Can I File a Wrongful Death Suit for a Tree Accident?

Wrongful Death Attorney

My loved one was hit and killed when a large tree branch fell on her during a storm. Who is responsible for this death, if anyone, and what recourse does the family have against the liable party?

How do I determine who is liable?

There are several questions that need to be addressed to determine if anyone is liable and if so, where the liability responsible lies.

  • Where exactly did the accident occur?
  • Was it on private or public property?
  • Who is responsible for the maintenance of the tree
  • Was your loved one acting carelessly when the accident occurred?

Cases involving tree accidents are in a category called premises liability. This allows victims — or their families in the case of a death — to hold the property owners liable for injuries occurring on their property because the owners have a responsibility to keep their premises in a safe condition.

Can a private property owner always be held responsible for an injury from a fallen branch?

Generally, the property owner has a responsibility to keep their property safe for anyone who lawfully visits their property. This includes keeping trees maintained. The extent of their duty also depends on the kind of property involved. For example, if the property included several acres of undeveloped, heavily wooded land, it is looked at differently than a typical residential lot. In this case, the property owner cannot be expected to maintain all the trees or the removal of hanging or dead branches.

In order to prove that the defendant was responsible for the tree-related injury, you must prove that the property owner was negligent. To do this, you must address the following:

  • Defendant has the task to maintain the property in an acceptably safe condition
  • Defendant failed in this duty by not correcting or warning of any dangerous conditions
  • Defendant should have known or knew of the dangerous or hazardous conditions
  • The injuries were as a result of the defendant not maintaining safe property conditions

Does it make a difference if the tree is on public property?

It is a bit more difficult to prove liability if the tree is on public property because you have to show that a local entity or government did not keep the property in a reasonably safe condition or did not issue or display warnings that there was a danger or that they should have known of a dangerous condition.

What can we expect to recover and can we proceed with a wrongful death lawsuit?

Wrongful death is defined as someone dying as a result of someone else’s negligence, inaction or malpractice. In order to receive any kind of compensation, the families of the victim must prove that their loved one died as a result of the negligence of another party. Damages may include all medical and funeral expenses, pain and suffering and future lost wages and income if that person was supporting another family member or members. These are all scenarios that you will want to discuss with a Charlottesville, VA wrongful death lawyer to determine if you have a case.

A wrongful death case is typically allowed for immediate family members or those family members who relied on the deceased for financial or emotional needs.



Thank you to our friends and contributors at MartinWren, P.C. for their insight into wrongful death cases and personal injury.

What not to wear to court

Personal Injury Lawyer

Yes, it really does matter what you wear to court. Your appearance is a part of showing that you are taking whatever matter that has you in court seriously.  You will be “judged” upon your attire, and possibly not let in the court room if in too casual of dress. Most court rooms now will not let you in if you are in either shorts, and or flip-flops, and if you are let in in such attire the Judge may find you in contempt of the court.  This does not mean you need to wear a three-piece suit, however conservative dress is recommended. Such as for men slacks, or if necessary nice pressed jeans, and either a button-down shirt or collared shirt, and either boots or clean shoes. Do not wear the following items to court if you want to be taken seriously by the judge; ripped jeans, shorts, sandals, vulgar t-shirts, muscle shirts/tank tops, Clothes that are stained, much too big, or overtly form fitting. Do not wear stained clothes, shirts that are ripped and or missing buttons, make sure your pants if you are wearing them are button, and zipped. If you would not want to wear it in front of your grandparents, or to church or some such other even that requires conservative clothing do not wear it to court. Ladies the same recommendation goes to you. You may also wear dresses, or skirts however make sure that it is not too short. Go back to the elementary school rules and if is shorter than fingertip length do not wear it. Also, ladies court is a conservative environment there is a recommendation not to wear exceedingly heavy and or dark makeup. Another recommendation this time for everyone is prior to court cover if possible any visible tattoos with clothing if able or possible. There is still unfortunately a social stigmatism against tattoos, and the people who chose to have them.  This also means that any visible non-mainstream piercings need to be remove if able, an example of a socially accepted mainstream piercing would be a person’s earlobes that are not gauged. Dressing in the appropriate manner shows not only are you taking the matter seriously, but also that you respect the court. Appearances truly do matter for court you are trying to present yourself in the best light possible which means it makes it easier for yourself, or your family lawyer Arlington, Texas trusts to defend you and or your case.



