Are Wrongful Death Settlements Taxable Income?

Wrongful death settlements are something that you can pursue after the loss of a loved one occurs following the negligence of another person. Wrongful death can include any number of fatal accidents such as medical malpractice, car accidents, defective products, and unsafe working conditions.

A wrongful death settlement will typically seek damages in the form of compensation for the survivor’s loss like lost income, funeral expenses, and even lost companionship to the victim’s family.

As you consider pursuing a wrongful death settlement, you may have questions such as are wrongful death claims taxable. Below, we answer if settlements from a wrongful death are taxable and what certain exceptions exist.

Disclaimer: The following is not legal or tax advice. It is general information meant to inform. Consult a Columbus wrongful death attorney for advice and guidance on your case.

Are Settlements from Wrongful Death Taxable?

Typically, wrongful death settlements are not considered to be income – meaning they are not taxable. Generally, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will apply 26 CFR § 1.104-1 (titled “Compensation for injuries or sickness”) to most of the financial damages you will receive in a wrongful death settlement.

This section is applied because wrongful death settlements arise from personal injuries or sickness.

The IRS will typically not tax compensatory damages – financial damages that are awarded to an individual to compensate for injuries, sickness, and other losses. In wrongful death claims, compensatory damages will be awarded to the deceased part’s representative or family.

Compensatory damages include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Loss of income
  • Additional expenses incurred by the loss of the victim

If you are unsure about your claim classifying as a wrongful death claim, be sure to consult with a wrongful death attorney. They will be able to look over your case and determine if you have grounds for a wrongful death claim.

Exceptions Within Wrongful Death Settlements That May Be Taxed

Now that you know that settlements from a wrongful death are typically not taxable, it is also important to understand that there are a few exceptions. While wrongful death settlements are not considered income, there can be portions within the settlement that can be taxed.

Portions of the settlement that might be considered taxable include:

  • Medical expenses that have been claimed as tax deductions in previous years by the victim
  • Punitive damages
  • Pain and suffering that is not directly related to the victim’s personal injury or sickness

An important note on punitive damages to keep in mind is that they are rarely awarded. Punitive damages are meant to punish the defendant in an effort to discourage them from the negligent actions that led to their loved one’s death. They are also completely up to the judge’s discretion.

Each wrongful death case will differ, so you may not see these specific exceptions in your own case.

To read more on how the IRS handles the taxation of lawsuits and settlement awards, you can read more on their site here.

Statute of Limitations

As you prepare to seek appropriate damages for the wrongful death of a loved one by understanding how the settlement may be taxed, another important element to take note of is the statute of limitations.

Like many other court proceedings, there is a statute of limitations associated with wrongful death claims. According to Section 2125.02 of the Ohio Revised Code, the family or estate representative of the deceased has to pursue a claim within two years of the death.

Heit Law, LLC is a personal injury law firm that is based in Columbus, Ohio. As a Columbus wrongful death attorney, founder Corey Heit works to represent clients throughout the Columbus area and across the state with a dedicated and proactive approach. Wrongful death settlements are handled in a timely fashion with a strong voice that advocates on your behalf. To book a free and confidential consultation today, reach Heit Law, LLC online over the phone.

How can a St. Louis personal injury lawyer help you?

How will a personal injury attorney help my case?

Personal injury cases are common all over the country. In fact, there has been an upward trend in such cases in recent times. Personal injury cases can result due to many factors. These cases can result in an effect on your mental health and physical health. Therefore, an individual must be aware of how to deal with such a situation if it occurs.

How to deal with personal injury cases

Legal work is a sensitive matter and needs to be dealt with utmost importance. Like any legal case, even the smallest of things can be important in deciding a case. If you go out on your own to fight a personal injury case, you will miss out on many things. To ensure that you get justice, it is best if you hire a qualified professional like a St. Louis Personal Injury Lawyer. In addition to having legal representation, such situations can be a source of massive relief as well.

Types of personal injury cases

Personal injuries can arise in different situations due to different factors. This is why the type of injury cases differ from each other. First, let’s have a look at some of the most common personal injury cases.

