Six legal items you may not know about

Six legal items you may not know about

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As a lawyer, I certainly don’t know everything or as some people who call me will tell you, I don’t know anything.  I do learn new things about the law most weeks.  Here are some items that I became aware of in the last couple of years that most people don’t know about.

  1. When it comes to suing for discrimination, your damages for non-economic losses (e.g. your suffering) are capped at $300,000  This is a Federal law, but there is an exception if the discrimination is racial.  In that case there is no cap on damages.
  2. If your doctor blabs to others about your medical problems, you can’t sue him.  Under HIPAA, your physician is supposed to respect your right to privacy.  If they blow it, they could lose their license or the Department of Health could fine them up to $250,000, but you can’t sue them for violating HIPAA.
  3. If you sign a birth certificate and years later you are proven not to be the father, you are still on the hook for supporting the child.  The only way out of this is if the mom lets you off the hook.  Otherwise you are stuck.  Kind of a crappy law, but it’s true.
  4. A business can’t send someone an unsolicited text message.  If they do it’s spam, but since you have to pay for text messaging, they can be sued for it for up to $1,500 per violation.  So imagine if they send 1,000 spam texts.  Before they know if they could be facing a seven figure law suit.  The same is true for unwanted faxes.  But you can still send all the texts you want to the girl you are stalking as long as you aren’t trying to sell her something.
  5. If your spouse cheats, you can’t sue their lover, except . . .  You need to show actual damages which would be proven by getting counseling of some sort.  You can’t just testify about all of the grief you have had.  You almost never see these cases happen and when you do they usually don’t result in much of a recovery.
  6. Cell phone companies have a sneaky way of screwing you over.  Most cell phone companies add an arbitration clause in to their contracts with you.  It basically states that if there is a dispute you have to bring the case to arbitration and this prevents your claim from being a class action.  So if you are ripped off $100 and 50,000 other people have the exact same problem, you all need to bring your own individual cases.  Of course that’s not worth the time or effort so everyone just eats the crap sandwich and acts bitter about it.

 

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