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Monthly Archives: June 2018

Jun 29, 2018 - Dog Bite Injuries

Defenses in Dog Bite Lawsuits

In Pennsylvania, dog bite injuries are governed by a unique series of regulations that provide a basic level of compensation to most injured plaintiffs, but that only allows for a significant award of compensatory damages to those plaintiffs who can prove additional negligence on the part of the dog owner.  Recovery may be complicated by various factors — a qualified Allentown dog bite attorney can provide assistance with your injury claims. If you have suffered a dog bite injury, then it’s important that you consider the wide range of defenses that will be used by the defendant dog owner to minimize or possibly even avoid liability altogether.  Understanding these defense arguments will give you a competitive advantage during negotiations and in the litigation process. Dog Not “Dangerous” Under Statutory Law In the state of Pennsylvania, dog bite injuries fall under the strict liability umbrella.  What this means is that you will always be entitled to recover at least “some” damages as a result of having suffered a dog bite injury — generally speaking, however, this is limited to compensatory damages that covers your medical expenses.  Strict liability in the dog bite context does not give you access to damages for wage loss, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and other significant losses. If you intend to recover a broader range of damages, you’ll have to assert and prove that the defendant’s dog was “dangerous” and that the defendant acted negligently, which led to the injuries at-issue. Thus, defendant dog owners may […]

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Jun 27, 2018 - Personal Injury

Intentional Injuries Can Give Rise to Civil Liability

Personal injury claims are often associated with negligence claims, not with intentional injury claims — and perhaps for good reason.  After all, it’s more common for a defendant to fail to adhere to a legal duty (i.e., to act in an unreasonable manner that exposes others to a risk of injury) than to outright intentionally or maliciously cause another person injuries.  In fact, intentional injuries are more often associated with criminal prosecution as opposed to civil liability. Still, despite these perceptions, intentional injury claims are actionable, in Pennsylvania and elsewhere.  If you have been injured due to the intentional acts of the defendant, then you have a right to sue and recover damages. Intentional injury claims are unique, however, and deserve special consideration.  Let’s cover some of the basic issues. Civil and Criminal Litigation When defendants act intentionally to cause injury (i.e., physical battery), they may not only be civilly liability for damages, but may also be exposed to significant criminal liability for their wrongful actions. The prospect of criminal litigation can give injured plaintiffs pause.  It’s important to note, however, that there is no reason to avoid pursuing civil litigation simply because of an ongoing criminal litigation.  You are entitled to pursue a civil remedy in court whether or not the defendant is criminally liable.  Further, it’s worth pointing out that criminal litigation will not have a negative influence on your civil case. Intentional Misconduct May Be Plead in the Alternative If you’ve been injured due to the defendant’s […]

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Jun 25, 2018 - Articles

HOT CARS AND KIDS: FIVE SAFETY TIPS TO PREVENT A TRAGEDY

In 2017, forty-two (42) children died after being left in a hot vehicle. Unfortunately, while one death is too many, this number of deaths is up from the annual average of 37. Sadly, ten (10) minutes is how long it takes in a closed vehicle for the temperature to rise twenty (20) degrees. And a twenty degree increase in an interior car’s temperature, especially for children, is enough to result in death. To avoid these preventable deaths, some newer cars are now equipped with a “rear seat reminder” if a rear car door is opened and closed before the vehicle is started or while the vehicle is running. In such a situation, when the car is turned off, alarm chimes will sound and a message will be displayed on the instrument panel reminding the driver to check the rear seat. Additionally, some newer car seats are equipped with a computer chip placed in the child restraint straps, which transmits a signal to the driver, within seconds of the vehicle’s ignition being turned off. If your vehicle or car seat is not equipped with such safety features, below are five safety tips to prevent a tragedy. Never leave a child alone in a car. Even if the windows are cracked, the temperature can simply rise too high and too quickly to avoid injury. Keep your car locked when you are not in it, in order to prevent a child from trying to play in the vehicle and inadvertently lock themselves in. […]

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Jun 22, 2018 - Premises Liability

Property Owners Must Fix Tripping Hazards As Soon As Possible

If you have been injured in a trip-and-fall or slip-and-fall accident in Pennsylvania, you may be entitled to damages pursuant to a premises liability claim.  Premises liability claims are not as straightforward as they might initially appear, however.  Even in cases where the court may agree that there was a hazard on the property, and that the defendant had a duty to correct the hazard, there may be issues involving “timeliness” that could influence liability (and thus, your recovery). Let’s begin with some of the basics. Basic Elements of Premises Liability In Pennsylvania, and throughout the country, those who possess property have a duty to ensure that the property is maintained in a reasonably safe condition.  This requires that: The defendant (possessor of property) know about hazards on the property; and The defendant failed to repair the hazard, or warn visitors about its existence (i.e., through signs or other warnings). In many premises liability cases, the issue of what constitutes a “hazard” lies at the heart of litigation.  Generally speaking, anything which exposes visitors to an unreasonable risk of harm will be considered a hazard. It’s also worth noting that not all hazards will be known to the defendant.  Lack of knowledge does not shield the defendant from liability, however.  If the defendant “should have known” about the existence of the hazard at-issue, then they could still be found liable for failing to correct the hazard (or warn others about it). Timeliness Timeliness is a challenging concept in premises liability, […]

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Jun 20, 2018 - Medical Malpractice

Who Can Be Held Liable for Medical Malpractice?

If you have suffered injuries due to the negligence of a healthcare professional — or if you have had existing injuries significantly exacerbated by such negligence — then you may be entitled to sue and recover damages pursuant to a medical malpractice claim.  In fact, Pennsylvania is particularly friendly to medical malpractice plaintiffs, as the law does not impose limits on compensatory damages (in the medical malpractice context). Many plaintiffs with potentially actionable medical malpractice claims don’t quite know how medical malpractice liability actually works, nor do they fully understand who they are entitled to sue.  It’s not at all uncommon for plaintiffs to mistakenly believe that they can only sue negligent doctors. Let’s clear up this confusion.  We’ll consider the basics, first. What is Medical Malpractice? When a healthcare professional commits medical negligence, and in doing so, causes you to suffer injuries, that is defined. as medical malpractice.  Medical negligence requires that the healthcare professional violate the standard of care. Common examples of medical malpractice include: Failure to properly consider patient’s medical history Failure to clean medical tools and other instruments Failure to correctly diagnose condition Failure to order necessary tests And more In the medical malpractice context, the standard of care is dynamic, and is governed by the circumstances.  For example, the standard of care for a nurse treating a rare and complicated disease will be generally lower than the standard of care for a specialized epidemiologist. Liability May Attach to Different Healthcare Professionals Though physicians are often […]

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