Standards Observed by Austin Courts when Determining Child Conservatorship

In determining the issue of child custody during a divorce case state courts have the same primary consideration: the best interest of the child. In Title 5 Sec. 153.002 of the Texas Family Code, this same consideration is stipulated: “The best interest of the child shall always be the primary consideration of the court in determining the issues of conservatorship and possession of and access to the child.”

A child’s best interest, according to the court, however, does not mean what the child wants, it is rather what the court deems is best for him/her.

When determining conservatorship or custodianship (of a child), the overarching standards of Austin courts include: (i) assurance that the child will have frequent and continuing contact with parents who have shown the ability to act in the best interest of the child; (ii) provision of a safe, stable, and non-violent environment for the child; and, (iii) encouragement of parents to share in the rights and duties of raising their child (even after the parents have separated or have had their marriage dissolved).

Due to the fact that the issue of conservatorship, when settled in court, can be emotionally draining, besides being contentious (between the spouses) and legally complex, courts, therefore, encourage divorcing spouses to find ways that will allow them to work together in order for them to arrive at an amicable agreement regarding child custody. Failure to come to agreeable terms will result to their divorce case needing to be filed in court. If this happens, settling the conservatorship issue will be left to the family court judge whose decision on who will be the child’s custodian, will be legal and binding whether this decision is acceptable to all concerned (the spouses and the child himself/herself).

While a child, upon reaching the age of 12, can sign a “Choice of Managing Conservator” document to petition the courts to make or alter its original decision regarding conservatorship, this does not mean that the courts will grant his/her preferred living arrangements as this may be contrary to what the courts see to be in his/her best interest.

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Reporting Nursing Home Abuse

Entrusting care of your elderly loved one to a nursing home can be a difficult decision. You will be sending your aged relative to an unfamiliar territory. When you do decide to entrust them to such facility, you always have the assumption that they will be treated with dignity and compassion. This is not happening, unfortunately. According to the website of Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, nursing home abuse is quite prevalent even under unlikely circumstances.

Nursing home abuse can be a difficult problem. It is something that is hard to define and identify. If there are indications of abuse, seldom is it reported to authorities. According to a two-year study by the Special Investigations Division of the House Government Reform Committee, nursing home violations occur in 30-percent of US nursing homes. Most of them are unreported and if reported, proving it can still be a challenge. Here are the steps in reporting nursing home abuse:

Pre-suit Investigation

Right at the onset of filing the case, the complexity of nursing home abuse becomes evident. You will have to acquire medical records for the elderly. These documents will then need to be reviewed not only for the time the elderly was residing in the facility but also 5 to 10 years prior to admission. Likewise, you will have to look for any signs of abuse such as bedsores, bruises, behavioral changes, and others.

Discovery

Once abuse has been confirmed, you will then have to file an incident report. If the caretaker of the facility is a doctor, social worker, or other government employees, they are required by law to report nursing home abuse. Citizens can also report suspected nursing home abuse. Make sure to include important details of the abuse when reporting.

Filing

There are several ways to file a nursing home abuse report

  • Through the Eldercare Locator at 1-800-677-1116
  • The state resources page of the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) by the Administration on Aging (AoA) to locate the proper authorities for reporting nursing home abuse in the state. There may be several hotlines you need to call.
  • Through the elderly’s primary health care doctor, social worker, elder care advocate, or their immediate health care term provided they are not part of those who are being reported.
  • For severe cases of nursing home abuse, call 911

The elderly people are on the twilight of their lives. As they count down to their last days, they expect utmost care and attention and not the other way around.

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Worst Case Scenarios: Amusement Park Edition

Nothing bad ever happens at amusement parks, right? When you think about them, only pictures and maybe memories of fun times with friends and family are the pictures that come to mind. From the phrase itself, “amusement parks” are places where people smile, laugh, and have a good time and so it’s easy to momentarily suspend your disbelief for a moment and genuinely think that nothing bad could ever happen to you when you’re at an amusement park.

Unfortunately, as according to the website of the lawyers with Williams Kherkher, this is far from the actual truth.

