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10 Things You Need To Know About Medical Malpractice

Everyone has been to the doctor at some point in their lives. Even the hardcore, anti-medical industry enthusiasts were born somewhere – probably a hospital. Whether you believe in the system or not, when you’re in need of care you must find a way to trust doctors to produce the best results.

Although doctors have no incentive (unless contracted illegally under the table) to practice medicine subjectively towards you, accidents and incompetence do occur. If you feel that you or a loved one have been a victim of a malpractice situation, make sure that you listen up to the following list.

medical-malpractice-photoBe Prepared For a Malpractice Lawsuit

The Most Important Step – Make sure to consult a seasoned malpractice lawyer for information about your case. Do not be humble about any of the details of the case and make sure to provide all evidence and possible witnesses that you may have. It is essential to inform the lawyer of all possible angles and never leave out details about the health of the patient in question – these little details could be the difference between a losing case and a winning settlement.

Case Strength Is Based On A Standard

The medical community determines the standard of care in a medical malpractice suit. (i.e. the professional practices of other doctors in the medical community who are unbiased in your current case).  The malpractice is usually won or lost based on the professional opinions of doctors or medical specialists in the particular field.

There are No Limits or Exceptions

A medical malpractice lawsuit can be filed against any person or facility that provides medical care. Therefore, hospitals are not the only defendants against a malpractice case – pediatric doctors, specialty doctors, and outpatient facilities are also subject to a possible lawsuit. Make sure that you know your rights.

Always Work With A Professional – Never attempt to represent yourself in court or file a case against a medical office alone. Unlike you, bigger medical facilities have quality control offices and lawyers on call for possible lawsuits. In addition, most negligence and accidental injury malpractice cases are cases that the doctors or hospital involved is already aware of.

For example, if you worked at a hospital and know that you forgot to give an elderly man medicine he needed to survive, you would probably consult with your hospital manager or legal team before attempting to cover up the situation. Hospitals usually know when they have made a mistake and rarely come forward with honest replies to families or friends of the victim after foul play.

You Can Request Records At Any Time

Hospitals and outpatient facilities must provide you with medical records and full documentation of your visits upon request. If you’re thinking about filing a lawsuit against a hospital or well-known, bigger medical outpatient center, you may want to consult your lawyer first. He or she will tell you exactly what documents and records you need to request and how to go about doing it.

Although this is just a theory, I believe that because medical records are all internal some offices alter information if they know that foul play was involved. For example, after the elderly man dies from not receiving his pill, the hospital may still note that the pill was given in order to cover their tracks. If there is a fatality and a serious accusation against the medical facility, your lawyer may recommend that you conduct an autopsy of the body. Information from this report will prove vital of foul play and malpractice cases.

These Cases Can Last Forever – Any lawsuit can take extensive time and money to reach completion, but malpractice cases require a lot of evidence and questioning, which requires multiple court appearances and legal work. If you are paying a lawyer by the hour than you are going to be poor before the case is even settled. Make sure that you are consulting with successful, reputable lawyers with seasonal track records who do not charge a fee unless your suit is decided in your favor.

Make Sure That You’re Committed

There are statutes of limitation when it comes to filing a malpractice case. Each state has a different requirement, but all states do have a “window of opportunity” to file a case so don’t wait too long.

It’s Not Like the Old Days – Back in the 80’s and 90’s, patients were filing left and right for malpractice claims because the cases were often subjective and the responsible party (the medical facility) would be required to pay a settlement for damages. Well, this got out of hand over the years when people were receiving millions of dollars in damages for a simple foot injury malpractice. Unfortunately, this caused the courts to re-evaluate the claims and since the 2000’s, malpractice claims have declined because you just don’t get that much even if you win.

What is the Most Common Malpractice?

Believe it or not, most malpractice cases occur when doctors and medical personnel become too complacent at their jobs. Therefore, seasoned veterans in the field are actually more susceptible to a malpractice case than newly hired medical students. Most of the cases are incompetency through complacency.

