The Law: My First True Love

A Quick Guide To Medical Malpractice Lawsuits

Between 200,000 and 400,000 people die each year from medical malpractice in the United States. Medical malpractice is defined as either an action or an omission by medical professionals that lead to permanent damage or even death. Medical malpractice often leads to the victim suing someone in the healthcare field. There are some defined reasons to sue for malpractice. If you think you (or a family member) have a medical malpractice case on your hands, it is a good idea to know what these reasons are.

Negligent Prescription of Medication or Medical Devices

If a healthcare provider prescribes medication or medical devices that cause injury to the patient due to a doctor’s mistake, there is a strong possibility the patient can file a lawsuit. Manufacturers of medications and medical devices spell out the proper usage of products. If the manufacturer warns against the use of the product in situations similar to the patient’s situation and the doctor prescribes the product while blatantly ignoring protocol, this can lead to serious damage to the patient. In this example, the victim can file a malpractice suit against their healthcare provider.

Informed Consent

Before an operation, doctors are required by law to explain all risks of the procedure to the patient. This is so that the patient can give informed consent saying that they understand what is happening and what may occur if things go wrong. If the surgery goes badly and the patient ends up debilitated in some way, they cannot sue the doctor. However, if the surgeon failed to disclose all the things that could go wrong, the victim may certainly be able to sue for malpractice.

“Res Ipsa Loquitur” or The Thing Speaks for Itself

In these types of cases, res ipsa loquitur, is pretty simple. The idea is that what happens speaks for itself. It is so obvious, there is no defense for what happened. In most cases, this type of malpractice is proven by items left behind during surgery. The old wives’ tales about a doctor sewing a patient back up and forgetting to remove a clamp, a glove, or even a watch. This mistake is easily proven by an x-ray showing the item that is still in the person’s body.

Medical malpractice lawsuits can be difficult to prove. However, with a good lawyer and strong evidence of damages caused, victims can win their cases. In all cases, harm must have been caused by a negligent doctor. Without that harm, there is simply no lawsuit. 

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How To Assign Post-Mortem Guardianship Of Your Children

No parent likes to think that he or she will die and leave behind children that are too young to care for themselves, but it does happen. When both you and your spouse die suddenly, do you know where your children will go? It is a very sad, confusing and scary time for children, and you want yours to be in good hands. They can be, if you “will” them to someone else’s care. However, there is a right way and a wrong way to go about it. A family lawyer can help you establish post-mortem guardianship of your surviving children the right way.

First, Find One or Two People to Be Guardians

You want to find a guardian or couple of guardians who are good with children, share your ideals and parenting styles and who already know your children very well. Do not leave your children with a distant cousin or a family friend whom your children have only met once or twice. Once you have selected the most appropriate candidates, you will have to get their permission to be your children’s guardians. A lawyer will not make it legal and binding if your chosen candidates do not fully agree to take the position. If you have extended family willing to take your children in, they still have to make it legal and binding.

Next, Sit Down with the Lawyer

Although those you have chosen to be guardians do not have to be at the initial meeting with the lawyer, it is better for everyone if they are. They will be responsible for your children completely, in the event of you and your partner’s untimely demises. Therefore, they may want to contribute stipulations to the legal guardianship contract or just be present to hear what your stipulations are. Once the lawyer has drawn up the guardianship papers, then you, your partner, and your selected guardians all have to sign the document in the presence of the lawyer. 

Why You Involve Family Law and Not Wills and Probate Law

Willing children to another adult is considered slavery. Ergo, you cannot “will” your children to their emergency guardians and cannot consult with a wills and probate lawyer. Because your children would become part of their guardians’ families, you have to go through a family lawyer, like those at Woehrle Franklin Dahlberg Jones PLLC, to designate guardians in the even that you and your partner are no longer living.

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What Is the Difference Between Disability Benefits & Worker’s Compensation?

If you get hurt on the job or become ill and are no longer able to work, there are a number of insurance benefits that may be available to you. You will either be entitled to worker’s compensation or disability insurance. How do you know which one you are entitled to?

Disability Insurance

Disability insurance helps you if you become ill or are injured, but the medical problems are not work-related. This type of insurance will usually pay you benefits weekly. The insurance company pays out these benefits to you for a temporary, predetermined amount of time.

These types of insurance companies will pay you a portion of what you typically earn if you are incapacitated and can’t perform your duties at work. You would have had to set up a disability insurance plan with your employer and made payments towards the plan in order to have the option of this benefit.

Worker’s Compensation

All employers must carry worker’s compensation insurance to protect their employees for injuries and accidents that happen in their place of business. If you are injured at work or by a work-related activity, your employer must legally pay for any medical bills and lost wages that you might incur. 

