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Ikea Pays $46M Wrongful Death Settlement to Parents of Toddler Crushed by Recalled Dresser

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Product Injury LawyerThe Swedish furniture retailer Ikea has agreed to pay $46 million to the parents of a toddler who was crushed to death by a recalled dresser in May 2017.

The January 6, 2020 settlement resolves a wrongful death lawsuit from Joleen and Craig Dudek, whose son, Jozef, died after Ikea’s popular Malm dresser toppled on top of him in the family’s California home. In 2016, the company reached a $50 million settlement with the families of three other children who died in similar incidents involving the same model of dresser.

The family sued Ikea in state court in Pennsylvania, where the company’s North America headquarters is located, claiming that Ikea knew the dressers were prone to tipping over but failed to warn customers about the unstable design.

According to court documents, Jozef’s father found the boy pinned under the 70-pound dresser in May 2017, while checking on him during a daytime nap. Lawyers for the family said Jozef died later that day of asphyxia caused by compression of the neck.

Ikea began offering free wall-anchoring kits shortly before it recalled the Malm dressers in June 2016, but plaintiffs’ attorneys said the company had not done enough to notify customers who purchased older versions of the furniture before the recall. The Dudeks, who live in Buena Park, California, bought their dresser in 2008 and said they were never alerted about the recall, the lawyers said.

Jozef’s death was believed to be the only one to occur after the Malm’s recall in 2016.

According to the lawsuit, Ikea was aware of the Malm dresser’s defects but never made any changes and continued to sell the model, despite knowing about safer alternative designs that could have prevented it from tipping over.

“Despite actual knowledge of the risk of serious injury or death associated with Ikea furniture, including the Malm line, that failed to meet minimum stability requirements for tip-over prevention, and actual knowledge that most consumers do not secure chests and dressers to a wall, the Ikea defendants chose to market and sell the Malm line in reckless and wanton disregard of the safety of consumers and their children,” the suit said. 

An Ikea spokeswoman confirmed the wrongful death settlement in a statement, saying the company had taken steps to raise awareness about potential tip-overs, including required safety training for employees.

“While no settlement can alter the tragic events that brought us here, for the sake of the family and all involved, we’re grateful that this litigation has reached a resolution,” the spokeswoman said. “We remain committed to working proactively and collaboratively to address this very important home safety issue. Again, we offer our deepest condolences.” 

Thanks to our friends from Murphy & Landon for their insight into personal injury lawsuits.  

 

 

Personal Injury Claims and How Much They’ll Cost You

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Personal Injury Claims

As the victim of a personal injury accident, you might benefit from hiring a lawyer to help you file a lawsuit. if you do, you might wonder how you’re going to pay for your legal assistance. Do you have to pay upfront? Can you pay out of your settlement? Each type of lawyer does things differently, but most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis.

What Is a Contingency Fee?

Because most people can’t come up with a large sum of money in advance, personal injury lawyers will often work on a contingency fee agreement. This fee is paid from your settlement and is contingent upon you winning your case. If your case is lost, the lawyer does not receive the payment. Most contingency fees hover around the range of 33%, though it could be less or more depending on the lawyer and the severity of the case.

Are There Any Additional Costs?

In addition to the contingency fee, the lawyer will deduct any court costs from your settlement. These costs might include filing fees, investigative costs, office work and payment for other similar services. If there are other professionals working on the case with your lawyer, you should discuss beforehand how those individuals will be paid. It could be included in the costs, in the contingency fee or as an entirely different bill.

How Does the Lawyer Collect From Your Settlement?

There are two ways in which a lawyer will collect his or her contingency fee from your settlement. The first way is by deducting the fee first and the costs after that. The second way is by deducting court costs first and the contingency fee after those come out. The benefit of having costs deducted first is the contingency fee is calculated off a lower amount, and will, therefore, be a smaller payout. You should speak with your lawyer about which order he or she collects fees and costs so you can try to find someone who deducts costs first.

Is It Worth Paying?

Whether it’s worth paying a contingency fee to a lawyer really depends on your case. If it’s complicated and expected to have a large settlement, it could be worth it to hire a lawyer and pay the fee. If your case is pretty straightforward and not expected to have a very high settlement, you would have to decide if the morality of the case is more important than the cost.

Contacting a Personal Injury Lawyer Today

Personal injury cases are never fun to deal with, but you don’t have to try and navigate the situation on your own. Contact a personal injury lawyer, like a personal injury lawyer in Philadelphia, PA,  today to learn more.

