Defective Roadways

While motor vehicle accidents are very common reasons to pursue personal injury claims, there are also other ways individuals have vehicles that are damaged outside of motor vehicle collisions. Potholes are a great example. We try our best to avoid them, but sometimes it is impossible. Running into a pothole can lead to serious tire and wheel damage to your vehicle. To make matters worse, this wheel and tire damage could lead to losing control of your vehicle and getting into an accident. Potholes are common everywhere from small towns to major cities. One thing that is also common is roads needing repairs. There are several reasons roads may crack or break up and lead to potholes. If you are extremely unlucky, these potholes can be large enough to bend the rim of your tire, cause your vehicle to need a wheel alignment, and lead to a motor vehicle accident.

 Who Is Responsible?

The question then becomes, “Who is responsible for my property damage?” Due to the roadway’s poor maintenance, there may be someone responsible for the damages to your vehicle. However, this depends on a few things. First and foremost, laws vary from state to state, so it is important to know and understand the rules and laws of your state. Because potholes occur so frequently, states have laws in place that can hurt your property damage case. That’s why it is important to have an attorney.

 Hire a Lawyer

An attorney will be able to investigate the location of the accident or where the damage occurred and determine if the state was aware of this pothole or defective road, and if they can somehow be held liable. In the event that your attorney investigates and finds there is liability, you are good to go.

The attorney will then draft and file the proper documents that are required to request funds from the appropriate entity. This may be on private property, municipalities, or be the state’s responsibility. While all of this is uncertain when the incident occurs, an attorney will help figure out the viable information. If damages of this nature are not covered by your car insurance, it can be an extreme hassle. Should you or someone you know be the victim of property damage or motor vehicle accidents due to potholes or defective roads, contact an attorney, like a personal injury attorney from Andrew R. Lynch, P.C., as soon as possible.

 

Why Is There a Statute of Limitations on Motorcycle Accidents?

If you are thinking about filing a personal injury lawsuit for your recent motorcycle accident, you may have heard that there is a statute of limitations. Since you may not know the extent of your injuries, it’s normal to wonder why there is a deadline. Here is why the statute of limitations is important and why there is one.

Protection for the Case

To wait too long to file your claim can put a dent in your ability to win. After years, there may be less evidence. If you had witnesses that saw the accident, who could back up your claim that the other driver was at fault, you may not be able to use them after waiting too long. While you may have a clear memory of what happened that day, the witnesses may not. Memories fade and change over time. You may find that there are more discrepancies in their statements. The witnesses may not even agree on the circumstances of the accident.

The more time that you wait to file your claim, the harder your case is going to be to fight. You don’t want to go through the pain of gathering evidence years after the accident occurred. The sooner that you can access police reports, witness statements and file an insurance claim, the better. Also, insurance companies may have a statute of limitations themselves. It is better for you if you file early.

Protection for the Defendant

No one wants to be served with a civil lawsuit years after an event happened. While the main point of the statute of limitations is to make sure that the evidence is still valid and that it hasn’t deteriorated, the statute does serve as a protection against defendants. For instance, if you live in South Carolina, your statute of limitations is three years. You cannot file a lawsuit against someone five years after the accident. They may not have a fair shot in arguing the case, because they didn’t think you were going to sue. It’s fair for both sides to have the statute in place.

No matter the civil lawsuit, any claim has a statute of limitations. While there are exceptions if your injuries due to the accident manifest later, for the most part, you have a deadline on when you can file. To find out more about the statute of limitations, contact a motorcycle accident lawyer, like from John K. Zaid & Associates, as soon as possible. 

Does a Birth Injury Qualify for a Personal Injury Claim?

Having a baby can be one of the most beautiful events of your life, but if your child is born with an injury, it can become a devastating event in a matter of moments. Some injuries you may be prepared for, while others you may not be. Whether the injury was a birth defect, the fault of the doctor or the fault of the hospital, you may wonder if there’s a personal injury claim in there somewhere. The following gives a brief explanation.

Birth Defect or Birth Injury?

