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]

May 12, 2020

How Do I Find a Doctor After a Shooting at a Restaurant?

Wrongful Death Lawyer

Restaurants should be a place where families and friends can gather to celebrate their companionship. On occasion, however, an angry customer will engage in an act of violence.

Victims of shootings in restaurants may be the target of that anger or innocent bystanders. In either case, they suffer injuries that could have been prevented if the restaurant had provided adequate security.

Adequate security begins in the parking lot. Lighting should be sufficient to deter robberies and other violent crimes. Restaurants can be held responsible for shootings in parking lots that would have been deterred by better lighting or security measures.

When owners should foresee the significant risk that a shooting might occur inside the restaurant, they have a duty to protect their patrons from harm. Hiring security staff to remove customers when they become threatening is often the best way to assure the safety of other customers.

When restaurants negligently fail to protect their patrons, they can be held liable. A security negligence lawyer can advise shooting victims about their right to seek compensation from the restaurant where the crime occurred.

Finding a Doctor for Emergency Treatment After a Shooting at a Restaurant

All shooting wounds require immediate medical attention. Serious injuries should be treated at an Emergency Room. Someone should call 911 immediately to report the shooting and to request an ambulance.

Paramedics can evaluate the wound and decide whether emergency treatment is required. If a paramedic recommends an ambulance ride to the emergency room, a crime victim should always agree to receive immediate treatment. Internal bleeding and organ damage can be fatal if prompt treatment is not rendered.

Emergency rooms have an obligation to treat uninsured patients if a wound is life-threatening or if it might seriously impair the function of any part of the body. That treatment must continue until the injury is stabilized.

Continuing Treatment After Emergency Care for a Shooting at a Restaurant

It is important for crime victims to follow treatment recommendations after emergency care ends. Wounds can become infected, causing a life-threatening condition known as sepsis, if they do not receive proper care. Muscles and other soft tissues can develop scar tissue that limits mobility and causes constant pain.

Treatment often includes physical therapy to exercise muscles and promote healing. Since physical therapy tends to be painful and time-consuming, however, patients often neglect to follow through on appointments. Healing stalls and conditions worsen when patients do not follow a healthcare professional’s advice.

It is also more difficult for the crime victim’s lawyer to settle a case for fair compensation when the victim ignores treatment recommendations. Insurance companies assume that the injuries must have healed when the victim stops treatment.

When treatment resumes, the insurance company argues that the treatment was for a new injury. Shooting victims take compensation out of their own pockets when their medical records indicate that the victim did not follow a doctor’s orders.

Finding a Doctor for Continuing Treatment After a Shooting at a Restaurant

Shooting victims who have health insurance can contact their insurer to learn how to find a doctor for continuing care. Many insurance companies assign a primary care physician who then recommends specialists within the patient’s network.

Victims who have the option to choose their own physician can ask for referrals from friends or relatives. Online reviews can also be helpful.

Uninsured victims may qualify for treatment under Medicare or Medicaid. Veterans might qualify for treatment at a VA Hospital, particularly if the shooting aggravated a service-related injury.

Some doctors will agree to treat a patient in exchange for a lien against settlement proceeds. The victim’s security negligence lawyer may be able to recommend a doctor who has agreed to treat uninsured patients in the past.

If you have questions about a wrongful death case, please contact a wrongful death attorney today. 

May 11, 2020

Common Employer Strategies to Combat Workplace Fraud

Employers are particularly cautious about fraud in the workplace, and it’s not hard to see why. The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners reports that organizations lose about 5 percent of their revenue to fraud each year, to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars on average (https://acfepublic.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/2020-Report-to-the-Nations.pdf).

To cut down on these losses, companies across many states are stepping up their fraud prevention programs. Many are using one or more of the following six common employer fraud-prevention strategies.

Background Checks

Any time you apply for a job, it’s likely the employer will conduct a background check on you to look for any criminal history. While Colorado does have a “ban the box” law that prevents employers from asking about someone’s criminal history on a job application, employers are still allowed to ask for a background check and use the results in their decision on whether to offer someone a position.