Worker’s compensation is intended to provide benefits for you if you are injured or if some illness is caused by the work environment. If you become permanently or temporarily disabled do to work, they may also pay for your medical bills as well.

Some Insurance Companies Will Pay You Both

There are certain situations the can occur that you may be able to collect both disability insurance benefits, as well as worker’s compensation benefits. If you are hurt at work and that has caused some type of cumulative effect on your health or if a previous work related injury continues to get worse, you can file for both disability and worker’s compensation insurance benefits.

Successfully Report Your Claim

If you are injured on the job, it is important to report it to your employers as soon as possible. Then, your employer will contact their insurance company to pay for you medical bills and any other benefits you may be entitled to. Resources like Prediletto, Halpin, Scharnikow & Nelson, P.S. are also available to help ensure the paperwork of your claim best describes your current situation.

What if Your Employer Refuses to File a Claim?

Sometimes employers or insurance companies may try to dispute your claim for worker’s compensation or disability insurance. A worker’s compensation lawyer can help you file your claim. State disability programs may pay out until your case resolved. Then, your workers compensation benefits will pay back the state organization.

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Child Attacked by a Neighbor’s Dog? How a Lawyer Can Help with the Dispute

Did your child visit a neighbor’s home and was injured by their dog? You may be able to sue your neighbor and get compensated if your child was not at fault. Find out what a personal injury lawyer can do to assist you with the incident and how much you will have to spend to hire one.

How can a lawyer assist after an attack?

A lawyer can help you with your case after you answer a few questions about what transpired on the day of the incident. You may be asked if your child was taunting the dog in any way, such as by handling it roughly or making animal noises to get a reaction. Your lawyer must ask you those questions to make sure your child did not play a role in angering the dog, which resulted in him or her getting injured.

Your lawyer will also investigate the nature of the type of dog your neighbor owns. Some dogs are known to be vicious, so it is the owner’s responsibility to keep the dog locked up or on a leash when visitors are around for safety. Before moving forward with the lawsuit, your lawyer will provide services such as:

  • Getting a copy of your child’s medical record
  • Finding out if the dog has attacked other people
  • Discovering the length of time your child will need treatment

It is possible that your case can be settled out of court so you can get compensated faster. If your neighbor takes responsibility for the actions of the dog, your lawyer can settle the dispute through mediation. Going through mediation will make everything agreed upon legally binding in court because documents will be signed. However, if your child will need long-term treatment and your neighbor does not agree to cover the expenses, a lawsuit will be necessary.

How much does it cost to hire a lawyer?

If mediation is all that is needed to settle the dispute, you can expect to pay an hourly rate that is at the discretion of the specific lawyer hired. However, lawsuits are commonly based on paying a contingency fee that will be an average of up to 40% of what is won. There are no upfront fees necessary when a contingency fee is paid.

Make sure you are not stuck with big medical bills from your child’s injury that was the fault of the neighbor’s dog. Research your options by contacting local law firms such as Otorowski Johnston Morrow & Golden P.L.L.C.

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A Criminal Defense Attorney

Sometimes the difference between conviction and acquittal is how someone interprets the evidence in a case. When you are accused of a crime, you might feel overwhelmed, confused, and out of your depth. A good criminal defense attorney trains for years in order to understand how to build a case and carry it through all of the stages of a trial. If you are innocent, a lawyer is your best bet at proving it. If you are guilty, a lawyer will make sure that your rights are respected and you get a fair trial with a fair punishment for your crimes. 

Legal Rights

Any legal system is only as good as the people charged with enforcing it. Human error is one concern. A misplaced piece of evidence, an untrustworthy witness, or a moment of weakness can spell disaster for your case. While human error is a problem, you also have to consider people who try to bend the rules for whatever reason. A good lawyer will help you to know what your rights are at each stage of your trial and will help to protect you against those who would put your rights in jeopardy. You might not know exactly what your rights are or how they can be threatened, so trust a lawyer to see that you receive justice.

Building a Case

To win a case, you need more than a burning conviction of your own innocence, and you need more than facts. You might feel like as long as you have facts in your favor, you will come out on top, but the problem with facts is that someone always has to make sense of them. A lawyer will know how to build a solid case to make sure that a jury knows exactly what the facts are in your case. Telling a coherent story, interpreting various pieces of evidence, and putting the pieces of your case together so that they paint one definite picture is not something you should try to do on your own. 

