Blog

Three Factors The Court Will Examine In A Nursing Home Injury Case

Posted by on Oct 23, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

When one of your loved ones is injured in a nursing home, then it is likely that you will consult an attorney to help you seek legal redress. If the case ends up in court, then there are several factors that the court will examine. Here are three examples: Responsibility Many people assume that a nursing home is always responsible for injuries that occur on their premises. According to Nolo, this is not always the case. For example, consider the case where a resident falls and breaks her wrist. It is possible that: An outside contractor failed to maintain the floor properly. Contracted cleaners did not put up warning signs such as “Slippery Floor.” The resident tried to run, but fell due to her known case of weak bones. Therefore, the court will not assume that the nursing home is responsible for the injury. In fact, there are even cases where responsibility is shared between several parties such as a resident, the nursing home and an outside contractor. Standard of Care Another factor the courts will zero in on is whether the nursing home in question provided the minimum standard of care as required by the state. Most states have minimum requirements that nursing homes must meet to acquire and maintain their licenses. For example, according to Nursing Home Alert, all nursing homes are required to: Carry out accurate assessments of their residents’ abilities and capacities Provide services to assist with daily living activities such as bathing Provide assistive devices to help with hearing and vision Consider an example of a nursing home failing to provide vision assistance (for example, in the form of lenses) to a partially blind resident. If the resident then harms himself as a result of his poor vision, then the nursing home is culpable for his injuries. Causation Finally, the court will also seek to find out what actually caused the injuries. This is necessary because many nursing home residents already have some degree of health conditions. The important question here is this: was the injury inevitable due to preexisting conditions, or was it caused by the nursing home’s negligence? As you can imagine, many nursing homes will use the excuse of preexisting conditions to defend themselves against negligence. For example, if a resident fell and broke her hip bone in a nursing home, then the management may argue that the defendant fell because of her frailty and advanced age. It is your legal team’s duty to prove that the fall was occasioned by the slippery floor or the lack of railings on the porch, as the case may be. You can see just how complicated nursing home injuries can get. For example, just because the nursing home provided the minimum standard of care doesn’t absolve it from all the blame when an injury occurs. It is essential that you don’t make any decisions on your own; instead, you should consult a personal injury attorney for any situation you might...

read more

How Are “Move-Away” Custody Cases Handled?

Posted by on Oct 22, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Move-away child custody cases occur when one of the custodial parents wants to relocate with the couple’s child to a new geographic location.  One parent may be relocating due to a new job, remarriage or a return to a home country.  Even moving to a nearby city can disrupt the child’s regular routine and cause stress to all parties involved.  If one parent’s move affects the other parent’s custody of the child, then a court hearing may be needed to determine what is best for the child.  Child custody lawyers and judges handle these cases very carefully.   There are several factors the court will take into consideration when determining a new custody agreement. How is the child’s time with each parent currently divided? Courts will first look at the current custody order and see how much time the child is spending with each parent and how long that arrangement has been in place.  Connections to friends, extended family and school are then examined.  If the current custody agreement is relatively new, some states won’t allow any changes for at least two years. How far is the parent moving? Moves that are a few hours away by car are not scrutinized as closely as moves to distant states or out of the country. Courts have very strict guidelines for overseas moves.  Among the considerations are risks and dangers to the child in the foreign country, the child’s ability to adapt to a different culture and whether the Court’s decision will be respected in the child’s new country. Why is the parent moving? Some states don’t require an explanation from the parent who is relocating.  However, if a child custody lawyer presents evidence and the court believes that one parent is using the move to reduce or stop the other parent’s involvement with the child, they will take it into strong consideration and rule against any move.   What is the child’s age? Very small children may have a strong bond with both parents and not understand what is happening.  This lack of understanding may cause anxiety, especially as relates to a dramatically changed visitation schedule. Older children may be given permission to testify as to which custodial terms they prefer.  In California, children over the age of 14 can testify in court, unless the Court determines that it is not in the child’s best interest. How is the current relationship between the parents? Finally, the Court will evaluate how well the parents get along.  Are they on speaking terms?  Have they discussed the move?  Most importantly, can they put their own interests aside and do what’s best for their child? Child custody lawyers are seeing more move-away cases in today’s increasingly mobile world.  While these cases can be difficult, everyone working together to make sure the parent-child relationship remains loving and stable is by far the best strategy. Contact a law office like Knochel Law Offices, PC if you find yourself in a similar...