1: Vehicle accident injury

There are countless cases of vehicle accidents every day. If a person sustained an injury in a vehicle accident due to the fault of another party, it makes the other party liable. However, you must have proper documentation of your injuries. Be sure to visit medical facilities and get your injuries on record. Enough proof and good reason will make sure you get compensated due to this type of injury.

2: Workplace injury

There have been several instances where workers have been working in unsafe conditions. This is commonly noticed in the construction industry and related workplaces. Unsafe working conditions can lead to severe injuries and even death in some cases. If you ever come across this situation, you should file against your employer to compensate you for the injuries sustained.

3: Product liability

Nowadays, many products misrepresent or, even worse, conceal the side effects they can have. This includes products of all ranges from food products to skincare products. If you sustain injury due to such a product, you can be entitled to compensation by the company. However, dangerous products or those that come with warnings mentioned on their labels are not included.

4: Premises liability

You may sustain an injury while on-premises with unsafe conditions. These can be construction sites, gas stations, restaurants, or some other places. You can sue the person for compensation if your injuries are a result of their carelessness.

How can a personal injury attorney help you?

The last thing anyone wants to do is go through even more pain after sustaining a personal injury. The legal process is heating, straining, and full of uncomfortable parts such as excessive paperwork. A personal injury attorney will guide you through the whole process in the most efficient manner. This will also give you the necessary time to rest and recover following your injury. Let’s have a look at some ways in which these attorneys can help you.

1: They will make sure you get medical attention.

Due to the nature of their business, their attorneys are well connected with medical professionals. Also, as we talked about earlier, you need to document your injuries. These attorneys can help you with that since they know how to gather evidence effectively. This will help you make your case stronger.

2: They can assist you in decision-making.

Attorneys know the law well and are aware of all that takes place in such cases. Without an attorney, you might not know what step to take since it’s not easy to get the other party to compensate you. Some companies might even try to lowball you or strong-arm you into dropping the case. An attorney knows all these tactics and can help you navigate them.

3: Provide you mental peace

Personal injury is a deeply traumatic event, and you may not be able to think clearly. This is where an attorney can come into the clutch since they can offer you the best advice. An experienced lawyer will handle all your legal matters efficiently, giving you the time to rest and heal.

4: Can negotiate you a decent settlement

Dealing with insurance companies can be extremely difficult. They will do just about anything to ensure that they have to pay the minimum value possible. Therefore, you may not be able to negotiate with them on your own to offer a great settlement. However, an attorney has excellent negotiating skills and knows how to law out all the facts to get the best compensation possible.

Conclusion

The process following a personal injury is painful and confusing. What matters is that you ensure justice for yourself. The best course of action for doing this is to contact an experienced St. Louis Personal Injury Lawyer to represent you and get you fair compensation. To get free consultation you can use (314) 470-1211.

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Benefits of Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer in Colorado

Accidents and injuries to one’s person are never pleasant experiences. Personal injury cases may be expensive, time-consuming, and emotionally draining to handle. Even if you were the victim of someone else’s negligence and experienced a personal injury, you still have to deal with your accident’s stress and financial burden.

A personal injury lawyer agency like Springer & Steinberg, P.C. can help you navigate the legal system and get the compensation you deserve for your injuries.  So, now let’s have a look at some of the benefits of hiring a personal injury lawyer-

1.  Helps You In Getting The Compensation You Deserve

It’s surprising how many people don’t realize that the details of your injury claim may significantly impact the amount of money you’ll get in a settlement. Having an expert personal injury lawyer on your side will ensure that you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries and that the insurance companies don’t take advantage of you. It is in your best interest to employ the experience and expertise of a personal injury lawyer to maximize the compensation you are entitled to.

2.  Well-versed In the Legal System

There is a lot of paperwork to submit, forms to fill out, and insurance companies to deal with throughout the legal procedure. Your rights will be upheld if you choose a personal injury lawyer with extensive expertise in the courtroom. Their knowledge and understanding of the legal system can assist you in avoiding making blunders that you would otherwise have made.

