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You May Deserve More Than Basic Workers Compensation

Posted by on Mar 22, 2017 in Uncategorized |

The workers compensation is designed to help injured workers recover and return to work without major financial hardship. For the worst injuries, it covers medical procedures that are extremely expensive in the American health market. For lesser injuries, it could mean a few days with a limp or taking it easy while otherwise enjoying a paid vacation. There are many specific situations and prohibiting exceptions between those two extremes, and some legal or financial situations can be worse than the injuries. Before accepting the standard compensation decision, here are a few things to consider. Are The Payments Enough? Workers compensation is different for each state, but the general premise is the same across the US. Your medical bills relevant to the injury are paid for by workers compensation insurance, and you’re paid a percentage of your normal paycheck through a formula, such as California’s compensation pay calculation.  For some people, a percentage change isn’t a big deal. If they’re already making a decent amount of money for their needs, it either makes no difference as they focus on recovery or its a great, slightly lower paid vacation as mentioned earlier. Unfortunately, if you’re barely making ends meet or not doing well in the economy at all, any kind of pay cut can lead to an emergency. Some workers assume that they have to either accept what they’re given or go through a lengthy legal battle to get better treatment, and that’s just not true. Every state has provisions for increasing compensation payments, and the easiest way to do this involves proving that you’re going through a hardship. It isn’t exactly easy to find in some cases, and although you should get a lawyer to double check your options. There are a lot of other provisions for injured workers, since every situation is truly different. You don’t have to do much aside from provide information when asked, since the lawyer will be performing the research. If you want the information as well, just ask for documentation after the lawyer has time to make significant progress. Extended Benefits And Starting Fresh Not all workers compensation claims end with a worker’s recovery. If you’ve been permanently disabled by an injury and your benefits are up, or if there is any indication of future disability, it’s time for a lawyer to begin activating contingency plans. Following a disabling injury, workers have a few choices. They can be routed to social security disability if the injury can lead to recovery that is just longer than workers compensation is designed to handle, or pursue other legal options. Other legal options involve investigating the situations to figure out who is at fault. You may need to seek personal injury compensation from your employer, a coworker, or even a vendor outside of the company. If you were injured by work equipment or safety equipment and neither you or your company can be held liable, a more complex set of research needs to be done. It’s more work, but that work is for the lawyer, not you. Yes, it takes time, but the alternative is usually suffering because of an issue you didn’t cause and paying for it out of pocket. To make sure the people responsible for your injury are paying–or to figure out if other programs can help you easier, contact a...

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How Much Should You Say: DUI Charges And Privileged Communications

Posted by on Mar 22, 2017 in Uncategorized |

For most people, the thought that they might one day find themselves behind bars because of an arrest for driving under the influence (DUI) is preposterous, but it happens every day to people just like you. When it does happen, your best course of action is to acquire legal representation as soon as possible and to be as open with your attorney as you can be about the events that got you into trouble with the law. You may, once you are out of jail and speaking to your attorney, wonder just how honest you should really be. To learn more about the issue of attorney-client privilege, read on. What is the point of attorney-client privilege? The criminal justice system recognizes that a person accused of a crime has the right to a comprehensive legal defense and that that right to a defense is only possible if the attorney is protected from prosecution. It also affords those accused with the ability to be fearless in their honestly with their attorney, knowing that nearly everything they say to their attorney cannot be acted upon by that attorney. What does attorney-client privilege mean to your case? Everything you say to your attorney, from the time of your initial phone call until you die, is considered privileged information. Your attorney cannot be compelled to reveal that information, no matter what. Whether you communicate by phone, in person, by email, fax, text or sign language, it’s all protected. You do not need to be under contract with that attorney or pay a dime for the representation to be protected. It never expires. Exceptions to the privilege to know about. As always, there are some exceptions to this rule and it’s extremely important that you understand situations where communications are not protected when it comes to your DUI case. If you are unsure, be sure to ask your attorney about it before you open your mouth and make a big mistake. 1. The presence of a third party. If there is an opportunity to be overheard in your communications, it won’t be considered privileged so beware of close and crowded situations. 2. No intent. If you speak in a casual manner with an attorney, but with no intention of seeking legal help, it is not privileged. 3. Future acts communication. If you make mention of your intention to perform a future bad act (a crime), you are not protected. For example, if you tell your attorney you are looking forward to being able to take a few drinks and get behind the wheel, it is not covered. Be sure to speak to your criminal defense attorney for more information about the client-attorney privilege. To learn more, contact a law firm like Winstein, Kavensky & Cunningham,...