Thank you to our friends and contributors at Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC for their insight into personal injury claims and tips for court.

Will Balancing Your Hormones Help With Couples Therapy?

Personal Injury Lawyer

As we get older, our body slows down or sometimes even stops making certain hormones and the results can be devastating for a couple. Realizing what the changes are can help you take that first step to fixing the issue.

These problems may be wreaking havoc on your marriage. Consider these symptoms of hormone imbalance:

  • Mood swings
  • Weight gain
  • Fatigue
  • Lowered sex drive
  • Depression

Do any of them sound familiar to what you or your spouse is currently going through? Enduring just one of these symptoms could have an affect on how a couple deals with each other — never mind all of them.

Mood swings by one can have the other spouse feeling attacked. What happened to my easygoing wife/husband? Weight gain can make us feel unattractive, even if our partner doesn’t agree.

That can lead to a lowered sex drive, which can make the couple feel like there is a distance between them — that they’re no longer connecting. Depression and fatigue can feed on each other and suddenly it feels like you don’t even recognize the person you’ve become.

Luckily, you don’t have to live this way — there is help out there. A chiropractor Rockville, MD relies on could examine both of you to see what is really going on and let you know what options are out there to help you both.

That’s right — hormone imbalances can affect women and men. There are different options out there that can be tailored to exactly what each of you is experiencing. You don’t need to continue to suffer and neither does your relationship.

It’s also recommended that you get your hormones checked, and then balanced, together — because if just one gets the boost they need while the other does not, that too can put pressure on the relationship. It’s hard when one person has a stronger sex drive than the other.

It’s not just the sex drive that can be affected when you get your hormones balanced. You may find yourselves with the following happening:

  • Greater desire for romance
  • The ability to lose weight
  • Less need for as much sleep (because the sleep you’re getting is a higher quality)
  • You’re more open to having fun and enjoying life

Now imagine these changes happening in your marriage! Suddenly you have the energy to go out on a date night together and reconnect in ways that you haven’t in ages. You’re feeling better about yourselves, which can motivate you to make more of an effort in your relationship.

It can also reinvigorate your couples therapy so that this new connection can be made on all levels — emotional and not just on a physical level. Together you can tackle problems that have been holding you back from being the best versions of yourselves that you can be.

These results aren’t guaranteed and can vary from patient to patient because each person and their reactions to any kind of hormone therapies are completely different.



Thank you to our friends and contributors at Pain Arthritis Relief Center for their insight into hormone balancing and couples therapy.

Distracted Driving and Car Crashes

Car Accident Lawyer

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that distracted driving is any activity that diverts attention from driving, including talking or texting on your phone, eating and drinking, talking to people in your vehicle, fiddling with the stereo, entertainment or navigation system – anything that takes your attention away from the task of safe driving.

Texting is the most alarming distraction. Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for 5 seconds. At 55 mph, it’s like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed.

You cannot drive safely unless the task of driving has your full attention. Any non-driving activity you engage in is a potential distraction and increases your risk of crashing. According to a car accident lawyer Phoenix, AZ trusts, there are three main types of distraction:

  • Visual: taking your eyes off the road;
  • Manual: taking your hands off the wheel; and
  • Cognitive: taking your mind off of driving

NHTSA states that 3,450 people were killed in 2016. 391,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers in 2015.

During daylight hours, approximately 481,000 drivers are using cell phones while driving. That creates enormous potential for deaths and injuries on U.S. roads. Teens were the largest age group reported as distracted at the time of fatal crashes.

Regarding adult and teen drivers, drivers under the age of 20 have the highest proportion of distraction-related fatal crashes. Students who reported frequent texting while driving were also less likely to wear a seatbelt, more likely to ride with a driver who had been drinking and more likely to drink and drive.

