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?”

 

A very interesting article was recently published by the news website Vice. The article discussed the increasing technological developments of prosthetics and how scientists are getting amazingly good at merging man and machine. Though this is great news for those requiring the use of prosthetic devices, it raises some strange new legal questions. Chief among them, if a person’s prosthesis is injured, does the injury amount to property damage or, could it instead be classified as personal injury?

 

Outstretched hand Charlotte Injury Law Firm Mecklenburg Accident AttorneyCurrently the law is clear that there is a separation between what is property and what is personal. If someone were to run over your foot, you would have a clear personal injury case, as the defendant caused you bodily harm worthy of compensation. Equally as clear is if that same person ran over your cell phone. Though you may be attached to the device, maybe even depend on it, it is not a part of yourself and thus the incident would not amount to a personal injury case. You could instead sue for damage to your property, recovering the value of the device.

 

Generally, this is how the law has treated prosthetics. Previous cases have clearly said that a prosthetic limb, though an extension of the person, is merely a device; making clear that it is an extension of a person, not the person. Given this, injury done to a prosthetic could not lead to criminal assault charges or a civil personal injury lawsuit, you would instead be limited to a property damage claim.

 

A recent conference at the University of Oxford tried to delve more deeply into the issue, thinking ahead to a day when these distinctions may not be so easy. Today, prosthetics are increasingly integrated into a person’s body, in some cases becoming permanently fused to a person’s bone or, in other cases, becoming tied to a person’s nervous or muscular system. When a prosthetic device becomes sophisticated enough that they can be operated by a person’s nervous system, as has already happened, this kind of deep integration makes drawing lines between property and person much more difficult.

 

Looking ahead, it seems likely that these differences will become even harder to detect, as technology continues to improve at a rapid pace. According to experts who spoke at the recent conference, treating harm to prosthetics as property damage may no longer be appropriate, as it would fail to properly reflect the harm done to the victim.

 

A good example of this was the recent case of a military veteran who used a mobility assistive device to get around. As a quadriplegic, this device was his connection to the outside world and he was reliant on it completely. While traveling, an airline damaged the device, which left the man bedridden for 11 months waiting on a replacement. When he brought his claim against the airline, the company said it would only compensate the man $1,500, the book value of the replacement.

 

The issue in the case was that the airline was viewing this like the thousands of other claims they receive from customers who have luggage or valuables damaged in transit. However, unlike damage to a laptop or suitcase, the damage to this man’s mobility device caused deep psychological harm given his reliance on the device. Though the airline eventually upped its offer to $20,000, the case illustrates some of the thorny issues that the legal system may soon find itself grappling with as technology and prosthetic devices continue to improve.

 

If you are injured contact an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you receive the compensation to which you may be entitled to.  Feel free to contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC in Charlotte, North Carolina for a free consultation. Call toll free at (955) 370-2828 or click here for additional resources.

 

About the Author

Matt Matthew Arnold is a Managing Member of Arnold & Smith, PLLC, where he focuses on the areas of family law, divorce, child custody, child support, alimony and equitable distribution.

Mr. Arnold was raised in Charlotte, where he graduated from Providence Senior High School. He attended Belmont Abbey College, where he graduated cum laude, before attending law school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on a full academic scholarship.

A board-certified specialist in the practice of Family Law, Mr. Arnold is admitted to practice in all state courts in North Carolina, in the United States Federal Court for the Western District of North Carolina, in the North Carolina Court of Appeals and Supreme Court, and in the Fourth Circuit United States Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia.

In his free time, Mr. Arnold enjoys golfing and spending time with his wife and three children.

 

 

Source:

http://motherboard.vice.com/read/is-harm-to-a-prosthetic-limb-property-damage-or-personal-injury

 

 

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Hoverboards: The next frontier in personal injury law

“Baseball Rule” In Personal Injury Cases At Risk Of Being Tossed Out By Judges

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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?”

 

At this point chances are you’ve heard of the ongoing crisis in Flint, Michigan regarding the tainted water. If not, a quick bit of background is that the governor of Michigan, Rick Snyder, declared a state of emergency early last month after it was confirmed that tainted water from the Flint River was causing lead to leech from the pipes into the city’s water supply.

 

Pipe runoff Charlotte Injury Lawyer Mecklenburg Accident AttorneySince the revelation, the city and state officials have been scrambling to deal with the fallout. The National Guard has been handing out bottled water as others try and come up with a solution to the problem. Children, the most vulnerable group to lead poisoning, have been exposed to far higher levels of lead than is safe, leading many to wonder and worry about potential long term health consequences.

 

The decision to switch the water supply will be investigated over the coming months. The governor has said that a thorough independent review will be commenced and the goal is to understand how and why the decision to switch to the Flint River was made. At the time the city was under the control of an emergency manager appointed by Governor Snyder and the reason given at the time was that the switch would save money.

