February 2018

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Relevance of Personal Injury Claims in Business

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There are a number of types of personal injuries that a business can be liable for, as a business lawyer Danbury CT can turn to can attest. In the long term, most businesses find themselves subject to some personal injury claims. It is possible that  customers, employees and others on your premises can hold businesses liable for compensation if found negligent for injuries incurred. As a business owner, it is important to protect yourself from a claim by making your premises safe and obtaining insurance that protects from personal injury lawsuits.

Safety and Duty of Care

It is the responsibility of the business owner to ensure that all employees,  consumers and others are safe when on the property of the company. To protect the public when they come to your business, there are a series of responsibilities that the business owner must uphold. To prevent incidents, it is important to maintain your property in order to prevent injury. As a business it is important to maintain: structures that could be susceptible to injury with proper  handrails and staircases, maintaining parking lots in inclement weather, and preventing customers from sustaining slip and fall injuries. However, if an incident occurs make sure you have the correct insurance.

When an Accident Occurs on the Job

If an employee is involved in a car accident while on the job, they are normally covered under worker’s compensation. Despite this, if an employee is hurt in the accident, they may be  entitled to file a personal injury claim against the the business or another third party. Ensuring that the appropriate vehicle insurance is in place is a smart way to insure against and accident resulting in a personal claim. Similarly, a general liability policy will insure against accidents on your premises. Failure to have the appropriate insurance in the event of an injury, can be an incredible expense for a business.

Claims that are Petty

In most cases, an attorney will not take a case that is frivolous or small,   However, lawyers sometimes accept cases where there is not much evidence available to win the suit in search of a fast relatively small settlement. Larger businesses are more susceptible to such claims than smaller ones. Claims that are frivolous or small  can be expensive to business in the aggregate. Sometimes, when a business is settles with a claimant, they risk a rise in insurance costs.

When it comes to personal injury claims, it is important to evaluate your insurance on a regular basis. Without the appropriate insurance in place, a business’s future could be put at risk of serious financial issues if a personal lawsuit is successful. As a business owner, it is important to safeguard your business  from financial ruin by acquiring the appropriate insurance and retaining a personal injury lawyer for their experience and know-how.


Thanks to our friends and contributors from Sweeney Legal for their insight into business law.

 

Common Construction Injuries

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Every year, thousands of construction workers are injured or killed because of on the job accidents. Many times it occurs because the employer or contractor failed to provide fall protection equipment and other safety precautions. Injured construction workers have a legal right to compensation for their damages.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is a federal agency that regulates workplace safety in the United States. They have defined requirements for many industries, including construction. For instance, if a worker is working more than six feet above the ground, they are required to wear a harness or other type of fall protection. Another common example is the failure to have guardrails in place when there are floor openings or an open wall with no barrier. Construction workers may mistakenly fall into an opening and injure themselves.

What Can You Do About Your Construction Injury?

Construction companies are like any other entity or person in the sense that there are a lot of good ones out there that follow safety standards and run very safe workplaces. However, there are also a lot of bad ones out there that do not care about their workers and just want to get the job done and get paid. There are a lot of companies and contractors that try to cut corners on a regular basis.

Workers compensation is not the only recourse one can take after being injured at work. The whole idea behind workers compensation is that it compensates workers for their injuries if there is an incident. Workers compensation does not require the employee to prove their employer’s negligence. In exchange, the worker cannot sue their employer for damages, even if the employer was responsible for the accident occurring.

However, if there are other individuals or companies involved who contributed to causing the accident such as a subcontractor, the worker has legal recourse. With the help of a personal injury lawyer, you can file an injury claim against the responsible party or parties.

If the employer does not have workers compensation, the employee can file a claim against the employer to seek compensation. As opposed to a workers compensation claim, a personal injury claim can include damages such as pain and suffering, mental anguish, and disfigurement. Reach to an attorneys to clarify whether or not you have a valid claim.

