Tort Liability for School Injuries

While children are of school age, a majority of their waking moments are spent outside the house where they are assumed to be safe. Most of this time away from home is spent at school, where parents and guardians trust that their children are also safe. However, school injuries do happen, and in some cases the school may be held liable.

The tort liability of schools in Colorado can be tricky. Most school injuries for younger children occur in playgrounds and other school areas, while middle- and high-school students suffer injury while participating in sports. If the school is a private enterprise, then it may be sued under the tort laws governing personal injury or premises liability.

However, public schools are a different kettle of fish. Public schools are considered government institutions, and as such have certain immunities when it comes to tort liability as established under the Colorado Governmental Immunity Act (CGIA). Before the CGIA was passed, the immunity of public schools and their employees was absolute. In case of serious injury or wrongful death, public schools may be held liable under certain conditions under the CGIA.

One of the exceptions to sovereign immunity concerns premises liability. If school injuries are due to dangerous or unsafe conditions to any part of the school to which a student has legitimate access to, this can be the basis for a tort case against the school district. Another exception addresses the willful and wanton conduct of a school employee or faculty member that brings harm to a student while on premises, which can render them and the school district open to civil lawsuits.

If your child has suffered from preventable school injuries due to negligence, consult with a child injury lawyer in your area to find out more about tort law in Colorado and how it may apply, or not, to your case.

The Race towards Ambient Commerce

The popularity of online shopping has given companies like Google and eBay the idea to offer personal shopping services. These services provide consumers with the option to shop online and have their products delivered to their house in the same day. This form of consumption has been loosely dubbed “ambient commerce.” On Wednesday, Google announced the launch of their same-day shopping program called Google Shopping Express.

Shopping Express allows people in and around the San Francisco area to shop online and have their products delivered to their homes by couriers. The Google service allows people to shop at multiple stores and pick their delivery time, whereas eBay’s service, eBay Now, only visits one store and delivers within a more rigid time frame.

Offering personal shopping to online consumers is an incredible logistical undertaking. Competitors in this arena will succeed if they can be the fastest, cheapest, and most accessible. Other companies like Amazon and Wal-Mart are interested in expanding delivery services similar to Google Shopping Express and eBay Now. Delivery shopping initiatives are really in the testing phases, only being offered in specific cities. Companies aren’t even sure if this is a doable task. The logistics of wide-scale delivery could potentially make for disastrous roadways and public shopping spaces, rendering the term “ambient commerce” ironic.

Staying Calm while Driving

being calm on the roadLots of people will tell you they are often frustrated while driving their cars, especially during rush hour traffic. Road rage is an all too common result of being stuck in traffic, but it doesn’t have to be a fact of your life.

There are a lot of ways you can attempt to check your emotions while on the road. One of the easiest is to listen to something that helps you relax. Calming music can ease your mind and help you take someone cutting you off in stride and without yelling obscenities.

Expecting to be caught in traffic can also help reduce your level of road rage. It’s easier to be calm when things are going exactly as you expected them to go. Give yourself plenty of time to make the commute to your destination so there is less of a rush and therefore less stress.

Drivers who drive aggressively and exhibit patterns of road rage are dangerous and likely to cause an accident. Staying calm on the road can help you stay safe.

 

 

 

 

 

What to Look for in a Nursing Home

When older relatives begin to lose their faculties or ability to manage living on their own, it may be for time to consider living in a place where someone can provide them with the care they need.

Ideally, this would be with family, but not all families have the time to provide the degree of care necessitated by some conditions of aging. While this is certainly a small tragedy as most families would prefer to stick together, it is often in everyone’s best interests to have the elderly relative live in an assisted living facility.

There are many nursing homes and some of them are significantly better than others. In order to determine if a nursing home is the right place for your aging loved one, there are many factors to consider.

nursing home abuseOne of the most important is the overall level of happiness in the facility. Do the residents seem bored or unstimulated? Is the staff friendly? Do the residents seem to like them? If the environment is healthy, then it is likely that your loved one will enjoy his or her time at the facility. A few other things to have in mind include how the food is and whether or not you are allowed to visit unannounced. This last one is crucial because if visitors are required to schedule their visits, it is a clear indication that the nursing home might have something to hide.

It may seem shocking, but the physical, sexual, emotional, and financial abuse of nursing home residents is a rampant problem in the health care facility industry. The last thing in the world you want to happen to your aged loved one is for them to spend their last years on this earth in suffering, so be sure to take the decision of where he or she will live with the weight it deserves.

