Employment Law Injury at Work

Accident is inevitable in any field or profession. It is the employer’s legal duty to protect its employees and educate them with the various health and safety issues that can affect their employment. It is also their legal responsibility to report any accidents that happen in the workplace and compensate their employees with a sick pay and a time off from work if needed. This article will highlight some of the things that both employers and employees need to know about employment law injury at work.

Protect Your Rights as an EA35 4mployee

The easiest and most important way to protect your legal rights in case of an accident is to dutifully report any acquired injury in the workplace to your supervisor or employer. There are states in which the employee needs to report the injury within a certain timeframe to be considered valid. Generally, the time limit is within the day of the accident or after a few days that the accident occurred. Depending on the severity of the employee’s injury, this may not always be applicable, but it is recommended that the injury be reported as soon as possible.

The next step you can do is to file an injury claim with the industrial court or worker’s compensation court. Doing so can help having the court, your employer and its insurance company on formal notice regarding the injury you acquired at the workplace. As soon as your injury claim has been filed, certain protections will immediately be in effect to protect your legal rights. This is one aspect of employment law injury at work that you need to keep in mind.

The Rights of an Employee in a Workplace Accident

Each state has different worker’s compensation laws. The same can be said with the legal procedures that ensure the rights of the employee. Generally, there are numerous legal rights that are common in most states such as the following:

•    The employee has the right to file a claim for any illness or injury in the state industrial court or workers compensation court
•    The employee has the right to see a doctor for medical guidance
•    The employee has the right to acquire a disability compensation in the event he or she is unable to return to work because of an illness or injury, whether temporarily or permanently
•    In the event the employee disagrees with the decision by the workers compensation court, the employer and its insurance company, the employee has the right to appeal the decision
•    The employee has the right to be represented in court by an attorney

Just as you need to better understand your right to act as an employee, it is also essential that you understand your right to say nor or decline any requests. This is one of the essential aspects of employment law injury at work. For example, your employer encourages you to utilize your own health insurance to pay all the medical bills in case of an injury at work, you have the right to decline. Also, if your employer offers a sum of money in exchange of not filing a compensation claim, you have the right to refuse as this kind of bribery is considered illegal in all states.

Serious Bodily Injury Law

    More serious than mere physical injury, serious bodily injury is one which involves substantial risk of death, protracted and obvious disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of a bodily member or organ or mental facility. It involves serious mental illness or impairment. It is defined in Section 1365(h)(3) of Title 18, U.S. Code. While the physical injury is one which is a minor or superficial injury, serious physical injury may involve, in addition to those mentioned above, unconsciousness and extreme physical pain.

A35 3    Serious bodily injury is a legal term which can be used in Criminal Cases. It may be a result of either intentional or unintentional, such as neglect, conduct. Each state may have a different definition of such condition. Generally, it may include conditions such as paralysis, loss of limb, loss of functioning in a limb, and broken bones, head, neck or spine injuries, serious cuts or burns, and scarring or serious disfigurement.

Serious bodily injury is used in Criminal Cases and may change the outcome of the case. It can elevate a simple misdemeanor charge to a felony. It imposes a substantially greater sentence.  Such is the case because serious bodily injury is an aggravating circumstance or factor. This may result in criminal fines and a prison sentence of at least one year. These crimes are prosecuted very strictly. In this case, hiring an experienced criminal lawyer would be for the best interest of the client. He or she can represent the best interests of his or her client. Moreover, he or she can present defenses for the benefit of the client. Legal advice and representation are important to determine the liability of a client and also as to the damages and other awards to the victim.

The term “serious bodily injury” is also used interchangeably with “great bodily injury”; “serious bodily harm” or “grievous bodily harm”. Examples of conditions which may be considered sufficient to charge a person with serious bodily injury include but are not limited to the following:

–    Victim on crutches or inability to work for months or for a certain amount of time
–    Lacerations on the head or face which may require stitches
–    Severe injuries and heavy bleeding and swelling which took several days of hospital and medical treatment
–    Medical records showing that the victim suffered fractures, facial trauma, and prescribed pain medication to alleviate the pain and other condition
–    Being out of consciousness for a minute after being hit and pain in areas around the head and face
–    Forceful blow which rendered the victim semiconscious and unable to move or defend himself
–    Infliction of great bodily injury to a child or minor
–    Abuse and neglect of a vulnerable adult

To determine whether an injury is a “bodily injury” or a “serious bodily injury,” it has been held that if the serious bodily injury would have resulted in the absence of a medical intervention, then it would meet the statutory requirements making it a “serious bodily injury.” The main factor is the substantiality of pain, risk, disfigurement or impairment which is created.

