September 25, 2020

What Is Your Time Limit for Reporting a Workers’ Compensation Claim?

Personal Injury Lawyer

If you suffered an injury while on the job, you could be entitled to workers’ compensation. Of course, to file, you must stay within the time limits allotted to you. Your time limit for filing a claim is dependent on the state that you live in. Some states have more relaxed regulations. For instance, in some states, your deadline may be six years from the date of the injury. 

Most states require you to report an injury or illness between one and three years. There are exceptions to the time limits in most states. If you developed an illness at work and had to go into quarantine because of it, then you may have more time to report the illness.

Should You Report the Injury Right Away?

If you suffer from a sudden injury at work, you should report it to your employer as soon as possible. In most states, you have between 10 and 90 days to file a report with your employer. In some cases, you do not have to make a written report. If your employer knew about your injury, then the lack of a written report will not harm your case. The biggest priority that you should have is to inform your employer that you are injured and that the injury took place while you were at work.

What About Illnesses and Conditions That Develop Over Time?

Some illnesses and conditions may develop over time. Repetitive strain injuries, for instance, may develop over a length of time. In these cases, you may not recognize that you have an injury when the condition first develops. If you have carpal tunnel, for instance, you are most likely going to seek medical attention and need time away from work when it flares up or is serious enough to affect you. Similarly, if you come down with an illness, you may not have it when the event that caused the illness occurred. For instance, sailors who have mesothelioma did not contract it when they first were exposed to asbestos.

When it comes to workers’ compensation, you always want to file a report as quickly as possible. If you suffered an injury that affects your ability to work, then you should report it quickly. The sooner that you report it, the sooner you will receive compensation. For more information about workers’ compensation, contact a lawyer, like a workers’ compensation lawyer from Hickey & Turim, as soon as possible.

September 15, 2020

Will You Need to Go to Court in a Personal Injury Case?

Personal injury cases can be very complex. If you’re worried about going to court to settle your case, you should understand the process. In most cases, going to trial is a last resort for both sides. A trial is more expensive for everyone involved. The circumstances of your case will determine whether you end up in court or not.

Filing an Insurance Claim Is a Private Matter 

After an accident, the first step is filing an insurance claim. At this stage, there is no lawsuit involved. You submit your injuries and damages and ask for compensation. The insurance reviews your claim and decides how much they will offer, if at all. The first counter offer may not be enough money to pay for your damages. You may negotiate with the insurance company. You can also hire a lawyer to negotiate on your behalf. Once the insurance company makes its final offer, you can accept or walk away. You can appeal the decision through the insurance company’s process, which doesn’t mean you’ll go to court. Although most appeals won’t result in a better decision, it is an option.

Personal Injury Lawsuits Usually Settle Out of Court 

If an appeal doesn’t yield you the result you want, you have the option to file a lawsuit with the local court. Although this puts the case in the hands of the court, it doesn’t mean that you will have to go to trial. The court tries to get you and the other party to come to an agreement before setting a trial date. You may have to enter mediation with the other party. The mediator can help you come to an agreement. You can still have your lawyer advise you. If you and the other party can’t come to an agreement after mediation, then the judge may schedule a trial.

Going to Court May Not Be in Your Best Interest 

It’s estimated that 95% of all personal injury cases settle out of court. It’s not only the costs involved, but the risk is greater. You don’t have any guarantee that you’ll win in a trial. If you have been offered a settlement, at least you know that you will get some money for your damages. A settlement gets the money in your hands quicker. Going to trial can take time, months and even years.

Make an appointment to discuss your situation with an experienced personal injury lawyer, like from Hickey & Turim SC, who can help you navigate the process and get the best outcome.

August 18, 2020

What Exactly Is a Living Will?

Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Estate planning terms can be confusing. That is certainly true of a living will, which sounds like it should be similar to a last will but is actually something very different. Someday, an injury or disease may affect your mind to the point that you can no longer communicate with doctors or family members regarding your treatment. A living will informs your loved ones and your health care provider of the treatments that you do or do not want to receive in this scenario.

How Is a Living Will Different From a Last Will?

A last will only takes effect when you die and describes what you want to happen to your property following your death. A living will describes what you want to happen to yourself if you become incapacitated and therefore unable to make decisions or communicate your wishes to your doctor. It also goes by the terms advance directive and health care directive, which may be less confusing terms.

When Does a Living Will Take Effect?

A living will only takes effect under a specific set of circumstances: You must be alive but unable to communicate and/or incompetent to make your own medical decisions. There are many reasons this could happen. You could develop dementia due to a neurodegenerative disease or go into a coma due to a traumatic brain injury. Once a living will goes into effect, it remains effective until you either recover your faculties, meaning that you no longer need it because you can make your own decisions again, or you die, meaning that there is no longer any reason for you to receive medical treatment.

