Guilty Or Innocent?

Start with the premise that everyone is innocent until proven guilty, and you have the founding tenet of the criminal justice system in the United States. The being proven guilty also has to be done beyond a reasonable doubt, which is a tough standard to adjudicate.The criminal defense attorney’s job is to ensure their clients are found innocent, for obvious reasons. If you find yourself in a tight situation where you need the services of a criminal defense attorney, hire locally. The locals know the laws better than a hired gun from another state. They will also know the people involved in the process much more intimately than someone flown in to do defense duty.Most criminal defense attorneys handle cases such as homicides, domestic violence, DUI, vehicular manslaughter, sexual offenses, kidnappings, assaults, robbery and drug offenses. If you are in this kind of a situation, your freedom is threatened and you will need to rely on the expertise of a highly qualified criminal defense lawyer.Choose one who offers complete coverage of your case, and that includes all contact with police and prosecutors. Vital information is exchanged over the course of your case. Your lawyer should know the system well enough to get the full details of your arrest, be able to fight to have bail posted, be with you and counsel you on how to answer criminal charges and right beside you during the entire trial process.If your lawyer does not offer some services, think twice about hiring that attorney and find one that does stick with you. Being in the criminal justice system is hard enough with a competent lawyer. Going it alone is virtually impossible.Once you have been arrested, where ever possible do not waste any time getting to a phone to call your attorney. The reason for this is there is a time lag between being arrested and being charged. If the lawyer gets there fast enough, the charges might never be recorded and you will walk away free.

While You’re Under For Surgery

The administration of anesthesia is a delicate art, and those trained in the field are highly skilled in using and monitoring the effects of anesthesia. This isn’t to say that there aren’t instances where this goes awry. The recent spate of anesthesia malpractice lawsuits is a good indication that this area of medicine is just as susceptible to lawsuits as other more traditional areas of medical malpractice e.g. misdiagnosis, severe reactions to drugs etc.Knowing the patient prior to putting them under for surgery is the responsibility of the anesthesiologist and requires that they not only evaluate the patient, but also confirm pre-op data and keep a meticulous record of the goals for the operation. These records must contain all pertinent information about every member of the surgical team and must also include the fact that the patient was assessed for tolerance to certain anesthesia.While the patient is under, the anesthesiologist is responsible for the correct placement of IV lines, keeping track of the ECG, oxygen levels and the automatic blood pressure cuff. In addition they also take the lead role for intubating patient airways and the handling and administration of the anesthesia, medicines and oxygen etc. Every task the anesthesiologist performs becomes a part of his or her records. These records may be examined as part of a trial.When you stop to take a look at the role the anesthesiologist has in operations, it’s not too difficult to imagine something going wrong before, during or after the surgery. Things can and do happen. Every time an anesthesiologist performs their crucial part of an operation, their intentions are to do the best job they know how to do. Rarely are their intentions to botch things up. However, if an error in judgment is made, or something else goes wrong, the patient is the one who suffers the consequences of negligence.If you feel that you have been a victim of something that went wrong while you were knocked out and being operated on, contact a skilled medical malpractice attorney. S/he will evaluate your case and advise you on how to proceed to justice.

What Medical Malpractice May Encompass

Generally speaking, the term medical malpractice means negligence caused by health care professionals leading to injuries or the death of a patient. Medical malpractice has no particular method or place in which it strikes. It just happens to anyone, anytime, when they least expect it.At one time medical malpractice wasn’t as prevalent, or more likely, was not recognized for what it was; thus, it went unreported. It is a situation still present today, as many people don’t realize they have been or are a victim of medical malpractice. It is far too ingrained in society not to question the wisdom of doctors when, in fact, we should always ask questions as well as be our own medical advocates.This is something not many people know: at the time of the first visit to a physician, the health of the patient is NOT the responsibility of that doctor; however, it becomes the responsibility of the doctor once treatment has commenced. A smart patient needs to keep track of doctor’s appointments, diagnosis, prescriptions and treatments.So, what types of medical malpractice are there – the most common ones? Malpractice may happen at any time thanks to a delay in treatment, the result of medications prescribed, or even as the result of improper monitoring and/or administration of anesthesia.In general, the most common forms of medical malpractice are birth injuries and defects, wrongful death, surgical errors, cosmetic surgery errors, breast implant malpractice, dental errors, psychiatric malpractice, and unnecessary surgery. No matter what the malpractice may be, be it a breast cancer misdiagnosis to mismanagement of a heart attack, the patient has the right to file a medical malpractice lawsuit and seek compensation for damages.A word or two of advice about filing a medical malpractice lawsuit: do not wait or you will miss the statute of limitations. Most states have a two-year limitation, but don’t assume that is the case. Speak to a highly qualified attorney and find out what the statute of limitations says in your state.If you choose to wait longer than two years, your chances of getting compensation drastically drops, statistically speaking, which isn’t to say you may not get compensation, but the chances of doing so are low. If you think you are a victim of medical malpractice, seek competent legal counsel to obtain justice.

