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Construction Defects That Could Lead To Premises Liability Cases
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Premises liability cases arise from injuries sustained by residents, visitors, guests, or others due to negligence on the part of the property owner. Properties are not always accident-proof. Even brand-new homes or buildings may have hidden dangers. In fact, brand-new places may even be more dangerous than old ones, since previous occupants of second-hand homes and establishments may have already had defects repaired.


Image source: city-data.com


Going through the house, people should be wary of windows. Windows that were crudely constructed or assembled can be a source of leaks during the rainy season. It can be a danger when the water comes and pools on the floor, making the surface slippery. The same thing applies to roofs and ceilings. Roofs that were put together the wrong way may allow rainwater to enter the house.


In line with all these potential rainy season dangers, people should be cautious when it comes to electrical wiring. It’s very easy to overlook and forget extension cords lying around the house. Residents and visitors can prevent untoward incidents that involve electrocution when they are aware of leaks and locations of electrical sources.


House foundations are also very important. Whether they are wood or cement, the structure should be solid and always kept in tip-top condition. People should check wooden staircases for any sign of termites. Concrete pillars should be inspected for cracks since they are load-bearing structures.


Image source: tomm.alex-stoddard.com


Always remember that the houses and establishments have more than a dozen parts -- that’s more than a dozen parts that can be defective, and lead to injury – and premises liability cases.


Sheeley Law is a firm that deals with the many legal issues in the realm of personal injury, including premises liability cases. Learn more about the firm and its practice areas here.


Important Statistics On Automotive Accidents In The United States
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On a global scale, more than 1.2 million people die from automobile accidents while anywhere around 20-50 million suffer injuries. More than 50 percent of fatalities are adults between the ages of 15 and 44. Car crashes are one of the top ten leading causes of deaths in the world (9th overall).

Image source: Youtube.com

How does the United States fit into all of this?

In the United States, there are more than 37,000 fatalities due to road accidents per year, with over 2.3 million injured. More than 1,600 children under the age of 15 die from these crashes, while almost 8,000 are between the ages of 16 and 20.

Image source: cbsnew.com

The good news however, is that the number of deaths compared to the total population has decreased over the past 26 years. In fact, the number of yearly deaths went down by almost 15 percent, and the number of deaths per capita also declined by an astounding 35 percent. In 2011 for example, there were 32,479 road-related deaths. This was the lowest it has ever been in over six decades.

It was found that almost 50 percent of all drivers who died in road accidents had alcohol in their system. Almost a third of drivers arrested for drunk driving are repeat offenders, and as many as 75 percent of drunk drivers drive with suspended licenses.

Sheeley Law is a firm that specializes in personal injury law, including road and traffic-related injuries. For more on Sheeley Law and the excellent work that the firm does, follow this Facebook page.

The so-called One Bite Rule: What the Dog owner should have Known
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In a previous entry, the concept of “strict liability” in the implementation of Rhode Island’s dog laws was briefly discussed. It was mentioned that a party aggrieved by dog bites or injuries to his or her person or to his or her own property, i.e., pets, caused by an errant canine belonging to another person, with the harm or injury occurring outside the property of the errant canine’s owner or keeper, is more or less automatically entitled to damages. The latter are claimed through a civil action, along with costs of suit.


In other words, when “strict liability” is applicable, the owner or keeper of the offending dog practically has no defense under the circumstances. Once the harm or injury occurs, liability attaches to the offending dog’s owner or keeper, regardless of whether or not the harm or injury could have been prevented or is preventable or whether or not there was fault or negligence on the part of the offending dog’s owner or keeper. The previous behavior of the dog is also irrelevant. The focal point is the location of the offending dog when it caused the harm or injury.

Now, what if the harm or injury to the party aggrieved occurs within the premises of the offending canine’s owner or keeper? The “strict liability” rule would not apply.

