Articles Posted in Personal Injury

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Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “What can you sue for in a personal injury case?”

 

If you think the courts are overflowing with personal injury lawsuits, you had better close your eyes for the next year-and-a-half. A looming Medicaid law revision is going to engender a flurry of personal injury lawsuits and settlements, according to an attorney in one of the most litigious counties in the United States.

Taking medicine Charlotte Accident Lawyer North Carolina Injury AccidentBeginning in October 2016, all personal injury settlements in the United States will first be subject to a payback of medical expenses paid by Medicaid.

Edwardsville, Illinois-based attorney Todd Sivia said the change may result in claimants whose medical care was provided by Medicaid having to repay the entire amount advanced by the agency for medical treatment, even if that amount swallows up an entire lawsuit settlement.

Claimants do not have to repay amounts above and beyond a settlement if the settlement cannot cover all of the medical expenses incurred.

The change was passed with a late 2013 federal budget agreement, but its implementation was stalled until October 2016.

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Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “Are the laws or rules applying to a wrongful death claim different from a personal injury not involving death?”

 

The summer of 2013 was a joyous time for some same-sex couples. When the United States Supreme Court struck down parts of the Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”)—a 1996 Act signed into law by then-President Bill Clinton that prohibited the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages—on equal protection grounds, same-sex couples across the United States became eligible for certain spousal benefits.

Holding hands Charlotte Divorce Lawyer North Carolina Family Law AttorneyA few days before the DOMA decision, a woman named Lesly Toboada-Hall passed away after a long bout with uterine cancer. Hall’s wife—Stacy Schuett—received survivor benefits from FedEx—where Toboada-Hall had worked as a delivery driver for 26 years, but the company told Schuett she was not entitled to receive Toboada-Hall’s pension benefit because Toboada-Hall died six days before the DOMA decision.

Public and private employers as well as federal and state legislatures have struggled with the complex ramifications of the DOMA decision. In some instances, employers merely needed to change policies to comport with the decision, while in others, state and federal statutes and administrative rules were placed in jeopardy and needed to be modified.

The Supreme Court’s 5-4 DOMA decision arose out of a case involving Edith Windsor—whose spouse Thea Spyer died in 2009. Windsor argued that she should not have to pay a $363,053 tax on Windsor’s estate. Federal law provides for an exemption from the tax for spouses. Although Windsor and Spyer married in Canada in 2007, under DOMA, spouses in same-sex marriages could not claim the exemption.

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Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “The insurance adjuster is saying I am partially negligent what does that mean?”

 

The owner of an Ohio dance franchise will have to defend against a lawsuit brought by angry customers on its own after its insurer successfully denied coverage under two insurance policies.

Auto owners insurance Charlotte Injury Lawyer North Carolina Wrongful Death AttorneyPeggy and Rick Lavinsky prepaid Christopher Cloud and his Fred Astaire Dance Studio a whopping $500,000 for ballroom dancing lessons, coaching, dance camps and other services. In December 2010, after Cloud abruptly closed the studio without providing notice to students, the Lavinskys sued, asserting claims under Ohio’s consumer protection laws and alleging fraud and negligent infliction of emotional distress.

In their lawsuit, the Lavinskys named Fred Astaire Dance System in Ohio, G & K Management Services, Inc., G & K’s president Guy Schiavone, and In Time LLC as defendants. G & K owned the Fred Astaire Dance System franchise. Cloud, who ran his own dance studio—In Time—became a Fred Astaire franchisee in 1990.

G & K and Schiavone were the named insureds under an insurance policy issued by Auto-Owners Insurance Company, and they were also “additional insureds” under an Auto-Owners policy issued to In Time.

When Auto-Owners told G & K that it would not defend the company against the Lavinskys’ claims, G & K brought an action against Auto-Owners seeking a declaration that the insurance company had a duty to defend G & K in the Lavinskys’ lawsuit.

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Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “What can you sue for in a personal injury case?”

 

Madison County, Illinois accounts for .08-percent of the nation’s population, but the tiny county just east of the Mississippi River accounts for 25-percent of asbestos lawsuits in the United States.

