Your Guide to Comparative Negligence

When somebody gets injured in a car accident, deciding who’s responsible is frequently a difficult task. Certainly, there are a few accidents where it is pretty clear who’s at fault, but mostly, it is not so obvious. And so, here comes comparative negligence.

Comparative Negligence and Personal Injury Lawsuits by Injury-Law discusses the various concept of the term. Below are a few examples the article provides:

  • “Imagine person A is speeding while driving. Driver B suddenly moves into A’s lane without signaling, and driver A collides with B. Driver A may be held responsible for harm to driver B or to his vehicle, but A’s liability may also be reduced because driver B negligently failed to use his blinker.
  • In a slip and fall accident, person A is walking through an icy parking lot owned by person B. Person A notices ice, thinks she can walk over it, but falls and injures herself.  Even if person B was aware of the ice and should have cleaned it up, person A’s failure to avoid the ice may impact her ability to recover for the injuries.
  • Person A is hit by a car driven by person B. Person A was in the road at night and not crossing at a light or a cross walk.  Person B may be responsible for the injuries, but person A could be negligent because his decisions while crossing created a dangerous situation.”
car accident

Car accident scene

As we’ve mentioned, when somebody gets injured in a traffic accident or car collision, deciding who’s legally responsible is often a very tough task. There are certainly some accidents wherein it’s rather clear where to put the liability, but often, it isn’t so apparent. So for instance, we have two drivers: Brian and Abby. Brian stops at a red light and prepares to make a left turn onto a much busier road without a stop sign. Brian looks both ways sometimes and chooses to turn left when the road looks clear.

So for instance, we have two drivers: Brian and Abby. Brian stops at a red light and prepares to make a left turn onto a much busier road without a stop sign. Brian looks both ways sometimes and chooses to turn left when the road looks clear.

In the meantime, Abby drives down the highway 20 mph over the mandated speed limit. Abby is unable to decelerate and crashed into Brian’s vehicle. In this example, both parties bear some of the legal responsibility or fault: Abby certainly shouldn’t have been speeding, yet Brian should’ve been a tad more cautious and attentive before turning. So who’s responsible?

Pure Contributory Negligence – there are states that recognize such rule, wherein plaintiffs may not get damages even if they’re as little as a percent to being responsible for the incident. Five states abide by this legal rule: Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland, the District of Columbia, and Alabama.

Now that you’ve grasped the term via the examples, let us now proceed to the details of the terms. Comparative Negligence by FindLaw features the various types of comparative negligence law.

“Pure Contributory Negligence – In states that recognize the pure contributory negligence rule, injured parties may not collect damages if they are as little as one percent to blame for the incident. Only five states follow this legal rule: Alabama, the District of Columbia, Maryland, North Carolina, and Virginia.”

“Pure Comparative Fault – States recognizing the pure comparative fault rule of accident liability allow parties to collect for damages even if they are 99 percent at fault. However, the amount of damages is limited by the party’s actual degree of fault. So if a drunk driver is predominately to blame for an accident, but makes an injury claim because the other driver had a burned out taillight, he or she may collect a minimal amount of damages. Nearly one-third of states follow this rule, including California, Florida, and New York.”

“Modified Comparative Fault – The majority of states follow the modified comparative fault model, which is split into two distinct categories: the 50 percent bar rule and the 51 percent bar rule. In states following the 50 percent rule (including Colorado and Utah), a party that is 50 percent or more responsible for an accident may not recover any damages. In states adhering to the 51 percent rule, a party may not recover if he or she is 51 percent at fault.”

truck accident law

Big truck on the road

Pure Comparative Fault – the states that recognize the accident liability’s pure comparative fault rule enable parties to get for damages even though they’re 99% responsible. On the other hand, the damages amount is only limited by the actual extent of the fault of the party. Therefore, if an intoxicated driver is predominately legally responsible for an accident, but files a personal injury claim as the other party had a burnt out taillight, then he or she could get a minimum damages amount. Nearly 33% of states abide by this rule, including New York, Florida, and California.

Modified Comparative Fault – most states abide by the modified comparative fault rule, which is divided into two separate categories: the 51% bar rule and the 50% bar rule. In states that follow the 50% rule (including Utah and Colorado), a party that’s 50% or more at-fault for the accident may not get any damages. And in states following the 51% rule, a party may not get if that party is 51% responsible.

Confused? Get an Evaluation Completely Free

It is normal to feel quite overwhelmed by the negligence law’s complexities, especially when you could be partly at fault for the injuries you sustained. If you’re filing a case, just talk with an experienced personal injury attorney. You actually have nothing to lose by having a lawyer assess your claim at completely no cost.

