Causes of Wrongful Death

Posted by on Feb 13, 2013 in Car Accidents, Medical Malpractice, Product Liability, Wrongful Death | 1 comment

Wrongful death is the accidental result of a person’s negligence, carelessness, or recklessness. The death of a person becomes a civil case when there was no intent or premeditation on the part of the actor to cause death but which still happened because of that person’s action or lack thereof.

There are many ways in which a wrongful death can happen. It could be due to a car accident, medical error, surgical mistake, adverse reactions to medication, defective products, attacks by a pet, plant explosions, or workplace accidents. In some cases, a death may result even when there had been no negligence but in most cases, it was due to the action of another person, especially in instances involving:

  • Car accidents – includes driving under the influence (DUI), distracted driving, cell phone use, fatigue, speeding, tailgating, swerving, road rage
  • Medical malpractice – this is an area rich in wrongful death cases. It can be due to misdiagnosis, late diagnosis, prescription error, inebriation, etc.
  • Product defects – a manufacturer, distributor, or retailer may be held liable by a wrongful death lawyer if the use of a product that did not work as it should have leads to death. It could be through contamination, mislabeling, malfunction, breakage, mechanical failure.

Since in a wrongful death, the victim is not capable of making a claim, it has to be done by a spouse, parents, or children, including adoptive parents and children or separated or divorced spouse. Step-parents and step-siblings, however, may not make a wrongful death claim. Insurance companies may also take legal action against the person who caused the death of their insured party, leaving them no choice but to honor the provisions of a life insurance policy.

Proving negligence in a wrongful death claim can be a complicated process that could overwhelm an inexperienced lawyer. Find one who has a proven track record in wrongful death cases and who is willing to take on the case on a contingency fee basis if there is no money for litigation.

Read More

Deformed Face or Skull due to Depakote

Posted by on Jan 11, 2013 in Birth Defects, Pharmaceutical Drugs | 0 comments

Deformed Face or Skull due to Depakote

The prescription drug Depakote proved to be an effective remedy in treating seizures and manic episodes in those with bipolar disorder. Unfortunately, while this prescription drug helped stabilize the condition of some patients, its effect on others, specifically pregnant women, was quite serious: studies showed that it increased the likelihood of birth defects, as well as other permanent health problems.

The worst side effects affected pregnant mothers, who gave birth to babies with a deformity of the cardiovascular system, deformity of the face or skull, brain defects, or spinal defects / spina bifida. These problematic side effects are especially discouraging in light of Depakote’s obvious benefits for many patients suffering from bipolar or manic-depressive disorder, a psychiatric state wherein a patient goes through disruptive energy, behavioral, psychological, and emotional swings, rendering him or her overexcited at one moment but suddenly depressed on the next.

The failure of the manufacturers of Depakote to warn pregnant women of the risks Depakote could cause them to face as a result of their medication use renders them liable for damages, including suffering, pain, injury, financial losses, and costly medical treatment they and their babies may be subjected to.

Malformation of the face or skull is one particularly unfortunate example of this permanent defect which can cause the baby and the baby’s family indescribable heartache and suffering. Some of the facial and skull defects directly caused by Depakote include anencephaly, cleft lip & palate, facial dysmorphism, and craniostenosis. Sadly, far too many medications are marketed as being safe for use, but end up causing devastating side effects later on. According to the website of Williams Kherkher, many of these medications, like Depakote or the popular anti-depressant medication Zoloft, result in life-altering birth injuries in babies born to women who took the drugs while pregnant. While nothing can make up for the pain and suffering that these victims endure, a successful lawsuit against the responsible pharmaceutical company may be able to provide victims with the financial compensation they need to pay for their injury-related expenses.s.



Read More

Special Issues in Military Divorce

Posted by on Jul 2, 2012 in Child Custody, Child Support, Divorce | 0 comments

Special Issues in Military Divorce

Even when it comes to dissolution of a marriage, the government sometimes gets involved. Military divorce is different from civilian divorce in many ways, from where to file to what happens to a person’s pension and other benefits. The government provides for both the service member and their spouses, especially if the service member is on active duty.


When you file for a civilian divorce, it is usually in the state where you lived as a couple. This is jurisdiction. But when it comes to military divorce where one or both spouses may be stationed in different states or even countries, deciding on where to file for divorce can be tricky. The laws of the state where the divorce is filed applies, which can have significant differences in terms of finances as well as rights.

Spousal and Child Support

Married military service personnel are governed by a set of laws designed specifically to address issues of divorce. The Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (USFSPA), for example, is a federal law that addresses calculation of child and spousal support as well as the impact on military retirement pension, which is considered property rather than income.

Pension and Other Benefits

Under the USFSPA, a former spouse is entitled to a certain portion of a service member’s retirement pay. If the service member was on active duty for 10 years and had been married to the same spouse for that period or longer, the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) pays in a portion of the retirement directly into the former spouse’s account. If the marriage was less than 10 years, the former spouse is still entitled to some portion of the retirement pay, but it will no longer be sent directly from the DFAS. Other benefits are treated based on state laws subject to special instructions for specific conditions.

Visitation Rights and Child Custody

When one or both parents are on active duty and constantly moving or deployed, coming to a realistic custodial and visitation schedule can be challenging. To resolve these and other issues, military divorce lawyers should be retained for the informed and experienced negotiation of an equitable settlement.

Read More