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Month: January 2015

Safety Measures to Take on Cruise Ships for Self Protection

Helping People Defend Themselves

People think of a cruise line as a major way to escape. In many cases, it is not. Instead, there are multiple cases where cruise patrons are assaulted— or worse. Also, there are many cases of passengers getting sick from poor food. Furthermore, in others, there are cases where the vessel strands the passengers for hours if not days. All of these combine for a terrible experience for riders. Consumers have a chance to fight back and make their experience a better one. Doing so will also make things smoother for future riders.

The top cruise ship law firm in Southern California

There are many examples of the danger from these cruises. The January 2012 Costa Concordia cruise liner crash in Italy is just one example. There are over 16 million people using cruise ships each year. Unfortunately many find that the companies cut corners where they shouldn’t. The International Cruise Victims or ICV argues that the true statistics behind cruise injuries and other issues are covered up. There are several things that cruise passengers can do to stay safe.

Be Prepared

Do Your Research. This step isn’t always perfect, but it’s a good start. See which lines have the best and worst reputation. So this is a good jumping off point to see how your family will be treated on board. Sometimes the Coast Guard has stats about the liners.

Stay Aware of Your Surroundings. Just because you’re on a beautiful ship doesn’t mean you’re automatically safe. Furthermore, many assaults on ships occur because the passenger lets their guard down. Understand where you are and what could happen to you. Scope out ways to escape if needed.

Life Jackets and Safety Drills. Make sure to prepare in case of an emergency. Know where your life jacket is at all times. Keep it near you. Be prepared in the event of a crash.

Keep Important Info Near. Also, this should go without saying. Keep your passport, travel agent info, and others close by. Don’t go too far without things you might need in case the ship faces issues.

If you want to find out more about safety on liners, keep reading our site. Ehline Law is the finest cruise ship liability company in California. Furthermore, our team fought and won hundreds of such cases. In conclusion, stick with the best.

What Could Happen If You Fail To Preserve And Collect ESI?

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The Griffin logo of Ehline injury attorneys

As you search online, you would find more and more experts recommending you to go to the best possible lawyers and attorneys to fight your cases and for your rights. Choosing inexperienced counsel and unknown law firms is always prohibited because doing so has its potential dangers that could be extremely unpleasing in nature. You could always learn a lesson from others because this is the easy way of learning rather than going the hard way. A similar instance took place just last year when a plaintiff wasn’t able to preserve the information that was to be presented in the court.

What Happened?

A plaintiff went into the court to get help on his case but was caught off-guard when he wasn’t able to present and preserve the information as required by the court. The magistrate took immediate action in this scenario, and the plaintiff had to face the music. The case was Procaps S.A. v. Patheon Inc., and the proceedings took place on February 28, 2014. The steps taken by the magistrate were rather intrusive but had to be followed by the plaintiff and his lawyer because they screwed up.

The court the plaintiff to go for an e-discovery vendor so the data sources of the plaintiff could be forensically analyzed thoroughly by a third party this time. In the order, the court included the names of the custodians whose information was to be analyzed and there was another set of instructions to be followed after that. These instructions were strictly given to the lawyer of the plaintiff. Here are the instructions and orders of the court granted to the counsel of the plaintiff as a way to rectify the deficiencies in preserving the ESI (electronically stored information):

  • The lawyer had to visit the named custodians one by one and interview them properly.
  • The data sources that were to be analyzed had to be given to the lawyer of the opposing party.
  • The opposing attorney will provide a list of search terms to the plaintiff’s lawyer – to which he has to agree as well – and these search terms will be recorded and run by the vendor.
  • The plaintiff’s lawyer also has to work with the vendor to provide him all sources of data that is in relevance with the case. The data required includes all ESI.
  • The vendor i.e. the third party was also given the instruction of meeting and interviewing the IT head of the plaintiff and record every piece of information provided by the IT head.
  • All data provided in hard copy format had to be scanned.
  • Images had to be taken to the data too.
  • Deleted files had to be recovered by the vendor too.
  • The plaintiff had to pay for the work done by the supplier on the case.
  • The counsel and plaintiff were ordered to distribute the attorney’s fee in half parts. The awarded fee was $24,115.

