How Do Dog Bite Lawsuits Work in Tennessee?

The legal system is not universal. Laws vary from state to state and jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Dog bite laws are no exception, and if you are wondering how dog bite lawsuits work in Tennessee, you are likely in need of a Nashville personal injury attorney. If you were attacked by a dog and bitten in Tennessee, depending on the circumstances, you might be entitled to compensation for any bite-related losses.

Dog-Bite Laws: Strict Liability and the One-Bite Rule

There are two fairly basic dog-bite law categories. The strict liability dog bite laws state that the owner of the dog is fully responsible for any injuries caused by their animal. The animal’s history of behavior does not come into play.

Under the one-bite rule, dog owners are only responsible for their dog’s behavior if there is a past history of violent acts done by the animal. If an animal is known to have bitten before, the owner has knowledge of their dog’s nature. If the dog has never bitten before, they are not liable for damages caused by their first known bite.

Tennessee Dog Bite Laws

Tennessee’s dog bite statutes are a combination of the two aforementioned laws. There are strict liabilities in place for bites under certain conditions. Under Tennessee law, dog owners are strictly liable if their dogs are loose and not under their control at the time of the bite, if the victim in no way encouraged or contributed to the attack, and if the bite took place on public property, private property that belongs to someone else, or any property that is not owned or rented by the dog owner.

Tennessee is the only state with a residential exception, and this statute states that dog owners are not liable for injuries caused by their dog if the attack occurred on their property. This is a very important factor that governs the outcomes of many dog bite incidents. If you are invited to the home of an individual with a dog and that dog bites you, you have no rights for damages because the bite took place at the residence of the dog and its owner.

Filing Your Dog Bite Claim

Under Tennessee law, dog bite injuries that have caused more than $25,000 damage would involve filing the lawsuit in the Tennessee Circuit Court or the Tennessee Chancery Court. For dog bite claims that are less than $25,000, your personal injury suit can be filed at the Tennessee General Session Court in the appropriate jurisdiction.

Your Tennessee dog bite lawyer will know which jurisdiction applies and which state laws apply to your dog bite claim and will guide you through the process from start to finish.

Punishments for Drunk Driving in Indiana

Officially, all drunk or drugged driving offenses in the state of Indiana are referred to as OWI or Operating While Intoxicated (instead of DUI/DWI/etc.). You will be booked for OWI if you were found operating a vehicle with a BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration) of 0.08% or higher or if the motorist was found to be intoxicated with alcohol while driving.  For underage drivers, a BAC of 0.02% or higher will count as drunk driving.

The OWI offenses also involve driving under the influence of other drugs and controlled substances, but for the purpose of this article, we will discuss drunk driving and the punishments involved therein.

Punishments for Drunk Driving in Indiana

First of all, an Indiana OWI/DUI offense will never be erased from your record, which means it will always be regarded as a prior offense. However, if an offender happens to have priors in the span of the last five years, any further offense will be counted as a felony instead of a misdemeanor.

First OWI Penalties

If you are found guilty of your first OWI, typically the offense will be deemed either a Class C or a Class A Misdemeanor. If your blood alcohol level is found to be 0.15% or more, the offense will be interpreted as “endangering a person” while driving under influence. In this case, you will be found guilty of a Class A Misdemeanor. Otherwise, it will be a Class C Misdemeanor. Now, let’s look at the penalties for both.

Class A

  • Jail time: up to one year
  • Fines: up to $5,000
  • Suspension of License: typically, 180 days
  • IID (Ignition interlock Device): up to one year

Class C

  • Jail time: up to sixty days
  • Fines: up to $500
  • Suspension of License: typically, 180 days
  • IID (Ignition interlock Device): up to sixty days

Penalties for Second and Third Offense

Save the license suspension period, the punishments for second and third OWI offenses are identical—at least, on paper (that is, if they are still designated as misdemeanor and do not become a felony). However, for all repeat offenses, your license will get suspended for a period of at least one year.

A Felony OWI

If your OWI offense turns into a felony, you will be facing six months to thirty months of incarceration and fines up to $10,000.

OWI Attorney

If you are booked for an OWI offense, you must always engage the service of an experienced Terre Haute OWI attorney who will know all the ins and outs of Indiana OWI laws. Even if you are found guilty, a good attorney can always help in reducing the harm done to you. This includes reduction in fines, turning the jail time into probation, and other court options such as community service, participation in alcohol education programs, etc.

Keep in mind that an OWI can seriously jeopardize your life in more than one way. So, if you ever happen to find yourself in such an unfortunate circumstance, you must do all in your power to minimize the harm done to your person and your family.

