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What Workers’ Comp Claimants Need To Know About Independent Medical Exams

Posted by on Jul 31, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on What Workers’ Comp Claimants Need To Know About Independent Medical Exams

While getting injured at work is no picnic, it’s nice to know that your employer provides you with a valuable benefit: workers’ compensation insurance. This benefit, available at no cost to you, can provide you with access to medical care at no charge and a partial wage while you stay home and recover from your injury. After you have been receiving benefits, you may be contacted by the insurance company and asked to undergo a specific type of medical exam, the Independent Medical Exam (IME). Your ability to continue to receive workers’ comp benefits could rest on the results of this important event, so read on to learn more about the IME to be better prepared for it. Why am I being asked to undergo an IME? This request normally comes after you have been out of work for a while, and the insurance company needs to get more in-depth information about your injury. Most injuries heal in time, but some take longer and some are more permanent. An evaluation of your medical status will let the workers’ comp insurance company make a decision on your continued benefits or on the possibility of your claim being converted to a permanent injury. Who will be performing the IME? This exam is performed by a doctor of the workers’ comp choosing and you are not expected to pay for this exam. You should understand that in most cases the IME doctor “specializes” in performing these exams almost exclusively, and you should treat the doctor with respect but with an awareness that this doctor is not a normal doctor, and is not necessarily on your side in your quest to continue receiving workers’ comp benefits. How do I handle the IME? Your medical information is protected by HIPAA laws in most traditional settings, but the information garnered from an IME is done so expressly to share with the workers’ comp insurance company, and in fact from the moment you step from your car until you leave, your every movement will be scrutinized. Keep in mind that this is your moment to communicate how the workplace injury has affected your ability to do your job. You can best prepare for this exam by reviewing your paperwork, reports, medical records and notes about the accident and the medical treatments you have been receiving. What happens after the exam? The IME doctor will prepare a report for the insurance company and make recommendations about your case. Normally, your case will result in 3 possible outcomes: 1. You will be deemed well enough to return to your job. 2. You will given more time to recuperate from your injuries. 3. You will be deemed to be permanently disabled, and your benefits will convert to a different type of claim. If you are worried about your ability to continue to collect benefits, contact a workers’ comp attorney for assistance as soon as possible. Contact a business, such as Gilbert, Blaszcyk & Milburn LLP for more information. ...

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Prenuptial Agreements: What To Know

Posted by on Jul 31, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Prenuptial Agreements: What To Know

A legal document that can cover you in the event of a separation may not be on your list of things to do before your upcoming wedding, but it should be. A prenuptial agreement should be made several months before your big day, and it can be custom-made to address the financial issues that matter to you and your soon-to-be spouse. Read to learn more about prenuptial agreements and what should and should not be on yours. What Should Be In The Agreement? There are very few rules about what a prenuptial agreement should look like, but you should stick to financial issues that matter to both of you. Consider including the following: How property jointly owed will be handled in the event of a divorce. Keep in mind that “property” means everything from real estate to vehicles to pets. How property owed by one party will be treated after (during) the marriage. How the household bills be paid (who pays for what?). How savings will be funded, such as funds for the childrens’ education, retirement accounts and emergency savings accounts. Financial arrangements for children of other relationships in the event of death. While a will is also mandatory, a provision in the prenuptial agreement could serve as a reinforcement of a contested will. What Should Not Be In The Agreement Some issues involving minor children of the relationship, such as child support and custody, should not be addressed in this manner. State law supersedes privately-held agreements like prenuptial agreements and the family court system will preside over this issue in the divorce decree. Leave frivolous, non-financial issues out of the agreement, such as where you will live, who does what chores, where the children will attend school, etc. Though it varies somewhat by state, the issue of spousal support should not be addressed in this manner. More Don’ts Any of the “don’ts” below could nullify your prenuptial agreement. Don’t conceal assets from your future spouse; be open and honest about your holdings. Don’t force or coerce a party into signing an agreement; both parties must be willing participants. Don’t create an agreement that is conspicuously and obviously unfair to the other party. It’s no surprise that the issues that should be included in a prenuptial agreement are also issues that most couples need to discuss and agree upon before they say “I do”. Consider the creation of a prenuptial agreement an opportunity to talk about these issues with your fiancé. Discuss your prenuptial agreement with a family law attorney today. Contact a law firm, such as Novenstern Fabriani & Gaudio, LLP, for more information.   ...

