Who Can Be Held Liable If I Get Injured At An Amusement Park?

The very nature of an amusement park, the rides, and the activities mean that there is an inherent risk of injury. Just like any property or business owner, the owner of an amusement park may be held liable under certain circumstances. This means that if you do get injured at an amusement park, you may have a personal injury claim against the owners, according to Lenzo & Reis, New Jersey Employment Attorneys.

1. Maintenance And Upkeep

The owner is responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the amusement park and to ensure that the equipment and other facilities are in good repair and fully operational. If the injury was due to neglect of maintaining the grounds, equipment or other facilities on the property, the owner may be held liable for any expenses.

2. Safety

There are certain safety standards and measures that must be put in place at an amusement park in order to ensure the safety and security of visitors to the grounds as well as while using the facilities and equipment. If these safety standards have not been met or the required measures have not been put in place, the owner may once again be held liable for an injury that has occurred as a result.

3. Additional Responsibility Of Rides

An amusement park owner has the additional responsibility to ensure that the rides on the premises are in good repair and safe. This includes ensuring that safety instructions are provided and that employees are sufficiently trained to operate the ride. Restraints and other safety measures that apply to a specific ride must also be well maintained and in good operation. If it is found that any of these provisions have not been met the amusement park can be held liable for a personal injury claim that resulted.

4. Regular Property Owner Liability

It is not just the rides and other facilities that pose a risk of injury at an amusement park and regular injuries that could occur on any property are also likely. For example, slip and fall injuries are quite common. It is, however, necessary to prove that the owner, management or employees may be responsible for the injury in some way. This is normally due to their direct action, indirect action or total inaction.

For example, if a drink is spilled and an employee neglects to clean it up as soon as possible, the amusement park may be held liable for a slip and fall injury that has occurred as a result. Contrary to popular belief, these type of injuries are much more common than those that occur due to use of the rides and other riskier activities available.

It can be difficult and complicated to prove liability in the case of an injury at an amusement park as there are so many different factors that need to be taken into account. It is highly recommended to hire a lawyer who specializes in personal injury claims that are related to amusement parks to help assess your case. An expert attorney has the knowledge and skill to investigate your case to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.

What Is The Difference Between Civil and Criminal Litigation?

We have heard the aforementioned question from our clients many times before. Currently, the United States legal system has to divisions: criminal and civil. Litigation is a term that simply refers to bringing someone to court in order to resolve a dispute.

The first major difference between a civil court case and a criminal court case is who is the plaintiff (the wronged party). In a civil case, the wronged party (whether it be an individual or a business) is the plaintiff.  In a criminal case, the plaintiff is the State (where the alleged misconduct took place) which is usually represented by a lawyer (sometimes referred to as prosecutor or district attorney).

The second major difference between a civil court case and a criminal court case is the level of standard of proof. In civil cases, plaintiffs need to convince the judge or jury of something called “preponderance of evidence” which is a fancy way of saying they need to show that their evidence is more convincing than the evidence of the defendant. It does not mean that the plaintiff has more evidence, just that the plaintiff has more accurate evidence. According to Cornell University Law School, that “preponderance of evidence” means that at least “50 percent of the evidence points to something.”  However, this is very different than criminal cases where the State needs to prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that the defendant committed a crime. The jury must also come to a unanimous decision.

Confusing? Here’s an example: OJ Simpson was found NOT GUILTY during his criminal case because the prosecutor could not convince a jury that he committed a crime without any reasonable doubt. However, Nicole Brown Simpon’s family sued OJ for wrongful death and accused him of being liable for her death. Because the family only had to show “preponderance of evidence” OJ was found GUILTY in his civil case.

Which brings us to the third major difference between a civil case and a criminal case: punishments. In a civil case, the defendant, if found guilty, is usually ordered to pay some sort of compensation to the plaintiff. In a criminal case, the defendant, if found guilty, could serve jail time, probation, or pay a fine.

What To Do After Your Identity Is Stolen

Do you suspect that your identity has been stolen? Well, you need to take steps to prevent the theft because it might cost you a lot of money or prison time if not handled correctly. Here’s what you need to do if you find that your identity has been stolen.