When Should I Accept a Plea Deal?

Most people associate criminal cases with the courtroom. The truth is, close to 90 percent of all criminal cases never go to trial. So how are they settled? It all comes down to plea deals. They are constantly being thrown around, but it is important to know when to accept and when to explore your other options.

Are you asking yourself, “When should I accept a plea deal?” Well, the answer varies case by case, but here are some tips.

Understand Why Plea Deals Are Allowed

The first step to figuring out when to accept a plea deal is to understand why plea deals are allowed in the first place. In part, plea bargains are offered to help speed up the process in criminal cases. Both sides should feel as though they are getting something in their favor from the plea deal.

Money is another huge factor in why so many end up accepting a plea bargain. Legal fees, court costs, fines, and more can really start to add up in a hurry.

A plea deal might not seem that great for prosecutors, but they are able to see quick punishment. This will allow them to still be seen as successful in their job, even if they could have fought for a stiffer punishment.

Plea Deals Aren’t Offered Out of Kindness

With so many people using the term “plea bargain,” one might think that it is a good deal and the prosecution is trying to be nice. That is almost never the case, however. They are offering a plea deal for a reason. In most cases, they feel that they know exactly what they can get out of the arrangement, and they know you will agree. Make sure that you are comfortable with the plea deal before you accept—because the other side certainly is.

Plea deals can feel like a game at times. Perhaps the prosecution is showing what is essentially a poker face regarding the strength of the case they have against you. No one really knows for sure, which is why it is risky to go to trial if a decent plea deal is offered.

Sometimes It Helps to Move On

In some cases, a plea deal is a way of just moving on. This is particularly true if it looks as though jail or prison time is inevitable. Perhaps a lawyer has looked at the case from every angle and can’t find a way to avoid incarceration. Instead of prolonging the inevitable, a plea deal can get everything started.

Using firms like Chicago Trusted Attorneys can help with obtaining a fair plea deal, even if jail time is unavoidable. There are still specifics that can be hashed out with the plea deal, and jail time might be reduced in some way.

A plea deal might not be ideal, but there are certainly advantages to going this route. Just make sure to do your homework in preparation for a potential plea deal.

Does a Mother Always Have a Right to Custody of Her Children?

When it comes to the custody of your child, it’s understandable that you might have several very serious concerns. After all, making sure that your child is well cared for and that you can remain an integral part of their life is paramount.

Many times, men wonder if they even have any options when it comes to custody because it is often believed that a mother usually takes custody of her children. In fact, it’s not unusual for a family lawyer in Pittsburgh to have a client ask about this. While child custody is a complicated matter, the short answer to whether a mother always gets custody of the children is typically “no.”

Understanding Pennsylvania Child Custody Laws

In the state of Pennsylvania, a court will take several factors into consideration when determining child custody. These factors can include things like the relationship each parent has with the child, if there is a history of abuse or neglect, past criminal convictions, the ability of the parents to care for the child and meet the responsibilities that custody requires, and even, in some cases, the wishes of the child will be taken into consideration.

A court can grant joint custody, which is essentially, both parents sharing custody, or a judge might award sole custody, which can be awarded to either one of the parents. If a judge feels that it is in the best interest of the child, sole custody might be awarded; however, this type of custody arrangement is usually based on extenuating circumstances that warrant such an arrangement.

Child Custody Is Based on Sixteen Factors

Pennsylvania has a fairly straightforward approach to determining child custody. In January 2011, a new law went into effect outlining sixteen factors that a judge must consider when determining how child custody will be determined. These factors would clearly put more weight on items that could affect the health and wellbeing of the child, but all sixteen factors must be weighed fairly when making a custody determination. Additionally, in Pittsburgh, a judge is not allowed to automatically assume that one parent, such as the mother, would be the most likely parent to be granted custody. Each case must be determined based on the outlined criteria that is spelled out in the law.

Important factors in this sixteen-step plan to determine custody can include somewhat subtle things, such as whether one of the parents would be more likely to encourage the child to have a relationship with the noncustodial parent as well as the types and scope of duties each parent has participated in. Of course, a judge will look at the ability of each parent to be able to maintain a safe, stable, and nurturing home environment that best meets the child’s needs.

Struggling with Infertility? You Have Other Options

Trying to have a baby is supposed to be one of the most exciting times in a couple’s life. However, that excitement can turn to a life of frustration and anxiety if it becomes difficult to conceive a child. Infertility is an issue many face around the world, and it affects roughly one out of eight couples in the United States.

The good news is that in today’s world, there are options for those dealing with infertility. Here is a look at five of the most popular options couples are turning to.