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2 Questions Answered About A Wrongful Death Case

Posted by on Jul 15, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 2 Questions Answered About A Wrongful Death Case

If you’ve lost a loved one too soon because of a wrongful death, you will want to know what to do. It’s in your best interest to pursue legal action for the justice that should be served. This can be a very challenging time in your life and the key to coping with it may be by taking legal action against the party responsible for the death. By having specific questions answered about this dire situation, you may be better prepared to handle it legally. Question #1: What is wrongful death? Wrongful death is when the loss of another person’s life occurs and can be blamed on another individual. There are various causes of wrongful death, and some of these are listed below: 1. Auto accidents – If a person is killed in a wreck and the other driver is at fault. 2. Medical malpractice – Dealing with the loss of a loved one due to a medical mistake can be devastating, but this does happen and may give the right to file a wrongful death case. 3. Criminal activity – If the reason the death occurred was due to criminal activity, you could file a lawsuit against this person that did the shooting. Question #2:  What parties can file a claim? In order to be eligible to take legal action against an individual in a wrongful death case, you must meet certain requirements. It’s common for the persons listed below to qualify to do so: 1. Immediate family members – This may include spouses, children, and parents. 2. Distant family members – Cousins, grandparents and even aunts and uncles are involved in this group. 3. Parents – If the death was a deceased fetus, this would allow the parents to pursue legal action if the loss of life was due to the negligence of the medical provider. 4. Financial dependents – If either the person that died or the one left living were financially dependent on each other. 5. Life partners – If a couple isn’t married, but have been determined to be a life partner, this action could be taken. Being able to file this type of claim will require the right amount of evidence and the fact that wrongful doing did happen. However, if you feel you have a substantial case, be sure to rely on the expertise of wrongful death attorney to legally assist you during this challenging time. To learn more, contact a law firm like Shaevitz Shaevitz &...

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How Your Statin Drug May Cause Permanent Illness

Posted by on Jun 9, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How Your Statin Drug May Cause Permanent Illness

If you have high cholesterol that is resistant to weight loss, exercise, and healthy eating habits, your doctor may have prescribed a statin medication to bring down your numbers. While cholesterol-lowering medications are effective in reducing blood lipids, they may heighten the risk for permanent illness and disability. If you experience any of the following as a result of your prescription statin medication, you may need a personal injury lawyer: Rhabdomyolysis According to Healthline, rhabdomyolysis is a condition where muscle damage causes muscle fibers to break off and slough into your bloodstream. Symptoms of this condition include severe muscle pain, weakness, dark urine, increased bruising, and muscle inflammation. While rhabdomyolysis can be caused by infection, metabolic conditions, injuries, and heat stroke, it has also been linked to statin drugs. Discontinuing the cholesterol-lowering medication can sometimes resolve this condition, however, it can sometimes be long-standing. If stopping the stain fails to resolve your symptoms, you may need hospitalization so that intravenous fluid and drug therapy can be initiated. In severe cases, renal dialysis may be needed.  Kidney Damage If you experience muscle damage from taking your statins, it may lead to renal failure. The muscle fibers that can get into your circulation can diminish kidney function, and when this happens, you may experience generalized swelling, loss of appetite, profound weakness, sleepiness, and nausea. In one study, it was noted that people who took higher doses of statin medications were 34 percent likelier to be admitted to the hospital for kidney damage within the initial 120 days of statin therapy compared to those who took lower doses of the medication, explains WebMD. If you develop kidney damage during or after statin treatment, prompt medical intervention may help reverse renal damage. In some cases, however, kidney damage may be permanent, and if this occurs, consider working with your physician and attorney to determine if you have a strong enough case to file a personal injury lawsuit. Elevated Liver Enzymes Statin drugs can also cause a rise in your liver enzymes, especially during the first few weeks of treatment. If you take these medications, your doctor will recommend that you undergo periodic blood tests to check your liver function. Elevated liver enzymes typically revert back to normal after your body gets used to the statin, however, permanent elevations may occur. In severe cases, liver damage can arise from cholesterol-lowering medications, and when this happens, you may experience yellowing of your skin and whites of your eyes, tea-colored urine, itchy skin, clay-colored stools, abdominal pain, and loss of appetite.  If you take cholesterol-lowering drugs and develop any of the above conditions, see your doctor right away. If it is determined that you have sustained permanent muscle or organ damage, contact a personal injury lawyer or law firm like Law Offices of Burton J....

