Laws are important because they keep the world civilized and a safe place to live for our families and loved ones. Without laws in place and enforced, the human race would be without structure and chaotic. If society did not have laws to inform what is not allowed, people would do whatever they want with no consequences. Laws are enacted to regulate human behavior for the benefit of society.
They are designed to prevent harm to others while protecting the rights of individuals. Thus, it is important to understand the foundation of the United States legal system before one can appreciate or comprehend the specific laws and principles relating to heath care (Pozgar, 2012). Additionally, laws consist primarily between public law and private law.
Public law is that area of constitutional, administrative, criminal, and international law that focuses on the organization of the government, the relations between the state and its citizens, the responsibilities of government officials, and the relations between sister states.
It is concerned with political matters, including the powers, rights, capacities, and duties of various levels of government and government officials. Public law refers to an act that applies to the public at large; as opposed to a private law that concerns private individual rights, duties, and liabilities (Farlex, 2011). Three sources from which law is derived
The three sources from which the law is derived are (1) Common Law refers to the body of principles that evolved and expanded from judicial decisions that arise during the trial of court cases (Pozgar, 2012). In the US, many Common Law practices originated from England. Law reflects to a large degree the civilization of those that live under it.
Its progress and development are mirrors not merely of material prosperity but of the method of thought and of the outlook of the age (Kiralfy, 1962). (2) Statutory Law begins from federal and state legislatures (Pozgar, 2012).
Statutory Laws are passed by the process of running a bill through the House and Senate, getting the required votes to pass it, and then having it signed into law by the Governor or President. For example, the right against self-incrimination is statutory law because it was written into the FifthAmendment to the U.S. Constitution.
(3) Administrative Law is the body of law that governs the administration and regulation of government agencies (both federal and state). Created by Congress (or the state legislature) it encompasses the procedures under which these agencies operate as well as external constraints upon them. Administrative law is considered a branch of public law and is often referred to as regulatory law (Administrative Law, 2011). Four objectives of tort law
A tort is a wrong involving a breach of duty resulting in an injury to the person or property of another. A tort is distinguished from a breach of a contract in that a tort is a violation of a duty established by law, whereas a breach of contract results from a failure to meet an obligation created by the agreement of the parties.
The tort is a private wrong that must be pursued by the injured party in a civil action. A tort is a wrongful injury to a person or his or her property. The person inflicting the harm is called the tortfeasor. Tort law considers the rights and remedies available to persons injured through other people's carelessness or intentional misconduct. Tort law also holds a person in certain circumstances responsible for other people’s injuries regardless of blame.
Torts are commonly subdivided into three broad categories- (1) intentional tort, (2) negligence, and (3) strict, or absolute, liability (Tort Law, 2001). The four basic objectives of tort law are (1) Preservation of Peace between individuals by providing a substitute for retaliation, (2) Culpability is to find fault for wrongdoing, (3) Deterrence which is to discourage the wrongdoer (tort-feasor) from committing future wrongful acts, and (4) Compensation is to indemnify the person(s) injured (Pozgar, 2012).
Four elements that must be proven for success in a negligence suit There are three basic forms of negligence; (1) Malfeasance where performance of an unlawful or improper act occurs, (2) Misfeasance where improper performance of an act, resulting in injury to another, and (3) Nonfeasance where failure to act when there is a duty to act as a reasonably prudent person would in similar circumstances (Pozgar, 2012).
The four elements that must be proven in order to be successful in a negligence suit are (1) Duty of Care (obligation to conform to a recognized standard of care), (2) Breach of Duty (deviation from recognized standard of care), (3) Injury (Damages must be established), and (4) Causation (The injury must be foreseeable) (Pozgar, 2012). Four objectives of criminal law
Criminal law governs crimes, including felonies and misdemeanors. Crimes are generally referred to as offenses against the state. The standard of proof for crimes is “beyond a reasonable doubt (Quiz Law, 2005-2011).” The four objectives of criminal law are as follows, (1) Maintain public order and safety, (2) Project individuals, (3) Use punishment as a deterrent to crime, (4) Rehabilitate criminals for return to society (Pozgar, 2012). Three elements of a contract
A contract is an agreement reached after sufficient consideration to do, or refrain from doing, some legal action. A contract is considered valid when two or more parties with capacity make an agreement involving valid consideration to do or to refrain from doing some lawful act. If these elements exist, the contract is valid. If one or more of these necessary elements is missing, the contract is void or voidable. In other words, it is not a true contract and therefore cannot be enforced [ (Criminial Law, 2001) ]. In other words, the three main elements of a contract are (1) offer/communication, (2) consideration, and (3) acceptance.
Ten defenses a defendant can present in order to refute a plaintiff’s evidence There are ten defenses a defendant can present in court to dispute evidence by a plaintiff which are (1) Ignorance of the Fact and Unintentional Wrongs, (2) Assumption of a Risk, (3) Contributory Negligence, (4) Good Samaritan Statutes, (5) Borrowed Servant Doctrine, (6) Captain of the Ship Doctrine, (7) Comparative Negligence, (8) Statute of Limitations, (9) Sovereign Immunity, and also (10) Intervening Cause [ (Pozgar, 2012) ].
The Bill of Rights provides certain rights to criminal defendants during trial. There are two fundamental aspects of the U.S. criminal justice system: The presumption that the defendant is innocent, and the burden on the prosecution to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt [ (Pozgar, 2012) ].
Administrative Law. (2011). Retrieved October 26, 2011, from Investopedia: http://www.investopedia.com/terms/a/administrative-law.asp#axzz1breojQJ8 Criminial Law. (2001, March 10). Retrieved October 26, 2011, from American Law 101: http://www.otto-graph.com/samples/3/contractlaw.html Farlex, I. (2011). Legal Dictionary- Public Law. Retrieved October 26, 2011, from The Free Dictionary by Farlex: http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/public+law Kiralfy, A. K. (1962).
Potter's Historical Introduction to English Law. London: Sweet & Maxwell. Pozgar, G. D. (2012). Legal Aspects of Health Care Administration, 11th ed. Sudbury: Jones & Bartlett Learning, LLC. Quiz Law. (2005-2011). Retrieved October 26, 2011, from What is Criminal Law: http://www.quizlaw.com/what-is-criminal-law/ Tort Law. (2001, March 10). Retrieved October 26, 2011, from American Law 101: http://www.otto-graph.com/samples/3/tortlaw.html