Do You Have A Dog Bite Claim?

For those who have had the unfortunate experience of being bitten by a dog, this could mean getting something back with the help of personal injury lawyers.

The case of a woman who was bitten by a dog inside her father’s house illustrates the seriousness in which the courts regard animal attacks. The woman sued her father for damages the jury found for the plaintiff and awarded her $1.5 million. In specific states, plaintiffs in a personal injury claim may not specify the amount of damages; it is the court which decides. It is up to personal injury lawyers to present the case in such a way that a fair assessment of the amount to compensate for a dog bite victim’s pain and suffering may be given.

Dog bites are potentially life-threatening, and dog owners have a responsibility to ensure the safety of people who come into contact with their pets. All too often, dog bite victims are children, and without punitive laws, some dog owners might not take the necessary precautions to ensure the safety of the public.

Many states do not require proof of previous aggressive behavior by the dog to hold the owner liable for any attacks on the innocent. Landlords who allow dogs in a building may also be held partly accountable if they fail to warn other tenants of the potential danger.

If you or someone you know were attacked by someone else’s pet while legally on the premises or in a public area, start looking for personal injury lawyers who specialize in dog bite or animal attack cases.

Paternity Actions for Issues of Child Custody, Child Support

Paternity actions are lawsuits which will determine whether a named individual is the father of a child or not. This may be an important factor in a divorce case where the presumed father of the child or children denies paternity to avoid being made to pay child support. Alternatively, it may also be used to counter the mother’s claim that the husband is not the biological father to deny him custodial rights to the child or children. In either case, the paternity is in question and must be resolved before child custody and child support awards are finalized. This is done through paternity actions.

The Texas Family Code outlines the rules that govern paternity actions. In cases where the presumed father has not completed an Acknowledgement of Paternity at the time of the child’s birth, the child is then considered without a legal father. This is significant because it bars the child not only from legal security but also from financial benefits from the government. If there is no legal father but there is a presumed father, there is a statute of limitations of 4 years from the child’s birth for a paternity action to be brought against a third party. If paternity is proven, the third party is liable for child support and has custodial rights. If there is no presumed father, the statute of limitations for paternity actions does not apply.

Paternity actions can be complicated when the alleged biological father refuses to take the tests that will prove or disprove paternity. Establishing paternity through DNA testing involves a number of civil rights which makes it tricky to circumvent successfully. A lawyer in Texas who is experienced in bringing paternity actions to a head is the ideal choice for legal representation.

Understanding Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cord injuries result from a severe blow or other form of trauma which damages the vertebrae (bones of the spine) to the extent that it brings pressure on or send pieces into the spinal cord. The spinal cord isn’t usually severed, but the injury can cause complete or partial paralysis below the point of impact or damage.

The spinal cord is responsible for carrying electrical signals from the brain to the rest of the body, which dictate sensations and voluntary movement. When the cord is damaged, therefore, the signals are totally or partially blocked, depending on the extent of the injury. Unfortunately, there is no treatment available to repair spinal cord injuries.

There are many ways one can injure the spinal cord, but a majority of cases are due to sudden and violent traumatic incidents, such as car accidents, falls, or assault. Emergency medical treatment is indicated for any suspected spinal cord injury as immediate professional attention can significantly reduce the extent of the damage.

Symptoms of Spinal Cord Injury

Spinal cord injuries may not be immediately apparent after a traumatic event. The following are signs and symptoms of possible spinal cord injury and should be closely monitored following an accident:

  • Numbness
  • Incontinence
  • Paralysis
  • Spastic movements
  • Acute back pain
  • Pressure in the back, head or neck
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Loss of balance

Costs Associated with Spinal Cord Injury

Depending on the extent of the injury, a victim may expect a minimum of $15,000 in medical costs a year, and over $500,000 over a lifetime. This does not include the costs of emergency medical treatment and hospitalization following an accident, the loss of future income, or the psychological and emotional effects of partial or total paralysis.

If you or someone you know has suffered from spinal cord injury due to the negligence or recklessness of a third party, it is possible to get compensation. Contact personal injury attorneys to get their advice on what should be done.

