Smells like trouble in Benihana

It seems Tori Spelling of all people has decided to take on the giant of Japanese steakhouses, Benihana. Spelling has now settled a personal injury suit she filed after she was allegedly burned watching her chef flip cutlery and eggs into the air with remarkable dexterity.

Spelling’s legislative success comes after what appears on the surface to be a complete accident. In 2015, she slipped in a Benihana restaurant and in the process of falling, she grabbed a nearby grill (poor choice, Tori, the ground would have been kinder to you). The result was a trip to the hospital and a skin graft after it was discovered she had second- and third-degree burns on her right arm.

For some reason, all of this, it was decided, was Benihana’s fault. The famous restaurant that has been flinging Japanese food skyward since 1964 has been found liable for damages since a burn on Ms. Spelling’s arm apparently harmed her earning potential. Exactly what that potential was at this point, is all speculation. Perhaps she might have made a better wristwatch model otherwise.

Benihana was also on the hook for hospital expenses, medicine, and “general damages,” whatever that means.

The exact amount of the settlement hasn’t been released, but it’s likely to have been a bundle. Personal injury lawsuits tend to work in bundles. It’s almost enough to make you want to run out and fall on a Benihana grill just to get a piece of that personal injury pie, or steak in this case.

The money will come in good stead, surely, since Tori Spelling has had notoriously bad luck with holding onto her money. The former 90210 star, and reality star, has had her troubles, to put it mildly. Those troubles were bad enough that her father, Aaron Spelling, who created much of the best-loved trash television of the ‘70s, ‘80s, and ‘90s, left her $800,000 out of his $600,000,000 fortune. Remember to be kind to your parents, folks. Especially if they’re worth that kind of money.

Though $800,000 seems like a lot on its own to most of us, it doesn’t go far in the land of annual plastic surgery visits to keep up with the cutthroat competition for those wristwatch catalog modeling jobs.

We’ll have to hope that Benihana has been more generous than Tori’s father and put her in a better way for the future. Ms. Spelling has a young child named Beau to think about, and we wouldn’t want her crashing into Pottery Barn shelves or throwing IKEA furniture upon herself in a desperate attempt at a future income.

So, let’s hope Benihana has treated Tori well for the time being. And while we’re at it, let’s all help restore some of that lost Benihana income and get some lunch, shall we?

How Can Car Accidents Occur?

Car accidents are always highlighted in news programs and websites, and there is a good reason for that. Car accidents are often life-changing because of the damages they can bring. The website of these Oklahoma personal injury attorneys has expanded on those damages:

  • Property damages
  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Wrongful death

But why do car accidents happen? Below are some of their common causes.

Driver’s Fault

The most obvious causes are those who control the vehicles – the drivers. Car accidents can happen because of understandable errors, but it cannot be denied that they also happen because of unacceptable behaviors, such as the following:

  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Driving while distracted
  • Driving while fatigued
  • Speeding
  • Tailgating
  • Weaving
  • Not following traffic rules

Mechanical Defects

If the driver is not at fault, it can be the vehicle itself or its parts. Usually, the responsible party here is the driver, because he has failed to inspect and properly maintain his car, or the designer or manufacturer of the vehicle or the defective part that has caused the accident.

According to the website of Ravid and Associates, those who have been hurt in car accidents caused by mechanical defects may get compensation from the responsible party.

Road Defects

Even if a person is driving safely and maintaining his vehicle efficiently, he can still be involved in a car accident because of road defects and hazards. The most common defects and hazards on our streets include the following:

  • Design issues, such as abrupt curves, inexistent shoulders, lack of crosswalks, narrow lanes, and poor lighting
  • Maintenance issues, such as debris left on road, defective traffic lights, overgrowths that may compromise visibility, and uneven surfaces such as cracks and potholes

Third Party Recklessness

Car drivers are not the only ones on the road, so they are not the only ones who can possibly do reckless things that may result into accidents. It is also important to consider bicyclists who don’t stay in bicycle lanes and don’t have the proper lights, motorcyclists who weave and stay on blind spots, and pedestrians who suddenly cross the street.

“Let Us Fight for You!” – An Invitation You Might Find Worthy Responding To

In its website, the Chris Mayo Law Firm says, “For individuals whose lives have been affected by disabilities, the Social Security disability programs can provide a crucial source of financial support and assistance, allowing them to support themselves and their families. Whether a person has suffered the disability for their entire lifetime or has only recently become disabled, the benefits provided through Social Security disability programs may be essential to maintaining their way of living.

Unfortunately, applying for and receiving these benefits can often be a long, complicated process, and many individuals, who badly need these benefits often have their initial claim denied. For this reason, legal assistance is often crucial in helping disabled individuals get the help they need.”

To help individuals in their claim, Social Security Disability lawyers call out to them with the invitation, “Let us fight for you!” This invitation is regardless of the Social Security program individuals need to apply into to obtain benefits.

One such program is the SS Long-term Disability Benefits, through which the Social Security Administration (SSA) grants cash benefits to eligible individuals suffering from total permanent disability. This disability should be total or permanent, which will render a person unable to perform any type of work, including the one that he/she had before being disabled, and which can either last for more than a year or result in death.