Finding the Best Personal Injury Defense Law Firm

Personal injury suits involve a business or a person causing injury to someone else. Some of the common injuries include product liability suits, car accidents, slipping and falling in a store parking lot, medical malpractice and several other types of injuries. During these cases, you need someone who is an expert in personal injury defense law to help you get the right compensation for your injury based on the law.

The settlement process can get complicated once a lawyer gets into the picture. To negotiate and help you get the best possible deal, your lawyer needs to have a lot of legal tools and experience. Most of the personal injury cases are settled before or during the trial, but some still prefer to continue with the trial until the jury reaches their verdict.

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The Role of your Insurance Company

If you are insured, there is no need for you to worry in case a personal injury suit is filed against you. Your insurance company will be the one who will hire a lawyer from the best personal injury defense law firm and pay their bills. Some defense lawyers base their entire practice on cases from an insurance company and are not available for individual cases.

Defenses your Personal Injury Defense Lawyer May Employ

To reduce the defendant and the insurance company’s liability or totally avoid paying the complainant, defense lawyer will employ the following defenses:

1.    Defense of Assumption of Risk

The defense lawyer may apply the defense of assumption of risk. This means that the complainant is aware of the danger and the risk involved. In spite of this, he still behaves in a certain way that resulted in injury. If the defense lawyer was able to prove this, then the injured party is not entitled to any compensation. Usually, the assumption of the risk doctrine applies in cases where an individual is injured while engaging in a sporting event. For example, if a person breaks his leg while skiing, he cannot file a personal injury suit against the ski resort operator because he is aware that skiing is a risky sport where the injury is more likely to occur.

2.    Defense of Comparative Negligence

Another popular defense is the comparative negligence. In this case, the injured individual is also partly to blame for his injuries, but the defendant is not totally relieved from his liability. This will only reduce the number of damages he needs to pay the plaintiff.

3.    The Plaintiff is Already Hurt

This is another commonly applied defense tactic by personal injury defense lawyer to minimize the amount of liability. Once proven that his injuries were not actually due to the accident, the plaintiff will receive less compensation or no compensation at all.

So, the first thing that you need to do if you are being sued due to personal injury is to contact your insurance company. The role of your insurance company is to find the best personal injury defense law firm to help you deal with the situation.

Tips for the New Personal Injury Lawyer

When you start out as a personal injury lawyer, there are a lot of things that you need to know before you can achieve success in this field. Most new lawyers even ask the question is personal injury law hard/difficult, even though they have already studied it when they were in law school. This happens because not everything that you need to know to be an effective lawyer will be given to you within the four walls of the classroom. What you need to remember is that the practice of law is different from the study of law, and so the possibility of learning everything already at the beginning of your job is almost impossible. There are many things that you must learn only from experience that can help you in becoming a successful lawyer in the field of personal injury.

USA, New York, New York City, Businesswoman and clients shaking hands in office

To begin with, remember that the law of supply and demand in economics also has a place in the field of law. If you are asking is personal injury law hard/difficult, it would be if you are unable to find a law firm to hire you. For you to be hired, you need to make sure that you set yourself apart from your competition. If you wish to make yourself stand out, master how to become a trial lawyer.

Secondly, you should not let your profession eat away your creativity and make you lose touch of even talking or writing like a normal person. When trying to present a case, make sure to only use light and easy to digest words, and do not go for the big terms that only the smartest and most knowledgeable judge will understand. Especially when you need to defend your client in front a jury, and given the fact that jurors usually have an average of having a fifth-grade education level, you should use less complicated words and sentences.

You should also learn to accept the outcome of your case. The old lawyers will say that you cannot call yourself a lawyer if you have won a case that you should have otherwise lost, or if you have lost a case that you should have otherwise won. This is just how life works. Regardless of your preparation for a trial, you will still suffer defeat. As a lawyer, you must learn to accept this as a normal part of your professional life.

Also, you should keep connected with your personal life. The moment you become a lawyer is not the moment you become less human. You should keep in touch with your friends and family, go to holidays, watch a comedy film and just enjoy life without thinking about law all the time. You should learn to place a line between your personal life and your professional life.

Finally, you should learn that what you think of yourself is more important than what other think of you. This will come naturally. So if you are still asking is personal injury law hard/difficult, it will definitely be, that is for sure. However, if you always maintain the mindset of accepting what you are capable of doing, you will definitely not find it all that hard.

3 Things You Should Never Do If You Are in a Car Accident

A car accident closely resembles a crime scene. The collision may not be intentional or pre-meditated, but there are certain dynamics to follow or else someone may end up at the wrong end of the tale. Well, in truth, anyone involved in a car crash is on the losing end due to the damages incurred to the car or the well-being of the drivers. So to lessen the casualty, here are 3 things you should never do if you are in a car accident.

