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Apartment Building Accidents: Who Is Liable?

When accidents occur in apartment buildings, it falls under premises liability law. Property owners must keep apartment buildings, playgrounds, and common areas safe for the people who live there and for those who visit. Failure to do so could result in a personal injury lawsuit. The following is an outline of premises liability law and how it may help those hurt in apartment building accidents to obtain a monetary settlement for their injuries. If you or a loved one have been involved in an apartment building accident, seek the advice of a personal injury lawyer to learn about the options available to you.

What Duty Does the Landlord or Property Owner Have?

The landlord or property owner has a duty to maintain the apartment building and surrounding common areas in a manner that is safe. In order to obtain a settlement in an apartment building accident lawsuit, you will be required to prove that the landlord or property owner did not maintain an appropriate standard of care and caused your injuries. The rules regarding the standard of care in regard to apartment building landlords and owners are as follows:

  • The Tenant Must Use the Property in a Normal Manner

The tenant must not engage in dangerous activity that may put them in harm’s way. If an accident is due to the fault of the tenant, the apartment building owner or landlord will not be held liable for their injuries.

  • The Property Owner or Landlord Must Keep the Property Safe for Tenants

Owners and landlords must keep their properties properly maintained and free from hazards to avoid being held liable after an apartment building accident.

Responsibilities in an Apartment Building

In a rented apartment, the person who is responsible for keeping the property in proper working order is responsible for paying for your injuries after an accident. In most cases, tenant/landlord responsibility looks similar to this:

  • The Tenant Is Responsible for Things Inside the Apartment Like Furniture or Other Objects That Move

If you are injured by something such as a bookcase falling on you, you will be responsible for your accident-related expenses and injuries.

  • The Landlord Is Responsible for All Other Areas

Premises liability law requires landlords to maintain hallways, entryways, and staircases in a safe and appropriate manner. Things that cannot be moved inside the apartment are also their responsibility. These things include flooring, walls, and any fixtures that come with the rented apartment.

  • Proving Negligence

Proving that the property owner or landlord was negligent and caused your injuries may not always be an easy task. Some injuries that happen outside the apartment in common areas may be easier to prove, while those that occur inside your apartment may be more difficult. For this reason, it is typically best to speak with a lawyer to determine if you can prove negligence on the part of the landlord or property owner.

  • Damages

If you are successful in your apartment building accident case, you may be able to obtain money for certain damages and expenses related to the accident. Some of these damages may include:

  • Cost of Doctor Visits
  • Emergency Room Fees
  • Ambulance Transport Costs
  • Unpaid or Outstanding Hospital Bills
  • Cost of Physical, Speech, or Occupational Therapy
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Emotional Distress
  • Lost Wages

If you are permanently disabled due to the accident and cannot return to work, you may be able to obtain compensation for future lost wages. This is money designed to repay you for the money you will no longer be able to earn over the course of your career. It is extremely important to calculate future lost wages accurately in personal injury case, so it is best done by a lawyer who has experience in this area of the law.

What Can a Lawyer Do to Help You Win Your Case?

Apartment building accidents are always stressful, and the legal process is hard to navigate even in the best of circumstances. Your lawyer may be able to help you win your case by:

  • Hiring Accident Investigators
  • Speaking with Your Doctors to Prove Your Injuries Are Severe or Disabling
  • Negotiating with the Insurance Company for the Apartment Building or Landlord
  • Filing Court Documents
  • Representing You at Trial

While it is never a pleasant experience going through an accident or injury, you may be able to obtain a monetary settlement to help you through this difficult time. Hiring an attorney may increase your chances of proving that your landlord or property owner was negligent and caused the injuries that keep you from working to support yourself and your family.

The Landlord Is Responsible for All Other Areas

  • Cost of Doctor Visits
  • Emergency Room Fees
  • Ambulance Transport Costs
  • Unpaid or Outstanding Hospital Bills
  • Cost of Physical, Speech, Or Occupational Therapy
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Emotional Distress
  • Lost Wages
  • Hiring Accident Investigators
  • Speaking with Your Doctors to Prove Your Injuries Are Severe or Disabling
  • Negotiating with the Insurance Company for the Apartment Building or Landlord
  • Filing Court Documents
  • Representing You at Trial

While it is never a pleasant experience going through an accident or injury, you may be able to obtain a monetary settlement to help you through this difficult time. Hiring an attorney may increase your chances of proving that your landlord or property owner was negligent and caused the injuries that keep you from working to support yourself and your family.

