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Defamation & Social Media: Do You Have A Case?

Posted by on 9:24 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Defamation & Social Media: Do You Have A Case?

Personal injury cases often involve a lot more than just physical harm. Emotional damages can become a large part of a personal injury case. These types of damages are known as defamation. When you use social media for your business, you are opening up public access and opinions from all types of people. When the interaction is pushed too far, you may have a defamation case on your hands. Understanding the possibility for a case can help you decide whether to move forward and get legal help. Personal & Business Pages When you are being harassed, someone might take things too hard by attacking your personal social media page. There is a huge difference between a bad review on your business page and getting multiple posts on a personal page. These pages are separate for a reason, and a lawyer can use them as evidence for a defamation case. When someone is harassing you on a personal page, you may feel threatened or emotionally attacked. The damages caused by this can lead to the need for professional help and a loss of business. When this occurs, it’s ideal to consult with a lawyer about a possible injury case. Proof of Posts Providing proof of defamation is one of the most important parts of a personal injury case. Just as quickly as someone posts on your page, the messages can be deleted. This is why it’s important to screenshot any harassing posts as you receive them. The screenshot can provide the full details of a post and the time stamps. This evidence can go a long way in showing your case. Multiple messages can showcase the frequency of harassment and the extent of it all. Along with having digital screenshots, you should print out hard copies. This will give you extra evidence in case your data or files are lost. The hard copies are also ideal for filing evidence with your lawyer. Harassment & Engaging Arguments A big part of your possible social media defamation case is your interaction with the harassment. A harassment claim can easily turn into a “he said” and “she said” argument if you have engaged with the other person. Instead of arguing back with someone, you should not get involved with the conversation. This could lead to a dismissed case. If anything, follow the advice of the lawyer or politely communicate with your dislike of the harassing posts. Depending on the social media company you use, you can use a report feature to document your evidence of harassment. This keeps you from engaging with the person while still trying to end the harassment before it is taken too far. Length of the Time The duration of harassment on social media can make a huge difference on your case. In many cases one or two negative comments will not likely go far in the court system. If the harassment occurs over an extended period of time, then you will likely have a much stronger case. It’s also important to look over different forms of social media. For example, you may be getting harassed on both Facebook and Twitter. If this is the case, then this is a targeted harassment that may not need to go over a certain length of time to have a case. This...

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6 Things To Do After A Slip And Fall

Posted by on 12:37 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 6 Things To Do After A Slip And Fall

If you’ve just experienced a slip and fall accident, you’re not alone. More than 540,000 slip and falls requiring hospital treatment occur in the United States each year. A slip and fall accident can be quite scary and painful. While you may be in physical pain and feeling panicked, it’s important to keep a cool head after a slip and fall accident. Here are six things you need to do right away: Seek Medical Help It’s important to get medical attention right away. It’s often hard to ascertain exactly what your injuries are and their severity without a professional exam. For example, a fractured ankle requiring a cast or even surgery might be mistaken for a sprain at first, unless you go in for x-rays. In addition to being the sensible thing for your health, getting medical treatment will provide you with documentation of your injuries, which is important for everything from getting time off of work to evidence in a potential slip and fall accident lawsuit. Determine the Cause of the Accident Did you slip in a puddle or on a recently mopped floor? Did you trip over a cord or loose rug? Did your foot get wedged into a gap between a door and a step? Take a few moments and try to determine the cause of your accident, and write down what you observe. Your slip and fall attorney will need this information to help determine if you have a good case and which direction to take the case if you do. Identify Any Witnesses If your fall happened in front of people, it’s very important to get their information. Your insurance company and attorney may need to contact them to corroborate your story. Be sure to get their full names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses if at all possible. Notify the Appropriate People It’s a good idea to let the appropriate people know about your accident as soon as possible after it occurs. For example, if you slip and fall at work, you will want to notify your supervisor as well as your HR representative, in order to document the fall and also to facilitate any time off that you need. If you slip and fall at a store or other public place, it’s a good idea to notify a manager. If you are in too much pain or otherwise incapacitated, have a friend or family member call and notify the appropriate people on your behalf. Take Photos Photos are often critical for insurance claims and especially for slip and fall lawsuits. You will want clear, accurate photos of the scene of your accident taken as quickly as possible after it occurs. If you know what caused the accident, be sure to get photos of the cause, as well as wider shots to show the physical context. Photos of your injuries should be taken right away as well, with updated photos taken during the stages of recovery or treatment. Call a Personal Injury Attorney If you believe someone else may be liable for your fall, it is worthwhile to contact a slip and fall attorney. They will be able to help determine if a person or company is responsible for your fall, and if so, they will represent you and work hard to award...