Delayed Cancer Diagnosis

Cancer in one of the leading causes of death around the world. Although many types of cancer are treatable, there are still some that lack a reliable cure, which can explain why it is imperative for people to have this disease detected early in order to prevent its progression. There are instances, however, where diagnoses of these deadly diseases are delayed, putting the patient’s health and safety at risk. When a delayed diagnosis is the fault of the physician, the victim is entitled to file a personal injury claim with the assistance of their medical malpractice lawyer.

A delayed diagnosis of cancer can have severe consequences. With the delay in treatment, the cancer cells may have affected other parts of the body, bring about further complications, and could lead to its progression, where available treatments will not work any longer. Cancer is a time-sensitive disease, so immediate diagnosis and treatment is the key in preventing its spread and progression. If neglect on the part of a doctor has lead to the delay of the diagnosis and necessary treatment, then they may be held liable and compensation can be sought for the victim’s damages.

The important thing for getting compensation regarding a delayed cancer diagnosis is proving that the delayed diagnosis directly resulted in damages suffered by the patient. Therefore, it is important to have medical records to prove that the delayed treatment has in some form contributed to the response of the disease to the treatment.

Because the survival of the cancer patient is directly related to the type and stage of the disease when it is discovered, early detection is vital. Late diagnosis can only put an already weak patient into more rigorous and painful treatment that can add to more pain and suffering, and reduce the likelihood of a favorable outcome.

Wildfire Damages Recoverable Through Insurance Companies

Smith Kendall LawTwo large wildfires that occurred in High Park and Waldo Canyon in Colorado have sent thousands of people seeking to claim compensation through their insurance companies. Two of the largest insurers in the state claim that they expect to pay out significantly more in the coming months as more claims come in. It is estimated that the damage caused by the two fires may reach or exceed $450 million.

But not all insurers are willing to accept their losses willingly. Many homeowners are experiencing the frustrating reality of dealing with a claim for damages, as insurers seek to minimize their exposure in one of the following ways:

  • Undervaluation of property
  • Denial of claims
  • Delays in claim processing
  • Insurance bad faith
  • Delays in payments

Homeowners who are still reeling from their losses are shocked at how insurers are compounding their problems. After years of faithfully paying fire insurance premiums with no claims made, it cannot be easy for homeowners to realize that insurance companies are in the business of making money rather than providing a safety net for their customers. But the fact of the matter is, keeping their payout for claims low is how insurance companies operate. However, this doesn’t mean that you should give up on your claim.

If you have encountered difficulties with your insurance company, you may need legal assistance to get the compensation you need. Attorneys experienced in insurance claims cases can help to bring an action against your insurance company on your behalf. Not only will it speed up the process of getting just compensation for your fire damage, it will also compensate you for the time lost in pursuing your claim, as well as further pain and suffering you had experienced.

Some Facts About DUI Charges

If you or someone you know is charged with driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI), it is important to keep in mind that this is rarely an open-and-shut case. DUI attorneys will tell you that there are many types of errors which may have been committed at the time of the arrest that can be used to mount a good defense and beat a DUI or DWI charge. Whether you were actually drunk or not, or if any error was committed, your first move should be to get legal representation for your case.

Is the Breathalyzer Test Infallible?

Most people think that if you register blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or higher on a breathalyzer test, all is lost and you might as well just plead guilty, even if you don’t think you were drunk at all. The truth, however, is quite different. Defective equipment, some medical conditions, and high-protein diets can all lead to a false-positive BAC reading. And even if none of these conditions are present, if you were detained without probable cause (you weren’t driving erratically, behaving suspiciously, or the subject of any outstanding warrants), the arrest and subsequent test are not legally admissible in court.

Options to Consider

A DUI charge means different things for different people. If you are a first-time offender, then it is considered a misdemeanor, and the judge will most likely not keep you in jail.

Another thing you will have to discuss with your lawyer if you decide to go to trial is whether to ask for a jury trial or a trial by judge. In general, a judge is more likely to be lenient with first-time offenders. Otherwise, a jury is usually easier to convince than a case-hardened judge. Let your lawyer have all the facts; DUI attorneys will make an accurate assessment of your situation and how to best handle the situation.

Billionaire Wine Collector in Legal Battle Alleges He Was Sold Counterfeit Wines

wine cellarBillionaire wine collector William Koch is in court this week pursuing a lawsuit against another wealthy wine collector, Eric Greenberg.

