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Richmond Legal Issues Blog

Was your workers' comp claim denied? There is still hope

Are you one of the many Kentucky residents who has suffered a work-related injury this year? If you are, you likely did what was necessary, and reported it and filed for workers' compensation. You went about getting the treatment you needed, believing that insurance will take care of the cost. Then you heard back from insurance and found out your workers' comp claim did not receive approval. Now what?

Workers' compensation benefits are in place to protect you from losses experienced as a result of a work-related injury. At least, that is what should happen. Unfortunately, many people find that the coverage they get is minimal if they get anything at all. This leaves them scrambling to cover their financial losses out of pocket.

Highlighting the dangers of drowsy driving

Given the amount of time and resources spent on educating people about the dangers of drunk and distracted driving, most in Richmond might find it relatively easy to avoid putting themselves in situations where they might even consider engaging in such practices. Yet there is another form of dangerous driving that poses a threat to all who are on the road: drowsy driving. While many may not even think of texting while driving or getting behind the wheel after drinking, countless people may jump in their vehicles and drive off while tired or drowsy without giving it a second thought. 

Just how great of a threat is drowsy driving? Information shared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that as recently as 2013, it was cited as the cause of over 72,000 car accidents. An even more frightening statistic may be that one out of 25 drivers admit to having fallen asleep while driving within the last month. 

Reviewing truck brake system requirements

Imagine a large semi-truck trying to make a sudden stop on the streets on Richmond. Sadly, many of the clients that our team here at Shumate, Flaherty, Eubanks & Beachtold has worked with have had to witness firsthand just how great a challenge this is. Given the unique specifications of their vehicles, truck drivers (and the companies that employ them) are required to adhere to strict safety and performance standards. Brake maintenance is among them.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has set strict braking requirements for them. It classifies the vehicles covered under this standard into the following categories: 

  • Single-unit vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of 10,000 lbs. or less
  • Single-unit vehicles weighing more than 10,000 lbs.
  • Two-axle towing vehicle and trailer combinations weighing 3000 lbs. or less
  • All single-unit or 2-vehicle combinations involved in drive-away or tow-away operations
  • All other single-unit or 2-vehicle combinations. 

Defining mislaid property

Imagine the following scenario: while dining at a restaurant in Richmond, one notices a laptop bag has been left under his or her table. He or she takes it upon leaving, with every intention of searching its contents to discover who the owner is. However, hours later, law enforcement authorities show up at his or her door accusing him or her of theft, saying that restaurant patrons saw him or her leave with the bag. 

Such a situation is not all that uncommon and can indeed land one in hot water with the law if he or she does not understand the concept of mislaid property. Most might assume that lost property is anything left behind by its owner. Mislaid property, however, is somewhat different. According to the Cornell Law School, lost property is that which is unintentionally left behind by its owner, while mislaid property is anything that its owner may have taken out and then forgotten. In the aforementioned example, the laptop bag would be considered lost if it fell out of its owner's car in a parking lot. If the owner took it out to use his or her computer during a lunch meeting and then later forgot it, it is then determined to be mislaid. 

Man arrested for killing soon-to-be ex-wife

It goes without saying that a good deal emotion is invoked when couples choose to divorce in Richmond. Issues such as property division, child support and alimony can promote contention between the parties involved (who already likely feel a degree of tension and animosity towards each other due to the circumstances that ended their marriages). The hope is that if that emotion does indeed manifest itself, it happens in a safe environment (such as a courtroom) where it can be easily controlled. However, it is impossible to know when emotional outbursts surrounding a divorce may occur, or how extensive their effects may be. 

Sadly, sometimes such incidents can end in tragedy. The recent case of a school administrator in Washington reaffirms this point. The woman had filed for divorce from her husband earlier this year. In her petition, she pointed out that he did own a gun, yet she made no objections to it, asking only that it be confined in his gun safe until their divorce proceedings had ended. Unfortunately, it appears as though her soon-to-be ex-husband failed to respect those wishes, as she was recently found dead in your home from multiple gunshot wounds (although it has not been confirmed if it was indeed the husband's gun used in the killing). He, however, has been arrested on murder charges. 

