Can You Be Held Liable For Smashing A Window To Save A Child From A Hot Car?

Posted by on Aug 2, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Seeing a child trapped in a hot car is distressing. You know how hot it can be in there and the danger that imposes on the child’s life. The first thing you want to do is smash a window and get the child out. Is that something you can legally do? Here’s a look at the law. Call the Police First Smashing a window may not be needed. Contact the police first and see if you can spot the owner of the vehicle. Explain to the dispatcher how long this child has been trapped, and the actions of the child. It is possible for the dispatcher to tell you to smash the window if there is a risk to the child’s health. The Law Will Depend on the State There are new laws being introduced around the country. Too many children are dying in cars, and passers-by are too afraid to get in trouble to help. Tennessee has signed in a law to protect those who smash the window to get the child out. A person can now take action, but they must still contact the police first. This helps to alert the police that there is a potential felony situation, and protects the passer-by from a vandalism charge. Ohio has also approved a law to state that people can smash windows to get children out of cars. Like Tennessee, you will need to call the police first. You will also need to leave a note on the car and remain with the child until the authorities arrive. Charges May Be Dropped If you are in a state where there is no current law, should that stop you saving the child? In Georgia, a military veteran decided to take his chances and was arrested by police. In the end, all charges against the veteran were dropped. The view for some authorities and judges is that a jury wouldn’t convict them anyway. There was a strong defense for the actions taken. It is possible that updates will be made to Good Samaritan Bill to protect people like the veteran. Other states may also drop charges and make changes in the future. People aren’t protected against prosecution in all cases if they smash a window to save a child, but they do have a good defense. The important thing is to call the police first. Dispatchers can then recommend steps to take, and you make it clear that you are not doing this to cause criminal damage but to save a life. If you do find yourself being prosecuted for vandalism after breaking someone’s window to help a child, consult with an attorney to find out what your options...

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Procuring Medical Records For A Personal Injury Case: A Primer

Posted by on Jul 19, 2016 in Uncategorized |

If you find yourself as the plaintiff in a personal injury case, in most cases, you will find that you will have to present your medical records in order to be compensated for the damages for which you are suing. You might also find that you must procure these documents for others if you are their guardian, custodian, or simply trying to help out a friend or family member. This guide will serve as a primer for procuring your medical records in the event that you need them for a personal injury suit. You May Procure Your Own Records There are no occasions when you should be denied access to your own medical records. Under the HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), there are provisions made so that, under no possible circumstance, can you be denied access to your own medical records, either through a public institution like a hospital or a private provider. You May Have Access to Records Of The Deceased Although you cannot always have access to a deceased individual’s medical records, there are certain occasions where such records can be made available to you. If you have been appointed the representative of a person’s estate, either through will designation or appointed by a court of law, then you can have complete access to that person’s medical records. You can also have access to a deceased person’s medical records if you are related to the deceased and there is a bit of information in the medical file that corresponds or relates to your own health. You May Have Access to Others’ Medical Records Again, in most cases, you cannot have access to others’ medical records. However, one particular provision of HIPAA allows you to gain access to the records of other living individuals. The person or people in question must give you express permission in writing to have access to their medical records. This will essentially give you the ability to act as a representative on behalf of the living to access these medical records. You May Have Access To Your Children’s Medical Records If you have children, you will have access to their medical records. There are a few provisions that can prevent you access, however. If the parent agrees to the decision that the child and physician or provider have a confidential relationship or, if there is an occasion where a child has consented to medical care in which consent on behalf of the parent is not required by law, a parent will not have access to his or her child’s medical records. Visit to learn...

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Three Ways You Can Help Your Criminal Attorney With Your Case

Posted by on Jun 30, 2016 in Uncategorized |

When you’re facing a criminal charge, you want to do everything you can to get the case resolved as quickly as possible. This eagerness can sometimes cause individuals to do more harm than good, particularly when it comes to their attorney. Make sure you aren’t working against your attorney. Here are just some of the things you can do to avoid this. Be Honest The main thing your attorney needs is your honesty. There is a saying that simply states that anything done in the dark will soon come to light. This statement couldn’t be any truer than in the court of law. Whether you’re guilty or innocent has little importance; an attorney is more interested in you telling them the facts of what happened. When you aren’t honest, your attorney can’t prepare a sufficient defense. With a poor defense you are more likely to be blindsided in court and ultimately lose your case. Be upfront and honest about every detail. Be Available Attorneys can handle many aspects of a case without input from their client, but there are situations in which direct input is necessary from both an ethical and legal standpoint. One example of this is plea deals. Prosecutors sometimes offer a guarantee of a reduced sentence in lieu of trial. However, even if the attorney believes the deal is a good option, they can’t accept it without speaking with you. In some cases, failure to respond within a certain window can void the offer. It’s important that you be available whenever your attorney needs to speak with you. Be Quiet There are few things more detrimental than a moving tongue. Do your attorney, and most importantly, yourself, a favor by keeping quiet. Anything you say can and will be used against you, even if you aren’t making these statements to law enforcement. Discussing your case with even close friends or family is never a good idea. The things you say can easily be misconstrued and shared with the wrong person. When it comes to discussing your case, all conversations should only involve the attorney and yourself. Only share information that you have cleared with your attorney.   The more you work with your attorney, the faster your case can progress and the more likely you are to reach a successful resolution. Make sure you aren’t working against your attorney. If you are looking for an attorney to help with your case, consider one from a company like Swartz & Swartz...

