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Personal Injury Law: Know Your Rights

Personal injury law, or tort law, deals with incidents where a person is injured due to the negligence of someone else. Personal injury is a broad field and includes physical accidents caused at work, car accidents, psychological illness, damage caused through defective products, etc. In this case, a third party is responsible for deliberately or unintentionally doing harm to others. So, what can you do if, unfortunately, you are faced with similar situations? It is really important to be aware of the laws in your state to take appropriate actions. First of all, you need to immediately find legal help before the statute of limitations ends, which tends to differ from state to state and case to case. A lawyer will evaluate your case and advise you on further proceedings. You must be ready with the following information prior to getting a lawyer:

  • The place where the incident occurred (this will help to decide the guilty party)
  • The date when the incident occurred (normally one can sue the guilty party within a year)
  • How it occurred? (to prove that it really was the mistake of the guilty party)
  • Were there any witnesses present at that time?
  • How much compensation are you ready to accept to settle the matter?

What to do when the settlement is unsuccessful?

Though most of the civil cases are resolved before moving to court, there are many instances when the defendant (accused party) is not ready to compensate the victim (plaintiff). When this happens, the next step is to move into court and challenge the defendant there. A judge will handle the case and give you a hearing date. If you win, the defendant could be liable for your legal fees during the trial and any lost wages. It must be noted that, in civil cases, the defendant will not be given any jail time. That only happens during a criminal case. In civil cases, the defendant will compensate through paying fees. The highest compensation is offered when serious injuries such as bone fracture or brain injuries are involved. It is imperative to consult with your lawyer about the fee they will charge. There is also an option of “no-win, no-fee.” So, it would be better to have a talk with the lawyer before proceeding with the case. Having enough evidence in the form of documents and witnesses is of immense importance to make a good case. If you don’t have any evidence, even if you are the victim, the court won’t be able to take any actions.

Court trial: what to expect and time taken

The compensation offered is directly proportional to the severity of the accident, provided you win. In any case, your lawyer will be there throughout the trial to help with all the proceedings. It is vital to note that the time taken till the verdict is reached depends on the strength of your claims and evidence. Normally, civil cases, contrary to criminal cases, takes less time to reach a verdict. However, it all depends on the evidence, your local jurisdiction and the defendant. Conclusively, you must be aware of the rights if you are involved in an accident.

Have you been involved in a civil case? What was the outcome? Leave your comments below:

 

4 Ways to Ensure Your Business is ADA Compliant

As of this July, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is twenty-five years old. In 1990, activists convinced lawmakers to make sweeping changes to the way society treated people with disabilities. Things the ADA made common include now-familiar things like curb cuts and wheelchair ramps, assets to Americans of all abilities. Let’s celebrate the achievements of the ADA by discussing ways you can ensure your business complies with the law. Remember, business who ignore the ADA may be at risk of many types of lawsuit. A person with a disability who gets injured on your land could sue your business.

Be Wheelchair Accessible

Under the ADA, buildings need to be accessible to people in wheelchairs. Wheelchair accessibility can take many forms.

 

  • Door width. According to Karmen Healthcare, doors must be 32 inches wide. This ensures that people in wheelchairs can get in and out of your establishment freely. People don’t want to get stuck in your doorway. And you don’t want your doorway to get plugged up.
  • Bathrooms should also be big enough to fit someone’s chair. You’ll need at least one stall per bathroom.

 

Have Accessible Parking

For someone with a disability, a long walk across a parking lot can be a trial, even a dangerous one. You don’t want someone getting hurt in your parking lot, do you? Parking lots are required to have at least one accessible spot for every twenty-five parking spots. Additionally, one out of every six spots needs to be van accessible.

Install Accessible Door Handles

Certain types of door handle are difficult, painful, or impossible to open for a person with a disability. Accessible handles are generally defined as handles which swing, not turn in a circle. The ADA has specific rules about how many accessible handles your establishment needs. At least sixty per cent of your entrances need accessible handles. Make sure your business is accessible to everyone. This will improve business, as well as ensure that nothing goes wrong on your property.

Don’t Forget Web Accessibility

Yes, your website should comply as well. Although a non-compliant website will not land you a personal injury lawsuit, it is still important that you keep aware of this requirement, since it will make sure everyone can access your content. To make your site accessible, your site will need to be able to be read by a screen reader. A screen reader is a piece of adaptive technology that allows a person who is blind to use the internet. The reader lists off every content item on a page and reads it to the user. To comply with the ADA, the most important thing is that your page’s images will need an html tag called <alt>, along with a description of the image. This tag allows the screen read to describe each image to the user. Speak with your webmaster to make sure your alt tags are accurate and up to date. As a bonus, search engines like google also use <alt> tags, so these tags will help make it easier for all people to find your website.

 

What Are Your Options if You’ve Become Disabled?

Immediate Steps for Possible Benefits

If you have long been in the workforce, but have recently become disabled, it’s clear that your world has suddenly changed in a big way. Among other pressing concerns, you may be worried about how you are going to get by financially. If you are unable to work, the first step you can take down this path is to find out what benefits you may qualify for—there are systems in place for people in your situation.

If you became disabled on the job, you may qualify for workers’ compensation (which varies by state). Some states also offer public disability insurance, which will assist you if you have been paying into their program. Finally, those who have been paying into Social Security, and who are unable to work for 12 (consecutive) months due to a disability, should qualify for benefits from that program.

For help filing a claim, you can speak with a Flint Social Security Disability lawyer. The process can be quite complicated, so it’s worth getting legal advice: social security decides whether or not you are disabled regardless of what your doctor says. It can take up to five months to receive a decision, and sometimes claims are initially denied (though you may appeal). On the plus side, it may surprise you to learn that you can enroll in Medicare after two years of receiving Social Security disability benefits, even if you are not yet of retirement age.

Looking Ahead and Returning to Work

There is no shame in applying for benefits while you are unable to work, but of course it’s natural to be hopeful about returning to work one day. According to the Employment and Disability Institute at Cornell University, about a third of disabled Americans aged 21-64 are in fact employed. Moreover, it is illegal for employers (barring some small employers) from discriminating against those with disabilities. You may be able to return to your old job in exactly the same capacity as before, or your work life may look completely different after becoming disabled.

If you are looking for a completely new job, you may want to try GettingHired, which is an online resource for finding employment that suits your skills and needs as a disabled person. Some federal agencies actually have incentives to hire workers with disabilities, and the application process for these agencies is thus often streamlined. You may also consider working from home and/or becoming self-employment, especially if your disability involves fatigue or difficulty moving around.

As goes for all job-seekers, volunteering can be a good way to explore a field that interests you, and help get your foot in the door. Volunteer positions are also usually more flexible than paid positions, which may make them an attractive stepping-stone on your way to another job. Regardless of what you choose, remember that you have many abilities in addition to your disability, and that there is help available to you from many avenues.

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