Reference Verification

Many employers will check references to help weed out the high-risk applicants. Keep in mind that past employers may be hesitant to give out information about negative employee behavior if they fear it will open them up to legal action by that former employee.

Role Separation

These days, many organizations have approval and reconciliation duties assigned to different employees to help prevent fraud. For example, the person who reconciles the accounting records may not be the person allowed to sign the checks. One employee may be responsible for asking for company purchases while another employee has to approve those purchases.

Regular Auditing

To catch theft, fraud and other undesirable behaviors, an employer may do regular audits. Your employer may go through sick and vacation day records, sales reports, expense reports and other documentation regularly to try to pick up on any issues. Some employers even monitor company email and social media to determine whether people are breaching company policy.

Sign Vigilance

Company fraud-prevention employees and supervisors are often told to be on the lookout for fraud red flags, such as those listed below.

  • Sudden attitude or behavior changes
  • Frequent overtime
  • Protective behavior over workspace
  • Preference for working after hours or alone
  • Unexplained gains or losses in records

Anonymous Reporting Encouragement

Your work may have a dedicated phone line or email that enables workers to make reports anonymous if they suspect any fraud. To encourage them to do so, your employer may have a firm no-retaliation policy in place for whistleblowers.

Workplace Fraud Penalties

When your employer believes you have committed fraud, they can terminate your employment and file criminal charges against you. Law enforcement takes the investigation from there. If you are found guilty, you can be facing jail time, fines, restitution to your employer and a criminal record that will follow you for life.

If you believe you are the target of a workplace fraud investigation or have been charged, consult with a lawyer in Denver, CO as soon as you can so they can begin working on your defense and protect your rights.

Thanks to Richard J. Banta, P.C. for their insight into criminal law and workplace fraud.

May 9, 2020

Auto Accident Injury Lawyer

Getting into a car accident can mean many things. It may mean that you miss that important meeting at work, that you are late going to dinner with your spouse, or that you have to take time off to recover. However, when a car accident causes you to have a brain injury, you may not understand how serious this is. Attorneys have helped many car accident victims who have suffered from a brain injury as a result of someone else’s negligence and we want to help get you the compensation you deserve. You may be living a completely different life now that doesn’t allow you to work at your same job or even walk or talk like you used to. Call a law firm today.

Why do I need an attorney?

You may be wondering if an attorney is even necessary. After all, you got something as serious as a brain injury from this car accident, won’t that be obvious when you speak with insurance or file a claim? Unfortunately, the answer to this is not always a “yes.” It may be obvious to you that your brain injury was the result of the car accident you were in, but the burden of proof is on you to show that someone else’s negligence directly caused the car accident that gave you a brain injury. You will have a better chance of doing this when you have a car accident attorney you can rely on helping you every step of the way. 

What do I need for this kind of lawsuit to be successful?

If you are planning on filing a lawsuit because of your brain injury after a car accident, there are a few elements you should expect to have in your suit. As with any kind of personal injury case, you will want to prove that the other driver was acting in a way that was negligent and this negligence caused your brain injury. Thus, you (the plaintiff) must show:

  1. The other driver owed you a duty of care as required by the law (they should have been driving safely).
  2. The other driver did not live up to their duty of care and drove dangerously or negligently.
  3. By being negligent behind the wheel, the other driver caused the accident to occur.
  4. This accident caused your brain injury and you are suffering from losses as a result. 

If you are interested in seeing how an auto accident lawyer in Des Moines, IA can help you after the accident caused you to have a brain injury, schedule an appointment now. 

Thanks to Johnston Matineau, LLP for their insight into personal injury claims and auto accident injuries.

April 30, 2020

How Long Is the Statute of Limitations for a Shooting at a Restaurant?