Notify The Bank And Creditors: If your bank account or credit card has been affected, you need to close them immediately. Contact the bank or credit card company and notify them immediately.

Place A Fraud Alert On Your Credit Card Report: You should contact the credit reporting agencies and request for a fraud alert which will be placed on your credit files. It lasts 90 days after which you can extend after filing a police report on the matter or the FTC complaint form.

Assess Your Credit Reports: Once the fraud alert is issued, you will be removed from preapproved credit cards or insurance policies. Check your credit card reports thoroughly to identify any signs of fraud. For instance, are there new accounts that you didn’t open? Are there payments that you can’t account for? Is there any personal information that seems strange to you? Report anything that seems unfamiliar to allow the proper agencies to track the crime.

Credit Freeze: You should consider locking down all your credit card information. That way, the reporting agencies will not release your information to any creditors. If you can prove that you’re a victim, a credit freeze will be free.

Contact the FTC (Federal Trade Commission): Federal investigators look through the larger and sophisticated cases. However, they always check through the minor cases to discover any patterns that might break identity theft crime rings. If you’re a victim of identity theft, fill out the form available on the FTC website. You can provide the form to your credit companies for further investigation.

Police Report: Also, you need to alert the police in your city about your identity theft case. It’s important to get a police report of the case. Together with the FTC for, you can pursue the case with the financial institutions and make a valid claim. In the police report, you should list down all the accounts with fraud and provide as much evidence as possible. You can also present the police with the FTC form for further investigation.

Finally, you should change all the passwords to your financial accounts but don’t use obvious passwords that can be easily cracked.

Do Not Throw Out Your Defective Product

If you’ve been injured by a defective or faulty product, the first reaction is to get rid of the thing that hurt you! However, in order to file a successful personal injury lawsuit against the manufacturer or distributor, you will need to keep the faulty product as evidence. During the discovery process of your trial, your faulty product will be examined to prove there was something indeed wrong with it and there was an error when it was being manufactured. If you discard this evidence, proving your case will be very difficult.

One of the most common issues that we see here at Legome Law is people being injured by defective products but are unable to get the compensation that they deserve because they misplaced or threw out the product that damaged them. While we can bring forth your case, it is much more difficult to prove and you might not get the highest settlement possible from the manufacturer and insurance companies. There is also a statute of limitations on when you can file a lawsuit, so time is always of the essence when handling these types of cases.

There are many types of products that can be defective including but not limited to electronic cigarettes, medical devices, vehicle recalls and defects, dangerous baby products, and kids products (lead exposure), pharmaceuticals, toxic chemical exposure (asbestos) and other products that were simply not manufactured right. If you believe that you’ve been injured by a defective product please don’t hesitate to contact our product liability attorneys.

 

 

Wrongful Death & Survival Action Lawsuits

When your loved one is a victim of an accident and is severely injured, it can be a very a difficult time in your life. Taking care of your injured loved one while they recover can be a financial burden not only of them but also on you. Together, you decide that filing a personal injury lawsuit is what’s best to help recover lost wages, medical expenses and the pain and suffering your injured loved one is going through. But then, something tragic happens – your loved one dies in the middle of his pending lawsuit. What do you do? What are your legal rights? There are currently two options available: filing a wrongful death claim as well as filing a survival action.

Wrongful Death Lawsuit

If you are family or a loved one of someone who was killed due to someone else’s negligence (whether immediate or a few weeks after the fact), you have the right to file a wrongful death claim for damages. Damages include pain and suffering while your loved one was injured, current and future income they may have been lost during your loved one’s injury, funeral expenses and outstanding medical bills associated with your loved one’s injuries.

Survival Action

A survival action is slightly different. You are seeking damages on behalf of your now-deceased loved one. In layman’s terms, you are continuing the personal injury case. Usually, the person who files for a survival action is the executor of your loved one’s estate. The estate files a survival action to seek damages relating to the pain and suffering of the victim, medical bills and lost earnings, similar to what your loved one could have recovered in a personal injury lawsuit if they would have survived.  Any compensation awards to the estate is then dispersed directly to the estate and then distributed according to the victim’s last will and testament.

