Monthly Archives: January 2017

Is it Flying Drones Legal?

In the age of technology, the flying drone has become just another consumer electronic that may be purchased for personal and private use.

These devices have the ability to fly over a person’s residence and record activity. With the adoption of these machines in everyday life with the possibility they may be used commercially, privacy is becoming less possible for individuals in the country. Because they are loud with cameras on many of them, these tools often intrude on quiet time and private conversations. The concern of these persons is whether this is an invasion of privacy and if there are laws that prohibit the activity of using a drone over someone else’s property.

Before laws changed, the owner of a property had the right to do anything he or she liked on the land. However, the modern era has changed all this with plumbing and electricity. Unfortunately, the legislation implemented throughout the country has not as of yet caught up with the technology of the drone. These small hovering and flying devices often have cameras or sound equipment to pick up or survey and area. Because there are still laws needed to ensure these machines are used legally, the federal government has no authority over these tools until the legal arena catches up.

Contacting a Neighbor

When a drone passes overhead, it is important to remain calm and not overreact. Reacting with emotional outbursts may cause more problems than the short-term emotional resolution. Destroying the drone may lead to a property damage claim, and the situation may become even more complicated. It is important to contact the neighbor with the device and calmly converse with him or her about the issue. It is important to politely ask the person next door to refrain from flying it over the house. He or she may not even be aware it was so close to or over the property. Most who are contacted in this manner stop these actions quickly.

Private Nuisance Cause of Action and Trespass

When the neighbor does not reasonably react or respond to any inquiry about stopping the device, it is possible to have a cause of action filed in court for private nuisance. The noise of the machine could be argued to be a disturbance that disrupts quiet and enjoyment at home. Additionally, it is possible to file for legal cases of trespass given certain situations. While the drone may not be on the land or in the building, it is in the airspace directly overhead. Because of this, it is possible in many circumstances to file for a cause of action for trespass because the area above the property does belong to the person affected by this situation. Photographs and other evidence may be used to assist in the case.

Invasion of Privacy Cause of Action

Of all the types of drones that may cause irritation and annoyance, it is those with cameras that may cause the most grief and trouble with privacy invasion. These video recorders attached to a drone are capable of capturing the private life of someone that either does not know he or she is being recorded, or no permission has been granted to the individual taping the person’s life. At the very least, this is considered snooping. At the worst, this would be deemed a crime of gross invasion of privacy. Even if legislation has not been updated to ensure drones do not invade the private life of a citizen of the country, there are precedents that provide for litigation due to a basic invasion of privacy. If the neighbor persists in using these machines to record or invade a person’s property, it may be necessary to hire a lawyer and litigate.

Damages and Hiring a Lawyer

When suing the neighbor for an invasion of privacy incident, the damages received are usually limited and small. The primary purpose in these suits is usually to ensure the drones are no longer flying on the property. Additional charges may be added such as destruction of property if the machine destroyed anything while flying in the vicinity. Because other measures may be necessary that require the legal world’s assistance, a lawyer should be consulted about these problems. A legal professional may be hired to work for and protect the rights of the affected person. He or she may ensure all the right motions are filed along with accompanying paperwork. If a lawsuit is necessary, this lawyer may provide the best chance at a successful outcome.

Info A Cautionary Tale: Insurance Adjusters and Personal Injury Cases

After an accident, the victim usually must deal with an insurance agency that sends an adjuster to interview the injured party and gather all the facts and details surrounding the incident to determine how much compensation must be provide to be sufficient and avoid litigation if possible.

However, these adjusters are not friends or on the side of the accident victim. They are attached to the case to ensure the most money allocated to the individual of the incident is just enough to avoid a lawsuit. However, some insurance companies do not concern themselves with a suit and only provide so much money no matter the circumstances. It is important to know what to look for and how to move forward to ensure sufficient funds are received in these situations.

The insurance company attached to the incident is usually the agency of the driver responsible for the accident. This means they have added incentive to ensure less money is provided to the victim. In many instances, there is only so much that may be allocated based on the policy. This means once that maximum amount has been determined as the payout amount, no further funds may be obtained by the victim. However, there may be additional factors involved in these cases. This is why hiring a lawyer for compensation claims is so important. These legal professionals understand how to work these cases and what to do to proceed.