Thank you to the experts at The Wieand Law Firm for their input into personal injury law.

When a Car Hits a Pedestrian 

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Personal Injury Lawyer

When you are young, one of the first things an adult teaches you is that you are supposed to look both ways when you cross the street, you should always cross on a sidewalk, and you should wait for a “walk” signal if you are crossing into an area of major traffic. While all of these rules still apply, it is possible to follow them and still become injured when you are obeying the law. Cars share the road with many different types of vehicles and while they should be looking to keep an eye out for pedestrians, they do not always do so. When this happens, serious accidents can occur. Pedestrian accident attorneys want you to know that if you have been in an accident with a car and are recovering from injuries, they are here to help you with your personal injury lawsuit. 

Taking Documentation at the Scene

After an accident with a car, if you are not knocked unconscious, you may be wondering what you are supposed to do. The first thing you should always do is get to safety as quickly as possible. If you were thrown into the street and are able to walk, move to the side of the road or the sidewalk as soon as you can. After calling the police and waiting for them to arrive, see if you are able to take pictures of the scene. If you have your phone on you, take pictures of the street, the intersection, the car, your injuries, and anything else that could be relevant to the accident. You should also take down the names and contact information of witnesses who saw the accident occur. 

See a Doctor

This means that if you believe you have serious injuries you should seek medical attention before doing anything else. Call 9-1-1 or have the police call for an ambulance to come to get you if you believe your life is in danger. If you are not sure of how serious your injuries are, you should still seek medical attention from a nearby doctor as quickly as possible. Remember, just because you don’t feel bad right now does not mean you do not have serious injuries. Your body’s ability to mask pain when it is in shock could lead you to believe you have no injuries at the scene. This is why it is important to never answer the other party or their insurance by telling them you think you are fine or uninjured after the accident occurred. 

Get Legal Help

Lawyers want to help you get the compensation you deserve when you are dealing with medical bills, therapy bills, and pain and suffering that may come from being the victim of a pedestrian-car accident. To see how a pedestrian accident lawyer in Trenton, NJ can help you, give a law office a call. 

 


 

Thanks to Davis & Brusca for their insight into personal injury claims and pedestrian accidents.

Know Your Options After a Traffic Ticket

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Know Your Options After a Traffic Ticket

Even the safest drivers can sometimes experience a momentary lapse on the road and incur a traffic ticket. If you’ve never had a traffic ticket before, you may not be aware of your options. When traveling out of state, your options following a ticket may be even less clear.

Some people choose to simply pay the fine just to be done with the whole matter. However, before you decide to do that, you should at least understand what other options you have.

Options for a Traffic Ticket in Your Home Jurisdiction

In addition to pleading no-contest and paying the fine, there are other options available to you after a traffic ticket:

 

  •  Contest the Ticket This requires preparing your case by gathering evidence in your favor. The results are not guaranteed, but you may be successful in having the violation removed. If the officer who issued you the ticket does not show up to court, then the judge will automatically dismiss the case. Another common scenario is that you still have to pay the ticket but the fine is reduced.
  •  Seek a Reduction This is a way of resolving the matter outside of court. The court clerk may be willing to reduce the violation, and therefore the fee, when you go to the office to speak with him or her and request it. However, you will have to go to court if you want the fee completely removed. The court clerk doesn’t have the capability to do that for you, and again, the fee will only be removed if the judge decides in your favor or dismisses the case.
  •  Go to Traffic School It costs money to go to traffic school, and you still have to pay the fine on top of that if you choose this course of action. However, if you qualify, you may be able to avoid points on your record by going to traffic school. That could save you money in the long run by preventing your insurance rates from going up.

 

If you are still not sure what to do, the traffic violations bureau in your state may be a good source of information. You can visit the office directly or access the bureau’s website.

Options for an Out-of-State Traffic Ticket

Driving in another state can be a bewildering experience because the traffic laws may be different than what you are used to. However, the consequences for an out-of-state traffic ticket are usually comparable to those for a ticket in your jurisdiction. The options are similar as well. The main difference is that you have to make a return trip if you want to contest the ticket. Depending on factors such as how far you have to travel, this can be costly in terms of both time and money, and potentially more trouble than it is worth.

Whether you are local or from out of state, a traffic lawyer in Salem, VA can explain your legal options to you after a traffic violation. Contact a law office for more information.

