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Posted by on Jul 2, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Five Items You Can Easily Sacrifice During A Divorce

A key to getting through divorce is compromise. This can also be one of the toughest parts of a divorce. With a little compromise, you will have room to work out your agreements during mediation with divorce lawyers. The following five items may be seem important, but overtime, they can get replaced and will help you through divorce proceedings.

Magazine Subscriptions

Sharing a home with a spouse often involves shared delivery of items like magazines or newspapers. These subscriptions are often prepaid and will continue delivery even during a divorce. Instead of battling over subscription changes or remaining issues, it’s a good idea to just let that battle go.

Magazines and newspapers can easily be replaced and sent to a new home. When getting new subscriptions, you may have the ability to find better rates and deals. It’s also a good time to consider what periodicals you actually still read.

Movie & Book Collections

The library of books and movies in your home can become another complicated battle during divorce proceedings. In the long run, it will feel frivolous if you’re feuding with your former spouse over a few forms of media. Used DVD and book sales can help you rebuild a collection and gather your favorites again. Streaming websites have also expanded your options for watching your favorite movies. Use resources to find all of your movies online and know that you can move on without the physical discs.

By giving up the movies and books, you may have the ability to negotiate with lawyers on other items that have more importance to you. A lot of the movies and books are often items you will never watch or read again.

Wedding Gifts

Early on in divorce proceedings, the wedding gifts in your home may feel like important keepsakes. As you start over with a separate life from your spouse, it may be a good idea to permanently remove the reminders of your wedding.

A variety of wedding gifts can be let go of. This includes wedding dishware, custom monogrammed items, or household items like appliances. Work with your lawyer to determine the value of these items as you work to split assets.

Personal Gardens

A big part of any divorce is relocating to a new home. While a lot of the items can be removed from the home, you may have to sacrifice some items that are harder to move. One of the hardest items to move is your personal garden. Gardens are a lot of work and hard to give up, but there are always ways to recreate the garden in a new home.

Take pride in the work you’ve done with images and video clips. This will allow you to look back on your garden without digging up your lawn or debating with your spouse over the rights to the garden. Starting a fresh garden can be symbolic of your new path in life. It can also give you something to focus on as you get through the painful divorce process.

Public Areas

The public areas around your town or city may not come under any ownership battles, but sacrificing certain public areas will make it easier to cope and separate yourself from a spouse.

Make things easier by giving up local grocery stores or shopping centers. It may be hard to completely avoid your spouse, but there are plenty of ways to make it easier. Local memberships can also be changed. This includes gym memberships or libraries.

It’s easy to be stubborn and try to hang on to these items, but when working with a lawyer, you can focus on more important aspects and get through the divorce as seamlessly as possible. Visit http://www.madisonlf.com for more information and divorce tips. 

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Posted by on Jun 11, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Can You Sack Somebody On Disability Leave?

According to the Social Security Administration, the number of applications for disabled worker benefits in the United States exceeded 2.5 million in 2014. As well as the financial cost to the U.S. Government, these claims cost American employers billions of dollars in lost working hours. American law protects disabled workers who cannot work, but this legislation does not mean you cannot take action in certain circumstances. Find out why.

Applicable legislation

In the United States, two federal laws protect employees on disability leave.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) aims to protect disabled people throughout their working and personal lives. The Act offers comprehensive protection in many areas, including the workplace. Under Title I, American employers cannot discriminate against their disabled employees from recruitment right through to termination.

According to the ADA, you do not have to offer disability or medical-related leave, but you do have to make reasonable accommodations to help any disabled workers. In some cases, a court may rule that leave from work is a reasonable accommodation you have to make.

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) applies to all employees. Under the Act, employees can (in certain circumstances) take up to 12 weeks unpaid leave each year. Applicable circumstances include disability, illness, injury recovery or taking care of a family member with a disability.

Other legislation (like Workers’ Compensation laws) may also apply to workers on disability leave. In fact, multiple laws can simultaneously protect workers on disability leave, so you need to think carefully about any action you take.

Disciplinary action against employees on disability leave

According to these laws, you cannot take action against an employee because he or she is on disability leave, but you CAN take action for other reasons WHILE the worker is on leave. For example, if an employee has a problem with late attendance or other performance issue, employers can take action if he or she then takes disability or medical leave.

Anti-discrimination laws protect employees from unfair treatment, but the law also recognizes that employers must operate efficiently and profitably. As such, if it is not unreasonable for an employee to attend work on time, you can take disciplinary action, even if he or she needs to take disability leave. 

Some employees mistakenly believe that medical leave can protect them from any type of action from an employer, but this isn’t true. Indeed, if necessary, you can still sack somebody on disability leave, provided your reason for termination has nothing to do with the person’s disability.

Disciplinary action related to an employee’s disability leave

While you cannot take action against somebody because they are on disability leave, you can still tackle an employee who doesn’t follow an agreed company process. For example, the FMLA gives all employees up to 12 weeks unpaid leave each year, but if somebody does not return to work immediately after this (or exceeds this amount in one year), you can take action, even if the employee used the leave because of his or her disability. Similarly, you can ask employees to report their absence in a certain way. If the worker then fails to notify you, you can take disciplinary action.

