Category Archives: Uncategorized

What Is Dental Malpractice?

Dental Malpractice Lawyer Salt Lake

If you have been harmed by your dentist, either due to your dentist’s actions or perhaps his or her inactions, you may be wondering if you have grounds for legal action. If it turns out that the harm you have suffered meets the criteria for so-called dental malpractice, you almost certainly have grounds to file legal action.

What exactly is dental malpractice? In a nutshell, it means that your dentist failed to uphold the duty of care he or she owed you as a patient. That duty of care is defined by law. But it is important to note from the start that the law is nuanced and complex. Exceptions sometimes apply to generally understood rules. As a result, it is important to speak with an attorney experienced in dental malpractice cases before making assumptions about your situation. Before you commit to filing legal action (or decide to forgo legal action), please explain your situation to an attorney in order to receive relevant guidance and support. At that time, you can make an informed decision about your situation moving forward.

Understanding Dental Malpractice

Dental professionals (dentists, orthodontists, etc.) owe a legal duty of care to their patients. If other dental professionals of similar skill, education and specialty would not consider the care provided to a patient to be reasonable and adequate, then the care provided (or not provided) is likely to be considered dental malpractice by a court of law. When a dentist fails in his or her duty of care and harm results, the patient who suffered harm can likely hold that dentist accountable through a malpractice suit with the aid of an experienced attorney.

Depending on the circumstances, any number of failures on the part of a dentist can rise to the level of malpractice. For example, failure to diagnose a harmful condition may be considered malpractice if a patient is harmed by the lack of information. Failure to treat infections and other complications may also be considered malpractice. Lack of informed consent on the part of a patient, failure to refer a patient to a necessary specialist and anesthesia administration challenges may also provide grounds for legal action when these challenges result in harm. Other missteps may be considered malpractice as well, so please ask your attorney any questions you may have if your situation does not fall under one of these common scenarios.

Legal Guidance Is Available

If you have questions about dental malpractice, please do not hesitate to connect with an attorney experienced in this nuanced and highly-specialized area of law. The American legal system seeks to protect patients from unreasonable harm. But it is not easy to seek justice alone. Having an experienced dental malpractice lawyer in Salt Lake from Rasmussen & Miner on your side can help to ensure that you receive any compensation you may be entitled to and that your action helps to protect patients just like you in the future. Please consider calling a law firm today so that they can learn more about your unique situation and can help you explore your legal options.

Personal Injury vs. Medical Malpractice

Nursing Errors Lawyer Salt Lake City, UT

Medical malpractice is included as part of personal injury law. However, it is typically much more complicated than other personal injury cases. Both medical malpractice and personal injury involve people being injured as the result of negligence, but there are some significant differences between the two that injured parties need to know.

What Is a Personal Injury Claim?

A personal injury claim is a tort claim, a claim in which someone seeks compensation for another person’s wrongdoing. There are two main issues at play: liability and damages. A victim of personal injury must be able to establish that the at-fault party is liable for the damages. Moreover, a victim must be able to explain the exact extent and nature of the damages. The injured party is responsible for demonstrating both liability and damages before a claim can be heard.

In a personal injury claim, victims must be able to show that an injury occurred due to another person’s or institution’s negligence. Personal injury cases are based around negligence. So, medical malpractice is a type of personal injury case. However, so are motor vehicle accidents, slip and fall accidents, defective products, and more. Personal injury has a broader scope than medical negligence.

What Is Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice is a specific area of focus within personal injury law, and it is a highly defined area of focus. The Journal of the American Medical Association lists medical negligence as, the third leading cause of death in this country.

From a legal perspective, medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare provider does not follow the “recognized standard of care” when treating a patient. A standard of care defines what a medical provider is expected to do, or not to do, in certain situations. Essentially, it is viewed in terms of negligence. If an injured person can demonstrate that a medical provider or institution was negligent in their duty of care, a valid case of medical malpractice may be made.

The primary issue in medical malpractice is providing proof that the negligence of the doctor caused harm or injury to the patient. Someone who does not achieve a positive medical outcome from treatment does not automatically have a case for medical malpractice.

