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Donald Richard Worley
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Donald Worley’s Answers

38 total

  • If the parents of a child is killed in a car accident are the grandparents required to get a bond before money is dispersed.

    A Childs Mother is killed in a vehicle accident. The parents have custody of the child. The lawyer states that they must obtain a bond before any money is dispersed. He also states that before they can spend any of the proceeds the court must ...

    Donald’s Answer

    I practice only in southern California and therefore do not know whether South Carolina law requires that the grandparents of the child post a bond. In California that would not be required, but the court would require that all proceeds of the settlement or judgment in the wrongful death case be maintained in a "blocked" account, which means that a court order is required before the bank can allow the withdrawal of any funds from the account. This is obviously for the protection of the minor.

    Your brief summary of the facts leaves out many details, but generally the lawyer who handled the w.d. claim will help with the post-settlement handling of the money obtained. If there was no lawyer involved in the underlying claim, then you should contact a SC lawyer who specializes in personal injury and wrongful death claims, or, alternatively, a probate attorney. Either one should be able to prepare all necessary paperwork and guide you through the process of obtaining the money under the supervision of the court.

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  • Can retirement fund and life insurance be taken if you are sued for wrongful death?

    If someone files a wrongful death suit against someone who was a beneficiary of life insurance and retirement fund, can that person lose the money from being beneficiary if they lose the case against them?

    Donald’s Answer

    Every state has its own laws regarding exemption of certain assets from execution on a judgment. In California, for example, benefits from a retirement plan are automatically exempt, but this may not be true in all states. The status of benefits from a life insurance policy can also be affected and determined by state law, so you must consult a lawyer in Louisiana regarding the local laws governing these issues.

    In any case, however, it would be important to not commingle money from a retirement plan or insurance policy with other money of the potential judgment debtor because unless the debtor's own personal assets which were not acquired in one of the above ways can be traced and determined not to be from a retirement or insurance plan, they could be subject to a judgment for wrongful death damages.

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  • Do I a have a case based on the facts provided?

    While walking with my dog, a pit bull charged us. In an attempt to separate them I fell badly and suffered a compressed fracture at T-12 of my spine. I went to surgery and because of it I'm having a limited movement and prevented me to practice my...

    Donald’s Answer

    Were either of the dogs on a leash? Were you on a public sidewalk or somewhere else you clearly had a right to be? Was the owner of the pit bull present, and, if so, what did the owner do to try to prevent his dog from charging at you? How much warning did you have of a possible attack?

    As you probably already know, California has a strict liability dog bite statute, so I am wondering if the pit bull bit you during the altercation. Even if you were not bit, it is still easily foreseeable to the pit bull owner that if his dog is allowed to attack your dog, you would likely try to intervene and could easily get hurt in the process. Therefore, I believe you have a strong case and should pursue a claim in light of your serious injuries. Good luck.

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  • Who is supposed to pay the hospital to get medical records for a malpractice case???

    who is supposed to pay for the medical records the lawyer or the client???

    Donald’s Answer

    There is really no convention or universal practice relating to this relatively unimportant issue. Many lawyers will try to get the client (or potential client) to advance the money to cover the copy and clerical costs charged by the hospital. It is a matter of agreement between the lawyer and client, and sometimes if the lawyer believes there is probably a meritorious case, the lawyer will incur the copying and related expense without any obligation on the part of the client to reimburse the lawyer if the records do not support a case. In the big picture, this expense is usually rather minimal compared to the other costs (experts, depositions, filing fees, etc.) attendant to the prosecution of a malpractice case.

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  • How does a patient who was verbally abused and lied about in med. records have the physician disciplined?

    Dr. was abusive, then lied about the patient. How does one correct this unethical, unjust physician from abusing other patients and clear the patients name?

    Donald’s Answer

    Your description of the problem is short on details, but this appears to be a potential disciplinary matter in which the state medical board can investigate to establish the relevant facts and then take disciplinary action if appropriate. It does not sound like a malpractice action, unless the lies told by the doctor somehow result in actual, significant harm to the patient, which is probably not likely.

    Just go to the website of the NC Medical Board and you will find instructions for submitting your complaint online. Good luck.

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  • Do I have a case against my hospital?

