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Premises Liability and Duty of Care

I’ve recently become more interested in premises liability cases and how they work. The outcome of premises liability claims is determined with respect to the property owner’s duty of care to the victim. While property owners should keep their premises properly maintained in order to not cause injury to those who occupy their spaces, the property owner does not owe all visitors the same amount of regard. Under duty of care laws, there are three different categorizations of visitors, an invitee, a licensee, or a trespasser. The amount of compensation, if any, in a premises liability case will depend on which category the plaintiff falls under.

Invitee

Invitees are owed the most protection under premises liability law. Invitees are those who either have explicit or implicit permission to inhabit the property. For domestic cases, some examples of an invitee include relatives, friends, and neighbors. For workplaces, an invitee would include employees and workers hired to tend to the property. Additionally, shoppers in retail spaces are also a good example of an invitee. If you are ever injured in a premises liability accident as an invitee, chances are that you will be far likelier to recover the compensation that you need to deal with your injuries.

Licensee

While licensees aren’t owed as much protection under the law as invitees they still have some protections. Licensees are guests on a property whose presence is permitted but not explicitly beneficial to the business of the property owner. For example, a pharmaceutical sales representative is an example of a licensee on the premises of a hospital or clinic. They are permitted to be there, but they are not owed the same rights as an employee or patient.

Trespasser

Trespassers are owed almost no protections under the law in the event that they are injured while on a certain property. Since they are not invited or in any way permitted, it is not the fault of the property owner. A property owner, however, can not set any traps to intentionally cause harm. In the instance that the property owner intentionally sets out to harm a trespasser, then they may be eligible to take legal action for the injuries that they endure.

Breach of Care

When a property owner fails to secure safe conditions in order to protect the people on their premises, it is referred to as a breach of care. Of course, depending on the category of the person injured, the severity of the breach will be evaluated differently when determining liability. According to information provided by the Myrtle Beach Employment Law Attorneys personal injury accidents have a far greater cost to victims than just hospital bills and often includes other expenses like rehabilitative care, lost wages, and out-of-pocket expenses.

Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage – It’s Worth the Extra Cost

car accidentCarrying auto liability insurance or a state-approved bond, which will show a driver’s financial capability in compensating anyone who is innocently injured or whose property is damaged in an accident, is a requirement in all 50 states in the US. This requirement is meant ensure injured victims of reckless, negligent and irresponsible at-fault drivers that they have a chance of receiving compensation which will cover cost of treatment for their injury and loss of income.

The type of auto insurance, however, differs among states. While most states require a tort-liability policy, there are a few that require the no-fault auto insurance instead – the difference simply on how compensation may be sought.

In tort states, to be able to seek compensation, the victim of an accident usually needs to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver (unless this driver makes an out-of-court settlement with his/her victim) and prove that the accident was a result of his or her negligent act. After liability has been proven, payments to cover bodily injury and property damage (this does not include payment for the at-fault driver’s own injuries and damaged property) will be made by the at-fault driver’s insurance provider. According to the website of the Mokaram Law Firm, any amount that will exceed the compensation that needs to be paid will already have to come from the liable driver’s own pocket.

In no-fault states, however, cost of medical treatment resulting from the injuries (of both drivers) sustained in the accident will be paid by each driver’s insurance provider, regardless of whose fault the accident is. This means no more need to file a lawsuit to be able to prove fault.

This state requirement, of carrying auto liability insurance, particularly in tort states, should be enough to assure anyone of the compensation that he or she may be deemed eligible by the court to receive. However, there is one very troubling major problem (related to this auto liability coverage) that the Insurance Research Council has identified – that 1 in every 8 drivers in the US continuously drives on roads and highways despite being uninsured. However, instead of catching these drivers and putting them behind bars, insured drivers are rather given the additional requirement of carrying Uninsured /Underinsured Motorist coverage on top of their auto liability insurance.

Due to the absence of coverage on a vehicle, Uninsured motorist coverage will cover all economic losses and damages suffered by an innocent victim. This coverage is most helpful if a person is hit by an uninsured driver, a stolen vehicle or a victim of a hit & run. Underinsured motorist coverage, on the other hand, is intended to cover the amount in excess of the policy limit of the underinsured motorist.

Uninsured /Underinsured Motorist coverage will definitely be additional costs for any driver; however, thinking about the benefits it will provide, it might just be worth the extra cost.

C.R. Bard’s responsibility in the injuries caused by the IVC Filters

After a NBC Investigation was conducted, many questions began to arise about the company C.R. Bard. The company is behind the device the Bard G2 IVC Filter, designed to catch blood clots before they travel towards the lungs and cause pulmonary embolism, according to Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®. Although the medical device was intended to help individuals looking to prevent the deadly disease, many side effects began to come to light. More than 900 cases of adverse effects caused by the implanting of the temporary device were reported to the FDA, including 27 deaths. Despite these disturbing figures, the company neglected to recall the product.