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2 Things You Need To Know Before Driving Under The Influence

Posted by on Jun 9, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 2 Things You Need To Know Before Driving Under The Influence

Like many people, you might enjoy heading out to a bar or club to have some alcoholic drinks and let off a little steam. You might not make any plans to get a taxi or have someone drive you home because you’re sure you can handle driving home, but the police are out on the roads looking for people who are drinking and driving. You may not think you’ll have a problem, but you need to consider the following things before you drive home intoxicated. You Might Be Over the Legal Limit Even if You Feel Fine Once you start drinking, your ability to make rational decisions starts to decrease. You might “feel fine” after a few drinks, but that doesn’t mean you should get into a car. You might have a high alcohol tolerance, but your state’s laws may mean that even one or two drinks will put you over the legal limit to drive. Because there’s not a way to “feel” whether you’re over that legal limit, the only way to be sure you won’t have a problem with the police on the road is to arrange alternate transportation for yourself on a night you’ve been drinking. Attempts to Delay or Refuse Tests Might Fail You might think you have the right to refuse any field tests that the police want you to take, thinking that refusal will protect you from an arrest. In fact, depending on the state you live in, the very act of receiving your license serves as agreement to undergo these kinds of tests when you are on the road. If you refuse to go through with them, you might find yourself with a suspended license and unable to drive altogether, regardless of whether you are actually taken into custody for drinking and driving. If you have failed a field sobriety test and the police are planning to administer a breathalyzer test, you might think that you’ll just delay testing as long as you can so that you have a chance to sober up a little. However, it is not only unlikely that your blood alcohol level will decrease quickly enough, but the police can still arrest you based on your actions and behavior on the scene. If they feel there is good reason to bring you into the station, they can do so whether you fail a breathalyzer test or not. Drinking and driving is a serious offense with serious consequences. If you get into a car after you have had alcohol and find yourself in trouble, call a DUI lawyer like Eaby Firm LLC who can help you deal with the legal...

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Is Your Airbag Dangerous? What You Should Know

Posted by on May 24, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Is Your Airbag Dangerous? What You Should Know

If you’re in an auto accident, the last thing you expect to seriously injure you is probably the thing designed to protect you—your airbag. Even worse, some airbags have been known to deploy when there isn’t even an accident. Recent lawsuits have brought to light some serious defects in airbags that could put you and your family at risk.  The type of airbag you have could put you at greater risk. Takata airbags, which are in a variety of Toyotas, BMWs, Chryslers, Fords, Hondas and other vehicles, are becoming synonymous with airbag danger, thanks to at least 139 injuries and 10 deaths related to airbag explosions. The danger is serious enough that 24 million U.S. vehicles have already been recalled. Unless they can be proven safe, 50 million more may need to be recalled by 2018. Even if you don’t have a Takata airbag in your vehicle, however, you could be at risk if your vehicle has the same ammonium nitrate propellant used to inflate its airbags. Ammonium nitrate is a volatile compound that can become explosive under the right circumstances—it’s a known component in certain bombs. This has forced bits of shrapnel from the airbag itself and damaged vehicles into the bodies of passengers and drivers. Your size may also put you at special risk. Are you taller than 6’3″? Are you shorter than 4’11”? What about your passengers? Airbags are only designed to protect the average-sized individual. If you or your passengers fall outside of those height ranges, airbags are not designed with your safety in mind. In addition, your passengers may face additional risks if your vehicle has side airbags, which are designed to protect riders during side-impact crashes and rollovers. They’ve been found particularly unsafe for children. There are also hidden cardiac dangers. Airbags are also being blamed for cardiac and pulmonary injuries to drivers and passengers alike, especially at low speeds. A review from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center states that injuries as severe as an aortic transection, atrial ruptures, and valve injuries can occur, even though there’s no visible injury. The explosive force of the airbag, especially on smaller people and those sitting less than 10″ from the airbag, is usually absorbed by the rider’s sternum. The sternum and ribs can fracture, and the heart and lungs can be injured as a result. You can recover for your injuries. If an airbag leads to injuries, who can be held responsible? If the airbag is defective and either explodes without warning, explodes too forcefully due to design flaws, or isn’t designed with the necessary shut-off devices to protect passengers who are the wrong size to use an airbag, there are several possible defendants. The airbag manufacturer, the automobile manufacturer, and the dealership that sold you the vehicle are all possibilities. This is in addition to anyone who happened to cause the auto accident—and even if you were responsible for the accident yourself. However, in order to make the strongest case, it’s important that you take steps to preserve any evidence. That means that you shouldn’t allow any repairs to be made to your vehicle or the airbag until you’ve spoken with an attorney. Nor should you allow the airbag to be removed for inspection or testing by any company or government agency without...

