I have been sued, but my insurance company has refused to defend me. What can I do?

Insurance policies are complex contracts drafted by the insurance industry and often times contain exclusions that drastically limit the coverage available to you when you most need it. We at POSG&S are experienced in reviewing these contracts and determining exactly what coverage is provided by your policy. If your insurance company has wrongly denied you coverage, we can make sure they step in. If, however, you don’t have insurance coverage, we can defend and protect you and your assets.

Does Workers' Compensation Apply To My Job?

The majority of jurisdictions provide no exemptions to the application of workers’ compensation statutes, so long as there is an employer/employee relationship. In a minority of jurisdictions, an employer is exempt from having to carry workers’ compensation insurance if they employ under a certain number of employees, or other special exemptions exist within the jurisdiction. Additionally, if an employee contracts with an employer to enter into a relationship that is designated as an independent contractor relationship or partnership, workers’ compensation statutes may not apply.

What Happens If I Am Arrested?

After you have been arrested, there are certain timeframes and procedures that the prosecution and the court must follow. Usually, the police will advise you of your Miranda rights (the right to remain silent, to have an attorney present during questioning, etc.) at the time of the arrest. Once you are taken into custody, no statements can be used against you unless the police have read you your Miranda rights. If you are arrested for breaking a law, the case is taken before a magistrate who may issue a warrant if necessary and set a bond for an appearance in court. If the defendant cannot post the bond, he may be incarcerated pending an appearance in court. If bond is posted, he will remain free pending appearance at the arraignment. An arraignment usually occurs within 24 hours of the arrest or the first date available if on a weekend or holiday. The arraignment is held before a judge. During the arraignment, the defendant is formally told what offense he is charged with, advised of their constitutional rights, and of the possible penalties. The defendant will enter a plea of guilty or not guilty, the bond may be reviewed, and a date for the next hearing will be scheduled.

What Is Defamation?

Defamation is false and unprivileged spoken words or written publication, which exposes any living person to hatred, contempt, ridicule, or which causes him/her to be shunned or avoided, or which has a tendency to injure him/her in his/her trade or occupation. For example, if a person or the news media says or writes something about you that is understood to lower your reputation, or that keeps people from associating with you, defamation has occurred. However, if someone says something false about someone who has died, as reprehensible as that may be, in most states it is not considered defamatory. No legal action can be taken on behalf of a dead person. Only a living person can be defamed.

Will I Lose My House, Car, And Other Personal Property?

Not necessarily, each state has laws that determine which items or properties are exempt from being taken away. For example, many states exempt personal items such as furniture and clothing. In addition, other kinds of property are exempt up to a limit. These exemption limits mean that any equity that you have in the property above the limit is not exempt. The Bankruptcy Court can take the property and sell it, pay off any creditors, give to you the exemption amount, and keep the rest for other creditors.

What Is Bankruptcy?

A bankruptcy is a legal declaration that an individual or organization is unable to pay its creditors or debts. Bankruptcy filings are mostly regulated by laws under the jurisdiction of the federal government. The validity of bankruptcy claims and exemptions are governed by state law and vary from state to state.

If my employee was injured because he/she did not follow instructions for performing the job correct

Generally, if an employee has failed to follow the rules or guidelines established by their employer and injury results, that injury will be covered by workers’ compensation. For an injury that occurs during the course of employment to not be covered by workers’ compensation, the employee’s conduct must generally be a serious and intentional violation of rules or guidelines established for the duties of employment. The workers’ compensation statute will usually give the guidelines of what types injuries will be covered by workers’ compensation. Generally, intentional violations of an employer’s rules or guidelines will bar recovery of workers’ compensation benefits, and unintentional violations of rules and guidelines will not.

What Is The New Hire Law?

The new hire law requires all employers, regardless of size, to report newly hired and rehired employees to a state directory within 20 days of their hire date. The purpose of new hire reporting is locating parents who owe child support, detect welfare fraud, and identify fraudulent unemployment and workers’ compensation claims.

What Is Mediation?

Mediation is negotiation carried out with the help of a trained facilitator. Two or more parties meet with a neutral third party, who guides the negotiation process by advising and listening to all sides, and whom helps the parties arrive at a mutually agreeable (“win win”) settlement. A mediated settlement is nonbinding. This means that if any party in the dispute is unhappy with outcome, that party may opt not to sign a settlement agreement and instead continue negotiating or proceed to arbitration or litigation. Mediation is one of the most informal dispute resolution procedures. The process is completely flexible and negotiable by the parties, and any party may walk out at any time. This does not mean, however, that mediation is a free-for-all. The process is always governed by rules of procedure and conduct, which have been agreed upon in advance by all parties to the dispute.

Why Use Arbitration Instead Of Going to Court ("litigation")?

The American Bar Association estimates that as many as 100 million Americans are shut out of the legal system due to the high cost of justice. In a 1999 survey, the National Center for State Courts found that only 32% of Americans believed they could afford to bring a case in court, and only 20% believed court cases were decided in a timely manner. According to the National Center for State Courts, 87% of those surveyed thought attorneys’ fees added “a lot” to the cost of a legal suit. On the other hand, many commentators and courts, including the United States Supreme Court, have found that arbitration is much less costly than litigation. All of the available data show that consumers fare at least as well in arbitration as they do in the court system. This would suggest that there are no significant disadvantages to arbitration, in terms of outcomes. Moreover, researchers have found that individual parties receive more of what they ask for in arbitration than they do in court. Arbitration does not limit a party’s right to seek a specific solution, but simply shifts the venue for finding that solution from the court system to an arbitration forum. Arbitrators may grant any remedy or relief allowed by applicable law and available to them in court. Arbitration, with its lower fees and faster process, is an ideal avenue for providing justice to Americans who cannot easily access the court system due to cost and delays.

What are the advantages of forming a Corporation?

There are several advantages to organizing your business as a formal corporation. A corporation is a separate legal entity that is distinct from its individual owners. Businesses that incorporate according to the requirements of state law are provided a “corporate veil” for the business owners. That means that the owners’ personal assets are protected and are typically not used to pay any corporate debts or liabilities. While the limited liability is one of the most important advantages to forming a corporation, there are also tax advantages and it is often easier to attract investors if a business is incorporated.

I want to know if I qualify for bankruptcy - what are the eligibility requirements?

Depending on the type of bankruptcy proceedings that you wish to file, there are different eligibility requirements that are set by federal law, and thus apply equally to all states. For instance, there are household income eligibility requirements for persons who wish to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy in order to completely discharge their debts. On the other hand, there are limitations on the types and amounts of debts that you can have if you are looking to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy reorganization proceedings. Therefore, your eligibility to file bankruptcy will vary based on your personal financial situation and the type of bankruptcy relief that you are seeking