compensation they need, so they can go on to live as normal of a life as possible. In birth injury cases, the cost of doing this can be astronomical. The child may need around-the-clock care for the rest of his or her life.

Then I want to change policy, so the childbirth injury that occurred will never happen to a family again.

Wrongful Death: Statute of Limitations in Ohio

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I can’t tell you how many times, in my 33 years of working as a personal injury lawyer, I’ve had to tell someone, who had a legitimate case, I couldn’t help them because too much time had passed. I have found that this happens even more frequently for wrongful death cases.

I always ask them, “Why didn’t you call me sooner?” They often say, especially when they have lost a loved one, that it was because they were trying to get the estate in order, or they were still processing what happened and were not quite ready to make the call. Unfortunately, you can’t wait.

The statute of limitations for Wrongful Death in Ohio is two years from the date of the victim’s death.

The statute of limitations is a law, determined by the state, that defines the specific amount of time someone has to bring a claim. If the statute of limitations has passed, you are barred from pursuing your case, and there is nothing I can do.

Like most rules, there are some exceptions to the two-year statute of limitations for Wrongful Death in Ohio. One exception is called the discovery rule. The discovery rule allows family members to pursue a wrongful death claim outside of the two-year statute if the family did not know the victim’s death was caused by the negligence of another until after the two-year time limit was up.

In Ohio, when wrongful death is the result of medical malpractice, the two-year statute of limitations still applies, even though medical malpractice claims usually have a one-year time limit.

Wrongful death cases are complex cases, and they get complicated very quickly. With these rules and exceptions, It is so important that you call me right away. Remember, you don’t have to do this alone, I can help you navigate the legal process.

If your loved one was a victim of someone else’s negligence. You can’t wait. Call me immediately at 1 (877) 944-4373.

As your Ohio wrongful death lawyer, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!

Author: Tim Misny | For 33 years, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “Cleveland, Akron/Canton, Columbus & Cincinnati, Ohio.” You can reach Tim by email at tmisny@misnylaw.com or call at 1 (877) 944-4373

 

 

Out of Court Settlements: 5 Reasons to Settle your Case in Ohio

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In the 33 years I have represented the injured victim, I have noticed many of my clients usually have one common concern, and that concern is trial. Sometimes they are concerned because they fear going to trial. Other times, they desperately want to “have their day in court.”

Recent statistics show, however, that in Ohio only 1.2 percent of civil cases were resolved by going to trial. For anyone unfamiliar with the legal process, this number may be surprising, but the truth is, trial should be the last resort for someone pursuing a personal injury claim.

Here are 5 reasons you should settle your case out of Ohio court:

1. Trials are expensive.

As a personal injury lawyer, my fee is a contingency fee, which means I don’t get anything unless your case is successful. My fee stays the same whether or not a case goes to trial. However, the costs associated with bringing the case, including court costs and expert witness fees, greatly increase when you go to trial. While I do cover these costs up front, they are eventually taken out of your total recovery. Settling your case out of court allows you to avoid increasing these costs.

2. Going to trial is emotionally draining.

Personal injury cases are filed because someone was seriously injured, or in some instances, even killed, as a result of negligence. Medical malpractice, wrongful death, and birth injury lawsuits, at their very essence, are personal, and thus, emotional. Going to trial forces the victim, and/or the victim’s family members to relive the tragic injury. Trials force them to go over the details of what happened, over and over again, sometimes even publicly. Lawsuits are never easy, but out of court settlements alleviate some of the stresses associated with trials.

3. Juries can be unpredictable.

If you settle your case out of court, you have some say about how it is resolved. If you take your case to trial, you are at the mercy of the jury. If you are working with an experienced lawyer, you should be very sure about the merits and estimated value of your case before trial, but no matter how prepared you and your lawyer are, you never know what a jury will decide.

4. The litigation process is very long.

Sometimes even getting to the trial stage of a lawsuit takes years, but even after your case is tried, you are subject to the appeals process. If you settle your case, you create your own timeline, you don’t have to wait on the overcrowded court system. Furthermore, once you reach a resolution out of court, that decision is binding, it cannot be appealed or revisited.

5. Trials can be very public.

Before you go to trial, the details of your case are very private. When you decide on an out of court settlement, legally you can choose to keep case and settlement information confidential. Once a case goes to trial, that option is gone. Your case and the resolution of it become a matter of public record.

Once you’ve decided that you do, in fact, want to settle your case out of court, the next step is to determine how you want to settle your case out of court.

