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Answer: A wrongful death action is a claim for damages as the conduct, action or omission by another party, which caused the decedent’s injury and premature death. Certain people have the right to file a claim for damages they have sustained as a result of the loss of their loved one. Family members, dependents, or individuals acting as representatives of the deceased person may file a claim for compensation. Generally this would include monetary losses, but it may also cover loss of companionship, loss to the estate, or additional losses depending on the circumstances of the case. As the claimant, you must be able to prove your relationship to the deceased person in order to file a claim against the responsible party, which may include more than one person.

Wrongful death is often used by the court as a factor to consider when determining the amount of damages in a personal injury claim. Often the judge or jury will consider the permanent loss of the decedent’s earnings. The claimant may be entitled to the amount of wages the decedent would have earned for the remainder of his or her life. Punitive damages may be awarded to the claimant as a punishment for the responsible party. Not all jurisdictions will offer punitive damages for a wrongful death claim.

Answer: An assault can be defined as the threat to use unlawful force to inflict bodily injury upon another. Therefore, where the defendant has threatened some use of force, creating an apprehension in the plaintiff, an assault has occurred. You, as the plaintiff, must be able to prove that the defendant’s threat of force was imminent and not intended for a future point in time. You must also be able to prove that the defendant was capable and intent on carrying out the threat, which would make your apprehension a reasonable reaction.

Battery is the intentional and unpermitted contact with another. It is the end product of an assault. You, as the plaintiff, do not need to prove an actual injury, just that the defendant made contact with your person or property.

Answer: Defamation includes both slander and libel. Generally, slander occurs when the reputation or good name of someone is damaged as a result of false verbal statements. Libel, on the other hand, occurs when false statements regarding another are put in writing.

To win a defamation lawsuit, you, as the plaintiff, must prove that the defendant made a false and defamatory statement about you that was communicated to a third party. It helps to show that the communication was either intentional or negligent. You cannot bring a defamation lawsuit against someone if the statement they made was true, no matter how damaging, insensitive, rude, or inappropriate it was. In addition, you must be able to prove that the defendant knew the statement was false or at least did not care to find out if the statement was false.

In order to recover money, you must prove economic harm. Therefore, you may need to be able to demonstrate a loss of business as a result of the defamation. However, some types of statements are so damaging that you do not have to prove any economic loss. These statements tend to be those that accuse you of sexual impropriety or criminal conduct.

Answer: In general, the answer to this question is yes. An owner of a dog, or any animal for that matter, may be held liable for injuries the animal inflicts on others. Some jurisdictions require you, as the plaintiff, to show that the animal owner knew, or should have known, that the animal was inclined to attack or bite. In other jurisdictions, the you may only need to show negligence on the part of the owner in order to recover money for your injuries. It varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.

If you are an adult who was given a clear warning that the animal should not be approached, petted, or talked to, and you still proceeded with that action, the owner may be able to avoid responsibility if the animal then attacked you. This does not apply if the injured person in question was a child.

Should you file a claim against the owner of an animal that attacked you or your child, you may be eligible for monetary compensation for doctor or hospital bills, lost wages due to being kept out of work, a permanent disability caused by the injury, or pain and suffering.

Answer: Yes. As an average member of the public, you are entitled to privacy protections, although the strength of those protections will vary depending upon the circumstances.

Generally, there are four different actions that you can allege to recover for an unlawful invasion of your privacy. The first type concerns the unlawful use of your image in a commercial, advertisement, etc. without your permission. The second type addresses intrusion of privacy. If you can prove that the defendant intruded into your solitude, seclusion, or private life in a highly offensive manner, you are entitled to recover damages. The third type concerns public disclosure of private facts. Facts having no link to public concern that are given to the public may entitle you to bring a lawsuit against the person who gave out those facts. The fourth type of privacy right is the right to be free from being placed in a false light in the public eye. This is similar to a defamation action. In the case of invasion of privacy, however, the public statement or communication does not need to be defamatory, only false or highly offensive.

Answer: An owner of property has a duty to protect members of the public from injury that may occur upon the property. You may be able to recover money for injuries sustained on someone else’s property if you can prove that the property owner failed to meet that duty.

There are three categories of visitors: invitee, licensee and trespasser. An invitee is someone who has been invited onto the property. A property owner is required to reasonably ensure the safety of the invitee. A licensee is someone who enters a property for his or her own purpose and is present at the consent, but not the invitation, of the owner. The owner’s duty to a licensee is only to warn of hidden dangers. Finally, a trespasser is an individual who enters onto the property without the knowledge or consent of the owner and who remains there without any right or permission. Trespassers have difficulty suing property owners because property owners’ duty towards trespassers is not to place traps and hazards on their property. In some cases, the owner must also warn trespassers of the hazards if they are unlikely to be discovered by the trespasser and could cause serious injury or death.

The property owner’s duty of care toward children is greater than the duty owed to adults. Even if the children are trespassers or engage in dangerous behavior, the property owner must still take precautions to prevent foreseeable harm to children. The classic example of a property owner’s greater duty of care to children arises in the context of backyard swimming pools. Owners must fence, gate, and lock their pools in a manner that keeps children out.

Answer: Generally speaking, an owner of property may not use deadly force to defend the property even against intruders with intentions to steal. An owner is not prohibited, however, from using self-defense methods. An owner of property is entitled to use reasonable force to prevent someone from entering onto his or her property or removing something from his or her property. Using force that is intended to injure or cause death is not permitted unless an intruder threatens personal safety and property or commits a felony.

Answer: This type of lawsuit can be filed by someone who has been injured by a slip and fall on someone else’s property. You, as the plaintiff, must show that the owner of the property knew of the condition and failed to take care of it within a reasonable amount of time. If you knew about the hazardous conditions and proceeded anyway, you may have trouble holding the property owner accountable. A slip/fall injury can happen anytime and anywhere, and it is important to bring your case to an attorney in order to get the financial compensation you deserve.

Answer: Personal injury actions include physical and, in some cases, emotional injury. The goal of the lawsuit is to acquire compensation from the party who is to blame for the injury.

Besides an injury, the plaintiff must establish, through evidence, that the defendant is legally liable for his or her injuries. The evidence should show that the defendant can be held liable as a result of either the actions he or she took, or the actions he or she had a duty and failed to take. Some personal injury actions involve intentional conduct while others are based on negligence. Still other types of personal injury actions are based on strict liability, a no-fault system where liability may attach regardless of the fault of the various parties, including the plaintiff.

Personal injury law can involve many different types of claims, theories and principles. Some of the more common types of personal injury actions include: animal bites, assault and battery, aviation accidents, defamation, motor vehicle accidents, premises liability, property damage, railroad accidents, and slip and fall.

Answer: No. Most states limit the number of potential plaintiffs. Some states limit this group to the deceased’s primary beneficiaries, defined as the surviving spouse and the deceased’s children. Other states allow the parents of the deceased to bring a wrongful death claim. In addition to these individuals, some states recognize the rights of any dependent, whether closely related or not, to bring a wrongful death claim provided the person actually depended on the deceased for economic support.

Some states require any recovery gained in a wrongful death action to be distributed to the deceased’s heirs at law. In these situations, distant relatives may receive some ‘trickle down’ of damages, even though they were not financially dependent upon the deceased during his life. In addition, if more than one plaintiff is entitled to recover, all plaintiffs will share in the award. How the award is divided varies depending on the jurisdiction’s laws.


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