The Length of Effectivity of a Long Term Disability Policy

Posted by on Jun 11, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Work-related injuries, illnesses and fatal accidents continue to be a major concern for federal, state and local governments due to their high count despite the laws which mandate that all working environments should be kept healthy and safe for all employees.

Records from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics reveal a little more than three million non-fatal workplace injuries and illnesses, and 4,405 deaths in 2013. Despite the substantial difference in the number of deaths compared to the latter part of the 20th century (about 14,000 job-related deaths every year), authorities from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) know that there is still so much to be done, considering the fact that accidents are almost always results of acts of negligence.

Every time a worker is harmed different issues are brought into the open, including employers’ compliance with workplace safety laws, and the severity of an injury and the effect this injury will have on the victim’s personal, professional and financial future.

Some accidents cause no more than minor scratches, while others are more serious, requiring days or weeks of bed rest. Some injuries are severe, however, causing long term disabilities (LTD) that render a worker unable to work for months or even years, taking away his/her capability to earn wages.

Good thing, some employers provide their employees with a long term disability (LTD) insurance policy as part of their comprehensive employee benefits package. This is to protect employees from losing any form of earnings during the long period when their injury or illness will keep them out of work.

The effectivity of a long term disability policy is usually up to 10 years or until the injured employee reaches the age of 65. An employee can start enjoying the benefits of his/her LTD policy after his/her short term disability insurance benefits, if he/she has one, have ended (the short term disability insurance benefits typically last between three to six months).

Most LTD insurance policies are designed to pay disabled employees about 50 – 70 percent of their salary. The benefits in employer-provide LTD policies, however, are subject to taxes, reducing further what the injured employee would receive. Due to this, there are employees who decide to purchase personal supplemental long term disability insurance; besides the higher pay, this is also tax exempt.

Often, despite employees’ eligibility to receive LTD benefits, many applications get denied or are awarded benefits that are below what the policy stipulates. Many insurance providers, obviously, are guilty of avoiding making payments, thus, they do all things possible to deny claims, delay assessment of applications or payment of claims, or pay much lower benefits.

According to the law firm Fields Disability, the usual scenario concerning insurance firms is they sell you a long-term disability policy and they make you the promise of covering you in the event of an illness, injury or mental condition – for the years you can’t work. However, when the time comes you actually need the promised benefits, they deny your long-term disability claim.

A skilled long-term disability attorney, however, knows how to make an insurance company keep its promise and pay the benefits you deserve. Thus, if your long-term disability benefits have been denied or discontinued, it may really be wise to have a skilled long-term disability attorney assist you in your application or appeal process.

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Distracted Driving, a Major Fault among Young Adult and Teen Drivers

Posted by on Mar 10, 2017 in Distracted Driving | 0 comments

In 2010, 5,419,000 motor vehicle traffic crashes were reported to the police; of these, 1,542,000 resulted to injuries, while 32,999, in death. The more than five million car accidents every year is very minimal compared to the estimated 16,000,000 that actually occur. Why this great disparity? The major reason is because majority of accidents never get reported, perhaps because no one got injured or because the damages were minor – requiring only simple repairs or parts replacement, thus settlement was easily reached by both at-fault and innocent driver who rather preferred to save themselves from the inconveniences resulting from filing legal complaints.

With regard to the most common causes of fatal car crashes, both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the National Safety Council (NSC) agree on alcohol-impaired driving, speeding, not wearing of seatbelt and cell phone use. Despite the laws which ban the use of a cell phone while behind the wheel, and drivers’ understanding of the risks associated with distracted driving, thousands of drivers continue to commit mistakes or make bad decisions while driving; thousands still drive and text or converse with someone over their phone. Worse than these, though, many even commit the crazy mistake of taking selfies and then posting their photo in their social site as they try to keep an eye on the road.