Fertility Drugs

After an initial visit with a fertility specialist, more often than not, a couple will be prescribed some fertility drugs to try to help with the situation. This particularly helps a woman who might have trouble ovulating.

Drugs for fertility can be taken either in pill form or injected. If the drugs work as expected, results can come as soon as three to six months.

Artificial Insemination

Men who suffer from infertility can’t take the same type of drug, but there is an option called artificial insemination that a lot of couples have success with. This is when a doctor will place sperm directly into a woman’s uterus to make the process easier.

Low sperm count isn’t the end of the world for men, but it usually takes a little bit of patience. When using artificial insemination, men are advised to avoid having sex for a few days leading up to the procedure.

Results with artificial insemination don’t always happen right away. It might take a few tries to have success.

In Vitro Fertilization

IVF is a process that takes place in a lab, on a dish. Therefore, not everyone looks at it as something that is the best option, but sometimes it is the only way to go. With this process, eggs are extracted from the female and fertilized with a sperm sample from the male to form an embryo. Once the embryo is properly formed, it is implanted back into the uterus.

The good thing about IVF is that it can work with male and/or female infertility. The beginning stages of the process might seem a little different but, if successful, the pregnancy takes place as normal.

Surrogacy

Stepping away from a woman carrying her own baby, getting a surrogate mother is for those couples running out of options. Surrogacy is something that is still pretty quietly talked about, but it is becoming increasingly popular for women who just can’t get pregnant in other ways. Baby Steps Surrogacy Center is just one of many locations in the United States helping with this process, both logistically and legally.

A surrogate mother simply carries the baby and ultimately delivers the child. Right after birth, the biological couple take over as parent(s). Surrogacy is made possible by implanting the embryo into another woman’s body. There are a lot of legal issues with surrogacy, so couples should be prepared when using that method.

Adoption

Finally, those couples with infertility issues can always consider adoption. Until the end of time, there will always be children looking for forever homes and parents who love them like they are their own. Adoption isn’t for everyone, but it is a great way to have a child, or children, and broaden your family.

Holding the At-Fault Party Accountable After the Death of a Loved One

A death in the family is never easy, however, it can be especially traumatic when it was a result of someone else’s negligence. So, if you believe that your loved one lost their life due to the negligence of someone else, you may have grounds to file a wrongful death case. However, there are many steps involved in cases such as these, and a wrongful death lawyer in Milwaukee can assist you through this process.

How a lawyer proceeds with your case will depend on several factors. There are many crucial steps when it comes to filing a wrongful death lawsuit, including identifying everyone who is a possible defendant, keeping evidence intact, and deciding whether an estate should be created.

Some of the most common examples of wrongful death cases your attorney may specialize in include car accidents, on-the-job mishaps, bike accidents, train accidents, pedestrian accidents, drownings, and dog attacks. A competent wrongful death attorney will work tirelessly to prove and explain liability, determine your economic losses, and evaluate your noneconomic damages. Depending on the type of accident, expert witnesses, such as financial experts or car accident reconstructionist, may need to be called in for testimony.

You should note that not everyone is eligible to file a lawsuit. Just because you lost a loved one that was very important in your life, does not mean that you are within your right to file a wrongful death lawsuit. For instance, only certain relationships qualify. A registered spouse, children, stepchildren, or parent of the deceased will be able to file a lawsuit, especially if they were financially dependent on that person. While it is possible for other people who were involved in the dead person’s life to file a lawsuit, they cannot do it on their own. What basically happens is that the estate will file a claim and then disburse it.

Furthermore, in order to get compensation in a wrongful death case, you need to be able to prove that the defendant was negligent and that it was that negligence that caused the loved one’s death. While this may be obvious in certain situations, others will require more damning evidence. Therefore, it is advisable and crucial that you preserve as much information as you possibly can about the incident.

Some information that should be preserved include detailed records of all medical reports. In order to have evidence of the cause of death, you will need to request an autopsy report as well. You should also maintain all information pertaining to expenses such as medical bills, property damages, funeral expenses, etc. So, make sure that you have receipts for all of these. If there were eyewitnesses to the incident, get their contact information and ask them to write down exactly what they saw. Photographs and video recordings are especially valuable, if relevant to the case. If the incident occurred on or in a business, you should request copies of their surveillance videos.

So, while losing a loved one is never easy to deal with, you should take solace in the fact that holding the at-fault party accountable is the right thing to do, as this will ensure they do not repeat their actions.

