Divorce and Domestic Violence: Temporary Restraining Orders

Going through a divorce can be extremely difficult, especially if the reason behind such a decision involves emotional and physical abuse. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, an average number of about 20 people are physically abused by an intimate partner every minute in the United States. Even if a person manages to escape from a harmful situation, the legal process involved in severing ties with an abusive spouse can be arduous and lengthy. A solution to such a threatening scenario is obtaining a temporary restraining order while waiting for the divorce and all related legal issues to be settled in court.

A temporary restraining order or TRO is an order issued by a court preventing a person from being contacted, harassed, or stalked by their abuser. This order can be easily obtained by any individual facing some sort of threat or violence caused by another. While it is mostly applicable in domestic violence cases, a TRO can be granted even without a case pending in court. In some states, a TRO may also be called a temporary protective order or order of protection.

TROs become effective as soon as a judge signs it. The abuser is notified of the existence of the order and will then be restrained and prevented from attempting any sort of contact with the petitioner, as well as any of their children or family members. A TRO also extends to places that the petitioner frequents. Aside from their home, the abusive spouse will not be allowed to come near the petitioner’s workplace and their children’s educational facilities. Violations of these clauses could lead to imprisonment, as well as tighter regulations and requirements against the abuser.

Domestic violence victims going through a difficult divorce can turn to the law and seek out protection through a temporary restraining order. Because dealing with this additional legal conundrum can complicate the divorce process even more, it would be better to consult with a qualified family law attorney for more information. As it says on the website of Arenson Maas, divorce and domestic violence involve many complexities that are best resolved with appropriate legal counsel.

Read More

Important Facts about Medical Malpractice

Doctors and other medical professionals hold a large degree of trust in their hands. They are responsible for the lives of patients seeking their service, and are expected to provide the best possible care they can offer. As such, they have very little room to commit errors. Even the slightest mistake could prove to be harmful and lead to devastating results.

Unfortunately, there are instances when people in medical profession fail to meet the high standards imposed on them. According to data compiled by the Civil Justice Resource Group, an estimated number of 25,000 to 120,000 medical malpractice cases lead to a patient’s death every year. What happens when this trust and responsibility is carelessly handled by some medical professionals? What options do patients have when their errors lead to harmful and sometimes even fatal outcomes?

Medical malpractice constitutes any error committed by doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals due to negligence. Among such crucial mistakes include surgical errors, misdiagnosis, delayed or improper treatment, birth injuries, and wrongful death. Despite its prevalence, medical malpractice is easy to avoid. A Nashville personal injury lawyer may tell you that all these devastating consequences could be prevented if medical personnel were more careful and diligent in dealing with patients through every step of the way.

It’s important to note that medical malpractice hardly stems from any malicious intent. Most of the time, medical malpractice cases happen due to mistakes that might seem small or irrelevant in retrospect. For example, a physician rushing to meet different patients might miss a step during examination and give a wrong diagnosis. An overworked nurse, meanwhile, could accidentally switch medication for two different patients just because there aren’t enough people on staff. Hospitals should also be held accountable in making sure they have appropriate regulations to keep their personnel from making crucial mistakes.

Every individual has the right to access quality health care. It’s heartbreaking to know that there some patients who are denied such right because of mistakes and accidents that are easy to avoid. If you or anyone you love have suffered tremendous harm due to medical malpractice, it’s important to seek out legal counsel right away. Your legal options and avenues might vary state to state, so make sure you contact an experienced attorney from your area.

Read More

Cigarette Maker is Finally Found Liable

The winning streak that Philip Morris USA, Inc. has been enjoying for years has finally broken, and with a bang. Florida resident Richard Boatright was awarded $35 million in compensatory and punitive damages (Philip Morris was found 85% liable, but also penalized for fraud and conspiracy) for his personal injury claim against the tobacco company. He had to undergo two lung transplants for medical conditions caused by cigarette smoking. And he is likely to be just the first of thousands to make a successful bid for compensation for health problems caused by cigarette smoking.

It is common knowledge now that cigarette smoking is extremely hazardous to the health, but back in the 1960s, it was an uphill battle for plaintiffs to prove that tobacco companies had a measure of liability for their failure to warn and misleading and unconscionable (they targeted children) marketing tactics. It took years, and many appeals before the Supreme Court finally ruled that the defenses used by tobacco companies to avoid the consequences of their liabilities, including that of preemption, did not apply to the personal injury cases brought before them.

Even 46 states have made a claim against the tobacco companies in 1998 where it became apparent that:

  • Nicotine, a component of tobacco, is addictive
  • There was a causal link between cigarette smoking and certain diseases
  • Tobacco companies knew but concealed evidence about these facts since the 1960s

The states sued tobacco companies for the medical costs of tobacco-related illnesses, which eventually resulted in the Master Settlement Agreement for $206 billion.

However, it may be too early to celebrate. Tobacco companies are notorious for dodging the liability bullet; a 2000 class action (Engle v. Liggett Group, Inc.) $145 billion verdict representing about 8,000 plaintiff was vacated in 2006 because the cases were not appropriate for a class action lawsuit, and was decertified. Each plaintiff was allowed to re-file their cases as individuals, but it was only in 2014 when the first of the so-called “Engle Progeny” finally saw justice. Only time will reveal if tobacco companies will finally pay the piper.