Demolition Mecklenburg Injury Attorney North Carolina Accident LawyerCritics allege that personal injury attorneys have had “cozy relationships with Madison County judges,” which has turned Illinois into “a haven for frivolous lawsuits.”

The Madison Record has reported that 90-percent of plaintiffs who file asbestos-related lawsuits in Madison County do not live or work in the county. On a recent day, 181 asbestos-related lawsuits were set for trial. Only one of the plaintiffs named in the lawsuits lived in Madison County.

The Record reports that “in one memorable instance,” a judge was given $30,000 in campaign funds by asbestos law firms a few days after the judge gave the firms coveted trial dates for upcoming court sessions.

Personal injury lawyers and their allies stepped up their game during the Illinois legislature’s recent fall “veto session,” a session controlled by a lame-duck legislature taking action on vetoes issued by a lame-duck Governor. Governor-elect Bruce Rauner has promised to make lawsuit reform a top priority when he takes office next year.

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Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “Can I wait a few months to pursue a personal injury claim?”

 

Six years ago, Kurt Stuhlmacher had just begun to put together rafters on the roof a cabin he was building for his parents. He later testified—in a lawsuit he brought against Home Depot and Tricam Industries—that the ladder he was standing on “just, like, fell out—fell this way out from underneath me to the left.”

Ladders on house Charlotte Mecklenburg Injury Lawyer North Carolina Wrongful Death AttorneyStuhlmacher could not see whether the ladder split before or after his fall, because he tried to hold onto the rafter as it gave way beneath him. That distinction—when the ladder split—ended up breaking Stuhlmacher’s case.

His expert—Dr. Thomas Conry, who has a doctorate in mechanical engineering—testified that the ladder’s splitting was “underway” at the time of Stuhlmacher’s fall, but he could not tell whether the ladder split before, at the same time or a fraction-of-a-second after the fall. Dr. Conry concluded that the ladder’s “material had that crack in it and the bracket under the load was prying that rivet through.”

Magistrate Judge Andrew P. Rodovich struck Dr. Conry’s testimony, finding that the doctor’s explanation of the ladder’s failure could not be reconciled with Stuhlmacher’s testimony that the ladder suddenly shot out beneath him to the left. Without Dr. Conry’s testimony, Stuhlmacher’s case lacked crucial evidence that Home Depot and Tricam—Tricam was the ladder’s manufacturer—caused Stuhlmacher’s injuries.

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Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question ” I have been injured on another person’s property. What should I do now?”

 

The old schoolteacher Ichabod Crane, late of Washington Irving’s 1819 tale, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” found himself tumbling “headlong into the dust” after a “galloping Hessian”—a headless one to boot—chucked his own head over the river at Crane, striking him in the “cranium with a tremendous crash.”

Old Car parts Charlotte Injury Lawyer North Carolina Wrongful Death AttorneyIt was the youngish Crane’s last jaunt in Sleepy Hollow’s environs, and long after the people of the fair country wondered if the schoolteacher—like his headless Hessian pursuer—had lost his own head. Crane’s body was never found and he was never seen in those parts again.

Old country wives, Irving wrote, said Crane was “spirited away” by his ghostly neighbor.

Neighbors of one Charlotte property owner told WBTV on Wednesday that they—like Ichabod Crane and the galloping Hessian—have nearly lost their heads as a result of the actions of a Sleepy Hollow Road property owner.

The City of Charlotte issued a citation to the property owner on December 3 after finding that the owners were allowing heavy vehicle repairs and vehicle staging to be undertaken on the property. That kind of activity violates zoning regulations for an area zoned “residential.”

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Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “Can I wait a few months to pursue a personal injury claim?”

 

Knowing what a “reasonable person” would have done in the circumstances of your personal injury case may determine whether you receive the compensation you deserve.

Truck wreck Charlotte Injury Lawyer Mecklenburg Accident AttorneyOf course, anyone who has been injured in an accident or as a result of someone’s intentional conduct believes one is entitled to compensation—a lot of compensation.

