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Because Commercial Motor Vehicles (CMVs) are generally larger and thus potentially more dangerous than other vehicles, CMV brake safety is imperative. In 2003, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued a new rule allowing for performance-based brake testing for CMVs, as opposed to the traditional method of visual inspection. There are three types of vehicles that are co…
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In most states, the age of majority (when a person is recognized by law as an adult), is 18 years of age or older. A “minor” is a person who is under the age of 18. When a minor breaks the law or causes damage or injury to another person, an animal or property, the minor’s parents may bear the liability. Many state statutes authorize courts to hold parents financially resp…
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Authorities suggest that “lay” witnesses may testify to conclusions drawn from their own observations, while an “expert” expresses an opinion based on special knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education. The testimony of a civil engineer in a 1782 English case may be the first recorded use of expert testimony. In many lawsuits, the testimony of an “exp…
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Governments and government agencies are potentially liable for accidents caused, in whole or in part, by defects in highway design and maintenance. Such liability is heavily dependent on local law and the extent to which the doctrine of “sovereign immunity” is enforced in a particular state. Sovereign Immunity The doctrine of “sovereign immunity” was inherited from E…
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An injured party who has successfully proven that the injury and damages were caused by the defendant may be entitled to an award of “punitive damages” in addition to actual damages. Punitive damages are designed to punish wrongdoing on the part of a defendant and to deter the defendant (and others) from similar conduct. Punitive Damages The injured party bears the burden of sho…
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