Hostile Work Environments

Hostile Work Environments

It is a sad fact of life that people tend to mistreat others with alarming regularity. Not all mistreatment is malicious, but it doesn’t need to be malicious to be hurtful and consequential in profound ways. In the workplace, individuals are protected from certain kinds of discrimination and harassment as a matter of law. Federal law, for example, protects against discrimination and harassment based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, pregnancy, disability, age, and genetics. State laws often extend well beyond the protections afforded by federal law. Yet, not all instances of discrimination and harassment give rise to a cause of legal action.

When Are Discrimination and Harassment in the Workplace Actionable?

Because people tend to mistreat each other—in ways large and small—so very often and in ways that cannot always be objectively classified as mistreatment, instances of discrimination and harassment must meet certain criteria in order to be considered legally actionable. Without these standards, the sheer volume of mistreatment that occurs in the workplace would overwhelm the courts and the economy.

Generally speaking, actionable workplace discrimination occurs when someone (an applicant or current worker) is treated unfavorably due to their inclusion in one of the protected classes noted above. By contrast, harassment occurs when someone is subjected to unwelcome verbal or physical conduct by virtue of their inclusion in a protected class. As an experienced sex discrimination lawyer – including those who practice at the law firm of Barry P. Goldberg – can explain in greater detail, harassment usually becomes actionable when the nature of the conduct involved is either so egregious or happens so often that it creates a hostile work environment. Various kinds of discriminatory conduct can also result in the establishment of a hostile work environment.

When Does a Hostile Work Environment Exist?

A hostile work environment is created when the discriminatory or harassing mistreatment that someone is experiencing is either so outrageous or pervasive that an objective person would perceive their work environment as intimidating, abusive, or hostile.

It isn’t always easy to know if the situation that a worker finds themselves in could be properly classified as an actionable hostile work environment or not. This is why it is a good idea to speak with an employment lawyer if you are being mistreated. They will be able to clarify your rights and options for you so that you can make decisions about your situation in a truly informed way.

Can Bankruptcy Halt Foreclosure?

Can Bankruptcy Halt Foreclosure?

The question of whether filing for bankruptcy can halt a foreclosure risk is a complex query. The answer to this question largely depends upon which kind of bankruptcy is being filed and how far along a homeowner has progressed along the path to foreclosure. For some homeowners, filing for bankruptcy is an effective way to halt the foreclosure process and to catch up on their outstanding payments. For others, filing for bankruptcy can provide many benefits but halting the foreclosure process isn’t one of them. It is for this reason that it is important to speak with an attorney about your rights and options before making any assumptions about whether filing for bankruptcy will help you to save your home.

The Automatic Stay

When someone files for bankruptcy, they immediately benefit from protections afforded by the automatic stay. As a foreclosure lawyer  – including those who practice at The Law Offices of Ronald I. Chorches – can explain in greater detail, the automatic stay halts almost all collection actions pending against the filer and keeps creditors from filing new collection actions for the duration of a bankruptcy case. As a result, filing for bankruptcy can, in almost all situations, keep a lender who has yet to formally foreclose against a homeowner from initiating such action while the filer’s bankruptcy case remains pending. The automatic stay protections apply regardless of whether filers opt for Chapter 7 bankruptcy relief or Chapter 13 bankruptcy relief.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Due to the advantages of the automatic stay, filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy can delay the foreclosure process by a few weeks or a few months until a filer’s case is resolved. For those who just need a little bit of time to come into money that will allow them to catch up on their overdue payments, filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be an effective safeguard against foreclosure. However, for most others, filing for this Chapter of bankruptcy only delays a lender’s foreclosure action and provides virtually no way to directly halt such actions outright moving forward.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy can provide an effective tool to halt a foreclosure. As the repayment plan for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition is 3-5 years, as long as a filer makes good on their repayment schedule, the benefits of the automatic stay will remain in place for the duration of that repayment. The length of repayment for Chapter 13 cases offers homeowners ample time to catch up on overdue payments.

Have You Been Injured in a Bus Accident?

Have You Been Injured in a Bus Accident?

Most of the public transportation that commuters use is run by either state or municipal governments. For example, the local school district usually owns school buses, and a city usually owns public buses. This often leaves the question when there is a bus accident, who is liable when a commuter is injured in a bus accident? A SEPTA accident lawyer can answer that question.

Sovereign Immunity

In the United States, governments – whether federal, state, county, or municipal – have special protections against lawsuits. This is legally referred to as sovereign immunity. Sovereign immunity legally prevents the government from being sued without its consent.