Many state  drivers’ license manuals, like Arizona’s state that a driver must avoid distractions while driving, such as:

  • Using a phone, texting or using other electronic handheld devices.
  • Searching for an item dropped on the seat.
  • Tending to children.
  • Fastening a safety belt while driving.

Further, there is a potential crash in every minor distraction, pull off the road safely and stop if you are going to use a cell phone or send/receive a text message. Use of these devices while driving may result in a distracted driving behavior, and is dangerous. While operating a motor vehicle, both hands should be on the steering wheel, to allow the driver full control of the vehicle.

AAA has reported on the continuing research regarding the issue of the dangers of distracted driving, and drivers’ use of hands-free technology.

A University of Utah study cited by AAA confirmed that drivers using voice commands to send and receive text messages experienced significant levels of mental distraction, which compromised their driving performance.

Some activities, like listening to a text or an email, are less demanding than composing a message, and some voice activated tasks of short duration are less distracting than tasks of longer duration.

However, the point is that hands-free technology does not minimize all driver distraction, and it may increase it. Cognitive distraction, or plain and simple mental overload, occurs when a driver takes on too many or complicated tasks.

According to AAA, the number of vehicles with built in “infotainment systems” on American roads is expected to rise from 7 million today to 370 million by 2020.

AAA confirms that hands-free isn’t distraction or risk free, the safety of all of us is at stake.



Thank you to our friends and contributors at the Law Office of Paul Englander, PLC for their insight into car accidents and personal injuries.

Truck Accident Injuries Suffered by Passenger Car Drivers


Truck Accident Lawyer

As an attorney understands well, the injuries a passenger driver may suffer from after being hit by a commercial truck can be very painful and costly and can empathize with how much stress and devastation you may be experiencing after such a collision. Accidents that occur due to a negligent truck driver can be truly tragic, where multiple lives could be lost or impacted forever.

We have realized that many people do not know just how much compensation they may be entitled to after being the victim in a commercial truck accident. If the trucker was at-fault for the wreck, you may be able to recover expenses related to medical bills, loss of wage, costs for car repairs, and more. This is where an attorney can be of help, as we can provide you with advice on how to file a lawsuit against the truck and trucking company for what happened.

Here in the article below, we have listed a few of the top injuries victims of commercial truck accidents may suffer from in the hours or weeks following the incident.

#1 Broken Bones

Depending on where the passenger car driver was hit, he or she may endure broken bones in different areas of the body. If the commercial truck squashed the front end of the car, the driver’s feet, legs, toes and knees could have been broken. If the car driver was plowed into on the left side next to the driver’s seat, a broken arm, wrist, hip or pelvic bone could suffer a breakage.

#2 Whiplash

Whiplash can happen in very small accidents, as well as very severe collisions. If the neck and head was suddenly jolted forward and backward due to the force of impact, painful and debilitating whiplash could result. Whiplash may not always require emergency medical attention. However, the care to treat a serious case of whiplash could last months or longer. The victim may need surgery, physical therapy and continued chiropractic care in order to heal.

#3 Mental Trauma

A passenger car driver that was hit by a commercial truck going very fast may start to develop fears and anxieties about getting back into the car afterwards. The victim may require therapy and medication to help treat newly evolved depression, panic attacks or post-traumatic stress disorder due to the collision. If you are struggling with difficult emotions or thoughts after a truck accident, speak with your doctor so you can receive the treatment you need to get better.

A Las Vegas truck accident lawyer can meet with you to talk further about how the commercial truck accident occurred and help you get back to the health and financial stability you were prior to such a horrible accident.



Thank you to our friends and contributors at Nadia Von Magdenko & Associates for their insight into truck accidents and personal injury.

What should I know about the time constraints for filing a medical malpractice claim?

Personal Injury Lawyer

If you were injured because of an error or mistake made by a doctor or medical professional, you might feel as if you should “wait and see” what happens with your injury before pursuing your legal options. On the other hand, you might feel confused and overwhelmed about the idea of filing a claim; therefore, be reluctant to doing anything even though you know deep inside your doctor made a mistake. This might be the easiest way to handle a situation like this, but it is certainly not the smarted.