The failure of C.R. Bard to recall the device meant it was still being used on individuals unaware of the devastating risks associated with the IVC Filter. The device often became fractured inside the body or migrated to other areas of the body, leading to conditions such as cardiac tamponade and perforation of the heart. Not only were individuals put at risk of these conditions, but were not properly warned about these side effects. Numerous lawsuits have begun piling up against the Bard Company, who many suspect knew about the dangerous side effects and failed to warn patients about them. This is not the company’s first run-in with the FDA, as the Bard G2 IVC Filter was a replacement for the Bard Recovery Filter associated with many of the same side effects.

New dangers of the filters are still surfacing, thanks in part to NBC’s yearlong investigation of the company and the device. Individuals are still coming to the forefront reporting their nightmarish encounters after the implanting of the device, including many who narrowly escaped death after the device became lodged in their bodies. Regardless of the warning issued by the FDA, many individuals will continue to suffer from the filter as long as C.R. Bard does not properly handle the dangers associated with the device.

Keeping Motorcycle Riders Safe

Records from the Department of Transportation (for 2014) show that the state of California has the highest number of registered motorcycles, at 801,803, followed by Florida, which has 574, 176, and then Texas, with 438,551.

Back in 2012, the number of motorcycles allowed on US roads and highways numbered close to 9 million – counting only those that were registered, of course. With the exception of light scooters or mopeds (a low-powered motorized bicycle with an engine smaller than 50cc), motorcycles, generally defined as any two- or three-wheel powered vehicle, should comply with state and federal certification standards and be registered or licensed to be used on public roadways.

While cars have now become the most common means of transport, the fame of motorcycles has also continuously risen in all 50 states, prompting state and local governments to pass and enforce laws that will keep motorcycle riders safe on public roads. Some of the directives required by these laws include:

  • The use of a helmet that complies with the standard required by the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 218 (FMVSS 218), more commonly known as the “DOT helmet standard”
  • The installation of the “automatic-on headlamp” (or the daytime running lamp), which lights up as the motorcycle engine is started. Some states required this feature in 1973. Eventually, almost all street bikes sold in the nation got equipped with it.
  • This daytime running lamp is intended to make motorcycles more noticeable even during the daytime to significantly reduce incidences of right-of-way violations
  • Recognition of a motorcyclist’s right-of-way. Violations of this law definitely have different effects on drivers and riders. While accidentally or intentionally failing to yield or give way to a motorcyclist may severely injure a driver in the event of an accident, this accident’s effect on a rider is more likely to result to harm that is far worse, such as disability, amputated limb/s, disfigurement or death.

While the risk of an accident should never be a deterrent for one to enjoy and benefit from the experience of riding a motorcycle in Louisville, one should also not forget that, no matter how careful a rider he/she may be, it will only take one negligent or reckless driver to make his/her motorcycle experience a nightmarish one. And, since his/her ride lacks the protection offered by a seat belt, steel frames, an airbag and all other protective shields that a car can provide, a rider can easily be tossed violently from his/her bike and suffer injuries that can alter the rest of his/her life.

Wear at least a DOT standard helmet, a brightly-colored and padded upper-torso jacket or shirt, and the prescribed riding pants, shoes and other necessary gear and, most important of all, always ride safely. Though some of these safety apparels may run in total contrast with one’s concept of being fashionable, especially when riding a perfectly cool motorbike, the benefits of taking precaution will still greatly outweigh the possible consequences of an accident, a situation, which a personal injury lawyer will be very much interested about. This is because a motorcycle accident will leave a rider not only traumatized, with damaged property and physically injured, but also with costly medical bills to pay and lost income: damages a negligent driver will be required by law to pay. But for the motorcycle rider victim, what is necessary is the best legal representation that only a seasoned personal injury lawyer can provide.

Personal Injury Lawsuits: Even Kids are Doing it Now

Gone are the days when kids could roughhouse without bringing the legal system into it, but a New Jersey court is attempting to give it some context.

The case revolved around a sports injury sustained by a 12-year-old boy playing lacrosse. His arm was broken when an 11-year-old player crashed into him, and the family of the injured player sued the 11-year-old for it. It was the first case of child-on-child sports injury, and the court ruling set a precedent for similar future cases in the state.

According to the court, the plaintiff had to show that the defendant (the 11-year-old) acted in an unreasonably reckless way out of keeping with the activity they were engaged in. Some aggressive behavior is expected in a team sport like lacrosse, so the operative word here is reasonable conduct.

Furthermore, the judge considered that child-on-child sports injuries could not be judged on the same basis as when adults (in sports) are concerned. In the court’s opinion, it would be “be unfair to hold children who engage in such sporting activities to the same expectations and standards of conduct as adult athletes.”

The court ruled that the family of the injured lacrosse player had no grounds to sue the 11-year-old because his conduct was not found to be unreasonably reckless. That is a distinct relief for all young players who may hesitate to participate in sports with the risk of personal injury liability hanging over their heads.

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