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.

What is an occupational disease?

As opposed to an immediate injury such as a broken leg, an occupational disease occurs over a period of time. In many cases, the worker is eligible to collect workers compensation benefits for their occupational disease. Because every case is different, it’s important to talk to a workers compensation lawyer to determine your legal options. Though workers compensation benefits may be available to you, some occupational diseases are so severe, or even fatal, that they are insufficient. In these cases, it may be more beneficial to pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the employer or third party responsible for causing the disease.

Statute of Limitations

Because an occupational disease is rarely identified at the earliest onset, a worker who sustains this type of injury is not required to report it within two years of first developing the condition. Instead, the statute of limitations to file a claim begins with two years of a positive diagnosis of the occupational disease. In some cases, if the victim passed away before a diagnosis was made, their surviving spouse or dependant children can file an occupational disease claim on the deceased’s behalf. A workers compensation lawyer such as the On The Job Injury Lawyer Hauppauge locals turn to  can provide you with more information if this describes your family’s situation.

Common Examples of Occupational Diseases and Injuries

Even if your medical condition is not on the following list, do not let that deter you from seeking legal guidance from a workers compensation lawyer.

  • Mesothelioma, asbestosis, lung cancer, and related conditions due to exposure to asbestos. This is common among construction workers and other tradespeople who perform demolition work of some kind.
  • Asthma from breathing particles of dust, wood, metal, and other substances that can damage the respiratory system. Bakers can even suffer from asthma if they regularly inhale particles of flour.
  • Acute myelogenous leukemia or kidney cancer from the inhalation of benzene fumes.
  • Liver and kidney damage or dermatitis from touching or inhaling solvents.
  • Hypersensitivity pneumonitis from breathing cutting oils, common among machine operators.
  • Bronchitis from working with nitrogen oxides, smoke, and acid.
  • Peripheral polyneuropathy after inhalation of organophosphates from pesticide applicators.
  • Chronic encephalopathy from working with lead. This common amongst metal recyclers, painters, radiator repairmen, and bridge workers.
  • Bloodborne infections, including hepatitis B and HIV; and airborne infections such as tuberculosis among healthcare workers.
  • Lung cancer from contact with chromium. Metal platers and welders sometimes contract this disease in this way.
  • Liver cancer from contact with vinyl chloride. Plastic manufacturers are vulnerable to this. They are also subject to developing bladder cancer from contact with benzidine.

Thanks to authors at Polsky, Shouldice, & Rosen P.C. for their insight into Worker’s Compensation.

Liability for Falling Debris

Construction sites are very common nowadays, especially in large cities. These sites can be a common place for falling debris and other dangers. If you are injured by falling debris from a construction site, you may be entitled to compensation. In such cases, construction companies are typically at fault, and can be sued for the injury or death caused by unsafe conditions at their site.

Falling Debris

Construction companies are responsible for securing construction sites and providing proper maintenance of the area. They must follow guidelines to ensure the safety of all parties on the premises. Failure to do so may result in accidents with the potential to cause harm. There are a number of ways in which negligence or unsafe conditions can lead to falling debri, and thus, a death or injury. These include:

  • Lack of Signage
  • Improper barricades
  • Failure to Inspect Equipment and Site
  • Failure to Secure Equipment
  • Failure to Provide Other Safety Measures

Personal Injury Case

Pedestrians or other persons injured by falling debri from a construction site can file a personal injury lawsuit that will hold the company at fault accountable. In order to file a personal injury lawsuit successfully, three elements must be proven:

  • Duty of Safety: Someone is always responsible for the safety of a construction site, so you must be able to identify who had the duty of maintaining safety, and what constitutes as being a safe construction site.
  • Breach of Duty: If a construction company has failed to keep a site safe in accordance to their duty of safety standard, then they have breached this duty. Failing to prevent the entrance of pedestrians in an unsafe zone by means of caution signs and tape can be considered a breach of duty. To file a successful lawsuit, you must prove the breach of duty that resulted in an injury.
  • Damage Caused By the Breach of Duty: In a personal injury case, it is vital that you prove that negligence that resulted in falling debri that caused your injury. Damages that may require compensation include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and loss in quality of life.