State approves fee increase on workers' comp claims

Those who are injured while on the job in Richmond are rightly entitled to workers' compensation benefits to help assist them financially until such point as they are able to return to work. It should be remembered, however, that benefit providers do not remain in business by paying out on very claim that they receive. Thus, the news of workers' compensation claim denial should not come as a complete shock. Yet it also should not signal the end of one's quest for benefits. 

In such a case, Richmond residents would be wise to seek out the services of a skilled attorney to help them in appealing their claims. An attorney offers a wealth of knowledge regarding both state workers' compensation requirements as well as the rules regulating civil procedure (if action escalates to a lawsuit). A common question that arises when securing the assistance of an attorney is how much will such services cost? 

What are the different types of distracted driving?

When you think of distracted driving, one thing typically comes to mind: cell phones. The dangers of texting while driving in Richmond (or anywhere else, for that matter), have been well-documented. Yet while the prevalence of texting from behind the wheel certainly deserves the attention it has been getting, it is by no means the only type of distraction that drivers engage in. Several other tasks (many of which appear to be seemingly mundane) can also pull one's attention away from the road, making him or her (at that exact moment) a danger to you and other motorists. 

The Auto Alliance (in conjunction with the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons) has identified the three major types of distractions drivers experience. These include: 

  • Visual distractions: These are those activities which cause you to look away from the road. 
  • Cognitive distractions: These are any activities that divert your focus away from driving. 
  • Manual distractions: These include any actions which prompt you to take one or both hand off of the steering wheel. 

Understanding the basics about workers' compensation

Kentucky workers know that a work accident can leave them with serious injuries and financial expenses that can be a detrimental burden for their family. Even minor work accidents can require a long and expensive recovery, and it is beneficial for individuals to take steps to understand their rights after experiencing an on-the-job injury. 

If you were hurt in a work accident, you have the right to file a workers' compensation claim. This type of claim can allow you to seek the financial benefits you need for a full and fair recovery. It is prudent for you to take steps to understand your rights and to know what you can expect from a claim with your employer's workers' compensation insurance. 

Assigning liability for truck load failures

The massive size of the semi-trucks you see on Richmond's roads is already intimidating; imagine how much more so they can be when those vehicles are packed to the brim with freight. Truckers need to be mindful of their cargo and the obligation that they have to their clients to deliver it on time (and in one piece). At the same time, they need to be aware of their position on the road and the dangers that their vehicles (and their loads) pose to other drivers. Many have come to see us here at Shumate, Flaherty, Eubanks & Baechtold following accidents caused by truck load failures wondering what sort of legal recourse they may have. 

That is often a difficult question to answer, as truckers may not be responsible for loading their vehicles. The loading and securing of their cargo is often done by employees of the companies whose products they are transporting. Thus, the difficulty becomes pinpointing whether the issue that lead to a load failure was due to the loading of the cargo or the actions of the driver while behind the wheel. Cargo and freight may shift during transport, but an argument could be made that had it been securely loaded in the first, such shifts should not happen. 

Are assault and battery the same thing?

If you think you face charges of assault and battery in Kentucky, you should realize that these crimes are different from each other. Per FindLaw, assault and battery are similar to each other, but the prosecutor must prove distinct things to convict you of one as opposed to the other. Therefore, carefully check your citation to determine if the officer charged you with both crimes or only one of them.

To convict you of either assault or battery, the prosecutor must prove both that you intended to commit your alleged crime and that you engaged in one or more acts to accomplish your alleged purpose.

Shumate, Flaherty, Eubanks & Baechtold

Shumate, Flaherty, Eubanks & Baechtold
225 West Irvine Street
Richmond, KY 40475

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