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3 Things To Understand About Father’s Names On Birth Certificates

Posted by on May 9, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Things To Understand About Father’s Names On Birth Certificates

If you are the father of a child, then you have a right to have your name on the child’s birth certificate. However, if the mother of the child is not married to you, this process is not automatic and you have some choice in the matter. By allowing to have your name listed on the birth certificate, you may be held accountable for child support. If you are not listed as the child’s father, you may have to prove paternity in another way in order to claim your rights to visitation or custody. Before you make any decisions about placing your name on a child’s birth certificate, there are a few things you should know.  A Mother Cannot List Your Name Without Your Approval  If you are not married to the mother of the child when she gives birth, you will have to sign a declaration of paternity in order to be listed on the birth certificate. Even if the mother lists you on the application for the birth certificate, if you do not sign a declaration of paternity, you will not be listed on the birth certificate.  However, this does not mean that you are automatically not required to pay child support for the child. If the mother wishes to pursue child support from you, she can demand a paternity test, at which time the courts can either confirm or deny your paternity. Similarly, if you want to declare paternity at a later date, you will still be able to seek visitation or custody of the child.  You Have a Limited Amount of Time to Contest Paternity  If you are named the father on a birth certificate, either because you were married to the mother or because you filed a declaration of paternity, then you generally have two years to contest your paternity. However, if you were not listed on the birth certificate and wish to declare paternity at a later date, you may be able to legally do so until the child is 18.  Your Name Can Be Added to the Birth Certificate At a Later Date If it is important to you to have your name on your child’s birth certificate, it can be added at a later date once your biological paternity has been established. This usually involves a small refiling fee and simple paperwork.  If you are unsure about whether or not you should be listed on a child’s birth certificate, talk to a lawyer like Lois Iannone Attorney at Law about the specific benefits and drawbacks in your...

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Tips For Maintaining Your Serenity During A Divorce

Posted by on Apr 15, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tips For Maintaining Your Serenity During A Divorce

Sometimes divorce is inevitable, but that doesn’t make it any easier to handle. In fact, divorce is considered to be one of the biggest stressors a person can encounter. You don’t have to take that lying down, though. It’s possible to stay serene at least most of the time even during this difficult phase of life. Follow these tips to remain calm and carry on with the divorce proceedings. Establish Clear Boundaries At the start of the divorce process, be sure to establish clear boundaries with your soon-to-be ex-spouse. This doesn’t have to be communicated in a way that inspires resentment. Simply explain that you are establishing boundaries for your own healing. If your ex doesn’t understand that, it’s not your problem. Consider the following examples of setting healthy boundaries: Discuss how much flexibility you have when it comes to pick-up and drop-off times with your kids. Thoroughly explain your expectations and stick to what you establish. Let your ex know when and how you want to be contacted. If talking on the phone or seeing your ex in person is too painful, you may opt to stick to mostly communicating through email for the time being. That’s okay. Communicate your needs and stand up for them. Decide how much information you want to divulge to your ex about your evolving lifestyle. Things may change rapidly as soon as you start a new life, and you get to decide how much you want to share with your ex. Make Self-Care a Priority Although being proactive about self-care is important at every stage of life, it can be a lifesaver during your divorce proceedings. You want to be more adamant about making it a priority in your life than you ever have been before. You may want to try all of the following methods of self-care: When the stress from a divorce starts to heat up, cool off by working out. This can be anything that’s fun for you, whether it’s a dip in the pool, a vigorous run, a peaceful Yoga class, or fun cardio class. Eat well. When you are going through a divorce, it can be tempting to skip meals or eat fast food on the run. Combat that temptation by preparing healthy meals in advance when possible. Also, keep healthy snacks in the house to make sure that eating well is as convenient as possible. Read books that will empower you to heal. Hundreds of self-help books are available, so look until you find just the right books that empower you to work on the areas of your life that you want to improve. Go talk to a therapist. Keep in mind that all aspects of your being are likely to be affected by your divorce, so be mindful to learn about taking great care of yourself on a spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical level.  Finally, keep in mind that you are in control of your serenity, so try to be proactive about protecting yourself from things that you know will be stressful. No matter how intent your ex may be on trying to upset you, keep your focus on moving on and building the life you want for yourself going forward. For more help with your actual divorce case, communicating with a family lawyer in...