If you find yourself the victim of falling debri from a construction site, you should consult with a personal injury attorney. They can help you determine the best course of action in your case and provide important legal counsel. If legal action is necessary, a skilled attorney can help you navigate the case to ensure that you receive your entitled compensation such as the Las Vegas personal injury lawyer.


Thanks to authors at Nadia Von Magdenko & Associates for their insight into Personal Injury law.

Protecting Your Claim on Social Media

These days, it’s common  to share many aspects of your life on Facebook and other social media sites. However, if you are pursuing a personal injury lawsuit, you need to be more careful about what you post on social media. Insurance adjusters will thoroughly investigate your case and will likely look at your social media profiles. They will try to find anything on your social media profiles that suggest that you aren’t really injured. For example, if you claim that you have a back injury from the accident and you post a photo of yourself at an amusement park, insurance adjusters may think you aren’t truly hurt.

While you don’t have to stay off of social media entirely, you can’t post as freely as you once did. Insurance companies are in the business of making money and will do anything to avoid paying a high settlement. They may look for photos or videos of you participating in activities that could further damage the injuries you are claiming.

Here are some common social media mistakes that could ruin your claim:

  1. Vent Posting: If you have suffered a personal injury, you may be tempted about the physical pain and financial struggles you’ve faced on social media. You just want to vent and seek advice from your family and friends. However, this is a bad idea. You don’t want the insurance company finding out more information about your case than they need to.
  2. Posting Images: If you suffered a leg injury from the accident, for example, and you post a photo of yourself hiking, it could hurt your credibility. The insurance company may think that you truly aren’t that hurt if you can do that kind of physical activity.
  3. Logging Activities: What your friends post on social media can also affect your case. For example, if they tag you in a photo where you are working out at the gym, it can contradict your claim. Insurance adjusters may see these photos and assume you aren’t as injured as you originally claimed. Tell your friends to not tag you in any photos while you are in the middle of your case.

If you are filing a personal injury lawsuit, be especially cautious about what you write on your social media accounts. If you remain low-key, you will be less likely to jeopardize your case. If you have any other questions about what you post on social media, don’t hesitate to ask your attorney such as the Personal injury lawyer Memphis, TN locals trust.


Thanks to authors at Wiseman Bray LLC for their insight into Personal Injury Law.

 

What if my workers compensation claim is denied?

If you suffered a serious injury while on the job, you may be facing substantial medical bills and lost wages if your workers compensation claim was denied. Depending on the circumstances of your injury, you may have legal recourse. Most workers compensation lawyers offer a free initial consultation to discuss your case. Every situation is different, and workers compensation laws vary somewhat from state to state. If you need aid, you may want to consider talking to a West Palm Beach workers compensation lawyer.

Reason for Denial

If your workers compensation claim was denied, the insurance company is required to provide you a reason for the denial. Consider the reason given and whether or not you can address that issue. If so, you may be able to resubmit the claim or file an appeal. A workers compensation lawyer can handle this for you, and possibly address the reason for the denial before submitting the necessary paperwork on your behalf.

Proof of Injury

In some instances, a workers compensation claim may be denied on the basis that sufficient proof of injury, or that the injury occurred on the job, was not provided. When you work with a workers compensation lawyer, he or she can recommend a physician who is familiar with job related injuries. The physician can provide medical documentation that proves your injury is valid. In addition, your attorney can investigate the circumstances of your accident. It may be possible to interview witnesses of your accident and include their testimony as part of your claim.

Litigation

Even though your injury may have occurred on the job and is serious, and you provided sufficient documentation, it may still be denied. Or, it may be approved but the benefits offered to you are not enough to provide you the treatment necessary to address your injury. Either scenario may require you to seek legal recourse with the help of a workers compensation lawyer. Your best option may turn out to be personal injury lawsuit against your employer or the third party responsible for causing your injury. Even before you enter a courtroom, your lawyer may be able to negotiate a settlement that will cover your accident-related costs. As opposed to workers compensation benefits, a lawsuit can include pain and suffering as one of your damages. In addition, if a third party (rather than your employer) caused your injury, workers compensation benefits may not be available, and therefore you may have to consider filing a lawsuit.

 

Thanks to our friends and contributors at Franks, Koenig & Neuwelt for their insight into workers’ compensation.