Contact a Knowledgeable Attorney

An attorney will do their best to ensure you get the fair and just compensation you deserve. Start fighting for your rights; contact a lawyer, like a personal injury lawyer relies on, today.

Motorcycles, The Dangers of Sharing the Road with Other Vehicles

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When riding a motorcycle, having a quick response is vital in order to prevent an accident from occurring. Motorcycle fatalities are among the most common types of vehicle accidents. In the majority of these situations, the person driving the other vehicle was at fault. Although being a motorcycle enthusiast is an enjoyable activity, it comes with its fair share of risk. To avoid accidents, a motorcyclist must be able to respond quickly and ride preventatively.

Road Conditions

Having an awareness of road conditions will help prevent an accident from occurring. When riding a bike, it’s vital that you are alert and aware of road conditions to ensure that you do not slide your bike and lose control. Avoiding the following conditions will help prevent accidents:

  • Always be sure to have good visibility, never ride a motorcycle when it’s raining.
  • Stay away from areas of the road that are covered with debris
  • Bypass any manholes, debris such as gravel or oil slicks

Vehicles on the Road

Motorcycles are mostly at risk of accidents when another vehicle on the road does not see them.

  • Distractions: Present day driving can prove to be more dangerous than ever with the number of distractions on the road such as: cell phones, texting, and technological amenities in our vehicles. As a result, motorcycles must use extra caution and always be on the alert.
  • Blind Spots: Motorcycles are much smaller than a car- being aware that you may be in the blind spot of a car is crucial to preventing an accident. Make sure that other drivers can always see you and that you are not blocked by anything that would inhibit their ability to see you.
  • Never ride between parked cars and traffic. You risk someone who is not paying attention opening their car door and hitting you!
  • Watch for cars turning out into intersections. It is highly likely that a car may not see you and pull out right in front of the bike. Always pay attention to signs and when you may be near an area where cars may be pulling out.
  • Pay attention to the wheels of other vehicles. It is the best way to see what their next move will be.  
  • Bikes can stop faster than cars. If you come to a stop too quickly, and the car behind you isn’t paying attention, you risk being rear-ended. At times, it may be appropriate to sit between cars rather than in a line of them.

While there are many dangers when riding a motorcycle, there’s no reason why it can’t be an activity that should be enjoyed by those who are interested. Educating oneself and taking the appropriate precautions will leave a motorcyclist as prepared as possible. Contacting a motorcycle accident lawyer trusts is vital if you have suffered a biking accident and would like guidance regarding whether or not to file a personal claim. Often the first meeting is free in order to assess the information before moving forward with a plan.

 

Estate Planning: Will Revisions After Personal Injury Settlements

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When an accident results in injury, individuals may seek compensation from another party. For a victim of an accident to be awarded compensation, they must prove the defendant displayed negligence or gross negligence; which was responsible for the victim’s injury. Should the victim receive compensation, it may be issued in various formats. The victim may receive one large lump sum paid following the hearing. Or, the award may be divided into smaller payments issued periodically. Though it may be ordered by the court to issue a monthly check, precautions should be established to provide a plan for the assets in the event of an emergency. There are methods available in revising a trust or estate plan to include the personal injury settlement.  

Contact an Attorney

Revising a will or trust may contain legal hurdles that could be difficult to overcome on your own. The guidance and advice of an estate planning attorney may be beneficial when revising an estate plan. Inform them of the details regarding your personal injury award. The lawyer may ask the following questions to help better understand your situation; which may help provide them with a baseline to begin revising.

  • Will you be changing any beneficiaries who were named in your previous will?
  • Will you have any money left over after paying your medical expenses or any other costs that were related to your injury?
  • Will there be any residual medical expenses left over after you pass away? In some cases, you could end up with more than you realized if your settlement award extends far beyond your life expectancy.
  • Will you be adding any additional beneficiaries that are not currently listed?

