10.16.17

Texas County Files Opioid Lawsuit

Posted in Fraud, Medical Malpractice, Negligence, Products Liability at 3:39 pm by kevin

America has an opioid problem. The epidemic has resulted in addictions, deaths caused by drug overdose, and economic burden that totals $78.5 billion. Although drug makers have been sued by cities, states, and other agencies, the lawsuit filed by Dallas-based litigation firm Simon Greenstone Panetier & Bartlett in behalf of Upshur County is the first in Texas to hold drug makers responsible for the epidemic.

The lawsuit claims that deceptive practices by drug makers have created a marketplace that is both lucrative and illicit where pharmacy record falsification, prescription forging, and doctor shopping is a common occurrence. It also claims that an increase in heroin use is linked to the widespread use of opioids as addicted users turn to the other due to the unavailability of prescription drugs. The epidemic has also driven resident’s healthcare costs up.

Many residents of Upshur County have also cited opioid addiction as one of the reasons they sought treatment for substance abuse.

Opioid use doesn’t just affect the lives of those who use it, but their family as well. In Upshur County, parental drug addiction has caused a rise in children being placed in child protection agencies.

Dean Fowler, an Upshur County judge, said that the lawsuit’s goal was “to recoup the cost of the opioid epidemic.” The money used to treat opioid addicts come out of taxpayers’ pockets, and that the “cost to the public is very high.”

Jeffrey B. Simon, a Dallas attorney, says in the lawsuit that the epidemic “did not occur by chance.”

The lawsuit names more than 20 defendants, including Abbot Laboratories, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Inc., and Purdue Pharma Inc. These companies manufacture brand-name drugs, such as Avinza (no longer sold in the market), Opana, OxyContin, Percocet, Percodan, Roxicodone, and Vicodin. Generic varieties such as hydrocodone and oxymorphone are being made as well. Some of these defendants also manufacture, market, distribute, and sell prescription opioids, such as fentanyl, Duragesic, Fentora, Ultracet, and Ultram.

The more than 20 defendants named in the lawsuit are all accused of using altering the view of doctors on opioids in the late 1990s and early 2000s through a “well-funded deceptive marketing scheme.” Drug makers use sales representatives and physicians – their “key opinion leaders”– to promote highly addictive opioids through souvenirs and toys that include, among others, bags, coffee cups, notepads, pens, and stuffed plush toys – all these bearing the name of the opioid brand.

The lawsuit also states that drug makers utilized “front groups” to help key opinion leaders negatively tinge continuing medical education programs, medical conferences and seminars, scientific articles, and treatment guidelines – sources that doctors and patients turn to for guidance.

After individual and coordinated efforts, the defendants also convinced doctors that opioids were “required in the compassionate treatment of chronic pain” rather than inform them of it being addictive and unsafe for long-term use.

The lawsuit claims that drug makers even upped their advertising costs compared to the previous decade. One advertisement showed how a writer used opioids to cure osteoarthritis but neglected to mention its risks.

A co-counsel of Simon, Jack Walker of the Martin Walker law firm, plans to file a similar lawsuit in the counties they represent.

 

09.06.17

Paralyzed Chicago Woman Receives $148 Million Settlement

Posted in Negligence at 11:06 am by kevin

On Wednesday, a Cook County jury awarded a woman $148 million, who was left paralyzed by a collapse on O’Hare International Airport bus shelter. The incident took place two years ago, when the woman was standing under the bus shelter during a storm in August, and the shelter collapsed.

The 26-year-old, Tierney Darden, from Vernon Hills, was greatly injured by the shelter collapse cried when Judge Clare McWilliams announced the jury’s final verdict. The trial took place at the Chicago Daley Center courtroom and took 7 days, and four hours of deliberation.

Her attorney Patrick Salvi during an interview outside the courtroom said: “Tierney was a victim of the wrongful conduct presented by the City at O’Hare, which caused her such a devastating injury.” He added, “We are grateful for the jury, who recognized the severity of Tierney’s injury, and the issues she will have to face in life”.

According to a spokesperson from Tierney’s law firm. The payable amount is the largest sum the city has ever had to pay for a personal injury case.