Timeline of a Personal Injury Lawsuit

If you’ve recently been injured due to someone else’s oversight or negligence, you may want to know more about the average timeline of a personal injury lawsuit. Unfortunately, the progression of cases like these is never set in stone. There are several variables that can impact the rate at which claimants move towards resolution. In fact, these same variables can also play an important role in determining whether you have a case worth pursuing. The good news is that there are a few general rules that you can bear in mind as you start the process of seeking fair compensation for your pain, suffering, injuries, and losses.

During the Earliest Stages of Your Case

All related insurance companies should be notified of the event that has caused injury right away. The sooner that insurance companies are informed, the easier it will be for these entities to link your physical damages with the circumstances that have led to them.

Notifying insurance companies early on and carefully documenting damages is key. If you wait several months before acting, it could be presumed that you’ve injured yourself in some other way and are simply looking for a covered party to assume responsibility for your damages. You also want to receive a comprehensive medical examination from a licensed physician as quickly after the accident as possible. Having doctors put your injuries on record is always a vital part of building your case.

Small Claims Rarely Go to Court

In the interest of limiting their spending, many insurance companies are reticent to have claims go to court. For relatively nominal damages, such as those falling below twenty thousand dollars in total, claimants are often offered settlements before their cases even start moving along the path to trial.

As such, even if your car has been totaled in a crash and you’ve been forced to spend countless hours receiving treatment from general doctors, chiropractors, and physical therapists, you may be able to reach a reasonable settlement agreement with insurers without having to present and argue before a judge. Settling outside of court allows both parties to tightly control their legal costs.

Getting Legal Assistance

One large part of understanding the timeline of a personal injury lawsuit is recognizing the importance of good legal representation. Lawyers often can expedite these cases by lending legal clout and by motivating insurance companies to act and assume culpability. Statistically, claimants are far more likely to receive fair settlements when they are represented by seasoned personal injury lawyers than they are if choosing to represent themselves. During your initial consultation with an Idaho personal injury lawyer, they can professionally review the details of your case, so you can find out whether your claim is one that should be pursued, long before you start investing money and time into building your case.

Timing

In many instances, high-value claims that are not too complex will reach a satisfactory conclusion for all parties within approximately twelve to eighteen months. However, it is vital to note that claimants are advised against settling before their medical treatment is complete. That’s because medical bills that are accrued after a settlement is received will have to be covered by the agreed upon monies. No additional settlements or negotiations will be provided once the claim is closed.

How Does Florida’s Negligence Law Work?

Personal injury cases will often revolve around the negligence of the party being blamed for the damage. In order to collect compensation, the plaintiff in a civil case must prove that the defendant is liable because of a failure to perform duties and responsibilities. This breach of duty should be directly tied to the specific injury. The court will have to determine if a reasonable person would have acted in the same way as the defendant or not. The specifics will often vary depending on the statutes in the state. So, how does Florida’s negligence law work?

Comparative Negligence

In some states, the plaintiff will have to show that his hands are clean and that the defendant is the only negligent party in order to collect any form of compensation. Florida, on the other hand, recognizes that fault is not always absolute. Sometimes an accident can happen because of the actions of two or more parties. However, one side will usually suffer more damage than the others. In such a case, the compensation will be awarded based on the comparative negligence of the parties. The one who is deemed to be more negligent will have to pay the other, with the amounts based on their contributing actions.

Damage Caps

For regular personal injury cases, there are no damage caps that would limit the amount that plaintiffs can collect. They can get as much as they are reasonably entitled, subject to their relative fault as determined by the court, based on their medical expenses, lost wages, and other related costs. For medical malpractice cases, there is also no cap for non-economic damages, like pain and suffering, although a suitable monetary amount can be difficult to determine. As for punitive damages resulting from serious unethical behavior, the cap is set at half a million dollars or three times the amount of compensatory damages.

Time Limits

There is no single time limit for negligence cases since they are varied and must be dealt with individually. Those who are interested in filing a lawsuit must be mindful of the deadlines and move quickly so as not to forfeit their right to receive compensation for injuries.

Equating Fault with Liability

The way that negligence law works in the state of Florida is an attempt to produce fair judgments. Fault is tied to liability so that a person’s penalties are always commensurate to his actions. In Florida, it is considered as fundamentally unfair to make a person who is only twenty percent at fault to pay for one hundred percent of the damages. It is also unfair to deny an injured person the right to be compensated if he had a one percent contribution to the incident when the other party is ninety-nine percent responsible. Negligence can take the form of a failure to maintain a fleet of commercial vehicles or a wrong diagnosis of a certain ailment. To learn more about this subject, contact a personal injury lawyer in Boca Raton.