Do You Need a Living Will if You Have a Health Care Proxy?

If you have a health care power of attorney, you have already designated someone as a health care proxy who can make medical decisions for you in the event that you are no longer able to. If you have absolute confidence in this person’s decision-making ability, you may not need a living will. However, if you have strong feelings about certain end-of-life decisions, it may be a good idea to have a living will in addition to a health care proxy to be absolutely sure your wishes are respected. The decision-making powers of your health care proxy do not extend to overturning or contradicting your living will. An advance directive has precedence because it expresses your own wishes.

Contact a law office with your estate planning questions. An estate planning lawyer, like from the Yee Law Group, can add clarity to what can sometimes be a complicated process.

August 17, 2020

What should I know about workers’ compensation benefits?

Personal Injury Lawyer

Have you been injured at work? If so, you may have a lot of questions and are unable to find the right answers. Below, our workers’ compensation lawyers have addressed some of the most popular questions we receive most often. If you would like further assistance, please call to speak with a work injury lawyer, like from Hickey & Turim, SC, today. 

What Should I Know About Workers’ Compensation?

Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that is available for most employees who have been injured on the job. The program is meant to provide coverage for medical treatment and a portion of lost income when you cannot work. In general, any employer who has at least three employees must have this coverage. There are many different exceptions; therefore, if you don’t know whether you are eligible, you can call a workers’ compensation lawyer. 

When Does Coverage Begin?

Workers’ compensation coverage should begin on your first day of employment. If you are unsure, you might consider reviewing your employee handbook. 

What Steps Should I Take After an On the Job Injury?

Following an on the job injury, you should report what happened to your employer as soon as possible. If you fail to do so, you may lose your ability to recover benefits. In the event you are incapacitated, family members may be able to file a claim on your behalf. 

Injuries Covered By Workers’ Compensation

Workers’ compensation covers injuries that occur while you are working. In other words, the injury must have happened while you are performing your work duty and because of your job. The injury does not necessarily have to happen at the site of your job, but rather is covered as long as it occured in the course of your work day. For example, a delivery driver, who was making deliveries, would likely be covered.

Activities That May Not Be Covered

In general, you will not be covered for benefits during your lunch break or while commuting to and from work. If you were injured at these times, you may need to file your own insurance claim. Engaging in reckless behavior or horseplay, or being injured in an accident caused by intentional misconduct will likely disqualify you from the benefits. 

What Are Workers’ Compensation Benefits?

After you have been injured on the job you may have the right to recover benefits for your associated medical care, rehabilitation, and a portion of your lost wages. Additional compensation for necessary travel expenses might also be covered. If you cannot work, the amount of lost income you can receive is set by law. In general this is approximately two thirds of your weekly wage. When the injury resulted in death, benefits for any dependents, as well as funeral expenses may be available. 

Give a workers’ compensation lawyer a call to schedule an initial consultation with a leading law firm. They’ll review your case, answer your questions, and help you to understand what you should do now. 

July 15, 2020

How to Avoid the Negative Impact Unpaid Medical Bills Have on Your Credit Score

Personal Injury Lawyer

If you’ve been injured in an accident, you might be waiting for a settlement to be reached. You probably plan to pay your medical bills with that settlement money, but is there anything you can do in the meantime? If you don’t pay those medical bills, will that impact your credit score? Unfortunately, yes.

What Happens to Unpaid Medical Bills?

Just like any other type of bill, medical bills could eventually end up in collections if they don’t get paid. Your medical provider might send you a 30-day notice, 60-day notice, and even a 90-day or 180-day notice first, but if those all go ignored, your next notice could be a call from a collections agency. When that happens, it makes a dent on your credit score. There are some changes to credit reporting practices that are meant to protect your credit, but not every medical bill will fall within the requirements.

How Can One Stop This from Happening?

If you’re worried about the negative impact your unpaid medical bills could have on your credit score as you wait for a personal injury settlement, you do have some options. The following are some ways you can prevent that from happening.

  • Using personal health insurance – Even if the accident you were involved in wasn’t your fault, you may be able to use your personal health insurance to cover the costs. Chances are, your insurer will place a lien on the settlement, which means the company will be paid back with your settlement before you receive any of the cash yourself.
  • Using personal injury protection – PIP is a type of coverage meant to pay medical expenses that resulted from an accident, no matter who was at fault. PIP usually tops off at a certain amount, so as soon as those first medical bills have been paid, you won’t have any more PIP to cover the rest.
  • Working with your healthcare provider – Some healthcare providers will work with you on a payment plan or a reduced rate. This is often for services paid in cash at the time of service, but every provider has different benefits they offer, so it’s worth looking into.
  • Signing an authorization and assignment – If you have no other way to pay for medical care, you can sign an authorization and assignment document that basically promises the expenses will be paid from your settlement before anything else gets paid from it.