Insurance Companies Want to Settle – No one wants to go to court because court is where the real money is lost. Therefore, the insurance companies that will be writing you a check would rather write you a small check than a big one 6 month later in court. Unless you have a very strong case with a lot of potential money to be made, you may want to take the deal they offer.

Honorable Mention

They Can’t Hold It Against You — If you file a medical malpractice against a medical facility, they are not able to reject you as a patient in the future — this is discrimination against you for previous claims. If the case becomes a high-profile claim, you may want to relocate your care to avoid possible sabotage.

Today’s post was written by Matthew Hall, a professional writer for www.Heil-Law.com. Matthew is a skilled blogger who enjoys covering various legal related topics.


What To Do If The Cops Try To Crash Your Party

For a vast majority of the population, interaction with a law enforcement officer is a stressful and unnerving experience. Whether this occurs during a routine traffic stop or after a knock on your door, most citizens generally tense up when confronted. There is nothing wrong with that response, in fact it should be considered a positive because it means

you’re likely not doing anything that merits consideration from the police.

However, a large part of that uneasiness can be stemmed from the unknown, specifically not knowing your constitutional rights in the situation. When a LEO shows up at your door or on your property the 4th Amendment takes center stage. Interpretation of the law is constantly evolving. Unlike police officers, most citizens are not confronte

d with these laws daily and likely unaware on what a LEO can and can’t do when arriving at your residence. There are quite a few myths out there, so we will break the law down so you are better prepared if the situation arises.

The most common reason for the police to knock on your door is due to an anonymous noise complaint by one of your neighbors. As anyone who has hosted or been invited to a house party in college can attest, this is a frequent occurrence. The obvious solution is to become friends with all of your neighbors and invite them to the party. Since it is unreasonable to expect anyone to be close friends with the entire neighborhood, it is wise to know your constitutional rights as an American citizen. The 4th Amendment protects “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures.”  So what does that all mean for your party? In short, if the police are at your door without possession of a search or arrest warrant you do not have to answer the door. While this is within your right, you could be making the problem worse by not answering the knock. Declining to answer may give the LEO cause to secure a warrant and return. As you might expect, they are less likely to be forgiving of any minor offenses if forced to come out twice.

Opening Up

It would be better in most cases to talk to the LEO while being mindful of your rights. The first step in this scenario is to get your party under control before you answer the door. Generally speaking, a noise complaint is not a justified means to enter your home without a warrant. However, if when opening your door, there is evidence that may suggest illegal activity in “plain view” you are also opening yourself up for a possible citation or arrest. You should quickly turn down anything loud and if guests have been drinking, it would be wise to send them to another room. After you’ve accomplished this, the next step is to make sure the conversation takes place outside with the door closed behind you. This lets the officer know you have not granted permission to enter and may even demonstrate to LEOs that you are aware of your rights. If you have a friend or roommate in a similar state of calm, it may be wise to ask them to step outside as well so you have a witness of your own present for the ensuing conversation.

The Conversation

Talking with the police can be a confusing process. The first thing you need to do is determine the reason for the visit. If their visit is in response to something that involves you or your guests, be respectful in answering questions but refrain from giving any unnecessary details. During the conversation, the line between requests and orders is blurred by LEOs and that is their intention. If you are unsure of the terms under which an officer is asking you to do something, simply asking in return whether you have to comply can eliminate some of the confusion.

There are four main reasons an officer may enter your home without a warrant: the person in control giving consent, an illegal item or act is in plain view, search incident to arrest, and exigent circumstances. The first two are the more likely reasons for an officer having the right to enter your home. Since it may not be in your best interest to completely deny access to an officer wanting to just “look around,” it is wise to clearly state you do not consent to a search. Of course before letting them inside, we are assuming you have already taken care of anything that may be in “plain view.” While consenting to an officer entering your home isn’t ideal, it may be better in the long run. In most cases they just want to poke their head in and put a stop to whatever activity is causing the disturbance. Police who are entering on the premises of your arrest is fairly straightforward so it won’t be discussed in detail. However, an officer entering your home without a warrant due to exigent circumstances is more complex. Exigent circumstances exist in emergency situations where the process of getting a valid search warrant could compromise public safety or could lead to a loss of evidence. The interpretation of what constitutes an exigent circumstances is constantly involving, Due to this, if an officer enters your home on these grounds, it is best to get an attorney right away who is familiar with these laws and has experience in their defense.

