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Month: January 2016

Is It Possible to Sue Your Employer for Being Overworked?

Is It Possible to Sue Your Employer for Being Overworked?

If you stay in the office “only” for 40 hours a week, you’ve got it good.

Many overworked employees are putting in anywhere between 50 to 70 hours a week. If you are constantly exposed to such stress, it can have very bad impact on your physical and mental health, as well as some other aspects of your life. Do you work so much because you need the money? Or does your employer push you into it because he/she does not want to pay for a new person?

Is it possible to sue your boss for working too many hours?

There is No Law that Limits the Number of Hours Worked

There is really no law that would determine how many hours an employee can work for the employer. However, in connection with larger work efforts, other problems may arise that may make it possible to sue. For example, you can demand compensation.

Overtime Pay

Your employer might want you to work any number of hours, but he/she must be willing to pay for it. There are federal as well as state laws that require employers to pay for the overtime if you exceed a certain number of hours worked.

According to the Fair Labor Standards Act, the employer must pay for these overtime hours if you work above 40 hours a week. For these hours, an amount equal to 1.5 times the standard salary must be paid. Unfortunately, this rule does not apply for specific groups of employees who perform managerial, professional or administrative tasks.

Some laws at the state level are still friendly to employees. For example, in California, employers must pay overtime if the employee works more than eight hours a day, even if you do not work a total of more than 40 hours a week.

If your employer requires you to work above 40 hours per week (or 8 hours per day in some state jurisdictions, such as California), consult a lawyer who is knowledgeable in labor laws.

Workers’ Compensation

If you work overtime, you might be physically exhausted and suffer an injury. If this happens, you may be able to claim workers’ compensation.

As per the Mayo Clinic recommendations, excessive workload may cause headaches, pain in the cervical spine, back pain, depression or even chronic fatigue. If you end up working more than 10 hours a day, then the odds that you will suffer a heart attack is about 60 percent higher than a person who only works eight hours a day.

If you get injured during the working hours due to poor working conditions, workers’ compensation acts can provide financial compensation for loss of earnings and health care expenses.

Is It Possible My Personal Injury Case Could Go to Trial?

Is It Possible My Personal Injury Case Could Go to Trial?

That is the question that most clients ask themselves. It arises in any kind of case. It‘s only natural that you want to be sure what you‘re getting yourself involved in before you actually talk to an attorney. However, the overwhelming majority of personal injury cases are settled without going to court.

Settlement or Trial?

After a case involving personal injury has arisen, there are basically two ways you can ask for damages and obtain it from the person who caused the injury. The insurance company or the defendant himself/herself might offer you a settlement and if the plaintiff agrees to it, the case is settled outside of court. Otherwise a lawsuit in civil proceedings must start in order to collect the compensation.

What is a settlement? A settlement means that the plaintiff and the defendant agree that payment will be made to the person who was injured. The payment can be made before the lawsuit has been filed, it can be made when the case is in trial, or even at the moment when the jury is in the process of deliberating. Once the agreement regarding the settlement is reached, then the plaintiff is free to relinquish all of the claims which arose in the particular incident. Then he or she can sign a release.

While it is true that very often a civil lawsuit results in more money being handed to the plaintiff than in the case of a settlement, trials might sometimes be very stressful and risky for the both parties. That is the reason why settlements tend to be preferred.

Why Is It That Most Personal Injury Cases Settle?

When there is an insurance company that is involved in a case, a settlement will very often be reached. This is due to a number of reasons. At the end of the day, insurance companies are businesses. Trials can get very expensive for insurance companies. Usually large legal fees are involved. Also, the insurance companies cannot determine what the outcome of the trial is going to be. A settlement allows the insurance company to have some say, which is preferable.

Settlements can also be beneficial for the defendant, if he/she has a reason he/she would rather not be seen publicly. As an example, if there is a defective product and only a few people are injured, it will likely be in the company‘s interest to have no publicity in this case. When the settlement is being drafted, the company might include confidentiality requirements that the plaintiff would have to sign. In exchange for this concession, a larger settlement amount may be requested which the company would have to pay.

