Wednesday, September 29, 2010

You Can File a Personal Injury Suit Even If You Can't Afford an Accident Attorney

Every Victim of an Accident or Personal Injury Deserves Attorney Representation

It happens to thousands of people every day. Through no fault of their own, they are involved in a vehicle wreck or accident that causes serious injuries. These injuries keep them from being able to work and provide for their families. Because these people cannot afford to pay their bills, they feel certain they cannot afford an attorney. They suffer because they don't realize that they can get help.

While many survive their accidents, some do not. If that person was the primary breadwinner of the home, their families are left behind to struggle to pay the bills without their income. And if that person was in the hospital before passing away, there are medical bills that have to be paid.

Some families in these situations give up and file bankruptcy. Some just let their credit be ruined because they cannot pay the bills. It doesn't have to be this way.

A contingent fee arrangement allows people to file suit against the powerful corporations and insurance companies without having to pay an attorney any up front costs. Here's how it works: The attorneys and the client will agree to share the settlement amount if there is one. An agreement will also be made as to how the expenses are paid. But here's the best part-in most cases the client does not pay anything unless a settlement is reached.

How Can Personal Injury Attorneys Offer This?

Because the accident has left them available to work, most of the people who need a Houston personal injury attorney don't have the funds to pay legal fees. A large number of personal injury cases in the United States are "no win, no fee" agreements.

An attorney that takes on one of these types of cases believes that he or she can win it. An attorney is not going to take on a case that doesn't have merit. To do so would be misleading to the client. Most attorneys will not take on a case they don't feel they can win or they feel is frivolous. Despite common misconceptions, attorneys don't want to file frivolous lawsuits that place a burden on the court system.

How Does a Contingent Fee Arrangement Work?

A client must sign a contingent fee agreement. This will outline how much the attorney will invest in the case and what steps he or she will take. Most cases never make it to the courtroom but are settled. The agreement also outlines how a settlement will be divided once the case is won. This includes how much the attorney will get in fees and for expenses incurred during the case.

More and more clients are demanding contingent fee agreements after their accidents. They are a win-win for the client since they are not out any money if they lose and they will receive a settlement for their pain and suffering if they win.

No one should suffer because of someone else's negligence. A contingent fee lawsuit with in Texas with a Houston personal injury attorney can help those who are injured physically, financially and personally in an accident.

 

The author has been serving clients with accident claims for 15 years. Contact us if you need a Malpractice Attorney in Boca, Boynton Beach, Jupiter or West Palm Beach.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Workers' Compensation Insurance - What Employers Should Know

All U.S. employers, with very limited exceptions, are required to purchase Workers' Compensation insurance. This state-regulated insurance provides state mandated medical and lost wage benefits to employees injured during the course and scope of their employment.   Exceptions to purchasing this mandatory insurance include very small companies that do not meet the number of employees requirement, or in some cases, very large companies that prefer to self-insure this risk. An employer's failure to comply with a state's requirements will trigger economic penalties and possible criminal prosecution.  A variety of Workers' Compensation insurance programs are available from the employer's risk finance perspective.

Exclusive Remedy & Employers' Liability

Although each state's regulations differ, they all share a common purpose. They provide an "exclusive remedy" in the form of a "no-fault" program for compensating employees in the form of medical benefits and lost wages in connection with injuries that arise in the course and scope of their employment. While Workers' Compensation insurance responds to the "no-fault" consequences of workplace injury, Employers' Liability insurance, which is typically joined with Workers' Compensation policies, provides coverage for common law claims against the employer by the employee, their family or third-parties, if the claimant or plaintiff can meet the legal standard in their jurisdiction for establishing that the injury was caused by the employer's negligence, gross negligence, recklessness or willful conduct.

The Broad Landscape of Special Funds and State Programs

Many states provide special funds to pay workers' compensation benefits to injured workers employed by companies that failed to purchase insurance. Assigned risk pools or insurers of last resort are also available for employers that commercial insurers consider too risky.

