Articles Posted in Personal Injury

snowSometimes, it can be very subtle details that may entitle you to a successful outcome. For one western Pennsylvania slip-and-fall accident victim, he was able to win his appeal case because of an argument that a property owner and a tenant did not make in the injured man’s trial court case. Legal matters, including injury cases, can hinge upon very specific distinctions, which is just one of many reasons why it helps to have a knowledgeable Pennsylvania premises liability attorney on your side who has a detailed understanding of the law.

The injured man, Robert, and his son were constables in Westmoreland County. On one wintry day in February 2014, Robert and his son’s job duties included serving a warrant. As Robert traversed an alley and approached a gate that provided access to the property, he slipped and fell. There was ice underneath the snow in the area where Robert fell.

The fall caused the constable to suffer injuries, so he and his wife sued. The constable and his wife asserted a claim of negligence for failing to maintain the property properly and allowing snow and ice to build up in front of the gate.

Witness standIn any personal injury action, there are certain elements of the case that can have a major impact on the outcome. One of these is providing the court with authoritative and persuasive expert witness testimony that supports the arguments you’ve made. One of the keys to doing this is making sure that the defense does not throw up roadblocks to getting your expert’s testimony into the record. This, among a wide variety of other things, is an example of the many litigation issues and strategies in which it pays to have experienced Pennsylvania injury counsel on your side.

A recent case from the Pittsburgh area serves an example of an injured person’s successful introduction of expert evidence into his case. The injured man, Matthew, was one of a large group of partiers celebrating one woman’s birthday when he was injured. He and 18 other partiers squeezed into a limousine meant for only 10 passengers. During the ride, Matthew felt an intense pain and, after exiting, discovered that he had a large burn on his leg. The injury later required skin grafts and still left a permanent scar.

Matthew sued the limousine provider. In his trial, the injured passenger had a doctor who testified as an expert witness. The defense tried to keep out the expert’s testimony, but the judge allowed it. In the end, the jury ruled for Matthew and awarded him a half-million dollars.

cutting treeCourt decisions can teach many things, even when those cases involve unusual factual situations. For example, consider the recent case of a man who accused a woman of negligence because she allegedly distracted him and caused him to fall from a ladder while he was cutting a tree branch. While that might be a relatively unique circumstance, the ruling allowing the injured man to go forward with his case has implications for a wide range of injured people. Specifically, it teaches that you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries even in circumstances that you wouldn’t expect. The key is never to assume but instead to consult an experienced Pennsylvania premises liability attorney about your situation.

In the case of the man on the ladder, the trial court threw out his case, but the Superior Court concluded that he was entitled to go forward with his injury litigation. The Superior Court, in announcing that it had revived the man’s case, explained that, when it comes to a negligence case, the injured person has a certain set of things he must prove. He must prove that the person he sued had a legal obligation to act or refrain from acting in a certain way toward him. (This is called a “duty of care” in the law.) He also has to prove that the person he sued did not live up to that obligation and that this failure was what caused his injury.

Sometimes, a person may have a legal duty toward you based upon the relationship you have. Even in the absence of a specific relationship recognized by the law, a person may still owe you certain obligations. There are certain legal duties that apply very generally. For example, everyone has a duty to refrain from doing something that she “realizes or should realize that it involves an unreasonable risk of harm to another.” When the court considers such a claim, the judge will look at many things. As an example, in the ladder case, the injured man’s advanced age helped bolster his case. The appeals court wrote in its opinion that it agreed with the man’s argument that “unnecessarily and unreasonably walking towards an elderly man precariously perched upon a ladder, and heading under the soon-to-be-falling branch” could be the basis of a viable lawsuit.

courtroomThere are many things that can harm your slip-and-fall injury case. Sometimes, some of those things don’t have anything to do with the facts of your case. Your case can get derailed due to non-compliance with procedural rules. Your case can also run into trouble for other things like a failure to provide discovery materials mandated by the court. All of these things highlight how there is more to your case than the facts, and the odds of achieving success can be enhanced by retaining the services of a skilled Pennsylvania premises liability attorney.

