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Understanding Dog Attacks And Filing A Personal Injury

Posted by on Apr 30, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Dog attacks are extremely common across the USA, with over 1,000 Americans needing treatment each day. As such, it is important you understand how to treat the problem and what is required if you plan to submit a claim for your injury. Medical Treatment Following a Dog Attack If you are attacked and bitten by a dog, it’s imperative that you seek medical treatment right away. While dog bites themselves may not be lethal, the infections that can occur as a result can be particularly dangerous. As such, your first action should be to wash the exposed wound under warm water in order to rid the area of germs and bacteria. Additionally, try to remove any hair or dirt that the dog has left. Once you have cleaned the wound and prepared the area, you should seek medical advice. The extent of the injury doesn’t matter when it comes to dog bites – even the most negligible of bite marks can become severely infected if left untreated. If your doctor deems your bite to be severe, they will treat the area and prescribe you with a course of antibiotics to rid your body of infection. Preparing to Make a Claim If you are attacked by a dog that isn’t your own, you will be permitted to submit a claim for damages against the dog’s owner. With that said, making a successful claim isn’t as easy as filling out a form; rather, there are steps you must take in order to ensure your claim has a high chance of winning in court. Report the Incident to the Police The first thing you should do after treating the wound is report the attack to your local police station. It’s important that you do this immediately following an attack, rather than explaining the situation in hindsight. If your case goes to court, the judge will check to make sure the claim was made within a reasonable time span from when the attack occurs. While the length of this time varies widely between cases, getting your claim in immediately will leave the courts with no excuse when they come to assess your case. Gather as Much Evidence as Possible With dog attacks, photographs are your best form of evidence. Taking photographs of the exposed wound will show the court the full extent of your injury and will back up your version of events. If there were any witnesses present, ask them to give a witness statement to the police. In many cases, victims of dog attacks forget that witnesses can be of good use and fail to ask for contact details following the incident. However, it’s extremely beneficial to your claim if you can have one or two outsiders to back up your story and explain to the courts exactly what happened. Understand What You Can Claim With any form of personal injury, claims are typically categorised as general or special claims: General claims cover your injury, the cost for medical care and any costs incurred to treat your injury that the court deems reasonable. Special claims cover the impact of the incident on your finances. Specifically, these claims cover any loss of earnings you suffered and any additional travel costs incurred due to injury. Getting the Legal Help You Need With any...

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Can You Sue The Credit Bureaus For Damaged Credit?

Posted by on Apr 7, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Your credit score is an important aspect of your financial health and can have a direct impact on the monetary and employment opportunities available to you. That’s why it’s critical to regularly monitor your credit report for mistakes and get them fixed right away. Unfortunately, sometimes credit bureaus do not adhere to their legal obligations to fix reporting errors, causing consumers untold angst and losses. However, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) has provisions that allow consumers to sue reporting agencies for violations of the law. Here’s what you need to know about getting compensated for your losses. Recoverable Damages Under the FCRA, you can either pursue actual damages or statutory damages. If you choose to go after actual damages, you must prove you sustained losses and those losses were the direct result of the agency’s action or inaction. For example, if you were charged a higher interest rate on a home loan because the credit agency failed to fix a mistake on your report, you can request to be compensated for that. Statutory damages, on the other, do not require you to prove you were harmed. However, you can only collect between $100 and $1,000 per violation. So even if you weren’t turned down for credit or otherwise harmed by the credit agency’s actions, you can still recover money based on the violation itself. You may also recover actual damages, attorney’s fees, and court costs if you can prove the agency acted negligently in its failure to adhere to the law. For example, an Oregon woman was awarded over $18 million against Equifax because of the company’s failure to correct erroneous information on her credit report. According to available information, representatives of the company informed the woman that some of her information had been mixed up with another consumer’s. Additionally, she claims she was told she had to contact the creditors directly to get the mistakes fixed. However, it is the responsibility of the credit reporting agency to ensure the information they have on file is accurate. Credit agencies are required by the FCRA to launch investigations into reported errors and remove any information it is unable to verify or has been proven to be incorrect. The failure of credit reporting agencies to follow rules such as this may form the basis for a personal injury lawsuit and allow consumers to collect compensation for willful and negligent actions. Lastly, if the company’s actions are particularly egregious, the court may also award punitive damages as a way of punishing the agency for failing to comply with the law. Out of the $18 million the Oregon woman was awarded, only $180,000 of it was for actual damages. The rest were punitive damages levied against credit agency by the jury. Prior to Filing a Lawsuit Before you can file a lawsuit against the credit reporting agency, you must attempt to go through the standard dispute channels to get the problem fixed. Failure to do so could cause you to be charged with filing a frivolous lawsuit and made to pay the agency’s legal fees. Additionally, going through the dispute channels can often clarify who’s at fault for the incorrect information. If the creditor is purposely furnishing the credit agency false information, then you’ll have to go after the creditor for damages....