With these instructions, we can clearly see that the plaintiff was in trouble. Why did the court take such an action?

Why Were These Actions Taken?

In simple words, the court took these actions because the plaintiff and his lawyer were not able to collect the required ESI and preserve it as ordered by the tribunal. Further particulars are as under:

  • The attorney of the plaintiff had not performed his assigned duty of going to Colombia and meeting with the IT professionals of the plaintiff to collect, analyze and record information about ESI.
  • No consultant was hired to give legal mentoring on what ESI was to be collected and how.
  • The lawyer had also utterly failed in instructing the client and thoroughly managing the search for the required ESI.

The result of not passing proper information about searching the ESI forced the plaintiff to perform a quick search of information then. Without a consultant or lawyer supervising these searches and having litigation hold on these searches, the searches were performed by the workers and executives working at plaintiff’s company.

What Should Have Been Done?

This was an e-discovery case where electronically stored information had to be searched, analyzed and presented to the court for supporting the case by the plaintiff. This can only be done properly when the lawyer guides his client on every aspect of the searching. The client can’t search randomly in documents and files stored on computer. There are certain items, search terms, files etc. that need to be searched.

The list is managed by a consultant who takes care of the ESI retrieval and guides plaintiff on what items to search for. The lawyer has to meet every person relevant to the case and ordered by the court. The lawyer must have also informed his client about the potential dangers that they were open to if the information was not collected and preserved. When a party fails to maintain the required ESI the court intervenes and takes control of the searching process. It significantly and negatively affects the position of the plaintiff in the case too.

What Lesson Was Learned?

The most important thing learned here is that you should only trust in the most experienced and well-reputed law firms when dealing with your cases. It doesn’t matter how small or big the case is. If you are not able to present the critical information required by the court, you are going to face the consequences. So you want to have only the most professional, well-trained and experienced lawyers on your side. If so, Ehline Law Firm is the place for you.

Ehline Law Firm

Ehline Law Firm is the place for every person who has been involved in a personal injury case in California. So this is the firm with lawyers who have been serving the industry for decades and are known for their work throughout the state.

Having won cases of millions of dollars, the lawyers of Ehline Law have earned a unique respectable place among personal injury lawyers of California, especially Los Angeles. With lawyers available to help you 24/7 and free first consultation, Ehline Law is going to represent you in your case with the power and force needed.

What are Intangible Losses in an Injury Case?

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Assisting fatality victims

Attorneys for victims of accidents and injuries fight for restitution for their clients. They stop at nothing to make sure that they are taken care of and that there is justice done. When facing the facts and after effects of serious injury, only making sure that your clients are whole is the role of a master attorney. When faced with such a case, attorneys have to convince the court that their customers require the correct level of compensation.

The exact amount of money that a person should be restored to is hard to determine exactly. Intangible pain and suffering cannot be exactly quantified, but there are methods of identifying a round estimate of the amount of money a certain case could garner.

Why Are Exact Numbers Difficult but Quantifiable?

Some of the problems created by accident or injury could be easily quantified. The amount of money that medical and repair bills add up to is simple to determine. The amount of future medical bills and therapy needed and their costs can be added up. So victims can miss work. These numbers can be added to the dollar.

However, the issue of non-economic issues is more difficult to determine and to explain to the jury exactly. These elements of pain and suffering are sometimes overshadowed by the next medical bills or the minutiae of daily court activity.

The precedent has been plentiful that loss of enjoyment of life, skill, or hobbies are all legitimate parts of determining damages. This includes many different portions of the injured client’s life and could require deep investigation to determine just how far this extends.

Why Only a Skilled Attorney Can Organize a Case?

A client in the aftermath of a serious injury or accident could have a thousand issues floating around their head. They may suffer mood shifts and changes on how to proceed in the case. A skilled attorney with a good “bedside manner” will be able to determine how the client could express their suffering and loss of enjoyment in their life.

Finding out as much as you can about the person the injured is and was makes you able to form a bond that serves two purposes. One, you become personally invested in their victory and want them to succeed and get back on their feet. Two, this knowledge will be easier to organize and convey to a jury. Both of these factors together are vital in receiving the maximum compensation possible for your client and allow them to get back to their life quicker and easier.

