What Can I Do if Injured While Rock Climbing?

Monday, November 20, 2017

Rock climbing can be a fun and safe pastime, if you practice it correctly. Gyms all over the country have caught onto the trend, and now rock-climbing walls are ubiquitous. These gyms provide a fun way to get some physical activity, but they can also be dangerous. What happens when you’re injured while using a climbing wall? Can you legally sue the gym where it happened? Learn about liability as it pertains to rock climbing.

Premises Liability Concerns

One of the biggest theories pertaining to rock-climbing injuries is that of premises liability. This is a very complex area of the law, but it basically asserts that anyone who owns a property must be reasonably careful in its upkeep and make it safe for visitors. If a property owner knew or should have known that a dangerous condition existed but didn’t fix it, you may have legal grounds for a claim.

Rock walls require regular maintenance. If owners don’t regularly check steps, ropes, or other equipment and it falls into disrepair, causing injury, you may be able to file a lawsuit on the grounds of premises liability.

Product Liability Concerns

On the other hand, sometimes the fault is not with the property owner, but the manufacturer of the equipment. If a defective piece of safety gear (or the wall itself) leads to your injury, it becomes a matter of product liability law. Manufacturers can commit negligence if they distribute products that have an inherent flaw in design, or even a defective batch. Retailers may even be responsible if they sell an unsafe product – for example, a safety harness that has been subject to recall.

What about Waivers of Liability?

Rock climbing accidents may be unique in that many gyms have participants sign a “waiver of responsibility.” This serves as protection for the gym, which says that you can’t sue for damages after signing. However, you may still be able to pursue damages, even if you signed a waiver. The courts may deem a waiver unenforceable; it depends on the exact nature of your case.

Damages in a Rock Climbing Accident Claim

If you recently incurred injury at a rock climbing gym and it arose from someone else’s negligence, you may be able to gain two types of compensation. These include:

  • Economic damages. These compensate for material aspects of an accident, which includes medical bills, ongoing rehabilitation costs, and the cost of missing work (lost wages).
  • General damages. These damages help address the intangible losses associated with your experience, such as pain and suffering. It may also address emotional distress or loss in life quality.

Rock climbing can be a fun way to pass the time, but it’s not without its dangers. Participants should know their legal options in the event of an accident or injury. Even if you signed a liability waiver, you may still have legal grounds for a claim. If you think you have a case for negligence based on what you’ve read here, the best thing you can do is contact an attorney for a free initial consultation.

Posted by admin at 11:10 pm

Can You Sue After an Electric Shock?

Monday, November 13, 2017

Electric shock injuries are not rare and the damage they cause varies greatly. Electrocutions are when an electric shock is fatal and they are fairly rare.  According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, there are around 70 fatal electrocutions each year from consumer products, and many more injuries. The most common age for electrocution is not among children, but among adults aged 40 to 59. One of the most common forms of electrocution results from occupational injuries, which account for almost 10% of all fatal workplace accidents.

If you or a loved one recently sustained a serious electric shock, you may be wondering what your legal options are. The following aspects will inform any electric shock lawsuit:

Who Is the Responsible Party?

As with virtually every other personal injury case, electric shock cases are rooted in the theory of negligence. This means that another person’s careless actions (or inaction) directly led to your injuries. In general, there are four elements that comprise an electric shock case:

1. Someone owed you a duty of care – i.e., they were required to help keep you safe. For example, your employer has a duty to provide a safe workplace.

2. That party breached their duty of care – i.e., committed negligence. An example might be failing to check a machine for loose wiring.

3. That breach of care led to your injuries, and;

4. You incurred specific damages as a result (medical bills, lost wages, etc.).

The most important part of your case will be determining who breached their duty of care. There are several legal theories that may come into play in an electric shock case, which may include:

  • Premises liability. If you were shocked at a store or in a public place, you may have a case based on the idea that property owners are duty-bound to keep their premises safe for visitors.
  • Negligent supervision. If your child or loved one was shocked while playing in a pool in a thunderstorm while under another person’s care, you may collect compensation using the theory of negligent supervision.
  • Product liability. If you were shocked while using a defective product, you may have a case under the scope of product liability law, which states that anyone involved in the production and distribution of a product must use reasonable care to make it safe.

Types of Damages in Electric Shock Cases

If you have legal grounds for an electric shock lawsuit, you may be able to collect damages. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Economic damages. These types of damages, also called “special” damages, compensate for all the tangible losses associated with your experience. Examples may include medical bills, lost wages, and the cost of rehabilitation.
  • General damages. These help with the intangible losses of an accident, such as pain, suffering, and any loss in life quality.

Electric shocks can lead to serious injury or death. Thankfully, victims of these shocks may be able to gain compensation, especially when their injuries arise from someone else’s negligence. If you have further questions or want to know if you have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit, contact an attorney.

Posted by admin at 11:02 pm

Texas Laws on Corporal Punishment in Public Schools

Monday, November 6, 2017

Corporal punishment used to be common in classrooms – whether it was paddling or hitting a student’s hands with a ruler. As we’ve evolved, however, so have our views about hitting children – and many states have since passed legislation that outlaws corporal punishment in schools. Texas, on the other hand, is one of the few states left in the union that allows corporal punishment in schools. If you’re aghast at this idea, you’re not alone. Fortunately, as a parent, you can “opt out” of corporal punishment for your children in schools. Here’s what you need to know about corporal punishment in local Texas schools.

What Is Corporal Punishment?

The state of Texas defines corporal punishment as any deliberate infliction of pain that involves spanking, hitting, slapping, or any other physical form of discipline. State law allows anyone who is involved in a child’s care or supervision to use any reasonable amount of force that an adult believes is required to maintain disciple. What the law views as “reasonable” can be subjective, however.

Where Is It Legal in Texas?

While state law allows corporal punishment in schools, they also give local school districts the authority to make their own ruling. As such, many of the urban and suburban areas in Texas have prohibited the use of corporal punishment. However, large swaths of rural areas throughout the state can and do still use it.

What Can I Do About It?

To many parents, the idea of corporal punishment is disturbing. If you’re in a district that condones the use of corporal punishment but do not agree to it, you have the right to opt out. In fact, Texas law prohibits the use of corporal punishment on any student whose parents have signed a statement explicitly prohibiting it. These “objections forms” go out at the beginning of the school year, and parents must sign them each year.

Private Schools

Is corporal punishment allowed in private schools? They do not receive public funding so they are not subject to state specific educational laws. As such, they are free to create their own policies.

Is It Actually Common?

The Three Rivers Independent School District made national headlines this summer when the school board voted unanimously to allow corporal punishment for misbehavior at school. The school administrators use wooden paddles to administer punishment, but only when they have express written consent from the parents.  The city, which is about halfway between Corpus Christi and San Antonio, was the subject of ire and controversy during that news cycle.

This flies in the face of the U.S. Department of Education, which sent letters out to state leaders condemning the practice, and urging states to prohibit it. Their stance is that students who experience corporal punishment are more likely to react aggressively with defiance in the short term, and are even more likely to have mental health issues and substance abuse problems later in life.

Still, corporal punishment is allowed in parts of Texas. Parents have the option of “opting out,” but anyone with concerns should contact an education attorney.

Posted by admin at 10:49 pm