Factors of Negligence

Apr 14, 2015 by

For an action to be considered “negligent,” it has to pass four determining factors. There are four aspects to a negligence claim that overall determine if compensation should be dealt. These four elements regard the defendant’s duty, breach of that duty, causation and damages.

The first step asks whether or not the defendant had a legal duty of care. For example, drivers have a legal duty of care for other drivers around them. Their duty is to drive safely, with regard for the personal safety of others on the road.

Following the first step of legal duty is the element of breach of duty. This factor entails that someone with a legal duty violates that duty, and acted unlike a “reasonably prudent person” would. The phrase “reasonably prudent person” simply means an average person. When the defendant’s action is found to be contrary to what an average, reasonable person would do, breach of duty is evident.

Once past the first two steps, the third element to consider is causation. If the defendant’s duty has been identified and a breach of this duty has occurred, then there must be reason to prove that the action is the cause of the plaintiffs injury. Furthermore, there must be evidence that the defendant could foresee and prevent the accident from occurring.

Lastly, the damages are assessed. This is the final step, and determines the compensation amount, if any, that will be given to the plaintiff.

According to the website of the attorneys at the Abel Law Firm, medical bills and property damage expenses can add up, and compensation can significantly help the situation of someone injured.

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Reduced Settlement for Actos Bellwether Trial

Feb 24, 2015 by

The first lawsuit against Takeda Pharmaceuticals USA Inc. and Eli Lilly and Co. for their participation in the manufacture and marketing of the diabetic medication Actos has ended in settlement. The initial amount was for $9 billion but it was eventually reduced to $37 million by Western District of Louisiana judge Rebecca Doherty.

The lawsuit was the first to go to trial with the claim that Actos is associated with increasing a diabetic patient’s risk of bladder cancer. A motion by Takeda and Eli Lilly for a new trial was denied by the judge, and maintained that the $27.6 million against the Takeda and $9.2 million against Eli Lilly was not unreasonable considering the evidence.

Actos (pioglitazone hydrochloride) is one of the thiazolidinediones class of drugs used to manage type 2 diabetes. It had been mainly marketed as the safer alternative because it appeared to avoid the risk of congestive heart failure (CHF) a common side effect of glitazones because they caused the body to retain water. However, it turns out that it does increase the risk of CHF as well as liver disease, fractures, and bladder cancer from prolonged use. An personal injury lawyer will be able to tell you that the fact the manufacturers knew Actos carried these risks but failed to warn physicians and patients about them is a strong basis for the lawsuits against Takeda and Eli Lilly. Moreover, a whistleblower lawsuit revealed that the companies had known about the link about myocardial infarction and Actos since 2005 but it was only in 2011 that independent studies revealed these risks. The product has been pulled out of the German and French markets but continues to be prescribed in the US with additional warning of these risks.

If you have been seriously injured or harmed from using Actos, you may be able to get compensation. Contact an personal injury lawyer in your area for more information.

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Spousal Support in North Carolina

Jan 2, 2015 by

There are thousands of jokes that touch on the subject of alimony, and most of these give the impression that the alimony receiver (usually the evil wife) is taking advantage of the alimony giver (the poor husband). In reality, however, it isn’t as simple (or as sexist) as all that.

In a marriage, especially one that lasts several years, the husband and wife (or partners in same-sex marriages) get used to a certain way of life. In many cases today, both spouses work but one usually earns much more on which the other spouse depends. In the event of a divorce, as the website of the Marshall & Taylor PLLC explains, spouses will have to cope with a change in their financial situation where the spouse who is earning less will no longer have the income of the more affluent spouse to fall back on to make up the difference in the household expenses. There are cases when the less affluent spouse is unable to make ends meet because he or she has become used to a certain lifestyle.

In North Carolina, spousal support is designed to be rehabilitative; it is not meant to punish one spouse. The aim is to help the less affluent spouse gradually adjust to a different lifestyle as a single person, and that at some point spousal support will no longer be necessary. It is a tricky issue because each case is different and takes careful sifting to identify real needs from imagined ones.

In general, divorce courts in North Carolina will grant two types of spousal support: post-separation support (PSS) and alimony. PSS is typically of limited duration. It is in force until such time as a petition for alimony is granted or denied. If alimony is granted, the PSS gives way to alimony, which can be more or less than the PSS, and is of varying duration depending on how the petitioning spouse presents the case and how circumstances pan out in the future.

If your future ex-spouse is giving you a hard time about spousal support, you need to assert your rights under North Carolina law. Consult with a savvy divorce lawyer in your area to help you prepare your case.

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Gun Laws in Texas

Nov 6, 2014 by

The Texas state constitution, under Article 1 Section 23, protects citizens’ right to carry and adults (those of legal age of 21 years old) can buy a gun without the need for a license. In order to carry a firearm, you must first apply for a license to carry a concealed handgun, since carrying a handgun openly is considered illegal, unless you are within the premises of your property, vehicle or watercraft.