Meeting with your client is not just a job for the office. Getting to know them over the phone, learning about their family and their past, and their wants and needs are all essential portions of your case. You’ve signed up for them as much as they have you. Determining their personality, changes since the accident and other factors will allow you to expand your mental files on their well-being.

There are many things in their minds that often are difficult to express. The emotional pain of telling any one, especially an attorney or jury, about their facial scars making it difficult to go outside is not simple and clear cut. Explaining how being unable to go fishing with their grandchildren eats at them every day can be very hard– but needed for a full recovery in court.

How Do We Go Beyond a Deposition?

Intangible and non-specific items cannot be easily added into the client’s statement. The exact feelings and difficult to express concepts that your clients suffer from every day are not always shown to the judge and jury. Rather than only relying on the abstract, you must convey these issues to the jury.

Your role with your client obligates you to articulate to the jury every portion of their mental anguish and continued problems. The more the jury knows about what your client’s injury has done to them the more they are likely to sympathize and side with them.

When the defense is attempting to minimize your client’s suffering, you need to be prepared for it. The defense may seek to file a motion in Limine to prevent damaging information from getting to the jury. If there was carelessness or harassment at a work site or relevant factors the defense wants to be swept under the rug, you need to know how to counter the motion effectively. Knowing that the preceding factors effect your client’s current well-being should be enough to challenge and defeat the motion and allow the evidence to get to the jury. This further strengthens your client’s case and their potential compensation.

When you can get much of this evidence out in the open, it is vital to have your team to be able to express the level of suffering. Your client can describe much of their issues, but often they are unable to hit every point or every emotion. Having friends, family, witnesses, counselors, and co-workers that can explain how your client has been negatively affected is a major portion of showing the jury what they need to know.

How Do Lawyers Determine the Losses?

All of these factors play into the amount of money your client will be seeking. Many juries tie their awards for non-economic damages with that of the economic damages. If the medical bills are low and the economic toll is relatively small, an effective attorney can parlay the pain and suffer into a dollar figure.

This happens in many cases where a client loses something vital to their prior life. This can include mobility or ability to continue with activities that they previously treasured. The injured that now have to suffer from slower actions in their day to day life could lose hours doing the same tasks that used to take minutes. This time can never be returned, and the effects often stay with the client for life. All of that time can be quantified as loss of productivity or enjoyment of life and added to the non-economic damages.

Of course, all of this must be balanced with the amount that the client may need to continue with their lives. Often, customers will believe that their injuries are worth six or seven figures due to the length of their suffering. While they may deserve such a settlement, having the client know the recent precedents and tempering their expectations with the jury is vital.

Only the Experts Know Ho To Build a Case

Many of the tips and pointers listed above seem simple enough. However, many attorneys gloss over the emotional well-being of their clients. Having lawyers that form that personal bond with their customers often makes them the most efficient advocates. The lawyers at Ehline Law have represented hundreds of personal injury and accident customers and have an extraordinary record. Their model could be used in many cases and to ensure the future of the injured party.

Intentional Conduct Claims Litigation Considerations

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Insurance law, discussed in layman’s terms here, can be a quagmire of misunderstanding and fear, for even the best lawyers and insured’s when a claim is made. Most lawyers were taught in law school that public policy forbids insurance payments for intentional conduct that results in an injury, such as a bully who buys a significant policy of liability insurance who then decides to go and beat people up. Courts have found that it would be unfair to let insurance pay for that, while the bully’s assets are shielded. In fact, allowing insurance to cover that could create a situation where more people get injured since the risks for hurting others is paid out in an insurance claim.

Courts have found that it would be unfair to let insurance pay for that, while the bully’s assets are shielded. In fact, allowing insurance to cover that could create a situation where more people get injured since the risks for hurting others is paid out in an insurance claim.

But in fact, that is not where the story ends insofar as conduct that may or may not is covered by insurance that is in fact “intentional.” In other words, sometimes intentional conduct can potentially be paid out in a claim. Usually, this is to avoid a savvy jury calling an intentional act “negligent.”  And that could avoid exposing an insured’s assets.  Since the insurance company has a duty to settle claims within the policy when negligence “may” be a factor, for example, it makes sense. There are other types of scenarios as well discussed below.

