Do I Get Any Privacy After Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim?

After you file a workers’ compensation claim, you are entitled to privacy just as you were before the claim, but that might start to look a little different for you. Before your accident, you never had to worry about someone keeping an eye on your life and your habits because there was no reason for anyone to do so. Now that the insurance company is trying to protect themselves against potential false claims, there may be someone watching your public interactions.

What an Insurance Company Can Do Legally

The workers’ compensation insurance company will want to look out for themselves to ensure your claim is legitimate. Every year they lose money to false claims, so it’s understandable they wish to do this. In most cases, once they determine your injuries and your claims are real, the surveillance will discontinue. Some tactics they can legally perform include the following.

  • Running a background check
  • Surveying your home
  • Searching your public social media posts and comments
  • Taking pictures and videos of you when you’re outdoors
  • Ordering medical evaluations of surveillance video of you
  • Following you to doctor appointments
  • Talking to coworkers and neighbors

Insurance company investigators are not allowed to do anything illegal. This includes trespassing on your private property, tracking your car, entering your home without permission and hacking into your email account. In some states, they are allowed to take photos of you while you’re in your own home, as long as it’s a clear view through a window from public property. This is illegal in other states.

What You Should Do

Because there are so many tactics the insurance company is allowed to employ, it’s important you understand the legal rights they have. If they do even one small thing that is against the law, it could make all of their evidence inadmissible in court. Any time you see the investigator or find out they’ve been snooping around, write down exactly when, where and what they were doing.

You should also be careful not to do anything beyond the recommendation of your doctor. Don’t do anything that could remotely look like you are. For example, if you are told not to lift anything above five pounds, but an investigator takes a picture of you carrying a large box into your home, it could be used against you. What the picture doesn’t show is the box was empty, but you may not have any way to prove that.

Contacting the Professionals for Assistance

Being in the middle of a workers’ compensation lawsuit is often made easier when you have the assistance of a qualified Fort Lauderdale work injury lawyer. Contact your lawyer today for help understanding your rights.

Thanks to the Law Offices of Franks, Koenig & Neuwelt for their insight into workers compensation and privacy.

Another Fatal Shooting at Country Squire Apartments

Violent crime isn’t limited to urban centers, or run-down properties. Areas in eastern Shelby County, including Cordova, TN are experiencing violent crime, often at what many people would consider to be luxury apartment complexes.

Earlier this morning another victim was shot and killed in the 200 block of Glen Park Drive at The View at Shelby Farm Apartments in Cordova, TN. This apartment complex was formerly called Country Squire Apartments, and this is not the first such incident that has occurred at this complex.

Shooting at Cordova Apartments

Another shooting at Country Squire Apartments

DID YOU KNOW THAT APARTMENT OWNERS MUST PROVIDE REASONABLE SECURITY?

In Tennessee, apartment owners are generally required to provide reasonable security measure to tenants and guests of the property. What is “reasonable?” It depends on the circumstances, such as the type of crime committed against a victim and the history of crime on the property and in the surrounding neighborhood.

Every single apartment shooting case is different. We can’t help but wonder if in the Appling Lakes and Country Squire shooting cases, security measures could have prevented the victims’ deaths and injuries.  We do not know enough yet about the cases to make an assessment.

CALL US. WE ARE LAWYERS FOR CRIME VICTIMS.

We are lawyers for apartment crime victims in Memphis, TN. If you are the victim of an apartment shooting or crime, please call us today at (901) 372-5003.

We have the experience, know-how, and financial resources to properly investigate and prosecute your case. If the apartment complex where you were injured did not provide reasonable security, you may be entitled to money damages to compensate you for your injuries and pain and suffering.   This is the case even if you weren’t a tenant and were just visiting.

We have helped others like you. Let us help you. Call (901) 372-5003 and ask to speak to the experienced apartment crime lawyers in Memphis, TN.

How To Revert to Your Maiden Name Following a Divorce

Divorce Lawyer

Shakespeare’s Juliet famously asked, “What’s in a name?” For many people, the answer is actually quite a lot. Your name may be the single biggest identifier in your life. To retain the name of an ex-spouse can be a constantly frustrating reminder of a difficult time in your life from which you may prefer to move on.

Fortunately, the law provides methods of changing your legal name at almost any time, for any reason or for no reason. However, some of these methods are more difficult and costly than others. If you are changing your name due to a divorce that is still in process, you can simplify the process by including the name change as part of your divorce.

