Who Is Held Liable In A Building Fire?

In some cases regarding building fires, particular cases of arson, determining liability depends solely on finding the culprit who intentionally started the fire. However, many building fires aren’t necessarily the result of malice or even any agenda whatsoever. So, determining liability can generally be a bit trickier than simply finding someone who committed a crime.

Typically, building fires can start in a number of ways, many of which are very easy to come about as accidents or lapses in judgment. Some examples include unattended ovens or candles, improperly installed electrical equipment or wiring, faulty fire management equipment such as sprinklers or fire alarms, or even weather-related events such as lightning strikes. Any of these events could have a profound impact on who might be held liable in the event that a fire breaks out as a result.

Often is the case when someone might be in the process of cooking a meal using the oven and then ends up having to leave for a brief while to tend to something else. Or a candle could be lit anywhere in the vicinity when someone takes leave of it, be it to go elsewhere in the house, become preoccupied with another activity such as a bath or falling asleep, or sometimes even leaving the residence altogether for whatever reason. While it might be just as easy to turn the oven off or blow the candle out and take safeguards against the possibility of a random occurrence, there are some who err with the intention of only being away a brief moment. That moment turns to several minutes (sometimes even longer) and, without even realizing it, the risk of a fire becomes unfortunately great. And while it may not have been your intention at all to start a house fire, the sad reality is that you would be held liable for such negligence. As home owners or renters, there are some obvious responsibilities and precautions we need to take to avoid such disasters. Keeping your fire safety devices up to date is a good one, but better yet is simply never leaving such a risk up to chance. While you may be away for just a couple of minutes, a couple of minutes may be all it takes for something to happen. It is not time to check the calendar

In the case of electrical failures, unless you were the one to install the wiring yourself, such events would likely fall to the ones responsible for the installation and its subsequent failure. Depending on the circumstances that led to the failure, one of the several different possibilities exist for who might be the defendant in this case:

  • The company that supplies power to the building
  • The individual or company that installed the wiring
  • The landlord or owner themselves
  • The tenant who occupies the space in which the fire originated
  • The entity who failed to inspect the building properly or take steps to assure fire hazards were accounted for
  • The manufacturer of the faulty machinery

As well as many others, depending on the root cause of the fire. However, in the case of a natural disaster that might start a fire (a lightning strike, for example), it is difficult to hold anyone accountable – as you might imagine – for a natural disaster. Most of the time, fire damage as the result of a lightning strike, in particular, is covered by home owner’s insurance (or by renter’s insurance if that is applicable in your case).

Regardless of what you might surmise to be the root cause of a fire outbreak in your home, it is almost always in your best interest to consult the expertise of someone specialized in fire litigation in order to get the best results possible for your situation.

Who Is Held Liable In An SUV Rollover Accident?

Automobile accidents, in general, can be quite a terrifying and tragic event, regardless of the circumstances leading up to them. However, in many cases, vehicles tend to remain upright due to low centers of gravity for many sedans, which tends to play a factor in fatality statistics. This unfortunate truth also yields the very real situation of rollover accidents that are quite prominent throughout the United States, particularly in designs such as SUVs and vans that have a higher center of gravity and are therefore more prone to rollover. Despite higher safety standards in many SUV models, rollover accidents are still a leading cause of automobile accident fatalities in the country. Over 280,000 cases of rollover accidents are reported each year, resulting in about 10,000 fatalities – a statistic that accounts for almost one-third of all passenger deaths from vehicular accidents.

So, who is to blame in the case of a rollover accident? Who is held liable in the event that any vehicle suffers a rollover accident, let alone an SUV? There are a number of factors that can go toward determining this:

  • Road conditions leading up to the accident
  • How uneven the terrain might be
  • Manual errors on part of the driver, such as overcorrecting or excessive cornering
  • The possibility of carrying too much weight on part of the driver and passengers within the vehicle
  • Manufacturing defects within the vehicle itself

