September 23, 2019
Medical Malpractice Attorney
While you’re setting up your estate plan, choosing the right entities to protect your assets and your family from unnecessary taxes, legal fees, and lengthy court hassles is vitally important, if you want to provide your family with stress-free security upon your passing. For complex estates, you may need a few different entities and vehicles for your various types of assets and beneficiaries to fully ensure your wishes are executed as you intend, and so no one can interfere with their own ideas or misjudgments.
A discretionary trust is one type of entity you can set up for your beneficiaries while giving a trustee full discretion regarding what funds should be provided to the beneficiaries and when. In this scenario, your beneficiaries have no legal rights to the funds until they are paid out to them, and the unpaid funds are not considered a part of their assets. Some individuals set this trust up with the rule that the beneficiaries will not acquire the funds until they reach a certain age, or they are allotted a certain monthly allowance determined by the trustee. The trustee becomes the legal owner of the trust, but they cannot benefit from it. As well, beneficiaries cannot demand income or assets from the trustee.
This type of trust is beneficial for beneficiaries who you know cannot be trusted or relied on to manage large sums of money or investments responsibly. It is also valuable if there are creditors they need to be protected from.
The discretionary trust is useful for beneficiaries who are:
- Disabled or mentally impaired
- Bankrupt or in debt
- Prone to divorce or other unstable relationships
To have a successful discretionary trust, you must be able to fully rely on the trustee to make the right decisions about paying out the trust assets, in the best interest of the beneficiaries. This can unfortunately lead to resentment, mistrust, and suspicion. So, to ensure the trustee continues to act in the best interest of the beneficiaries, you may assign a few people to be “appointers” who can vote out the trustee and assign a new one. If you have minors involved, you may also consider assigning a guardian who can “veto” the trustee’s decisions at any time.
Ensuring Your Final Wishes
Protecting your assets and your beneficiaries while leaving them with financial security is a great legacy to leave behind. But, without the proper protections and entities put into place, things may not go the way you would like. Speak with an estate lawyer in Sacramento to ensure your estate is well-planned, setup correctly, and that there are no loop-holes left for anyone to take advantage of.
Thanks to Yee Law Group for their insight into estate planning and discretionary trusts.
September 22, 2019
Medical Malpractice Attorney
Medical malpractice lawsuits can be complex and confusing, which is why most victims of a doctor’s error meet with a reliable attorney in their town for help. Here are some of the most common questions that people ask their attorney during a legal consultation for a potential medical malpractice case:
What if my doctor failed to notify me of risks?
A doctor has a duty to warn their patients about risks regarding a course of treatment or procedure. By notifying a patient, this is known as a “duty of informed consent”. A doctor may be held responsible for medical malpractice if a patient would have opted out of the treatment or procedure if they were adequately informed beforehand. The doctor may also be held liable for patient injuries if the patient was harmed by the procedure in a way that he or she wasn’t aware of due to lack of warning.
How much time do I have to file a claim?
Medical malpractice cases have to be filed soon after the injury occurs. Depending on the state, you have to submit a claim fast, anywhere between six months up to two years. The timeframe in which victims of medical malpractice have to file a lawsuit is called the “statute of limitations”. Additionally, the time may start when the negligent action happened, or when the patient should have noticed the injury. To find out how much time you have for where you live, you can meet with a reputable medical malpractice lawyer in Fort Lauderdale, FL.
Can expert testimony help my case?
Based on the facts pertaining to your medical malpractice lawsuit, your attorney may suggest getting expert testimony. This can be helpful as the expert can evaluate whether another doctor in similar circumstances would have committed the same mistake that the victim’s doctor had. A major factor in medical malpractice cases is proving that the doctor had failed to provide a reasonable standard of care expected within the medical community.
Are there any factors that would make my case void?
Yes, a patient that is not happy with how their treatment turned out, is not automatically entitled to financial compensation in a medical malpractice lawsuit. The doctor must have made an avoidable mistake which led to a worsened condition. A patient that is just disgruntled because their treatment or procedure didn’t go as planned despite understanding the risks and without doctor error, may not have much of a chance of winning their case.
What does it mean if my doctor failed to diagnose?
A doctor who failed to discover a patient’s illness when another doctor would not have missed it, may be held liable for failing to diagnose. For example, a patient may have made an appointment to see their doctor about several peculiar symptoms. A doctor that didn’t diagnose the patient with an illness despite these symptoms (or even diagnosed them with the incorrect condition), may face a malpractice lawsuit if the person was harmed because of it.
Thanks to Needle & Ellenberg, P.A. for their insight into medical malpractice and getting answers about your case.
September 18, 2019
Truck Accident Liability
Liability is a legal concept that basically means responsibility. When a person is injured in an accident, the driver who is liable is the one responsible for the medical bills. Determining which driver is at fault can be a complicated situation. State laws may dictate some aspects of liability. Commercial drivers who are in an accident have even more liability issues. Let’s talk about some reasons that determining responsibility after a truck accident is so difficult.
State Laws Concerning Liability May Play a Role
If a driver is 100% liable for an accident, that driver should pay 100% of your medical bills and other damages. It gets complicated when both drivers share fault. In some states, if you are even a little responsible or at-fault for the accident, you can’t get any compensation. In other states, your compensation may be discounted by the percentage of fault you share.
Federal Laws May Also Apply to Your Truck Accident
State laws apply to liability, but federal and state laws regulate commercial vehicles. All commercial trucks have standards that they must meet. These laws can also apply to liability. When a truck doesn’t follow regulations, it can mean that their fault is greater.
