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The Accident Report And Workers’ Compensation

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If you have been injured in a work-related accident, you should know that your employer very likely has workers’ compensation insurance to cover your medical expenses and a portion of your lost wages. Your ability to collect these benefits, however, relies on the timeliness and completeness of the accident report. Once you have reported the accident to your supervisor, your next step should be to ensure that your supervisor fills out the accident report as soon as possible. Your workers’ comp claim cannot move forward without an accident report, so read on for more information about how the report could affect your claim. The Accident Report Though it varies by state, most accident forms contain areas that must be filled out by both you and your supervisor. In some states you can fill the report out yourself by obtaining it from your state board of workers’ compensation online, and provide it to your supervisor to complete and submit. Take care in filling out this form and be sure to include the contact information of any witnesses. Your claim will be submitted to your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier. If approved, you could be eligible to receive the following benefits: A portion of your wages, paid weekly while you recover from your injury (70% is common, but varies by state). All medical expenses. Vocational rehabilitation to retrain you if you are unable to return to your previous position due to your injuries. Lump sum or weekly payments for your lifetime if your condition is deemed to be a permanent injury. Stay Organized Keep your documents together in one place; an expandable file case works well and allows you more organization than a file folder. In it keep your copy of the accident report, your notes or narrative about the accident, medical receipts, treatments records, lab tests, etc. Pain and Suffering Before you agree to accept a workers’ compensation settlement, you should understand that by doing so you are giving up your right to bring a personal injury suit upon your employer. You may have noticed a glaring omission under the benefits listed above; workers’ compensation contains no provision for pain and suffering. To receive pain and suffering benefits, your only recourse is to file a lawsuit. Consult with an attorney before you accept the settlement; you want to ensure that you are receiving the full amount of compensation that you are entitled to. If you feel that your employer is not doing enough to compensate you for your injuries, waste no time in contacting a workers’ comp or personal injury attorney, such as Prediletto, Halpin, Scharnikow & Nelson,...

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Contested Custody And Child Custody Evaluations: What You Need To Know

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For divorcing parents with minor children, the best case scenario would be two parents who are able to agree on issues like custody, visitation and child support. Unfortunately, all too often these contentious issues cannot be worked out by the parents, and a family court judge must make the custody decisions. Judges are increasingly relying on child custody evaluations that are performed by a specific type of mental health expert to help them make these important rulings. If you are facing an upcoming child custody evaluation, read on for what you need to know. Who Does The Evaluation? Normally, the evaluations are completed by mental health professionals, such as psychologists, social workers or mental health counselors. Some states use the term “guardian ad litem” to describe these evaluators. Regardless of their title, these mental health professionals usually have advanced training for the task of interviewing children and parents and rendering a decision for the judge. Though it varies by state, the judge will often assign an evaluator to the case or provide you and your spouse a list from which to choose. An important point to note here is that the parents are responsible for paying for the services of this evaluator and the fees can run from $2,000 to $6,000, depending on your location. Knowing that, the considerable cost involved may motivate you and your spouse to reconsider working out your custody arrangements yourself. What Happens At An Evaluation? Usually, the evaluation process involves several interview sessions with your child, you, your spouse, and an observation session to see how you and your spouse interact with your child. The evaluator often will interview your child’s school personnel, such as the teachers and councilors; your pediatrician; other mental health professionals; and relatives who interact frequently with your child. The evaluator may conduct psychological testing on you, your spouse and your child. Psychological testing is a mental health specialty area, so sometimes an additional evaluation team member must be added for this task. What Should You Do? 1.  Being evaluated on your parenting skills can be an extremely stressful and intimidating process. You may know you are a good parent, but proving it to a virtual stranger can be difficult and scary. Try to keep a calm demeanor and take good care of your self during this process. 2.  Stay in close contact with your divorce attorney during the evaluation process and contact them immediately if you notice anything amiss, such as the evaluator showing obvious bias towards your spouse. Your attorney may be able to request that another evaluator complete the evaluation, but don’t wait until the evaluator has already sent the report to the judge to take action. Your attorney can be a wealth of advice about how to get through custody evaluations and prove that you are a fit and competent parent for custody...