If your loved one died at the hands of someone’s recklessness, give us a call for a free consultation to discuss your case. You might be entitled to file a wrongful death claim and/or a survival action.

 

 

Is Domestic Violence A Personal Injury?

Domestic violence is an epidemic not only affecting couples in the United States but around the world. According to the World Health Organization, 1 in 4 women will be victims of severe domestic abuse by an intimate partner at some point in their life. For men, the odds are slightly better at 1 in 7. A report from the World Health Organization also told us that a man or woman that is exposed to domestic violence as a child is 3-4 times more likely to abuse their partner. The most alarming statistic comes from a survey from Domestic Violence Statistics that stated: “a woman is beaten every nine seconds in the U.S.” If you are a victim of domestic violence, you should alert authorities then try to have a restraining order granted. Once you are away from the situation and safe, you can proceed by inquiring about a divorce and check out if a civil suit is applicable in your scenario.

Is a Divorce Necessary?

A divorce is likely necessary to enforce any kind of damage award in a civil suit. This is because in the court of law, a married couple’s assets are considered joint-property. Technically, the court cannot make a jury decide a verdict that “takes” money from one spouse and “gives it to the other.

You do not have to finalize a divorce before filing a civil lawsuit. If you file for a civil lawsuit during the divorce process, the damages you are owed will be factored into the reward of the divorce. In an ordinary divorce, the assets will most likely be split 50/50. For example, if a couple is determined to be with 500,000, they would split the money $250,000 – $250,000 even. If the wife is suing for domestic violence and is awarded $75,000, the new split would be $325,000 to the wife and $175,000 to the husband.

Types of Civil Claims

The victim of domestic violence has three types of claims that they can file against the abuser: assault, battery, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. In theory, assault and intentional infliction of emotional distress do not have to involve physical contact. Battery, on the other hand, is only involved when there is physical contact involved.

If the abuse is physical, the reward will be determined by the severity of the abuse. Even if there are less severe damages, such as bruises, or no physical harm at all, the victim of domestic abuse can still sue for emotional pain and suffering. Many of the domestic abuse cases that have been recorded are not only for one instance of domestic abuse, they are usually built up with numerous occurrences over months or sometimes even years. The damages being sued for do not have to be for just a single reported case, if the victim had been abused by the same abuser more than once over a period of time, there can be a cumulative effect on damages.

When creating a case for emotional pain and suffering, an expert witness may be necessary. An expert witness could be a psychiatrist, psychologist,or any other mental health physician. The expert witness will give a testimony on the victim’s behalf that solidifies the claim of the abusee stating that the mental health issue the victim incurred is a direct result of the abuse suffered. The most common mental health issue that is associated with domestic abuse is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD can affect victims for a lifetime and it is required that a medical professional supplies the court with proof of the disorder and testifies on the victim’s behalf.

Domestic violence between partners is a growing epidemic throughout this country and the rest of the world. Many think that domestic abuse can only affect women, but it can also affect men. It is important to continue increasing the awareness of this crime that is committed not only by ordinary people but by athletes and celebrities as well.

What To Do With Your Estate After You Win A Lawsuit

All right, great: you just won a big lawsuit or snagged a decent settlement, and you’re content to be swimming in a sea of cash for the rest of your life. But with great money comes great responsibility, and you’ll need help determining how to organize your affairs, both in life and in death. If you received enough cash, then it’s important to know that you could be looking at a sizable estate tax from your good friend Uncle Sam. Either way, you’ll want to speak with an estate planning lawyer and a financial advisor to determine the best next steps for you and your family.

Here are just a few things to think about, including actions you can take right now in order to prepare yourself for what happens when you receive an influx of wealth.

Estate planning after winning a lawsuit can be a headache, but it doesn’t have to be any worse than it already is. First and most importantly, discuss with your lawyer the gross worth of your assets. If you hold real estate, then have the total worth of those properties on hand. If you don’t know, then have the properties appraised as soon as possible. This will help your trusted advisors calculate the base tax on your estate. The benefit in doing this as soon as possible is that there are ways of avoiding some of the tax burden. The benefit is nicely complemented by the fact that it’ll relieve your beneficiaries of some financial burden and the added pressures of trying to negotiate your estate’s affairs on their own.

