Simply paying someone to cut your grass or clean your home could turn out to be a legal problem. While there are tax and employment laws you might have to consider, you also have to avoid any liability if the person gets injured while working at your home. Contact a lawyer immediately if someone you’ve hired gets injured while in your home.
Your homeowner’s insurance policy probably will not cover their injuries. If a friend is visiting your home and gets injured, the insurance policy will pay; if you are paying someone to be there, then you aren’t covered. (And asking the paid person to lie about working for you is insurance fraud.)
Workers should either come with their own insurance coverage, or they should explicitly waive your liability. Of course, companies and referral agencies will have their own coverage. You need to be worried when you hire a friend, neighbor, or stranger off Craigslist.
Start with a written waiver statement about injuries and liabilities. You can add the statement to the same piece of paper about pay. For a one-time job, this should suffice. If you intend on having the same person working at your home on a regular basis, ask a lawyer to draft a short contract that limits your liability.Read More
As the injured party, you probably don’t care where or how you got hurt; you’ve been injured by no fault of your own and you want to recover your losses. However, where and how you got hurt makes a tremendous difference to the legal system. In order to find the right lawyer to help you, you need to have a working knowledge of the differences between employment practices, workers compensation, and personal injury cases.
Workers compensation cases are based on a physical or mental injury sustained by an employee while at work. For example, if you work in a warehouse and a shelf falls on you, then you have a workers compensation claim. The employer is responsible for the injuries because the accident occurred while you were on the job. Likewise, if you have a boss that constantly yells at you and threatens to fire you, you can develop stress-related health issues like anxiety and sleeplessness.
Employment practices is generally about sexual or emotional harassment and discrimination. Of course the typical example for sexual harassment is a boss demanding sex in exchange for a promotion. Realistically, harassment is more subtle, and includes a workplace environment where abusive or sexual jokes and unwelcome advances are commonplace. Discrimination lawsuits are generally based on ethnicity, age, and gender. Discrimination cases are harder to prove, but with several unrelated victims detailing the same problems, a lawyer can make a case for discrimination.
Personal injury takes place outside of the claimant’s workplace. Personal injury accidents include injuries sustained in a retail store, in a car accident, by a faulty product, etc. If you’ve been injured by no (or little) fault of you own, then you probably qualify for a personal injury lawsuit. One major exception is for accidents that happen in your own home. If you slip and fall while in your own kitchen, you can’t sue yourself or your homeowner’s insurance company for medical bills.Read More
If you are in a car accident, make sure to find out if the other driver was using his or her personal car while working. Employers allow employees use personal vehicles for short-term business errands — like picking up last minute office supplies or running to the bank for a deposit. In such cases, you will need a lawyer to help you determine the full extent of compensation possible.
Large corporations have deep pockets. So for example, if you were in a car accident with a teenage driver, he or she could be on an errand (to the bank, for example) for his or her fast food employer. The teenage driver might not even know that the employer is therefore responsible for the financial losses caused by the accident. This teenager might only be able to offer you information about his or her personal insurance. And that insurance could be minimum coverage.
Worse yet, the driver might not have any insurance at all. And while you can always sue to collect wages for up to 20 years, that’s a long time to wait to be fully compensated for your losses due to medical bills and lost income.
However, if the driver was running to the bank to make a daily deposit for the employer (more common than you might realize), then the employer becomes responsible for your losses. And large corporations have insurance policies that can cover millions of dollars in losses. So instead of fighting for compensation through the minimum wage income from the driver, you and your lawyer will be able to use the corporation’s insurance policy for immediate payment on your current and projected losses.Read More
Let’s say, for example, you twist your ankle and fall, sustaining several other injuries such as a bruised tailbone and a cut on your palm. These three injuries can add up to thousands of dollars in medical bills. If you rely on your hands and feet to perform the majority of your job (like being a server at a restaurant), you might lose thousands of dollars because you are unable to work.
However, who you sue for these injuries depends on where the injuries occurred.
If you were working when the injuries occurred, then you do not have a personal injury claim. If you got hurt while at work, then you have a workers compensation claim. If you were not on the clock, but you were at your workplace for personal reasons, then you would then have a personal injury claim.
If you fell and sustained your injuries while you were at the grocery store (or any other private property except your own home) then you have a personal injury claim. Even if you don’t know the cause for the fall (such as a slippery floor), you can file a claim for a personal injury and an insurance company will likely pay out on the claim to make it go away.
If you fell on public property, like the sidewalk, you are most likely out of luck. While you can try to sue the city for negligence, you and your lawyer will carry the burden of proving the city was grossly at fault for the fall. A long-standing, well-reported, dangerous sidewalk might be sufficient evidence to get the city to bend and pay for some of your losses.
If you fell in your own home, then you will have to use your own personal health insurance policy to cover the injuries. Generally, homeowner policies will not cover the expenses of an injury to the homeowner or resident. If a guest falls in your home, then your homeowner’s policy will cover the cost of the guest’s expenses.2626Read More
There is sufficient evidence indicating that persistent, sexual harassment (in or out of work) causes depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Although the typical example is a construction working making inappropriate comments to women passing by, there are countless situations in which you can be harassed while going about your daily business.
If the harassment happens while you are at work, then it becomes an employment law case. However, if you are outside of work and the harasser is working, then you can use a personal injury attorney to sue. And you wouldn’t be suing the harasser; you’d be suing his or her employer.