Would I Have to Go to Trial?

In almost all cases of personal injury and medical malpractice, the attorneys on both sides will likely attempt to settle the case out of court. This is for various reasons, including the overall cost and the desire to avoid unfavorable publicity. Healthcare providers and institutions, like hospitals, and their insurance companies often retain high-powered teams of attorneys who are prepared to fight tooth and nail to avoid a medical malpractice ruling.

Therefore, it is essential for an injured person to enlist the services of a qualified and knowledgeable attorney, one who focuses not just on cases of personal injury but also on matters of medical malpractice.

If you were injured or harmed due to the negligence of a medical provider, contact a nursing errors lawyer in Salt Lake City, UT from Rasmussen & Miner to discuss your situation. You’ll need to file your claim before the statute of limitations expires, so call today.

Can I be arrested for DWI when I haven’t been drinking?

Criminal Lawyer

Driving while intoxicated, better known as “DWI”, is when you have been charged with operating a motor vehicle while “intoxicated”. The Texas penal code has defined legally “intoxicated” as: 1) not having the normal use of your mental or physical faculties by reason of the introduction of alcohol, a controlled substance, a drug, a dangerous drug, a combination of two or more of those substances, or any other substance into the body; or 2) having an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more. See Texas Penal Code 49.01(2). The second way is not applicable when we are not talking about alcohol, so the police are going to try to show you are intoxicated due to drugs by only the first definition. If you are acting suspiciously and the police officer suspects that you have taken something other than alcohol, then he is going to try to find out what you took to see if you are “legally intoxicated” based off drugs.

There are two categories of drugs: legal and illegal. Just because you have been prescribed a drug does not mean that you are free to take as much of it as you want. The warning label on the medication bottle warns you to not drive or operate heavy machinery until and unless you are familiar with how the drug affects you. There have been countless individuals who have taken their medications as prescribed, but the dosage was too much for them and that caused them to be “legally intoxicated”. It may not seem fair but that is the law. Although you may not have had any intention on getting “high” or taking too much, the law says that if you voluntarily took the pills then you can be held responsible for your actions of driving a car while intoxicated.

If you have taken an illegal drug, such as heroin, meth, or cocaine, then the police still have to prove that you have lost the normal use of your mental or physical faculties. Someone could ingest a large amount of an illegal substance and the blood results could prove that, but if the police officer cannot show that you are legally intoxicated, then it is not illegal to simply be in consumption of that illegal substance. Possession of illegal drugs is a crime, consumption is not, unless that consumption is causing you to commit a different crime or be a danger to yourself or others.

Whether it is an over-the-counter drug, a prescription drug, or an illegal drug, the government is going to try to prove intoxication through a blood test. However, the blood test is going to show what substances are in your blood at the time of the test, not at the time of the stop, which is when the government must show you were legally intoxicated due to drugs. Therefore, the government is going to try to show that you lost the normal use of your mental and physical faculties at the time of the stop by 1) asking you questions about how much you had, when you had it, and how long you’ve been taking this drug, etc. and 2) having you perform the same standardized field sobriety tests they have someone who is suspected of being legally intoxicated due to alcohol perform. There are a multitude of reasons why someone would fail these roadside gymnastics tests and having even a little alcohol in your system or taking your medications as prescribed could still affect your balance and memory and make the officer think you are intoxicated.

Before you choose to take any medication and drive, be aware that taking too much can land you behind bars even if you didn’t mean to become legally intoxicated. The more you know, the safer you are and the more careful you will be if you choose to drive and happen to be pulled over.

If you have been arrested for or charged with a DWI, don’t hesitate to reach out to a criminal lawyer in Arlington, TX to discuss your options and defense strategy.

Thanks to Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC for their insight into criminal law and DWI arrests.

Appealing A Conviction

Criminal Lawyer

Being sentenced for a criminal offense will change your life in ways you may not even imagine. And while these decisions can be detrimental to your future, it is not always “the end” for you. In most cases, when a verdict is made the criminal case is closed. However, there are times when you are convicted (depending on a few factors) that a conviction can be appealed.