Name Change By Petition

This is the most difficult and costly process, but it is available to any adult regardless of situation or marital status. You will need to fill out paperwork, file the forms, pay a fee, and attend a hearing. You may also have to undergo a criminal background check and publish a public notice in the newspaper.

If you changed your name when you got married, you probably already know that this process has been legally simplified for wives who take their husband’s names upon marriage. Interestingly, and perhaps unfairly, there are no such simplified avenues for a husband who wishes to take his wife’s surname upon marriage. Those husbands who wish to do so must file a petition as they would under any other circumstances.

Name Change Included in Divorce

If your divorce is still in process, you do not have to file a petition to change back to your maiden name. All you have to do is include a clause or counterclaim in your divorce documents stating that this is your desire and then testify to it at your divorce hearing. This should be allowed as long as you are returning to a name that you have used in the past. If, on the other hand, you wish to adopt an entirely new name, you will probably be required to file a petition.

Name Change by Amending Divorce Decree

If your divorce has already been finalized but you would still like to revert to using your maiden name, there may be a third option available to you. It may be possible to amend the divorce decree to reflect your wishes and obtain a court order to change back to your maiden name. However, this option may not be available in all states.

Regardless of how you revert to your maiden name, you will then have to change legal documents like your Social Security card and driver’s license to reflect the change. An attorney may be able to advise you on this and other legal matters related to divorce and family law. Contact a divorce law firm in Plano, TX to schedule a consultation.

 


 

Thanks to Scroggins Law Group for their insight into family law and how to go back to your maiden name after a divorce.

Your Legal Options After a Car Accident

Auto Accident Lawyer

The aftermath of a car accident can be a very confusing time, especially if you were significantly injured as a result. Adding to the confusion is the fact that the at-fault driver’s insurance company may be pressuring you to make hasty decisions in regard to settlements. However, it is in your interest to take the time to evaluate all your legal options before you make a decision. If you are not sure of what your options are, read on.

1. Accept the Insurance Company’s Initial Settlement Offer

This is generally NOT the recommended course of action. The initial offer will almost always be less than your case is actually worth. The insurance company may try to take advantage of your confusion and lack of firsthand knowledge about the process to avoid paying you what you deserve. Before you even consider accepting the initial offer, there are a couple of steps you should take.

First, you should receive medical attention for your injuries. Not only is this best for your health, but you can find out from the doctor about your prognosis for recovery, your ability to return to your job, and any work restrictions that may apply in the future. This information will help you to determine what your case is really worth.

Second, you should consult an attorney. Like an insurance adjuster, an attorney has knowledge of the applicable laws and how to determine the worth of a car accident settlement. Unlike an insurance adjuster, however, an attorney will act in your interest to try to obtain a fair settlement for you.

2. File a Lawsuit

This is usually only an option before you accept a settlement, not after. The reason is that in order to receive your settlement payment, you must sign a form saying that you agree not to sue the at-fault party in regard to this matter in the future. That is why it is important to find out what your case is really worth before accepting a settlement.

However, there is an exception: If the insurance company acted in bad faith and/or tried to defraud you, you may be able to sue even after accepting the settlement. Also, if there were multiple drivers at fault for the accident, settling with one usually doesn’t apply to the others. In that instance, you would still be able to sue the drivers with whom you haven’t reached a settlement.

3. Negotiate a New Settlement

This can take place before or after you file a lawsuit. Most insurance companies would rather settle than go to court, so with the help of an attorney, you may be able to negotiate a settlement that is fairer to you. Find out how a car accident lawyer in Houston, TX may be able to help you recover what you deserve by contacting a law office today.

Thanks to John K. Zaid & Associates for their insight into personal injury claims and you legal options after a car accident.

Receiving Alimony is Not Guaranteed

Personal Injury Lawyer

As you head toward divorce, you may be wondering how much alimony a judge might grant you from your spouse. In actuality, you may not receive an alimony award, as a divorce lawyer might tell you. There are several factors that the Judge will consider when determining whether or not one of the two spouses will receive alimony, and if so, how much and for how long. This is not to say that the Court cannot be swayed to rule one way or another when presented with certain facts and insight from a divorce lawyer who represents one of the spouses. If you are considering getting a divorce, give us a call to discuss your circumstances with a skilled divorce lawyer.