read more

Remodeling Your Office Building? Learn How To Prevent A Mechanic’s Lien

Posted by on Oct 21, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

If you are about to embark on the journey of hiring a contractor to remodel your office building, you might be very excited, and only thinking about the finished product. However, a little underlying issue could arise after the job is finished if the contractor doesn’t pay the suppliers. That issue is called a mechanic’s lien, and if one is placed on your building, you will have a short amount of time to clear it up. This guide explains how a mechanic’s lien works, and how you can prevent it. How a Mechanic’s Lien Works When you pay a contractor for services, they hire the sub-contractors who will do the work, inspect the job they perform and then pay them. In a perfect world, this all goes down with no problem. But there are some situations where the contractor doesn’t pay the sub-contractors. Whatever the reason for the sub-contractors not getting paid, those workers have the right, by law, to come after you for the money. Even if you gave your contractor every last dime owed, you’ll typically have only a few months to come up with what’s owed to the sub-contractor, or you may watch your office building go on the auction block. Preventing a Mechanic’s Lien As scary as this situation might sound, most contractors are honest and reputable. But if you feel uneasy about writing a check to someone in hopes that they will pay the workers, here are some things you can do to prevent a mechanic’s lien. Prevention Tip #1: Write the checks out to both the contractor and the sub-contractors performing the work. This ensures that both signatures are required to cash the check, which makes the odds of the workers getting paid a lot greater. Prevention Tip #2: Ask the contractor to obtain mechanic’s lien waivers from all the sub-contractors they use. This document will protect you should the unthinkable happen, and the workers don’t get paid. Prevention Tip #3: Write the checks to the workers yourself. This is drastic and you’ll need to be around the work site more than what you hoped, but it will prevent any issue that might come along. Consideration Keep in mind that part of your contractor’s job is to ensure that the workers complete the job properly. Ultimately, it is their decision as to whether or not they did the job according to specifications and whether they earned their pay. Should a mechanic’s lien be placed on your property, the contractor will likely need to appear in court to tell the judge why they didn’t make the payment. The law is typically on the side of the worker in these situations because you have the option of suing the contractor. If you receive notification that a sub-contractor placed a mechanic’s lien on your property, call an attorney like Strauss Troy right away to learn what your rights are, and what you must do to clear it. Act as soon as possible to prevent the sale of your building to satisfy the...

read more

Three Types Of Lawyers You May Wonder About

Posted by on Oct 21, 2014 in Blog, Law | 0 comments

You hear about many different types of lawyers on television, radio, and billboards. Do you ever wonder, if they’re real lawyers, why do they have to advertise? Are they not reputable enough to not get clients without these dramatic ads? Majority of those lawyers are, in fact, very real lawyers who just happen to specialize in a field of law that the general population isn’t familiar with. The definition of what lawyers do can be so broad that no one lawyer can be a specialist in every field. Here are three types of lawyers that aren’t well-known in most parts of the country. 1. Personal Injury Lawyers: Personal injury lawyers primarily specialize in cases regarding accidents, physician misdiagnosis and malpractice, prescription side effects, and you guessed it, personal injuries. Many times cases involving personal injury lawyers involve lawsuits against insurance companies who represented a person at fault. Personal injury attorneys work for different fees than most lawyers—they only make money if there’s a settlement. Called a contingency fee, personal injury lawyers, such as Law Office of John Lozano, receive a percentage of the amount won in settlement. This type of lawyer gets a bad rap because of their advertising methods. While some of their commercials may seem cheesy and over-the-top dramatic, some of their clients may not even know they have a case until they see the ad. 2. Entertainment Lawyers: You’ll occasionally read about an entertainment lawyer in a tabloid or celebrity magazine. For those of us from small towns where little goes on, we wonder if that’s a real kind of lawyer. While mostly seen in towns like New York City, Las Vegas, or Hollywood, entertainment lawyers are not only a real type of lawyer, but practice a field of law that is quite competitive and costly. Entertainment attorneys specialize in the legalities of entertainment contracts. They help entertainers understand contracts regarding management, royalties, and basically anything that has to deal with the entertainment world. Most of us will never require the assistance of an entertainment lawyer. 3. Intellectual Property Lawyers: This type of lawyer represents clients in cases that deal with protecting individual ideas. It almost seems silly, but there are many times that two people (or businesses) will claim to have the same idea that was stolen by the other. In these cases, intellectual property attorneys will step in and handle the issue with it sometimes going through litigation. This type of law involves copyrights, patents, and trademarks. If a company feels that their trademark was misused by an individual, they would employ the services of an intellectual property lawyer. That’s why if you ever have an exceptional idea, it’s important to get it patented so you have a leg to stand on if someone else ever comes up with the same idea. The range of lawyers is vast. The next time you see something about a type of lawyer you’ve never heard about, read up on it. You never know when you may require the services of some of these specialty...

