Undue Influence under Illinois Law

The contested will is a frequent element in many dramas, real or imagined. This is largely because the rules and regulations for interpretation and execution of wills and testamentary documents are often complex. In a straightforward case when there are clear beneficiaries to a decedent’s estate and the dispositions had been discussed beforehand, there are usually no complications. However, when the terms of a will are unexpected, unlikely, or inequitable, disputes may arise. Illinois law allows the contesting of a will probated in Naperville on certain grounds by a plaintiff that has standing i.e. a beneficiary in a will immediately preceding the final will. One of these is undue influence.

Undue influence is defined when a third party or beneficiary has such power or authority over the testator that it “prevents the testator from exercising his own will in the disposition of his estate.” As pointed out on the website of Peck Ritchey, LLC, a will is supposed to reflect the true intentions or wishes of the decedent in the disposition of the estate; anyone who can prove that the terms of the will is in fact not what the decedent would have put down but for the influence of a third party or beneficiary.

Undue influence can be tricky to prove or disprove. It is not confined to malicious intent or obvious actions to influence the testator. A person who is kind or affectionate to the testator may be said to have exerted undue influence if it compels the testator to act as a free agent. For example, if the only beneficiary of a new will is the caregiver who served the testator devotedly for several years, and he or she cuts out all blood relations named in a previous will in the process, a case of undue influence may be made.

If you suspect that a family member may have been unduly influenced in the making of a will, you will have to prove it. Consult with a will contest attorney in Naperville to assess your situation and provide you with your legal options.

The Stop-DWI Program in Westchester County in Effect

Driving while intoxicated (DWI) with alcohol or drugs is a serious charge anywhere in the US, but in Westchester County in New York, the government is taking a proactive approach to preventing serious and even fatal consequences. The Stop-DWI program was implemented in mid-2014 and already the results are encouraging.

Many people were arrested for DWI at Stop-DWI checkpoints in Westchester as well as Rockland during the holiday weekends, and the charges ranged from misdemeanors to felonies depending on the case. Many were kept in custody until they made bail, preventing them from driving while impaired and possibly saving many lives in the process. This is a promising start to a good concept if it continues to be correctly implemented.

Unfortunately, these checkpoints may also lead overzealous law enforcement officers to make unwarranted arrests, and it is easier to get arrested than to have the arrest records expunged even if the charges prove to be groundless. This has happened in many states when the pressures to crack down on DWI cases become intense. In many cases, a poorly represented defendant winds up convicted of DWI and with the criminal record that goes with it even if a viable defense exists. Such a record can have devastating professional and personal consequences that could have been avoided, as a drug crimes lawyer of the Law Offices of Richard A. Portale, P.C. would be able to explain.

If you have been charged with DWI for alcohol or drugs, note that it is not the end of the world. There are many ways that you can help yourself, and the first of this is to say or admit nothing to the authorities without the benefit of legal counsel. The second and most important thing is to find an experienced lawyer in your area to protect your rights.

Advantages Provided by Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Chapter 13 of the US Bankruptcy code, which is otherwise known as Wage-earner’s Plan, Repayment Plan, or Debt Adjustment, is a reorganization or restructuring type of bankruptcy that allows debtors to propose a three-year payment plan through which they intend to settle all their debts (with the permission of the court, this plan can be extended up to five years).

The restructured payment scheme is intended to make debt payments more affordable for debtors; this method also no longer requires the debtor to surrender any of his/her assets and properties for selling. For those who run a business, specifically sole proprietors, they can continue operations and earn profits, which they can also use to pay off their debts.

Debtors, who voluntarily file Chapter 13 bankruptcy, are protected by the “automatic stay,” a court order that stops creditors and collectors from making any attempt to ask debtors for payment. This means cessation of all phone calls, emails, text messages, letters, lawsuits, attempts to foreclose or repossess any of the debtor’s assets and properties, as well as prohibition from petitioning the court to levy the debtor’s bank account or have a part or all of his/her wages garnished.

