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10 Important Times to Consult a Legal Professional: Part 2

Published on Oct 18, 2016 at 4:29 pm in Blog.

legal professionalThe law of the land provides more than just the right to sue someone after a traumatic accident or injury. Lawyers are also important for handling more subtle liability claims and mishaps. Continuing from the previous post, here are five more important times to consult a legal professional that may not be the most obvious ones.

6. Wrongful Termination
If you’ve been fired from a job because of discrimination or employer retaliation, you may have a case of wrongful termination on your hands. Consult with a lawyer to learn about your rights as a worker and the finer details of HR policy.

7. Liquor Liability
Establishments that are licensed to serve alcohol, such as bars and nightclubs, can also be held responsible for over-serving a guest who then later causes injury or damage to herself or to others. These cases can be incredibly complex and difficult to prove, so have a quality attorney on your side.

8. Defective Products
Poorly manufactured goods are not only dangerous, they can be quite expensive for the responsible party. Every year, civil lawsuits cost the U.S. economy a combined $239 billion. Cases of this kind often require testimony from multiple witnesses, legal professionals, and experts in the field, and might drag on for months at a time.

9. Insurance Bad Faith
If an insurance company denies your claim or provides less than what your coverage guarantees, you may argue that they have negotiated in “bad faith.” This may qualify not only as a case of civil wrongdoing, but a breach of contract as well.

10. Dog Bites
In Kentucky law, any dog owner whose animal causes damage to a person, livestock, or property can be held responsible for that damage, even if it is a first-time offense for the dog. As a dog bite victim, you are entitled to compensation for all of your medical bills, injuries, or other damages you may have sustained.

If there’s one thing we can reliably expect in life, it’s for the unexpected to happen at any time. When accidents, injuries, or other misfortunes fall into your lap, find a legal professional to help you right wrongs, seek justice, and get you back on your feet for whatever life may have in store for you next.

Choosing a Lawyer for Your Wrongful Termination Case

Published on Oct 14, 2016 at 2:55 pm in Blog.

choosing a lawyerGetting fired from a job is never easy, but it might be even worse if you feel that you were wrongfully dismissed. State and federal laws hold protections for employees maintaining that a person cannot be fired from their job for certain reasons, including discrimination, retaliation, or refusal to commit an illegal act. However, the strength of those odds largely stems from the fact that most wrongful termination attorneys will only take on cases that they think they can win.

Therefore, choosing a lawyer to represent your case is one of the most important decisions you’ll have to make. Here is some advice on how to choose an employment lawyer for your best chances of success.

Find someone who specializes in your situation
There are many different kinds of employment lawyers out there, and even those who specialize in wrongful termination cases. However, try choosing a lawyer with as much experience in the specifics of your case as possible: another discrimination case, for example, or another whistleblower case with past records of success. Ask for references when possible.

Discuss a payment arrangement upfront
Many lawyers offer free consultation sessions, during which time you should ask about fees and rates. If you’ve been wrongfully terminated, chances are money could be tight due to your lack of employment. Accordingly, many attorneys also work on a contingency basis, meaning they don’t get paid unless your case is settled.

Familiarize yourself with your own case 
The more details you can put together about the circumstances of your firing and the more you try to familiarize yourself with your rights as an employee, the better equipped you’ll be to build a case. Choosing a lawyer based on what you already know can be much easier than trying to start from scratch.

In the end, if you’re not sure whether you have a case, don’t hesitate to contact an employment lawyer to discuss the basics of your situation. While handling a job dismissal might be stressful, you don’t have to do it alone.

How to Handle a Slip and Fall Accident Claim

Published on Oct 12, 2016 at 2:48 pm in Blog.

slip and fallMany of us slip and fall from time to time, and usually it’s no big deal. We might suffer a little bruise or a sore wrist, but we can get along just fine. Other times, slips and falls can result in serious injuries. In fact, fall accidents are the leading cause of traumatic brain injury, or TBI. Rates are especially high for young children up to age 4, and for older adults age 75 or older.

Furthermore, sometimes slip and fall cases are not your fault. They might have been caused by unsafe structures, slippery conditions, or a lack of warning signs. If you have suffered significant harm or injury from a slip or a fall, you may be interested in seeking the advice of a legal professional to find out if you could be entitled to compensation.

Not all slip and fall cases are foolproof, however. In order to help your lawyer make the strongest case possible, there are certain steps you can take to provide testimony and gather evidence — even before you meet with an attorney.