If there is any chance that you may feel you were wrongfully convicted, you have options. You can ask the judge that heard your trial to reverse the decision made a jury and actually enter a “not guilty” plea. If this does not work, you can argue that there was a mistrial and have the judge start the trial over entirely with a new trial date. In the event that this does not work, you will have to bypass that court and ask for an appeal from a higher court, if any.

What is an appeal?

An appeal is a formal request made to the higher court. What that higher court does in appeals is review all the details of the case and potentially change the verdict or final decision made by the previous court. Appeal courts although the convicted individual to challenge the preceding sentence. If the appeal is successful, the case can then begin from scratch. In some cases, the case may close entirely, especially if there is a lack of evidence to retry based on the appellate courts decision.

Just so long as a defendant is within the statutory limits, their case can be brought forth and reviewed by an appellate court.

With the right attorney, a defendant will present any errors or insufficient evidence that ultimately warrant a successful appeal and reverse of a jury’s decision. The appellate court will hear both sides, much like the original trial, and after careful deliberation (that can take weeks or even months), a decision is made. And remember, just because you request an appeal, does not mean it has to be reviewed at all.

Just as a defendant is able to appeal a decision made, the opposing counsel can also appeal any new trial order that is made. If the court decides to side with the government the conviction or sentence can be reinstated.

Appealing a court decision takes a lot of knowledge of the law, and it is not wise to appeal alone. If you or someone you know would like to appeal a conviction, speak with a skilled Decatur criminal lawyer as soon as possible.

Thanks to Andrew R. Lynch, P.C. for their insight into criminal defense and appealing a conviction.

Understanding DUI/DWI Limits and Arrests

DWI Lawyer

Most people are aware that being arrested for impaired driving will likely result in a minimum of a license suspension and a maximum penalty of jail time. However, fewer people are probably aware of the limits or intoxication levels that will result in an arrest. Even fewer still don’t understand that there are three different types of DUI arrests – per se, misdemeanor and felony. Therefore, most motorists can benefit from more information regarding both DUI/DWI limits and potential arrests.

DUI Limits and Types

Most states place the legal limit of blood alcohol concentration at or below 0.08%. However, alcohol is not the only substance that determines a DUI arrest. For example, a high driver may be arrested for having a cocaine content of 0.02 milligrams or more per liter of blood. Also, you may be arrested for impairment regardless of legal limits because of the way you were driving. People react differently to all types of drugs and alcohol. While a BAC of 0.08% may be an average for impairment, some people may have an alcohol tolerance far lower than the average, meaning they are impaired at 0.06 or 0.04%. Therefore, in some states, officers can make an arrest based on the proof that the substance had some effect on the driver’s ability. Because of the limitations of field testing, the times that require judgment calls on behalf of an officer and the moments when a driver causes harm or injury, there are different types of DUI arrests.

  • Per Se – A per se DUI only requires that a driver is proven to be intoxicated beyond the legal limit. Therefore, if a driver takes a Breathalyzer and blows a BAC of 0.08%, then they are arrested on that information alone.
  • Misdemeanor – A misdemeanor DUI requires some sign of impairment without any aggravating circumstances attached. This type of DUI may not result in jail time and is often rectified with the payment of a citation.
  • Felony – A felony DUI requires repeat offenses, neglect or the injury or death of another person. These charges often result in jail or prison sentences.

DUI Testing and Arrest

Typically, a police officer will observe some erroneous driving behavior – swerving, stopping at green lights, etc. Then, they will pull over a driver and request they either perform a series of sobriety tests or subject themselves to chemical tests. While a driver may refuse, implied consent laws do permit officers to take these tests, and likely any refusal will result in immediate arrest and license suspension.

While mistakes happen, the decision to drive impaired can have dire consequences. If you or someone you love has been arrested and charged with a DWI, contact a DWI lawyer in Fairfax, VA to discuss your options.

Thanks to Dave Albo – Attorney for their insight into criminal defense and DWI limits.