You may check out the entire article by clicking o the link provide above.


Personal Injury – Sexual Harassment at Work

Victims of sexual abuse or sexual assault can file a lawsuit in civil court against the guilty party, and in a few instances, additional parties. If you’ve been a sexual harassment victim in the workplace, then you may be eligible for compensation.

But before proceeding to any other topic, let us discuss first what Sexual Harassment is. Personal Injury: Sexual Harassment at Work by has this information.

Sexual harassment is defined as any form of unwelcome sexual acts or comments. Not only can it cause victims emotional stress, but it is also against the law. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, it is unlawful to harass an employee or employer regarding their sex. It is also illegal to request sexual favors or make comments of a sexual nature.

The victim could be a man or a woman as can be the harasser. What makes harassment different from light hearted teasing is that is occurs consistently and is offensive to the victim. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 classifies sexual harassment as a type of employee discrimination. Any company or government agency with fifteen or more employees is responsible for enforcing this law as well as preventing discrimination from happening in the workplace.

How Much Can You Get for A Sexual Harassment Lawsuit?

If you’ve been a sexual harassment victim in the workplace, then you may be permitted to receive compensation. You can have a sexual harassment claim if you have been exposed to unwanted sexual advances, actions or comments of sexual nature, as well as offensive comments regarding your gender or sex at work.

If you’re successful in the sexual harassment lawsuit, the amount you can receive in monetary compensation (known as damages) varies according to what sort of injury you have sustained as a result of the sexual harassment. A few types of damages, such as front pay and back pay, are intended to repay you for income you lost due to being sexually harassed.

The halls of the court.

And other types of damages are meant to repay you for the mental or emotional upset owing to the harassment (known as pain and suffering) or to penalize your employer for being unable to prevent the harassment (known as punitive damages).

If you are a victim of such terrible deed, there are actions (formal and informal) you can do assuage the problem. Sexual Harassment: Actions You Can Take by FindLaw has the details. Here are a few thing you can do:

Follow Your Employer’s Procedure

What if the offensive conduct doesn’t stop, or the harasser tells you he or she doesn’t care what you say? Some companies have a detailed procedure for handling sexual harassment claims. If your company has such a procedure, you should follow it to the letter, taking note of any time limits set out in that policy. For example, many employer policies will designate someone to whom harassment must be reported, so if your company has designated certain staff as being responsible for receiving sexual harassment complaints, that is where you should start.


If the appropriate governmental agency issues a “right to sue” letter, you may bring a civil lawsuit for any injuries you suffered due to the sexual harassment. You do not need to show physical injuries. The most common injuries in a sexual harassment case are the emotional injuries suffered by the victim.

If you’re successful in the sexual harassment claim you filed, the amount of money you can receive in monetary compensation varies according to what sort of injury you have suffered due to the sexual harassment. How Much Can I Get for My Sexual Harassment Lawsuit? By Nolo has the info.

Back Pay

If you were denied a raise, refused a promotion, or fired as a result of sexual harassment, you may be entitled to back pay. Back pay is the wages, benefits, and other compensation you would have earned from the time of the negative employment decision up to the date of a jury award (called a “judgment”).

Front Pay

Under federal law, if you lost your job or had to quit because of sexual harassment, you may have the right to return you to your former position (this is called “reinstatement”). However, often times reinstatement is impossible or impractical. For example, the position may not be available anymore, or your working relationship with your former employer may have become too hostile for you to return. If this is the case, you may be eligible for an award of front pay instead of reinstatement.

Gavel and American flag, symbol for jurisdiction

Back Pay

If you were refused a promotion, denied an income raise, or fired due to sexual harassment, then you may be eligible for a back pay. By definition, back pay is the income, benefits, as well as other compensation you would’ve received from the time of the decision of the negative employment up to the judgment. Back pay takes in:

  • salary, including any income raises you should’ve received
  • tips, commissions, or bonuses
  • the value of benefits, like life insurance or health insurance
  • sick or vacation pay
  • pension or retirement benefits, and
  • profit sharing or stock options.

Front Pay

Under the federal law, if you needed to quit or lost your job due to sexual harassment, then you may be entitled to return to your previous position (reinstatement). On the other hand, frequently reinstatement is impractical or impossible.

For instance, the position isn’t available any longer, or your work relationship with your previous employer can become too unfriendly for you to come back. If this is the situation, then you may be qualified for a front pay award rather than reinstatement. Front pay is meant to repay you for any lost wages you’re likely to sustain from the judgment date to the future.

To decide how far into your future you will get front pay, the court will consider the following:

  • your age
  • the period it may take you to locate the same job with another employer
  • the period you were at your former job, and
  • the period in which other employees in the same positions work.