Due not only to their higher center of gravity but also to a statistically more narrow wheel base, SUV’s are particularly susceptible to a rollover accident, especially under conditions that involve quick handling or sudden changes to the driving conditions or operation in general. However, despite the accountability of human error that is taken into consideration, many SUV’s are found to suffer rollover accidents as a result of vehicle design and manufacturing flaws. With a full investigation of the vehicle’s ability to perform, many attorneys can more easily determine liability and whether the fault lies with the driver or with the manufacturer of the vehicle. However, statistics suggest that due to modern manufacturing procedures leading to higher safety ratings and the fact that many rollover accidents tend to involve only one vehicle (the vehicle that ends up rolling over), it is more often the case nowadays that fault lies with the operator of the vehicle. With distractions as great as ever (texting while operating a vehicle, operating equipment within the vehicle while it is in motion, etc.), the liability of a single-car accident is most likely to fall into the lap of the driver despite any sort of vehicular design on part of the manufacturer.

In order to prove liability on part of the manufacturer, several things need to be taken into account. The SUV must show to have some sort of unreasonable defect in its design that caused the accident or another injury to the driver and/or any passengers within the vehicle. Next, it must be proven that the vehicle was being operated as intended and within normal parameters expected of a safe driver. Finally, it must be shown that the vehicle had not been dramatically altered in any way prior to the accident that might have had a hand in contributing toward the accident itself.

Obviously, in the event of any sort of vehicular accident, consulting a lawyer after any injuries have been attended by a medical professional is an adequate method of determining liability and gives you as the injured party the greatest chance at compensation.

These Are The Most Common Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cord injuries can cause drastic damage to your ability to function day-to-day, but luckily it takes a huge impact to do that kind of damage to this body part. These injuries most frequently occur after a sudden, very strong impact. Many vehicular accidents resulting in spinal cord injuries due to the high speeds of either colliding vehicle or failing to wear a seatbelt.

Most spinal cord injuries are caused by situations that we can work to avoid, but some result from cancer, osteoporosis, arthritis and general inflammation from infection or unknown sources.

Sadly, alcohol use results in about twenty-five percent of all spinal cord injuries. When consuming alcohol, staying in control of your faculties is extremely important. When you lose the ability to function as you would normally, decision-making suffers as well and you may not be able to adequately respond as life-threatening situations arise.

About a tenth of all spinal cord injuries is caused by athletic activity such as contact sports. This subset of common injuries includes those who were injured after making a dive into water that was too shallow.

Another fifteen percent of these injuries occur after violent conflict. Although weapons are often at play, this isn’t always the case. Any violent confrontation can lead to unexpected injury. It’s important to keep your head clear when under social stress and learn to avoid these kinds of situations.

For the elderly, most spinal cord injuries are caused by falling–more than twenty-five percent.

An unfortunate side effect of spinal cord trauma often doesn’t occur until weeks after the initial accident. Internal bleeding can compromise functionality, as can inflammation, fluid accumulation, and swelling around the spinal cord. These conditions can be difficult to treat and often require surgery to repair if such a thing is possible at all.

After suffering a spinal cord injury, you might notice that your reaction time is slower in certain extremities or appendages. That because the nerve fibers that connect muscles and nerves may not work properly after the accident. Injuries at varying levels of the spinal cord can result in varying levels of function after an accident. You might lose the ability to sense or control your legs, bowel, bladder, torso, and sexual functionality. If the injury is higher along the vertebra, you might suffer from the immobility of your arms. In the worst case, you may have trouble breathing.

Spinal cord injuries are far from the most common, but they do occur and it’s best to learn about how to avoid them during your daily routine–especially if you have kids involved in contact sports or help care for the elderly or infirm, who need to be watched at all times.

 

What Are Some Of The Common Causes Of Truck Accidents?

There are a lot of ways that truck accidents happen. How do you know what they are so you can do your best to avoid them? Here are some of the causes so you don’t have to wonder about them any longer.

Truck drivers get tired and cause accidents on a regular basis. A lot of them work long hours, but legally they have to take breaks at certain times. That doesn’t, however, stop a lot of companies from pushing the limits and even going over them from time to time. If you are in an accident with a sleepy driver, you may end up being able to sue the company they work for. It may seem like common sense to get rest, but if your job depends on how much work you can do without sleeping it can be hard to rest enough.

