If you’re planning on filing a lawsuit, you probably have what you believe to be evidence that you were wronged in some regard. Understanding evidence, however, does take some real legal knowledge. In fact, you may find that, upon meeting with your attorney, they don’t really believe that the things you consider to be evidence […]
CNN reported that a police department in Washington is facing a lawsuit over violating the rights of inmates. The reporting details that 11 women and 1 man are suing a police department over alleged instances where the inmates—who were all arrested on suspicion of drunk driving—were recorded while they were undressing and using the toilet. […]
The idea behind a lawsuit is to give a person who was wronged because of another person’s negligence away to get compensated. This can include suing manufacturers for putting dangerous products out on the market when they should’ve known better, suing motorists who are prone to driving dangerously and end up hurting or killing someone […]
Unfortunately, many dog owners are not responsible with their animals. In fact, it’s quite reasonable to argue that the biggest cause of dog bites has nothing to do with dogs, but with the people who are in charge of taking care of those dogs. There are differences on a state-by-state basis as to how much […]
For parents with children in daycare, a nightmare scenario seems to be unfolding in Ohio. According to NewsOK, a daycare worker has been arrested on two counts of rape. The woman, according to the article, had engaged in sexual conduct with an infant and made a video of herself doing it. Police claim that they […]
If you’ve gotten emails that appear to be from a friend of yours but that were actually from LinkedIn giving a pitch for the website, you’re not alone. In fact, a lawsuit has been filed against the business social networking website alleging that the company breaks into email accounts, uses the contact list to send […]
Today, it’s not uncommon for companies with whom people do very casual business – cellular phone companies, Internet service providers, etc. – to have some very sensitive information about their clients. For example, Social Security numbers are routinely used as forms of identification and many companies require that information in order to open an account. […]
There are instances when a personal injury attorney may turn down your claim. This may leave you wondering if there is any hope for justice but, keep in mind the fact that civil lawsuits are not really about justice; they’re about compensation. If you’ve been turned down as a client by an attorney, some or […]
Some of the largest jury awards are actually handed out to children. These occur in cases involving medical malpractice during birth, car accidents that permanently damage a child and in other cases. Obviously, a child cannot enter into a contract or take any other legal action of their own accord. Parents are the ones who […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 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.
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. These 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.
Malpractice and Alternative Health Providers
Medical 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.
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 few 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 automobile 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.
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.
If you are interested in writing a guest blog, please send an email to : firstname.lastname@example.org for consideration
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.
Summer Camp Injuries
According to the Times Free Press, a wrestling camp in Tennessee has been sued over alleged injuries sustained by a participant. According to the story, the camp has been sued by the father of a buy who attended the camp. The boy’s father is also an attorney and filed the lawsuit himself.
The lawsuit alleges that the lawyer’s sun sustained injuries to his head and to his brain during a match. According to the lawsuit, the boy was not properly supervised and was dropped on his head during the course of the match. The suit further alleges that the incident resulted in substantial medical expenses.
The defendant’s counsel was getting more information regarding the lawsuit at the time the story was published, but said that he doesn’t believe that the lawsuit has any merit. He further claimed that approximately 75% of the lawsuits filed nationwide are without merit and said that he was in the early stages of investigating the lawsuit.
Activities, Children and Injuries
Lawsuits alleging that children were injured due to inadequate supervision at camps, daycares, schools and other venues are not uncommon. In fact, there are many of these lawsuits filed every year. There are some commonalities between what these lawsuits allege and, in some cases, they do end up winning compensation for the families that file them.
The claim that 75% of them are meritless, even though it cites a specific number, is not backed up with any evidence. There are some individuals, however, who do believe that the majority of personal injury claims filed every year are baseless and this has made it easier for those who want to change the law to make it harder to sue to do so. Several states, including Michigan, Florida and Texas, have passed legislation in recent years that have made it harder to file injury claims based on medical malpractice, for instance.
These lawsuits generally allege that some sort of negligence – oftentimes inadequate supervision, led to the injuries suffered by the parties who file the lawsuit and seek compensation for whatever medical and other expenses they had to handle because of the injuries. Establishing negligence is sometimes difficult, though there are cases where it is so clear cut that a jury award or settlement is almost a given. In other cases, the lawsuit may well allege negligence when it did not in fact, play any part in an injury.
Call us at 713-771-5453 for a FREE consultation if you or your loved one have been injured in a similar situation.
Tough New Malpractice Requirements
Florida Governor Rick Scott will have the last say on a malpractice bill that has passed in the Florida state senate and house. The bill, Senate Bill 1792, would make considerable changes to the way that patients are able to file for malpractice in that state. The changes the bills bring about have riled opponents. Supporters claim that the bill will make Florida more amicable to physicians and increase patient options.
The Changes in Senate Bill 1792
The changes that the bill entails have some patient advocates alarmed. One provision of the bill allows a physician’s defense team to inquire with other healthcare providers for the patient filing the lawsuit. The bill changes the law so that this is not considered to be a breach of the patient’s privacy, something that advocates are very concerned about. The supporters of the bill say that filing a medical malpractice suit makes inquiring about matters that would have formerly been protected by patient/provider privacy appropriate.
The other provision of the bill creates stricter requirements for experts who testify in malpractice claims. The new legislation would require that experts be practitioners of the exact type of medicine involved in the lawsuit, according to Clinical Advisor. This means that it could be much harder for patients and their attorneys to get experts to testify on their behalf.
The bill is similar to other efforts that have been taken up by other state legislatures. The idea behind the bill is that malpractice claims drive up the cost of healthcare and make states unattractive places for doctors to practice. In Texas, where a similar set of changes has been put into effect, has shown that the effects – attracting more doctors, lowering the cost of healthcare, etc. – have not manifested in the wake of that state’s legislation.