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3 Factors Lawyers Consider During Car Accident Compensation Cases

Posted by on Mar 24, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

After suffering injury in a car accident, you may immediately contact the other party’s insurance company in an attempt to receive fair compensation. Unless your case is extremely straightforward, it is not likely the insurance company will provide a settlement that covers your pain and suffering, property damage, medical bills and time off work. Once you exhaust your attempts to win a fair compensation package on your own, you may need to work with a personal injury lawyer to resolve the case. Your personal injury lawyer will weigh the details of your case during the initial consultation period to identify your chances of scoring a positive outcome in court. Although lawyers cannot guarantee a specific payout, most will use the three following factors to identify the chances of winning a fair compensation package. Fault Assignment In order to demand payment from the responsible party, court officials want to know exactly who caused the accident and how. Your lawyer must recreate the accident details for the court to demonstrate that you did not cause the accident in any way. Court officials will review the case and assign a fault percentage to each party. In most states, if you carry any responsibility for the accident, your total payout may be reduced by that percentage. Unfortunately, in a handful of states, the contributory negligence rule prevents drivers deemed partially responsible for the accident from collecting a settlement at all. To prepare you for this process, your lawyer will walk you through the expected fault assignment and local laws concerning payouts before your case hits the courtroom. Mental Anguish If you look closely at the other party’s insurance policy documents, you may notice that the coverage amounts specifically address bodily injury. The term bodily injury directly refers to your physical being, not your mental state. If you suffer intense fear or high stress levels from mental trauma stemming from the accident, the insurance settlement may not cover medical care or lost wages for that condition. Prior diagnoses of depression or panic disorders could further complicate your accident settlement claim. Lawyers may be able to push the insurance company to provide a fair settlement, however, by presenting similar compensation rulings from the court system in that jurisdiction. Policy Limits Drivers only need to carry the lowest liability limit required by law to legally drive on public roadways. If you are hit by a driver carrying low liability limits, your medical bills, property damage, lost wages and other costs may far exceed those given amounts. Unfortunately, insurance companies will not pay out anything beyond the listed limit. Instead, your lawyer must file a civil claim against the responsible party in an effort to win the full compensation amount. Insurance representatives may push you to settle within the given limit by stating that is all you are bound to receive. Upon winning the case, and collecting the maximum policy amount from the insurance company, your lawyer can put a lien on the policyholder’s home or business for future payment of the remaining amount. In Conclusion: Measuring The Impact Your lawyer may wish to try working with the insurance company for a fair settlement before taking the case to court. Your lawyer will provide a figure to the insurance company representing the financial toll caused by the...

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Stay Away From Lawsuits With These Winter Driving Safety Tips

