Were you recently injured in a car accident that involved a government vehicle or a government employee acting in a professional capacity? If so, you may want to pursue financial compensation for your injuries and expenses. There used to be a time when it was difficult to sue any government agency because they were generally immune from civil suits. In recent years, though, that protection has begun to fade. In many cases, you can pursue compensation from a government agency for a car accident. However, the process may be slightly different from a civil suit. Here are three things you need to know:
Is a suit even an option? There are still some situations in which government immunity exists. For example, if the accident was caused by an emergency vehicle that was responding to a call for help, then it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to file a suit. This is especially true if the vehicle had its lights and sirens on at the time of the accident. Vehicles that are operating because of a weather emergency, like snow plows, can also be immune.
In some states and municipalities, there can be a whole list of officials and types of vehicles that are immune from civil suit. It all depends on your local laws. Your car accident attorney can help you determine whether a suit is an option.
Do you need to file a claim before the suit? Many municipalities prefer to handle claims internally rather than in the courts. For this reason, they require that you file a claim with the agency office first. If that claim is denied, then you can file a lawsuit. Also, some agencies and municipalities have short time periods in which the claim must be filed. If you miss that deadline, then you miss the opportunity to file the claim.
Your area may not require an initial claim. You may be able to file a suit directly. Again, your auto accident attorney can help you understand the process.
Is there a cap on damages? Some states have a cap on the amount of damages that a government agency or official can pay. This is meant to protect taxpayer money. However, it could be a big problem for you, especially if your expenses far exceed the cap. If there is a cap, you’ll want to know in advance. That could impact how you budget, how much time you take off of work, and any number of other financial matters.
For more information, visit an accident attorney from a firm like Pawlowski Mastrilli Law Group. He or she can help you understand the process and develop a plan for pursuing compensation.Learn More
If you have been involved in an accident that caused you a lot of physical pain, you might be in need of an accident lawyer. However, you might find yourself tempted to deal with the problems on your own. Before you actually move forward with that plan, you are going to want to review the following things that could happen if you attempt to handle the case on your own.
This way, you will have all of the knowledge you need to be able to make the best decision for moving forward with your accident case:
You Might Not Get Any Money
When you are not careful to review what you are signing, you could find that you are unable to collect any money for the injuries that you received from the accident. You might think that you are signing one type of paper when you are actually signing something else.
The legal terms found in the papers provided by insurance companies and lawyers can be a little tricky. If you do not have your own accident lawyer, you have to hope that the people representing the guilty person is being honest with you. If they aren’t and you sign away your rights to sue in court, there really is not a lot that you can do about it.
The Case Could Drag On Forever
Assuming that you are not tricked into signing papers that take away your rights to sue, you could find yourself dealing with this case for years. Do you really have that kind of time to spare? Are you financially secure to the point that you do not have to worry about getting the money you are entitled to anytime soon? If not, you might want to get this case to move along as quickly as possible.
The thing to remember is that the other party is more likely to quickly agree to a settlement when you have an accident lawyer backing you. This is because they know that the likelihood of getting you to back down is not likely. When you are not legally represented, you might find that the other side will want to drag this case on for as long as possible in hopes that you will simply give up and go away.
As you can see, the things that could happen when you do not have the help of a skilled accident lawyer are not things that you are going to want to deal with. Therefore, it is important to make sure that you are retaining a qualified lawyer as quickly as possible.
To learn more, contact a company like Attorney Robert H. Astor with any questions you have.Learn More
If you are seriously injured as the result of an accident, you may be able to collect compensation for your injuries by filing a personal injury claim. However, you should know that not all accidents will result in a viable injury claim. Taking the time to review the three facts outlined below can help you to determine whether or not your accident claim has what it takes to stand up in court.
Fact #1: Not All Accidents Result In Legal Liability
All people make mistakes, it is simply a fact of life. In some cases, a tragic accident truly will be nothing more than an accident. However, in other cases, these accidents could have easily been prevented if a single person or company had acted in a careful manner. It is these cases that will qualify for compensation under current personal injury laws.
