My personal injury lawsuit story

Possible Reasons Your Workers’ Compensation Claim Was Denied

Posted by on Aug 10th, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Possible Reasons Your Workers’ Compensation Claim Was Denied

In the event you are injured in the workplace, you can file for workers’ compensation benefits. However, there is no guarantee that your employer’s insurance company will agree that you are entitled to benefits. If the insurance company has denied your claim, it is important that you understand why. Here are some of the most common reasons and what your attorney can do to appeal the decision. Independent Medical Examination Report Challenges Your Injuries In some cases, the claimant is required to undergo an independent medical examination, or IME. The IME is conducted by a doctor who is usually chosen by the insurance company. Ideally, the doctor is unbiased and fairly assesses your injuries. Unfortunately, this does not always happen. If the insurance company is refusing to pay because the IME report challenges the severity of your injuries, your attorney can request a new examination. When requesting the examination, your attorney can ask for a new doctor to complete it. If the insurance company is unwilling to grant the IME or the request for a new doctor, your attorney can file a formal request with the state labor board to force the new exam and doctor.  Your Refusal to Cooperate When you file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits, you are required to cooperate with the insurance company while it seeks to determine if you qualify. However, if you felt that part of the process was unfair or unnecessary, you might have avoided or refused to cooperate. Without the information needed, the insurance company can refuse to authorize the benefits.  If your lack of cooperation was the reason cited for the denial, there is a simple remedy. Your attorney can arrange for you to complete the task needed by the insurance company. If you have a concern about the reason for the task or believe that it will adversely affect your case, inform your attorney.  For instance, if you had an old injury that you think the insurance company could use to deny your claim, your attorney could ensure that the company only has access to the medical records that apply to your work-related injury. By doing this, you can prevent the company from blaming an old injury and increase your chances of getting approval for your benefits.  Regardless of how clear-cut your workers’ compensation case might seem, it is a good idea to talk to an attorney. By having an attorney guide you through the system, you can overcome any challenges to the claims process you might...

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Exposed To Asbestos At Work? Understand Your Rights

Posted by on Jun 25th, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Exposed To Asbestos At Work? Understand Your Rights

If you have been exposed to asbestos in your workplace and contracted mesothelioma, you may be able to seek compensation for the damages that were caused. Unfortunately, with laws varying between each state, it can be difficult to have a firm grasp on what your rights are. By understanding your rights, you will be able to hold someone responsible for your injuries. Using Workers’ Compensation For Employer Related Injuries There are many states where an asbestos related injury can be settled through workers’ compensation rather than a personal injury lawsuit. State laws allow mesothelioma to be treated in the same way as a broken arm while working on the job, giving you options for how you want to handle it. If you decide to file a worker’s compensation claim for a settlement, you lose the ability to sue your employer in a personal injury lawsuit. You must go through the process of applying for workers compensation, which is not handled in court, but through interviews and filing forms. It is possible for your workers’ compensation claim to be denied, but you can always have it appealed in court. Seeking workers’ compensation does not protect contractors, manufacturers, and suppliers. You can still sue them in addition to receiving workers’ compensation, since they were also responsible for the injury you sustained. Identifying Your Employer In order to successfully apply for workers’ compensation, the responsible employer will need to be identified. This can be tricky because asbestos exposure typically occurs in different industrial settings, with contractors working for other companies. For example, you may have worked for a specific plant for 25 years when exposed to asbestos, but you were actually working as a contractor for a different company that owned the plant. It would be a good idea to start by looking into the company that signed your paychecks, as they are most likely the employer that your workers’ compensation claim would be through. This would also apply if you worked at multiple locations while employed as a contractor. The location that contained the asbestos would not be responsible, but the employer that assigned your job to work at the location with asbestos. Compensating Secondary Exposure Even if you were not directly exposed to asbestos, secondary exposure to the material is a real possibility. Those that have been affected with mesothelioma due to secondary exposure can still receive compensation for their own medical bills, lost income, and other related expenses. If you have suffered from mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure, you can get compensated for the damage it has caused you or a loved one. Work with a personal injury attorney so that you can file the proper claim against those...

