Personal Injury Claims and Insurance Rates

Personal Injury Lawyer

Insurance and motorists go hand-in-hand. Most states require automobile owners to carry adequate insurance coverage, and even for excellent drivers, these policies might be expensive. However, after an accident, people automatically assume the worst and think their rates will skyrocket. Fortunately, that is not always the case. There are situations where your policy is unaffected by a crash and others that can nearly double your premium and leave you with additional surcharges.

Another Driver is At Fault

While no car accident is good, the best situation for a policyholder is when they were not responsible for the wreck. However, it can take weeks to determine fault, especially in a severe crash. Police have to investigate the scene, question the drivers involved and take witness statements. Then, they need to file the report, which depending on the filing method, could take anywhere from a week to two months. If the official report finds you were less than 50% at fault, then it is recorded on your insurance as a not at fault claim.

Affect of “Not At Fault” Claims

When you are found not at fault, there is little to no effect on your premium and policy. Even if the other driver does not have insurance, forcing you to collect medical payments and repair costs from your uninsured motorist benefits, your premiums should not go up.

You’re At Fault

Unfortunately, if you are found to be at fault for the accident, then your insurer will probably not be so kind. It is not unusual for at fault drivers to see their premiums double. However, as long as the accident is minor and there are no injuries, or if there is no other party involved, then you may be able to avoid additional surcharges or penalties.

Negligence Causes Someone Else’s Injuries

If there is another driver involved in the wreck, and the wreckage was your fault, then you may have to pay surcharges in the event the other driver makes a personal injury claim. Surcharges are essentially penalties on your future policy renewals, and they can remain on your policy for three years.

If you are in a car accident, the best thing for you is to be declared not at fault, as this will have minimal, if any, impact on your policy. However, if you are declared at fault, then your premiums may double, and you may be required to pay a surcharge. If you are in an accident, you may want to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer in Longwood, FL to discuss your responsibilities and options.

 


 

Thanks to David & Philpot, P.L. for their insight into personal injuries and insurance claims.

Posted in Uncategorized

Robbing Empty Stash Houses Can Still Lead to a Federal Drug Crime Conviction

 Criminal Lawyer

For some, the opportunity to rob a relatively lightly guarded drug stash house can seem impossible to pass up. With a good plan in place, a well-executed raid on a drug house can net large quantities of drugs for resale on the streets or to another distributor. Except, increasingly, this anticipated profit is not realized because the alleged stash house is empty and the drugs non-existent. The only thing real about the situation in which the would-be drug robbers find themselves, after what turns out to be a law enforcement drug sting, is the lengthy federal prison terms for an assortment of federal drug charges.

Drug Stash House Sting Operations

In highly successful stash house sting operations, agents from the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) arrest individuals who have been led to believe that certain stash houses are easy targets for robberies. In the sting operation, an undercover agent or a government informer tells a targeted individual that a certain drug stash house is stocked with a certain amount of drugs just waiting to be taken. The individual is also encouraged to bring weapons because the house is also likely guarded. However, the houses are empty, and when the individual and any other accomplices he may have recruited try to rob the house arrive, ATF officers descend upon them and arrest them for the attempted robbery, and other federal drug charges.

Federal law enforcement officials routinely use deception in setting up operations to catch offenders; the use of sting operations is part of this deception. As with other law enforcement sting operations, the use of stash houses has been criticized for possible racial targeting, and also because these operations seem to entrap defendants, who may not otherwise commit the offense. Defendants have also challenged the sting operations as outrageous government conduct, which goes against the due process clause of the U.S. Constitution. However, federal courts require the methods used by the law enforcement officials to include physical violence against the defendant, or coercion to commit the crime, in order to find government behavior outrageous.

Note that a defense of entrapment is distinct from a defense of outrageous government conduct, and therefore, even though stash house sting operations may not be considered outrageous in a case, depending on the facts of a case, an entrapment defense may still apply. An entrapment defense generally applies if the defendant was not predisposed to commit the crime; that is, if the plan and intent to commit the crime did not originate with the defendant. Your defense attorney can explain if an entrapment defense is applicable in your situation after a review of your case.

