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The Various Types of Law

3 Myths Surrounding Workers’ Compensation and the Truths Behind Them

Posted by on 1:51 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Myths Surrounding Workers’ Compensation and the Truths Behind Them

If you’ve been injured on the job, it’s likely that you’ve heard or read a number of myths surrounding workers’ compensation. Below are three such myths and the truths behind them. 1. I Need to Prove That My Employer Was At Fault An injured worker will never have to prove the fault of their employer, as injured workers are protected by workers’ compensation law. If you’re injured while performing a work-related task, you’re likely covered by workers’ compensation and are not required to prove fault or negligence. If you’re injured while performing a job task, all you’re required to do is visit your doctor, file a workers’ compensation claim, and report the injury to your employer. 2. All Injuries On Site Will Be Covered It’s important to understand that while workers’ compensation law strongly favors the employee, there are a few instances when workers’ compensation cannot be granted, even if an injury occurred at the place of work. A common example of workers’ compensation not covering an injury is misconduct. If you, the employee, are injured due to your own misconduct – such as breaking company rules or operating machinery while intoxicated – your workers’ compensation claim may not be approved. There are exceptions, of course, such as your boss knowing about and allowing the horseplay that led to your injury. In such an instance, you’d likely be covered under workers’ compensation. It’s important to understand, however, that the no-fault aspects of workers’ compensation do have a limit, and gross negligence on your part is one such limit. 3. My Employer Can Deny My Workers’ Comp Claim After the workers’ compensation claim has been filed and you’ve notified your employer within your state’s mandated time period, the claim is out of your employer’s hands and they have no say in your claim’s approval or denial. While your employer has no say in the final outcome of your claim, it is possible for them to challenge that claim. There are a number of reasons your employer may dispute your claim, but their disputing it does not mean it’s denied. If your employer has disputed your claim, or your claim was denied by your employer’s insurance company, it’s important to consult with a workers’ compensation lawyer who can help you to fight for the benefits you deserve. To learn more about your rights and how to go about filing a workers’ compensation claim or appealing a workers’ compensation decision, consult with a local workers’ compensation attorney immediately, such as Lovett Schefrin...

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3 Reasons To Use A Trust In Your Estate Plan

Posted by on 7:55 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Reasons To Use A Trust In Your Estate Plan

Getting an estate plan drawn up is vital to your emergency preparedness. At some point, everyone will pass away, so it is better to be prepared and have a plan set out for your family. Many people wonder whether they should put all of their assets into a trust or a will. Generally speaking, you should put the majority of your money, property and assets into a trust, here are a couple reasons why.  1. A Trust Is More Private One of the major differences between a trust and a will is that a will goes on public record while a trust does not. A will has to go through a process called probate. This is when the courts oversee the execution of the will, and in the process, they put all of the will, its contents and amount of wealth and assets on a public record. Most people don’t like the idea of having their entire life work on public record for anyone to see. This is why a trust is better. It provides you more privacy and will give your family more privacy after you pass away. 2. You Can Better Control A Trust When you create a revocable living trust, you maintain control over the torts before you pass away. You can choose how the money is handled and what conditions must be met before people can get their money. Then after you pass away, the conditions are put in place to qualify the money in the trust. For example, if you don’t want your children to have all their money at the same time, instead you want them to be given a stipend each year, you can put that in the trust and the money will be distributed. You can put special conditions in for children who might have special needs, and even withhold the funds based on drug tests or certain conditions. 3. A Trust Has Certain Tax Protections Trusts are great because they are protected from some taxes. If you leave your money outright to your children, it may be taxed after you pass away. However, a trust has certain tax protections. This doesn’t mean that your children won’t pay any taxes on the property and money that you leave them, but it will mean that the taxes are more reasonable. These are just a few of the many reasons why people choose to put their wealth in a trust when estate...