Amusement Park Accidents

What To Do In Case Of Amusement Park Accidents

Every year, millions of people visit amusement parks to have fun. Unfortunately, that is not always the case, as thousands of people are hurt each year in amusement park accidents. While some of these accidents are not serious, others cause injuries that last a lifetime. The following discusses what you can do if you or a loved one sustains injuries after an amusement park accident.

Types of Injuries

Amusement park accidents can occur in many different ways. Many parks feature roller coasters, water slides, and a variety of games for people to enjoy. When something goes wrong, people can suffer injuries that range from minor to fatal. Some of the most common types of amusement park injuries include:

  • Whiplash
  • Closed head injuries
  • Back injuries
  • Neck injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Fatal injuries from falling out of rides
  • Stroke
  • Heart attack
  • Drowning on water rides and slides
  • Bone fractures
  • Facial lacerations and fractures
  • Brain aneurysms
  • Torn ligaments
  • Compound fractures that require surgical repair

Causes of Accidents and Injuries

The causes of accidents and injuries that occur in amusement parks are vast as there are many different activities and rides within the premise. Some of the most common causes of amusement park incidents that lead to injury are:

  • Human Error and Negligence

There had been several reported cases where ride operators fail to do their job properly due to different reasons, such as poor/inadequate training, substance abuse, being overworked or being complacent.

  • Mechanical Failure

Among the most common mechanical failures that occur in amusement park include seat belt breakage, computer breakdown, and malfunctioning brakes.  Regularly conducting test rides and checking mechanical systems would help avoid future accidents.

  • Robbery Or Assault At Amusement Parks

Assault and theft are very common complaints among amusement park goers.  Thieves know park visitors will be carrying more money than usual to pay for entrance tickets, new rides, lockers, and food. If the amusement park does not have adequate security measures in place or security cameras, they may be held liable for violent acts.

Filing a Personal Injury Claim

Amusement park incidents are filed under the premises liability laws in the state where the accident occurred. To obtain compensation, you must prove that your injuries were due to the negligence of the amusement park or a ride manufacturer. For this reason, it may be a good idea to hire an attorney who can help prove your case.

Types of Damages Awarded

If you have been hurt at an amusement park, you may be compensated for the following:

  • Hospital bills
  • Cost of emergency care
  • Physical, speech or occupational therapy
  • Doctor’s fee
  • Emotional distress
  • Physical pain and suffering

Premises liability law also provides a way for family members of loved ones killed in amusement park incidents to seek compensation for their injuries. This type of lawsuit is known as a wrongful death suit and can be filed by the:

  • Spouse or domestic partner of the deceased
  • Legitimate children or step-children of the deceased
  • Parents of deceased if under 18

How Can An Attorney Help?

Proving an amusement park injury can be quite complicated. An attorney can review your case, and discuss with you if you should bother suing the amusement park and what damages you can collect for you or the injured loved one.

An attorney with strong experience in handling premises liability claims can help prove your case by:

  • Obtaining accident reports
  • Hiring accident investigators
  • Speaking to medical experts to establish and strengthen your case
  • Negotiating with the amusement park’s insurance company
  • Filing your lawsuit in court
  • Representing you or your loved one in court and at trial

The legal process of amusement park accidents can be agonizing for many accident victims. Having an attorney to guide you throughout the process can reduce the frustration and stress associated with your case.

If you or a loved one has been hurt at an amusement park, look for an attorney that specialize in handling personal injury claims. After reviewing your medical records and the facts surrounding your case, your attorney will let you know how to move forward with your case. While the legal process is never an easy one, it will allow you to obtain appropriate compensation for your injuries caused by the negligence of the amusement park.

 

harmful toys

Guide to Product Liability and Consumer Recourse

Defective and dangerous products do harm to thousands of individuals each year in the United States, and virtually every product one can think of has the potential to harm a consumer. Examples may include a variety of goods, from motor vehicles to electronics, to children’s toys and other products.

For example, in 2015, there were approximately 69,000 emergency room visits nationwide among children five years of age or younger, resulting from defective nursery products. In 2014, 48 percent of injuries associated with whirlpools were caused by circulation entrapment due to the unit’s faulty design. Product liability laws hold companies responsible if an item they place on the market ultimately proves hazardous to the consumer.