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What To Do If Your Workers Compensation Claim Is Denied

Posted by on Jun 17th, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on What To Do If Your Workers Compensation Claim Is Denied

Once you have filed for workers compensation as a result of being injured in a work-related accident or illness, the wait for the results begin. You’re undoubtedly hopeful that you will be approved so that you can get your medical bills and lost wages paid, but you may be worried about the outcome of the claim. There are a few reasons for your claim to be denied, so read below for more information about denials and what you can do if you are denied workers compensation. Reasons You May Be Denied Workers Compensation 1.  Drugs or Alcohol:  Many states will test you immediately at the emergency room or doctor’s office for the presence of drugs or alcohol if you are being seen for a work-related accident or illness. Prescription medications may turn up in your drug screen just as illegal drugs do, but if you have been denied on the basis of having a legally prescribed medication in your system, you should immediately consult a workers compensation attorney for assistance. 2.  Witnesses: Sometimes your word is not enough and your claim is denied due to lack of collaboration from others. You must make every effort to locate witnesses: Check with all co-workers who could have seen the incident, even people that you don’t know well or that don’t regularly work in your area. Go back to the scene and look for possible witnesses, checking also for video cameras. Check with people that you told about the accident, injury or illness, even friends and family members. 3.  Accident Report: Take care in completing your report to be as accurate as possible, and to give medical personnel the exact same set of facts. It’s vital that the accident report and the medical records match up perfectly. If you feel that you have made an error in the report, you may be able to appeal the denial and correct the report. 4.  Recorded Statement:  The workers compensation company will often deny your claim based on the fact that you did not agree to give a recorded verbal statement about the accident. This is not a valid reason for the denial; you are not required to give a recorded statement. Make sure to retain a workers compensation lawyer to assist you at this point and never give a recorded statement without your attorney present. Claims are often unjustly denied for the above reasons, and many others. If your claim has been denied, contact a workers compensation attorney like one from Kuzyk Law as soon as possible to help you with your...

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Keeping Up With The Cash: Learning To Live On Social Security Disability

Posted by on May 27th, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Keeping Up With The Cash: Learning To Live On Social Security Disability

Living on a fixed income can be rough, especially in a world where everyone has to deal with rising costs. There are increase to the cost of living, but depending on the prices in your city this may or may not keep up with rising costs. Luckily, with a little bit of maneuvering, you can learn to live on a fixed income for social security disability. Adjusting to social security disability means finding new methods of living and new ways to make your income stretch further. If you are interested in finding out how to live ell on social security disability, consider the tips below. Speak with Your Lawyer about Expectations Social security disability payments will differ depending on the person. In order to find out exactly what you are eligible for and the best way to get approved for disability, consult a lawyer like the ones at R.J. Marzella & Associates, P.C. They will be able to go through the calculations and legal determinations to figure out the monthly social security that you will receive. Find Income-Based Housing One of the biggest payments that most have is their rental and home payments. Income-based housing will be crucial to freeing up your income. Many income contingent housing programs help those who are on disability and receive other government funding. If you cannot find housing based on income in your direct area, consider finding housing that will be 30% or less of your overall monthly income. Come Together with Others Communal living with friends and others who receive social security income can help everyone. Roommate living or communal living will help to stretch incomes. Sharing housing, meals, and pitching in to help one another will free up income and make life easier. Those with disabilities often need help or aid, but this is not easily afforded on a fixed income. By helping to lower the expenses and increase the help of others on SSDI, you will also increase your life quality. Find Free Hobbies Hobbies tend to be expensive for those who have low incomes. Finding free or low cost ways to spend time can increase health and increase money in the bank. For instance, small gardening has low cost, only requiring containers, soil, and seeds. By growing foods, you can decrease monetary consumption and have a pastime.  Painting is yet another hobby that can be performed with low-cost paper and paint or pencils available at many discount retailers. Free and low cost enjoyment can increase your creative nature while minding your nominal income....