3.  People Who Are Skilled Negotiators

In the aftermath of a car accident, the insurance agent representing the at-fault driver may be pretty convincing when negotiating a smaller settlement. Ensuring firms might be challenging to deal with because of their strategies for getting you to accept their initial offer. This is why you need the services of an experienced attorney to guide you through this challenging period. After you’ve been hurt, a personal injury lawyer on your side might get you a far better settlement.

4.  Gives You Medical Help

For this reason, it is a good idea to include the name of your injury attorney as one of your emergency contacts. They may be able to assist you to seek treatment if they get your call early enough. Whether or whether you recover quickly depends on the quality of the care you obtain at this time. It is essential to have an attorney knowledgeable in medical malpractice and personal injury on your side. Even when you are in the process of healing, your legal team may be working on filing a personal injury claim against the driver who ran you over.

5.  They Have The Potential To Improve Your Chances

Fighting an insurance company is difficult because they have more excellent resources and expertise and will do everything possible to give you the smallest payment possible. The insurance company can take advantage of you if you can handle your injury claim independently. With a personal injury attorney on your side, you’ll have a better chance of getting a large payment from your insurance company.

6.  They’re Eager To Help And Motivate You

In most personal injury cases, the insurance company is responsible for paying the attorney. As a result, they’ll be more eager to assist you in resolving your claim swiftly and efficiently. Most personal injury attorneys only accept cases they believe they can win, which means they are more motivated and ready to battle for you.

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Is My Spouse Entitled to My Personal Injury Settlement in Ohio

Unfortunately, research indicates that about 58% of all marriages in Ohio result in divorce. This statistic is discouraging for people who expected to spend their whole lives married to their spouses. When you also have to deal with a personal injury on top of things like marriage issues, everything is so much harder, and at times, personal injury can be one factor that causes strife in a marriage, so there’s a lot at stake.

If you had or will have a personal injury settlement and are going through a divorce, you may be wondering if your spouse is entitled to your settlement. The short answer is yes. However, the answer is more nuanced than you may think, but the law does make the answer to this question relatively clear.

Marital and Separate Property in Ohio

To understand the answer to this question, you must understand what marital and separate property is in Ohio. These two classifications suggest which assets are splits and which ones are kept separate in divorce proceedings.

The first classification is marital property. Marital property tends to be:

  • Income
  • Pensions
  • Retirement accounts
  • Marital assets

The marital property represents the things that you share as a couple and the life you have built together.

Separate property includes:

  • Gifts
  • Inheritance
  • Assets from before marriage

Your separate property represents the parts of your life that you build yourself, independently from your marriage, so if you have a house before you are married, that house remains separate property. Your body, for example, is something that you have autonomy over, which is why your pain and suffering is yours alone and damages related to that don’t have to be split.

There are also some parts of settlements that can be considered marital property. For example, medical costs and lost wages could be parts of your settlement that your spouse is entitled to. Why is this? Well, these kinds of costs are an expense that both partners may pay after an accident. Other compensation like that for pain and suffering or emotional distress are often separate, so basically, the non-economic damages usually don’t have to be divided.

What Can My Spouse Get?

Your spouse can get part of the economic damages from your settlement. What your spouse gets will depend on what kind of assets you have and how your assets are divided. You may be able to reach a more desirable settlement with your spouse. It’s useful to hire a personal injury lawyer for these proceedings to make sure that you are getting the best out of your divorce.

Comparing Equitable and Equal

There’s a difference between equitable and equal division of assets. Partners do not always get the same amount of payout; rather, they get an equitable division of assets. The law strives to be equitable rather than just splitting everything in half and calling it a day.

For example, an equal divide is 50/50, but the equation takes into account will take into account the circumstances of the parties involved. Someone disabled from a personal injury, for example, could be more entitled to a bigger split of money if they are not the wage-earner of the household. Children and finances are other factors that are part of the equation to get an equitable split.

Can I Safeguard My Personal Injury Award

There is no way to eliminate any claim that your spouse or ex-spouse has on your settlement. Yet, a good lawyer can help you get the most benefits and get the most equitable split of assets. The law recognizes that your spouse is impacted by your personal injury and takes that into account when splitting assets.

