Some Facts about Spinal Cord Injuries

Traumatic spinal cord injuries (SCIs) occur more frequently than is commonly known. Every year, there are at least 12,000 new cases of SCI in the US, 46% of which resulted from motor vehicle accidents. About 200,000 people live with the consequences of SCI at any one time with an average annual cost of $20,000 per patient and a lifetime cost of up to $3 million for the most severe cases. SCI is basically damage to some part of the spinal column, and may either be temporary or permanent. In some cases where the insult to the spinal cord is resolved, the patient may recover fully and resume their regular activities after a period of recuperation. In too many cases, spinal cord damage is permanent and catastrophic. SCI may also be attributed to surgical errors, but more commonly it is due to participation in sports, as a result of being a victim of violence, or from falls. In all cases, the injury is always treated as serious until otherwise indicated. This is because, of course, all spinal cord injuries are serious. The spine is the main relay of information to and from the brain for most of a vertebrate’s body.

When negligence of a third party is suspected, immediate steps are made to determine the circumstances surrounding it to determine who was at fault and to what degree. This is important because each state recognize different rules for fault in personal injury cases. This can be a major problem for an SCI victim who faces a lifetime of high medical bills and lifetime care costs. It is important that if the victim is truly not at fault that it be determined with vigorous investigation.

Read More

Unsafe Lane Changes can be Negligence

A lot of drivers have at one point or another swerved in a reckless manner to bypass a slower vehicle, evade an obstacle, or avoid missing an exit ramp. In most cases, this is done without untoward incident although it is worth a citation in most states because it is a violation of traffic safety regulations. However, more often than one would like, unsafe lane changes can kill.

This is what happened to a Chicago law enforcement probationer who was killed when his motorcycle hit a car that suddenly swerved in front of him to make a looming exit ramp. The car driver was cited, but investigations may find that he was driving recklessly and may face a wrongful death claim from the downed officer’s family. The officer was not wearing a helmet, and was declared dead on arrival at the hospital to where he was rushed.

As apparent from the articles on the website of the Mokaram Law Firm and most studies on the topic, motorcycle operators involved in motor vehicle accidents are 30 times more likely to be seriously injured or killed than a passenger in a car or other more protected vehicle. Fort Worth car accident lawyers would be quick to point out that this is a fact even when the motorcycle operator is a safe and responsible one.

But it is also a fact that many motorcycle accident fatalities are single-vehicle ones, indicating some type of reckless behavior such as making unsafe lane changes on the part of the operator. A Louisville car accident lawyer would examine the scene of a multi-vehicle accident to determine the degree of fault for all parties, because Kentucky applies a pure comparative fault rule to negligent accidents, where the plaintiff’s compensation is reduced by the degree of fault.

Read More

Two Crucial Elements in Personal Injury Lawsuits

When you are or an immediate family member is injured in an accident or as a result of a dangerous product, there are two things you need to pursue a personal injury lawsuit: documentation and the right lawyer.

It may probably be the last thing on your mind in the wake of an accident where you or someone else gets seriously injured, but it is crucial to get proper documentation if you want to make the most of your personal injury compensation. Personal injury lawyers will want you, if at all possible, take photos of the scene and get contact information of witnesses. You also need to make sure that you get a police report as well as complete medical records. These can be invaluable when it comes to gathering evidence against a negligent third party.

According to the website of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, when the injury is due to a dangerous product such as a defective drug, the medical history and records are especially crucial. Even with the collaboration of other people who suffered similar problems, personal injury lawsuits are ultimately, well, personal. According to the website of Evans Moore, LLC, the burden of proof is on you that you have been seriously injured as a result of a specific negligent act of the defendant. This is the primary thing that you will have to prove, and all of your efforts should go towards demonstrating this in a way that is irrefutable.

But, according to the website of Crowe and Mulvey, all this paperwork will be to no avail if you don’t get the appropriate legal representation. Your lawyer cousin who specializes in tax issues will not be the ideal candidate for your injury case. An out-of-state lawyer would also be inadvisable. You need a lawyer specializing in personal injury cases practicing in the state where the incident occurred. In some cases, it may even be advisable to go down to the city level, as some local restrictions may be slightly more stringent than statewide ones. A lawyer who is knowledgeable about the area where the infraction occurred can use that insight to better serve the injured party.

Keep in mind these two crucial elements in your personal injury lawsuit, and you will have an excellent chance of getting the compensation you deserve. Without one or the other, you could very well be wasting your time.

Read More

Same-sex Marriage and Divorce in Texas

Divorce is always an emotional issue, but when the very validity of the marriage itself is in question, then it becomes doubly problematic. This is what is happening to the first same-sex couple suing for divorce under Texas law, which is in the throes of a fierce debate regarding same-sex marriages. Under current Texas law, same-sex couples are not allowed to petition for divorce because it would acknowledge the legality of their union, which is not recognized as a “marriage” in Texas. The Woodlands divorce lawyers, for example, know that the only option open to Texas residents under current laws is to have the union voided.

The implications of this are far-reaching. Texas divorce courts are willing to void what they consider a marriage that was invalid under state law in the first place, but this means that the spouses will not have the rights accorded to heterosexual couples who can file for divorce. This includes division of property acquired by a married couple in the course of the marriage, which is divided in a “just and right” manner as determined by the court in the absence of an approved property division agreement. In the case of same-sex couples, however, such laws do not apply. Instead, it is as if the marriage had never been.

This is precisely what critics of legalizing same-sex marriages in Texas are pushing for. Even when same-sex partners get legally married in a state that does allow same-sex marriage, such as New Hampshire, they have no legal protections when they are in Texas.

Read More

Reasons for Probate Litigation

Not all heirs to property go through probate litigation, but they all go through probate. Probate is simply the legal process through which a decedent’s property is administered and typically takes 90 days. Probate litigation, on the other hand, can take years, and becomes necessary when there is no other way to resolve disputes, issues and claims against an estate.

Most people think that only the rich is subject to probate litigation, but it is an option for any case where there is property or assets that run into problems after the owner dies. In most cases where there is a will, probate litigation is filed to contest the terms and conditions of the will. In cases where the owner dies intestate, probate litigation becomes a matter of course in which the court decides who will benefit and to what degree based on affinity and other legal relationships.

In cases where a will is contested, it could be based on several issues. These issues include:

  • Trust administration and termination
  • Fiduciary duty violations of estate administrators, executors and trustees
  • Mental condition of the testator at the time the will was signed
  • Second marriages
  • Claims of undue influence or use of force
  • Claims of forgery
  • Disputes about the legal validity of testamentary documents

Because probate litigation can drag on for years and leave all heirs in suspended animation until the issues at hand are resolved, it is often suggested that mediation with the help of a qualified probate lawyer would be the better option. Since states all have different takes on probate, it is advisable to get legal advice from a lawyer who practices in that state, even that city. For example, if the decedent lived in Houston, heirs should make sure that mediation or probate litigation goes as smoothly as possible in a legal sense by consulting with Houston lawyers, like those of the Mokaram Law Firm. Visit the Mokaram page.

Read More