Life Changing Events and Will Revision

In the event of your passing, estate planning is important in order to have your wishes followed, while also protecting your loved ones. Having all legal paperwork in place is essential regardless of your financial standing, age, or marital status. Estate planning is a vital part to financial planning for the future.

There are 5 major life events that should prompt you to revise your estate plan as they could have an impact on your estate if left untouched.

  1. Personal Injury Settlement: This type of settlement is often distinguished from other assets and should be outlined in legal documents. When a victim is awarded a personal injury settlement, it is important to determine how remaining payments (if any) should be provided to your estate. Utilizing an Sacramento estate lawyer can help to handle this life changing event in particular.
  2. Inheritance: If someone passes away leaving you the beneficiary of their assets, you will need to make a plan in terms of how those assets will be distributed in the event of your death.
  3. Marriage or Divorce: Marital status has a heavy impact on estate planning. Regardless of whether or not you are recently married or divorced, your Will should be reviewed and amended.
  4. Birth or Adoption of a Child: You will want your child to be included in your estate plan to ensure that they are taken care of after you pass away. Adding them to your estate plan can help to alleviate this concern and ensure that your children are taken care of should you pass away. This should also be revisited when your child gets married.
  5. Death of a Beneficiary: If the person you identified to either be executor of your estate or, as a beneficiary of assets passes away, you should immediately update you will.

There is more to estate planning than planning for beneficiaries and assets. Estate planning also requires updating if you are impacted by any of the above five life changing events.

Everyone is encouraged to speak with an estate planning lawyer as soon as possible to create the legal documents necessary to protect themselves and their loved ones in the future.

Yee Law Group Sacramento Probate Attorneys and Estate PlanningThanks to our friends and contributors from Yee Law Group for their insight into wills and estate planning.

Does Running a Family Business Constitute Voluntary Underemployment When Calculating Child Support? 


While the standard calculations for child support in Florida are fairly straightforward, parties engaged in a contentious divorce often find issues to raise with the amount of child support awarded–and, of course, divorces can easily become contentious when children are involved. For example, claims of voluntary under- or unemployment by one party can lead to serious questions about the appropriate amount of child support.

The heart of the issue is determining what constitutes voluntary under- or unemployment. In general, Florida statute allows the trial court to take into consideration foregone income when calculating child support due if one party is determined to be under- or unemployed–but what do courts consider when weighing this issue?

The case of Gillette v. Gillette examines the matter closely. Joseph and Andrea Gillette were formerly married. During the course of their marriage, Joseph left his $90,000-a-year job in order to start his own business. Andrea supported her then-husband in this endeavor. However, while Joseph’s business provided the family with certain advantages including scheduling flexibility that allowed him to take care of their son, his income dropped dramatically; he never made more than $13,000 annually in the nine years between the business’ inception and the divorce.

Andrea Gillette claimed that her former spouse should be considered voluntarily underemployed for the purposes of calculating child support. The trial court disagreed, and the Fourth District Court of Appeal sided with the trial court.

For the appellate court, two issues were at the heart of their determination. First, while Andrea brought in expert testimony regarding Joseph’s earning potential, the expert didn’t take into consideration technological changes in Joseph’s industry since he left outside employment; this was key as Joseph had been out of his former fast-changing industry for more than a decade. Second–and perhaps more importantly–the spouses were in agreement while still married that Joseph should maintain his business rather than seeking formal employment.

In short, while voluntary underemployment can affect child support decisions in Florida, the fact that one former spouse could potentially earn more by leaving their business for a formal job isn’t enough to prove the issue. Consult with an experienced attorney such as the family attorney Tampa FL locals trust.

McKinney Law GroupThanks to authors at Mckinney Law Group for their insight into Family Law.

Dividing pension and retirement accounts in divorce | Lorona Mead


Pensions and various retirement accounts are valued and divided in divorce. Just as the income you and your spouse earned during the marriage is part of the divisible marital estate, so are the retirement and pension account values vested at the time of the divorce. While family law rules impose rights to shares of retirement assets, the parties in a divorce can use their rights to offset other property or asset division. In a settlement agreement, the parties may want to agree that one spouse keeps their full retirement account and pension interests and the other may be allowed to keep the home, free and clear, for example.

However pension and retirement assets are to be divided, it is important to properly value and follow applicable law on retirement and pension division. It is important to speak with an experienced attorney such as the family law attorney Plano TX locals trust.

