Automobile accidents can cause broken bones, burns, and other injuries, potentially costing you hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills and lost wages. You need compensation to help you recover, and for this reason, it can be beneficial to sue the person responsible for the accident. But do you know how to prove to a judge or jury that the other side is to blame? To bring an effective case, you’ll probably need expert witness testimony.

Accident Reconstructionists

An accident reconstructionist helps bring the accident to life for the judge and jury. They listen to all testimony and review the evidence, such as the final resting places of the vehicles, before reconstructing what happened. For example, a reconstructionist can offer expert testimony on the following:

Victims of automobile accidents are usually focused on receiving fair compensation for their injuries. Unfortunately, the wheels of justice move slowly, and you might need to wait a year or longer before your automobile accident lawsuit goes to trial. On certain occasions, it might be better to settle with the party at fault so that you can receive your compensation faster. Because every situation is different, you should meet with a Georgia personal injury lawyer to assess your situation.

Why Lawsuits Take So Long

Unlike other parts of the world, the American legal system is based on making sure there are no surprises when you go to trial. To that end, each side can engage in extensive fact finding by questioning the other side and asking for documents. This fact-finding phase is called “discovery,” and its goal is to make sure everyone lays their cards on the table before trial. Discovery can be quite extensive, especially if you have serious injuries or multiple cars were involved in the crash. It’s not unusual to spend over a year in discovery.

After a car accident, you should write down your memories and identify any potential witnesses. But there are some things you absolutely should not do, because they will make it difficult to bring a lawsuit and receive just compensation for your injuries. If you or a loved one is involved in a wreck, make sure to avoid the following.

Never Handle the Accident Without Police

After a crash, you might just want to swap insurance with the other driver, especially if the accident seems minor. Unfortunately, you can’t usually tell from a visual inspection of the outside of the vehicle whether your vehicle has sustained damage. Instead, call the police so that an officer can investigate and file a police report. Your personal injury lawyer will find the report helpful if you later sue.

We’ve written before about the effects that social media posts can have on your personal injury claim. If you have been injured in an accident and filed an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit, you can be assured that the defendant’s insurance company or attorney will perform an online search to find out more information about you. They will most likely looking for information that they can use to deny your claim or downplay the seriousness of your injuries. In the age of social media, the best places to find this kind of information are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms. One of the biggest social media mistakes that a personal injury plaintiff can make is posting photos that make it seem like they are not as injured as they claim. This is exactly what happened to a North Carolina woman, who is being sued by her insurance company for fraud.

Cynthia McCullough claimed that she suffered from a debilitating condition known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy that made it difficult for her to get dressed and bathe herself and that she required in-home care. Since 2010, McCullough has received about $389,500 from her comprehensive long-term care policy from New York Life. However, her insurance company is now suing her for fraud after it discovered Facebook photos of her going down a slide and playing Skee-Ball at an arcade.

The lawsuit also accused McCullough of transporting heavy objects into her vehicle and moving freely during an investigation between December 2016 and January 2017. She was also spotted driving 50 miles from her home to a church. During a 15-day surveillance last year, McCullough was seen driving to several locations including a bank, two restaurants, a doctor’s office, and a gas station where she pumped the gas herself. New York Life informed McCullough in July that it was discontinuing her payments. She challenged the decision, stating that her condition was “severe and debilitating,” according to the lawsuit.

2017 was a rough year for the airline industry, and 2018 isn’t shaping up to be much better. Already this year, United Airlines shocked the nation when one of its flight attendants caused the death of a passenger’s dog by putting it in an overhead compartment, which the company says is against its regulations. Less than a week later, the same airline accidentally sent a Kansas-bound dog to Japan, leading United to temporarily suspend its pet cargo program so that it can review policies that have led to such disasters. In the meantime, confidence in the airline industry has taken a significant hit.

Although United has faced the most criticism over the past year, it’s not alone. More recently, the family of a Kansas man has sued Southwest Airlines, alleging that he was thrown against a cabin wall on a flight last year after his seat belt came undone. Eugene Dreyer, 81, a stockbroker and financial adviser, had lost the use of his legs due to polio and was in a wheelchair when he and his wife boarded a Fort Lauderdale-bound Southwest flight in Kansas City on Feb. 21, 2017, according to the lawsuit. Dreyer was wheeled onto the plane by a Southwest employee and seated in the first row. Before take-off, Dreyer asked for a seat belt extension, and a flight attendant buckled him in using the seat belt and extension.Neither Dreyer, his wife, or an assistant traveling with them touched or adjusted the belt during the flight, the lawsuit says.

When the plane began to decelerate, the belt failed to restrain him and he flew forward into the bulkhead wall. The lawsuit claims that he sustained severe injuries to his head, shoulder, foot, and leg, including a broken femur. His family claims that he suffered loss of cognitive functions and severe depression, and that the injuries he sustained on the flight led to his death on April 23, 2017. The suit was filed on behalf of Dreyer’s wife and two children and seeks an unspecified amount in damages. Southwest Airlines has declined to comment on the lawsuit, stating that it would be unwise to do so “ahead of the legal process.”