Many Parties Might Be Liable
When an accident occurs between two personal vehicles, liability is usually between the two drivers. Commercial drivers have many more parties that could be liable. If the driver owns the truck, you are just up against one insurance company. If the driver is an employee of a company, you have to go through the business insurance. If the truck company hired a negligent driver, that could indicate liability.
The accident could be the shipper’s fault for not loading the back of the truck correctly. It could be a manufacturer malfunction of the truck, in which case you’d ask the manufacturer to pay damages. Liability could be also be determined by the driver’s contracts with the various companies involved in logistics.
Depending on where and how the accident occurred, liability could fall under a construction company that didn’t mark lanes properly. A municipality that didn’t have adequate traffic signals could be liable for an accident.
Liability Isn’t Cut and Dried
Commercial truck accidents can be quite confusing. The science is different because the trucks are so much bigger. You may be fighting more than one insurance company. After a truck accident, it can be beneficial to talk to a truck accident lawyer in Minneapolis, MN who can help you get the best possible outcome for your situation.
Thanks to Johnston Martineau, PLLP for their insight into personal injury claims and liability after a truck accident.
September 16, 2019
With many states having now legalized marijuana and others more likely to come, it’s worth keeping mind that DUI isn’t limited to just alcohol.
Since alcohol tends to be the dominant legal substance when it comes to driving while impaired, many people mistakenly believe that DUI charges only stem from driving after drinking. In fact, a recent survey by the American Automobile Association (AAA) found that close to 70 percent of respondents thought it was unlikely a person would be even caught by police while driving under the influence of marijuana (https://newsroom.aaa.com/2019/06/americans-dont-think-theyll-get-arrested-for-driving-high/). In addition, based on responses to the survey, the AAA estimated that around 14.8 million people likely drove within an hour of using marijuana over the last 30 days.
There are questions surrounding how well the current methods law enforcement have to determine impairment work, especially when it comes to the impact of medications and THC, the compound in marijuana that produces the “high” effect and is now found in many other products. These questions are likely adding to the public’s perception that you will not get caught if you drive after using a product with THC.
However, according to Dr. David Yang, an executive director of the AAA’s traffic safety foundation, THC can impair driver judgment and alter reaction times. Despite this, Dr. Yang says that many people don’t view THC-impaired driving as being as risky as drunk driving or using a phone while behind the wheel.
While there currently isn’t any research that has identified an exact impairment level with a corresponding level of THC—unlike the blood alcohol content levels in place for drunk drivers—many law enforcement agencies are now training their officers so they are better at detecting people driving under the influence of substances other than alcohol. It’s likely only a matter of time before there is a more consistent way to determine THC impairment. In fact, researchers are already attempting to create a test similar to the breathalyzer for THC levels.
Even current breathalyzers used for alcohol testing—both the chemical test and the roadside one—are not perfect. Depending on how the tests are administered, the officers administrating them and how they are maintained, results from these tests can be challenged by experienced DUI attorneys.
While having probable cause—a legitimate reason for an officer to pull a person over and examine their state and their car—does seem to be harder to prove with THC and some other drugs when compared to alcohol, that doesn’t mean you’re not driving impaired in these types of situations. You can still be charged with DUI if you are driving under the influence of a substance other than alcohol, and in some cases, you can be charged even if the substance you are impaired by is legal to use in your state.
A DUI charge will have a significant impact on your life now and down the line. If you have been charged with DUI, it’s imperative you contact a DUI lawyer in Denver, CO as soon as you can.
Thanks to Richard J. Banta, P.C. for their insight into criminal law and DUI charges.
September 15, 2019
Workers’ Comp and Volunteers
If you are like many people, you probably have a lot of questions about workers’ comp. This is normal, whether you were recently injured while working or just want to know what to do in case that ever happens. One of the most common questions is who qualifies for workers’ comp and whether you are covered while volunteering. This matter is actually quite simple and easy to understand.
Who Is Covered?
To be covered by workers’ comp, you need to be paid and you need to be considered an employee. Sorry, but this means that unpaid volunteers receive no workers’ comp benefits. The good news, however, is that almost every worker that meets these rudimentary requirements is covered.
The first point is quite simple. It will be very clear whether or not you are being paid for doing something. The second point is a little more complicated. The easiest way to tell if you are an employee is if you have a portion of your pay withheld for tax purposes. Independent contractors are paid but are not covered because they are not covered employees. Likewise, freelance workers and even paid volunteers are not considered employees. All of these kinds of workers do not have a portion of their paychecks withheld for taxes. Both part-time and full-time employees are covered, however.
In addition to needing to be the right kind of employee, the injury needs to meet a few simple conditions to qualify for workers’ comp. These are:
- The injury must happen while being paid
- The injury must happen while performing work-related activities
These conditions are quite easy to understand. If you are injured while on break, before you clock in, or after you finish work, you are not meeting the first condition. If you are doing something that you are not being paid to do, even if you are on the clock at the time, you are not meeting the second condition.
It can be frustrating to fail to meet the requirements for workers’ comp, whether it is due to being a volunteer or being injured while on break. If you find that you cannot receive compensation through workers’ comp, then there may be a few other options available to you to receive the compensation you need. Of course, if workers’ comp is not an option, then you can instead go through your insurance policy. You may also be able to file a personal injury lawsuit if someone else was responsible for the injury. Speak with work injury lawyers in Milwaukee, WI to learn more.
Thanks to Hickey & Turim, SC for their insight into workers compensation and injuries while volunteering