According to Patrick Salvi. On August 2nd, 2015 Tierney was a dance student and was standing right next to her mother and sister outside the airport. The street was on a lower level and offers direct access to Terminal 2. They have just returned from Chicago to Minneapolis, where they went shopping for bridesmaid dresses for a wedding. When the storm rolled in, they decided to take shelter under the bus shelter while waiting for their ride. As the storm gained more momentum, the shelter became loose and fell right on Tierney.

The fall was at such an angle that it severed her spinal cord, and she was left paralyzed. Now, she has no movement from the waist down, according to her lawyers. Before the accident occurred Tierney lived an independent life in Chicago, where she was attending the Truman College. However, due to the accident, she had to move back with her father and lives in Vernon Hills.

The extensive research and investigation showed the bus shelter has missing bolts that lead to the accident. The investigation confirmed that the bus shelters were hardly maintained, and were in poor condition. The mission bolts were paired with the broken brackets or the corroded parts. Which lead to the horrible accident that change Tierney life.

Her lawyers added that after two years, the city of Chicago finally admitted liability, for the injuries that Tierney suffered. The trial was taken on to ensure that the city realized its fault, and they must better maintain their shelters. Which turned out to be a great settlement for Tierney that will help live her life in as much comfort as possible. The jury decided that she has a long road ahead of her, and must be compensated accordingly.

When the city was asked for comment, they did not have anything to add on the matter, and later issues a public statement.

 

08.21.17

How Much Weight Does a Police Report Carry In A Car Accident Lawsuit?

Posted in Vehicle Accidents at 3:41 pm by kevin

If you are in an automobile accident, it is generally recommended that you call law enforcement to the scene to fill out a police report. The police report is a statement prepared by the officer who arrives at the scene about the events of the accident.

What most people are surprised to find out is that police reports are typically not admissible if an automobile accident suit goes to trial. However, they are useful if you are involved in a personal injury suit. What you say to law enforcement concerning an accident can significantly affect your impending trial, if the case goes that far.

You can’t technically use a police report in a court of law to prove that someone injured you through their negligence. But a police report can help you or your Atlanta car accident attorney, to negotiate a settlement with the insurance provider and further your case to make them settle out of court. After an accident, it is always a good idea to obtain your own copy of the report by going to the police department where it is on file. The police report will often be available online as well.

 

How to use a police report to further your settlement negotiations

Although it’s inadmissible in court, a police report can be helpful should you have to negotiate to recover for your personal injuries in the litigation process. Before you begin your personal injury suit, you should collect all the pertinent information about your injuries including all medical records, the police report, and any other official documents about the case to use to draft a “demand letter.”

The demand letter is a written document that summarizes all the facts about the accident and injuries in full detail. It is also where the injured person demands to be compensated for their economic and non-economic damages.

The reason that the police report is important during the negotiation process is that it can provide proof that the other driver was deemed “at fault” and is therefore liable to pay for your injuries. Even though you can’t use it in court, it is an important document to use to try to settle the case before it escalates to trial, which is always a preferable method for both parties.

 

What can a police report do for your case?

The police report can help to strengthen your proof regarding the accident. It has all the necessary information that you will need like time, date, and any other witnesses that were available to provide an account. It will also include information about weather conditions or any other mitigating factors. The police report will also have contact information about any eyewitness accounts, so that if the case does proceed to trial, they can be called to testify about what they observed.

 

Why are police reports inadmissible in court?

Police reports are not admissible in court because they are considered “hearsay.” Hearsay is not admissible because it is:

  • Not a sworn statement
  • It is a statement that is made outside the confines of a courtroo
  • It is made by a person who doesn’t have eyewitness confirmation of the event
  • It is a statement made by a third party about another person’s actions or inactions

Although it’s filed by an officer of the law, a police report is considered hearsay because the officer was not there to witness the accident. They merely recorded what other people described of what they witnessed. The police officer did not have firsthand knowledge of the events, so they recorded the statements of those they questioned.

The statements that the police report holds are also not “sworn” statements. The people who were asked about the accident were not “sworn to tell the truth,” and therefore cannot be held liable if they did not.

So, although a police report might not help you during the trial phase of any personal injury suit resulting from an auto accident, it is an excellent tool for the negotiation process. Your personal injury lawyer can use the police report to establish who was at fault and to further their ability to reach a fair settlement. Never leave the scene of an accident without having a police report taken, even if it can’t be introduced at trial.