One of the biggest issues that will determine whether you have a case is if the injury is a birth defect or an actual birth injury. Birth defects are typically caused by genetics, and can also be caused by random events during development and pregnancy. The actions of the mother could also result in birth defects. For example, a mother who drank alcohol while pregnant could have a baby with serious defects.

Birth injuries, on the other hand, are typically caused by the negligence of another person or entity. They generally happen at the time of labor and delivery. A birth injury could be the result of improper use of medical tools, an improper technique for delivery, an inattentive doctor or nurse, and a wide range of other situations.

If your baby’s injury is a birth defect, you typically don’t have a personal injury claim. If the injury is a true birth injury and someone is directly responsible for it, you could have a case.

How Do You Prove Negligence?

In order for you to have a case, you’ll need to prove negligence on the part of the individual who caused the injury. While doctors, nurses and other hospital staff are just as human as you are, you trusted those individuals to care for your most precious possession: your child. To prove negligence, there are a few facts you’ll need to secure, including:

  • A doctor-patient relationship existed, which means the doctor owed you and your baby a certain duty of care.
  • The doctor failed to provide a level of care that any other doctor in that same situation would have provided.
  • Your baby was injured because of the doctor’s failure to provide proper care.
  • The injuries have caused harm to you, your baby, your financial situation, your emotional state, etc.

Getting Questions Answered

As you face life with a child who has been injured, you don’t have to deal with everything on your own. To get your legal questions answered, contact a personal injury lawyer in DC, like from The Law Firm of Frederick J. Brynn, today.

Should Amazon Be Liable for Defective Products?

Amazon remains the world’s favorite “get anything from us” service. Amazon is a place where you can get anything from the glamorous and luxurious to the useless and mundane. Since you can truly get anything from Amazon, this also means that thrown into their enormous inventory are fake products. These are subpar reproductions of the item the buyer actually wants, like luxury shoes or purses.

Some are merely phony, while others are more dangerous because they are made with materials and substances that are harmful to people. More serious cases come from electronics where items are made in this way and when used, can combust into flames, often leaving the injured scarred for life. The injured’s first reaction is to sue Amazon; after all that’s where they bought the item. Most courts have maintained that Amazon is not a “seller,” though. 

The Manufacturer Is Liable
Since Amazon didn’t manufacture the product and are only “hosting” the sale of a third party’s product on their platform, they are not liable for any defects of said product. Many defective products have come from China, where it’s pretty much impossible to successfully sue a manufacturer for a defective product. This means both the manufacturer and Amazon have been able to get off scot-free, and it’s always been that way — until now.

New Rulings on Liability
The California Court of Appeal has made a decision regarding third-party products sold through Amazon. It was ruled that “Amazon plays a pivotal role in delivering the products to the consumer, whether it acts as a retailer, distributor, or facilitator.” As stated in the ruling:

[“As a factual and legal matter, Amazon placed itself between Lenoge and Bolger in the chain of distribution of the product at issue here. Amazon accepted possession of the product from Lenoge, stored it in an Amazon warehouse, attracted Bolger to the Amazon website, provided her with a product listing for Lenoge’s product, received her payment for the product, and shipped the product in Amazon packaging to her. Amazon set the terms of its relationship with Lenoge, controlled the conditions of Lenoge’s offer for sale on Amazon, limited Lenoge’s access to Amazon’s customer information, forced Lenoge to communicate with customers through Amazon, and demanded indemnification as well as substantial fees on each purchase.”]

Ultimately, under the established principles of strict liability, Amazon is still liable for product defects even if there is no malicious intent involved in the accidents.

The plaintiff in the ruling of this case was a woman who bought a replacement battery for her laptop from Lenoge Technology HK Ltd, a Hong Kong manufacturer operating under the name “E-Life.” The battery exploded into flames on her lap resulting in severe burns. 

Contact an Attorney
If you or someone you know has been injured by a defective product, contact an attorney, like a personal injury attorney in Las Vegas, NV from Eric Roy Law Firm, to schedule a consultation to see if you have a case today.