There is some legal debate on whether it is just the federal government that has sovereign immunity or if that immunity trickles down to other levels of government. The legal bottom line, however, is that when it comes to suing the government, there are different rules that must be adhered to compared to other types of personal injury lawsuits. Otherwise, the victim’s claim will be dismissed.

Tort Claims Act

Any injury claims against the government are filed under the Tort Claims Act. Each state has its own version of this law as the legal process to address any injury claims by a private citizen. Typically, these claims require documentation that needs to be filled out and submitted to the agency being sued by a certain deadline. If this deadline is missed, so too does the victim’s right to pursue an injury claim against the agency.

When a victim files a “notice of intent to file a claim” for a bus accident or any other type of accident, the correct form for that agency needs to be used. The form will likely require a description and details of the bus accident, including when it occurred, where it occurred, and details of how it occurred. The victim will also need to provide details about the damages they have suffered as a result of the crash, such as medical expenses, loss of income, and property damage. The victim must also include a statement as to their intent to seek financial compensation for the injuries and property damage they have suffered as a result of the bus accident.

Statute of Limitations 

In every personal injury case, each state has established a statute of limitations for how long the victim has to file their claim. Once the time has expired, the victim can no longer pursue their claim if they failed to file, regardless of the extent of their injuries. The statute of limitations for filing an injury claim against a government agency is different than state laws. In some cases, filing a claim for bus accident injuries can be as little as one to two months.

Contact a Personal Injury Law Firm Today

If you’ve been injured in a bus accident, contact a SEPTA bus accident lawyer from Wieand Law Firm, LLC to find out what legal recourse you may have for the losses you have suffered.

Nursing Homes Affiliated With Company Preferred Care Seek Bankruptcy Claim After Lawsuit

In 1987, Congress passed a series of amendments known as the Nursing Home Reform Law into the Social Security Act.  The Social Security Act is responsible for both Medicaid and Medicare.  As a result, nursing homes in the United States are regulated by both federal and state laws. As a nursing home lawyer from a firm like Brown Kiely, LLP can explain, the Nursing Home Reform Law requires “nursing homes and skilled nursing homes to provide certain services to their residents and to meet certain standards, in order to receive Medicaid or Medicare payments”.

In 1986, the Institute of Medicine conducted a report at the request of Congress on the living conditions of nursing homes across the United States.  The Institute concluded that “many nursing homes were of low quality, that stronger federal regulation was necessary because many states failed to adequately regulate nursing homes, and that many residents were dissatisfied with the care they received.  The Nursing Home Reform Law was created in response to the conclusory data acquired.  Unfortunately, nursing homes across the country still faces lawsuits due to issues of negligence and sometimes even personal injury.

One organization, Preferred Care Group, recently had thirty three of its nursing homes file for a Chapter 11 bankruptcy claim due to multiple personal injury lawsuits filed in Kentucky and New Mexico, adding up to millions in damages in total.  The nursing home service company claims that their files for bankruptcy is attribute to the 163 personal injury cases the company has spent money to defend against.  One of the lawsuits includes “a $28 million judgment in favor of the family of a man who was injured in one of [Preferred Care Group’s] nursing facilities in Kentucky.”  The filing and final judgment order was held by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Northern District of Texas.

The operators of each of Preferred Care Group’s nursing homes reasoned that the bankruptcy filings were legitimate approaches that would allow the care giving centers to continue their businesses, continue to pay their employees, continue to pay their vendors, and also care for the 2,900 residents living in the nursing home; all while allowing the homes to seek restructuring.

Following the Nursing Home Reform Law accordingly requires many elements to be checked off.  Nursing homes must: 

  • Have sufficient staff
  • Assess each resident’s particular needs
  • Develop comprehensive care plans for each resident, including proper hygiene, nutrition and diet, and medication
  • Ensure that residents are adequately supervised
  • Promote their residents’ quality of life
  • Maintain their residents’ dignity and respect
  • Keep accurate and complete medical records for each resident
  • Submit to unannounced inspections and allow resident interviews

As a result, it is no wonder why these nursing homes need to file for bankruptcy so that they can continue running these services for their elderly patients.  However, this also demonstrates the need for nursing homes to provide better care for their patients so as to avoid future injuries.