 

Now that officials have acknowledged the seriousness of the matter in Flint, some have begun to wonder about what legal options are available to residents. It was recently reported that two new class-action lawsuits related to the water crisis has been filed in court. The lawsuits are seeking damages for both personal injury and physical damages suffered by residents of Flint as a result of the water crisis. One of the lawsuits is also asking that Flint water customers not be required to pay past or future bills for the water given that it is not safe to drink. In the other suit, the plaintiffs are trying to hold the state responsible and claim that the state Department of Health knew or should have known about the lead in the water and sat on this information for months before sharing the details with the public.

 

Beyond these existing claims, residents could also consider several other approaches for civil lawsuits. One would be that water is viewed as a good and, as a result, a lawsuit over implied warranty of merchantability could be used against the municipalities responsible for the water crisis. The argument is that the water is not fit for its intended purpose and that this amounts to a breach of the implied warranty.

 

Another option is to file a standard negligence claim against the city and state officials responsible for the decision making process. The claim in this case would be that officials had a duty of reasonable care to provide clean and safe drinking water to residents. The decision to switch the water supply to the Flint River to save money could be viewed as a breach of that duty and, as a result, the city and its officials could be found liable for providing the unsafe water.

 

The problem with all of these options is a little thing called the doctrine of sovereign immunity. This doctrine means that individuals are barred from suing the government or government officials, even when the government has made a costly mistake like they did in Flint. This doctrine says that the government cannot be sued for mistakes made while discharging a core function unless the government consents to the lawsuit. There are some very narrow exceptions to this immunity, but unless the government consents, experts agree that it will be difficult for many of the legal claims to stick.

 

If you are injured contact an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you receive the compensation to which you may be entitled to.  Feel free to contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC in Charlotte, North Carolina for a free consultation. Call toll free at (955) 370-2828 or click here for additional resources.

 

About the Author

Matt Matthew Arnold is a Managing Member of Arnold & Smith, PLLC, where he focuses on the areas of family law, divorce, child custody, child support, alimony and equitable distribution.

Mr. Arnold was raised in Charlotte, where he graduated from Providence Senior High School. He attended Belmont Abbey College, where he graduated cum laude, before attending law school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on a full academic scholarship.

A board-certified specialist in the practice of Family Law, Mr. Arnold is admitted to practice in all state courts in North Carolina, in the United States Federal Court for the Western District of North Carolina, in the North Carolina Court of Appeals and Supreme Court, and in the Fourth Circuit United States Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia.

In his free time, Mr. Arnold enjoys golfing and spending time with his wife and three children.

 

 

Source:

http://blogs.findlaw.com/injured/2016/01/legal-liability-for-flint-water-crisis.html

http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2016/01/lawsuits_seek_end_to_bills_for.html

 

 

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http://www.freeimages.com/photo/drainage-pipe-1547589

 

 

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Mayor Declares State Of Emergency Due To Lead Poisoning Fears

New Startup Aims To Assist Personal Injury Plaintiffs

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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?”

 

In this post-holiday season, many people may now be dealing with the impact of the Christmas gift-giving binge. For some, that’s tackling enormous credit card bills, for others, it may be recovering from hoverboard-related injuries. The new tech toys were the hottest item this year, with kids and adults clamoring for the personal transportation items. Though they may be fun, they’ve also proven to be quite difficult to operate safely, opening up a new avenue for personal injury claims. To find out more, keep reading.

 

arm in cast Charlotte Injury Lawyer Mecklenburg Accident AttorneyHoverboards are the general category that covers a multitude of specific products. These boards have two wheels and a board to place your feet on. Operators step on the device and can direct their movement by leaning forward or backward. They’re fun and a can be a source of great amusement. Sadly, they can also be a source of great pain.

 

Since becoming the focus of media attention, the hoverboards have begun collecting bad press as well. It’s been reported that hoverboards have been randomly and without warning bursting into flames. The fires have occurred at many different times, some while the boards are charging and others while in use.

 

Another, and likely much larger problem, has to do with injuries to operators. The devices can lurch forward unexpectedly and are often more sensitive than people imagine. Though they are treated as toys, they can move quickly and cause tremendous damage, sending riders tumbling onto hard pavement, other people or objects, in turn leading to cuts, bruises and broken bones.

 

According to news reports, lawsuits have already been filed by owners of the hoverboards, including at least two different class-action lawsuits. In one case out of New York, a man filed suit claiming that the hoverboard he purchased, a Swagway, was defective after it caught fire while it was charging. In another case out of Alabama, a couple is suing a local retailer after one of the devices caught fire at their home.

 

Another problem for hoverboard manufacturers is that government regulators may soon be closing in on those companies responsible for putting out shoddy pieces of equipment. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has revealed that it is currently investigating nearly two-dozen complaints re: hoverboard fires. The CPSC says it is busy testing the products in its labs, but hasn’t yet issued any broad warnings. That hasn’t stopped the airline industry, with Delta leading the charge in banning the products from its planes after the reports of sudden fires began to increase.