Besides the automatic stay, chapter 13 bankruptcy has other benefits, including the possible reduction of the loan amount itself (from the value of the principal loan down to the market value of the loan collateral) and the discharge of some debts, which would be retained had the debtor applied for chapter 7 instead. Among those considered as dischargeable debts are penalties and fines payable to the government (except criminal fines), retirement account loans, debts that were denied discharge during a prior filing of bankruptcy, debts resulting from divorce or separation proceedings, debts incurred due to payment of non-dischargeable tax obligations (such as the debts acquired from the use of credit card in paying taxes), debts resulting from the willful and malicious damaging of someone else’s property (this does not include personal injury cases), and condominium or homeowners association (HOA) dues (these dues, however, have a lien on the debtor’s property. This means that, despite the discharge, the debtor can still lose his/her property; thus, it is imperative that these dues be paid continuously).

Filing chapter 13 bankruptcy and understanding fully well its advantages and possible consequences can definitely be better with the help of an exceptional bankruptcy lawyer. Ryan Ruehle Cincinnati is among those that debtors can fully depend on with regard to this significant concern.

The Lowdown on Botox

The word “Botox” has entered into common lexicon as something that is used for wrinkles, and safe to use. Both are oversimplifications. Botox is used to improve the skin’s appearance by immobilizing the muscles that create dynamic wrinkle in the face, certainly, but it has other uses. Moreover, “Botox” is actually a poison, a neurotoxin that if ingested can kill you. It is the short name for botulinum toxin derived from Clostridium botulinum, a bacterium, and not all forms of botox can be safely used.

The most commonly understood form of botox is onabotulinumtoxin A, which is injected just under the skin to temporarily smooth out fine lines. Other forms of Botox can also be used to treat migraines, eye spasms, and hyperhydrosis (excessive sweating). In general, Botox is used only for patients aged 18 years old and above but children suffering from muscle spasms may derive some benefit from Botox treatments. However, there are serious risks associated with this and should be thoroughly discussed.

By far the most popular use of Botox is for cosmetic applications, and under the supervision of a qualified health care professional, it is extremely rare that a patient will suffer any serious side effects. However, Botox is contraindicated for people with certain medical conditions including recent infections, glaucoma, heart disease, muscle or nerve disorders, breathing problems, and dysphagia (difficulty in swallowing). Pregnant women should only undergo Botox treatment if necessary. Those who are allergic should not of course undergo Botox treatments.

Patients may experience some side effects immediately following treatment including blurred vision and muscle weakness, and are advised not to drive, operate heavy machinery or any activity requiring normal visual acuity. In general, patients experience no problems with Botox when it is administered appropriately under a physician’s supervision.

Trucking Industry Issues

Paying close attention to the contract language and the finer points of the carrier and shipper insurance policies can protect truck drivers and their livelihood from liability in case of a truck accident. When truck accidents happen, most of the blame generally goes to the truck driver, which is not always the case. Truck drivers, especially those who are involved in freight factoring, should know the details regarding shipping liabilities in order to be clear who will be responsible for shipping incidents like property or cargo damage and physical injuries.

Establishing fault is the main factor in determining who will be held liable for a truck accident. When the accident is caused by the truck driver, the trucking company or carrier can also be held liable for the actions of their drivers. Once it is established that the truck driver and the trucking company have failed to comply with their obligations to follow the rules and regulations on truck safety, driving, and maintenance, and then they can be the liable for personal injury or wrongful death claims.

It can be confusing to really determine the one at-fault and who should pay for compensation in truck accidents involving freight factoring companies because their relationship can be complex and could require a lot of legalities in order to have a thorough factual investigation. This is one of the most important reasons why having a lawyer who have extensive experience in handling commercial truck accidents and specific state laws can be an advantage.

A lot of trucking companies and independent truck drivers believe freight factoring is a more advantageous option for business to keep running, and being independent truck drivers can free freight factoring companies. However, it is the responsibility of the freight factoring companies to ensure that they hire safe and competent truck drivers to ensure that the delivery is made without any incidents. Neglect of this duty can make them vulnerable for personal injury or wrongful death claims in truck accidents.

If you have been injured in a truck accident because of someone else’s negligence, contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your situation more in depth. An experienced attorney will be able to help you through the process and make sure that you are justly compensated.

