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The Seventh Amendment Of The Constitution

The Seventh Amendment Of The United States Constitution

by Bret Schnitzer

The Seventh Amendment States:

In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

The First Ten Amendments in the United States Constitution are known as the Bill Of Rights. One of the most important of all of the Bill of Rights is the Seventh Amendment.

The Framers of the United States Constitution intended to preserve the trial by jury as a check on potential abuse of power by the government. John Adams explains:

As the Constitution requires that the popular branch of the legislature should have an absolute check, so as to put a peremptory negative upon every act of the government, it requires that the common people, should have as complete a control, as decisive a negative, in every judgment of a court of judicature.

Uncertainty in the law is a serious problem, insofar as the published precedent of courts in a common law system is supposed to constitute “a clear guide for the conduct of individuals, to enable them to plan their affairs with assurance against untoward surprise. But whereas a runaway jury poses a clear and present danger to that reliance interest, a runaway judge can pose an even greater peril.

As Thomas Jefferson explained: that

[w]e all know that permanent judges acquire an esprit de corps; that, being known, they are liable to be tempted by bribery; that they are misled by favor, by relationship, by a spirit of party, by a devotion to the executive or legislative; that it is better to leave a cause to the decision of cross and pile than to that of a judge biased to one side; and that the opinion of twelve honest jurymen gives still a better hope of right than cross and pile does. It is left therefore, to the juries, if they think the permanent judges are under any bias whatever in any cause, to take on themselves to judge the law as well as the fact. They never exercise this power but when they suspect partiality in the judges; and by the exercise of this power they have been the firmest bulwarks of English liberty.
Whereas colonial judges routinely instructed jurors that they were the ultimate arbiters of both fact and law,the modern judge asserts almost an plenary control over the evidence, law, and facts, instructing the jury as to what the law is and may overturn decisions in favor of the defense.

Seventh Amendment Attorneys Representing Injury Victims

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Neck Injury And The Need For Surgery From A Car Accident

Neck Injury And The Need For Surgery From A Car Accident

by Bret Schnitzer

Neck injuries are commonplace for auto accident victims. The rapid acceleration and deceleration of the neck due to the forces of a car accident can cause many types of neck injuries. Striking your head or body inside the vehicle during impact can also cause many types of neck injuries. This article will address one such neck injury common yet serious and related to a motor vehicle accident. This injury is known as a Cervical Radiculopathy. Cervical or neck and Radiculopathy or radiation down the upper extremity.

What Is Cervical Radiculopathy?

Cervical radiculopathy is the damage to the nerve function that results if one of the nerve roots near the cervical vertebrae is compressed. Damage to nerve roots in the cervical area can cause pain and the loss of sensation in various upper extremities, depending on where the damaged roots are located.

What Are The Causes of Cervical Radiculopathy?

Damage can occur as a result of pressure from material from a ruptured disc, bulging disc, degenerative changes in bones, arthritis or other injuries that put pressure on the nerve roots. The spine is comprised of vertebrae which are bony structures which have a disc between each of them. The disc is similar to a donut or shock absorber. The outer portion of the disc is called the annulus fibrosus and is hard and rigid. The interior portion of the disc is called the nucleus pulposus and is jelly like and soft. When the disc is injured due to a traumatic auto accident the jelly material can push out and cause the outer rigid portion of the disc to bulge or herniate. When this occurs the disc material can press on the nerves that run down the spine causing a pressure resulting in a radiating pain down the extremity and causing pain and weakness.

What Are The Symptoms of Cervical Radiculopathy?

The main symptom of cervical radiculopathy is pain that spreads into the arm, neck, chest and/or shoulders. A person with radiculopathy may experience muscle weakness and/or numbness or tingling in fingers or hands. Other symptoms may include lack of coordination, especially in the hands. The tingling or numbness or weakness that accompanies a radiculopathy is a common but a serious condition.

What Are The Treatments of Cervical Radiculopathy?

Cervical radiculopathy may be treated with a combination of pain medications such as corticosteroids (powerful anti-inflammatory steroidal drugs) or non-steroidal pain medication (Motrin or Aleve) and physical therapy. Steroids may be prescribed either orally or injected epidurally (into the space above the dura, which is the membrane that surrounds the spinal cord).

Physical therapy might include gentle cervical traction and mobilization, exercises, and other modalities to reduce pain. If significant compression on the nerve exists to the extent that motor weakness results, surgery may be necessary to relieve the pressure. Surgery can be a fusion of the vetabrae by removing the disc. Other surgeries include lamenectomy/ Discectomy surgery which can be performed with or without a surgical fusion. Other surgical procedures include medtronic implants or artificial disc replacement surgery.

The Consequences Of A Serious Neck Injury From A Car Accident

More often then not even with surgery or the treatment described above, an injury of this kind is permanent and has permanent consequences. It is therefore important to hire an attorney that understands these injuries and can get you compensation for the long term effect of the damages from a serious auto accident injury to the neck or back.