Allowing an Attorney to Intervene

Not every situation is straightforward and easy to handle. If you’re dealing with a future settlement from a personal injury lawsuit, and you’re trying to get your medical bills paid in the meantime, contact a lawyer, like a personal injury lawyer from Hickey & Turim, to intervene in your case.

July 13, 2020

REPORTING TO YOUR INSURANCE

Personal Injury Lawyer

Being involved in a motor vehicle accident is not fun for many reasons. The physical agony, the mental agony, and the financial burden it causes can affect so many different things. One of those things is our car insurance. Usually when a motor vehicle accident is report it to an insurance company the monthly premium is increased. This causes many people to avoid reporting a motor vehicle accident that they were involved in. In most cases if there are no serious injuries many people may think there is no need to inform the insurance company. And even more cases if the damage is not severe to the vehicle people may feel it is unnecessary to contact Their insurance company. This is not entirely untrue but there are some things to take into consideration when making this decision.

Before deciding to keep your motor vehicle accident away from your insurance company make sure you review your car insurance policy. In many cases, which policyholders do not know, your car insurance policy requires that you report the accident to them. In some cases you feeling to report an accident would affect you even more than the accident itself. Sometimes both involved parties come to an agreement amongst themselves in regard to any damages. However, these agreements are not obligations. So now you have to think of what happens. Should that person not uphold their end of the bargain and you are forced to then report your accident later to your insurance company that could affect you more negatively.

Unfortunately, it may cost you more to not report your accident to your insurance company. The increase in your premium may be less than the cost of any repairs. Failing to report the repairs means that you will have to pay for them yourself. These are ways that feeling to report your motor vehicle accident to your car insurance company can affect you. Being involved in a motor vehicle accident with another party can make this very complicated. Your smartest and best option will be to contact your car insurance company and discuss what your options are regarding your premium and having any damage is covered regardless of who was at fault.

If you or someone you know was involved in a motor vehicle accident and are unsure as to whether they should contact their insurance company, contact a personal injury attorney, like a personal injury attorney in Dekalb County, GA from Andrew R. Lynch, P.C. By speaking with an attorney you will learn what your legal options are and also see if you can seek compensation for any damages from the other party.

June 21, 2020

Commercial Truck Drivers and DUI: What You Need to Know

Truck Accident Attorney

A commercial trucker relies on their commercial driver’s license (CDL) to make a living. What happens if you get a DUI when you have a CDL?

In short, if you have a CDL, a DUI conviction could end your livelihood. Since this impacts your ability to work, it’s important to get an experienced DUI lawyer, to protect all of your rights and try to minimize the potential serious consequences.

In the US, commercial drivers are regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The rules from this agency cover the requirements to get and keep a CDL. Under these rules, there is just one single record for any person who has a CDL. This means if you have a CDL and are convicted of a DUI, that conviction will follow you across the country and affect your ability to drive a commercial vehicle.

DUI in Colorado and CDLs

The DUI laws for commercial drivers are very strict in Colorado. Even if you were arrested for DUI while on your own time and in your own personal car, you can still lose your commercial license for up to 12 months after conviction.

Under Colorado law, you can receive a CDL suspension for 12 months–or 36 months if you transport hazardous materials–if you are convicted of any of the following:

  • DUI in your own vehicle or a commercial vehicle
  • Driving under the influence of drugs
  • Leaving an accident scene
  • Refusing to take a chemical test
  • Committing a felony that involves a vehicle
  • Driving a commercial vehicle with a suspended or revoked CDL

A commercial driver in Colorado is held to a higher standard than a non-commercial one. When you have a CDL and are arrested for a DUI, the DMV will open two separate cases against you: one for your CDL and one for your personal license.

You can lose your CDL for one year on a first offense if you are found driving a commercial vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.04 or higher. If that vehicle contained any hazardous materials, you will lose your CDL for three years for a first offense. A second offense results in the lifetime revocation of your CDL.

Your CDL can still be suspended for a year if you were not driving a commercial vehicle when you were arrested for DUI. Another DUI conviction means a lifetime CDL revocation.

On top of any revocation periods, commercial drivers can’t use their CDL whenever there are restrictions on their personal driving privileges. So, if you are required to have an interlock ignition device on your personal car, you can’t get your CDL reinstated or apply for a new one until the requirement ends.

There is a lot at stake if you have a CDL and have been charged with a DUI or DWAI. The only way to possibly keep your CDL after such an arrest is to work with a DUI lawyer, like a DUI lawyer from Richard J. Banta, P.C., who will aggressively fight those charges for you.

June 17, 2020

Tips for Setting a Visitation Schedule

Divorce is not easy, especially if children are involved. There is another layer to the legal process when you share children with your spouse. One of the requirements of divorce with children is a timesharing or visitation agreement. Keep these tips in mind when creating this vital divorce document.