Recently, a plaintiff named Ruben found himself in such a situation. Ruben filed a premises liability lawsuit as a result of the injuries he suffered in a slip-and-fall accident. During the preliminary phase of the case, in which each side exchanges information with the other (which is called the “discovery phase”), the defense asked for copies of Ruben’s medical records. Ruben, however, didn’t send those records to the defense, even after a second request. The trial judge threw out Ruben’s case entirely as a sanction for failing to provide the defense with properly requested materials.

The Superior Court threw out that dismissal, which gave Ruben a renewed opportunity to pursue his case. That court explained a strong rule in Pennsylvania law, which is that, since dismissal is the severest of sanctions, it should only be used for the most egregious examples of misconduct.

ladderYour injury case can get derailed in many ways. One of the keys to success is making sure that you have retained knowledgeable Pennsylvania premises liability counsel who can guide you around these potential pitfalls and lead you instead to your day in court. With the help of diligent representation, you can ensure that your case meets all of the law’s requirements and that each step is completed on a timely basis. These things can be extremely important because, in some situations, non-compliance or delayed compliance can defeat your case entirely.

One example of this situation was a lawsuit filed by a roof worker named Douglas. Kevin had hired Douglas to do some work on the roof of his home. At the end of one day’s work, the men noticed that a sweater and a hat remained on the roof. Douglas allegedly offered to retrieve them. Kevin placed a ladder in position, and Douglas started up. As Douglas reached the roof, the ladder slipped, and he fell all the way to the ground. The fall caused Douglas to suffer serious and permanent damage to his right ankle and heel.

As someone who has been hurt in a trip-and-fall or slip-and-fall accident, you may be wondering what a case like Douglas’ case has to do with a case like yours. The reality is that, sometimes, the issues that prove to be “make or break” in a case can be things that have little to do with the facts underlying your injury. Instead, they may center on procedural rules and have implications for a wide variety of civil cases, including yours.

briefcase of moneyIt is an unfortunate fact of life that, sometimes, a sudden receipt of a large sum of money brings about people seeking a portion of those funds. Perhaps it is a lottery win, a sizable inheritance, or a money judgment in a civil trial. If you’ve lost a loved one due to the misconduct of others, there are many steps that go into obtaining a successful outcome that can benefit from the assistance of an experienced Pennsylvania wrongful death attorney. Making sure that the proceeds of a court judgment go to the proper people is just one of them.

An example of such a situation played out in the family of a Philadelphia-area woman named Shireeta. Shireeta’s seven-year-old daughter, Lamiyah, died in a house fire in December 2011. After Lamiyah’s death, the mother filed a lawsuit against the manufacturers of a curling iron and a power strip that, she claimed, were faulty and caused the fire. Shireeta, who was also the administrator of Lamiyah’s estate, eventually settled with the defendants. The defendants made an $8 million payout as part of the settlement.

As is true of many children, Lamiyah didn’t have a will. The law has a certain set of rules, called the rules of intestate succession, which dictate how assets should be distributed in cases in which the deceased person has no will. Generally, in most situations, the rules require that a child’s assets go 50-50 to each of her parents. In this case, that would have meant that Shireeta and Lamiyah’s father, Lamont, would split the settlement money equally.

trip and fallWhen you are injured in a trip-and-fall accident, you have to be prepared on many fronts in order to achieve a successful outcome. You need to be prepared to figure out whom you should sue. You also need to be prepared to respond to the defenses that the property owner will deploy to attempt to defeat your case and avoid liability. To ensure that you’re properly prepared, you need to retain an experienced Pennsylvania trip-and-fall attorney to go to work on your side.

One recent example of a trip-and-fall case addressed by the Superior Court was an accident suffered by a woman named Tina. Tina was visiting her daughter at the daughter’s home in Blair County when Tina tripped and fell on the front stairs to the home. The daughter’s home was a rental property.