Pension Accounts

When dividing marital assets in divorce, vested pensions and future payments are valued, divided and assigned to each spouse in settlement of by the court’s order. If the parties agree that one spouse should keep their full and undivided pensions, the bargain for exchange should be written in the divorce settlement agreement. When pension accounts are to be divided, the court’s order will set forth the required payments or shares to divided among the parties. A Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) is required by law and is a separate order which identifies a date for payment, parties to pay, and a lump sum or monthly percentage of pension payments.

Qualified Retirement Accounts

Like pensions, retirement accounts such as 401(k) accounts are joint marital assets and require a QDRO for division in divorce. The order states a specific amount or lump sum payment instructions. Note that not all retirement plans are subject to the QDRO requirement, which applies only to qualified retirement plans covered by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).

Individual Retirement and SEP Assets

If you have an IRA account, it may be treated like any other investment account asset and there is no additional requirement that a QDRO be used to divide it. This is a perceived benefit of an IRA when the limits of transferability are concerned. A Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) IRA, commonly found in small and solo employee businesses, is not a pension plan within the meaning of ERISA which imposes the QDRO requirement.

When dividing pension and retirement accounts, every pension and retirement account plan administrator may have their own rules and procedures in complying with court-ordered divisions in divorce cases. It is important to seek the advice of an experienced divorce attorney experienced in all areas of divorce including pension and retirement account division.

Scroggins Family LawThanks to authors at Scroggins Law for their insight into Family and Divorce Law.

What happens when health care professionals illegally obtain prescription drugs for their own use?


Health care professionals (doctors, nurses, nursing assistants, etc.) are people too.  They have health problems just like their patients.  The difference is that a patient needs to go to a doctor to get a prescription drug, but a doctor can prescribe it himself, and other health care professionals either have access to the drugs without first obtaining a prescription, or can access prescription forms (paper or on-line) and forge a prescription.

When a health care professional writes a prescription to a fictitious person and gets the medications for himself, or writes a prescription to a real person but diverts the medications to himself, this is known as “prescription drug fraud.”  The elements of this crime are set forth in VA Code §18.2-258.1:  Obtaining drugs, procuring administration of controlled substances, etc., by fraud, deceit or forgery. 

            Below, I have reprinted the Code section for the reader’s review and have put in bold the portions I believe are relevant to most of the health care provider prescription drug charge cases that I have handled.  In summary, to prove guilt of Prescription Drug Fraud, the Commonwealth (the Prosecutor) must show, beyond a reasonable doubt: (1) That the defendant obtained a prescription drug (e.g. Percocets, Oxycodone) by either (i) Fraud, deceit, misrepresentation, embezzlement, or (ii) by representing himself to be the person authorized to write the prescription.

VA Code § 18.2-258.1. Obtaining drugs, procuring administration of controlled substances, etc., by fraud, deceit or forgery.

  1. It shall be unlawful for any person to obtain or attempt to obtain any drug or procure or attempt to procure the administration of any controlled substance or marijuana: (i) by fraud, deceit, misrepresentation, embezzlement, or subterfuge; (ii) by the forgery or alteration of a prescription or of any written order; (iii) by the concealment of a material fact; or (iv) by the use of a false name or the giving of a false address.
  2. It shall be unlawful for any person to furnish false or fraudulent information in or omit any information from, or willfully make a false statement in, any prescription, order, report, record, or other document required by Chapter 34 (§ 54.1-3400 et seq.) of Title 54.1.
  3. It shall be unlawful for any person to use in the course of the manufacture or distribution of a controlled substance or marijuana a license number which is fictitious, revoked, suspended, or issued to another person.
  4. It shall be unlawful for any person, for the purpose of obtaining any controlled substance or marijuana to falsely assume the title of, or represent himself to be, a manufacturer, wholesaler, pharmacist, physician, dentist, veterinarian or other authorized person.
  5. It shall be unlawful for any person to make or utter any false or forged prescription or false or forged written order.
  6. It shall be unlawful for any person to affix any false or forged label to a package or receptacle containing any controlled substance.
  7. This section shall not apply to officers and employees of the United States, of this Commonwealth or of a political subdivision of this Commonwealth acting in the course of their employment, …

The statute goes on to say that the punishment is a Class 6 Felony.  This is the smallest felony and is punishable by

For Class 6 felonies, a term of imprisonment of not less than one year nor more than five years, or in the discretion of the jury or the court trying the case without a jury, confinement in jail for not more than 12 months and a fine of not more than $2,500, either or both.