 

One concern injured owners may have is that the vast majority of hoverboard manufacturers are located overseas, specifically, in China. Though it is true that this can complicate filing lawsuits, it absolutely does not prevent these claims for faulty or defective products from moving forward. Overseas companies still have financial assets located in the U.S. that can be seized in the event of a successful civil claim. Additionally, retailers can also be sued if they are found responsible for harm caused by the products they market to unsuspecting consumers.

 

One point that’s important to note about those considering such a claim is that a valid lawsuit cannot be filed based purely on clumsiness. The fact that someone trips or falls is not usually sufficient justification for a personal injury lawsuit. Instead, it will need to be demonstrated that the product is either misleadingly labeled or is instead defective and that these issues led to the harm suffered by the consumer.

If you are injured contact an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you receive the compensation to which you may be entitled to.  Feel free to contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC in Charlotte, North Carolina for a free consultation. Call toll free at (955) 370-2828 or click here for additional resources.

 

About the Author

Matt Matthew Arnold is a Managing Member of Arnold & Smith, PLLC, where he focuses on the areas of family law, divorce, child custody, child support, alimony and equitable distribution.

Mr. Arnold was raised in Charlotte, where he graduated from Providence Senior High School. He attended Belmont Abbey College, where he graduated cum laude, before attending law school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on a full academic scholarship.

A board-certified specialist in the practice of Family Law, Mr. Arnold is admitted to practice in all state courts in North Carolina, in the United States Federal Court for the Western District of North Carolina, in the North Carolina Court of Appeals and Supreme Court, and in the Fourth Circuit United States Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia.

In his free time, Mr. Arnold enjoys golfing and spending time with his wife and three children.

 

 

Source:

http://fox6now.com/2015/12/30/hoverboards-a-gift-for-personal-injury-lawyers-at-least-two-lawsuits-in-the-works/

 

 

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http://www.freeimages.com/photo/broken-arm-1152672

 

 

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Mayor Declares State Of Emergency Due To Lead Poisoning Fears

TN Court Punts Question on Injury Damage Caps

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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?”

 

Last week the newly elected mayor of Flint, Michigan, Karen Weaver, made a bold decision. Rather than continue to sweep mounting concerns about the city’s drinking water and the impact it may have had or continue to have on residents under the rug, she decided to declare a state of emergency. The decision brought nationwide attention to Flint and the city’s water supply as well as the often-overlooked problems caused from exposure to lead.

 

Leaky sink Charlotte Injury Lawyer Mecklenburg County Accident AttorneyThe trouble in Flint began back in 2014, when lawmakers decided to switch the city’s drinking water supply from Detroit to the Flint River. The reason behind the change was, even more tragically, a financial one. Flint, as many know, is struggling to balance its budget and the city believed one way to help would be to lower the costs associated with its water supply.

 

The switch to water from the Flint River was only ever meant to be a temporary fix, using the water until a permanent pipeline could be built to Lake Huron. However, the water from the Flint River, though it was treated, was incredibly corrosive. So much so, that the water began to leach lead from the pipes carrying the water into Flint residents’ homes.

 

It didn’t take long for the complaints from residents to come pouring in. Many said that the water tasted funny and that they were eager to return to the Detroit water supply until the Flint River could be verified as safe. However, these calls were ignored, until finally, a few months ago, the Michigan Legislature approved emergency funding to pay to reconnect Flint to Detroit’s water supply.

 

Though it’s good that Flint is again receiving a safe supply of drinking water, the damage has already been done. One survey, conducted in September of this year, showed that infants and young children in Flint had already doubled the levels of lead in their blood that existed prior to the switch to using the Flint River.

 

Over the past several decades, we can all be thankful that steps have been taken to reduce our exposure to lead. Cars use unleaded gasoline and lead-based paint is barred from use. As a result, the chance to being exposed to lead is reduced for many people, though as this case demonstrates, that chance isn’t zero.

 

Lead can still be found today in paint, in soil and, as residents of Flint understand, in water. Exposure to lead can result in lifelong development problems, including reduced IQ, behavior changes and serious health problems. Even more troubling is that, in many cases, there are very few symptoms to alert individuals to the risk of lead poisoning. If you believe you may have ingested unsafe levels of lead, you should seek medical attention immediately. There are some medications that can be used to remove lead from the body, though these treatments are not always effective. Unfortunately for the residents of Flint, experts say the absolute best thing you can do to protect yourself from the dangers of lead is to avoid exposure in the first place.

 

If you are injured contact an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you receive the compensation to which you may be entitled to.  Feel free to contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC in Charlotte, North Carolina for a free consultation. Call toll free at (955) 370-2828 or click here for additional resources.

 

About the Author

Matt Matthew Arnold is a Managing Member of Arnold & Smith, PLLC, where he focuses on the areas of family law, divorce, child custody, child support, alimony and equitable distribution.

Mr. Arnold was raised in Charlotte, where he graduated from Providence Senior High School. He attended Belmont Abbey College, where he graduated cum laude, before attending law school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on a full academic scholarship.

