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DELAWARE INJURY LAWYERS

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Category Archives: Premises Liability


Gas Company Worker Falls Victim to Violence in Wilmington

Gas Company Worker Falls Victim to Violence in Wilmington

A gas company worker has died as the result of a shooting that happened in Wilmington on Monday afternoon. Two contractors from Delmarva Power and Light Company were working on a gas main when they were shot. Each gas company worker was taken to area hospitals, where one remains but is now listed in stable condition. The second victim succumbed to his injuries on Wednesday.

Workers who spend their days outside or at a work site may be in greater danger of becoming victims of violence. While hazardous conditions may exist at any workplace and in any industry, recent reports of workplace violence mean that the danger of being hurt on the job due to physical assault or worse is a very real concern. This is especially true when steps are not taken to ensure adequate security for workers in areas where crime is more likely to occur.

If you or someone you love was injured at work as a result of violence, contact the Wilmington work accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow by calling 302-427-9500 or contact us online. We represent clients throughout Delaware, including those in Wilmington, Hockessin, Newark, Glasgow, Bear, Middletown, Smyrna, Dover, Milford, Lewes, Georgetown, Elsmere, and Seaford, as well as in communities in New Castle County, Kent County, and Sussex County from our offices located in Wilmington, Milford, and Bear, Delaware.

Firework Safety

New Castle Personal Injury Lawyers discuss firework safety to help families avoid serious accidents and injuries. Despite being outlawed in many areas, the use of fireworks results in numerous deaths and more than 10,000 injuries every year. Most of these accidents are due to improper use or product malfunction. Gathering to watch a firework display has become an Independence Day tradition all over the United States. For many people, putting on a backyard sideshow of sparklers, firecrackers, and bottle rockets is an integral part of their Fourth of July celebrations.

Endearing as the tradition may be, fire marshals throughout the country have warned of the dangers associated with amateur use of fireworks, and other officials have reminded revelers that these activities may break the law. Possession, sale, or use of most types of fireworks may result in fines or other penalties in Delaware.

Recently, a bill was passed in Delaware that allowed for the possession, sale, and use of a limited number of fireworks, such as sparklers and other non-explosive, non-airborne novelty items. However, the sale of such items is still restricted to those over the age of 18, and their use is only permitted on July 4 and December 31 each year. Due to the bill’s restrictions, these legal fireworks will only be available in stores within the 30 days leading up to either holiday.

Fire Risks

Beyond personal safety, there are other risks involved. Use of fireworks has been blamed for starting destructive fires, costing communities millions of dollars in damage to outdoor areas, buildings, and vehicles. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that most of these fires happen on July 4 each year. For safety’s sake, it is best to enjoy fireworks from a distance. Professional firework displays sponsored by local community organizations and staged by trained pyrotechnics experts are the safest way for the public to experience fireworks.

Disregarded Dangers

The prevalence of fireworks has minimized their danger in some people’s minds. Unfortunately, the risks are very real. Sparklers, which are mostly handled by children, burn as hot as 2,000 degrees and cause innumerable unreported burns every year. Bottle rockets and fire crackers use fuses that present the illusion that they can be operated at a safe distance, but the rockets can easily misfire. A Roman candle, which produces fire sparks from a canister held at arm’s length, can result in severe burns or the loss of a finger or hand. Explosive fireworks, which produce a recognizable boom that can be heard for miles, are manufactured illegally and without oversight. Some of the most severe firework injuries involved these devices.

New Castle Personal Injury Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Represent Clients Harmed in Firework Accidents

If you or a loved one was injured in an accident involving fireworks, the New Castle personal injury lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow can help you obtain the compensation you deserve for your suffering. Contact us online or call us at 302-427-9500 to set up a free consultation. Located in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, we serve clients throughout the state, including the areas of Elsmere and Seaford.

Who is Responsible for My Water Park Injury?