If you’ve got the money to do so, then eliminate your debt immediately. Hire a financial advisor to help you determine the best course in distributing your assets through investment. Now that you’ve got a bit of wealth, you’ll want to accumulate more. A lot of people who receive settlement cash or lottery winnings have a difficult time adjusting to the new wealth, and don’t control their spending. Be careful, and take some time adjusting to the new numbers in your bank account.

Don’t forget that any donations you make to charity organizations can be deducted from your taxes. If you’re a supporter of a cause, then feel free to give some of the new cash away.

If you have children of your own, or would like to support the children of other friends or loved ones, then consider opening trusts in the names of potential beneficiaries. Investing in someone else’s future can be rewarding, and knowing that your kids won’t be in debt if they decide to get into higher education is a fulfilling exchange.

Your estate planning lawyer will also help you draw up a will, or amend one that you already have. You’ll know exactly where your assets will end up when you pass away, and exactly how the transition will take place. This knowledge will relieve a burden you never knew existed.

After you’re done putting the finishing touches on concrete plans for your future, it’s time to have fun. Start traveling to the places you’ve always wanted to see, and doing the things you’ve always want to do. Take some time off of work–but don’t quit until normal retirement age, because you’ll live longer. Spend some time with family. You know yourself, and you should do what’s best for you.

Can You Sue A Store Over An Ice-Related Slip And Fall Accident?

Slip and fall accident victims often wonder if they are entitled to compensation. There are some serious accidents that happen, and plaintiffs have for sure been awarded settlements. Do slip and fall accidents have to occur inside a store in order for you to have a case? The short answer is no. If you were indeed to slip and fall on ice outside a store and injure yourself, you could be entitled to a cash settlement. There are certain stipulations when it comes to personal injury law in regards to these types of cases, so let’s take a look.

First and foremost, it must be proven that the store should have taken action to clear conditions in order to prevent customers from having a slip and fall accident. Whether they had notice of conditions that could cause a slip and fall is only part of the equation. It has to be determined whether they should have had notice. There are naturally many types of accidents that fall into this category, so to get a clearer picture of whether or not you have a case regarding a slip and fall on ice outside a store, check out identical cases to yours. You will find overviews of similar cases, and they can give you an idea of what to expect.

Of course the best proactive stance is to get in touch with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney to see what he or she has to say. Remember, the point is it must be proven that the store knew or should have known about the ice and conditions and failed to take reasonable action in a timely manner. When you think about what has happened to you and consider the legal guidelines, what is your opinion about your case? If you feel that you have a case, reach out to a personal injury lawyer.

WHO IS LIABLE IN AN UBER ACCIDENT?

Uber, the pioneering rideshare firm, has exploded as a transit option in major metropolitan areas. Ridesharing provides services that are convenient, reasonably priced and make for easy arrangements from an app on a mobile device at mere minutes’ notice. These can be the kinds of qualities that make ridesharing in some ways superior to taxicabs and public transportation.

As a natural progression develops, where more and more Uber and other rideshare drivers hit the roads around the country, there becomes a bigger risk that one of these vehicles will get involved in a car accident, regardless whether the Uber driver is at fault or not.

An accident that involves an Uber driver or a vehicle with an Uber fare aboard, can have a more complex liability equation than a simple carpool or other passenger driving situation. After all, an Uber vehicle is kind of a hybrid between a taxi service that collects fares, and a carpool situation where a person shares his or her vehicle with others.

As accidents involving Uber drivers are becoming more common, the calculus of liability is a bit complicated; while Uber vehicles are similar to taxicabs, here are different regulations and policies governing the two different types of transit options.

If the unfortunate occasion happens that you are an Uber fare caught up in an accident, the liability insurance will be necessary to know in case a claim needs to be filed.

Uber knows it might rain, so it has an umbrella.

What this means is that Uber requires all its drivers to have at least a state-required minimum amount of liability coverage for the vehicle that will be used for Uber fares. If an insurance claim is filed, the Uber driver’s personal liability insurance is used first to pay the claim, then Uber’s umbrella coverage kicks in after an additional deductible is paid above the personal vehicle liability limit. The umbrella policy is in force while an Uber driver is using the app, either going toward or carrying a fare. The coverage ends when the passenger is dropped off and is away from the vehicle a safe distance.