 

08.17.17

Tort Lawsuits Declining in the USA

Posted in Tort Reform at 10:15 am by kevin

There is this notion that Americans are the most litigious people in the world. However, a recent report by the Wall Street Journal is about to prove that that is not the case…anymore. In 2015, only two out of 1,000 people who are alleged victims of different kinds of civil wrongs, including faulty products or medical malpractice, have filed tort lawsuits in 2015. That figure is way below 1993 levels when 10 in 1,000 Americans sued for damages.

The WSJ report analyzed data from the National Center for State Courts, and the numbers are clear: Americans are filing fewer cases, but what is behind this dramatic dive?

What is a Tort?

A tort is a wrongful act, one that causes harm or injury to another and cause courts to impose liability.

Tort law aims to give the injured party relief for harm caused by others. It also seeks hold the responsible party accountable for the offense they committed and hopes to prevent others from committing acts that could prove harmful.

The afflicted party (plaintiff) usually seeks damages in the form of monetary compensation. Other remedies are also available including injunction and restitution.

There are three general categories that torts fall into:

Reasons for the Decline of Tort Lawsuits

It’s difficult to pinpoint the decline in the litigation industry down to just one factor. There are so many contributing causes for the drop in tort lawsuits, but here are some of the major reasons:

  • Cost

In most cases, personal injury attorneys don’t require clients to pay an upfront fee. Attorneys get paid a percentage of the money the client receives from the settlement or trial verdict. This is called a contingency fee agreement.

The fee an attorney receives depends on the cap set by the state. For example, lawyers in Michigan cannot get more than one-third of the total amount received by the client.

However, those are not the only costs a claimant will have to pay; there are ancillary fees involved as well including fees for the following: court filings, police reports, medical records (obtaining and preparing), expert witnesses, and copies of deposition transcripts.

It is possible that a lot of Americans find the costs associated with filing lawsuits too much.

  • Tort Reform

For years, a number of tort reforms seem to favor individuals and businesses from frivolous and fraudulent claims. In March, House Republicans advanced bills long supported by corporations and doctors, including putting a cap on medical malpractice awards. The changes limit the ability of some Americans to seek legal remedies from powerful institutions.

  • New Ways to Resolve Problems

More alternative dispute resolution options are becoming more accessible to people, including arbitration and pre-litigation mediation. With these, a number of complaints can be remedied without ever seeing a lawsuit being filed.

Plus, better safety technology has resulted in fewer road accidents. A number of states have also introduced new damages caps which make attorneys far less likely to take on risky cases.

 

07.25.17

Personal Injury Laws for Business Owners

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:24 pm by kevin

No business owner wants to get slapped with a personal injury lawsuit. That said, accidents can happen in business premises and a customer can purchase defective products that can cause them harm. However, knowledge about personal injury laws helps you take the necessary steps to protect your business. Here’s a look at laws that you should be aware of:

Negligence

A claim of negligence forms the basis of many personal injury lawsuits. Negligence is the failure to exercise care towards another person that results in unintentional harm. The injured person (plaintiff) can sue for damages based on different kinds of injuries, be it physical harm or property damage resulting from errors and miscalculations.

How can you defend against a negligence suit? Plaintiffs need to prove four elements: duty (defendant owed a legal duty), breach of duty (defendant failed to act), causation (the defendant’s actions or lack thereof contributed to the injury), and damages (plaintiff was harmed because of defendant’s actions). Your defense rests on negating one of these elements. You are not entirely liable if you can prove the other party was equally negligent.

Premises Liability

Premises liability holds owners responsible for accidents and injuries that take place on their business property. For instance, a customer can sue your business if they suffer an accident – a fall, perhaps – inside your property due to a wet floor and sustain injuries as a result. Even workers, vendors, solicitors, and intruders are covered under the premises liability law.

Businesses must take preventive measures to ensure that unfortunate situations don’t happen inside a workplace. Such actions include implementing safety policies and procedures, using signs to warn of potential risks, providing employees with training on handling such a situation, and conducting regular maintenance and inspection.

Product Liability

When a customer is harmed as a result of using a defective product, they can take action against you, the maker of the product. It is you responsibility to ensure the safety of your products before they get into the hands of consumers. However, customers also need to prove that the product was truly defective as well as prove that it was the reason for their injury.