What if I am Divorced Before the Settlement is Completed?

If you are divorced, and the personal injury happened before the divorce, your former spouse would still have a claim on your settlement, and the amount of this claim will depend partially on how much the personal injury impacted them.

How an Attorney Can Help

A qualified attorney can help you understand what you can do going forward. Divorces are tense, and they often come with a lot of emotional baggage that can make finding a resolution even harder. A consultation with a lawyer can help you understand what you can do to build a good case, and you can ask any outstanding questions that you have. An attorney will ensure you know your legal rights throughout the process, and they will help you negotiate the best terms for yourself. Your settlement is only as good as your lawyer!

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How To Find the Right Personal Injury Lawyer for You?

When you’ve been hurt through no fault of your own, finding the right personal injury lawyer to help with your case can be confusing. On top of that, finding the right one can be even harder if you aren’t from a big city. That’s why this article is for you.

After reading through the tips below, you will have a better idea of how to find the right personal injury lawyer for your needs and what to look for when interviewing potential candidates. Keep reading, and you will learn everything from how to find a good lawyer interviewing tips, and more.

Ask Around

Before you start your search for the right personal injury lawyer, you should first ask around. If you don’t know anyone who has hired a lawyer, you can start your search by asking some people you know. You can also search online to see if there are any groups or forums online that discuss lawyers. If you belong to a business, occupational, or sports association, you may be able to find someone who can give you some advice about finding a lawyer. If you don’t know anyone, you can also search for associations for people who have been injured in accidents.

Use the Legal Directory

Another way to start your search for the right personal injury lawyer is to use the legal directory or directory. Every state, county, and city has a legal directory that includes information about all the lawyers in their area. You can search for a lawyer in your area who specializes in personal injury cases and find out more about what kind of cases they handle. This can also be a good resource if you also want to look up lawyers in other areas too. You can also use the directory to find out if any other lawyers have been recommended to you.

Interview Lawyers in Person

Most likely, you will first meet your personal injury lawyer in person and have the opportunity to interview them. When you meet your lawyer, you can ask them questions and get to know them better. If you live in a big city, interviewing potential lawyers in person may not be as difficult as you think. However, if you live in a more rural area, you may want to consider using online interview services. Finding a personal injury lawyer who is willing to meet with you in person can be helpful for a number of reasons. You may be able to get better information about how a case will go if you meet the lawyer in person. You may also be able to tell if the lawyer is the right fit for you and your needs.

Go Online and Read Reviews

Before you meet with any personal injury lawyers, you can use online services to read reviews about them. You can also use online review services to find out if any other lawyers have been recommended to you and what their reviews say about them. While it’s important to be skeptical of such sites, it’s also a great way to get a feel for what other people think of a lawyer before meeting with them in person. Before meeting with any lawyers, make sure you do some research on them and their practices. You may find that one lawyer is better than another. If you see any lawyers who consistently have good reviews, consider reading their reviews and interviewing them in person to get a better idea of how they practice.

Consider Hiring a Virtual Lawyer

If you want to save yourself some time and effort, you may want to consider hiring a virtual lawyer. Virtual lawyers are lawyers who will represent you in court but never have to meet you in person. Lawyers who work with virtual law firms have their cases assigned to a paralegal who will handle all of their casework. The lawyer will only have to review the case and then approve the casework before it’s sent to the client. These lawyers may be more affordable than lawyers who have to travel and meet with clients in person, and they may be able to take a case more quickly as a result. Of course, it’s important to note that any lawyers who work with virtual law firms are not in-depth. They’re only licensed to practice law, not serve as barristers.

To find the right personal injury lawyer for you, you’ll need to do a bit of research to find out what type of lawyer would best suit your needs. You can use online directories or legal directories to help you find the right lawyer. You can also look around to see if anyone you know has used a particular lawyer before and what they thought of them. Once you have a few potential lawyers you’d like to interview, you can easily meet with them in person to get a better feel for what type of lawyer would be best for you.

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Ways To Prove Emotional Distress

How Do You Prove Emotional Distress?