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What Should You Do If A Neighboring Business Is Interfering With Yours?

Posted by on 3:52 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on What Should You Do If A Neighboring Business Is Interfering With Yours?

If you own a small retail business in a commercial district, your lease agreement likely lays out a significant number of covenants and restrictions. However, unless the parcels of property near your business are owned and managed by the same company that manages yours, you could find that your neighbors’ leases are much less restrictive, allowing them to engage in activity prohibited by your lease that can harm your business. What are your options if you feel your rights as a business owner have been violated? Read on to learn more about the often conflict-laden world of commercial leases. What are some common retail lease issues? One key factor behind the rise of the “strip mall” or shopping plaza as a retail spot involved the ability of the landowner to fully control the makeup of the location. Many strip mall or other commercial leases contain provisions restricting the landlord’s ability to rent to more than one similar business (to prevent two pizza places from opening up next door to each other), or requiring the tenant to maintain a portion (or pay additional rent to maintain) a common parking area. Because the commercial landlord wants all the spaces in his or her mall filled, there is some incentive to provide protections to the tenants to help them boost traffic to the area. However, if you’re renting in a business landscape where you and each of your retail neighbors report to different landlords, you could find that you’re not afforded these same protections as you enjoy when renting in a shopping plaza. There may be nothing preventing a competitor from opening across the street from you and attempting to poach your customers, or even from towing your customers if they park on this business’s lot (assuming sufficient notice has been posted). If you’re dealing with an aggressive neighbor, this can be enough to put you out of business. What can you do if your business is suffering due to a neighboring business’s actions?  Your first step should be to determine whether this business’s actions are legal. Harassing your customers, having vehicles towed from a public street, or causing damage to your store or product can all be infractions or misdemeanors that may result in fines to the business or its employees. If this business’s actions aren’t against the law, you’ll then need to determine whether this business is violating its own lease. You’ll likely want to consult a commercial or real estate litigator to determine whether it’s likely your neighbor is committing a lease violation and, if so, how to proceed. Your attorney may contact the neighbor’s landlord to report these potential violations or send a demand letter instructing the landlord to take action. For situations in which the neighboring business is engaging in legal actions that do not violate its lease, your final recourse may be with your own landlord. Depending upon the specific language in your lease, you may have some protection against your neighbor. For example, if your lease guarantees your business access to a certain number of parking spots and your neighboring business is blocking these spots or otherwise preventing your ability to use them, your landlord may be obligated to take action. Your landlord’s failure to protect you in the ways promised by the lease may serve...

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Workers Comp & The Holidays: 4 Ways To Get By Before You Reach A Settlement

Posted by on 10:27 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Workers Comp & The Holidays: 4 Ways To Get By Before You Reach A Settlement