Under state laws, you are required to pursue legal remedies for medical malpractice within a certain time period. This is known as the statute of limitations. If you miss this deadline, which is typically between one and three years, depending on the state and type of claim, you may not be able to recover compensation. This is regardless of the merit of the claim and how much you have lost.

In general, even though medical malpractice falls within personal injury law, the statute of limitations are often shorter than other types of personal injury torts. Even if you’re unsure about whether or not you have a claim, or want to pursue one, it may be in your best interest to consult with a medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible. If legal action is recommended, your opportunity to recover damages may be preserved from here on, out.

When Does the Time Constraints Begin in a Medical Malpractice Case?

Every court, and state, has a different view on exactly when the statute of limitations begins on a medical malpractice case. The difference of these views is a reflection and an interpretation of how the statute is actually written. Furthermore, it may reflect the court’s’ opinion on the merit of the case and also the importance of protecting the victim versus safeguarding the medical professional.

In our experience, some courts state that the statute of limitations for filing a medical malpractice case begins immediately after the occurrence of the act, or upon the plaintiff claiming that an error has occurred. Other courts have said that the time limits start when the malpractice actually causes further harm. Another view from the court has ruled that the deadline begins as soon as the plaintiff discovered, or should have discovered, an injury occurred because of a medical error. Finally, it is possible for the courts to say that the statue begins as soon as the treatment is finalized.

If the victim of medical malpractice loses their life, the statute of limitations becomes even more complex. At this point, the court would need to decide whether or not the statute pertaining to a wrongful death applies, or will the time constraint be associated with medical malpractice statutes. After this is decided, the court will need to further discuss the action that triggered the statute of limitations. This might be as soon as the plaintiff died or when the alleged action that caused the death occurred. This time could be significantly different.

A court might also state that the statute starts when the plaintiff discovered the injury, or should have discovered the injury, that eventually led to the death was the result of malpractice. Finally, in the matter of a loss of life, the court could rule that the statute of limitations begins from the date of the last and final treatment. This would not necessarily mean the date of death, but could be days, weeks, or months before the plaintiff died.

Even though statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases can clearly be found online, for every state, there are a number of specific circumstances that can change the limits for filing a claim. You should talk with a personal injury attorney Longwood, FL trusts to find out exactly when the deadline is for your own case.




Thank you to our friends and contributors at David & Philpot, PL for their insight into personal injury and medical malpractice cases.

Tips for Homeowners to Prevent Personal Injury Claims

Homeowners have a duty of care to ensure that visitors to their property are not injured in an accident. The last thing any homeowner wants to face is an accident that they may be responsible for. Here are some tips for homeowners when it comes to preventing accidents and preventing personal injury claims:

Tip #1

Although it may not prevent the likelihood of a personal injury claim or lawsuit, make sure that you have a strong homeowner’s insurance policy in place. Take the time to research policies, you will want to make sure that you are covered in the event of a personal injury claim. Know what your policy covers and take the time to learn if there are any steps that might be taken to reduce your rates.

Tip #2

Make sure that you are prepared in case of an emergent. Have a clear plan for evacuation from the home if faced with a disastrous situation. A homeowner should have a plan for how they will manage a situation that may be hazardous.

Tip #3

If you have a pool in your yard, your property is equipped with what is known as an attractive nuisance. It’s possible to enjoy your pool safely and prevent others from sustaining injury by taking certain precautions. You can do this by:

  • Making sure there are no cracks or problems with your deck or stone patio. This will mitigate accidental falls.
  • Keep your pool fenced in with a gate that prevents trespassers from entering
  • Keep the area surrounding your pool well lit
  • Remove any toys from the pool area when it is not in use to prevent children from being drawn to it.