Punitive and Compensatory Damages

Regardless of whether or not you have lost wages, you could be entitled to receive punitive damages or compensatory damages. Compensatory damages take in payment for your emotional pain, any damage to your repute, as well as any out-of-pocket expenses caused by the sexual harassment, like medical charges and costs for job search.

Also, the court may award punitive damages to penalize the employer for bad behaviour. Such damages are offered if your employer knew of the harassment but did not take steps to fix the situation. In general, this indicates that human resources or somebody in the upper administration knew of the event yet failed to take measures about it, even with knowing that sexual harassment is illegal under the law.




















The Cost of Taking A Personal Injury Case to Court

When settlement negotiations do not agree and a personal injury case is brought to court, both parties will spend loads of more cash.

“Litigation” is a word for the method of taking a claim to the civil court system. Litigation can be costly – very costly. We usually think about what litigation will charge us and put that into our plan about deciding whether or not to settle a case.

It is a terrific idea to consider the other side’s costs as well, the insurer representing the accused or defendant. The litigation’s cost is the major reason insurers typically settle reliable injury claims, instead of representing them out in court. Let us take a look.

Lawyers’ Fees

Primarily, legal payment is included when bringing a case to the court system: the cost of lawyers, essentially.

injury lawyer

Lawyer preparing for the courtroom.

The Plaintiff’s Lawyer Fees

In personal injury claims, the plaintiff’s lawyer (that is, the attorney for the plaintiff) frequently works on contingency. Meaning, the attorney gets a portion or percentage of whatever the injured party recovers or wins – and gets zero if their client does not win.

In turn, this means that the plaintiff isn’t usually accountable for a huge cost of going to the court unless they win – in which case, money will be involved.

Remember that most personal injury attorneys will stipulate a greater contingency payment if a case should be litigated. A fee agreement between the lawyer and the plaintiff would typically include a contingency percentage (frequently around 30%) if the case is already settled before going trial and a much higher percentage (over forty percent) if it undergoes litigation.

Even if a personal injury lawyer’s cost for the injured party is contingent on being successful, it’s still “expensive” for a plaintiff to fight a claim out in court – in fact, more of the recovery award is paid out to their attorney.

Expert Witness Payments

A second main expenditure is fees for an expert witness. Experts do not come cheap; a few injury cases can take in numerous professionals: engineers to attest cars or products, accident reconstructionist to attest how an accident took place, medical experts to affirm medical treatment and injuries, even actuaries and accountants to testify lost wages or income.

Many professionals can get a couple of thousand dollars for studying one injury case.

injury attorney

Lawyer consulting the jury.

“Administrative” Payments

Third, there are delivery, copying, messenger, and transcription expenses. Cases are document-intensive, and taking the services of a court correspondent to take statements, making duplicates of huge medical reports or transcripts, and delivering documents around in different high-priority, fail-safe-delivery ways add up to an injury case’s course.

Court Filing Payments

Fourth, there are filing and court fees, such as the service process’ expenses. These costs could each only be tens of dollars, however, over a trial’s course, the total expenses in this area can add up to several hundred or thousands of dollars.

Miscellaneous Cost

There are other expenses, like travel costs for witnesses and lawyers. If anybody has to stay overnight, rent cars, fly, etc., this cost can mount up quickly.

Personal Injury Claims After an Accident

If you’ve been involved in an auto accident, then you may be thinking about how to proceed with settling an injury claim against the responsible driver or vehicle damage. This article offers some tips on the best ways for setting an auto accident claim.

Let us check out Personal Injury Insurance Claims After a Car Accident by All Law. Here’s an excerpt from the article:

“At the Scene

First and foremost, check on the safety and well-being of your passengers and the other individuals involved. Call the paramedics if anyone appears to be injured. Many times injuries can occur even from seemingly minor accidents. It is obviously important for health reasons, but also for the ultimate success of any claim for damages, that accident victims seek prompt medical attention

Seeking Medical Care

Obtaining timely medical treatment for any injuries is important. Inform the treating physician that you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident. Follow through on all prescribed treatment.

Dealing with Insurers

As soon as possible, contact your automobile insurance company to report that an accident has occurred. Your insurance company will assign a claim number and a claims adjuster to handle all aspects of your claim.”

personal injury lawyer

Personal injury lawyer in the court room

Tips for Settling a Car Accident Claim by Nolo has further information about an auto accident claim including the various damages you  can get.

“What Types of Damages Can I Collect?

