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.


How Early Retirees Can Acquire Cheap Health Insurance by means of Obamacare

Open registration for the Affordable Care Act starts on November 15. If you’re an early retiree, particularly between the ages 55 and 64, then you have the chance to acquire big tax credits so as to meet the expense of your health insurance if you purchase it by means of health care exchange.

Moreover, if you do it right, then you can even acquire subsidies in order to help decrease your out-of-pocket expenses. To do this, it will take very careful planning.

There are 4 steps to this method:

Know how much cash you require for your expenses in 2015, and where your cash would come from.

medical malpractice

X-ray of head injury

Plan to acquire your salary on your income tax return (this includes tax-free income) to above a hundred percent poverty level within states that did not expand Medicaid as well as a hundred thirty-eight percent in states that expanded Medicaid but below four-hundred percent poverty level.

Once the income hits four hundred percent poverty level, you entirely lose tax credits.

If you can acquire adjusted taxable income less than 250% poverty level, then request a silver level plan. This will make you eligible for the cost-sharing tax credits so as to aid meet deductibles.

Monitor your deductions and income all through 2015 to ensure you don’t fall below the poverty level or wind up above the four-hundred percent poverty level threshold.

I will now explain these steps thoroughly.

Know your living expenses in 2015 as well as where that cash will be coming from:

Where you pull cash to eke out a living isn’t similar as how much money you request on your tax return. For instance, if you require $5,000 per month for expenditures, where will you get that cash from?

medical errors

The emergency room.

Here are a few cases:

If you have 60,000 in your savings account, then you can utilize that cash to eke out a living. You won’t have to pull anything out of your retirement accounts, and essentially keep cash on your tax return at extremely low levels.

What would appear on your tax return are interest and dividends. Be careful, interest and dividends should be higher than the poverty level.

If you have several cash in savings and tax-deferred retirement accounts, then you can pull 24,000 (plus cash to pay taxes) out of your retirement accounts, and get the rest from taxable investment accounts or savings accounts.

This will still make you eligible for an insurance tax credit if overall income is maintained below four-hundred percent poverty level.

If tax-deferred retirement accounts are all you have, you’ll be unfortunate. You will have to entirely take the $60,000 you require to survive out of those accounts. This would put you over four-hundred percent poverty level, and you won’t get tax credits.

Good news – Roth IRA account withdrawals don’t count in the calculation of income.


Combinations of factors The Determine a Personal Injury Accident

Accidents are not as direct as many people assert them to be. There are many contributing factors to accidents and these factors should be considered when assessing a personal injury accident. We have listed some of these factors in this post.

Numerous combined conditions can create a worse situation, such as:

  • Combining cannabis and alcohol has a more serious influence on a driver’s performance than either alcohol or cannabis separately, or
  • Taking doses of some drugs together, which, separately, don’t cause damage, could combine to cause lethargy or other damage. This may be more evident in an elderly individual whose kidney function is already less efficient.

Therefore there are circumstances when an individual could be impaired, yet still legally permitted to drive, and turns out to be a potential danger to themselves as well as other road users. Cyclists or pedestrians are affected likewise, and can also endanger themselves or other people when traveling.

Truck accidents.

Road design

A US study in 1985 revealed that about 34 percent of serious collisions had causative factors that relate to the roadway and/or its environment. The majority of these collisions also took in a human factor. The environmental or road factor was either observed as making an important contribution to the crash’s circumstances or didn’t permit room to recover.

In these conditions, it is typically the driver who’s liable instead of the road; those who report the accident are likely to disregard the human factors involved, like the design’s subtleties as well as maintenance and care that a driver may fail to notice or incompetently compensate for.

Studies have revealed that maintenance and careful design, with well-made road surfaces, intersections, visibility as well as traffic control strategies, can cause major improvements in accident frequencies. Moreover, individual roads have usually differing performance if an impact happens.

In Europe, there are now “EuroRAP” examinations that point out how forgiving and self-explaining a certain road, as well as its roadside, will be if a major incident occurs.

In the United Kingdom, research has revealed that investing in an infrastructure program concerning safe road may yield a one-third decrease in road causalities, saving £6 billion every year. A group of thirteen major road safety investors has created the Safe Road Design Campaign, which calls on the United Kingdom Government to make the safe road design a transport precedence.


All About Civil Law

As a preliminary to discussing the civil law, it is once more necessary, to begin with distinctions of terminology. The phrase “civil law” is used in English in two senses. In the first, it is contrasted with “criminal” or “penal” law to denote the law that governs all the relations of citizens to each other except those which involve punishment of offenders.

In order to avoid confusion, “civil law” in this sense will be written without capitals. In the other sense, civil law is a system derived from the law of Rome. In the technical sense of this system, the words will be capitalized.

This technical sense is derived from the phrase Corpus juris civilis (“The Body of the Civil Law”), which in the early seventeenth century was applied to the compilation of the Byzantine emperor Justinian, published in A.D. 528 – 534.

civil law

Law books – the symbols of law.