In order to collect compensation after an accident, you must prove that someone else is legally liable for causing your accident. Under the laws that govern personal injury cases, legal liability is only assigned to individuals who act in a negligent or incompetent manner, and whose negligent actions are to blame for causing an accident.
When determining whether or not legal liability is present in your case, take the time to ask yourself who is to blame for causing your accident and what actions did they take or not take that caused your accident.
Fact #2: You Must Lose Money To Collect Money In A Personal Injury Case
Personal injury laws require you to site damages when filing a personal injury lawsuit. These damages should include expenses such as medical bills, lost wages, and property damages. If no damages were suffered as a result of your accident, you will not be able to collect compensation for your injuries even if the other party is ruled legally liable for causing the accident.
In order to determine what damages exist in your case, simply ask yourself what expenses you have incurred that would not have been present if you had never been in an accident.
Fact #3: All Personal Injury Cases Come With A Time Limit
All personal injury cases will have a statute of limitations attached to them that determines exactly how long you have from the date of your accident to file a claim. The length of this court mandated time limit will be vary from state to state and case to case. In some cases, you will have as little as one year to settle or file your claim, while other cases may be allowed as long as three years to file.
If you allow the statute of limitations on your case to expire, you will no longer have the legal right to file a claim. Contacting a reputable injury lawyer in your local area will allow you to identify how long you have to file your claim and help you to ensure this deadline does not pass you by.Learn More
As an employer, it is your responsibility to make sure that everyone you employ is able to legally work in the United States. If you stay on top of collecting and filing I-9s for all of your employees, you will be able to make it through an immigration audit without any problems.
Have A Written Policy Against Fraud In Place
The first thing you need to do is have a written policy against fraud in place. Make sure that every employee you hire signs a document that states that they understand they will be terminated if you, the employer, finds out that they lied in any way on their application. This way, if you later find any of their I-9 documents were not real, you have a legal right to terminate their employment.
Train One Employee To Be In Charge Of I-9s For Your Business
It is easy to pass new employee paperwork off on whoever is available at the moment. However, the best way to ensure that all your I-9s contain the correct documents is to train one individual to be in charge of processing I-9s for your business.
Make sure whomever you choose is provided with the training they need to learn how to identify all the supporting documents that an I-9 requires. Require all new employees to bring in the original documents for the I-9. Do not accept photocopies. It will be easier for whom ever you train to spot a fake when they are looking at the original instead of a copy. Make sure that the employee responsible for I-9’s only accepts originals to examine and makes all of their own copies of the documents, front and back, for your business records.
Keep A File For Each Employee That Contains Only Their I-9 Documents
Make sure you keep a file for each employee that only contains their I-9s and supporting documents. That way, if you are given 72 hours by immigration to produce I-9s for all of your employees, it will only take you a few minutes to gather the documents together.
You can keep a duplicate of each employee’s I-9 in their personnel file. However, if you are audited by immigration, make sure you only turn over the I-9 files. Your employee’s personnel files can contain privileged information that immigration does not have the power to ask for.
Immigration attorneys like Carmen DiAmore-Siah Attorney At Law work to ensure that immigrants work legally in the United States, but it’s still your responsibility to establish they can legally work for you. Follow these tips to streamline your I-9 process and avoid legal ramifications.Learn More
Common defenses to drug possession charges include medicinal use, personal use and unlawful search and seizure. However, these are not the only defenses you can use if charged with the possession of illegal drugs. Here are three other surprising defenses you can raise:
To get a good idea of fleeting possession, picture this scenario: You are sitting next to a stranger in a public park, and he or she is popping some illegal pills. The stranger sees a police on patrol approaching and shoves the drugs into your hands. You throw the drugs away, but the officer has already seen them and arrests you for drug possession. Should you be convicted of this “crime?”
In this case, you will not be convicted of drug possession because you merely held the drugs, but quickly discarded them when you realized what they were. This is what is called fleeting possession.
You can claim unwitting possession if you actually had the drugs in your possession, but without your knowledge. There is no way the court will prove that you are guilty of the possession if you didn’t know they were on you in the first place.
Consider an example where your boss sends you with a closed package to deliver to a client. Now suppose that the police arrest you with the package, which turns out to be full of illegal drugs. You can use the unwitting possession defense if you can prove that the package is not yours, and that you were not aware of its contents.