Alimony Determination Factors

During the divorce court proceedings, the presiding Judge will make a determination of alimony if either party petitions the court to receive alimony from the other party. Alimony is also referred to as spousal support, and in some instances, it’s also called palimony. When considering whether or not to award alimony to the divorcing couple, the Judge will review the circumstances of both parties. Your divorce lawyer can provide you more detail specific to your unique set of circumstances. However, below is a general overview:

Income

The Judge will consider the current and potential income of each spouse. If both spouses make about the same level of annual income, very likely neither will be eligible for alimony. As a general rule of thumb, if one spouse makes significantly less money or no money at all, they may qualify for alimony payments. This is contingent on them not being able to make ends meet without alimony, and/or that they will otherwise be unable to enjoy the quality of life they experienced while married. If one spouse makes significantly less money, but they have the education level and skill set to make more money, the Judge may consider their potential salary rather than actual salary. In that scenario, the person may not qualify for alimony.

Terms

Alimony payments will usually not continue indefinitely. Your divorce lawyer can request a start and end time for when you will receive alimony. Very often, the length of time is limited to a period of several years. If the alimony payments are contingent on you completing job training or an educational degree, the payments might end at the conclusion of the predetermined milestone rather than when you begin to make more money.

The Benefits of Hiring an Experienced Divorce Lawyer

When you have a respected legal representative by your side advocating on your behalf, your rights can be protected. A divorce lawyer can argue your case in front of the Judge and provide the documentation needed to increase the likelihood of the outcome you desire for alimony.

Negotiation

It is possible to avoid divorce court by negotiating an alimony agreement with your spouse with the help of a divorce lawyer. This can save you time, money, and aggravation. In the process, you can avoid interacting with your spouse by permitting your lawyer to communicate directly with them or with their lawyer.

A Divorce Lawyer You Can Count On

To learn more about how alimony lawyers in Dallas, TX can help you seek alimony, call a law office today to schedule a consultation.

Thanks to Scroggins Law Group for their insight into family law and receiving alimony.

Understanding Wrongful Death Claims

While you might have a strong suspicion that someone’s negligence or direct intent led to the death of your loved one, the suspicion is not the same as knowing or proving fault. Wrongful death claims are notoriously tricky legal actions because, like a criminal case, they depend on evidence. Unfortunately for the surviving family members, emotion is not the same as evidence, and belief in the guilt of the defendant is not enough to carry a lawsuit through trial. Wrongful death claims are complex actions, and there are at least three things you should know before you file a suit.

  1. Application

The term wrongful death is not applicable to every situation where a death occurs. The use of a wrongful death claim can typically be siphoned down to three instances: intentional killing, medical malpractice and negligent accidents. While criminal trials are usually held for murderers, it is possible that a person can be found innocent at a criminal proceeding and found guilty in a civil action. For example, O.J. Simpson was sued for wrongful death after being found not guilty in criminal court. Therefore, it is apparent that the burden of proof is not as high in civil matters. You can also file suit against medical professionals if you feel that their professional negligence led to your loved one’s death. Last, a wrongful death claim can be filed when someone’s negligence results in an accident that takes the life of your loved one.

  1. Proof

While a civil case may not require the same level of evidence as a criminal trial, these cases still depend on evidence to determine liability and fault. However, the burden of proof is on the family in these trials. Therefore, you must show that the defendant had a duty of care for your loved one. You must demonstrate how they breached that duty, causing your loved one’s untimely death. Then, you must show how their death caused the need for the recovery you are seeking. An attorney should be able to help you put together all the necessary pieces of evidence.

  1. Filing

It is necessary to note that not just anyone can file a wrongful death claim. The suit must be brought forth by the family directly or a representative of the decedent’s estate. Spouses are the most common claimants. However, parents or even siblings can also file. Although, while extended family might also be permitted to file, cases are harder to argue the more distant the relationship.

A wrongful death claim is a legal action that requires evidence to succeed. It is necessary for relatives to only file a claim when their case meets the burden of proof mentioned above. Contact a wrongful death attorney in Houston, TX for more information and insight.

Thanks to John K. Zaid & Associates for their insight into personal injury claims and understanding wrongful death.

Tips on Finding a Private Defense Attorney

Tips on Finding a Private Defense Attorney

If you are accused of a crime, you usually have options available to you regarding representation. You may have the choice to represent yourself, although a judge will make the final decision whether to allow this. The judge may also assign you a public defender depending on your financial circumstances and the seriousness of the charges. Regardless of the situation, however, you also have the option of hiring a private defense attorney.

