Building a Bridge, Not a Wall

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in Detroit Int’l Bridge Co. v. Gov’t of Canada, 875 F.3d 1132 (D.C. Cir. 2017), has held that we should build bridges.  Specifically, it held that that the only bridge between Detroit, Michigan, and Windsor, Canada, which is privately owned, is not the only game in town, and that the state of Michigan and Canada are free to build a second bridge between the U.S. and Canada.  

In 1921, Congress authorized the building of the Ambassador Bridge over the Detroit River. The Ambassador Bridge, now owned by the Detroit Int’l Bridge Co., was completed in 1929 and was then the longest suspended central span in the world.  It is now the busiest crossing on the U.S.-Canada border, and the bridge company had decided years ago to build a new bridge to reduce the traffic on the Ambassador Bridge, but with little progress.  So, in 2012, the Governor of Michigan and the Canadian government agreed to build what is now technically the New International Transit Crossing/Detroit River International Crossing (NITC/DRIC) but is tentatively called the Gordie Howe International Bridge (or Pont International Gordie Howe in French).

The Detroit Int’l Bridge Co. (with co-plaintiffs Crown Enterprises, Inc., DIBDetroit, LLC, Riverview-Trenton Railroad Co., and Central Transport, LLC) sued in the Michigan Court of Claims to block the new bridge but lost.  In August 2017, Judge Stephens of the Michigan Court of Claims held that the company’s December 29, 2016 lawsuit challenging the June 2012 crossing agreement was beyond the one-year statute of limitation for filing a lawsuit against the state.  That decision is currently pending on appeal to the Michigan Supreme Court, where it has been fully briefed and is awaiting oral argument and a decision.

The company also sued in federal court to block the bridge.  Judge Colyer of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia first denied a requested preliminary injunction to stop navigational permits from being issued (Detroit Int’l Bridge Co. v. Gov’t of Can., 53 F. Supp. 3d 1 (May 4, 2014)). She then stayed the case pending the outcome of litigation in Canada, in which the Detroit Int’l Bridge Co., and its Canadian subsidiary had sued Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada and the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority (WDBA) (Canada), which would operate the NITC/DRIC on the Canadian side of the border. Canada filed a motion to dismiss and a motion to stay this U.S. federal case.  

The district court ultimately held that the U.S. Secretary of State did not act arbitrarily and capriciously in approving the agreement to build the new bridge. There is no implied public right of the company to maintain its monopoly or profitability. The court of appeals affirmed the federal district court’s summary judgment in favor of building the new bridge.  

As a result, the New International Transit Crossing/Detroit River International Crossing (NITC/DRIC), aka the Gordie Howe International Bridge, is planned, but bids for its construction are not due until September 2018.  The new bridge is planned to connect I-75 and I-96 in Michigan with Highway 401 in Windsor, Ontario.  This will be an improvement over the Ambassador Bridge, which merely connects to streets in downtown Ontario.  

Thanks to Cincinnati lawyer and contributor, Paul Croushore, JD, LLM, for insight into International Law.

Personal Injury – Emergency Vehicle Accidents

Believe it or not, there was a time when police cars and ambulances were immune from personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits.  It wasn’t until recently that Doctrine of Sovereign Immunity, the safety blanket, was removed. In the past, any ambulance or police cruiser was exempt from lawsuits involving accidents or personal injury they may have caused. To go into detail about the doctrine, it reverted back to a time when leaders, such as kings, felt that they were above the law and any grievances their subjects may have had against them. Lawmakers collaborated with the dream of righting the scales of justice, and subsequent Acts were introduced into law. By collaborating, the lawmakers were able to cover parties left out in the past.

For example, the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) waives the sovereign immunity and permits private parties to be sued for acts committed by persons acting on behalf of the United States. Under the FTCA, an individual can recover damages for failure to exercise legal care of a federal employee acting in official capacity. One of the most common exceptions to governmental immunity is when the government is liable for an automobile accident. Typically these accidents occur with emergency vehicles, such as a police car in a chase or an ambulance rushing to the hospital. There are two requirements for filing a lawsuit against a government entity or employee in the event of an accident.

The vehicle must be:

  •      Owned or leased by a government agency
  •      Operated by a public employee while performing their job

If you or someone you know has been involved in an auto accident with an emergency vehicle, you should contact a trained professional who can better advise you on the next step in the process.  While the accident itself is similar to an accident involving other motorists, there are different laws that apply to emergency vehicles to include police cars and ambulances.  Because your safety is paramount in the minutes following the accident, it helps to have someone you can reach out for you to protect your rights in an accident that was not your fault.  By obeying the laws as they relate to emergency vehicles during emergencies, you are doing your part as a motorist to ensure the safety of whoever may be on the road, if an accident occurs, take as much caution with your future by reaching out to an attorney, like a personal injury lawyer Dekalb County GA victims need.