One of the more frustrating parts of a workers comp case is the waiting. If you feel like you’ve been offered an unfair amount for your claim, then an attorney will fight for your rights and seek a better payment. In the meantime, you have to wait it out without any active income. Even if you have a savings account, this can be challenging, especially through the holidays. Through a lot of planning, there are four ways you can cope through the holiday season until the settlement is reached. Each idea can apply to different situations and various settlement dates scheduled around the holiday season. Layaway Plans Do not lose out on some of the best holiday shopping deals just because you do not have the cash on hand. If your lawyer is estimating a settlement just before the holidays, then you can place items on a layaway plan. Many large stores offer free layaway plans with just a small deposit needed to put towards the items. This type of planning can help you shop during big holiday sales and will allow you to lock in great prices. Once the settlement is reached, you can pay off the items and have them in time for holidays like Christmas. Store Credit Cards As an alternative to layaway plans, you can check out credit cards from various stores. During the major shopping season, these stores offers cash back deals with new accounts. As you decide on various options, one of the more important things to look for is a 0% interest rate for multiple months. This allows you to purchase items at their sale price and not have to worry about the charges going up due to interest. With free interest for six months to a year, you will have to ability to pay off your purchases once the settlement arrives. Even if a single store card limits you to one store, you will still have the ability to get a lot of holiday shopping done. If the store includes a grocery section, then you can also use it to help purchase holiday meals. Consumer Legal Funding When working with an attorney, the professional has the ability to give you an estimated total for your expected settlement. With this information, you can apply for consumer legal funding. This is a loan that will help match your possible lump sum workers comp payment. Also known as a pre-settlement payment, you can receive the cash instead of waiting through the delays of a court system. Once you receive your actual settlement, the money will be paid back to the loan company you borrowed from. Instead of taking as big of a loan as possible, it’s important to really budget and plan before getting your cash. Determine the exact amount that is needed and take the least amount possible. This will ensure that you can easily pay back the loan while still having extra money to get your life back on track. The New Christmas Sometimes settlement cases may go straight through the holidays, leaving you with little extra spending money along the way. Instead of celebrating on the exact designated holidays, you can determine your own family holiday celebration on any day you choose. For example, if you receive a settlement in early...

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Summer Vacation & Workers Comp: 5 Possible Factors In Your Case

Posted by on 9:04 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Summer Vacation & Workers Comp: 5 Possible Factors In Your Case

Being unable to work due to an injury does not just impact your weekly paycheck. There are many other factors that can impact your financial situation, especially during the summer. Summer plans are typically made well ahead of time and an injury that forces you out of work can dramatically change these plans. By working with workers compensation lawyers, you can explore the following five impacts and see if they can help you during the case. Summer Timeshares A work injury could also limit your travels. If you have an annual timeshare, then the money invested into the vacation home can go to waste. By using timeshare documents, you can try and claim the funds through your case. If you have found a way to transfer or sell off the timeshare, then you can use the transaction to help with the emotional impact of your case. Extra fees like cancellation, transfer, or travel fees can all be added to your potential costs that are associated with the timeshare. Children’s Summer Plans If you have a child, then their summer plans can be directly impacted through your work injury. These plans can also impact you financially. For example, extra daycare may be needed for a child that is out of school and cannot be properly cared for if you are going through hospital visits, surgeries, or physical therapy. Depending on your ability to transport a child, cancellations and lost deposits could occur for events like day camps and sport programs. Even if these costs do not directly impact your personal needs, a child is an extension of your spending. The salary that you earn has a large impact on the children in your life. Work with an attorney to determine the extra costs that come during the summer due to your injury. Vacation Pay An annual work salary may also include vacation time. Even though you’re out of work, the vacation time is not applied and could become lost forever. Along with vacation time, your summer days off could have included paid holidays like the Fourth of July. The annual vacation time and pay not only includes time that you would have earned, but any unused vacation days from the years prior. An attorney can use your employment records to help verify and claim as much of this pay as possible. Using calculations and spreadsheets can help you determine extra time that should have been earned as well. Seasonal Campground Local campgrounds offer seasonal sites where you can stay all summer. These reserved sites are typically booked at the beginning of the year, or the year previous, to guarantee a spot. If you have a seasonal campsite, then you could be losing out on thousands of dollars if the campsite doesn’t get used during the summer. Using receipts and campground contracts, your attorney can factor these fees into the case. Not only does this apply to seasonal campgrounds, but any weekend campsites that you booked for the summer. Summer Hobbies A variety of summer hobbies that you traditionally participate in could have a financial impact when you have an injury. For example, if you fish during the summer, then you could be losing out on things that you purchased like a fishing license, extra equipment, or memberships to fishing clubs....

