A Legal Council Guide

Tips For Reducing Your Legal Risk When Starting A Business

While owning a business can be a dream come true, there are numerous legal risks and liabilities that can come with entrepreneurship. For those that in the process of starting a business, there are important steps that must be followed to protect themselves against the risk of a devastating lawsuit.

Invest In Prudent Liability Insurance Policies For Your Enterprise

One of the best ways of protecting your business against a lawsuit is to have liability insurance. These insurance policies will cover you in the event that you are sued for a number of reasons. However, commercial liability insurance policies can vary in the types of lawsuits and damages covered. As a result, you may find yourself needing to combine numerous types of policies to ensure you are adequately protected. One example of this may be to add errors and omissions coverage if you provide a service in addition to your standard liability coverage.  

Install Surveillance Equipment

Having a verifiable record of the events that happen in and around your business’s physical location can be invaluable in a number of different instances. When you are facing a lawsuit from someone that is claiming to have slipped and injured themselves, having video evidence of the incident can help to combat fraudulent claims. If you are concerned about the expenses of installing these security cameras, your insurance policy may offer a rebate or premium discount that can offset this expense. However, if your insurance does not offer these incentives, these policies can be more than worth the investment if they help you contest a fraudulent lawsuit over the time that you own them.  

Understand The Risks Of Sole Proprietorships

One of the easier to overlook aspects of starting a business is choosing an organizational structure. Often, people will simply use a sole proprietorship due to the fact that this is one of the easiest types of businesses to establish. However, this type of business structure can expose your personal assets to lawsuits, penalties and debt collectors for your business. While you may not want to imagine your business failing or being sued, it is important to plan for this possibility. For example, you can minimize this risk by having a separate trust own your business or you can incorporate the business. The exact option will vary based on a number of factors, you should consider hiring a commercial attorney, like Vandeventer Black LLP, to help you decide on the correct legal structure for your enterprise. In addition to helping you choose an appropriate structure, these professionals will also be able to prepare and file the required legal documents on your behalf.

Learn More

What You Should Know If Your Employer Is Stating You Were Not Injured On The Job

If you are injured on the job, you are required to tell your employer. By law, they are required to provide you with a claim form. This claim form must be filled out and is then sent to the insurance company will open a workers compensation insurance claim. However, if your employer feels like you were not injured on the job, they can make this process a bit more difficult and in some cases, may even refuse to give you a claim form. Here is a bit of information you need to know if your employer is stating you were not injured on the job.

Create a Paper Trail

If you were injured on the job, you may think to tell your supervisor or human resources department about the incident. However, in addition to this, you always want to put it writing what happened and that you were injured on the job. You may want to mail this certified or send it via email. Once your claim is reported to your employer, there are only so many days an insurance company has to investigate your claim. The number of days varies from state to state. But, if your employer does not report the claim to the insurance company, your claim may be automatically accepted later simply because you can prove you did report the claim. If it isn’t in writing, it is much harder to prove.

Retain an Attorney if an Employer Won’t Give You a Claim Form

If your employer insists that you were not hurt on the job, you may have to retain a workers compensation attorney to help with your claim. An attorney can figure out who your employer is insured through and file the claim directly through the insurance company, bypassing your employer. Unfortunately, it can be challenging to figure out who your employer is insured by yourself, so it may be best to leave it to an attorney if your employer is not providing you with the proper forms.

Be Prepared for a Possible Delay From the Insurance Company

If your employer does feel like you were not hurt on the job, your claim can be delayed by the insurance company. This gives them time to investigate your claim. During this investigation they may look at your past medical records, past insurance claims and any information your employer provides them as to why they feel your injuries were not caused by your employment. If your employer has flat out told you that they do not feel you were injured on the job, there is a good chance the insurance company will take the time to delay your workers compensation case to investigate it.

Some employers are cautious about employees filing workers compensation claims. It can cause their insurance rates to increase. As such, they may fight and argue as to whether your injuries were really caused on the job. However, it is not their place to do so. The insurance company has the right to investigate the claim, but your employer does not. If your employer is making things difficult for you, a workers compensation attorney like Prediletto, Halpin, Scharnikow & Nelson, P.S. can help you file your claim and learn what to expect during the investigation process.  

Learn More

Divorcing Your Parents: Why You Need A Family Law Attorney For Emancipation

Family law attorneys get involved with all kinds of family law cases. Most of the time, the cases involve divorces and child custody. The rest of the time, they could involve any sort of family issues, from elder guardianship to emancipation of minors. If you are a minor seeking emancipation, then you need to hire a family law attorney. This may be very difficult to do, since you already have to have a full-time job, attend school during the day and keep a residence separate from your parents’ home, all on whatever pay you make from working. However, if you are serious about emancipation, here is why you need a family law attorney to help you.

