Postal Worker? Here’s What To Do If You Were Mauled By A Dog On The Job

We’ve all heard the stereotypes about aggressive dogs: some are racist and only go after African Americans, some have a thing against postal workers, or some have just “never done that before!” Truth be told, those dogs are probably all inadvertently trained to be jerks by irresponsible owners. Accidents or unexpected attacks do occur, sometimes because of mixed signals given off by the victims, but when all is said and done only the owner is responsible for his or her dog.

If you were attacked by a dog while on the job, the order of operations is much the same as if you weren’t on the job. The only difference is the options you have available to you to recover damages.

When you suffer from a dog bite on the job, and the bite leads to injury, you can file for workers compensation. Usually this will help you recover any and all damages you suffered. However, because dog owners have strict liability for any and all injuries that result from their pet’s behavior, you also have the option to make a personal injury case against the pet owner. A judge won’t necessarily be as likely to rule in your favor — because you’d be making a profit — but you can still make the case.

Here’s what to do when you’re bitten by a dog:

  1. First, pretend that you were in a car accident. Your checklist isn’t all that different. Instead of the police, you may want to ask animal control to conduct an investigation.
  2. You’ll want to check with witnesses who may have seen the dog bite occur.
  3. You’ll want to locate the pet owner to find out important information such as insurance that may cover dog bites, vaccination history, and contact numbers or email addresses. Make sure you have the person’s name!
  4. Photograph the injuries.
  5. Medical attention is an important part of your potential case, if you decide to go that route. You’ll need proper documentation to prove that you sustained financial damage and injuries. Your employer will also need this information to file workers compensation. Continue to document and photograph your injuries as you recover.
  6. If the injuries were severe enough, then keep track of your state of mind or daily pain in a journal. Although an award for pain and suffering is rare, they’re not unheard of in dog bite cases.

Following your injury, be sure to keep documentation of any future correspondence you have with either the pet owner or insurance company. Find an experienced personal injury attorney to make sure you have everything in order. You’ll receive a free consultation whether you take the case further or not.

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Common Bicycle Accident Injuries

As the weather gets warmer, more and more people are biking to work. While bicyclists and motorist are obligated to follow the rules of traffic, accidents do occur. Bicycle accidents are more dangerous and lead to more severe injuries simply because there is nothing protecting the person on the bike. Common injuries include:

Head and Brain Injuries: With or without a helmet, impacts of a head hitting the ground during a bicycle accident can lead to serious injuries like skull fractures, concussions and sometimes traumatic brain injuries.

Spinal Cord Injuries: If the bicyclist’s spinal cord was injured during the accident, it can sometimes lead to paralysis.

Fractures: Depending on how the bicyclist hits the ground, fractures can occur in the foot, ankle, knee, hip, pelvis, arms, shoulder and sometimes the face.

Internal Injuries: Also depending on how the bicyclist hits the ground, internal injuries to the spleen, pancreas, and lungs can occur. Also, hernia and bowel contusion can occur.

Strains and Dislocations: Straining of muscles, tendons, and ligaments can also occur especially in the shoulder area from bracing for impact.

Superficial Trauma: This includes skin and soft tissue injuries such as cuts, abrasions, road rash, lacerations, bruising and contusions.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that bicyclists make up 2% of all traffic-related deaths.

If you or a loved one has suffered a serious injury or wrongful death due to a bicycle accident that was due to someone else’s negligence, you might be able to file a personal injury lawsuit to collect damages. Damages include medical bills, ongoing medical costs, lack of earning potential, lost wages, pain and suffering, mental anguish and loss of enjoyment.

In New York, there is no-fault insurance. This means your own insurance company covers the cost of your medical treatment. However, sometimes insurance companies don’t give enough money for lifelong treatment. This is why it is important to hire a personal injury lawyer to get the compensation you deserve.

For more information, please contact us for a free consultation regarding your accident.

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What Are The Most Important Labor Laws Under Federal Regulation?

