Category Archives: Juris Doctor

Ways Out of a Bad Legal Situation

Sometimes we make choices, but other times choices make us. We’ve all had choices that later come back to bite us. Hopefully, most of the consequences of these decisions are secretly chances to learn and grow, but sometimes we may not get the chance. When someone gets caught committing a crime, they can quickly feel like their life is no longer in their control.  Punishments can be harsh and life-changing, but making a mistake shouldn’t ruin your life. There are always ways to make the best of a bad situation. Don’t forget that you have access to certain right and privileges that can make a bad turn of events and make it better. If you find yourself caught up in a legal situation where you can’t see the way out, try some of these steps to help get yourself back on track:

Know your rights.

Even if you’re placed under arrest, you still maintain many rights that can help you get out of a sticky situation. Cops are people too, and sometimes their mistakes can invalidate the arrest. Before the arrest, make sure you are being lawfully detained and that you have had your rights read to you. Searching without a warrant is very rarely an acceptable thing for a cop to do, and if they force themselves into your home you may be able to have the charges against you thrown out. If a cop makes an unlawful arrest or searches your house without a warrant, this can completely change the outcome of your charges.

Get a Lawyer.

This is just the first step to getting legal issues sorted out. It may seem obvious at first, but an attorney that is on your side is an invaluable asset. As you will have likely heard when you were having your rights read to you, you have the right to an attorney that will act on your behalf. The best attorney in this situation would be a defense attorney. Defense attorneys like Ian Inglis are specialists helping those charged with different criminal offenses. If you find yourself charged with possession of drugs, or get caught shoplifting red-handed, make sure to find legal counsel can help reduce your charges. Additionally, continues to be a valuable asset long after your trial. They can help with sentencing and even probationary hearings when the time comes.

See if you can get your record expunged.

If all else fails, you may end up with a criminal charge on your record. After paying the fines and doing the time, this charge can follow you for the rest of your life. Felony charges make it nearly impossible to get a job, and rebuilding a career is one of the most important parts of reintegrating into society. If you can see about having your record cleared. Wiping the charge off of your record can make the difference between moving forward and being stuck in the past.

Trucking Accident Liability: An Overview

Large commercial trucks sharing the roadways with much smaller, privately-owned vehicles can create a dangerous situation for everyone on the road. Because these vehicles are so large in size, they often have limited visibility, creating multiple blind spots in which truck drivers are unable to see the road. More importantly, if an accident involving a large commercial truck does occur, the consequences for all those involved in the accident can be substantial, even life-threatening.

Accidents involving a large commercial truck are often subject to legal action, in large part because those who are the victims of these types of unfortunate circumstances often require Truck Accident On Texas Road In Sunsetsubstantial medical treatment in order to recover from their injuries. The costs of this treatment are often quite high, and therefore trucking accident victims often seek compensation for their losses. However, assessing liability for trucking accidents can often be complicated, as several different parties may be variously implicated in the accident’s occurrence. An example of a prominent trucking accident settlement can help to show how exactly this can operate.

A truck driver working for a cable company in Texas struck a vehicle driven by Mindy Ragsdale, with her grandmother Peggye Woodson in the passenger’s seat, killing both women. The collision occurred even though the driver should have had as many as 14 seconds of visibility in which to come to a stop behind the vehicle. The accident occurred because the driver had been busy texting on his cellphone instead of focusing on the road, as he should have been.

In this circumstance, the driver was clearly the individual responsible for the accident’s occurrence. However, the truck accident lawyer which represented the family of Mindy Ragsdale and Peggye Woodson was able to effectively argue that the company bore at least some share of responsibility for the accident because it had failed to implement a ban on cellphone use while driving for its employees. Under the legal theory of vicarious responsibility, this would have left the company liable for much of the damages sought by the family if the case had gone to trial. In order to avoid this outcome, as well as the negative publicity such a move might result in, the company settled out of court with the family.

This is just one example of the many ways that trucking accident liability can be more complicated than it may initially appear. While the driver was certainly responsible for the accident, the company which employed him was also eventually deemed liable for the damages that his negligent actions caused because of its own lax safety policies. Many similar cases occur every year in the United States.

Nursing Home Abuse: A Disturbing Trend

America’s aging population, which is being driven in large part by the retirement of the Baby Boomer generation, has had a significant impact on many different factors of our society, but one largely unnoticed trend has been the increasing reliance of many individuals and families on the use of nursing care facilities to help elderly Americans remain in good health throughout their twilight years. In fact, the demand for nursing home care, which has been steadily increasing for decades, appears poised to now reach unprecedented levels in the coming years.

This, unfortunately, may also prove to be problematic. As the demand for nursing care increases, so too does the overall share of nursing care facilities operated on a for-profit basis. And the reality is that these facilities often cut corners, sometimes drastically, or otherwise mistreat their residents in order to increase profit margins. A disturbing case from South Carolina demonstrates the ways in which for-profit nursing homes can cause serious injury or other forms of damage to occur to residents.

Life Care Centers of America, one of America’s largest for-profit nursing care companies with more than 200 facilities in 28 different states, is currently under investigation by the federal government for a series of abuses the company is alleged to have committed. The government’s interest in the company relates to potential Medicare and Medicaid fraud that may have occurred as a result of the company submitting residents to care and treatments which they did not need solely in order to bill the government more for services rendered. But the consequences of this unnecessary care have, in some circumstances, been devastating.