  1. Seek Medical Attention
    You need to take care of yourself first. Get the medical help you need to address your injuries. But as you do, make sure to keep a meticulous record of all treatments, procedures, tests, etc. A file containing your medical information will help your lawyer plot the best plan of action for your case.
  2. Survey the Area
    You will want to look for indication that your slip or fall was not your fault, but rather caused by some negligence on the part of the property owner. If you can document dangerous conditions with pictures or get written accounts from eyewitnesses, all the better. Without proper evidence, these cases can easily become a battle of he-said/she-said.
  3. Get a Lawyer
    Starting the claims process sooner rather than later may also be important to your case. Not only will you want compensation for medical expenses or lost wages as soon as possible, but a timely filing will indicate that your needs are dire and legitimate. Wait too long, and you may surpass the statute of limitations on slip and fall claims, or may have a more difficult time convincing the judge that your injuries were as severe as you say.

Every case is different, but there are a few ways you can prepare to build a strong case for yourself to help ensure the success of your claim. Talk with a lawyer about your options and learn how you can get the legal representation you need.

Why You Need a Professional Attorney Who Understands Trucking Accidents

Published on Oct 10, 2016 at 2:43 pm in Blog.

professional attorneyTraffic accidents involving large trucks can often be much more serious than other kinds of car accidents. Around 333,000 large trucks in the U.S. were involved in crashes in 2012, causing many potential dangers to the smaller vehicles around them.

Dealing with the aftermath of an accident is never easy, but one of the first things you should do is find a professional attorney to help you understand your legal rights and options. Car accident law and trucking accident law can be very different, however — so it’s important to find a trucking accident lawyer with ample experience to take on your case.

Liability
In most car accident cases, the driver of the vehicle is held solely responsible for his or her actions. But when a commercial truck is involved, the company that hired the driver might also be held responsible. If a driver received insufficient training or if the company violated labor laws, the company itself could be implicated as at fault for the accident.

Evidence
There are many more factors at play in trucking accidents, such as the driver’s employment history, credentials, and past drug tests or performance records. A professional attorney familiar with trucking law will investigate any and all angles of the case to ensure that your interests are best represented.

Injury
It probably comes as no surprise that more serious injuries can commonly occur as a result of trucking accidents, such as traumatic brain injury or death. These might result in extensive medical needs or impair your ability to work. Having a professional attorney on your side can make the difference in getting you the compensation you need to move past your accident and live your life.

Large trucks, rigs, semis, tractor trailers and other commercial vehicles are an important part of our economy, but they also pose an intimidating threat to other drivers on the road. Driving safety is the number-one priority of many trucking companies, but accidents can still happen. If you’ve suffered from a truck accident, don’t hesitate to reach out for legal help right away. The better you understand your options, the better you’ll be able to cope with your situation.

What You Should Know About Driving Laws in Kentucky

Published on Aug 29, 2016 at 8:43 pm in Blog.

lawyers in LexingtonLawyers in Lexington often have to deal with the specific details of Kentucky state law. Whether it’s texting and driving, driving under the influence, or dealing with no-fault insurance claims, here’s what all Kentucky drivers need to know about the state’s laws and regulations when it comes to your rights behind the wheel.

  • Using a Cell Phone
    At any given moment throughout the country there will be around 660,000 drivers on the road using a cell phone or other electronic device while driving. However, Kentucky has no regulations concerning the use of handheld phones for talking while driving — except for drivers under age 18. Minors are not permitted to use any type of phone while driving, whether it’s handheld or hands-free.
  • Texting While Driving
    On the other hand, no one is allowed to text and drive. You cannot write, send, or even read a text message while operating a vehicle in motion. This is considered a “primary” law, meaning that a police officer can pull you over for texting, even without witnessing any other violations. A first-time offense may result in a $25 ticket, and $50 for more multiple offenses.
  • Driving Under the Influence
    Kentucky has an “implied consent” law when it comes to blood alcohol content (BAC) tests, meaning that if you refuse one you will be automatically subjected to the applicable fines and license suspensions. The BAC limit for adults 21 and over is .08; for commercial drivers, .04; and for drivers under 21, .02. Alcohol is not the only issue, either; with 10.3 million people admitting to driving under the influence of illicit d
    rugs in 2012, it’s best to always drive sober.
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  • Insurance Requirements
    It is illegal to drive a vehicle in Kentucky without car insurance. You need a minimum $25,000/$50,000 for bodily injury coverage and $10,000 for property damage. However, Kentucky is also a “no-fault” state, meaning that your claims go through your own provider no matter who’s to blame for an accident, even in the 333,000 car accidents involving large trucks in the U.S. in 2012.

With all of these special regulations, it’s important to understand your rights. When you have questions regarding legal matters in Kentucky, it’s important to talk with local lawyers in Lexington who will know how to help. Don’t hesitate to give us a call today.

5 Dangerous Driving Habits to Be Aware of While on the Road

Published on Aug 25, 2016 at 8:18 pm in Blog.

car accidentDriving a motor vehicle is a serious responsibility, but unfortunately too many people get behind the wheel and drive while distracted, drunk, or drowsy. Some people even get behind the wheel when they’re distracted, drunk, AND drowsy.