The dance between state and federal labor laws is one in which all sides play their individual roles. The states, the federal government, the employees, the corporations, the individual employers, human resources (HR), and all the organizations built over the country’s history in order to protect everyone’s rights. There are a lot of moving parts, and sometimes the law becomes difficult to understand or uphold. Here are a few of the most important labor laws under federal regulation.

  1. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is all about wages and hours. It outlines minimum wage regulations, and guarantees overtime pay for certain hourly jobs. It also establishes guidelines regarding the labor of minors. It ensures that children under 16 cannot work during normal school hours of operation. It also restricts underage kids from engaging in dangerous work activities.

  2. The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) helps cover workers’ compensation costs of medical care to maritime workers. The Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA) provides a benefit to certain employees who have been exposed to radiation, and subsequently gotten cancer. The Federal Employees’ Compensation Act (FECA) establishes compensation benefits for federal employees. The Black Lung Benefits Act (BLBA) provides a monthly benefit to former coal miners who were disabled by black lung disease or beneficiaries.

  3. The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH) is where the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) derives most of its authority and power. OSHA helps preserve safety and health guidelines for workers in certain states that have approved OSHA programs.

  4. The Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA or Landrum-Griffin Act) provides protection benefits for union organizations and their finances. The LMRDA is also responsible for standardizing guidelines during the election of union officers.

  5. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) guarantees a leave benefit for new parents if their employer has more than fifty employees. New parents are granted up to twelve weeks of pay.

  6. The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) guarantees employees that they receive warning from employers who plan to close a plant or layoff workers. WARN is only enforced through federal court, as no federal department has authority as part of the act’s regulations.

  7. The Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA) regulates the garnishment of wages for all employees subject to this legal action.

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Can I Be Terminated From My Job For No Reason?

At-Will employment means that an employer has the right to terminate an employee for any reason, or none at all. Proponents of At-Will employment say that employers should have the right to terminate anyone for any reason with or without cause at a moment’s notice because, you guessed it, employees can do the same thing.

Opponents of At-Will employment argue that the nature of the relationship between employer and employee already provides an unfair amount of bargaining power in favor of the employer. They argue that employees should be provided with legal protections to prevent the unfair abuse of this power. Work is important, after all.

  1. Wrongful termination occurs when the an employee is dismissed in violation of the employment contract. Since most employees under contract are stuck with an “At-Will” relationship, this is a common reason to levy a lawsuit. If there is no contract, employees are almost always considered at-will legally.
  2. What to do if you were fired from your job for no reason:
  3. First, find out if your employment contract specifically defines the relationship between employer and employee as “at-will.” Although you should retain the services of legal counsel either way, it’s helpful to know this information outright.
  4. Determine the circumstances under which you can be terminated if you are not an at-will employee. If you have a union or collective bargaining agreement, these circumstances are usually carefully defined. If you believe you were wrongly terminated under the conditions of a collective bargaining agreement, then speak with union officials. They will fight on your behalf.
  5. Make a record of your working conditions. If there were reasons you may have been terminated, make note of them in the record. If you were subject to constructive discharge, such as harassment or mistreatment, at work, then you may have been wrongfully terminated. Were you forced to resign through coercion? There’s case to be made.
  6. Even though it’s probably too late, you’ll want to walk out the doors as peaceably as possible. You don’t want this experience to follow you to the next job, so try not to cause any trouble before you approach legal counsel. Even though you believe you were fired without cause or for no reason, you’ll still want to treat your ex-employer with respect in the future as well.
  7. Check state and federal laws to see if you qualify for unemployment benefits while you look for another job. Keep track of any money you lose during the period in which you aren’t employed. Your lawyer might be able to use these figures later.

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What Happens When The Police Take Your Phone As Evidence

Police encounters can be terrifying if you or the officers with whom you interact don’t know your rights, and more often than not one of the two don’t. For example, you have the right to record a police officer during routine business in a public space. Sometimes an officer will still request or order you to stop recording. They might not know you have such a right (believe it or not), or maybe they just don’t care. Both of you have options during any such interaction, but what happens when the police take your phone as evidence afterward?