Do not leave the premises (hit-and-run)

Even if your vehicle only had minuscule damage or if you think that you can personally take care of repair costs without claiming for insurance, thou shall never leave the car crash premises as if nothing happened. Depending on the damage and local regulations, fleeing an accident scene may be classified as either misdemeanor or felony. The former will be punished with some fines subject to the gravity of property damage. Meanwhile felony, which involves injury to a person, or much worse death, warrants heavier penalties from 10,000 USD to long-term incarceration.

Giving due diligence is a professional and humane treatment of the situation. Think of it in reciprocity. If you were the victim, you would not wish for the other driver to leave you hanging. Plus, with the ever improving technology nowadays, there is a bigger chance that you will be apprehended soon and that may lead to heftier consequences. As much as you can, provide assistance to injured individuals or participate in information gathering.

Do not admit liability

Apologizing for the accident is akin to taste-testing a poisoned drink. You think you are helping with clearing up things, but in truth, you are putting yourself in a worse setup. Gaudily saying you are at fault might beget further legal sanctions. Simply give honest eye-witness accounts when asked by the police. The insurance company will be the one to decide on the liability pursuant to the insurance policies being enforced in your contract or in the state.

Never lose your temper during the accident. It may solicit biased opinions and ill reputation of your side. Be respectful and establish a fair relationship with the other involved drivers.

Do not discuss settlement directly

Have your lawyer address everything. Do not transact directly with the other drivers or to their respective insurance agents. Aside from the initial information you gathered from them such as contact details and vehicle and insurance information, let your attorney do all the talking.

Never accept settlements directly from the other drivers or their insurers prematurely. Insurance companies tend to provide low estimates initially. Take time and do your research together with your lawyer. Emotional stress may also lead you to accept arrangements rashly. Thoroughly reflect on everything that occurred and, if possible, repeat inspecting your vehicle for additional damages you may have not noticed previously. That should help you see your position in terms of accepting settlements.

Handling a car accident requires a cautious yet benevolent personage. The 3 things you should never do if you are in a car accident are to hit-and-run, admit fault and discuss settlements directly with other parties. Save yourself all the trouble and apply them the next time you encounter such mishap.

The Dangers of Driving and Texting

Society has become reliant on technology in the past 20 years. Technology fuels a huge chunk of people’s daily lives, from education to business use. One good example of these modern-day technologies includes the use of mobile phones. Nowadays, a mobile phone is considered a basic necessity as it has become the primary mode of communication for most people. It helps people communicate with their family while business people use it to effectively communicate with business partners and clients.

However, the misuse of this technology is very real. One of the most common cellphone-induced dangers is driving while texting. With the increasing number of vehicular accidents, driving and texting can become a fatal combination.

According to the poll conducted by Harris Interactive, around 37% percent of Americans send text messages while driving. The number is equal to the number of people driving under the influence of alcohol. According to the reports by the US Department of Transportation, around 660,000 drivers in the United States drive while using mobile phones or any similar electronic devices. Age appears to be a non-essential factor as driving while texting is prevalent among people across different age brackets. However, teens are usually the ones who violate this traffic rule.

The Dangers of Driving and Texting

The Dangers of Distraction Driving

According to the distraction.gov site managed by the US government, 11 percent of drivers aged 18 to 20 involved in vehicular accidents were using their mobile phones just before they crashed. Another statistic that needs to be considered is the survey conducted by the Pew Research Center wherein 40% of the American teens surveyed admitted that they have traveled in a vehicle wherein the driver uses a mobile phone while driving.

Since a person only has two hands, there is a restriction on the number of tools that he can use simultaneously. One of the first things that are being taught to students in Driver’s Ed is that both hands need to be on the wheel all the time and any unnecessary hand activities can lead to danger while on the road.
The human eye and the head also play a crucial role when driving. It is not advisable to take the eyes off the road for an even just five seconds, especially if traveling at a speed of 55 mph. Checking text messages while driving can take your eyes and attention away from the road. Even just a split second of deviation from the road can lead to a fatal accident.

The Dangers of Texting while Driving Scientifically Explained

The billions of neurons in the human brain can process information at an impressive rate of 1000 times per second, making it one of the body’s marvelous organs. However, there is a limitation to the brain’s capability to multitask since the brain switches among tasks in a linear manner. Neurons that are firing instructions to a person’s finger while texting are not capable of alerting the driver of a possible barrier ahead due to a split second inalertness.

According to the founder of The Center for Internet and Technology Addiction, psychologist David Greenfield, people cannot resist the impulse to check their text messages even when they are driving. This is because dopamine, a chemical in the brain responsible for making a person happy, is being released every time a person receives pleasurable information from his or her mobile phone. The constant SMS and social media notifications can increase a person’s impulse to check their phones right away.