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6 Facts You Need to Know About Your Personal Injury Settlement

Posted by on 12:46 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 6 Facts You Need to Know About Your Personal Injury Settlement

When you’re injured in a car accident or on someone’s property, you may be entitled to a settlement to help pay for your injuries and any property damage. If you’ve been injured, and feel someone else is to blame, check out these six must-know facts. They’ll help you understand a bit about your personal injury settlement. You Need to Attend to Your Injury When you’re injured, it’s your responsibility to seek medical treatment and try to reduce the extent of the injury as much as possible. If you don’t, the injury could get worse, increasing future medical expenses. In some cases, an injury may even turn into a life-long struggle because you didn’t take steps to treat it. If you fail to try and minimize the financial impact of the injury, you will probably end up with a significantly smaller settlement than you would have gotten otherwise. You May Be Found Partially Responsible There are many instances where the injury isn’t completely one-sided, and you may be partially responsible for your own injury. When this happens, it doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t get any money, but it does affect your settlement. For example, if you are found 10 percent responsible for the accident, you’ll get 10 percent less in your settlement. However, a few states support contributory negligence; if you are found partially responsible, you may not get any money at all. Insurance Companies Use a Formula to Determine Your Settlement If you are seeking money from an insurance carrier, expect your settlement to be determined by a formula to help determine the total extent of your injuries. The first step in the formula is to add up all your medical expenses from the injury. This amount is then multiplied by a number based on the severity of your injuries. If your injuries are minor, the amount is multiplied by 1.5 or 2. If your injuries are severe, the amount may be multiplied by 5. Any lost income is also added to the amount. This amount becomes the starting number for negotiations. Your Settlement Should Include Medical Expenses Even the most basic personal injury cases award money for medical expenses, if you win your case. The settlement doesn’t just include medical expenses you’ve already incurred. It also includes medical expenses you’ll need in the future, which is why it’s important to work with your doctor to determine what your treatment plan looks like. It May Include Lost Income and Property Loss If your injury is severe enough, you may have to miss work for a while until you are healthy enough to return. In these instances, your settlement may include lost income for the days you’ve already missed and income for days you are still going to miss while you are recovering from the injury. Some Settlements Include Pain and Suffering A broken arm is easy to spot, but there are some injuries that are hidden, such as pain and suffering. These injuries may be physical or mental, and the mental damages are the most difficult to spot, but they can affect your life in ways you’d never imagined. Some people with pain and suffering no longer get the same enjoyment out of life after the injury. They may no longer be able to do the same activities they...

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Trucking Accidents: Is Anyone Paying Attention? The Answer Is Yes–And No

Posted by on 3:36 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Trucking Accidents: Is Anyone Paying Attention? The Answer Is Yes–And No

Motorists are increasingly under attack in this country from huge commercial trucks, often driven by truckers too weary to adequately gauge such important driving elements as braking distances and passing speeds. In fact, the number of trucking accidents is skyrocketing, even as the trucking industry seeks federal approval for increased weight and length specifications for their trucks. Safety advocates, on the other hand, are calling for restrictions on truckers’ driving hours and safety technology on the trucks they drive. If you’ve been injured in a truck crash, you need to know more about this important issue–and about your options. The problem An alarming number of truck crashes occur annually, with little awareness by the general public as to the problem’s severity. Consider these figures: the number of people killed in truck accidents has increased every year since 2009 3,602 people lost their lives due to collisions with commercial trucks in 2013 97% of those killed were occupants of passenger vehicles tractor-trailers, the largest type of commercial trucks, were involved in 73% of the large truck crashes in 2013 Every day, 11 times a day, fatal truck crashes occur around America. The causes Why do so many collisions occur each year–with such tragic results–between commercial trucks and passenger vehicles? There are five leading causes of trucking accidents. Driver fatigue. Truckers are allowed to drive 11-14 hours a day. However, because they are paid by the number of miles they drive, drivers often push these limits. Inadequate screening of problem drivers. Sometimes drivers fired from one trucking company will apply for a job with another one and are hired without adequate investigation. Additionally, some trucking companies fail to check their drivers’ backgrounds, thereby missing vital information such as past DUIs or other driving violations. Insufficient safety technology. Although forward collision avoidance and braking systems that would help reduce the number of rear-end collisions are available for large trucks, these technologies are expensive for companies to implement on their trucks. Poor truck maintenance. Unsafe tires, engine problems, and faulty brakes are often glossed over rather than promptly fixed. The limited braking capability of loaded tractor-trailers. The longer and heavier the tractor-trailer, the more difficult it is to stop. In poor weather or at the appearance of sudden traffic hazards, truckers may not be able to stop in time to avoid a collision. Imagine the outcry if one commuter jet crashed somewhere in this country each year, killing everyone on board. That is the number of people injured in truck accidents each year. Perhaps you are one of the 100,000 people injured, and you are wondering, “Is anyone paying attention to this problem?” Pending legislation The answer to this problem is both yes and no. No.  The trucking industry is asking Congress to allow truckers to drive longer hours. It is also asking for a change in length and weight allowances for trucks. That’s right, the industry wants longer, heavier trucks driven by even more fatigued drivers! Yes. Advocates are not only opposing these actions, but are asking for installation of forward collision avoidance technology and automatic braking systems on trucks. So far, no new legislation–on either side–has been passed. Discussion continues. Trucking companies say the increased freedom will actually reduce the danger by putting fewer trucks on the road, but advocates aren’t...

