There are numerous legal situations in which a person may receive a large sum of money through a court award or settlement. Often arising as compensation for personal injuries or other acts, most such payouts are reduced due to some or all of the following costs often associated with legal action: Continue reading “Structured Settlement May Offer Tax Breaks and Other Benefits”
Consolidating Similar Claims in a Class Action
A “class action” is a lawsuit brought by a representative plaintiff on behalf of a class of persons with similar claims. The class and the lawsuit must be certified by a judge as appropriate for class action treatment. If the case is certified, the lawsuit may proceed to resolve issues common to all class members. In general, notice of the lawsuit is mailed to all potential class members and, unless they “opt out,” all who fit within the class definition are automatically part of the lawsuit. Continue reading “Consolidating Similar Claims in a Class Action”
Protection Against Elder Abuse
In general, the broad term “elder abuse” is used to encompass several forms of misconduct directed toward individuals aged 60 or older. Elder abuse is considered to be a serious problem in the United States by the Administration on Aging (AoA) of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. The AoA reports that, each year, hundreds of thousands of older persons are abused, neglected and exploited. In most cases, perpetrators of elder abuse were found to be family members of the victim. Continue reading “Protection Against Elder Abuse”
Tort Liability for Minors
In most states, the age of majority (when a person is recognized by law as an adult), is 18 years of age or older. A “minor” is a person who is under the age of 18. When a minor breaks the law or causes damage or injury to another person, an animal or property, the minor’s parents may bear the liability. Many state statutes authorize courts to hold parents financially responsible for the damages caused by their minor children. Some states may even hold parents criminally liable for failing to supervise a child whom they know to be delinquent. Continue reading “Tort Liability for Minors”
Fifteen-Passenger Vans Can Rollover for Seemingly No Reason
Fifteen-passenger vans are frequently used to transport commuters such as college athletic teams, church groups and employees for company outings. Recent years have seen an increased use of such vans as well as an increase in rollover accidents and injury claims.
Following Rules for Intended Use Still Creates Risk of Rollovers
Fifteen-passenger vans are intended to hold fourteen passengers and a driver. These vans have a higher center of gravity than most vehicles, thereby increasing the tendency for the van to rollover, especially when loaded to full capacity.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board have issued reports warning the public that the risk of rollover is three times higher when the van is loaded with ten occupants, and almost six times more likely to rollover when the van is loaded with fifteen occupants.
Be Informed of the Potential Risks
With approximately 500,000 fifteen-passenger vans currently being used in the United States, there are many potential victims of a rollover accident. Much litigation has developed around the multiple injuries fifteen-passenger van rollovers have caused, and settlements have individually reached millions.
Ford is a major fifteen-passenger van manufacturer that has been subject to a multitude of lawsuits regarding their fifteen-passenger vehicle. In response, Ford has issued warnings indicating that in addition to seatbelt use, drivers of such vans should be “experienced” and “attend licensed training institutions.”
Federal law dictates that fifteen-passenger vans may not be purchased for the school-related transport of students in high school or younger. Additionally, many insurance companies for large vans have dropped coverage for fifteen-passenger vans due to their dangerous nature.