First, we need to answer the question: when can police take your phone? Our phones hold what is potentially the most sensitive information about our lives. Pictures, subscriptions, email, social media, files and folders, and notes and messages: it’s all there. First and foremost, police can confiscate and search your phone if they have a warrant to do so, which means that law enforcement believes the phone could hold information relevant to a crime that has been or will be committed.

Second, the police have the same right if you give them verbal or written consent to search the phone. There is no circumstance in which you should waive your right to keep your own belongings protected, so don’t give consent. If you’re unavailable to provide consent, then a spouse or roommate can do it for you. It might get a little awkward if you let the people in your life know that, hey, they shouldn’t give police access to your personal belongings if there ever comes a time they request to do so–but you should.

Third, if you cross the border your devices can be seized and searched without consent and without a warrant.

Fourth, if you’re arrested your rights diminish. The police can search you and everything on your person. They cannot search the digital contents of your phone.

Once your phone is taken by the police, it can be a huge burden to get it back. Things to know: you don’t have to give police your passwords. The police may return your phone after a time, or they may attempt to hold onto the phone through forfeiture, which you can and should challenge in court.

If your phone is seized either legally or illegally, you should enlist the help of a qualified lawyer in order to get it back. The faster you do this, the faster the phone will be returned to you.

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While the #MeToo movement has had some prominent value in exposing the seedy underbelly of Hollywood and politics, it has undermined itself in several ways in the 18 months since it all began with accusations against prominent Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.

One way the movement has undermined itself is by women having bad dates and then claiming sexual harassment or assault. If bad dates were actually sexual harassment, then virtually every guy on the planet who has had a date would be in jail!

The other way #MeToo has lost some of its momentum is through some of the hypocrisy demonstrated by some of the more vocal activists. Every so often an activist will voice some wrong about being sexually harassed, when a dig into his or her backstory reveals that some sexual harassment by the “accuser” had happened in the past and he or she was silent about it.

The latest case of this comes from one of the original activists and Weinstein accusers, actress Asia Argento. The Italian, who accused Weinstein of raping her several years ago, just recently settled a legal claim filed by a young male actor who said Argento sexually assaulted him when he was 17 (he’s now 22). Reportedly the settlement was for nearly $400,000, though Argento publicly denies the charges (despite evidence of text messages and a photo of the two in bed together that seem to back up the actor’s claim that the pair had sex five years ago – and the age of sexual consent is 18).

Reports indicate that Argento and the male actor had acted together in a film in 2012 and that was when the relationship allegedly began. Argent o was reportedly still married at the time, but has since divorced. The male actor claims that the relationship tarnished and irreparably damaged his acting career in the five years since.

Sexual harassment is a scourge on society and it is an abuse of power by one person leveraging over another. It should be addressed aggressively, but when some of the more vocal activists have their own dark secrets that get revealed, these tend to undermine the entire movement and tends to blunt its legitimacy and does not encourage efforts to address the problem.

Asia Argento is one of the faces of the #MeToo movement. Perhaps unfortunately, she is on both sides of the issue, alongside Weinstein on the predator side as well as alongside actresses like Rose McGowan on the victim side.

Being on both sides of an important issue can make it all awkward – and can contribute to bringing the whole movement down in one fell swoop.


How to Keep From Losing all Of your Money in a Divorce

If you are getting a divorce you may be concerned that you are going to lose all of the wealth you have spent a lifetime accumulating. Well, that may not be the case. Business Insider put together a list of tips that may help you protect some of your assets in a divorce.

Tips for Keeping Money in a Divorce

1) Identify what is yours, and draw a line in the sand. – When you first decide you are going to divorce your spouse, or get served divorce papers, one of the next steps should be identifying your assets. Figure out where your assets are. Determine what is yours, what has your ex-spouse’s name on it, and what you agreed to as a couple. Once you figure out what is yours, you can start to claim this property and organize your personal assets and their value. Some examples are the mortgage, bank accounts, investments, etc.

2) Locate financial statements. – When it comes to financials, the court will care less about the reason you are splitting up, then the facts about your financials. It is best if you acquire physical copies of financial statements. If you rely on electric statements, there is a chance that you are locked out of your accounts by your ex-spouse.

