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Medical Malpractice FAQ: Can an emergency room error be considered medical malpractice?

Any emergency room in the U.S. can involve copious amounts of stress and emotions. These environments tend to be full of people who are suffering from mild to moderate, severe, or life threatening medical conditions. Staff in an emergency room will face life and death scenarios each and every day. These staff typically must have special ER training, and may need certain experience to work in the conditions. It will be up to them to make fast decisions with the intention to save the life of a patient who may be dying. As they are only human, they are not exempt from making errors. However, when the decision made by medical staff in an ER causes further harm or death, it may be possible to file a medical malpractice claim.  To find out if you have grounds for a case, please consult a medical malpractice lawyer who handles ER cases.  Errors in the Emergency Room As a leading medical malpractice lawyer, we know many cases involve ER errors, as well as, errors made during the diagnosis, treatment, and also surgery. Emergency room cases in particular are unique because the ER is naturally a stressful environment. Therefore, the likelihood of a staff member making a mistake in the ER is considerably high. In the U.S. at least 100 million people will visit the ER each year. Of these, between 5 and 10 percent will suffer from some kind of error.  According to a  review conducted by a medical malpractice insurer in the U.S., between 2007 and 2013, the most common errors made in emergency rooms were as follows: 57% involved failure to diagnose13% were a result of a failure to manage the patient’s care5% were from a poor execution of the patient’s careThe remainder were from the failure to order medication for the patient This review consisted of 332 claims that had been resolved, and were a result of ER errors.  Staff Are Under Pressure in the Emergency Room According to research on emergency room errors, the frequency of these mistakes are high because of the amount of pressure staff endure. Many staff are rushing from one patient to the next, but even then, the average patient will have to wait at least one hour before being seen. This can easily lead to misdiagnosis, failure to diagnose, or improper treatment. To add to this, many staff are overworked, stressed out,...
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Responsibilities of the Executor of a Will

When a loved one dies, it’s a difficult time for everyone involved. It may be even more stressful if you are the executor of a will. Fortunately, if you follow a few simple steps, you will find the whole process to go a lot smoother. 1. File the Will The first order of business when you are the executor of the will is to file the will. You will file the will with a local probate court. If the will is valid, then the court will grant you authority. You simply need to file a few forms, the will and provide the property list to the court to begin the probate process. 2. Inventory Assets It is up to the executor to inventory all of the assets. You need to protect all of the assets and property so that you can carry out the decedent’s final wishes. If there are cars or collectibles, you may want to make sure that these items are insured. 3. Manage Debts After a person dies, their debts do not automatically disappear. The executor will have to liquidate assets to pay off debts. The executor also needs to cancel any credit cards, cable services, utility bills and subscriptions. It’s also important to notify any professionals in the person’s life that they have passed away. You need to close all of the accounts that they have. 4. Distribute Property To distribute property, you will most often rely heavily on the will. Dictate the property to the beneficiaries in the way that the will asks you. If there is any extra property, you may get to have an opinion on how it gets distributed between the beneficiaries. It is up to the executor to make sure that the wishes of the deceased are followed through with. 5. File Taxes It is up to the executor to file any final taxes. Taxes can be overwhelming. Most people have high amounts of anxiety over their own taxes, much less filing taxes for deceased loved ones. If it is necessary, you can speak to an accountant to help you through the process of filing taxes. Executing a will is a long process. Probate, is by no means, short. There is a lot of responsibility on the shoulders of executors. When you’re executing a will, it’s crucial that you know how the process works. For help and peace of mind,...
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Disclosure of Finances Required During Divorce

When you get divorced, you must disclose your finances to the divorce court. The court relies on these documents to determine alimony, divide property and in some cases determine child support. Hiding Assets May Be Tempting Because of Your Circumstances It may be tempting to consider hiding assets. You may feel that you own something that is not liquid or not as valuable to you as it appears to be on paper. You may also feel that you are at risk of incurring expenses or losing income in the future that makes it unfair for all of your assets to count.You should discuss any of these concerns with your family lawyer who is representing you in the divorce. There may be legitimate strategies that he or she can help you consider to deal with your concerns. Acts That Amount to Hiding Assets You should be careful not to attempt to hide your assets, or look like you might be. People try to do this by giving money or property to friends, or making sales of assets to friends at prices well below market value. They may also try it by converting assets to different accounts and hoping their spouse or their lawyer doesn’t find out. Fraudulent transactions between a business and its owner sometimes occur as well. If you have the slightest doubt that a transaction you engage in may look like an attempt to hide assets, you should discuss it with your family lawyer first. If your motivation involves reducing the amount you might pay in a divorce settlement, it probably will be regarded as such an attempt. There are Consequences If You Attempt to Hide Assets Hiding assets is not a good strategy. It is illegal, but people try to do it in many divorce cases. Your spouse’s attorney will be actively looking into your assets, and looking for signs that you are hiding some of them. Do not forget that they will be asking your spouse what they recall about your assets, even if he or she did not handle the finances. They will also look into business records, tax returns, credit reports, and other information sources. They are doing this to get at the true state of your finances and assets. If you are caught hiding assets, this may carry penalties and will become a talking point for your spouse’s attorney during all future negotiations.You...
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The Factors that Determine the Value of a Car Accident Claim