The Schnitzer Law Offices have handled many neck and back injury cases. We know the medicine, we know the anatomy and we know how to make the insurance company pay the full compensation for your injuries caused by the car accident. Call us for a free consultation at (313) 389-2234

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Holding Trucking Companies Responsible For Injury Accidents

Holding Trucking Companies Responsible For Injuries

by Bret Schnitzer

If you are involved in a trucking accident, the questions of who is responsible is often much more complicated than in a simple traffic accident. There are many players involved, from the driver to the owner of the truck, and getting information about what went wrong often requires specialized training.

Truck Accidents On The Rise

Over the past two decades, the number of truck accidents has increased by almost 20%. According to the Federal Motor carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), in 2003 5,642 individuals died and 143,356 people were injured in crashes that involved commercial trucks. And even though commercial trucks are only responsible for 4% of motor vehicle accidents, truck accidents on the average cause greater injuries then passenger vehicles.

U.S. Department of Transportation

The federal regulations dealing with the trucking industry can be found in Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
Agencies that regulate truck driving include the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Every state also has a department of transportation with its own set of trucking regulations.


When it comes to truck accidents, there is a web of players who may be responsible for a victim’s injuries, including:
1) the truck’s driver
2) the owner of the truck or trailer
3) the person or company that leased the truck or trailer from the owner
4) the manufacturer of the vehicle, design, or parts that may have contributed to the cause or severity of the accident,
5) the shipper or loader of the truck’s trailer contents
6) The trucking, hauling, and leasing companies
7) The designers of the steel hauling tarp kits that are sometimes found to be defective.

Truck Company Common Defenses

The trucking company often does not own the tractor, trailer, or equipment used to haul the goods. Instead it leases (rents) the equipment, tractors, and trailers from the “owner/operator.” The trucking company also does not directly employee the drivers. Instead, it hires them as independent contractors from the owner/operator. One such company in the Detroit area is Penske that enters into these long term leases.the driver was not the trucking company’s employee, so the trucking company is not liable for driver error, or
the trucking company does not own the equipment, so it is not responsible for the operation, maintenance, repair, and inspections of the equipment.

Under current federal law, any company owning a trucking permit is responsible for all accidents involving a truck that has its name displayed on the vehicle. It doesn’t matter what the lease says with the owner/operator or whether the driver is an employee or independent contractor. Traditionally, accident victims had to rely on police reports and witness statements to understand how and why an accident occurred. Today, there are other key ways to get information about an accident: information from government agencies and data from high tech devices.

Federal And State Inspections

Federal and state regulations require that a certified truck inspector inspect any commercial truck and trailer involved in an accident before it is removed from the scene. This report reveals the condition of all of the important mechanical parts of the truck and trailer. These reports are not part of local police report. Instead, they must be obtained from the appropriate government agency.

The Black Box

After 1992 most trucks have a black box device that records data that assists with the investigation. The trucking industry is now using devices similar to black boxes that record all sorts of information, including how fast the truck was going, patterns of speed, when the driver used his or her breaks — and even how long the driver had been on the road.
Many of these devices are also used in the automotive industry, such as on-board computers and global positioning systems (GPS). Others are specific to the trucking industry such as inclinometers, which are devices that provide information about the angles of a slope and how to round corners safely.
If the black box is not preserved and downloaded before extra miles are put on the truck, the contents will be erased. That is one reason hiring an attorney at once is so important.

Causes of Truck Accidents

Driver error prior to and during the trip is number one followed by mechanical failures, weather conditions, road design, and traffic signal failures.

Driver Error

The most common cause of trucking accidents is driver error. In fact, drivers of large trucks are much more likely to be the cause of the crash than other factors, such as weather, road conditions, and vehicle performance, according to a recent study released by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The FMCSA found that the action or inaction by drivers was the critical reason for over 90 percent of crashes.

Factors such as the use of prescription and over-the-counter drugs, speeding, tired, inattention, distractions, work environment, and unfamiliarity with the road all can contribute to driver error. But by far the most common causes of trucking accidents are driver exhaustion and sleep deprivation.

Equipment failure

The next most common cause of truck accidents is equipment failure. This can include manufacturing mistakes (defective tires) or design errors (failure to provide backing warning or object detection systems). However, most mechanical causes of truck accidents are caused by a failure to properly maintain the equipment.

tire blowouts due to wear
brake failure
improper securing of load
defective steering
improper trailer attachment
Improper Access to Tractor/Trailer

Ownership liability

In Michigan Trucking Companies are liable if they own the truck under the Michigan Ownership Liability Statute. This statute holds the trucking company liable for injuries stemming from trucks used with their consent and knowledge.

Respondent Superior

This legal doctrine in Michigan holds the company responsible for the negligence of their employees. This is another way to hold the trucking company responsible for the negligence of their drivers.

Call Schnitzerlaw at (313) 389-2234 for help with your Truck Accident injuries.

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