Consider a Realistic Schedule

Before setting out on creating a visitation schedule, you need to think about what is realistic. If you work a night job, it is unrealistic to believe you can switch to days quickly. Thus, creating a schedule where your children stay overnight during your workweek is not feasible. While you may want to have your children at this time, creating a schedule that is not feasible will only set the entire situation up for failure. You want to create something that you can stick to with few exceptions. You also need to consider how your children will get to school and back if you live outside the designated school boundaries.

Put the Children First

Regardless of how or why your marriage ended, your children do not deserve to suffer. You may be angry at your spouse, but using the children as a tool to get back at them is unacceptable as a parent and in the eyes of the court. You must do your best to always put your children’s needs and best interests above your own. When parents cannot come to an arrangement, the court will intervene and decide for you. A judge always holds the best interests of the children above all else. This means that the court will try and ensure that the child has a meaningful relationship with both parents unless there is a reason why one is not fit. Before reaching a judge’s bench, you want to try to negotiate from this same mindset.

Be Willing to Compromise

Many aspects of marriage require compromise, and divorce is the same way. While there are many black and white rules, like property division, there are some things that may vary based on the couple. You may have an ideal visitation arrangement in your head that does not work in practice. Instead of resisting a change to this ideal, you need to consider compromise. A failure to reach an amicable solution will result in your choices being taken away by a judge. This should only be a last resort.

Creating a viable time sharing agreement may be accomplished with the help of an attorney, like a divorce attorney from The McKinney Law Group. Consider speaking to someone today for guidance.

June 16, 2020

4 Questions You Might Ask About Workers’ Compensation

When you’re injured at work, your first priority should be receiving medical attention, but those bills are going to start adding up, which is why your second concern will probably be financial. Luckily, many workplace accidents qualify for workers’ compensation. Not sure what that entails? The following are answers to four questions commonly asked about workers’ comp.

How Long Do I Have to Wait?

After you are injured, your disability must last at least seven days (this includes weekends) before you are able to collect workers’ compensation. If you miss work for less than seven days, you probably won’t receive disability benefits, though there could be some exceptions. So on day eight, you would receive a benefit, and for every day after. When you hit day 14, you would also be eligible for retroactive payments for those first seven days.

Should the Dates Be Consecutive?

Sometimes your injuries allow you to work for a shortened period of time, such as three days on and two days off or another similar schedule to that. The 14 days you would need to wait for retroactive payments do not need to be consecutive. As soon as you accumulate 14 missed days of work, you would be eligible. This might mean you’d actually wait a few weeks longer, but you would still be able to receive it.

Can I Receive Pain and Suffering Compensation?

Unfortunately under workers’ comp, you can’t recover pain and suffering. You can recover medical expenses, lost wages, and disfigurement. If a loved one dies as a result of a workplace accident, you can also recover death benefits and funeral costs.

Can I Sue Someone If I Receive Workers’ Comp?

It depends on who you’re planning to sue. If you receive workers’ comp after a workplace injury, you cannot sue your employer to try to recover pain and suffering, for example. You could sue a parts manufacturer, however, if a machine you were working on malfunctioned due to a bad part. Your lawyer can help you determine if there’s a third-party individual or entity that could be liable for your injuries.

Get Your Questions Answered By an Attorney

Chances are you have a lot more questions than these. If you’re facing a workers’ compensation claim, it might benefit you to get answers from the professionals. Contact a lawyer, like a workers’ compensation lawyer from Hickey & Turim, to get your questions answered and to learn more about how you can gain more compensation.

May 28, 2020

An Absolutely Critical Step to Take if You Have Been in an Automobile Accident

If you are in an automobile accident, there are certain steps that you absolutely must take. One of these steps is to notify the insurer for the at-fault driver, whether that is you or the other driver. Every insurance policy contains a notice provision, which requires that notice be provided to the insurance company of any possible claim very quickly. Most standard insurers will require notice “as soon as practicable,” while substandard insurers will often require notice “within thirty days.” We recommend that you provide notice immediately by certified mail with return receipt requested.

A form letter similar to the one that we use in our practice is shown below:

VIA CERTIFIED MAIL – RETURN RECEIPT REQUESTED

[Insurer Address]
Re: Car Accident Claim
Name of Insured: [NAME]
Company: [INSURANCE COMPANY NAME]
Policy #: [POLICY NUMBER]
Date: [OCCURRENCE DATE]

Dear Claims Representative:

On date [DATE] I was involved in an accident with [NAME OF OTHER DRIVER] at [LOCATION OF ACCIDENT]. I contend that you have an obligation to provide coverage in this case.

This letter is intended to provide notice to you of the above incident. It has been sent immediately after the accident.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Very truly yours,

[YOUR NAME]

[ENCLOSE ANY POLICE REPORT]