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4 Things That Should Help Your Attorney Win Your DUI Case

Posted by on 11:31 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Things That Should Help Your Attorney Win Your DUI Case

Being charged with a DUI is no laughing matter – because nearly 30 individuals are killed each day in vehicle accidents throughout the United States that involve intoxication, the offense is typically taken seriously by the court system. To minimize jail time and financial fines, it’s important to prove that you are committed to sober driving in the future. Here are four things you can provide your attorney that helps you do just that: Letters from References It’s helpful to provide your attorney and the court with a little background information about your personal life and your personality. This will add some dimension to your character and help the court understand that there is more to your character than reckless behavior. A great way to give both your lawyer and the judge some insight into your personal lifestyle is to have friends and family write letters on your behalf. These letters should include personal anecdotes, insights and opinions about how you handle your responsibilities, and support for your future commitment to sober driving. Make sure that each letter includes the name, address, and telephone number of the person who wrote it. It’s also a good idea to ask the letter writers to have their documents notarized before you hand them over to your lawyer. A Declaration of Intention To ensure that the court is clear about your future intentions to drive sober, you should prepare a personal declaration of intention for the judge. Writing a personalized letter to the judge gives you an opportunity to put into your own words what you have learned from your ordeal and how you plan to avoid a similar situation again. This letter is also an opportunity for you to outline the steps you’ve taken and plan to continue taking in order to ensure sober driving. For example, if you decide to join a program that fights drunk driving or you choose to talk at high schools about the dangers of getting behind the wheel after drinking, these are things that the judge should learn about in your letter. Support Group Documentation An effective way to get some support throughout your ordeal and to prove to the court that you understand the seriousness of drunk driving is to join a group like Alcoholics Anonymous that is designed to help people maintain sober lifestyles. Whether you participate daily, weekly, or monthly, create a ledger that tracks each day you participate in a group session and have the administrator of the group sign the ledger to acknowledge your attendance. If you can’t attend group meetings in person, consider joining an online website that offers daily virtual meetings – many are happy to electronically document your attendance. You should provide the ledgers to your attorney as they’re filled out so they can be submitted with the rest of your evidence. Proof of Safety Course Participation One consequence of being found guilty of a DUI charge, is having to attend a safety driving course. Attending and graduating from the course beforehand will minimize the chance of having to do it later, and will show the judge that you aren’t afraid to put in some work in order to ensure that you don’t reoffend in the future. Providing your DUI attorney with your graduation certificate is enough to...

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Compensation For Traumatic Incidents: How To Prove Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Damages

