Legal Concerns for Business Owners

»Posted by on Jan 22, 2014 in Business and Employment | 0 comments

Most small business owners believe that they can handle any legal concerns that may come their way with no trouble. The fact is, business law is highly complex, and ignorance can lead to costly mistakes.

It is a little known but sound principle that any business owner who wants to be successful should hire a lawyer with wide experience and deep understanding of business law. In fact, the lawyer should be the first professional service provider on board. This especially applies to small businesses even prior to business formation, because there are many legal ramifications involved. Lease agreements, employment contracts, and other legally binding documents must be properly drafted and reviewed to limit the liability of the owner in all aspects of the business operations.

Contract law as a subset of business law can is particularly relevant. Business disputes seriously compromise the profitability of a business. It is fatally easy for inexperienced business owners to lose their shirts because they did not understand the contracts they signed with partners, banks, financiers, suppliers, and so on. They could be signing away their rights without even knowing it. Having a competent legal adviser on board would ensure that the interests of the business owners are protected.

According to the website of Arenson Law Group, PC, it is also important to note that any business, big or small, is vulnerable to liability claims and therefore should be prepared to deal with such instances. Employees, clients, and suppliers are all potential sources of legal complications which a lawyer can safeguard against by ensuring compliance with applicable laws that address liability. Certain industries are particularly apt to get sued by their employees for personal injury, such as the construction or energy industries. This is because there are numerous safety regulations that exist and it can be difficult to keep up with all of them.

The energy industries work with combustible materials which are inherently dangerous. The work environment can get very bad very fast in case of an accidental explosion, for instance. There are a number of hazardous materials that may lead to an accident explosion, especially if these materials are not maintained or stored properly. An explosion that is the result of someone else’s negligent actions may entitle the injured parties to some sort of financial compensation.

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The Unseen Consequences of Car Accidents

»Posted by on Jan 20, 2014 in Auto Accidents, Personal Injury | 0 comments

Anyone who has ever been involved in a serious car accident is probably marked for life, but not necessarily in a physical way. There are many unseen consequences of car accidents which cannot be seen in an X-ray or quantified in any size, shape, or form. These are the psychiatric or mental injuries, sometimes called mental anguish, and come under the punitive side of personal injury awards when it involves tortious conduct such as drunk driving.

Psychiatric disorders and symptoms that result from car accidents take many forms, and are much harder to address than physical hurts. Some studies peg 18% of respondents as developing a fear of driving over as long as 6 years, some to a such a degree that it was considered phobic, which can significantly impact the mobility of these individuals. A significant percentage (20%) of those involved in moderate to severe road accidents who suffered serious, multiple injuries developed acute symptoms of depression and anxiety immediately after the occurrence, which could persist up to 12 months.

The exceptions were for those who were permanently disabled, and their emotional distress was directly tied to their physical suffering. For a majority of those who suffered psychiatric distress, the symptoms were disabling and had significant impact on their personalities in the duration.  A minority satisfied the criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder.

In many jurisdictions, mental anguish is taken in consideration when determining the extent of the defendant’s liability in terms of compensation. This is why in a majority of civil litigation finding for the plaintiff, the punitive damages often exceed that of economic damages i.e. medical and hospital expenses. While it may be tempting to disregard the claims of mental pain and suffering as frivolous for those who have not experienced the trauma of car accidents, experienced personal injury lawyers know better, and strive to protect the rights of these victims to fair and just compensation. Indeed, these kinds of unseen traumas are real and often impact a victim’s life in ways that a physical injury never could.

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Examples of Medical Malpractice

»Posted by on Jan 13, 2014 in Medical Mistakes | 0 comments

The default attitude of most people towards licensed medical professionals is that of trust. Because people literally place their lives in the hands of these professionals, they have to believe their licensed status means they are competent and able to provide the necessary service with the care expected of them in their capacity as medical professionals. Unfortunately, this is not always justified.

There are a lot of examples of medical malpractice that comes to mind, and involves anyone from the very young to the very old. Birth injuries in the U.S. for instance happen to 1.6 newborns for every 1,000 live births based on 2006 statistical data, which is actually an improvement over 2000, when about 7 children were injured before, during or after delivery for every 1,000 live births. One of the many conditions that may result from a birth injury is cerebral palsy, a neurological impairment affecting the motor development and skills of the afflicted. While only 10% of newborns diagnosed with cerebral palsy are considered due to medical malpractice, it is still a horrific finding for parents since it was a preventable condition. At the same time 10% is a significant amount of children who are injured by their doctors during birth.

Also quite common as medical malpractice are surgical errors. According to Crowe & Mulvey, LLP, a patient going in for a routine procedure may come out with serious complications because of medication errors, retained surgical instruments, wrong site surgery, even surgery on the wrong patient! While it may seem too bizarre to be true, it has happened, which is why health professionals have comprehensive medical malpractice insurance.

The consequences of medical malpractice often involve considerable pain and suffering, not to mention expenses for additional surgeries, extended hospitalization, necessary lifestyle changes, or loss of work days or employment. Any patient or eligible family member of a patient who has suffered serious injury or death because of medical malpractice may bring a civil action against the responsible health professional and possibly the employing institution to get compensation.

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Criminal Defense in Criminal Law

»Posted by on Jan 9, 2014 in Criminal Defense | 0 comments

There are always two sides to a coin, and this applies to what people would consider crimes. Criminal defense is defined as factors that may cancel out the wrong of what would otherwise be considered a criminal act. Under criminal law in the U.S., an individual charged with a crime should have acted in a way that was dangerous or harmful to another person or willfully failed to act to prevent harm or danger to another person. This is called actus reus or “guilty act.” However, in some cases another requirement for an act to be considered criminal under the law is that there is an intent to do harm or mens rea, which means “guilty mind.” Many of the most common criminal defenses center on the absence of mens rea. Absence of intent is not required for crimes with strict liability, such as driving under the influence (DUI).

In most other cases, an effective criminal defense may result in the partial or total absolution of the defendant. This is why choosing the best possible defense lawyer is a top priority for anyone facing criminal charges. According to resources, it is crucial to get qualified legal representation with a deep understanding of criminal law to protect the rights of the accused. Depending on the crime, a conviction can carry long terms of incarceration and the curtailment of other types of freedom, such as eligibility for certain occupations. It is very important to avoid or at least reduce the severity of the applicable sanctions.

The most common criminal defenses emphasizes that there are mitigating circumstances that led to the commission of the crime, such as self-defense, under duress, insanity, necessity or lesser harm, legal duty, and lawful capacity of office. If the criminal defense lawyer succeeds in convincing the jury or the judge that the act was justifiable or introduces an element of reasonable doubt regarding the bad intentions of the defendant in the commission of the act, then it could very well lead to conviction for a lesser offense, or even better a dismissal or acquittal.

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