Bear Personal Injury Lawyers discuss who is responsible for a water park injury. For many families, summertime means a trip to a water park. While most people associate water parks with fun and relaxation, personal injury lawyers know they can also become accident sites. It is not difficult to imagine all the ways that a patron could get hurt or even killed in a water park environment. Some of the more common reasons for injuries sustained at water parks include slip and falls on wet surfaces, falls from water slide stairways and other heights, cuts from poorly maintained equipment, bacterial infections from improperly sanitized water, and drowning in pools.

These events can cause a host of physical issues, such as broken bones, muscle sprains and strains, lacerations, amputations, concussions, whiplash, spinal cord injuries, intestinal distress, and death. However, not all injuries may be the water park owner’s fault. That is why it is important to follow specific guidelines after getting hurt at a water park.

What to Do After a Water Park Accident

People who are injured at water parks should seek medical treatment immediately, if necessary. They should also carefully document everything that happened leading up to and after the incident. Names and phone numbers of witnesses should be collected. Images of the area where the injury occurred should be taken as close to the time of the injury as possible. Writing down this information is critical because people’s memories tend to fade quickly.

In addition to comprehensively documenting the event, any person injured at a water park should contact a personal injury lawyer. Attorneys can help water park injury victims file a lawsuit. For instance, if a patron slipped and fell because he chose not to follow posted safety rules, the owner might not be responsible. On the other hand, if a child nearly drowned because an untrained lifeguard was on duty, the child’s parents could bring suit based on premises liability. Each water park injury case is a unique situation, which is why obtaining advice from a lawyer is recommended before pursuing legal action.

Water Park Personal Injury Damages

If a victim of a water park accident wins a lawsuit, the court may award damages to cover medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages. Often, cases are settled to avoid the high cost of a trial, especially if the injury is high-profile and could damage the reputation of the water park.

Bear Personal Injury Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Seek Justice for Victims Injured at Water Parks

If you suffered harm due to the negligence of another party, call the Bear personal injury lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow to set up a free initial consultation. We will hold the negligent party accountable for your injuries so that you can focus on your recovery. Call us today at 302-834-8484 or fill out an online form for a free consultation. Located in Wilmington, Milford, and Bear, Delaware, we proudly serve clients throughout the state, including the areas of Elsmere and Seaford.

Amusement Park Accidents and Injuries

Bear Personal Injury Lawyers discuss amusement park accidents and injuries. In 2017, a roller coaster derailed in Florida, which was also once used in a Delaware amusement park. The accident injured 10 people, two of whom suffered serious injuries. The ride was taken out of commission for corrosion and damaged parts twice that year. A ride inspector cleared it for operation only a few months before the accident.

In a separate incident, a 14-year-old girl from Delaware fell from a gondola ride at an amusement park in New York. She was caught by Samaritans standing on the ground below. The gondola was inspected and found to have no mechanical issues. The police speculate that her own actions caused the fall.

A 49-year-old woman fell off a ride in Rehoboth Beach, injuring her head and the left side of her body. Park officials waited several days before commenting and finally reported that there were no mechanical issues with the ride. They also stated that they were doing their part to make the ride safer as well.

Although the above incidents may seem alarming, the fact is that thousands of people all over the nation are injured each year at amusement parks, and it is not always clear who is to blame.

Determining Liability

Amusement park owners have a duty to keep all customers safe. This means that they must maintain the rides, activities, walkways, and all other areas of their amusement park. If the park owner or manager knows of a dangerous condition, the hazard must be repaired immediately, or guests need to be properly warned of the impending danger.

However, in the case of the previously mentioned derailed roller coaster, the cause of the derailment is an important factor when determining liability. In this case, negligence occurred if:

  • The inspector failed to notice that damages were not repaired
  • The repair facility did an insufficient job
  • The ride operator was negligent in operations protocol

Guest Liability

It is important to keep in mind that amusement parks are not automatically responsible for all patron injuries. If a paying guest behaves recklessly by ignoring ride rules and safety regulations, insurance companies and courts will most likely find the guest liable for their own injuries.