Also, embedded into §18.2-258.1, is a very helpful paragraph H.  It has an alternate punishment of a Class 1 Misdemeanor for those who plead guilty and complete a drug program.

  1. Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, any person who shall violate any provision herein shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony.

Whenever any person who has not previously been convicted of any offense under this article or under any statute of the United States or of any state relating to narcotic drugs, marijuana, or stimulant, depressant, or hallucinogenic drugs, or has not previously had a proceeding against him for violation of such an offense dismissed, or reduced as provided in this section, pleads guilty to or enters a plea of not guilty to the court for violating this section, upon such plea if the facts found by the court would justify a finding of guilt, the court may place him on probation upon terms and conditions.

As a term or condition, the court shall require the accused to be evaluated and enter a treatment and/or education program, if available, such as, in the opinion of the court, may be best suited to the needs of the accused. This program may be located in the judicial circuit in which the charge is brought or in any other judicial circuit as the court may provide. The services shall be provided by a program certified or licensed by the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services. The court shall require the person entering such program under the provisions of this section to pay all or part of the costs of the program, including the costs of the screening, evaluation, testing and education, based upon the person’s ability to pay unless the person is determined by the court to be indigent.

As a condition of supervised probation, the court shall require the accused to remain drug free during the period of probation and submit to such tests during that period as may be necessary and appropriate to determine if the accused is drug free. Such testing may be conducted by the personnel of any screening, evaluation, and education program to which the person is referred or by the supervising agency.

Unless the accused was fingerprinted at the time of arrest, the court shall order the accused to report to the original arresting law-enforcement agency to submit to fingerprinting.

Upon violation of a term or condition, the court may enter an adjudication of guilt upon the felony and proceed as otherwise provided. Upon fulfillment of the terms and conditions of probation, the court shall find the defendant guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

The #1 goal of any criminal defense attorney who is doing his/her job is to get the charge dismissed.  If you want a dismissal, there are only two ways to get that.  1.  Get the Prosecutor to drop the charge.  This is called a “nolle prossequi” which is Latin for “Not Prosecute,” or  2.  Go to trial and win.

If dismissal is not possible, then having the Prosecutor drop the charge to a Misdemeanor or getting the Judge to do so using subsection H are great outcomes.  While having a Misdemeanor on your record is not desirable, and can cause loss or suspension of a health care state license, it is much much better than having a Felony.  A Felony can have catastrophic consequences to job searches and can cause loss of certain government benefits.  Also, a Felony causes, among other things, the loss of the right to vote and loss of the right to possess a firearm.

An experienced attorney such as the criminal defense attorney Fairfax VA

locals trust should be a paramount concern of a health care provider charged with prescription fraud.  Many inexperienced lawyers don’t even know about subsection H.  In addition, if you want a Prosecutor to drop the charge or to offer a Misdemeanor, then your attorney needs to show the Prosecutor that he may lose the case.  Remember, a “Plea Bargain” has the word “bargain” in it.  That means each side gets something.  If a Prosecutor thinks he is going to win, then he is unlikely to drop the case or even offer to amend it to a Misdemeanor.  Your experienced attorney needs to show the Prosecutor the weaknesses in the case in order to get the Prosecutor to “bargain.”

Albo & Oblon Attorney and counselors at lawA special thanks to our authors at Albo & Oblon, LLP for their insight into Criminal Law.


How can the State determine I’ve committed DWI through drug use?


Texas Penal Code Section 49.01: A person commits DWI when, while driving, through the use of alcohol, drugs, controlled substance, or any combination thereof, he has lost the normal use of either his mental or physical faculties OR he has 0.08 or more alcohol concentration in his blood.

If you are facing a DWI charge where alcohol is involved, there are easier ways to determine whether or not you are intoxicated. For example, the officer could smell alcohol on your breath or you had a blood concentration level of 0.08 or more.

But, if the State is alleging that you are intoxicated through the use of medication or drugs, this is determined on a case by case basis. The state has to show, based on the facts, that you have lost the normal use of your mental or physical faculties.

What drugs would be considered intoxicating?

The U.S. Department of Justice’s Drug Enforcement Administration Division has listed out which drugs are considered to be a controlled substance and intoxicating.

How can these drugs affect my mental or physical faculties?

Some of the drugs listed above can produce side effects that will make you intoxicated just as much as 0.08 level of blood alcohol can.