Posted by on Mar 9, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

The winter months are extremely dangerous for drivers. There are an average of 467 fatalities every year just from driving on snowy and icy roads. Even if you have automobile insurance, you can find yourself in a lawsuit if you swerve off the road and damage someone’s vehicle or property. Practice these winter driving safety tips before you end up injured or being sued for auto accident damages. Check your tire pressure regularly Your tire pressure drops about 1-2 pounds for every 10 degrees the that the weather drops. If you haven’t checked your tires since the summer, they could be dangerously low. Many people believe that lowering your tire pressure is an effective way to drive on ice, so they don’t bother to fill them back up. While having lower pressure will give your tire better contact, it’s not a safe strategy. When your tires are low, the sidewalls of the tires get too hot. This can cause your tires to roll right off the rim while you’re driving. That’s a dangerous enough problem any other time of year. On the snow, other drivers are much more like to slide into each other when your tires go flying. During the winter, check your tire pressure every couple days to ensure that you have the recommended amount. If you want better contact, the safest thing to do is get better tires. Don’t slam on your brakes If you’re about to hit something, it’s natural to slam on your brakes so you can stop as quickly as possible. When the roads are clear and dry, that works pretty well. The rough concrete stops your vehicle from moving quickly. When you are on the slippery road and ice, slamming on your breaks turns your tires into ice skates. The most effective way to stop quickly is to hit the brakes, let off, hit them again, and keep performing this braking cadence until you stop. It sounds like it will take longer and it’s scary when you’re close to slamming into someone, but you will stop much faster than if you hit your brakes and hope for the best. When you let off the brakes and hit them again, it allows your tires to gain traction with the road again, thus keeping your tires from becoming skates. Be prepared for emergencies Part of driving on snow is making sure that you’re prepared if something happens. Not all accidents happen while you’re in your vehicle. If you break down, drive off the road, or have any other emergency, you need to keep yourself safe. Here are some items that you should keep in your vehicle during the winter months. Tow rope Reflective vest Snow boots (if you aren’t wearing any) Spare tire Hazard triangle Fire extinguisher Emergency road flares Blanket Water Keep your eyes out for black ice Black ice is one of the most dangerous issues during the winter. This is where a thin sheet of completely transparent ice is covering the road. People often mistake black ice for puddles of melted ice and snow. Some people don’t notice it at all. A major problem is that when people come across black ice, they often think the road is clear. This causes them to let their guard down and driver faster and...

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Does Gender Reassignment Invalidate A Marriage?

Posted by on Feb 18, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Although social support for GLBT individuals has grown significantly in recent years, legal support continues to lag behind the times. In particular, transgender individuals often face legal hurdles that are further complicated by how the state and federal government views their gender identities. One such complication is the risk that gender reassignment may result in their marriages being invalidated by the courts. Here’s more information about this legal quagmire and what you can do to protect yourself. How the Law Deals with Gender Reassignment During Marriage Marriage is regulated by each state, so naturally the laws and court decisions that affect the rights of transgendered individuals are all over the place. However, judges have consistently ruled that even if someone changes his or her gender during marriage, the union will remain valid if it was considered so when the couple obtained their license. For instance, the Indiana appeals court overturned a lower-court judge’s ruling that a transgender woman’s transition from male to female invalidated the marriage, making the couple ineligible for a traditional divorce. The circuit judge believed the person’s assumption of a female gender identity reclassified her marriage to another woman as a same-sex union. Using Indiana’s ban on same-sex marriages at the time as a basis, the judge ruled the marriage retroactively invalid. However, the judges at the appeals court reversed the decision, stating the couple had met the legal requirements when they got married since the transgender individual was a man when the two came together as husband and wife. The fact that the person underwent gender reassignment surgery afterwards did not change the legality of their relationship. The couple’s marriage was valid under Indiana law and, thus, eligible for a lawful divorce and the benefits that entailed. Every court presented with similar circumstances has made the same ruling: gender reassignment does not void (retroactively or otherwise) a marriage that was valid at the time the couple came together. Unfortunately, this is a sword that can cut both ways. Some courts have voided the marriages of transgender people who underwent reassignment prior to marriage because the court did not recognize the person’s new gender and the marriage ran afoul of the state’s ban on same-sex unions. For example, in 1999, a Texas appeals court ruled the marriage between a transgender woman and her husband to be void based on the ideology that gender is fixed at birth. Despite the fact the woman was a post-transition female, the court considered her to be legally male and rendered her marriage to her husband illegal. Though times have changed since then, this latter situation continues to be in issue in Texas and other states. A modern-day example involves a transgender woman fighting to be recognized as her husband’s widow. Despite the fact the laws in Texas allowed the woman to get a marriage license by showing a court order related to her gender reassignment, her mother-in-law filed a lawsuit seeking to invalidate the marriage using a combination of the Texas constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages and the 1999 court decision that states people legally remain the gender they are assigned at birth regardless of any reassignment done at a later date. The case is still pending. Protecting Your Family Though the majority of states don’t have laws that specifically...