Many people don’t realize that the law allows compensation for those who have endured emotional distress as a result of someone else’s fault. Emotional distress is something that people commonly underestimate because it is not as visible as other forms of distress. Nevertheless, your emotional pain is worth something, and if you have unfairly endured that emotional pain, you deserve to have a legal team that is compassionate and fights for your best interests.

What is Emotional Distress?

When someone acts in a neglectful, reckless, or intentional way towards another person, they may cause emotional distress. Emotional distress can be caused when someone intentionally is hurtful to another person or when they are neglectful. These types of lawsuits can occur with separate criminal charges, such as in cases of abuse. Emotional distress occurs when someone has mental anguish or suffering that usually occurs alongside physical injuries.

The Severity Matters

Generally, your emotional distress must prevent you from doing things that you normally do or being able to keep up with your responsibilities. The more severe the emotional distress and causal factors of that distress, the more compensation you are likely to get. Having a little anxiety is not enough to warrant starting a case, and you will need documentation to show the extent of your issues.

Ways to Prove Emotional Distress

There are certain pieces of evidence that you’ll want to show to prove that you have emotional distress. Your lawyer will try to piece together these components to build an emotional distress case for you.

Physical Injuries: Often, you’ll want to show that you have physical injuries that go along with your emotional ones. Some physical injuries, like cognitive impairment, are physical issues that can be related to emotional distress.

Time: Experiencing your injuries for a long time and showing the prolonged nature of your emotional distress can show the high impact of the incident on your well-being and strengthen your case.

Medical Documentation: You should try to get medical reports from doctors and mental health professionals to highlight the damage that has been done by the incident.

The Intensity of Suffering: Lawyers will also help you show how intense your suffering has been.

The Seriousness of Initial Stressor: Showing how severe the initial incident was, you can get more compensation and highlight the terrible factors that led to you being hurt.

Testimonies: You can use testimonies to show how you have been impacted by whatever happened and how you suffer from your emotional distress. This testimony can come from loved ones, coworkers, or doctors, to name a few.

Show the Defendant’s Role: We don’t just have to show how your injuries have impacted you. We also have to show that the defendant was responsible or partially responsible for what happened through intention or negligence.

How Much Can You Get For an Emotional Distress Lawsuit?

It’s hard to say the types of damages that you will get in an emotional distress lawsuit because the number varies by each case. In Ohio, you can get up to $250,000 or up to three times your economic damages, depending on which is bigger. When there is just one plaintiff, this number is capped at $350,000 for all non-economic damages. The nature of your damages and the fault of

Is it Hard to Win an Emotional Distress Case?

Emotional distress, unfortunately, is often harder to prove than physical or financial damages because these damages are commonly more abstract. Nevertheless, a legal team at YD Legal can help you understand the options you have and the prognosis of your case. The emotional impacts that you have as a result of traumatic experiences caused by other people’s negligence can impact you majorly, and we want to help you get fair treatment for the damage that has been done to you. While it may be harder to quantify this type of damage, it is not impossible or hopeless to win this kind of case, especially when you have experienced legal help.

How a Lawyer Can Help Prove Emotional Distress

Lawyers can do a number of things to help you build your case. Emotional distress cases are a challenge, but Columbus personal injury lawyers understand how to help you value your damages and prove your emotional distress. We help you investigate what has happened to you and get as much documentation and evidence as you can to show how real your emotional damages are. We can work with both your emotional damages and the other relevant damages in your case. We can also help you make the best decisions based on the legal knowledge we have and the specifics of your case. We negotiate with other parties to get you the most compensation.

Seek a Personal Injury Lawyer

If you think that you have a personal injury case that has resulted in emotional damages, YD Legal can give you the support you need. You’re already dealing with enough distress, so we want to help you get the help you need with as little stress as possible. Getting your fair compensation shouldn’t cause you more pain! With a free consultation, we can evaluate your case and answer any questions you may have. We will also determine if we are a good fit for each other because being able to work collaboratively is a major part of our business model.

