According to the United States Constitution’s Seventh Amendment, all cases involving a sum of $20 or more have a right to be tried before a jury. Now, technically speaking, this amendment only applies to federal cases, and $20 was worth quite a lot more back in 1891, but states have long used this amendment as a model for when to allow a trial by jury in civil cases. In fact, because of the Seventh and Sixth Amendments, the United States has more jury trials than just about any other nation on Earth.
However, there are still plenty of court cases that take place every year without a jury because they fall under the “small claims” area of civil law. Currently, small claims courts handle disputes of $5,000 or less. Small claims courts allow plaintiffs and defendants to get faster judgements and put a smaller strain on the legal system for cases that aren’t worth the time and scrutiny of a full trial.
When Should I File A Suit?
Like any civil lawsuit, a small claims court case takes place because two or more parties have a financial disagreement. People... read article
Workers’ compensation is a mandatory form of insurance which all but the very smallest of employers has to get. It pays out for medical expenses and lost income when an employee gets injured on the job, and it operates on a “no fault” system in order to avoid long, expensive lawsuits about who is ultimately responsible for workplace safety. All 50 states have some form of mandatory workers’ compensation, and because it’s regulated by the states, there can be some major differences in how the law works and how it pays out.
Workers’ Comp In Florida
There’s no two ways about it: employees in some states get better coverage than in others. In some states, the regulations favor injured employees by providing more lost income compensation, more choices in health care providers, longer compensation periods for permanent and long-term injuries, and the ability to sue the employer as an alternative to accepting the insurance payouts.
Unfortunately, Florida workers’ comp generally favors the businesses instead, which means these benefits are smaller so that businesses can pay less in premiums. Employees have to go to doctors chosen by their employers... read article
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced that an increased risk of crashing in some models from Hyundai and Mitsubishi to be recalled.
The vehicles include, 64,500 Hyundai Elantras, 82,000 Mitsubishi Outlander Sports, Outlanders, and Lancers.
Shapiro Goldman Babboni & Walsh recommends vehicle owners check this website to see If their vehicles have been recalled.... read article
Despite Massive Safety Recall Dangerous Takata Airbags Are Continuing To Be Installed In New Vehicles
Regardless of the unprecedented safety recall of more than 28 million vehicles resulting from fatal and catastrophic injuries sustained by drivers from exploding Takata air bags, cars are still rolling off the assembly lines with the defective airbag inflators installed.
Shapiro Goldman Babboni & Walsh recommends that anyone buying a new car to ask their dealer if the vehicle has a Takata air bag installed and if so to insist that the dealer replace the defective part before purchasing the vehicle.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has stated that, “the NHTSA has issued a consent order with Takata that requires the company to stop making inflators with any ammonium nitrate by the end of 2018. It also gives Takata until the end of 2019 to prove the safety of desiccated inflators — still being installed in many new cars — or they, too, will have to be recalled.”
This means that manufactures of new vehicles are continuing to use potentially defective and unsafe airbags in their new vehicles and that these new vehicles may also need to be recalled for repairs.... read article
In Williston, Florida, a small town at the north end of the state, a rather unfortunate kind of history was made: for the first time, a fatal accident was linked to a self-driving car. The incident is still under investigation, but it raises questions about the state of self-driving software and just who is ultimately responsible for an accident when that software is in use.
The Future Of Driving
Fans of cutting-edge technology have said for years now that true self-driving technology is only a few years away, if that. High-tech companies like Google and Tesla have been developing the software and the sensors we need to make it happen, and even the big automakers have been adding self-driving assistance programs to their high-end vehicles.
Features like “Autonomous Emergency Braking” promise to slam on the brakes during those first milliseconds the human brain needs to notice and respond to a sudden emergency, and “Lane Keep Assist” doesn’t just keep track of whether you’re drifting into another lane, it can gently steer you back towards the center of your own.