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Legal Steps You Can Take If You Will Be Raising Your Grandchild

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If your son or daughter agrees to let you raise his or her child for a period of time, it will be important for you to have the right legal authority over the child. Getting the right legal work completed will be a necessity for you if you plan on raising your grandchild for a while, and a family attorney can help you complete the necessary tasks. While there are several ways to handle this, here are two options you might want to discuss with your attorney. Power of attorney If you and your child are not ready to transfer legal custody rights of the child to you, there is another option. This option is through a power of attorney. Getting a power of attorney would allow you to make medical decisions, financial decisions, and other decisions for the child without the parent of the child consenting to it. Power of attorney basically gives you all the rights you need for temporary guardianship of a minor. This can be helpful for a child of any age, and it does not relinquish the rights of the child’s parent. The child’s parent can still be involved; however, you will also have the rights to make all decisions relating to the child. Your son or daughter will also be able to revoke this agreement at any time if he or she chooses. Legal custody There are times when getting a power of attorney is not enough, but this is typically when the parent of the child is unfit to be raising the child on his or her own. In situations like this, you could try to gain legal custody of your grandchild. If your child will not agree to give you legal custody of his or her child, you will have to fight for it. On the other hand, if your child agrees to this, you can have a family lawyer draw up the paperwork for both of you to sign. Legal custody would give you all rights for the child, but it typically eliminates the rights the parent of the child has. This is why some parents will not agree to switch legal custody of their kids. If you plan on raising and caring for your grandchild on a full-time basis, you should take the necessary legal steps for this. You can learn more about power of attorney and legal custody by visiting a family lawyer in your...

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4 Reasons a Woman Should Leave an Abusive Partner

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If you are a woman seeking a divorce due to domestic violence within your home, you are not alone. Domestic violence is an ongoing problem in the United States. According to national statistics, a woman is beaten or assaulted every nine seconds. In addition, one out of every three women have been a victim of physical violence from an intimate partner at some point. On an average day, over 20,000 phone calls are received by domestic violence hotlines in the United States. Still, you don’t have to remain a negative statistic. Here are a few reasons to remove yourself from a relationship in which you are a victim of abuse: Your children may be witnessing the abuse. One out of 15 children are exposed to an act of violence from one intimate partner against the other each year. Of those children, 90 percent witness the violence first hand. The long-term effects of witnessing violent acts can include emotional unrest, insecurity, and tendency toward violence. As a parent, your child’s well-being should be paramount. You should remove your child and yourself from any situation that threatens your safety. You could be killed. Of all murder-suicides that involve an intimate partner, 94 percent of the victims are female. In addition, if a gun is present during a bout of domestic violence, the risk of a homicide occurring increases by 500 percent. Your finances may suffer. If you have a job, you may have to take time away from work because of the domestic violence, and your finances may suffer. Every year, cumulatively, victims of domestic violence lose eight million days of paid work. In addition, up to 60 percent of victims lose their jobs because of issues associated with the abuse.  Once you leave an abusive partner, you may be ultimately responsible for your own financial support. It is important to dissolve an abusive relationship before it affects your ability to earn a living for you and your children. Your mental health could be sacrificed. Victims of domestic violence suffer from depression and suicidal behavior at a higher rate than nonvictims. The repeated pressure of abuse can affect your mental health. Some abusers try to convince their victims that the violence is the victim’s fault. This skewed mindset is unhealthy. If you are the victim of domestic violence from an abusive spouse, you may be seeking a divorce. A family law attorney can help guide you through the legal process. Schedule an appointment with a lawyer, like one from LaCroix & Hand PC, for a...

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Why You Need An Estate Plan To Prepare For The Future

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Are you prepared for your personal needs to be cared for in case you fall ill when you least expect it? Being that life is so unpredictable, you should think about getting an estate plan drafted up so you can have security if you happen to become incompetent. Find out in this article why having an estate plan is the smart thing to do, as well as what an attorney will charge to help you out. What Makes an Estate Plan a Worthy Investment? There is nothing worse than falling into the wrong hands if you are unable to do things for yourself. An estate plan is the perfect way to plan while you are still in good health as to who will take care of you during illness. You can actually appoint a single person, or multiple people can be appointed over your estate. The best thing about getting an estate plan is that it is a legal procedure that will be held in court no matter who tries to contest it. However, if your appointees happen to neglect you, the plan can be changed with the approval of a judge. One aspect of your estate plan should cover who will legally be in charge of your finances. A lawyer will create a document that appoints someone over your bank account, such as for withdrawing money for bills and your personal needs. The appointee can also make sure your house is taken care of and repairs are made if they arise. It is a good idea to choose a finance appointee who has good accounting skills, as you don’t want your money to run out from poor management. Another aspect of the estate plan will appoint someone over your medical needs. He or she will be in charge in choosing your physician if you are unable to. The medical appointee will also have the authority to make decisions about the drugs you are prescribed and any surgeries that you may need. What Does an Attorney Charge to Create an Estate Plan? You are looking to spend a minimum of at least $800+ for an attorney to assist with your estate plan. He or she will take a look at your needs and help you create the best plan possible. Keep in mind that a complex case can cost as much as over $3,500. Don’t delay speaking to an attorney about an estate plan so you can prepare for the future! Visit http://www.scottandscottlaw.com for more...