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Social Security Disability Consultative Exams: What To Know

Posted by on Mar 30, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Social Security Disability Consultative Exams: What To Know

If you have not been able to work at your job and have filed for Social Security Disability (SSDI) you may have been asked to participate in a consultative medical exam (CME). The Social Security Administration (SSD) normally requests that you undergo this exam when they need more information about your medical condition. If you have not recently had medical treatment for your condition, the SSA may need to verify that you do indeed have a qualifying condition. The request for this exam could mean that the SSA is questioning your medical condition, so it’s in your best interest to fully understand what the CME means. Read on for more info.  What is the purpose of the CME? Usually the SSA requests this exam when you have submitted incomplete medical records, or very little evidence of your medical condition. The SSA needs to see an almost-unbroken series of doctor’s appointments and treatments, since only serious and on-going medical conditions merit approval. In other words, it’s not enough to be too sick to go to work, you must prove how bad your condition is by seeking medical treatment and continuing any treatments, prescribed medications, lab tests ordered, etc. Often, the request for the CME is the final step in your application process. What occurs during this exam? You must use the doctor that the SSA chooses for this exam, and there is no charge for the appointment. You should understand that this exam is just that, an exam only; you will not receive any treatment during this exam. The exam itself begins like many: your vitals are checked (weight, blood pressure, heart rate, temperature, etc) and then the doctor will closely examine you by focusing on the body part or condition that is affecting your inability to work at your job. The doctor may order additional tests, like an x-ray, MRI, blood test, etc. The doctor will question you about your condition and if pertinent, manipulate your affected body part to determine mobility or the presence of discomfort. What is the next step? There is a deadline of 10 days for the doctor to submit the result and opinion of your medical condition, but delays are to be expected, especially if the doctor is awaiting lab results. Once your results are evaluated by the SSA, you will be informed by mail of the determination. This final step may result in a denial, but you must undergo the exam in order to obtain the denial. The denial is likely very disappointing, but is a necessary step to move forward toward an appeal hearing. Denials on initial SSDI applications are not uncommon, so don’t become discouraged and give up. Contact a Social Security attorney to help you with your appeal hearing, where you wil l have another chance to get the benefits that you need and...

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Four Things Many People Don’t Know About Personal Injury Cases

Posted by on Mar 9, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Four Things Many People Don’t Know About Personal Injury Cases

If you have been hurt in an automobile accident or in a slip and fall accident, there are plenty of things you should know if you are filing a personal injury claim against the party at fault for your accident. First off, be sure that you hire a personal injury attorney to help you fight and prove your case. Secondly, it’s important to know these four things that many people don’t understand about injury cases: You Have Many Rights When Not at Fault for an Auto Accident: When you have been involved in a car accident that you were not at fault for, you are entitled to compensation for both your injuries and emotional trauma that occurred, as well. You car insurance company must also be there to help handle your case even if you have hired a personal injury attorney. The car insurance company is going to help with covering the repairs to your vehicle, as well as your medical injuries until you are properly compensated by the at fault party in the situation. Personal Injury Attorneys Handle Emotional Damage: On top of being sure that you are compensated for physical damage in your case, your personal injury attorney is also going to be sure that you are compensated for emotional damage. This includes receiving treatment for depression and a change in lifestyle that is a direct result of the accident. A change of lifestyle can include being out of work for a temporary or permanent amount of time because of an injury. You Have Protection on Someone Else’s Property: When you injury yourself in someone else’s home, which commonly happens as a result of a slip and fall accident, you are entitled to compensation. This is true if the accident could’ve been prevented by the owner of the property. Your personal injury attorney will need to prove negligence on the part of the property owner in order for you to receive compensation. ​Most Personal Injury Attorneys Work on a Contingency Basis: When you need to hire a personal injury attorney, it’s best to hire someone who works on contingency basis. A contingency fee means that you will not need to pay your attorney until you have won your case. If you do not win your case, then your personal injury attorney will also not receive any compensation. This type of fee is the best way to ensure that your attorney is also going to work hard to win your case both for you to receive compensation and for themselves to be paid for their time. When you know these four things about personal injury cases, you can be sure that you get the most out of your personal injury case. Speak to professionals like Conway Pauley & Johnson PC Attys for more...

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