Tesla, the pet project of billionaire Elon Musk, has leaped past these... read article
Americans are often accused of being too quick to sue, most often by fellow Americans but sometimes by other nations, too. And it is true that United States citizens tend to enjoy more rights as civil plaintiffs than those in most other countries, although the exact details tend to change from one state to another. But while you could certainly make the case that some people take advantage of our system for their own personal gain, that same system also lets citizens get compensation from major corporations.
After the story first broke nearly a year ago that Volkswagen was using special software to cheat on emissions tests, the question hasn’t been whether the company would have to compensate the vehicle owners, but rather how much this payment would be. While the EPA considered how much to fine VW for its emissions violations, class-action lawsuits sprang up across the country as individual owners came together to demand compensation for the fraud and for the sudden drop in value of their vehicles.
Now, as of the tail end of June, Volkswagen has agreed to... read article
When you get injured, the most important thing you can do for yourself is try to recover as safely and quickly as possible so that you can get back living your normal life. Unfortunately, sometimes with serious injuries this isn’t always possible as the effects of an injury may be permanent. Whether an injury’s effects on your life are temporary or permanent, one thing is for certain. If someone else is responsible for the experience you’ve suffered, they cannot—and should not—get away with it. This is why personal injury lawsuits exist, to ensure that whatever unfairness you have suffered does not go unanswered, and the people responsible accept and address the responsibility they have to you.
But even when you are not at fault, and someone else is, the situation can be far from simple. While there are often many cases where an injury can be attributed to one incident and one person, there are many more incidents where this is not the case. We’re going to look at some of those situations, and explain what your options are should it happen to you.
Partial... read article
In June of this year, a terrible tragedy occurred on the grounds of what is supposed to be one of the happiest places on Earth. At a Disney corporation owned hotel, the Graves family from Nebraska experienced the unthinkable when their two year old child was dragged off by an alligator and later found dead from injuries sustained by the predatory animal.
In a situation like this, it’s obvious that the poor family is not at fault. These were law abiding citizens, traveling within their own country and paying good money to stay at a hotel and enjoy the many fine offerings of Florida’s natural and man-made attractions. Moreover, when the incident occurred, they were on hotel grounds, and no one, not the staff or other locals, had warned them that they might be in danger simply by being outside, on said grounds.
Who’s To Blame?
Obviously, in a case like this, the actual culprit and perpetrator is ultimately the alligator itself. The alligator is the one that dragged the child off the lagoon and into the water, and it was the alligator that... read article
Florida continues to plunge ahead into the future with no less an organization than the American military itself testing out the usefulness of self-driving vehicles on our state roads. As the military experiments with this technology, they are taking every possible safe-guard to ensure that their soldiers and other skilled staff are safe, as are the public. Meanwhile in California, Google itself continues to experiment, test and readjust their designs on their own 100%, fully self-driving cars.
Then we get into the middle, with the already quite futuristic electrical cars of Tesla. Recent innovations to the Tesla cars have introduced some self-driving features into these vehicles. However, unlike the American military and Google, Tesla’s cars are already street legal, and anyone with the funds can buy them and use these self-driving features.
In the United States, this has already resulted in three documented accidents, with one of those accidents, on May 7th, occurring right here in Florida. Joshua Brown, age 40, of Ohio, was driving his Telsa Model S, and decided to use the Autopilot feature of the car to let it drive itself. However,... read article
Technology continues to advance and make life more convenient, interesting and entertaining in many different ways. One of the latest gadgets to make its way into use with the general public is the unmanned aerial vehicle, better known as the drone. This was one a high tech piece of surveillance and attack equipment that was used by the American military, but in the years since it first went into service, the cost of creating the technology has dropped significantly and, more importantly, the technology behind it has been declassified and is no longer considered a state secret.
Since then, drones have come into heavy general use, both with companies that use the machines for everything from cinematography to surveying land, and in general, consumer use, as a high tech alternative to remote-controlled planes and helicopters, except that it’s easier than ever to attach a camera to this hardware.
Of course, as this technology has come into more and more use, with more of them in the air, this has increased the chances of mishaps occurring. The brave men and women that fight forest fires in California and... read article