Car Defects

To children and senior citizens, being involved in a car accident can be a cause of serious trauma, especially if they sustain severe physical injuries. Car accidents are among the most common causes of injuries and deaths in the US. More than five million road accidents involving cars, still happen in US roads annually – more than two million of these accidents result to injuries, while more than 30,000 result to death.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the top causes of car crashes are drunk-driving, recklessness driving, over speeding and driver error. While all these may fall within the control of the driver, there are also causes identified by the NHTSA that fall outside the driver’s control – this is either road defect or vehicle or car defect.

Car defects can be very hard to prove, despite certainty of the driver that something in his/her vehicle failed to function well, thus the car accident. If the defect is indeed proven, the car manufacturer usually makes a recall of the particular model to correct whatever mistake the manufacture of the car resulted to.

Mistakes are often caused by skipping a necessary manufacturing step/procedure or by adding a step in the manufacturing process, but which should not have been added in the first place. Though it may be clear that producing a defective car is never intentional, the fact that it passed quality check from the manufacturer and got released into the market, are but just signs of carelessness and gross negligence.

In the event of an accident, the manufacturer may be held totally liable for whatever injury or harm a victim may sustain. It will also be part of the manufacturer’s legal responsibility to the victim, to the compensate him/her with the correct amount based on the present and future cost of medical treatment plus wages lost, if the victim will fail to render work for a certain period.

Facing Assault Charges

Assault is the intentional act of causing another person to fear from any form of physical harm, despite the fact that the victim is not actually physically harmed. It is often confused (and usually listed together with) battery, but they are not the same charges. Assault only happens when a person intentionally instills fear of physical harm to another. In regards to assault, there are two types of cases that can ensure, and these are a civil case in the form of a personal injury claim and a criminal charge.

The necessary factors that are needed to win a personal injury civil lawsuit are just about the same as the ones needs in a criminal case, although there are vital differences between the two. In a personal injury civil case, the defendant (the person who assaulted) does not necessarily have any motive on inflicting harm to the plaintiff (the person who was assaulted). The defendant just openly intends to carry out an action that he or she knows would cause the plaintiff distress or apprehension. Punitive damages can be given if the defendant has a particularly evil motive in the assault. A key point in personal injury civil lawsuits is to assess the plaintiff’s reaction to the defendant’s actions, whether it was a reasonable reaction regardless of what the defendant believed he or she was doing.

Criminal cases regarding assault require the plaintiff to prove in court that the defendant has the intent to assault him or her. The judge or jury should determine without any reasonable doubt that the assault was intentionally decided by the defendant, or that the defendant did not regard that fact that he or she was assaulting the victim. A Nashville criminal defense lawyer can tell you that in criminal assault charges, the victim will have little voice on how the case is heard on court, and can only act as a witness when called.

Although criminal assault is consider a misdemeanor in generally most states, being charges with it can still cause serious damage to the life of the defendant. Criminal charges can lead to steep criminal fees and penalties and jail time. The best defense against assault charges is to have a good and trusted Nashville criminal defense lawyer who can protect the rights of the defendant. While going it alone may seem a viable option in some cases, the assistance of a lawyer can dramatically increase a defendant’s chances of having a more favorable outcome.

Variations of Medical Malpractice

There are many forms of medical negligence, also known as medical malpractice. Lack of consent is one of them, and when this type of violation has caused a significant amount of pain and harm to the patient, then the patient has the right to sue the hospital or doctor who has made the error. This is because medical malpractice is not only due to an error in misdiagnosing or surgical procedures, and also covers areas where doctors or medical professionals have performed procedures that the patients have not given consent to. This leads to the doctors giving their patients personal injuries, which are eligible for lawsuits and other damages.

The hospital and the doctor that is in charge of the patient have the responsibility to acquire the “expressed” and “informed” consent of the patient before proceeding with a medication or procedure. Most surgeries require the expressed written consent of the patient, and often the doctor will discuss the possibilities that can result from the treatment and it will not be done if the patient did not sign the form. Nevertheless, it takes more than just the patient’s expressed consent for the treatment to proceed, because the patient should also be informed regarding the risks and complications that could possibility arise during the procedure or treatment. Informing the patient regarding the possible side effects or negative outcome can inform the patient whether they choose to continue with the procedure or treatment or find other alternative.