CNS depressants

  • Slow down the functions of the brain and body
  • Can cause dizziness, drowsiness, confusion, impaired/slowed thinking, difficult to understand directions
  • Can be detected by the HGN test used in drunk driving
  • Some include:
    • Alcohol
    • Carisoprodol/Meprobamate
    • Diazepam (Valium)
    • Ambien

CNS Stimulants

  • Speed up the functions of the brain and body, dizziness, confused or disoriented behavior, restlessness
  • Some include:
    • Methamphetamine/Amphetamine
    • Cocaine


  • Cause altered perceptions, impairs reaction time and perception, hallucinations, altered mental state
  • Some include:
    • LSD
    • Ecstasy


  • Effects motor behavior, perception, cognition, memory, and learning


  • inattentive, slower reaction times

What if I have a prescription?

This is not a defense to a DWI based on drug use. Even though some doctors are able to prescribe patients medications such as Valium, Ambien, etc., you can still be charged with DWI if the medication has inhibited your mental or physical faculties.

If you are facing a DWI charge that alleges you were intoxicated through drug use, speak with an experienced attorney such as the criminal defense attorney dallas tx locals trust.

robert guest and gray criminal defence lawyers Thanks to our authors at Robert Guest for their insight into Criminal Defense.


A statute of limitations is the amount of time that a person has to file a lawsuit. This time restriction is a limit that the court imposes based on where the person lives who initiates the lawsuit. If the statute of limitations expires, the person can never bring a lawsuit against the other party regardless of the severity of their damages.

Civil and Criminal Cases

Civil as well as criminal cases may have a statute of limitations, depending on the crime or complaint. The statute of limitations that applies in a particular situation also depends on the laws of that state. For example, if a case is a medical malpractice case and the statute of limitations is two years in that state, the plaintiff has two years to start the lawsuit process or it’s barred forever. Statutes of limitations can vary by state but the only one that matters is the jurisdiction where the person brings the case.

Do all cases have the same statute of limitations?

Some types of cases have a short statute of limitations and others have no statute of limitations at all. In family law cases, a person may have as little as a few months to claim that the other parent violated a custody agreement. In many personal injury cases, the statute of limitations is a few years.

Criminal cases usually have longer time limitations than civil cases. Even for a misdemeanor case, the statute of limitations is usually several years. For very serious offenses such as homicide, most states don’t have any time limitation.

Why have a statute of limitations?

The passage of time may make it difficult to preserve a defense or mount a counterclaim. As the years pass, witnesses may become unavailable as they move away or die. Paperwork and critical information gets lost. Lawmakers say that after a certain period of time, it isn’t fair to make a person defend something that happened a long time ago. They say that when a person has a valid case, they should bring it promptly.

Discovery Rule

In some cases, the statute of limitations doesn’t begin until a person knows or should know that they have a claim. If a person obviously knows that they have a case as soon as an event occurs, the statute of limitations begins the same day. An example of this is a person who suffers obvious injuries in a car crash. However, if it’s not something that the person discovers until later, their period to file a claim might not start until the discovery. Workplace illnesses or diseases may not present symptoms until years after the initial exposure. Mesothelioma, caused by asbestos exposure, is a good example of this.

A Person Can File the Case on the Very Last Day

Once a person files their case in court before the deadline, they’ve met the requirements of the statute of limitations. That is, the other side can’t stall the case once it’s been filed in order to claim that too much time has passed. Rather, filing the case before the deadline makes it valid even if the case takes years to litigate. There are exceptions to this, and a good personal injury lawyer Milwaukee, WI counts on can provide you with additional information specific to your case.

What are the options if the statute of limitations has passed?

If there’s any question about whether or not the statute of limitations has passed, the defendant can bring a motion to the court to address the issue. This is usually called a motion to dismiss or a motion for summary disposition. Then, it’s up to the judge to decide if the statute of limitations deadline has passed for the case. If it has, the case ends and it’s dismissed permanently.

Hickey & Turim SCThanks to our friends and contributors from Hickey & Turim LLP for their insight into personal injury practice.


Essential Questions in a Personal Injury Deposition | Lorona Mead Law

Depositions are critical in personal injury cases and must be handled adequately. If they aren’t handled well, it could mean not winning a settlement. In order for a deposition to be successful, the right questions must be asked. Here are some important questions lawyers should ask to get high-quality depositions:

  1. Preliminary/Introductory Questions

It’s important to obtain basic identification and background information about the deponent during this stage. Here are some of the questions lawyers may want to ask:

  • What is your name and date of birth?
  • Where do you live
  • Have you ever taken a deposition before?