It is almost always in your interest to have a defense attorney represent you. However, not all private defense lawyers are equally skilled, and if you decide to hire your own, you want to be sure your money is well spent. Here are some tips on how to find a good private defense attorney to represent you.

1. Don’t Choose the Most Expensive Attorney

There seems to be a perception in the mind of the public that the more you pay for an attorney’s services, the more competent or skilled the attorney is. This is not necessarily the case. Fees are an important consideration when choosing a defense attorney, but it shouldn’t be your only selection criterion.

2. Seek Referrals

Perhaps you know some attorneys socially, or have acquaintances who have required the services of a defense lawyer in the past. Ask these individuals for recommendations. Find out specifically what your acquaintances like about the attorneys they are referring you to. Find out as much as you can about his or her reputation.

3. Conduct Web Research

The internet should not necessarily be the first place you go to find defense attorneys, but it can be a valuable tool in evaluating them. A good defense attorney should have an accessible and professional-looking website. You should be able to find objective information there that will help you make your decision, such as years of criminal law experience and outcomes of important cases, as well as anecdotal evidence that may also be of some value, such as testimonials from former clients. You should evaluate this information critically and give more weight to verifiable facts and statistics than to subjective information.

4. Trust Your Instincts

Though intangible, your personal impressions of an attorney can tell you a lot about how he or she will represent you. Your criminal offenses attorney in DC should seem knowledgeable about the law and at home in the courtroom. He or she should treat you with a baseline level of respect, listening to your questions and providing intelligent answers. You are paying for the attorney’s time, so he or she should minimize interruptions and provide you undivided attention to the extent possible.

Thanks to The Law Firm of Frederick J. Brynn, P.C. for their insight into criminal law and finding a defense attorney.

What Is Considered Medical Malpractice?

Medical Malpractice

A medical malpractice attorney can ensure that your right to fair compensation is protected. Medical malpractice is a concern, and incidents of negligence by healthcare providers occur every day in America, resulting in serious or fatal injuries to patients. Though the vast majority of medical professionals are highly capable, some are not, and even the best doctors can make a mistake that results in harm to their patients. If you or your loved one suffered an injury because the caregiver was negligent in their care or lack of care, or if there was an error in diagnosis, treatment, or management of the condition, contact a medical malpractice attorney.

What criteria must a medical malpractice claim meet for eligibility?

When medical malpractice attorneys review a case, they will make a determination as to whether or not the claim meets the legal criteria necessary for the victim to receive compensation. For a claim to have merit, all of the following must be true:

1.       The victim was a patient of the healthcare provider, whether that provider was a doctor, nurse, hospital, or other medical professional. Because of this professional relationship, the provider has a duty of care toward the patient.

2.       The healthcare professional did not provide care to the patient that was consistent with the manner and quality of care that a typical and reasonably capable healthcare professional would have provided under similar circumstances. In legal parlance, when the healthcare professional fails in this regard, they have violated their duty of care.

3.       Because the healthcare professional violated their duty of care to the patient, the patient sustained a serious and otherwise preventable injury. (This is not the same as a less than desired outcome of a medical condition after treatment by the healthcare professional.)

4.       The injury that resulted from the healthcare professional’s negligent treatment of the patient is significant enough that the damages are measurable. Common examples of measurable damages are permanent disability, severe and lasting pain, emotional trauma, the inability to earn the same amount of income as they earned before sustaining the injury, treatment costs related to the injury, death to the patient, etc.

What are common examples of medical malpractice?

Owing to the wide range of medical professions, medical malpractice takes many forms. This underscores the importance of hiring a seasoned medical malpractice attorney who has the experience necessary to handle such complex cases. Here is an incomplete list of common medical malpractice scenarios:

·         The failure of a healthcare professional to accurately diagnose a condition and in a timely manner.

·         The failure of a healthcare professional to accurately interpret diagnostic test or laboratory results.

·         A surgeon performs surgery on a patient that was risky and unnecessary and they did not provide that information to the patient in advance of the procedure.

·         A surgeon operates on, or removes, the wrong part of the body.

·         A surgeon mistakenly leaves foreign matter in the patient’s body, leading to serious complications and possibly death.