Contact a Defense Crimes Attorney

If you are arrested for a federal drug crime, either as a principal actor or as an accomplice, following a stash house sting operation, you need an experienced defense attorney to fight the charges. Contact a law firm to speak to a criminal defense lawyer in Arlington, VA experienced in defending both state and federal drug charges for a consultation on your case.

 


 

Thanks to May Law, LLP for their insight into criminal law and drug crimes.

Posted in Uncategorized

Potential Electric Work Hazards and Injuries

Work Injury Lawyer

A workers compensation attorney will work diligently to ensure that injured workers get the financial compensation and benefits they deserve.

A variety of professionals such as construction workers, electricians, and carpenters depend on electricity every day to perform their jobs. Since using electricity at work can be very dangerous, there are certain safety tips workers should follow.

These safety tips include the following:

Get Rid of Electrical Hazards

Faulty power cords, overloaded circuits, and ungrounded equipment are all examples of electrical hazards that are frequently found in a variety of work environments. Both workers and their employers should make their work environments are free of these hazards.

Do Not Cover Warm Equipment

Warm appliances or tools that produce heat should not be covered as air must circulate around them. In addition to refraining from covering warm equipment, workers should shut down computers, portable heaters, copy machines, and other equipment that needs to cool off.

Discard Defective Equipment

Unfortunately, workers often hold on to defective equipment because they do not want to go through the hassle of replacing it. This can be risky and lead to serious on-the-job injuries. Workers should always discard and stop using damaged equipment immediately.

Wear Special Clothing

Anyone who works with electricity on a regular basis should invest in special clothing that can protect them. When coupled with appropriate head, hand, and foot gear, it can protect workers from a number of hazards. Depending on the company you work for and what your employee status, the company itself may be responsible for providing this special clothing.

Participate in an Electrical Safety Training

Electrical safety training is a must for workplaces with workers who use electricity often. It is important for workers to attend these safety trainings so that they understand common workplace hazards and can learn how to stay safe.

Most Common Causes of Electricity-Related Work Accidents

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) discovered that most electricity-related work accident occurs because of improper equipment, a hazardous work environment, or dangerous practices in the workplaces.

Sadly, electrical accidents usually lead to serious accidents like broken bones, nerve damage, traumatic brain injuries, and tissue damage. If you sustain an injury as a result of an electrical accident at work, you may be able to recover compensation for your medical bills and lost wages in a workers’ compensation claim. Call a law firm today to see what type of benefits you may qualify for.

Injured While Using Electricity at Work? Contact a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

If you get hurt at work while handling electricity, we encourage you to seek legal representation right away. A Palm Beach Gardens work injury lawyer will meet and evaluate your case and then provide you with the legal options you may have.

Thanks to the Law Offices of Franks, Koenig & Neuwelt for their insight into workers compensation and potential electric work hazards.

Posted in Workers Compensation

What an Employee Must Not Do When Injured at Work

Workers Compensation Lawyer

A worker who has been injured while performing a job-related duty, may be able to pursue workers’ compensation benefits. These programs help employees get the care they need to heal from the injury, in hopes they can return to work as normal. The process can be complicated, so it is recommended that injured employees consult with an attorney for guidance. An employee may unintentionally commit a major error that results in a claim denial, or being awarded insufficient coverage. Here we have gone over a few of the main ways an employee may unknowingly hinder their chances at being approved for these benefits.

#1 Failing to Report the Accident

Letting your employer know about the accident is vital in the outcome of your workers’ compensation claim. Ensure that you follow the company policy on reporting and documenting workplace injury accidents. If your employer is not aware of such policies, then write down a factual report about how the severity of the injury and how it happened. An attorney at may warn you that if you do not report the accident within a reasonable time-frame, your claim could be denied by the company’s insurance agency.