Asking the deponent if he or she has taken a deposition lets a personal injury lawyer know if he or she understands the process or not. If this person has given depositions in the past, it’s okay to ask more information about the case. Other important questions to ask in this stage include:

  • I want to let you know the ground rules. Is that okay with you?
  • During a deposition, the court reporter records everything you say. That’s why it’s essential to always respond with words instead of gestures. Do you understand?
  • To prevent the court reporter from missing what was said, neither of us should talk over one another. Do you understand?
  • Do you realize that you are under oath and you are sworn to tell the truth?
  • If you don’t understand a question, don’t be afraid to speak up. I can rephrase the question. Do you understand?


  1. Questions Relating to the Accident

The purpose of this session is to obtain the deponent’s side of the story relating to the accident. In order to get detailed answers, it’s critical to ask good questions. For example, if there is a car accident lawsuit, the lawyer might inquire about weather conditions, road conditions and if there was a lot of traffic at the time of the accident. If there was a slip and fall accident, the lawyer might want to find out if there were any warning signs.


  1. Questions Relating to the Damage Claims

The session concentrates on finding the accurate valuation of the damages caused by the accident. Some of the questions lawyers may ask include:

  • Did you have any medical conditions before the accident?
  • Did the accident prevent you from doing your job and other activities?
  • How much medical is required to treat your injury?

It’s important for all of these questions and answers to be recorded by an experienced court reporter New York trusts to view and reference later.

Veritext Legal SolutionsThanks to our friends and contributors from Veritext for their insight into depositions.



The days of hailing a cab in the Big Apple have given way to the rise of drive share services that pick you up and take you away from the hustle and bustle of Times Square. In fact, ride share services such as Uber seemed poised to replace taxi cabs as the preferred alternative method of transportation for Americans that need a lift home from a bar or a quick trip to the airport.

Is that a good thing? The answer might be a resounding no, if you pay attention to the startling negative news the burgeoning ride share industry has received over the past year.

According to research performed by the New York Post, the number of auto accidents in the New York City statistical area that involved ride share drivers between 2014 and 2016 more than tripled from  534 to 1,672. Also referred to as black cars, ride share vehicles represent the only class of vehicles that experienced an increase in the number of accidents over the same period.


What is Causing Ride Share Accidents?

The increase in ride share vehicle accidents corresponds to the rapid increase in the number of ride share vehicles on the road since the advent of services such as Uber. Yet, how do we explain the five fatalities that involved ride share drivers in New York City during May and June of 2016, when the taxi industry recorded no fatalities during the same period?


Lack of Training

Unlike taxi service drivers, ride share drivers receive little, if any training to handle the daily grind of taking passengers to airports and grocery stores. Ride share drivers often work to supplement income generated from full time professions, and the extra work comes at night, when driving conditions typically are more likely to produce accidents.

What are the other reasons why we are seeing a rising number of ride share accidents?


Apps versus Monitors

Taxicab drivers have a large monitor that sits on the dashboard that alerts them to the next fare. Ride share drivers rely on cell phone applications that notify them of where to pick up the next passenger. Canadian researchers released a study that showed lowering your head to access information on a cell phone while you drive is more dangerous than getting behind the wheel with a blood alcohol content level of .10.

Accessing a ride share app to determine where a ride share driver needs to go next increases the potential for an auto accident.


Lack of Regulations

Taxicab companies must follow a large number of regulations to operate passenger services. However, ride share companies such as Uber face few municipal, state, and federal regulations. This means when a passenger chooses a ride share company to travel home, he or she is likely to ride in the back seat of a vehicle driven by someone who does not follow the same regulatory guidelines that apply to the taxi industry.


Poor Vetting

In cities such as Des Moines, Iowa, you cannot receive a taxicab permit if you have an operating while under the influence (OWI) conviction on your record over the past 10 years. Ride share drivers do not have to undergo the same legal scrutiny. In fact, ride share drivers never get drug or alcohol tested by the company that employs them. While taxi companies perform background checks, most ride share companies hire independent contractors online, without performing background checks. Taxi companies do not hire felons; ride share companies do not perform background checks to vet felons.


Driver Fatigue

Ride share drivers have no restrictions on the number of companies and accounts for which they perform driving services. Driver fatigue prompted the United State Congress to limit the number of consecutive hours truckers can log behind the wheel of a rig. No such limitations apply to ride share drivers who can work an eight-hour shift at a day job and work tired well into the night.