What are The Three Essential Questions in an Intentional Act Insurance Claim?

This article attempts to explain the situation so even a nonlawyer can understand. First, before even considering claims involving intentional conduct some circumstances should be considered, and three essential questions for this type of claim. This kind of application often includes defendants whose actions are alleged to be intentional; they are believed to have no insurance or prima facie (proving alleged facts are adequate to support the action).

The fact is that while insurance companies deter policyholders claims of this nature using intent may be denied, but that may not be the case at all. Before rejecting an intentional conduct claim, the insurance company should take the allegations seriously since the language of the policy and jurisprudence could prove liability.

The three intentional conduct claim considerations include:

  • Act or Injury: What was the intentional conduct the act or the injury? This is important because general liability policies often include language about “expected or intended” exclusions. There are also some states that have laws excluding coverage for acts of willful conduct. The issue is whether the insured intended to harm, or if the action alone is sufficient, and if it might be in a middle ground of these. One claim we often plead in California is “recklessness,” which may or may not be intentional.

The most common type of example is when a driver hits a pedestrian due to speeding. Then it is a question of did the driver exceed the speed limit without intending to cause harm? When the pedestrian brings a legal claim as a result of their injuries due to intentional conduct by the driver, it is not uncommon for the insurance company to deny coverage for this type of incident. Depending on the state laws the driver while intending the act, but not the actual consequences may be able to challenge the insurance coverage denial. Of course, it would be malpractice on the attorney’s part to only plead intentional conduct, or only one cause of action for that matter, in a case like that. So a mixed bag pleading is almost always par for the course.

In the state of California, a recent court case involved State Farm v. Frake (See also Google Scholar Here), where the defendant struck his friend in a manner that was not intended to cause harm. In the court decision, the weighted the facts and ruled against coverage. The insurance companies used this ruling to carry on with their fallacy that no matter what the facts or circumstances there will be no coverage in cases where an injury occurs due to a policyholder’s intentional conduct, even though it is not accurate.

The decision when the facts show there was no intent to harm, such as speeding and causing injury or damage. The driver did not plan to cause injuries intentionally. But there is no exact rule. But when the injury or damage was unintended then insurance coverage may apply. The law continues to change, and it is important for policyholders to examine any allegations, since insurers may not openly offer insurance claim support.

  • Allegations of Intentional Actions: In some cases, the claim of intentional actions may not only be against the person or their insurance company, but against a company who employs the individual. After all, corporations are historical “persons,” even before the politically charged case of Citizens United reaffirmed this fact. And this may be a case where an agent of a company is accused of fraud by customers, in this situation the legal action may get brought against the agent and the company for damages. The claim against the business is liable for employment of the agent and the alleged fraud.

In many cases, the courts have ruled that the insurance company for the business must pay the claim. In some situations, if the senior management or board of directors were not aware of the misconduct by the agent, there was no intent to do harm by the company. So this can be for compensatory damages. But in some cases, it can even be for punitive damages.  And it may depend on the state laws where the incident occurred. But the insurance policy language may also play a role in the outcome of this type of claim.

  • Insurance Coverage: When a complaint involves alleged intentional conduct, the kind of insurance policy must be considered. In the event of a speeding driver striking a pedestrian, the coverage would be the bodily injury in a general liability policy. In any case, insurance coverage involving personal injury coverage would apply assuming there is no bar to a payout as already discussed in the introduction. But some policies may include coverage for libel, slander, malicious prosecution and other types of intentional torts.

Is Defamation Covered Under Insurance?

In cases where the defendant(s) is/are sued for intentional torts such as slander, the plaintiff must prove the action was willful conduct. The facts will not be used to determine automatic coverage in this situation in most states. In cases where the claim is settled before final judgment, the insurer should typically pay the settlement. And this remains true even if there is exclusion for willful acts, fraud or criminal acts.

This is because much of the conduct could potentially be viewed as negligent, and therefore covered. Or it could be because of an exception to public policy considerations, for example. So policyholders must assess the allegations, the language of the underlying policy, and the law to determine if insurance will pay for litigation in the case. If you have a question about coverages, hire a lawyer to help you proceed.

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Ehline Law Firm
Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC

633 W 5th St #2890
Los Angeles, CA 90071

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