Distracted driving is most common among young drivers. Studies and analyses of car crashes, in fact, show that about 11 teenagers die every day because of cell phone use while driving. Besides cell phone use, a few others in the almost endless list of driving distractions include: looking at a map for directions; adjusting a GPS or a radio; playing the car stereo at full volume; chatting with friends; taking, or having a picture taken; fixing a tie, grooming; drinking and eating; and, lighting a cigarette and smoking.

Paying full attention to the road and your surroundings is of utmost importance when you’re behind the wheel. A lapse in attention even for just a few seconds is an act of negligence that can result in a crash where people, other than you, can get injured; it can also most likely result to you being fully regretful but facing civil and criminal charges.

It is stated in the website of the Law Offices of Ronald J. Resmini, LTD, that “you can only control your own driving behavior; there is not much you can do to control what others do out there on the road. Careless, reckless, and negligent drivers abound. Some fail to keep their attention focused on the road and become distracted, while others get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol or drugs, disregard traffic laws, or run red lights and stop signs. Others drive too fast or too aggressively, or fail to adjust their driving for road or weather conditions. As a result, some unlucky Rhode Island drivers and their passengers, in spite of responsible, focused, and skillful driving, find their lives in turmoil, their bodies broken, and their finances in a shambles, all because of another’s wrongdoing.

The deaths and injuries caused by motor vehicle crashes are simply unacceptable. Most car accidents are preventable with responsible, diligent, and focused driving. By doing away with reckless, dangerous, and negligent driving behaviors, we can save lives and prevent injuries. One way to accomplish this is by holding these irresponsible drivers accountable for their actions and making them pay for the damage they cause.”

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Chances of a Fair Settlement from Insurance Companies After a Crash

Posted by on Oct 13, 2016 in Vehicle Accidents | 0 comments

Cars are today’s most common form of transportation, here in the U.S. and in the rest of the world. In 2013, the number of registered passenger cars in the U.S. was almost 129 million, while the total number of vehicles (passenger cars, motorcycles, trucks, buses, and other vehicles) was 255.8 million.

Increase in the number of passenger vehicles only means increased purchasing power of the American people – a sign of economic growth. These increases, however, also hints on the likelihood that the number of automobile crashes every year will remain to stay above five million and statistics on injuries and fatalities, more than two million and more than thirty thousand, respectively.

Each time an accident occurs, a victim naturally gets preoccupied with worries regarding the possible sources of money until he/she is able to get back on his/her feet. This is due to the unexpected situation he/she is thrown in: loss of income resulting from days off from work, cost of treatment medical treatment that needs to be settled and cost of property damage. It becomes worse if the accident were due to his/her fault as this will mean having to compensate injured victims (good if he/she resides in a no-fault state and carries a no-fault auto insurance coverage as this will mean compensation will be paid by his/her insurance provider, including compensation that will cover his/her own losses.

No-fault auto insurance coverage requires insurance companies to compensate their own policy holders even if they were the ones at fault in accidents. This is basically what makes the no-fault insurance coverage different from the tort or fault system, where auto insurance providers rather compensate the innocent accident victim and where the at-fault driver may be sued by the victim if the compensation paid by his/her insurance provider is not enough to cover the full amount of damages (suffered by the victim). Currently, the no-fault car liability insurance coverage is required in the states of Florida, Michigan, New York, Hawaii, Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Dakota and Utah (though the states of New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Kentucky used to require drivers to carry a no-fault insurance coverage, they now allow drivers to choose which coverage they will carry: no-fault or tort insurance coverage).

According to an Indianapolis car accident lawyer, car accident victims in many states often find it very difficult to get a fair settlement from insurance companies after a crash. Regardless of their coverage or insurance policy, insurance companies are almost always reluctant to give them the full amount of money that they legally deserve. To make matters worse, some drivers have insufficient insurance to cover their liability; some others do not have coverage at all. In any of these situations, an experienced auto accident attorney may be the best and only hope victims have in recovering compensation.

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Just How Safe are Pedestrians in the Road?