The Drugs are Missing
You may also avoid an illegal drug conviction if you can prove that the drugs you have been accused of possessing are missing. If you are being prosecuted for drug possession, then the actual drugs should be present as evidence. For example, if it is cocaine, then the prosecutors cannot get a sample of cocaine elsewhere and use it.
Drugs can get lost in transit, tampered with in evidence lockers or get lost due to inadequate paperwork trail. However, it is difficult to swing this defense on your own. You will need a skilled attorney who can challenge the prosecutors to prove that the drugs they have are the actual ones you were arrested with.
Now you see why it is so important to hire a criminal defense lawyer when you are accused of drug possession. Such attorneys understand the law and can come up with suitable defenses for all kinds of situations.Learn More
If another employee has assaulted you in any way, you need to take the issue seriously. Workplace violence is something that you, your employer, and legal professionals need to work through in order to help you feel safe while you are at work. Learn what signifies assault at work, and what you need to do about it.
Assault at work
Assault is a physical attack on another person. Assault is a slap, shove, punch in the face, or violent threat placed upon you. While you are at work, you can be assaulted by another employee, your boss, or even customers or clients that come into your establishment. If you’ve been assaulted, you need to know what you should do immediately so you can protect yourself against further attacks.
Alert your employer
Any assault needs to be reported to your employer, so you can record instances in which you’ve been attacked. Your employer is responsible for keeping you safe, especially if you work in secluded areas alone (as a security guard or front desk personnel, for example), or if you work with a single other employee. Once your employee has been made aware that you have been attacked while on the job, it is their obligation to take measures to keep you safe. They can do this by:
If your employer fails to take measures to keep you safe or you continue to get assaulted while working, you need to take legal action to protect yourself at work.
When to get a lawyer
You should get a personal injury lawyer if you’ve been assaulted at work and it resulted in an injury, or if your employer has failed to keep you safe. Even if your employer is giving you time off, has fired the person who has attacked you, and you are getting financial restitution for your injury, you should still seek legal counsel. Your employer may be held at fault for the attack for not anticipating your safety needs. Or, the other employee that harmed you may need to be sued for the injuries and emotional distress that you’ve received due to their attack. A personal injury lawyer can help you explore all your rights so you can feel safe while in the workplace.
When you get attacked at work, you should always treat the situation seriously. Know exactly what you should do to best protect yourself in the event of workplace violence, so you can get the security you need.Learn More
When you have been injured on the job, it can be a frustrating and stressful time. You get frustrated when you realize that you can’t go to work for awhile, and wonder how in the world you’ll support your family. If you’re lucky enough to be considered a W-2 employee, you should be covered under workers’ compensation.
Workers’ compensation is an insurance program that is required by all employers to be purchased for their employees. The program works in such a way that it protects the employee when they are injured. Things like medical bills, lost wages and even rehabilitation will be paid under the workers compensation program.
Your employer is protected because when you are covered under workers’ compensation, the money that comes to fund the payouts you receive come from the insurance company, not the assets of your employer. Also, you cannot sue your employer because of your injuries. If you are not a W-2 employee, things can get a little more complicated:
The 1099 Independent Contractor
If you receive a 1099 at the end of the year, and you do not have any taxes taken out of your paycheck, you are considered a 1099 independent contractor. You are not considered an employee, and therefore you do not qualify for workers’ compensation.
Now, if you are a contractor that does multiple jobs for many employees, it would have been wise if you had taken out some type of liability insurance or health insurance before you started looking for work. If you have, you should be covered under those policies, at least for payments of all your medical bills and rehabilitation needs.
Because you are not covered under the workers’ compensation policy, however, you can sue the entity you were working with, because they are not your employer.
Suing for Compensation
There are a couple of different law suits you can pursue if you have been injured on a job where you were deemed an independent contractor.
Also, it’s important to understand that you may have been incorrectly deemed an independent contractor, and all along should have been an employee, and therefore covered under workers compensation. Talk to an experienced workers compensation attorney for more information on your rights to sue due to injury.Learn More