#2 Leaving Out Details About Your Injury

After you report the accident, seek medical attention if it is needed. The benefits you receive are likely to be based on what is written in the medical exam by a doctor, in addition to the accident report you submitted. When visiting a doctor, tell him or her about every symptom you are experiencing. If you leave something out and it is isn’t documented, you aren’t guaranteed coverage for treatment of this area.

#3 Violating Doctor’s Orders

Under no circumstances should you violate a doctor’s orders for your physical restrictions. If you are viewed as hindering your own healing, your benefits could be cancelled or denied from the start. It is important that you abide by your doctor’s orders and attend follow-up appointments. Provide your attorney with copies of all medical documents related to your injury, so he or she can oversee how your claim is being handled.

#4 Not Asking for a Second Opinion

You may have to see a doctor chosen by your employer for the injury first, before you can get a second opinion from your personal physician. Keep in mind that the work assigned doctor was hired by your company, so they may be biased towards your injury severity and treatment plan.

#5 Returning to Work Before You are Recovered

Workers’ compensation benefits come at an expense to your employer’s insurance company. Thus, they are going to want to eliminate costs as much as possible. Insurers may pressure employers to find some type of work that the injured worker can perform, so they can pay less in benefits.

If you are struggling to handle your workers’ compensation claim, please call for a no-obligation consultation with a NY workers compensation lawyer. They are here to see that you aren’t tricked or taken advantage of as you heal from the workplace injury.

Thank you to our friends and contributors at Polsky, Shouldice & Rosen, P.C. for their insight into workers compensation and what to do if you’ve been injured at work.

Posted in Workers Compensation

My Workers’ Compensation Claim was Denied, What Can I Do?

Workers Compensation Lawyer

Employees who recently received notice that their workers’ compensation claim was denied, may wonder why this decision was made and how they can change it. The insurance company for the employer may deny the injury claim for several reasons. In some cases, the reason for denial is simply unjustified. This is where an attorney can be helpful, as he or she can see to it that your rights have not been violated when the workers’ comp claim was processed. A legal team can help you appeal the denied claim, to receive the benefits you need in order to get better.

Reasons for Denied Injury Claims

When an employee gets hurt while at work, it is imperative that they take all the steps necessary when handling the situation. For example, the employee must report the injury accident to their employer within a reasonable time-frame, and fill out paperwork to officially document the incident. If medical attention is needed, then it should be sought that same day. If an employee decides to wait and see if the injuries heal on their owner first, may be risking their chances of receiving workers’ compensation benefits.  

Here are common reasons for why a claim may be rejected:

  • No Witnesses to the Accident: it is often advised that the employee identifies witnesses after the accident, as evidence that the incident happened. If emergency care wasn’t needed or there weren’t any coworkers around at the time, the insurance company may fight the reliability of the claim.
  • Employer Did Not Seek Medical Care: an employee must get looked at by a doctor after the accident, as a way to have a starting point for when the injury was first examined by a doctor. A medical evaluation is a major component of proof for the employee’s injuries. Without medical documentation, filing for workers’ compensation benefits may be futile.
  • Pre-Existing Conditions: the employer’s insurance agency may deny the claim if the workplace injury is similar to or could have stemmed from a previous health condition. Detailed medical records can help show how the injuries were work-related, and not because of something that happened in the past.
  • Under the Influence: a blood/urine test that is positive for drugs or alcohol, may cause the employee’s claim to be denied. In the eyes of the insurance company, the worker may have caused the accident to happen due to being under the influence.

Seeking Help from an Attorney

It isn’t necessary that an injured worker gets assistance from a legal professional. However, without help from a workers compensation lawyer Abingdon, VA turns to, an employee may not realize that their claim had been mishandled, their employer committed retaliation, or that they have the option to appeal the claim denial. It may be in the worker’s best interest to get legal representation from the start. Please contact a law firm right away, so we can get started working on your claim.

Thank you to our friends and contributors at The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt for their insight into workers compensation and denied claims.