Trespassing

When a paying guest is injured due to negligence at an amusement park, the laws of premises liability may allow the patron to collect compensation for medical bills and other recovery costs, but trespassers may have little recourse. Trespassers in an amusement park are:

  • Those that sneak in without paying
  • Paying guests in an unauthorized area
  • People on the grounds after hours

However, there are certain circumstances where the park may be held responsible for injuries to trespassers. For example, a park owner may be liable for a trespasser’s injuries if the park owner knew a damaged walkway was used by the public when the park was closed or if an injury occurred in a dangerous area that was not clearly marked as hazardous.

Bear Personal Injury Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Advocate for Those Injured in Amusement Park Accidents

If you or a loved one suffered injuries from an amusement park accident, call the Bear personal injury lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow. Our team will offer dedicated assistance to determine who is liable for your injury and what compensation you may be entitled. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 302-427-9500 or contact us online. We have three convenient locations in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware to serve clients throughout the state.

Swimming Pool Accident in New Castle County Causes Fatality

Swimming Pool Accident in New Castle County Causes FatalityA swimming pool accident in Claymont, Delaware fatally injured a four-year-old child. The fatal accident occurred on Wednesday evening after the child went missing and was found in a family’s swimming pool in the Claymont Terraces neighborhood around 7:30pm. After the child was found, he received medical treatment at a local hospital but unfortunately succumbed to fatal injuries on Thursday morning.

Earlier in the day, around 5:50pm, a 15-year-old boy sustained critical injuries after nearly drowning at an apartment complex pool in New Castle, Delaware. He was transported to the Christiana Hospital after the swimming pool accident.

Although swimming pools attract a crowd when the summer arrives, dangers may exist if the property owner fails to maintain the pool and surrounding areas and ensure that safeguards such as fences are in place to protect swimmers and other visitors. In some cases, the property owner may be liable if a serious accident occurs that leaves an individual with injuries or even fatalities due to negligence.

If you or someone you love has been injured on someone else’s property, contact our Wilmington premises liability lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow. Call 302-427-9500 or contact us online to see how we can assist you. With offices in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, we serve clients throughout Hockessin, Newark, Glasgow, Middletown, Smyrna, Dover, Lewes, Georgetown, and Seaford as well as those in the communities of New Castle County, Kent County, and Sussex County.

Stephen T. Morrow Presents at 2018 NJAJ Annual Boardwalk Seminar

Delaware Personal Injury Lawyers present at the 2018 NJAJ Boardwalk Seminar in Atlantic City. Rhodes & Morrow partner Stephen T. Morrow recently participated in the New Jersey Association for Justice (NJAJ) annual Boardwalk Seminar, presenting on the topic of “How to Maximize Damages.” Mr. Morrow, who also serves as President of the Delaware Valley Trial Lawyers Association, is highly regarded for his success representing clients in personal injury and Workers’ Compensation cases.

Founded in the late 1940s, the NJAJ is a statewide association of more than 2,400 members in private practice and public service. Its membership includes attorneys, paralegals, law clerks, law students, and law school graduates not yet admitted to the bar. The organization’s Boardwalk Seminar was created to meet the continuing education requirements of trial attorneys. Seminar attendees can earn up to a year’s worth of MCLE credits. The seminar features outstanding local and regional speakers, along with top national speakers.

For more information on the legal services offered at Rhoades & Morrow, call 302-427-9500 to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Delaware injury lawyer at one of our three conveniently located offices in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware. You can also contact us online.

Playground Accidents

Wilmington Slip and Fall Lawyers discuss playground accidents and getting the help you need to hold liable parties accountable. A simple trip to the playground can turn into a painful experience if you or your child slip and fall or are otherwise injured. Public parks, public and private schools, daycare centers, and private homes may all have playground equipment. Unfortunately, playground accidents are common occurrences and can result in serious injuries. Anyone injured in a playground accident should seek immediate medical attention and consult an experienced Delaware accident lawyer for legal advice.