If you are making a claim for property damage only, some of the different types of damages you may be entitled to collect are:

  • vehicle damage
  • personal property damage — compensation for items such as a computer that may have been in the car, or a bike on a carrier, if those were damaged in the accident
  • car rental — most insurance companies will reimburse you for a rental car that you needed while your vehicle was being repaired, and
  • out-of-pocket expenses — for example, if you had to hire a taxi to get home from the accident scene or police station.”

Find Law’s Insurance Claims After an Accident: The Basics has more information when it comes to the claims process itself. Here’s an excerpt:

“The Insurance Claims Process

Whether you were injured in an automobile accident, at a home or building, or while visiting a business, you typically must report the incident to the insurance company within 24 hours of the incident. If you weren’t at fault for the accident, you should contact the insurance provider of the business, building owner, or at-fault driver. You’ll probably be required to provide information about the cause of the accident and the extent of your injuries.

The insurance company will then open an investigation of your claim. You may be asked to provide photos of the accident scene, the names of any witnesses, or a more detailed account of the incident. In addition, you will probably have to submit to an independent medical examination by a doctor of the insurer’s choice. If the injury was caused by a building condition, the claims adjuster may make an inspection of the property.

After calculating the value of your claim, the insurance company will then issue a settlement check. If your claim is denied or if you believe the amount of the settlement is inadequate, you can appeal to the insurance company. An appeal may require you to submit to additional examinations or provide further information and evidence about the accident.”

For more information about personal injury law, go to


An Overview on Assault and Battery Cases

What are assault and battery? These are words that are commonly used together and often misunderstood. In this post, we will discuss the subject thoroughly so you will get a good understanding of assault and battery.

So keep reading…

Definition of Assault

The term “assault” differs in definition from state-to-state, but it is frequently defined as an attempt to harm somebody else and can take the form of threats or threatening actions against others.

A common definition is a deliberate attempt, using force or violence, to harm or injure another person. Occasionally another direct way that assault is termed is “attempted battery.” Certainly, in general, the main difference between assault and battery is that contact is not necessary for assault to occur, whereas an illegal or offensive contact must take place for the battery.

Act Requirement

Even if contact is not necessary for assault to happen, an assault conviction still involves a criminal “act.” The forms of acts that belong to the assault category can vary widely, but normally an assault entails a direct or overt act that would place the reasonable individual in fear for his or her safety.

And spoken words alone won’t be sufficient of an act to make up an assault unless the defendant furthers them with actions that place the plaintiff in reasonable fear of future harm.

assault and battery

medical practitioner assaulting a senior citizen

Intent Requirement

To commit an assault, a person only needs “general intent.” Meaning, although somebody cannot unintentionally assault another individual, it is sufficient to demonstrate that a defendant intended the actions which constitute an assault.

Thus, if a person acts in a manner that’s deemed as dangerous to other individuals that can be sufficient to support the assault charges, even though they did not intend a specific harm to a specific person. Additionally, intent to frighten or scare another individual can be sufficient to establish the assault charges too.

Assault and battery are closely related legal terms but have different kinds of claims in civil cases. Let us take a look at Assault and Battery Overview by Find Law. The article provides a more comprehensive look at both offenses as well as their elements, which aids to explain how both offenses are closely tied together. Here it is:

“Assault: Definition

“The definitions for assault vary from state-to-state, but assault is often defined as an attempt to injure to someone else, and in some circumstances can include threats or threatening behavior against others. One common definition would be an intentional attempt, using violence or force, to injure or harm another person. Another straightforward way that assault is sometimes defined is as an attempted battery. Indeed, generally the main distinction between an assault and a battery is that no contact is necessary for an assault, whereas an offensive or illegal contact must occur for a battery.

“Battery: Definition

“Although the statutes defining battery will vary by jurisdiction, a typical definition for battery is the intentional offensive or harmful touching of another person without their consent. Under this general definition, a battery offense requires all of the following:

  • intentional touching;
  • the touching must be harmful or offensive;
  • no consent from the victim.”

Definition of Battery

Though the statutes that define battery will differ by jurisdiction, a classic battery definition is the intentional harmful or offensive touching of another individual without their consent. And under this definition, a battery offense involves the following:

  • deliberate touching;
  • the touching should be offensive or harmful;
  • nonconsensual from the victim.

Intent Requirement

It may be surprising that a battery usually doesn’t involve any intent to injure the victim (though such intent frequently exists in battery lawsuits). Instead, an individual only needs intent to cause contact or contact with a person.

In addition to that, if somebody acts in a negligent or criminally reckless manner that causes such contact, it could make up an assault. Therefore, accidentally bumping into somebody, offensive as the injured party might think it to be, wouldn’t make up a battery.

assault victim

Act Requirement

The criminal act necessary for battery comes down to a harmful or offensive contact. This act can range from the apparent battery where a bodily attack (kick or punch) is involved, to even slight contact in a few cases. In general, a victim doesn’t have to be harmed or injured for a battery to have taken place, providing an offensive contact took place.