Posted in Workers Compensation

Protecting Your Rights in a Workers’ Compensation Claim

Workers Compensation Lawyer

Benefits related to work injuries can be a complicated matter that requires action being taken by the employee. When a workers compensation claim is being processed, it may be mishandled by an employer or other entity as a way to hopefully save the company money. This is unfortunate because an employee who was hurt due to the job deserves to receive care as they recover. Sometimes, it takes the intervention from an attorney to ensure that the worker’s rights are protected.

Q: At what point should I call an attorney for help?

A: To sooner you obtain legal representation, the better. An attorney can help prevent your rights from being violated from the start, as it can be more difficult to rewind once the compensation claim has begun processing. The longer you wait, the more time the insurance company and your employ have to influence you into making decisions that are not in your best interest. Do not wait until problems have already developed before seeking legal guidance.

Q: What is the responsible way to handle my work-related injury?

A: Report the injury to your employer right after it happens. If you delay reporting the accident, your employer may try to undermine your story and claim it didn’t actually occur while on the job. After you have reported the injury, get medical treatment if needed. Keep any documentation related to your injuries, including diagnosis, exams, prescription medications, and treatment plans.

Q: If I file a workers’ compensation claim, can I continue to work?

A: Many employees who have been injured can still keep working as long as the tasks don’t violate any physical restrictions deemed by the doctor. You can still work and pursue workers’ comp benefits, such as continued medical care and disability. It is not uncommon for workers to return to the same job they had once they feel better, assuming their employer had not acted in such a way that makes the employee want to find work elsewhere.

Q: What are examples of employer retaliation?

A: Sadly, employer retaliation can happen to employees who have utilized their right to use workers’ compensation benefits. An employer may have been upset at the employee, especially if the injury cost the company a significant amount of money. The employer in response may have acted unlawfully by committing acts like:

  • Relocating the employee to another department
  • Giving the employee a demotion
  • Making threats, harassing, or otherwise creating a hostile environment
  • Wrongfully terminating the employee
  • Changing job title or removing assigned tasks
  • Preventing the employee from receiving a promotion
  • Mishandling the workers’ compensation claim in some way

Q: What if my workers’ compensation claim was denied?

A: If a workers comp claim was rejected, the employee has to show how exactly the injury was caused on the job site and that it was due to performing a work-related duty. With help from a workers compensation lawyer Memphis, TN trusts, you can file for an appeal of the insurance company’s verdict within one year after being notified of the denial.

Thank you to our friends and contributors at Darrell Castle & Associates, PLLC for their insight into workers compensation and protecting your rights.

Posted in Uncategorized

Signs You Have Been Misdiagnosed

Personal Injury Lawyer

When you aren’t feeling well, you go to the doctor to see what exactly is going on. While most doctors give the correct diagnoses, some make mistakes. Making a diagnosis can be quite difficult because many medical conditions have similar symptoms. That means even the most experienced and skilled doctors can get it wrong sometimes. Here are some signs you have been misdiagnosed.

Your Doctor Didn’t Use All the Diagnostic Tools

The majority of medical conditions have an order of tests that a doctor uses to diagnose the illness. If your doctor is following the expected standards of care, he or she should perform all of these tests before determining what you have. If you find out the required tests for your condition online and see that your doctor missed something, you should contact him or her right away.

Your Appointment With the Doctor Was Short

It’s no secret that doctors are busy and have to see many patients in a short time frame. However, your doctor should still take the time to get the necessary information from you to get an accurate diagnosis. He or she should ask about your family’s medical history, the medications you’re currently taking, your symptoms and whether or not you’ve had surgery before. If your doctor didn’t ask you all of these questions, he or she may have made the wrong diagnosis.

Your Medicine Isn’t Working

If your doctor prescribed you a medication to treat an illness and it doesn’t seem to be working, you may have been misdiagnosed. For example, if you actually have celiac disease and your doctor gives you medication for irritable bowel syndrome, it won’t do anything to help your symptoms.

Your Symptoms Are Common With More Than One Medication Condition

There are many medical conditions out there that have very similar symptoms. For instance, lupus has many of the same symptoms as fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis. If your symptoms are common with several other conditions, it’s possible that your doctor misdiagnosed you.