A Michigan woman who slipped and fell at a friend’s holiday party is taking her case to the state Supreme Court to clarify the responsibilities of property owners when they welcome guests into their home. Susan Blackwell, the plaintiff in the case, missed an 8-inch step when she stepped into an unlit room at a coworker’s home on December 14, 2013. She arrived at the home of Dean and Debra Franchi for a dinner party they were hosting. When she entered the home and proceeded to the mudroom to hang up her purse. An approximately 8-inch drop-off exists between the hallway and the mudroom. Unaware of the step, Blackwell fell, which resulted in injuries.

A Pending Decision Regarding Liability

The justices of the Michigan Supreme Court are deciding whether the homeowners should have informed Blackwell about any risks when she arrived at the party. Her original lawsuit was dismissed by an Oakland County judge, but the state appeals court reversed the decision, stating that a jury should determine whether the danger at the home was “open and obvious.” The “open and obvious” doctrine holds that if a dangerous condition is open and obvious to a reasonable person when the plaintiff was injured, then the defendant is not liable warning the plaintiff because the plaintiff could have discovered the condition and avoided it. The defendants’ attorney argues that Blackwell should have presumed danger when she saw an unlit room. The plaintiff’s attorney said it was the step that was dangerous, not the darkness, claiming that the plaintiff would not have been able to see the step even with the light on.

Research from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business suggests that the risk of fans being hit by foul balls or errant bats at baseball games has increased in recent years and, as such, it may be time to reconsider the “Baseball Rule.”

What is the Baseball Rule?

The Baseball Rule is a legal doctrine that immunizes baseball teams and stadium owners from liability and has been in effect for over 100 years. Generally, the Baseball Rule limits the landowner duty of care owed to spectators to providing a reasonable protection in the form of screening behind home plate. Spectators who choose to view the game in an unscreened area assume the open and obvious risk of being struck by balls entering the stands during the ordinary course of play. This legal doctrine has been adopted by a majority of the courts in this country generally as a practical matter. It avoids creating a potential lawsuit for every ball entering the stands and striking a spectator. Without the Baseball Rule, each spectator injury would have to be considered on a case-by-case basis based on the particular circumstances of a particular game in each stadium setting. Naturally, this scheme would flood the courts with personal injury claims. The Baseball Rule avoids that outcome by imposing a bright-line rule: If you choose to sit in an unprotected seat, you assume the risk of getting struck by a baseball.

A New Jersey man and his wife have been awarded $3.2 million in damages after a Philadelphia jury found the city of Philadelphia liable for his injuries. On May 17, 2015, Anthony Degliomini was riding his bike as part of the inaugural Phillies Charities Bike Ride when he hit a large hole just before crossing the finish line. Although he was wearing a helmet, he flew over the handlebars, hit the pavement, and was knocked unconscious. He was hospitalized for five days at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital before being transferred to Magee Rehabilitation Hospital, where he stayed for an additional 20 days. His attorneys say that his injuries were severe, including an injury to his spinal cord that necessitated the implantation of rods and screws to fuse his spine together.

Degliomini’s attorneys argued during the trial that the city of Philadelphia knew of the sinkhole before issuing the event permit to its organizers because it was visible on Google Earth images in October 2014, nine months before the event. They said that the city’s attempt to patch the sinkhole prior to the event failed because it was treated like a routine pothole. There was even debate during the trial over whether the hole in question was actually a “pothole” or a “sinkhole.” The hole measured 16 square feet in diameter and was six inches deep. Degliomini argued that this qualifies as a sinkhole, while the city of Philadelphia argued that it was merely a pothole. Either way, the jury sided with the plaintiff.

Holes and broken pavement present a serious issue for cyclists since they can cause a bicycle to stop abruptly, throwing the rider over the handlebars. And even if the rider is wearing a helmet, he or she could still suffer facial and spinal cord injuries like the plaintiff in the above case. In Philadelphia alone, the city repaired 30,000 potholes last year and is on track to repair approximately 44,000 this year. City officials say that this year is particularly challenging for potholes because of the constant freezing and thawing that the region has experienced, which helps to create potholes.

Distracted driving is a major cause of accidents every year in the United States. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 3,447 deaths and 3901,000 injuries due to distracted driving in the year 2015 alone. Among all types of distracted driving, texting is considered the most dangerous, since sending or reading one text can take your eyes off the road for a full five seconds. While texting is the most common and most dangerous type of distracted driving, there are many activities that can take your attention away from the road, including:

  • Eating
  • Grooming

2017 was a watershed moment of sorts for victims of sexual harassment in the workplace, with many women (and men) coming forward to report inappropriate behavior by their superiors that long went unacknowledged. The wave of accusations that have come out in recent months has spread to seemingly every corner of our society—the media, the entertainment industry, and even Capitol Hill. We have previously published an article outlining the various civil actions available to victims of sexual abuse, but, in this post, we will define what behavior constitutes sexual harassment and what to do about it if it happens to you.

What Behavior Constitutes Sexual Harassment?

Under federal law, there are two forms of sexual harassment: quid pro quo and hostile work environment. Quid pro quo sexual harassment requires that a person in authority demands that subordinates tolerate sexual harassment as a condition of getting or keeping a job or job benefit, including promotions and raises. Hostile work environment harassment is grounds for legal action when the conduct is unwelcome, based on sex, and severe or pervasive enough to create an abusive or offensive work environment. Courts analyze several elements in determining whether a hostile environment harassment claim is valid, including:

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