In a common case, spitting on a person does not physically harm them, but it, however, can make up offensive contact enough for a battery. Whether a specific contact is deemed as offensive is typically assessed from the viewpoint of the “ordinary individual.”

Personal Injury Claims for Assault and Battery by All Law offers us more information regarding the difference between Offensive and Harmful Contact, which is key consideration in a claim. Here’s an excerpt:

“The contact is “harmful” if it in any way alters the physical condition or structure of the plaintiff’s body, even if it does not cause pain. For example, if the defendant grabs the plaintiff’s arm or shoves him, but does not actually cause the plaintiff any pain, the plaintiff may still sue for battery. However, a “harmful” contact could also be something more serious, for example putting a dangerous substance in food that the plaintiff subsequently eats.

“An “offensive” contact is one that is offensive to a reasonable sense of personal dignity. “Dignity” in this legal sense is a broad phrase encompassing other emotions such as insult, fright, disgust, embarrassment or humiliation. Whether a plaintiff was reacting reasonably when he or she experienced any of these emotions as a result of the defendant’s contact is typically a question for the judge or jury.”

Assault and Battery as Personal Injury Claims by Nolo even further offers us more info about defenses in assault and battery cases. Here are examples from the article:

“Consent. A defendant might say that the victim agreed to the possibility of being hurt. This defense arises most often in intentional tort lawsuits in cases involving contact sports, paintball-style games, and similar activities. A plaintiff who files a lawsuit in these cases may have a hard time winning if he or she consented to certain physical contact — getting hit in a game of football, for example — even if the contact ended up causing harm.

“Privilege. A police officer who used force while arresting someone might try to assert the defense of privilege. For example, if a police officer injured someone while making an arrest, a lawsuit for assault and battery probably won’t be successful as long as the officer used a reasonable and appropriate amount of physical force while making the arrest.”

Learn more about assault and battery as well as their elements in


All About Premises Liability Law

There are a lot of people who have been asking whether they will liable if ever a trespasser becomes injured. And because this subject requires a clear definition of terms, this post will answer the question for your by defining essential terms and taking about premises liability in general.

So read on…

Premises Liability – Injury Law Overview

“Premises liability” is the general term for the established set of laws applied to determine who (if anybody) is legally responsible when a certain condition or use of a land, building or other premises results in an injury. The three major categories of entrant (person injured) are the following– invitee, licensee, and trespasser.


An occupier or premises owner has the maximum level of legal responsibility to entrants that belong in the category of the invitee. An invitee is somebody the occupier or premises owner has invited into the area for the occupier or owner’s benefit.

The most popular invitee example is a shop patron: the premises owner has invited the entrant into the shop so that the premises owner can gain from the business of the patron.

Premises liability

A dark corridor is someone else’s property.

An occupier or premises owner is under an obligation to carry out a reasonable job repairing and maintaining a property so that people aren’t injured. In legal terms, this is known as “duty of reasonable care.” And if the occupier or owner has fulfilled his or her duty, but an invitee has been harmed anyway, the occupier or owner won’t be legally responsible to the invitee.

But if the jury or judge determines that the occupier or owner didn’t fulfill his or her duty in maintaining the property, then he or she is legally responsible for an invitee’s injuries due to the lack of repair or maintenance.

Premises liability is the body of law that includes a property owner’s liability for injuries that happen to the individual on their premises. This includes slip and fall injuries and accidents that occur as a guest in somebody’s home.

Before talking about anything else, let us talk about the definition of Premises Liability. What is Premises Liability Law? by provides this information to us below:

“Premises liability law refers to the legal principles that hold landowners and tenants responsible when someone enters onto their property and gets hurt due to a dangerous condition. With few exceptions, premises liability claims are based on negligence, although the doctrine may be applied differently than it is in other personal injury situations. The primary source of premises liability law is state case precedents (known as “common law”). State statutes, municipal ordinances, and local building codes may also be relevant.

“Slip and falls are the most common type of accident resulting in premises liability. Causes include wet floors, snow and ice, unmarked obstacles, faulty stairs, and other such dangers. Lawsuits can also result from injuries caused by vicious animals, open swimming pools, broken elevators, or violent customers or guests. To obtain compensation, plaintiffs may be able to file suit against owners, landlords, business owners, easement holders, residential tenants, maintenance companies, and other entities that control or possess the property where the accident happened.”