Do these rights extend outside?

It is important to remember that your rights protected by the 4th Amendment can also be extended to the backyard and other surrounding areas of your home (known as curtilage) provided the area meets certain criteria. Factors taken into consideration when deciding on this extension are: proximity to the home of the area claimed as curtilage, whether the area is included within an enclosure surrounding the home (i.e. fenced in), nature of use, and steps taken by the resident to restrict view. Once again you see how “plain view” plays a large role in the interpretation of the law. If confronted by LEO without warrant in an area that may be protected under the 4th Amendment you should follow procedures laid out previously for the inside of your home.

We are a privileged nation in that our police are also bound by laws and not simply seen as “the law.” There are countless LEOs who follow these laws to the letter, however in every group there are exceptions. It is because of this, the burden falls on you as a citizen to understand your rights and protections. If you believe your 4th Amendment rights have been violated by a LEO you should consult an attorney as soon as possible, even during the encounter if you feel the situation merits immediate action. The delay to react could be the difference in avoiding a large fine or possible jail time.

Featured images:

This post was provided by Brian Levesque, professional writer and marketing consultant for the Law Office of Adam L. Pollack, P.A. in Orlando, Florida.


Nine Ways To Be Prepared Against Always Changing Tax Laws

Nine Ways To Be Prepared Against Always Changing Tax Laws

Tax lawsClients ask about how they can be prepared against always changing tax laws. One of the certainties of modern taxation is constant, unending change. Perusing the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) “Reducing the Deficit: Spending and Revenue Options”, convinces any thoughtful person that changing tax laws are inevitable. Preparing for new tax laws while considering how to incorporate recent changes into a tax practice, is part of preparing for the next tax season. Consider these changes and trends:

1. High income earners, rising brackets and capital gains.

Single taxpayers earning $400,000 or married couples earning at least $450,000 rise to a higher tax bracket this year. Previously taxed at 35 percent, 2013 tax rates climb to 39.6 percent (+4.6 percent). Note that CBO Option 1 is “Increase Individual Income Tax Rates” from 2012-2021. If enacted, raising all tax rates by one percent would raise U.S. tax revenues by $480.4 bn through 2021. CBO recommends continuing, concurrent rises in capital gains rates. A client discussion about booking capital gains is timely.

2. VAT possibility.

CBO Option 27 explores the possibility of adding a five percent value added tax. A ‘narrow base’ would raise 1.390 bn in U.S. tax revenues through 2021. A ‘broad base’ VAT accessed would raise about 2.5 bn through 2021. About 140 countries around the world assess VAT for goods and services purchased.

3. Institutional fees.

Option 33, “Impose a Fee on Large Financial Institutions,” studies the financial impact of supporting institutions “too large to fail” and the Troubled Asset Relief Program. Assessing institutional fees would raise 70.9 bn in tax revenues through 2021 and would theoretically create reserve funds for the largest institutions in the event of a future financial meltdown.

4. Tax greenhouse gas emissions.

Option 35 proposes taxing the U.S. carbon footprint. Taxing emissions would increase the costs of some goods and services. If voted into law, the proposal estimates $1,178.9 bn in tax revenues would be raised through 2021.

5. Tax income of U.S. Corporations as earned.

Option 25 explores the double taxation imposed on multinational operations of some U.S. corporations. Corporate earnings outside of the U.S. would be taxed according to the laws of the country in which the income is generated. Changing the complex tax laws relating to repatriation of some corporate income would also generate a projected $114.2 bn in tax revenues through 2021.

6. Eliminate tax preferences for some education expenses.

Option 15 recommends adjustment of existing tax-deferred education payment accounts, grants and loans, and certain tax preferences related to education. The proposal would generate $47.7 bn in tax revenues through 2021.