Posted by on Jun 23, 2016 in Vehicle Accidents | 0 comments

Everyone is a pedestrian at certain times of the day; being a pedestrian is, in fact, one thing that is common among all people anywhere in the world. According to the National Safety Council, a non-profit, non-governmental public service organization, 70, 000 pedestrians accidents occur in the U.S. every year. More than 4,500 of these accidents are fatal. Based on the 2012 record of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Traffic Safety Facts, 4,818 pedestrians were killed in motor vehicle accidents; in 2013, fatal pedestrian accidents was 4,735.

That a pedestrian should observe proper and extra care is very important; but so is a driver knowing that he or she has to respect a pedestrian’s the right of way. This is because there are a lot of different factors that can put pedestrians’ lives at risk, including an uneven or cracked sidewalk, which can cause a pedestrian to trip (tripping is actually the major cause of pedestrian injury) and get hit by a motor vehicle, which can easily result to serious injuries or death.

Some examples of serious injuries that a pedestrian can sustain in accidents include broken bones, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries and accidental amputation. These serious injuries necessarily require medical, which are often too costly for victims to afford, considering the fact that the injury would also result to loss of wages due to time spent away from work.

There are pedestrian accidents which can be blamed on pedestrians themselves, as many of them fail to check for possible approaching vehicles before they cross, while many others are too engrossed in using their cell phone or their headsets even while crossing the street. In many other instances, accidents can be blamed on drivers, especially those who behave recklessly on the road (some drivers even deliberately drive very close to t pedestrians to the point of almost hitting them.

Many pedestrian accidents lawyers, like those from the law firm of Crowe & Mulvey, LLP, see pedestrian accidents in a different angle, based on the many cases they have handled. According to them, pedestrian accidents are usually due to drivers: running through crosswalks; failing to yield; speeding through school zones / residential areas; speeding through parking lots; or, failing to check blind spots before moving.

In any type of accident, a pedestrian can easily be injured or killed since he or she has no bodily protection to shield him or her from the force of impact created by an approaching vehicle. A driver who acts recklessly on the road and injures or kills a pedestrian should be held accountable for the results of his or her careless actions.

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How a recall affects a product liability claim

Posted by on Feb 13, 2016 in Product Liability | 0 comments

Unsafe products sometimes cause injury or death to consumers, according to the personal injury lawyers at Crowe & Mulvey, LLP. Additionally, they said that people do not necessarily consider the products they purchase as harmful, since it is expected that those products underwent proper manufacturing and marketing. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. There are thousands of consumer products, which were found defective, that were placed on the market. On the bright side, though, federal agencies Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) exist to protect the public from faulty and potentially dangerous products. The duty of those agencies is to make sure that the mass is made aware of product recalls.

Product recall is the official request to return or discontinue a certain product due to the discovery that it might be or is defective in any way that may have the tendency to cause illness, injure, or even kill a person. Once a company is accused of endangering consumers, product liability law enters the picture. Product liability is a specific law that deals with entities that are held responsible for the harm inflicted on a person during the consumption of the product.

Certainly, a product recall strengthens the possibility of winning a product liability claim. However, according to legal information hub All Law, a product recall does not necessarily make the company (manufacturer, distributor, etc.) accountable. A product recall, at the very least, may aid in establishing that a certain product was faulty, but it does not guarantee winning a lawsuit. The complainant must strongly prove that his/her injury (or someone’s death) was, in fact, caused by the product because of its defectiveness.

If one truly believes that a defective product caused harm, it might be best to enlist the help of a personal injury attorney because of their extensive knowledge of the law.

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Understanding Expunction: Conditions for Having Criminal Records Sealed

Posted by on Aug 26, 2015 in Crime Laws | 0 comments

There is no surprise in knowing that a criminal record can continue to have significant effects on a person’s life long after all obligations have been served. As the website of the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter puts it, individuals with a criminal record are likely to find themselves facing prejudice and hardship. A criminal record can greatly block certain opportunities, such as educational, financial, and career advancements. Those keen on bouncing back and starting over can do so through expunction or the process of having criminal records sealed.

