Tips For Getting Your Workers Compensation Benefits

Workers compensation laws are in place to ensure that you are reimbursed for lost wages and medical expenses if you suffer an on-the-job injury. Yet, the insurance companies responsible for paying out your compensation will often look for any reason to deny your claim. The following tips can help you avoid issues with your claim so the insurance company will have to pay.

Tip #1: Report the injury correctly

Make a point of reporting any injury, no matter how slight, to your immediate supervisor. You should also make the report in writing. Using a medium that gives you access to delivery information and copy of the report, such as email, can be helpful if your company doesn’t provide report forms. The reason for these reports is simple – most states require that injuries be reported within a certain time frame or benefits don’t have to be paid. Reporting immediately is the best way to ensure you don’t miss the reporting window.

Tip #2: Make sure it’s medically documented

You need to seek medical treatment in order to place a claim. You may have to go to a company-approved doctor unless you need emergency treatment, so verify the requirements with your human resources department. Then, when you are with the doctor, make sure you fully explain how the injury occurred and how it is affecting you so that the doctor can record the information correctly. These medical reports can be an important factor when the insurance company is deciding on your claim.

Tip #3: Fill out an accident report correctly

All too often employers try to get the accident report filled out immediately, but this can be detrimental to your case. Make sure you have been treated and that you have a clear head (both from pain and from medication) before you fill it out. You want to make sure you record the details factually and make no errors on this form. Any inconsistencies between this form and medical reports can be used against you, even if the issue was just a minor mistake.

Tip #4: Follow the treatment plan

Finally, make sure you follow the doctor’s prescribed treatment plan completely. If you miss appointments or go back to work before you should, the insurance company will use this information in an attempt to prove your injuries aren’t severe enough to warrant compensation.

For more help, contact a workers compensation lawyer in your area immediately or visit a website like

Learn More

3 Reasons To Hire A Personal Injury Lawyer After Your Dog Has Bitten Someone

One of the most common cases that a personal injury lawyer will deal with is a dog bite case, mostly because of the many ways in which he or she can help you protect yourself and your dog. This is vital as you can be subjected to a massive lawsuit or have to put your dog down if he or she has bitten someone and you do not have a proper defense. Listed below are three ways that a lawyer can help you with a dog bite case.

The Individual Was Trespassing

One of the main ways that a lawyer can help you avoid having to put your dog down is by attempting to show that the person who was bitten was actually trespassing on your property. This can apply if the person was jumping over your fence, crossing your property uninvited, or was breaking into your home. The key point to remember here is that this defense only works if trespassing was indeed occurring and that you did not invite the individual onto your property. 

The Individual Was Provoking The Dog

Another defense that a lawyer can use to protect you and your dog is to show that the person who was bitten was tormenting the dog in some way. For example, if an individual was constantly teasing, harming, or annoying your dog, then a court may decide that the dog reacted normally in order to get the torment to stop when he or she lashed out. Other types of provocation can include accidental provocation, such as stepping on the dog while he or she was asleep and startling him or her awake or surprising the dog with a loud noise nearby.

The Individual Ignored Warnings

Finally, one of the most common defenses when your dog has bitten someone is to show that the bitten person ignored multiple warnings to leave the dog alone. This can apply if you were out walking your dog and told an approaching individual not to pet the dog, but he or she approached anyway and got bitten. However, this approach will only work if you had your dog properly leashed. 

Contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after your dog has bitten someone in order to discuss the strength of your case and the options that are available to you. A personal injury lawyer can help by attempting to show that the bitten individual was trespassing, provoking the dog, or ignored warnings to stay away from the dog. Check out a law firm like Hornthal Riley Ellis & Maland LLP to consult with a lawyer.

Learn More

3 Questions To Ask Before Agreeing To Be A Guarantor On A Bail Bond

If you are being asked to be a guarantor for a bail bond so a friend or relative can get out of jail, do not feel pressured into making a decision before first learning as much as you can about the situation. If this person doesn’t show up for their court date, you will have to pay the bail amount if you sign as the guarantor. Here are a few important things you should consider before agreeing to be a guarantor.

Does the person have a stable home address?

He or she will receive a notice in the mail as to the exact date and time they will need to appear in court. It is crucial that they have a stable home address so they can receive mail and have papers served to them. This address should match the address they have on their government-issued ID. If this person moves around a lot, is a vagrant, or is homeless, he or she may not receive notification of the court date. Of course, this would mean that you would have to pay up.

Fortunately, the bail bondsman also gets a notification of court dates of all the clients they handle. It’s a good idea to ask the bail bondsman to contact you when he or she receives notification of the court date for your friend or family member.

Are you able to reach this person at any day or time? 