Types of Playground Injuries

Some of the injuries that occur on playgrounds include:

  • Broken bones from slip and falls.
  • Cuts and lacerations from broken/improperly maintained equipment.
  • Dislocations.
  • Concussions from falls.
  • Dog bites from dogs running loose, or dogs unaccustomed to small children.

According to Delaware law, dogs must be leashed. Aside from a few exceptions, owners have strict liability for dogs that bite or injure people.

In the case of children injured in a playground accident where daycare or school staff is in charge, negligent supervision may be a factor in the accident. The ratio of staff to students is important to investigate in these cases.

Preventing Playground Accidents

There are many steps that can be taken to keep children safe from injury when they are playing including:

  • Using mulch or rubber chips to provide soft surfaces to land on.
  • Maintaining equipment properly, including painting with non-toxic lead-free paint, checking for rust that could indicate structural damage, and loose screws or other small parts that present a potential choking hazard.
  • Posting warning signs and marking off any equipment or areas under repair that should not be used.
  • Ensuring surfaces are level and free of debris to prevent slip and falls.
  • Providing adequate supervision in daycare and school settings.

If You or Your Child is Injured in a Playground Accident

Probably the last thing you expect on a children’s playground is to experience an accident with serious consequences, but according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly 45 percent of playground related injuries are serious. If this happens to you or your child, it is crucial to:

  • Document the circumstances of the accident immediately with photos or videos.
  • Write down exactly what happened as soon as possible before important details are forgotten.
  • Get the contact information of anybody who witnessed the accident so that you can also obtain their written account.

The more evidence you can gather, the better chance of success you will have in recovering potential compensation for your injuries.

Contact an experienced premises liability lawyer who can investigate the accident and ensure that your claim is filed within the Delaware statute of limitations.

Wilmington Slip and Fall Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Advocate for Children Injured by the Negligence of Others

It is always a tragedy when a child is injured, but even more so when it happens at a place meant for play. Contact a dedicated Wilmington slip and fall lawyer at Rhoades & Morrow if your child has been injured in a playground accident. Our team will investigate on your behalf and ensure that negligent parties are held accountable. Call us today at 302-427-9500 for a free consultation about your case. You can also contact us online. We have three convenient locations in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford serving clients throughout the state of Delaware.

Parking Lot Safety

Bear Car Accident Lawyers offer detailed advice on parking lot safety. While many consumers do a large part of their holiday shopping online, but sometimes there is no substitute for seeing an item in person before deciding to buy. There are also deals to be had that are only available in stores. If you will be heading to the local mall or shopping center this holiday season, here are some tips for parking lot safety to ensure your shopping trip has a happy ending.

Stow Away Your Valuables

It sounds obvious, but bears repeating: do not leave valuables visible in your car. This means phones, tablets, and game consoles, and also their charging cables as the presence of cables is a sign to thieves that electronic goodies are nearby. Included in valuables are the fruits of your shopping trip that you did not want to carry while you continue shopping. Stow away bags and packages and consider moving the location of your car if you came out laden with shopping bags and are returning for another round, or to get a bite to eat. Some thieves watch the parking lot and they will know you will not return immediately to your car.

Avoid Becoming a Victim of Crime

Most mall-related crime takes place in parking lots so choose your parking spot well. It may be tempting to stay away from the most crowded parts of the lots, but especially if you are alone, that is where you want to be. Foot traffic around your car makes it harder for thieves to target you for a break-in. Always make sure that you park in a busy, well-lit area, preferable away from large SUVs or vans that can provide cover for thieves.

Make a note of where you have parked so that you can return directly to your car without any unnecessary detours. Walk purposefully and quickly and once in your car, lock the doors, especially if you need to program your navigation system and are not departing immediately. Though there is no way to completely eliminate the potential for crime, premises liability law requires that property owners take reasonable steps to make their premises safe. If they fail in this duty, victims may be able to recover compensation by filing an unsafe property claim.

