Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Some Common Defenses Of DWI Claims

Some Common Defenses Of DWI Claims

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DWI stands for driving while intoxicated. The punishments for these offenses can be extremely considerable. If a person has been arrested for a DWI and wishes to contest the charge, he or she should know every defense that might be available to him or her. By preparing a practical defense, the individual might aid in convincing the prosecution to abandon or lessen the charges, stop his or her driver’s license from being suspended, or even obtain an acquittal after a trial.

some common defenses dwi claims Some Common Defenses Of DWI Claims

In a DWI case, the prosecution must establish two key issues:

  1. The defendant, or the individual being charged, drove a vehicle and
  2. Simultaneously, the defendant was “under the influence”- indicating that the individual’s capacity to drive cautiously was influenced to a substantial degree by drinking alcohol, taking drugs, or a mixture of alcohol and drugs.

In a DWI case, a defense can be anything that disproves one of these aspects and therefore stops the prosecution from establishing its case. In addition, a defense may hinder the prosecution from presenting evidence at trial, which decreases the prosecution’s capacity to establish its case.

Defenses Connected With “Driving”

If the defendant was really driving a vehicle at time of the supposed DWI offense, he or she cannot be found guilty of drunk driving. Many DWI cases begin with a driver getting pulled over. Therefore, there normally is not much dispute over whether the defendant was really driving. However, if a police officer did not really see the defendant driving—the officer came near the defendant’s immobile car while he or she was behind the wheel in the parking lot, for instance—the matter may be arguable, founded on the evidence.

Defenses Connected With Arrest

If the police officer did not have legal reason to stop the defendant’s vehicle and/or arrest the defendant in the first place — or if the officer neglected to abide by appropriate legal practices during the arrest – any evidence collected from the traffic stop or the arrest may be considered “inadmissible” and thus excluded from a court case against the defendant. This could result in the prosecution having no actual case (for instance, because breathalyzer results and the arresting officer’s testimony could not be employed as evidence). Therefore, the DWI charges against the defendant could be abandoned.

No Probable Cause to Arrest

If an officer did not have probable cause to stop the defendant’s vehicle, keep him or her in custody, or arrest him or her for drunk driving, then the defendant could retain any evidence acquired during the arrest from being allowed in at trial. For instance, if the defendant thinks that he or she was stopped because of his or her race or ethnicity – and not because he or she was driving unsteadily or seemed to be intoxicated – the defendant could dispute the arrest.

No Miranda Warnings

If the defendant is arrested, a police office must give the individual Miranda warnings as part of the procedure. These are the warnings that the defendant hears on television – that he or she has the right to remain silent, that anything he or she says might be used against him or her, and that the person has the right to an attorney, and so on. If the officer does not give Miranda warnings or delivers them erroneously, the defendant could keep out specific evidence at trial.

Zane Schwarzlose is a writer at Carroll Troberman Criminal Defense, an Austin criminal defense law firm. Zane is glad he’s never had to use any of the defenses above.



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Have Bad Faith Claims Become the Norm? 4 Winning Tips for Injured Workers

Have Bad Faith Claims Become the Norm? 4 Winning Tips for Injured Workers

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4359452027 1ebfef3f88 300x233 Have Bad Faith Claims Become the Norm? 4 Winning Tips for Injured Workers

Have Bad Faith Claims Become the Norm? 4 Winning Tips for Injured Workers

Workers in America haven’t always had laws to protect them, but as the last century trudged on, American legislatures began to realize that an unprotected workforce was a danger to those within in.

This is why worker’s compensation laws came into existence. Employees who are injured during the course of their employment are entitled to medical benefits and compensation for lost time at work, but unfortunately, many insurance companies will do their best to deny workers the compensation that they fairly deserve.

What is Bad Faith?

When a worker is injured on the job, they are entitled to a certain amount of compensation. When insurers try to unfairly deny a worker these benefits, they are engaged in bad faith practices.

American insurers, including worker’s compensation providers, have a duty to act in good faith with those depending on them. This means that they’ll act fairly in providing an injured individual the benefits that they deserve. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen.

There are numerous ways that an insurance company can act in bad faith. If an insurer denies a claim that they know is legitimate, for instance, they’ve engaged in bad faith practices. Even stalling in an effort to affect the outcome of a worker’s comp claim can be considered bad faith. Sadly, recent cases have brought to light how common these practices are.

When insurers engage in bad faith and are caught, they often have to pay huge fines to the individual they wrongfully denied. One case involving Chartis insurance workers compensation claims  regarding the Chartis Inc., a subsidiary of American International Group,  ended with the company having to pay out $58 million due to their intentional and willful mishandling of a claim.

This means that those who are treated unfairly by insurers can recover much more than they were initially entitled to.

Since insurers will sometimes engage in bad faith practices, it’s imperative for an worker to do their best to ensure that the worker’s comp provider has no reason to deny a claim. This fortunately can be done in several ways.

1) Immediately Report Injury to Appropriate Personnel

 Reporting an accident immediately is often a prerequisite of filing a worker’s compensation claim. In fact, if a worker waits too long to inform their employer, they may be ineligible for any benefits whatsoever.

2) Always Inform Doctors of Accident

Regardless of whether it’s one week after the accident or one year, any visit to the doctor related to the workplace injury should be explained as such. If an injured worker doesn’t inform a physician that their injury is work related, insurers may use these medical records in an effort to rescind benefits.

Worker’s compensation laws are what protect American workers, but when these laws are entrusted to corporations whose sole purpose is to turn a profit, it can be difficult for a worker to get a fair shake

3) Follow Doctor’s Orders

The goal of worker’s compensation is to help employees get back to their feet, and a worker who doesn’t follow their doctors orders won’t seem to be working towards this goal. Sadly, an insurer will jump on the tiniest of slip ups to try to avoid paying out fair compensation.

4) Hire an Attorney

Hiring an attorney is one of the best things that a worker can do after being injured on the job. When an attorney is involved, an insurer is less likely to unfairly deny a claim. If they do, however, a legal professional can file a bad faith claim and often get their client much more than they imagined.

Luckily, there are statutes in place to protect those who are injured on the job from insurance companies and employers who would deny them their rightful benefits.

While it may require the services of an attorney in the end, the compensation an individual receives due to a bad faith lawsuit will more than take care of the losses experienced when they were injured.

Jamica Bell is a freelance writer and small business owner who contributes this article to inform injured workers how to effectively resolve a bad faith claim. Doyle Raizner LLP is a Houston injury law firm that has litigated numerous Chartis insurance workers compensation claims on behalf of injured workers adversely affected by bad faith claims.



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