Archive for February, 2015

Why Selecting an Experienced Kansas City Elder Care Lawyer is Important

Sunday, February 22nd, 2015

Most of us have heard the saying that “variety is the spice of life”. However, when it comes to professionals, this saying does not necessarily apply. For example, most individual attorneys do not practice in a vast array of legal areas. Why? The best explanation probably can be summed up with another well-known figure of speech “Jack of all trades, master of none.” For example, most doctors do not have more than one specialty, like cardiology and orthopedics, because the areas themselves are just too vast and complex. The same is true of attorneys. Different areas of law can be quite different and require a significant amount of time and experience to become a seasoned practitioner. One area of law this is quite complex is that of elder law. As such, a person searching for an elder law attorney, must take extra care to make sure he or she limits their search to only those attorneys with significant experience handling elder law cases. When searching for an elder law attorney, you will want to keep the following in mind:

  • The area of elder law involves more than wills & trusts: Some attorneys will say that they practice ‘elder law’, but only have experience with wills and trusts. While a skilled elder law attorney may handle wills and trusts, these areas make up only a small portion of an elder law attorney’s skill set. The area of elder law encompasses much more than what happens to your physical possessions upon your death.
  • Elder law is comprised of various smaller areas of law: Giving legal advice to older adults about long-term health planning, is just a portion of what a seasoned elder law attorney can do. An experienced elder law attorney will also have vast knowledge in many of numerous areas that make up elder law. These areas can include: Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, veteran’s benefits, special needs trusts, powers of attorney, nursing home rights/care issues, elder abuse, retirement benefits and mental health law, just to name a few.
  • Elder law certification is important: When you see that an attorney is a “certified elder law attorney” (CELA), do not gloss over the word “certified”. The right to refer to one’s self as a CELA is an important and valued designation. Not just any attorney can refer to him or herself as being a CELA. CELA attorneys are recognized by the National Elder Law Foundation and must attest to the following:
    • Been in practice for a minimum of 5 years and have spent at least 50% of their last 3 years of their practice on elder law cases;
    • Show substantial involvement in the area elder of law, as demonstrated by handling a certain minimum number of elder law cases across a variety of the areas that make-up elder law;
    • Undergo a peer review;
    • Be in good standing with their legal community; and
    • Pass a rigorous written examination.

An Elder Law Attorney can help you or your loved one address a variety of concerns, from answering your legal questions about Medicare coverage for nursing home care to assisting you with allegations of elder abuse. If you or a loved one you are caring for is in need of the services of a Kansas City Elder Care Lawyer, you can turn to Hubbard & Kurtz, L.L.P. Attorney William Hubbard has been certified as an elder law attorney by the National Elder Law Foundation, a specialty authorized by the American Bar Association. The law firm of Hubbard & Kurtz, L.L.P. has substantial experience helping clients with elder law issues. To speak with one of our experienced elder law attorneys, please contact our office at (816) 472-4673 to schedule a consultation.

Intoxicated Teenager Faces Wrongful Death Lawsuit for Killing Kansas Man

Monday, February 2nd, 2015

Teenage drinking and driving is more than a just a problem; it is a real cause for concern. It is estimated that while teen drivers make up approximately 10 percent of licensed motorists, they are the cause of more than 15 percent of all alcohol-related crashes. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in 2012, 25 percent of male drivers between the ages of 15 and 20 years who were involved in fatal crashes had been drinking. It is estimated that alcohol is a factor in a third of all teenage auto fatalities.

To combat this problem, all states including the District of Columbia have adopted a zero tolerance policy for minors who drink and drive. For example, in both Kansas and Missouri, a minor who is found to have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .02 or more is subject to criminal charges. While laws like “zero tolerance” have helped, they have not eliminated the problem of teen drunk driving. All too often, teenagers get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol and the consequences are nothing short of tragic.

In August of 2014, an Overland Park man was killed after he was struck by a car. The Kansas man was standing near a legally parked car on the street in front of his home. The vehicle that hit the parked car and the man was driven by a 17-year old male. The 52-year old died at the scene of the accident. The man’s girlfriend, who was standing close to him when the vehicle approached, suffered serious injuries and was taken to the hospital. She did however, survive the accident. The teenage driver was not injured.

At the time of the accident, the cause was not known. Later, blood samples taken from the teenage driver at the time of accident, allegedly revealed that the teenager had been drinking. In mid-September, the teenage driver was charged with one count of involuntary manslaughter, while allegedly driving under the influence, for killing the man. The teen was also charged with one count of aggravated battery, while allegedly under the influence, for injuries sustained by the man’s girlfriend.

In late January, the family of the male victim filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the teenager and his parents. It was discovered that at the time of the accident, the teen was on court probation. As a part of his probation, the teen was required to follow certain rules, including a 9:30 pm curfew and he was not to drink alcohol or be present at any gatherings where alcohol and/or drugs were present. According to the lawsuit filed, the teen’s parents were negligent when they allowed their son to use their car that evening, when they knew or should have known about his history of substance abuse. In filing their lawsuit, the family of the man killed hope that people will become more aware of the frequency of dangerous teenage drinking and driving

If your loved one was seriously injured or killed after being involved in an accident with a drunk driver, the attorneys at Hubbard & Kurtz, L.L.P. are here to help. Our compassionate team of injury attorneys understand how a drunk driver can completely dismantle a person’s life. While our attorneys cannot fix the emotional and physical pain of the injuries suffered or of losing a loved one, they can hold the responsible party financially accountable. The Kansas City Wrongful Death Attorneys at Hubbard & Kurtz, L.L.P. have helped countless injury victims in both Kansas and Missouri obtain money damages for their losses. To schedule an appointment to discuss your matter with a skilled Kansas City Personal Injury or Wrongful Death Attorney, contact Hubbard & Kurtz, L.L.P. today at (816) 472-4673.