Help After Slipping and Falling at a Business

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Unless there is bad weather or you know you are going to an unsafe place, you are likely not going out and expecting to slip and fall. For most people, this kind of accident happens on someone else’s property if the property has not been properly maintained or if there was some sort of dangerous area that was not fixed right away. For example, if frozen food melted in the freezer aisle of your favorite grocery store and there were no signs indicating that there were puddles on the floor, you may be walking unsuspectingly to get your bag of frozen peas only to slip and injure yourself. On the other hand, you could be eating with your family at a restaurant and get up to use the restroom just to tumble down the steps because the handrail was broken and not fixed in enough time. Whatever your situation, it is important to speak with a lawyer quickly to determine if you have what you need to file a claim. 

What am I trying to show when I file a claim? 

For many people, it can sometimes be awkward to file a claim if you are doing so against your favorite restaurant or even if you were injured by slipping and falling at a friend’s house. However, it is important to try to separate your claim from the establishment. Remember, when you are invited or welcome on someone else’s property and they did not maintain that property, they are responsible for injuries you sustained. Therefore, a lawyer, like a personal injury lawyer from a law firm like Barry P. Goldberg, knows that you will need to show:  

  • The business or store was negligent in some way
  • This negligence specifically caused the accident to happen
  • The accident resulted in injuries and damages

These are extremely important to prove because simply having a few of these steps will not be enough to be successful with your claim. For example, slipping and falling in a store can be scary, but if you did not end up injuring yourself then there will be no damages to pay for. 

When you slip and fall, it will be important for you to document the circumstances under which you became injured. Write down notes or take pictures that show things like:

  • The floor was uneven
  • The handrail was broken
  • The floor was wet
  • There were no signs indicating a danger
  • A light was broken

All of these factors can help bolster your slip and fall claim. 

It is important to gather as much information as possible when you are working on your slip and fall claim so that you can provide evidence to your lawyer for the claim. Reach out to a law firm to start the consultation process today. 

The Benefits of a Personal Injury Lawyer

In situations where you have been injured in an accident, hiring a personal injury lawyer may be the last thing on your mind. However, this is one of the most important steps that you can take to ensure the best outcome for your case. Personal injury lawyers are trained in the laws that govern personal injuries, and will be able to help you figure out if you have a case and what your next steps should be. There are several benefits of having a personal injury lawyer on your side, including:

Taking Care of the Details

You want to get back to your life and your recovery as soon as possible. Unfortunately, there are always plenty of details that need to be taken care of following an accident. Your lawyer will handle all of these details for you so you can focus on getting better. You won’t have to think about how much paperwork you need or how many forms you have to fill out in order to file a claim. You can leave all of those worries behind when you hire a personal injury lawyer like Hickey & Turim, SC.

Negotiating With Insurance Companies

The insurance company is going to do everything they can to limit the amount they pay out on claims. They may even offer you a settlement that is less than what they think your case is worth in order to see if you’ll just take it and go away. A personal injury lawyer knows how much your case is worth and will negotiate with the insurance company for you in order to get the maximum amount for your claim.

They Are Professional

It is important that you work with a lawyer who has experience working on similar cases to yours. This way, they will have the knowledge that is necessary to help you get through yours. Personal injury lawyers understand both sides of the equation and will be able to work with insurance companies and other lawyers effectively.

They know what to expect

A personal injury lawyer is able to protect your rights and help you make choices about your case. This means that they will help you avoid making costly mistakes that could negatively impact your case. Because they specialize in these types of cases, they can also offer advice based on their knowledge of the law as it applies to different situations.

Better Compensation

The first benefit is that your attorney can help get better compensation for your injuries and damages. Your personal injury lawyer will be able to review the full extent of your injuries and determine what compensation you should receive. They can also negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf to make sure they don’t try to lowball you or offer too little compensation for the extent of your injuries. Working with a personal injury lawyer will help make sure that your medical bills and other expenses are covered, allowing you to focus on recovery.

brain bleed lawyer New Jersey - Human brain injury or damage and neurological loss or losing memory and intelligence due to physical concussion trauma and head injury or alzheimer disease caused by aging with red gears and cogs in the shape of a thinking mind

When to Sue After a Brain Bleed Accident

Brain Bleed Lawyer

If you have recently suffered a brain bleed as a result of an accident, it is important to explore your legal options as quickly as you can. Depending upon the circumstances that led to your accident, you may be entitled to substantial compensation. However, if you don’t pursue your legal options quickly, the value of your case may be compromised significantly.