Double Trouble: Two Firms That Can’t Share the Same Name

It was said a rose by any other name would still smell as sweet, but it’s also a fact that two different flowers that just so happen to have the same name will smell very differently. While they might be allowed to hold the same name for a certain time, eventually someone will attempt to rename one of them and some people might even be frustrated that they were allowed to hold the same name for so long in the first place.

This kind of scenario played out recently in Colorado where Gilbert Law recently lost an appeal case against Gilbert Law. In the case, casually referred to as “The tale of two Gilberts;” Christopher Gilbert claims to have owned the gilbert-law.com domain name since 2003 having practiced under the Gilbert Law Firm name in Texas. After moving to Colorado, he registered his previous branding with the state when he eventually opened his own office.

The problem was that there was already another Gilbert Law Firm owned by a James Gilbert who was not too happy about the duplicate name. Given that there were two Gilbert Law Firms, confusion between the attorneys and clients both current and potential ensued.

“I’ve worked hard to build up a reputation locally and nationally, said James. When someone starts to create confusion with people who want to use your services, you can’t allow that to happen. We’ve had at least three separate instances where consumers were confused about those similarities.”

A settlement agreement was made where both firms would avoid using the stand alone Gilbert Law  name while Christopher’s firm would put up a disclaimer discounting any affiliation with James’ firm also  putting up a link to his site to differentiate them.

James however sued Christopher again when he felt aspects of that agreement were violated given that Christopher continued to use the gilbert-law.com domain. Appealing the decision, the court ruled in the favor of James. Currently being of The Gilbert Law Group, it was originally known as James L. Gilbert and Associated when founded in 1981; then in 2011, it took on its current name.

Appeals Court Judge Steven Bernard didn’t feel that the hyphen distinguished the domain name significantly enough from Gilbert Law as it was just one punctuation away from being just that.

It was stated that, “The defendant shall have 30 days from the date of this order to change his domain name to sufficiently avoid non-compliance and to ultimately move his email and other content to the new domain.”

Other than that, James’ law group was awarded damages of $1.

If you feel that a legal agreement you’re involved with has not been honored, it may be beneficial to speak with a personal injury attorney, like from Eric Roy Law Firm, about your legal options and next steps. 

Yellow Cab Accident Damages: 4 Questions for Your Attorney

Being involved in a car accident can raise many questions, especially if you are facing injuries or property damage. While this situation is usually stressful, you may find yourself with more questions than usual if you were injured in a wreck with a Yellow Cab. Unlike accidents with other private motorists, your avenues for collecting damages may be unique. Asking your attorney a few questions about the wreck may offer you peace of mind as you move forward with your lawsuit.

  1. What If I Was a Taxi Passenger? 

If you were injured while riding in a taxi, your means of collecting damage may not be that much different than if you were riding in a private vehicle. As a passenger, you have a reduced burden of proof and can file suit against the insurance company of both drivers. As the drivers, they must sort out the question of liability.

  1. What Responsibilities Does the Taxi Company Have? 

When you are injured by a taxicab, the taxi company has several responsibilities they must fulfill both before and after the incident. For example, all drivers must carry insurance and are subject to background checks before being hired. After the accident, if the wreck was the fault of the taxi driver, the cab company is liable for any injuries you may have incurred. However, if another motorist caused the accident, you will have to hold that driver liable. If an at-fault taxi driver causes a wreck and is not qualified to operate such a vehicle, you may be able to collect additional or punitive damages.

  1. What If the Insurance Company Denies My Claim? 

If your taxi driver is found to be 100% liable for the accident, then you may have little trouble collecting damages. However, if the other driver was even slightly at fault, Yellow Cab’s insurance company may deny your claim or offer you a reduced award. Should this occur, your attorney can advise you about how to proceed with filing a lawsuit for the entire amount and how to challenge liability claims.