read more

Alternate Law Profession: Oil And Gas Attorney

Posted by on Oct 21, 2014 in Blog, Law | 0 comments

For many law students, the prospect of finding a job in the exceedingly over-saturated legal job market has been a grim thought for many years now. Economic Modeling wrote an article about this very topic in the beginning of the year that indicated that back in 2012 there were roughly twice as many law graduate students as there were jobs available in the market at the time. That’s, of course, not counting any unemployed lawyers also looking for employment during that time. This has led many law graduates to pursuing alternative legal work and additional work on the side, much in the same way writers often freelance in addition to writing for their main publications. The amount of job opportunities a law graduate might consider extends beyond the scope of this article, instead this will focus on one: oil and gas title attorneys.  Requirements For many young professionals, they will start this lucrative career path as a landman. The formal requirements of a landman position are usually pretty lax in comparison to being a full fledged attorney. Most companies will require a bachelor’s degree and some experience in the field. If you don’t already meet these minimum requirements, then there are a few other ways to get your foot in the door. One way, like with many other positions, is to simply work your way up from an entry level position. Though most landman positions will require a bachelor’s degree, your experience can be gained working in the field while pursuing your degree.  You might also try getting enrolled in some landman classes if you’ve already got the experience. Additionally, many accredited colleges have land management programs that can be completed while pursuing your bachelor’s degree. Finally, don’t be afraid to do some volunteer work as a last resort. This will help you make some great connections while also gaining valuable experience.  Many gas and oil title attorney jobs specifically require you to have experience as a landman since the job responsibilities are functionally the same. Some companies might require you to have your doctorate, but at a minimum you should have successfully completed your state’s bar and be a licensed attorney before applying. Basic Job Description The underlying responsibilities of an oil and gas title attorney sounds simple on paper. The two biggest transactions you will be responsible for are: Determining Ownership – This applies to many things, such as surface rights, royalty, minerals, and leases for properties that are under assessment. This task revolves around researching the history of the title. Examining the title is the first step in determining whether or not there will be any conflicts with the terms.  Identifying Potential Conflicts – Being able to think ahead of the curve is what makes a title attorney successful. You want to make sure you’re prepared in the case of a claim, but ultimately you want to make sure one doesn’t occur to begin with.  Consult in Agreements – This revolves around presenting the information you’ve accumulated to reach an agreement, as a producer, with a mineral owner. There are many types of agreements, and your task is to help define the terms of the agreement in a way that is beneficial to your company both monetarily and legally.  The Future Even though many companies are searching for alternative sources of...

read more

Safeguarding & Enhancing Military Disability Evidence

Posted by on Oct 20, 2014 in Blog, Law | 0 comments

Getting compensation or assistance for injuries sustained in military service isn’t always easy. Mistakes happen within the claims system, and with a constant flow of other veterans entering the system, your claim may be lost or incorrectly assessed in the process. Consider a few ways to keep your military disability claim prepared for acceptance or another appeal. Make as Many Medical Copies as Possible Paperwork gets lost; it’s a constant in administrative systems that can’t easily be avoided. Even if you have multiple copies of a paper medical record on hand, you’ll always need to be prepared to replace it at a moment’s notice. Make sure to keep up with new information saving technology. Even though the world is well into online storage and mobile devices, the military and other government organizations might not be. Don’t try to convert these newer formats on your own. Either take the data to an equipped professional with conversion experience or call ahead of time for a conversion appointment with the Department of Veterans Affairs. If you have paper copies, they can still be the most valuable version of your record. To be prepared for conversion failures and lost copies, make sure to make a digital copy of your information with a scanner. Most basic printers come with a scanner and fax option, which allows you to make a copy of your record one sheet at a time. If you plan on scanning multiple pages on a regular basis, a feeding system scanner may be an economic choice. For safety, try to have your record copied at a professional photo copier or scanning by hand at a home printer, preferably by someone with printer experience. Although the process is simple, it takes a specific type of computer knowledge to tweak the scan settings into something that works well. Creating Video Claims Evidence Although military disability, pension and other compensation programs require a specific format for submitting information, you can enhance your claim with videos. To draw attention to your injuries and difficulties, recording of your medical visits and daily living struggles can offer additional insight into how detrimental the injuries are to your survival. There is no specific rule for paying attention to videos or “creative” claims evidence, but being different from the other claims can help you stay in the minds of the people working every day on monotonous claims packages. If you need assistance with framing injury claim videos with the best success, contact an injury and disability lawyer such as Michael W. Seckar...

