Skip to main content
Colm William Kenny

Colm Kenny’s Answers

59 total


  • In Pennsylvania: Are parents liable through parents auto insurance for sons accident while driving friends car ?

    My 26 year old son was involved in a 1 car accident while driving a friends car owned by the friends parent. Friend was a passenger and is claiming injury. My son is now being sued by the friend for bodily injury, My son was temporally living ...

    Colm’s Answer

    It depends on what you mean by "temporarily living with us". As your relative, your son is covered as an insured under your automobile policy if he resides with you -- even though he is not a named insured under the policy.

    More simply stated, any and all relative who reside with you are covered by any automobile policy you have, unless they are specifically excluded.

    If your son treated your home as a permanent residence, he got his mail there, intended to stay for a period of time, etc. It is likely he would be covered under your auto insurance for first party benefirts (medical payments, wage loss, etc) and liablity (if he was at fault in the accident) which it appears he was at fautl, being dui.

    Your and your husband's personal liablity would have to arise out of your own negligent acts, if any, such as if you had gotten him drunk, knowing he would drive.

    Tender the matter to your auto insurance, get your child's treatment paid for though them, and they will handle any claim asserted by the passenger, including assigning you an attorney should suit be filed.

    See question 
  • Am I able to sue a former employer for nonpayment of wages as well as defamation of character and emotional distress?

    They are accusing me of doing something that I did not do nor had any knowledge of the going ons, not even sure if the employer is being honest about what is going on. They are holding my pay pending an investigation which I have nothing to do wi...

    Colm’s Answer

    First and foremost, contact the Pennsylvania Department of Labor to file a Wage Payment and Collection Law complaint. See http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=553002&mode=2

    Second, contact a local attorney familiar with this law, which enables you to obtain wages rightfully due you, obtain potential punitive damages of 25% of non paid wages, and attorney's fees.

    If you are being wrongly accused, it will have to be shown in Court under this claim for you to be entitled.

    Finally, while there is a three year statute of limitations on this claim, it is best to act promptly in order to obtain your wages.

    See question 
  • After winning a wrongful death suit in the state of PA. is it normal for the Attorney to handle the taxes & issue checks?

    It's been 6 weeks since I won a wrongful death suit, I still have not signed one paper, since the mediation outcome. I am the executrix and filed the suit. Is it normal for the attorney to hold the funds and be the one to pay any taxes due to the ...

    Colm’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    If by won, you mean you settled the case, be advised that Court approval must be obtained for such settlement, and also for the proposed allocation and distrubiton of funds. That is the amounts to be allocated between the Wrongful Death and Survival claims. After court approval, you would sign a release and funds would be distributed. That distribution would occur purusant to the Court Order. Finalizing both the amount of liens, as well as getting approval by the Pa. Department of Revenue can take a few weeks, and presentation of the Motion and Approval may take another few weeks.

    It is best to contact your attorney directly to determine the status of the resolution, and he or she should be able to provide you a general timeframe in which things will ultimately be resolved.

    See question 
  • What is Loss of Cosortium

    Personal Injury

    Colm’s Answer

    Loss of Consortium is a "derivative" claim that any non-injured spouse has when their spouse is injured.

    More simply put, when one spouse is injured, the law recognizes that the other spouse suffers a loss of the companionship and society of their injured spouse. It is not a claim that stands on its own, it derives from the injured spouses claim.

    Absent castestrophic injury, these claim are not high value claims.

    See question 
  • Lifetime Guarantee on auto repairs void due to subsequent accident. Who is liable?

    My vehicle was rear ended in 2007 and was repaired through my insurance company with a lifetime guarantee on repairs. In 2013, the vehicle was rear ended again and the appraiser discovered preexisting damages (i did not know these existed) that h...

    Colm’s Answer

    The question is ultimately one about the cause of the damage. If on the one hand, the damage to your vehicle is simply poor repairs done in 2007 (that is, it involves an area of the vehicle not damaged during the 2013 accident) then the lifetime guarentee should cover any needed repair.

    If on the otherhand, the 2013 accident caused damage to an area of the vehicle that was poorly repaired in 2007, the the defendant driver - or your collission coverage - would be responsible for its repair.

    A subsequent accident does NOT void a lifetime guarentee on repairs - EXCEPT that any subsequent repair would have its own guarentee that would override the prior guaurentee.

    See question 
  • What is a fair pain and suffering settlement for minor injuries?