All of these behaviors increase the risk of car accidents and bodily injury, but many drivers do not take into consideration the very real dangers that come with being irresponsible. Even at a time when drunk driving is on the decline, motor vehicle traffic injuries are the leading cause of traumatic brain injury related deaths, with rates being the highest in adults aged 20 to 24 years old.

So in an effort to help you be more aware of your actions while driving, here are some of the most dangerous things drivers can do on the road.

Driving too close behind a tractor trailer
Even though many drivers believe that driving behind tractor trailers can help with gas mileage, it is incredibly dangerous to do so. Your life isn’t a NASCAR race, and whatever benefit you come from riding in the slipstream is cancelled out by your increased risk of car accidents. Because you are driving so close, there will not be enough time to brake before hitting the big rig. Not to mention that truck drivers cannot see what is directly behind them, so driving like this can be a recipe for disaster.

Not adjusting speed for weather conditions
The idea behind this is simple. The faster you go, the higher the chance of getting injured in a car crash. This also goes for when the weather gets bad, so slow down so you do not slip on ice and sleet. Even rain can be dangerous.

Too many drivers fail to adjust their driving behavior in the rain. If you drive the exact same way during a pouring rainstorm as your would on a bright sunny day, then it’s time to reevaluate your driving.

Driving while under the influence of alcohol and drugs
It is a well known fact that alcohol and drugs impair your judgement and reaction time. This can cause tragic consequences and fatal car accidents, but unfortunately driving under the influence is all too common. In 2012, Mothers Against Drunk Driving reported that 10.3 million people reported driving under the influence of illicit drugs in the past year. That number did decline to 9.9 million in 2013, but that’s still millions of drivers with delayed reaction times clogging up the nation’s highways and intersections.

Moral of the story, if you are under the influence, at all, then it is best that you call a taxi or ask a designated driver to come pick you up.

When Traumatic Brain Injuries Call for a Professional Lawyer

Published on Aug 23, 2016 at 1:47 pm in Blog.

professional lawyerEach year, around 1.7 million people suffer a traumatic brain injury, or TBI. While 80% of TBI patients will be treated and released from an emergency department, another 275,000 will be hospitalized for further care, and 52,000 will die of their injuries.

Brain injuries are extremely serious and can have long-lasting repercussions for both victims and their families. Survivors may experience permanent physical or cognitive impairments as well as long and complicated courses of medical treatment. When you or someone you love has sustained a head injury through no fault of their own, you need a professional lawyer to help get you the compensation you need to pay for your medical expenses. More than that, you may be entitled to additional compensation that can help provide continued support for your family for the years to come.

The Causes of TBI
The leading causes of TBI are fall accidents and car accidents. Falls cause the most TBI-related hospitalizations (62,334 every year) and emergency department visits (523,043), while motor vehicle traffic is responsible for the highest number of TBI-related deaths — and those rates are greatest among adults age 20 to 24.

How to Identify TBI
Traumatic brain injury is a separate diagnosis from other types of head injuries. Short-term symptoms include dizziness, loss of memory, headaches, nausea, and light sensitivity. If you suspect TBI, get to a medical professional who can conduct proper tests to diagnose your case. It’s important to seek help early in order to avoid more serious complications down the road.

How to Get Legal Help
If a doctor has confirmed your TBI and you believe that your injuries were the result of someone else’s oversight or error, you will need to share all of this information with a professional lawyer to see if you have a legal case. A brain injury lawyer can help you get the compensation you need to settle your medical bills and find a way to move on with the rest of your life.

If you’re worried you can’t afford a professional lawyer, don’t worry. Most injury lawyers will work on a contingency basis. That means they only collect payment after you receive compensation, unlike other types of lawyers who will bill you throughout the legal process.

Going through an accident is no easy task, especially one that involves traumatic brain injury. However, with a support network that includes both medical professionals and a team of professional lawyers, you can find the tools you need to put your life back on track.

Dog Bites: Who’s Responsible?

Published on Aug 22, 2016 at 1:55 pm in Blog.

Each and every year, there are thousands of Americans who suffer injuries as a result of being
bitten by a dog. While they may not all be serious injuries, the vast majority of them result in a trip to the doctor at the very least. In some cases, the dog owner can be held responsible for the damage of the bite. It is not automatically the fault of the owner, but you should contact a local german-shepherd-166972_640Lexington dog bite lawyer to see what your options are if you are bitten. Kentucky is a strict liability state in regards to dog bites, which makes dog owners responsible for the actions of their dogs.

Despite the strict liability, a dog owner can still fight to have a percentage of the damage pushed back on the victim. In scenarios like this, the dog owner will try to prove that the victim caused the animal to act as a result of negligent behavior or a fault of the victim. The dog owner can also pass blame to a third party, such as in a case where a person other than the owner was looking over the dog.

