Monthly Archives June 2013


Supreme Court DNA Ruling

On June 3, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 to overturn a ruling by Maryland’s Appeals Court regarding law enforcement’s ability to take DNA samples. The ruling means that law enforcement agencies can take DNA from a suspect they have detained in relation to a serious crime. The new ruling means that taking DNA samples will […]

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Why You Need an Attorney to Investigate a Car Wreck

When you’re involved in a car wreck, there will usually be a police investigation into the cause of the wreck, provided it is severe enough that the investigation is merited. This will not always happen; in the case of a simple fender-bender, for instance. How Car Accident Attorneys Can Help There are some things about […]

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The Growing Problem of Drugged Driving

Startling new figures from the Institute for Behavior and Health (IBH) have revealed the growing extent of the problem of drugged driving on America’s roads. Drugged driving linked to many accidents According to the figures, around 20% of road crashes that take place in the US are the result of people driving under the influence […]

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Do Criminal Charges Interfere with Civil Lawsuits?

Suing Someone Who has Been Charged Criminally

If you’re like many people every year, you may find yourself in this situation or something very similar to it. You end up getting in a car crash with a driver who was over the legal limit for blood-alcohol content at the time of the crash. After the crash, the driver ends up getting arrested for drunken driving and faces criminal chargescriminal charges. They may be facing their first drunken-driving charge or they may be facing their fifth, it really makes no difference.

You might be wondering whether you can sue someone if they’ve already gotten thrown in jail for drunken driving. The answer is yes. Lawsuits are civil actions, not criminal actions. The state takes care of the criminal part of the law but somebody being convicted of a crime – or acquitted – has no bearing on whether or not you can bring them to court for damages. It may increase your chances of winning if the person actually is convicted of a crime that was directly related to you coming to harm or suffering damage to your property.

The Effects

While you can sue someone who has been convicted of a crime, it’s important to be realistic about these matters. If a person is convicted of a crime and ends up getting sent to jail, they obviously have no way of earning income. If they don’t already have money, property or some other asset that could be used as a means of paying off a judgment against them, suing them may do you very little good at all. The entire point of filing a lawsuit is to get financial compensation for property or personal damages that you have suffered. If that person has no property and no financial assets, there’s really nothing to sue them for.

This is one of the reasons why personal injury attorneys generally do offer a free consultation. Theselawsuits attorneys usually work on a contingency agreement, which means they have to win your claim in order to get paid. If there’s no way for the person you are suing to actually pay you the money that a jury awards you, that attorney isn’t going to get any money, unless you pay it off yourself. One of the things you have to take into account when you sue someone who is convicted of a crime is whether they actually have the financial means to pay you and, if they don’t, it may not even be worth suing.

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Can Alternative Providers Commit Malpractice?

Malpractice and Alternative Health Providers

malpracticeMedical malpractice lawsuits help patients when a doctor doesn’t deliver services up to professional standards. One of the complications of the modern world is that there are quite a few alternative practitioners out there. Some of these practitioners are licensed and, beyond that, there are different degrees of “alternative” that you have to take account of if you’re considering suing one of these practitioners for malpractice.

For example, not every physician out there accepts chiropractic treatment as a scientifically valid form of medical treatment. Nonetheless, chiropractic practitioners are common, some of them work in regular hospitals and they are licensed to perform services. Because of this, it generally is possible to sue a chiropractic practitioner for malpractice if they fail to deliver medical care up to legally established standards.

Beyond those practitioners that do have a place in the mainstream – even if it is not universally agreed upon – there are a number of different types of practitioners who you may or may not be able to sue, but not necessarily for malpractice.

New Age Practitioners and Medical Negligence

Generally speaking, medical services that fall under the definition of “new age” practice are not recognized as legitimate medical services. In some states, it may be possible for you to go after such a practitioner for malpractice. Remember, however, simply because you cannot sue someone for malpractice doesn’t mean that you cannot sue them as a means of trying to get money back from them that you paid them for what turned out to be a worthless service or good. In fact, worthless services and goods are, in and of themselves, oftentimes legitimate reasons to file lawsuits against someone.

Acupuncturists and Medical Malpractice

You may be able to sue an acupuncturist for malpractice, but an attorney may want you to pursue other venues for getting your money back.. It depends upon where you are and what your attorney advises, and upon the circumstances of your claim, of course, as well.