Thanks to our friends and contributors from Andrew R. Lynch, P.C. for their insight into accident cases.


How much is your Personal Injury Case worth?

The field of personal injury law covers a wide range of incidents where someone is injured or killed as a result of another person’s negligence. Some common types of personal injury cases include car accidents, medical malpractice, nursing home neglect, defective products and premises liability.

This article will discuss some factors which determine how much a personal injury case is worth. Always work with an experienced personal injury lawyer such as the  personal injury lawyer in Philadelphia when determining how much your case is worth.

First, it is worth noting that no article can tell you the value of your case. Instead, the value of your personal injury case will depend on your specific circumstances. Some circumstances which may affect the value of your injury claim include the degree of negligence of the tortfeasor, your damages and the case venue.

In order to prevail on a personal injury claim, you will need to prove the other party was negligent. This means that h/she owed you a duty, and negligently or recklessly breached that duty to you. You will also need to show that you were harmed, or suffered damages, as a result of the other person’s negligence.

The value of your personal injury claim will depend on the degree of negligence of the other party, as well as whether you were comparatively or contributorily negligent for your own injuries.

Further, the degree of damages, or harm that you have suffered will have a large impact on the value of any settlement or jury award. The goal of tort law is to make the plaintiff whole. Since the penal system can’t undo the harm caused, it instead offers monetary compensation for your damages. Naturally, the more significant your injuries, the more compensation will be awarded to make you whole.

In short, the value of your personal injury claim will vary depending on the person, the incident, the venue and a multitude of other factors. An experienced personal injury lawyer, with significant knowledge of verdicts and settlements in your area, can help you weigh these factors and develop a settlement value that is appropriate for your case.

Screen Shot 2018-01-17 at 9.13.27 AM Thanks to authors at The Wieand Law Firm LLC for their insight into Personal Injury Law.

The Basics of Medical Malpractice

It can be difficult to bring forth a medical malpractice case to the court because there are many guidelines that need to be adhered to. A personal injury attorney will be a necessary component to a successful medical malpractice case. They will be able to coordinate and navigate the information required to prove negligence and ensure that the claim is filed before the clock runs out on the statute of limitations.

What is Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice is when a doctor acts negligently when treating a patient. There are key elements needed for a medical malpractice claim, which includes having an established doctor-patient relationship, and a breach in the doctor’s duty of care that resulted in damages. In medical malpractice cases, the patient must be impacted with a negative outcome as the result of the doctor’s negligence

How to Prove Negligence

Proving that a doctor was negligent when caring for you can be difficult without the correct evidence. There are a few key elements required in order to have a successful outcome.

  • Medical Records are perhaps the most important piece to the puzzle, as they will provide the information to prove the claim.
  • Expert Testimony goes hand in hand with medical records, as you will need another doctor to interpret the information. The purpose for this is to have them weigh in regarding the treatment provided and whether they would have made different decisions.  
  • Testimony from the Doctor who treated you is vital as they can provide insight into the decisions the made.

The Statute of Limitations

When it comes to medical malpractice, cases must be filed more swiftly than other claims. Although the average length of time varies by state, the average statute of limitations is 6 months to a year. If considering whether a medical malpractice suit is the right next step for you, it is important to take action as soon as possible by speaking with an attorney. This is largely in part to the shorter timeframe available to take action because once the statute has passed, you will not be eligible to file your claim.

Consulting with a medical malpractice attorney, such as the hospital injury lawyers Memphis TN locals turn to, comes at no financial obligation to you as often they offer their first initial consult free of charge. Medical malpractice cases can take as long as 3 years before a determination is reached, it is important to find an experienced lawyer who can weather the process with you.


Thanks to authors at Darrel Castle & Associates PLLC for their insight into Personal Injury Law.

Five Things To Know About Premises Liability

Premises Liability is an area of tort law which deals with a property owner’s responsibility to keep his or her property in a reasonably safe condition for the protection of others. If you are injured because of the dangerous or defective condition of another person’s property, you should speak with an experienced Philadelphia slip and fall lawyer who can help you determine your rights.