Taking a case to court can be an overwhelming task, the sort of thing you should not attempt on your own. A lawyer will have the training, the legal team, and all of the resources necessary to show your case in the best light at court. Rather than try to take the legal system on by yourself, you should take your case to a lawyer. For more information about what a lawyer can do for you, contact a firm such as Druyon Law.

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Collecting A Wrongful Death Settlement: 3 Facts You Need To Know

Have you recently been awarded a settlement in a wrongful death case? If so, there are few facts that you should know about collecting on this settlement. Taking the time to review these facts outlined below can help you to avoid any unexpected surprises regarding your payment.

Your Lawyer Will Get Their Money First

Most wrongful death attorneys work on a contingency basis. If this is the case with your attorney, it is important to understand that your settlement check will be sent directly to the lawyer before you receive any funds. This check will be cashed so that the lawyer can collect their legal fees and any other fees that you owe. Once this amount has been deducted, the remainder of your settlement will be sent to you along with a detailed accounting statement showing the different fees that were assessed.

Structured Payments May Be Discharged As Part Of A Bankruptcy

If the court awarded you a structured settlement rather than a lump sum payment, you could find that your payments suddenly disappear sometime in the future. This is because current bankruptcy laws allow individuals and companies to discharge negligence payments as part of a bankruptcy action. If the individual or company that is responsible for paying your settlement is not currently on solid financial ground, you may wish to consider selling your structured payments to an investment firm. While this option will only allow you to collect a certain percentage of your total settlement amount, it will also safeguard you against the risk that the debt will be discharged.

You May Be Forced To Share The Proceeds Of Your Case

In some cases, the law will require that you share any settlement funds you receive as the result of a wrongful death case. Oftentimes, these statutes are employed when more than one person suffers equally from the loss of a loved one. For instance, if your parent was to die as a result of negligence, both you and your siblings would be equally impacted by this death. However, only one of you will be legally allowed to file a wrongful death claim. In this situation, the court may require that the proceeds of your case are distributed equally amongst you and your siblings.

In Conclusion

While the task of reaching a settlement in your case may seem like the hard part, distributing and receiving this settlement may be equally complicated in some cases. In order to help you through the process of collecting your settlement and dealing with any legal obstacles you may encounter, it is extremely important that you request a final consultation with your wrongful death attorney before your case is officially closed. For more information about how a wrongful death case might proceed, contact a firm such as Bangel, Bangel, & Bangel.

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What Happens In A Personal Injury Case

After an injury or accident, you have two possible avenues to get compensation. The first is to receive an offer for settlement (which you could choose to accept). The other is to file a lawsuit in civil court that would, if you win, allow you to collect compensation for any damages you have suffered. Although a lawsuit may eventually result in a larger settlement for a plaintiff, the fact of the matter is that the overwhelming majority of such cases are settled outside of court, usually before a civil lawsuit is actually filed. There are a number of reasons for this.

Understanding How a Settlement Works

A settlement takes place when either a defendant or insurer offers an injured party a payment for compensation.

1) This offer can occur prior to a lawsuit being filed but after a possible claim arises.

2) It can also be made when a case is in the process of being litigated but no verdict has yet been handed down.

3) A settlement can also happen as a case is being deliberated because one or both parties prefer the certainty that comes with a settlement.

After a settlement is agreed to by both parties, the plaintiff is required to relinquish any and all potential claims related to the incident or accident. The plaintiff must sign a liability release to confirm this. For example, in the case of a car accident, the plaintiff may be offered an out of court settlement of $50,000 by the insurer of the car that hit the plaintiff. In order to receive this amount, the plaintiff must agree that he or she will not sue the insurer in regards to the accident.

Insurance Companies and Settlements

When an insurance company is involved, a settlement is nearly always the preferred solution (as opposed to a personal injury civil suit). Since insurance companies are nearly always involved, this helps to explain why so many cases are settled rather than litigated. Insurance companies prefer to avoid risk. Therefore, since they fully expect that they will have to payout a certain percentage of claims, they would rather settle than deal with legal fees and the overall cost of a trial.

The Reason Why Many Cases Settle

There are several reasons why a case is settled, especially in instances when an insurance company is involved. First, as previously mentioned, opting for a settlement means the defendant can control both the risks that come with a jury trial and the associated costs. Second, if the defendant is certain that he or she will be found to be responsible, it’s probably in his best interest to avoid an especially sympathetic jury. Such a jury might decide to award the plaintiff with a much larger amount for punitive damages or pain and suffering. A third reason is that the defendant may prefer to avoid the case becoming public and showing up in the local newspaper. And lastly, settling a case is advantageous for both parties, as it avoids a lengthy trial that could go on for months and sometimes even years. Talk to a lawyer like Marcus & Mack for more information.

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