Can you trust this person to answer your calls and reply to your messages as quickly as possible? Or does it usually take him or her several days to get back with you? By listing yourself as a guarantor, the bail bondsman will contact you for assistance if your friend or family member fails to appear for their scheduled meetings with the bail bondsman during the wait for the court date. The bail bondsman will also contact you if they are unable to get a hold of this person.

Does the person have reliable transportation to get to the courthouse?

You and this person you are helping may do everything right but still get thwarted by something like a vehicle breaking down while on the way to the courthouse for the hearing. If he or she does not have reliable transportation, consider giving them a ride to the courthouse or sending a taxi service to them so they can be on their way without any hitches. Visit for more information.   

Learn More

Five Things Criminal Defendants Should Know About Deferred Adjudication

Those facing a criminal conviction aren’t limited to the options of pleading either “guilty” or “not guilty”. There are also often certain plea deals available that can minimize the penalties a criminal defendant will face as a result of charges. One such plea deal is a deferred adjudication.

The following are five things defendants should know about deferred adjudication if they’re attempting to fight a criminal conviction:

Deferred adjudication is a way to enjoy a lesser sentence while pleading guilty.

With deferred adjudication, a defendant will agree with the court to accept certain requirements for a given period of time before a formal decision is made on the defendant’s sentence.

Deferred adjudication is not necessarily available in every case.

It’s important that criminal defendants are aware of the fact that deferred adjudication may not be available in every jurisdiction. However, if deferred adjudication is not available in a certain jurisdiction, that jurisdiction might offer a similar plea deal agreement like a diversion program.

Also, some states use a different term for deferred adjudication. For example, deferred adjudication is known as “probation before judgment” in the state of Maryland. 

If a defendant pleads “guilty” through deferred adjudication, it’s possible that no criminal conviction will go on his or her record.

One of the biggest advantages deferred adjudication offers to criminal defendants is that it can prevent a criminal conviction from going on the defendant’s record.

For example, in the state of Texas a deferred adjudication will not result in a criminal conviction on the defendant’s criminal record. Instead, the case will be dismissed once the defendant successfully fulfills the terms of the agreement. 

Deferred adjudication may require community service, probation, and restitution.

A variety of different requirements can be included in a deferred adjudication agreement. These requirements will be determined by the court.

Of course, the defendant’s lawyer can assist in negotiating these terms and in giving the defendant advice on whether or not the terms being offered are reasonable. 

Defendants should always discuss deferred adjudication with a lawyer before seeking such an agreement with the court.

Criminal defendants who are fairly certain that they will be found guilty in court almost always stand to benefit from negotiating a deferred adjudication agreement. However, such an agreement may not be in the best interests of a defendant who can be reasonably confident of being found not guilty.

It’s important that defendants discuss the deferred adjudication with their lawyers before pursuing such an agreement with the court. To learn more, contact a law firm like Mesenbourg & Sarratori Law Offices.

Learn More

What You Need To Know If You’re In A Motorcycle Accident That Involves Lane Splitting

Lane splitting happens when a person who is riding a motorcycle drives down the middle of the lanes in the road — between two lanes of slow-moving or stopped cars — to bypass traffic. If an accident occurs when a motorcycle driver is splitting lanes, it might be difficult to determine which driver is actually liable for the accident because there are several different factors that need to be considered.

Your State’s Lane Splitting Laws

California is the only US state that has deemed lane splitting legal, and it’s only legal for motorcyclists to split lanes if it’s done safely — which is determined by the police investigating the accident and the court. Even though California is the only state that has ruled lane splitting legal, many states don’t have laws that specifically prohibit it. Because of this, it’s typically a good idea to discuss your options with a motorcycle accident attorney if you’re involved in an accident that involved lane splitting, especially if someone was injured.

Determining Liability

Because lane splitting isn’t seen as a legal maneuver in most states, the motorcyclist is often considered liable for accidents that involve lane splitting. This means if you were driving a motorcycle between lanes of traffic and an accident occurred, there’s a good chance that you won’t be able to recover costs for damages. However, if you can prove that the other driver played a role in the accident, there is a chance that you may be able to recover all or some of the costs incurred by the accident. Your lawyer will have a better chance at winning your case if you can prove that you’re an experienced motorcyclist with a good driving record, you weren’t speeding or weaving between lanes at the time of the accident, and the other driver did something dangerous that caused the accident — like changing lanes abruptly without signaling.

What to Do if You’re in a Motorcycle Accident That Involved Lane Splitting

If you’re involved in an accident that occurred while you were driving between two lanes of vehicles, you need to make sure you don’t do or say anything that could be considered an admission of fault. After all, chances are, the deck is already stacked against you — you don’t want to make the situation worse. So when you speak to the police, stick to stating the facts. While it’s important to make sure the passengers in the other vehicle are okay and to exchange insurance information, you should avoid apologizing or saying anything else that could imply that you’re at fault in case you need to file a personal injury claim later.