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Speeding Tickets And DWIs: Special Circumstances Where The Judge May Be Lenient

Posted by on 7:39 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Speeding Tickets And DWIs: Special Circumstances Where The Judge May Be Lenient

According to the CDC, approximately ten thousand deaths were due to alcohol-related car crashes in 2013. While many intoxicated people drive below the speed limit (according to MADD), there are exceptions to the rule. also says that drunk drivers tend to quickly accelerate, which means these drivers could quickly get into speeding zones. If you were found to be going incredibly fast and you were found with alcohol on your breath, your situation is probably quite dire. Hiring a DWI/DUI lawyer is the very first thing you should do once you have sobered up. He or she can examine the details in your case to decide if there is a way to avoid some of the very harsh punishments and fines that await you. There are a few special circumstances that could work in your favor. You Drank Before There Was a Medical Emergency If you took a drink or two and then there was a medical emergency in your home, it might be enough for a judge to go lenient with you. For example, your wife was pregnant and due to give birth, but you both thought you had a little time yet. So, you had a couple of beers after work, and within that time your wife suddenly started having contractions and you both realized you needed to get to the hospital. Obviously she could not drive, so you both got in the car and you sped toward the hospital. This might be one of those rare situations where drinking and speeding could not have been predicted or prevented, and your lawyer can argue that in your favor. The Gas Pedal on Your Car Stuck Granted, you probably should not have been in your car intoxicated in the first place, but if your vehicle malfunctions and the gas pedal gets stuck, you could easily be caught speeding and under the influence. This particular circumstance may mean that you will only have to pay your DWI fine, but you could avoid your speeding ticket since you were clearly not responsible. Your lawyer will have to prove that your gas pedal and vehicle malfunctioned, but if you had to crash the car to make it stop, then you will have plenty of records to show that that is exactly what occurred. You Are Caught for Speeding, but Mouthwash Is to Blame for the DWI Many mouthwashes, as well as adult cough syrups, are full of alcohol. If you had just used mouthwash and then got in your car to go to work and felt you had to speed to make it on time, the officer that pulls you over might give you both a speeding ticket and a DWI ticket. An on-the-spot breathalyzer test often causes a false reading for those that have taken cough syrup with alcohol or those that have just swished mouthwash minutes before. A blood test down at the police station should remove any doubt that this is the case, and then your lawyer may be able to remove the speeding ticket since the officer might have issued it in place of a warning if he or she assumed you were speeding under the...

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Filing For Bankruptcy: 5 Debts That Probably Won’t Go Away

Posted by on 12:19 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Filing For Bankruptcy: 5 Debts That Probably Won’t Go Away

Bankruptcy wipes out all your debt. Right? Wrong! You might be surprised to find out that some debt will follow you even after your bankruptcy has been discharged. If you’re planning on filing for bankruptcy protection, you need to make sure that the debt you have is dischargeable. Take a look at some of the debts that are non-dischargeable through bankruptcy. Child or Spousal Support If you’re behind on your child or spousal support, don’t think that bankruptcy will remove that debt. It won’t. Under bankruptcy laws, court-imposed family support –such as child or spousal – cannot be discharged through bankruptcy. That debt will continue to accrue even after your bankruptcy has been discharged. Some Taxes There are some taxes that you will not be able to have discharged with your bankruptcy. Those taxes include property taxes and payroll taxes. It’s important to note that you will be able to include your federal taxes if certain requirements are met. Those requirements include: Taxes owed are from income There was no tax fraud A return was filed Debts Included in Previous Bankruptcy Filings If you’ve had a prior bankruptcy case dismissed due to some error or action on your part, you will not be able to include your old debts on your new filing. This is particularly true if the courts found that you committed fraud or misrepresentation on the prior filing. If the courts dismissed a prior bankruptcy case, and you believe it was in error, you’ll need to discuss your options with a bankruptcy attorney as soon as possible. Student Loans If you’ve taken student loans out for your education, you probably won’t be able to discharge those loans. In most cases, student loans cannot be included in bankruptcy proceedings. There is an exception to this but you’ll need an attorney to help you through the process. The Undue Hardship Exception will allow you to discharge student loans through bankruptcy. Here are the three things that bankruptcy courts look at when deciding on your student loans: Poverty – you can’t afford to pay living expenses and student loan payments Persistence of hardship – the poverty is expected to continue indefinitely Good faith – you’ve tried to repay your debt If you’ve tried everything you can to get out of debt, filing for bankruptcy may be your only solution. The information provided above will help you understand the debts that you will still have after your bankruptcy has been discharged. For more information, talk to a lawyer like Wade Bettis, J.D., Ph.D.,...

