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What You Need to Know About Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment happens much more frequently than you might think. Many people believe that sexual harassment in the workplace amounts to someone touching you or propositioning you in a way that you do not find comfortable. In reality, sexual harassment equates to much more than that. You may also think that there is little you can do about sexual harassment in the workplace, but you do have some options.

Image of woman being harassed at work

What is Sexual Harassment?

Sexual harassment can come in many forms. If someone touches you without your permission, that is blatant sexual harassment. If someone tries to get you to go on a date with them and ties it to your performance or job in any way, that is also sexual harassment. Yet sexual harassment can be much more subtle. It could simply be untoward or offensive remarks, discrimination based on your gender, or uncomfortable talk about sexual topics.

Continue reading “What You Need to Know About Sexual Harassment”

Why You Should Not Sign Anything Without an Attorney

When you have a legal case that could result in compensation, it is important that you never sign anything without first speaking with an attorney. Regardless of the type of case you are facing, once you sign on the dotted line of a settlement or insurance claim, you will not be able to get any additional compensation down the road.

A Lawyer talking to two clients

Personal Injury Settlements

If you have been injured on someone’s property, by a product, on the job, or due to someone’s negligence, you may be asked to sign something stating that the property owner or party is not liable for your medical costs, and that you will not sue. Once you sign such a statement, your ability to receive compensation is gone. Sometimes you may be asked to sign such a statement while receiving a small check for your medical expenses. Before signing anything or cashing the check, contact an attorney to make sure that the settlement is fair and equitable.

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Key Signs You Are Facing Discrimination on the Job

Employment discrimination is not always obvious. Most companies have a workplace diversity policy in place, and managers must at least appear to be following it. In spite of this, managers still discriminate against protected classes in more subtle ways that can be harder to prove. They may do this to make you appear incompetent to uphold their view of your protected class, or they may be trying to make you quit in frustration. Either way, these signs of discrimination of the job should not be ignored.

Photo of a man aggressively speaking to a upset female employee

You Are Asked Questions Unrelated to the Job

Employment discrimination often begins during the interview and onboarding process. You may be asked questions that do not pertain to your ability to do the job. For example, a woman may be asked if she has adequate child care for her children in order to minimize absences. Other inappropriate questions may revolve around religious beliefs, after work activities, or other lifestyle choices. Whether or not they could affect scheduling, these questions are not appropriate, and are the first sign of employment discrimination.

Assignment of Impossible or Demeaning Duties

As your time in the company continues, you may notice that you are being assigned all of the tasks that no one else wants. These tasks are usually ones in which you are not able to use or prove your skills and talents. They are designed to keep you in the background of the company, not allowing you to shine in any way.

Alternatively, you may be given work assignments that have impossible deadlines, or are themselves impossible. This is usually done to try to prove that you are incompetent. Such tactics are often used to try to lay the groundwork for termination. If you notice that your work assignments are not comparable to those of your coworkers, chances are it is discrimination.

Demeaning Talk and Inappropriate Remarks

One of the more obvious signs of employment discrimination is demeaning or belittling talk from your coworkers or managers. If your manager is always condescending in manner, it could be a sign of discrimination. Inappropriate jokes and remarks about your religion, gender, sexual orientation, or race also constitute discrimination.

If you have been the victim of employment discrimination, you do not have to suffer in silence. Contact an attorney immediately to protect yourself and your job. We can assist you with any employment discrimination in Florida. Simply contact our offices for a consultation.

Whose Fault is a Slip and Fall? Getting Compensation

Proving fault in a slip and fall case can sometimes be difficult. Both the property owner and accident victim have a responsibility to ensure safety. Negligence can be alleged on either side, and the determining factor of who is at fault, and to what extent, will have a direct impact on the compensation you could receive for your injuries.

Point of view photo of an EMT assessing man on a gurney

The Property Owner’s Liability

The property owner has a responsibility to provide a safe environment to the best of their ability. This does not mean that any hazards are automatically due to the negligence or liability of the property owner. In order to get compensation from the property owner for a slip and fall accident, you have to prove that they were at fault.

This usually means one of three things. The property owner, his employee, or his contractor should have known about and responded to the hazard, because a reasonable person would know that there was a hazard to be addressed. Reasonableness in itself can be difficult to prove in some cases. The second thing it could mean is that the property owner or their representative knew about the hazard and did nothing to correct it. This proves direct negligence. Finally, it may mean that the property owner or their representative caused the hazard that led to the accident.

If you can prove negligence and liability through one of these three methods, you will be able to get at least some compensation for your claim. There are some other factors that could be considered as well that could affect your claim.