Building a Successful Personal Injury Case Against a Homeowner

In most cases, accident victims may start with filing a personal injury claim against the homeowner’s insurance company. In order for an accident victim to bring forth a successful personal injury case, their claim must make up the following key elements:

  1. Duty of Care
  2. The Duty of Care was Breached
  3. Causation
  4. Damages

It will be key to gather evidence relevant to the case as the victim will need to be able to support their claim with proof. Some key pieces of evidence an attorney may help to gather include:

  • Photographs of videos of the accident or area where the injury occurred.
  • Photographs of the injury
  • Medical Records
  • Proof of financial suffering
  • Proof of lost wages
  • A written account of the accident
  • Any statements for those who witnessed the accident

It can seem overwhelming for an accident victim, especially when it comes to gathering evidence. An attorney can review the case and guide accident victims in the steps needed to take action and the evidence required to support an accident victim’s claim.  

If you or someone you know has been injured on someone’s property, you may be able to take legal action against them if you are able to prove that they were liable for your injuries. Often, a consultation with a personal injury attorney comes with little risk. Speak with a personal injury lawyer Miami, FL relies on today for help in determining whether you can take action against the person whose property you were injured at.




Thank you to our friends and contributors at the Law Offices of Needle & Ellenberg, P.A. for their insight into personal injury claims.

Family Responsibilities Discrimination in the Workplace

Discrimination in the workplace based on the real or perceived responsibility of an employee to care for their family is called Family Responsibilities Discrimination (FRD). Examples of such discrimination include if an employee is denied a promotion, paid less, harassed, or has other action taken against them based on these responsibilities. The responsibilities could include caring for a spouse, parent, or children or any differently abled or ill family members. It can affect almost any employee in any job and may also include discrimination against people based on marital status. Here is some key information on FRD and who it affects.

Examples of FRD

  • Firing pregnant women because of pregnancy or because they may take maternity leave.
  • Refusing to promote pregnant women, women with young children, or giving promotions to people without children over parents.
  • Being accommodating with parent’s work schedules while giving nonparents flexibility.
  • Fabricating reasons to dismiss employees because of their responsibilities.
  • Promoting single men over others.
  • Giving penalties to workers who have legally taken time off to care for family.

Discrimination Against Women

Although it can happen to anyone, women with children are the most likely to be affected by FRD. They are less likely to be hired, promoted and are offered around $10,000 less in compensation than males for the same position.

However, men may face discrimination as well. If a man faces responsibilities for care, then they may have leave requests for child care or medical care for a family member denied. They may also be denied promotion if their employer is aware of their ill or differently-abled family member.

The Effects of FRD on Businesses

One consequence of a business that takes illegal FRD actions can be a high employee turnover rate. Another is the likelihood of litigation being brought against them for their discriminatory practices.

Businesses should have a system in place to prevent FRD. Hiring, promotion, attendance, benefits, and leave policies should all be reviewed by the employer to make sure they are legal and positive for employees. The human resources team should be trained to handle FRD complaints and know the signs of FRD policies. All FRD complaints should be taken seriously and handled with care.

Attorney Assistance

If you believe you have been discriminated against by your employer because of your family obligations, hire a family lawyer Tampa, FL trusts to represent you if you want to pursue legal action. Thankfully, most lawyers provide a free consultation, so a lawyer can discuss your unique case with you and advise you on the best path for you.


Thank you to our friends and contributors at The McKinney Law Group for their insight into the workplace and family law.

Responding with Diligence After a Car Wreck

Every time a driver gets out onto the road, they are at-risk for being involved in an accident. Sadly, sometimes these incidents arise even if a driver does his or her best to avoid a collision. Other drivers may be speeding, weaving in and out of traffic or just not following the rules of the road. When an innocent driver gets pulled into a car wreck and suffers injuries and financial losses, the next best step can be to meet with an attorney for guidance.

In the article here, we have listed some suggestions for how to handle a car accident with diligence while at the scene and afterwards.

The Urgency of Medical Attention

An innocent driver may want to be evaluated by an emergency medical team while at the scene, even if he or she believes to feel okay after impact. Our body may become surged with adrenaline and other hormones due to going through a traumatic event. These hormones can hinder our ability to notice which areas hurt. That is, until a much later time once our system has calmed down. If you have sustained a serious underlying injury and do not get medical attention promptly, your condition could worsen to critical levels.