Koch alleges that Greenberg knowingly sold counterfeit wines at a 2005 auction. Some of the bottles in contention include wines such as 1921 Château Petrus and 1921 Château Cheval Blanc. He paid more than $20,000 for multiple individual bottles. In all, Koch spent more than $300,000 on wine that he now believes to be counterfeit.

Koch has spent a considerable amount of money (more than $7 million) fighting counterfeit wines and having his collection’s authenticity verified.

Some of the ways a wine’s authenticity is determined include examining the cork and labeling. Experts say the best way to tell is by tasting it.

FELA is the Railroad Worker’s Friend

FELA stands for the Federal Employers Liability Act, which was specifically designed to regulate the occupational safety of people who work on railroads. These include any employee of a railroad company that transports goods or people from state to state. It also includes contractors who are injured while doing work for an eligible railroad company.

Few people are aware of the safety and health issues railroad workers have to face, but in 1906, when the boom in the railroad industry also meant sharp increases in the incidence of injuries and workplace accidents among workers, the federal government took notice. This was when FELA was conceived, and in 1908 the proposal was enacted into law.

Common Injuries for Railroad Workers

FELA is not workers’ compensation, but may augment it or make up for its deficiencies. FELA covers injuries that may not be covered under workers’ compensation plans, such as cumulative injuries due to repetitive movement and whole body vibration. However, FELA is based on the notion of negligence; a claimant will have to prove negligence on the part of an employer, manufacturer or co-worker in order to file for and claim compensation for work-related injuries. Under workers’ compensation, a worker need only prove that the injury is work-related.

Common injuries that fall under FELA include (but are not limited to):

  • Back injuries
  • Burns
  • Disfigurement
  • Broken bones
  • Neck and spinal cord injuries
  • Loss of limbs
  • Repetitive motion injuries
  • Joint damage

In order for a claimant (whether the victim or a family member of a worker who died on the job) to file a personal injury claim under FELA, he or she may use the following as a basis for the claim:

  • Collision, derailment or other impact accidents
  • Exposure to toxic fumes (i.e. diesel)
  • Use of heavy machinery
  • Carrying of heavy loads
  • Defective or faulty equipment

To be sure that a case has merit, it is best to consult with personal injury attorneys with extensive experience and knowledge of FELA cases. Proving negligence will not be easy without expert legal counsel.

Utah State Law Enforcement Facing Lawsuit for Fake DUI Arrests

Former Utah State trooper Lisa Steed’s record-setting number of DUI arrests for a single year, as well as arrests made throughout the rest of her career, are under scrutiny following the appearance of a lawsuit alleging that she made many of the arrests illegally.

After joining the force in 2002, Steed received a great deal of recognition from her peers for her high arrest totals. She was named State Trooper of the Year in 2007 and in 2009 became a member of the state’s DUI squad. That year, she made a record-setting 400 DUI arrests, more than double the amount of arrests made by the next highest officer.

However, her success may not be what it seems. The lawsuit accuses Steed of making DUI arrests on individuals who had no alcohol in their system, sometimes after multiple negative breathalyzer tests. Instead of using the empirical measurements given to her by the breathalyzer, Steed based many of her arrests on visual signs of intoxication such as pupil dilation and shaky legs.

Utah is known throughout the nation for it’s relatively strict alcohol laws, but Steed took things too far when she consciously made the decision to go above the law and blatantly disregard what is fair and just. The lawsuit claims that her arrests dating as far back as 2006 should be reexamined.

Steed was fired last November under accusations of falsifying police reports and violating police policies. She is seeking to be reinstated, but hopefully her record of corruption will be more than enough to keep her out of a position where she can further abuse police powers.

Legally Making Wine at Home

wine regulationsAfter the end of prohibition, a law was passed that allowed citizens to make wine and beer in their own homes for personal consumption. However, it was left up to the states to make this legal within their borders individually. As of today, there are only two states that have yet to allow their citizens this freedom: Alabama and Mississippi.

Even though it may be legal to make wine or beer in your state, there are still state and federal regulations around this practice that you’ll need to be aware of before proceeding.

Most states took the federal law’s suggestions, but some states only allow certain materials to be used, and still others have further regulations.

One of the most important aspects of making your own alcohol that you need to be aware of is that you cannot sell the fruits of your labor. This is because alcohol sales are taxed, and if you sell it yourself, the government doesn’t get its cut.

Nevertheless, making your own wine is a fun and interesting hobby to pick up.