Your Responsibility and Negligence

Every individual has a responsibility to keep themselves safe. If signs indicating a hazard are placed in the area and you do not notice them because you are not aware of your surroundings, this is negligence on your part. You could also be found to have contributed to the accident through comparative negligence if you were talking on your cell phone or otherwise distracted when the accident occurred. Again, the reasonableness test comes into play. Would a reasonable and appropriately cautious person have had the accident?

If you are found to have contributed to the accident, your compensation could be at risk. The judge or jury can assign a percentage to how much your negligence contributed to the accident, and reduce your compensation by that percentage. To protect yourself and ensure you are fully compensated, you should always consult an attorney for a slip and fall case in Florida. Contact us today for a consultation.

What To Do if You’re Involved in a Pedestrian Accident

As a pedestrian, you are especially vulnerable to drivers, road conditions, and property defects. Tragedy can happen out of nowhere, even if you are following the rules of the roadway and taking extreme care on your route. Injuries sustained in pedestrian accidents can last a lifetime and lead to high medical bills with no resources to pay. If you’re involved in a pedestrian accident, it’s crucial to take certain steps to keep yourself safe and hold the guilty party or parties responsible for their actions.

Photo of a dead man on the road after getting hit by a car

Introduction to Pedestrian Accidents

Pedestrian accidents can involve a vehicle or occur due to poor property maintenance. In the case of a vehicular accident, the driver could be liable for negligence, depending on the circumstances. The pedestrian’s actions could also contribute. A pedestrian must be mindful of and follow traffic flow, posted or flashing signs, and marked crosswalks. A driver who is speeding, distracted, disobeying traffic laws, or driving recklessly can be shown to be acting negligently. Either party, or both, can be held responsible for causing or contributing to the accident.

If you are injured due to poor property maintenance, a property owner could be forced to compensate you because of negligence to their property that caused your injury. If the owner created the hazard, was aware of it but failed to have it repaired, or the condition existed for an unreasonable length of time, an attorney specializing in premises liability can help you recover damages from them.

What To Do After A Pedestrian Accident

If you’ve been injured in a pedestrian accident, the first thing to do is call the police if you are able. Stay at the scene of your accident until they have arrived. Make sure to record names and contact information for any witnesses. You should not speak to anyone other than the authorities. It is likely that the responsible party’s account of the accident will be different from yours.

After your Southwest Florida pedestrian accident, you may be confused or concerned about what steps to take next. An attorney with Weldon & Rothman can guide you through filing a claim against the responsible party. They’ll meet with you to compile evidence, work with your insurance company, and ultimately secure a financial settlement that will ease your mind and make you financially whole again. Call (239) 262-2141 to schedule your free consultation with Weldon & Rothman.

3 Reasons to Hire an Attorney if Your Insurance Claim is Denied

You pay your insurance company an annual fee to make sure you’re protected when you need it most. A car accident, a house fire, a physical injury – all happen unexpectedly and cause you mental, emotional, and financial stress. When these things come up, usually your insurance company works with you to ease that stress and cover the expense of those unexpected events. Sometimes, though, they don’t. It is possible to file a valid claim with your insurer and have your claim denied.

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If you have been denied compensation by your insurance company for a valid claim, the company could be guilty of a bad faith practices, and you could be compensated for their negligence. It’s important to have an experienced attorney in your corner to navigate the laws surrounding bad faith claims. Here are 3 reasons to hire an attorney if your insurance claim is denied.

An attorney knows what evidence and documentation to collect to support your case.

Insurance companies are in the business of making money; they are well-versed in providing confusing contract language or failing to provide proper documentation in the hopes you won’t be prepared to fight back. An attorney knows what is required and will stand their ground against your insurance company.

An attorney will get you the most compensation possible from your claim.

Insurance companies acting in bad faith will often try to offer you less money than what is reasonable for your claim. An attorney will demand an appropriate payout and, depending on how the case goes, could even get you more money than the face value of your policy.

An attorney may be taken more seriously.

Insurers may take your claim more seriously when it is filed by an attorney, which could mean a faster settlement for you and a larger compensation amount. When working with you, they could drag their feet and avoid your attempts to contact them.  An attorney will see these signs and act accordingly to keep your case moving forward.

Choosing the right Southwest Florida attorney to help with a denied insurance claim is key to easing your stress and getting your life back to normal as fast as possible. The attorneys at Weldon & Rothman will aggressively pursue your insurance denial claim and make sure your insurance company is held accountable. Call (239) 262-2141 to schedule your free consultation today.

Uninsured Motorist Insurance: What Is It and Do I Need It?