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Are Most Personal Injuries Curable

Sprains, strains, and bruises are common effects of any sustained injury. And most everyone gets injured from time to time. When it happens, it’s often confusing as to how to best treat an injury. Medical intervention is sometimes necessary, but minor injuries can be treated with drugs available in pharmacies. So how does one know?

Ligament injuries

They can tear or split apart when a twist in a joint beyond the normal range of motion. The ligaments associated with the knee joint are most often injured, which is signaled by knee swelling, and pain. It can be so strong that it makes it impossible to walk, releasing a feeling of swelling in the knee joint related to a hematoma that is invisible to us.

If the symptoms are minor, they should be treated as any other mild ankle sprain. If more serious, you should seek the help of an orthopedist. Treatment depends on the severity of the injury. A torn tendon may heal after immobilization, but a broken tendon requires surgery.

Twisted ankle

This is a common injury, but the risk usually depends on footwear. If during a sprain, only the joint capsule and ligaments are stretched, the pain generally does not interfere with walking, and the swelling is slight. With a partial or complete rupture of the ligaments, it can be impossible to put stress on the leg at all. The latter is accompanied by significant swelling and hematoma.

If the tissue damage is minor, apply cold compresses, keep walking to a minimum, keep the leg horizontal, and slightly stiffen the ankle with an elastic band or bandage. Ailments are reduced by ointments and gels with analgesic and anti-swelling properties. In the event of significant swelling, call your primary care doctor. Depending on the degree of tissue damage, they might recommend wearing an ankle stabilizer or applying a plaster cast.

Tendon strains

Most often they happen to those who avoid physical activity on a daily basis and suddenly overuse their muscles, like playing a sport. Poor working conditions are also a factor, that even requires legal action. A symptom of tendon stretches is a pain when you move your arm or leg in a joint. For healing, use cold compresses, and lubricate the sore spots with painkillers and anti-inflammatory preparations. You also need to let the rest limb and limit excessive movement.

Shoulder Joint Dislocation

Injuries occur when the arm is “twisted” during a fall. The shoulder joint, despite its great mobility, is prone to dislocation (displacement of the bones that rub against each other). This injury is associated with very severe pain and the inability to move arms. Sometimes it is accompanied by neurological disorders, like hand paralysis.

For alleviation, put your arm in a sling and urgently go to an orthopedic surgeon to adjust the joint and immobilize it. A shoulder dislocation is a very serious injury that can damage nerves and blood vessels.

Contusion

It is usually the result of a sudden fall that causes soft tissue damage, most commonly in the knees, shoulder, wrist, hip, and tailbone area. Bruising symptoms are gradually increasing pain, hematoma, and swelling.

For healing, cool the injury site to reduce the hematoma and swelling. Several times a day, for half an hour, apply cooling gel compresses wrapped in a cloth. Lubricating the sore area with gels with analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties will also bring relief.

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What to do if your dog bites someone?

WHAT TO DO WHEN YOUR PET DOG BITES SOMEONE

You are walking in a park with your dog, like any other day, and all of a sudden, your dog bites a stranger. The biting happened faster than you could imagine. You do not know now what to do. You feel extremely anxious and responsible for what has just happened.

At times, dogs chase after strangers or suspicious-looking people in public places. Then there are times when they become violent and pose threats to the people around them. They may even bite small children in the park. Can you imagine a parent’s terror when they find out that someone else’s dog has bitten their child? When your dog bites someone, it is 100 percent your responsibility to fix the situation. Continue reading this article to learn practical tips to handle such a situation.

Take The Dog Away: When the dog bites someone in a public space, take the dog away and lock him somewhere safe for the time being. The victim might be too stunned to do anything. The dog might be barking at the victim if he is not immediately removed from the scene.

Attend To The Victim: Once the dog is at a safe distance, you need to attend to the victim. Let them know that you care and take full responsibility for the situation. Help them wash the wound with antiseptic soap and warm water. You must call the doctor on their behalf and make a quick appointment. If the injury is severe, call an ambulance to take the victim to the hospital as soon as possible. Even if the bite does not look serious, one must seek medical attention because a bite mark can infect the skin in a matter of days if not treated properly.