Vehicle Maintenance

Taxicab companies typically take care of vehicle maintenance issues. However, that is not the case with ride share companies. For example, Uber drivers use their own vehicles to make money and they are responsible for taking care of vehicle maintenance issues.


Thanks to our friends and contributors at Denver injury lawyers, Tenge law, for their knowledge in ride share accidents.

Generational Real Estate The Importance of an Attorney | Lorona Mead

The passing of a loved one can be an emotional time in the life of an individual. Coupled with the complexity of managing a loved one’s estate, the period where people should be coping with a loved ones passing, can become unbearably stressful.

Although the topic is tough to breach, it is important to seek legal advice from an experienced estate attorney to ensure the transfer of an individual’s assets is accomplished in the most efficient manner. The most complicated aspects of most estates are the real property components, whether a residential home, or net lease commercial real estate properties. To eliminate the tedious process of having your relatives apply for authorization from the state to act on behalf of the estate, a will or trust should be created which details all necessary procedures to dispose or hold the properties. If the property owner left a Will, the Executor is the authorized person.  If the property is in a Trust, the Trustee is the authorized person.  If there is no Will or Trust, someone must step forward and take responsibility to become the authorized person.

If there is no will or trust, the authorized person is the individual who files a petition to open a probate estate by volunteering to act as the administrator of the estate. After this step is completed, the administrator of the estate must file a petition with the court to obtain letters testamentary and open the probate estate. Once the executor, trustee, or authorized individual has received letters testamentary from the court, the assets of the deceased individual can be distributed as directed.

Once the real property is distributed as directed, the IRS or state may enact an inheritance tax or estate tax on the distributed assets. Estate taxes can be substantial on estates that have large commercial real property holdings. The current estate tax exclusion mandated by the IRS is $5.45 million. On property holdings less than this amount there will be no estate taxes against the assets.

However, for estates with large single tenant net lease property or other real estate holdings, the estate tax can be as high as 40% of the value of the real property at the time of inheritance. This causes many beneficiaries to be forced into the sale of the property simply to pay the tax bill. The estate tax bill is mildly offset by the basis of the property being adjusted to the fair market value of the real property upon the owner’s passing. This means that a property which an individual purchased in 1950 for $10,000 and is now worth $10 million, will not incur capital gains tax on the sale of the property. This tax provision can result in substantial savings.

Beneficiaries should contact licensed profiles like Sale Leaseback Broker Virginia upon the disposition of inherited assets. This will ensure that the property is sold at a maximum value while adhering to all legal obligations and minimizing the tax payment.

CALKAIN America's net lease company

Authors at Calkain provide extensive insight into Real Estate.

When are hospitals liable for medical malpractice?

When medical malpractice occurs, the effects can be devastating. Treatments that are meant to heal can end up causing major injuries or even death if done improperly. In the aftermath, it can sometimes be difficult to tell who is responsible. You know that you are entitled to compensation, but you aren’t sure who from.

According to the legal principle of “Respondent Superior,” employers are responsible for the actions of their employees, so long as those actions are within the normal scope of their employment. In the case of medical malpractice, this means that any negligence on the part of a hospital employee can be found as the responsibility of the hospital. So, when a nurse, attendant, or any other person on the hospital payroll makes a mistake that causes harm to the patient they are supposed to be healing, the hospital as an entity can be held liable.

There is an issue with this though, many doctors are not classified as employees of the hospital. Most of the doctors in America are independent contractors working for the hospital, and respondent superior very specifically does not apply to independent contractors. This is not a rule necessarily, there are certainly some doctors who are employees of the hospital. The distinction is also not always clear, a few good characteristics that can help determine this is as follows:

  • Does the doctor control their hours, or does the hospital?
  • Does the doctor decide their own vacation time?
  • Does the doctor set their own fees, or are they paid through the hospital?

If the doctor can be considered an employee, than the hospital will be responsible for their negligence. However, if they are an independent contractor than they are responsible for themselves, and will be personally liable in the event of medical malpractice.

The best case scenario for the victim will be when the hospital can be found liable. Hospitals will have much more available funds to seek for compensation. As medical malpractice injuries can be very costly to remedy, you may need this in order to fully cover your bills.

If you have been the victim of medical malpractice, speak to an attorney with skill and experience in medical malpractice. An attorney will be able to help you determine who will be the appropriate party to name the defendant, and ensure that you build a case that will earn you every single dime of compensation that you deserve.

Andrew R. Lynch P.C. A special thank you to our partners at Andrew R. Lynch P.C. for their extensive insight into Personal Injury.