Feb 25, 2015
Insurance companies are designed to protect their policyholders financially when their clients need them most. There is a paid-for promise and contractual agreement that the insurance provider will work with and compensate a client for the claims covered in their insurance policies. Unfortunately, some insurance companies practice bad faith insurance ethics that result in financial strains on the clients that are not receiving the proper compensation.
Bad faith insurance law exists to protect consumers from unethical insurance practices. Insurance bad faith occurs when the insurance provider deliberately deceives or refuses to perform a contractual obligation to the appropriate policyholder. Most United States jurisdictions protect policy holders from bad faith insurance through implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing.
According to the website of Smith Kendall PLLC, bad faith insurance may arise during coverage disputes, deceptive trade practice violations, and insurance code violations. For example, an insurance adjuster may be negotiating in bad faith if insisting their policyholder’s claim is worth significantly less or offers a low settlement offer with specific reasons for the lower status. Bad faith may also arise if the company engages in fraud or blatant lies that impede the policyholder’s ability to pursue the claim.
When an insurance company breaches their contract, a tort claim may be filed with the breach of contract claim in order of the policyholder to receive the necessary compensation. In cases that are brought to trial, a settlement greater than the original policy claim is often reached to return damages caused to the client.
If you believe you are a victim of bad faith insurance, consult an insurance attorney in your state to discuss your legal options and receive compensation for the financial strain you have suffered.
Feb 24, 2015
A criminal charge can affect anyone’s daily life substantially. Criminal charges can damage a person’s reputation permanently. A sentence may seem fleeting in the long-term, but what happens when a parent with a criminal charge suddenly finds themselves in a child custody battle? These criminal charges suddenly are more substantial and may affect the outcome of a child custody case.
10 percent of divorces are contested and result in child custody cases to determine the living situation and visitation rights of the parents. Almost every child custody case is determined by what action would be in the best interest of the child. As the website of Brent Horst, Attorney at Law says, when a parent’s criminal record shows current or past charges against the individual, it is not bode well for them. However, a number of factors play into the decision the court could make such as the victim of the offense, the type of offense, the time frame of the conviction, the nature of the sentence, and the frequency of convictions.
Cases involving assault and battery, domestic violence, or child abuse will carry heavy weight in deciding a custody case. As a Houston divorce lawyer would know, the court, in aiming to protect the child, can and will set strict limitations for interacting with the child in these cases to protect the minor from becoming a victim of reoccurring violence from the parent. The court is legally allowed to assume that the actions were not isolated and therefore present a clear and present danger to the child. The may even terminate the parental rights to a child in serious cases.
Custody can also be made difficult if the crimes committed were related to drug and alcohol abuse. Driving under the influence is a serious crime that may result in harsher custody agreements. If the drug or alcohol related convictions are recent, courts may demand a hair follicle drug test to determine if drug use is still a concern. A positive drug test will often result in child visitations with required supervision. However, older cases that prove to be isolated incidents may persuade judges to be more lenient with their rulings.
Parental rights to a child are precious and should be protected. If you are currently involved in a child custody battle that includes a parent with criminal convictions, consult a family or criminal defense attorney in your area to discuss your options.
Feb 21, 2015
Trade dress is a type of intellectual property that is protected by the law from copy or theft. Similar to a trademark, trade dress is the packaging, promotion, or any other element that is used to promote or sell a product or service. This could include the décor of a store, the likeness of a product, distinctive display cases for a product, or the environment of a facility.
It is important to register trademarks and trade dresses with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to receive a legally protect your product or ideas with federal courts. In order to receive a patent and the protection it provides, two things must be true: the trade dress must be distinctive or required a secondary meaning and unlicensed duplication of the product or trade dress must cause a likelihood of consumer confusion.
In order for a trade dress to be inherently distinctive, it must be unusual or memorable in such a way that consumers will identify the product or service as conceptually separable from similar offerings. The trade dress must also serve as a distinct identifier of the origin of the product.
Functional elements of a product cannot be trademarked or trade dress. An example of this would be a Tiffany & Co. jewelry box. The box itself is a functional vessel that cannot be trade dress. However, the Tiffany blue color and white ribbon that accompanies the functionality of the box are capable of trade dress to protect Tiffany & Co. from individuals looking to imitate and profit from the sales of a like item.
According to the website of Gagnon, Peacock & Vereeke, P.C., a trade dress infringement can cause lost profits, monetary damages, and statutory damages. If you believe that you are a victim of trade dress infringement, consult a, intellectual property attorney in your state to protect your product and ideas.
Feb 20, 2015
Chemotherapy and radiation therapy can make the long road to recovery from cancer a truly miserable experience. When Zofran was created to help with the nausea and vomiting side effects of cancer drug treatments, it helped thousands of people. The drugs works by blocking serotonin the substance in the body that causes vomiting.
Common side effects of using the drug include headaches, lightheadedness, dizziness, or constipation. However, there are reports that women who took Zofran while pregnant are having children with serious birth defects. There’s a correlation between the drug and birth injuries that include cleft lips, cleft palates, and congenital heart defects. Zofran was previously prescribed to pregnant women experiencing morning sickness.
Ondansetron, the active ingredient in Zofran, was assigned a pregnancy category B by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. This means that the use of Zofran should only be considered when the benefits to the pregnant mother outweigh the risk of birth defect to the infant. Animal studies of the drug did not reveal any indication that the Zofran causes birth defects. Currently there is no controlled data about human pregnancy and birth after the drug was taken, and therefore no substantial data as to side effects related taking Zofran while pregnant.
Zofran works by curbing the natural substance serotonin in the body. Drugs that are serotonergic are known to cause birth defects when taken by pregnant women during the most important stages of fetal development. The drugs Paxil and Zoloft are examples of this.
If your child was born with birth defects that you believe were caused by the use of Zofran while pregnant, consult a Zofran lawyer in your area to discuss legal options. The physical, emotional, and financial damages you and your child have suffered deserve compensation.
Feb 17, 2015
An SR-22 is a guarantee of car insurance that is often required after traffic violations occur. The form is not car insurance; it is a certificate of financial responsibility that works as proof that the holder has insurance that meets the state’s minimum car insurance requirements. More specifically, an SR-22 ensures that the certificate holder will maintain the minimum insurance requirements for a set amount of time.
According to the website of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, SR-22 coverage is often required when a number of serious traffic violations occur. These could include driving under the influence, driving while intoxicated, driving without car insurance, involvement in a serious car accident, or driving with a suspended or revoked license. While SR-22 durations can vary, most states require the SR-22 certificate to be filed for three years.
Most states require the SR-22 to be filed directly through the car insurance provider to ensure that there is no falsification of car insurance status. There is generally a small, onetime fee associated with filing an SR-22 with the Secretary of State department. Unfortunately, since SR-22 certificates are directly related to severe traffic violations, car insurance premiums often go up substantially because the driver is now a “high-risk” driver. However, there is always a financially feasible option for everyone in need of an SR-22 certificate.
There are some cases when insurance providers will refuse to insure a high-risk driver and will deny an SR-22 certificate to their client. This requires an individual to shop for insurance to cover them for the future. In some cases, a person may be forced to file with the state insurance, paying high premiums than for most market insurance companies.
Having and keeping up to date insurance is important to protect yourself from financial repercussions. There are affordable, easy options that still meet the state’s minimum requirements. For more information about filing an SR-22, seek advice from your local car accident lawyer.