How to Prepare for Deposition Testimony

Criminal defense lawyer

If you’ve been scheduled to complete a deposition, that means that you are likely giving testimony in a civil case. It may be your own case, with you as a party to the litigation, or you may simply be a witness in someone else’s case. Either way, there are a few things that you can do to prepare yourself to testify.

  1.     No matter what, always tell the truth.

When you testify at a deposition, although there won’t be a judge in the room, you are still required to take an oath to tell the truth. Lying in a deposition can subject you to criminal perjury charges, just like lying in court. Additionally, it’s just a bad idea to lie. You’re almost certain to get caught, and if you lie, the lawyers are going to take every opportunity to make you regret it. Listen carefully to each question, and no matter how bad the truth sounds, you’ll need to tell it. (Unless the truth implicates you in a crime – see #2.)

  1.     If you’re concerned that you might be asked to testify about a crime that YOU committed, consult with a lawyer who can help you assert your fifth amendment rights.

The only exception to telling the truth in a deposition is in a situation where you’re asked to testify about acts that you committed that are criminal in nature. Now, I’m not advocating that you lie about those things, but rather, I am advocating that you exercise your fifth amendment right to remain silent. If this is the situation in which you find yourself, you should hire a lawyer. That lawyer should accompany you to the deposition, and when you are asked questions about any crimes that you committed, your lawyer will instruct you not to answer the question and to rather assert your right to remain silent under the fifth amendment.

  1.     Review the records.

If the subject matter of the deposition is something about which you have previously created records or prepared notes or a report, you should review those items prior to going into the deposition. It may help to jog your memory about something that you forgot, and will help you be prepared to answer the questions to the best of your ability. The lawyer may ask you what you did to prepare for the deposition, and you should simply be truthful and say that you reviewed the reports relating to the subject matter of your testimony. It’s nothing to be ashamed of or to hide from the lawyer – it’s completely expected that you would review relevant documents ahead of time.

  1.     Bring records with you if asked by the lawyer who called you there.

Many times, deposition subpoenas call for you to bring records with you to the deposition. If that’s the case, bring those records with you to the deposition as requested, and to save yourself and everyone else time, it may be wise to bring multiple copies. That way, you won’t have to take a break from the deposition to have the lawyer make copies for everyone.

If you have a deposition scheduled and are not represented by a lawyer, it would be wise to contact a lawyer for a consultation to discuss whether or not you should be represented at the deposition. Contact an experienced criminal law lawyer Grand Rapids, MI offers today.


 

Thanks to Blanchard Law for their insight into criminal defense and how to prepare for deposition.

Standard Visitation Guidelines

Family Lawyer

The guidelines for parental visitation differentiate depending on the state the parties are located. For the State of Texas, the standard possession order must remain uniform throughout the period of conservatorship. In the United States of America, the conservator is the legal term referring to the guardian or parent appointed by a judge, or through an agreed order, to manage the life of the child. However, this depends on the age and lifestyle of a child. When determining and enforcing the standard possession order, the law considers the best interests of a child to determine the primary conservator, the amount of support, and the possession and access that would be the most beneficial for the child. In the Texas Family Code, the Standard Possession Order is laid out with two different distance circumstances. If you’re going through a child custody or visitation case, an Arlington family lawyer can help you through it.

The parents establishing a mutual agreement is imperative when the distance is factored in the Standard Possession Order. If the parents do not agree, the stipulations change based on the distance from the child’s primary residence. Therefore, the noncustodial parent has legal rights to the visitation laid out by the following guidelines:

1)    When the parents live WITHIN 100 miles of each other, the noncustodial parent has the right to possess the children(s):

  •  On the 1st, 3rd, and 5th weekend of every month,
  •  Every Thursday evening during the school year,
  •  Alternating holidays, and
  •  An extended period of time, 30 days, during the summer vacation.

2)    When the parents live FURTHER than 100 miles of each other, the noncustodial parent has the right to possess the children(s):

  •  The same schedule (1st, 3rd, and 5th weekend of every month) OR reduced to one weekend per month,
  •  No mid-week visits,
  •  Holiday schedule is the same as parents within 100 miles, and
  •  The noncustodial parent has every spring break and twelve extra days, 42 days, during the summer vacation period.

