If You Don’t, Who Will?

What Are the Consequences of Burn Injuries?

Posted by on Jun 29, 2015 in Personal Injury | 0 comments

Many do not wish to be reminded about how fragile they truly are. As a matter of fact, it can all just fade away into the distant ether – this slice of time and now that we call life – and we can all pop away, forgotten, like breath on a mirror. This has never been more evident if you have suffered a traumatic injury that almost injured you to the point of death – and there are very few injuries that are sometimes far, far worse than it: burn injuries being one of them.

Human skin is an organ – this is something that tends to be forgotten – and it is also one of the toughest and most vulnerable parts of the body. If it were to come into contact with fire, there are parts of it that will never heal nor will ever feel ever again. Victims of burn injuries are often left horribly scarred and disfigured – meaning that victims often have to deal with not only the physical injury but also the emotional trauma that comes with being scarred and ostracized from society by being scarred.

There are many expenses that come with being injured by fire as it requires immediate medical action, thereby resulting in numerous expenses in an attempt to repair and heal the skin as best as modern science can. Therapy may also be needed in order for the victim to properly cope with the trauma of having been burnt as it could trigger mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, or even PTSD – as extremely traumatic events are wont to do. The victim may also lose wages due to being unable to work, sometimes become disabled due to the burn injury itself. It is a terrible, terrible thing to suffer from.

The immediate treatment and action following a burn injury could mean everything. Click here to find out more about you can do, should you or someone you know suffer from a burn injury.

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Types of Recovery for Personal Injury

Posted by on Mar 29, 2015 in Personal Injury | 0 comments

There are many kinds of recovery for personal injury due to negligence. The applicable type and the amount of recovery will depend on the cause and nature of the injury, as well as applicable state laws. It may be limited to an amount that will just cover actual medical expenses, or it may also include non-economic damages such as pain and suffering.

Some types of recovery:

Disfigurement – usually involving permanent scars and other effects on a person’s appearance, which may have emotional or psychological impacts. In some cases, such as for models or those whose career depends on personal appearance, the damages may include loss of income.

Future medical expenses – if the plaintiff will require additional surgery, required to have special devices or aids, lifelong care, or ongoing medication and rehabilitation, the defendant may be required to pay the estimated costs based on the recommendations or diagnosis of the attending physician

Loss of consortium – this refers to any effects that an injury or death may have on the benefits of married life. This includes the loss of affection, companionship, solace, sexual relations, society, and assistance. This may be claimed by the uninjured spouse as well.

Loss of enjoyment – this may be part of general damages or pain and suffering. It is hard to put a monetary value on how the injury affects the normal “pleasures” that an individual may derive from life if not for the injury

Loss of earning capacity/wages – this is mainly an economic recovery that is calculated based on the age, health, life expectancy, skills and experience of the injured or deceased party. If the victim has past earnings, this may be used as a basis for calculating the final recovery, but a jury is allowed to calculate the potential earnings of even a child who has never been employed if not for the injury

There are many other types of recovery for a victim of personal injury. If you sustained serious injury because of the negligence of a third party, you could be eligible for compensation. Consult with a personal injury lawyer in your area to view more about what kinds of options you have.

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The Legal Right of an Individual to File a Tort Suit against His/Her Own Spouse

Posted by on Jan 30, 2015 in Marriage | 0 comments

It was not until the latter half of the 19th century, when the Married Women’s Property Acts or Married Women’s Acts was passed into law, that some US states began to slowly terminate the common law unity of a husband and a wife and recognize the legal rights of married women, allowing them, henceforth, to contract, hold and defend their property interests and, most importantly, to sue their husband for whatever legal reasons (many other legal rights of married women were, of course, recognized during this time).

Prior to this, the legal existence of women, by virtue of her marriage, was either suspended or consolidated into that of her husband, under whose person she got her identity and the right to perform all other things. Thus, in case someone were to file a lawsuit against her, then it will be her husband who will be the defendant; in the same manner, if she were the one to pursue a legal case against another, then it will be her husband who will act as the plaintiff.