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Losing A Spouse & Getting Injured In A Collision: How A Lawyer Can Help You Sue

Posted by on Apr 22nd, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Did you lose your spouse and get badly injured after your vehicle was struck by a reckless driver? If you want to recover without accumulating a lot of bills in the process, your first step should be hiring a lawyer. Below, discover how a personal injury lawyer will build a firm argument to help you get compensated in a lawsuit against the other party. How Can a Lawyer Build a Good Case for a Car Accident Victim? Obtaining indisputable evidence that you did not cause the car accident is one of the things a lawyer will do to build your case. It is a good idea to take the accident report with you to hand the lawyer during the initial consultation about your situation. However, he or she can get the accident repair during the process of working on your case if you don’t want to get it. The lawyer will investigate the incident further and gather evidence in case the other party contests the accident report. Building your case will also involve the lawyer finding witnesses. It is likely that he or she will interview business owners that are located near the scene of the accident in case they have it captured on video surveillance. If the accident happened in a residential area, a few of the residents may be interviewed and asked to be witnesses in court. A few things that you may get compensated for after the lawyer builds your case include: Mental anguish Pain & suffering Funeral expenses Medical expenses Loss of companionship Loss of income from spouse Loss of income from your job Handicap accessible equipment for your house Will an Upfront Fee Have to Be Paid to the Lawyer? Lawyers working personal injury cases will usually charge clients a contingency fee when they are confident that the case will be successful. A contingency fee is money that will not be paid in advance, as it comes out of money from the lawsuit. You will basically have to pay a certain percentage of what is won, which is commonly an average of up to 40%. You will also have to pay an average of up to $2,000+ in court costs out of the lawsuit money. Recovering from an injury after a car accident is frustrating, but it is even harder to cope with when you have lost a spouse as well. Consult with a personal injury lawyer so he or she can build your case for a lawsuit against the reckless...

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Misdiagnosed By A Doctor? What You Need To Know To File A Claim

Posted by on Apr 5th, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Medical malpractice cases are not limited to what happens after a medical care provider treats a patient. In some instances, a successful claim of malpractice can be made for failing to diagnose a condition in the first place. If you want to sue your doctor or other health care provider due to a misdiagnosis, here is what you need to know.  What Cases Are Usually Misdiagnosed? There are many different conditions which could be misdiagnosed by a doctor, but some conditions are more commonly misdiagnosed than others. For instance, a misdiagnosed case of indigestion or a panic attack could actually be a heart attack. Other conditions that are commonly misdiagnosed include asthma, strokes, staph infections, and lymph nodes.  What Causes a Misdiagnosis? When a doctor mistakenly misdiagnoses a patient, it could be the result of a failure to properly screen for the condition. It can also occur if the doctor hasn’t properly vetted the symptoms that the patient is experiencing.  If there is reasonable cause to suspect that a more serious underlying condition might be present and the doctor fails to refer the patient to a specialist, this could be considered malpractice.  If another factor led to your misdiagnosis, your malpractice attorney can review it and decide if it is truly a contributing factor.  Who Can You Sue? Some mistakenly believe that medical malpractice cases are limited solely to doctors. Even though you can sue your doctor if he or she is responsible for your injuries, there may be others who are responsible, too.  For instance, if a lab tech improperly read the results of your tests, you can also sue him or her. The same is true for specialists, hospitals,  and nurses.  Some defendants might be more difficult to hold responsible than others. For instance, the hospital might not be liable even though the doctor’s misdiagnosis occurred there. A large number of doctors are independent contractors. As a result, the hospital is usually off the hook for the actions of the doctors unless there are extenuating circumstances.  What Do You Have to Prove? In a medical malpractice case involving a misdiagnosis, you have to prove that the failed diagnosis resulted in harm. For instance, if you were diagnosed with cancer and had to endure chemotherapy, but it turns out you did not have the disease, you could cite the pain from the treatment as cause for the suit.  Medical malpractice cases benefit from the help of an experienced attorney. The cases are extremely complicated and you will need someone who can understand the legal aspects on your side. If your case focuses on an injury that is specific to the Hispanic ethnicity, consider seeking the expertise of a Hispanic attorney to build your...

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Determining Pecuniary Loss In A Wrongful Death Case