The SSA has an impairment listing manual, more familiarly known as the “blue book,” which contains serious types of disabilities. If a member’s disability is included in this listing, then he/she may automatically qualify for the SSDI cash benefits. Any impairment that is also serious, but is not included in the list, may still qualify a member to receive the cash benefits. Thus, a migraine headache, for example, that is too severe so that it becomes impossible for an individual to have a full-time job is also very likely to be determined by the SSA as a qualifying disabling condition.

Additionally, children or those below 18 years old, who have limited income and resources and whose disability has resulted in severe functional limitations may be able to apply for the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits (the Social Security Disability Insurance or SSDI disability benefits may be availed of only by employees/workers who have earned the number of credits that the SSA requires. These credits can be earned through the monthly payment of Social Security taxes. This payment is reflected in employees’ pay slip under the heading “FICA,” for Federal Insurance Contributions Act).

A Pool Owner’s Liability in the Event of a Pool Accident

Premises liability refers to the legal principle that holds owners, lessees or occupiers of properties responsible for injuries suffered (by certain individuals) on their property. A premises liability case usually rests on the concept that a property owner had been negligent in using or exercising the standard of care that is ordinarily required of him/her.

Now, since swimming pools are located inside someone’s property, whether this property is privately owned or open for public use, lawsuits dealing with injuries sustained in or around a pool will have to be tried under premises liability rules.

Premises liability rules vary somewhat from one state to another. While some states have dismissed the practice of distinguishing or categorizing entrants/users of a pool, there are still those that recognize three different types of entrants on the land, namely: invitees, licensees and trespassers. Each type of entrant, of course, requires a different degree of care from the owner.

“Invitees” refer to patrons of public pools, whether access to the pool requires a fee or is free of charge. To invitees, pool owners owe the duty of regularly maintaining and repairing the pool so nobody is at risk of injury.

“Licensee” entrants refer to social guests who use a pool inside a private property. To licensees, a pool owners owes the obligation of warning them of the dangers not obvious to the average person. Towards “trespassers,” however, a pool owner owes no duty of care, other than refraining from doing something intentionally that will harm the trespasser. The only thing a trespasser may be entitled to acquire after illegally entering a private property, using the pool inside that property and getting injured, is the title “injured trespasser,” since (adult) trespassers are generally never legally entitled to receive compensation for injuries that they sustain. If the trespasser is a child, however, then the owner may be held accountable for that child’s injuries. This accountability is based on the attractive nuisance doctrine (which is observed in many states) which says that pool owners have the obligation to: keep the pool safe from young children who do not understand the danger of drowning; and to prevent access to the pool, by building a fence around it, for example.

Regardless of entrant category, however, if the pool has hidden obstructions or if it is not obvious that it is too shallow for diving and there is no warning with regard to these, then the owner may be held liable in case of injuries. In the case of large pools, especially those open for public use, failure to provide life guards or other means of adequate supervision can make the owner liable.

As explained by premises liability attorneys from the law firm Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, people who visit others’ properties should not have to worry about their health and safety. However, there are property owners and managers whose negligence often expose clients, residents, and other guests to unsafe situations that can lead to devastating injuries or illnesses. In order to discourage this irresponsible behavior, premises liability laws allow victims of dangerous properties to hold careless property owners and managers accountable for their damages. Seeking assistance from a highly-competent premises liability attorney to fight for the rights of an injured guest may be necessary, especially if the owner of the property where the injury was sustained is a government agency, such as in a public pool owned by a municipality. This is due to the doctrine of governmental immunity, which protects government agencies from lawsuits.

The Lowdown on Uninsured Motorist Insurance

Getting involved in a car accident translates to mounting expenses on your part. For this reason, carrying an insurance policy can help alleviate the potential expenses that will come your way especially if you were deemed at fault. But nothing can be extremely disappointing than realizing that the other driver involved in the accident does not carry any insurance.

The Insurance Research Council revealed that 1 out of every 7 drivers in the United States is currently uninsured. According to the website of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C.®, many insurance policies will still provide coverage even if the other driver involved does not have insurance. Most states require liability insurance but how will an uninsured motorist coverage protect you?

Chances are the other driver will carry liability insurance but then it will not be enough to pay for medical bills for any  injuries that you may incur. With uninsured motorist coverage, the driver without a policy can pay for the bills associated with the accident. Uninsured motorist coverage includes the following:

  • Bodily Injury covers medical expenses, lost wages, emotional distress, pain and suffering and others. However, it does not cover damages resulting from collision. It may also offer coverage for injuries to passengers or family members
  • Property Damage pays for damages to your vehicle but does not cover bodily injuries

Once you decide to purchase uninsured motorist coverage, you need to choose the limits that are right for you. In many states, the minimum limit is already set for you but you can opt to increase the limits which may be the wise thing to do.

Split Limits

In split limit, the coverage differs if only a single person is involved compared to when there are several people involved. A typical example is $15,000 for bodily injury or death per person or $30,000 bodily injury or death per accident.

Combined Single Limits

A combined single limit is paid out for by your provider for all bodily injuries in an accident.

Uninsured auto insurance is required by law in 22 states including Washington D.C. while in other states such as California, it is an additional option for mandatory liability insurance.