A board-certified specialist in the practice of Family Law, Mr. Arnold is admitted to practice in all state courts in North Carolina, in the United States Federal Court for the Western District of North Carolina, in the North Carolina Court of Appeals and Supreme Court, and in the Fourth Circuit United States Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia.

In his free time, Mr. Arnold enjoys golfing and spending time with his wife and three children.

 

 

Source:

http://www.livescience.com/53168-michigan-lead-poisoning-health-effects.html

 

 

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http://www.freeimages.com/photo/dripping-faucet-1463410

 

 

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Pot and Product Liability Claims

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Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “What exactly is a wrongful death claim?”

 

Damage caps in personal injury cases have become an increasingly hot topic in recent years, with courts across the country wrestling with the issue. State high courts have been left to decide whether and when such caps, usually on noneconomic damages or medical malpractice payouts, are appropriate or even constitutional. Some, such as Florida, have decided that such caps are not only unconstitutional, but also completely ineffective. Others, like the recent case in Tennessee, have looked for ways to avoid making such a decision. To find out more about the recent case, keep reading.

 

Judge Gavel Charlotte Accident attorney Mecklenburg injury lawyerThe case in Tennessee began when Donald Clark and his wife filed suit against AT&T and one of its employees. The personal injury case claimed that AT&T and the employee were negligent and asked that the defendants be ordered to pay the plaintiffs $25 million in non-economic damages. The payout was related to a car accident that left Donald severely injured.

 

In addition to asking for money from the defendants, the Clarks also asked that the district court declare Tennessee’s caps on non-economic damages in personal injury cases unconstitutional. In Tennessee, the cap is $750,000 in certain personal injury cases, well below the amount that the Clarks believed they were entitled to.

 

The trial judge in this case surprisingly agreed with the plaintiffs, denying a motion for summary judgment form the defendants. The judge concluded that the state’s law was unconstitutional and, in doing so, allowed the defendants to appeal. The defendants wasted no time and appealed the matter all the way to the Tennessee Supreme Court.

 

The Supreme Court was asked to resolve the important question of whether the cap on non-economic damages was constitutional or not. Instead, the Court punted the issue, saying that the question was not yet ripe for judicial review. Their reasoning makes perfect sense; currently the case before them does not involve an award in excess of the cap. Given this, there is no current dispute; all issues are purely theoretical at the moment. The Supreme Court decided that the trial court had acted prematurely by deciding what should have remained an open question until such a time as a damages award exceeds the cap.

 

Critics are hopeful that the current case allows for possibility that the Supreme Court might still strike down the state’s law. Opponents of damage caps argue that they serve solely to protect those who have done tremendous harm to others. In fact, damage caps are specifically designed to protect the most wealthy offenders, often medical providers, hospitals or large companies and insurers, those who have caused substantial harm and yet hide behind damage caps to avoid being forced to take full financial responsibility for their actions. The hope is that the plaintiffs eventually win the case and are awarded damages in excess of the cap. Should that happen, the case would again land before the Supreme Court and this time, they will need to answer the fundamental question concerning the validity of the law.

 

If you are injured contact an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you receive the compensation to which you may be entitled to.  Feel free to contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC in Charlotte, North Carolina for a free consultation. Call toll free at (955) 370-2828 or click here for additional resources.

 

About the Author

Matt Matthew Arnold is a Managing Member of Arnold & Smith, PLLC, where he focuses on the areas of family law, divorce, child custody, child support, alimony and equitable distribution.

Mr. Arnold was raised in Charlotte, where he graduated from Providence Senior High School. He attended Belmont Abbey College, where he graduated cum laude, before attending law school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on a full academic scholarship.

A board-certified specialist in the practice of Family Law, Mr. Arnold is admitted to practice in all state courts in North Carolina, in the United States Federal Court for the Western District of North Carolina, in the North Carolina Court of Appeals and Supreme Court, and in the Fourth Circuit United States Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia.

In his free time, Mr. Arnold enjoys golfing and spending time with his wife and three children.

 

 

Source:

 

http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2015/12/03/390792.htm

 

 

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http://www.freeimages.com/photo/gavel-2-1236453

 

 

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Report Reveals Vehicles Most Commonly Involved In Personal Injury Claims

Can you get in trouble for texting someone who is driving?

 

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Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question ” Is a tractor-trailer accident the same as an automobile accident?”

 

Everyone knows that working your way through the legal system can be a slow, expensive process. There are rules and procedures to follow, paperwork to complete, motions to respond to, hearings to attend and mountains of discovery to shift through. The intricacies of the legal system can exhaust even the most tireless plaintiffs, causing many to give up without putting up much of a fight.
stacks of cash Charlotte Injury Lawyer Mecklenburg Car Accident AttorneySadly, this is exactly what many defendants are counting on. In fact, insurance companies and large corporations often depend on their ability to wear a plaintiff down to keep the size of payouts in check. These companies understand that plaintiffs will eventually feel pressure to cave and accept much less money than they may otherwise be entitled to all to put an end to the court process and collect something, no matter how small, to compensate them for the harm they’ve suffered.