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Take Action Immediately After Injury

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Getting injured can be one of the hardest things that can happen in your life. It can cause you to not be able to work, play, and cause serious pain and anguish and prevent you from doing everyday activities. When you are injured and it is the fault of someone else, the insurance companies and other parties may refuse to pay you the proper compensation to take care of your injuries, loss of work and pain and suffering. Hiring a personal injury attorney can help get you this compensation. Immediately after you are injured, there are certain steps you will want to take to make sure that you have the best chance of getting the proper compensation. 1. File an Incident or Police Report. If you have been accidentally injured due to negligence or on someone else’s property, you will want to file an incident or accident report. If you were attacked and injured, you will want to file a police report. By immediately having these reports, you will have an initial and proper account of what happened. This will help when it comes time to prove what happened. 2. Get Medical Attention and Keep Records. One of the most important things you will do is get the proper medical attention that you need. As you receive medical help, make sure to keep all of your records. You will want to keep the records of what injuries you received and how much treatment will cost. Your attorney will be able to use this information to help show exactly what happened and how much you should be compensated. 3. Gather Witnesses. If you were injured in a public area with a lot of witnesses present, it would be prudent to gather their information. A witness that can corroborate your story will go a long way in getting a settlement from the insurance company and demonstrating the accuracy of your story. 4. Take Pictures. If you have a visible injury, you will want to take pictures immediately. These pictures can demonstrate the extent of the injury before the healing process has occurred. You will also want to take pictures of the reason why you were injured. Slippery sidewalks, car accidents, and other dangerous environments can demonstrate negligence from the other party. By taking these immediate actions, you will be better prepared to work with your attorney to present a valid and accurate case. You will have much better of a chance to get the compensation you need and...

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Don’t Agree With Your Employer’s Workers’ Comp Doctors? Get A Lawyer

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If you’re injured on the job and see your employer’s workers’ compensation doctors for care, you expect a favorable outcome for your case. But if the doctors don’t think that you sustained serious injuries and need time off from work, contact a workers’ comp lawyer right away. A workers’ compensation attorney can send you to independent doctors who thoroughly examine your injuries without bias. The doctors also provide your lawyer with extensive evidence of your injuries, including X-rays and blood workup. Here’s what you can expect when you see your attorney’s workers’ compensation doctors. Unbiased Opinions Although it doesn’t happen with every employer-based workers’ comp doctor, some physicians cut corners during employee exams to save insurance companies money. The physicians may also leave out pertinent exams, such as CT and bone scans that employees need to prove the extent of their injuries. If your employer’s doctors don’t perform the necessary diagnostic exams, it places you at risk for serious health complications. Your workers’ comp attorney works with physicians who use many types of diagnostic tools during your exam, especially if you received internal injuries in your head and abdomen. Problems, such as a damaged spleen or a perforated lung, increase your risks for internal bleeding, breathing problems or worst. Once the lawyer’s doctors complete your exam, they give the attorney data to place in your case file. The data backs up your claim of extensive injuries and pain.  Viable Evidence Submitting the independent doctors’ medical forms and documentation to your employer’s insurance company won’t be easy. The insurance company may try to discard the information or disprove it by using their doctors’ original opinions and assessments of your injuries. However, your workers’ comp lawyer can overcome issues like these by taking your case to court if needed. In most cases, you receive your compensation because it may cost the insurance company more money to go to court than it would if they settled with your workers’ compensation attorney. You receive your workers’ compensation until the independent doctors clear your health. In addition, the independent doctors may suggest that you change your current position at work because your injuries no longer allow you to perform the same duties. If your employer refuses to change or reassign your duties when you return to work, contact your workers’ compensation lawyer for help. The attorney may need to obtain additional medical evidence from your independent doctors. Don’t fight your employer’s workers’ compensation doctors alone. Contact an attorney and take the steps needed to receive your compensation today. For more information, contact Crowley Ahlers & Roth Co LPA or a similar...

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Three Measures To Increase The Reliability Of A Police Lineup

