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Bronx Personal Injury & Real Estate Blog

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

We Still Need Erin Brockovich!


Over 15 years ago, the film Erin Brockovich, which told the story of a legal clerk and environmental activist who helped to build a case against the Pacific Gas and Electric Company for their chromium pollution in California, was a smash hit. It would be nice if the horrors of pollution she (and Karen Silkwood and many others) uncovered were all in the past, but, tragically, our world is becoming more, not less, dangerously polluted. As a consumer advocate, Erin Brockovich is still working to protect the public from toxins greedy companies would much rather ignore than investigate.


Read more . . .


Sunday, February 21, 2016

General Motors Prevails in First Ignition Switch Case

Automaker General Motors is facing a number of of personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits over its faulty ignition switches, which are believed to be installed in millions of automobiles across the world. The defective ignition switches are known to cause a complete power outage in the automobile while the driver is driving, creating not only a perilous situation for the motorist and the vehicle's  occupants, but also causing the airbags to fail to deploy. It is the latter problem that led  o a recall of over 30 million vehicles, as well as 124 tragic deaths.

Thanks to the initial litigation against General Motors on behalf of a Georgia woman killed in a Chevrolet vehicle, evidence began to emerge that GM knew about the ignition switch problems, and failed to do anything about it – for ten years.

 Fast forward to 2016, and General Motors was set to defend itself in the first of many lawsuits involving serious injuries caused by the defect. Scheduled for the first “Bellwether” trial, GM had prepared its case against an Oklahoma man alleging severe memory loss and other injuries after his airbag deployed in a single-vehicle collision in 2006. However, the plaintiff found himself in hot water after General Motors questioned the assertion that he “misplaced” a certified check needed to purchase his “dream home,” resulting in a loss of the opportunity. On cross examination, it came to light that the plaintiff actually presented a fraudulent or altered check to purchase the home – information that led to his impeachment on the witness stand. In light of this testimony, the plaintiff dropped his case before it ever got off the ground, and the first Bellwether trial was dismissed.

This is not to say, however, that the ignition switch cases against GM are set to disappear. In fact, counsel for injured plaintiffs have several more representative cases waiting in the wings for trial. Under civil procedure laws, a “Bellwether” trial is an opportunity for parties engaging in multi-district litigation (i.e., consolidated trials) to test the waters with a jury to determine a likely outcome. Often, when a corporation is defeated in a Bellwether trial, it will prompt settlement offers with remaining plaintiffs.

If you were recently injured in an auto accident and believe the issue may have been a defective part or mechanical problem with the vehicle, you should consult with a personal injury attorney.

 


Friday, February 19, 2016

A Brief Look at Personal Injury Lawsuits

What is a personal injury lawsuit?

Personal injury law allows an injured person to file a lawsuit to recover damages for losses arising from a number of incidents, including:

  • Accidents -- Situations in which someone acts in a negligent manner that causes harm to another person, such as car accidents, slip and fall incidents, and medical malpractice
  • Intentional Acts -- A defendant’s intentional conduct causes harm to another person, for example assault and battery
  • Defective Products - Product liability claims arising from a defective product

Determining which party is at fault is the first step in a personal injury case. Once fault is established, a personal injury case can be brought. While many claims are settled by negotiation, if the parties cannot agree, a lawsuit will be necessary in order for an injured individual to obtain compensation.

What is negligence?

Personal injury claims often arise because of negligence by the party at fault. Negligence is defined a conduct that falls below "the standard of care" expected of a reasonable person that causes harm to the injured person. There are four elements of negligence as follows:

  • Duty -- A duty of care or the responsibility one person has to avoid causing harm to another
  • Breach  -- The plaintiff must show that the defendant breached the legal duty of care
  • Causation -- The defendant must have caused the plaintiff’s injuries
  • Damages -- The plaintiff must incur actual damages, usually monetary such as medical bills, lost income from time missed at work, or property damage

Some injury claims do not involve negligence, and in these cases proving fault can depend upon establishing intentional conduct, proving "negligence per se," or showing the "strict liability" standard of proof applies. The legal elements of a personal injury case can be difficult to prove, and determining fault requires a thorough investigation in order to determine if there are grounds for a personal injury case. This requires the expertise of a personal injury attorney in collecting physical evidence, interviewing the involved parties, obtaining any necessary police reports, and collaborating with experts.

If you have been harmed in an accident or suffered an injury because of the conduct of another person, you should consult with a qualified personal injury attorney who can help you obtain compensation.


Friday, January 8, 2016

Welcome!

Welcome to the Bronx Personal Injury & Real Estate Blog. Please check back later for more updates and new information.


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