Protecting Your Family Against Medical Malpractice

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With all the chaos and rush going on in the emergency room, there will always be a huge chance of errors being committed on the patients. Although there are margins given to medical professionals assigned to emergency rooms, such leeway is still restricted and should never be used as an excuse for errors made. Any harm that a patient suffers from a sub-par care from emergency room treatments is still accountable to medical malpractice claims.

In cases of medical malpractice claims against emergency room care, there are certain basics that should be taken into account in order for your personal injury attorneys to smoothly win a compensation claim for you.

  1. The existence of the “doctor-patient” relationship – in the emergency room situation, once the doctor is treating the patient (of just examines the patient), the relationship is established. Long-term relationship is not needed in these cases.
  2. The treatment given in the emergency room was negligent – the physician has not kept the “standard of care” expected of them, and it is the patients’ responsibility to demonstrate how this careless act has occurred in the emergency room.
  3. The physician’s carelessness has lead to injury – the most important element in a personal injury claim; it must be proven that the negligent physician’s actions have caused harm to the patient. This can be established through:
    • Additional treatments that has cast financial burden to the patient
    • Pain and suffering
    • Loss of enjoyment of life
    • Loss of capacity to earn for a living

Personal injury claims involving emergency room errors can require more details and could be painstakingly long, it would greatly benefit the patient to get help from experienced personal injury attorneys advice on handling the case. Medical malpractice claims are not only important for the patient, but also for everyone who, in the future, can be exposed to the same dangers and errors as medical malpractice errors can be dangerous and life-damaging.

Beating the System: Claiming Against Your Insurance Company

Smith Kendall LawInsurance is your shield against the unexpected: accidents, natural disasters, fire, and so on. Insurance companies are not in the business of protecting their insured however, they are in the business of making money.

If you have ever heard of actuarial tables, then you’ll know that the premiums you pay are based on the the fact that that there is only a small possibility that you will ever make a claim. When an insured party makes a claim, that person is disrupting the business model of the provider and insurers will do everything they can to keep your money in their coffers.

How do they do this? They make it hard for you to make a claim by enacting the 3-D strategy: deny, delay and defend. First they deny your claim, and then they delay any progress by giving you the run-around hoping you’ll just give up, and then when an action is brought against them, they stick to their guns and defend their position.

Beat them at their own game

If this situation sounds familiar, then you have to do some strategizing of your own. There are some things you can do right away to streamline the claim process and increase your chances of recovering an award.

First, take notes. Document every conversation, email, letter, and form that crosses your table complete with details such as the contact person, dates and circumstances. If you are already lost in the middle of the process, try to recall everything you can from the start of the process to the point you are now in and write it down.

Next, get together all previous records you have regarding your insurance, including a copy of your policy, your receipts, communications, statements of accounts, and whatever else you have. In the meantime, if you can afford it, continue to undertake repairing the damage that has been done, whether to your property or person.

Finally, get in touch with insurance claims attorneys. Speaking to an individual who is well experienced with this subject may be of benefit for your situation. The time and money you will save from trying to get your insurer to pay up is better spent in engaging a qualified lawyer who is experienced in insurance claim cases and who has experience taking action against insurance companies engaging in bad faith practices.


How Immigrants Help Businesses

Immigrants have always made important contributions to life in the United States. Immigration policy has been a hot topic of debate for more than a decade now. It’s an incredibly complicated issue, with more estimates of undocumented immigrants soaring over 11 million.

immigrationCurrent immigration debates are focusing on how the U.S. can keep talented immigrants, such as those who graduate from stateside universities with highly technical degrees, in the country instead of deporting them back to their homelands once their study visas expire.

It has been clearly shown that immigrants are contributing greatly to innovation and the economy. In 2011, more than 75% of the patents awarded in the U.S.’s 10 schools that receive the most patents had a foreign born inventor. Immigrants are also more likely than nationals to make an attempt at starting a business. A study by The Partnership for a New American Economy claims that more than 40% of Fortune 500 companies, including eBay, Intel, and Google, were started by immigrants or their children.

The way immigration laws are currently set up leads to many talented foreigners being kicked out of the country once they finish their schooling. This forces them to live elsewhere and compete with the United States. Retaining brilliant foreign individuals who worked hard and earned advanced degrees can only help.

Handling a Dog Bite

More than 800,000 people in the U.S. are hospitalized each year because of dog bites, and these are just the more severe cases. It is estimated that more than 4 million people are actually bitten annually, and an average of 20 fatalities occur each year. With 75 million dogs in the U.S., it would be wise to know what to do when you or someone you know gets bitten by a dog.

Injuries From Dog Bites

The worst case scenarios for dog bites often involve children, because they are smaller, frailer, and more likely to be bitten near the head, where the risk of infection is the most serious. But even adults can suffer severe injuries from a dog bite. The most common injuries you can sustain from a dog bite include:

  • Slight to deep lacerations, punctures, abrasions
  • Broken bones
  • Infections
  • Tissue loss
  • Sprains

Even if the bite is not serious or did not break the skin, it is important to thoroughly clean the site of the bite and to find out the immunization status of the dog. Even a small nick in the skin can provide a point of entry for bacteria in a dog’s saliva.