Another reason why you may want to go to the doctor right away is because if you do decide to file a lawsuit against the other driver, it may look poorly if it took you weeks to see get medical care after the crash. It may be viewed by insurance representatives that your injuries were not as serious as you so claimed. If you do get treatment, keep an organized record of your bills, exams and diagnostics. These documents can be helpful when you meet with an attorney for advice.

Exchanging Information

When in the midst of a very terrible accident, sometimes a driver may forget about the importance of exchanging information with the other person. The driver at-fault may be sneaky when it comes to giving you their details. For example, they may give you a nickname instead of their birth name, a false last name, or an incorrect address. When asking for the driver’s information, request to see their drivers license for yourself instead of taking their word for it. The facts you should get from the driver who hit you include the following:

  • First and last name
  • Current address
  • Phone number
  • Insurance company name (request to see card)
  • Driver’s license number
  • Vehicle make/model/year/color
  • License plate number

A car accident lawyer Staunton, VA relies on can understand just how much strife you may be going through after the wreck. You may have to deal with getting your car fixed, contacting your insurance company, healing from injuries and may even be out of work due to your condition. Let your attorney help you get back on track and be a resource as you file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver.




Thank you to our friends and contributors at MartinWren, P.C. for their knowledge about car accidents and personal injuries.

How are Personal Injury Settlements Accounted for in Probate?


Probate can seem like a dreaded process for a beneficiary or estate executor. Chances are, you will want to make sure assets are secured for beneficiaries. Probate can be stressful because many worry that assets will be overtaxed or debts will be so large that there is nothing left when it’s time to finally disperse assets. When a loved one takes the time to carefully plan their estate with an attorney, they can ensure that assets are secured for beneficiaries and are provided to them in a timely manner. Perhaps one thing that many worry about is how an award from a personal injury settlement will pass through probate, if at all.

The Purpose of Probate

Probate allows for an executor to legally and officially transfer assets to beneficiaries. Probate also ensures that the process occurs in a legitimate manner by having the court system validate the will of the deceased and confirm the executor of the estate. In the absence of a will, a probate just may appoint an estate executor to distribute assets to beneficiaries. In some situations, they may even make decisions regarding the process. Probate involves the following key elements:

  • Validating the will
  • Identifying the estate executor
  • Giving notice to family and debt collectors who may have a claim
  • Paying off all debts carried by the decedent and completing their income taxes
  • Distributing assets to beneficiaries

One of the biggest questions executors and beneficiaries often have are the details surrounding which assets must pass through probate and which are exempt. Assets that are required to pass through probate include:

  • Anything that was solely owned by the person who passed away

Assets that may be able to avoid the probate process include:

  • 401K and other retirement accounts (as long as there was a named beneficiary)
  • Pensions
  • Jointly Owned Property
  • Payable on Death Accounts (POD) such as a bank account
  • Transfer on Death (TOD) assets such as boats or cars
  • Pensions

An attorney may take on the helpful role of looking at the will and assets of the estate and determining which assets may be protected from probate. It’s always a good idea to participate in estate planning early on to ensure that you and your attorney are able to make plans around assets and how they may be disbursed in a way that allows for you to avoid probate.

Personal Injury Settlements

By accounting for a personal injury award during the estate planning process can not only help to ensure that there is a clear plan in place; but also to mitigate the taxes you may be required to pay. Ensuring that there is an estate plan in place for a personal injury settlement is key when distributing assets. Amongst grief, the last thing anyone wants to manage is contentious relationships and squabbling over a loved one’s assets. How you invested or used your settlement award will play a significant role in whether you must endure the probate process. If your settlement was in an account that was payable on death (POD) or an investment account that was transferable on death (TOD), the award may not have to go through probate.

Ensuring that assets are secured and accounted for during the probate process and beyond will be essential for beneficiaries. Although the death of a loved one can be an incredibly sad time for family and friends, it can also be stressful, especially if complications arise during the probate process. An estate planning lawyer Abingdon, VA trusts can be helpful in securing assets, protecting some from probate and helping an estate executor to manage the probate process.



Thank you to our friends and contributors at The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt for their knowledge about probate and estate planning.