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What To Do If You Were Involved In A Fatal Car Accident

Posted by on Nov 24, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Being involved in a fatal car accident is a very confusing a scary time. If law enforcement proves you caused the accident, you could be facing many charges against you including reckless driving and vehicular homicide. It’s important to know your rights and retain a good lawyer. No one should have to sit in jail for an accident. If you were recently involved in a fatal crash, or just want to know what to do if it ever happens, here is some advice on what to do after the fact; along with some charges that you could be facing. Remain Silent Whenever you watch crime shows, you see police tell someone they’ve arrested that they have the right to remain silent. That is part of your Miranda rights, and it is absolutely true. It’s better to stay quiet than say something that could hurt you later in court. The police will write down everything that you say to them, and it could be used against you later on. Even if you are just telling the police it was an accident and you’re sorry, you are still admitting fault. Don’t say anything until you have a lawyer such as Mac Greco Jr PA present. Wait to File Your Insurance Claim Different states have a different statute of limitations when it comes to filing an auto insurance claim. The statute of limitations is the amount of time you legally have to file the claim after the accident occurred. You have a right to wait and file anytime within your state’s statute of limitations. Speak to your lawyer before filing your insurance claim. If an insurance representative calls you, don’t answer or tell him or her you will call back. Anything you say to the insurance representative can be used against you in court just like law enforcement. Your lawyer will either coach you for your conversation with your insurance company, or tell you to wait to file until after court proceedings are over. Types of Charges You could be facing several different charges depending on the specifics of the accident. Here are some common charges brought against people in fatal car accident cases. Vehicular manslaughter This charge means that you caused death while driving your automobile illegally. Illegal driving could mean speeding, reckless driving, and/or driving while intoxicated. Vehicular manslaughter could result in either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the severity and circumstances. A misdemeanor can result in just a fine or up to a year in county jail. A felony will result in a sentence in state prison. This charge is basically involuntary manslaughter with a vehicle. Death Due to DUI/DWI If the car accident occurred while you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you could be facing DUI charges. While these charges alone are bad enough, the charges along with a fatal car accident could bring much harsher punishment by a judge. Police cannot charge you with a DUI or DWI just because they assume you were under the influence. A blood test showing your blood alcohol content at the time of the accident or a drug test has to be administered as proof. In some states, they have to prove that your impairment directly caused the death. For example, if prosecution proves that the circumstances...

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Family Law – How To Avoid Legal Battles During The Adoption Process

Posted by on Nov 20, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

If you are currently considering adopting a child, then you should know that most adoptions take about 12 months to complete. The process can be long and difficult, and it is in your best interest to hire a family law attorney to help you through your adoption journey. Once you hire the lawyer, make sure that the following things are done so that future legal issues do not arise. Make Sure Parental Rights are Waved You have many options available to you when you want to adopt a child, and some individuals decide to adopt a baby directly from the mother. This can be a good way to forego the fees and delays that arise with an adoption agency. Some mothers will claim that they do not know the father of the child or they do not know where to locate him. When this happens, your attorney can draft paperwork that asks the mother alone to sign over the parental rights of the child to you. Find the Biological Father If the mother alone signs over her rights, then the father of your adoptive child can later seek custody after the adoption is approved by the court. The putative father can ask the court to order a paternity test and the initial adoption can be overturned if the father wants custody. Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to keep the child, but this often occurs after a lengthy and expensive legal battle.   You can completely avoid putative father issues by asking your attorney to search the putative father registry in your state to see if the father has taken responsibility for the birth of the child. If the father is not registered with the state, then your attorney can hire a private investigator to try and locate the father.   Once the father is found, your attorney will ask the father to sign over parental rights. A letter also may be sent to the father that indicates that the adoption process has been started. The individual will then need to show up at court to contest the adoption. Be Smart About Costs If you have decided to adopt a child directly from a pregnant mother, then you can expect to pay a wide variety of fees associated with the pregnancy and adoption. Generally, the adoptive parents will be asked to pay for court costs, direct adoption fees, and medical expenses. Medical expenses are  often considered the most expensive, especially if the mother does not have health insurance. Hospital fees, test costs, and the total cost of the labor may need to be paid by you. Every state has its own laws regarding the types of expenses and fees you can pay. Some states will allow you to pay for the mother’s living expenses until the child is born, while others only allow you to cover medical costs and adoption fees. Make sure to check to see what is allowed in your state. If you pay expenses that are not allowed, then the court may feel that you are trying to pay for the child directly. It is illegal to buy a baby in the United States and your adoption may be denied by the court. Draft a Contract Even if you follow all the state regulations, then you still...

