All posts by Archie Stephens

Workers Comp Basics in North Carolina

If you live and work in the state of North Carolina, you’ve probably heard of workers compensation. Workers compensation is a type of insurance coverage that most North Carolina employers are required to carry. They must have this insurance so that their employees are covered financially if they are hurt on the job.

There are many ways an employee can be hurt while at work or because of their work duties. Workers compensation covers more than just a sudden on-the-job accident. If you aren’t sure if your employer carries workers compensation you can find out.

This article covers what types of employers are required by law to carry workers compensation, as well as what benefits are provided to injured employees.

What Employers are Required by Law to Carry Workers Compensation?

As mentioned, most employers are required to carry insurance. There are some exceptions. For instance, if you are a “casual” worker, meaning you only put in a few hours here and there and that your primary job is something else then your employer is not required to carry work comp insurance.

Most employers of domestic workers aren’t required to carry work comp. For example, if you’re a babysitter then your employer does not have to have insurance. Many farms that employ workers don’t have to carry insurance unless they have ten or more workers employed full time.

There are some other exceptions and rules often change so be sure to speak with a lawyer about whether your employer should carry insurance or not.

What are Some Injuries Common in Workers Compensation Claims?

Any injury or illness could potentially occur at work or because of your working environment, which means that it’s compensable under the law. Here are some common types of work-related injuries and illnesses.

  • Broken bones
  • Respiratory illnesses
  • Hearing loss
  • Repetitive stress injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal damage
  • Amputations
  • Burn injuries
  • Eye injuries

What Types of Benefits Can You Receive for Your Injuries or Illness?

North Carolina workers compensation benefits will vary slightly depending on the severity of your injury and how long you are out of work. You can receive payment for your injury-related medical expenses, your lost wages, and for partial, permanent, total, long-term, and short-term disability.

The more severe your injury is the longer your benefits will be paid to you.

Do You Need Some Help Filing Your Workers Compensation Claim?

Remember, you have a right to file a claim and seek workers compensation benefits if you’ve been injured on the job. You shouldn’t just “suck it up” and continue working through an injury or illness. Reach out to a lawyer to get some help filing and winning your work comp case in North Carolina.

The attorneys at Ricci Law Firm, P.A. handle workers compensation and can discuss your case to see what types of benefits you’re eligible to receive. Filing a claim by yourself is possible, but the chances of your claim being approved are increased when you have a lawyer helping you.

Does Louisiana Allow Personal Injury Claims for Work Accidents?

After a work injury, you’ll need compensation to help you recover fully. It’s tough to deal with the expenses of an injury, your pain and suffering, and the loss of income that kept food on the table. You’ll need to act now and get the compensation you need to recover.

Unfortunately, finding the person responsible for paying for your claim isn’t easy. Often, Louisiana workers simply need to turn to their employers for their compensation. They need help recovering, and their workers comp coverage should work for their needs. However, your accident may not be covered by workers comp, or you’re unable to file for workers comp.

In these cases, you’ll need to file a lawsuit, but how do you know which to file? You’ll need to seek out an injury attorney in Baton Rouge for your answers.

When is Someone Else Responsible?

Usually, getting your workers comp benefits is your first option. Your employer should cover you, no matter who’s at fault, but what if someone else is financially responsible for your injuries? There are exceptions to workers comp coverage, so you may need to file a claim for your injuries.

If you’ve been injured in the following situations, reach out for help filing a personal injury claim:

  • A third party was responsible
  • Someone intentionally tried to harm you
  • Your employer exposed you to illegal substances
  • Your employer doesn’t carry workers comp
  • You were injured by a defective product

Damages for Your Work Accident

When you’ve suffered an on-the-job injury, you’ll also need to make sure you’re getting the full compensation you need. When you’re seeking compensation for a work-related injury, you’ll need both economic and “noneconomic damages” to recover completely.

