Protecting a Legal Claim

After filing your legal claim after a car accident, there are some things you can do to protect it. It is always better to not immediately accept any settlement amount that the opposing party or their insurance company may offer before getting help. These early settlement offers are usually meant to deter any claims or lawsuits that would require them to pay more than they are offering. Because insurance companies are still a business, they will do anything they can to lessen their losses, even though this means you will be getting a lower amount of compensation that you really are entitled to.

In order to protect your insurance or injury claim, one thing you can do is to involve the police with the matter. Even if the accident is a minor one, having a police report would help document the incident as well as the damages that occurred because of the car accident. Police reports documents and establishes the facts that occurred during and after the car accident and can be used as evidence when trail come. Likewise, other evidence such as witness information and photos of the scene can safeguard your claim and prove your innocence.

Consulting with a lawyer who knows and works with the state laws in your area would help ensure that the claim is protected. There are differences in state laws regarding car accident, and an Austin car accident lawyer would understand how these laws apply and affect your claim, alongside knowing the best defense for your legal rights. Aside from legal help, it is important to have medical help; make sure your injuries are properly documented and that your treatments are followed so that they will not be questioned in court.

Although it might seem helpful, another tip to protect your legal claim is to refrain from giving recorded statements, unless otherwise advised by your lawyer. These can be used against you in court and can damage your claim. Lastly, be realistic about how your case can be worth. Make sure that you are asking for a fair price for your compensation, otherwise you would only appear greedy. Courts sometimes fine plaintiffs for limited or no evidence or injury or damages following a car accident, therefore make sure your claims are backed up with evidence.

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Excessive Bleeding – the Common Severe Effect of Anticoagulant Drugs

Blood clots are necessary to prevent excessive blood loss whenever blood vessels get damaged or cut. Solidifying or coagulating the blood around the area of a damaged vessel is made possible by platelets, one of the major components of our blood. However, if a clot forms inside a blood vessel, this can either block the blood from flowing to the different parts of the body or get stuck in an artery and, there, directly stop the supply of blood to a vital organ, such as the brain or the lung, and cause severe organ damage, or a heart attack or stroke which can be fatal.

To prevent blood clots from forming doctors prescribe anticoagulant drugs, which will thin the blood. Anticoagulants or blood thinners are usually prescribed for those suffering from a condition called atrial fibrillation (or irregular heartbeat), deep vein thrombosis (DVT), pulmonary embolism, or those who have just had an artificial heart valve or orthopedic surgery.

For the past 60 years, since 1954, Warfarin had been the standard blood thinning drug recommended by doctors to patients. Warfarin, however, requires a strict diet, exercise and a regular blood test, called prothrombin time test (PT), which would measure its user’s international normalized ratio (INR) to see how fast the blood clots.

In July 2011 the US Food and Drug Administration or FDA approved the use of the anticoagulant drug Xarelto for the same purposes mentioned above as well as to minimize the formation (and the recurrence) of blood clots and the risk of stroke in patients after a knee or hip replacement surgery.

Bayer Health Care and Janssen Pharmaceuticals (a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson), the producers of Xarelto, actually intended the drug as an alternative to Warfarin and to compete against Pradaxa, which was approved by the FDA in 2010. Because Xarelto provided more benefits than Pradaxa and did not require any of the conditions of Warfarin, it immediately gained the approval of doctors (in the US and in many other countries).

Anticoagulant drugs, though, had one common severe side-effect – excessive bleeding, an on this, Xarelto was no exception. In fact, the bleeding that Xarelto caused was proven even more serious than Pradaxa and, worse, its manufacturers offered no antidote against it.

Despite the 2081 serious adverse events (151 of which were fatal) reported to the FDA in 2012 and the increasing number of lawsuits filed by victims, who have suffered uncontrolled bleeding, Xarelto remains to be the current number one anti-coagulant drug in the US. Many doctors still prescribe this blood thinner to unknowing patients, who suddenly get faced with a severe or fatal health condition.

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Some Statistics on Personal Injury

Tort law, that body of legislation that deals with situations where an individual is injured or harmed due to the wrongful or negligent act or failure to act by a third party, was until the 1970s simply part of common law the US adopted from English law. Today, however, tort law has become much more complex as legislation strives to keep up with the demand of circumstances. It is no secret that personal injury has become a major niche market for lawyers in the US. Here are some statistics to elucidate the current situation of personal injury litigation in the US.

According to the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, more than 500,000 personal injury cases come up before the federal courts. Keeping in mind that only about 10% of all personal injury cases ever make it to trial on the state level, let alone the federal court, this represents a huge number of cases that are filed but settled out of court. This also means a lot of consultations with personal injury lawyers, which is why there is considerable competition for custom and why personal injury lawyers typically work on a contingent fee basis. It makes good sense, though, to stick with lawyers with a proven track record in successfully pursuing a claim for compensation.

Statistically, about half the cases that get to federal court are won by the plaintiff, with slightly better chances for those who waive a jury and lets the judge make the decision, and more than 80% of those succeed get monetary compensation. On average, the successful plaintiff is awarded $60,000 for compensation, and for the 6% that win punitive damages as well, the award averages $50,000. While preparation for a personal injury case might take anywhere from 6 months to 2 years, the trial itself at the federal level takes about 4 days.

About 20% of all personal injury cases that get to trial involve a motor vehicle accident, while product liability and medical malpractice comprise 13% and 10% of all cases respectively. The remaining 57% or so cases are for other causes of personal injury.

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Criminal Conspiracy

The definition of conspiracy is negative no matter how it is used. Under common law, a conspiracy is an agreement between two or more people to engage in something illegal, with one or more participants taking action towards that goal. It is not necessary for any particular action to actually be illegal to be considered part of a criminal conspiracy as long as the involved parties intended to commit a crime. It is also not necessary for the criminal act to be completed for the involved parties to be charged with criminal conspiracy.

Some criminal conspiracies may ultimately lead to a legal end, but through illegal means, which still constitutes a crime. An example would be robbing the rich to feed the poor. While we may sympathize, the act of robbery is still a crime, so Robin Hood and his Merry Men would have been charged with criminal conspiracy as well as for robbery.

In the US, any illegal activity participated in by two or more people constitute a criminal conspiracy. If a group of doctors, for example, agree to refer patients to each other for unnecessary procedures or tests in order to increase their Medicare billing, this would be a conspiracy to commit fraud. The doctors may be charged with the crimes of criminal conspiracy and Medicare fraud and at the same time sued by the state government in civil court for fraud.

What is important to prove in a charge of criminal conspiracy is the general intent of the parties involved to violate the law; it is not necessary to prove intent to cause harm to others or for all parties to be cognizant of the identities of all other conspirators. All conspirators may receive the same punishment regardless of the roles of each and who was active i.e. actually committed the robbery. However, it is required that some overt step be taken towards committing a crime, except in certain cases such as the federal law on drug conspiracy.

The prosecutor can choose to charge all participants or specific individuals, depending on the focus of an investigation. The prosecutor may decide that concentrating on the “big fish” will most benefit a particular case.

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