Before we go into understanding the process of expunction, criminal records are not only kept on people that have been convicted of a crime. As the Flaherty Defense Firm notes on its website, criminal records are also kept on individuals that have been arrested or charged of a crime—regardless of the circumstances around it. This is why it is particularly important to have an option that allows for a process to have criminal records sealed from the public. Through expunction, an individual can petition the court to have past criminal records sealed, preventing potential employers and other organizations from accessing the information.

Individuals who are considering to petition for expunction should be aware of the fact that the process is largely different from state to state. Depending on one’s state of residence, a petitioner must be able to meet certain conditions before they can be granted approval. In general, expunction is an option available only to those who were arrested or charged but not convicted of a crime. It is also mostly applicable to crimes that are deemed as misdemeanors. Certain circumstances such as acquittals, pardoned convictions, and juvenile offenses are also among the conditions in which expunction may be pursued.

On top of these basic conditions, the court will also consider several other factors before expunction can be granted. Most states require that an individual only be allowed to make their petition after a certain amount of time has passed. Some, such as Florida, require that the petitioner have no other criminal records sealed.

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Healthy, Happy Dogs: The Benefits of Dog Walking and Exercise

Posted by on Aug 24, 2015 in Pets | 0 comments

Considering that dogs are lovingly referred to as man’s best friend, it comes as no surprise that there are millions of Americans who welcome these beloved pets into their homes. As the American Veterinary Medical Association points out, 36.5 percent of the 43 million American pet owners have dogs. And why shouldn’t they love and care of these animals? Dogs are well-known for their loyalty and friendly dispositions. They are also known to be very active, fit for a variety of tasks. However, for some dog owners, the boundless energy of these animals can quickly become a problem.

As most people are familiar with, dogs are close relatives of wolves. Their genetic disposition has created them to be effective hunters. They are able to expend much energy to go on for days hunting prey. Of course, as beloved pets, the dogs of the modern world have no need to do this and turn to other activities to practice their instincts. According to the website of Walk! ATX, this pent-up energy is the root of many behavioral issues that owners observe in their dogs. Because they have no outlet, these dogs resort to bad habits such as biting and chewing furniture, too much barking, rough play, and overeating. The lack of avenues to exercise and explore their natural instincts may also cause them develop health issues that may affect them in the long-run.

This is where regular dog walking and exercise comes in. Adapting short daily walks to your routine can make a world of difference in the health and behavior of your pet. Ideally, dogs should ideally have about 150 minutes worth of exercise and physical activity each week. You can easily achieve this goal by walking your dog for 20 to 30 minutes. If you can set a specific schedule, it might be easier to integrate your dog’s exercise routine into your day-to-day activities. There’s also the option of working with dog walkers if time and scheduling remain a difficult issue

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Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: What You Need to Know

Posted by on Aug 23, 2015 in Workplace Law | 0 comments

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or EEOC was created in 1964 to ensure that anti-discriminatory laws are properly enacted in workplaces all over America. As Title VII of the Civil Rights Act suggests, every person has the right to be protected from any form of discrimination based on race, gender, age, sexuality, religion, and the like while performing their jobs. Among the many issues the commission is tasked to address is the prevalence of sexual harassment in the United States. From the years 2010 until 2014, the EEOC has received an annual average of roughly 7,488 reports of alleged sexual harassment charges.

Such an astounding figure shows that the problem needs to be addressed. In particular, much awareness and discussion should be raised regarding the two types of sexual harassment most common in workplaces. According to the website of employment law attorneys Cary Kane LLP, sexual harassment cases can be categorized as instances of quid pro quo or situations that create a hostile working environment. These two types encompass are variety of different scenarios wherein an employee is made to suffer unwanted sexual attention and inappropriate advances. Quid pro quo refers to instances where an employee is asked for sexual favors under some condition. For example, employee might be threatened with termination or promised a promotion. On the other hand, a hostile working environment can be created through lewd comments, profane gestures, unwelcome touching, and other similar instances of mistreatment.