In extreme cases, this could mean that you sack somebody on disability leave. If you exhaust every attempt to speak to the employee, and he or she does not contact you for several weeks, you could terminate the employment contract. In this case, the reason for termination is misconduct for breach of contract.

Advice for employers

In all cases, a judge would expect you to prove that you have closely followed your internal processes. You must also prove that you have treated the employee consistently and fairly, and he or she has had enough opportunities to correct a problem.

As such, during any disciplinary case, employers should:

  • Document every discussion and share a copy with the worker
  • Give the employee an opportunity to ask questions at every stage
  • Continually check whether the employee understands what you have said
  • Refer back to company policy at regular intervals

Ideally, employers should work hard to resolve the situation with the employee. In complex cases, it’s a good idea to talk to a corporate lawyer for more advice.

American businesses lose millions of working days every year to disability leave. While legislation makes sure employers treat disabled workers fairly, it’s important to note that you can still sack somebody on disability leave if the situation warrants this action.

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Posted by on May 19, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Passengers In Truck Accidents Have Multiple Ways To Collect

Colliding with a big rig is, perhaps, one of the scariest accidents a person can be involved in. If you are passenger in a vehicle, however, you may have an easier time collecting compensation for injuries and losses you sustain than if you were the driver, because you don’t have to prove liability for the accident; you just have to know who to sue. Here are the various avenues for recompense available, and what you need to do to collect.

Suing the Driver of Your Vehicle

If the person driving the vehicle you were in was responsible for the accident, then you can file a claim for damages against the individual’s insurance. You would essentially treat the situation like any other accident, and request the person’s insurance information and file a claim.

However, there are two hiccups you may run into in this situation. If the driver of the vehicle doesn’t have sufficient insurance or any insurance at all, then you’ll have to file a claim under your own policy’s uninsured/underinsured coverage or sue the person directly for the damages if the individual has sufficient assets.

Being closely related to the individual (e.g. spouse or child) and living in the same household will also present a problem. Typically, you may not be able to submit a claim against the insurance company because you may already be covered by the policy, and you cannot submit a liability claim against your own insurance company. You’ll only be able to use the same recourse for compensation as the driver of the vehicle.

Suing the Other Driver

If the driver of the other vehicle is liable, then you can tap his or her insurance policy for your damages. Like before, you would simply get the insurance information and submit a claim or take the person to court (if he or she doesn’t have insurance).

If you live in a comparative negligence state, though, you’ll only be awarded the percentage amount the person was found liable. For instance, if the court or insurance company finds the person was only 60 percent liable for the accident, the individual will only have to pay 60 percent of your bill.

The good news is, as a passenger of the vehicle, you can file claims against both drivers and recoup the full amount owed. So if the driver of your vehicle was found 40 percent liable, then that person would be liable for paying the 40 percent of your bills still owed.

However, you cannot collect more than what’s due. If you are hit with $10,000 in medical bills, you cannot submit a $10,000 claim to both insurance companies and expect to get paid the full amount by both ($20,000). The insurance companies (or drivers) will only be jointly responsible for paying their share of the $10,000.

Suing the Trucking Company

You may have a lawsuit against the trucking company as well if the driver of the big rig was acting on behalf of his or her employer at the time the incident occurred. Employers can be held vicariously liable for employees’ acts if those acts occur while the employees are performing their job duties. For instance, if the truck driver was making deliveries for the company and caused the accident, you can hold the employer responsible for the damages the employee caused.

If the driver of the vehicle you were riding in is also suing the trucking company, you’ll need to decide whether you will join that person’s suit or launch your own. Joining up with the driver can lower the cost of litigation since you’ll be using the same attorney and only have to worry about getting through one trial. At the same time, testimony and other factors in the case may hurt your chances of recovering the right amount of compensation.

For more information about getting compensated for injuries and losses you sustained in a vehicle accident with a truck, contact a personal injury lawyer from a firm like Gabrielson Law Offices, Ltd

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Posted by on Apr 30, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

What Happens If You’re Injured after Your Flight Is Grounded Due to a Natural Disaster?

The recent tragedy in Nepal has left thousands of travelers stranded, awaiting a route home as airlines and other carriers have focused on the evacuation of those most closely affected by the earthquake. If you’re injured after your flight has been re-routed due to a natural disaster, what are your options? What if your only “injury” is to your pocketbook–are you entitled to recover financial damages resulting from your unplanned layover?  Here is how some principles of personal injury law may apply if your flight has recently been re-routed, as well as the accommodations an airline is required to provide upon redirecting your flight.

What must an airline provide upon re-routing your flight?

If you’re traveling on a US carrier and your flight has been re-routed to an alternate airport (or even country), the airline is required to reimburse you for the unused value of your ticket. However, in many cases, you’ll also need to secure accommodations for an overnight stay before the next outgoing flight is available. In this situation, the airline may provide–however, depending upon the specific contract language contained on your ticket, you may be entitled only to a voucher for a reasonably priced hotel, rather than reimbursed for the full costs of the hotel you use. 