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More Men Are Filing Sexual Harassment Lawsuits. Here Are 3 Reasons Why

Posted by on Nov 19, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Up until recently, it was very rare for a man to avail himself of his rights under the sexual harassment laws. These were seen as a means to protect women from discrimination and harassment on the job, which was and still is a big problem. The laws provided equal protection to men, but the idea of a sexual harassment lawsuit by a man was unusual. This trend is gradually changing, however. In the years from 1990 to 2009, the number of men filing sexual harassment lawsuits increased from 8 percent of all harassment claims to 16 percent. In fact, the number of men filing sexual harassment claims is increasing, even though overall numbers of such claims among both genders are decreasing. What are the reasons for the increase in the number of men who are filing sexual harassment lawsuits? Here are three probable causes. 1. Men Are Becoming Less Embarrassed About Reporting Harassment In the past, many men may not have come forward with sexual harassment claims because they were embarrassed about it. This has traditionally been especially true when the harassment was coming from other men. There has been a pervading perception in society that men should be happy for the attention if it is from women, and that they should feel shame if it is coming from other men. As society moves more toward real equality between the genders, more men who have experienced sexual harassment are feeling confident in moving forward with sexual harassment claims. There is less of a stigma attached to it. In fact, the more men who come forward with a sexual harassment lawyer by their side, the less stigma there will be for other men to do so, too. 2. More People Believe Men Experience Sexual Harassment In the past, a man who claimed sexual harassment may not have been believed. There is a pervasive belief in society that men welcome the sexual attentions of men or women, based on their sexual preference. Even if they don’t welcome it, many people have believed they somehow encouraged it. Examples from news headlines have proven that men do indeed experience sexual harassment on the job, at home, and while they are out and about in society. According to Inc.com., the fact that this has even been highlighted as a reality in such popular movies as Disclosure and Horrible Bosses (where female characters were openly sexually harassing their male employees) has gone a long way toward giving credence to the sexual harassment claims of the men who make them. 3. Men Are Less Afraid of Losing Their Jobs Over Sexual Harassment Claims Just as women were once reluctant to bring sexual harassment lawsuits for fear of losing their jobs, it was the same for men. People often were fired if they “rocked the boat” by bringing a harassment lawsuit. Lawsuits that resulted in the woman being reinstated in her job and/or getting back pay for the time she was fired (plus an award for the sexual harassment she suffered) have made men just as bold in bringing similar lawsuits. They know they will not be fired for claiming sexual harassment if the harassment is real. If they are, they are confident this will be overturned in court, and it often is. Instead, it is now...

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Receiving Worker’s Compensation? What You Need To Know About Your Nurse Case Manager