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The goal of a police lineup is to identify the culprit and hence increase the strength of the evidence for the prosecution. The person doing the identification may be a witness, a victim or both. Unfortunately, misidentification does occur, and it may be responsible for as much as 75% of wrongful convictions that have been overturned by DNA evidence. As such, it is necessary to put measures in place to deal with misidentification. New measures to deal with this problem include: Lead Investigator Not Conducting Lineups It has been established that investigators, at least lead investigators, have a big influence on their witnesses. This happens because a lead investigator usually has a suspect in mind that he or she thinks it the guilty one. The influence may not be direct or conscious, but it may still happen. There are different ways in which an investigator may “direct” a witness during a lineup. This may happen, for example, if the investigator Focuses on a suspect by continuously correcting his or her posture or mannerisms Maintains eye contact with one suspect Makes facial reactions – for example, by looking disappointed or elated when the witness picks a particular suspect To avoid such issues, it’s necessary for another person, other than the lead investigator, to conduct the lineup. Warnings Given To Witnesses that the Suspect May Not Be Present It’s easy for witnesses to assume that the perpetrator of the crime is in the lineup. Such a witness will not walk away from the lineup without identifying the “suspect,” even though he or she may not be convinced. One reason for this is that the witness may not wish to “disappoint” the authorities. Therefore, a witness should be warned that the witness may not be in the lineup and that it is okay to walk away without identifying anybody. Suspect Not Made To Stand Out If a witness’s memory is clouded, then he or she may choose the person who stands out most as the suspect. This may even happen unconsciously. Therefore, the lineup should be comprised of uniform “suspects.” For example, you shouldn’t be the only one in shorts, the only short person or the only one wearing a hat. It is for these reasons that your attorney should be present at your lineup. The attorney will see to it that the lineup is properly conducted, and you aren’t misidentified. If a lineup has already been conducted in the absence of your attorney, and you are convinced that you have been misidentified, then get a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to review your case and defend your...

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Child Custody Factors For Grandparents

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If you are a grandparent who finds him or herself in the unfortunate position of having to seek child custody, it is likely that the child’s parent has somehow become unable to take care of your grandchild. This heartbreaking situation can tax even the strongest of grandparents, and in some situations it can feel like you are having to make impossible choices. If you have questions about how the judge decides on child custody issues for grandparents, read on. Why Do Grandparents Seek Custody? If you are seeking custody, it is likely that the child’s parent falls into one of the following situations: Deceased Incarcerated Unfit For the first two situations, judges will usually rule in your favor unless there is someone else who also wants custody. For the parent who is allegedly unfit, the issue becomes a little trickier, since you must actually prove to the judge that the child should be in your custody. Best Interests of the Child You should know that the judge is charged, by law, with the task of ensuring that the best interests of the child are taken into account and to ensure that if at all possible, a child remains with their biological parent. While these doctrines can present a hurdle to grandparents seeking custody, they should not be considered a bar to custody. Instead, consider the guidelines that a judge uses to determine the best interests of the child, and be prepared to prove your fitness using the following factors. Can you provide a safe, clean, nurturing environment for the child, including food, clothing, and medical care? What is your current connection to the child? In other words, has the child already spent time with you? Do you have a good relationship with the child? Are you (and your spouse, if married) in good physical and mental health? Are you prepared to deal with the child’s physical and emotional needs? Finally, does the child want to live with you? If the child is old enough to be involved in the decision, the judge may question them in chambers or have them evaluated by a mental health professional. The need to prove a parent unfit in order to seek custody of a grandchild can be adversarial and emotionally draining. While it helps to know that you are doing what you need to do for your grandchild, it’s never easy to accuse someone of being an unfit parent. The need for a family law attorney, like Law Offices of Gordon Liebmann, is vital to assist you in your custody...

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What You Can Do If Your Doctor Breaks Doctor-Patient Confidentiality

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Finding out that you have a major medical problem can be devastating.  Even more devastating is when your doctor breaks doctor-patient confidentiality and reveals that diagnosis. Doctors are bound to protect your medical information and history.  However, this doesn’t always happen. This is a form of medical negligence.  If you are suffering consequences because your doctor broke doctor-patient confidentiality, you might be able to file a medical negligence lawsuit against him or her. What is medical negligence? When you hear of medical negligence cases, it often involves mistakes made during medical procedures, but this is not the only issue that falls into medical negligence. Medical negligence can also include: Misdiagnosing health issues Late diagnosis of health issues Breach of doctor-patient confidentiality When you visit a doctor, he or she can only discuss your health with you, the staff in the clinic, and any other professionals that may be involved with your health (such as a specialist or hospital that performs tests). If your doctor leaks any information, it would be considered a breach of confidentiality, and you would have the right to seek compensation for this. How can you prove this? If you decide to take action against your doctor for a breach of confidentiality, you will need to prove several things, which include: That the doctor told someone – The first thing to prove is that the information actually came from the doctor or the clinic he or she works for. You may be able to prove this by having one or more witnesses that can attest to this. The leak of information caused harm – The second thing you will need to prove is that the breach of confidentiality hurt you. For example, if your boss found out about your health issue and fired you because of it, you could use this as evidence of harm. A leak of medical information could also cause you embarrassment and other types of emotional trauma. In some cases, breaches of confidentiality can occur in indirect ways. For example, if a hacker tapped into the doctor’s computer system and stole the information, this could still be considered medical negligence; however, the doctor would not be directly responsible for a breach of confidentiality. If you are struggling in a situation like this, you can take action by talking to an attorney that specializes in medical negligence. For more information, contact a professional like Davidson Law Center...

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