Monopolistic States

There are currently four monopolistic states: Ohio, North Dakota, Washington and Wyoming. Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands also operate under a monopolistic structure. These states legislated requirements that Workers' Compensation insurance be provided exclusively by the state's compulsory program. Commercial insurers may not offer Workers' Compensation insurance in those four states, yet at least two of the states do allow limited opportunity for self-insurance for well-capitalized employers.

Competitive State Funds

In contrast to monopolistic state programs, Competitive State Funds are state-owned and operated insurance facilities that compete in the open market with commercial insurers to underwrite Workers' Compensation insurance solely within their respective state.

Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia operate Competitive State Fund programs.

Second or Subsequent Injury Funds

In most states it's illegal for an employer to refuse to hire a prospective employee or terminate an employee if they have previously filed a workers' compensation claim.  To reduce the possibility of this form of discrimination, some states established a Second Injury or Subsequent Injury Fund. The purpose of these funds is to limit an employer's (and their Workers' Compensation insurer's) exposure by reimbursing or covering the Workers' Compensation benefits paid because of an aggravation or recurrence of a previously existing injury. Reimbursement eligibility requires that the injury must result from a qualifying permanent partial pre-existing disability, illness or congenital medical condition that may hinder person from obtaining employment.

Insurance Premium Calculation - The Loss Experience Mod Factor

This is a complex and often misunderstood concept that has a major effect upon a company's Workers' Compensation insurance premiums. On a general level, it is essentially a comparative analysis of your company's Workers' Compensation loss history for the prior three years against companies within the same or similar industries.

The standard Experience Mod, which is explained below, is calculated by the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI). Employees are classified by standard identification codes depending upon their occupation. Depending upon an employer's size and diversity of operations, many classification codes may be involved in the analysis.

Simply stated, the neutral point in the rating curve is 1.0. If a company's Experience Modification Factor ("Mod") is greater than 1.0, the employer is issued a "Debit Mod" meaning the premium will be increased by a certain mathematical factor. Alternatively, if the loss history is better than expected or lower than 1.0, the employer receives a "Credit Mod" factor that will decrease the Workers' Compensation premium.

A Premium Calculation Illustration  Using a simple example, suppose the employer only has one classification code for all employees, all of whom work in the same state, and the Workers' Compensation expected loss rate or base premium rate (as established by the state in which the company's employees are located) is $3 for every $100 of payroll.

If the employer has a Mod factor of 0.70, the premium will be calculated as 0.70 x $3 = $2.10. This means the employer is paying $2.10 per $100 of payroll, while its competitor peer group, on average, is paying $3 per $100 of payroll.

Assume the annual payroll for this employer is $2 million, the result is the employer would pay $42,000 in premium versus its competitors with a Mod of 1.0 paying $60,000 for the same coverage. Conversely, if the employer in this example had a Mod of 1.5, the premium would be 1.5 x $3= $4.5 per $100 of payroll. Using the same $2 million annual payroll, the employer in this case would pay $90,000 in annual premium while competitors with a 1.0 Mod would be paying $30,000 less for the same coverage. It's easy to appreciate how these Credit or Debit Mods will have a significant impact upon a company's bottom line, particularly as annual payrolls reach significant levels.

Many factors go into the actual calculation of a Mod including the company's loss frequency (number of losses), loss severity (the cost of the losses), and an estimate of losses that are characterized as Incurred But Not Reported (IBNR), meaning expected losses that have not yet materialized into actual workers' compensation claims.

Medical-Only vs. Lost-Time Claims

When calculating an experience Mod, Medical-Only claim reserves are generally factored at about 30% of ultimate value. Lost Time or Indemnity claims are treated very differently. The literature on calculating experience modification factors states that the first $5,000 of a Lost Time claim ultimate reserve is factored in at 100% with discounts applying above $5,000, including a catastrophic claim cap limit. Therefore, the frequency of Lost Time claims is a real driver of adverse experience. If a company has one Lost Time claim valued at $50,000, it will have less of an adverse affect upon the Mod factor than twenty Lost Time claims valued at $2,500 per claim.