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What You Need To Consider Before Filing Your Workers’ Comp Claim

Posted by on Mar 14, 2017 in Uncategorized |

If you have been injured at work, then you may be concerned about the expenses you may incur as you heal. These expenses may include medical costs as well as missed wages and physical therapy. These expenses are typically paid to you by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. Before you can file your claim, you should understand whether you are actually eligible to receive a payment or not. Keep reading to learn about a few things you will need to look into. Your State Regulations Every state has its own regulations when it comes to who and who does need to acquire workers’ compensation insurance. Some states require the insurance based on the number of employees you have, while others state that you must have the insurance if you have a single employee. For example, in Arkansas, an employer needs the insurance if they have three or more employees. In California, Alaska, and Michigan, employers need the insurance if they have one or more employees.  However, you should understand that states often allow for certain exemptions, so employers do not always need to carry the insurance. Some of these exemptions are made in relation to the type of job you do or the amount of money that your employer makes. Also, only full-time employees need to be covered in some states. This means that seasonal and part-time employees may not be able to receive compensation for their injuries. Some states are very specific about their exemptions as well. For example, in Mississippi, farm workers do not need to be covered. Before you start thinking about filing a claim against your employer, you should understand if you are actually covered by the insurance or not. Speaking to a legal professional who specializes in workers comp services can be helpful in this case. Your Type Of Injury Workers’ compensation insurance claims can only be filed if you have sustained a work-related injury. This term is a bit confusing, because it seems to indicate that you need to be injured at your place of employment. This is not exactly true. While single, isolated incidents, like a burn from a malfunctioning piece of equipment or a bone break from a dropped pallet on your foot are obvious work-related injuries, others may not be so obvious.  Work-related injuries do include repetitive stress injuries. For example, if you are asked to lift 50-pound loads on a daily basis and you sustain a stress fracture across the spine, then this may be caused by the lifting. You can be awarded money for this type of issue. Also, certain illnesses that are work-related can also fall into this category. Certain types of cancers, like mesothelioma, are related to work activities and fall into this category. However, you should know that serious and life-threatening illnesses may allow you to sue your employer, especially if certain safety protocols were not followed. Also, work-related injuries typically involve tasks that were completed for work, but may not have happened at work. If you were making a work delivery and were off-site when the injury occurred, then this is something that you will need to be compensated for. If the injury happened while you were on your way to or from work though, then you would not be eligible for a monetary award.  If you are uncertain about whether your...

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3 Popular Options for Separating as Business Partners During a Divorce

Posted by on Mar 9, 2017 in Uncategorized |

Once your spouse has become a business partner, it’s too late to change that decision. However, it’s typically best to keep the personal and professional areas of your life separate. If you have already partnered with your spouse in life and in business, you may pay a heavy price in the divorce. Be sure to see a business law attorney and consider these three options for separating with your spouse as your business partner. Option #1: Sell Your Company & Divide Your Business Assets This may be a last resort if you cannot come to any sort of agreement with your soon-to-be ex. On the other hand, it may be your first option. It can sometimes be too painful to continue with a business if it was a passion project shared between you and your spouse. If you don’t want to keep the business, the best move to make is selling your company and dividing the sales profits that you get from it. Option #2: Use Personal Assets to Buy Out Your Spouse’s Business Interest Although it is generally ideal to keep your business and personal finances separate for your own well-being, one time where you may need to use your personal assets for a business reason is simple. Buying out your spouse’s interest in your business during a divorce can empower you to be in charge of your company without worrying about future interference from your spouse. You may use your share of real estate profits, retirements funds, savings accounts, or stock to buy your spouse out of the business. Option #3: Pay Off Your Spouse Over Time with a Payment Agreement Instead of giving your spouse a lump-sum payment for their share in the business, your lawyers may work out a structured settlement. A property settlement note can help you hang on to your company if you wish to do so. It does this by enabling you to pay your spouse off for their part in the company in monthly payments. This long-term payout does typically require you to pay interest on the funds, too, so that should be taken into consideration. Finally, keep in mind that things can sometimes get as messy during a feud over business as it gets over the personal issues that led to an end of the marriage. Be sure to see a business law attorney if you have a company and are thinking about separating from your spouse, so that you can be sure that you are acting in a way that protects your best interests throughout the divorce...