If your airline carrier has exempted ‘”acts of God” from the situations for which it is required to reimburse passengers, you may even need to provide your own hotel room. Using this rationale, because the natural disaster was caused by unforeseen elements, rather than the airline’s action (or failure to act) the airline should bear no financial responsibility for any resulting inconvenience. However, in an effort to improve customer relations, an airline may still opt to cover some of these costs.

Is the airline responsible for any injuries or financial damage you suffer as a result of a re-routed flight? 

If you’re injured while stationed at an alternate location, or if you miss a once-in-a-lifetime event because your flight has been re-routed, you may have a legal claim against the airline–but only in certain situations. 

In general, the airline will not be responsible for injuries (or financial damages) you’ve suffered if its course of conduct was deemed prudent and reasonable under the circumstances. For example, if your flight path took you through an earthquake-affected area and your plane needed to continue past the affected area to safely land, it’s likely this action will be deemed reasonable — and it’s unlikely you’ll be able to collect from the airline if you’re injured by a vehicle or suffer other injury while traveling to your temporary hotel. 

If the airline instead chose to land in a dangerous area, against guidance or professional recommendations, this can establish the negligence or recklessness needed to succeed in a personal injury lawsuit.  

What must you prove in able to recover damages from the airline?

If you feel your injury was due to the airline’s negligence or recklessness, you’ll need to establish a few things in order to recover damages. First, you’ll have to show that the airline owed you a duty of care. The specific language governing the airline’s duties should be on your ticket (or in the documentation you received along with your ticket), and should state that the airline takes responsibility for transporting you from your departing destination to your arrival destination. 

You’ll next need to establish that the airline breached this duty. Although breaches solely due to natural disasters or other acts of God won’t put the airline in violation of its duty, a mishandling of an otherwise routine disruption could constitute a breach. 

Finally, you’ll have to show that the airline’s breach of its duty of care directly caused your personal injury, or placed you in circumstances that caused you to be injured. For example, if you’re struck by a car while crossing the street from the airport to your hotel, your first cause of action will be against the car driver.

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Posted by on Apr 6, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Negligence Laws Lets You Sue For Damages In No-Contact Motorcycle Accidents

Although you may drive your motorcycle in a responsible way, the same can’t be said for other people on the road. If you take action to avoid hitting another vehicle and get into an accident, you can still sue for damages even if the other person doesn’t hit you. Here’s what you need to know about recovering compensation for damages in no-contact accidents.

Suing for Negligent Behavior

People have a legal duty to be careful of other drivers and operate their cars, trucks, and motorcycles in a safe manner when on the roadways. If they fail to do so, they may be found to be negligent and held liable for any and all outcomes that result from their actions (or failure to act).

To successfully sue for negligence in a no-contact accident, you must prove four elements:

  • The person had a duty to exercise reasonable care
  • The person failed to exercise said care
  • Their actions caused harm
  • The harm resulted in actual damages (e.g. physical injuries)

For instance, a person drifts into your lane because he or she was texting and not paying attention to the road. You stomp on the brakes or swerve to avoid hitting them but end up crashing into a tree. The person can be held liable for the damages caused and made to pay you compensation for your losses provided you can prove those losses are the direct result of the crash.

Challenges to Proving Your Case

The first challenge you’ll face is proving the person acted negligently. If the driver of the other vehicle has a valid reason for taking the action he or she did while on the road, the individual may be able to escape liability. For instance, if the person swerved into your lane to avoid hitting a child, they may be able to successfully use the Sudden Emergency Doctrine as a defense against charges of driving negligently.

The Sudden Emergency Doctrine removes the standard of care people must take in cases where they are suddenly faced with an emergency situation through no fault of their own. As long as the person can prove he or she acted the same as any other reasonable person would in similar circumstances, the individual typically won’t be held liable.

Without that assignment of liability, it can be difficult for you to make a case that the person should be responsible for your losses. You may still have a case, though, if the person’s actions were caused by a third-party (e.g. the individual swerved to avoid an oncoming drunk driver). In this situation, you can go after the third-party for your losses.

Another issue you’ll face is proving the events happened as you claimed. This will be particularly challenging if the other driver doesn’t stop and you don’t have any identifying information that could help you track down the perpetrator. Not only will it be difficult to sue the other person for compensation for damages, you may have a hard time convincing your insurance provider to pay your claim.

In this situation, you’ll need to find witnesses who will corroborate your story. These witnesses can be:

  • A passenger riding with you on the bike
  • People who stop to help you on the road
  • Video recordings taken by other drivers, security cameras, or traffic cameras

If you’re able, get the contact information of everyone at the scene of the accident so you, your insurance company, and/or your attorney can follow up with the people to get their version of events, which may help your case.

You should also make note of whether or not there were any traffic or security cameras that may have recorded the event. These digital records aren’t kept forever, so the sooner you can request the footage from surrounding businesses and the local government the better. Additionally, you may want to spend a little time looking on video sharing sites like YouTube to see if anyone recorded the event and uploaded it to the Internet.

For more information about litigating no-contact accidents or assistance with recovering damages in your case, contact a motorcycle attorney from a firm like Hinkle Law Offices in your area.

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