Posted by on Apr 3rd, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Pecuniary losses form an integral part of a wrongful death case. These are losses that can be measured in monetary terms (such as lost wages), unlike losses that are difficult to measure in terms of money (such as pain and suffering). There are several methods and ways of calculating pecuniary losses, and the common ones are: Determination of the Direct Monetary Losses  One of the first things is to determine what the monetary losses that the decedent’s loved ones have suffered as a result of the wrongful death. These damages include things like: Loss of earning Funeral expenses Medical bills Loss of benefits (for example, if the family was reliant on the decedent’s health insurance) Expert Testimony The above losses are relatively easy to calculate, with the operative word here being “relative.” As you may suspect, it is not exactly easy to calculate how much a person would have earned in his or her lifetime due to the unknown nature of the future. In many cases, expert witnesses (in this case financial experts or economists) are brought in to make the calculations. They do this by factoring different issues such as: Last salaries Expected promotions or growth of business (if the decedent was a business person) Age Education Jury Award The jury will use the economist’s testimony as well as other evidence for and against the case to award the relevant damages. In a few jurisdictions where punitive damages are allowed, the jury is also expected to come up with an appropriate figure. States that permit punitive damages use it both as punishment for the guilty party, and as a warning to others who may cause the same injury. Court’s Adjustment Rarely is the jury’s award used as the final figure for compensating the decedent’s loved ones. In many cases, the court adjusts the figure to what it believes is just and fair to all parties. Some of the factors that the court may use to arrive at the final figure include: Limits for each damage according to the state’s laws The behavior of the decedent –for example, the court may revise the damages downward if the decedent used to squander most of his or her money and leave his or her family to suffer As you can see, there are many issues that come into play when pecuniary losses are calculated. Thus, it is not easy to predict what the jury may award. It is best to listen to your lawyer during the negotiations or trial because he or she has handled similar issues in the past and may have an inkling of what to expect. For more information, contact a personal injury lawyer like Greg S....

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The Four Main Workers Compensation Benefits

Posted by on Apr 3rd, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Compensable injuries refer to physical injuries from work accidents. Occupational diseases that result from exposure to toxic substances at work are also compensable. Under the workers’ compensation system, employers must provide insurance to pay lost wages and medical expenses when employees sustain work related injuries. Workers compensation laws vary with each state, although some features remain consistent. Indemnity Benefits Indemnity benefits compensate for the loss of your income from work or your earning ability. You can get temporary or permanent indemnity benefits, depending on the nature of your injuries. You’ll get temporary indemnity benefits if you’re expected to recover and return to work.  Typically a treating physician and an independent doctor evaluate your injuries. If they determine that you can return to work but you’ll remain partially disabled, you’ll receive permanent partial disability benefits. But, if they determine that you will never recover and you can’t do any sought of work, they’ll give you a permanent total disability status, and you’ll receive benefits accordingly. Indemnity payments are often a percentage of your salary and there’s often a maximum payout amount. For example, Pennsylvania workers receive 66.6 percent of their weekly earning, with a maximum weekly payout of $951. New Jersey workers receive 70 percent of their average weekly wages, but this amount can’t exceed 75 percent of the state’s average weekly wages. Medical Benefits Medical benefits cover expenses incurred for the treatment of the injuries or illnesses. This includes hospital admissions, doctor visits and prescriptions. In some cases, transportation to and from medical appointments is also covered. In the course of the injured workers medical treatment, the physician might recommend physical therapy. This might include exercise workouts guided by a physical therapist. These sessions are also covered through workers compensation medical benefits. Vocational Rehabilitation Often, the goal of workers compensation programs is to get you back to work, so you can earn a living. Sometimes, however, the injuries prevent you from returning to your previous job. If this is the case, you might get vocational rehabilitation benefits. A caseworker might work with you and help you find alternative work. You also might receive training so you can return to the workforce. Death Benefits You might consider death benefits a fourth category. Again, payments vary by state. The state laws of Texas, New Jersey, California and New York, for example, all provide medical and death compensation benefits. Death benefits often differ by the percentage of the workers’ average weekly wage. Beneficiaries in New Jersey receive 70 percent of the decedent’s weekly wage. But, beneficiaries in New York State get 66.7 percent of the average weekly wages the decedent earned during the year before the accident.  In Texas, beneficiaries get 75 percent of the decedent’s average weekly wages.  Some states also pay funeral expenses under their workers’ compensation program. Talk with an accident and personal injury lawyer (such as Robinson & Kole) to find about about the workers’ compensation benefits available to...

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Will Law Firms Stop Using The Billable Hour?

