Articles Posted in Personal Injury

Earlier this month, an appellate court in Wyoming issued an opinion in a premises liability lawsuit brought by the parents of a middle-school student who fell while playing on a patch of ice with friends. The court ultimately affirmed the dismissal of the plaintiffs’ case, based on the fact that the allegedly hazardous condition that caused the boy’s fall was “obvious and natural” at the time of the accident. The fact that the school administration had applied snow-melt in the general area did not change the court’s analysis.

IceThe Facts of the Case

The plaintiffs were the parents of a middle-school student who was playing on a patch of ice in the school parking lot with some friends when he slipped and fell, breaking a tooth and fracturing his nose. According to the facts as discussed in the court’s opinion, the patch of ice was large and noticeable. In the days before the accident, there were trace amounts of snow and rain.

After the accident, the boy’s parents filed a premises liability lawsuit against the school, arguing that it was negligent in allowing the ice to accumulate. Evidence presented showed that school employees cleared snow or ice from the parking lot daily and applied snow-melt when necessary.

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Many personal injury cases require the testimony of at least one expert witness. Expert witnesses are used to establish certain facts that are beyond the common knowledge of lay witnesses. For example, in medical malpractice cases, expert witnesses are commonly used to explain to the jury what the standard procedures are in certain medical situations.

GavelThe selection of an expert witness is critical for several reasons. First, a selected expert should appear credible to both the judge and the jury, rather than looking like a “hired gun.” After all, many personal injury cases come down to a “battle of the experts,” in which each side has competing experts offering diametrically opposed opinions on the same subject. Second, an attorney should have a fairly good idea of what an expert’s opinion will be before retaining that expert. A party’s failure to know what an expert’s opinion will likely be can result in wasted time and expense. Furthermore, as a recent case indicates, careless expert selection can potentially provide favorable evidence to the opposing party.

Malashock v. Jamison:  The Defendant Seeks to Depose the Plaintiff’s Unused Expert

Malashock was injured in an accident involving the utility vehicle he was operating. He filed a personal injury lawsuit against the company that sold him the vehicle. Before the trial began, Malashock identified several expert witnesses by name and indicated the subject of their testimony. At no point was any of the experts’ reports provided to the defense.

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Earlier this month, an appellate court in Delaware issued an opinion in a personal injury case brought by the family of a young girl who was struck by a car while she was about to board her school bus. The case presented the court with an interesting question:  whether the school bus’ insurance company could be responsible for the girl’s injuries when the bus driver was not at all involved in the physical collision, but he told the girl to board the bus moments before she was struck.

School BusState Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. v. Buckley

The plaintiff was a young girl who was waiting at the bus stop on her way to school. The bus arrived, and the driver signaled for the girl to board the bus. However, as she was about to board, another car – the driver of which is not named in this lawsuit – struck the girl, causing her serious injuries. This case involves the claim made by the girl against the company that insured the school bus.

The defendant claimed that the insurance policy should not be triggered because there was no accident involving the school bus. On the other hand, the plaintiff argued that the young student was merely following the school bus driver’s instructions when she boarded, and this fits within the definition of an accident under state law.

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Earlier this month, the Supreme Court of Utah issued an opinion in an interesting case considering the age at which young children can be held legally responsible for their own negligent actions. In the case, Neilsen v. Bell, the court was not provided the opportunity to consider whether the parents were liable, and it had to look solely at the individual liability of the young child.

tricycle-691587_960_720The Facts of the Case

The case arose when the Bells’ four-year-old son injured his babysitter. According to the court’s written opinion, Neilsen was the woman the Bells chose to watch their son while they were away. On the day of the incident, the four-year-old boy threw a toy at Neilsen’s face, striking her in the eye. This ultimately caused her to completely lose sight in that eye.

Neilsen filed a lawsuit against the boy and his parents. The first claim alleged that the parents were negligent in their supervision of the child. This claim failed in the lower court, most likely since the child was in the plaintiff’s control at the time of the incident, and she agreed to assume care of the boy.

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Earlier this month, the Supreme Court of Mississippi dismissed a case brought by the husband of a woman who died while in the care of the defendant because the plaintiff re-filed the case after the applicable statute of limitations had expired. In the case, Thornhill v. Ingram, the plaintiff alleged that the defendant’s failure to diagnose and treat his wife led to her early death. Accordingly, he filed suit against several of the treating medical professionals, as well as the facility where his wife was cared for.