The employees who become targets of any incident falling under the aforementioned scenarios can take legal action against their employers. Sexual harassment is a serious issue that prevents employees, particularly women, from being able to enjoy their right to opportunities of equal employment in the United States. Instances of sexual harassment can leave profound effects on its victims. Aside from the obvious way it can damage a person’s ability to perform their tasks efficiently, it can also have significant emotional and psychological effects.

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Basic Information about Child Support Contributions

Posted by on Aug 22, 2015 in Family Law | 0 comments

There can be no doubt that divorce is indeed a complicated and emotionally taxing process. This is particularly true for situations where there are children involved in the equation. When a couple going through a divorce shares a child, they will have to make a number of difficult decisions regarding care and co-parenting. This includes coming to a concession regarding child support contributions.

Through the Child Support Enforcement Act of 1984, the law ensures that children whose parents have opted to get divorced will be properly taken care of and have their needs met after the process is finalized. In particular, the law guarantees that these children receive adequate care through financial assistance provided to the parent awarded physical custody by the court.

Non-custodial parents are expected to provide a specific and agreed upon amount of periodic payments to help meet their children’s basic needs. These payments are expected to contribute to necessities such as food, clothing, health care, and education plans until the children involved turn 18. In some instances, divorcing couples might also agree on child support contributions that help cover less pressing expenses such as college education and vacations.

The specific amount expected from a non-custodial parent will depend on a variety of factors. These conditions may differ from state to state, but most family court judges will base their decisions on the age of the children involved and the cost of their particular needs. The age and health of both parents are also part of these considerations, as well as the job and income opportunities of both parents.

As the website of the Law Offices of Baden V. Mansfield points out, there certain circumstances that might call for child support arrangements to be modified. Adjustments made to child support arrangements are made to accommodate changes in lifestyle. According to BB Law Group PLLC website, agreements can be modified in two general ways. Some cases, such as when a non-custodial parent becomes unemployed, warrant a reduction on the amount of contribution required by the court. On the inverse, a custodial parent facing financial difficulties caused by medical issues can ask for an increase in child support payments.

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Zofran for Morning Sickness: Is it Safe to Use?

Posted by on Aug 20, 2015 in Medication Risks | 0 comments

An overwhelming majority of women experience morning sickness at some point during pregnancy. For some, the overwhelming waves of nausea can be addressed through a change in diet and other non-medical remedies. However, there are some women that suffer from more severe manifestations of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy that alternative solutions are not enough. For that, plenty of doctors have begun to prescribe these women to use Zofran—a drug that was first introduced in the early 90’s to treat nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

While Zofran is clearly an effective way to eradicate the crippling symptoms brought about by morning sickness, it’s important to note that it is not without some side effects. Like other medications, the anti-nausea drug can cause a number of secondary effects that might range from discomfort to something that is more particularly alarming. Zofran is known to cause lightheadedness, headaches, drowsiness, fatigue, and constipation. In some cases, it has also been found to cause muscle spasms and problems with vision.

There are other concerns regarding Zofran and its use during pregnancy that are more alarming that these side effects. According to the website of Williams Kherkher, the use of Zofran to treat morning sickness can pose serious risk to unborn children. It seems that there have been a number of reported cases pointing out that Zofran can cause long-term health issues in infants. In particular, Zofran has been linked to cases of congenital heart defects and birth deformities such as cleft lip and palate. A study conducted by Canadian organization Motherisk examined the connection between Zofran use and congenital heart defects. It concluded that women should err on the side of extreme caution when considering the drug as a way to alleviate their morning sickness symptoms.

A similar assessment has been made by the Food and Drug Administration in a 2013 statement. In the report, the FDA emphasizes that while no categorical conclusion can be made regarding the safety of Zofran use during pregnancy, the public should keep in mind that concerns have been raised by some members of the medical community. They urge the public to communicate with their health care providers regarding any concerns with the safety of Zofran.

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