3) Secure the cash. – Make sure you have access to some liquid assets. Don’t get caught without cash to pay your bills. If you are caught without cash, your attorney will have to request an emergency hearing for spousal and child support.

4) Know your state’s laws. – It is important that you know your state’s divorce laws. Each state has its own set of laws, it can be a fault or no-fault state and/or a state can have community property laws.

5) Build a team. – Once you know you are getting a divorce, put together a team of experts you can trust. It is recommended that in addition to an attorney, you bring aboard a financial advisor. It is good to have a non-biased look at the situation, as you may let emotions factor into your decisions.

6) What do you want? What do you need? – Identify what you want to win in the divorce and what you will need to continue living the same quality of life. At this point, take a broad look at your financial situation. A financial advisor can help you determine the cost of living and how much money you will need to maintain your current lifestyle.

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What Does Liability Mean?

In the broadest sense, liability means the state of being responsible for something, especially by law. In law, liable means party or parties responsible or answerable in law; legally obligated.

Depending on the type of case, plaintiff’s must prove liability through different theories of liability. Sounds complicated but it’s really not. For example, in a case involving a contract dispute, the theory liability would be “breach of contract.” Other theories include negligence, vicarious liability and strict liability.

So how does this impact law? There are several ways that liability impacts law. One example is car accidents. If a party is injured in a car accident, it’s important to determine who is liable. If the victim was responsible, then they cannot make a personal injury claim. If the other person involved in the crash was responsible, then the victim can pursue a personal injury claim. The person who they are bringing the claim against has liability insurance which means that up to a certain amount will be from the person and the rest will be covered by insurance. However, many personal injury attorneys will fight to get more money from the insurance company so their clients can rest and recover and not worry about financial stress.

Businesses also have limited liability. For example, if a lawsuit is brought against a business, the limited liability prevents the owners of the business from being liable. The business itself is liable.

Product liability is a legal concept that states that producers and manufacturers have the moral and legal responsibility to produce products that are not defective.

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Dividing Marital Assets

One of the most difficult decisions that you will ever need to make is whether or not to get divorced. And in the event that you do file for divorce, the process of finalizing your divorce can take years depending on where you live. And during this time period, a lot of other decisions need to be made. One of which is how your marital assets will be divided.

How to Determine What’s Your’s and What’s Your Spouses

First, it’s important to consider the date of the marriage and the date of separation. Any property or asset that was owned prior to the date of marriage will be considered that person’s property. Additionally, any property acquired after the date of separation will be that person’s property. Other separate property also includes:

  • inheritances
  • gifts from third parties
  • payments from lawsuits
  • property listed in a prenuptial agreement

The remainder of the property or assets that were acquired during the time of marriage will be divided during the divorce process. This is where a lot of divorce litigation happens because a lot of it depends on where you live. In certain states, the marital property will be split 50-50. In other states, the assets will be divided to what is considered “fair and equitable.”

Having a divorce lawyer who is experienced and knowledgeable in dividing marital assets will make sure that you get property and assets that are important to you during the divorce process. For more information on how we can help, please contact us.

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What is a Non-Compete Agreement?

According to FindLaw, a non-compete agreement is usually a clause in a contract that states that an employee cannot work for a competing company, or in a similar line of work, for a period time after leaving a company. It is used to protect the company from a former employer leaving and taking clients with them. Courts often rule against non-compete agreements because they feel that it is inherently limiting a former employee’s “right to earn a living.”

The argument that employers use is that there is an amount of goodwill that goes along with working for an established company. So, why should a former employee be allowed to build off of that goodwill?

Another argument that employers will make is that the non-compete is in place to protect confidential information. In this case, the employer must show that it took the necessary steps to keep this information a secret.

At the end of the day, the non-compete agreement must be reasonable. If an employer is trying to block a former employee from making a living, the agreement will most likely be thrown out in the court of law. The same goes for the opposite. If the former employee attempts to steal confidential information, the court will likely enforce the non-compete agreement.

Below, we have provided a video which further explains non-compete agreements:

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