read more

Medical Treatment Without Consent And What It Means For You

Posted by on Oct 20, 2014 in Blog, Law | 0 comments

Patients who come into an emergency room already unconscious and in need of critical care can still sue you if they or their loved ones did not give consent. It is a narrow line to walk when no one is available for consent because you might accidentally treat someone who has religious or personal convictions against modern medical treatments. Medical malpractice lawyers can help you navigate these tricky situations by providing you with the following information prior to trial. Implied Consent, Informed Consent, and No Consent Obviously your unconscious patients who do not have any family consenting on their behalf are no consent patients. Legally, you cannot refuse to treat these patients, especially if they come into the emergency room riddled with bullet holes or stab wounds. Police on the scene of the stabbing or shooting try to locate next of kin as soon as possible in order to obtain consent, but in the meantime, you are legally responsible to treat patients in life and death situations. Implied consent takes over in these situations, with the assumption that a family member will be found and give post-treatment consent. Implied consent means that any patient who comes to you and needs care should receive care, conscious or not. You help them based on the idea that if they were able to speak, they would request that you help them. It also covers conscious patients who schedule appointments with you or who come into the ER fully conscious for a physical complaint or injury. Informed consent means that the patient has had a chance to review legal intake paperwork for a procedure and has agreed to the treatment. Surprisingly, this type of consent is the most gray area because patients can deny treatment by informed consent but not be denied treatment. If they are found mentally incompetent, they may be compelled by a court to receive treatment, which is why this is no easier than treating an unconscious emergency patient. Legal Determination of Malpractice Despite your best efforts to do what is right, you may still face a lawsuit under non-consenting patient issues. If you have done everything possible to save a person’s life without knowing his or her personal and spiritual convictions, and saved his or her life, then you have legally done right by him or her. In the eyes of the legal system, the judge will weigh what you did for the plaintiff against the plaintiff’s complaints and decide if a malpractice case even exists. Given a specific set of circumstances, you are usually innocent of any crime, and will not have to pay damages. If there is anything untoward about your case or how you handled the situation, then you might have to...

read more

What To Expect During The SSA Appeals Process

Posted by on Oct 20, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Are you feeling frustrated because your application for Social Security benefits was denied? If so, you can appeal this decision. Before you do, the following information can give you a brief overview of the appeals process so you’ll know what to expect each step of the way. Responding To The Denial Letter From The SSA Once you’ve received your initial denial letter from the Social Security Administration (SSA), you have 60 days to appeal the decision. According to the SSA, it is assumed that you’ll receive your letter within five days of its mailing date (unless you can prove otherwise), so the 60 day time limit begins five days after the date of the postmark. If you wait longer than 60 days to appeal, you must have a very good reason for requesting an extension of the deadline.  In order to appeal to the denial letter, you need to respond to it in writing, requesting a reconsideration of your claim. A disability lawyer is a great resource to have during this stage of the appeals process because your lawyer will advise you on the types of additional documentation to include with your written appeal. Appealing A 2nd SSA Denial After requesting that the SSA reconsiders your claim, if you’re denied benefits for a second time, don’t lose hope yet. Your next step is to file another appeal in the form of a written request for a SSA administrative hearing. If your request for a hearing is approved, your case will be reviewed by the Appeals Council or heard by an administrative law judge from the SSA’s Office of Hearings and Appeals. While waiting for your administrative hearing to be scheduled, this is the time to work on the case with your lawyer. You’ll need to gather as much evidence as possible to prove your claim, which may include: Witnesses to testify on your behalf at the hearing Additional medical documentation Other documentation proving your disability (e.g. police reports and insurance company documentation) After the hearing, you’ll receive written notification of the judge’s decision. If your claim is finally approved, you will likely receive benefits that date back to the time of your first SSA application. Exhausting The Appeals Process If you receive notice that your case has been denied for a third time, you’ll need to discuss the option of appealing it again with your lawyer. This is the final appeal in the process and requires that you file a civil suit in federal district court. You should compare the expenses involved with a federal lawsuit with the amount of benefits you seek before taking this step. An experienced lawyer, like those at Law Offices Of Russell J. Goldsmith can provide you with a realistic expectation of your chances of winning the case in federal court. However, most legitimate claims never need to reach this stage of the appeals...