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Don’t Get Sued: Limiting Your Business’s Slip And Fall Liability

Posted by on 9:19 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Don’t Get Sued: Limiting Your Business’s Slip And Fall Liability

When you own a building, you are responsible for ensuring that those who visit your building are safe. Among the most common reasons why visitors become injured is that they become involved in a slip and fall. Having liability insurance will provide you with protection against a lawsuit, but you will also need to make sure that your building has as few slip and fall risks as possible. Repair Any Damage Have your business regularly inspected for signs of damage that could contribute to trips, slips and falls. For example, look for cracks in the floor that need to be repaired. Check carpets to make sure that they are not bunched up. Clean Up Spills Wet floors need a wet floor sign to warn customers. Correct the wet area as soon as possible. For example, if the area is slippery because of snow, use salt to melt the snow faster. If the ground is slippery because of a leak, have the leak repaired quickly. Keep the Building Clean Regularly clean the premises by sweeping, mopping and vacuuming. Remove clutter so there are fewer items to trip over. If there are cords in the walkways, find different places to place the cords and use tape to secure cords against a wall. Objects need to be placed in an area where they are not tripping hazards as long as the placement of the object will not cause serious inconveniences for the business. Install Adequate Lighting Slips and falls are often the result of poor lighting. Make sure that your building is well-illuminated to allow for visitors to see anything that could be tripped over. Rope Off Hazardous Areas If there is an area that is dangerous and has slip and fall hazards, such as a wing currently being renovated, use plenty of signs to warn visitors of the risks. Rope off the area and place barriers that will prevent guests from accidentally entering these areas. Speak with a Personal Injury Attorney Sometimes, it is impossible to avoid a slip and fall. For example, one of your visitors may have a medical condition that makes him or her more prone to falling. Under these cases, your liability will be based on whether it is believed that an action that you could have taken would have prevented the fall. If there is no such action you could have taken, you will likely not be held liable. But if you aren’t sure, you should consider consulting with a personal injury attorney, such as the Law Office Of Daniel E...

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Social Security Disability And Your Disabled Child

Posted by on 9:31 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Social Security Disability And Your Disabled Child

Your disabled child may be able to collect benefits from the Social Security Administration if you and your child can meet the requirements. Qualifying for SSA benefits can be a long and confusing process, but if your child’s medical or mental condition meets the standards and your income is below a certain limit, your child could be eligible for benefits until they reach the age of 18. To learn more about how to qualify and the income requirements for Social Security Supplemental Insurance, read below. Deeming of Income and Assets Your child must qualify based on their condition, but before your child’s condition is evaluated, your income must meet the limits. In a process the SSA refers to as “deeming,” the parent’s (or legal guardian’s) income and assets are deemed as income available to care for the child. The process is quite complicated but is based on how many other children are in the home, the amount of support from other sources the child is receiving, and the parent’s income. A Social Security caseworker will complete a more accurate calculation, but general income calculators can give you a broad idea of the income guidelines. Some income can be excluded from deeming process, including: Foster care payments TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) Food stamps Refunds from income taxes Veterans pensions The primary family home and vehicles are not included in the deeming calculation, however, second or vacation homes and investment accounts are deemed as “available” to the child as an asset and are counted toward the deeming calculation. Benefit Fluctuations Benefits are paid, and re-calculated on a monthly basis, so your child’s eligibility and benefit amounts could change under the following circumstances: Parent or guardian’s income goes up or down. A parent dies. One parent (and their income) leave the family home. The child leaves the family home. The child enters a residential treatment facility. Sometimes these changes are just temporary, such as a the child spending a two-week vacation at grandma’s house. If you can show that the situation is temporary, the benefits amounts will not be affected. Time spent at a boarding school is not counted as an absence, as long as the child comes home for regular visits on weekends and school breaks. The deeming calculations are complicated and the entire Social Security application process can be daunting and time-consuming. Keep in mind that it may take perseverance and appealing the initial rulings to get benefits for your disabled child. If you need some assistance to get through the process and representation at your appeal hearing, contact a Social Security attorney as soon as possible to avoid missing important filing...