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3 Tips For Building An Employment Discrimination Lawsuit

Posted by on Mar 7, 2017 in Uncategorized |

Most people would agree that employment decisions should be based on factors like merit or seniority, not factors like gender or race. Unfortunately, discrimination in the workforce does still happen. When it does, you have options. You may be able to file an employment discrimination lawsuit. But to do that successfully, you will have to build a strong case. Employment discrimination can be difficult to prove. Take a look at some tips that will help you build a discrimination case that will hold up in court. Document Everything If your discrimination case goes to court, you’ll be asked to provide proof of your claims. However, memories can fade over time. If you’re trying to prove that you were harassed or treated unfairly because of your race, gender, religion, or orientation, having a record of the times when you feel that harassment or unfair treatment occurred can help. Keep a journal documenting times, dates, and locations of any relevant incidents. Even if you’re trying to prove that you were passed over for a promotion or demoted unfairly for discriminatory reasons, those actions usually don’t happen in a vacuum. If your coworker tells a racial joke and your supervisor lets it slide, or your manager makes suggestive comments to female employees, those events can bolster your claim, even if they aren’t the main focus of your claim. Make sure to write them down when they happen, and include all of the detail that you can. Follow Company Policy This is a vital part of building a discrimination case, and it’s one that many people fail to understand: You must follow company policy. That means that you must report your complaint to your superior or human resources, you must try to resolve the issue internally within the company, and you must not quit or give the company any legitimate reason to fire you. It’s difficult to report discriminatory behavior to your boss. It’s understandable that you might fear embarrassment or retaliation. But for your case to succeed in court, there must be some evidence that you attempted to give your employer a chance to correct the problem. It’s possible that you’ll be pleasantly surprised—many companies truly do want a non-discriminatory workplace, and will take appropriate steps to correct problems if they come up. But if they don’t take steps to fix the problem, you’ll at least have evidence that you tried to bring it to their attention. You also can’t quit, because then you will no longer have standing to sue. Only in very extreme cases—such as if you’re actually in physical danger at work—will you be able to go ahead with a lawsuit if you quit over the discriminatory behavior. For the time being, you have to stick it out. You also have to avoid giving the company legitimate reasons to fire you. If they fire you for discriminatory reasons, or in retaliation for reporting discrimination, that won’t hurt your case. It could even help. But if they fire you for chronic tardiness or poor performance and can demonstrate that, then you probably won’t have much of a case left to pursue. This doesn’t mean that you should wait to see what your company does before consulting a lawyer. As a matter of fact, consulting a lawyer early on can help....

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4 Reasons to Hire a Divorce Attorney

Posted by on Mar 2, 2017 in Uncategorized |

If you’re thinking about filing for divorce, you want to make sure that the process goes as smoothly as possible. This can help to lessen stress and make everything go faster. When going through a divorce, it’s recommended that you hire a skilled divorce attorney so that you can proper legal advice and feel more comfortable. An attorney can help you in many ways. Keep reading to better understand the reasons as to why you may want to hire a divorce attorney.  Keep Fighting to a Minimum Your attorney will help you and your partner focus on the task at hand and the important decisions that can be made. Without help from an attorney, it’s easy to let emotions get in the way of making these important decisions. It can also be easy for disagreements to happen. By focusing on the task at hand, your attorney can help you both minimize disagreements and fighting.  Get the Best Results for You and Your Children You want to get the best results possible when going through a divorce. You’ll also want to have the best interest of your children in mind at all times. Your attorney will fight to get these best results for you so that you have a good outcome and everyone’s needs are met. Your attorney can work to come up with the best child custody and support agreement.  Help Talk to Other Family Members About It Your attorney can also guide you in how to best talk about the divorce with other family members and friends. It can be especially difficult to talk about this with those who are closest to you and to children. Your attorney can give you tips and guide you to other helpful resources. Handle Paperwork and Court Correctly With help from an experienced attorney, you can get assistance with proper paperwork as well as get help with the court process. It can be tricky and time-consuming to guess your way through a divorce. Instead, let an attorney help by leading you through each step. This can help to get things done correctly and more quickly so that you can move on with your life.  As you can see, it makes sense to hire a divorce attorney. You want to make sure that you minimize added stress and frustration during the divorce process. Allow your attorney to make life easier and to speed up this legal...