Personal Injury Basics

Generally speaking, the law allows injury victims to file potentially successful personal injury lawsuits as long as a few key criteria are met. As long as another’s intentionally harmful, negligent, or reckless conduct contributed to the cause(s) of your brain bleed, you may have grounds upon which to file a successful civil lawsuit.  

How Does the Law Apply to Your Situation?

As an experienced brain bleed lawyer – including those who practice at Davis & Brusca, LLC – can confirm, no two brain bleed cases ever unfold under exactly the same circumstances. As a result, it is important not to make assumptions about your legal situation until a local lawyer experienced with TBI cases has evaluated your rights and options. For example, your injuries may have occurred while you were engaging in work-related activities. If so, you may be entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits. However, your work-related accident may have also involved the actions of a co-worker, faulty equipment, or some other factor that would allow you to simultaneously pursue a personal injury award. Once your case has been assessed, you’ll be able to make informed decisions about your options.

Speak to a Lawyer as Soon as You Can

Regardless of what circumstances led to your brain injury, it is important that you speak with a lawyer as soon as possible. Many TBI victims—very understandably—“put off” the task of speaking with an attorney until they are feeling better. The problem with this approach is that failing to act quickly can lead to the unintentional destruction or compromise of evidence critical to one’s case. Additionally, the law only grants TBI victims so long to pursue compensation and if one doesn’t act quickly, they may find that they are barred from pursuing the compensation that would have otherwise been rightfully theirs. In short, even though it may be difficult to invest an hour or two of your time in this way right now, it is important to your legal and financial future that you schedule a consultation with a lawyer promptly.

Injury Law: Child Sexual Abuse

Personal injury lawyer

A civil lawsuit that is based on child sexual abuse can be brought under many different legal theories, and of course in some situations both the perpetrator and the perpetrators’ employee or a third party can be sued by the child or the child’s parents. Talk to your personal injury lawyer, today, about your options for filing for your child sexual abuse and injury, find out which legal theory covers your family and your needs.

The criminal law process has the prosecution of the perpetrator by the state, and oftentimes this means that incarceration and other penalties are a possibility. However, the criminal process does not involve monetary compensation for sexual abuse victim or the victim’s family, but they can see the perpetrator in civil court to receive monetary damages after the criminal trial has been completed.

Depending upon the application of a complex world it is called collateral estoppel, the plaintiff may actually win a civil trial if the defendant has been convicted for the same criminal acts at a criminal trial. It more or less proves without a doubt that the person that is being brought to civil court has a conviction and a history of doing this to this defendant.

But if the defendant was not convicted in a criminal trial, a civil plaintiff that is suing for the exact same month on illegal acts may not get a successful case, or they may still get a successful case. In a civil trial, the plaintiff suing for the wrongful and illegal acts must be able to share that is more likely than not the defendant was indeed committing sexual abuse of someone, and the prosecution in a criminal trial must show beyond a reasonable doubt that defendant committed these acts, and more likely than not gives you more leeway than beyond reasonable doubt. In a civil case there is no way or reason to convince a jury beyond reasonable doubt the defendant was guilty in order to find them liable for the crime.

But you might also have questions about who can sue, especially if it is a child that has undergone sexual abuse and you are suing them. A personal injury lawyer will be able to tell you that either the child or the child’s leader caregiver whether that is their birth parents are not can sue for the child for sexual abuse. Oftentimes the child is going to be represented by a parent or another guardian, they will be allowed to sue for physical, emotional and other harm caused by the abuse. The child’s guardians and parents may even be able to sue for their own emotional distress and other emotional damage stemming from learning about the abuse.

Childhood sexual abuse is a very personal undertaking which requires time intact, and sometimes survivors are well into adulthood before they are ready to go forth about childhood abuse that they suffered of sexual nature in your personal injury lawyer will be able to tell you that your stay at the statute of limitations or not, because many states have passed laws specifically regarding childhood sexual abuse to allow for it to be child later in life.

Is It Better to Settle Your Case Before Trial?

After you decide to begin a personal injury case, the choice is yours whether to accept a settlement offer or go to trial in an attempt for a bigger settlement. A trial is sometimes necessary for most personal injury situations. Accidents involving motor vehicles, medical malpractice, and trip-and-fall cases are just a few of the many that are settled out of court instead of going to trial; but, in certain situations, insurance providers don’t want to make a proper offer during the settlement negotiations and it can be a better outcome for you to go to trial. A personal injury lawyer will help you decide what your best options will be. Our friends from Philadelphia Injury Lawyers, P.C. has provided the FAQ below to help you understand settlement before your case goes to trial.

