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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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Taking Action To Protect Your Small Business From Libel Or Slander

Posted by on 2:48 pm in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Running a successful small business is challenging enough without having to worry about your reputation among customers and the media. However, with the proliferation of online social networks and customer review websites, you could be vulnerable to libel if someone writes a negative report about your company that contains false information. If you are worried about dishonest individuals making claims about your business, the following tips can help you protect your company and mount a defense when defamatory comments threaten your bottom line. Determine if the Claims Are Defamation Defamation can take place in two forms: libel and slander. If someone makes an oral statement about your business in a public forum that is false and meant to cause harm to your business, they are committing slander, which is legally a civil wrong. Libel includes false statements made in written form including pictures, signs or any other communication in physical form that is damaging to you or your business. Even an effigy that ridicules your business and conveys a false message can be considered libel. Libel also includes false oral statements made on television and the radio. Statements made via broadcast media can reach a wider audience and therefore are categorized as libel not slander. If the defamatory content about your business falls into the categories above, you should consider legal action. Laws that govern defamation are state-specific but follow general rules about libel and slander. Monitor Online Social Networks While it may add to your workload, you should be vigilant about monitoring social media networks about mentions of your business. In addition, be an active participant in responding to customer questions, comments and complaints on your Facebook page, Twitter account and other social media outlets. One comment thread with false information could turn into a threat to your sales if you do not take action. Even if you simply take ten minutes a day to review your social media accounts, you could potentially offset the anger of an unhappy customer or clarify a misunderstanding among your followers. There are numerous free and paid tools to monitor online accounts to help you avoid the wrath of customers who are angry and lash out with negative and false statements about your business. Seek Legal Help If you feel that you are a legitimate victim of slander or libel, contact a personal injury lawyer with experience in defamation. Slander and libel are considered personal injury because they harm you or your company’s reputation. You can bring a civil lawsuit against an individual that commits slander or libel. Defamation lawsuits can be complex. If your case involves slander, you must prove that the false statements are harmful to your business. As a small business owner, you may also suffer undue emotional pain and suffering resulting from defamation. If the defamatory information was posted anonymously on a website, a lawyer can help you uncover the source of the false information while pursuing a case. The lawsuit will be against a “John Doe” until the identity of the perpetrator is uncovered. Top-notch lawyers will be well-versed in state libel and slander laws as well as federal legislation that could affect your case such as the First Amendment. Protecting your company’s reputation in the local community and online is crucial for your continued success. While...

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Stuck In The Middle With You: Establishing Liability In Multi-Car Accidents

Posted by on 3:17 pm in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Determining who’s liable in an accident involving only two cars tends to be fairly straightforward. However, things become considerably more complex when you’re involved in a 5-car pileup. Here are the different issues you will encounter when establishing liability in a multi-car accident and getting compensated for your losses. Type of Accident The type of accident and where you’re positioned in it can mean the difference between collecting money for medical expenses and being on the receiving end of insurance claims and lawsuits. There are two primary accident scenarios you may run into and each has their own issues with establishing liability. Rear-End Chain Reaction This is the most common type of multi-car accident that occurs on the roadways. In this scenario, one driver crashes into the vehicle in front of them and pushes it forward with such force that it crashes into the vehicle in front of it and so on and so forth. The first vehicle that started the chain reaction will likely share the brunt of the liability. However, the interior cars may also be held liable if they were violating traffic laws at the time of the accident. For example, drivers are expected to operate their vehicles in a safe manner, which includes following the two-second rule when traveling behind other cars and trucks. This rule helps reduce the risk of a collision by ensuring there is enough distance between the cars to allow the driver to respond to what’s happening in front of him or her and stop or slow down. If the interior car was following too closely behind the car in front of it, the driver could be held partially liable for some of the damage caused. Front-End Chain Reaction A less common type of multi-car accident is one that begins with the vehicle in front of the chain. For one reason or another, the starter vehicle will stop suddenly and without warning. With no time to react properly, the vehicle traveling behind the person will crash into the stopped car and so on until other drivers realize an accident occurred and take evasive action. This type of multi-car accident may present the most trouble for you depending on the reason the front vehicle stopped suddenly. For instance, if the front car stopped to avoid hitting a child in the road, then the driver may escape liability based on the Sudden Emergency Doctrine. This doctrine releases people of liability when they are presented with a sudden, unavoidable situation and must take immediate action. Meanwhile you may be held liable for your part in the accident because you were driving too closely behind or not paying attention to the road. Most other multi-car accidents will be some version of the previous two. For instance, one car rear-ends the vehicle in front of it while the vehicle behind it is unable to stop and crashes into the both of them. Another type also seen is when one car T-bones another vehicle and pushes it into a third (or worse, an intersection). Comparative vs. Contributory Negligence In all of these scenarios, investigators will look at the initial cause of the accident and what other people were doing at the time the incident occurred to help them establish who is at fault for what. When all...

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3 Advantages Of Using A Real Estate Attorney To Close On Your House

Posted by on 3:06 pm in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Are you buying a house? If you are approaching the closing, you may want to give some serious consideration to hiring a real estate attorney. Some states require it and some do not. Even if your state does not require the use of real estate attorneys to close on a house, you still have the option of hiring one to represent you before, during, and even after the closing. If you think you can do it yourself and avoid an added closing expense, you should know that there are three very important advantages to using a real estate attorney. Knowing these advantages will make all the difference in the world when it’s time to go to the closing table. Here are the three reasons you simply cannot do without a real estate attorney at your side when you close on your new house. 1. An Attorney Can Help You Understand the Purchase Agreement The purchase agreement is the document you and the seller will sign that outlines the terms of the sale. These documents may look straightforward, but they are often full of legal intricacies that you may not notice. Your attorney will notice them, and can advise you on whether anything needs to be changed to make the agreement more in your favor. In some cases, your attorney may advise you to walk away from the sale altogether rather than agree to an unfair or deceptive purchase agreement. It is better to walk away and lose your deposit money than it is to enter into a mortgage or cash purchase of a house with poor terms toward you on the purchase agreement. According to RealEstate.FindLaw.com, the purchase agreement also needs to clearly spell out that the sale is subject to you obtaining financing. If that provision is not in the agreement, you may be on the hook for going through with the purchase even if you can’t get a mortgage. The sellers could then sue you if you aren’t able to come up with the money for the purchase on your own. Your attorney will make sure this provision is in the agreement and worded to protect you completely. 2. Your Attorney Can Make Sure Your Ownership of the House is Secure Do you know if the title to the house you are buying is clear? If the house has been bought and sold many times, there may be issues with the title that the owners aren’t even aware exist. The house could technically be owned by someone who lived in it much earlier (or the heirs of that person), or it could have a lien against it that the current owners didn’t know was there. Your real estate attorney can perform a title search for you. This search will uncover any issues with the title. Most of the time, there won’t be any. However, if an issue is found, your attorney can take care of it for you and clear the title before you purchase the house. 3. You Will Discover If You Can Use the Property the Way You Want If you have any special plans for the property you want to buy, you need to know if you can legally follow through on those plans. Your real estate attorney will look at any improvements made...

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