Watch for Traffic Hazards

The slow tempos in the parking lot lead some drivers into thinking they can carry on a conversation on their phone while they look for a parking spot. In fact, with all the other cars looking for parking and pedestrian traffic to and from cars, it is a very dangerous place to be a distracted driver. Children are especially difficult to spot if they dart away from their parents. Do not be a distracted pedestrian either. When you have parked and are heading into the stores, do not text and walk, or check your email. Continue to remain alert and pay attention to traffic in the parking lot to avoid becoming the victim of a pedestrian accident.

Double Check Your Mirrors

Many car accidents happen in parking lots and many are preventable by being extra vigilant when entering or leaving a space. Double check your mirrors and/or back-up camera for pedestrians and other cars backing out, as well as cars that may pass by after you have checked your mirrors the first time.

Bear Car Accident Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Obtain Compensation for Accident Victims

If you have suffered injuries in a car accident, consult with a knowledgeable Bear car accident lawyer from Rhoades & Morrow about your legal options for compensation. Call 302-834-8484 to schedule a free review of your case or contact us online. From our Bear, Wilmington and Milford offices, we assist injured accident victims throughout Delaware.

Safe Decorating for Halloween

Bear Premises Liability Lawyers: Safe Decorating for HalloweenChildren all around the country are gearing up for Halloween with costumes, candy baskets and trick-or-treat plans. The spooky holiday is quickly approaching and adults should be preparing for it too. To minimize the risk of someone getting injured on their property during this season, homeowners can take several safety precautions including:

  • Providing adequate lighting: Trick-or-treating typically takes place at night when visibility is decreased. Make sure that your driveway, walkways and front yard have adequate lighting for visitors. Motion-sensor lights, walkway lights and flashlights are all good options.
  • Tidying up your property: Raking leaves is a common activity in the fall; just make sure to properly store the rake afterwards. Lawn equipment such as rakes and shovels should be stored away and not left lying in the yard, walkways or on the porch.
  • Consider the safety of your decorations: Many people like to celebrate Halloween by hanging lights and putting out decorations. Make sure your extension cord has the correct number of amps and that you do not have any exposed wires or broken sockets. Also, it may be wise to forgo traditional candles in favor of battery-powered lights for jack-o-lanterns to prevent accidental fires.

Premises Liability

Someone who is injured on someone else’s property may have a premises liability case. Premises liability is the underlying legal theory for personal injury cases in which someone suffers an injury due to unsafe conditions on someone else’s property. The injured party is required to prove that the property owner was negligent in his or her ownership or maintenance of the property. Therefore, to be liable, the owner must have either known or reasonably should have known that a hazard existed but did not take steps to remedy the situation.

Modified Comparative Negligence

In Delaware, premises liability plaintiffs may bear some shared responsibility for their injuries. According to the modified comparative negligence rule, injured plaintiffs who are found to be partly at fault will receive a diminished award that reflects the proportion of their contributory negligence. As long as the plaintiff’s contributory negligence does not exceed 50 percent, they will likely be able to receive some compensation.

Compensation

Premises liability plaintiffs may be entitled to compensation for their medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, loss of earning capacity and incidental expenses associated with their injuries. The statute of limitations in Delaware for personal injury cases is three years from the date of the accident. Therefore, those injured on someone else’s property must file their claim within three years of the accident to be eligible for compensation.

Bear Slip and Fall Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Represent the Injured in Premises Liability Cases

If you suffered an injury on someone else’s unsafe property, contact a Bear slip and fall lawyer at Rhoades & Morrow. Property owners have a duty to ensure that their property is free of hazards that could cause injury to visitors. If an owner’s negligence caused you to suffer injuries, you may be entitled to compensation. Our experienced lawyers will provide you with honest advice and effective advocacy. Contact us online or call our Bear office at 302-834-8484, our Wilmington office at 302-427-9500, or our Milford office at 302-422-6705. We represent clients throughout Delaware, including those in Bear, Wilmington, Milford, and New Castle County.