Personal Injury Lawyer

A statute of limitations is a law that limits the time for filing a lawsuit. The time in which the suit can be filed is known as the limitations period. After the limitations period ends, an injury victim loses the legal right to recover compensation from the person who was responsible for the injury.

A statute of limitations serves a couple of purposes. Having a deadline for filing suit encourages people not to “sit on their rights.” Nobody should have to spend years wondering whether they are going to be sued by someone they arguably harmed.

Going to court promptly also helps the legal system achieve correct results. The passage of time causes memories to fade and makes evidence more difficult to find. The outcome of a lawsuit becomes less reliable when an injury victim waits a long time to start it.

States establish different limitations periods for different kinds of legal claims. They typically allow longer limitations periods when a claim is based on documents (such as a lawsuit for breach of a written contract). Witnesses might forget what happened in the past, but documents do not suffer from memory loss.

A shooting at a restaurant depends on witnesses who must testify about what happened. For that reason, lawsuits involving shootings usually have a shorter limitations period than some other kinds of lawsuits. A security negligence lawyer can help victims understand the limitations period that applies to a potential lawsuit against a restaurant where a shooting occurred.

Liability for a Shooting at a Restaurant

Victims of a shooting can sue the person who shot them. Limitations periods based on intentionally violent conduct tend to be relatively short.

When a restaurant owner should have foreseen the risk that a patron might be injured in a violent confrontation, a legal claim can be based on the owner’s failure to take reasonable precautions to protect patrons from harm. Restaurants have a duty to provide security when the circumstances (such as being located in a high crime area) would place reasonable restaurant owners on notice that patrons are at risk of being harmed by violence.

Restaurants also have a duty to make their premises safe for patrons. Owners are negligent when they fail to install adequate lighting if they should realize that criminals might take advantage of poor lighting to rob or sexually assault patrons. When a shooting death occurs under those circumstances, crime victims can bring a lawsuit to hold the restaurant liable.

Statute of Limitations for a Shooting at a Restaurant

Each state establishes its own limitations period for negligence and wrongful death. The statute of limitations for a lawsuit alleging a restaurant’s negligence might be as short as one year or as long as six years. The most common limitations periods for negligence lawsuits are two or three years.

When a crime victim dies in a shooting, the victim’s family or estate can bring a wrongful death lawsuit. The statute of limitations for a wrongful death caused by negligence is typically, but not always, the same as the limitations period for bringing an injury claim based on negligence.

State laws may also establish exceptions to the limitations period. A common exception applies when a minor survives a shooting. Most states allow more time for minors to bring lawsuits. Disabled victims who are mentally incapable of bringing a lawsuit on their own might also have more time to sue.

If the victim’s estate must bring the wrongful death claim, the limitations period might not begin to run until the estate enters probate. Not all states follow that rule. A personal injury lawyer can advise shooting victims and their families about the limitations period that applies to their claim.

April 27, 2020

Can I file an injury claim against the driver who hit me while I was riding my bicycle?

Personal Injury Lawyer

When a person’s car is hit by another vehicle, it is a straightforward process for the victim to file a claim against the at-fault driver. If they do not hire a car accident lawyer, they may turn over their claim to their insurance company to handle. However, if you’re riding a bicycle and are hit by a car, are you eligible to file a claim? And if so, what is the process and to whom do you submit it? Many bicyclists who are hit by a car, because of the latter’s larger size and weight, sustain catastrophic injuries, if not death. This is why it’s imperative for these victims to enlist the help of a bicycle accident lawyer in order that they can receive the largest possible settlement.

What is a personal injury claim?

A personal injury claim is similar to a damaged property claim but it focuses on the damage done to the individual by another party. The claimant files the demand for compensation directly with the at-fault party, or more commonly, their insurance company. A personal injury claim should include the following:

  •         A description and proof of how the accident occurred and who was at fault for causing it.
  •         The damage the claimant sustained in the way of injuries. For example:

o   Broken bones

o   Head trauma or brain injury

o   Ruptured internal organs

o   Neck or spinal injury

o   Pain and suffering

o   Depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder

  •         A dollar value assigned to each item of damage. A bicycle accident lawyer will have the experience and knowledge to be able to assess the damage value for physical as well as non-physical injuries such as depression and anxiety.
  •         Documentation that proves that the injury was sustained in the accident. This may include the testimony of a medical expert.