What Happened in the Monsanto Whistleblower Case?

Whistleblowing is when a company’s employee informs the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) about wrongdoings at the company. The wrongdoing could be: laws being broken, fraudulent activity, safety violations, and more. One such whistleblower blew the whistle on the company of Monsanto.

What Happened?

The whistleblower was an executive at Monsanto who reported that some fraudulent accounting occurred regarding rebates. The rebates were offered to distributors and retailers for the Roundup weed-killing product, because a generic version of roundup had undercut the company’s profits.

The promotional rebates helped the product and Monsanto greatly, which Monsanto did put on the books, however, they didn’t record other related costs, which led to a misrepresentation of profits.

At this point the Monsanto whistleblower’s identity is unknown and his attorney, Stuart Meissner, continues to assist the whistleblower with this case.

Why is This Case Important?

All whistleblower cases are important. It’s necessary to expose companies that engage in fraudulent behavior and break the law. They must be exposed so that others don’t continue engaging in these types of practices, which really hurt everyone, including investors.

Why Do You Need to Blow the Whistle?

Blowing the whistle is important because employees are able to see wrongful behavior at a company far better than anyone on the outside ever could. The government would likely never know about laws being broken unless they receive a tip. That’s why the SEC created the whistleblower program back in 2011.

It’s helped uncover many wrongful acts that companies have engaged in. This is good for everyone and helps keep companies honest. The punishment for a company that is caught engaging in wrongdoing is hefty sanctions from the SEC.

Why Blow the Whistle? What’s in it for You?

So, why would anyone want to blow the whistle in the first place? There’s a lot of risk involved in doing so. You could lose your job, your employer could retaliate against you in other ways, and you will likely receive a lot of negative attention.

If you lose your job your life could be impacted financially, your family could be affected, and you might even have difficulty getting a job ever again. Most people don’t want to blow the whistle. They don’t want to deal with the life upset that this could cause. In other words, what’s in it for you?

There is one thing in it for you: you can receive a large reward for blowing the whistle. If your tip or information leads to sanctions against the company you’ve blown the whistle on, then you can receive a percentage of the sanction amount.

For instance, if the government hits the company with a $4 million dollar sanction, you could receive a percentage of the sanction amount, usually between 10 and 30 percent. In this Monsanto case, the whistleblower received $22 million.

In addition to the cash reward, you also get to feel good knowing that you did the right thing and uncovered wrongdoing.

Need Some Legal Help from a Whistleblower Lawyer?

It can be frightening to blow the whistle on your employer, especially when your livelihood depends on that job. It’s a difficult decision but if you truly believe it’s time to alert the government to wrongdoings at your company you should contact a lawyer.

An SEC whistleblower attorney can walk you through the process and will be by your side during the aftermath. Doing the right thing can be a lot easier if someone is there to help you decide what the right thing is, and is there to help you do it. You don’t have to go through this situation alone.

How to Get Backlinks to Your Law Firm Website

You want your website to receive as much traffic as possible. You probably also hope that your website will appear at the top of Google’s search results pages when a user types in information that’s relevant to your law firm’s website, right?

Of course you do. But how do you beat out all the other law firms trying to reach the same audience you are? One of the best ways is to utilize search engine optimization (SEO) strategies, so that you can be in those top spots when someone conducts a search.

These strategies are always changing, as is the effectiveness of certain strategies, but one method that seldom loses its value is that of the backlink. There’s power in the backlink and it can help your website shoot to the top, but how do you get those juicy backlinks to power up your website?

Be Awesome

One way to get backlinks is to have an amazing website with information that everyone is crazy for. If you have the best content out there that others find useful, then people will link to your website because they want to—without you even having to ask them. Imagine that!

Guest Posts

Another way to get those golden backlinks is to do guest posts on other people’s sites or blogs. This can be free or you may be required to pay for the chance to be a guest, especially if it’s a prestigious site that others want to be a guest on. If you do enough guest posts this can really boost your law firm’s website.

Purchase Them

Another way to get backlinks is to purchase them. It sounds a little under-the-table, if you know what I’m saying, but it’s legit. The value of your backlinks could vary considerably though, depending on who sold you the links. Additionally, it can get pretty pricey if you’re having to pay for backlinks all the time.

Need Some Help Boosting Your Law Firm Website’s Rankings?

Contact an SEO company that knows how to perform link building for law firm websites. Using a company that specializes in getting your website to the top will save you a lot of headache, and will allow you to focus on what you’re good at—practicing law!

Backlinks and other strategies are important to growing your business, but no one says that you have to do the heavy lifting.