The liability of the owner or keeper of the offending canine would now depend on whether he or she knew or should have known that the dog might bite or cause injury, and whether he or she took necessary precautions based on that knowledge. This is commonly known as the “one-bite rule,” the term being somewhat misleading. The point is, when the harm or injury caused by the offending dog occurs inside the property of its owner or keeper, the degree of negligence, if any, of the latter is inquired into for the court to deliberate on whether or not damages should be awarded to the aggrieved party.

If the offending dog has bitten or caused injury beforehand, its owner or keeper is charged with knowledge of the dog’s propensity to cause harm. Thus, a finding of negligence on the part of the owner or keeper, which would entitle the aggrieved party to damages, would now depend on whether the owner or keeper undertook measures to prevent the harm or injury from occurring inside his or her premises.

Image source: http://www.911law.org

Ann S. Sheeley of Sheeley Law LLC has more than 25 years of experience specializing in personal injury, criminal law, and worker’s compensation. She believes that individuals accused of crimes have a right to be represented by top-notch defense lawyers. Learn more about her practice here.

Alternative Sentencing: Court-Ordered Community Service
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Incarcerating a criminal offender is not always the most effective penalty. Particularly in cases where the offenders are minors, alternative sentences like court-ordered community service may help them realize the gravity of their wrongdoing as they serve the society through different means.


Image source: American.edu

When a judge sentences court-ordered community service, it is expected that the individual completes the required hours in various agencies or organizations as suggested by the court. However, in some cases, an offender can choose the place where he or she will volunteer. After the number of hours required has been rendered, the court will verify the sentence’s fulfillment with the organization.


Community service is usually done in government-owned facilities like public schools, state parks, community court, city halls, and other public offices. Spending hours volunteering in hospices, hospitals, or senior homes is also an option. Nonprofit organizations that aim to improve the society by building houses or by caring for the homeless could also be a viable place to spend service hours. Before enlisting to volunteer in an agency or an organization, an individual must first seek the approval of the probation officer to ensure the validity.


Image source: Wikimedia.org

On top of spending hours doing community service, other forms of punishment may be given such as fine, probation, or restitution. The goal of these alternative sentences is to inculcate in the individual an awareness for and obedience to society’s laws.


Established by lawyer Ann S. Sheeley, Sheeley Law LLC in Newport, Rhode Island, upholds its stance that every accused deserves representation before the court. For more information on the firm’s practice areas, follow this link.

A Fruitful Conclusion: How To Make Sure That Worker’s Compensation Is Paid In Full
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Every single job has a work hazard. It doesn’t matter if a person is working on a construction site, a hospital, or in an office; dangerous situations can arise anytime. When that happens, the worst-case scenario plays out, and workplace injuries can always be a real possibility.

Image source: awdnews.com


In the event of an injury, it is the responsibility of the company and the insurers to give the employee with the proper monetary compensation, especially that physically debilitating events are very costly. Not only does the worker have to pay for medical fees, but they will also be unable to work, hampering their ability to provide for their families. In some cases, however, insurance companies still go out of their way to reduce the payout so that they can save money. To avoid such scenario, there are measures that the worker can make so that maximum compensation will be received.

Image source: knuj.net


Worker’s compensation laws oftentimes require the employee to report the incident within 30 days since the injury, sometimes even less. This is a very small window, so it is important that injuries are reported immediately. Securing witnesses who were present during the accident will also help in proving that the injury was incurred during working hours because sometimes, the opposition will argue that it happened elsewhere and outside of duty. The employees also need to get immediate medical treatment because it will strengthen the claim that the injury was severe and that they need to be compensated immediately.

Atty. Ann Sheeley specializes in a number of areas, including personal injury, criminal defense, and workers' compensation. For more information, visit this website.

The Consequences of Violating Probation
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When a person is charged with a crime, sometimes the courts decide to suspend the sentence by granting probation instead of ordering jail time. Probation is typically only granted as punishment for misdemeanors, or if the defendant is a minor or a first-time offender.