 

Thanks to The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt for their insight into traffic law and your options after getting a ticket.

 

Steps to Take Following a Truck Accident

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Steps to Take Following a Truck Accident

A big truck accident is different than other types of accidents in many ways, but in terms of what you should do following the accident, it is pretty similar to other accidents. If you are involved in an accident with a big truck, whether as the driver of the truck or another car, the following are five steps to follow.

Stay Put

Leaving the scene of an accident is not only illegal, but it also makes you look like the guilty party. If you want to give your story to the responding officer, collect proper evidence and receive proper medical attention, it’s important you stay at the crash site. You might have to move your vehicle out of the way of traffic, but other than that, just wait until authorities arrive before making a move.

Call 911

You should always call 911 after being in an automobile accident. Even if you think the injuries aren’t very bad, you will want an officer there to make a report of the accident. If your accident involves a big truck, injuries are highly likely, as the size of the truck poses a greater risk to others who are involved in the accident. While you’re waiting for authorities to arrive, and if you are able, see what you can do to administer first aid to those in need.

Collect Evidence

Most people today have smartphones with cameras on them. Pull your phone out and start snapping pictures of the accident. Be sure to include the surrounding area, damage to the vehicles, injuries, a good view of what the weather was like and other details that might help your case. You should also collect contact information from anyone who witnessed the accident, whether they are bystanders or passengers in either vehicle.

Exchange Information

As a driver in an accident, you should exchange information with the other driver. This includes his or her name, contact information, license plate number, and insurance information. You should also give your information to the other driver.

Report to Insurance

You don’t have to give any details about the accident to your insurance provider right away, but you should report that it occurred. This gives the provider a heads up to send a claims adjuster out to investigate the crash.

Contact an Attorney

Being involved in an accident with a big truck is a bit more complex than other automobile accidents. If you are in such a situation, contact a truck accident attorney, like a truck accident attorney in Houston, TX, for help in fighting your case.

 

Thanks to John K. Zaid & Associates for their insight into what steps you should take after being involved in a truck accident. 

WHAT TO DO IF A TRUCK CLIPS YOU AND RUNS

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Truck Accident Lawyer

Car accidents are scary enough, but when one of the parties is a large truck that then flees the scene, things can become even more stressful. However, unlike private party hit and runs, truckers usually work for companies that have a responsibility to monitor their drivers’ whereabouts and quality of driving. In addition, trucks often have unique paint jobs, decals, or company names splashed across them, which means you have a good chance of locating the driver, even if they fled the scene. 

If you are the victim of a truck hit and run, follow these important steps:

REMAIN AT THE SCENE

Pull over when it is safe to do so and call the police immediately. If someone has been injured, make sure they receive medical assistance. Under no circumstance should you pursue the truck who hit you, you may find yourself in a potentially dangerous situation. Besides, you need to remain at the scene so you can look for witnesses and make a police report.

GATHER INFORMATION

One small detail may help the police find the truck who struck your car, so try to gather as much information as possible, including:

  • The license plate number
  • Color of truck, or unique designs
  • A company name on the truck
  • The direction in which the driver took off
  • The time and location of the accident
  • A physical description of the person
  • Witnesses to the accident
  • Pictures of the damage done to your car

CONTACT YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY

Every insurance policy is different, and yours may not cover hit and run incidents. To avoid being financially responsible for an accident you did not cause, make sure your auto insurance policy has at least one of the following coverages:

  • Uninsured Motorist Coverage: this can help provide coverage for any injury caused by an uninsured, negligent driver. In the case of a hit and run, the negligent driver is unknown and therefore uninsured.
  • Collision Coverage: this can help cover the cost of repairing/replacing the damage to your car

CONTACT THE TRUCKING COMPANY

If the truck had a trucking company or merchant store name on it, contact that company and let them know about the accident. They are a party to the accident as well. This is where a police report can come in handy, it is proof that the accident occurred. Witness statements are very useful as well.

HIRE AN ATTORNEY

If you involved in a truck hit and run, you might be entitled to carry out legal action against the driver and/or truck company. Contact a law office for a free one-hour initial consultation with an experienced truck accident lawyer in Central Phoenix, AZ.

 


 

Thanks to Kamper Estrada, LLP for their insight into personal injury claims and truck hit and run accidents.