Though there are people within the management of amusement parks who are held accountable to deliver on their duty of care towards their audiences, sometimes there are just some instances that slip through the cracks.

People expect some thrills from certain attractions at certain parks, after all, but they don’t agree to allow themselves to be barely strapped into a metal contraption that goes who knows how fast through metal hoops, fifty feet in the air, unless they knew that the attraction itself was safe. They want the adrenaline and the adventure but with the promise of safety, which is exactly what amusement parks are expected to deliver.

For example, a roller coaster car could accidentally stop in the middle of a loop or a car of a ferris wheel could suddenly break while it’s at the top of its ascent. These are dangerous situations that may not seem plausible but are definitely possible if the management does not care for the attractions appropriately or enough.

Amusement parks need to be equipped and prepared for worst case scenarios and that includes preventing them in the first place. Each and every attraction must first be inspected and tested before it is opened to the public, and even then—they must be regularly inspected for any damage so that necessary repairs or safety upgrades could be installed. If they fail to abide by this standard of care then they would be held legally accountable to all the damages done by their negligence. Click here for more information on personal injury statistics within the US workforce.

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Design and Manufacturing Defects in Automobiles

Our car is one of the most important products in our lives and one that we rightfully expect to be entirely safe. Unfortunately, cars can become defective or even sold to us with a defect risking our or our family’s safety. Sadly, negligent car manufacturers often know of the defects or failed to take the proper precautions to prevent them, putting drivers of the vehicle and other drivers at the road at increased risk for an accident.

There are two common kinds of defects that can occur in an automobile. The first is known as a design defect and occurs when there is an inherent problem in the vehicle’s design, making every car in the product line defective. This can include a brake pad that tends to go out over time or an airbag that fails to deploy during accidents. The other most common kind of defect is a manufacturing defect, which is when a flaw in a vehicle is not related to the design, but rather a problem when the vehicle was being made. Although they may not occur in every vehicle in a line, manufacturing defects can include an improperly installed car battery or a cracked window. When either of these defects occur and cause injury to the driver of the vehicle or another on the road, lawsuits can often be filed against the car manufacturer as they can often be held responsible for the defective products they distribute, according to http://www.shw-law.com/. Accidents caused by defects can not only lead to extensive medical and auto repair bills, but emotional and physical turmoil.

Automobiles should be held to the upmost safety standards and we should trust automobile manufacturers to release viable products to the public. When automobile companies violate this trust, the effects can be devastating. Driving should never be made more dangerous due to a design or manufacturing defect in a vehicle.

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Medical Malpractice: What Causes Wrongful Death?

Medical professionals hold an astounding amount of responsibility in their hands. Physicians, nurses, and other health care personnel are accountable for millions of patients every day. From simple ailments to live-threatening conditions, medical professionals are expected to give their patients the best care and treatment they can offer.

Sometimes, reality paints a grimmer picture. There are moments when the medical professionals fail to live up to the standards mandated by the fields of medicine and health care. In some cases, these incidents lead to fatalities that could have otherwise been easily prevented. As pointed out by Hach & Rose on their website, around 10,000 individuals are expected to die due to medical malpractice and hospital negligence each year. This significant number shows that wrongful death is a serious issue in the medical profession.

Wrongful death happens when physicians, nurses, and other medical staff commit negligent errors. Sometimes, these errors may seem like of little consequence. However, considering the stakes involved in such cases, slight mistakes can’t be excused. The errors that lead to such tragic outcomes often include the following:

  • Wrong or delayed diagnosis
  • Surgical errors
  • Failure to follow standard procedures
  • Inability to properly care for and observe patient

According to the website of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, a patient’s death can be justly compensated through a medical malpractice suit if it was caused by any negligent behavior on the part of medical staff and the hospital or institution they are serving. With an experienced personal injury lawyer, surviving family members can receive appropriate damages for the pain and suffering caused to them by an incident of medical malpractice. If you are in a similar situation, don’t hesitate to contact a lawyer practicing in your area to learn more about your legal options.

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