This marital condition, wherein the legal identity of a couple was placed totally in the person of the husband, was called a woman’s “coverture.” And, due to the spousal unity or single legal identity of a husband and wife, the doctrine of interspousal immunity, the common law that forbade spouses from filing tort lawsuits against one another, became to be accepted. Based on this doctrine, a married woman can never sue her husband for reasons of personal injury (resulting from negligence) since it would be absurd for the husband to be both plaintiff and defendant simultaneously; in other words it is unthinkable that a husband would file a personal injury lawsuit against himself.

Between 1920 and 1940 many US courts began the partial abolition of interspousal immunity – a result of the increased and broader reading (and deeper understanding) of the Married Women’s Acts. Despite this bold move initiated by some states, many persevered in recognizing the common law doctrine, rationalizing that: while an interspousal tort lawsuit would certainly only disrupt marital tranquility, immunity will surely preserve marital harmony; spouses may only connive to engage in fraudulent liability insurance claims; instead of filing a tort suit, an injured spouse should rather pursue divorce or a criminal charge as alternative remedy.

Though these arguments prevailed in many courts in the past, many also began abandoning these eventually, so that by 1970 majority of US states began allowing intentional tort suits which pit spouses against each other. While the rule of immunity may still be observed in specific situations, its abolition in the area of tortuous suits is already total. To date, Louisiana is the only state that has retained the doctrine of interspousal tort immunity.

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Bankruptcy: Breaking the Misconceptions

Posted by on Jan 8, 2015 in Bankruptcy | 0 comments

There are a lot of misconceptions that surround the idea of filing for bankruptcy. It is most commonly associated with destitution or absolute poverty, marking total financial failure. No one wants that and, more importantly, nobody wants to go on record saying that they are, legally, a failure. This, however, is simply not true. If you are at a point wherein the bills and debt payments are getting too overwhelming and your lifestyle cannot be supported by your income while accommodating these payments, then bankruptcy could very well be the solution you’ve been looking for.

Depending on the kind of bankruptcy you want to file for, there are some types of bankruptcy that you need to be qualified for in order to file for it. Legal assistance comes into play here because every situation is different from the last and each individual case needs to be properly assessed by someone who knows their stuff about bankruptcy law.

According to the website of bankruptcy lawyer Erin B. Shank, P.C., there are four common types of bankruptcy that people apply for. There is Chapter 7, a type best suited for those with unsecure debt; there is Chapter 11, which is mostly favored by business owners; there is Chapter 12, favored by fishermen and farmers due to its more simplistic procedure; and there is Chapter 13, applicable to both individuals and business owners.

What case is better for you is one that can be better explained and assessed by a legal expert, due to the complicated legal nature of this claim. However, you can rest easy knowing that there are actually quite a lot of attorneys, paralegals, and other law practitioners in this field who have had to file for bankruptcy themselves. This gives them the unique perspective from the other side of the door, empowering the legal team you choose into properly representing you, in order to give you the best financial plan that is most suitable for you. The right legal team could set you on the right track to your financial freedom!

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TPPA Coverage

Posted by on Dec 19, 2014 in Health | 0 comments

The Texas Prompt Pay Act (TPPA) is specific to insurance companies that are styled as Health Managed Organizations (HMOs) and Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO). This means that insurance carriers other than HMOs and PPOs are not covered by the provisions of the TPPA except in very few instances. According to the website of the prompt pay law firm Williams Kherkher, this means it does not apply to claims against Medicare and Medicaid, although the forms used for TPPA clean claim compliance is supplied by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (Forms CMS-1500 for physicians and UB-04 for hospitals).

It does not mean that these excluded carriers are not addressed in the legislation when it comes to prompt pay issues. It just means that they are not addressed in the provisions of the TPPA.

For example, if you are a dentist contracted by HMO A to provide certain services at a specified rate for a group of employees, you will bill HMO A for whatever services you have rendered using Form CMS-1500 (filling it up completely and according to TPPA regulations). If HMO A fails to pay for the claims within 45 days for a mailed claim, or 30 days for an electronically submitted claim, then HMO A is possibly in violation of TPPA regulations, and you can consult with a prompt pay lawyer for guidance on what you should do. On the other hand, if you rendered dental services to Medicare patients and you are being paid late, you cannot rightly cite the TPPA to claim protection or impose sanctions.