According to the website of Pohl & Berk, LLP, if you have just recently discovered that you have a medical condition caused by cigarette smoking, you could still make a claim. Contact a personal injury lawyer in your area to gain a better understanding of your legal options.

Read More

What to Expect when Storing your Stuff

When you find yourself with more stuff than you have space for in your home, the most practical move for you is to sell them or give them away. If you can’t bring yourself to do that, then your next best alternative is to rent storage space, unless you want to be featured in a television show about hoarders. However, you need to know what to expect to pay when storing your stuff. Once you have a clear money-wise picture, then you are equipped to make an educated decision.

Note that this is for self-storage. Other fees may apply if you engage a company to package, transport, and store your stuff for you.

The costs of self-storage will vary from company to company and depending on the size of the unit. At Pond Springs Mini Storage, for example, the smallest you can get is a 5 ft x 5 ft unit. We will list the average costs for various items that you can expect for a unit of this size, just to give you an idea. This is not a comprehensive or exact costing, so make sure to find out the exact costs from your chosen self-storage company.

Recurring Costs (Monthly)

Unit rental $55.00
Administration fees $15.00
Insurance $15.00

Onetime Costs

Security deposit $40.00
Padlocks $20.00

The costs pile up, don’t they? However, self-storage is a practical solution to your space problems at home. If you choose a good company for your self-storage, you may eventually decide to sell and your items will be in good condition. Make sure that your storage company has reasonable security and pest control measures in place and that you can access your unit any time you want. If you got a climate-controlled unit, have them put what their climate control measures are in writing, just in case.

Read More

Defining Maintenance and Cure in a Maritime Injury Lawsuit

Personal injury lawsuits typically take a long time before it gets to trial, and even then it can drag on for months, even years. As pointed out on the website of maritime law firm Ritter & Associates, unless a case is settled quickly the plaintiff will have to be responsible for any expenses associated with work-related injury or illness, including medical expenses and lost days of work.

As an employed seaman or commercial fisherman injured or becomes ill while at work, the employer is required under the Jones Act to provide maintenance and cure benefits no matter whose fault it is. This practice has its origins from the ship owner’s duty to provide an injured seaman with room and board while on a ship even if the seaman is unable to perform his duty.

When a seaman is injured or becomes ill at work although not at sea, the employer is still obliged to provide for the worker’s necessary maintenance which is typically paid on a weekly or biweekly basis, and this includes actual expenses for rent or mortgage, food, utilities, property taxes, even homeowners’ insurance. It should be noted that a seaman in certain states who is a union member may not receive full maintenance benefits if regular maintenance costs exceed what is stated in the contract covering all union members. Also, necessary maintenance does not include Internet access or car payments.

Cure, on the other hand, refers to the employer’s obligation to pay for reasonable medical and associated expenses necessary for the treatment for and recovery from the work-related injury or illness sustained by the seaman. The employer pays for these expenses directly. These obligations continue until the seaman achieves what is called maximum medical improvement (MMI) as assessed by a doctor, which means that no further improvement of the patient’s condition can be expected.

Ironically, if you contract a serious work-related injury or illness and your employer refuses to pay maintenance and cure benefits, you may have to sue. Consult with a maritime lawyer regarding your rights in a particular situation.

Read More

Avoiding Foreclosure

Most people are taken by surprise when they are informed that their home is on the threat of foreclosure. Aside from those committing mortgage fraud, there are many reasons why people have a hard time keeping up with their mortgage payments. Foreclosure gives the lender a legal right to repossess the house. Having a foreclosure on your record can seriously affect your chances of qualifying for future credits, therefore preventing a possible foreclosure is important.

When you have been informed about your impending foreclosure, it would be best to first contact the Loss Mitigation Department of your lending company to tell them about your situation, your financial standing, and other things that you deem important regarding your foreclosure problems. It is also recommended to stay in your home despite the foreclosure notice; leaving can may disqualify you from getting assistance.

According to Greenway Law, LLC, one way to avoid foreclosure is to request a mortgage modification. Through this, you can ask for changes in your mortgage agreement according to what’s most applicable to your financial circumstances. Mortgage modification includes adjusting the loan terms, or maybe the lender could offer you leeway and spread the payments of the late payments (also called repayment plan). There are other options, all depending on you and the lender’s agreement. Mortgage modification is easily available for people who have recovered after certain financial issues and could afford a new payment plan.

Many people are unaware of options to help fixed their mortgage issues, and this is where having legal help comes in. Knowing more information and understanding your options on how to save your house and avoid foreclosure is easy if you know where to look and who to ask. Talking with a lawyer greatly helps, but so does talking with your lender, since they can decide which alternatives you best qualify for.

Read More

Microcosmos will Change Your Whole Perspective

Microcosmos, a 1996 French nature documentary, continues to blow away those who have yet to see it.