Posted by on Apr 3rd, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

During the Great Recession, many U.S. law firms closed their doors for good — in large part due to declining revenues and an increasingly expensive supply of attorneys. Because most of a law firm’s fixed expenses are personnel-related, it can be difficult to cut costs without cutting staff. However, some firms have begun to move away from the billable hour model to help increase productivity and revenue, even in lean times. Read on to learn more about the most common types of fee arrangements for law firms and how this landscape may be changing. Billable hours Many large law firms operate under the “billable hour” system. Attorneys must be able to attribute a great portion of their workday to one or more specific clients — often by breaking down their daily tasks into tiny 6-minute increments. Many firms have minimum billing requirements for an attorney to remain employed, while others may base bonuses or promotions on the number of hours billed by each attorney. Some opponents of the billable hour system argue that it creates inefficiency — encouraging attorneys to pad their hours (and paycheck) by performing work that may not be necessary. The billable hour system can also be problematic from a revenue perspective. A law firm generally takes a generous cut off the top of each attorney’s hourly billing rate to pay for infrastructure and other expenses. During boom times, this system works well; however, during a recession, a drop in the number of billable hours submitted can quickly put the firm into a revenue crunch. For these reasons, some large law firms are moving away from this billing system as their default method and are instead looking to one of the two options below. Flat fees Other firms are moving to flat fee arrangements for many types of cases. This involves the collection of a pre-arranged fee before services are performed — even if the services end up being a bit more complex or taking longer than originally anticipated, the client will not be charged additional expenses. Flat fee arrangements are particularly useful in relatively routine matters, such as the preparation of a will or the criminal defense of a DUI defendant. Contingency fees Other cases — particularly personal injury or employment discrimination — are handled on a contingency fee basis. Before taking the case, the attorney will require the client to sign an agreement providing that if the client doesn’t win the case, he or she will pay nothing for legal representation. However, if the client does win the case, the attorney’s fee will be based on a percentage of the total judgment or settlement provided. Some argue that this arrangement is the best of both worlds, as it encourages attorneys to take on only cases they feel confident they’ll win, while minimizing the financial risk to the client. For more information, speak with professionals like the Weathers Law Firm,...

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Lunch And The Distracted Driver: What You Should Know

Posted by on Apr 2nd, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Eating while driving can actually get you a ticket under laws designed to prevent distracted driving. But will they hold up in court? It depends. This is what you should know. Distracted Driving Laws Are On The Rise Just about every state now has laws against distracted driving, but the laws vary a great deal from state to state. Some laws have made certain specific behaviors “primary” offenses, meaning that you can be pulled over and ticketed any time a police officer witnesses you committing the action. These include things like talking on your cell phone texting on your cell phone putting on make-up writing down a note reading a map While eating and driving isn’t a commonly listed primary offense, it is a major source of distracted driving accidents. Eating while driving increases your odds of being in an accident by 80%, and there’s even a list of the top 10 most dangerous foods and beverages to consume! Keep in mind that you can still be pulled over and ticketed even if something isn’t a primary offense, if the officer can show that whatever you are doing (such as eating a cheeseburger) is distracting you in such a way that it is affecting your driving. An Officer Still Needs Probable Cause To Make A Traffic Stop However, unless you are doing something that’s considered a primary offense, a police officer can’t stop and ticket you without probable cause. Probable cause is essentially anything that would lead a reasonable person to believe that you are committing a crime. In this situation, the officer would have to show that he or she had probable cause to believe that something was interfering with your ability to properly drive. This could include the following: swerving slightly out of your lane speeding up and slowing down for no reason driving abnormally slowly stopping overly long at stop signs failing to move forward in a timely fashion when a stoplight turns green Any of those activities, coupled with the evidence that your open lunch (or the empty food wrappers) is in plain view when you’re pulled over could lead to a ticket for distracted driving due to your consumption of an otherwise legal food or beverage! How To Fight Probable Cause If you were ticketed for distracted driving because you were eating a sandwich or drinking coffee, you can challenge the probable cause for the stop. Your attorney can request discovery of any police reports, videos, or radio transmissions made by the officer when you were pulled over, which might show whether you really were driving erratically. It may be that the officer noticed your lunch in your hand and reacted to that alone even though there was no evidence that your driving was impaired. If you’ve been pulled over and ticketed for eating and driving, consider contacting an attorney to defend your case in court. One unwanted traffic violation might not seem like much – unless something happens and you end up in court for another reason. At that point, your previous traffic violations can be used against you to increase any new penalties or fines. For more information, contact a business such as Bare Law...

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