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However, although the case had been filed shortly after the passing of his wife, the plaintiff did not make appreciable efforts to bring the case to trial. Eight years later, the defendant asked the court to dismiss the case for lack of prosecution.

After considering both sides, the trial court agreed with the defendant and dismissed the case without prejudice. This meant that the plaintiff would be able to re-file the case if and when he chose to do so.

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Regardless of the type of accident you were in, if you were driving a leased vehicle, you should take steps to protect yourself.

First off, at the scene of the accident you should inquire into the well-being of any other drivers after ensuring you have not sustained any major injuries. Afterwards, you should contact the police to come respond to the accident to speak with any witnesses and file an official report. You should speak with the officer and obtain a copy of any report they make.

You are required to exchange your information with any other drivers at the accident scene such as your contact and insurance information. If you can, take photographs of the accident scene and any damage to your vehicle and any bodily harm.

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Most injury suits, especially when it comes to car accidents, are based on negligence. The negligent party is the one which can be held accountable for paying damages after an accident. It can benefit you greatly to understand the legal value of negligence before you are seriously injured.

Negligence is simply careless behavior which was exhibited and was potentially dangerous. Negligence can cause harm to the culprit, leaving only themselves to blame. When negligence harms another party, this is the basis of an injury claim. A driver, for example, who drivers negligently by speeding, being distracted, or being otherwise distracted, can be held legally liable for financial damages in a civil suit.

If you are injured, as the plaintiff, you need to show the other party acted negligently when they caused an accident. You need to establish that there was a duty of reasonable care to be extended to others such as other motorists which was violated or breached by the defendant. You must show that a reasonable person would have acted differently in a similar scenario.

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Recently, the Indiana Gazette posted a story about the dangers of tired truck drivers in order to raise awareness about this very serious issue. This month, a truck and car accident injured the famous Saturday Night Live actor Tracy Morgan and killed another comedian that was in the same limousine. After the terrible accident that made headlines in major newspapers, the authorities in Washington began to pay more attention to the very real threat of tired truckers out on the road.

Many truck drivers want to reach their destination as fast as possible. In order to make that happen, they will forego sleep. As they get tired, they often refuse to pull over and try to push through. In some cases, the truckers’ bodies become overwhelmed, and they may find that they drift off to sleep while still operating their large vehicle. This can lead to devastating collisions resulting in death or serious injury.

The Tracy Morgan Car Accident

Tracy Morgan and several comedian friends were in a limousine when they were struck by a Wal-Mart semi-truck on the New Jersey Turnpike in Cranbury Township. The truck driver had not slept in the past 24 hours and plowed into the back of the limousine as a result of his fatigue. The truck driver failed to slow despite the brake lights ahead, and swerved at the last minute to avoid a crash. The big rig smashed into the back of the Mercedes limo bus, causing serious injuries and one death.

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Car accidents can be incredibly serious, causing devastating and sometimes life-threatening injuries. According to the Lafayette Journal & Courier, a woman from Kokomo, Indiana died on June 11th, 2014 after she was severely injured in a car collision.

The 59-year-old woman was driving south on the Indiana 29 when she attempted to turn left onto Carroll County Road. A southbound pickup truck crashed into her car during the turn, sending both the vehicles into a yard at the intersection. The driver of the pick-up truck was a 28-year-old male.

The woman was trapped in her car and extricated by firefighters shortly afterwards, according to a press release by the Carroll County Sheriff’s Department. She was airlifted to the Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis but later died during surgery. The other driver was taken to Saint Joseph Hospital for medical treatment.

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Individuals in passenger cars are like the “Davids” on the highways, surrounding by ominous and dangerous “Goliaths.” These Goliaths are the semi-trucks that frequently pass through Indiana. If you are a passenger car driver, you need to be aware of the dangers that are present out on the roads.

Two Injured in Passenger Car and Semi-Truck Collision

Recently, a 27-year-old man from Waterloo was severely injured when his pickup truck crossed the median on Interstate 69 near Ashely and collided with two semi-trucks on the other side. The crash closed the northbound lanes on the interstate for more than five hours on Monday, June 9 th. This story was reported in the Journal Gazette and the original report can be read
here.

The Indiana State Police reported that the pickup truck crossed the median and struck one semi, then spun off and hit another in another lane. One of the semis flipped onto its side after the accident, and the 53-year-old trucker operating the vehicle was injured. The other vehicle remained upright and the driver was not harmed.

The man in the pickup suffered a hip injury and was trapped in his vehicle. He was transported to a local hospital and treated. All three drivers were wearing seat belts which reduced the severity of their injuries.

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