Since Premises Liability has defined, let us now proceed to discuss the three main categories of the person injured. All Law’s Premises Liability – Injury Law Overview has this in detail below:


“A premises owner or occupier has the highest level of responsibility to entrants that fall into the “invitee” category. An invitee is someone the premises owner or occupier has invited onto the premises for the owner or occupier’s benefit. The most common example of an invitee is a store patron: the business owner has invited the patron into the store so that the owner can benefit from the patron’s business.


“A licensee is someone who is permitted to be on the premises, as opposed to someone who is invited. The distinction between invitees and licensees is often difficult and is determined by either the judge or the jury, depending on the circumstances of the case and the law of the state.


“The lowest level of responsibility is owed to trespassers. Essentially, no duty is owed, other than to avoid intentionally injuring a trespasser for reasons other than self-defense.

“One complicated exception is the child trespasser. If an owner or occupier creates or maintains an object or other dangerous condition that would entice children to play with it, he or she may be liable for a child’s injuries even if the child was a trespasser. How a judge and/or jury will apply this law (typically called the “attractive nuisance doctrine”) can be a little unpredictable.”


A licensee is somebody who’s allowed to be on the premises. The difference between licensees and invitees is frequently difficult and is decided by either a jury or a judge, depending on the case’s circumstances and the state law.

But in general, an occupier or owner wants an invite to enter the premises, whereas a licensee is permitted on the premises only if the licensee so wants. But there’s an exception to this– social guests, for instance, individuals attending a social event, are usually deemed as licensees, not invitees.

premises liability law

Premises of someone’s property

Another exemption is that family members or relatives are considered licensees as well.

An occupier or owner has a lower level of duty to licensees than invitees. The occupier or owner should warn a licensee of whatever dangers or hazards that the licensee cannot easily see for themselves. Aside from that, an occupier or owner isn’t under any responsibility to repair or maintain conditions on the premises.

But he or she can be accountable for hazardous activities that harm a licensee, but depending on the state law.


The trespassers are owed the lowest degree of responsibility. Basically, duty is not owed, other than to avoid deliberately harming a trespasser for reasons but self-defense.

A complicated exemption is a child trespassing. If an occupier or owner creates or maintains the dangerous condition that would lure kids to play with it, then he or she could be accountable for the injuries of a child even though the child was trespassing. How a jury and judge will use this law can be a bit unpredictable.

You may check out more about premises liability and the three categories by clicking on the article above.


Your Family and the Law – Marriage

Marriage is a contract, but not an ordinary one. Because of the importance of the family, society sets rules and imposes duties and obligations that usually do not apply to purely private agreements.

A marriage is valid everywhere if valid in the state where it takes place. Each state sets its own rules, which usually include a license, a blood test, a waiting period, and a ceremony performed by a clergyman or judge.

Some marriages are prohibited because of blood relationship, age, prior marriage, or physical or mental incapacity.


Marriages that do not conform to the rules are not automatically void. Unless incestuous or bigamous, a marriage will be valid unless one or both parties takes legal action and has it annulled within a reasonable time.

If an underage person marries, the child’s parents can have the marriage annulled. Annulments may also be obtained on grounds of fraud if, for example, one party expressed a desire for children knowing that he or she could not or would not have any.

No title

Common Law Marriage

Newspapers often use the term “common-law marriage” to refer to the state of any couple living together; such use of the phrase is not accurate. A common law marriage is an agreement to marry and live together as man and wife without going through a ceremony.

In states where they are permitted, common law marriages are exactly the same, legally, as any other marriage. The difficulty lies in proving the agreement and the intention of the parties, especially if one or both is dead and there is a dispute over inheritance.

Most states no longer recognize common law marriages. However, they will recognize a common law marriage that was valid at the time it was entered into, or one made in a state that does recognize them.

The legal court

Gavel and american flag, symbol for jurisdiction

Changing a Name

A married woman often wants to continue using her maiden name; she may, for example, have established a useful professional reputation under that name. Using a maiden name is perfectly legal. In fact, anyone can use any name he or she wants, so long as there is no intent to defraud.

You could not, for example, use the name of a well-known person in order to borrow money. Getting a court order to change your name makes it official, but it is not necessary.

State laws. Some states do require women to use their married names or driver’s licenses or other documents. The state can do this, as it is responsible for public records. In these states, a woman must either comply or go to court and have her name officially changed.

Updating Records

Most women do take their husband’s names. Those women should immediately notify the Social Security Administration to avoid any possible confusion in the records, as well as employers, insurance companies, department stores where they have charge accounts, and anyone else whose records should be changed.

An Overview on Hit and Run Bicycle Crashes

Bicycle accident such as “hit and run” is one the most widespread bicycle crashes that can happen to cyclists. The highway can be filled with careless drivers on their phones chatting or texting away. A negligent driver may not be paying careful attention to their surroundings.