Probation comes with a set of rules that need to be followed during the period under the supervision of a probation officer. Examples of these conditions include:

  • Not traveling out of state

  • Meeting with the probation officer on scheduled dates

  • Not committing any form of crime

  • Undergoing random drug tests


Probation conditions vary widely depending on state laws, the probation officer involved, and other factors.

Image source: michiganduiblog.com

When a person violates any of the terms of their probation, they commit a probation violation. Probation officers have the authority to issue a warning when the violation is minor or technical, such as if the person was late to a meeting with the probation officer.


A probation officer can also impose other consequences, depending on the severity and nature of the violation. Counseling, drug tests, rehabilitation, and fines are some examples.

Image source: policehow.com

Probation officers typically report violations that are more severe, such as if the defendant was arrested for a new crime. The state prosecutor can then file a motion to revoke probation and send a written notice of the defendant's violations and order the defendant to appear at a revocation hearing.


A revocation hearing takes place in a court but without a jury. During the hearing, the defendant and his or her counsel can provide evidence, including witness testimony, to disprove the probation officer and the state prosecutor's allegations.


If the judge decides that the defendant is guilty of committing a probation violation, the probationer could face several consequences, including:

  • Extension of the probation period

  • Additional terms and conditions of probation

  • Additional community service

  • Jail time

  • Revocation of probation and incarceration for the duration of the original sentence



Unlike in criminal courts, the judge is not required to use the “beyond reasonable doubt” standard to find the defendant guilty. All that is necessary for a judge to justify a guilty verdict is a preponderance of evidence- just enough evidence to make it likely than not that the defendant committed a violation.


Those who are facing a probation revocation hearing should consider an experienced criminal defense lawyer to learn more about their options.


For more articles on criminal defense, subscribe to this Sheeley Law blog.

A Closer Look at Work-related Stress Injury
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Worker compensation claims are not limited to personal injuries caused by sudden and life-altering accidents. In some cases, they can also stem from work-related stress, a harmful physical and emotional response aggravated by workplace conditions.


Although its concept is often met with challenges, work-related stress injuries are recognized by courts as part of the worker’s compensation insurance. Therefore, like other personal injury claims, they are compensable depending on the nature and development of the personal injury.

Image source: guardianlv.com

There are two types of work-related stress injuries:

Physical stress injuries. Repetitive stress injuries (RSIs) are the most common type of physical stress injury, which happens when an employee suffers a physical problem due to prolonged activity at work. An example of an RSI is a data encoder suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome.


Emotional stress injuries. This type of stress injury is harder to prove since external factors can influence it. A bartender who has a demanding schedule and who is, at the same time, suffering from depression and alcoholism, for instance, may be eligible for worker compensation, when proven that his work caused his illness.

Image source: www.lifehack.org

Anyone who experiences work-related stress can file a legal claim against his or her employer or insurance company. The process, however, is not easy. The claim requires extensive evidence that the personal injury was, in fact, caused by the negligence of the employer, which is often difficult to prove in situations that are not obvious or those that have been occurring over a very long period.


For more articles on personal injury and workers’ compensation law, subscribe to this Sheeley Law blog.

The consequences of Violating Probation
sheeleylaw
When a person is charged with a crime, sometimes the courts decide to suspend the sentence by granting probation instead of ordering jail time. Probation is typically only granted as punishment for misdemeanors, or if the defendant is a minor or a first-time offender.

Probation comes with a set of rules that need to be followed during the period under the supervision of a probation officer. Examples of these conditions include:

  • Not traveling out of state

  • Meeting with the probation officer on scheduled dates

  • Not committing any form of crime

  • Undergoing random drug tests


Probation conditions vary widely depending on state laws, the probation officer involved, and other factors.

Image source: michiganduiblog.com

When a person violates any of the terms of their probation, they commit a probation violation. Probation officers have the authority to issue a warning when the violation is minor or technical, such as if the person was late to a meeting with the probation officer.


A probation officer can also impose other consequences, depending on the severity and nature of the violation. Counseling, drug tests, rehabilitation, and fines are some examples.