 

It’s this sad reality that led a group of business people to form a new company aimed at helping to level the playing field between deep-pocketed defendants and plaintiffs. The company, called Mighty, is based in New York and is beginning to receive some attention, including a recent profile in the Wall Street Journal. The company says its mission is to raise badly needed cash for plaintiffs by bridging the gap before a lawsuit can be settled.

 

Mighty says that wealthy defendants, typically corporations, take advantage of the fact that plaintiffs are tapped out financially and often need an injection of cash, however small, to pay the bills. This can lead to an imbalanced legal system where plaintiffs are routinely taken advantage of because they lack the financial power to continue the fight against the defendants. By providing money to pay their bills while a settlement negotiation is ongoing, Mighty hopes to even the playing field, even if only slightly.

 

Right now Mighty says that plaintiffs are able to finance up to 10 percent of the estimated value of their settlement, the goal being to limit this to a relatively small sum and leaving the remainder to the victim. Individuals compete to attract plaintiffs by offering lower rates of return. Another positive for plaintiffs is that the funds are known as a non-recourse investment, meaning if the plaintiff ultimately loses the case, they will not owe investors anything.

 

There are some obvious drawbacks associated with Mighty and other personal injury finance companies. One important one is the interest charged. At Mighty, the average rate is between 20 and 30 percent annually, much higher than a traditional loan or even a credit card. While this should give some people pause, Mighty argues that the plaintiffs taking the loans end up in a better financial situation than those who do not because their eventual payouts are higher.

 

It’s a sad reality that the party better able to outlast the other financially is often at a tremendous advantage during legal proceedings. Legal experts say that while companies like Mighty may not be the answer to the larger problem with the legal system, they might be helpful for some plaintiffs who need a quick injection of cash and are willing to pay the price to get it.

 

If you are injured contact an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you receive the compensation to which you may be entitled to.  Feel free to contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC in Charlotte, North Carolina for a free consultation. Call toll free at (955) 370-2828 or click here for additional resources.

 

About the Author

Matt Matthew Arnold is a Managing Member of Arnold & Smith, PLLC, where he focuses on the areas of family law, divorce, child custody, child support, alimony and equitable distribution.

Mr. Arnold was raised in Charlotte, where he graduated from Providence Senior High School. He attended Belmont Abbey College, where he graduated cum laude, before attending law school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on a full academic scholarship.

A board-certified specialist in the practice of Family Law, Mr. Arnold is admitted to practice in all state courts in North Carolina, in the United States Federal Court for the Western District of North Carolina, in the North Carolina Court of Appeals and Supreme Court, and in the Fourth Circuit United States Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia.

In his free time, Mr. Arnold enjoys golfing and spending time with his wife and three children.

 

 

Source:

http://blogs.wsj.com/venturecapital/2015/09/16/personal-injury-plaintiffs-may-benefit-from-new-litigation-funding-marketplace/

 

 

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http://www.freeimages.com/photo/worn-baseball-1314396

 

 

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Settlement Mills III: Goal of settlement mills is to settle quickly, often for low value

The Importance Of Time In A North Carolina Personal Injury Case

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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?”

 

Several court cases are converging in what some experts believe may result in some changes in the way that Major League Baseball deals with injuries to fans. The rule has long been that the assumption of risk doctrine protected teams and the MLB from liability associated with injuries caused by foul balls or broken bats. Whether that continues to hold true remains to be seen, and, should the protection go away or be diminished, expect serious changes at your local ballpark as teams are forced to worry more about fan safety.

 

Baseball Charlotte Injury Lawyer Mecklenburg accident attorneyThe first case at issue comes from a Yankees fan, Andy Zlotnick. Zlotnick was gathered with his teenage son and two friends to watch a 2011 Yankees game that had been repeatedly interrupted by the rain. Others in the stadium had umbrellas out, something that prevented Zlotnick from seeing the foul ball heading his way. The speeding baseball hit Zlotnick in his face, shattering all the bones around his left eye, fracturing his sinus and upper jaw and resulting in extensive surgery to repair the damage. Zlotnick sustained $100,000 worth of injury, shelling out $25,000 of his own money in medical bills.

 

Had the injury happened in another setting, perhaps at a restaurant or in a movie theater, Zlotnick might have a slam-dunk personal injury case. Instead, the incident occurred in a ballpark and, as a result, the Yankees have tried deflecting the case based on the principle of assumption of risk. Assumption of risk, also known in some circles as the baseball rule, says that a defendant is not liable for certain harms because the plaintiff assumed the risk that these harms might occur. In the case of baseball, the Yankees (and every other team in the MLB) argue that the fans who were seated along the foul lines understood the risk that they might get hit by a stray ball or broken bat and chose to attend the game anyway.