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Why Your Extravagant Child Is Better Off With A Spendthrift Trust

Posted by on Jun 22, 2016 in Uncategorized |

What do you do if you want to create a trust fund for your college kid, but you are afraid they would squander it immediately once they got their hands on it? You create a spendthrift trust. Read on to know what it means and how it can help your kid. What It Is When you create a spendthrift trust, you get to control the beneficiary’s access to its funds or properties. This allows you to determine how the beneficiary can use the money. Therefore, you can set up a trust fund for your kid, and they won’t be able to squander the money because your chosen trustee will see to it that the money is used as per your wishes. In Practical Terms The beauty of a spendthrift trust is that its language is very specific. This allows you to state exactly how your beneficiary will use the money. For example, if you want to use the money to support your child through college, you may specify that the trust fund is strictly for college-related expenses. This means, for example, that the child cannot use the funds to buy a sports car and drop out of college once they are unable to support themselves. What about your child’s creditors who may come after the trust? This has been taken care of in the trust fund too. With a few exceptions, the language of the spendthrift trust is usually crafted to keep out creditors too. In fact, even a crafty kid cannot borrow money or buy things on credit and hope that the creditors will use the trust fund to get their money back. The beneficiary can only use the trust fund to settle special “debts,” such as child support, government claims, and alimony. However, this depends on your state’s laws, which you should consult before creating the trust. When Does It End? If you are worried that this arrangement may only be suitable for a time, don’t be. It’s understandable that you expect your child to “grow up” and become financially disciplined after some time. For that reasons, spendthrift trusts can be set up with an expiry date, so to speak. For example, you can leave instructions for the trustee to hand over the spendthrift trust to the beneficiary once they reach a certain age, say, 27. Does this look like something you should do as part of your estate planning? Consult an estate planning attorney to help you craft a spendthrift trust and ensure it is legally binding. Talk to a professional like Jolein A. Harro, P.C. to learn...

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If A Person Falls In Front Of A Name-Brand Restaurant In A Theme Park…Who Does He/She Sue?

Posted by on Jun 13, 2016 in Uncategorized |

World-famous theme parks are about to be jam-packed with visitors from around the globe this summer. To accommodate all of these hungry tourists, the theme parks have built many of their own restaurants onsite, but they have also invited many name-brand restaurants to rent space on theme park property. If you step inside these restaurants for a bite or a drink, and then have a slip and fall accident, who do you sue? If this has happened to you early in this tourist season, you may need the following information when you meet with a personal injury lawyer. A Waiver Of Liability Can Be Involved Sometimes, the theme parks have you sign a visitor’s contract in advance to your arrival in the park, especially if you plan to stay onsite and longer than a day. If you received a copy of that contract, read over the fine print again. You may have unwittingly waived your right to sue if you accepted responsibility for any injuries occurred while enjoying the park’s many rides and attractions. This may extend to the restaurants as well, if the restaurants were within the park’s boundaries. However, this may not be enforceable, so discuss the issue with your attorney. Where You Fell Might Make A Difference If there are exceptions to your visitor’s rules and/or contract with regards to restaurants, they may be very specific exceptions. For example, if you fell just coming in or going out of a name-brand restaurant, you are right on the edge between the park’s property and the restaurant’s property. Even though the restaurant might only be renting the property, any point over the restaurant’s threshhold might be considered the restaurant’s property, and you should sue the restaurant. The reverse is also true; crossing the threshhold to the park’s property outside of this restaurant may then be considered the park’s property again, and park rules apply. Determine What Caused You to Fall Your lawyer will need to know what caused your fall. Did you fall because another park visitor shoved you and you fell, or did you step in a spilled drink on the floor? Did you slip because the restaurant just mopped up a mess and did not post a “wet floor” sign, or did heavy rains leave a puddle near the exit or entryway? While any one of these might be a legitimate reason for your fall, it is still important to know the reason so that your lawyer can defend your case properly (remember, he/she was not there when it happened, so he/she needs all the pertinent details of the event). For more information, consider contacting someone who handles slip and fall cases, like Robert M Kaner...

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