Even when a dog owner does not try to assign fault to the victim, dog bite cases are difficult to prove. In order to establish that the dog owner is fully responsible for the bite, a few factors must be examined. The age of the victim, the dangerous nature of the dog and the circumstances that caused the bite must all be thoroughly inspected.

For this reason, it is very important to seek the counsel of a Lexington dog bite lawyer if you are bitten. The attorneys at Golden Law Office can assist you in presenting your case and recovering damages, including medical expenses, property damage, any wages you lost and more. The faster you contact a legal professional, the easier it is to document the attack. On the flip side, if you are the owner of a dog and are being sued for a dog bite, we can also help at Golden Law Office.

Dog bites can cause serious injuries and can also have a profound emotional effect on the victim. Be sure to protect yourself by getting in touch with a Lexington dog bite lawyer.

How Employment Lawyers Help Bosses and Workers

Published on Aug 15, 2016 at 4:03 pm in Blog.

employment lawyerEmployment lawyers are trained, skilled attorneys specializing in matters of labor, contracts, and the treatment of workers. Both bosses and employees alike may find themselves in need of legal advice if there is ever a dispute over the terms of employment. Here are some of the most common legal scenarios, and how an employment lawyer can help.

Wrongful Dismissal
If a worker feels that they have been fired because of discrimination, retaliation, or a breach of contract terms, they may file a lawsuit against the employer for wrongful termination or dismissal. There are over 20 different types of legal grounds for a successful employee case of wrongful dismissal.

Discrimination or Harassment
Employers can sometimes handle work-related discrimination charges or harassment cases on their own, but other times, it’s best to call in an employment lawyer. Serious claims or multiple claims made by separate employees could result in a larger lawsuit case. Civil lawsuits cost the economy $239 billion every year, so it’s worthwhile to get a lawyer on your side — whichever side you’re on.

Injury at Work
While worker’s compensation lawyers typically handle most work-related injuries, an employment lawyer may help with an additional lawsuit if your (or one of your worker’s) injuries were the result of faulty equipment, toxic substances on-site, or neglectful management. A fall at work because of defective safety equipment, for example, could result in a traumatic brain injury that requires an emergency department visit (there are 523,043 every year) or hospitalization (62,334 annually). These more serious damages could lead to more extensive lawsuits or trials that
require legal advice.

Whether you’re in upper management, on the ground floor, or somewhere in between, you likely spend a large amount of time on-the-job. Disputes, accidents, or interpersonal clashes are bound to happen at some point or another. Understanding when to send the issue to HR and when you may be in need of more expert legal help will save you a lot of time and grief, no matter which side of the manager’s desk you’re on.

Baylor University Coach Art Briles: Right to Be Fired, or Wrongful Dismissal?

Published on Aug 12, 2016 at 3:57 pm in Blog.

firedLast month, Baylor University head football coach Art Briles was fired after reports that he failed to address sexual assault charges made against members of his team. An investigation into the matter argued that the “choices made by football staff and athletics leadership, in some instances, posed a risk to campus safety and the integrity of the University.”

Briles, though, initially accused the school of wrongful termination. The Texas coach and his employment lawyer argued that he was being used as a scapegoat for the scandal and had no real blame or wrongdoing in the matter.

University chancellor Ken Starr and athletic director Ian McCaw both resigned in the wake of the scandal, but Briles was the only one fired. Is his situation a case of wrongful termination, or was the University right to act in the manner they did?

The lawsuit against Baylor alleged that officials and coaches knew about former football player Tevin Elliott’s history of sexual assault and failed to do anything to protect women at the university. Elliott is now serving a 20-year prison sentence after being convicted of two counts of sexual assault.

The matter may not be as straightforward as it appears for Briles. Over half of all wrongful termination court cases are won by the employer — up to 70%, in some jurisdictions. While there are more than 20 different legal grounds for citing wrongful dismissal, being fired for failure to account for your team members’ actions isn’t necessarily one of them.

This unfortunate case is just another in the troubles haunting college football teams all over the country. Some cite concerns about the possibility of traumatic brain injury in the sport: 1.7 million people sustain TBIs every year, and while 80% are treated and released from an emergency department, another 52,000 die every year.

Other football players have come under fire for unsportsmanlike conduct off the field and preferential treatment; Miami Hurricanes running back Mark Walton, for example, was recently arrested for a DUI. According to MADD, there were 10.3 million instances of people driving under the influence of illicit drugs in 2012.

Is college football’s reach really greater than the law?

In the end, Baylor University and Coach Briles announced they had “mutually agreed” to part ways, but not without acknowledging the “serious shortcomings in response to reports of sexual violence by some student-athletes, including deficiencies in university processes and the delegation of disciplinary responsibilities with the football program.”

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