Poor training is a cause for a lot of accidents. When someone is trying to get a job, they may be able to scrape by and not retain a lot of what they learned. That may lead to them not knowing how to control the truck or to know what the space is like around it they need to think about. This may also lead to them speeding or doing other things they are not supposed to do. An inexperienced trucker going through cities or down highways is dangerous for anyone to have to drive around.

If someone doesn’t take care of their truck, you can expect it to fail on them eventually. Sometimes poor truck maintenance leads to it not starting or something else while it’s stopped, but sometimes it leads to serious problems while they are on the road. That’s why it’s so important for truckers to stay on top of what they are doing at all times. Another reason someone may not take care of a truck is the cost of doing so. Problems are expensive, but the problem with being cheap is that the issues cost more as time goes on because they worsen.

The ways that a truck accident can happen are varied, but they all end in damages and/or injuries. If you want to avoid them, be a safer driver. Even then, you can’t control other people so always wear your seat-belt and be prepared for the worst when driving in any situation and contact a disability lawyer.

Checking For The Warning Signs of Nursing Abuse and Neglect

When our loved ones require medical care, we want them to be safe. No one wants to consider the idea that their loved ones may be suffering abuse at the hands of their nurse. Yet millions of people staying in nursing homes and hospitals throughout the United States suffer from abuse and neglect at the hands of their nurses.

In order to spot these problems before they get severe enough to cause long-term harm, it’s important to know the warning signs of nursing abuse and neglect.

The Difference Between Abuse and Neglect

While abuse and neglect both cause long-term damage, they’re not the same thing. Abuse is active harm caused with intent. Neglect is passive and causes harm without any particular intention to do so.

As an example, it’s occasionally necessary to restrain a patient. There are laws involving how this is to be done, and breaking those laws is considered abuse. This is because it’s a direct action that causes immediate harm, either through physical damage from the restraints or the use of sedation that hasn’t been approved by a doctor.

However, if a nurse was to simply leave a patient alone in their room, it could be neglect. It’s not necessarily neglect, depending on the mobility of the patient. However, if the patient has mobility problems and is simply left alone, then they are being neglected and will have health and wellness issues over time.

Looking For Signs

Unfortunately, it can be difficult to notice the warning signs. The most immediate sign is failing health or regular injuries. Patients will sometimes get injured through the course of proper care. Sometimes it’s necessary to restrain them more forcefully, or some days their mobility may not be as stable as it is on other days.

But regular signs of injury, and injuries not consistent with the information given, is often a sign of abuse.

In addition, major personality changes can often be a sign of inappropriate medications. Hospitals and nursing homes will often sedate patients when necessary, but it becomes abuse when it’s done outside of strict regulations.

Lastly, if you have a hard time getting information that you should legally be allowed to have, that’s often a warning sign. Sometimes this is simply a matter of bureaucracy or training. However, if it happens consistently then you should begin asking more questions and going over people’s heads.

In a general sense, the warning signs of nursing abuse and neglect are the same as any other style of abuse and neglect. Document any situation that makes you worry, writing down the exact thing that made you question, the date and time you asked about it, and what resolution was reached. That way, if you notice your loved ones being poorly treated you’re able to do something about it.

Stay Rested for Safe Driving

Many people are suffering from sleep deprivation these days due to the demanding lifestyle that is common. Perhaps it is because family needs are great and parents must go the extra mile to make sure their children are able to participate in the social and sports activities they they would like to.

Even if family responsibilities are not the reason for their lack of sleep, their career and/or personal relationships many be creating undue stress and sleeplessness. Whatever the reason for inadequate rest, people should make sure they are fully alert when they get behind the wheel of their automobile.

Most speed limits are at least 55 mph or higher on freeway systems and major highways, and an accident can happen in the blink of an eye at those speeds. When anyone is driving with any kind of impairment their reaction time can be too slow to keep their vehicle under control at all times. Everyone knows that driving under the influence of any type of substance is dangerous, and they can be severely fined or lose their drivers license if they are caught driving drunk or on drugs.