The difference between how these two types of claims affect the Mod should be a strong incentive for employers to implement modified duty programs, with particular attention given to getting employees back to work during the mandatory benefit waiting period, whenever possible. This will cause the claim to be reclassified to "Medical Only" thereby reducing the multi-year adverse impact upon the company's Workers' Compensation insurance premiums.

Claim reserve management is critically important as having over-reserved claims will exponentially affect your Mod factor and correspondingly increase your premium. Having under-reserved claims is also no benefit, as the insurer's audit may result in an unexpected assessment and, of course, increased premiums going forward. Periodic reserve evaluation by a qualified professional should ensure that over-reserved cases are negotiated downward to a reasonable level and under-reserved cases are reserved properly.

Loss Prevention

Loss Prevention is the best way to keep insurance premiums in check. The process can take many forms but essentially involves identifying potential areas of work injury risk and applying techniques to eliminate or substantially reduce the risk that an injury will occur.

Identification of potential causes of risk through performance of a workplace risk assessment is the first step. This process includes critical analysis of procedures as well as physical inspection of facilities and work environments, and discussions with operational personnel and key managers.

Once the causes of potential loss have been identified, modifications can be implemented to operational and business practices in order to reduce the associated risks. The assessment process should be performed by qualified consultants, combining qualitative elements and quantitative metrics including specifications of the physical requirements of each function and the associated loss costs.

Findings should be reviewed with key stakeholders. After agreed upon modifications to operational programs and/or safety programs have been implemented, it's important to monitor results and make adjustments to the preventive measures. Periodic re-testing is important to ensure optimal results are consistently achieved as the company develops. This process has unique relevance in an acquisition scenario

Loss Control

Loss Control is the process of reducing or mitigating the effect of losses once they occur. Similar to loss prevention safety programs, loss control should encompass well-formulated procedures to respond to various loss situations. The most common examples of loss control are obtaining immediate medical attention for injured workers and having a limited duty return to work program. Employers should conduct a post-loss analysis of the factors that precipitated the loss to determine whether modifications to the loss prevention plan are appropriate. Any post-loss control program should include a process for coordinating medical care to ensure that appropriate medical treatment is received timely so as not to exacerbate a condition while managing medical costs to avoid any unnecessary expenses. Additionally, developing a close working relationship with insurers to deal with potentially fraudulent claims, and implementing an early return to work or modified return to work program all factor into keeping losses at their lowest possible level.

OSHA Focuses On Ergonomics

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration ("OSHA") publishes a variety of guidelines on the topic of workplace ergonomics for various industries and jobs. OSHA has announced plans to heighten its enforcement of ergonomics under the General Duty Clause which requires employers to "...keep their workplaces free from recognized serious hazards, including ergonomic hazards."

OSHA Enforcement has stated:

 Even if there are no guidelines specific to your industry, as an employer you still have an obligation under the General Duty Clause, Section 5(a)(1) to keep your workplace free from recognized serious hazards, including ergonomic hazards. OSHA will cite employers for ergonomic hazards under the General Duty Clause or issue ergonomic hazard letters where appropriate as part of its overall enforcement program. OSHA encourages employers, where necessary, to implement effective programs or other measures to reduce ergonomic hazards and associated musculo-skeletal disorders ("MSDs"). A great deal of information is currently available from OSHA, NIOSH, and various industry and labor organizations on how to establish an effective ergonomics program, and OSHA urges employers to avail themselves of these resources.

Workers' Compensation costs have a direct bottom line effect upon all enterprises. Managing those costs to the optimally lowest level requires operational risk assessment, planning, education, an effective return to work program, continual evaluation and active management of loss reserves and third party claims administrators. Experienced insurance professionals are an employer's best resource for minimizing the adverse effects of work-related injuries upon profitability.

 

The author is a Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter

Why HVAC Trade Schools are the best choice

Attending one of the many HVAC trade schools out there is very important for those who are planning to have long-term careers in the HVAC industry. With certification from an accredited school, you can be sure that you will have a rewarding HVAC career.

When the US economy underwent a severe crisis starting back in 2008, many economic pundits predicted that it would be the beginning of the end of the world's largest powerhouse economy. The US economy might have been hit hard, but it is not crumbling to pieces. To say that the US is going to spiral downward towards economic abyss is simply irrational.