According to the website of Mark Lassiter Law, applying for a permit to carry a concealed firearm requires applicants to file at the office of the city or town clerk of the area where he or she resides or has a place of business. Although there are guidelines and qualifications as to who are allowed to carry a concealed firearm, the local licensing authorities have full discretion as to who they would or would not issue the permit to. Some qualifications for a license to carry a firearm are: those are qualified to carry under federal law, those who have reside in Texas for no less than six months before the application was submitted, those who have been convicted of a felony crime, those who exhibit capable and sound judgment when it comes to proper handgun use, those who are not chemical-dependent, those who are not running from the law (fugitives), and many others. Consulting with Mark Lassiter Law can help in staying informed regarding gun laws in Texas, in order to avoid any charges regarding gun-carry violations.

Violations regarding gun-carrying in Texas can include a fine of $2,500 and/or up to a year in prison. The state of Texas considers carrying a handgun (whether openly or concealed) without a proper license to carry as a Class A Misdemeanor. Although Texas acknowledges permits to carry issued by other states, not all states recognize permits issued by the state of Texas. When facing a gun violation, it is always advised to consult with a Dallas criminal defense lawyer to ensure that your rights are fought and protected.

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Understanding the Need for a Drug Crime Defense Attorney

Sep 18, 2014 by

Anyone charged with drug possession is facing serious consequences, but this is especially true for the young and st—vulnerable. There was episode in one of the longest running crime shows on TV where the accused was a young woman whose car companion was arrested for smoking marijuana and she herself had an ounce of the substance on her person but no priors. She was arrested as well and because she had incompetent counsel was convicted and given the maximum sentence. To make a long story short, she lost custody of her child and she was nearly convicted of conspiracy to murder the prison guard who was raping her.

The setting of the story was in New York City, but the consequences would had been equally bad if not worse in Texas where there is a commitment to prosecute even the most minor drug charges. Typically, if you are found with small amounts i.e. less than a gram of drugs on your person or your property in a legal search, you have no prior conviction for the same crime, or you have a viable defense for drug possession, you may get away with a small fine and probation or even have the case dismissed if you have competent legal representation.

It all depends on the circumstances, and in most cases the situation can be made worse when the defendant does not have a proactive attitude. Most first-time offenders have no idea of what their rights are when they are arrested for drug crimes and make many mistakes because they are scared of getting into trouble. As explained by Ian Inglis on his website, the consequences can certainly have a significant impact on the defendant’s life so they should be scared. But if they let a competent lawyer that will defend their rights and represent them handle the case, the defendants can be assured that everything that can be legally done is being done.

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Where Did Golf Come From?

Jul 17, 2014 by

cavemanModern golf as we know it has not obviously not always existed, but has grown into what it is today over hundreds of years.

There are numerous games dating back centuries that have the same general concept as golf: use a tool of some kind to hit a round object into a faraway hole. These original games range wildly in terms of their geography. One came to Europe from as faraway as China, but the most widely held theory is that modern golf was derived from a Roman game called paganica. The idea is that conquering Romans spread the game throughout the empire as it grew.

So if you didn’t know, now you know!

 

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Who Is Required to Have an SR-22?

Apr 25, 2014 by

One law that drivers in the US will need to observe, if ever they cause an accident or are caught driving without the required insurance liability coverage, as well as if they get multiple convictions for a traffic offense, like a DUI, or incur multiple traffic violations within a year, is to fill out an SR-22 form (some states call it FR-44), also known as Certificate of Financial Responsibility (CFR).

An SR-22 or CFR is a vehicle liability insurance document required by some states on drivers guilty of any of the cases stated above. This form is forwarded by an auto insurance provider to a state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to serve as proof that the driver, who has been ordered by the court to acquire it, already carries the state-required car liability insurance coverage; it is also the means that will let drivers regain and enjoy again their driving privileges.

Besides the SR-22 fees that need to be paid (not all states impose a fee, though), drivers required of it will also have to suffer paying a higher premium for their insurance, usually up to three years. Drivers should see to it that their insurance policy never lapses or gets cancelled (within the specified duration of the SR-22), otherwise, their auto insurance company will have to notify the state which, in turn, will suspended their license again.

According to Habush Habush & Rottier S.C.®, the state, where the form had been required and issued, may lift the SR-22 requirement only if the driver concerned had not been caught anew due to another traffic violation; if charged with a new offense, however, the state has the option and authority to impose an extension of the SR-22.

The SR-22 is not required in all states and in states where it is required, not all auto insurance companies are certified by the state’s DMV to issue it. Individuals will need to check which auto insurance provider in their state offers it. With regard to states that do not require the SR-22, these include Delaware, Kentucky, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania.

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BP – No Intent of Not Paying Legitimate Claimants

Apr 23, 2014 by

It seems that the legal battle between British Petroleum (BP) and settlement claimants, who have been affected (or claim to have been affected) by the largest oil spill in US history, is far from over. After having paid more than $26 billion dollars on fines, compensation and cleaning up costs, the oil company suddenly cried foul over the decision made by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, which supported a December 2013 U.S. District ruling that authorized settlement of economic loss claims by businesses and which removed any injunction that prevented such settlement.