Laws that are being Introduced

Although common sense dictates that driving and texting are two things that should not be done simultaneously, there are still individuals who continually neglect the danger. This prompts government agencies around the world to create laws and impose restrictions on the use of electronic devices while driving. Most of these laws are directed to the use of mobile phones while driving and involve hefty fines if caught.

The US National Safety Council continually advocates the ban of mobile phones while driving, the prudent course of action is to turn the phone silent and hide it somewhere out of reach before turning the car key. On the other hand, laws that ban the use of mobile phones while allowing the use of hand-free devices provide no safety value at all to drivers as this can provide them the false belief that they’re safe since no physical phone is in use. They can still get distracted and get into an accident.

Talking on the phone (even on hands-free) or texting while driving can put not only yourself in danger, but also the passengers and other motorists as well. A text message is not worth it if it means that you endanger your life and other people’s lives. As much as possible, put your phone in silent mode or totally turn it off while on the road. If you feel the urge to call someone or respond to a text message, you can pull over anytime. It will only take a few minutes at most. This simple course of action can save a lot of lives.

What is Medical Negligence?

What is medical negligence? Medical negligence or medical malpractice refers to the liability of doctors, medical practitioners and other medical treatment providers when they cause cause harm to patients by providing services in a negligent manner. Medical negligence usually happens when a health provider deviates from the “standard of care” or the recognized healthcare standards.

Medical malpractice has been one of society’s most controversial issues since the 1970s. Since then, a lot of people and institutions in the medical field have been filed with malpractice suits, leading to legal reforms. Medical malpractice has also become an essential part of the Tort Law. In common law jurisdictions, a Tort refers to a civil wrong that causes a person to suffer harm, injury or loss.  The person affected is known as a plaintiff, and the person responsible for inflicting harm to the plaintiff is known as the defendant or tortfeasor.

How to Determine Negligence in Healthcare

A medical negligence claim can exist if a medical provider or practitioner causes any harm or injury to a patient. However, experiencing a bad outcome after a treatment is not always a valid proof of medical malpractice. On several occasions, medical treatment providers inform their patients that they have received negligent health care service from their previous health care provider.

It is also important to note that a quick, honest “apology” from the healthcare provider in question has the potential to prevent any settlement or future claim, without the need for litigation. Oftentimes, insurance companies make sure to settle the case directly with the plaintiff as much as possible. If done before the full extent of the person’s injuries are known, it can prevent the person from hiring a lawyer, which can shift the outcome of the case to the plaintiff’s advantage since the settlement value of the claim can increase through the help of their representation.

Another thing to note is that prosecution of medical malpractice cases can be extremely expensive and the chance of success is slim. The process can also be stressful and time-consuming. It is estimated that roughly 200,000 patients in the United States are killed by medical errors each year. It is also estimated that around 15 percent of personal injury lawsuits filed each year involve claims for medical malpractice, and around 80 percent of the lawsuits filed are considered failures with no monetary compensation whatsoever to the patients or survivors.

Shifts in Handling Medical Malpractice Cases

Through the years, numerous proponents of Tort reform argue that there are too many cases of medical malpractice filed each year. The reality is that the number of medical malpractice claims is declining. As a result, many states changed the way they handle such cases by imposing limits on monetary awards in medical malpractice claims. The award limits have a huge impact on patients who went through devastating and life-threatening injuries. Patients who are denied from their claims will then have no choice but to rely on health insurance and other public healthcare programs – leaving the cost of medical malpractice claims to the public instead of being carried by the responsible healthcare practitioner.

Things to Do

One of the first steps you need to do in case of a medical malpractice is to get in touch with a reputable malpractice attorney. The attorney will need to conduct a thorough review of the cases to determine the rate of success in the event a case needs to be filed. The attorney will need to secure all pertinent medical records and interview the patient. The patient’s friends and family members can also be interviewed to strengthen the case.

Generally, a lawsuit must be filed within a certain amount of time. It is also called statute of limitations. As soon as the deadline for filing the lawsuit runs out, the legal claim will no longer be considered valid in the eyes of the law. It is vital to note that statutes of limitations vary from state to state. Therefore, it is recommended to ask professional advice from a licensed attorney in the state where the alleged medical practice happened.

How to Prevent Medical Malpractice from Happening to You

How to Prevent Medical Malpractice from Happening to You

What is medical negligence prevention? There are different ways for you to prevent medical malpractice from happening to you and one of these steps is to be proactive about medical care. Patients need to do their part in the treatment process by doing some research beforehand in order to better understand their condition. Proper documentation of symptoms is also advised.

There is also no reason for a patient to be intimidated by the medical system. As a patient, you have the full rights to speak up and advocate for your own well-being. You can ask your doctor or healthcare provider in cases that you sense that there is something wrong with the way they carry out their treatment. Although it is important to always listen to your doctor’s advice, you also need to check your own body and use your common sense.