For example, let’s say you suffered head trauma because your employer didn’t provide proper safety measures. You’ll need to sue, but what compensation could you receive? Your first thoughts might be the cost of your hospital bills, as well as the lost wages that will accrue while you heal.

What about the intangible losses after an accident? That head trauma is a serious condition, and you might suffer mental and emotional consequences from the accident. Loss of enjoyment of life and mental anguish are common for workers suffering these injuries, so you’ll need to calculate your intangible losses, too.

Seeking Compensation for Your Suffering

When you’re injured at work, it’s important to get the full funds you need to recover, whether that’s through workers compensation or through a personal injury claim. Unfortunately, you might not be sure where to turn and what you can do to get your compensation.

Fortunately, though, Louisiana workers do have options, especially with an injury attorney. If you’ve been injured at work, contact your employer and see what your options are. Chances are good that you’ll be able to get your benefits without any worries.

If you’re not able to receive workers comp, then a personal injury case may be right for you. What matters is your recovery, so take the best route for your health.

South Florida Car Accident Statistics

Accidents happen every day, and while we understand better what causes these accidents, they can still be serious. Understanding how to minimize damage and what you can avoid, however, can help you avoid some of the difficulties of an accident.

Fortunately, knowing what to expect can help you protect yourself. You don’t want to be another statistic, so be ready as soon as possible. Know what causes the worst accidents and injuries for South Floridians before your accident.

Seat Belts Save Lives

We’ve all seen signs about buckling up, at the risk of getting a ticket for not wearing yours. While seat belts are relatively new, there’s a good reason that those officers want you to wear your seat belt. Wearing it can save your life.

Wearing a seat belt greatly reduces the chances that you’ll be badly injured in a crash. For those in an accident without a seatbelt, just under 4,000 people walked away without a serious injury. While that number may seem significant, 443,000 people wore their seat belts and suffered no injuries in their crash.

Drunk Driving Kills

While a seat belt can make a major difference in your crash, you’ll also need to avoid other substances or drivers. If you or another driver are driving under the influence, the chances of a fatal crash are much worse. Hundreds of fatal crashes occur every year when drivers choose to drive under the influence.

If you’re hit by a drunk driver, it can be difficult to recover. That’s why you’ll need to look for any of the following signs that another driver is drunk:

  • Weaving between lanes
  • Slowing and speeding up at random
  • Over-correcting
  • Taking sharp or jerky turns
  • Inattention to surroundings, like crosswalks or traffic lights

Get Help When You’re Hit

Unfortunately, you may have already been hit, which can be devastating. You’re hurt, and now you’re expected to fight back against the person who left you badly injured. That’s difficult, but it’s not impossible with a West Palm Beach car accident lawyer.

If you’re struggling to overcome your injuries, seek out help. Don’t become another statistic. Instead, speak to a lawyer, who can help you recover.

Fortunately, you’ll have a chance to fight back and get the compensation you need for your car accident. It can be difficult, but with the right help, you can get the help you need to recover from your serious injuries.

Things Intended Parents Should Know About Surrogacy

Those who choose surrogacy as the process for becoming parents should make sure they understand what the surrogate relationship involves. If you are thinking of using the services of a surrogate to start your family, here are a few things you should know about surrogacy.

There are Two Types of Surrogacy

Traditional surrogacy is accomplished by artificial insemination of the surrogate with sperm from the father or a donor. If the insemination is a success, the surrogate carries the baby to term. After birth, the parents receive and raise the baby. In this arrangement, the surrogate is the biological mother.

Gestational surrogacy is accomplished through in vitro fertilization. An egg is taken from the mother and is fertilized with sperm from the father. The egg is then implanted in the uterus of a surrogate who carries the baby to term. After birth, the baby is given to the parents to raise. The egg donor, in this case, is the biological mother, and the surrogate is the birth mother.

