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Posted by on Mar 22, 2017 in Uncategorized |

You May Deserve More Than Basic Workers Compensation

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 workers compensation attorney, like

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Posted by on Mar 22, 2017 in Uncategorized |

How Much Should You Say: DUI Charges And Privileged Communications

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, LLC.

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Posted by on Mar 14, 2017 in Uncategorized |

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

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 injury is actually a work-related one or if you want to know about the regulations in your state and whether or not you are covered by workers’ compensation insurance, then speak with a lawyer about your case. The professional can also help you to fill out paperwork and accompany you to court to make sure the process goes as smoothly as possible. Contact a law firm like the Walz Law Office for more information.

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Posted by on Mar 9, 2017 in Uncategorized |

3 Popular Options for Separating as Business Partners During a Divorce

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 process. 

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Posted by on Mar 7, 2017 in Uncategorized |

3 Tips For Building An Employment Discrimination Lawsuit

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. A discrimination attorney can help you through the process of reporting the discrimination and let you know whether any action the company does take is legally adequate.

Understand the Timelines

Before you can file a lawsuit for discrimination in the workplace, you need to report the discrimination to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), who will review your claim and provide you with what’s known as a Right to Sue letter. When it comes to filing a claim with the EEOC and filing a lawsuit after receiving a Right to Sue letter, there are some deadlines that you need to know about.

Generally speaking, you must file your claim with the EEOC within 180 days of the discriminatory action. There are some exceptions—you may have up to 300 days if your state or a local agency has the same type of anti-discrimination law on the books as the federal law—but it’s probably safest to keep that 180-day deadline in mind. Also, once you receive your letter, you only have 90 days to file your lawsuit. Because time is of the essence, it’s best not to wait until after you hear from the EEOC to consult an attorney. You’ll need an attorney that’s ready to go when you get your right-to-sue letter. An attorney can also help you through the EEOC claims process.

You don’t have to settle for discriminatory practices in your workplace. A discrimination attorney in your area can help you take legal action so that you can get the treatment you deserve in the workplace. 

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