What To Do If You Receive the Wrong Diagnosis

If you believe that your doctor gave you the wrong diagnosis, you should speak to a medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible. Medical malpractice claims are very complex and you shouldn’t try to tackle it on your own. In order to have a successful medical malpractice case, you don’t just have to show that your doctor made the wrong diagnosis. You also have to prove that the misdiagnosis caused you harm. For example, if the misdiagnosis exposed you to a more aggressive treatment than what would have been required if the right diagnosis was made earlier, you will have a stronger claim.

An experienced medical malpractice attorney Naperville, IL trusts can help you gather necessary evidence, identify witnesses and negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf. The majority of medical malpractice attorneys offer free initial consultations, so you have nothing to lose by speaking to one.

 


 

Thank you to our friends and contributors at The Law Offices of Konrad Sherinian, LLC for their insight into medical malpractice and misdiagnoses.

Posted in Uncategorized

Reasons A PI Case Will Be Rejected

Personal Injury Lawyer

Most personal injury attorneys offer free consultations, however, not every personal injury case is taken by a law firm. No matter the information you learned during your consultation, attorneys have several reasons to refuse to take your case. Although you feel like you may have a case on your hands, all cases should not be pursued and can lead to more stress than relief at an already difficult time. When you speak with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney for the first time, they are able to analyze the information you provide and decide whether taking on the case is worth in it the long haul. Some times they are wrong, most times they are right. There are a plethora of reasons an attorney may refuse you as a client.

Little or no serious injuries. It is best to pursue a personal injury claim, not because you were hurt but because you are suffering. If you suffered minor injuries and can be rehabilitated with little work, it can be dismissed by opposing parties and time would have been wasted.

Statute of Limitations. Every state has stature of limitations for when a personal injury claim can be filed. If you are coming up to your deadline, there may not be enough time for an attorney to take on your case and settle, and possibly make it even harder to win.

Unable to determine who is liable. If an attorney does not know who is at fault, who will be served? Who will pay for your medical expenses. If there is no clear liability, you have no one to file a claim against.

Too many details. Some things are just not worth the hassle. If there too man contingencies, there is too much room for error and too much work for nothing.

You are at fault. If an attorney feels the financial compensation will be worth the time put into the case due to the fact that you are partially at fault and will likely receive very little, they may decline.

Other attorneys have declined. If you admit that you have spoken to other attorney’s and were turned down, the attorney may wonder that even though he or she can possibly take your case, why did other experienced attorneys say “no”?

There are several reasons a personal injury attorney Atlanta, Georgia trusts may decline your case, the only way to know is by speaking with one immediately so that you know what they next step may be for you.

 


 

Thank you to our friends and contributors at Andrew R. Lynch, P.C. for their insight into personal injury claims and reasons a lawyer may not take on your case.

Posted in Uncategorized

How Long May a DWI Conviction Remain on My Record?

Criminal Lawyers

In the majority of states, a driving while intoxicated (DWI) conviction may remain on your record for up to a decade. Being arrested for a DWI is a very serious offense, that can come along with several ramifications. Statistically, more than a million drivers are arrested for driving while impaired by alcohol every single year. Those who have found themselves in handcuffs and now face a DWI charge, may want to hire a lawyer immediately for advice and protection. Sometimes, the person who committed a simple misjudgement, may not deserve to endure the heavy-handed punishments of a criminal court judge.

Q: What are the consequences for a DWI conviction?

A: A person who is arrested for driving while intoxicated, may have his or her life flipped upside down. The accused may have certain privileges revoked, endure financial hardships, and loss of freedom. The repercussions for a DWI conviction depend on various factors, including whether anyone was hurt, property was damaged, if the accused has a criminal history, and how much alcohol was in his or her system. Examples of potential ramifications for a DWI charge can involve:

  • Conviction remaining on record for 5-10 years or for life (depending on what state you live in)
  • Tarnished reputation among friends, family, employer, and community
  • Having to serve community service hours
  • Paying substantial fines, penalties, and court fees
  • Increased insurance rates
  • Challenges finding employment opportunities
  • Time spent in jail

Q: Does each state have its own laws pertaining to DWI offenses?