All employers must require that their employees conform to strict, behavior guidelines. If those employees don’t act in respectful ways, the employer is liable for those actions. Catcalls, lewd gestures, and inappropriate looks are seen by most courts as a form of violence. If you walked into a coffee shop and the barista slapped you in the face, you would sue the coffee shop owner. The same laws apply to sexual misconduct
You have to right to walk down the street or into a business without the threat of sexual violence. Contact a personal injury attorney immediately to get guidance as to how you can start to collect evidence and stop the harassing behavior.Read More
Generally, if your child is hurt while playing a high school sport, you might be wasting your time and money trying to sue the school for the injury. State laws and case history support the premise that there are inherent risks in playing sports, therefore, the school (or the school’s insurance company) is not responsible for costs when your child is injured. There are, however, a few avenues to investigate if you suspect there might be underlying problems. Both negligence and custom can be the basis of a personal injury lawsuit. Before you approach the school or a lawyer, you should already have solid, well-documented evidence.
Proving injury is quite easy, but proving negligence is not. To claim negligence as the real cause of the injury — not the game itself — you need to show a pattern of behavior by the coach that allowed for dangerous circumstances. For example, if a coach is absent at a majority of practices and leaves an aggressive team captain in charge, then you and your lawyer might be able to show that the school and the coach allowed the players to be misguided into dangerous, unsportsmanlike behavior.
The school also could be held responsible for the injury if a coach was acting under specific policies or customs that made for dangerous instructions by the coach. There are few to no schools that would have an official policy that advocated for extreme aggression as a method of play. However, if you notice that the coach is regularly and excessively pushing players to be aggressive on the playing field, you might have a basis for a personal injury lawsuit.
In either circumstance (neglect or custom), your evidence needs to be well-documented and you need to be patient. Typical personal injury claims take years to come to conclusion, but with the reluctance of the courts to side with a frustrated parent, a personal injury case against a high school could end well after your child has finished college.Read More
Recent event in South Glens Falls, New York remind us that bounce house accidents are all too common. While most bounce houses don’t fly forty feet into the air, tethering and other safety precautions are not always in place.
Carnivals, baseball games, county fairs, and backyard parties are all popular spots for you to find a bounce house. Before your child goes running over to kick off his or her shoes, take a moment to walk around the bounce house and inspect the unit. Look for loose tethers and sagging spots in the fabric. Ensure the engine/air blower is placed at a sufficient distance from the house. Make sure all the netting on the walls is secure and firmly in place. Lastly, check to see how many children are inside. There should be no more than five or six children, depending on age and size of the house.
Many parents assume that bounce house companies have sufficient insurance to cover any injuries. However, because bounce house injury has become so common, insurance companies are less and less likely to cover any event when a bounce house is present. If the bounce house is on personal property, the hosts of the party may have homeowner’s insurance, but a standard homeowner’s policy is not likely to cover a bounce house injury.
If your child has been injured in a bounce house, you will need a lawyer to represent your family in order to recover any losses. Because the bounce house was likely uninsured, you will need a personal injury attorney to directly sue the company or person hosting the bounce house.
When properly assembled and sufficiently supervised, a bounce house is a host of fun for children. Make sure you have the right lawyer to pursue your rights as a trusting parent.Read More
Slip-and-fall, dog bite, car accident, bike accident… whatever the cause of your injuries, you have the right to a fair settlement to compensate you for your losses. Compensation, however, can be calculated in a variety of ways and can vary significantly. In addition, if you don’t quickly seek professional, legal advice regarding compensation, a significant portion of your settlement could disappear.
Even if you did not cause the accident, you must take reasonable action to prevent your injuries from getting worse. Simply said… if your ankle hurts, go see a doctor. If you don’t visit a doctor, you may forfeit some of your compensation. If you can’t afford to visit the doctor, call a personal injury attorney; most can refer you to a physician who will take payment once your case settles.
Over time, your memory of the incident will fade. Witnesses become difficult to find. Your injuries will heal. A fair and full settlement is best determined as close to the incident as possible. Thankfully, your lawyer will not require much from you once you’ve made that initial phone call. The headaches associated with the accident will no longer be your responsibility. While you may be required to visit the doctor or talk with attorneys, you won’t be responsible for tracking all of the medical and insurance paperwork.
It’s critical to document your losses as they occur. While medical bills may leave a paper trail, pain and suffering, lost wages, and property loss need to be documented in real time. You need a lawyer who will help you track your losses. Even after just a few months, you won’t find it easy to recall the details. While the law may be on your side when it comes to a personal injury case, time is not.Read More
Claims adjusters are busy people, just like you. They have pressure from their bosses, just like you. Your car accident is just another file on their desk, and so, unlike you, they don’t have a personal stake in the outcome of their investigation.
Make no mistake, the claims adjuster is looking to minimize the cost of your accident for the insurance company. Every conversation is recorded. Every minute of the time you are on hold is not only recorded, but listened to, in order to get all information about the accident.
Whether the accident was your fault or not, if you sustained serious damage to your car or any physical injuries, you should hire a lawyer and let the lawyer speak to the claims adjuster.
If there is a lot of money at stake, your words will be picked apart and analyzed to find ways to spread around the financial costs. For example, if you were not at fault, but you have higher insurance levels, it behooves the other driver’s insurance adjuster to find a way to put more blame on you.
Look at these two similar sentences:
“I saw the crash and hit my brakes.”
“I hit my brakes and saw the crash.”
In a car accident with three or four drivers, these two sentences have different meanings for blame and responsibility. Your lawyer will help you work out the best words to describe what happened during the accident. A good claims adjuster knows the difference. You should too.Read More