Articles Tagged with injury lawyer

A series of bills aligned with the so-called “tort reform” agenda have been introduced and are working their way through the civil justice system. These measures, long advocated by doctors, and large corporations, would fundamentally alter key protections for plaintiffs in injury lawsuits. supreme court

This “tort reform” moniker makes it sound as if such measures would be fixing major flaws in the civil justice system. In reality, these actions would make it tougher for those injured to obtain justice. Tort reform ideals are predicated on the notion that courts are overburdened with a flood of frivolous lawsuits. Greedy plaintiffs and injury attorneys are simply out to take advantage of businesses and physicians to make a buck. Health care costs and other expenses are out of control, they say, due to litigious patients and customers.

Here’s the truth: The burden of proof to bring any claim is already substantial. For example, it’s not enough that you slipped and fell in the store and were hurt. You have to show you had the right to be there. You have to show the store owed you a duty of care. You have to prove the staff either created the dangerous condition on the floor or had actual knowledge of it or should have learned of in the course of regular options and failed to address in a manner deemed timely or else warned of it. Oh, and if the condition was open and obvious, there is an expectation you should have seen it an avoided it. In North Carolina, if you are found to be even slightly responsible for the incident (a legal theory known as comparative negligence), you can’t win your case.  Continue reading

When it comes to dog bites and other animal attacks, North Carolina follows a theory of strict liability. What this means is that it does not matter whether the dog owner or controller used reasonable care to prevent the dog from injuring someone else. It also does not matter whether the dog had shown any prior evidence of violent tendencies.dog

However, claims for negligence require plaintiff to prove the dog owner failed to act with reasonable care.

In some cases, it’s not even necessary to prove the dog bit the other person. For example, if the dog lunges at someone and the person falls and is injured, that person may seek to hold the dog owner liable for damages, even if the dog never actually bit the person or otherwise came in contact with them. Continue reading

Sixteen people were killed in a recent central Texas hot air balloon crash in which the balloon reportedly caught fire in the air and crashed. Local authorities say there were no survivors in the incident, which is believed to have occurred as a result of the balloon striking power lines around 7:30 a.m. around 30 miles south of Austin.hotairballoon4

The area is reportedly frequently used for hot air balloon landings, though the activity itself remains relatively rare. A witness who lives near the site described seeing a “big ball of fire.”

If all 16 deaths are affirmed by officials, it will be the deadliest hot air balloon crash in U.S. history. Previously, the highest single number of people killed in a hot air balloon accident was six in 1993. Officers found the balloon basket on fire on the ground. A maximum of 16 passengers were allowed on this particular type of balloon.  Continue reading

More than 50 former World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) wrestlers have filed a class action personal injury lawsuit against the agency, alleging acute and long-term damage to their brains. The organization is accused of failing in its duty to protect former wrestlers from the ill effects of repeated blows to the head during performances, according to CNNbrainscan

Among the ailments from which the former wrestlers claim to suffer:

  • Concussion;
  • Traumatic brain injury;
  • Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) (an Alzheimer’s like disease).

Continue reading

You may know that the majority of personal injury lawsuits never make it to trial. A big reason for that is that many are settled out-of-court before they ever reach that stage.

But there is another reason too: Summary judgments and motions to dismiss. caraccident7

All civil lawsuits have to meet the basic merit requirements before proceeding. Motions to dismiss and for summary judgment can be filed by the defendant prior to trial. Both are essentially requests to the judge to toss the plaintiff’s case. In order to succeed in a summary judgment motion, defendant has to convince the judge:

  • There is no dispute as to the material facts of the case;
  • Plaintiff failed to meet his or proof burden;
  • Defendant should prevail as a matter of law.

Courts are not supposed to hand down a summary judgment if there continue to be disputes of material facts in the case. However, it’s not uncommon for a defense lawyer to file a summary judgment fairly early in the proceedings and set a hearing prematurely on the issue. The strategy is to get the issue before the judge before there is ample evidence to show a dispute of material fact.  Continue reading

The North Carolina Court of Appeals made it clear in a recent ruling: Absent a contract delegating sidewalk maintenance, it’s up to the local city or town to make sure these public walkways are safe.crackedconcrete

The decision was handed down in in the case of Steele v. City of Durham, which involved a trip-and-fall accident about 2.5 hours east of Greensboro, outside of Raleigh. The city had argued firstly that it wasn’t responsible for sidewalk maintenance on that particular strip and secondly that plaintiff was contributorily negligent. While in other jurisdictions, contributory negligence would simply reduce the amount of damages a plaintiff could collect, in North Carolina, it bars the claim entirely.

But the appeals court discredited both of the city’s claims, reversing an earlier trial court decision to grant summary judgment in favor of the city. The case has been remanded for trial.  Continue reading

A U.S. magistrate judge for the Western District of North Carolina, Asheville Division, has granted a South Carolina couple the go-ahead to continue pursuit of their lawsuit against Beech Mountain Resort.ski

The case stems from an injury sustained by the wife in January 2011. She alleges she suffered a traumatic brain injury when a heavy block of ice and snow fell onto her head from the roof of the resort, which is about two hours outside of Asheville.

She and her husband filed a lawsuit, Palacino v. Beech Mountain Resort, Inc., alleging the resort was negligent and seeking compensatory and punitive damages.  Continue reading

The South Carolina Supreme Court has reinstated a $4 million verdict in favor of a family whose three special needs children were removed from their custody without an adequate investigation as to the injuries they sustained as a result of consuming contaminated medication. yellowpills

In Bass v. DSS, the state supreme court reversed an appellate court ruling regarding a trial court rejection of judgment notwithstanding verdict requested by the defendant agency.

Here’s what happened:

A couple with special needs children – two of them autistic – were given medication to give to the children to help them sleep at night. This was on top of a number of other medications the children took for various ailments. But in April 2008, the compounding pharmacy that produced the drug mixed it incorrectly – and made a batch that contained 1,000 times the recommended concentration.  Continue reading

Successfully suing a Major League Baseball team for injuries suffered by a foul ball or a rogue bat is known to be extremely difficult. In fact, that difficulty is part of the reason some lawyers refer to the assumption of risk doctrine as the “baseball doctrine.”baseball

The hope is that could soon change, as a number of lawsuits are pending, and Major League Baseball recently issued recommendations to all 30 league clubs that encourages expansion of the number of seats covered by protective netting. It also encourages clubs to give better warnings to fans about the dangers of sitting close to the field.

“Assumption of risk” is a type of defense in tort actions in which a plaintiff’s right to recover is barred or reduced by the degree to which a negligent defendant can show plaintiff knowingly and voluntarily assumed the risks at issue that were inherent to the activity in which plaintiff was participating. So in baseball, the idea is that fans have a responsibility to keep their eye on the action unfolding in the field and to take defensive action if a ball or debris comes flying their way. Continue reading

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