Should I hire a bicycle accident lawyer to file my claim?

A bicycle accident lawyer does far more than file the claim. They prepare and document the claim, submit it to the appropriate party, and represent the client during the settlement negotiation. If the client is recovering from serious injuries, completing these necessary steps to the degree that is necessary for a positive outcome may be impossible. For instance, if they are hospitalized or their mobility is restricted, then going back to the accident scene to take photographs is not practical. Having a skilled bicycle accident lawyer taking of everything for them, and making sure that the paperwork and documentation is correct, can be invaluable.

Unless your injury is relatively minor and does not require hospitalization, surgery, and does not affect your ability to earn a living, you may not need to hire a top rated bicycle accident lawyer in Salt Lake City, UT. If you are unsure about whether or not you should enlist the help of a bicycle accident lawyer, contact a law firm for a consultation.


Thanks to Rasmussen & Miner for their insight into personal injury claims and filing a claim for a bike accident injury.

April 16, 2020

What Is Medical Malpractice Reform?

If you were injured or if you became ill due to the negligence of your doctor or medical professional, then you may deserve compensation. If you are looking into medical malpractice suits, then you may learn about medical malpractice reform. There are always proposals to reform malpractice law. How will this affect your case? In some instances, it will not affect it at all. When it comes to reform, you need to understand capping. Capping is normally the foundation for reform. Here is what you need to know.

What Are Caps?

Caps are limits. These are limits on the amount of money that you can receive as an award if you sue for malpractice. These caps may also limit the amount of punitive damages that a judge can order against a physician. In some cases, the reform may also put restrictions on the types of cases that can go to court. Cases that would normally be dismissed may not be able to make it to court at all.

Why Are Caps Important?

So, why does there need to be caps? If you were injured, you may worry that this could put a dent in the amount of money that you can ask for. After all, when you are injured due to medical malpractice, then you could have high medical costs. The reason for these caps has to do with malpractice insurance. This can keep the costs down for physicians and other caregivers. This means that the insurance company pays a lower settlement. In addition, it allows doctors to practice without fear that someone would take them to court for a frivolous reason or sue them beyond what the case is worth.

Caps are important for physicians but should not interfere with your case. These caps help prevent frivolous lawsuits. If you have a serious claim, then odds are the reform will not affect your case very much. You can still file a suit for all of the damages that you suffered due to the actions of your care provider.

Tort reform is a complex issue. The idea behind tort reform is to create a physician-friendly practice. Reform does not give doctors an excuse to treat patients with inadequate care. If you suffer medical malpractice, you still deserve compensation. You can still file a lawsuit, even in areas where tort reform is being proposed. To discuss your options for your medical malpractice lawsuit, contact a medical malpractice lawyer, like medical malpractice lawyer in Miami, FL, as soon as possible.

 

Thank you to the law firm of Needle & Ellenberg, P.A. for their insight into medical malpractice and the law.

April 2, 2020

3 Misconceptions That May Affect Your Bankruptcy Decision

Personal Injury Lawyer

Before you file bankruptcy, you may feel a lot of anxiety. You may catch yourself asking if this is the right decision for you. In some cases, the anxiety may come from misconceptions that you have about bankruptcy. Before you file, it’s time to dispel some of the common myths about bankruptcy. This may ease your mind when it comes to moving forward with your case and ridding yourself of debts.

  1. You Will Lose Your Property

Too many people avoid bankruptcy in fear that they will lose all of their property. What if you lose your home? When you file bankruptcy, there are exemptions. You will not lose your primary home or all of your belongings. You may have to sell luxury items to sell off your debts, such as luxury brand clothing. You are allowed to keep household goods, clothing, retirement savings and even one car.