Break Ups, Separations and Divorces

After a severe accident, you may be subject to long term disability. The accident may have resulted in decreased mobility and function; which may require you to alter your living situation. The change in living situation, as well as the effect the injury may have on your career, can be taxing to not only you, but your partner as well. In the event that you and your partner separate after an accident, you may wish to alter your estate plan. An attorney, like an estate lawyer Sacramento can rely on, should be familiar with the necessary steps required to change beneficiaries.

Regardless of the changes to your estate plan you wish to make, an estate planning attorney may be able to provide insight on whether the change is feasible, legal, and the steps that may be required. Unfortunate events may occur in your life, such as a personal injury suit or a divorce; thankfully, there is help available when it comes to planning your estate.


Thanks to our friends and contributors from Yee Law Group for their insight into estate planning and will revisions after a settlement.

 

Negotiating Medicare and Medicaid Liens

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One portion of dealing with any personal injury claim, whether it is a wrongful death claim or a claim for bodily injury, is dealing with subrogation claims from medical providers, as a personal injury lawyer Little Rock, AR trusts can explain..

In the U.S. Supreme Court case of Arkansas Department of Health and Human Services v. Ahlborn, 547 U.S. 268 (2006), the court dealt with the right of Medicaid in a subrogation claim.  The court held that Medicaid must reduce its claim on personal injury or wrongful death recovery by the percentage that the Plaintiff reduced its claim in accepting a settlement.

Benefit of Ahlborn: Wrongful Death Lawyer Little Rock, AR

What does the Ahlborn holding mean?  It ultimately allows for the Plaintiff in a personal injury or wrongful death claim to keep more of the settlement, giving less of it back to Medicaid/the government.  The subrogation claim made by Medicaid to recover its costs provided to the Plaintiff must be reduced if the Plaintiff had to reduce its own recovery in settlement.

Whether Medicaid has historically recognized Ahlborn is a different matter.  In a practical sense, having dealt with Medicaid subrogation claims, Medicaid will claim not to recognize the case but will negotiate a reduced recovery on the merits of the case (same thing as Ahlborn, basically).  This has generally been very helpful to assist settlement in large or risky claims.

Death of Ahlborn – Wrongful Death Lawyer Little Rock, AR

The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 statutorily modifies Medicaid subrogation and allows for Medicaid to recoup all of the money it expended on a Plaintiff rather than the reduced formula allowed by Ahlborn.  However, the effective date of the Act was extended to October 1, 2016 and then extended again until October 1, 2017.  This implementation will create a ‘super lien’ in favor of Medicaid greatly affecting an attorney’s ability to negotiate a subrogation claim by Medicaid in order to resolve a case amicably without court intervention. 

This means that negotiating Medicare and Medicaid liens will become increasingly difficult, if not impossible, as time progresses.  For these reasons, it is imperative to hire a veteran litigator and experienced trial lawyer who has been involved in wrongful death cases for years.  

 

Dos and Don’ts After a Truck Accident

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Car accidents are already a devastating ordeal, but when a large truck is involved in an accident, the impacts and damages are often much greater. Commercial trucks, such as 18-wheelers and semi-trucks, are much larger and heavier than most vehicles, so they are harder to control on the road and can cause severe damage and injuries in an accident.

If you or a loved one was injured in an accident involving a large truck, you may be entitled to receive compensation for your injuries. Before moving forward, it is imperative to speak with an experienced truck accident lawyer who can review your case and help determine the best course of action to take. In the meantime, there are important steps to take and consider.

Give an Accurate Statement

After an accident, the police will take a statement from everyone involved to ultimately determine the cause of the accident. When you speak with the officer, make sure you are calm and composed so that you can provide an accurate, thought-out statement. This is your chance to report your side of the story, which will be imperative evidence in an insurance claim or even a civil or criminal case. In order to protect yourself, it’s important that you don’t admit fault in the accident.

Collect Necessary Evidence

After an accident, you should gather the necessary information and evidence from the scene. You should obtain the name, address, phone number and insurance information of the other driver or drivers, get witness testimony and document the scene of the accident. If injuries were suffered, you should also gather medical records and bills. Proper evidence is needed to build a strong case.