    I was recently in a car accident. I just found out I am entitled to a pain and suffering claim. The accident was the other drivers fault. She was not watching the road. I hit my head. I had a huge bump, my left eye was swollen shut, both eyes were...

    Colm’s Answer

    The short answer: Depends.

    The long answer: Your list of injuries would indicate more than mere soft tissue injury. Your scarring and disfigurement has a seperate value from the pain, humiliation caused by those scars. There is no chart or spreadsheet that lawyers refer to in order to determine a "fair" settlement value. Rather, experience, and the specific facts of the case, including liablity issues, causation issues, treatment records, tort options, mitigating and aggravating charachteristics of the parties are part of the calculus used by personal injury lawyers to determine a fair value for settlement.

    I encourage you to consult with a qualified and experienced personal injury attorney in order to discuss this in person. Such a consultation is usually free, and retaining such an attorney would most likely be on a contingent fee basis.

    Best of luck to you.

    See question 
  • Auto Civil Suit Case in PA-Can i reschedule it multiple times?

    Background: Oct 2012, my car crashed with a new lexus car, along with two other cars in the parking lot. No physica injuries, only material damages. Claim compensation wanted:15000$. Insurance limits paid them the money, but out of court settlemen...

    Colm’s Answer

    As I understand the facts you have stated, a claimant has a $9,000.00 claim remaining after your insurance company paid him the limits of your policy. That claimant has filed suit, and you wish to know:
    1. Can you re-schedule the hearing - multiple times? Well, you can see to continue/re-schedule a hearing for good cause. It is within the discretion of the court whether to grant such a continuance. There is no limit on the number of continuances - but as a court exercises discretion it is often limited when those continuances are viewed as simply a matter of delaying the claim.

    2. Can you settle out of court? Yes, and any such settlement should be reduced to a writing, drafted by a competent attorney. You cannot force the other side to settle - and they are entitled to a meritorious judgment. No civil claim - however- is forbidden from being settled as long as the parties agree to the terms of settlement.

    See question 
  • What kind of financial arrangements do lawyers make? Are they paid a percentage of the financial award? Or client pay up front?

    Suppose the client can't afford to pay up front but has a strong case? What financial arrangements can be made?

    Colm’s Answer

    Most civil litigation attorney's for the Plaintiff charge a contingency fee, that is a percentage of any recovery is paid as the fee, and if there is no recovery, there is no fee. Civil litigation attorney's for defendants usually charge on an hourly basis, and require a retainer up front to secure the representation.

    Similarly, a criminal defense attorney usually charges either an hourly fee or a flat rate for defense of a criminal charge, and will require a retainer to be paid up front to secure representation.

    In all cases, a fee or retainer agreement is executed by the client and attorney that will define how the attorney is to be paid.

    Beyond that, it is difficult to answer your question as you do not provide any information about what kind of case you have.

    See question 
  • Does insurance company have to reimburse sales tax in PA-had to purchase new vehicle because of total loss situation

    Accident was not my fault (rear ended by police officer) and i was told PA law states their insurance comp must reimburse my sales tax, registration, titling fees etc. on purchase of new vehicle.

    Colm’s Answer

    The short answer is no. Under Pennsylvania law, the measure of damages to property (your car) is the cost to repair OR the cost to replace, whichever is less. On the cost to replace, it it measured by the Fair Market Value of the property (your car).

    Tax and the liablity for it, are not part of the fair market appraisal of the vehicle. In otherwords, you are not entiteled, undr the law to what it costs YOU to buy a new car, but rather you are only entitled to what your car is worth - or what it would cost to repair it- whichever is less.

    That all said, differences of opinion exist on what a car is worth, and pursuing the highest value for the vehicle is something any automobile accident attorney would be qualified to pursue on your behalf.

    See question 
  • My mom was killed in a car wreck and there is three children how would t get split up

    she was killed in a car wreck

    Colm’s Answer

    If your mother's spouse is still living, and was married to your wife at the time, the spouse would take half of all wrongful death and survival recovery, plus $30,000.00, and the three children - if they are all biological - would split the remainder evenly.

    If no spouse is living, the children - if all biological - would split the entire wrongful death and survival benefits - after payment of debts - equally.

    An estate will have to be opened for your mother to both prosecute, as well as settle any wrongful death and survival claims as a result of her dying as a result of the car wreck. A court must approve any settlement and its distribution.

    You should contact a qualified personal injury attorney to address these matters immediately as you only have 2 years in which to settle a claim, or file a lawsuit, before the claim would become stale, and be barred by the applicable statute of limitations.

    See question