The Safety Issues With Children’s Toys

What is this world coming to when we cannot even rely on the safety of innocent toys for our kids? Things aren’t so innocent anymore; we read in the news more and more about toys being yanked off the shelves for causing serious harm or death.Think about it – lead paint on toys, poor design that causes a toy to malfunction and cause injuries, and magnets that could be swallowed. What a terrible litany of disasters. Imagine how a parent feels when they discover that a toy they thought was safe may cause a great deal of harm. What’s a parent to do when faced with a situation like this?If a toy you have given to your child turns out to be dangerous and causes harm, waste no time in speaking with a personal injury attorney. Attorneys who litigate in this area of the law know how frightening this kind of situation is for parents, and make it a point to explain what they are doing. In fact, many personal injury attorneys have children themselves and are able to empathize with their client’s fears.Aside from suing a manufacturer for a defective product (toy) the real question becomes what are some of these people thinking making products like this? For instance, the news is filled with stories about Mattel recalling millions of their toys because of product defects, poor design, and lead paint. Interestingly enough, although over 60% of their toys are made in China, Mattel said some of the flaws were their own responsibility.So what is going on that their factories are producing toys with serious design flaws? Things didn’t used to be that way. If you think back to when you were a kid, the toys were well made and durable. Today, the same thing can’t be said and it’s interesting on Christmas morning to see how long a toy will last.The most serious problem over the last few years hasn’t been design flaws so much as it has been excessive levels of lead found in hundreds of thousands of items. This seems to be just the tip of the iceberg, too. For instance, Fisher-Price pulled roughly one million Dora the Explorer and Sesame Street products for unsafe/toxic lead levels. Mattel and Disney have experienced similar recalls.Mattel seems to have had it the worst though as they were forced to recall over 345,000 action figures due to unsafe magnets that could be swallowed. If a child swallowed two, they’d stick together and require surgical removal.Hasbro had its day in the limelight when they recalled over one million Easy-Bake Ovens because kids were getting their fingers stuck in the oven’s opening. And the list goes on. If you think you have a toy that has been recalled, check to see if the product number is listed in the recall notice. When push comes to shove and you are not sure, toss it – better safe than sorry.If your child may have been exposed to high levels of lead, get them tested immediately. Take the time to speak to a personal injury attorney about the possibility of filing a defective product lawsuit as well. It may be time well spent.

Dental Malpractice Suits Usually Rare

It’s not often you think of suing your dentist, but it does happen. In fact, dental malpractice is just as serious as medical malpractice (medmal). This is why most dentists carry malpractice insurance.Dental malpractice suits generally have smaller damage awards than for medmal. When they happen, they’re generally the result of the dentist not having detected or diagnosed certain conditions.Injuries may include death related to anesthetic use, injuries relating to dental surgery, failure to notice oral cancer or other diseases of the mouth, nerve damage and injuries to the tongue, jaw or lips.At the root of these cases is the reasonable expectation that the patient has to receive a professional, accurate diagnosis and the correct treatment for it. The same observation may be made when you visit your family physician. This doesn’t apply to every thing a dentist does, buy may apply to cases where injuries are severe and/or permanent.The worst-case scenario would be the death of a dental patient due to the improper use of anesthesia. Infections occurring in the jaw or tooth sockets may also be quite devastating. Losing sensation or taste, having trouble talking, eating or swallowing also rank right up there as injuries that may merit a dental malpractice suit.Even seemingly routine procedures may cause problems, such as a tooth extraction, particularly if the wrong tooth is removed, or if the patient is taking Fosamax (or any other bone metabolism regulator). The Fosamax may cause a condition called Dead Jaw.If the dentist doesn’t spot periodontal disease or oral cancer, or does something you didn’t authorize or give consent for, they may also face a dental malpractice lawsuit.If you’re not sure that you have a dental malpractice suit on your hands, then take the time to talk to a qualified attorney who will look at the situation. S/he will be able to tell you if you have enough cause to file a dental malpractice lawsuit.

