Home » Archive

Articles in the Guides Category

Guides »

[ 12 May 2013 | No Comment ]
What Happens to Your Property If You Do Not Have a Will?

A last will and testament is a very important part of your estate. Your will provides specific instructions on your wishes as to who gets your property upon your death. If you do not have a last will and testament, the state is responsible for distributing your property and each state has a different set of rules regarding intestate succession.

Your state will use its own governing laws to determine which of your beneficiaries will receive what portion of your property. Some states may have different intestate succession laws and may use different formulas to determine where your property should go. If you are married, some states will automatically grant your estate to your surviving spouse while other states may give your spouse only a portion of your property and then distribute your remaining assets to your children. Again, these rules vary by state so it is important to learn more about the laws where you live when you begin planning your estate.

If you do not have heirs who are eligible to receive your property through your state’s intestate succession or if your state cannot locate your heirs, your property will simply revert to the state in which you live. In some areas, your second cousin may be as far down the line as the state will allow for intestate succession. In others however, relatives as distant as a fifth or sixth cousin may be eligible to your estate. Again, it is essential that you know the laws in your state so that you know what will happen to your property should you pass away without a last will and testament.

An estate planning attorney will be able to help you to determine where your property will go upon your death. It is always a good idea to plan for the future and having a will is a good part of that plan. This will ensure that your family will not have to wait for the state to determine what should happen to your assets. Having a will is a good way to protect your family and your property. If however, …

Guides »

[ 11 May 2013 | No Comment ]
Understanding Laws Regarding the Family Medical Leave Act

Although your employer is not required to provide you with paid sick days, they may be required by federal law to allow you to take time off of work without pay when medical situations arise. The FMLA or Family Medical Leave Act applies to employers that have at least 50 employees as well as all local, state and federal governments.

If you have worked with your current employer for at least one year, you may be eligible to take leave under the FMLA. You are required to provide your employer with a written notice requesting this leave and you have to ensure that this notice is delivered to your employer at least 30 days before you plan to begin your leave. There is an exception to this rule in the event of an emergency. For instance, if your child suddenly becomes ill and you need to take leave, the 30 day rule is normally waived. You are also required to provide proof of why you need to take this leave and this must be a qualifying reason.

The FMLA allows time off for a number of situations. If you are unable to work because of an illness, the leave allows you to take off the time that you need without worries of losing your job. You are also allowed this leave if you need to provide care for an immediate member of your family who has a serious medical condition. Immediate family members include children, spouses or parents. You can request this leave to care for your newborn child or to help a newly fostered or adopted child to adjust to your home.

Your employer is allowed to ask that you show proof of why you are requesting leave and if you do not show this proof, your employer can refuse to grant the leave without repercussion. Members of the United States military have additional rights under the FMLA. Any parent, child, spouse or other next of kin to military members are permitted to take up to 26 weeks off to care for that service member when a serious illness or injury occurs. …

Guides »

[ 8 May 2013 | No Comment ]
5 Important Qualities To Look For In A Medical Claims Lawyer

Before undergoing a surgical procedure or medical care, it is natural for a patient to have a few worries and concerns. However, in most cases these are unfounded and the treatment is ultimately successful.

Nevertheless, in certain instances the individual may be the victim of incorrect diagnosis or treatment and may require further help. When it comes to a clinical negligence claim, a medical lawyer is able to provide information, assistance and even compensation.

Our health and well-being is one thing that should not be compromised, so it is therefore imperative to employ the right medical claims lawyer. Here are five important qualities to look for.

Medical specialist

Even though you may already have an existing solicitor or lawyer who deals with regular legal dealings, it is advisable to select a medical specialist with regards to any clinical negligence claim.

Used to dealing with medical cases on a regular basis, they will have an in-depth understanding of what is required, the laws involved and the success rate of similar cases.

Not only will this improve your chances of getting a favourable result, the whole process will be as straightforward and hassle free as possible.

Experience

The easiest option when it comes to a clinical negligence claim is to find the most convenient and cheapest medical lawyer. However, the price quoted is likely to be reflected by a lack of expertise and experience.

The complex nature of a medical claims case means that a lawyer who isn’t well versed with the subject matter will struggle to secure a successful outcome. This could mean the patient has to pay out even more money to cover the costs.

There is also a strong possibility that an experienced medical claims lawyer will be available at an affordable price, as they will be more confident about winning a case due to previous knowledge and expertise.

Track record

Don’t be afraid to ask a medical claims lawyer how successful they have been with previous cases. Any experienced or reputable firm will be able to provide you with evidence about where claims have been won or lost.

In addition to peace of mind that your case is in safe …

Guides »

[ 30 Apr 2013 | No Comment ]
The Risks of Working in a Noisy Environment

Certain types of employment will have occupational hazards. Even a standard office job will pose various dangers and risks. However if you work at a factory, operate heavy machinery or are in close proximity to loud noises, your hearing may be at risk.

Ultimately it is the employer’s responsibility to safeguard its workforce against potential dangers such as a noisy working environment. Nevertheless, it is still important to recognise the harm noise can cause, an employer’s legal duties, identifying problems, controlling the issue and preventing harm.

Hearing damage

The biggest risk associated with working in a noisy environment is hearing damage, which can often be permanent and disabling. A loss of hearing can occur gradually because of prolonged exposure over time, or it can be sudden damage due to an excessively loud noise.

Consequences of hearing damage include being unable to understand speech or conduct a conversation. Another common side effect is tinnitus, a condition where the individual can hear a constant ringing, whistling, buzzing or humming in their ears.