read more

Introducing A New Approach To Divorce For Couples Who Are Tired Of Fighting, Want To Maintain Their Privacy And Save Money

Posted by on Oct 20, 2014 in Blog, Law | 0 comments

A divorce does not have to be the messy battleground often witnessed in the media. By using a collaborative family attorney, couples can break up without destroying one another. These lawyers try to work out a divorce solution that leaves both parties placated. This method is far different from what some might consider the usual confrontational style of American law. Here are three ways that the collaborative approach to family law is the best way to handle a divorce in the 21st century. 1. Collaboration Lessens Animosity Contentious divorces can lead to a lifetime of animosity. One or both sides can feel that the other took advantage of the system. They may believe that their former spouse hired a “slick” attorney who gamed the system to win an advantage over them. This does not have to be the case. There is no reason for domestic partners to leave a divorce proceeding angry. A collaborative divorce allows the splitting spouses to sit down and work out an equitable solution. Everyone involved has a responsibility to be open and honest about his or her intentions. Since these are non-court hearings, the legal representatives do not have a duty to be necessarily adversarial. As always, the lawyers will protect their clients’ interests; however, unlike in court, this does not include weakening the other side’s positions. In the end, the parties can be sure that they all received what they were due. 2. There is No Public Record The internet has made it easy for anyone with a computer to access once privileged information. Before, a person would need to go to a courthouse to obtain family law records. Anyone who did would have to possess some extra incentive or motivation for doing so. Today, a mere online record search can divulge much about a couple’s private affairs. Because a collaborative divorce is private, there is no public record in most cases. Former spouses, kids and witnesses will not have their names made accessible via an online search. Thus, bosses, coworkers and others, include the tabloids, cannot find out the outcome of the divorce, which could prove embarrassing. 3. These Divorces Are Cost Effective American law can be expensive. It costs to file lawsuits. In contrast, held in the privacy of lawyers’ offices, private meeting rooms or boardrooms, collaborative divorces can prove financially less burdensome. Most of the costs are in-house, meaning they can be assessed along with the attorney’s fees. A public divorce can require depositions, hearings, and evidence discoveries leading to a mountain of legal fees.   Conclusion Breaking up is never easy to do. Things may become more difficult when a couple find themselves at odds in family law court. Hiring an attorney willing to use a collaborative approach can prevent many of the problems arising out of contentious divorces. For more help, try speaking with a lawyer at a firm like Leonard & Kershaw about any questions you might...

read more

What You Need To Know About A Psychological Evaluation For Custody

Posted by on Oct 20, 2014 in Blog, Law | 0 comments

If you are going through a divorce and have children, you will most likely be asked to undergo a psychological evaluation for custody. Here are some things that you should expect with the evaluation. 1. The Evaluation Will Be Done By A Professional You cannot get the evaluation done by just anyone. Instead, you will have to go to a certified psychologist who has been trained in both the law and clinical psychology. Usually a family law attorney will refer you to the psychologist for evaluation. The psychologist will do a series of tests, such as the MMPI-2, to determine the mental health of each family member. This will help them to determine who is most fit to care for the children. 2. Every Family Member Will Be Evaluated In most cases the courts will ask that everyone be evaluated. This is because they need to see if each parent is fit to keep the child. They need to make sure that the parent is not a danger to the child or themselves before they give the parent custody. In addition, the psychologist will talk to the children. This way the psychologist can determine the emotional health of the children to see if one parent would be better suited for the child’s needs, or if there is any cause to believe there is abuse. It should be noted that many parents are worried that the spouse, or children, might lie during the evaluation. Although a psychologist cannot detect every lie that is told, they have been trained to be able to see cries for help, defensive actions, glossed-over truths, and other unfair statements. Thus, you shouldn’t be too worried about the spouse saying something unfair about you. Many psychologists have seen their fair share of fighting couples and can tell when something is legitimate and when it is just used to get back at the other person. 3. Does Every Case Need To Be Evaluated? Many people wonder if every divorce case will need to be evaluated by a professional. Even though it is common for a psychologist to evaluate the family, if both spouses can come to an agreement about the custody of the children and happily agree on its terms, they might not have to see a psychologist. An evaluation is more common for people who are unable to reach a solution about custody, or who are making claims against the spouse about their ability to care for the...

read more