Image source: policehow.com

Probation officers typically report violations that are more severe, such as if the defendant was arrested for a new crime. The state prosecutor can then file a motion to revoke probation and send a written notice of the defendant's violations and order the defendant to appear at a revocation hearing.


A revocation hearing takes place in a court but without a jury. During the hearing, the defendant and his or her counsel can provide evidence, including witness testimony, to disprove the probation officer and the state prosecutor's allegations.


If the judge decides that the defendant is guilty of committing a probation violation, the probationer could face several consequences, including:

  • Extension of the probation period

  • Additional terms and conditions of probation

  • Additional community service

  • Jail time

  • Revocation of probation and incarceration for the duration of the original sentence

Unlike in criminal courts, the judge is not required to use the “beyond reasonable doubt” standard to find the defendant guilty. All that is necessary for a judge to justify a guilty verdict is a preponderance of evidence- just enough evidence to make it likely than not that the defendant committed a violation.


Those who are facing a probation revocation hearing should consider an experienced criminal defense lawyer to learn more about their options.


For more articles on criminal defense, subscribe to this Sheeley Law blog.

Fundamental Parameters In a ‘Wrongful Death’ Lawsuit
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A wrongful death lawsuit basically involves a family seeking damages for their loved one’s untimely death, claiming it was due to another person’s negligent, reckless, or deliberate behavior. The premise behind such lawsuit is that not only did the victim lose his or her life due to someone else’s carelessness, but their family have also been directly affected both emotionally and financially because of that person’s passing.


Image source: alltop.com
For a wrongful death claim to be successful, the surviving family members must establish two things:

  1. Proofs—such as a police report, video footage, and eyewitness’ statement, among others—must be presented to verify that the death was indeed caused by someone else’s negligence, recklessness, or deliberate act and not by their loved one’s action or inaction.

  2. If the first requirement is met, the surviving family members then must establish that they suffered quantifiable damages due to their loved one’s wrongful death.


Image source: wpri.com
Situations, where wrongful death lawsuits are possible, include an accidental death caused by a vehicular accident or poor road conditions, work-related death, medical malpractice, or death caused by an unlawful act during the commission of a crime.


Death that is allegedly due to one’s intentional infliction of emotional distress to another person (causing him or her to commit suicide) is one of the most difficult issues that this type of lawsuit struggles to address. More often than not, it expands liability beyond the common law.


For more insights about personal injury and wrongful death, visit Atty. Ann Sheeley’s official website.

The First Few Hours are Crucial in a Bicycle Accident Injury Lawsuit
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Recent data point to increased frequencies of bicycle accidents. It is important moreover to note that response within the few hours after the incident directly affects how the speed of the victim’s recovery and his or her legal claims for damage to the vehicle. Events during the first few hours after an accident could also affect the ruling of any personal injury lawsuit.

Many attorneys recommend victims to wait for the police to arrive, as many injured cyclists do not believe they are hurt and walk away from the scene. Their injuries, if any, can develop into more serious and personal problems. As time passes since the accident, it will become increasingly difficult to establish causation.

Image Source: Victims Lawyer.com

The police will file their report, which provides evidence that the incident occurred. Moreover, the one at fault for the accident will not be able to deny that the accident did happen at a specific time and date and that the ensuing injuries were caused by the incident.


If possible, it would be wise for the victim to get the name of the automobile driver, as well as other information such as address, phone number, license plate number, and insurance information. It would also help if witness accounts are gathered to lend further proof should a personal claim be filed.

Image Source: Personal Injury.com

Most importantly, everything should be documented. As much as they can, victims should detail all events and circumstances leading up to and during the accident: where and how it occurred, road, traffic, and even weather conditions. This, along with the police report, will greatly help any personal injury lawyer and strengthen the claim of the victim.


Sheeley Law specializes in personal injury law. The firm has helped hundreds of people get legal assistance for personal injury claims. Learn more about the practice through this Twitter account.