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Suffer from Work-Related Anxiety Or Depression? You May Qualify For Workers’ Compensation

Posted by on Jan 26, 2017 in Uncategorized |

In the aftermath of a debilitating on-the-job injury, you may be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits. Although workers’ comp mainly covers employees who’ve suffered physical injuries, it may also cover those who are suffering from work-related anxiety and depression. Learn about how you could qualify for workers’ comp coverage if you’re currently suffering anxiety or depression caused by work-related injuries or stresses. Recognizing the Signs of Anxiety and Depression Clinical depression is a debilitating illness that affects over 18 million Americans over the age of 18, especially those who are in their prime working years. Workplace depression can also prove costly in terms of lost productivity and treatment costs, leading to over $51 billion in absenteeism, according to Mental Health America. If you’re suffering from depression or anxiety, then you may have experienced some of the following symptoms: Increased fatigue and overall decrease in energy Increased irritability and feelings of restlessness Reduced or lost interest in your usual hobbies Memory loss Persistent loss of concentration Extreme changes in sleeping patterns and appetite Thoughts or feelings of suicide or self-harm If you are experiencing these symptoms in the workplace or as a result of a work-related injury, you should consult with a trained mental health expert as soon as possible. Talking with a specialist could be part of your first steps towards receiving workers’ compensation benefits. Understanding the Claims Criteria In order to pursue a worker’s compensation claim for workplace-related depression or anxiety, you’ll have to meet certain criteria for a valid claim. In addition to being an employee of the company you’re filing your claim against (as opposed to being an independent contractor), the conditions or events leading up to your workplace depression must: Be the result of the company’s workplace conditions Result in an impairment that causes lost wages and productivity Occur while you’re on the job If your work-related depression or anxiety isn’t the result of a physical injury, then additional proof may be required before your workers’ compensation claim can be successfully processed. For instance, you may need a professional evaluation from a certified mental health physician that proves your depression or anxiety is the result of work-related issues. In addition, your state may have its own burden of proof you’ll need to meet in order to successfully prove your workers’ comp claim. This burden of proof may not be the same in every state, so it’s important to talk to your workers’ compensation attorney when establishing your claim. Physical vs. Mental Injury Workplace depression or anxiety can be the result of a physical work injury or a mental injury caused by unusual stressors within the workplace. It’s not uncommon for severe depression to set in after suffering a severe physical injury that not only results in a loss of employment, but also prevents you from getting back to work. If you already have a workers’ comp claim for physical injury, you may receive additional compensation for any work-related depression you’re experiencing. Depression or anxiety experienced in the workplace can also stem from mental rather than physical factors. For instance, working in a hostile workplace could eventually lead to anxiety or depression. Common hostile actions that could produce heightened anxiety include workplace bullying and sexual harassment. Traumatic incidents experienced at work can also trigger depressive...

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What Maximum Medical Improvement Means In Car Accident Cases