Types of Product Defects

The product is usually required to meet the consumer’s expectations, within reason. If a product has an unexpected danger or internal error, it is unable to respond to these expectations and a type of harm may happen. Depending on the kind of situations, various parties may be held responsible for injuries caused by the defective item, such as the seller or the manufacturer.

Three basic types of defects could lead to a consumer’s injury, and subsequently the manufacturer’s liability. These three categories are marketing defects, manufacturing defects, and design defects.

Design defects are present even before the product has been produced. This means that the original “blueprint” for the end product was flawed, leading to a hazardous situation for the user. Manufacturing defects occur during the assembly of the product. Finally, marketing defects include a broad range of problems, such as inadequate safety warnings, insufficient instructions, or improper labeling.

Steps to Follow if Victim of a Product Injury

Below are several steps you should take immediately to protect yourself if you have been harmed due to using a particular product:

Seek Medical Advice

Seek medical attention immediately if you have sustained any injury or feel sick after using a product. Your injuries should be documented by a licensed medical provider who is qualified to make a diagnosis regarding the harm you sustained. Keep all your records from each appointment, including copies of x-rays, blood work, and the general findings made by the attending physician. These documents help prove that your injury or illness was a direct result of the faulty product.

Keep the Product and Other Pertinent Items

If at all possible, never throw away the product or item that caused you harm. Also, keep any information you have on the product, such as the items listed below:

  • Receipt for the product
  • Instructions or warranty book
  • Packaging or boxes with lot or serial numbers
  • Pill bottles
  • Inserts about medications from your pharmacy
  • Sales slip for the product with statements made by the distributor

Gathering this evidence as quickly as possible after your injury occurs can significantly enhance your chances of a successful outcome when your lawsuit is filed. It also gives your attorney the additional information he or she needs to pursue every angle of your case to the fullest degree possible.

Product Recall

As soon as possible, check to see if the item has been recalled. This information can be obtained from some institutions, like the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and the United States Food and Drug Administration.

Ongoing Litigation

Determine if any multidistrict litigation cases or class-action lawsuits have already been filed. Many defective products harm or injure thousands of people. Therefore, sometimes victims become part of a class action suit or join their cases together before one magistrate to simplify the process for everyone involved and make it easier for them to obtain compensation. If pending cases already exist, you may be able to join the group, but this is something you must first discuss with your lawyer to determine whether or not it is the most suitable approach.

Consult a Lawyer

After seeking medical care, the most important step to take next is consulting a qualified attorney to handle your case. It is never in your best interest to attempt to manage such a situation alone, as consumers typically do not have the knowledge and experience to proceed in a competent manner. Although there are no guarantees, your chances of successfully winning compensation due to injury from a faulty product increase considerably when you place your case in the hands of a legal professional.

Time Frame

In particular cases, there is something referred to as a “statute of limitations” regarding product injury lawsuits. This only means that, depending on your individual situation and the type of injuries sustained, there may be a particular time frame during which you must pursue compensation or forfeit this option. Experienced attorneys are familiar with these limitations and will properly advise you to ensure you do not inadvertently go past the date and lose your chance to win a settlement.

Product manufacturers and their legal teams and insurers have substantial resources and personnel to begin preparing a defense against your claim at once. Therefore, it is in your best interest to immediately retain a knowledgeable product liability lawyer who is prepared to face off with the negligent distributor or manufacturer that ultimately caused your injury.

The attorneys at Law Offices of Vastola & Associates. have a significant amount of experience representing victims of defective and dangerous products that have caused harm. This experienced team of legal professionals understands that the trauma, whether physical or mental, surrounding the injury can be life changing in a negative way to both the victim and his or her family.

It is essential to understand your legal rights if you or a loved one has been victimized by a defective product injury. The peace of mind that comes from knowing your case is placed in the hands of a legal expert is invaluable. For this reason, you should not procrastinate. Rather, contact Law Offices of Vastola & Associates., to schedule an appointment during which you can discuss your case and obtain step-by-step help throughout the entire process.

https://www.cpsc.gov/Research–Statistics/Injury-Statistics/

injured by person's pet

How to Handle Being Injured By a Person’s Pet

Every year, people in Florida experience injuries because the pet of a stranger misbehaved and caused them significant harm. The most common damage people experience is getting bitten by a dog. When an individual is bitten by someone’s pet, the victim has a legal right to be compensated for his injuries, especially if he has been severely harmed.