The most common type of premises liability claims are for injuries caused by “slip and fall” or “trip and fall” incidents. Slip and fall claims often occur because a property owner negligently maintains the property. For example, if a store owner fails to clear ice from the parking lot after a storm, and as a result, a customer slips and is injured, the owner may be liable for the injuries caused to the customer. Some other types of premises liability claims include inadequate security, deck collapse or building collapse, and fires or explosions which cause injury or wrongful death.

There are some things you should know about premises liability.

  1. The degree of responsibility owed may vary depending on your “guest status.” Although laws vary by state, the degree of care owed may be more or less depending on your guest status. For example, business owner will owe a higher degree of care to a customer than it does to a trespasser.
  2. You will need to prove negligence. A person is not entitled to compensation simply because they are injured on someone else’s property. Rather, an injured party must prove the four elements of negligence, which include: 1) a duty was owed, 2) the property owner breached a duty, 3) the claimant was harmed as a result of the breach of duty, and 4) the claimant suffered damages. A premises liability claim will only succeed if you cannot prove all four elements of negligence.
  3. Your claim may be reduced, or lost, if you are comparatively or contributorily negligent. Although laws vary from state to state, each state recognizes that an injured party may be partly or wholly responsible for their injuries. Thus, an award for damages may be reduced, or eliminated, depending on whether the claimant was comparative or contributory negligent.
  4. Did you waive your rights? Many businesses require a waiver of rights in order to use the premises. Waiver of rights are common at pools, ski resorts, gyms and other businesses which involve dangerous activities. If you signed a waiver of rights you should consult an attorney as to whether it is enforceable.
  5. How do I know what my claim is worth? The value of a claim is based on many factors. This includes the degree of fault of the property owner, whether causation is disputed, whether the claimant contributed to his injury, and the degree of damages or injuries sustained. Only an experienced personal injury lawyer, with knowledge of case values in your area, can help you determine the value of your claim.

Screen Shot 2018-01-04 at 1.03.40 PMThanks to authors at The Wieand Law Firm LLC for their insight into Personal Injury law.

How can I prove it was someone else’s fault for my slip and fall accident?

At the crux of most slip and fall personal injury cases, the victim’s lawyer must prove that their client was not responsible for the accident. In addition, they must prove who was negligent and therefore responsible for paying compensation to the victim. Under some circumstances, there may be more than one party held responsible. If you were severely hurt from a slip and fall accident that wasn’t your fault, contact a professional for a brief consultation such as the lawyer Fort Collins, CO locals turn to.  

You’ll have the opportunity to speak with an experienced lawyer. If a PI lawyer takes your case, you are not charged for services unless a settlement wins.

Who can be held responsible for a slip and fall accident?

Every situation is different, and the differences can dramatically affect your attorney’s legal strategy as well as the probable outcome. Here are some common scenarios of slip and fall accidents and those who might be held responsible:

  • Hotel owner. If a guest slips and falls on the premises and it was due to the owner’s negligence or carelessness, they might have grounds to file a damage claim for their injury-related costs. For example, if the hotel was aware of torn carpet on a stairwell but did not fix it or warn guests or close the stairway and a guest slips and falls on it, the owner might be liable.
  • Parking lot owner. If someone parked their car in a pay-for-parking lot and winter weather conditions were in effect, slipping and falling on ice may not be grounds for them to file a claim. The duty of care owed to the renter from the owner may not include expected, potential weather hazards such as ice. A slip and fall lawyer would have to make that determination after looking closely at your case. However, if the parking lot attendant failed to remove debris from the lot and someone slipped and fell on it, the parking lot owner and possibly the attendant might be held responsible.
  • Municipality. If a pedestrian is injured from a slip and fall accident on a sidewalk that caved in or otherwise failed, they may have grounds for a claim or lawsuit. In this scenario, they might file against the municipality responsible for the design, construction, and maintenance of that sidewalk. The same is true for slip and fall accidents involving roads, such as at intersections.

What costs or damages can I include in my personal injury claim or lawsuit?

This can vary widely from case to case due to the differentiating circumstances. However, the following expenses are common to a range of slip and fall claims and lawsuits:

  • Emergency medical care
  • Medical treatment costs, current as well as ongoing and future procedures
  • Medicine
  • Specialized medical equipment such as crutches, bathtub benches, leg braces, etc.
  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy (when the victim will be unable to return to their job due to their slip and fall injury)

Talk to a slip and fall lawyer about whether or not you have grounds to file a lawsuit or personal injury claim.


Thanks to authors at Cannon Hadfield Stieben & Doutt  for their insight into Personal Injury Law.

