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Questions to Ask a Car Accident Lawyer

If you were injured in a car accident, it’s in your best interest to hire a car accident lawyer. An experienced lawyer, like a car accident lawyer St. Paul, MN needs, can help you file a lawsuit against the driver who hit you and improve your chances of receiving fair compensation. However, in order to determine if a car accident lawyer is the right person to represent your case or not, it’s important to ask several questions at the initial consultation Here are some questions you should ask a car accident lawyer: How Many Car Accident Lawsuits Have You Handled in the Past? Navigating a car accident claim can be quite complex, so it’s important to work with a lawyer who has extensive experience handling car accident cases. If a lawyer, for example, primarily handles slip and fall accidents, he or she might not have the knowledge and experience to properly handle your lawsuit. Ask a lawyer how many car accident lawsuits he or she has handled in the past. If it has only been one or two, he or she might not have the experience you are looking for. Are You Willing to Go to Trial? While most car accident lawsuits get settled out of court, sometimes it is necessary to go to trial if the insurance company isn’t willing to offer a fair settlement. Find out if the lawyer you speak to is comfortable going to trial or not. The lawyer you hire should be willing to do what it takes to get you the settlement you deserve. What Kind of Settlement Can I Expect to Receive? While a car accident lawyer can’t make any promises, he or she can estimate how much compensation you should receive from your claim. The lawyer will look at all the factors in your case, such as the cost of your medical bills and whether or not you missed time from work, to estimate the value of your claim. Do You Think I Have a Strong Case? Do not be afraid to ask a car accident lawyer if he or she thinks your case is strong or not. He or she can assess all the evidence in your case and determine if you have a good shot at winning or not. If the lawyer determines that you don’t have a good chance of winning your claim, it might not be worth...
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Labor Department Releases First Opinion Letters

On April 12, 2018, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) released three opinion letters on a variety of subjects, its first letters since 2009. The opinion letters – coming from the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division – cover work hours, breaks, and lump-sum payments. The fact that it did so is, unto itself remarkable: It has not done so in nearly a decade. Instead of using opinion letters, the Obama Administration used what are called “Administrator Interpretations” to advise employers and employees on federal employment law, as an employment lawyer can explain. What is an Opinion Letter, and is it Important? An opinion letter – while unofficial sounding – is an official document produced by the Wage and Hour Division, and is therefore its official stance on a given employment law issue. The purpose of the letters, according to Secretary of Labor Alexandra Acosta, is to “provide clarity that helps increase compliance to the benefit of all.” The letters, however, do more than clarify what the law is: They can be used in judicial proceedings. These opinion letters can actually be deployed as a complete affirmative defense to monetary liability by an employer under Section 10 of the Portal-to-Portal Act if the employer can show it acted in good faith conformity with a letter’s guidance. What’s in the Letters? The first letter states that, for hourly employees working irregular work hours, time spent traveling between worksites or traveling on weekends must be paid for by the employer. In other words, this means that time spent traveling for work after arriving at work for the day, like between worksites, is compensable, but time traveling to or from work to get home is not. In the second letter, the DOL explains that 15-minute rest breaks requested by a doctor during an 8-hour shift that are required by the Family Medical Leave Act for a serious health condition are not compensable, as they are primarily to benefit the employee, rather than the employer. While those working under the FMLA must receive the same number of paid breaks as other workers, this answers the question of whether an employer is required to pay the worker for a separate rest break, and the answer is “no.” The third and final letter discusses the fact that certain lump-sum payments from employers to employees do qualify as earnings under Title III of the Consumer Credit Protection...
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Reasons Why a Workers’ Compensation Claim Is Denied