A patient can file an injury claim for lack of consent if the doctor performed a procedure or treatment on the wrong part of the patient’s body, or if the doctor has performed a second, unnecessary medical procedure that resulted in harm to the patient when the patient has only expressed consent to one procedure. There are many other issues that can be reasons for an injury claim from lack of consent. Lately, there has also been the need for informed written consent for medications, since there are many prescriptions that can cause serve side effects that the patient should be informed about. According to the website of Williams Kherkher, one of the prescription medications that can cause severe health complications is Risperdal.

The main reason to express and inform the dangers and risks of a surgical procedure or medication to the patient is to have the patient fully understand the chances of success (along with failure) of the proposed procedure. By law, the patient has the right to make informed decision regarding their own body and health regarding permitting a procedure or medication or not.

Know Your State’s Personal Injury Laws

Every state in the United States has their own laws pertaining to personal injury claims, therefore before pursuing a claim, it would be best to consult a lawyer who is familiar with the personal injury laws in your state. In the state of California, a couple of laws can affect how you personal injury settlement or lawsuit end up.

In the state of California, the plaintiff (the injured party in the accident) has two years to file for a personal injury claim after the accident and after suffering from some type of injury. This is what is called the statute of limitations, and each type of claim can have a different deadline. According to the website of Ritter & Associates from San Diego, failure to follow the statute of limitations can cause the California court system to deny or refuse to hear the personal injury claim, and could cost you to lose your right for compensation. When the defendant (the person at-fault for the accident) is the city, county or the state of California itself, then the statute of limitation is six months after the accident to file for an injury claim.

Additionally, the state of California also follows “Shared Fault Laws” or comparative negligence rule. This means that if you, as the plaintiff, have a share of liability or fault in that accident, then the compensation you will receive will be affected depending on the percent of fault in the accident. Insurance adjusters that are not under the court’s ruling can question the comparative negligence rule during the settlement period, but you still have the right to negotiate regarding your claim.

It would help to do a little research regarding California laws regarding negligence and personal injury claims, however, if you want to know if you have a strong case against someone for causing an accident that resulted to a significant amount of injuries and damages, consulting a law firm can be beneficial since they have experience and knowledge about your state’s laws.

For information about personal injury law in Louisville, visit www.jeffsampsonlaw.com.

Concerns for Business Owners

Contract negotiation is one of the many concerns for business owners, especially since both parties want to gain maximum benefits in the agreement. This can occur either through electronic means or in person. Contract negotiation covers issues such as timeframe, cost, special considerations, and other business concerns that need to be addressed. It is important that all points are agreed upon by both parties, so that each party will have a fair and equitable share of the deal.

There are different types of contracts that can be negotiated – business, financial contracts, and real estate, among others. It can be difficult to determine how long a negotiation can last. It is important to note that an enforceable contract is the one where, under contract law, all the material elements regarding the contract have been negotiated and settled upon by the two transacting parties. A signed contract that both parties have negotiated and agreed on can provide a strong foundation that can establish a long-lasting relationship between both parties.

Involving lawyers can be critical because negotiations are generally a team effort. According to the website of the Mokarram Law Firm in Houston, Texas, it is important to find a quality and client-friendly lawyers that are knowledgeable in this type of legal matters so that they will know to fill the gaps that may have been forgotten during the negotiation as well as point out any other legal issues that may come up or become a problem in the long run. For example, you wouldn’t want a maritime lawyer handling a personal injury case.

Make sure you know how to manage your lawyer; provide necessary guidance and instructions that you think is important in your negotiations. It may be tempting to just give the responsibility of contract negotiation between the lawyers, but it become counter-productive since it is ultimately the client’s decisions that are going into the contract.

Another thing that needs the help of a lawyer is estate planning, where contract negotiation is also a part of. There are so many things that need to be prepared regarding the person’s assets or estate like planning a will or making a trust fund, buying insurance, and other legal documents. Good estate planning will make the transfer of the properties and assets more smoothly, with minimal fuss and expenditures after death, while proper business formation can help a venture be profitable enough for these factors to come into play.