How a State Nursing Board can Help You Defend Your Professional License

All nurses in Texas are required by law to be licensed by the Texas Board of Nursing in order to practice in the state. Most nurses, however, do not realize that the state board is not there to protect them but to protect the public from incompetent, unqualified or unethical nurses. This is why complaints or charges against nurses are filed with the state board, which is mandated to investigate and rule on cases as necessary and as it deems fit. Defending your nursing license falls on you and the nursing license defense lawyer you tap for legal help.

The state nursing board is primarily concerned with regulating and overseeing the professional conduct and personal integrity of nurses. Because nurses are the primary caregivers of the weak and vulnerable, it is important that they maintain certain standards of behavior. When nurses apply and are granted a license to practice in Texas, they are also giving the state board permission to monitor and discipline them as provided for by the statutes and administrative regulations.

The state board is required by law to receive, record and investigate all complaints and allegations made against nurses, or to open a case on its own if it is necessary. If the nurse in question is found to be guilty of wrongdoing, the necessary sanctions will be imposed, which may include license suspension or revocation. Not all complaints, charges and issues against nurses have merit, however, and the nurses have the right to defend themselves and rebut these complaints, charges and issues.

What nurses need to remember is that even the appearance of misconduct is enough to attract unwanted attention from the state nursing board. It is best to hope for the best but be prepared for the worst. Losing your license means you lose your livelihood and career, so defending your nursing license is of the utmost importance. Keep your ear to the ground and your nursing license defense lawyer waiting in the wings—just in case.

Workers’ Compensation and Construction Accidents

Construction sites are among the most dangerous workplaces there are, with workers frequently suffering injuries due to repetitive motions, accidents, and other workplace hazards.

While most construction site managers make an effort to reduce the risks of injury at their sites, it is still common for construction employees to be hurt on the job.

workers' compensation Being injured in a job-related accident can be incredibly debilitating. Not only does the injury force you to miss out on vital work hours, costing you income, it also will probably saddle you with expensive hospital bills. This double whammy to your finances is often enough to create a huge strain in your life.

Workers’ compensation is a system set up to help injured workers maintain their lives in the throes of the financial ruin brought upon them by their injuries. Seeking workers’ compensation after sustaining a disabling workplace injury can help you cover these costs and overcome the hardships imposed on you by your workplace injury.

Protecting Your Professional License

If you are a licensed professional, such as a doctor, nurse, or teacher, you have undoubtedly poured your time, efforts, and finances to reaching this position in your career. However, for a variety of different reasons, professionals experience threats to their professional licenses that threaten their careers.

A challenge to your professional career can be a nuisance at best, but at worst, could result in the revocation of your license and possibly the end of your work in your chosen career field. However, it is important to remember that if your professional license has been threatened in any way, you are not without legal options to fight for and possibly even keep your license.

Professional license defense attorneys work tirelessly to help their clients maintain their professional licenses and continue working. If you have had a challenge or threat to your professional license, it is incredibly important to work with a professional who has experience successfully helping individuals who have been in your position.

Defending your professional license is not the time to try and “do it yourself.” The legal field of professional license defense is complicated and confusing, and even one small procedural mistake could have grave effects on your future. As such, make sure to entrust an experienced professional with the task of helping you fight to keep your license.

The Laws Regarding Purjury

Deliberately lying about an important aspect of a case while under oath is a criminal offense under both federal and Wisconsin law. Known as perjury, it is considered a felony and could earn you jail time and/or a hefty fine.

Supposing that you are called upon to testify in court or to give a deposition about a person you know who is the primary suspect in a crime. Let us say that person is a good friend, and in a misguided attempt to help that friend you lied about his whereabouts to the court clerk who was taking down your deposition. Let us further suppose that subsequent investigations show that you had given false information, and the prosecutor charges you with perjury.

Under Wisconsin Statutes 946.31, you have committed perjury (a class H felony) if you “orally make(s) a false material statement which the person does not believe to be true, in any matter, cause, action or proceeding” to “(a) notary public while taking testimony for use in an action or proceeding pending in court.” There are three important aspects to perjury: one, you were under oath; two, you had knowingly and deliberately made a false statement; and three, the information you provided was material to the case.