The Attorney Is Required Because You Are a Minor

In almost every family court in the country, it is a requirement that minors be represented by an attorney. You cannot file your own paperwork as a minor either. Additionally, your parents may contest your application for emancipation, and they may have a lawyer to represent them. Only your own lawyer can file your paperwork and represent you in all of the above matters.

The Attorney Represents Your Interests as Well as Your Best Interests

The attorney you hire for your emancipation case is there for a dual purpose. First, he or she represents your interests in your pursuit of emancipation from your parents. Second, the attorney is present to represent your best interests, those interests which include any ongoing need or dependency you have for and/or with your parents. It has to be determined through psychological assessments and evaluations if you are able and mature enough to be on your own and without your parents’ assistance. If it is determined that you cannot live on your own completely, then your lawyer has to find some middle ground where he/she can make a compromise and a suitable recommendation to the court. 

On the flip side, if there are extenuating circumstances that show you would be much better off living on your own, your lawyer can argue against the assessments and evaluations. The lawyer will have to submit to the court any documents or evidence showing that living with your parents and/or living in foster care is not a valid or safe option for you. Then you may still receive the emancipation declaration you seek.

The Attorney Verifies That You Are Following the Requirements for Emancipation

Additionally, your lawyer will verify that you are doing exactly what you need to do to acquire your emancipation and keep it once you have successfully won your case. A social worker may also get involved to make sure you are safe during this process. Both may check in with you regularly for safety and to be sure you are holding down a job and finishing high school. The courts will not take your word for it on all of the above, so your lawyer and the social worker are necessary to your case.

To learn more about your options, contact a lawyer like Gilbert P Kaback.

Learn More

Why You Might Need A Special Education Lawyer For Your Child

In most cases, parents are the best and most proactive advocates for their children. When that child has special needs, the parents do sometimes require help from the child’s teachers, doctors and community leaders. It may be possible that you might need a special education lawyer for your child in certain circumstances. How can one of these lawyers help you? The following are only a few examples of what a special education lawyer can do to help.

Gain Access to Files

School boards keep files and records on each child. These reports include their progress, tests, and other information, including if a child has special needs such as autism. If you feel your child needs to enter into an individualized education program, a special education lawyer can help you gain access to the files your school has on your child’s progress, which can be used to prove your child would benefit from this program.

Request a Meeting for an IEP

While a parent may be able to request a meeting about getting their child into the IEP, a lawyer may have a better chance at it. They can request the child be evaluated by professionals to see if they would benefit from an individualized education program geared specifically for them. Once the meeting is arranged, a lawyer can help you prepare for it and even help draft part of the program as well as suggest what areas and material might be effective for your child.

Dispute with the School District

In some cases, school districts might feel they can’t provide the necessary education your child needs and may recommend a different course of action, such as homeschooling your child or working through tutors. If you have a dispute with the school district in which a legal resolution might be in the cards, then a special education lawyer is your best bet. They are trained in specifically advocating for special needs children and getting their education as well as any other services they require met.

Help with Court Cases

If the need should arise that you must take any dispute you have with your school or the school district to court, a lawyer can stand by you and help prove your case. While older cases are generally in the public domain to research and use as valid reasons to support your own case, a lawyer knows which cases will prove the most effective and also have access to reports and files that the regular person simply does not have. It is usually better to let a lawyer deal with the legal ins and outs of the court system.

For more information, contact local professionals like Law Office of Mark W Voigt.

Learn More

Three Questions About Your Property To Ask A Home Inspector Before You Sell Your Home

When you want to sell your property, there are many financial and legal issues you’ll have to give due consideration to. In particular, while a home inspector is looking at your home, you might as well tie as many loose ends as possible in the short time you’ll be seeing him or her. Check out these three questions about your property to ask a home inspector before you sell your home.

What documents can you give me to prove the condition of my home?

It’s even more important to get the right documentation if all the systems in your home are as healthy as can be. As an example, if you sell the home to someone and some part of the home’s plumbing breaks a few months later, you want to be able to prove that everything was working fine during the sale to avoid complaints and a possible lawsuit from the seller.

Make sure the documents you get are duly signed by the home inspector so that his or her reputation and professional license will be at stake. Also make sure there are at least a couple of witnesses to the document signing to cover all your bases.

How difficult would it be to repair the systems in my home that are ill-maintained?