These cases aren’t a lost cause, and mostly, the cyclist can recover from the automobile insurance of driver or the cyclist himself or herself. As is common the case, the insurer isn’t too content to disburse on these claims. The bias that bicycle riders face against car drivers, insurer, and even cops can make these claims hard.

Bicycle accidents

Guy met with a bicycle accident.

Things you must do if you got involved a hit and run crash in preserving your case and protect your rights:

  • Firstly, you should instantly file a police report. Cyclists frequently feel that contacting the police is nonsense since the liable driver already fled the accident scene. This could not be far from the truth. Police have substantial resources, can track down the responsible party, and can do so if called or contacted immediately. But even though the vehicle driver can’t be found at all, your insurance will almost constantly call for an investigation be commence and recorded in a police report. The majority of cyclists do not know that there’s still a chance for recovery from such accident and frequently fail to go to the police. It is a vital thing you can do when a hit and run occurs.
  • You should instantly notify your health and car insurance companies. In most states, the law typically calls for you tp report the accident right away and a few states even entail you to do so in 24 hours. Submitting this claim against the car insurance policy could be the mere recovery source for your damages such as lost wages, bicycle replacement cost, medical bills, suffering and pain, and all that.
  • Seek medical attention immediately. Most people harmed in a bicycle crash are likely to be more concerned about the bikes or training event instead of the actual physical damage that has happened. Frequently, bicycle accident cases involve significant injuries and painful recoveries. It’s very vital that you take the time to heal and seek prompt and adequate medical help. Once you get medical attention, you should comply with your doctor’s orders.
  • Identify witnesses. Even when the driver has fled the accident scene, witnesses could still be pulled over in order to help out. Ensure that you get their contact details and declarations of what they saw. The investigation of the police will go much more for you if you can present witnesses that they can ask.

Bicycle and helmet.

Bicycle crashes are not rare and they can be just as damaging as an ordinary automobile accident (even more fatal). If you even get involved into one, know that you can always depend on the services of a personal injury lawyer. You deserve just compensation after what you’ve been through.

Things You Want To Know About Medical Malpractice

Fact: In line with the JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), medical neglect is the third principal cause of fatality in the United States—right behind cancer and heart disease.

In 2012, more than $3 billion was expended in malpractice payouts, with an average one payout in every forty-three minutes.

Shocking, Isn’t It?

Yet there is stuff that you could do to prevent becoming an inopportune part of these figures—to be your finest healthcare advocate. Jason Konvicka should know.

He was proclaimed as one of the state’s Super Lawyers, the experienced trial lawyer has won a few of the biggest personal injury rewards in the state, also freshly secured the hugest malpractice award in court history of Virginia state.

LearnVest talked to Konvicka to converse about upsetting trends in medication and listened to his recommendation on how folks can reduce their risk of facing medical malpractice.

The emergency room.

For starters, what is the legal description of medical malpractice?

Jason Konvicka stated that medical malpractice happens when a healthcare provider swerves from the “standard of care” in treating a patient. The standard of care is described as what a rationally cautious healthcare provider would or wouldn’t have carried out under similar circumstances.

Essentially, it talks about whether the healthcare provider was careless.

How do you find out if someone was the medical negligence victim?

A malpractice claim would exist if the negligence of a provider results in damages or injury to a patient. On the other hand, experiencing a terrible outcome is not constantly proof of negligence.

Moreover, healthcare providers will occasionally notify a patient that they have received careless medical care from their previous healthcare provider, and most probably will occasionally inform a patient that the providers, themselves, have erred.

Another motivating thing: A quick, truthful “confession” might avoid a claim in the future, or give a chance for a resolution without the required litigation.

If they can, insurance agencies typically desire to resolve with an injured individual directly, and this lets them do so prior to the full amount of injuries are identified, and avoiding the injured individual from hiring a lawyer who could boost the claim’s settlement value by means of their representation.

It is imperative to note, on the other hand, that the trial of medical malpractice claims—as well as having a high possibility of failure—could be very expensive, time-consuming and stressful. It is expected that medical mistakes kill approximately 200,000 individuals in the United States annually.

But the only 15percent of the personal injury cases filed per year entail medical malpractice cases, and over 80 percent of those cases end without payment at all to the injured party.

As a result, most skilled medical malpractice lawyers won’t pursue a lawsuit unless the damages and injuries put in the records—following review by a professional in the specialty—are considerable and validate it.

What to do if you think that you have been put through negligent care? Is there a statute of limitations?