Uber claims that it does a background check on all potential drivers, but when it comes to a driver’s driving record, Uber can only vet the last seven years. That could be problematic if the driver’s record is actually longer than that. Should there be an accident involving an Uber driver, getting a full driving record of the driver may be valuable information should a claim be filed.

So let’s assume that an Uber driver has a clean record (as far as Uber knows), and there is an accident involving an Uber driver who was actively transporting a fare. How does the liability for that accident shake out?

States have different laws and regulations governing rideshare companies that operate in those states, and state courts have had wide-ranging interpretations about liability in a car accident. What seems to be in common among all the court decisions is that the driver is the first line of liability in an accident and should be considered such first and foremost.

It’s possible, however, that Uber may have some liability, especially based on answers to these vital questions, which should come up ina good accident investigation:

  1. Is the driver covered at the state-mandated minimum liability coverage?
  2. Was the driver active on the app when the incident occurred?
  3. What does the driver’s full driving record reveal (past the most recent seven-year window)?

Liability for an accident involving an Uber driver can be a little more complicated than a normal driving situation, so ti’s important to get as much information as possible at the scene and get a police report. From there, get sound legal advice, especially from an attorney who specializes in rideshare laws, to determine the feasibility of a claim and to make sure the right entities are held to account for what happened.

WHO IS LIABLE IN A MASS TRANSIT ACCIDENT?

Whether you ride a subway, railroad, trolley car, bus or any other public-transit or mass-transit system, any accident that occurs which involves one of these vehicles can cause multiple serious injuries and perhaps more than one death, depending on the severity.

Public transit, or mass transit, involves a small or large group of people on a single vehicle, which means any accident will impact more than a couple people – and the more people involved, the higher the cost of the accident may be to families and insurance companies, not to mention the municipality or third-party contractor that is operating the mass transit system.

A mass-transit accident is very rarely simple when it comes to determining liability for the accident and the subsequent injuries or casualties. Take a bus, for example. Sure, the driver of the bus could be held liable for the accident, but what if the brakes went out so the driver couldn’t stop? What if the intial accident cause only minor injuries, but then the gas tank of the bus exploded, killing a couple people and putting firefighters at risk? The driver can’t be the only one liable in these situations.

What if there was an altercation between passengers on the bus that caused the driver to get distracted and lose control of the bus? Or perhaps a passenger was not seated and was too far forward on the bus and the crash caused the passenger to go through the front windshield and smash it, causing additional injuries?

Very few of these accidents are “clean” and uncomplicated. As you can see from a hypothetical, this kind of accident is not all that far-fetched or rare. There can be so many moving parts in terms of what causes an accident and what causes the majority of the injuries. Liability may not necessarily rest on a single person or entity, so it’s vitally important to let law-enforcement and your legal representative do their due diligence in investigating the accident and gathering all the pertinent information about the accident, as well as before and after timelines, to paint an entire picture of what happened and the full result of the dominoes that fell.

If you are injured in a mass-transit vehicle accident, filing a legal claim with a mass transit lawyer NYC may involve suing several different entities, depending on the facts of the case. No matter who you claim is liable, you as the victim will have to prove that each defendant acted negligently in order to win a case. You can win against one defendant even if you have three or four, and that one defendant may be forced to pay compensatory damages, but negligence has to be proven against each defendant individually.

Many states have “common carrier” laws on the books, which are laws that are directed at mass-transit and other public transportation systems. While a petitioner still has to prove negligence, the “common carrier laws state that these public or mass-transit systems have a duty to achieve a higher level of care and due diligence in order to meet the standard of a reasonable expectation of safe transport for all persons on the vehicle while it is in operation.

“Common carrier“ laws can be the “secret sauce” In winning a case against a public-transportation operator, vehicle manufacturer or any other entity involved in a mass-transit accident liability. That higher standard essentially lowers the bar for proving negligence, but again it takes a thorough investigation to ensure that all the defendants which may have liability are included in any claim. Otherwise, there may be an opportunity missed.