A product liability claim can ruin your company’s reputation. To avoid such a scenario, take some initiatives to minimize the risk such as performing product testing and doing product reviews at every stage to ensure there are no issues. You can also protect the business by purchasing product liability insurance and making sure you hold suppliers accountable.

Workers’ Compensation

Injuries and illnesses that occur in the workplace can happen. This is why it’s important for businesses, whether you own a small shop with 30 employees or run a large factory with more than a thousand workers, to get an insurance policy for their employees to cover for work-related injury or illness. If not, you will end up paying for your employee’s medical bills out of pocket.

Being aware of these laws not only helps you protect your business but also ensures it stays on a profit-growing path.

 

06.28.17

Granddaughter of TBN Founder, Jan Crouch, Gets $2 Million for Personal-injury Lawsuit Against Trinity Church Center

Posted in Child Abuse at 11:58 am by kevin

Five years after Carra Crouch, granddaughter of Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) founders, Jan and Paul Crouch, filed a personal-injury lawsuit against Trinity Church Center for a sexual assault case, a verdict was finally announced.  The jury voted in favor of the plaintiff and consequently, the 24-year old was awarded a whopping amount of $2 million for damages.

Alleged Rape Cover-up

The year was 2006, at a Praise-A-Thon fundraiser in Atlanta, when Carra Crouch, then 13 years old, attended the event with the late Jan Crouch. This was when the alleged rape took place in her hotel room.

According to Crouch, she was drinking with a 30-year old employee of Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN), run by the Trinity Church Center, inside the hotel room when the perpetrator started making advances on her. After he gave her a glass of water which she claimed might have been laced with some sort of drug, she lost consciousness and woke up suspecting she was raped.

When she informed her grandmother, televangelist Jan Crouch, the ordained minister berated her instead of comforting her and questioning her molester. In the lawsuit, Carra Crouch claimed that her “Momma Jan” screamed at her and did not even report the incident to authorities.

“Why would you have that man in your room? Why would you let this happen” – these were the harsh words of the grandmother, according to David Kessling, attorney of Carra Crouch.  He said that when Miss Crouch informed the church minister, she expected protection and sympathy and yet what she got was the opposite.

A case was never filed against the TBN employee although the 30-year old man was fired. As for not reporting the incident, Carra’s lawyer said that Jan Crouch just did not want the name of TBN to be dragged and tainted.

The State of California has a mandatory reporting law that puts ordained ministers, like the late televangelist under obligation, to report these types of incidents to the police. This was the basis of the civil case filed against Jan Crouch by her granddaughter in 2012.

The Verdict

After eight hours of deliberation, the jury voted in favor of Carra Crouch, saying that the actions of her grandmother, reprimanding her instead of protecting her was outrageous. However, on the alleged failure to report sexual assault, it was a different story since the jury rejected the allegation.

Although Carra Crouch was asking for $6 million in damages, she was only awarded $2 million. Half of the amount was for the years of emotional trauma since the incident until the trial was over while the other half was for the years, the jury believes, she has to spend in pain and suffering.

It was voted upon that the late Jan Crouch was 45 percent responsible for the emotional distress brought unto Carra Crouch while the church was vindicated for the failure of mandatory reporting allegation. For this, the Christian ministry was ordered to pay $900,000.

Meanwhile, the mother of Carra Crouch and the alleged molester were held 35 percent and 20 percent responsible, respectively. However, both did not have to pay since they were not defendants.

Today, Crouch is a medical office assistant and is still based in Orange County. While she is still working on healing spiritually and emotionally, she said that she plans to study nursing and will use the money pay for her education.

 

05.19.17

Why Are More Buses Not Revamping To Include Seat Belts?

Posted in Negligence, Vehicle Accidents at 3:33 pm by kevin

Over the past several decades, seat belt laws have expanded to cover all 50 states. Although it is left to each state to determine the specific laws, in general, if you are riding in the car with a child then they need to be restrained unless they are over the age of 16. The reason is that car accidents remain one of the biggest causes of childhood deaths and injuries in America.

There is no argument that seat belts save lives, so instilling laws for parents to do the right thing just makes sense. However, when it comes to other forms of transportation, like school buses, not many states have mandates about what type of restraints they must have or how children must be transported. In Texas, after several school bus accidents with huge consequences, lawmakers are considering making it mandatory to wear a seatbelt when you get on the big yellow bus to go to school.