When to Seek Medical Treatment

Getting medical treatment for “just a dog bite” may seem over-cautious when there seems to be minimal damage done, but there are instances when it may become necessary, such as:

  • If the dog owner is unsure of the immunization status of the dog, it may be necessary to get tetanus shots and to go through rabies therapy just to be on the safe side, even if the wound or puncture is slight.
  • If a dog bite wound appears to be red, starts to swell, and/or there is a throbbing pain in or around the bite site, an infection may be developing.
  • If there is damage to the muscle, tendons, nerves or bones. This can be determined by checking if gentle movements or palpation produces pain. A damaged tendon in the hand, for example, will prevent you from moving a finger
  • If the victim is a child

Dog bite attorneys may not always be needed in each instance. After all, 77% of dog bite cases involve a dog and its owner. But the dangers of dog bites are very real, so do not hesitate to seek the assistance of a personal injury attorney at the slightest hint of trouble.

Dividing Assets and Debts During Divorce

While there are many important issues to be worked out during divorce, one of the most important to consider is the division of property, both debts and assets. There are two ways that these can be distributed – through equitable distribution and community property. Most states, however, use equitable distribution.

Despite its name, equitable distribution doesn’t mean equal. Rather, it means fair distribution of properties, other assets, and debts. In order to divide property and debts, there are many factors that are considered, including both the marital properties and separate properties. Although separate properties will not be divided between the two spouses, it often does have a significant effect on how the marital properties will be distributed. Other factors that could affect the distribution are:

  • Age, physical, emotional, mental health, and length of marriage
  • Income and earning potential of each spouse
  • Present value of any marital property, as well as the income and property contributed by each spouse during the marriage
  • Standard of living created during the whole marriage
  • Possible economic situation of each spouse once the divorce becomes final
  • Conjugal debts and liabilities, along with the ability of each spouse to pay for them
  • Possible tax repercussions of each spouse
  • The need for the custodial parent to keep the marital home along with its household effects
  • The assistance or aid of one spouse to the education, training, or earning power of the other spouse
  • Contribution of each spouse as a homemaker, as well as their contribution in obtaining any marital property

There are also times where the court can penalize spouses for their wasteful use of marital property, whether it be during the marriage or after the separation. Any abuse or infidelity is also something the court often considers.

Equitable distribution is only done in court; therefore, it is typically used only when both spouses have not agreed on the distribution of their properties. However, distribution of properties can be talked over by the spouses themselves, or with their respective lawyers, resolving these issues without taking them to court.

Keeping Your Family Safe From Toxic Substances

Physical injuries brought about by toxic substances can be life-threatening and could lead to devastating effects. While some toxic substances can have immediate visible effects to the health, others may take a longer time to see evident symptoms, making it more difficult to really pin-point the culprit of the disease that has affected the body long after the exposure.

Suffering from an injury or harm due to exposure to a toxic substance, whether deliberate or accidental, can be a reason for filing a lawsuit. When you or anyone in your family has been a victim of exposure to a toxic substance, you can get assistance from experienced personal injury attorneys who can help you pursue the compensation you need to cover the costs of any losses you experienced because of exposure to a dangerous product.

When people hear “toxic substance” they easily think about toxic chemicals which only certain people have access to. However, anyone is at risk of being exposed to a toxic substance, and these different types of toxic substance cases can help you understand how:

  1. Consumer products – certain chemicals can be mixed in products such as dog food, containers, toys and even cigarettes.
  2. Chemicals and pesticides – the food we eat can be full of pesticides which can cause health complications when taken in large doses.
  3. Prescription medications – there are certain medications which can complicate a patients disease or ailment, or where the manufacturer has not warned the patient of the side effects, causing further health injuries or harm.
  4. Industrial materials– certain chemicals are necessary in certain workplaces, therefore putting workers in direct harm of toxic exposure.
  5. Hazardous wastes – toxic substances which are improperly disposed or stored, therefore are causing toxic harm to the environment and the people around the area.

Toxic exposure can occur anywhere; at your home, school, workplace, hospitals, and even parks. It can have overwhelming effects, not only on your health, but also to everyone and everything around it. Because of the complication and intricacy surrounding personal injury law, talking with knowledgeable personal injury attorneys could greatly enhance your chances of successful  compensation as well as getting the responsible people pay for their wrong-doing.


Study Indicates Mothers Abused during Childhood More Likely to Have Autistic Children

A recent study by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health has found that women who were abused during their childhood are more likely to have children with autism spectrum disorders.

The study surveyed more than 50,000 women on whether or not they suffered any physical or mental abuse during their childhood. An indication of severe physical abuse, for example, would be being hit hard enough to leave a bruise. These women were also asked if their children have ever been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder.

AutismThe study found that women who were severely abused as children were up to 60% more likely than women who were not abused to have autistic children.