Florida Laws

In the state of Florida, the laws covering dog bites injuries is included in FLSA 767.04. The law says that the dog owner is liable for any damages caused by his pet. It also notes that the injuries must have occurred in a public place or when the victim was lawfully on private property. The law also applies if a person is injured by a dog in a different way, except than being bitten.

In some cases, it doesn’t matter if a person is bitten, a menacing act could be a reason for action. If there is a record of numerous threatening actions of a pet, there could be hard legal restrictions placed on the animal and its owner.

Strict Liability

The owner of a dog or any other domestic animal will be held strictly reliable for injuries or property damage caused by their pet. The definition of strict liability states that individuals who engage in pet ownership do so at their risk. Animal owners will be held responsible for any damage or injury that results from various actions of their animals, even if they have been reasonably reliable.

Negligence

In some cases, an attack by an animal could be a result of its owner’s negligence, this meaning that the injury caused by an animal could have occurred because of an owner’s acts. An animal owner owes a particular legal duty of care regarding their pet. When a reasonable amount of attention is not taken, and it results in damage or injury, the owner of the animal could be considered negligent. Examples could include not obeying local, state and federal laws concerning the care or housing of the animal.

Dog Bite Study

A study performed by the Florida Department of Health regarding dog bites states that: 

  • Children under the age of 6 and boys up to 14-year-old had the greatest risk of being bitten by a dog.
  • Over 85 percent of dog bites involving children under the age of 6 involved dogs known to the child’s family. The majority of incidents happened in the child’s home.
  • The cause for the majority of dog bites on children under the age of 6 is unknown. Some believe it may result from young children having unsupervised contact with the animals.
  • Over 50 percent of dog bites involving individuals 15 years old or older are a result of attempts to intervene during dog fights. The majority of incidents happen on the dog owner’s property.
  • More than 30 percent of dog bite reports occur when the dog is off leash and not on their owner’s property. Over 88 percent the dogs involved are not known to the adult victim.

What To Do After Being Injured By An Animal

When a person is bitten by a dog or injured by an animal in any manner, certain steps need to be followed after the incident.

IDENTIFY OWNER

As soon as possible, the animal’s owner and the person who was in control of the animal when the injury or property damage occurred need to be identified/  Their names, addresses, and contact information, should be obtained and well kept for the file. If there are witnesses to the incident, their contact details should also be requested, and the details they saw should be recorded.

GET MEDICAL CARE

After any incident involving an attack by a dog or other animal, a person needs to seek medical treatment, and the severity of the animal attack needs to be determined. In some extreme cases, emergency first responders may need to be contacted, but it is nonetheless advised to request emergency care if possible. If the animal’s owner is not able to be identified, the victim may need to receive treatment for rabies, for safety.

FILE REPORT

Once medical attention was received, it is time to file a report concerning the animal attack. This needs to be done in the appropriate city, county, and state authorities, including as many details as possible. The report legally documents what happened during the incident, and it could force officials act and prevent other injuries caused by the same animal.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Once the animal and its owner have been identified, it’s time to learn more about the animal. Obtaining information concerning all records and license requirements for the animal is necessary. This is a way to discover if the animal has bitten or attacked other people before the incident. If it is a dog that perpetrated the attack, it’s important to know if the dog has ever been legally classified as dangerous or potentially dangerous.

INJURY PHOTOGRAPHS

After the incident, it’s important to photograph all injuries. When doing this, it is advisable to consult the treating physician or nurse if necessary. They will know how these pictures can be taken safely. All of the wounds and bruises should be photographed, as well as any torn or bloody clothing.

JOURNAL

When a person is seeking compensation for their injuries, it is recommended they start a journal with details of the incident and daily related events following it. These types of cases can take a long time to prosecute, and every information matters.

Legal Assistance

When a person is attacked by an animal, they should speak with an attorney who has knowledge and experience concerning such situations. Law Offices of Vastola & Associates. will know the entire process of filing for a compensation and being awarded after such an attack. Contact our experts and we will follow through all these steps with you, making sure you get the best possible assistance.

hospital negligence

Victims of Hospital Negligence Can Get Fair Compensation

The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) estimated that more than 32 percent of people who go for treatment at a hospital would experience a hospital-related injury. This can be the result of negligence on the part of the doctor, staff, hospital and more. These injuries can range from mild to serious or even cause death. They may even cause a patient to require additional treatment, a lengthened stay at the hospital. In some cases, these injuries have made it necessary for patients in Florida to be readmitted to a hospital after discharge. Victims of hospital-related injuries can sue for negligence and receive compensation for their wounds.