Avoid Speaking with the Defendant

After the time of the accident, you should avoid speaking with the truck company, their lawyers or insurance company. Everything you say can carry weight in the case, so if you accidentally say something wrong, you could hurt your chances of receiving compensation. Instead, it is advised that a truck accident lawyer works with the other party on your behalf to negotiate a fair settlement. They can ensure the necessary components are handled and prevent potential problems.

Negotiate the Settlement Offer

If the other party offers a settlement early on, you may feel inclined to take it in order to cover medical bills and other expenses. Most insurance companies, however, start by offering a very low, unfair settlement for this reason. The first settlement usually won’t even cover the full extent of damages. Allow a lawyer such as the truck accident lawyer Central Phoenix, AZ locals turn to to negotiate the settlement offer on your behalf so they can get you the highest settlement possible.

 

Thanks to authors at Kamper Estrada LLC for their insight into Personal Injury Law.

 

Motorcycle Safety Tips

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Motorcyclists Should Always Consider These Safety Tips

It’s true that riding a motorcycle can be exciting, fun, and economical.  It’s also true that riding a motorcycle is much more dangerous than driving a car. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that motorcycle riders are 27 times more likely to die in traffic accidents than other motorists. Their reports also conclude that most of these occurrences are the motorcyclist’s failure to comply with certain safety measures. The following is a list of the appropriate safety tips a motorcycle rider should consider:

Wear Protective Clothing and Gear

The most important gear one should wear is a helmet that has been approved by the Department of Transportation. Wearing a helmet can reduce the risk of sustaining a serious head injury in an accident.  Other gear that can be beneficial in reducing injuries is heavy leather clothing, thick gloves, and skid-proof leather boots.

Defensive Driving

A motorcyclist should always be cautious when riding in the presence of other vehicles.  Motorists do not always see motorcycles; therefore, the risk of having an accident is much higher for the motorcyclist. Don’t always assume the other driver can see you, so drive defensively, keep an eye on your side mirrors as well as keeping a firm grip on both handlebars to insure your own safety.

Do Not Drive When You Are Fatigued

As a motorcycle rider, you need to be completely focused. Along with being aware of your surroundings, you will be constantly changing gears, braking and maintaining your balance.  When fatigued, your reaction time is slowed and you may not be as able to maneuver through traffic. The rule of thumb is that you take breaks and rest every 75 to 125 miles.

Sharpen Your Riding Skills

Skilled motorcycle riders are able to make quick decisions when faced with surprises and hazards on the road. The ability to make good decisions can change the outcome of an accident. There are several ways to improve your riding skills such as taking a motorcycle safety class. These courses can help the rider hone skills such as:

  • How to position your body to maintain balance
  • Practicing safe maneuvering when challenged with emergency situations
  • Following and obeying road safety signs
  • Safe steering and braking
  • Riding on different road surfaces and terrain

Make Sure Your Motorcycle Engine, Brakes, Lights and Electrical System Are Reliable

  • While riding on a highway or in traffic, a faulty engine can lead to an accident involving other cars and could be fatal for the motorcyclist. You need to make sure that your engine is dependable.
  • Make sure that your brakes are in good working order. If your brakes are not working properly and you encounter a steep hill, failing brakes could make it impossible to stop safely.
  • Always ensure that your tires are in good shape and are properly inflated. Replace old, worn tires because they can hinder the maneuvering of your motorcycle which could cause loss of control.
  • The clutch, horn, mirrors, headlights and taillights should always be in good working condition as well.

Obey Road Signs and Traffic Signals

Always stay alert and comply with traffic rules such as stop signs, traffic signals, and speed limit signs.  At high speeds, it is more difficult for a motorcycle to stop in case of an emergency which could cause potentially fatal accidents.

If you were injured in a collision due to a defective part or another driver, call us today to speak with an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer such as the motorbike accident lawyer  locals trust.