  • It is natural if the victim asks for your insurance information. Your insurance company must pay for the medical bills of the victim. Therefore, be sure to provide your contact number and medical information to the victim.
  • Show proof of your dog’s rabies vaccination to the victim. It will show that you are a responsible dog owner and that the victim does not have anything to worry about. Once the wound heals itself, he will be good as new.
  • However, if the insurance company denies the claim and refuses to pay for the medical expenses, contact an experienced lawyer. The experts at Creed and Creed Law know how the insurance company works. Therefore, a lawyer will be able to assist you in getting the money you need to pay the victim for his medical expenses.

Inform Authorities: If possible, inform the local authority of the situation and state that you do not want to avoid responsibility for what had happened previously. You should do what is necessary and take your dog to the vet. Let the Veterinarian know the details. The doctors may be able to identify the reason for such violent behavior. The dog may have to be quarantined if it is not vaccinated recently. Your dog may even be labeled a “dangerous dog” if it has a history of biting people.

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Where Do Most Burn Injuries Occur?

Just like most car accidents happen within 20 miles of your home, most burn injuries happen at or near home. On a global scale, most burns happen in low- to middle-income countries. The American Burn Association found that over a recent decade in the US, 73% of burns occurred at home. On a personal scale, most burn injuries occur on the hands and fingers.

The legal team of Varcadipane & Pinnisi has put together this report for you on where most burns occur.

Types of Burn Injuries

Regardless of where on the planet or where on your body a burn occurs, there are three main types of burns:

  • Flame burns (direct contact with flames)
  • Scalding (direct contact with hot liquid)
  • Contact Burns (direct contact with hot solids)

There are also thermal burns (caused by a heat source), chemical burns (caused by a caustic chemical such as lye), radiation burns (caused by UV rays like X-rays or the sun), and electrical burns (caused by electrical current).

The other way burns are classified is by their seriousness, with first-degree burns being the least serious (superficial burns affecting only the top layer of skin) and third-degree burns being the most serious (painful burns going down to the bone).

Burn Injury Statistics

According to the American Burn Association, burns are a public health problem. Looking at the numbers, it’s clear to see why:

  • In the United States, 486,000 people received medical treatment for a burn injury in a recent year. 3,275 people died of smoke inhalation, and 40,000 people were hospitalized for burn injuries (30,000 being treated at special burn centers around the country).
  • Beyond the home, 8% of burns occurred at work, 5% in car accidents, 5% through sports or recreation, and 9% occurred in other locations.
  • The rate of fatal burns in children is more than 7 times higher in low- to middle-income areas than it is in high-income areas.

Burns can happen due to electrical problems in a building, inadequate safety equipment at work, defective smoke detectors or home appliances, and many more factors. There is always a chance a burn injury can happen to you or someone in your household.

Where On the Body Do Most Burns Occur?

In general, hands and fingers are the most commonly injured body parts to be treated in hospital emergency rooms. So it makes sense that the most common location for burns on the body is there as well. Let’s look at the example of fireworks. The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that fireworks are responsible for over 11,000 injuries a year (predominantly burn injuries). Here are the “location numbers” specifically for firework-related burns:

  • 33% of firecracker injuries involve the hands and fingers.
  • 28% involve the head and face.
  • 18% involve the legs.
  • 12% involve the torso (ribs, shoulders, back, and belly area).
  • 9% involve the eyes only (without injuries to the head or face).
  • 8% involve the arms.

Most Common Causes of Household Burns

Aside from lighting off fireworks, which is a completely preventable burn injury, here are other burns common to the household environment. Considering the house is where most people get burned, use extra caution during the following activities:

  • Running hot water from your faucet
  • Barbequing
  • Drinking a hot beverage like a coffee or a tea
  • Curling your hair
  • Burning a fire in your fireplace
  • Operating a heater
  • Ironing clothes
  • Cooking a pot of something hot on the stove
  • Removing microwaved food from your microwave oven
  • Operating an oven

We Are Experienced New Jersey Burn Injury Attorneys

Varcadipane & Pinnisi, PC has a long history of fighting back in personal injury cases, such as burn injuries. As New Jersey Personal Injury Lawyers, we are passionate about fighting for those who have been injured due to someone else’s negligence. Contact us right away for a straightforward, free legal evaluation of your burn injury claim.