In addition to these distressing consequences, safety is also comprised as damage can limit the victim’s ability to hear potential warnings at work such as alarms or common sounds in everyday life like emergency services sirens.

Legal requirements

The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 stipulates that loud noises should be eliminated or reduced to improve the health and safety of employees.

This legislation recommends taking action on reducing noise exposure or providing employees with personal hearing protection. An employee should also make sure that legal sound limits are not exceeded, equipment is provided and continually maintained, employees provided with information, instruction and training as well as the regular carrying out of health surveillance. The latter point is key, and if an employer does not take the necessary steps to safeguard its workforce against noise, they could face industrial deafness claims as a result.

Identifying excessive noise

If the noise is intrusive for most of the working day or an employee has to raise their voice to carry out a normal conversation, a preventative measure should be implemented.

Noisy power tools or machinery, industries including construction, demolition and manufacturing …

Guides »

[ 27 Mar 2013 | No Comment ]
What Constitutes Medical Negligence?

Medical negligence is a common occurrence in countries all over the world. Unfortunately, those who are victims of this practice are often so unknowledgeable about what constitutes negligence that they never file a claim. If medical negligence or malpractice is evident and can be proven, compensation for pain and suffering can often be obtained. Because negligence often results in additional medical bills and long term effects, it is essential that patients understand what negligence is and how to prove it should such an event occur.

Typically, in order to be considered negligence under certain laws, claims must show proof that a violation of standard of care has occurred. Laws acknowledge that there are specific standards to which medical facilities and medical professionals should be held. Acceptable medical treatment should be provided at all times by healthcare professionals and at any time that acceptable treatment is not provided, negligence could be present. Healthcare professionals and facilities are expected to deliver care to patients that abides by these professional standards. When they do not, a patient may be able to prove negligence.

If an injury is the result of that negligence, a claim may be valid. It is often not enough that a doctor, nurse or healthcare facility simply violates the typical standard of care. Patients may also need to show that a direct injury was a result of that negligent care. The victim of negligent or his or her representative has to be able to prove that without the care that he or she received, their injury would not have been sustained. If the negligent care provided by a healthcare facility or professional did in fact cause a direct injury, that patient may very well be eligible to file a medical negligence claim and seek compensation for the pain and suffering from that injury. Compensation is often enough to cover additional medical expenses as well as loss of income past, present and future and general suffering.

Medical malpractice cases can be very difficult to prove which makes it essential that competent assistance is received. A law firm that specializes in medical negligence claims …

Guides »

[ 21 Feb 2013 | No Comment ]
Mechanics’ Liens and How to Remove Them

A mechanic’s lien is technically a hold that is placed on property when you owe money to someone. If for instance, you hire a contractor to build a home and you neglect to pay that contractor, he or she can take a mechanics’ lien against your home until the debt is paid. In many states, a mechanics’ lien can cost you the property in question if an amicable solution is not found.

Typically, when a home is sold, the mechanics’ liens must be paid before anyone else. In some states, unpaid property taxes are paid first, followed by the mechanics’ lien. Even in cases of foreclosure, when the home is sold the lien is paid before the bank can take out what is actually owed against the property. The actual value of the lien is determined by the price of the debt that is owed or by the reasonable value and is often the lesser of the two. In some states, a mechanics’ lien can force foreclosure if not paid.

There are a few things that you can do if you are in jeopardy of losing your property due to a mechanics’ lien. First, the lien has to be properly recorded within a specified time period. All states are different so you should check the guidelines for your state to see how long the contractor has to file the lien. The claim has to be written and must contain information that is necessary to record the lien. Again, all states are different so it is a good idea to learn about the guidelines in your specific area.

There is a time period that the claimant must meet regarding notice. You are entitled to receive notice of the lien in a reasonable period of time before any further legal action can be taken. In some states, this time period is 20 days after the work has been completed before a lien can be filed. After the lien has been filed, you have a specified period of time to answer the claim.

Mechanics’ liens that are properly filed will stay on the property until the …

Guides »

[ 19 Feb 2013 | No Comment ]
What Should You Do if You Have Suffered Personal Injury?

If you have suffered an injury because of an accident or neglect by another party, you may wonder about your options. Anytime a personal injury has occurred, it is essential that you get in contact with an experienced law firm. A firm that specializes in personal injury cases will be better prepared to help you to file the appropriate papers and ensure that you seek the proper amount of compensation for your injuries. Experienced firms will be able to tell you about personal injury case studies and help you to understand your chances of actually winning compensation for your injuries.

You should first seek the appropriate medical attention. You need to ensure that your health is protected and this should be a top priority. While you can certainly contact an attorney while you are receiving medical care if needed, you should attempt to at least get yourself or your loved one to a medical facility for evaluation of the injuries before you contact your attorney. You want to be completely certain that there are no serious underlying injuries of which you are not aware.

Once you have received the appropriate medical care, you should contact your personal injury attorney. Tell your attorney what happened and how. Explain your injuries and find out what you need to do to pursue your case. Remember that you must have clear timelines of the incident so sit down and write down everything that happened. Make sure that you have included dates and times and as many specific details as you can. Your attorney can help you to make a list of the timeline and tell you what else you need to do in order to begin your lawsuit.

You will need to work with your attorney to gather evidence to support your case. This can be anything from actual documentation of the incident to pictures or other evidence. Your attorney will help you to better understand what can be used to prove your case. You should provide medical documentation to show the extent of your injuries as well and be sure that you record your road …