Types of Injuries Commonly Claimed in Worker’s Compensation Cases

Workplace accidents happen all the time, some are minor cuts and scrapes while others can put you in the hospital. When you have an accident at work, worker’s compensation insurance is supposed to cover you for medical bills, lost wages, and other damages you may have incurred from the accident. Here are five common workplace injuries that are reported in Worker’s Compensation Cases:

1. Joint Inflammation

If you are using a body part too much, then it can become inflamed. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Tendonitis are both examples of common workplace inflammation injuries. These injuries usually occur in clerical, construction and nursing populations.

2. Muscle Strains and Sprains

About thirty percent of work-related injuries are strains and sprains. Strains are caused by muscle tearing and sprains happen when  ligament are overextended. These injuries can be serious and may take three to six weeks to heal completely. Typically construction workers, landscape workers and police officers are most likely to suffer from these injuries.

3. Cuts

Usually a cut is the result of incorrect use of tools. Deep cuts may require stitches and can be quite uncomfortable. Some people consider taking time off from work to recover from severe cuts due to the pain.

4. Fractures

Many types of workers are susceptible to fractures. Fractures are accompanied by bruising, swelling and pain.

5. Injured Tissues, or Contusions

Contusions are caused by a cut or force applied to a body part. They can swell, decrease that area’s range of motion and cause pain. You should visit a doctor immediately to treat any injuries you sustain. Once a doctor has examined the injuries, they can recommend the best treatment.

The workplace should be somewhere you can safely focus on your job. Be sure to let your employer know if you see something potentially hazardous and follow your job’s posted safety precautions to avoid an injury. If you are injured, and it was not your fault, you should file for worker’s compensation so that your damages are covered. If you have difficulties filing for a claim or need any advice, hire a worker’s compensation lawyer to provide you a consultation such as the New York Workers Compensation Lawyer. They can assess your unique situation and advise you through the process and help you fill out forms properly. Having a lawyer’s assistance gives you a better chance of getting approved for compensation and if your claim is denied, your lawyer can represent you should you choose to challenge the decision.

Thanks to authors at Polsky, Shouldice & Rosen LLP for their insight into Workers Compensation Law.


Can You Sue a Dog Owner for a Dog Bite?

A dog bite can be a traumatic experience for a victim besides being painful. You may want to consult a personal injury lawyer to decide whether or not you should pursue legal action and compensation for your trauma and injuries. Your personal injury lawyer can provide you with guidance in your next steps.

Should you sue?

The old adage rings true: “It depends”. Here is a general guide to help you make this decision, though the best course of action is to consult an attorney with experience in dog bite suits.

  1. A dog bite victim must contact the owner first, this should be easy if the owner was present at the time of teh incident or is an acquaintance of the victim. If you do not know who the owner is, you may need to enlist the help of local law enforcement and/or the local animal control agency.
  2. Once you have been connected to the owner, you should write a detailed account of what happened regarding the incident including:
    1. Exactly what happened, where and why you feel the dog was at fault for the incident.
    2. Specify how you were injured and the damages you are seeking from the owner. Damages may be rewarded for medical bills following the incident, lost wages due to severe injury, and future medical expenses for therapy or pain and suffering damages.
    3. Determine a reasonable deadline for the matter to be resolved.
    4. Be polite, not hostile. Do provide a warning that if the issue is not resolved by a specific date, you may consider moving forward with legal action.
  1. You may decide you want an attorney to handle the entire process even before litigation. However, if you go through the above steps without a lawyer and your issue was unresolved, contact one immediately to handle your affairs.

What Happens When You Go To Court?

Usually a dog bite case is handled in small claims court, but if a victim sustained more severe injuries and seeks significantly more compensation, the case may be moved to a higher court. This may be additionally decided by any existing laws regarding dog bites in the victim’s state or municipality. A victim should consult an attorney in severe cases.

What Will the Victim Need to Prove?

A plaintiff will have to convince the judge of a few things to receive a favorable outcome in court. In most cases these include: proving the defendant is the rightful dog owner; proving injuries were sustained by the dog bite; the attack happened in public; damages sought are directly related to the injuries caused by the bite. Usually a dog bite case will end in a settlement, but if you feel you were the victim of an attack, contact a personal injury lawyer such as the personal injury lawyer Chicago IL locals turn to. An attorney can review the circumstances of your case and advise your legal journey.

Thanks to authors at Konrad Sherinian LLP for their insight Personal Injury Law.


Who is Liable When an Amtrak Train Derails?