The modern Civil Law is founded on this compilation although it has been subjected to other influences as well and has been substantially modified by them.

The jurisdiction in which Civil Law is the foundation of the legal system are the following:

Europe: Scotland and all the countries of the Continent except Soviet Russia.

North America: Mexico and Central America; Quebec in Canada; and Louisiana in the United States.

South America: All Countries.

Africa: South Africa; Morocco; Tunisia; Algeria (where, however, many sections and groups live under native law), and Egypt, where family and land law is of local origin and has close contact with Islamic religious law.

Asia: Turkey, except for family law and inheritance; and China and Japan, where modern codes have been established in which Civil Law has been blended with ideas of native origin.

Further, in many islands colonized and ruled by Europeans. Civil Law codes have been set up. In Indonesia, the Dutch form of Civil Law exists side by side with the native legal customs, called Adat law.

The compilation of Justinian was the final attempt at codifying the Roman law, which had had a continuous history in Western Europe from the time when Rome was a small city-state on the Tiber to the last flare-up of imperial authority in the sixth century of the Christian Era.

It is necessary to deal with the Roman law separately from the Civil Law, although when the latter was established in the West it was declared to be a continuation of the former.

A Quick View on Elder Law

During the 1990s, a new term increasingly became fashionable within the ranks of legal practitioners. The term is elder law, and it refers to the legal representation of individuals who are older members of society.

Although there is no fixed date at which a person becomes “old” (retirement age in many companies is sixty-five or seventy; membership in the American Association of Retired Persons – AARP – is available to individuals at fifty-five), there is a rough sense that sometime during this period people cross the threshold from being middle-aged to elderly.

People reach a time in life where their children have grown up and moved away (the so-called “empty-nesters”) and they can think about more leisure time, retirement, and baby-sitting grandchildren. They are likely to contemplate the necessity of disposing of their worldly possessions after they die.

It should not be surprising, then, that the legal concerns of older citizens would be different from those of younger people.

elder law

Elderly lawyer entertaining a client.

Three specific factors contribute to the rise of elder law issues today. First, actuarially, people are living longer now than ever before. Advances in medical science, changes in eating habits and lifestyles, and economic prosperity have all combined to push life expectancies in the United States well into the seventies.

In fact, someone who has survived the mortality risks of childhood and youth can expect to live well beyond eighty. Second, the baby boomers are getting old.

The same post-World War II bulge in population that swelled the elementary schools in the 1950s, graduate schools in the 1970s, and the workforce through the 1950s will swell the ranks of older citizens for the first part of the twenty-first century.

Third, these relatively healthy aging baby boomers are predicted to lead lifestyles very different from those of their grandparents. They will have leisure time and money to spend. When they have problems, whether medical or political, they will be proactive in forging solutions.

They will, as they always have, turn to the law as a vehicle for establishing and protecting their rights.

Elder law is a field that is defined by the clientele rather than the substantive legal problems. In fact, the field is more of an umbrella for many types of substantive practice that are commonly provided for older clients.

It is a buzzword to describe the legal services that elder citizens are likely to require in the areas of estate planning, health law, real estate, Social Security, pensions and retirement, and others.

elderly law

Elderly people inside the hospital.

  • Estate Planning. Older individuals contemplating the end of life often seek legal assistance in developing a plan for disposing of their estates. This can be done through a will during the life of the individual.
  • Health Law. The fact that older people are statistically more likely to experience health problems means that more of them will have contact with the health care system. As that system changes, and to the extent that lawyers are involved in representing people with health care problems, health law issues will be a major component of elder law.
  • Real Estate. Many retired people at some point sell the homes they have lived in and move to retirement communities, small homes, condos, or health-care facilities. Thus, there is a high probability that older people will have one or more experiences with real estate law.
  • Social Security. At age sixty-five, most individuals become eligible for Social Security, Medicare, and other government benefits. As with any government system, many people encounter problems getting the right benefits in a timely fashion. Frequently, they require legal assistance.
  • Pensions and Retirement. A variety of legal problems are associated with the process of retirement itself. The terms of companies’ retirement policies are not always clear. The timing of retirement is not always agreed upon by employees and their employers. The value of a departing business owner’s equity in the business or succession to leadership is not always clear. The right to manage and control pension-plan assets and benefits may be ambiguous or confusing. These and other issues frequently end up in the hands of lawyers or the courts..
  • Other Issues. The elderly also face all of the other legal problems that can be found in society. Sometimes age is a factor in the way those problems are handled. Often the personality of the lawyer – being able to communicate with and relate to older people – is significant. The old as well as the young need to feel that they can trust their lawyers.

In one sense, the denomination elder law is shorthand for saying that a firm or individual lawyer concentrates in or is particularly sensitive to older people and their specific legal needs. Anyone practicing law over the next two decades is likely to encounter elderly clients.

Regardless of whether it is a minor or major aspect of a person’s practice, elder law issues will continue to be an important part of law practice in the United States.