 

For years this doctrine has applied, but some wonder whether Zlotnick might find a way around it. The reason is the umbrellas. The umbrellas made it even harder for a fan, even a careful one like Zlotnick, to avoid being injured by a foul ball. Without being able to see what was coming, Zlotnick had little if any practical way to avoid danger. Interestingly, the Yankees changed their policy the year after Zlotnick’s injury, specifically banning oversized umbrellas and making clear that patrons could be asked to close any umbrellas that are found to block the sight lines of other fans.

 

Two other lawyers have joined together in an unrelated case to file a class-action lawsuit against the MLB on behalf of all season-ticket holders. The suit claims that the MLB and Commission Rob Manfred failed to protect fans from the dangers posed by foul balls and broken bats and have refused to enact even common sense safety measures like putting up better safety netting. The lawyers argue that the notion of assumption of risk should no longer apply given the bigger, stronger players, increased distractions in stadiums and seats designed to be closer to the foul lines. Given that numbers of fans injured at professional baseball games is staggering (a recent analysis by Bloomberg revealed that 1,750 fans are injured each year), the impact of these cases might be quite substantial. Both fans and MLB teams alike will likely be anxiously waiting to hear if the baseball rule will continue or if judges decide the teams ought to be held financially responsible for the injuries they cause.

 

If you are injured contact an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you receive the compensation to which you may be entitled to.  Feel free to contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC in Charlotte, North Carolina for a free consultation. Call toll free at (955) 370-2828 or click here for additional resources.

 

 

About the Author

Matt Matthew Arnold is a Managing Member of Arnold & Smith, PLLC, where he focuses on the areas of family law, divorce, child custody, child support, alimony and equitable distribution.

Mr. Arnold was raised in Charlotte, where he graduated from Providence Senior High School. He attended Belmont Abbey College, where he graduated cum laude, before attending law school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on a full academic scholarship.

A board-certified specialist in the practice of Family Law, Mr. Arnold is admitted to practice in all state courts in North Carolina, in the United States Federal Court for the Western District of North Carolina, in the North Carolina Court of Appeals and Supreme Court, and in the Fourth Circuit United States Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia.

In his free time, Mr. Arnold enjoys golfing and spending time with his wife and three children.

 

 

Source:

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/21/sports/baseball/danger-at-the-ballpark-and-in-a-baseball-tickets-fine-print.html?_r=0

 

 

Image Credit

 

http://www.freeimages.com/photo/worn-baseball-1314396

 

 

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Professional tennis player suing USTA for negligence after slip and fall at U.S. Open

If a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to sue over it…

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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?”

 

Until a few years ago it would have been impossible to imagine that pot smokers could have a legitimate basis to file a product liability lawsuit against the person selling them the drugs. Before Washington and Colorado led the way, this would’ve meant a drug user would be suing a drug dealer for failing to warn of harms associated with an illegal substance. Not anymore. Now that the marijuana business is legal in some states, it will have to contend with problems that bedevil those in every other industry, including product liability lawsuits.

 

Marijuana joint Charlotte Drug Lawyer Mecklenburg Criminal AttorneyThe case at issue is Flores v. LivWell Inc. LivWell is one of the largest marijuana growers in the State of Colorado and, as an early mover in the market, is now a major producer and distributor of cannabis. Two marijuana users have filed suit against LivWell claiming that the company sprays its cannabis with a fungicide known as Eagle 20.

 

Eagle 20 is a petroleum-based fungicide that is used to kill mites and other pests that can eat and damage crops. The product is legally allowed and generally safe, but has been shown to break down into a dangerous poison known as hydrogen cyanide under certain conditions. What are those conditions? When the chemical is burned.

 

Given this, the Colorado Department of Agriculture has long said that Eagle 20 is fine to use on most vegetation grown in the state, assuming it is within acceptable limits, but cannot be used on tobacco products that could be heated or inhaled. However, due to how new the product category is and a general lack of regulation concerning marijuana, state agencies have yet to take action to pull LivWell-grown cannabis off the market. Beyond the state regulators that have so far taken no action, absolutely no federal safety regulations exist regarding marijuana, leaving a very large and potentially dangerous gap for consumers to fall into.

 

This is exactly why the plaintiffs in the case brought their civil lawsuit. The two claim that the company failed to warn them of the use of the fungicide and, had they known, they would not have purchased the product. The plaintiffs argue that consumers have a right to know what dangerous chemicals may be lurking on their marijuana, especially when the chemicals in question can turn toxic under a condition that is commonly associated with using the product (that it’s being burnt).

 

Experts agree that the case is an interesting approach to forcing regulation over a wildly unregulated product. Consumers may have to lead the way, as legislators have appeared unsure of where to begin. The lack of a national consensus on the issue has also slowed work to create safety standards, something that pushes even more responsibility onto the backs of individual users. The marijuana business has grown rapidly and introduced new products quickly. Though the growth and ingenuity is impressive, the normal regulations that would check this growth and protect consumers are lacking, exposing consumers to potential harm. Marijuana growers and sellers will now have to contend with the reality that they need to grow up and start behaving like other businesses, including taking the step to warn customers of potential dangers associated with your product. Pot growers will need to step up and introduce safety standards on their own or risk seriously costly product liability lawsuits down the road.