Posted by on Jan 5, 2017 in Uncategorized |

Car accident cases do not usually settle quickly, and there are multiple reasons for this. In many cases, though, it is the injured person who holds up the case from settling, and there is a good reason for this. If you were injured in a car accident and have major injuries, you will want to postpone settling your case for a while too. The goal is to make sure you have reached your maximum medical improvement (MMI) before you settle. Here are a few things to know about this. What Is MMI? MMI is a term used frequently in personal injury cases of all kinds, and it refers to the point in time when an injured person has reached the best he or she will ever be after the accident. In good cases, MMI means the person is completely back to normal and has no further problems to worry about. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. When major injuries occur from a car accident, they can often leave a person different for the rest of his or her life. It can be hard to know when you have reached MMI, but a good way is by talking and visiting with your doctor frequently. With major injuries, you may need to seek various forms of healthcare treatments for the rest of your life. While you may never fully recover, you should reach a point where you are as good as you will ever be. When you do, you can consider that you have reached MMI. Why Is It Important To Wait? The main reason you should wait to settle your case until you reached MMI is so that you know exactly what the extent of your injuries are from the accident. If you settle immediately after the accident, there may be lifelong injuries you do not yet know about. The longer you wait, the more understanding you will have regarding the full impact of the accident. Not only will waiting help you fully understand your injuries, but waiting will also help you see how different your life is now compared to the way it was. For example, if you are no longer able to drive a car due to your injuries, you may experience grief over the loss of freedom driving once offered you, and this is something you can sue for. While money will not give you your health and freedoms back, it can at least help you live more comfortably with your new type of lifestyle. How Long Can You Wait? One thing you should realize about waiting to settle is that you cannot wait forever. There is something called a statute of limitations, and this is a time frame you have in which you must file your lawsuit. This time frame varies, but it is normally within one to six years. You will have to talk to a personal injury lawyer to find out the time frame in the state you live in. This time frame gives you time to think about your case for a while before you file, but it is also there to prevent people from waiting too long. The key point with this is that you must file your lawsuit before the time frame ends. This does not mean you must settle...

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Preventing Dog-Bite Liability

Posted by on Nov 21, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Dog bites are common causes of personal-injury cases, and they are often the result of negligence on the part of the dog’s owner. If you own a dog, there are ways to prevent the likelihood of a dog bite from occurring. Invest in Training Obedience training is necessary for every dog in your household. Some people make the mistake of skipping obedience training if the dog acts appropriately around them and their family members. Such behavior does not mean the dog will obey basic commands or act appropriately in the presence of other people or animals. Your dog should always listen to commands issued by you or other members of your household. As part of obedience training, your dog should learn to walk on a leash with you in command, not running ahead of you or dragging you along. Socialization skills are also important to minimize your dog’s fear around strangers or other animals, as this can lead to aggressive behavior. A dog should be taught to not bark at passersby or pull on the leash when someone or another animal walks by. Similarly, package- or food-delivery persons should not feel intimidated by your dog when they arrive on the property. Maintain Identification and Vet Care Another concern with dog bites is that some owners do not have their dog properly tagged and are not up-to-date with the dog’s needed vaccinations. Your dog should wear identification at all times in case it becomes lost or in case animal control needs to determine their owner. Microchips remain an invaluable tool to identify pets, since some animals can manage to remove their collar. Spaying or neutering your animal can also make them more docile and reduce the incidence of roaming and territorial behavior. Never skimp on vaccinations for your dog. Not only will vaccination protect your dog, but it will protect your family and other people who may come into contact with your dog. If a dog bite occurs, not only will you be liable for medical care if you are deemed at fault, but you may be liable for additional medical bills if the victim must go through a series of rabies shots. Be Responsible Responsibility as a dog owner also means keeping your animal properly restrained when it is outside. Your dog should not be allowed to roam free in your yard if it cannot be trusted to remain within the confines of your property. When you are restraining your animal, the leash needs to be adequate for the type and size of dog. Many large dogs are strong, and a simple leash or chain tied to a fence or post may not be enough to keep them restrained. Taking good care of your dog is also part of your responsibility, especially if the dog will be outside for several hours. Some jurisdictions limit the amount of time a dog can be tied up outside before the owner’s behavior is considered animal abuse. Leaving a dog restrained outside in the heat or cold is not only cruel to the animal but also may increase the likelihood of aggressive behavior and escape attempts. Consider Your Neighbors Many people choose to keep their dog in the back yard so it can have the freedom to run around without the concern of...