  1. What If the Insurance Exceeds My Damages? 

If the taxi accident includes more than one victim, the total damages may exceed the cab company’s commercial insurance coverage. In this case, you might have to sue the driver of the cab as an individual. However, this can be challenging and may not net you as much as you require to pay your medical bills.

Getting injured in a Yellow Cab accident can turn your world upside down, but you do not have to face the future alone. Contact a car accident lawyer, like from John K. Zaid & Associates, today for further advice and information.

Intellectual Property Rights and Contractors

When it comes to intellectual property and independent contractors, the lines can get blurry. Many people are surprised to find out that if their company does hire an independent contractor to create something for them–a book, a painting, a logo, or other types of graphics–that the company does not necessarily own the creative work that the contractor created. This is usually confused because when a business hires someone as an employee to do the same job, it is usually clearly stated in the contract that the business owns any creative ideas that the employee designed related to the job. An intellectual property attorney can understand that this is a confusing area of law and we are here to help. If you have legal questions or problems regarding intellectual property, please give a patent attorney, like from The Law Office of Konrad Sherinian, LLC, a call. 

What about copyright?

When you are wondering what creative works fall under copyright law, they are some of the items as follows:

  • Photographs
  • Paintings
  • Plays
  • Poems
  • Films
  • Music

If you own the copyright to any of the items above, that means that you can control how the work is used and distributed. Thus, if you hired an independent contractor and they retained the power of copyright over the works they created and you did not, that means that your ability to reproduce and distribute that item may be quite limited. Just because you paid for it does not mean you own the rights to it. 

How can I own the copyright?

This should be done with the help of your intellectual property attorney when you draft up a contract with the independent contractor. You should clearly state in writing that you will be the one (considered by law) to be the author of the work they produce. Depending on the type of work created, you may not be able to do this, though. Some of the types of work that you can legally say you authored if an independent contractor created it are:

  • A test and the answers to the test
  • An atlas
  • A translation of a text
  • Any contribution to part of literature
  • An instructional text

Although not comprehensive, you can see that this list is fairly limited. If you have any other questions about intellectual property and owning the copyright for it, please reach out to a trusted intellectual property attorney now.

What if my worker’s compensation settlement offer isn’t enough?

If you suffered a terrible injury at work, you may be in need of a significant amount of costly medical treatment. Until you completely recover, you may not be able to go to work. If the injury is permanent, you may not be able to continue in your career. The subsequent loss in income could have a catastrophic impact on your life and the security of your family members. As a result, if the worker’s compensation settlement offer you received is far less than your injury related damages, it can cause a great deal of anxiety and fear for your future. A worker’s compensation attorney focuses on cases like the above scenario, and assists injured employees in getting the settlements that they deserve. If your offer was less than it should be, call an attorney today. They provide injured employees with a complimentary, no-obligation case review. This can be especially helpful as our worker’s compensation attorney can provide you with the clarity that you and your family need during this difficult chapter in your lives.

How do I know if the worker’s compensation settlement offer will be sufficient?

Every injury is different, and everyone’s ability to recover from a serious injury is different and depends on a number of factors. If they are in relatively good health and their immune system is strong, they may recover faster than someone who is already challenged with other serious health issues. If the injury requires one or more surgeries, recovery time may be longer than someone whose injury did not require surgery. When determining the full extent of damages associated with a workplace injury, hiring a worker’s compensation attorney can make all the difference. With the years of experience and insight offered by our attorney, your claim may be worth far more than if you were to file it on your own.

Can I get another settlement if I need more medical treatment later?

No. Once you accept a settlement, you will not be eligible to receive any additional compensation no matter your eventual circumstances. This is why it’s important to identify all of your past, present, and future damages associated with your workplace injury. A worker’s compensation attorney will help you with this. Most law firms belong to a professional network that include medical experts and others who will provide the critical information that is needed in order to file a claim that is inclusive of all damages. In this way, clients can receive the compensation they need in order to fully recover from their workplace injury, and the income they cannot earn while they are healing.

What should I do if I was injured at work?