The TPPA is a highly specific subsection of laws enforced by the Texas Department of Insurance which is also embodied in the Texas Administrative Code. For a detailed explanation of the TPPA in preparation for filing a claim, it would be advisable to consult with a prompt pay lawyer to make sure that the TPPA applies to a particular case.

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Pre-Trial Diversion in Florida

Posted by on Nov 2, 2014 in Criminal Law | 0 comments

When an individual who has no criminal record is charged with a crime in Florida, it is possible to keep an arrest to be kept off the record with a program called pre-trial diversion which in Florida is called the Felony Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI) program. The purpose of a pre-trial diversion is to give the accused a chance to avoid getting branded as a criminal for life for making a mistake.

In general, crimes up to only third degree felonies are considered for felony PTI and not all third degree felonies are included. In most cases, these are misdemeanors such as petty theft, but even the most minor charge is not eligible for PTI if there is a prior offense. The charge has to be relatively minor and the defendant is not likely to commit a similar or other crime in the future. Excluded offenses (not eligible for PTI application) include but are not limited to:

  • More serious felonies (2nd degree or higher)
  • Attempted residential burglary
  • Felony driving under the influence (DUI)
  • Leaving the scene of an accident
  • Offense involving more than $5,000 at the time of application
  • Offenses against governmental agencies
  • Organized scheme to defraud
  • Possession of methamphetamine, LSD, heroin, or more than ½ gram of cocaine
  • Robbery
  • Selling, forging or counterfeiting private labels
  • Weapons charges
  • Welfare fraud

Inclusion into the PTI program requires the defendant to allocute to the crime, which is technically an admission of guilt. If the defendant violates the terms of the program, he or she will no longer be entitled to a trial but will go straight to a sentencing hearing. However, if the defendant successfully completes the program to the satisfaction of the Office of the State Attorney, the slate is wiped clean as if it had never happened.

The Florida PTI program is overseen by the Florida Department of Corrections, but an individual will only qualify for it upon referral from the State Attorney’s Office with the help of a qualified criminal defense attorney. As mentioned on the website of the Flaherty Defense Firm, taking on the criminal process can be intimidating as well as confusing, and it would be best to discuss your options with a lawyer before making a move.

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Court Denies J&J Division’s Motion to Xarelto Lawsuit

Posted by on Sep 30, 2014 in Health | 1 comment

The first lawsuit filed against a division of Johnson & Johnson (J&J) Janssen Ortho LLC for anti-coagulant drug Xarelto was shifted back from federal court to state court contrary to the motion of the drug distributor to keep the case in federal jurisdiction. The case was filed by Kentucky resident Virginia Stuntebeck who claimed that using the drug for her atrial fibrillation, for which the drug is primarily designed for, resulted in serious injuries. While this was the first case, it is anticipated that many more will be following.

Janssen’s motion was based on the fact that because its co-defendant Bayer Corp has yet to be served with the complaint, it was practical for the out-of-state distributor to want the case brought to federal court instead of in the state of Pennsylvania, where Bayer is located. Others believe that this move was an attempt to avoid being tried in Pennsylvania, where a recent Supreme Court decision (Lance vs Wyeth) upheld that a drug manufacturer can be held responsible for any injuries resulting from distributing a product that was too dangerous to be in the market in the first place.

This is the main contention of Stuntebeck, that Janssen and associated companies should not have sold Xarelto in the first place because they knew or should have known about the risks involved in using the product, which according to the website of Williams Kherkher specifically involves unstoppable bleeding. This constituted an act of negligence, for which the plaintiff is suing them for damages to compensate for her medical expenses and accompanying pain and suffering.

This recent decision by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court is the first to raise the bar regarding the duty of care of pharmaceutical companies. In previous cases, as long as the drug company provided adequate warning regarding the risks involved in using a product, they may be able to avoid a claim of negligence. With the Pennsylvania decision, drug companies that push through with marketing a product that they knew presented excessive harm to patients can be held liable for any resulting injuries even if they warned them about it.

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