What is meant by Settlement?

A settlement is an agreement reached before a case goes to trial. Many lawsuits may be resolved before they are ever brought to court. This is a common practice – the day before, or even the day of filing of the Complaint (the initial document used to start the court process), they may be resolved. When it comes to resolving personal injury lawsuits, there is no one-size-fits-all formula. Rather than going to trial, the parties involved in a dispute will usually settle out of court. If a settlement is agreed upon, both parties will sign a formal settlement agreement that includes a release of responsibility after they have reached a reasonable compromise.

What is meant by Trial?

People who have been injured in an accident present their arguments to a judge or jury, who will decide whether or not the defendant should be held accountable for their losses. A personal injury trial might run from a few hours to a few weeks, depending on the circumstances. Attorneys must spend a great deal of time and effort even if their trials are short.

Benefits of Settlement

You know exactly how much money you’ll be receiving at the end of the day. The result is in the hands of the persons involved, not a third party (i.e., judge and jury). If your matter goes to trial, it will take a much longer time to settle.

You could expect to get your settlement money anywhere from within a week up to a month after settling with the opposing party. By avoiding a trial, one saves a lot of money on legal bills and other expenses.
It is less stressful to reach a settlement than it is to go to trial.
Settlements tend to be private affairs.

Benefits of Trial

In some cases, jury judgments might be much higher than the money given in settlement discussions.
Trials are open to the public, so if the jury rules in your favor, the defendant will be held responsible.
Giving the harmed person a stronger form of completion.

Drawbacks of Settlement

Settlement money may be less than what a jury of your peers would award you for your losses.
In most cases, the defendant refuses to confess any guilt, and therefore offer a lower settlement, if anything at all.

Drawbacks of Trial

Trials take a lot of time and effort from you and your attorney(s).
Even if you win a significant settlement, a larger portion of it will be spent on legal costs and expenditures linked to your trial.

The expertise of a personal injury lawyer who has handled a wide range of cases, from vehicle accidents to medical negligence will benefit you and your case. A personal injury attorney will be able to discuss your options with you and help you decide whether you should try to take your case to trial, or work towards a settlement with the insurance company.

What To Know About Trucking When You’re Injured

The idea of a large 18-wheel truck losing control on a highway would scare any driver. We assume that if that truck crashes into our vehicle, the injuries would be catastrophic. But what other assumptions do we make about trucks, their drivers and the trucking business? And are those assumptions dangerous?

For most people, big over-the-road trucks are something that you usually see on a highway, clogging up interstate traffic. There is usually no reason to think any more about what trucks do and how they do it. But that changes if you are involved in a crash involving one of these behemoths. The first assumption people make is: there must be plenty of liability insurance.

It would be fair to believe that a big trucking company is behind that logo. And that they have sufficient insurance to pay for serious injuries caused by their drivers. The facts show otherwise. Interstate Trucking is governed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act. The Federal DOT requires trucks to register that they have liability insurance. However, the minimum was set in 1980 at $750,000. Since that time, costs for medical care resulting from crashes have skyrocketed. Additionally, the sizes of trucks have increased, increasing the likelihood of serious injuries. 

When you experience the tragedy of a serious truck crash, one reason to consult with an injury lawyer, such as our friends at Dwyer & Coogan Injury Law Attorneys, as quickly as possible is to begin the investigation into insurance coverage right away. Not only will your lawyer be able to determine what the company has filed, but they can begin to investigate the other companies that were involved in the subject trucking operation. 

This is because of another assumption: that the company transporting the load is the only possible defendant. Trucking in the United States is complex. There are often multiple layers of companies involved in one single shipment. Federal Motor Carrier rules require that the companies involved in the shipment perform their role within the rules and do so safely. Sometimes, the party that is really at fault might not even be the employer of the driver. This is because a Broker for a shipment may be responsible for failing to do their due diligence by investigating to see that they hired a safe driver to deliver a load.

The trucking industry has its own special rules and operates in a unique fashion that most Americans are not aware of. There are also situations where the financial and time pressures lead to companies operating in a way that cuts corners and may not be safe. This can include hiring drivers or companies that should not be entrusted with transporting heavy loads across America’s roads. 

The first thing that must happen after a serious truck crash is seeking urgent medical care. However, once the injured person is stabilized, it is important to focus on seeking legal advice from lawyers who know the trucking industry and know the rules that apply so that they can explore all avenues to protect your rights and work towards justice.