Posted by on 12:41 pm in Uncategorized | 0 comments

About 60% of all men and 50% of all women will have at least one traumatic experience in their life. Simply going through a traumatic situation does not necessarily mean that you’ll suffer from a post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Only about 7 to 8% of the American population will ever struggle with PTSD some time in their lives. If you are struggling with PTSD after a traumatic experience, speak with a personal injury attorney, as it can be difficult to make a claim without legal advice. To back up your claims, you will need to have both expert and fact witnesses. Getting Diagnosed with an Expert Who Will Give a Testimony in Your Favor In order to make a claim for PTSD, your personal injury attorney will require that you sit down with an expert to discuss your symptoms and how the incident may have caused PTSD and brought about those particular symptoms. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIH), common symptoms of PTSD include:  re-experiencing the incident through flashbacks of the trauma, having bad dreams, which may lead to sleepless nights, and possessing frightening thoughts.  avoiding triggers that relate to the incident. This may include avoiding certain places and events, feeling emotionally numb or unavailable, losing interest in activities that were once enjoyable in the past, and more. experiencing hyperarousal symptoms. These symptoms are usually quite constant and are not due to certain triggers. Those with PTSD feel easily startled and tense. They may also have less control over their emotions. You may need to attend several sessions with an expert over the course of a month or several months in order to better record and track the progress of the PTSD. Keep in mind that the plaintiff will also likely hire his or her own expert to make an assessment on their behalf as well. The expert witness is required to testify their qualifications in court to a judge, and also provide a basic outline of what PTSD is and what the common symptoms are. The expert will also provide details regarding the symptoms that you exhibit and how they may affect your life. Hiring an expert witness is not cheap. The average hourly rate for all medical experts is about $555. Backing Up the Claims with a Fact Witness After the expert witness has provided their testimony regarding what PTSD is, the symptoms that you exhibit, treatments that they have recommended for you, your overall progress and other crucial facts, it is crucial that you have a fact witness take the stand. Your fact witness is generally someone who is close to you or someone that you are around a lot. The fact witness is responsible for backing up the claims that the expert witness has made, and can prove that you do indeed exhibit the symptoms that have been explained on a regular basis. For example, if you are emotionally unstable as a result of the traumatic incident, the fact witness is responsible for explaining in detail the changes that he or she has witness in your behavior. Your personal injury attorney will be responsible for sitting down with your fact witness in order to go through what they will be testifying in court.  Conclusion Dealing with PTSD is not an easy task – especially since...

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What Happens If You Are Injured While Traveling For Work?

Posted by on 10:47 am in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Whether you’ve been involved in a car accident, fallen victim to a natural disaster, or suffered food poisoning from a not-quite-done plate of shellfish, being injured or made ill while on work-related travel can put a major crimp in your plans — as well as your ability to adequately perform your job duties. If you’ve been injured while traveling for work, what are your legal options? Should you file a workers compensation claim, or are you considered to be off company time? Read on to learn more about how workers compensation laws intersect with work travel. Do workers compensation laws cover work-related travel? This is one of the most hotly-contested areas of workers compensation law — whether an employee is eligible for workers comp benefits if he or she is injured while on work-related travel. Although workers comp laws (and policies) vary by state, there are a few rules of thumb to keep in mind when it comes to work-related travel. In general, if you’re injured while traveling to and from your normal place of business (an office, retail store, or other location), this injury will not be covered by workers comp, even if you were traveling to work at your employer’s specific instruction. One exception to this policy is if you are injured during your daily commute while driving an employer-owned vehicle. In this situation, your employer is deemed to be exercising control over your commute (by requiring or allowing you to drive your employer’s vehicle) and can therefore be held financially responsible for resulting injuries. If you’re injured while traveling to a non-fixed work site (like a special meeting or interview), the cost of these injuries may be covered by your employer’s policy. In addition, if you’ve suffered an injury while running an errand at your employer’s request (even on non-work time), this injury might be covered as well. In evaluating a workers comp claim, attorneys and judges generally look at the extent to which the employer has controlled your actions directly preceding the injury. The greater the degree of control, the more likely your injuries are to fall beneath the workers comp umbrella. What steps should you take after a travel injury occurs? Your first step after returning should be to coordinate with your employer’s human resources or finance department to ensure that a workers comp claim is filed. You’ll later want to be able to document that you notified these parties as quickly as possible so that you won’t be subject to expired reporting deadlines or other procedural issues. For example, if you were involved in an auto accident, your auto insurance may be poised to cover any resulting medical bills — however, if this falls under your employer’s workers compensation policy, your employer should cover these costs instead. Although your auto insurer will usually be able to recover these costs from your employer’s workers comp insurer (a process termed subrogation), it is easier and quicker to have your employer in the loop during all stages of the claim. You should also ensure that you receive any follow-up treatment recommended by your physician. In some cases, a failure to seek recommended treatment can harm your ability to claim workers compensation funding — the insurer may argue that you exacerbated your own injuries (and increased costs)...

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