While driving under the influence is very risky, driving while exhausted or sleep deprived is dangerous as well. Many people get too little rest most of the time and they get up in the morning to drive to work with only a cup of coffee to get them moving. Even though caffeine may help them feel more awake, their reaction time is probably insufficient to help them avoid accidents like car crashes.

Driving in spite of feeling over-tired is just something people feel they must do in order to take care of all their responsibilities and get to work on time. There are answers to the dilemma, but it takes some organization and forethought to solve the problem.

Setting a regular schedule for evening activities will help in getting more rest, and preparing for morning is a step in the right direction. Set out breakfast the night before and decide which clothes to wear so no time is wasted in searching for the right outfit. Aiming to get to bed an hour earlier than usual will eventually become a goal that is easier to achieve.

A quick cool shower after the preferred caffeine source is a great way to get fully awake. Do not skip breakfast, but choose something that is quick and healthy such as a morning smoothie or something that can be prepared ahead of time.

Three Ridiculous Personal Injury Cases

Not everyone that files a personal injury lawsuit has a valid case. There are some personal injury cases that are downright ridiculous. These cases may seem too bizarre to believe, but they are completely real.

The Killer Whale Case

Most people would never try to get close to a creature like a killer whale. The word “killer” is more than enough to scare the average person off. However, in 1999, one man decided to sneak past security guards and dive into the killer whale tank at SeaWorld. This turned out to be a fatal mistake.

Unfortunately, the tale of this tragedy doesn’t end here. After the 27-year-old man passed away, his family filed a lawsuit against SeaWorld. In the suit, the family claimed that the park did not warn that the whales were capable of killing people. They claimed that the plush animals sold by the park were misleading. The lawsuit was eventually dropped without a settlement.

Injured By The Weatherman

Most people know that the weather forecast isn’t completely reliable. However, at least one person has gone so far as to file a personal injury lawsuit against a weatherman and his predictions.

While the weatherman predicted warm, sunny weather, it wound up raining heavily that day. A woman filed suit against the weatherman, claiming that his forecast caused her to dress inappropriately for the rainy weather. After she was caught in the rain, she wound up catching the flu and missing work.

Shockingly, this case wasn’t dismissed. Israeli courts awarded this woman $1,000 in damages. Now, weathermen in Isreal are a lot more cautious about the predictions that they make.

The Haunted House That Was Too Scary

When people go to a haunted house, they generally expect to be scared. However, one woman that visited the House of Horrors in Universal Studios thought that the scares were too much to handle. After she exited the attraction, she filed a lawsuit, claiming that she had sustained psychological trauma.

Unsurprisingly, the case was dismissed early on. The courts stated that anyone that visited an attraction called “The House of Horrors” should be prepared to be frightened. Since the woman chose to enter the haunted house, she did not have a valid personal injury claim.

While most personal injury cases are perfectly reasonable, there have been a few cases that are downright bizarre. There are people that will file a lawsuit over absolutely anything. Luckily, the majority of these cases get dismissed.

Who Is Responsible For Injuries Incurred From Mass Transit Accidents

Mass transit is one of the most important resources that we have. The mobility of people plays a huge role in the growth of our country and the sustenance of our development. Close to home, mobility is a key ingredient in our personal success. To have access to mass transport systems means that you are in a position to move to your place of work, schools, or any other place efficiently and cheaply.

However, even with all the benefits that these systems accord us, in certain instances, they endanger us. Case in point, instances of mass transit accidents. Incidents of accidents on transit systems are, unfortunately, quite common. Accidents such as collisions or slipping and falling are common among users of transit systems. Such accidents may lead to sprains, torn ligaments, lacerations, abrasions, back injuries, broken bones, scarring, brain concussions, and in worst cases they result to death.

When faced with such cases, you are entitled to compensation under the law. So, who is responsible for injuries that you get from a mass transit accident and by extension, is responsible for the compensation that you are entitled to.

To understand this matter, you need understand that the mass transit operators are charged with the duty to ensure the safety of the users. Under the federal and state laws, operators of all the mass transit system should take steps to negate the possibility of their clients suffering from any injury. Such operators include subway, ferries, trains, trolleys, water taxis, buses, and many others. These carriers, they should:

#1. Hire qualified personnel,
#2. Provide security, and
#3. Monitor, maintain and correct the vehicles they have and operate.
#4. Ensure the entry points and the exits are safe for passengers.