Don’t Assume You’ll Have Legal Rights After Birth

Surrogacy and reproductive technology are still relatively new concepts, and legal issues can arise. As hopeful parents, you may feel that you have gone through all the right steps to ensure that you will have a healthy baby handed over to you without any problems. However, there are no federal laws to protect parents who opt for surrogacy.

Some states may have laws, but they vary. You may be required to go through the adoption process or other legal proceedings before you can claim the baby as your own. This could take time, and in some states, a baby might end up in foster care until a decision is made.

Protect Your Family Before You Enter the Surrogacy Agreement

Even if you already know a woman you think would make the perfect surrogate, don’t rush into choosing. Before you select a surrogate, consult with an attorney who is an expert in reproductive law. Your attorney can assist you in understanding problems that could arise from using a surrogate. He or she can help you devise a plan for selecting a trustworthy surrogate and draw up a contract and other documents that will protect you during and after the process.

Even when individuals have the noblest of intentions, situations can change. It is possible that a surrogate could become attached to the baby she carries and attempt to exercise her “parental rights.”

To avoid the challenges that might come with surrogacy after the baby is born, intended parents should do everything within their power to assure that all parties are on the same page and that there will be no surprises.

 

https://www.hrc.org/resources/overview-of-the-surrogacy-process

https://www.webmd.com/infertility-and-reproduction/guide/using-surrogate-mother#1

Does Wisconsin Allow Punitive Damages in Personal Injury Cases?

When you’re injured, you don’t want to just “get over it.” You want justice for the pain and suffering you’ve been put through. Most damages for personal injury cases, however, aren’t meant to do that. They’re meant to cover all the losses, tangible or otherwise, you’ve suffered.

As a Wisconsin resident, you do have another option: punitive damages. Unfortunately, it’s not easy to get the full compensation you need alone. Speak to a Milwaukee personal injury lawyer about your claim and what you can do about your punitive damages.

Punitive Damages in Wisconsin

Most states allow punitive damages in some cases, and Wisconsin is no exception. These damages are unique because they’re not meant to cover some loss you’ve suffered. Instead, they punish the other person for recklessness and malice. While most cases are simply acts of negligence, some claims are more serious and warrant further action.

These damages are meant as a deterrent. If people see that negligence will be punished so harshly, they’re less likely to act dangerously. So, punitive damages might be appropriate for your situation, but how do you get those damages?

Fighting for Them Isn’t Easy

Punitive damages are tough to seek. You’ll need to prove that the defendant acted in a malicious or especially negligent way, but even then, you might struggle to get those damages. For example, another person assaulted you, and you filed a personal injury claim for the damages. Proving that they injured you isn’t so hard, especially with evidence from the criminal trial.

That doesn’t mean you’ll receive those damages. Instead, the judge will also look at other factors, such as whether the defense will be able to afford those additional damages. They’ll also be capped at double the compensatory damages or $200,000, depending on which is smaller. As such, you’ll need to prepare for this issue and address it.

Get the Damages You Need

While your personal injury claim should cover all your expenses, that doesn’t always feel like enough. You didn’t just suffer from an injury. You suffered because another person injured you, and they meant it. When that happens, you deserve compensation beyond your damages.

That’s why you’ll need to contact a lawyer for your suffering. Getting your punitive damages is important, so you’ll need help seeking the full amount you deserve. Since it’s not easy to fight for these damages, however, get the help you need on your side before you begin. Protect your claim and get the full compensation you deserve when someone hurts you.

Complications from Broken Bones

Unless you’ve broken a bone, you might think that fixing a broken bone is as simple as setting it, slapping a cast on, and waiting. Sadly, it’s not so quick and painless to fix a broken bone. Instead, you’re dealing with serious pain and worse complications.

While some breaks might be simple to fix, you might experience complications from a bone fracture. This can get expensive, so consider seeking compensation. Attorneys like the bone fracture lawyers at Mahoney & Mahoney, LLC, can help you get the full compensation you need after a fracture.