If you were the victim of medical malpractice, discuss your case with a medical malpractice attorney in Naperville, IL at no charge—call a law firm today to schedule an appointment.

Thanks to The Law Offices of Konrad Sherinian for their insight into medical malpractice and what can be considered malpractice.

Is Length of Missed Work a Workers’ Comp Qualification?

Workers’ Compensation Attorney

Workers’ compensation is the system that is in place to protect all employees across the United States. No matter how dangerous your work may or may not be, you are covered for any injuries that are the result of doing your job. Many people worry about qualifying for workers’ comp, however. It is true that there are some requirements that must be met. Do you know how much work you have to miss due to your injury to qualify?

Missing Work

You may be surprised to learn that there are no limitations for how much work you miss to qualify for workers’ comp. Even if you go to the hospital and immediately return to work the same day, you can still file a workers’ comp claim and be compensated for your medical bills.

Of course, if you do miss several days, weeks, or months of work, you will be compensated for your lost wages in addition to any medical bills and injury-related expenses.

The Qualifications

If the length of time you miss work does not factor into the qualifications for workers’ comp, you may be left wondering what the qualifications really are. To be as beneficial to workers as possible, the qualifications are actually incredibly simple:

  • The injury must have happened while working – Whatever you were doing when you were injured, you need to have been paid to do it. This means you are not covered if the injury happened while on break, after you clock out, or before you clock in, even if the injury took place in your workplace. This also means unpaid volunteers are not covered by workers’ comp.
  • The injury must be due to work-related activities – Even if you were on the clock, the injury must be the direct result of work-related activities. Negligent or irresponsible behavior does not affect this at all. This means your workers’ comp is not invalidated for using a machine incorrectly or skipping safety precautions. It is invalidated, however, if you were goofing off and doing something completely unrelated to your job.

Those two conditions are the only things that matter when it comes to qualifying for workers’ comp. Many people are surprised to learn just how simple the matter is. Keep in mind, however, that there needs to be proof that these conditions are met. If you are ever worried about not receiving the workers’ comp you are owed, you should immediately speak with a Jupiter workers’ compensation attorney to learn what your options are.

Thanks to Franks, Koenig & Neuwelt for their insight into workers compensation and if you’re covered.

Suing the Hospital When a Doctor Makes a Mistake

Personal Injury Lawyer

If you are injured or become ill during the course of treatment at a hospital, do you sue the doctor or the hospital? It’s a question many people ask, as they are unsure which route to take. While your medical malpractice lawyer can help you understand the details of the situation, the following are some basics to keep in mind.

Employed or Contracted?

One of the first things you should look into if you are injured by a doctor in a hospital is whether the doctor is employed or contracted by the hospital. The hospital is only liable for employees. In many hospitals, nurses and other similar staff members are actual employees, while doctors are contracted with the hospital. Because of that, you would not be able to sue the hospital if the doctor was not an actual employee.

How do you know if a doctor is an employee? You could just ask the doctor or the staff on duty. It should also be in writing somewhere, possibly in the paperwork you filled out on your first visit. Some other clues that indicate the doctor is an actual employee are if the doctor’s work and vacation hours are controlled by the hospital, and if the hospital controls fees the doctor is allowed to charge. If the doctor controls those things, he is more than likely contracted with the hospital instead.

A Couple Exceptions

As with almost anything in life, there are some exceptions when you could sue a hospital for a doctor’s negligence. If the doctor appears to be employed by the hospital, you may have a case against the hospital. This almost never happens because most admission forms are clear about the doctor not being an employee. When it does happen, it’s generally in an emergency room situation in which the hospital staff doesn’t have a chance to inform every patient that comes through the door about the doctor’s employment status.

Another exception is when the hospital knowingly allows an incompetent doctor to work at their facility. Even if the doctor is independent from the hospital, the hospital has a duty to ensure all doctors contracted with them agree to safety practices. If the doctor violates policies, hospital management should not keep him or her at the hospital. If the doctor does remain and causes harm to a patient, that patient may be able to go after the hospital.

Getting Your Lawyer’s Help

When your doctor makes a mistake, you should know what to do and where to turn. If you don’t, it’s a good idea to get the help of a medical malpractice lawyer. Contact a medical malpractice lawyer in Deer Park, TX today for assistance.

Thanks to John K. Zaid & Associates for their insight into medical malpractice and suing the hospital when a doctor makes a mistake.