As you analyze the Visitation Guidelines, the phrase “mutual agreement” is not only essential to remember, but also imperative for parents to understand. The guidelines are instituted to ensure stability for the children(s), but the rules are not absolute. The only way the Visitation Guidelines can change is when both parents mutually agree on the circumstance and come to establish a new Order that is signed by a Judge. The Texas Family Code, Section 153.311, provides reiteration and clarification concerning the parent’s accessibility in mutually agreeing to change any aspect of the Order.

Thanks to Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC for their insight into family law and visitation guidelines.

Why Can’t I Find a Pro-Bono Lawyer?

You’re looking for a pro bono lawyer to handle your case, and you’re running into trouble. You’re getting a lot of “no.” Why is that?

Pro bono is a term that means “for the public good.” In other words, a pro bono lawyer is providing their services for free. In the legal profession, there has historically been encouragement for lawyers to donate their time to cases or causes for the purpose of promoting the public good. In fact, the American Bar Association encourages lawyers to donate 50 hours of their time per year to pro bono cases. Many state bar associations also encourage their members to dedicate some time to pro bono cases every year.

Because so many associations encourage this practice, the public often believes that providing services on a pro bono basis is common amongst lawyers and law firms. However, it’s not the reality. The cost of law school tuition commonly puts lawyers into hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of debt before they begin the practice of law. Then, in practice, law firms run like every other business. They have to pay for rent, marketing expenses, employee wages, equipment, supplies, technology, research tools, and the list goes on. Lawyers need to be paid fees on the cases that they take so that they can continue to pay their own bills.

Unfortunately, finding a lawyer to handle your case for free is like finding a unicorn. While some lawyers do follow the recommendation by the American Bar Association or their state bar association, and donate some of their time to pro bono matters, they are few and far between. Even lawyers who take on pro bono cases are severely limited in the number of cases that they can take. It’s not unusual for a litigation matter to take more than 50 hours to resolve.

Further, there are often alternatives to a pro bono lawyer. For example, many lawyers don’t take on criminal cases on a pro bono basis because the courts provide indigent criminal defendants with court-appointed attorneys to represent them. While many defendants don’t like the idea of being represented by a public defender, it’s difficult to talk another lawyer into doing the case for free when the court is willing to pay a public defender to represent you.

Further, there are also legal aid services available for many people who are involved in things like divorce and custody disputes, evictions, and other domestic relations matters.

Additionally, in personal injury cases, many lawyers take cases on a contingency basis. This means that you only pay the lawyer a fee if you recover some money, and then you only pay a percentage of what you recover. Pro bono attorneys aren’t required in matters where you may recover money.

Many lawyers view pro bono cases as thankless, as it is rare that their donated time is appreciated by the client who they are serving.

Most cases that lawyers handle pro bono are actually cases that the criminal lawyer Greenville, MI trusts has sought out the client and offered their services. It is a rare exception that a client actually approaches a lawyer and obtains free services. It’s not unlike any other business. When a new client comes in asking for a service, lawyers expect to be compensated.

 

Thank you to our friends at Blanchard Law for their insight into criminal defense and pro-bono.

 

Multi-Vehicle Collisions That Injure or Kill Motorcyclists

Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Salt Lake City, UT

Collisions between motorcycles and passenger vehicles or trucks are almost always serious and can result in catastrophic or fatal injuries to the riders. When multiple cars are involved, the motorcyclist may have a hard time assessing who is responsible for their injuries after the event. However, as a motorcycle accident lawyer knows all too well, in order to recover one’s damages, it’s necessary to prove who is liable for them. Unfortunately, when more than one vehicle may have contributed to the accident, such as in a multi-car pileup, without the help of a motorcycle accident lawyer you may have to pay for your medical bills out of your own pocket. If you are a biker who was injured in a multi-car accident, or you lost a loved one in this way, contact a lawyer. After speaking with a lawyer, you will learn how they may be able to help you get the compensation you deserve.