As such, the carrier of the particular transit system in which you get injured is therefore charged with the responsibility of the injuries incurred. This is especially when the result of the accident is due to the operator negligence or operator error. Therefore, when the operator fails to meet their responsibility in as far as operating the transit properly, they are held liable.

However, you should note that there is a statute of limitation on making claims for injuries resulting from a transit system. In many cases, the limitation is usually between one and five years. Additionally, if you have such claims, you should ensure you have good personal injury law firm as many of these operators have very good lawyers.

Plan Ahead In Case Of Injury On Vacation

Vacations are great. You can pack a bag, head off to some exotic location, and simply enjoy the rest and relaxation. Unfortunately, sometimes accidents happen. No one enjoys preparing for an accident, but it’s important that you plan ahead. Otherwise, you may find yourself in a situation where you’re severely injured and no help is coming.

Plan Ahead

The first thing to do is plan before you head on vacation. Make sure all of your insurance information is on hand and updated. Ensure that you have some way for people to find out who to contact if you get hurt. Don’t rely on being able to call for help yourself. You may not have that luxury.

It may also help to get a health exam. That way, you can know ahead of time if you have any issues that require extra care. Make sure to pack any first aid or medical equipment you may need, as well.

Lastly, make absolutely certain that you have a way to contact people for yourself. Don’t go off without a cell phone if you can help it. If you can’t, then make certain people know where you’re going, how long you’ll be gone, and what to do if you don’t show up when you’re supposed to.

When You Get Hurt

If the worst happens and you get hurt, don’t panic. It’s understandable to be worried, but keeping a clear head will help you plan much more easily.

First, assess the situation. How hurt are you? Where are you? Are you near civilization, or are you out in the wilderness? If you’re in a city, then the situation becomes easily solved. Simply call the emergency line available to you. Someone will send help and hopefully, you won’t have to worry about further injury.

However, if you’re out in the wilderness, it’s not as clean cut. This is why you need proper first aid for yourself. If you have the equipment you need to tend your wounds, you’ll have a much better chance of making it back to civilization.

And of course, make sure you’re able to explain to the doctor what happened and how to help. If you’re in an area where you don’t speak the native language, try to have someone who can speak the language with you. At the very least, have them on the phone. That way, you can make sure the doctors know what you need and how to help.

What Constitutes A Class Action Law Suit?

A class action lawsuit is basically when more than one person or a group of people who have suffered the same injuries or damages bring a lawsuit against a single defendant.

The lead plaintiffs in the case need to request a class action certification from the court in order for it to be deemed a class action suit. These types of lawsuits are only related to civil action where monetary compensation is being claimed for injuries and damages that the plaintiffs have experienced.

The burden of proof is on the plaintiffs to provide evidence that the defendant is liable due to their negligence, direct or indirect actions. In other words, it needs to prove in a court of law that the defendant is at fault in causing the damages or injuries.

The plaintiffs may be represented by more than one lawyer or attorney in a class action suit. However, the case needs to be brought as one suit and be represented as such. This means that all the plaintiffs need to be in agreement regarding the best way to bring the case to court.

If the lawsuit is successful, the compensation lawsuit awarded by the court will be shared among the plaintiffs. Some plaintiffs may receive more or less depending on a number of damages, medical or other expenses that they may have incurred.

Lawyers and attorneys normally take on class action civil suits on a contingency basis. This means that they require no payment for their services and will receive a portion or percentage of the settlement amount or compensation awarded by the court. The remainder of the claimed amount will then be shared among the plaintiffs.

If the case is not taken on a contingency basis, the intellectual property law firm may require a retainer. This is an amount that will need to be paid upfront to cover the initial fees and charges related to the case. Future charges will need to be paid on an ad hoc basis in order for the legal representation to continue.

This can become quite and expensive exercise, especially in class action cases that are complicated and drawn out. Class action suits are by nature complicated and it is necessary to plan for future legal expenses. The plaintiffs may club together to pay the retainer as well as other expenses from the legal team representing them.