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Dev K Sethi
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Dev Sethi’s Answers

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  • Can I bring an injury suit against a party that caused a skydiving accident by failing to follow signs on commercial land?

    Accident occured July 2012 in Eloy, AZ. I substained life altering injuries and suffer from severe pain after two major back surgeries. I never pursued legal action for a cpl reasons....1)I didnt think there are legal grounds based on accident loc...

    Dev’s Answer

    In Arizona, liability waivers are not iron clad barriers to recovery. The fact that you signed waivers before skydiving is a factor to consider, but it is not the only factor. The application of the waiver is really a fact intensive question.

    You should consult with a qualified lawyer, preferably one with experience in dealing with liability waivers and skydiving/complex injury cases. And you should do this as soon as possible. You have very little time left before you can initiate a case...and depending on who the defendants might be, that time window may have already closed.

    Regardless, you have serious questions and what sounds like a serious injury, you should consult with a lawyer to get some more information.

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  • Small claim civil legal malpractice case?

    Being a prose plaintiff does it necessary to respond defendant consul before court date in a civil case in Dallas County?

    Dev’s Answer

    If your question is whether it is necessary to respond to defense counsel filings in a legal malpractice case in advance of a court hearing, where you are representing yourself, the answer is maybe.

    Certain things a defense lawyer might file ask the court to dismiss the case and enter judgement in favor of the defense, and against the plaintiff. The court may set hearings to consider those motions, but there may be other deadlines (that come before a hearing) for you to file your written response to the motion.

    If you don't respond, you may unwittingly waive certain arguments, the court might dismiss the case because of lack of prosecution, and at the very least it may question your commitment or the merits of your case.

    Make sure you understand exactly what has been filed and what your obligations and rights to respond are. While you can represent yourself in litigation, it is not easy and full procedural and legal requirements that must be met. If you are not familiar with them, you could find yourself kicked out of court pretty quickly.

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  • Am I responsible for veterinary bills ?

    Am I responsible for veterinary bills for a dog who was attacked and injured by my dog , when the owner of the injured dog walked straight up to me and my dog to be sociable .

    Dev’s Answer

    Maybe... You don't say if your dog was leashed and where you were. Those may be factors.

    In PA much depends on the severity of the injuries and your dog's history. Generally, dogs are personal property and the owner is responsible for damages the animal causes. Many states hold owners strictly liable for injuries caused by dog bites -- to people or other dogs.

    However, PA remains a state where the history of the dog and the owner's knowledge of the dog comes into play.

    Putting the results of a legal conflict to the side, if your dog attacked another dog, the right thing to do might be apologize and pay the vet bill.

    If things do escalate, you should report the claim to your homeowner's insurance company, if you have such coverage.

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  • My former employer refuses to turn my injury bills into work comp for payment. What can I do ????

    I was hurt at work on 2/22/2011 in Indiana. Former employer made threats and has hung me out to dry.

    Dev’s Answer

    You need to get to a qualified worker's compensation attorney fast. I am not familiar with any statutes of limitations in Indiana, but there are time restrictions on certain claims that can be made. If the time limits run out, you may be barred from bringing your claim.
    As soon as possible, make arrangements to meet a lawyer in the jurisdiction where you were hurt.

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  • I have a witness to an accident but they live out of state. Is there a way to legally get a statement that the judge will allow?

    I'm taking someone to small claims court for a car accident because their insurance company is only paying half of the estimate. The other person said that both of us was moving and that is not true.

    Dev’s Answer

    I see the answers suggesting you bring the witness to court with you, and that is the ideal answer. Given the amount in controversy, and given that you are in small claims court, that might not be financially practical.

    So...ask the court if you can make arrangements to have the witness testify by videoconference or telephone. With the ease of programs like Skype or google+, fast and easy to use internet videoconference is available from most any computer, and even some smart phones. Videoconference would be my first choice, telephone second. And if neither were available, obtaining a signed, notarized affidavit detailing the witness' testimony might carry the day in a small claims courtroom, but it is a bit more of a gamble.

    Regardless of what path you choose, try to ask the court -- or the court staff -- what may be allowed.

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  • Do I need an attorney for a car accident I was not at fault for?

    My car was parked and hit by a uhaul. Someone witnessed the accident and a police report was made. My car sustained damages and my alignment is very off, and I don't want to cause more damage by driving my car. I can't afford to fix the damages on...