7. Child care credit.

Modifying or eliminating the child care credit would raise significant revenues if enacted. Full elimination of the child care credit would raise $116.7 in tax revenues through 2021. (In 2013, child care credit was reduced to $500 per child.)

8. Tax exclusion on interest income for state/local bonds.

Municipal bonds issued by state and local governments appeal to civic-minded investors because interest paid is currently excluded from the bondholder’s AGI. Option 17 projects $142.7 bn in tax revenues raised by 2021 if the proposal is enacted.

9. Foresight and education.

Everyone wants to know how to prepare for future tax changes and no one has a crystal ball to precisely predict which proposed tax law changes will occur in the future. The ClientWhys Tax Update Seminar puts the information needed for next tax season in hand today! Attendees spend two days interacting with “A-team” speakers (29 hours of CPE!) and receive the completely searchable “Big Book of Taxes” for daily use.

Author Bio:

Lee Reams II is the founder and CEO of ClientWhys, Inc. ClientWhys is a SAAS developer that delivers online marketing solutions to businesses built by word-of-mouth. Applications include websites for accountants, email newsletters, secure client portals and tax and financial web content.

Author’s Google+: https://plus.google.com/109145937409705134783/posts


The 5 Most Common Crimes We Knowingly Commit

The 5 Most Common Crimes We Knowingly Commit

People routinely engage in activities that they know are criminal in nature. No one expects that they will be caught. Unfortunately if the behavior continues over time, eventually they do get caught. Following are 5 of the most common crimes we knowingly commit.

Possession of Marijuana

Millions of Americans knowingly break the law by smoking marijuana. Unless you have a prescription for marijuana, you can not legally smoke or be in possession of the banned substance. Possessing even a small amount of marijuana for personal use is a crime. First time offenders usually do not go to jail, but they may be issued a citation or forced to take a drug education class or do community service. If an individual has more than an ounce or two of marijuana, he or she may be charged with the more serious crime of possession with intent to distribute. Every state has its own drug laws and penalties. While the nation is split about 50/50 on whether or not marijuana should be legalized, currently it is illegal.

DWI or DUI

Driving While Intoxicated or Driving Under the Influence is a very serious criminal offense. The consequences of being convicted of such a charge may include fines, suspension of your license, forfeiture of your vehicle, probation, community service or jail time. Every state has different criminal penalties. Every state takes the crime very seriously. People do not normally plan to drive while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs, but they do. They might be returning from a wedding where they had too much champagne or they might have taken some prescription medicine that impaired their ability to operate a motor vehicle. The law does not care why you were drunk or otherwise impaired. It is the responsibility and obligation of every driver to arrange another means of getting home if they know or think they might be impaired.

Tax Fraud

Every year when people file their tax returns the thought of exaggerating their deductions or not reporting all of their income enters their minds. Most tax filers are honest or scared about being audited and prepare and file an honest account of their income and tax liability. For those that are not so honest and fudge the figures, they may be guilty of tax fraud. Under Title 26, Section 7206 of the U.S. Tax Code, any person who knowingly files any return, statement or document that they know is not a true representation of all material matters is committing an act of fraud. If a person is audited and convicted of tax fraud they can face up to 3 years of imprisonment. They may also be fined up to $250,000 (individuals) or $500,000 (corporations). The penalties may be both fine and imprisonment and they are also held responsible for the cost of prosecution.

Insurance Fraud

Insurance rates in this country are so high because so many cases of insurance fraud force the insurance companies to raise their rates to honest customers who may have never filed a claim in their lives. Insurance fraud is a sad commentary on the morality and honesty in our society. Millions of automobile accident claims are filed every year and insurance companies actually know that a high percentage of claims are not legitimate. People fake injuries and repair bills are padded. Homeowners who may suffer a loss also file larger claims than their loss would justify. In a tough economy, people look at accidents as a chance to get some much needed money. If an individual is convicted of insurance fraud they may go to jail, be placed on probation, be put on parole, forced to pay restitution, have to pay a fine or do community service.

Perjury

People lie all of the time. If you lie under oath you can be found guilt of the crime of perjury. The penalties for perjury range from fines and probation to incarceration.

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