 

If you are injured in a slip and fall case, contact an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you receive the compensation to which you may be entitled to.  Feel free to contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC in Charlotte, North Carolina for a free consultation. Call toll free at (955) 370-2828 or click here for additional resources.

 

 

About the Author

Matt Matthew Arnold is a Managing Member of Arnold & Smith, PLLC, where he focuses on the areas of family law, divorce, child custody, child support, alimony and equitable distribution.

Mr. Arnold was raised in Charlotte, where he graduated from Providence Senior High School. He attended Belmont Abbey College, where he graduated cum laude, before attending law school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on a full academic scholarship.

A board-certified specialist in the practice of Family Law, Mr. Arnold is admitted to practice in all state courts in North Carolina, in the United States Federal Court for the Western District of North Carolina, in the North Carolina Court of Appeals and Supreme Court, and in the Fourth Circuit United States Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia.

In his free time, Mr. Arnold enjoys golfing and spending time with his wife and three children.

 

 

Source:

 

http://www.natlawreview.com/article/growing-concerns-marijuana-industry-hit-its-first-ever-product-liability-lawsuit

 

 

Image Credit

 

http://www.freeimages.com/photo/rolled-cigarette-1312096

 

 

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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?”

 

Last year, Canadian-born tennis player Eugenie Bouchard was the sport’s next big star.  The 21-year-old reached the final of Wimbledon and the semifinals of the Australian Open and the French Open.  Her ranking peaked at No. 5 in the world.  Today, however, Bouchard can’t step foot on a tennis court, and a recent suit suggests that negligence on behalf of the United States Tennis Association (USTA) is to blame.

 

Eugenie Bouchard Tennis Slip and Fall Attorney Charlotte Injury LawyerAccording to the civil suit filed October 14th in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, Bouchard slipped on a “slippery, foreign, and dangerous substance” in the women’s physical therapy room after playing a mixed doubles match at the U.S. Open last month.  As a result of the fall, Bouchard suffered a severe head injury and was forced to withdraw from the tournament.

 

Bouchard’s attorney, Benedict Morelli, is a well-known personal injury attorney who recently secured a massive award for comedian Tracy Morgan, who was injured in a car crash last year.  Morelli claims that the substance was a cleaning agent that was supposed to be left on the floor overnight when the room wasn’t being used.

 

“If they were going to do that, they should have closed the door and locked it off,” Morelli told the New York Times.  “And they didn’t do that.”  Furthermore, the suit alleges that the USTA failed to provide Bouchard with any warnings whatsoever of the floor’s slippery condition.

 

Because of the head injury, Bouchard has been forced to withdraw from a number of tournaments.  Consequently, her world ranking continues to drop.  At the time of the accident, she was No. 25 in the world.  Today, she is No. 39.  If the two sides go to court, a jury will decide if Bouchard’s injuries were caused by the USTA’s negligence and what sum to award Bouchard for the tournaments and endorsement opportunities she has missed.

 

Slip and fall accidents are part of a line of cases known as premises liability cases.  Injuries sustained from slip and fall accidents can greatly affect the quality of a victim’s life and, as illustrated by Bouchard, their ability to earn a living.  These injuries may also carry a significant financial burden.  Medical care and treatment may cost up to hundreds of thousands of dollars.  Without the ability to earn money, the financial stress surrounding the situation can be very difficult to overcome.

 

North Carolina property owners have a duty to exercise reasonable care in the maintenance of their premises for the protection of lawful visitors, and whether the care provided is reasonable must be judged against the conduct of a reasonably prudent person under the circumstances.  This duty includes the “duty to exercise ordinary care to keep the premises in a reasonably safe condition and to warn the invitee of hidden perils or unsafe conditions that can be ascertained by reasonable inspection and supervision.”

 

In order to show negligence by a property owner, a “plaintiff must show that [the property owner] either (1) negligently created the condition causing injury, or (2) negligently failed to correct the condition after actual or constructive notice of its existence.”

 

If you are injured in a slip and fall case, contact an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you receive the compensation to which you may be entitled to.  Feel free to contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC in Charlotte, North Carolina for a free consultation. Call toll free at (955) 370-2828 or click here for additional resources.

 

 

About the Author

Matt Matthew Arnold is a Managing Member of Arnold & Smith, PLLC, where he focuses on the areas of family law, divorce, child custody, child support, alimony and equitable distribution.

Mr. Arnold was raised in Charlotte, where he graduated from Providence Senior High School. He attended Belmont Abbey College, where he graduated cum laude, before attending law school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on a full academic scholarship.

A board-certified specialist in the practice of Family Law, Mr. Arnold is admitted to practice in all state courts in North Carolina, in the United States Federal Court for the Western District of North Carolina, in the North Carolina Court of Appeals and Supreme Court, and in the Fourth Circuit United States Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia.