In most cases, in order to sue someone for malpractice, you have to be able to establish that they delivered services that were below the standard of care, which means that there has to be a standard of care expected of that practitioner. When it comes to alternative treatments, this can become very complex. The best route to pursue if you are interested in trying to get money back from an alternative practitioner you believe harmed or defrauded you is to simply talk to a personal injury attorney and get their best advice.

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Still Too Many Fatalities on America’s Roads

Accidents on America’s Roads

The number of people killed or injured in road traffic crashes in Texas has seen a welcome fall in the past car crashfew years, but the figures still remain alarmingly high, meaning that too many families are having their lives ripped apart by these tragic and often easily preventable accidents.

Numbers of vehicle accidents in Texas

According to the Texas Department of Transportation, the total number of traffic-related fatalities in Texas has fallen from 3,739 in 2001 to 3,198 in 2012.

The figures also show that in 2011 the fatality rate on Texas roadways amounted to 1.28 deaths per hundred million vehicle miles traveled, which represents a drop of 1.54% from 2010. A further 79,573 people suffered a serious injury as a result of being involved in a vehicle accident.

Based on these figures, the Department of Transportation calculates that on Texas roads in 2011:

  • one person died every two hours 54 minutes
  • one person suffered an injury every two minutes 29 seconds
  • one reportable crash took place every 83 seconds

These figures are very disturbing because every death or serious injury on our roads is a tragedy, not only for the injured party but also for their family and friends. If you have been the innocent victim of an no-cell-phoneautomobile accident that has been caused by a driver acting carelessly or negligently, you are likely to be entitled to compensation from the responsible driver’s insurance company. Many states in the US require drivers to have at least a minimum level of auto liability insurance to ensure that accident victims are able to claim the appropriate level of compensation for their injuries. Insurance is also available for taxi drivers or other professional drivers, so if you are travelling by cab it is advisable to check that the driver belongs to a licensed company as they are more likely to have the appropriate level of liability insurance.

Driver negligence

Some crashes are genuine accidents and are not the fault of either driver. Unfortunately however, too many automobile accidents are the result of drivers making mistakes or driving irresponsibly, and result in innocent victims needlessly suffering serious injury or even losing their lives.
There are a number of ways that automobile drivers can act irresponsibly and increase their risk of causing an accident, including driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, speeding, or using a mobile phone while driving to call or text. Department of Transportation figures show that 1,039 people in Texas were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes that involved a driver who was under the influence of alcohol. This amounts to 34.5% of the total number of motor vehicle traffic crash fatalities in 2011.

Cell phone use while driving

There is a worrying increase in the incidence of drivers using their cell phones or other electronic devices while at the wheel, even though this can cause their driving to deteriorate and increase the risk of a crash, serious injury or even death.

A recent survey by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that at any given time of the day in America, around 660,000 drivers are using their cell phones or other electronic devices at the same time as driving.

NHTSA data also shows that in 2011, over 3,300 people were killed and a further 387,000 injured in crashes where the driver was distracted.

“Distracted driving is a serious and deadly epidemic on America’s roadways,” commented U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “There is no way to text and drive safely. Powering down your cell phone when you’re behind the wheel can save lives – maybe even your own.”

Texting while driving is a growing problem

NHTSA isn’t the only organization to find evidence of this worrying upward trend in cell phone use while driving. Communications company AT&T recently sponsored its own research, which found that just under half of commuters surveyed admit to texting while driving. Around 43% even acknowledged that this dangerous practice was now a “habit” for them.

Commuters are even worse offenders than teenagers, with 49% admitting to the practice compared to only 43% of teenagers. Even more worrying, 98% of commuters said that they were aware of the dangers of using their cell phone while driving, but this knowledge wasn’t sufficient to make them change their behavior.

If you have been the victim of a car accident, then it is important you speak to a personal injury lawyer with experience in automobile accident claims to help you claim the compensation you are entitled to.


This blog was written by our guest blogger, Melissa Hathaway.

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About the author

Melissa Hathaway feels she has the best jobs in the world, full-time writing and looking after her two daughters. In the few moments each day she is not doing one or the other, she loves to take the dogs for a walk and experiment with new types of cupcakes.

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