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GRANDPARENT VISITATION RIGHTS

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Archive: Aug 2016

GRANDPARENT VISITATION RIGHTS

Article 16-33

¡No Se Deje!

When marriages end in divorce, the lives of the children are changed forever.  These changes often cause children to suffer severe emotional distress, fear, confusion and resentment.  And among the most painful results of a divorce is the disruption or termination of valued relationships with grandparents.  The law must provide a way to balance the rights of parents to decide who can visit their children with the rights of children and grandparents to continue to enjoy their important relationships.

 

The 14th amendment of the U. S. Constitution provides parents a fundamental right to make decisions about the care, custody and control of their children and their lives.  If a parent objects to visitation by a grandparent, the court may only grant visitation if it first starts with a presumption of validity of the parents’ decision that visitation is not in the child’s best interests.  This presumption is based on the belief that a fit parent will act in the child’s best interests.  This does not, however mean that a parents’ decision is not subject to judicial review.

 

In California, a court may grant reasonable visitation rights to a grandparent of a minor child if the court decides that such visitation is in the best interests of the child.  If the child’s parents both agree that a grandparent should not be given visitation rights, the court must deny visitation unless the grandparent can prove that visitation over the parents’ objection, is in the best interests of the child.  Grandparents requesting visitation rights must file a petition and prove that they have a pre-existing relationship with the grandchild that has created an emotional bond and that the continuation of that bond is in the best interests of the child.

 

Grandparent visitation will not be granted if the child’s parents are married unless:

  • The parents are separated and living apart permanently or indefinitely;
  • A parent’s whereabouts has been unknown to the other parent for more than 30 days;
  • One of the parents joins the grandparent in requesting the court to approve visitation;
  • The child is not living with the parents;
  • The child has been adopted by a stepparent.

 

Grandparent visitation based on any of the above circumstances can be terminated by one of the parents if the qualifying circumstances cease to exist.

 

The court may allocate the percentage of grandparent visitation between the parents in determining the amount of child support owed by them.  The court can order a parent or grandparent to pay the other for related costs of the visit including transportation, medical costs, day care and other necessities.

 

Every state has grandparent visitation laws but the rights and conditions vary greatly.  The national trend is to allow grandparents to visit their grandchildren when their parents have never married, have divorced or when one parent has died.  Parent rights groups have indicated that they may challenge the legal reasoning that gives grandparents more rights to visitation if the parents are not married.  ¡NO SE DEJE! ®  

 

 

Jess J. Araujo, Esq.

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LEY SOBRE NEGLIGENCIA MEDICA

 

Artículo 16-32

¡No Se Deje! ®

 La negligencia médica, también conocida como mala práctica médica, está entre los problemas más controversiales y disputados en Estados Unidos hoy día. Cada año cientos de miles de personas sufren serias lesiones o mueren debido a fallas y errores médicos que pudieron prevenirse. ¿Será que existe un remedio adecuado para las víctimas de negligencia ó mala práctica médica?

 

En un estudio el Instituto de Medicina de la Academia Nacional de Ciencias estimó que más de 98,000 pacientes perdían la vida cada año en hospitales como resultado de errores que se pudieron prevenir.  Aproximadamente el 90% de reclamos de negligencia médica son por lesiones permanente o la muerte.  Un estudio de la Universidad de Harvard reveló que solo uno de cada 8 pacientes lesionados en un hospital registra un reclamo por compensación y que 10 de 11 reclamos registrados quedan abandonados.  De acuerdo con el Banco Nacional de Datos de Practicantes, el 5% de los doctores fueron responsables del 54% de todas las demandas de mala práctica médica.  Dichas agencias reportaron que los errores médicos prevenibles costaron hasta $29 mil millones por año.

 

Toda persona que crea que él/ella o un ser querido ha sido perjudicado al recibir un tratamiento médico debería actuar inmediatamente para determinar si tiene derecho a compensación.  Existen estrictos límites de tiempo para registrar reclamos y demandas por mala práctica médica.  Los abogados que se especializan en representar víctimas de negligencia médica pueden asegurarse que las demandas y reclamos sean registrados a tiempo y que los complejos requerimientos sean llevados a cabo adecuadamente.  Muchas víctimas de negligencia médica hayan difícil encontrar un abogado que esté dispuesto a tomar sus casos.  Ello es porque el proceso legal vuelve muy difícil y costoso que se litiguen exitosamente los reclamos de negligencia médica en la corte.