A lawyer may excuse potential clients for having unreasonable expectations. The lawyer sees and hears all the same online, television and radio advertisements exhorting people to call such-and-such law firm because, they are told “You may be entitled to significant compensation.”

Lawyers frequently battle over words and their meaning, and “significant compensation” could mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people.

In any case—and I mean any personal injury case—what does it take to get to there from here? In practical terms, how does an injured person wrest compensation out of the person or persons who caused one’s injury?

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Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question ” I have been injured on another person’s property. What should I do now?”

 

The owner of a Carmel Valley, California property has settled a lawsuit out of court with the 2007 winner of the local “Mother of the Year” award.

Outside of house Charlotte Accident Lawyer Mecklenburg Car Crash AttorneyThe now 53-year-old award winner—Kathy Rowe—had her eye on the Carmel Valley property but was outbid by a woman and her husband.

Rowe said she became enraged when the home she wanted was sold to the couple. She decided to make life a living hell for the new owners.

Rowe sent some $1,000 worth of magazines and books to the Carmel Valley home, advertised a high school New Year’s Eve party listing the home’s address, and also advertised a free Mexican fireworks giveaway on the Fourth of July.

Rowe asked members of religious groups to visit the home, and even sent out Valentine’s Day cards to other women in the Carmel Valley neighborhood under the male homeowner’s moniker.

When this “prankish” behavior failed to summon hellfire upon the homeowners, Rowe decided to step up her game. She went online and created a sexually-explicit advertisement titled “Carmel Valley Freak Show.”

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Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question ” If an incident report was filled out, do I have a right to receive a copy?”

 

“At some point, something told me, grab a Big Mac.”

Big Mac Charlotte Injury Lawyer North Carolina Car Accident AttorneyThose words—and that decision—would forever change the lives of two New York men. Officer John Florio was on duty and in uniform when he pulled into a Bronx, New York McDonald’s drive-thru late one evening in January 2005. Florio ordered a Big Mac, but when he bit into the patty he discovered he’d been served something he hadn’t ordered: shards of broken glass mixed into the sandwich’s “special sauce.”

A short time later, two inspectors, two captains, three sergeants and five detectives arrived at the McDonald’s to investigate, searching the kitchen and interviewing workers.

They ushered then-18-year-old McDonald’s worker Albert Garcia to a back room, where he admitted to “giving Florio something extra in his order.” In a statement he wrote for investigators, Garcia said he “put the little pieces of glass into the burger as a joke.”

By the time—five years later—Garcia’s criminal case came on for trial, Garcia had recanted and his lawyer—Raymond J. Aab—accused Officer Florio of planting the glass in the burger himself in order to obtain some quick settlement cash from the fast-food chain. Within two weeks of the incident, Florio sued McDonald’s asking for $6 million in damages.

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Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question ” If an incident report was filled out, do I have a right to receive a copy?”

 

Scenes and outtakes from countless television shows and movies have shown cyclists speeding past people jogging or skating alongside the sands of Southern California beaches. Many of these have featured the twenty-or-so mile paved Marvin Braude Bicycle Path that runs from Pacific Palisades in Los Angeles south to Torrance.

Bike Lane Charlotte North Carolina Injury Lawyer North Carolina Car Accident AttorneyCyclists may enjoy a relative safety on the seaside paths, but inland things have gotten downright tragic for bicycle riders. California saw 338 cyclists killed in collisions with motor vehicles between 2010 and 2012, according to a report issued Monday by the Governors Highway Safety Association. Florida lagged not far behind Golden State, reporting 329 cyclists killed in collisions with motor vehicles in the same period.

Bicyclist deaths nationwide increased by 16-percent between 2010 and 2012, according to the report, but Florida and California reported the largest increases in deaths.

Allen Williams, a scientist who worked at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, compiled the report. He observed what he described as “remarkable changes” in the profile of those killed in crashes involving bicycles and cars. Adult males accounted for 74-percent of bicyclists killed in 2012. In 1975, by comparison, only 21-percent of bicyclists killed were adults of either gender.

Two-thirds of bicyclists killed in 2012 were not wearing helmets, while nearly a third of those killed registered a blood-alcohol content of .08 or more.

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