Contacting an experienced malpractice lawyer must be the initial step. A methodical assessment of the details of the case—this entails everything from getting important medical records to meetings with the family members, patient, and friends—must be carried out by the lawyer to find out whether the case has enough reason to take action.

Statutes of limitation—deadlines by which a case should be filed or barred permanently —vary from one state to another, as do the routine requirements that should be met prior to a medical malpractice case is filed.

It is always good to seek help from a lawyer qualified in the area where the suspected malpractice took place.

What can patients do so as to reduce the possibility of experiencing medical malpractice?

Being proactive regarding medical care is certainly the most excellent step. Patients must do research so as to be aware of their well-being, and record their symptoms. They must ask healthcare providers about stuff that they think are imperative, and expect full and absolute answers.

It is also vital not to let yourself be frightened by the system. Speak out and support your own well-being. If patients think that something might be wrong, they must talk to their healthcare providers. Though it is important to have faith in your nurse or doctor, it is also vital to observe your body… and make use of common sense.

Also wise: Have a friend or family member escort you on vital visits to your healthcare providers.


Things You Want To Know About Medical Malpractice

Fact: As stated by the JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), medical neglect is the third top cause of fatality in the United States—right behind cancer and heart disease.

In 2012, more than $3 billion was expended in medical malpractice costs, with an average of 1 payout every forty-three minutes.

Alarming, isn’t it?

However, there is stuff that you could do to prevent becoming a sad part of these data… to be your finest healthcare advocate. Jason Konvicka, an associate in a law firm based in Virginia called Allen, Allen, Allen & Allen should know.

He was proclaimed as one of the state’s Super Lawyers, the experienced trial lawyer has won several of the biggest personal injury grants in the state, also freshly secured the hugest malpractice award in court history of the state of Virginia.

LearnVest interviewed Konvicka so as to talk about disturbing trends in medicine, and heed his advice with regards to how folks can reduce their risk of facing a medical malpractice.

medical malpractice

For starters, what is the legal description of medical malpractice?

Jason Konvicka stated that medical malpractice takes place when a healthcare provider swerves from the “standard of care” in treating a patient. The standard of care is described as what a rationally careful healthcare provider would or wouldn’t have executed under a similar situation.

It basically talks about whether the healthcare provider was careless.

How do you find out if a person was a medical negligence victim?

A malpractice claim would manage to exist if the neglect of a provider results in a patient’s damages or injury. But, having to experience a terrible outcome is not frequently a proof of negligence.

Furthermore, healthcare providers will let a patient know that the individual has obtained careless medical care from their preceding healthcare provider, and seemingly will seldom notify a patient that the healthcare providers, themselves, have erred.

Another stirring factor: A quick, truthful apology might bring to a halt to a future claim, or it might provide a chance for a resolution without litigation.

Insurance companies normally want to resolve with the injured party instantly if they can, and this lets them do so prior to knowing the full extent of the injuries, and preventing the harmed individual from employing a lawyer who could raise the claim’s settlement value by means of their representation.

It is vital to remember, though, that the trial of medical malpractice claims—besides having a high possibility of failure—could be very long, stressful and expensive. It is projected that medical mistakes kill just about 200,000 individuals in the U.S. annually.

But only 15 percent of the personal injury claims filed yearly entail medical malpractice cases, and over 80 percent of those claims end without payment at all to the injured party.

Therefore, most skilled medical malpractice lawyers won’t pursue a claim unless the damages and injuries written in the records—subsequent to them being checked by a specialist—are important and validated.

medical malpractice

X-ray of head injury

What to do if you suppose that you’ve been caused to undergo negligent care? Is there a statute of limitations?

The initial step should be contacting an experienced malpractice lawyer. A methodical assessment of the case facts—this entails everything from acquiring relevant medical records to interviews/meetings with the patient, friends and family members—must be done by the lawyer to establish whether the claim is actionable.

Statutes of limitation—these are deadlines by which a claim should be filed or permanently barred—vary from one state to another, as do the routine requirements that should be met prior to a medical malpractice claim is filed. It is always ideal to seek help from a licensed attorney near you.

What can patients do to reduce the chance of having to experience medical malpractice?

Being practical regarding medical care is definitely the most admirable step. Patients must explore so as to know about their wellbeing and record their symptoms. They must inquire healthcare providers regarding stuff that they believe are imperative and anticipate complete and absolute answers.

It is also very important not to permit yourself to be terrified by the system. Speak out and watch out for your own health. If patients believe that something might be wrong, then they must converse with their healthcare providers.

However it is imperative to have faith in them, it is vital as well to monitor your body and make use of common sense.

It is also wise to have a friend or family member to guide you on very important visits to your healthcare providers.