It would only make sense that your child should be as protected in someone else’s vehicle as they should be in your car, so the lack of seat belts on many school buses – not just across Texas but across the United States – simply doesn’t make any sense.

A Texas law that was established over ten years ago stating that school buses must be equipped with shoulder seat belts has barely caught on. In fact, only a minority of the buses are up to the law a decade later. After a fatal bus crash in 2006, Ashley and Alicia’s Law was enacted, mandating that every new bus purchased by a school have the three-point seat belt.

With the help of a bus accident lawyer, a woman who lost her daughter to a school bus accident in September of 2015 is just one victim lobbying to not only enforce the rule for buses to have seat belts, but to make sure that they use them. Sheanine Chatman lost her daughter when the child’s bus went over the overpass and plunged 21 feet onto the road below.

Chatman was one of two children who was killed. Two others sustained severe injuries. The biggest contributor to the deaths and severity of injuries is that none of the children were wearing seat belts, according to investigators who were at the scene. Advocates have been pushing for seat belt use on school and transportation buses since the law was passed, but it seems like their pleas are falling on deaf ears. With no real enforcement or consequences for not following the rules, there isn’t much incentive to take the extra initiative to ensure that children are following the rules.

Sylvia Garcia, a Democratic state senator, has presented a bill that would require each child to have a three-point seat belt on every school bus that operates in the state. A three-point belt has not just the lap belt, which does very little to secure a child when in a crash, but also has a shoulder belt – the same shoulder belt that is required in any other moving vehicle.

Garcia insists that everyone who gets behind the wheel with their child understands the gravity of what being safe in a car entails for their kid, but then they say goodbye at the bus doors and have no proof that their children are being taken care of safely.

Texas is one of the “click it or ticket” states and puts a large portion of their transportation budget into seat belt campaigns and enforcement at the private motorist level. However, they need to do a better job on buses, where there can be up to 100 children being transported at one time.

Even when it is most critical that kids be restrained, no one seems to be putting much effort into enforcement. Although over $10 million was earmarked to purchase new school buses that comply with the law, nearly 99% of the schools across Texas have not done so.

Many educators maintain that it might be because the money allocated only relates to purchasing new school buses, instead of just retrofitting school buses that are fairly new and can last for decades. According to experts, it only costs about $8,000-10,000 to retrofit an old bus, but since the state doesn’t include that in their allocation, school districts simply don’t have the money in the budget to comply.

To date, an average of six children a year die in school bus crashes. That is six too many. A new push needs to be focused on converting old buses and enforcing seat belt laws, so that another Chatman accident never happens again. It is now in the hands of the Texas government to figure out the best way to gain compliance, but they must do so.

 

 

How Social Media Prank Allowed Courts To Take Custody Of Children

Posted in Child Abuse at 3:25 pm by kevin

“Thirteen Reasons Why,” a controversial show being viewed by preteens and teens across America, is causing great concern for educators, children and parents alike. As a show that is based on the thirteen reasons that a girl – the narrator and star of the show – eventually ends up taking her own life, it is very troubling to child psychologists around the nation. There is nothing new about bullying, but the vicious nature of the social media torture endured by the teens is convincingly real and is giving adults a glimpse into the ugliness of the pranks, bullying and torture that can happen on the Internet.

Perhaps even more disturbing is the real-life drama of the Martins, who have lost custody of their children for “pranking” them online. No one is laughing at the cruel nature of what they did or the damage that they inflicted on their children. Videos uploaded by DaddyOFive’s YouTube Channel are hard to watch even for a mature audience, much less the population that typically tunes in.

In one of the videos, the parents scream at a young boy named Cody for spilling ink on the carpet – not just scream but totally berate him. Mind you, he didn’t spill anything at all. It was just a prank. Funny, huh? In another “episode” the dad encourages his son to slap his eleven-year-old sister Emma, which the boy does hard enough to make her cry. After seeing the alarming video online, the estranged mother of both children filed for an emergency hearing to regain custody of the two children.

Rose Hall announced that she now has full custody of her two children, who were the object of what is tantamount to child abuse – all to make an audience laugh. She sent a video out on YouTube of her lawyer insisting that the children were back home and adjusting happily to their new surroundings. As of Hall’s announcement, her son Cody and daughter Emma will remain in Child Protective Services until the details can be sorted out.