When you are injured in a trip-and-fall accident as a result of a hazardous condition on a piece of property, you may be entitled to recover damages. One of the keys to achieving a successful outcome is identifying the correct person or entity that was responsible for the safety of the property and suing that person or entity. If the property is occupied by the owner, choosing the person to sue may be fairly straightforward. If the property is leased, the decision may be more complex, since you must identify whether the tenant or the landlord had the legal responsibility to ensure the safety of the property.

Franklin InstituteA recent Pennsylvania Superior Court ruling went in favor of a museum patron who tripped and fell when exiting an exhibit. The outcome highlights the fact that a tripping hazard need not be something that is broken down or dramatically dilapidated in order to give you the chance to pursue your case in court. In other words, if you’ve been hurt in a trip-and-fall situation, be sure to take prompt action and consult knowledgeable Pennsylvania premises liability counsel about your potential case.

The guest, Christina, was visiting a science museum in Philadelphia one day in August 2014 when she walked through an interactive exhibit focused on the brain. The exhibit involved some climbing. As Christina exited the attraction, she “stepped down off of an abnormally large step onto an uneven surface where the added/spongy floor meets the hard floor and was caused to trip and fall on the uneven/unstable surface of the exhibit,” she alleged in her complaint. As she indicated during the case, the exit area gave the appearance of a hard, even surface but was actually a soft, foamy, and uneven area, and that unevenness caused her fall.

In most trip-and-fall cases, the injured person (who becomes the plaintiff in the lawsuit) will accuse the owner (or other person or entity who’s responsible for the property’s upkeep) of engaging in negligence, which means that person or entity (the defendant) either did something or failed to do something that created an unreasonable risk of harm, and that risk was what caused the plaintiff to suffer her injuries.

slip and fallIf you were injured in a slip-and-fall accident, would you know what to do to ensure you fully and completely protected your rights? Would you know whom to sue if you found out that the property where you fell was leased at the time of your injury? All of these facts were part of a case involving a woman injured outside a Montgomery County church, and the case highlights how even a seemingly “simple” slip-and-fall case can have nuances and complexities with which an experienced Pennsylvania slip-and-fall accident attorney can provide crucial help.

The injured woman, Catherine, was walking along a sidewalk outside a Catholic church in Montgomery County in November 2005 when she slipped and fell, suffering injuries. On most days, this set of facts might offer a fairly straightforward potential case, with the injured pedestrian seeking recovery from the property owner. But this wasn’t most days; it was Election Day, and, on that day, the county had leased the church for use as a polling place.

This “wrinkle” in the facts of the case led the injured woman to sue both the Catholic Archdiocese and the county. This decision spawned extensive legal wrangling between the county and the archdiocese. The county moved for summary judgment, which, if successful, meant that it would be removed from the case before the trial even started and face no potential liability for the woman’s injuries. The trial court agreed and removed the county from the case.

Knee injuries suffered in a car accident can include fractures, ligament injuries, and dislocation. Not only can they lead to severe pain, swelling, and limited range of motion, but also some knee injuries can take months to heal, affecting an individual’s ability to work and be active. When a negligent motorist causes an accident that results in injuries, the law provides victims the right to file a Pennsylvania car accident claim against that driver for damages.

knee injury compensation

Filing a liability claim or a personal injury lawsuit may be appropriate when accident victims suffer serious injuries. There are many different causes of car accidents, ranging from distracted driving to mechanical malfunctions. But regardless of the cause, those hurt by the negligence of others have the legal right to pursue compensation for their suffering and harm.

The first step in a personal injury claim is to establish legal fault for causing an accident. This can stem from action, or in some cases, inaction. Failing to pay attention while operating a vehicle, for example, or refusing to adjust speed to account for weather conditions can be factors that lead to a crash and a legal determination of negligence.

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