At a South Carolina facility operated by Life Care, an 80-year old woman was placed in a standing frame for well over an hour, ostensibly for physical rehabilitation and “occupational” therapy. This woman was unable to control her head or keep her eyes open, and the treatment, as described in federal documents, had no relevant purpose. Two days later, the woman died, in part because of the unnecessary treatment she had received.

In many other cases, for-profit nursing homes operate with far fewer staff than necessary to provide their residents with the care they need, choosing instead to optimize cost structures at the expense of patient safety. The results of this type of negligence can be just as devastating as unnecessary patient care, potentially causing medication errors, patient injuries, and many other possible causes of harm to occur. For this reason, for-profit nursing homes are often cited by nursing home abuse lawyers as the most dangerous care facilities in which to place elderly relatives.

Wrongful Death: A Faculty Case-Based Examination

Regardless of the circumstances in which a person’s life is lost, the event is often a tragedy that can have profound effects on the lives and well-being of those who are left behind. However, this is particularly true in circumstances in which the death occurred as a result of another person’s actions. In consideration of the devastating consequences that this particular type of tragedy can have on others, the family of a deceased individual whose death occurred as a result of another party’s actions have the right to pursue compensation for their loss through a wrongful death lawsuit.

Wrongful death lawsuits can arise from a wide range of different circumstances. Generally Nicole Brown Simpsonspeaking, for a wrongful death action to have legal basis to move forward, it is only necessary to be able to show that an individual’s death was caused by the reckless or negligent actions of another party, actions which are beyond what a reasonable individual might consider appropriate. However, this is a legal formulation that incorporates a remarkable range of different types of actions. An evaluation of an extreme example of wrongful death lawsuits can help to illustrate how diverse this type of legal action can be.

In 1994, Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman were murdered in Los Angeles, California. Suspicion immediately focused on Nicole’s ex-husband, former NFL star O.J. Simpson, who was known to have had a tumultuous relationship with Nicole. O.J. was arrested after a dramatic police chase, and charged with the murder of Nicole Simpson and Ronald Goldman. He pleaded not guilty to all charges, and thus laid the groundwork for one of the most notable criminal trials in the history of the American legal system. After nearly eight months, the jury in this criminal trial returned a verdict of “not guilty,” though the evidence linking Simpson to the murders was substantial.

This element of the O.J. Simpson case is widely known. Less heavily publicized was the subsequent civil lawsuit brought against Simpson by the families of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman. Wrongful death attorney Daniel Petrocelli represented both families. This suit charged Simpson with the wrongful deaths of the murder victims, and the verdict was in this circumstance returned against Simpson, rather than in his favor. The reason for the different outcome came down to the standard of evidence required: in wrongful death suits, the standard required is simply a preponderance of evidence (in laymen’s terms, simply enough evidence to convince a reasonable person that the incident likely occurred), whereas in criminal prosecutions, the evidence must be conclusive to place guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

This is an extreme example of a wrongful death lawsuit; many other cases are more benign in the underlying cause, often involving issues such as workplace accidents, defective products, or medical malpractice. Regardless of the cause, though, individuals who lose a family member as a result of the irresponsible behavior of others are all granted the legal right to pursue compensation for their loss.

Medical Malpractice: A Faculty Case Study

Medical malpractice is a legal term, used to refer to injuries or illness that medical professionals may cause to patients by failing to comport with the standards expected of the medical profession. Medical malpractice can occur in a wide variety of different circumstances, sometimes arising as a result of a doctor’s failure to act and in other situations occurring because of careless errors or recklessness. Regardless of the cause, however, the victims of medical malpractice have a right to pursue compensation from those responsible for their damages through a malpractice lawsuit.

Determining liability for malpractice can sometimes be more complex than it may initially appear, however. Particularly when malpractice occurs at large medical institutions, such as hospitals, there is often a distinct possibility that more than one party contributed to the events resulting in an instance of malpractice. An examination of a specific case can help to illustrate the remarkable complexity of some medical malpractice cases.

The actor Dennis Quaid and his wife Kimberly were the proud parents of twins in November of 2007. However, when their children developed a staph infection, the hospital at which the twins had been delivered accidentally gave the two children an anti-coagulant medication several hundred times stronger than the medication which they were supposed to be administered. As a result, the children were rendered unable to clot blood, meaning that even a slight cut or other injury could prove fatal. For several days, the children’s lives were in imminent danger, after which the effects of the medication began to wear off and the threat gradually subsided.

Quaid and his wife, with the assistance of a medical malpractice attorney, filed a suit against both the hospital responsible for the medication error and the company which manufactured the medication. The errors on the part of the hospital were self-evident, if largely understandable, and a settlement was soon reached.

However, the lawsuit against the medication’s manufacturer, Baxter Healthcare, is more complicated. The hospital’s mistake, according to some observers, was not the first time this type of problem had occurred with this particular medication. In fact, the anti-coagulant which had been improperly administered to the Quaids’ twins had been associated with several other instances of medical malpractice, resulting in several cases of infant mortality. The problem, according to the suit, arose from the remarkable similarity between the packaging of different versions of the medication produced by Baxter Healthcare. The suit is currently still pending.

As this case should demonstrate, medical malpractice can and often does occur as the result of errors and mistakes on the parts of several different actors. In these circumstances, liability may be assessed to several groups.