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Lafayette Personal Injury, Criminal Law And Family Law Blog

Tax changes affect family law issues

Within a few weeks, the new year arrives and changes take place. These are not only changes brought about by New Year's resolutions, but new laws that may affect the family law decisions many people make in 2019. In fact, those in Louisiana who are considering divorce in the near future may be interested in the coming changes in the federal tax laws regarding alimony.

For the time being, the ex-spouse who paid alimony receives a tax deduction on the amount paid. This frequently encouraged the higher-earning spouse to agree to pay more spousal support. The receiver of the alimony was required to include all payments as taxable income, but that spouse was often in a lower tax bracket. The coming changes may have far-reaching effects for those considering divorce.

Mistakes in patient charts may lead to personal injury claims

It is not unusual to sit in a waiting room for a considerable amount of time before seeing a Louisiana doctor. Patients may notice receptionists, nurses and doctors passing around dozens of patient charts as they hurry through the appointments. The information inside those charts keeps a patient's health care team in the loop about the patient's history, health conditions, prescriptions and allergies that could prevent mistakes that may lead to personal injury claims. However, what if the mistakes are within the chart?

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology reports that 10 percent of patients report mistakes to their physicians after accessing online medical records. Mistakes can occur when patients have similar names, when medical staff fails to record details of the patient's history or when someone enters an incorrect code for a medical procedure. Doctors or nurses may also make other careless mistakes, such as recording hyperthyroidism instead of hypothyroidism or logging patient information in the wrong patient's file.

Car accidents claim hundreds of lives in Louisiana

As the year draws to a close, Louisiana police and safety agencies are doing the grim task of tallying the number of lives lost on the roads and highways. In a single parish, the State Police investigated 25 car accidents that included fatalities. Six of those deaths were pedestrians, and the most recent one occurred early Thanksgiving morning.

Perhaps even more tragic is that the victim of this accident was a 13-year-old boy. In the early morning hours, the teenager was walking along the shoulder of a multi-lane highway with two others when a vehicle driven by a 33-year-old Lafayette man struck him. The accident resulted in serious injuries, and medical responders transported the boy to the hospital. He died of his injuries a short time later.

Criminal defense involves challenging unlawful search

One of the fundamental rights of those in Louisiana or anywhere in the country is the protection from unlawful search and seizure. This means that law enforcement must follow rigid procedures to avoid violating the rights of someone they suspect of a crime. Police may not search someone's home, car or person without appropriate cause and, in some cases, a warrant. When building a criminal defense, one may work to exclude any evidence collected during an unlawful search.

Police searches are often carefully examined after someone is arrested for a crime. Often, as in the case of a recent arrest, officers search a vehicle during a routine traffic stop if they suspect the driver is involved in drug crimes. However, they must have a reason to pull the driver over and probable cause to conduct a search.

Do these things to achieve co-parenting success

When it comes to co-parenting success you may feel like a fish out of water. No matter how hard you try, you run into one problem after the next with your ex-spouse.

Forget about what's happened in the past, and turn your attention to the steps you can take to improve your situation in the future. Here are five things you can do to achieve a greater level of co-parenting success:

  • Don't focus solely on your feelings: There is nothing more important than doing what's best for your children. Just the same, consider the feelings of your ex-spouse. This allows you to make decisions that are best for everyone, not just you.
  • Remain flexible: You want to follow your parenting plan as closely as possible, but it's okay to make changes on the fly every now and again. If the other parent asks you to alter your visitation schedule, for example, consider if you can accommodate their request. Don't automatically shoot down the idea.
  • Don't turn every disagreement into an argument: This may be one of the things that lead to your divorce, but you don't have to continue this in the future. If you disagree about something, walk away and gather your thoughts. You'll soon come to find that small disagreements don't have to result in big fights.
  • Find a way to communicate: If you don't communicate well face-to-face, think about using text or email to stay in touch. Experiment with every option until you find something that the both of you are happy with.
  • Don't get in the way: If your children are with your ex for the day, enjoy your time alone as opposed to looking for ways to interrupt. Getting in the way can lead to additional arguments, which is what you're trying to prevent.

E-scooters increase risk for personal injury

The latest trend in travel is the e-scooter. More energy efficient than electric vehicles, e-scooters are popping up in cities in Louisiana and around the world. Just like scooters from decades ago, riders stand on a platform and hold onto handlebars at about waist-level. The difference is that the e-scooters are motorized and can achieve speeds well over the 20 mph limit many states are imposing. As a result, more riders are suffering serious personal injury.

Scooter riders seem to underestimating the danger of operating one of these toy-like vehicles. A novice rider may be unprepared for the rapid acceleration, and this increasingly leads to accidents. More emergency room doctors are treating scooter riders with broken bones and bruises, but traumatic brain injuries are on the rise. Few scooter riders wear helmets, and brain injury specialists say that crashing a scooter going at its top speed is similar to falling from a 20 foot height.

Speed and distraction lead to deadly car accidents

The sudden loss of a loved one in a traffic accident can be shocking and devastating to a family. In a moment, lives are changed, and a family is left to struggle with the aftermath. Speed and distraction play a major role in many Louisiana car accidents, and one local family is dealing with the grief and questions that follow such an accident.

A 58-year-old woman was driving eastbound with her passenger on a narrow road when a westbound wastewater truck crossed the line into her lane. The driver of the truck had apparently made an unsuccessful attempt to negotiate a curve in the road. As he tried to correct his mistake, he lost control of the truck, which collided with the woman's vehicle and rolled on top of it.

Regaining custody through a family law proceeding in court

Parents who have limited access to their children or who have lost custody because the court determined they could not provide a stable environment for their children may feel frustrated and lost. Being without one's children can be upsetting, and it may seem that precious time is passing while the children grow and change. However, there are family law options for these circumstances. Louisiana courts want to keep families together as much as possible, and those parents may have a chance to make things right.

Requesting a review of one's custody case is always an option. While receiving a new hearing does not always mean the parent will regain custody, the chances may improve if both parents agree to reach an agreement through mediation. Of course, it is always a positive if the parent takes the necessary steps to correct the issues that jeopardized custody in the first place, such as seeking therapy for anger management or completing a substance abuse program.

Staying married for the children is a tough family law decision

Divorce is difficult enough when a couple has only their own feelings to consider. When children are involved, the situation may be one of the most complex and challenging areas of family law. In fact, many Louisiana couples struggle to decide whether it is better to remain married to spare the children the stress and emotion of a divorce. There are many factors to weigh when making this difficult decision.

Some child advocates support the idea of remaining together for the children even if it means the parents will sacrifice their own happiness, perhaps for years. If it is possible to work as partners and maintain civility in the household, remaining an intact family may be the best solution for some, especially if there is a chance of reconciliation in the future. Of course, if there is any kind of abuse or chronic infidelity, this may not be possible.

Car accidents involving impaired drivers ruin innocent lives

Louisiana parents may be familiar with the particular sort of worry that strikes when a teen reaches driving age. Parents must hope that the education and practice they have provided a young driver will help keep a teen safe on the road. Unfortunately, when it comes to car accidents, sometimes a teen driver becomes the victim, not the cause. 

Recently a Louisiana teen and his friends were traveling on Highway 70 when tragedy struck. They were hit head-on by an SUV that had crossed into oncoming traffic. All three teens were wearing a seat belt.