Common-law doctrine of tort states that anyone who is careless and negligent is responsible for those who are harmed as a result and is liable for damages. The victim or victims have the right to take their case to court and have a jury decide on a liability agreement if the victim(s) and liable parties cannot decide amongst themselves. Court involvement can also help enforce the decision they come to. The recent Amtrak 188 Derailment serves as a case study to explain how physical and financial liability is determined by courts with jurisdiction over situations like this.

Amtrak is a “Common Carrier”

Amtrak is considered a common carrier under federal law because it agrees to carry passengers and/or cargo through planned routes to fixed destinations for a designated fee. Because of their status as “common carrier,” Amtrak is held to a legal doctrine of total liability in the event of damage to any transported goods or accidental injury or death of any passengers. All that is required of victims for a claim is the event of accidental injury because Amtrak is totally liable, they are automatically responsible for paying compensation. The amount of damages is a matter of contention and is not any fixed amount.

Financial Liability and Damage Caps

Federal courts use their own set of rules when adjudicating an Amtrak case. Usually cases of federal liability are held under local practice and procedure doctrine–how the conduct of a lawsuit is handled in a state court decides how things are handled in local federal court). Although the occurrence of an incident is enough to determine liability, it is believed that procedures are biased in favor of the federal government or government agencies.

In 1997, the Amtrak Reform and Accountability Act (Public Law 105-134-Dec. 2, 1997) set provisions detailing the limit of damages Amtrak is liable to pay at $200 million per accident. This seems like a perfectly adequate cap, but it could be used up quickly by injuries resulting in a lifetime of medical care. In light of this prospective unfairness, Congress agreed to a temporary increase to the cap in the form of $295 million to compensate victims for the extent of their injuries. The increase will be retroactively applied and in exchange for Amtrak’s agreement to refrain from contesting reasonable damage claims arising from the 2015 Amtrak 188 derailment which claimed eight people and left dozens injured.

Pursuing a Personal Injury Claim against Amtrak

Amtrak is able to claim a “moral” position for accepting such a general liability for injuries in the case of derailment, but they did know in advance what the maximum amount of damages they would be liable for. Typically Amtrak will also ask the court to prohibit reporting or discussion of settlement terms and negotiations so that an out of court settlement is encouraged. Pursuing a personal injury claim requires an attorney with ample experience with government entities and federal liability caps in order to be successful. Consult a personal injury lawyer such as the car accident lawyer Central Phoenix, AZ locals trust who has been involved with similar cases will be acquainted with Amtrak and their attempts to force an inadequate settlement onto injured persons.

Thanks to authors at Kamper Estrada LLP for their insight into Personal Injury.

Suing Your Landlord for Mold Damage

Mold damage can be particularly harmful if left untreated because it can only grow. By law, landlords in America have the responsibility to make sure you are able to live in a healthy, habitable environment.  This means that all landlords must make sure that they check out their properties for mold. If your landlord has ignored your requests to examine mold damage and neglected their responsibility and allowed mold to inhabit your living situation or if you have incurred any form of injury because of mold damage, you may want to consider filing a lawsuit against them for unsafe living conditions.

Legal Duties of a Landlord

Every state except Arkansas has some form of law that specifies landlord’s responsibilities. They all state that landlords must maintain and repair any rental properties so that living conditions are safe. This includes the legal obligation to fix any type of water or fire damage, fix any roof damage or pipe leakage, windows, fix mold damage, and heating and electrical issues. If you suspect you have any form of mold growth, your landlord is responsible for acting on it. If your landlord chooses to neglect their legal responsibility, it is important for you to document what time and day that this took place. Save any text messages or voice messages that are exchanged between you and your landlord to help support your case. This way, you can prove that your landlord failed to fix your mold problem after you or another tenant has brought it to their attention. If you are at fault for the growth of mold, like if you kept your home too humid and shut off to circulation, you may not be able to sue. There is a good chance that your landlord will try to blame you for mold growth, even if you are not at fault.

Contact an Attorney

According to the CDC, over 25 percent of asthma cases are the direct result of mold spore exposure. If you have been exposed to toxic mold and incurred a respiratory illness or any other medical issue, you should consider contacting an attorney such as the personal injury lawyer Phoenix AZ locals trust. If your doctor can determine that your health issues were caused by mold exposure and that the type of mold that caused your health issue is present within your rental property, your attorney can present a good case to a judge and increase your chances of receiving a fair settlement.

Thanks to authors at Lorona Mead for their insight into Personal Injury Law.