The courts are already busy enough and don’t like to get involved in the settlement process unless they have to, so how the parties decide to settle their case is usually up to the discretion of the parties. The following are different types of out of court settlements:

  • Negotiation – Chances are, your adversary wants to avoid trial as much as you do, for the same reasons stated above. The parties can attempt to negotiate among themselves, and may even be able to reach a decision they both think is fair without having to involve anyone else.
  • Mediation – If the parties are not able to reach a decision by themselves, they may bring in someone to help them negotiate. A mediator is a neutral third-party, who helps the parties to the lawsuit find common ground, so that a decision can be reached. The mediator does not decide anything for the parties, they just help the parties reach a compromise.
  • Arbitration – Similar to mediation, an arbitration requires a third-party. However, unlike a mediator, an arbitrator does decide for the parties, and that decision is binding. Arbitration is similar to a trial, but without the hassle of the court system.

If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of someone’s negligence, you have to call me right away at 1 (877) 944-4373.  As an experienced Ohio personal injury lawyer, I have learned that if you develop your case properly in the beginning stages, you have a real chance of getting exactly what you want without having to go to trial.

As your personal injury lawyer, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!

Author: Tim Misny | For 33 years, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in birth injurymedical malpracticecatastrophic injury, and wrongful death cases, serving “Cleveland, Akron/Canton, Columbus & Cincinnati, Ohio.” You can reach Tim by email at tmisny@misnylaw.com or call 1 (877) 944-4373.

Average Personal Injury Settlement in Ohio

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When I sign up new clients, I am frequently asked the same question: What is the average personal injury settlement amount in Ohio?

Law suits are time-consuming, and they are often very hard on those involved. So, of course it makes sense that clients want to know if it will all be worth it in the end. As much as I want to give them an answer and ease their concerns, I just can’t. Personal injury cases are much more complicated than that.

Generally, there is no way to quantify the average personal injury settlement amount.

Many factors are used to determine the appropriate settlement amount in an Ohio personal injury case. Each injury case has different parties, different facts, different circumstances, and different injuries. Each case is unique and must be treated as such.

While I cannot give my Ohio personal injury clients an average settlement amount, I can provide them with some thoughts to consider.

The following are questions you can ask to place a value on your personal injury claim:

1. What Type of case do you have? 

While it is hard to place a number on any type of case, it is generally true that some cases are, in essence, more valuable than others. For example, medical malpractice cases are typically resolved for more than slip and fall cases. And, a wrongful death case will settle for more than a fender bender. Looking at the type of case you have is a good starting point for determining the general value of your claim.

2. What is your geographic location?

Just as the cost of living changes based on location, the value of your personal injury claim will increase and decrease depending on where the injury happened and where the case is pursued.

3. Is liability clear?

The more clear a liability is against the defendant, the greater the value of your case. For example, if you will have trouble proving the defendant was at fault, or if the defendant can prove that you, too, were at fault, the value of your claim will decrease.

4. Who are the parties?

The identity of the parties may change the value of a case. For instance, if the defendant is a large corporation with “deep pockets,” a large settlement may be possible because (a) they will be able to pay a large settlement, and (b) if punitive damages are available, the award could be greater against a defendant with more assets. Alternatively, when the identity of the plaintiff is, say, a professional athlete, and they can no longer play their sport because of their injury, the settlement may be greater in terms of lost earning capacity.

5. How have cases similar to yours resolved?

One very telling way to place a value on your personal injury claim is to research other claims similar to yours and see how they resolved. When doing this, it is important to look for cases with similar facts, in similar locations, and with similar injuries.

When you pursue a personal injury claim, there are many uncertainties, however, there is one thing I know for sure; no matter what the value of your case, I can guarantee the settlement amount will be higher if you hire a lawyer with experience and the resources necessary to fight for you.

As your personal injury lawyer, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!

Author: Tim Misny | For 33 years, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “Cleveland, Akron/Canton, Columbus & Cincinnati, Ohio.” You can reach Tim by email at tmisny@misnylaw.com.

What is Wrongful Death in Ohio?

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When a loved one dies, no matter what the circumstances, we always wonder what we could have done differently to prevent it from happening. We look for someone to blame or we ask ourselves, “What if…?” No matter what, the death of a loved one always seems wrong.

But, as hard as it is to believe, and as difficult as it can be to accept, sometimes no one is at fault, and no matter how much we want to believe there was something we could have done, sometimes death cannot be prevented.