For all the negative economic rhetoric, the US is still the largest powerhouse economy in the world. There is no doubt that will recover from any crisis. And recovery is happening right now. Just look at all those buildings being erected across the country.

Construction, no doubt, is beginning to accelerate again. And if the construction business is alive, HVAC jobs will be in demand. Choosing a career as an HVAC technician is certainly good choice for young people nowadays.

HVAC stands for "heating, ventilating, and air conditioning." An HVAC technician, therefore, takes care of the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems of various establishments. HVAC technicians install, repair, or maintain HVAC systems.

Unlike carpentry or welding, HVAC skills cannot be learned from home workshops. Even if you have an HVAC tech dad, you will not grasp essential HVAC knowledge and skills by simply watching your old man work. To develop HVAC skills, it is necessary to attend HVAC trade schools.

HVAC is quite a complicated field. You cannot be a good HVAC technician if you do not have proper theoretical background. That is why going to a trade school is essential. What these schools do is immerse students in HVAC theories

Courses offered in HVAC schools may explore principles of thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, and heat transfer. Having a good grasp of theory will, however, not be enough. Just like other fields, an HVAC technician should also have good practical skills. That is why trade schools immerse their students in loads of hands-on courses involving state-of-the-art and updated HVAC equipment.

HVAC wannabes should be wary in choosing their school. There are some that do not have proper accreditation. Such schools may offer lower rates, but attending HVAC schools lacking sufficient accreditation may have serious repercussions.

First, it is much easier for those who have attended those schools with proper accreditation to land entry-level positions. The fact is that employers put their trust in applicants with excellent credentials. A person may demonstrate proper HVAC skills, but usually it matters more to employers if the person went to an accredited school.

One probable reason why employers have more confidence in prospects from accredited schools is training. Employers know that accredited schools have programs that properly develop students' skills and confidence. They simply feel safe with them.

Attending an accredited schools to learn HVAC will not only help graduates land entry-level positions with ease, but will also help them later on. You can, for instance, use your certification when you apply for higher positions. With certification from a well respected HVAC trade school, you can be sure that you will be able to get promoted.

 

The Author has been writing articles for over 4 years. Please visit her latest website about jobs and careers from Trade School Programs, with information on finding the best HVAC Trade Schools that anyone looking at a new career would be interested in.

Is Attending HVAC Schools Really Necessary?

Absolutely!

It is a known fact that employers prefer to hire individuals who have received job-related training before entering the industry.

Attending HVAC schools will provide you with the training you need to help you be more appealing to employers.

In addition, enrolling in an accredited HVAC program will also offer you additional benefits that will help you compete in the workplace. These benefits include:

    * The chance to learn essential job-related skills.

    * The opportunity to receive hands-on training.

    * The opportunity to learn from instructors who work in the industry.

    * The chance to learn skills that will increase your job security.

What Will I Learn in HVAC School?

An accredited HVAC program will offer classes that teach students about the following topics:

    * Construction Safety: Learn about the rules and regulations surrounding building construction.

    * Blueprint Reading: Develop the skills necessary to read blueprints make the calculations necessary to complete the job.

    * Energy Usage: Discover how to incorporate energy saving practices into your work.

    * Business Management: Learn how to manage the different aspects of larger construction projects

Some HVAC programs may also offer special courses, such as computer drafting, environmental design, and building inspection. Sometimes, these special courses may require students to have additional on-the-job experience before enrolling.

 

How Long Will It Take Me to Complete Training?

The time required to graduate from HVAC school varies depending upon the school you choose.

Some schools offer HVAC course programs lasting only a few weeks, while others can take several months to complete all the classes.

Your individual schedule will also play a role in determining how fast you complete your HVAC program.

A full-time student will likely complete training faster than a part-time student.

What Jobs Will I Qualify for After Attending HVAC Schools?

HVAC School training will put you on the fast-track to gaining access to the HVAC industry.

After graduation, you will become a competitive candidate for almost all high-paying, entry-level positions this industry has to offer.