Medical Malpractice Reform: Pros, Cons, and Alternatives

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Personal Injury Attorney

In theory, the most important goals of litigating medical malpractice cases include providing patients appropriate compensation for the wrongs that have been done to them and to prevent further malpractice in the future. However, there are legitimate questions as to how effective the malpractice system has been in incentivizing doctors to provide patients with appropriate care, as well as to how many harmed patients actually receive compensation.

Having appeared in American law records since the 1800s, medical malpractice cases in the United States experienced a surge in the 1960s. In response, reform of the medical malpractice system became a topic of much discussion. Since that time, there has been a consistent ebb and flow of debate about the pros and cons of medical malpractice reform, with some arguing in favor of alternatives.

Types of Reforms

The debate over medical malpractice reform typically takes place between two different groups of people: patient advocates and physician organizations. The former support the current system as a way to ensure that injured patients receive justice and physicians perform to established standards. The latter, on the other hand, see medical malpractice cases as an obstacle to providing the best care and tend to believe that more litigated claims are spurious than otherwise.

The medical malpractice reforms commonly proposed include the following:

  • Paying out awards over time rather than in one lump sum
  • Creating barriers to filing malpractice claims to reduce the number of lawsuits
  • Imposing award caps on noneconomic damages

Noneconomic damages are those that do not have a precise value. Award caps, which limit doctors’ liability, are the most common types of attempted reforms.

Pros and Cons of Award Caps

Opponents of award caps say that they are not effective at preventing substandard care by doctors and other health care providers, as well as having a negative effect on victims and their families. They also claim that the disabled, the elderly, children, and other vulnerable groups are unfairly targeted by award caps.

Supporters of caps say that in their absence, doctors tend to practice defensive medicine. In other words, adherence to the medical standard of care is of secondary importance to risk management and avoiding lawsuits. They also claim that caps have economic benefits in the form of increasing funds and controlling insurance rates, as well as easing shortages of providers by reducing a potential disadvantage to practicing medicine.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Some have argued that instead of the commonly proposed medical malpractice reforms, the system should adopt a model of alternative dispute resolution. This could allow patients to receive compensation bya less costly and less adversarial method while receiving an explanation and apology for what happened. Research indicates that these intangibles are desired by patients at least as much as compensation.

In a case of medical malpractice, it can be difficult to know where to start. Call a hospital malpractice lawyer in Phoenix, AZ to arrange a consultation with an attorney.

 


 

Thanks to Rispoli Law, PLLC for their insight into medical malpractice and pros and cons of reform.

How Drunk Do You Have to Be to Get a DUI?

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DUI Charges

Everyone knows how important it is to never drive while under the influence of alcohol. However, it is also important to understand the laws that relate to DUIs. For instance, did you know that there are two separate laws that govern impaired driving? If you have ever wondered how drunk you have to be to get in trouble for driving, you should take the time to learn what the law actually says. This guide will go over this.

The Two Laws

So there are two laws that establish what is and is not allowed when it comes to mixing alcohol and driving. These two laws are designed to complement each other and each cover aspects that the other does not. This is the reason why someone is often charged with two separate counts of driving while impaired. You can be charged for breaking these two laws independently. The two laws are:

  1. It is illegal to operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol content level above 0.08.
  2. It is illegal to operate a vehicle while impaired to the point where it is unsafe to drive.

At first glance, it seems like these laws are redundant. However, upon closer inspection, you can see that one is objective while the other is subjective. Generally, a blood alcohol content level of 0.08 is a good threshold for how much alcohol can be in a human’s system before it becomes unsafe to drive.

Alcohol affects people differently, though, and some people cannot safely drive a vehicle even with a blood alcohol content level below 0.08. In this way, you can think of the second law as a catch-all for all the irresponsible situations that do not technically violate the first law. For instance, the first law only forbids driving while under the influence of alcohol, but there are other mind-altering substances besides alcohol. If you drive while high on drugs, it is still illegal, and this is the law that governs it.

The Charges

If you violate the first law, you will be charged with a DWI, or driving while intoxicated. If you violate the second law, you will be charged with a DUI, or driving under the influence. The consequences are often exactly the same, but the name of the charge depends on which law is violated. Sometimes breaking the second law results in something called a “Per se DUI”. Ultimately, these minor distinctions will depend on what state you are in when you are charged.