 

Los abogados de mala práctica médica usualmente declinarán casos a menos que haya una probabilidad razonable que éste tenga un valor muy significativo en caso que se gane.  Esto es porque los casos de mala práctica médica son muy costosos de preparar independientemente de su valor.  Y, los abogados deben pagar por anticipado tales costos elevados y esperar que sean reembolsados si el caso se resuelve favorablemente.  Doctores, hospitales y otro personal o instalaciones médicas se resisten agresivamente a admitir que han hecho algo mal o a pagar al demandante por temor que al hacerlo representaría un daño a su reputación profesional.

 

Los profesionales médicos tienen un deber legal de tomar decisiones y proveer cuidado razonable y competente.  Las víctimas de negligencia médica que demandan deben comprobar que las acciones o falta de acciones fueron inferiores al cuidado promedio provisto por profesionales competentes dentro de sus comunidades. Las víctimas también deben probar que el acto negligente u omisión causó el daño y que él/ella ha sido perjudicado por ello. Un abogado experimentado puede entonces establecer un valor razonable del reclamo.

 

Estos reclamos incluyen indemnización por la pérdida de ingresos, gastos médicos, dolor y sufrimiento, y daños emocionales entre otros.  En California, la máxima cantidad que las víctimas pueden recibir por daños no económicos (dolor y sufrimiento) es de $250,000.00. El cónyuge de la víctima puede registrar reclamos separados por la pérdida de compañía, consuelo, atención, asistencia, protección, cariño, apoyo moral y la falta del goce de relaciones sexuales o la capacidad de tener hijos.  ¡NO SE DEJE! ®

 

JESS J. ARAUJO

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MEDICAL NEGLIGENCE LAW

Article 16-32

¡No Se Deje!

Medical negligence, also known as medical malpractice, is among the most contentious and controversial problems in America today.  Each year hundreds of thousands of people suffer serious injury or death due to preventable medical errors and mistakes. Is there an adequate remedy for victims of medical negligence/malpractice?

 

A study by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences estimated that more than 98,000 patients were killed each year as a result of preventable medical errors in hospitals.  Approximately 90% of medical negligence claims are for permanent injury or death.  A Harvard University study reported that only one of every 8 patients injured in a hospital files a claim for compensation and that 10 out of 11 claims filed are abandoned.  According to the National Practitioner Data Bank, 5% of the doctors were responsible for 54% of all malpractice lawsuits.  These agencies report that preventable medical errors costed up to $29 billion per year.

 

Anyone that believes that they or a loved one has been harmed while receiving medical care should act immediately to determine if they are entitled to compensation.  There are strict time limits for filing claims and lawsuits for medical malpractice.  Attorneys that specialize in representing victims of medical negligence can make sure that claims and suits are filed on time and that the complex requirements are properly performed.  Many victims of medical negligence find it difficult to find an attorney willing to take their cases.  This is because the legal process makes it very difficult and expensive to successfully litigate medical negligence claims in court.

 

Medical malpractice attorneys will usually decline cases unless they believe that there is reasonable probability that the case has a significant value if they win.  This is because medical malpractice cases are very expensive to prepare regardless of their value.  And, attorneys must advance these substantial costs and hope that they will get repaid if the case is resolved favorably.  Doctors, hospitals and other medical personnel and facilities aggressively resist admitting wrongdoing or agreeing to pay the claimants for fear of damaging their professional reputations.

 

Medical professionals have a legal duty to make decisions and provide competent and reasonable medical care.  Victims of medical negligence must prove that the accused medical professional’s acts or failure to act was below the standard of care of competent professionals in their community.  Victims must also prove that the negligent act or omission caused the harm and that he/she has been damaged as a result.  An experienced attorney can then establish a reasonable value for the claim.

 

These claims include compensation for loss of earnings, medical bills, pain and suffering, and emotional damage.  In California, the maximum amount victims can receive for non-economic damages (pain and suffering) is $250,000.00.  Spouses of victims can file separate claims for the loss of companionship, comfort, care, assistance, protection, affection, moral support and the loss of enjoyment of sexual relations or the ability to have children.  ¡NO SE DEJE! ®

Jess J. Araujo, Esq.

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