After receiving proper medical care and a diagnosis about the nature and severity of your injury, consider consulting legal guidance. If your injury is particularly serious and will require costly medical treatment, hiring a workers compensation lawyer, like from the Law Offices of Franks, Koenig & Neuwelt, may be in your best interest—call today to learn more about how they can help you.

How Much Will Your Divorce Cost?

Determining the cost of a divorce isn’t easy. The average divorce cost could range from $500 for an uncontested divorce to $15,000 or more. There isn’t a checklist that can tell you what your divorce will cost, but you can think about what expenses you will have.

What Factors Influence the Cost of Your Divorce? 

An uncontested divorce is probably the least expensive way to become single again. This means that you agree with your spouse on everything, all that’s left is to have a judge sign off on your divorce. If you don’t have many assets and there are no children, this may be an option. Usually, divorces are contested. There are many things to work out. If your marriage is breaking down, deciding child custody and support is usually a contentious process. If you and your spouse can’t agree through the process using mediation or through your lawyers, a trial will be costly.

What Are Some of the Financial Costs of Divorce? 

The first cost that most people think about with a divorce is the lawyer’s fees. An attorney will be a big part of the expense of the divorce, but you will also have court costs and outside experts. You may also have to refinance loans to get the other spouse off the loan. Your housing costs will likely increase because the rent or mortgage isn’t being shared between the two of you. Some of your insurance policies may increase when you separate. Sometimes, it can be better to pay off debt than to divide it up, so you may need to consider those costs.

Have You Considered the Indirect Costs? 

Divorce is a stressful process, whether you and your spouse agree or not. You may have expenses that aren’t necessarily financial, but they will impact your finances. Don’t forget to factor in time off work for court or lawyer appointments. Many people attend therapy sessions during and after their divorce to heal. If you have kids, you’ll want to make sure they feel comfortable. You may have to be more available while they process their own feelings.

Divorce Can Be Expensive. What Are the Alternatives? 

There are ways to save money on your divorce. The more you and your spouse agree on, the less expensive your divorce can be. However, that isn’t always realistic. You should speak to an attorney, like a family attorney from Scroggins Law Group, about your options and situation to make sure you get the divorce done right to start your life in the best way possible.

Steps to Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim

Construction Accident Lawyer

If you’ve been injured on the job, you may not have to turn to your health insurance company for medical coverage. Your employer should have a workers’ compensation policy to cover on-the-job incidents. The insurance will pay for your medical care and treatment. It can also pay a portion of your salary for any time you miss at work. If you are considering filing a claim, you need to know the proper process so things go smoothly.

Report Your Injury

Before you do anything about the incident, you should report it to your direct supervisor or to human resources immediately. Even minor injuries should be reported so they’re on record. Waiting too long could result in a denial of your workers’ compensation claim. For example, if you cut your hand on a piece of machinery, it could lead to an infection. However, if you didn’t report the initial injury, you won’t likely be able to file a workers’ compensation claim for the infection.

Work with Your Employer to Get Workers’ Compensation Coverage

Your employer’s human resources representative should help you file a workers’ compensation claim for your injury. This person or team should walk you through each step in the process, including filing the right paperwork.

The Time Frame

It’s in your best interest to file your claim as quickly as possible. Every state has different guidelines on how long you have to make your claim. In some places, the timeline is as short as one year, while in other states you may have three years or longer. If you don’t comply with these regulations, you won’t get the coverage you need.

Exceptions

You may, however, have a special circumstance that allows you to extend your filing. If your injuries were so severe that you were physically unable to go through the filing process, you may be able to have additional time to make your claim. Also, if you were in a coma, you might not have been able to file right away. Workers’ compensation may make an exception for you in this case. Another example would be if you didn’t discover a workplace ailment until later, and the deadline had already expired. This happens when a worker is exposed to a hazardous chemical or substance but symptoms didn’t manifest until years later.

If you are injured at work, speak with your employer and a lawyer, like a workers’ compensation lawyer from the Law Offices of Franks, Koenig, & Neuwelt, as soon as possible. Follow these rules and you should be able to get the financial help you need.