As a personal injury lawyer, though, I know that sometimes our instincts are right. Sometimes a loved one’s death could have been prevented. So, how do we know when a death becomes a wrongful death under the law?

In Ohio, a wrongful death is a death that is caused by someone else’s negligence.

A death is considered wrongful if it would not have happened without a mistake, wrongful act, neglect, or default of another. A death is also wrongful, if the victim would have been entitled to damages as a result of the negligence, had he or she lived.

Wrongful death claims are claims filed by the surviving family members of victims, as a way to compensate them for their loss.

When someone dies unexpectedly, or at the hands of another, the lives of his or her family members’ are turned upside down. The loss of a loved one is devastating, both emotionally and financially, and can continue to affect the victim’s family for generations to come. Ohio wrongful death law recognizes how difficult this can be and was created in an attempt to lessen the damage.

If your loved one died as a result of someone else’s negligence, you have to call me right away at 1 (877) 944-4373.

As your wrongful death lawyer, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®

Author: Tim Misny | For 33 years, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “Cleveland, Akron/Canton, Columbus & Cincinnati, Ohio.” You can reach Tim by email at tmisny@misnylaw.com or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.

Will Childbirth Injuries Increase as a Result of New Obstetric Guidelines?

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This month, the Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology published new guidelines meant to prevent more women from having cesarean births (c-sections). After a recent study declared that one in three women in the United States deliver by c-section, cesarean birth prevention became a key issue for discussion.

According to Dr. Brian Mercer, Chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at MetroHealth Medical Center, c-sections cause a host of problems for the mother and shouldn’t be performed unless absolutely necessary.

Guidelines seeking to lower the c-section rate may increase the risk of childbirth injuries.

Some of the guidelines encourage actions to be taken during the birth process that are known to put mother and child at risk. For example, the guidelines suggest doctors prolong natural childbirth attempts, forcing mothers to push longer, putting unnecessary strain on both the mother and the child. A number of birth injuries can be caused by stalled labor and/or bodily strain.

Another guideline designed to lessen the need for c-sections suggests using techniques/tools to assist with vaginal delivery, including the use of forceps or vacuum extractors. The misuse or inappropriate use of these delivery tools can result in birth injuries affecting the nerves and muscles of the child, as well as causing injury to the brain.

Failure to perform a c-section when necessary puts mothers and their babies at risk of the following childbirth injuries:

Under some circumstances c-sections are mandatory, but generally, they are within the discretion of the doctor. With these new guidelines in place, doctors may become hesitant to perform c-sections. However, there must be a balance between the rules and the best interests of the mother and child. If any of the following warning signs exist, the doctor must perform an emergency c-section to avoid any and all childbirth injuries:

  • Stalled Labor
  • Fetal Distress
  • Cord Prolapse
  • Uterine Rupture
  • Eclampsia
  • Heart Rate Problems in Infant
  • Placenta Issues (Breech Baby)
  • Gestational Diabetes (Large Baby)

If your child was injured during childbirth because a doctor failed to perform a necessary c-section, you have to call me right away at 1 (877) 944-4373.

As your birth injury lawyer, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®

Author: Tim Misny | For 33 years, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “Cleveland, Akron/Canton, Columbus & Cincinnati, Ohio.” You can reach Tim by email at tmisny@misnylaw.com or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.

10 Common Hospital Errors: How to Avoid Medical Malpractice

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According to an October 2013 study, avoidable hospital errors have become the third leading cause of death in the United States, resulting in up to 440,000 deaths per year. When something is wrong, we go to the hospital looking for refuge. However, in light of this new research, we may be left wondering how to protect ourselves from becoming just another statistic.

In my experience as a medical malpractice lawyer, I have learned that knowledge is power. The more you know, the safer you will be.

Here’s a list of 10 common hospital errors you should look out for:

1. Medication Errors

  • Wrong prescription
  • Inaccurate administration of the drug
  • Wrong dosage
  • Malfunction of the equipment that administers drugs
  • 60% of patients miss their regular medication while in the hospital

2. Misdiagnosis

  • Wrong diagnosis
  • Failure to diagnose

3. Infections

  • 1.7 million people every year get infections from the hospital
  • 100,000 deaths every year from hospital infections
  • Pneumonia
  • Infection of surgery site
  • Urinary track infection (UTI) from catheters
  • Bloodstream infection from IV

4. Surgical Mistakes

  • Treating the wrong patient
  • Operating on the wrong body part
  • Puncturing organs
  • Leaving surgical tools inside patient’s body
  • Confusing chest tube with feeding tube
  • Negligent post-operative care