 

Author Bio

Jeffrey W. Varcadipane is a Certified Civil Trial Attorney by the Supreme Court of the State of New Jersey; a designation given to less than five percent of civil litigation attorneys in New Jersey.

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Law CPLR 4549 – The (New) New York Speaking Agents Rule. It’s About Time!

Picture yourself walking down the aisle of your local supermarket.  You’re pushing a full shopping cart, not noticing an open box of rice on the floor directly in front of you.  Your foot hits the rice, and you slip and fall.  You know immediately that your leg is broken because you felt it snap.  X-rays confirm the diagnosis, and you are told that you need surgery and will be in a cast for at least 6 weeks.  You begin to wonder – will all your medical bills be covered; what about lost wages; and will you have a viable claim against the store for pain and suffering?

You’re not feeling very happy, but you are relieved about one thing.  A maintenance employee from the store witnessed your fall and stated, “Oh, I was supposed to clean that up a half-hour ago, and I just didn’t get to it.  I’m so sorry!”

Common sense would tell you that that statement is an admission by a store employee that he was negligent – he knew about the dangerous condition which caused your accident; he was supposed to clean the condition, and he failed to do so.  You figure that since the store employs the maintenance guy, the store would be responsible for his actions.  So, while your leg may hurt, you find some comfort that at least you’ll be able to prove negligence against the store.

Until very recently, however, the law in New York would have excluded that statement at a trial against the store.  Prior to the addition of New York Civil Practice Law and Rules (CPLR) Section 4549, that statement was considered to be Hearsay, and therefore inadmissible in Court.  The reasoning was that the employee was not authorized to speak for the store; he was merely authorized to clean the floor.

Traditionally, out-of-court statements are not admissible in evidence under the Hearsay Rule; generally speaking, a witness is not permitted to testify as to what someone else said.  However, there are exceptions to that Rule.  One example is known as the “excited utterance”.  If someone blurts out a response to a startling event, the law considers that statement to be more reliable, and therefore admissible as an exception to the Hearsay Rule.  In your case, the maintenance employee was pretty startled; he just saw someone fall on a condition that he was supposed to clean up, and he’s pretty sure that he’s going to get blamed.  And yet, the statement was previously inadmissible.

What does CPLR 4549 actually change?

Happily, CPLR 4549 now permits the use of statements like the one above.  That means that you as the accident victim (or anyone else that heard the statement, such as your friend, sibling, spouse, or any other witness) can testify that the statement was made, and a jury can consider that statement as proof of the employee and store’s negligence.  As another example, say you are a pedestrian and are hit by a truck that was delivering furniture for a local store.  You were in the crosswalk, the light was in your favor, and for whatever reason, the driver just didn’t see you.  When he gets out of the vehicle, that’s the first thing that he says.  That statement is now admissible in Court pursuant to CPLR 4549.

CPLR 4549 is a game-changer.  Statements which would prove liability are now admissible to do just that.  Without that statement, your case against the store might not be provable.  Under New York law, the fact that you fell on that rice does not in itself prove liability against the store.  Obviously, the rice is not supposed to have been on the floor, but you also have to prove that the store had notice of that condition.  That means that you have to prove that the store knew about the condition; that the condition was on the floor for a long enough period of time that the store should have known about the condition; or that the store created the condition.  Without the above statement, it might be difficult to prove notice, and if you can’t prove notice, the case against the store will not be successful.

So hats off to the New York legislature.  CPLR 4549 – it’s about time!

Michael L. Taub, a Partner at The Platta Law Firm PLLC, has been a member of the New York State Bar for 38 years and is a graduate of the American University Washington College of Law.  He is also admitted to practice in the United States District Court, Eastern and Southern Districts of New York, and the District of Connecticut.  He has extensive experience in Plaintiff’s personal injury cases, particularly those concerning automobile accidents and premises accidents.  He has argued multiple cases before the First and Second Departments of the Supreme Court, Appellate Division.