All employees have the right to work in an environment that neither jeopardizes their safety nor compromises their health. Many injuries that occur on the job are the result of unsafe working conditions, often due to employer negligence. In their efforts to cut costs and maximize output, employers tend to forego standard safety procedures, violate Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) regulations, fail to provide the appropriate equipment or training, cut corners, or use substandard materials and dangerous equipment. These situations lead to reduced worker safety and increased workplace injury.
During the past two decades OSHA has seen a decline in injury rates among most professions with the exception of construction workers. Construction work is inherently dangerous and as such, the construction industry has one of the highest rates of fatal and injury workplace accidents in the United States. Every year construction workers are injured or killed in their work across America, often through no fault of their own. Dangerous working conditions and inadequate safety equipment contribute to construction work-place accidents. Despite the frequency of fatal workplace accidents, contractors consistently fail to take essential measures to meet safety standards for construction sites.
It is important to avoid work-place accidents as they can lead to disability, long-term pain and suffering, inability to earn wages, as well as accrual of medical costs. If you or someone you know has been involved in a construction-related work accident, have your case reviewed by a construction accident attorney immediately. A construction accident attorney has a strong understanding of your rights in these circumstances and is experienced in handling large damage claims.Read More
On March 7, 2016, a jury in Tennessee rightfully awarded a major verdict in favor of Erin Andrews. The defendants, Michael Barrett, the man who secretaly videotaped her through a peephole while she was nude in her hotel room and the Nashville hotel where the taping took place were both found liable. The jury awarded $55M to Ms. Andrews assigning 51% of the blame to Mr. Barrett and 49% to the Nashville hotel.
But, what does this mean to Ms. Andrews? in 2013, Tennessee, by statute, got ride of a doctrine called joint and several liability. If this doctrine was still in place, both defendants would have been on the hook to pay. Now, they each only owe their share of the liability.
As such, it is unlikely that Ms. Andrews will be able to collect from Mr. Barrett the $28M to pay his share of the verdict. The remaining $27M is owed by the Nashville hotel. This is a large figure and will most likely be heard by an appeals court to see if the figure matches the harm done to Ms. Andrews. It is likely that before the appellate court makes its ruling, Ms. Andrews and the hotel will reach a settlement.
While this verdict certainly sends a message to people and hotel chains, Ms. Andrews will see much less of that verdict than the media wants to have you believe.Read More
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