When What You Eat Makes You Sick

These days it seems that you have to really watch what you are eating and where you are eating. Kind of takes the fun out of the experience, doesn’t it? The fact of the matter is that eating out has become a little like a round of Russian roulette, you never know when you might wind up with food poisoning.In the US alone,the Center for Disease Control indicates that spoiled food is the reason for 76 million illnesses; 5,000 deaths; and over 325,000 stays in hospital yearly. Those statistics are quite scary. It puts a whole new light on staying at home and enjoying your own cooking, so long as you follow safe food preparation procedures.Here are a few more statistics that will get your attention. There are about 250 kinds of diseases that can infect people via the food they eat. Let’s break this down into something a little easier to follow. One method of food poisoning is through infectious agents such as parasites, bacteria and viruses. Another one is via a toxic agent like mushrooms and foods not cleaned properly that may contain pesticides, etc.The only sure-fire way of preventing food poisoning is to practice rigorous hygiene and sanitation. This is no small task, but is critical to the well-being of people who eat at your establishment, or your home for that matter. No one really wants to wind up in the hospital with vomiting, a nasty headache, nausea, serious stomach cramping, a fever, bloody diarrhea, blurred vision, and possible kidney failure leading to death. Blood tests are the usual standard for detecting food poisoning, but a urine test might also be called for to confirm the diagnosis.How to avoid food poisoning is a bit of a dicey proposition, but being careful with your choices will help in the long run. For instance, don’t buy torn packages of food; buy meats or frozen items just prior to leaving the store; don’t directly handle raw foods; and keep all working surfaces and hands clean. This cannot be emphasized enough, wash your hands until you get totally sick of it, and then wash them some more.Take time to read the proper cooking temperature for certain foods, more specifically meats; don’t leave meat or other hot foods standing on the counter for long periods of time; and cover them when putting them away in the fridge.Food poisoning from home cooked meals is one thing. If you contract food poisoning after eating out, that is another matter. In circumstances like that, immediately contact a personal injury attorney and discuss your case. You may be able to file a lawsuit and receive compensation for your pain and suffering.Never assume that speaking to a lawyer is going to cost you serious money, as most lawyers are willing to give their first consultation free. They will be able to advise you if you have a good case or not.

Wrongful Death Cases Are Civil Lawsuits

A wrongful death by definition is a death that happens due to the negligence, recklessness or inaction of an organization or a person. The leading cause of wrongful death is medical malpractice, with accidents on the job, car crashes and defective products vying for second place.No matter what caused the death, a family is grieving the loss of a loved one and wondering how to carry on with their lives and handle the sudden cessation of that person’s wages, etc. In the U.S., immediate family members are allowed to file a wrongful death lawsuit. In most instances, that means parents, spouses, children, or a child’s guardian acting on the child’s behalf.These types of lawsuits are seeking compensation from the courts for medical and funeral expenses, emotional distress of the loss of the loved one, lost income or inheritance, and loss of companionship (among other things). Depending on what state you are filing in, you will find the laws to be different. This is the reason you will need a wrongful death attorney to apprise you of your rights and how to file in your state.Each state also has a statute of limitations that often varies as to when the time expires for filing a wrongful death lawsuit. Your attorney will tell you when you need to file your suit. Generally speaking, it is within one to three years from the time of the loved one’s death.However, just because there is some time running to file a suit, don’t wait. A wrongful death lawyer must act quickly to get the evidence to prove that the defendant’s actions (or inaction) were the cause of death. It is also up to the attorney to show that family members are suffering and ask for adequate compensation on their behalf.