The Motivation of the Insurance Adjuster

Investigating facts and gathering the details of the incident is the job of the insurance adjuster. He or she interviews the victim to understand the point of view of the person driving the vehicle that was hit. To ensure the payouts are as low as possible, these individuals determine an amount that is just enough to cover what is considered for the accident with all factors included. This ensures a higher profit for the insurance company and often the settlements are accepted because the victims are not aware that there are additional options available. Even with these lower offers given, they do have motivations to avoid litigation with civil lawsuits.

Because the judge or jury panel is what determines if additional monies should be provided, the insurance agency attempts to avoid these circumstances if at all possible. Additionally, legal fees and other financial obligations tend to become expensive for the insurance company. With persuasive details, the adjuster attempts to convince the victim to accept the lowest settlement offer possible. This could be as much as half of what may be obtained due to the factors of the case. However, there may be some negotiating that could be completed to ensure more monies are allocated to the settlement.

Calculations Adjusters Use to Decide an Offer

In most personal injury cases, the insurance adjuster uses several factors to determine how much should be offered. Of these, the medical and therapy bills associated with recovery play a major role. These may be the current and the future possible needs for the victim. Other criteria usually include the loss of income or wages through a lack of work due to recovery processes, pain and suffering, distress from the accident and additional treatments such as medication and physical therapy. Some of these are subjective to the specific incident while others are determined as a base with the particular factor. A pain multiplier is used to understand how much for the pain and suffering should be allocated. This tends to run from 1.5 to five on a scale the adjuster uses. However, other agencies may use some other type of calculating these.

Dealing with the Insurance Company with a Claim

Knowing how insurance companies work, there is the possibility of negotiating the settlement before one is accepted. This provides a means of upping the amount allocated to the victim. This is usually accomplished by ensuring the case backing the claim is strong with plenty of documentation for medical issues and photographic proof that the responsible party is the other driver or someone else involved in the claim. Ensuring there is plenty of recorded details and evidence to back the claim, the insurance company knows that a greater amount of compensation is needed to ensure avoiding a lawsuit.

One of the best manners of dealing with an insurance agency is to hire a lawyer. This legal professional knows the laws and how best to apply them. He or she then becomes the advocate of the victim and may negotiate a greater compensation settlement or seek litigation when no further funds are offered to ensure a sufficient resolution.

Photographing of the Scene of an Accident Can Preserve Evidence

When the victim of a car accident has initiated a case for compensation, he or she may be advised that it is best to ensure there is photographic evidence to strengthen the claim.

This may come from family, friends or a legal professional. Images of the scene, the vehicles involved, the road conditions and any other factors surrounding the incident are important to assist in proving that the responsible party is not the victim of the accident. The legal representative that has been hired may have this person provide this evidence, or he or she may travel to the impounded vehicles to obtain the proof after the cars have been taken away.

Supporting the position of the victim is often accomplished through providing physical evidence of the incident through photographs. When the accident is caused through the reckless or careless actions of another, this proof usually ensures a stronger case may be made to seek compensation. Because circumstances often change swiftly, it is vital to obtain these photographs as soon as possible. This is because the scene of the accident may be altered, the memory of the incident could become unreliable or cloudy and possible evidence may be misplaced or overlooked when others are at the scene.

What to Keep

While not everything is needed for the case, every piece of evidence collected should be preserved to ensure it is useful for the claim. This could be the clothing worn, any equipment that is broken, documents considered important and similar items. Al aspects of the scene should be photographed to include injuries sustained, damage to property and destructions at the location. All medical records should be copied and stored until provided to the lawyer. This means treatment information, medications, procedures, therapy and other processes. Police reports of the law enforcement officer at the area should be obtained as a copy when available.

For defects, any faulty product that may have caused the accident should be retained and analyzed. This could be electrical equipment or a piece of the car. If there is something installed that came with instructions, these should be kept to ensure the appropriate party is held liable in these circumstances. The original receipt should be filed away for later use. If additional issues arise such as medical malpractice that causes added or further injuries, this should be recorded and provided to the hired lawyer for another claim if necessary.