When an employee is injured at work, they can file for workers’ compensation benefits for medical expenses and partial replacement wages while the worker recovers. Many workers’ compensation claims are approved, however, there are also a large number of claims that are denied. It is important to remember that the more serious the injury, the more complex the claim, which puts the claim at risk of being denied or an insufficient benefit amount. This is why many injured employees turn to a seasoned work injury attorney for assistance. The following are the most common reasons why claims are denied.   The employee failed to report the injury within the required time. Each state has its own rules and regulations regarding the workers’ compensation process, including how long an employee has to report the injury to his or her employer. If the employee fails to notify their employer within the required time, the claim could be denied. This is why an injured employee should report the incident immediately.   The injury occurred somewhere other than at work. A claim could be denied if the incident that caused the injury did not occur at the workplace. There are exceptions to that rule, however. If the employee was away from the worksite but was performing duties related to their job when they were injured, then they would qualify for benefits. Another example would be the employee traveling for their job and injured would also qualify for benefits.   The employee had a pre-existing condition. If the employee had a pre-existing condition, the insurance company may be denied. Some medical conditions which could cause a denial include arthritis, congestive heart failure, diabetes, or epilepsy. In some cases, if the injury aggravated the prior condition, the employee would likely qualify for benefits.   There were no witnesses to the event that caused the injury. When there were no witnesses to the accident that injured the employee, the insurance company may try to deny the claim by alleging the employee has filed a fraudulent claim. A skilled workers’ compensation attorney has successfully represented many clients who were injured in accidents without supervisors or other employees present.   The employee was under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs or was otherwise engaged in unsafe behavior. If the employee was under the influence or other dangerous and forbidden behaviors, their claim will be denied. When an employee...
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Workers’ Compensation Mistakes

Most workers know that if they are injured on the job, they will likely qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits cover all medical expenses for treatment of the injuries and they cover a large percentage of the injured employee’s normal wages or salary for missed time from work due to time needed to recover from those injuries.   What workers may not realize is that it is common for workers’ compensation claims to not go so smoothly, especially if the worker does not have a workers’ comp attorney representing them. Mistakes on the part of the employee can only compound these issues and the injured worker can find themselves with much less compensation than they were entitled to or have their claim denied completely.   Failure to Report the Claim within a Certain Time Frame   Each state sets its own workers’ compensation regulations, but all set a time limit regarding how long an injured worker has to report an injury to the employer. This can vary anywhere between 30 to 90 days, depending on the type of injury or illness it is. Failure to do so will result in a claim being denied, leaving the worker responsible for all medical expenses and no wage replacement. This is why all accidents or incidents should be reported to an employer immediately, even if the worker does not think they have suffered an injury.   Failure to Disclose Prior Injuries   Another common mistake an injured worker can make is to not let the employer or workers’ compensation insurance company about any other prior work injuries they may have sustained in the past. Many workers in this position are fearful that if they disclose this information, they may be accused of fraud and will not only have their claim denied, but they may also lose their job.   However, failure to disclose is considered fraud. If an injured worker receives benefits and then it is later discovered they did not disclose prior injuries, they will not only lose future compensation, they will likely be required to pay back any of the financial benefits they have already received, including payment of all medical expenses.   Therefore, to avoid this situation, it is critical to be completely honest when answering physicians’ questions, filling out medical history forms, or speaking with the insurance adjuster. Even if the new injury has nothing to do...
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Hip and Knee Pain After a Car Accident

A very common car accident injury is knee and hip pain. The pain can be a symptom of a much larger injury, and can range from mild pain to severe pain. If you or a loved one has sustained knee or hip pain after being in a car crash, you should seek medical attention as soon as you possible to begin documenting your injury treatment, so that you can provide medical records as a testament to your bodily injury. You should write down dates of doctor’s visits, what medication you are given, and include any x-rays or MRI scans that are taken. You will need to provide proof like all of the medical documentation, pictures of the injury, crime scene and police report. You cannot be given compensation for your damages if you cannot prove your injuries were sustained because of the accident. However, you may be denied compensation if the proof or evidence are unclear or your doctor’s visits and treatment are deemed to be unnecessary because they were not needed for your injury. You may also be denied compensation if the injury is not serious. Hip pain is a known symptom of a dislocated hip and can occur when your knee is jammed into the dashboard in an accident. If you are seeing symptoms of reduced movement in your hip, if the hip area is bruising or hurts to touch, your hip is placed in a position it normally isn’t in, it could be dislocated. If your hip is in fact dislocated, it will need immediate medical help so that your blood can circulate in your leg and not cause permanent hip damage.  Hip pain is also a common symptom of torn or pulled muscles in your leg. This will be obvious because your hip will swell and you will not be able to walk for a long period of time without searing pain. Some accidents can even fracture your pelvis. Often times, individuals who suffer from knee and hip pain in an accident may also have sustained a back injury as well. If the impact misaligned your spine, it may result in pain in your knees or hip. Contact an Attorney If another individual’s negligence resulted in you being injured or incurring knee and hip pain, consider contacting a auto accident lawyer Lakeland, FL relies on as soon as possible. They can explain your legal options,...
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