Posted by on Nov 18, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

If you are receiving worker’s compensation you may have a nurse case manager assigned to your case. While there are generally clear guidelines for your nurse case manager, you may feel that he or she is a bit intrusive on your privacy. It’s important to understand the role of your nurse case manager. That way, you may be able to determine if the actions he or she takes are appropriate or not. Here’s what you need to know. What Does a Nurse Case Manager Do? A nurse case manager facilitates treatment by arranging appointments with various medical professionals and discusses your treatment with them. He or she may schedule appointments on your behalf to suit your schedule as well as their own. Another role of a nurse case manager (NCM) is to get you back on your feet again so you can return to work—all while containing the costs of your treatment. He or she reports back to the entity that hired them on a regular basis. Who Does Your NCM Work For? Your NCM works for the insurance company, your employer, or a 3rd party administrator if your employer is self-insured. This person acts as a liaison between you, your medical team, your employer, and the entity who hired them. However, he or she is not a non-biased party. Does that Mean there Is a Conflict of Interest? While it’s true that your NCM likely does want to see you recover from your work-related injuries, his or her main role is not to expedite your recovery for your sake—but for the sake of the insurance company. Generally, a NCM may appear to be on your side, but in all honesty they are not. Since the costs of your treatment are covered by the insurance company, and one of the roles of your NCM is to contain those costs, it may mean a conflict in interest. You may feel that your NCM is trying to move things along too quickly without allowing you time to recover. However, he or she cannot decide what your treatment will be or how long it will take. That is the job of your doctor. Will Your Doctor Work with Your NCM? Your NCM will be present at all your appointments, but this doesn’t mean that he or she needs to be in the room with you during your examinations if you do not want them tagging along. After your exam, your NCM will talk with your doctor about the exam and to discuss treatment. It’s a good idea to be there when these discussions take place. Your doctor will discuss your case with your NCM because, ultimately, it’s their employer who is paying your medical bills. However, this doesn’t mean that your doctor is required to agree with any recommendations or suggestions given by your NCM about your treatment. Can a Lawyer Have Your NCM Dismissed? If you are concerned about the way your NCM handles things, especially if you feel that your privacy is being invaded or your NCM tries to force changes to your compensation too early, inform your worker’s compensation attorney. Your attorney may be able to get the NCM dismissed from your case. More than likely, however, the NCM will not be dismissed but will start to act more...

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How To Avoid Overexerting Yourself At Work

Posted by on Nov 17, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

According to BusinessInsurance.com, overexertion injuries are the most common reason for someone to file a workers’ compensation claim. You might think that if you work in a job that is not physically demanding, you are immune to this type of injury. Unfortunately, that’s not true: You can overexert your body in nearly any setting, because if you do any lifting, carrying, pulling, pushing or even holding, you might be at risk. The good news is that in many cases, these types of injuries are avoidable. Read on to find out how you can avoid overexerting yourself at your workplace. Watch Your Positioning One great rule of thumb to keep in mind is to always keep your toes pointed in the same direction as your nose. While this is not always possible, keeping your body aligned properly can go a long way toward helping you to avoid overexertion of any of your muscles or joints. Whether you’re filing paperwork or lifting heavy boxes, use good body mechanics. Lift with your leg muscles; don’t try to bend at the waist to pick up anything, even if it’s lightweight. Don’t Be a Hero It should go without saying that you should not try to lift heavy objects by yourself. What qualifies as “heavy” depends on the person doing the lifting; if something feels too heavy for you to lift comfortably, then it probably is. In addition to weight, consider an object’s dimensions; a light but awkwardly shaped box can do just as much damage as a more compact, heavier package. It’s better to ask for help than to take a chance. Take Good Physical Care of Yourself Not getting the sleep that you need or relying too much on caffeinated drinks to give you energy can have a host of negative effects on your body. One of these is an increased chance of injury. You might feel shaky or weak, and your judgement might be impaired. Make sure that you are getting the sleep that you need before each shift. Also, take care to eat and drink enough while you are at work. Low blood sugar, hunger and dehydration can also increase your risk of injuring yourself. Take breaks as necessary to have something to eat or to drink water. Choose foods that contain protein and carbohydrates to keep your blood sugar at an even keel. Hitting the vending machine and tiding yourself over with a candy bar or a can of soda can cause a drop in your blood sugar later, which can lead to drowsiness, shakiness and, potentially, an injury. Take Breaks Take advantage of your state’s laws regarding breaks in the workplace. If you are entitled to a paid or unpaid break, be sure to take it. Even if you’re not scheduled for a break, change your body position and rest different muscles throughout the day. For example, if you are sitting at a desk most of the time, get up to walk around occasionally. If you must work on your feet, shift your balance from leg to leg, and try to walk around a bit. This allows you to stretch different muscles, and it has the added benefit of helping you to avoid repetitive motion injuries, which are another frequent cause of workers’ compensation claims. Report Injuries Immediately...

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