In What Way Can a Settlement Be Beneficial to the Plaintiff?

If an injury lawsuit is settled out of court, it can be beneficial to the plaintiff in several ways. It can even be beneficial to the defendant. First of all, the process usually tends to be lengthy. Normally the case won‘t even go to trial until a year has passed since the time when the initial claim was filed. After that, the trial might take several months or even years in case one of the parties appeals. In case you have been injured, you likely had to pay for some medical expenses and do not want to wait such a long time before you can get financial relief. On top of that, if you had to sustain an injury, it can be very stressful to go through the trial given its length.

In addition, unlike settlements, trials are not private. This might be positive for the plaintiff as well as for the defendant. While the case is in trial, both of the two parties might attempt to make the other party look bad in the eyes of the jury and that information is always made available so that anyone can read it. On the other hand, in settlements, the parties decide what is going to be made publicly visible. This includes the actual settlement amount.

Finally, a settlement always results in a guaranteed victory for the plaintiff. Even though it is true that the plaintiff might not end up being awarded as much as they would be if the case went to a trial, at least they know they will get something. However, when the case is brought before a court, there is always a slight chance that the plaintiff will lose it all and receive nothing at all.

What If a Settlement Is Not Agreed Upon?

Usually, a settlement is something both parties want. When they both agree, they can put the unpleasant incident behind them. However, it is not always easy to agree on a settlement and that is for a number of reasons. In some cases, a settlement is not offered at all. For example, if the defendant thinks he/she is not responsible for the accident, he/she might not offer the settlement in the first place. In that case, the plaintiff would have no other option but to bring the case before court. Sometimes, the two parties have difficulty agreeing upon an exact amount that would benefit both of them.

It might be beneficial to the plaintiff to start court filings simply because he/she wants to grab the attention of an unwavering insurance company. This is a sign for the insurance company that the plaintiff is willing to do more than just threaten the other party and that they could take the case to court.

How Can I Be Sure That My Case Will Go to Court?

As was already mentioned, in the overwhelming majority of cases the case will not even go to court. If you have been injured in Chicago because of someone else‘s negligent actions, it is a good idea to contact a Phoenix personal injury lawyer. A lawyer can assist you in navigating through the process and advising you on whether or not an offer made by the other party is fair.

How to Finance a Personal Injury Lawsuit

How to Finance a Personal Injury Lawsuit

A personal injury lawsuit can end up being profitable for you because you can get compensation for the injury that you had to deal with. Nevertheless, the proceedings sometimes take a lot of time, so you should have a backup plan how to survive in the meantime.

You Need to Have Something You Can Live On

The reason why you should sue the person who caused you an injury in the first place is so that you can make him/her or his/her insurance company pay the damages that arose as a result. The damages can include lost wages, medical expenses or damages for pain and suffering. If the injury caused you to not be able to work, you may have to find an alternative way to earn money for that time period.

Keep in Mind That You Are Also Responsible for Legal Expenses and Attorney Fees

Lawyers tend to be costly, especially when there is a proceeding in court. On the other hand, most lawyers specializing in personal injury will agree to only be paid if you end up being successful in court. This is called a contingency fee. It means you will not have an obligation to pay anything upfront. However, the legal expenses might not only include attorney fees, but also any money that you spend on expert witnesses, medical records, etc.

Other Options to Consider

If your credit is good, you might be eligible to go to a financial institution and take a loan that is personal in nature in order to finance the lawsuit. Other than financial institutions, family members and/or friends might also help you in that matter. If your medical bills are large, go and see a doctor, hospital, or another institution that provides medical services and ask if they offer smaller payments or if they would be okay if you paid the bills for a prolonged period of time. With regard to your circumstances, it might be possible for you to qualify for unemployment, disability, or workers’ compensation that you could use to pay for expenses.

If you had to sustain a personal injury, it is always a good to look for a legal professional who can provide you with details on how to proceed forward with a lawsuit.