    Dev’s Answer

    You are in a tough situation. You are simply looking to get your car back to where it was before an at fault driver hit you. If you knew the identity of the insurance carrier, this is likely something you would be able to work out without hiring a lawyer. In fact, hiring a lawyer might end up costing you more than the value of your claim.
    The big problem is that you don't know the other driver's insurance carrier, and he won't give it to you. Perhaps you could convince the investigating police officer (if there was one for the police report) to inquire.
    If that doesn't work, I suggest you consult with a lawyer in your area to see if he or she will write a letter or file a claim in your version of small claims court for a flat fee -- on that is reasonable in light of the value of the value of the claim. That may or may not be possible.
    In the end, your best and only real option may be filing a claim with your carrier to get your car fixed and back on the road. You bought and paid for the coverage. Nobody likes to use it, but you might have to.
    When you consult with a Florida lawyer, ask if there is a Florida statute that prohibits carriers from raising rates when you make a claim on your policy where you were not at fault. Many states have such laws.

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  • I am a plaintiff in a personal injury case.The opposing laywer recommends a mediator who was a previous employee in their firm.

    Mediator also was a 15 year shareholder in their firm. Is it wise to use him?

    Dev’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    I'm a plaintiff's lawyer, so my answer comes from that perspective. I would not hesitate to use a mediator who had a background as a defense lawyer or who is a friend/former partner with the defense lawyer in the case to be discussed. In fact, I think it can be a great benefit.

    When I look to select a mediator, I really want someone I trust and who will have credibility with my client. But one important factor is the relationship/respect the mediator can develop with the folks in the defense rooms.

    I want someone who the defense will listen to and respect. I would think that the potential mediator, especially since he's being suggested by the defense lawyer -- fits that bill.

    I would do some independent due diligence into the mediator to see if he is a good choice, regardless of his relationship with the defense counsel. If so, I would explain to my client why he makes a good choice....of course, the hurdle may be convincing your client to agree to the mediator.

    But if he has a good record and reputation, the fact that he has a history with the defense lawyer is a positive not a negative.

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  • Should we consult an atty re pain & suffering if worker's comp is paying the medical bills for my wife's on-the-job burn?

    My wife was frying donuts at her store bakery. The lid fell off the fryer. She re-attached the lid, but it had leaked grease onto the floor. There was no non-slip mat at that station. She slipped on the grease and her hand went into the fryer....

    Dev’s Answer

    I recommend you contact a lawyer with experience in product defect/dangerous product cases. The sooner the better.

    Typically worker's compensation is the exclusive remedy for on the job injuries. That means you can't sue your employer when you are hurt at work. There are good policy reasons behind this, and the law was originally created with some worker's rights issues in mind. The main benefit is that if you are hurt on the job, you get specific benefits on a no-fault basis. That means it doesn't matter who was responsible for the injury (the employee, the employer, a co-employee), if you are hurt at work you get benefits -- typically medical and some wage loss.

    The downside is that there is no real compensation for pain and suffering and the wage loss component of the worker's comp claim typically lags behind a true wage.

    You can bring a claim (lawsuit) against a 3rd party who is responsible. A 3rd party is someone not -- and not related to -- the employer.

    I think you want to get an engineer involved in looking at the fryer. You may or may not have a case, but you should talk with someone to figure that out.

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  • Can I sue my doctor for calling my boyfriend's sister-in-law with his lab results?

    I went to my gynecologist and got a script for a semen analysis for my boyfriend. He went to a hospital and had the test done. The script had his name on it and the hosptial had his phone number, birthdate, & address.The lab sent it out and called...

    Dev’s Answer

    The best recourse is likely filing a complaint with the state agency responsible for overseeing the lab that made the call.

    There is not going to be a civil law (medical malpractice) remedy here. While it was certainly a mistake to call the wrong person with the test results, there does not appear to be any damage done. And certainly not enough to justify and support a medical malpractice case, which will be expensive and time consuming.

    Of course, if there are other facts, not shared, that establish some real, tangible damage, you might want to talk to a lawyer in Chicago.

    Of note, the federal law HIPPA, creates strong privacy protections for medical information. But it does not create a private right of action for violation. So, an individual whose rights are compromised by a medical provider who improperly shares confidential medical information cannot bring a claim based on a HIPPA violation. Instead, only federal oversight agencies can enforce the law.

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  • I went to my court date and the date had been changed. She gave me the wrong date.I have written proof When I discovered this I

    webt to court to rectify the problem. I was never heard , arrested for fta and spent 6 hours in jail can i sue

    Dev’s Answer

    Can you sue is a much different question than should you sue. Can you? Sure. Pay the filing fee and you can start a lawsuit.

    Should you sue? No.

    I am sorry to hear about the mix-up and the time you spent in jail. I do not mean to minimize it, as it was no doubt scary and troubling. But the fact is a lawsuit is unlikely to be successful. And it's very likely that the costs of bringing a lawsuit will eclipse any potential recovery that you might see.

    If, though, you do want to proceed, you need to be very careful and act quickly. Colorado has strict time deadlines that must be met before you can bring a claim against the state or a state employee. Miss those deadlines, and you lose the ability to bring any claim in state court.

    If you want to look into this more, I suggest you, as soon as possible, set an appointment with a local lawyer who has experience suing government agencies in negligence and civil rights cases.

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