    Two days after my son was born, I was nursing him In the middle of the night and fell asleep with him in my arms. He rolled out of my arms and bumped his head on the rolling table that hospital's frequently put by the bed-side. This caused a fract...

    Donald’s Answer

    Have you asked your son's current pediatrician about the chances of your son having any future problems from this incident? The fact that your son was discharged after 24 hours of monitoring at the specialty childrens hospital, coupled with the fact that he is now 10 months old with no signs of injury from this incident certainly bodes well for him and it does seem unlikely that he will have any future problems related to any of this.

    Without some well-qualified specialist testifying that future problems are reasonably certain to occur, you will not prevail in a malpractice claim for any future damages, which seem entirely speculative at this point. For peace of mind, you might ask your pediatrician for a referral to a pediatric neurologist for further testing, but I'm not sure your health insurer will pay for such testing under these circumstances. Best of luck to you.

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  • Can I sue for something if I got a staph infection?

    I had to have my foot fused.. After two or so weeks with the stitches they took them out and put a cast on. I was due to get it off soon but I noticed some discharge coming from my cast I called the doctor they got me in a week early when they too...

    Donald’s Answer

    The key to the potential med mal case is the most likely cause of the infection. If one of your doctors testifies that the infection was probably caused by the improper removal of the stitches or the cast being too tight, then you have a chance of prevailing, but, unfortunately, staph infections in wounds are rather common. Perhaps an infectious disease expert would express the opinion that the drainage or discharge from the wound should have been cultured and that a more appropriate antibiotic should have been given.

    You should contact a local malpractice attorney to look into this potential case. Wound infection cases are, however, generally difficult cases to win. Best of luck.

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  • My mother and father just won a wrongful death suit in the state of Texas. Do they owe taxes on it now?

    The company where my sister was killed by one of their drivers, mediated and gave a reward of $270,000 each to my mom and dad. Is this taxable in the state of Texas?

    Donald’s Answer

    Internal Revenue Code section 104 (a) (2) provides that damages received on account of physical personal injuries, by way of settlement or judgment, are not includible in gross income, and this rule applies to wrongful death claims as well, so long as the recovery does not include punitive damages, which are taxed as ordinary income. Obviously, the IRC governs federal tax liability and not state tax liability.

    Most, if not all, states have similar state laws. For example, the California Revenue and Taxation Code contains a rule which is essentially the same as the IRC provision, but to be safe, you should consult a tax adviser in Texas for complete peace of mind.

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  • What can I do legally if a pharmacist gives me the wrong medication, and if they say it was correct?

    I was given a prescription of Adderrall and the pharmacist gave me Ritalin, both were generic, and so I did not recognize the mistake. I noticed and then called the pharmacy the next day to report the mistake, I was told there was none. I called m...

    Donald’s Answer

    You do not mention anything about the amount of the wrong drug you took, or any adverse effects you suffered as a result. It is not uncommon for patients to take a drug improperly dispensed by a pharmacy (wrong medication, wrong dosage, wrong instructions on bottle, etc.), but yet the patient does not suffer any significant harm. You need to ask your doctor if you were actually harmed by taking the wrong drug, and, if not, it was a "no harm, no foul" situation and you should be thankful for that and not bother pursuing a claim.

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  • Staph infection settlement

    I contracted a staph infection at an indoor waterpark that required a four day hospital stay. I"m home now and still on antibiotics. If I have an attorney draft a 'demand' letter, what would be a fair settlement amount?

    Donald’s Answer

    Your question does not contain any details that relate to the issues of liability or causation for this infection. In my experience over several decades of looking at potential cases arising from infections (most of which appear to have been acquired in a hospital), I have almost always been troubled by the difficulty in proving the origin and source of the pathogen that produced the infection. Certain staph germs, especially Staphylococcus Aureus, are ubiquitous, and for all we know, another waterpark patron whose skin was covered with these germs may have been the source, or perhaps sneezed shortly before you were infected.

    Unless you can prove that a specific condition was present for a sufficient time before you were exposed to the infectious agent so that the owner of the waterpark could have taken corrective measures to protect you and other patrons, you probably will not be able to prove all of the elements of your case. I'm not saying that you don't have a provable case, but these are usually not easy cases to prove and you need to understand that before proceeding.

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