Using close-up shots and time-lapse photography, Microcosmos gets viewers way into the world of small organisms, including ladybugs, praying mantises, and snails. The imagery is beautiful and the time lapsed segments are visually stunning. The film has no dialogue, voice overs, or narration. Instead, the filmmakers (Claude Nuridsany and Marie Pérennou) allowed these speechless creatures make the story themselves. The result is quite powerful!

Knowing what the world looks like from such a dramatically different perspective is nothing short of awe-inspiring. I’m thankful to have seen the challenges faced by smaller animals in such unparalleled detail.

Read More

Understanding What Avandia is Before Taking It Can Save You from Life-threatening Effects

Avandia, otherwise known as Rosiglitazone, was aimed at helping Type 2 diabetes patients increase their sensitivity to insulin, a natural substance that enables the body control the amount of sugar in the blood. More than six million patients were prescribed this drug after its approval for distribution by the US Food and Drug Administration in 1999.

People suffering from Type I diabetes are not supposed to take Avandia due to their failure to produce enough insulin or produce no insulin at all. Though the medicine may be taken along with other diabetes medications or is usually taken with an exercise and healthy diet program, it may also be taken alone, even without having any food first.

Avandia is recommended only to those who are already taking the medication due to the side-effects reported against it. These side-effects, which include greater risk to congestive heart failure, heart attack and other heart ailments, were discovered after a series of studies made on the drug.

Despite such findings Glaxo SmithKline, Avandia’s manufacturer, maintains its stand on the result of its own studies that showed the drug safe for use. Glaxo SmithKline is acknowledged to be the largest pharmaceutical company in the world; it was formed through the union of SmithKline Beecham and Glaxo Wellcome, two UK companies.

Those in danger of various side-effects (such as hypoglycemia, serious allergic reactions, hyperflycemia, blurring of vision, back pain, congestive heart failure, which is a condition where the heart is not able to supply enough blood to the different parts of the body, myocardial ischemia, liver failure, cardiovascular heart diseases and fatal heart attack) are not only those who are taking Avandia. Any one taking Avandia-containing drugs is also prone to suffering from any or a combination of any of its side-effects.

The fact that Glaxo failed to include in its drug’s label the risks associated with taking Avandia, it may already be pronounced guilty of negligence. And as victims, patients have the legal right to file a claims lawsuit and receive compensation. This filing will need to be done before the end of the statutory period, however. To make sure that filing is made correctly and in time, seeking the assistance of a highly-qualified legal council is advisable.

Read More

Merck Facing Thousands of NuvaRing Lawsuits

A medical device designed to make it easy for women to avoid unwanted pregnancies has been found to cause serious blood clot injuries. Cases have been consolidated in multidistrict litigation (MDL).

Merck representatives face more than a thousand women with their lawyers across the mediation table, but it seems that a trial may be unavoidable. The issue at hand is the serious side effects of using the contraceptive device NuvaRing manufactured by the pharmaceutical company. Because of the large number of lawsuits coming in, the cases have been consolidated in Missouri’s Eastern District in an MDL which was supposed to start on October 21, 2013. The start date has been pushed back to January 27, 2014, apparently to give more time for mediation.

In the meantime, more and more women are coming in to file new cases against Merck. Currently, there are 1,358 cases waiting for representation in court, and more may be coming in as soon as those affected by NuvaRing realize that they may be eligible for compensation.

NuvaRing was first introduced into the market in 2000, and because it was so easy to use, it was widely successful as an alternative to other birth control methods. Millions of women have been using it before health experts figured out that it induced dangerous levels of blood clotting which can cause stroke, pulmonary embolism or deep vein thrombosis.

Read More

Chain Reaction Accidents

Chain reaction accidents are usually a result of some type of reckless driving. According to the website of Pohl & Berk, it could be speeding, tailgating, cell phone related, or other distracted driver accidents. Whatever the reason for it may be, chain reaction accidents are the result of a type of negligent driving, and could be a legally actionable case. Such accidents often have serious consequences for all involved, and chain reaction accidents usually affect three or more vehicles, some larger than others. Anyone who starts chain reaction accidents could be found liable for all the consequences. With that in mind, it can be difficult to determine exactly who or what is at fault for such an accident.

In some instances, chain reaction accidents could be due to some type of mechanical malfunction or failure, such as a defective tire, air bag or brakes. This will be established upon investigation, and the manufacturer of the defective or malfunctioning part could be held liable. On their website, the lawyers at Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® in Stevens Point, Wisconsin maintain that manufacturers for any type of vehicle, parts and accessories have a heavy duty of care because cars and trucks can potentially cause a lot of damage and serious injury. This is why quality assurance is such an important aspect of automobile manufacturing. Although Wisconsin is no longer a strict liability state, if it can be shown that a better design or better quality control would have prevented such chain reaction accidents, there is a good case to be made.

Chain reaction accidents can devastate a lot of lives, many of whom are simply at the wrong place at the wrong time. The fact that they are largely preventable makes it even worse. If you or someone close to you has been injured in chain reaction accidents, you may be eligible to get some compensation for the damage that has been done. Consult with an injury lawyer and explore your legal options in cases of chain reaction accidents. An attorney will be able to guide you through this difficult time.

Read More