Blood Loss Can Occur

First, keep in mind that your bones are rich in blood, which makes a fracture especially dangerous. If you’ve suffered a severe break, you could have lost a lot of blood. In a serious accident, this could be lethal.

Worse, when a bone breaks, it can badly damage the tissue around it. For example, breaking a bone in your leg doesn’t just affect your mobility. It could also damage some of the large arteries that run through the legs. So, if you don’t get treatment quickly, the resulting blood loss can cause serious damage.

Infections After a Fracture

When you’ve suffered an injury and have an open wound, there’s always a chance that you might suffer an infection. While your body’s immune system will fight back, contact with bacteria or fungi can leave you with a serious infection.

A bone infection can cause permanent damage to the bone, and it can make you seriously ill. If you’ve suffered a bone infection, you can expect fever, chills, swelling, and serious pain. Because this can leave behind permanent damage, be sure to contact your doctor as soon as possible if you notice any of these serious symptoms.

Broken Bones Can be Serious

Sadly, a bone fracture isn’t always easy to fix. Complications can occur, which means you’ll spend more time getting treatment and paying for your expenses. A lawyer can help you get compensation for your injuries, but you’ll need to watch for these serious complications, among others.

By paying attention to your injuries and contacting a lawyer, however, you can expect a full recovery. While bone fracture complications can add to your accident expenses, a settlement for your accident can help you cover those expenses.

So, if you’re struggling with a broken bone, keep in mind that complications can occur, but you can be compensated for this damage. Seek out compensation and watch out for further damage as you try to heal.

Seattle Pedestrian Accident Statistics

Every life is precious. Losing people through traffic accidents is a terrible waste. Unfortunately, this happens a lot every year even to unsuspecting individuals. You could be walking down the streets and get hit by a car. Even if you try to be careful, motorists might not see you or stop early enough to steer clear from you. An initiative called Target Zero was launched in Washington back in 2000 to mitigate and eventually eliminate deaths on the roads. The project showed signs of success in the first few years. However, recent figures reveal an alarming upward trend in terms of pedestrian and bicyclist deaths.

By the Numbers

In 2013, there were 60 deaths recorded due to biking and walking on public roads. Four years later, the numbers climbed to 122. Cases of serious injuries have also jumped by almost a third from 351 to 461. This massive rise has caused alarm bells to ring across the state. Seattle pedestrian accident statistics have particularly been worrisome for the city’s residents. The fatalities in this category comprise about 22% of all traffic deaths in 2017 whereas they only account for 14% in 2013. The majority of these cases involved regular people just walking in the streets, unaware of the tragedy about to unfold.    

The stats are making people question the effectiveness of the Target Zero project. It is worth millions of dollars in tax money after all, and these are not the results that taxpayers are expecting. The authorities are not able to provide a solid explanation as to why this happened. They have theorized that it could be a combination of high speed limits, the rise of distracted driving, and more prevalent substance impairment. The project initiators have a self-imposed deadline of 2030 for Target Zero. Given the recent turn of events, it is evident that much more work is needed to reach their goal.

Proposed Solutions

Many of the pedestrian fatalities were found to be impaired by alcohol or drugs. There is a massive effort to prevent motorists from drinking and driving but the same is not true for pedestrians. Perhaps they should make the message louder and clearer as part of the prevention campaign. They also note that inattention has played a big factor in all these. Some walkers may have been busy with their cell phones or other pieces of technology while trying to cross roads. The new distracted driving law for motorists can help reduce fatalities. Get an experienced Seattle injury attorney to help you if you were a victim of inattentive drivers.

 

LINKS:

https://www.seattle.gov/Documents/Departments/SDOT/About/DocumentLibrary/Reports/2017_Traffic_Report.pdf

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/transportation/pedestrian-and-bicyclist-deaths-double-statewide-in-recent-years/

What is the Purpose of the Securities and Exchange Commission?