  1. You Will Go to Court

Some people fear going to court. Court is stressful, but with bankruptcy cases, you most likely will not see a judge. When you file bankruptcy, you may have to go in front of a judge, but often the lawyer will file it for you. After that, you may never have to go to court. There will be a meeting of creditors. This is a quick meeting where creditors may argue or negotiate with you. Odds are, however, that the creditors will not show up.

  1. You Will Lose All Credit Opportunities

For a short time, your credit score will be low. It may be difficult for you to obtain credit cards with a fair interest rate. This does not mean that you can’t rebuild your credit. In fact, you may start seeing credit card offers in the mail within the first few weeks after you finish the bankruptcy. Now, this does not mean that you should apply for a credit card right away. However, when you are ready to rebuild your credit, you may want to think about a credit card. Just remember why you filed for bankruptcy to begin with.

Before you file bankruptcy, you may want to talk with a lawyer. While you can technically file bankruptcy on your own, you may not want to. A lawyer will have the professional experience to guide you through the process and to assist you throughout the case. To discuss your bankruptcy options, consult with a debt collection lawyer.

March 20, 2020

Cause of Death in Injury Litigation

In general, state laws require that a physician file a death certificate stating the cause and manner of death for each individual who passes away. The death certificate becomes the presumptive cause of death moving forward. The cause of death can affect the legal rights of the surviving spouse, children, next-of-kin, or other beneficiaries in a number of circumstances. In some cases, the cause of death set forth in a death certificate can be erroneous. Most state laws provide a procedure for changing the cause of death.

Determining Cause of Death

Cause of death is usually determined by an attending physician or family physician based on the outcome of the decedent’s last known medical illness. In many instances, the specific cause of death is not really known without an autopsy, so the certifying physician will use generic language to explain the cause of death. For example, the signs and symptoms of two common causes of death — cardiac arrest (i.e., heart attack), and pulmonary embolism (i.e., blood clots in the lungs) — are very similar. When a hospitalized patient suffers a cardiopulmonary arrest, it may not be possible to determine whether the arrest occurred as a result of a primary pulmonary event, such as pulmonary embolism, or a primary cardiac event, such as myocardial infarction, in the absence of an autopsy. Thus, the certifying physician may simply list “cardiopulmonary arrest” as the cause of death without being more specific.

Requesting an Autopsy

In unusual circumstances, or when requested by a physician, an autopsy is performed. Autopsies can be performed by pathologists who work within a hospital system or by a county coroner. In some instances, family members may request a private autopsy if the coroner refuses to perform an autopsy or if there are concerns about the validity of autopsy results, particularly where the autopsy is performed by a hospital that is suspected of committing medical malpractice that led to a wrongful death.

The scope and extent of an autopsy will vary depending on who is performing it and the reason for the autopsy. For example, a thorough coroner’s autopsy might include an investigation into the clinical circumstances leading up to the death, a gross description of the body and its organs, and a description of microscopic findings that may be incorporated into the coroner’s verdict. Toxicology results are sometimes obtained, depending on the circumstances of the death. Private or hospital autopsies may not be as complete. 

The manner and cause of death contained in a death certificate can affect legal rights. For example, a life insurance policy may preclude payment when the deceased individual dies as a result of suicide. In medical malpractice litigation, the cause of death is often a controversy. Most state laws provide a procedure for contesting the findings of a death certificate. These procedures vary from state to state. Often, state law provides a separate procedure in which the cause of death can be litigated before trial since the official cause of death is presumed to be the cause of death, and that presumption can have a significant evidentiary effect at trial. If you are concerned about the cause of a loved one’s death, you should contact a wrongful death lawyer or medical malpractice lawyer, like a medical malpractice lawyer in Cleveland, OH, for advice. 

Thanks to Mishkind Kulwicki Law for their insight into the cause of death in injury litigation.