A: Yes, not all states are the same when it comes to processing a DWI offense and what repercussions are to be served for the wrongdoing. Perhaps the most resourceful way to find out what laws pertain to your situation, is to ask for help from a criminal defense lawyer in your area. A lawyer can offer information as well as represent you during the court trial. In general, here are some facts to consider when learning about your state laws:

  • Many states use a point system to track your driving habits, and once you have enough you may be at-risk for a suspended license
  • Insurance companies also use their own internal point system when pricing how much you pay in monthly or yearly car insurance premiums
  • Some states give points to offenses related to intoxicated driving, while others choose harsher punishments. Instead of points, a state may automatically revoke the person’s license

Q: Is it required that I have a lawyer represent me?

A: While it may not be required that you have a lawyer represent you, it may be a good idea. The average person does not understand the complexity and inner workings of the justice system. Being arrested and facing a criminal conviction can be terrifying enough, so walking into the courtroom to talk to the judge without a legal professional to support you can be a dizzying experience. A reckless driving lawyer Fairfax, VA offers can help devise a strategy in hopes of minimizing your charges, or having the arrest dropped.

 


 

Thank you to our friends and contributors at Dave Albo – Attorney for their insight into DWI charges and your record.

Posted in Uncategorized

What is There to Know About Realtime Court Reporting?

Work Injury Lawyer

Realtime court reporting can be a beneficial service for many legal professionals, as this enables counsel to watch the proceeding live whether they are in or out of the courtroom. While most legal counsel probably have to attend, others can still be a part of it without being present. Realtime is when the court reporter’s stenotype (or “shorthand”) is immediately converted into language. Just as fast as the court reporter can press a key stroke, is it then translated and available to those who are tuned in. Realtime can be accessed through streaming by participants who are watching remotely.

Not all court reporters may have the equipment to do realtime reporting. Be sure to ask before you hire a court reporter for an upcoming meeting. If you have any additional questions about realtime, you can contact a qualified court reporter in your city.

Why is realtime preferred for many legal professionals?

Realtime is a neat feature that many court reporters can offer, as it enables a legal professional to make notes about what is being said in the courtroom for follow up later on. Additionally, any inconsistencies can be flagged so clarification can occur right away and not disrupt the flow. Legal proceedings can be immensely time-consuming as they are, so realtime can help the deposition keep running smoothly with minimal interruptions.

Can realtime reporting actually help the legal team with the case?

Yes, some realtime softwares offer a messaging feature where the legal team can exchange notes to each other regarding a new strategy or line of questioning, that is entirely confidential. This can result in less or shorter breaks, keeping the proceeding moving at a steady yet efficient pace. You can inquire with a potential court reporter to see if he or she offers this feature for your next meeting, hearing, or deposition.

What is the benefit of being able to remotely stream the proceeding?

There may be situations where a member of the legal team needs to know about the proceeding, but is unable to attend. He or she can then join the realtime streaming, and can still be updated on what is happening while being away.

Does a court reporter have to be skilled to use realtime?

Many court reporters who have realtime capabilities, are skilled in processing information rapidly as well as mastering the technology being utilized. It takes focus, knowledge of the subject matter, and being technologically savvy to offer quality realtime services to legal professionals.

Can it help to send the court reporter legal materials before the proceeding?

A court reporter New York offers may ask a lawyer for case-related terminology or materials before the depositions, so they have more time to prepare and can be as accurate as possible. These materials can be helpful to the court reporter, particularly for depositions in extremely technical matters. A court reporter that is not prepared can end up interfering and making the proceeding take longer by having to ask for clarification repeatedly.

 


 

Thank you to our friends and contributors at Veritext Legal Solutions for their insight into realtime court reporting.

Posted in Uncategorized