In his free time, Mr. Arnold enjoys golfing and spending time with his wife and three children.

 

 

Source:

http://edition.cnn.com/2015/10/15/tennis/eugenie-bouchard-lawsuit-usta-tennis-concussion/

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/15/sports/tennis/eugenie-bouchard-sues-over-injuries-from-fall-at-us-open.html?_r=0

http://www.leagle.com/decision/20021438558SE2d880_11303/GOYNIAS%20v.%20SPA%20HEALTH%20CLUBS,%20INC

https://www.arnoldsmithlaw.com/slip-and-fall-injuries-premises-liability.html

http://espn.go.com/tennis/story/_/id/13948383/eugenie-bouchard-ready-go-court-case-usta

 

 

Image Credit

By Brendan Dennis (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b1/2014_Australian_Open_-_Eugenie_Bouchard_3.jpg

 

 

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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?”

 

With the recent landfall of Hurricane Patricia in Mexico and the ensuing rains and storms across the United States, it may be useful to brush up on liability associated with falling trees. It’s something that rarely crosses most people’s minds until it’s too late. When a tree falls and injures another person or their property, it can come as a costly surprise to everyone. To find out what happens when a tree falls in North Carolina, keep reading.

 

Sunset Charlotte Injury Lawyer Mecklenburg County liability Law FirmWhen are you liable?

 

Let’s say a tree falls from your property and lands on a car located at the neighbor’s house, are you responsible? Sadly, the answer isn’t as easy as a yes or no. The first factor that comes into play is where the incident occurred, was this in an urbanized area or an undeveloped piece of farmland? If the land is undeveloped and the person who owns the property has never seen or known of the potentially dangerous tree, he or she will most likely avoid liability. If the incident occurs in a suburb, the calculation changes completely. In urbanized or developed land, owners are expected to exercise reasonable care to ensure that their trees do not cause injury to others.

 

In North Carolina, this boils down to a basic negligence standard, meaning a landowner would be liable in cases where they have failed to exercise reasonable care or common prudence and that failure resulted in damage to another party. To prove this, the victim would need to show that the landowner had either actual or constructive knowledge of a defect in the tree which led to its eventual collapse.

 

Defenses:

 

Contributory negligence

 

One possible defense to claims of damage over a fallen tree is that the victim was partially responsible for causing the harm. In North Carolina, if the victim of an accident is found to have contributed to the underlying problem, he or she can be barred from receiving any financial relief. An example of contributory negligence would be if landowner A had a dead maple tree on the edge of his property that fell onto a car owned by landowner B. Landowner A knew about the dead tree and did nothing to fix the problem, but at trial it was revealed that B also knew of the damage and had asked A for permission to remove the unsightly tree and use the scraps as firewood. A left town, assuming B had indeed had the tree removed and only discovered later, after it fell, that B had failed to take action, instead continuing to park his car under the tree the entire time. Despite knowing about the dead tree, A would likely avoid liability for the harm it caused after falling because B was contributorily negligent.

 

Act of God

 

Another defense to claims of responsibility is that the event causing the harm was an act of God. This means that if the incident occurred without human intervention and could not have been avoided due to the reasonable care of one party, it is an act of God. In these cases, as long as the landowner exercised proper care and had no knowledge of any problems, a tree downed by an act of God will be the responsibility of the damaged party, not the landowner.

 

Summary

 

For the normal person, what do all the exceptions and defenses mean when it comes to falling trees? It can be confusing, but generally a landowner needs to pay attention to the condition of their trees and even the condition of those on your neighbor’s property. Courts have made clear that they aren’t sympathetic to owners who could have avoided costly trouble by spending a small amount of time or money to inspect the safety of their trees.

 

If you or someone you know has any questions regarding potential personal injury claims, feel free to contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC in Charlotte, North Carolina for a free consultation. Call toll free at (955) 370-2828 or click here for additional resources.

 

 

About the Author

Matt Matthew Arnold is a Managing Member of Arnold & Smith, PLLC, where he focuses on the areas of family law, divorce, child custody, child support, alimony and equitable distribution.

Mr. Arnold was raised in Charlotte, where he graduated from Providence Senior High School. He attended Belmont Abbey College, where he graduated cum laude, before attending law school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on a full academic scholarship.

A board-certified specialist in the practice of Family Law, Mr. Arnold is admitted to practice in all state courts in North Carolina, in the United States Federal Court for the Western District of North Carolina, in the North Carolina Court of Appeals and Supreme Court, and in the Fourth Circuit United States Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia.

In his free time, Mr. Arnold enjoys golfing and spending time with his wife and three children.

 

 

Source:

http://www.wral.com/if-a-tree-falls-who-pays-to-clean-it-up-/9884265/

 

 

Image Credit

http://www.freeimages.com/photo/tree-in-golden-light-1409484

 

 

See Our Related Video from our YouTube channel:

https://www.youtube.com/user/ArnoldSmithPLLC/videos

 

 

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