Court documents will show that you had made such a statement under oath that later proved to be false, and you did so before an officer of the court, such as a court clerk or notary public as provided in the above example. However, perjury is a crime of intent, and intent can be difficult to prove beyond a reasonable doubt. Before you can be convicted of perjury in Wisconsin, the prosecutor must prove that you had made an intentional misstatement, and not just made a mistake.

With experienced legal assistance, you may be able to build a defense around intent. With a strong and convincing defense, you may be able to avoid having the charge of perjury listed on your Wisconsin criminal record.

 

What Everyone Should Know about Depakote

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of Depakote (a.k.a. divalproex sodium and valproic acid) to treat epilepsy in 1983. At the time, it was considered a wonder drug because there were no other medications available then that could alleviate the symptoms of epilepsy. It was further approved for bipolar disorder (1995) and migraine prevention (1996). The generic version was approved in 2008, making it more accessible to the public despite initial concerns about Depakote side effects in 2006.

The action of Depakote is in increasing the number of GABA (gamma amminobutyric acid) neurotransmitters in the brain, which serves to prevent the signals that bring on seizures associated with epilepsy. It is also known as a mood stabilizer, which makes it efficacious for people with bipolar disorder.

Depakote side effects

It has been well-established that Depakote can harm fetuses, causing the FDA to consider it a Class D drug. Some of the most serious Depakote side effects include:

  • Cognitive slowing
  • Tiredness
  • Nausea
  • Hair loss
  • Weight gain
  • Tremors
  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
  • Suicidal tendencies
  • Pancreatitis
  • Liver damage
  • Birth defects
  • Spina bifida, brain or spinal cord damage
  • Extra fingers
  • Atrial septal and other heart defects
  • Cleft palate
  • Malformed skull, brain or limbs
  • Autism or other mental disability

The case against Depakote

The fines levied and lawsuits filed against Abbott Laboratories in recent years have not been for Depakote side effects per se but the illegal marketing strategies the company employed to sell the drug. Doctors claimed that they had been misled regarding the full dangers associated with the drug, especially for women in the early stages of pregnancy. Off-label use of the drug has also been part of the cases brought against Abbott.

Depakote side effects have so far cost Abbott $1.6 billion as of May 2012, half of which has gone to plaintiffs in civil cases brought against the drug company. Found guilty of violating federal laws on drug marketing, $700 million is slated for fines and penalties while the remaining $100 million will be disbursed to states to fund consumer protection campaigns.

More plaintiffs, all women, have brought cases against Abbott in federal court in Illinois in July 2012. If you or someone you know had taken Depakote without being properly warned against its side effects, you may be eligible to claim against Abbott Laboratories. Consult with a defective drug attorney in your area and know your options.

In July 2012, 27 victims filed suit against Abbott in an Illinois federal court. The plaintiffs, all women, said they took Depakote early in their pregnancies to control migraines and epilepsy symptoms. They said their children were born with Depakote-induced birth defects, including developmental delays, spina bifida, cleft palate and bodily malformations.

Do You Really Need Comprehensive Insurance Coverage?

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Illinois is a real stickler when it comes to required car insurance, and they enforce it, too. Car owners are required to have a 20-40-15 (in thousands for injury or death of one – more than one person – damage to property) liability coverage as well as underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage. Failure to comply with the mandatory insurance law can mean suspension of a license.

But the required insurance coverage in Illinois is solely in the event of an accident, and makes provisions only for physical injuries or deaths. There are no requirements for property damage or theft, which is where collision and comprehensive car insurance comes in.

Collision insurance is primarily for damage to the vehicle due to an accident involving another car, or stationary objects such as light posts, guard rails or fire hydrants. Comprehensive car insurance, on the other hand, covers everything else but damage or loss due to accidents.

What could these be? Theft, for one, is a major concern for car owners, especially if the vehicle is new, expensive, or both. Other events covered by comprehensive car insurance include acts of God (tornadoes, floods, etc.), vandalism, collateral damage from a fire fight or explosion, and so on. Most automobile dealers require both collision and comprehensive insurance coverage for leased and mortgaged vehicles because they need to protect their investment.

Comprehensive car insurance premiums can be expensive, but if you accept a higher deductible, you can get a better deal. The drawback is if the damage to your car is lower than the deductible, then you would have to shell out your own cash to have it repaired.

There are a lot of insurance companies in Illinois, but if you want to get the best deal, go for a company that handles different carriers so you can mix and match. Remember that comprehensive car insurance will not cover accidents; liability insurance and underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage is mandatory, and collision insurance is always a good idea.