If something in the house is broken or at least not working property, you’ll need to give the buyer all the information you can manage to avoid trouble later. To ensure that the buyer doesn’t exaggerate the damage and demand a much lower price for the home than you can tolerate, ask the home inspector to give an opinion about how much it would cost to make everything run smoothly again.

After you get the estimate, you can try to get a better deal by fixing everything before the sale or you can simply pass on the number to the prospective buyer. This way, you won’t have to take any larger of a discount on your home than you have to.

What is the likelihood of major problems developing with the home in the near future?

While the home inspector is at your home, you might as well ask for an estimate of the likelihood of a major maintenance issue developing in your home in the next couple years or so. If the home inspector is experienced, he or she should be able to give you an estimate that’s fairly accurate.

Depending on how much you like the answer, you can pass it on to the seller after you’ve more or less decided on a price or you can keep the information to yourself. In general, though, if you want a fair deal, it’s better to share as much information as possible. For more information, contact a real estate lawyer.

Learn More

Gender Discrimination Can Affect You In The Workplace

Although it might not be a widespread, common problem, gender discrimination in the workplace is real. Nearly 10% of men report that they have once felt they were denied a role because of their gender and 15% of women share this sentiment. When faced with what you perceive to be this type of scenario, it can be both frustrating and confusing.  

What Is Gender Discrimination?

It’s important to understand what exactly gender discrimination is. Gender discrimination is more than the perception that someone doesn’t like you simply because of your gender. It is instead the intentional actions of someone against you solely because you are a man or woman. For example, for a female in the workplace, this discrimination can include a denial to extend health benefits to her male spouse, while all the male employees are extended this benefit to their female spouses.

It can also serve as an unfair job classification, such as someone being required to perform as a manager, but not offered the official title, while someone of the opposite sex is labeled as a manager. Reduced pay and an unwillingness to give the position can also fall under the reign of gender discrimination.

Proving Gender Discrimination

Once you have identified gender discrimination, the task comes down to proving it, as it’s not enough to simply make the claim. In a fairy-tale world, you could get a manager or other upper level employee to go on record and state that you were in fact discriminated against because of your gender. However, these claims are generally proven based on circumstantial evidence, which basically relies on a series of facts that can somehow be connected to your claim.

To put this into perspective, consider a male who believes he was denied a promotion simply because of his gender. In this case, circumstantial evidence would be proof that he was more qualified than the female who was actually awarded the role. For example, if he had more education, more time on the job, and better performance reviews, he would undoubtedly be the better candidate if they were compared side by side. He can then use this information as circumstantial evidence.  

Although the above-mentioned represents possible scenarios, gender discrimination can look very different from workplace to workplace and person to person. For this reason, it is important that you rely on the expertise of an attorney to help analyze your case and help you formulate the best course of action.

Learn More

5 Reasons You May Be Disqualified For Workers Compensation

If you’ve been injured on the job, you will want to receive compensation. You’re sure to be faced with some medical bills and lost wages that may make it difficult to handle. Dealing with such huge financial losses can be devastating to you and working to recover from this challenging time can be difficult. One of the most effective ways to get compensated for your losses is by getting workers’ compensation. You will need to apply for this, and it’s ideal to know the possible reasons you could be potentially turned down.

Reason #1: Failure to notify your employer

The first thing you should do after being injured at work is to notify your employer. This will work to substantiate your claim and is necessary for ultimately receiving payment.

You do have 30 days legally to let your employer know that you were injured on the job. However, waiting this long could prevent you from getting the compensation you deserve because it may make the urgency of your case disappear.

Reason #2: You were intoxicated

One of the things that can completely prohibit you from getting compensated for your losses is if you had any alcoholic drinks that contributed to your accident. It’s possible if your employer suspects you of being intoxicated, you will be required to take a drug test. Failure to pass this test could prevent payment.

Reason #3: Not following doctors’ orders

Failing to do as your doctor asks you to do in order to get well faster can cause you to be disqualified for workers’ compensation. You will need to do exactly as your medical provider recommends you to do and this may include surgery in some cases.

Reason #4:  Preexisting condition

If you had a previous state, this could prevent you from receiving any money for your accident. For instance, if you had previously had back problems and were unable to lift certain things at work, this may prevent you from being paid any money.

Reason #5: Being fraudulent

You will need, to tell the truth at all times to qualify for workers’ compensation. Failing to do so will result in being disqualified.

The benefits of being able to receive payment while you’re unable to work can make your life better and less stressful. Be sure to consult with a workers’ compensation attorney in your area (like Paul F Guthrie) to assist you if this happens to you at any time.

Learn More