Car Accident Claim Injuries related to car accidents can be severe and life-altering, and they can leave victims with little recourse but a lawsuit. However, before going down such a legal avenue, it is beneficial to make a few assessments about the potential success of your claim and estimate the potential value of recovery. Therefore, to make these assessments, it is necessary to understand the factors that contribute to the possible recovery claim. Fault While fault seems like a cut-and-dry piece of the puzzle, the laws of fault and negligence vary by state. Some states consider contributory negligence, while others follow comparative negligence rules in determining guilt and assessing damages. If found partially responsible for the accident in contributory states, then you cannot pursue restitution for damages. However, in comparative negligence jurisdictions, you can make a claim for the percentage of damages you are not responsible for. Loss of Income If you are not at fault for the accident or reside in a comparative negligence state, then you can sue to recoup lost income. Also, while it is common to file to recover current income, depending on the extent of your injuries, you might be able to sue for lost future earnings as well. Injuries and Medical Expenses The most common reason to make a claim after an accident is to recover financial losses directly related to sustained injuries and medical expenses. While common, you will need to maintain receipts and other documentation to prove that the treatments and bills were a result of the car crash and not another incident. Pain and Suffering Pain and suffering refer to the more abstract injuries that were sustained as a result of the accident. For example, if you developed an anxiety disorder because of the trauma of the crash, then you can make the argument that ongoing psychological treatment is necessary. Also, if your injuries have caused self-esteem issues or troubles in your relationship, then these too can be considered under the category of pain and suffering. Loss of Opportunity Last, if your injuries have resulted in a mandatory career change, then you might be able to seek damages for the loss of opportunity. For example, if you work in a labor-intensive field, but your injuries make it impossible to continue in your chosen profession, then you can seek the difference in projected income. Figuring out the potential recovery in a personal injury claim is difficult,...
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Four Tips for Staying Safe in a Construction Zone

Construction Zone Safety Tips You’re driving down the road and you suddenly see a long line of orange cones. Traffic is merging, construction workers are waving orange flags and you realize you’ve found yourself in a construction zone. What should you do? Is there a certain protocol for driving in a construction zone and staying safe while doing so? The following are four tips to keep you safe. 1. Practice Patience Chances are you’re going to be in stop-and-go traffic while you’re in a construction zone. It’s best to practice patience during this time. Nothing about construction is convenient until the project is completed, so keep in mind every other driver is in the same boat as you. They’re trying to get somewhere, they’re frustrated by the setback and they want to stay safe as well. Take a deep breath and just drive when you are able. 2. Slow Down Most construction zones will have a temporary speed limit posted. In many cases, fines double for speeding on these stretches of road, so it’s important you slow down. Not only for that reason, but for the fact the safety of the construction workers is at hand. Don’t hug the back of the car in front of you and don’t speed up until you are out of the zone and certain it’s safe to do so. 3. Expect Abnormal Conditions On a regular day, you may not see people walking down the freeway, but during road construction you might. On your typical commute, you may not have to stop for a crane to swing a post across the road, but during road construction you might. Expect that there will be some abnormal conditions when a crew is working on the road. If you already know construction is taking place, plan your schedule accordingly. 4. Pay Attention Sometimes there will be signs posted, other times there will be flaggers standing by. In either case, pay attention to what is going on around you. You wouldn’t want to hit someone, run over a cone or find yourself on the wrong side of the tape and in a dangerous situation. Pay attention to the other drivers as well. Some drivers will rubberneck, so it’s important you’ve at least got your eyes on the road. Contacting a Lawyer If you are involved in a car accident during road construction, you may need the assistance...
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