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4 Ways To Get Your Landlord’s Insurance Policy Information So You Can File An Injury Claim

Posted by on Sep 29, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Landlords are responsible for keeping the properties safe and habitable. In fact, they can be held liable when a tenant or a visitor gets injured due to the landlord’s negligence. The first step that someone has to take when injured is to try to file a claim on the landlord’s insurance policy. But unless that information is provided in the lease, the tenant or visitor may not know how to find the information. Here are 4 ways that you can locate the insurance company information when you need to file a claim against a landlord.  Ask the Landlord  You can ask the landlord for the name of the insurance company and the policy number. You shouldn’t have to tell him or her why you need the information at this point, but he or she will probably ask you why you need the information. Of course, if the reason for the injury was due to their negligence, they may not be cooperative in providing you with the information that you will need in order to move forward with filing a claim against their insurance policy. If the landlord does not cooperate, do not threaten at that time that you will file a lawsuit. You don’t want to put the landlord on the defensive in the first stages of the personal injury claim process.  Look at Courthouse Records  If your landlord has a mortgage on the house, and it’s likely that he or she does, you may be able to find the name of the insurance company on the mortgage documents for the property. Mortgage companies require insurance coverage at the time of closing. Fortunately, mortgage documents are matters of public record, which means you can read the mortgage documents at your county courthouse or online if the land records office provides that ability. Use this interactive tool to locate your county courthouse to determine whether or not these documents can be viewed online or a trip to the courthouse will be necessary. It’s important to note that some counties require a fee in order to access records that are online. A clerk in the land records office can show you how to use the database to find the documents. Read through the documents carefully to find a clause that states the insurance requirements and it might list the insurance company’s name there or at the end of the document.  Get a CLUE If you still need help finding the name of the insurance company, get a CLUE. This is a report from the Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange that lists various information including a history of the names of the insurance companies and the corresponding policy numbers that have ever been attached to the home. Call the most recently listed insurance company to see if the landlord’s policy is still active.  One huge benefit of getting a CLUE report is that you will also see each claim that has ever been filed against insurance policies for that particular home. This means that you’ll be able to see if any previous tenants have also had the same or similar issues with personal injuries due to the landlord’s negligence.  Get a Subpoena If you’re still not having any luck, hire a personal injury attorney, like those at Spesia & Ayers Attorneys At Law, so...

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When Your Credit Is Killed And It’s Not Your Fault: Can You Sue?

Posted by on Jul 15, 2016 in Uncategorized |

In today’s economy, almost every financial decision you make is based on your credit score. If your score is bad, landlords can refuse to rent to you, you often can’t buy a car or a house, and even small lending, like purchasing furniture on a payment plan, becomes difficult. It can takes years to recoup your score and get into good lending graces, so if your credit was destroyed by bad reporting, inaccurate collections, or identity theft, you might be looking for a way to take back what you have lost. Can you sue for damages to your credit? Here is what you need to know. Know who to dispute the problem with. The best way to explain who is actually responsible for your credit woes is through an example. If your internet company starts coming after you for unpaid bills, this affects your credit score. However, if your bills were actually paid in full and you are wrongfully sent to to collections for money owed, you might think the best plan of action is to go after the lender (in this case, your internet company) for their reporting mistake. However, under the law, you can’t actually sue a lender for messing up your credit score when they make a mistake. Instead, you need to dispute it with the credit reporting companies that create your score, even though they are only acting on what they have gathered from your apparent lending history.  Generally, it won’t come to a full blown legal fight. You can hire a lawyer to help you send a letter showing the error in reporting and asking for your score to be amended properly. If they refuse to correct the score and pay you for financial advantages, you can then take the civil suit to court. Know what damages you can collect. So, what financial damages can you hope to collect from suing for bad credit? Here are some examples: When you have poor credit, if you can secure a loan, those loans will come with higher interest rates because you are a high-risk borrower. Your lawyer can help you calculate how much money you would have saved had you been able to secure the loan with the proper credit score. This money from saved interest can be paid out as damages. You cannot secure a loan because of bad credit. For example, if you want to buy a house, but are turned down due to a poor credit score, you are forced to rent instead. That rent money would have paid a mortgage, and is therefore lost equity on your part.  You were unable to purchase home or rent in a better area because a landlord would not rent to someone with damaged credit. Your home might have been broken into and the resulting financial loss could be counted as damages.  You suffered emotional damages because of the reported score. Often, a credit check is run for family law situations, such as when you want to get custody or adopt a child. Good credit indicates financial stability, and you can sometimes be turned down for custody of a child or for adoption if your credit report shows activity that is financially irresponsible. Not being able to move forward with a perfectly legitimate custody or adoption...

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