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What Happens If Your Stateside Spouse Files For Divorce During Your Deployment?

Posted by on 2:08 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on What Happens If Your Stateside Spouse Files For Divorce During Your Deployment?

If you’re currently deployed and have received the unpleasant news that your stateside spouse has filed for divorce, you may be wondering what comes next. How can you effectively respond to these pleadings and fight for your rights when you’re unable to attend court or meet with an attorney like Karen Robins Carnegie PLC? Fortunately, there are legal protections available for you that can help ensure your divorce is treated fairly by the courts. Read on to learn more about the laws governing when and how your spouse can file for divorce when you’re stationed outside the U.S. Can your spouse file divorce papers while you’re deployed? The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) provides you with some protections when it comes to being sued in the U.S. — for anything from mortgage foreclosure to small claims cases. Divorce is included among these lawsuits, and you’ll be able to request that the case be stayed (or paused) until up to 60 days after you’ve returned to the U.S. This can give you time to meet with an attorney or discuss mediation with your spouse. In some cases, returning to the U.S. may even be the push you and your spouse need to reconnect, and he or she may withdraw the divorce petition. What should you do to respond to divorce pleadings you receive while you’re deployed? Although you’re protected by the SCRA while you’re deployed, this doesn’t always kick in automatically — you’ll still need to respond to the initial pleading to put the court on notice that the SCRA applies in your case. You’ll generally be able to accomplish this by simply writing a letter to the court, indicating that you’re currently on a deployment and would like to enlist the SCRA to put your case on hold until after you return. You may also want to include any documentation that indicates your projected return date. It’s important that you have a copy of this letter served to your spouse so that he or she is also aware of your request to pause the case — failure to do so could mean that the court will return your filing as an impermissible ex parte communication, and this could allow the case to proceed if your request isn’t resubmitted before the first scheduled hearing or other court action. You may want to consult an attorney or legal counsel available on base to ensure you’re following all the proper procedures for your case to be...

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Why It’s Good To Negotiate An Injury Case With A Lawsuit At The Back Of Your Mind

Posted by on 8:29 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Why It’s Good To Negotiate An Injury Case With A Lawsuit At The Back Of Your Mind

You should not negotiate a personal injury case with an adjuster as if you are hell-bent on an out-of-court settlement. Remember that at the end of the negotiations, you can either get the compensation you deserve or take the case to a civil court. Knowing this will help you to avoid: Lying to the Adjuster Once you know that your case can always end up in court, you will not lie because of the risk of being found out in court. Don’t do it even if you are “sure” you might get away with it in the short term. Even a mistruth is just as bad. If you don’t know something, then it’s best to tell the adjuster that you can’t recall it. You will lose your credibility if you are caught lying, and lack of credibility is one of the top ways of losing a personal injury case. What is more, you may also forget about your “little lie” when your case ends up in front of the judge or jury, which will prove that you were lying. Giving the Adjuster Unnecessary Contacts Giving out contact information for your friends, colleagues, or family members is not advisable. The adjuster doesn’t need this information to handle your case, and there is no law saying that you must give it to him or her. The only exception is if any of the associates witnessed the accident, in which giving the adjuster their contacts is a good idea. It will verify your story and shows that you are cooperating with the insurance company. However, if you just dish out the information without any reason, then the adjuster can mine information from then and use it against you in court. It’s like furnishing an enemy with the ammunition to fight you. Accepting a Low Offer If you don’t see a lawsuit on the horizon, then you can be so focused on an out-of-court settlement that you end up accepting whatever the adjuster offers. In fact, once an adjuster learns that this is what you want, then he or she will do anything possible to ensure that you “get your wish.” For example, he or she may claim that the current offer is the last or best one you can get even if you do have a strong case. Such tactics will not scare you if you know that there is a possibility of a lawsuit. Most of these are things that you can easily avoid by hiring a personal injury attorney early in your case. Legal counsel is especially necessary if your injuries are serious, and you anticipate a sizable compensation. Being eager for a quick settlement may end up ruining your...