Photo of a totaled carIf an automobile accident leaves you traumatized, injured, and vehicle-less, are you prepared to respond? Most people can’t absorb that type of financial shock without turning their lives upside down. So, what happens if the driver responsible for your accident is uninsured or underinsured?

You suddenly find yourself left with all of the injuries and no way to obtain financial compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. You don’t need to accept this type of situation and deal with the ripples for years to come. By making sure you’re covered with uninsured motorist insurance, you won’t be left in the lurch.

Do You Have Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) Coverage?

UM/UIM coverage is nothing short of essential to every single driver on the roadway. State statutory laws require insurers to offer UM/UIM insurance that provides compensation if you’re injured by another driver without insurance. UM coverage even comes to the rescue in hit-and-run situations when you have no other way to track down the person who hurt you. Continue reading “Uninsured Motorist Insurance: What Is It and Do I Need It?”

Why It’s Important to Hire an Attorney When You’ve Been Wronged

two people shaking handsUnexpected tragedy can strike at any moment throughout your day. You could be involved in a car wreck, injured at work, or hurt when you fall down the stairs. If another person’s negligence is the cause of your injuries, you shouldn’t have to cope with the legal and financial implications yourself.

If you’ve been wronged by another person, it’s essential that you hire an attorney. Only an experienced personal injury attorney can help you navigate the confusing world of insurance claims and demand that you receive the compensation that you deserve.

An Attorney Helps You Handle Serious Injuries

Sustaining a serious injury in an accident can permanently alter your life. You might require long-term care, develop a lifelong disability, or be forced to leave your job.

These significant impacts on your life cannot just be overlooked. They need to be properly handled by a personal injury attorney so you can receive compensation to cover the medical expenses, loss of salary, and other hardships you endure as a result of your injuries.

An Attorney Will Stand Up to Insurance Companies

Insurance companies aren’t known for jumping at the chance to provide substantial payouts. It is very likely that the insurance companies involved in your case will look for any way to minimize the amount of money you receive from your injury claim.

The only way to force an insurance company to give your case the attention it deserves is to hire a personal injury attorney. Your attorney can use specific legal techniques to demand a fair settlement payout from the insurance company. If that fails, your attorney can help you take your case to court. Continue reading “Why It’s Important to Hire an Attorney When You’ve Been Wronged”

FMLA: Your Right to Family Leave

Parents cuddling with their babyThe Family Medical Leave Act was put in place so people would be able to take time off from work in order to either care for someone in their family who is ill or for pregnancy. Employers who try to fire someone when they attempt to take their leave or prevent an employee from taking their leave is acting illegally, and is liable for lost wages and attorney fees.

Who Can Take a Leave?

The FMLA covers up to 12 weeks of leave over a one-year period. This can be used for the birth of a baby, to care for an immediate family member with an illness, to deal with a personal serious health condition, or to respond to an urgent need or demand related to an active service member who is immediate family. Twenty-six weeks are given if an immediate family member needs to care for an injured service member.

What Does Retaliation Look Like?

If you decided to take your leave non-consecutively, your employer might dislike this practice and retaliate against you. This retaliation can include giving you the same amount of work despite the fact that you are supposed to be working less. They may also try to demote you or pay you a lower salary despite the fact that you are entitled to a leave of this kind through the FMLA. If you decided to take your 12 weeks all at once, it is required that upon your return, your position still be available to you – or at least an equivalent position. You may be facing retaliation if you have been demoted, lose seniority, or are required to do an entirely different job upon your return. Continue reading “FMLA: Your Right to Family Leave”

What To Do if You Suspect Nursing Home Neglect

Woman aggressively grabbing elderly woman's armWhen our loved ones get older, they often end up no longer being able to live on their own and care for themselves. We put our trust in nursing homes to provide them with professional medical treatment, and to treat them with the kindness and respect they deserve. Unfortunately, there are many instances where nursing homes take advantage of the vulnerability of the elderly and are negligent in their medical care or even abusive emotionally. If you suspect your loved one is suffering from nursing home neglect, it is important to take the necessary steps to right this injustice.

Document Everything

Document everything you see with photographs. You cannot simply rely on the nursing home’s medical records, especially if you suspect they are being noncompliant with health standards. One common sign of neglect is deep bedsores; these can develop if the staff are not regularly rotating the patient on the bed. These sores can progress until they reach the bone, and will continue to worsen if the staff does not treat the wound correctly. Also be sure to look for any bodily wounds and take photographs if you find them. You should also take any photos of unclean or unsafe conditions that you come across. Continue reading “What To Do if You Suspect Nursing Home Neglect”