What This Means For Attorneys
Malpractice claims oftentimes hinge on expert testimony. Changes to the law brought about by this bill may make it very hard for attorneys to find experts who qualify to testify in their cases, making it harder for plaintiffs to pursue their claims. The bill is backed by the Florida Medical Association. Support for the bill was largely along party lines, with Republicans backing the bill and Democratic representatives opposing it. Some Republicans, however, did express concern over the bill, particularly with those parts that allow the defense counsel to access formerly private medical information to support their defense of their clients.
Understanding Contingency Agreements
Many of the attorney advertisements you’ll see will make a significant effort to let you know that the attorney works on a contingency basis. This is the common arrangement for attorneys who work in the personal injury field. The very basic elements of this type of agreement are easily understood. The attorney takes a percentage of any winnings that they make on your case and, if you don’t win, you don’t have to pay them anything.
If you’re not careful about it, this can make it seem all too easy to seek out the compensation that you need for an injury that was done to you. Consider the following before you engage the services of any attorney, whether they are offering you a contingency agreement or not.
Check the Rates for Additional Services
Just about every attorney out there will charge you an hourly rate for their services. You will want to get an estimate as to how long they believe it will take them to prepare your case. You will also want to know how much they intend to take in courtroom fees, in fees related to administrative tasks and so forth. One of the things you want to avoid is thinking that, because an attorney works on contingency, their prices aren’t going to be high. Attorneys are very specialized and very educated individuals who charge appropriately for their time. Just make sure you understand what all the charges and fees are before you sign on.
Adding in Fees
Some attorneys will go ahead and recommend that you add their fees into the amount you are seeking in your jury award. Remember that the jury will determine how much money you receive, if any, and they may choose not to put this amount into the award. In such a case, you’ll end up paying it out of your award.
Simply because you have found a good attorney who is willing to work with you on a contingency agreement doesn’t mean that you are getting their services for free. You will have to pay for them, so it’s a good idea to shop around a little bit and see which attorney can offer you good services for the most competitive rates, as you would for any other service provider.
If you are certain you are entitled to damages because somebody’s negligence brought you to harm, you may find yourself very disappointed if none of the attorneys you talk to are willing to take your case. It’s important that you understand that filing a lawsuit isn’t always going to do you any good, even if you are entitled to compensation from the individual you want to sue by any rational measure.
In order to collect on a judgment, you have to be suing somebody with the financial capability to pay that judgment. Here are some situations where you may find an attorney telling you what you don’t want to hear and some information to help you understand why.
The Person Is Broke
In some cases, a person may not have any substantial amount of money in the bank or any assets that can be used to pay off the judgment, but they will have a decent job. In such cases, the court may order that their wages are garnished to pay the judgment that they owe you.
If the person happens to have a very low income job, however, there is a chance that they will be exempt from wage garnishment. Combine this with the fact that such an individual is unlikely to have any money in the bank, is most likely a renter and not a homeowner and probably doesn’t have any assets to speak of and you have a situation where, even if you do win, the person simply has no way to pay you. Because most personal injury attorneys work on contingency, meaning they don’t get paid unless you actually get a jury award, they’re not likely to take a case against somebody in this sort of a financial situation.
You will need to talk to an attorney about such a matter, however, because some parts of this are rather counterintuitive. For example, if you’re suing someone and it turns out that they recently declared bankruptcy, which may lead you to believe that they can’t possibly pay you back. What that actually means, however, is that they can’t use another bankruptcy to get out of the money that they owe you for the judgment. They’ll have to wait until they are eligible to file bankruptcy to do so again and, in all likelihood, you should be able to collect your judgment from them by that time.
Remember that, when an attorney tells you that it might not be worth your while to file a lawsuit, it may simply be because the person you want to sue doesn’t have a way to pay you, and not because you don’t have a valid case.
That is why it is important to talk to a lwayer before making any decisions or coming to any conclusions. Competent lawyers have the expperience behind them to make this type of recommendation.
What You Need To Know About Class Action Lawsuits
You’ve probably heard of class action lawsuits and, in fact, you may have even received a check from one when you had no idea that you were eligible to receive money at all before you were notified that you were added to the lawsuit in the mail. Class-action lawsuits are specific types of lawsuits that are oftentimes utilized when there are so many people who have a similar complaint against a company or another entity that it would be difficult to have all of their cases heard separately. There are specific types of cases that tend to result in these actions.
Many Different Claims
The hallmark of a class-action lawsuit is that there are a huge number of plaintiffs involved. In order to have a class action lawsuit, each one of these plaintiffs must have a relatively similar complaint against the entity being sued.
A good example of this can be found in just about every claim involving a pharmaceutical product that has proven to be dangerous to users and, further, that was not disclosed as presenting those dangers when it was put on the market. Because there are specific side effects and symptoms that arise from the use of the drug, the plaintiffs naturally have similar complaints against the manufacturer. This allows these plaintiffs to be grouped together into what is called a class.
That class of plaintiffs will have their cases heard via representative actions. There may be more than one representative claim involved in the class-action or there may only be one. The idea is that this representative claim mirrors the other claims filed against the same entity closely enough that it is reasonable to hear that one claim and to rule based on that claim while still providing a fair trial for the plaintiffs.
Do You Have a Claim?
If you have the sort of claim that lends itself to a class action or if there is a class action that you believe you should be a party to, you can contact an attorney and inquire with them about it. You may also simply get a note in the mail at some point informing you that you are eligible to be part of a class action claim and that your name has been added to the list of people who will receive a payout in the event that it goes your way. These types of claims are very common these days, and they allow people all over the country to participate in a lawsuit that would otherwise require them to travel long distances or to hire their own representation.