5. Anesthesia Mistakes

  • Not enough anesthesia (patient wakes up during surgery)
  • Too much anesthesia (brain injury or death)
  • Failure to investigate patient’s history for possible complications
  • Failure to inform patient of risks
  • Failure to monitor patients’ vitals
  • Improper intubation
  • Defective Equipment

6. Obstetric errors

  • Brain injuries
  • Bone fractures
  • Negligent prenatal care
  • Negligent use of delivery tools such as forceps and vacuum extractors
  • Failure to diagnose conditions in mother or child
  • Failure to anticipate complications and plan accordingly
  • Failure to order c-section when necessary
  • Failure to respond to fetal distress

7. Uncoordinated Care

  • On-call doctors changing
  • Inconsistent treatment
  • Unnecessary testing
  • Missed warning signs
  • Lack of Communication

8. Injury from Falls

  • 500,000 patients fall in the hospital every year
  • Lack of supervision
  • Under-staffing
  • Unsafe conditions

9. Early Discharge

  • 1 in 5 Medicare patients return to the hospital within 30 days of discharge
  • Patients are discharged before they are ready
  • Patients don’t understand follow-up care
  • Transition from hospital to home is difficult

10. Delay in treatment

  • Patients health problems escalating while they wait in the emergency room
  • Doctors missing warning signs
  • Failure to diagnose in a timely manner
  • Unnecessary testing

The best way to avoid becoming a victim of hospital errors is to be your own advocate. Pay close attention to your treatments. Ask questions. Understand your body, and be able to recognize when things aren’t right. Get to know your doctors, and learn about your treatment.

If you or a loved one was a victim of any of these hospital errors, you need to call me immediately at 1 (877) 944-4373.

As your medical malpractice lawyer, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®

Author: Tim Misny | For 33 years, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “Cleveland, Akron/Canton, Columbus & Cincinnati, Ohio.” You can reach Tim by email at tmisny@misnylaw.com.

 

Who Can Sue for Wrongful Death in Ohio?

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When a person is injured due to someone else’s negligence, it’s not just that person who is affected, that person’s entire family is affected. When a negligent act results in death, the devastating effects to the family can last for generations.

As a personal injury lawyer, people come to me looking for answers when they’ve lost a loved one, and their lives are turned upside down. Sometimes it’s a woman who lost her spouse, and without him, she can’t support her family; or maybe a child lost his only parent and can’t even afford the funeral expenses.

Thankfully, the wrongful death law in Ohio recognizes how difficult this can be and provides compensation for families who have suffered the loss of a loved one due to the negligence of another.

In Ohio, surviving family members can sue for wrongful death when a loved one dies as a result of someone else’s negligence.

The term “surviving family members” usually refers to the victim’s immediate family: spouses, children, or parents. When there is no surviving spouse, child, or parent, a sibling of the victim may recover for wrongful death depending on the circumstances.

Under Ohio wrongful death law, a personal representative of the victim is appointed by the State, and that appointed representative files the lawsuit for wrongful death on behalf of any and all beneficiaries.

The purpose of a wrongful death claim is to compensate surviving family members for the injuries they suffered as a result of the victim’s death, both economically and emotionally. Wrongful death claims do not take into account the damages suffered by the victim.

To sue for Wrongful Death in Ohio, surviving family members must prove the following:

  1. The victim’s death was caused by someone else’s negligence.
  2. If the victim survived, he or she would have been entitled to compensation due to the negligent act.
  3. The existence of surviving family members/beneficiaries.
  4. The victim’s death resulted in monetary damage to the surviving family members.

If you are the surviving family member of a loved one who died as a result of someone else’s negligence, you need to call me immediately at 1 (877) 944-4373.

As your wrongful death lawyer, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®

Author: Tim Misny | For 33 years, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “Cleveland, Akron/Canton, Columbus & Cincinnati, Ohio.” You can reach Tim by email at tmisny@misnylaw.com.

 

Medical Malpractice: Statute of Limitations in Ohio

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One of the most devastating things I face as a personal injury lawyer is having to tell someone who has a legitimate case, that I cannot help them because they waited too long to come to me.

The law sets forth something called the statute of limitations, which strictly defines the amount of time someone has to bring a claim.  Once that time period has expired, there is nothing I can do. The claim is forever barred, and the individual has no way to be compensated for the pain they have suffered.

If you suspect you or a family member has been made a victim of someone else’s negligence, you have to call me right away. The statute of limitations varies depending on what type of case you are dealing with, and a variety of other factors.

The statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases in Ohio is one year.

This means that a victim of medical malpractice has one year from the day the statute of limitations’ starts running to bring a claim. The question is, when does that clock start running? The answer isn’t as clear as one would except.

Three scenarios can occur, resulting in three different dates that can mark the beginning of the one year period.

  1. The actual date the medical malpractice occurred (For example, if a doctor made a mistake during surgery, it would be the date of the surgery.)
  2. The date the negative consequence of the malpractice was discovered (Also known as the “discovery rule,” this refers to the first date that the victim of medical malpractice knew or reasonably should have known that medical malpractice occurred and resulted in some type of injury.)
  3. The date of termination of the doctor/patient relationship with the doctor who committed the medical malpractice, and who is the subject of the lawsuit (If a doctor makes a mistake and you continue to see that doctor in hopes that he or she can fix the problem, the clock does not start running until you sever your relationship with that doctor.)

Additional facts to consider regarding the medical malpractice statute of limitations in Ohio include: 

  • When a child is the victim of medical malpractice, the one-year statute of limitations does not begin until the child becomes 18.
  • Ohio allows a victim of medical malpractice to postpone the one-year statute of limitations by sending a “180 Day Letter,” informing the potential defendant of the possibility of a lawsuit. As long as the defendant receives the letter before the one-year statute of limitations runs out, the individual has another 180 days to file the lawsuit.
  • In Ohio, there is something called the “Rule 41(a) Dismissal” that allows an individual to dismiss a medical malpractice claim once and he or she may refile within a year.

With all of these exceptions and rules, clearly this can get confusing really quickly. Keep this simple thought in mind; if you think there is any chance you or a loved one has been a victim of medical malpractice, you need to call me immediately at 1 (877) 944-4373.

As your medical malpractice lawyer, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®

Author: Tim Misny | For 33 years, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “Cleveland, Akron/Canton, Columbus & Cincinnati, Ohio.” You can reach Tim by email at tmisny@misnylaw.com.

 

What Causes Cerebral Palsy at Birth?

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As a Cleveland birth injury lawyer, I am often the first person a concerned parent calls after he or she hears an upsetting diagnosis about their newborn child. Many times, the parent has a lot of questions, and “Why?” is the one I hear most frequently.

One common type of birth injury is a condition called Cerebral Palsy. The term Cerebral Palsy refers to a series of brain and nervous system problems that affect body movement and muscle coordination and can lead to developmental disabilities. But why does it happen? What causes Cerebral Palsy at birth?

Cerebral Palsy is caused by damage to the cerebrum, the motor control center of a brain that is still developing.

Early on, Cerebral Palsy can be difficult to diagnose because an infant does not yet have control over movement and muscle coordination. Later, when the child has had the time to develop, Cerebral Palsy may be detected through the following symptoms:

    • uncommon movement of the limbs
    • weak muscles
    • speech impediments
    • seizures
    • tremors
    • lack of mental development
    • lack of coordination
    • tightness in muscles and joints

On average, 2 of every 1,000 births results in Cerebral Palsy. Cerebral Palsy can occur any time during pregnancy, or ever after birth. As a personal injury lawyer, I commonly encounter Cerebral Palsy caused by birth injury.

One of the most common causes of Cerebral Palsy at birth, is Asphyxia (oxygen deprivation).

Asphyxia is the medical term used to describe a lack of oxygen to the brain. When an infant’s brain is oxygen deprived, it can cause damage to the part of the brain that controls motor movements, resulting in Cerebral Palsy.

Some factors that may lead to oxygen deprivation at birth, and ultimately, Cerebral Palsy, include, but are not limited to:

    • a prolapsed umbilical cord (can choke the child)
    • hemorrhaging during delivery or while pregnant
    • abnormal positioning of the child in the birth canal
    • failure to perform a cesarean birth (or C-Section) when necessary
    • shoulder dystocia
    • prolonged birthing process

Cerebral Palsy caused by lack of oxygen to an infant’s brain during birth can be devastating. The effects of Cerebral Palsy last a lifetime, and there is currently no cure.

If your child has been diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy or you suspect your child may be the victim of a birth injury leading to Cerebral Palsy, you have to call me right away at 1 (877) 944-4373.

As your birth injury lawyer, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®

Author: Tim Misny | For 33 years, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in birth injury, medical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “Cleveland, Akron/Canton, Columbus & Cincinnati, Ohio.” You can reach Tim by email at tmisny@misnylaw.com.