 

With your diploma, you can qualify for jobs like

 

    * HVAC service technician

    * Entry-level installer

    * Installation assistant

    * Sheet metal worker

 

You will be responsible for installing or maintaining the heating and cooling systems that control the temperature, humidity, and air quality of both residential and commercial buildings. How Much Does It Cost to Attend HVAC Schools?

The cost of enrolling in an accredited HVAC program will vary depending upon the school.

The good news is that most technical schools offer financial assistance to those students who cannot afford to pay the total cost of their training out-of-pocket.

Regardless, receiving training from HVAC school will allow you to demand higher wages in the workplace.

So no matter the cost, you can rest assured that your training will pay for itself in no time!

Attending a HVAC training school is a great way to receive HVAC training.

 

The Author lives in Maryland and If you live in Maryland - specifically the areas of Baltimore, Glen Burnie, Silver Spring, or Dundalk - North American Trade Schools is a great choice for receiving the proper training.

The Need-to-Knows of Workers Compensation

Some of the workplaces are hazardous and the employees are at risk of getting injured. In this case, employers are required to provide prompt medical assistance that may include the following:

• Emergency health care

• Temporary or permanent disability benefits

• Vocational rehabilitation or supplemental job displacement benefit

• Death benefits in the case of sudden death of an employee at the work place.

If an employee is injured at the work site, the employer can choose the medical physician who would provide immediate medical help for the injured. Generally, companies tie up with some medical professionals' network for these kinds of situations. After a period of one month, the employee can choose a physician on his own.

The workers, who are injured, would be monitored by the claims administrator, physician as well as the employer. The doctor needs to certify when the employee is fit to get back to work. Until then, the employer cannot force the injured employee to get back to daily work routine. In addition, if the employees quickly get back to their routine, significant income is not deducted from the salary.

Sometimes, the employee is allowed to come back to work under certain restrictions due to their current state of health. In that case, the employer should be willing to accommodate these restrictions in order to allow the employee to work.

Similarly, if the employee is not able to carry out the same responsibilities that he was performing before his injury on-site, the employer is persuaded to give the employee supplemental job displacement benefits in which the employer alters the scope of work in order to accommodate the medical restrictions faced by the employee.

 

The Author is an online leading expert in legal industry.

The Tasks That An Elder Care Provider Performs

In the past, our parents used to do their own thing. They used to have the strength and energy they needed to perform different tasks both at home and in their jobs. They were sharp and fast. However, all of their youthful characteristics may no longer be presented today. Old age can indeed cause a dramatic amount of change on people in all aspects namely physically, emotionally, socially, spiritually, and intellectually. Different problems or issues commonly associated with old age include: a decline in mobility; decreased ability to manage medications and medical appointments; problems with performing personal hygiene; increased tendency to forget things; a decrease in social activities; and a huge change in behavioral patterns. As a person's age advances, his or her capabilities decline. When the time comes when an elderly person can no longer do things on his own, this is basically when an elder care provider should be called forth to help.

All of the problems associated with old age can be addressed through the aid of an elder care provider. Elder care providers are commonly employed by persons who are on a tight schedule that hinders them from providing care to the elderly members of their families. With the current economic crisis that we are in right now, a lot of people are now taking on full time jobs so that they can provide the different needs of elderly people. One of the best places where one can easily spot an elder care provider would be online. On the other hand, you can also make use of this tool so that you can get the basic details of providing care for elderly people. In this manner you will be able to check whether or not a set of tasks carried out by an elder care provider are satisfactory or not.

Different tasks that are normally expected from an elder care provider come in a long list. Among his or her common responsibilities would be to prepare meals; assisting elderly people in going to different events; reading books that are of interest to elderly people; having fun and lively conversations and acting as companions; and assisting old people with different household chores.

These services are not only beneficial for elderly people who are staying at home but for those who have just arrived from a long stay at the hospital because of certain disease conditions. In such instances, most of old people lack the self confidence that they need in going about their work and they could use some assistance from an elderly care provider.

 

The author states that if you want to slow down the effects of aging, you may want to try anti aging products. This might help you in extending the time before you're actually going to need the help of a certified nursing assistant.