One of the best asset classes to invest in is stocks. This is basically a unit of ownership of a company. Stocks are a wonderful investment because they generate a regular income and often appreciate in value over time. Before making an investment in stocks, consumers usually spend a lot of time analyzing the financial position of a company, changes in its share price over the years, dividend payouts, and integrity of the management among other things.

They also look at profit projections of a company before making a decision. This means that if a company provides wrong information, stock prices can be affected. For instance, the management of a company that is going under may give unreasonably high profit projections to push up prices before selling all their shares. This means that anyone who buys the stock will lose all their money as stock prices will crumble after news of the company going under becomes public. The SEC was established in 1934, in the aftermath of the 1929 stock market crash that wiped out investor funds. The commission is responsible for ensuring that there is fairness and integrity in the stock market.

What is the Purpose of the Securities and Exchange Commission?

The SEC has five main responsibilities. These are:

  • Interpreting and enforcing federal securities laws
  • Overseeing the inspection of firms that deal in securities, such as investment advisers, brokers, and ratings agencies among others
  • Overseeing private regulatory bodies in the accounting securities, and auditing fields
  • Issuing new rules and amending existing rules
  • Coordinating regulation of securities in the U.S. with state, federal and foreign authorities.

The main goal of the SEC is to protect investors. Another goal is to maintain orderly, fair and efficient markets. The commission is also tasked with facilitating capital formation. Basically, the SEC is there to ensure that publicly traded companies provide the public with truthful information about their business and securities they are offering. The commission also ensures that brokers, exchanges and dealers act in the best interest of the investor.

Main Areas of Enforcement

Insider trading is without a doubt the main area of enforcement for the SEC. Another area of enforcement is accounting fraud. Misleading or false investment information is also another key area of enforcement. That said, the SEC has oversight roles over mutual funds, securities exchanges, investment advisers, securities brokers and dealers.

Structure of the SEC

The SEC has 5 commissioners who are normally appointed by the president. Of the 5 commissioners, only three can belong to the same political party. The president usually appoints one of the 5 commissioners to serve as the chairman of the SEC. The commissioners are usually in office for 5-year terms. Anyone can contact the SEC directly, but discreetly to provide information about insider trading or any inappropriate dealings. They will be protected as whistleblowers.

Sources:

  1. https://www.sec.gov/Article/whatwedo.html
  2. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/the-securities-and-exchange-commission-an-overview_us_58949c09e4b061551b3dfda2

Is Surrogate Motherhood for You?

If you’re looking for a way to help others, and you are a woman who can conceive and carry a baby, becoming a surrogate may be a good option for you.

Choosing surrogacy is not an easy decision. You’ll need to decide which form of surrogacy makes sense for you, meet a number of requirements in order to become an eligible surrogate mother, and prepare for the emotional aspects associated with surrogacy. Below, we discuss these aspects of surrogacy in further detail so that you can determine whether or not surrogate motherhood is right for you.

Types of Surrogacy Arrangements

When preparing for surrogacy, you’ll need to learn about the different types of surrogacy arrangements that are available to you. There are two forms of surrogacy, traditional surrogacy and gestational surrogacy.

In a traditional surrogacy arrangement, the surrogate mother will be the biological parent of the baby, as her own egg is used in intrauterine insemination with the sperm of either a donor or the intended father. This form of surrogacy can be a great option as it is much more cost effective and there are fewer medical procedures.

Gestational surrogacy involves in vitro fertilization. The surrogate mother is implanted with a fertilized embryo of either the intended parents or donor egg and sperm. Though gestational surrogacy is much more expensive than a traditional surrogacy arrangement, many intended parents will choose this option when they want to be the biological parents of their child.

As can be seen, there are many pros and cons to both forms of surrogacy. If you have additional questions, you can reach out to your surrogacy counselor for more information.