The Martin family had five children in their custody; two of them are the biological children of Rose Hall from a previous relationship she had with Mike Martin, the infamous YouTube prankster. Not only has the DaddyOFive Channel gone viral; so too has the saga regarding the entire custody battle. It appears that no one can get enough of watching the horrible things that people subject their kids to in the name of fun for strangers on the Internet.

The Martins started the channel to make money. Through clicks on their page, they were generating income by pranking their kids in cruel and not funny ways. Although the Martins have denied the allegations of profiteering, there is evidence that they aren’t being truthful. Nearly a week after the video went viral, the Martins released a statement of apology on their channel. After hiring a crisis-management and public relations firm, they announced that everyone in the family is in the process of seeking counseling.

The Martins have admitted that they made terrible parenting mistakes, which goes against their original claims that the children’s reactions were faked. Throughout the video series, Hall followed the page and commented that she was against the treatment that her children were being subjected to. When it became too much, she went to law enforcement in the jurisdiction where the films were being shot to try to get some help.

Hall has been trying with fervor to get her children back. After an interview regarding the mistreatment of her children, she started a GoFundMe campaign to help her with legal fees to fight for custody. When the child custody attorney who finally agreed to take her case first saw the videos, he didn’t hesitate to step in and help out.

Hall hopes that with some counseling and a little concern and care, the children will recover. She regained custody of Cody and Emma last week and is looking forward to finding a new normal. They no longer want to be in the spotlight, so the YouTube video days are over for the Hall kids. After suing for abuse in court, she has won full custody and wants to put the entire incident and her relationship with the Martins behind her.

 

 

05.02.17

Could Helmet Laws For Motor Vehicles Be A Thing Of The Past In Nebraska?

Posted in Vehicle Accidents at 10:48 am by kevin

In the land of the free, there are actually very few freedoms that Americans are afforded. When it comes to the rules of the road, under the guise of public protection people have very limited control over their behaviors. Things like mandatory seatbelt laws and helmet laws for motorcyclists have been debated for decades, especially between motor vehicle accident attorney Queens that deal with similar cases far too often. Finally having its day in court, the Lowe’s motorcycle helmet bill is still being debated.

The Nebraska state senator assembly is in a debate about repealing the law requiring motorcyclists to wear helmets, and whether that should be up to the individual. After decades of attempting to rid the state of the bill, its opponents might actually be successful. Although attempts have been unsuccessful for nearly two decades, the tide might be turning in favor of those who don’t want to wear helmets.

With the election of new members of the Senate comprising about one-third of those voting, this might be the year for big changes. Due to the term limits imposed during 2016, getting some new blood might actually help opponents against wearing helmets, get what they want – a repeal of the law. The law would also make it unlawful for anyone under the age of 6 years old to ride on a motorcycle as a passenger.

The argument is similar to those for seatbelts. When you get behind the wheel of either a motorcycle or a car, you are aware of the risks. It should be your right to have the freedom to decide for yourself what you want to do. Since an accident where you aren’t wearing a helmet may only affect you, the decision should be in your hands. Wearing a helmet doesn’t prevent accidents; therefore, the choice to wear one shouldn’t be guided by the state.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, as many as forty percent of all motorcyclists who were killed in fatal crashes in 2015 didn’t have a helmet on. Statistics clearly show that not wearing a helmet on a motorcycle exponentially increases your chances of dying.

Proponents insist that Nebraska should avoid making the same mistake as Louisiana. Louisiana repealed the helmet law in 1999, but reinstated it due to the significant and severe increase in brain injuries and deaths. Those who want to maintain the helmet laws insist that it is a public health issue. Brain injuries cost the state millions, and those who sustain injuries are less likely to have motorcycle insurance, which costs everyone.

They also insist that there are times when wearing a helmet can impede a motorcyclist’s ability to see traffic and may actually lead to motorcycle accidents. Even if wearing a helmet reduces chronic brain injuries, the accidents might never happen to begin with if the motorcyclist wasn’t inhibited by the bulkiness and blind spots that some can experience while wearing a helmet.

Those who want to repeal the helmet law are bringing up issues like an increase in tourism.  They believe that being helmet-free will increase tourist revenue for the state. Currently, many who attend the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally located in South Dakota intentionally avoid Nebraska so that they don’t have to put a helmet on and “ruin the ride.” The additional money made in tourism, however, will most likely not pay for the increase in motorcycle accidents and their consequences on society and the state’s budget.