The Importance of Pictures

Unfortunately, it is not always possible to preserve the physical evidence involved in the accident. However, when the picture of the scene is possible, this is usually enough to bolster the case so that the judge or jury understands who is responsible. The photos may show how the vehicle was hit from a certain angle that only the other driver could have done that led to the injury. Or, images may explain how a defect in a certain part of the car caused the initial accident. These pieces of evidence may also show the lighting, time of day or night and weather conditions so that any other factors may be taken into account.

The Traumatic Experience

Because ensuring there is enough evidence for a case in the future is not always possible due to trauma, it is important to go back to the scene or obtain additional resources when possible. However, the victim of the incident may not be capable of obtaining these items. In these circumstances, a loved one may be the proxy and gather these photos and details so that the injured party may focus on recovering. Someone that is close to the victim may take pictures of all the area to provide to the hired legal representative. He or she may explain to the loved one exactly what is needed and what angles to capture.

An Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer and Why Photos are Necessary

When the victim first contacts a lawyer about the personal injury case, he or she may not have gathered any evidence initially. The free consultation the legal representative provides should be taken advantage of so that the injured party understands what processes are important he or she completes. The first stage usually requires gathering data and proof of the claim. Photographs of all angles and areas of the accident may explain how the victim is owed compensation payouts by the other driver. After this has been obtained, the lawyer then explains what is needed next, and he or she will ensure all paperwork is filed correctly.

Meaning Of “Assumption of Risk”

There are many circumstances that may result in a loss for a case long before the incident passes through the first stage of legal processes. These situations may include what is referred to as an assumption of risk.

This means the person that has been injured has been informed or is aware that there could be danger enough to become harmed in the process. Typically when this applies to a case the assumption of risk is a legal doctrine and may, in some cases, involve a document signed by the plaintiff in the claim. Because of the doctrine or paperwork, the person suing his or her friend or acquaintance has a much lower chance of succeeding.

Assumption of risk is usually used when the victim has been injured by outside forces such as an animal bite, hazardous circumstances on the grounds of a property and when someone gets on an amusement ride when he or she saw others riding the same item. The person that was injured in the accident assumed that there could be a possibility of harm even if it appeared to be safe. The incident that transpires was already known by the plaintiff, and the person that is being sued informed him or her that there was some danger in the situation. For animal attacks, this could be the notification that if the dog is provoked, he or she may attack. Knowing there are areas where injury could occur and they must be avoided is used as a defensive strategy. When the person gets on the amusement ride, he or she knows that there could be some damage to the body when going upside down, really fast or around obstacles.

Understanding Express Assumption of the Risk

The express assumption of the risk is when the victim of the incident has acknowledged that the situation could have included risk. He or she does so before the injury occurs, but there is an awareness of danger. This is usually detailed through a written contract so that it is legally binding. One such document is a waiver of liability used to ensure the participant of the possible dangerous activity has waived his or her rights of litigation away. Because the express assumption of risk is usually understood long before the injury occurs, these cases may become complicated. However, some of these events may include negligence or intentional harm against the victim. These could lead to litigation.

Another strategy that may be utilized to attempt to get out of the assumption of risk is to explain that the waiver was hidden in a contract so that the victim was not aware of what he or she was signing. This is used to show that the person was not adequately aware of the risk that was involved. Even with the signed waiver explicitly detailing how the victim waives his or her rights to litigation should injury occur, there are many instances where the individual attempt to sue the other party. Additional documentation may be necessary to ensure that the victim was well aware of potential hazards involved.

Understanding Implied Assumption of the Risk

When implied assumption of risk is part of the proceedings, no agreement or contract is involved. The person who may be harmed or was injured knew or knows that there is a risk he or she is exposed to in the activity. The person decides to participate despite the potentially dangerous event. This could be through a sports game, extreme leisure activities or when hunting aggressive game. The court is aware of the implied potential for hazards that could lead to injury to anyone included in the activity. However, when the dangers that the individual is subjected to are not part of the event, the assumption of risk no longer applies.

Liability and Damages

There are many suits where not just one party is responsible for damages. This means that there are multiple persons or entities liable. If the person that was harmed is partially accountable for the actions that lead to the injury, this could affect damages owed. It is important to seek a lawyer to ensure all possible compensation may be received when he injured person is not liable or responsible for anything. Additionally, when the assumption of risk is not included or has been placed in a contract that is intentionally misleading, a lawyer may ensure the documentation is thoroughly analyzed and the victim’s rights are protected.