The Rules of Evidence Vary in Wrongful Death Lawsuits

It’s not often you get the chance to take two kicks at the can when it comes to determining liability in a wrongful death lawsuit. If a case has been adjudicated in the criminal courts and the defendant found innocent, the second crack at the offender may come in the form of a civil lawsuit. You may recall this is what happened in the OJ Simpson case.A wrongful death claim may be filed against anyone who is deemed responsible for another person’s death. This would include accidental deaths caused by medical malpractice, dangerous drugs, flawed products and murderers.This is an area of law that many people don’t understand. In particular people don’t get why they should file a wrongful death suit if it happens to be a deliberate killing. They don’t grasp why they should file a civil suit instead of just leaving the case to the criminal courts.This is where the rules of evidence come into play. Criminal courts need proof of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Civil courts only need the preponderance of evidence pointing to the defendant. What happens here is when a person is declared innocent in criminal court, a wrongful death lawsuit provides the survivors a chance to see justice carried out. As mentioned earlier, this doesn’t happen often, but when it does, justice is done.Usually wrongful death charges are laid against people who have accidentally caused a death by negligence. The usual reasons for filing such a suit also have to do with recovery of lost financial support from the deceased. While some may say it’s “not right” that people file suits like this, it’s a definite necessity to keep the remaining family fed and sheltered.An often-ignored bonus in a wrongful death case is the wake up call the manufacturers, companies or organizations get about putting people’s safety first. Unfortunately there are companies who choose to cut corners, putting others at risk of grave injury or death.

Deadly Motorcycle Crashes

If you take a good look at some of the traffic accident statistics, the first thing you will notice is when it comes to a “car meet motorbike collision,” it is usually the fault of the car driver. There are a variety of reasons for this, ranging from the bike was in the driver’s blind spot to the car driver wasn’t able to accurately judge the speed of the motorbike.The most interesting facts and figures have come forth from a study done by the University of Southern California. They found that in nearly three quarters of motorcycle collisions, the other vehicle was – you guessed it – a passenger automobile. In most instances it was the car driver that infringed on the rights of the motorcycle’s right-of-way. Other factors are bad road conditions, alcohol, speeding, undivided roads and riding skills.This study is actually the one that made more people realize that drivers have trouble noticing motorbikes in traffic, hence the comment many people make that “I just didn’t see it until it was too late.” This is an often-repeated refrain to both the police and insurance companies when dealing with the aftermath of such accidents.Speaking of insurance companies, this is where the bike rider should definitely contact an experienced motorcycle collision lawyer; one who knows how to assess the myriad of details needed in crashes of this nature. While it might seem pointless to hire a lawyer when the insurance company has come up with a nice offer, make that call and talk to an attorney. Insurance companies are not in the business of offering you a fair settlement and your lawyer will tell you that right away.Know your rights by discussing your case with a competent motorcycle crash lawyer. S/he will put a stop to the insurance company trying to make the accident your fault just because you were riding a motorcycle. The lawyer will also ensure you get fair treatment and a just settlement from the justice system.

When it Blows it May Be Deadly

In general, all types of vehicles use tires of one sort or another, and really, anyone is vulnerable to tire problems from time to time. However, big rigs (those large semi tractor-trailers) have more than their fair share of tire blowouts simply due to the enormous amount of weight they haul. Usually, if they’re going to experience a tire problem, it will be with a blowout or tire tread separation.It’s not only heavy-duty wear and tear that causes tires to go bad. Blemished tires are often the culprits. In fact, unsound tires have been the cause of some really serious personal injury accidents and deaths. What usually happens is the driver experiences a sudden and unexpected blowout, skewing the car sideways and ripping the wheel out of their hands.Rear tire blowouts are particularly difficult when the vehicle is travelling at highway speed. The loss of control usually means the rear of the vehicle swings around and winds up being perpendicular to the direction of travel. Unfortunately, due to a design flaw – a high center of gravity – found in light trucks, SUV’s and vans, the end result is a roll over.It’s common knowledge that there have been numerous defective tire recalls over the past few years. This has not solved the safety problem, as these tires continue to cause fatalities and serious injury accidents. Be aware that the tread on your vehicle is on its way out when small cracks develop on the side of the tire (by the serial number).This failure is directly due a design and manufacturing defect. The small cracks, hard to see with the naked eye, turn into larger ones that develop in the tire’s belts, causing premature fatigue and tread failure.Interestingly, even though there were tire replacement/reimbursement programs offered by some of the larger tire manufacturers, there was a push by consumer safety groups to have the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration find out if these programs are truly effective or just a band-aid approach to a serious problem.Despite the fact that tire manufacturers are legally responsible to let consumers know about a defective product, they still continue to make and sell flawed tires. The whole point of letting people know about a bad product is to prevent accidents. If the manufacturers keep making bad products, nothing is accomplished to save lives.If you have been in an accident and feel that the cause of your mishap was subnormal tires, be sure to contact a defective product lawyer as soon as you can. Discuss the facts of your case with him or her and find out if there is enough evidence to proceed with a court case.