Articles Posted in Personal Injury

Published on:

Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “How can an attorney help me with my Divorce or Separation in North Carolina?”

 

A parcel placed in the mail is just that: placed. Placement in a mailbox does not guaranty delivery.

Two Dollar Bill Mecklenburg Injury Lawyer Charlotte wrongful death AttorneyOf course, most—maybe all—postal services provide a “guaranteed” service. Ask any lawyer the meaning of “guaranty,” however, and one is liable to hear a list of hypotheticals in which the guaranty is broken. Things get lost in the mail. It does not happen often, but it happens.

We live in a society in which people and businesses have the ability to engage in the near-instantaneous exchange of communications and documents.

The law is catching up. Many county Registers of Deeds in North Carolina now accept online submission of deeds and other legal documents. Clerk’s offices in the state’s judicial circuits are moving in that direction. Much of appellate and federal-court filings are made online.

Most lawsuits, however, are still filed in person, whether by litigant, by attorney, by paralegal, clerk, or courier. And some holdouts still rely on the good old mail service.

Continue reading →

Published on:

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

 

Joshua Peters was streaming the popular online games RuneScape and Clash of the Clans when his ten-year-old brother answered a knock at his family’s front door.

Swat Team Charlotte Injury Lawyer North Carolina Accident AttorneyWithin seconds, Peters told The Guardian, a London-based paper, his face was flat on the floor and police officers armed with rifles were towering over him. Peters said officers also pointed guns at his mother and little brother.

When he returned to his online games some fifteen minutes after a police SWAT team raided his family’s home, Peters tearfully told the some 60,000 gamers who were online that his mother and little brother could have been shot.

“They could have died,” Peters said, “because you chose to swat my stream.”

Continue reading →

Published on:

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 personal injury attorney who has found himself on the other side of at least two lawsuits—as a defendant—says he does not like the feeling and says lawyers who bring frivolous lawsuits should be sanctioned more often.

Arbitration Charlotte Injury Lawyer Mecklenburg County Accident AttorneyDuring a contentious trial in Queens, New York City in 2013, Dr. Michael J. Katz testified that he took ten to twenty minutes, on average, to conduct an examination of a patient. The plaintiff’s lawyer in the case “unveiled a surreptitiously recorded video [of Dr. Katz’s examination of the plaintiff] that lasted six minutes,” leading Judge Duane Hart to call Dr. Katz a “no good liar,” a “thief” and a “spy” with “little beady eyes,” according to Forbes.

Lawyer and blogger Ed Turkewitz reported accurately on what happened between Katz and Judge Hart, but he also “teed off on insurance doctors who perform ‘quickie exams that serve only to deny benefits to the injured[,]’” according to Forbes.

Katz sued Turkewitz, claiming that his blog post falsely implied that Katz had committed perjury. Turkewitz answered, claiming he had reported on the case accurately, and a judge agreed, dismissing Katz’s lawsuit.

Continue reading →

Published on:

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.

Continue reading →

Published on:

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.

Continue reading →

Published on:

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.

Continue reading →

Published on:

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.

Continue reading →

Published on:

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.

Continue reading →

Published on:

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.”

Continue reading →

Published on:

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?

Continue reading →