No Damages No Case

It’s important to realize that medical malpractice isn’t about unsatisfactory results. It is about the negligent conduct of medical professionals. Not all people who don’t get their desired arise from treatment will have a valid lawsuit. A study was carried out by the Harvard School of Public Health. It found that most victims of medical malpractice are denied compensation because of a lack of evidence when it comes to proving the negligence of doctors as well as hospitals. It’s important for a potential victim to contact an attorney that is knowledgeable and experienced with medical malpractice. Legal professionals will be able to let a person know if they have a valid claim.

Common Hospital-Injuries

The type of negligence a patient can experience at a hospital can result from some common medical errors.

  • Identification errors. This can occur when a patient is misidentified for treatment. This can lead to a patient receiving the wrong procedure, getting the wrong medication and more.
  • Errors in communication. This can result in a change of treatment or medication n that has not been adequately communicated to hospital staff. This has caused patients to experience serious injuries. This often happens when essential information concerning patients is not shared during hospital shift changes.
  • Location errors. This often occurs with patients who have dementia or memory loss. These are patients who need to be carefully monitored. Injuries occur when these individuals are left unattended.
  • Hospital infections. This includes everything from a urinary tract infection to an arterial line infection as well as Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) and more. An infection at the spot on a patient’s body where a surgical procedure occurred can cause serious problems. These can be avoided in most cases.
  • A lack of staff. This often leads to hospital injuries. A hospital may not be able to provide an adequate number of competent medical professionals to treat their patients properly. This could cause a delay in emergency response time as well as scheduled treatments and some other problems.

Hospital Employee Actions

All hospitals are responsible for the actions of their employees. This is particularly the case if an employee’s actions cause harm to a patient. Should a hospital employee not be reasonably cautious when administering treatment or any other type of activity involving a patient, the hospital is liable. Not everything that results in a patient being injured will be the result of negligence, though.

Physician Mistakes

Should a doctor make a mistake that results in a patient being injured, the hospital may not be held liable. This will depend on the healthcare specialist being a direct employee of the hospital. Should an employee do something that harms a patient as a result of a physician’s supervision, the doctor may be held liable, but not the hospital. This will also depend on the employment status of the medical expert and the hospital. Whether a hospital employee’s actions are a result of a physician’s direct orders, supervision will be taken into consideration.

Initial Investigation

A claim of hospital negligence will begin with an inquiry. The medical practitioner, hospital staff and others involved with providing care may be contacted. All relevant documents including medical records will be obtained. The medicals records and documents will be carefully reviewed. All appropriate medical literature from the National Library of Medicine that applies to a case will also be reviewed. This investigation will determine if someone was negligent in providing medical care. It will also show if a patient’s injury was a direct result of the negligent medical care.

Filing Lawsuit

Based on a review of all documents and medical literature, it will be determined if a case can be successfully prosecuted. If a case is questionable, a medical expert will be consulted. Once it has been determined a case has merit, a lawsuit will be filed on behalf of an injured patient.

Discovery

The next phase is pretrial discovery. There is written discovery where each party to the lawsuit sends each other questions in the form of interrogatories. They will ask for documents that are essential to the case. Depositions are legal records of issues and answers that can be used for trial. Those involved with the lawsuit, witnesses as well as expert witnesses will be given depositions.

Negotiations And Settlement

Going to trial is time consuming and expensive. The majority of medical malpractice cases are settled out of court. When a case does go to trial, the majority of the verdicts are for the defense. An insurance company may be willing to settle a case they do not believe they can win. The serious negotiations concerning a settlement in most medical malpractice cases happen after expert witnesses gave a deposition. It is also possible for settlement negotiations to continue during a trial.

Trial

If the negotiations don’t lead to a settlement of the case, the next step is going to trial. Many hours will be invested in preparing questions for witnesses. There will be exhibits developed as well as visual aids. Opening and closing arguments will be written. There could be focus groups utilized to see how individuals react when presented with what will be shown during the trial. An attorney is not able to guarantee what decision will be rendered during a jury trial. With the right preparation and careful presentation of evidence, the chances of a good settlement or a positive trial decision increase.  Our experts at Law Offices of Vastola & Associates. know this detailed process and can assist you with all the requirements.