The study accounted for the normal risk of autism as well as the fact that women who were abused are more likely to exhibit the behaviors that are suspected to contribute to the development of autism. These findings are important because they indicate that child abuse can affect the next generation in addition to the children who are abused.

A Helpful Guide to Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Filing for bankruptcy when debts become unmanageable is one important way in which a person can regain control of their financial life. Bankruptcy is one of the fastest legal solutions to save yourself from creditors and their various tactics in harassing you to pay what you owe. They will hound you through endless phone calls at home and at the office, notice of eviction and notices from law firms; they can even have a part or your full wages garnished (withheld for payment to creditors directly or through the court) or your bank account levied (frozen and seized).

Many debtors facing such a situation understandably become stressed, overwhelmed, and anxious. Fortunately, after speaking with a professional who is knowledgeable about bankruptcy, such as a bankruptcy lawyer, a debtor can evaluate their situation and options in order to formulate a plan to alleviate their financial problems. In this situation, bankruptcy is often a beneficial option.  Depending on the party filing for bankruptcy, one of the many forms of bankruptcy may be more applicable or beneficial than another. The major forms of bankruptcy include:

  • Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
  • Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
  • Chapter 11 Bankruptcy
  • Chapter 12 Bankruptcy

Once a party files for bankruptcy, one immediate benefit they will typically receive is the automatic stay which will automatically stop any lawsuit filed against you by your creditor, the garnishment of your wages and other forms of harassment, and collection by your creditor. Bankruptcy can also discharge some or all of your debts.

Opting for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

While Chapter 7 bankruptcy is often a popular choice of bankruptcy for debtors as it eliminates many of their debts, Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a beneficial alternative, as it lets you keep all of your properties while your debts are restructured for a single monthly payment. This restructuring is intended to enable you to make affordable payments over a period of 3 to 5 years. After continuous payment for 5 years, whatever remaining balance there still is could potentially be discharged.

As Chapter 13 bankruptcy also eliminates further interests and penalties on debts, it definitely can serve as the best solution to a worry-free and controlled financial life again.

What Families Should Know About Nursing Home Abuse


As parents and grandparents age, it can be hard to deal with their needs, which is why most people prefer to put them in nursing homes. These health care facilities are aimed to accommodate and look after the aging community and ensure that their needs are met. Although it may be emotionally hard to be away from your loved ones, it would be more beneficial for them to stay in such facilities to make sure their needs are met with proper care.

However, there can be instances where even the people you trust in nursing homes would abuse your loved ones. Nursing home abuse is already on the rise, and it is estimated that one in every three nursing homes are alleged for elderly abuse, be it physical abuse, financial abuse, or even sexual abuse. And because the elderly are amongst the most vulnerable, these abuses should never be taken lightly, therefore contacting reliable nursing home abuse attorneys would be the next step if you think your loved one has fallen victim of such circumstances.

Among the many types of abuse that happen in nursing homes, physical abuse is one of the most damaging and obvious abuses that can occur to the elderly. This type of abuse is very rampant in American nursing homes, and although most signs are obvious, there are also subtle and hidden symptoms. Physical abuse is described as intentional use of physical force towards the elderly, which can cause pain, impairment, and even death. For nursing homes, physical abuse can also account to improper use of medications or prescription drugs, which could pose harmful effects to the health of the resident.

Most elderly people often hide their abuse and prefer to not talk about it, mainly because of fear. This can also be because they have been threatened with further abuse and violence if they speak out about it. When you think someone you love is being physically abused in their nursing homes, make sure to inform their doctors, the head of the nursing home and the police about the abuse. Gather evidence and consult nursing home abuse attorneys on how to proceed in protecting your loved ones from further harm.

Options for Women Experiencing Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is a serious problem that affects millions of people every year. A 2005 report by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) showed that of 3.5 million reported instances of family violence, 73% of the victims were female. While this statistic includes non-spousal violence, such as child abuse or violence against other family members, closer inspection shows that women were the victims of 84% of spousal abuse incidents. Yet, women often stay in these destructive relationships.

One of the reasons for this, according to Leslie Morgan Steiner, a domestic abuse survivor and National Domestic Violence Hotline board member, is that many women who end up in these kinds of situations believe their partners will eventually change the abusive behavior. At some point, many of these women realize this will not happen and begin seeking help.

abused woman helpHowever, many women whose relationships become abusive end up being afraid to break away from their partners. Getting out of these relationships can be incredibly difficult because of the constant threat of violence, especially when the abuser gets a hint that the victim might report his actions.

There are many resources for women who want to leave an abusive relationship. The Department of Health and Human Services has a resource center where abused women can seek help and shelter. Shelter is the first thing a victim of domestic abuse will need, since they may, quite literally, be running away from home to find solace from their abusive partner. Many abuse victims are unaware of the legal options available to them in response to what they’ve suffered through. Legal help with items such as restraining orders and potential divorce proceedings are crucial to an abuse victim’s continued safety after breaking away from a toxic relationship.