Articles Posted in Premise Liability

A large digital sign board fell at an Alabama airport killing a young boy, Luke Bressette, and critically injuring at least one other person.

Fox4kc.com quotes a witness, Larry Snyder, saying that a family was crushed underneath the sign which is estimated to weigh between 300 and 400 pounds.

The accident occurred in a section of the Birmingham airport that had been recently renovated.

It appears that faulty construction or installation of the sign board may be the cause of this terrible accident. Our condolences go out to the Luke’s family and those affected by this incident.

An investigation will most certainly discover the reason the sign fell and in what part of the design and build process failed to adequately fasten the sign to the wall.

This incident is reminiscent of the myriad of accidents we have seen where a TV or heaving piece of furniture has fallen, seriously injuring or killing a young child.

Most people aren’t aware the hazards of improperly mounted TVs or, in this case, signage can pose to people.

In Seattle, we had three separate incidents of glass balcony railing panels falling from upper floors at the Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences near Seattle’s Pike Place Market to the sidewalks below. Luckily, no one was injured in these three incidents but one could easily see how a person walking below could have been killed.

Those injured in the incident and the young Luke’s family will certainly have a claim against many parties because of the falling sign. They may have a claim against the construction company, the airport and the sign company among other potential liable parties.
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The Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) has launched its 2013 Brain Awareness campaign. The BIAA is the oldest and largest brain injury advocacy organization and advances brain injury prevention, research, treatment and education about brain injury in hopes of improving the quality of life for people who have suffered a brain injury.

Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) affect 7 million people every year and an injury can change a person’s ability to do many things. In an instant, a brain injury can change a person’s life and change the life of their family. An accident leading to a brain injury can happen at any time and in any place.

A brain injury occurs when there is a blow to the head, a jolt to the head or if an object penetrates the skull. While not every blow to the head or jolt causes a TBI, medical care should be sought if any the symptoms listed below appear. If the person is on blood thinner medication, then one should err on the side of caution and seek medical care regardless of whether symptoms present immediately.

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is the leading cause of disability and death in Americans between the ages of 1 and 44 years of age. Whether the brain injury is caused by a car accident, a sports-related concussion, or a fall, a brain injury can change the trajectory of a person’s life.

While a brain injury is not something one can see, it can cause a whole slew of deficits including:
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  • short term memory loss
  • visual sensitivity
  • balance problems
  • paralysis
  • sensory changes
  • cognitive and problem-solving deficits
  • visual problems
  • sensory problems including the sense of smell and taste

After a brain injury, the injured person sometimes becomes like a different person. While the family grieves for the loss of the person that they knew, they also try to support the brain injured person. Often, even a person with a mild brain injury can suffer headaches, depression and sleep walking. Sometimes victims withdraw from society as they are unable to cope with sensory overload.
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For obvious reasons, it’s hard to predict an event that would lead you to file a personal injury lawsuit. Generally you’re a cautious person and you don’t go looking for trouble, so you never expected such a severe injury. But just because you’re cautious doesn’t mean everyone you come in contact with will be.

Even the most careful individuals can get in accidents. Maybe it’s because you went to a neighbor’s house to return a piece of misdelivered mail. When the rotten steps leading to his door collapsed, you broke your ankle. Maybe a neighborhood dog got out of its fence, came to your yard and severely bit you on the leg. Maybe you were out walking after a snowstorm and a property owner along the way neglected to clear his sidewalk, causing you to slip and break an arm.

Now you’re hurt and you’re facing a long list of expenses, just starting with a visit to the emergency room. Even if you’re not hospitalized, you’ll have to miss several days of work. Plus you might need surgery down the road, maybe even rehabilitation. Maybe you’re a construction worker and you’re going to require months of physical therapy for your broken ankle. Maybe you’ve experienced severe scarring from the dog bite and are worried that will hurt your modeling career.

It’s all because of someone else’s negligence or poor planning that you’re going to lose so much money. At this point, you feel that you have no choice but to pursue a lawsuit. Few people really want to go that route. And it’s only natural for you to worry about how the responsible party is going to come up with the money to make things right for you.

However, if the person accountable for the accident has home insurance, he or she might have some help when it comes to paying for your many expenses. It goes without saying that most homeowners have home insurance – mortgage companies require it in nearly every circumstance. If the responsible party has standard home insurance, part of the coverage typically included in his or her policy could qualify them for help if you decide to sue.

Personal liability protection is reserved for exactly this type of scenario. It makes the policyholder eligible to file a claim when facing a lawsuit. If you’ve slipped and fallen on a person’s property or been bitten by his or her dog or some other scenario involving negligence, the homeowner might be able to compensate you using insurance. Liability protection can be used for legal defense fees, as well.

How much coverage is available? It depends. Typical home insurance policies generally allot $100,000 in coverage for each claim occurrence. For the average person, that’s not a small amount of money. Some homeowners might have even higher coverage limits – up to $500,000 – that will qualify them for additional claim money. Some might even have purchased an umbrella policy – separate coverage that will kick in once personal liability limits are reached. Umbrella policies start with $1 million limits, and homeowners can purchase as much as $5 million in coverage.
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