Even though it may be difficult to win a personal injury claim for an accident that happened while you were driving a motorcycle between two lanes of traffic, it isn’t impossible. So if you’re involved in an accident, you should talk to an experienced motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible.

Learn More

Forcing A Unicorn Into The Open: Using The Law To Get Financial Disclosure From Start-Up Companies To Prove Their Worth

Do you believe in unicorns? If not, you’re in good company—many investors and employees of so-called unicorn companies (start-ups valued at over $1 billion, like Uber and Snapchat) are questioning the actual value of their company shares. Many of them meet with some understandable resistance because the unicorn companies aren’t eager to divulge their financial information, partially for fear that the values might not hold up to inspection. If you own shares of a private start-up that seems to be almost mythically lucrative, what can you do to force them to disclose information?

Small investors should look to state laws for relief.

Since companies typically only reveal their financial information to major investors, those with minority stakes often get left in the dark. Most states have laws to remedy this. In Pennsylvania, for example, there are at least two laws designed to protect minority shareholders from oppression by closely-held companies.

If the company is incorporated in Delaware (which many are, due to the state’s notoriously lax regulations and aggressive marketing as a corporate-friendly place), the law does give you the right to inspect the company’s financial records if

  • you own at least one share of the company,
  • you want to determine the value of your shares,
  • you make your request in writing for the specific documents you need.

If the company ignores your request or denies it, you can then file a lawsuit to force the issue. You may consider reaching out to other shareholders who are in a similar position, in order to split the costs of any legal fees associated with the action.

Employee investors should ask if the company meets the federal threshold for disclosure.

What if you’re an employee of one of these unicorn companies, who has traded a slightly more lucrative position or some other benefits for shares in the company itself? It isn’t uncommon for start-ups to offer shares to employees both as a way to foster a feeling of joint-entrepreneurship or to simply take advantage of certain tax breaks. Unfortunately, the feeling of entrepreneurial camaraderie may not extend to giving those same employees access to the financials they need in order to really determine what their shares are actually worth. 

Rule 701 of the Federal Securities Act may force the company to open the records a little wider. If the company sells $5 million or more of its securities in a 12-month period (which isn’t hard to do if you’re a company valued at $1 billion or more), rule 701 goes into effect. Employees can ask the company to voluntarily comply with the rule and seek relief through the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) if they won’t.

If you’re a minority shareholder in a unicorn start-up company, don’t assume that you can’t get access to the information that you need to really place a value on your shares. If you’re struggling with a company that is less-than-willing to be forthright about your shares, talk to an corporate lawyer.

Learn More

Being A Witness In A Personal Injury Case: What Should You Know About Giving A Deposition?

In a personal injury lawsuit, there are many different ways of uncovering information that could be important to the case. One of those is the witness deposition. If you’ve been named as a witness in a lawsuit, this is what you need to know.

What is a deposition and why is it done?

A deposition is a formal part of the process of discovery in a legal action. It’s done long before a trial, and it serves several different purposes:

  • It allows both sides to find out exactly what a witness knows and can testify to in court.
  • It preserves the testimony, on record, in case something happens to the witness between the time of the deposition and the time the case goes to trial.
  • It can reveal unexpected weak spots or strengths in a case.
  • It gives each side the opportunity to prepare a rebuttal for damaging testimony.
  • It can encourage one side or both sides to seek a settlement rather than go to trial.
  • It allows both sides to see how a witness is likely to handle himself or herself under the pressure of interrogation.
  • It locks witnesses into their testimony so that they can’t easily change their version of events later.

Depositions are usually held in conference rooms and they can be videotaped. A court reporter is usually on hand in order to create a transcript of what is said during the deposition and you’re required to take an oath to testify truthfully before you begin. If you lie you can be subject to prosecution for perjury.

What happens if you don’t want to give a deposition?

Many people would prefer not to be involved in a lawsuit at all—especially if they have information that could be damaging to the case of a friend or relative. For example, Playboy founder Hugh Hefner recently faced a deposition in the civil case for sexual battery against his longtime friend, comedian Bill Cosby. Unfortunately, you rarely have any sort of option to refuse.

If you try to ignore the deposition request or use some other delaying tactic, the opposing party can go to the court for a motion to compel. The court can also grant a motion to compel if you refuse to answer specific questions or try to give an evasive or incomplete answer. If you continue to refuse, you can be prosecuted (and even jailed) for contempt of court.

There are, of course, a few exceptions to this rule. If your testimony could possibly implicate you in something illegal, you may be able to assert your Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination in order to avoid giving testimony. The spouses of defendants are also able to avoid giving testimony due to marital privilege laws. For example, Bill Cosby’s wife, Camille, was able to refuse to answer certain questions about private communications between herself and the comedian. 

For more information on depositions and personal injury claims, talk to a personal injury attorney in your area today.

Learn More