In 2012, BP CEO Bob Dudley issued a statement, saying, “BP made a commitment to help economic and environmental restoration efforts in the Gulf Coast, and this settlement provides the framework for us to continue delivering on that promise, offering those affected full and fair compensation, without waiting for the outcome of a lengthy trial process.”

If such statement is true, then why is BP appearing to be walking away from the terms of the multibillion-dollar class-action settlement that it accepted in 2012? Well, for the simple reason that it saw a major fault in the system employed by the court-appointed claims office, which accepted and approved claims without requiring proof of economic losses traceable to the disaster. For BP, this resulted to costly payouts for losses wherein the oil spill had nothing to do at all.

BP does not intend to turn down anyone who will choose to appeal a BP oil spill claim. The firm is, in fact, prepared to settle all claims; but for these claims to be paid, the firm also asks that economic losses be proven as a result of the sea tragedy.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, despite the ire of its members (which is composed of local Chambers of Commerce and small businesses) surprisingly, has taken the side of BP. It ties BP to the terms of the settlement it entered into in 2012, saying that BP is legally bound to pay legitimate claimants, that is, those who are able to present evidence of losses being linked to the spill. The U.S. Chamber, however, believes that taking money from the firm, due to losses not connected to the spill (or despite not having suffered any losses at all), is a great injustice – a totally just, fair and logical statement: it is, therefore, quite a surprise why many have been made irate by these words.

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Saving Yourself from the Harsh Consequences of a DUI Conviction

Apr 19, 2014 by

All 50 US states have a 0.08% blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level limit for car drivers. This is one stipulation, besides the strict implementation of the anti-texting law while driving, that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration(NHTSA) has been strictly enforcing lately, like through sobriety check points, in the hope of significantly lowering the number of fatal car accidents due to drunk-driving every year, which totals to more than 10,000. A fairly small number considering the fact that the annual figure of arrested intoxicated drivers is over a million.

Individuals accused of drinking and driving will suffer a DUI conviction if proven guilty, a crime that is given heavy fines, time behind bars, community service, mandatory attendance in alcohol and drug education classes (also known as DUI School) and/or suspension of driver’s license.

The only sad truth is that, of the million arrests, so many are first time offenders and whose real crime may only be the mistake of enjoying time with family or buddies, especially during holidays or weekends, and then deciding to drive home themselves.

DUI defense lawyers fully know and understand the harsh consequences of being charged with a crime. The effects of a criminal charge can alter an individual’s personal and professional life, even if the crime is only trying to drive home, as safely as possible, while drunk. Quite a cruel reality for first time offenders and social drinkers, indeed, but such is the law.

If convicted with a DUI offence (or any other conviction), the various inconvenient and unfavorable consequences can include:

  • Difficulty in renting an apartment or finding job (some even lose their current job)
  • Difficulty in renting a vehicle
  • Restrictions on international travel
  • Difficulty in maintaining professional driver’s license, more so in renewing driver’s license
  • Negative effects on child custody case
  • Higher car insurance premiums (for about three years)

A good, experienced DUI lawyer can definitely help in lowering the degree of punishment or, sometimes, even save those charged with DUI from being convicted. A DUI crime is one serious offense that requires only great lawyers, who are capable of formulating strong and convincing defense.

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Medical Malpractice – Surgical Error

Apr 15, 2014 by

To some owners of medical facilities, such as hospitals and clinics, commitment in the provision of quality patient care means continuous technological development that will lead to service upgrade, keeping a roster of good doctors, specialist and highly-qualified nurses, and making sure that patients are diagnosed correctly and given timely treatment.

This is not the case in many other medical facilities, however; some have even been identified either as having bad doctors or being bad hospitals because of the frequency of medical mistakes and malpractice committed in them. As a result of the lack of authentic concern to patients and the errors made in patient care, many hospitals, doctors, and other medical professionals, have been the addressees of many legal claims for damages.

Medical malpractice, which refers to injuries committed against patients, is a frightening reality in the United States. Its effects include life-threatening conditions, prolonged illness or even death. But equally frightening as the effects is the fact that these mistakes are results of negligence or carelessness of medical experts – a grave failure to provide the quality care that they promised to give and which patients rightly deserve. In 2010 alone, the Office of Inspector General for Health and Human Services made a report regarding the death of about 180,000 Medicare patients; this is a small figure, though, according to a study that the Journal of Patient Safety printed, wherein figures ranged between 210,000 and 440,000.

One example of medical malpractice that continues to cause great harm to patients is surgical error. Errors committed in the surgical room vary; it includes surgery performed on a wrong patient, incorrect surgical procedure, surgery on the wrong site, incorrect dosage of anesthesia, improper suturing and so many others.

No patient should ever pay for mistakes that result from a doctor or other medical professional’s mistakes. According to the website of the Jeff Sampson law Firm, this is why there are medical malpractice laws – to uphold the rights of patients and to hold doctors responsible for whatever harm they cause. This makes them accountable for their mistakes and actions, meaning they cannot exploit the sick for profit.

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