With a whole new Senate, conditions are ripe for change in Nebraska, but change doesn’t always come in the form of something good. Although wearing a helmet can be less of a hassle, there is no doubt that helmets can save motorcyclists from death and serious brain injuries. Whether or not freedom will reign in Nebraska remains to be seen.

A “nanny” state might save some people from themselves, but that isn’t what America was founded on. Fortunately, America was created as a society where people have free choice, even if those choices aren’t good ones. When someone decides not to wear a helmet, that doesn’t increase the likelihood that they will get into an accident. It may only increase the likelihood that they won’t die or sustain a more severe brain injury than if they didn’t wear one. Either way it should be their decision to choose.

 

What Type Of Insurance Do You Need For Your Dog Breed?

Posted in Dog Bite Injury, Negligence at 10:33 am by kevin

There is no debating the fact that dog breeds all have their own set of personality traits. With breeds selected for specific reasons, whether you have a purebred or a mutt, your dog might be someone who loves you – but that doesn’t always mean that they love everyone.

There are some dog breeds that were created to be man’s best friend, like the Labrador retriever, and they have very little risk of biting someone. Then there are other breeds, like huskies and pit bulls, who are known to be a bit more aggressive, territorial and protective.

You can’t really blame a dog when they bite someone if they were protecting the house, but that doesn’t mean that you might not be liable to pay for the dog bite. There are specific things that you need to do to limit your liability for dog bites. Not only could a bite end up costing you a whole lot, but you might lose your beloved dog if you aren’t careful. Each state has specific dog bite laws in place; knowing your state’s law can help you to avoid disaster.

According to recent studies, more than one-third of all homeowners’ claims made are related to dog bites. That costs the insurance industry more than $570 million a year. The average cost of a dog-bite claim is somewhere around $37,000 dollars, and it continues to increase every year. In fact, the amount awarded by insurance companies has risen over 90% in just the past 15 years.

Although not many homeowners give it much thought, prevention is the best way to ensure that you aren’t left with a costly lawsuit that jeopardizes your home and your dog. More than 60% of all dog-bite incidents happen on the owner’s premises, and in over 70% of those cases, the victim is either a family member or family friend.

Some breeds are more dangerous than others, but dogs are often a family member to most people, and it can be difficult for dog owners to see potential threat. No matter how well-trained dogs are, there are times when certain breeds’ instincts just take over. Some people think that certain dogs just get a bad “rap,” but the truth is that there are five breeds of dogs that are responsible for over 280 deaths in the past four decades.

The five top most dangerous dogs to own (regarding property liability) are:

  • Pit bulls
  • Rottweilers
  • German shepherds
  • Huskies
  • Malamutes

Although they are not solely responsible for all the dog bites that end in fatalities, the highest likelihood of bites are from pit bulls, Rottweilers, German shepherds, and huskies.

Each state has different dog-bite liability laws. There are specific types of dog owner liability clauses.

Strict liability for dog bites: In strict liability states, the dog owner is held strictly liable for any property damage or injury that is caused by their dog, even if the dog was provoked. There are, however, instances where if the dog was being provoked, the owner is no longer held liable.

One-bite rule: Currently there are sixteen states that don’t have any dog-bite statutes and have no consequences for an owner’s whose dog bit or injured someone. If it is the first time the dog has bitten someone, then often the injured person has no recourse. Unless the animal has demonstrated prior evidence of being vicious or dangerous to people, then the owner is presumed to be not liable. However, if the dog bites someone again then the liability is automatically on the owner.

Negligence laws: Some states use the clause of a person being unreasonably careless in training and controlling a dog. The child dog bite attorney must prove that the dog owner didn’t reasonably control their dog, thus there was an injury and the injury was directly related to the dog owner not taking reasonable care to ensure the safety of the injured person.

If you own a dog, you might think they are wonderful, and they might very well be. That doesn’t mean, however, that they won’t bite someone if they feel threatened. To make sure that you are covered if your dog bites someone, it is important to read through your homeowner’s policy to see if you need any special or additional coverage. Being safe is always better than being sorry. If you aren’t insured, you could stand to lose a lot more than just your best friend.

 

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