Multi-Party Litigation

When more than one person is responsible for a victim’s injuries, it can be a complex matter to pursue a settlement for one’s damages that may include medical treatment for injuries, property damage, and pain and suffering. If you lost your loved one in a motorcycle accident, you might also be suffering from a tremendous amount of grief. You might also be wondering how you will pay the medical bills that accrued before your loved one succumbed to their injuries. In multi-party litigation, you will most certainly be dealing with teams of lawyers representing the other drivers. A motorcycle accident lawyer can protect your right to compensation and look out for your best interests.

Determining Liability

Any accident can be a chaotic, traumatic, and confusing situation. This is especially true when serious injuries are involved as it can make it impossible for victims to clearly observe critical details. Also, multi-vehicle accidents introduce many other variables including vehicles, drivers, injuries, and movement of vehicles. Without the help of a knowledgeable motorcycle accident lawyer, determining liability can be difficult. Their experience has shown that for a personal injury claim or lawsuit to be successful, it’s necessary to provide sufficient documentation and proof. This might include:

  • Eyewitness testimony about the moments leading up to, and including, the multiple collisions from those who were present.
  • Video footage of the accident provided by municipal cameras mounted along the roadway or taken by witnesses.
  • Accident scene investigation evidence including measurements of skid marks and their locations, debris left from the vehicles involved, and more.
  • A medical diagnosis that supports the finding that your injuries occurred in the course of the accident while you were riding your motorcycle.

Get the Compensation You Deserve

If you sustained one or more serious injuries in a multiple-vehicle collision for which you were not responsible, a law firm can help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact a motorcycle accident lawyer Salt Lake City, UT trusts and learn how they can help protect your rights.

Contact Rasmussen & Miner for their insight into personal injuries and multi-vehicle collisions involving motorcycles.

Can I sue a driver if they killed my loved one while he riding his motorcycle?

Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Salt Lake City, UT

Contact a law firm to learn how their motorcycle accident lawyer can help your family get some measure of justice in the aftermath of losing your loved one in a senseless accident. Motorcyclists are often vulnerable to negligent drivers despite their efforts to remain safe while on the road. And unfortunately, because motorcycles offer little to no protection for riders, they are subject to extreme injuries and even death through no fault of their own. Lawyers represent families who have lost their loved one due to the negligent actions of another person.

What is a wrongful death claim?

When a person dies in an accident or by an act of violence through no fault of their own, the victim’s heirs may have grounds for submitting a claim against the person responsible. With the help of a motorcycle accident lawyer, they can seek compensation for what is referred to as their damages. In most instances, it is the at-fault party’s insurance company that receives the wrongful death claim.

What are damages?

In the context of a wrongful death claim, damages refer to the losses experienced by the deceased and by their surviving heirs. These damages will be identified by the motorcycle accident lawyer and assess a value to each loss. The information will be included in the claim. Every case is different because of the unique circumstances involved. These are some common examples of damages from a fatal motorcycle accident:

  • First responder medical attention (paramedic, emergency medical technician, etc.) and medical treatment.
  • Emergency transportation (ambulance) to the hospital.
  • Emergency room treatment including hospital bed.
  • Surgery or surgeries.
  • Medications.
  • Pain and suffering.
  • Medical supplies such as bandages, wheelchair, etc.
  • Funeral costs.
  • Burial costs.
  • The amount of salary or hourly wages, vacation time, and bonuses that the deceased would have earned until the age of retirement had they not passed away.

What if the responsible party denies the wrongful death claim?

If the insurance carrier refuses to pay a settlement after receiving the claim, a motorcycle accident lawyer Salt Lake City, UT offers may recommend that you pursue a wrongful death lawsuit. This is usually not necessary as the negotiation process is often successful. However, in some instances, a lawsuit is the only recourse.

If our family wins a wrongful death lawsuit will the responsible party go to jail?

A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil matter which if successful may result in a financial award to the plaintiff. The defendant will have to pay the financial award but they will not be sentenced to jail or prison.

Contact Rasmussen & Miner for their insight into personal injuries and suing the guilty party for the death of a loved one in a motorcycle accident.