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Can Your Employer Force You To Take A Polygraph? Can You Be Fired For Refusing Or Failing It?

Posted by on Oct 13, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Can Your Employer Force You To Take A Polygraph? Can You Be Fired For Refusing Or Failing It?

When something important goes missing at work—whether it’s money, merchandise, or intellectual property—can your employer demand that you take a lie detector test? If you fail it, can you be fired? These are the facts you should know in order to protect yourself from what essentially is little better than junk science. Polygraphs simply aren’t reliable. While proponents of the test say that they’re about 90% accurate, some rather reliable sources disagree. Critics point out that the test relies not only on a person’s physiological response to stress but the assumption that everyone physically reacts essentially the same way to lying. It’s been proven several times over, however, that polygraphs can be beaten by skillful liars—or even ordinary people that have trained themselves to be calm when faced with nerve-wracking questions. The National Academy has said the scientific evidence of the accuracy of polygraph test for employee screening is extremely limited and doesn’t support the idea. The American Psychological Association has said that while they may be slightly better than flipping a quarter to determine the truth, they have significant error rates with a lot of false positives and false negatives. Government employees or contractors have little protection against forced testing. Government employees or contractors who have to obtain (or keep) a security clearance in order to get (or keep) a job are stuck in a difficult position if they’re asked to take a polygraph. if this applies to you, you can technically decline to take the exam—but don’t expect to pass the security clearance check. Most of the time, you’ll be given more than one chance to pass the exam, but you may want to consult with an attorney who deals in employment law and security clearance matters after the first failed test. He or she may be able to help you through the process. Employees of private companies have more protection. The Employee Polygraph Protection Act of 1988 gives employees of private firms more legal protection against these devices: There has to be an identifiable economic loss to the company that’s not explainable through ordinary business operations. There has to be reasonable suspicion that you are somehow involved in the loss. Your employer must notify you in writing that he or she wants you to take the polygraph test. The written notice has to explain that the test is voluntary. The notice must also explain that you cannot be fired or disciplined for refusing to take the test. You have to be given a minimum of 48 hours notice before the test to consider your choices. You can also stop the test at any time. Even if you take the test and fail it, you still can’t be fired unless your employer has additional supporting evidence to back up his or her belief that you were involved in their losses.  Consult an attorney if you believe a polygraph led to your dismissal or another adverse action at work. You need to consult an employment attorney if you believe that you were terminated either because of your refusal to submit to a polygraph exam or because you failed one. Your attorney can help you get an injunction that forces your employer to give you back your job, promote you (if you were denied one over the polygraph), and compensate you...

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4 Tips for Dealing with an Auto-Accident Injury

Posted by on Sep 27, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Tips for Dealing with an Auto-Accident Injury

If you have been involved in an auto accident in which another party was at fault, and you were injured, you will want to know what needs to be done to ensure that your injuries are compensated. When your injuries are compensated, you will be able to pay your medical bills, make up for missed time at work because of hospital stays and doctor visits, and do any future rehabilitation you may need. Here are four tips on how to handle receiving compensation for injury after an auto accident. Know Who to Contact: It’s a good idea to have an idea of who you can contact after you have been injured in an auto accident. It’s best to research lawyers in your area and write down their numbers so you know who to go to first when you need a consultation for your case. Be sure that the lawyer you choose is fluent in auto-accident laws and has dealt with cases involving serious injuries as well.  Go to the Doctor Right Away:  As soon as the accident has occurred, even if you do not feel like you have any injuries, you should visit your doctor or go to the emergency room to get checked out. This way, if there are injuries, they will be taken more seriously if your case against the other party involved goes further because you need compensation for injuries.  Listen to Your Doctor: To ensure that your injuries are taken seriously even further, you need to be sure that you go to all of your doctor appointments and do not miss any. At this point, you need to be sure that you also listen to your doctor. If your doctor suggests that you do not return to work, then don’t return to work. Also, if your doctor refers you to another specialist, follow through by making an appointment with that specialist right away and not missing that appointment.  Document the Injuries: All paperwork that you receive from your doctor needs to be saved and given to your lawyer to use however they need to. You also want to keep track of medical bills that you receive in the mail. Give these to your lawyer as well so that your lawyer can determine a fair compensation settlement amount so that you can avoid having to take your case to court.  When you utilize these four tips for dealing with an auto-accident injury, you can be sure that you are much more likely to be compensated for what you deserve. For more info, talk to personal-injury lawyers near...

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Keep Your Options Clear After Workplace Injury

Posted by on Sep 6, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Keep Your Options Clear After Workplace Injury

Workers compensation can do a lot to help you get back on your feet after a workplace injury, but it doesn’t cover everything. Your injury may have complications that neither you nor the compensation insurance system could have expected, and in the months or years it takes for you to figure things out, it may be too late to put in an easy claim for more benefits. Before signing anything, have a look at what could go wrong by simply taking a standard workers compensation agreement. Compensation Is Temporary Or Limited The point of workers compensation is to help workers recover after injury and get back to work without suffering major financial hardship. Especially if the injury wasn’t your fault, you shouldn’t have to be without a paycheck for weeks or months at a time. Unfortunately, workers compensation only pays a certain percentage of your paycheck by default. Although there are different rates depending on the state, such as South Carolina’s 66 2/3% pay rate (listed under How Is The Compensation Rate Determined?), this can be harmful to workers already barely making ends meet. Agreeing to the workers compensation rate is binding, but negotiable. Even with the negotiation chance, you still put yourself in a long period of hardship while filing the necessary extra paperwork. Instead, be sure to contact a workers compensation attorney at the beginning of the process. You’ll need to sign agreement paperwork and meet with a representative at some point no matter your decision, so adding a lawyer to the beginning of the process can alleviate a lot of the confusing additional paperwork and and corrections. A lawyer can also handle much of the official paperwork for you in addition to negotiating rates, making meetings easier since the attorney can deliver required paperwork to you. If being required to meet with workers compensation officials, safety officials, your employer, or other parties is a physical hardship, make sure to talk about compensation and accommodation with your attorney. Talk About Other Parties Involved Not every injury is a perfect accident with no one at fault, and depending on how severe your injury is, you may need more than what workers compensation has to offer. Was the injury caused by someone’s negligence? It could have been a coworker, a lack of safety equipment, incorrect or insufficient safety measures, or even equipment malfunction caused by the manufacturer. For major forms of injury that could lead to disability and high costs either immediately or throughout your life, you may need to seek a personal injury claim. Some legal actions may invalidate or jeopardize others. To make sure that you’re within your rights and not double dipping benefits–or to find out if you’re qualified for programs such as Social Security or even Veterans Affairs disability, contact a workers compensation attorney, like one from Thompson Legal Services, to map out a strategy and start with workers compensation as a road to...

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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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