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3 Keys To Disputing A Zoning Change

Posted by on 2:59 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Keys To Disputing A Zoning Change

Throughout the course of property ownership, many people find themselves in the middle of zoning battles. For instance, a company may want to rezone your neighborhood to allow a busy shopping block, or a dense apartment building, which may deteriorate the quality of life that you and your neighbors experience. This kind of thing can be intimidating to oppose if you are unfamiliar with zoning law and how to fight such issues. With this in mind, read the following tips so that you are equipped to state your point of view and possibly fight the zoning change.  #1: Know The Process When you are aware of how the rezoning process works, you’ll be in a better position to know your rights and the rights of the person submitting the proposed change. This will help you to understand the timetable set forth, so that you can employ the best strategy. In most localities, a rezoning change consists of two meetings, each with both the zoning board and the city or town council. In the first sets of meetings, plans are unveiled and both parties have an opportunity to speak on the matter. In the latter two meetings, a vote or recommendation passes through the zoning body before being referred to the municipal governing body for the final vote. These meetings must be held publicly by law, with minutes and notes taken and times publicly advertised.  #2: Know Your Grounds For Rebuttal If you are going to dispute a zoning change, you should make sure that you understand your grounds, to put your best foot forward in defense. For instance, this can come down to lowering your property value, creating restrictive or disruptive traffic patterns, deteriorating the character of your neighborhood, and other such issues. Simply not liking a change isn’t enough, so research the matter in order to state grounds that will win your rebuttal.  #3: Gather The Help That You Need When rebutting a zoning change, you will need both numbers and legal support. Float a petition in your neighborhood and speak to people who are willing to come to the meeting to speak. Write letters to your governing bodies, and ask that those letters be included in the public record and read at the meetings. Put together money with your neighbors to hire a lawyer, like Timothy G. Mara, so that you can receive a consultation to explore your options. Banding together is the best approach to successfully beating the zoning change. Follow these tips and use them so that you can fight to prevent a zoning change that you disagree...

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Injured At The Pool? You May Have A Viable Personal Injury Case

Posted by on 12:41 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Injured At The Pool? You May Have A Viable Personal Injury Case

With the warm weather of summer here, many people are getting outside and jumping in the pool to cool down. Unfortunately, this fun summer activity can be a cause of injury. Do you know what your rights are if you are injured at the pool? It’s a good idea to understand your rights, and if you have a viable personal injury case. Premise Liability Laws Typically Apply The big legal difference between a beach and a swimming pool is that a pool is built on someone’s property. It does not matter if it is private or public property, because premise liability laws will apply to any accident that happens at a pool. The law works by classifying the kind of entrant on the property, which includes: Invitees Trespassers Licensees People who go to a public pool, with either paid or unpaid admission, are called invitees. The owners of the pool is responsible for repairing and maintaining a pool so an invitee is not injured. When using a swimming pool on a person’s private property, you are classified as a licensee. A pool owner must warn all people using the pool of dangers they may not be aware of. Trespassers are those that enter a pool illegally, and are not owed any duty of care by the pool’s owner. Reasons An Owner Can Be Held Liable One common reason for injuries around a pool is slipping and falling on a wet surface. The risk of this type of injury is high when using a pool, but it is obvious to everyone. It can be difficult to win a personal injury case due to a slip and fall on a wet surface. A pool owner must protect entrants from hazards that are not obvious. This includes not marking the depth of a pool for safe diving. The owner must also have emergency equipment on hand, such as life preservers. Any equipment such as diving boards, water slides, and ladders must be maintained so that they do not cause injury. Public pools have the additional requirement of having adequate lifeguards on duty at all times. When You Are Personally Liable For Your Injuries Any action that is intentionally negligent will cause the blame to fall on yourself. This includes jumping into an area of the pool that others are occupying and landing on somebody’s head causing an injury. You may be roughhousing with somebody in the water and cause them to drown accidentally. These are situations out of the pool owner’s control, and the person that caused the injury could be sued for battery or negligence charges. If you need help determining if your pool related injury is the fault of the pool owner, contact a personal injury lawyer. They will evaluate your case, and let you know the best course of...

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