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Norfolk Personal Injury Law Blog

Virginia family sues hospital due to medical malpractice

Medical malpractice is an area that most people don't talk about. It doesn't come up in every day conversation. Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor, hospital, nurse or medical professional does something wrong or fails to administer something that is vital to your health.

A Virginia family has entered into a lawsuit against a Hawaiian military hospital after the child they had delivered there suffered damage during the birthing process and now has cerebral palsy. They haven't brought the suit officially before the court, however a judge has approved a settlement of $9 million.

Woman's DUI charge dropped as medical emergency discovered

As a commercial driver or a person who often transports people to and from locations via taxi or other types of vehicles, you know that safety is important. When you're accused of being drunk behind the wheel or being unsafe, those allegations are very serious. You could lose your job or have your security threatened, and that is something you can't take lightly. You should fight back, because there are many reasons you could have been acting strangely and some are out of your control.

In Virginia, a woman driving a school bus was accused of driving under the influence, but those charges have now been dropped. According to the news, the woman had been driving a bus on Shore Drive at around 3:25 p.m. when she was reported for being reckless or intoxicated. She was driving children between the ages of 5 and 12 at the time. Now, the news has shown that there was no evidence that the woman was under the influence at the time when she was stopped.

What should I know about search and seizure?

In some criminal cases, evidence gathered during searches plays a big part. Even when the evidence is stacked against a defendant, it might still be possible to get some of the evidence thrown out if the search wasn't properly executed. That isn't always possible, but it is a defense strategy option that defense attorneys sometimes look into.

When are searches legal?

Older drivers may be liable in some car accidents

By now, nearly every Virginia motorist is aware of the dangers of impaired driving. Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is an irresponsible and unlawful activity that could potentially harm others. The same is true of motorists who use electronic devices like cellphones, tablets and GPS navigation units. Even reaching for something in the back seat or engaging in conversation with another occupant can divert a motorist's attention from the road and impair his or her overall ability to drive.

While all of those examples involve some form of operational impairment, few people consider how advanced age effects older people's ability to drive. As we grow older, our motor skills diminish with time. Our ability to quickly react to changing traffic situations can be substantially reduced with age. Older drivers who are aware of their physical impairments may be liable if they do not take reasonable steps to prevent harm to others. The following are some classic signs that some older drivers may no longer be safe to drive:

The main kinds of elder abuse: physical, sexual, and neglectful

Elder abuse isn't acceptable, and it usually isn't accidental. There are some warning signs you may be interested in knowing about, so you can protect the family members you care about from harm. There are a few kinds of elder abuse you should be on the lookout for. Sexual abuse, emotional abuse, physical abuse, health care fraud, financial exploitation, and neglect are just a few kinds of abuse your loved one could be put through.

Probably most concerning for physical injury is sexual abuse or physical abuse. These may be combined with neglect as well. With neglect, a patient in a nursing home may not be given medications or treatments that are required, or the patient may suffer by not being able to get to the restroom or being unable to get out of bed without help. When the patient tries to get up, he or she could suffer from falls and injuries due to that neglect.

Misdiagnosed mental health conditions in children can be serious

When most people think of an incorrect diagnosis of a condition, they probably think of conditions like cancer or heart disease. Have you ever considered how much of an effect on a patient's life a misdiagnosed mental health condition could have? The misdiagnosis of a mental health condition can negatively affect a patient's life. When the patient is a child, the misdiagnosis might have serious effects.

In some cases, misdiagnosis of a mental health condition in a child can lead to ineffective treatments. An example of this would be if a child was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, but the actual condition the child suffered from was anxiety. Medications for ADHD wouldn't be effective since the actual condition was anxiety.

Understanding the link between falls and nursing home liability

Injuries from falls are one of the most prevalent risks to adults age 65 and older. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that millions of these types of accidents occur every year. In fact, the CDC estimates that one out of three elderly adults will experience a fall each year.

Fortunately, many of these falling accidents do not result in serious injuries. This is perhaps the reason that many victims of falls never discuss them with their health care providers. The bad news is that according to 2013 statistics, nonfatal falls accounted for 2.5 million incidents where elderly people required emergency room treatment. Even worse, 734,000 of those victims required hospitalization.

Are probable cause and reasonable suspicion the same?

Probably cause and reasonable suspicion are important to your case. Probable cause means that police may not investigate you or your property without a warrant. A warrant can't be issued without probable cause. There is no definition of probable cause in the Constitution, but a good example would be if a police officer pulled over a driver who was swerving and then asked the driver to take a breathalyzer test. In that case, swerving may be enough of a cause, if it was severe enough, to warrant the officer pulling over a driver.

Reasonable suspicion was developed by courts to describe the level of suspicion that is lower than probable cause. For example, probable cause may be a person reporting a crime, which would be reason enough for a police officer to come to a scene and ask a few questions. Then, if there is reasonable suspicion, he may investigate or get a warrant to go into a home or crime scene.

Challenging the legality of a DUI traffic checkpoint

Generally, the restrictions to police DUI roadblocks and checkpoints are based on two central factors. Police are required to provide the public with adequate notice and warning about upcoming DUI checkpoint activity. They are also prohibited from arbitrarily conducting searches for drunk drivers at those roadblocks.

This is why retaining an attorney experienced in Virginia's DUI traffic laws can sometimes be extremely helpful. For example, an attorney can search public documents and determine whether police provided sufficient public notice in advance of their DUI checkpoints. An attorney can also investigate police records to determine whether police stopped your vehicle randomly or whether they specifically targeted your vehicle for further DUI investigation.

You have the right to counsel during criminal justice proceedings

We have discussed some basic information about coming up with a strategy for a criminal defense. The truth of the matter is that deciding on which strategies are suitable for which cases is something that takes knowledge of the law. We can help you learn which strategies are suitable for your case so that you can decide which options are worth exploring more.

Anyone who is facing criminal charges should remember that the U.S. Constitution gives you the right to have counsel as you face the charges placed against you. This right is given in the Sixth Amendment. This is a very important right to invoke because it covers the right to have representation present during your trial. It also covers the right to have representation with you at every major step in the criminal justice procedure.

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