Contact a DUI lawyer, like a DUI lawyer in Fairfax, VA, if you were accused of driving under the influence. They will be able to help you navigate through the process and advise you of your next steps.

Thanks to May Law, LLP for their insight into how drunk you have to be to get a DUI.

Why the Average Settlement Value Doesn’t Help Your Case

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Personal Injury Attorney

Between hospital visits and insurance claims, most people feel overwhelmed after suffering a personal injury at the negligence of another individual. If you try to come up with the damages costs on your own, you might feel even more overwhelmed. After all, there are a lot of costs to factor in and most people who have never dealt with a personal injury suit do not understand the types of claims you can make. This leads to a lot of people asking a very simple question with a more complex answer. What is the average value of a personal injury settlement? There are several factors that go into deciding a personal injury case. The average number may tell you very little.

Types of Personal Injury Cases

Personal injury allows an injured person to seek compensation when someone’s negligence or intentional act led to harm. The type of case you are involved in will factor into how much you can ask for in the settlement. The common types of personal injury cases include:

  • Defamation
  • Assault
  • Slips and falls
  • Dog bites
  • Medical malpractice
  • Car accidents

If you were the victim of anyone’s negligence or intentional act and it led to monetary loss or injuries, then you may have a personal injury case. Your settlement depends on the type of case, because different cases may result in more severe injuries than others may.

Types of Factors That Affect Settlement

A number of factors are going to factor into the calculation of your settlement. One of the most important figures that you need to consider is the defendant’s assets. There are some instances where you may be able to get the court to sell the defendant’s assets or garnish the defendant’s wages, but there is only so much that you can take and even then, it might not be enough.

The next consideration is your own losses. You would include your medical expenses, income and other losses that you may have suffered. Different cases are going to have different losses. On top of it, you have to prove liability. This can be tricky. You have to prove that the negligence or intentional act caused your damages.

Personal injury settlements are heavily dependent on the type of injury and the circumstances surrounding the injury. Even if you figure in the average settlement amount, your settlement may be much higher or lower depending on your injuries. To help determine your settlement costs, consult with a personal injury lawyer in Wytheville, VA about your case.

 


 

Thanks to The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt for their insight into personal injury claims and settlements.

Three of the Most Common Semi-Truck Accidents

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When crisscrossing the country, truck drivers may encounter some difficult circumstances. First, they have the weather to contend with moving from one type of climate to another. Then, they must also be able to successfully and safely deal with changing terrain, like mountainous areas.

Staying safe behind the wheel is the goal of every driver. When it comes to those who drive a tractor-trailer, this becomes a matter of life and death. The rate of fatalities in a truck accident is higher than any other vehicle. This applies to both the driver of the cars impacted and the driver of the semi. When it comes to an accident with a heavy machine, the odds of coming out with severe injuries depends on a few factors, one of which is the type of accident. Familiarize yourself with the most common accidents semi-trucks get in every day.

  1. Jack-knife 

If a trucker needs to apply the brakes suddenly, it may cause the semi to jack-knife. This accident causes the trailer to be brought forward towards the cab of the rig. When the semi finally comes to a stop, it usually does so at a 90-degree angle. If there are vehicles within the path of a jack-knifing semi, they may suffer severe damage, and the occupants may sustain catastrophic injuries.

  1. Tire Blow Out 

A tire on any vehicle can blow out. The usual causes are degraded tread, low tire pressure, and debris kicked up from the road that compromises the integrity of the tire. A tire blow-out on a semi-truck may cause it to swerve uncontrollably between lanes. It may sway into a barricade or off to the side of the road. There are times when a single tire blow-out may result in subsequent ones, which makes it almost impossible for the driver to maintain any control. Impacting an out-of-control semi would meet with disastrous consequences.

  1. Rollover 

Tractor-trailers carry heavy loads and during transit, these items can shift. If the driver needs to make an evasive maneuver to avoid a collision or an obstacle, the load may become unbalanced. The unfortunate side effect of this is a sudden jerk of the wheel, which causes the weight to shift may also cause the trailer to turn over. Rollover accidents are some of the most serious. They typically cover the roadway and steamroll over other vehicles.

Accidents involving semi-trucks are cause for serious concern. They often result in catastrophic injuries for occupants of surrounding vehicles and the semi driver. Consult a trucking accident lawyer in Trenton, NJ if you have experienced this type of trauma first hand.

Thanks to Davis & Brusca for their insight into personal injury claims and common truck accidents.