Qualifying to Become a Surrogate

In order to become a surrogate, you’ll need to meet very specific criteria. These requirements are put in place to ensure both your safety, as the surrogate mother, and that of the baby you’ll be carrying. To begin, you should have already had one uncomplicated, healthy pregnancy, labor and delivery. This demonstrates that your body can carry and deliver a child. Other qualifications include:

  • Being free of sexually transmitted infections
  • Not taking any anti-depressants or anti-anxiety drugs
  • Having a Body Mass Index of less than 30
  • Be between the ages of 21 and 45
  • Be willing to undergo extensive mental health evaluations
  • Abstaining from smoking and illicit drug use

Also, you should expect to follow a healthy diet, have your own transportation to and from your prenatal appointments, and not receive any government assistance benefits. This is because your base compensation rate may render you ineligible for such benefits.

There are many other requirements that you may need to meet. Your surrogacy counselor will address these in your first appointment.

The Emotional Path of Surrogacy

Ohe of the most important questions you must ask yourself before deciding to move forward with a surrogacy agreement is- “Am I prepared to carry someone else’s child?”.

Though it’s very easy to say you won’t develop an emotional attachment to the baby you carried, it is not uncommon for surrogates to feel as though the baby is theirs, when in fact, the baby is the child of the intended parents.

For surrogates who have an emotional attachment to the baby, parting ways can be devastating and in some cases, traumatic. You need to be 100% certain that you are prepared to carry the baby, go through labor and delivery, and then step aside and let the baby’s rightful parents raise him or her.

This question of emotional attachment will come up in your mental health evaluations. You can also discuss them with your surrogacy counselor.

Contact a Reputable Surrogacy Agency

If after reviewing the details provided above you believe that surrogate motherhood is the path for you, reach out to a legitimate surrogacy service who can match you with a family who has been longing for a child of their own. Your surrogacy counselor can answer any further questions you might have about your upcoming surrogacy journey.

Car Accidents Caused by Passengers

One of the most difficult situations that can happen when you’ve been injured in a car crash is when your accident was caused by the passenger in your vehicle. It happens more often than you might think.

Perhaps your passenger was distracting you in some way, or moved in a way that impacted your line of sight. In any case, when passengers cause car accidents, it can put you in an uncomfortable position, as you may need to take time off work to focus on your recovery and incur substantial damages due to their irresponsible actions.

You do have the option of pursuing a personal injury claim against them that will allow you to recover compensation for your losses. These types of cases need to be handled with sensitivity, which is why working with a compassionate personal injury lawyer is in your best interest.

Dealing with the Insurance Company

As part of your claim, you may need to negotiate with your insurance company and your passenger’s insurance provider to obtain the settlement you deserve. It’s important that you be prepared for the insurance company to attempt to make it appear as though you hold more culpability for the cause of the accident than you do.

This is often done so they can minimize the amount they’ll be required to pay you. Your attorney can handle these negotiations on your behalf so that you aren’t take advantage of by a money-hungry insurance adjuster.

Damages You Should Include in Your Claim

Despite the fact that your claim is going to be against the passenger in your vehicle, who is a close friend or family member, you are still entitled to recovery every single loss you endured. Some of the most often sought types of damages that should be considered when computing the value of your claim include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Property damages
  • Loss of companionship and love
  • Emotional distress
  • Lost wages
  • Damage to your potential future earnings
  • Loss of household services
  • Inconvenience

There are a number of other losses that may be included in your claim on a case by case basis. It’s difficult to say just how much you’ll be awarded, but it stands to reasons that the more impactful your injuries have been on your life, the greater your award will be. It will be up to your attorney to ensure that no loss goes unaccounted for.

Contact a Well-Trained Personal Injury Lawyer

At the end of the day, when your passenger has been negligent and caused you to be injured in an auto wreck, they should be held accountable for their actions. Your best option to obtain the compensation you deserve is to sue them for personal injury damages you suffered.

A qualified attorney can handle your case with care so that no further damage is done to the relationship between you and your passenger when your claim is brought to civil court.