Fraud, Negligence and Libel
Holding negligent parties accountable for the damage they cause
At the Law Offices of James Morris, we handle a broad range of cases involving parties who either fail to exercise appropriate caution or outright act in bad faith. Victims of fraud and negligence can suffer serious personal, financial and professional consequences through no fault of their own. We’re here to hold those parties accountable and get you the compensation you deserve.
- Professional Negligence
- Damage to Business Reputation
- Investment-Related Claims
- Negligent Insurance Claims Handling
It’s important to understand what professional negligence is and is not. A professional who does not succeed at a specific job – for instance, an investment advisor who does not produce the level of profit a client expected – is not necessarily negligent. Rather, professional negligence refers to failure to exercise reasonable care and caution. For instance, if that same investment advisor made decisions based on information he or she knew or should have known to be false, that could constitute professional negligence.
An automotive technician may properly repair a brake system, but then fail to fully fasten the wheel back on, leading to an automobile accident. A surgeon may safely and effectively perform a knee surgery, but make a surgical error and perform it on the wrong knee. In each case, the professional in question could be legally liable for the damage caused by his or her negligence. In each case, you’ll need one of our attorneys to hold the negligent party accountable.
Any business owner knows the value of word-of-mouth recommendations. When false statements by a third party damage the reputation of a business, those statements may qualify as defamation of character.
Generally speaking, the standards for defamation of character require proof to show that false and defamatory statements were made in such a way as to cause harm. If the statements made are especially extreme, they may be considered inherently harmful. In other cases, it may be necessary to prove that harm resulted from the statements.
Our attorneys will pore over documents, carefully examine the surrounding circumstances and help you prove that your business was legitimately harmed by libelous statements.
Investment advisors may violate Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) statutes if they fail to properly disclose their actions and/or advice. They also may face common law violations for fraudulent misrepresentation.
One type of investment-related claim centers on fraudulent conveyance of assets – that is, an effort by an owner of investments (including property) to transfer them to another’s name in order to hide them from tax collection or creditors. If a credentialed investment advisor or other type of professional broker is involved, there may be a case for a valid professional negligence suit. You may have legal recourses if you are owed money by a business or vendor, or if you have partial ownership in a venture and you believe other partners are concealing some of its value from you.
Other investment-related claims stem from elder abuse cases, in which a family member or other guardian pressures, bullies or otherwise forces an elderly person to give him or her control of the elderly person’s investments.
Investment-related cases can be complex and difficult to prove, but with one of our attorneys on your side, you’ll be well represented.
An insurance company might agree to settle a claim, but the claimant may still not receive the compensation to which her or she is entitled. Several types of conduct by an insurance company or its agents may equate to a type of professional negligence, including breach of contract and excessive delays in issuing payment.
One common type of negligent claim handling is wrongful cancellation of disability benefits. When insurance companies agree to make payment on a short-term or long-term disability policy, they may take steps later to cut off the payment. They may use the threat of cutting off future payments to try to make you accept a single, lump-sum payment that is less than you are owed. They may argue that you have recovered fully from your injury and can return to work or re-examine your original medical diagnosis, claiming the injury is not as severe as originally diagnosed.
Any delay or refusal of payment may make you unable to pay your medical bills. If you are unable to work as a result of the injury or disability, you may stand to lose your home or be unable to support your family. That’s why you need one of our attorneys on your side to stand up to negligent insurance companies and get the compensation you need.