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Answers For Small Business Owners About Trademark Basics

Posted by on 10:30 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Answers For Small Business Owners About Trademark Basics

Starting a new business or introducing a new product for your small business means you may be considering trademark protection. Many small business owners know that a trademark protects them, but they aren’t sure exactly how nor what specifically should be trademarked. The following guide can help answer your questions so you can work to protect your brand. What can be trademarked? A trademark is designed to protect a brand, so it protects words, symbols, and devices so that other businesses can’t use them to describe similar products or business types. It can also protect your actual logo, which is a combination of the words, symbols, and devices that make up your trademark. As a general guideline, trademarks are used to legally protect business names or the names of specific products or processes used by your business. Can a service be trademarked? The name or descriptive symbols used to indicate the service can be trademarked. This is technically called a service mark. For example, if your business provides 24 hour at home repair service and you call it 247Care, you can file for a service mark on the name 247Care. Is registration necessary? Common law actually applies to trademark. As long as you use “TM” for trademarks or “SM” for service marks after every use of your trademark in public, you can protect your trademark in court if it is ever challenged. Normally, you will have to show that you were using it as a trademark first in order to win the case. Why pay for registration, then? Registration can save you many headaches and legal fees down the road. Once you have registered your trademark, you can defend it more quickly and easily if some tries to use it. There is also the issue of someone registering your common law trademark. This will require you to go to court to challenge the registration, which can be a drawn out process. Registering the trademark and maintaining that registration can prevent these scenarios. Where is a trademark registered? You register your trademark within the state that you do business. If you do business in more than one state, you can register for a federal trademark. Can more than one business have the same trademark? Similar names and trademarks are common. They can be approved if the businesses aren’t in direct competition. For example, if you sell a lawn care product under a certain name, someone else can sell athletic shoes under the same name and you can both have trademarks on the name. This is not always the case and it will come down to the registrar deciding if it is allowed. If you have any questions about trademark or would like to begin the registration process, contact a trademark law attorney in your...

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Can You Sue an Employer for Workplace-Related Hearing Loss?

Posted by on 9:01 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Can You Sue an Employer for Workplace-Related Hearing Loss?

There are numerous ways people can be injured on the job, and one way involves hearing loss caused by either sudden or repetitive exposure to loud noises. Since the loss of a major sense can have a significant impact on a person’s quality of life, you may be wondering if you can sue for the damages and losses associated with that type of injury. It depends on a number of factors. Here are two that can affect your case. Covered by Workers’ Compensation Whether you can hold your employer liable for your injury depends on if said injury is covered by workers’ compensation. This is a type of insurance designed to compensate employees for injuries they sustain on the job. The insurance company will typically pay the employee’s medical bills, lost wages, and provide a monthly disability stipend if warranted. In return, the employee is barred from suing the employer in civil court. Most employers are required to have workers’ comp insurance. As a result, you will likely be obliged to submit a claim to the insurance company to obtain compensation, which may be significantly less than you deserve. There are exceptions, though. In some states, companies only have to get workers’ comp insurance after they hire a certain number of employers (e.g. five or more in Alabama). Domestic employees, casual laborers, independent contractors, agricultural employees, and certain other types of workers are exempt from being covered by a workers’ comp policy. In these cases, an employee can sue the employer directly for damages and possibly get more money than they would from the insurance provider. Prior Knowledge of Risk Another thing that can prove challenging when suing for compensation for hearing loss is whether you knew that was a risk when you were hired. Hearing loss is an unfortunate side effect of the job in some industries like construction or emergency services. If the employer can prove you knew upfront you were putting your hearing health at risk, the court may rule against you. There are a couple of ways around this. If your employer didn’t provide adequate safety gear to protect against the potential hearing loss (or failed to advise you about protective gear), you could make a case that your employer’s negligence contributed to your injury and should be held liable based on that reasoning. A second option is to prove the danger was greater than what the employer represented to you. For instance, a group of firefighters are suing the manufacturer of a siren they say contributed to their hearing loss. The manufacturer states the siren sounds at the level recommended by OSHA (i.e. 85 decibels). However, sound experts indicate the siren may actually be much louder than the manufacturer advertised. In this case, you may be able to sue both the employer and the manufacturer for damages if you can prove they misrepresented the danger. For more information about this issue or help with a case, contact a personal injury attorney through resources...

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3 Signs That Divorce Is In Your Future

Posted by on 10:53 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Signs That Divorce Is In Your Future

Many couples go through hard times and wonder if they will make it. Marriage is hard no matter who you are, and during those difficult moments you might be wondering if divorce is the right thing for you. Here are some signs that a divorce may be right for you. 1. You Have An Exit Plan Every couple fights, and every couple may even have moments of fantasizing what their life would be like it they weren’t married. But having an exit plan is more than just fantasizing. If you have a legitimate plan and you know what you would do, where you would go, and who you would talk to, then the marriage is likely broken. Making an actual plan, looking into getting an apartment, setting aside money for the divorce, and all of these kinds of things may mean that divorce is in the close future for you. 2. You Don’t Enjoy Being With Your Spouse Anymore Fighting is normal for every marriage, but dreading being around your spouse is an entirely differently thing. You and your spouse could be fighting often, but still if there are moments that you really enjoy being together, if you still care for their well-being, or if you look forward to seeing them after a long day, then most likely you can save the marriage. If you find yourself avoiding going home, if being with your spouse is more stressful than work or other responsibilities, or if you find yourself hating every moment that you are with your spouse, even the non-fighting ones, then you probably need to divorce. 3. Either One Of Your Is Unrepentant About Extramarital Relationships Lastly, if there have been extramarital relationships had by either you or your spouse the marriage, can still survive, if both partners are still committed and are willing to admit their wrongs and work towards fidelity. The problem comes when one or both partners is unrepentant about it. Does you spouse still carry on a relationship with another person, even if you have asked them to stop? The relationship doesn’t even have to be sexual, it could be emotional; this is still damaging to the relationship. When the unfaithful spouse really wants to change and is working toward making their wrongdoing right, the marriage can survive in some cases. However, if the spouse doesn’t see a problem or won’t change, the marriage may be unable to be saved. These are three signs that the marriage is beyond repair. If you do decide to divorce, contact a divorce lawyer for legal...

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Have Bipolar Disorder? You Can Still Make A Worker’s Compensation Claim

Posted by on 3:46 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Have Bipolar Disorder? You Can Still Make A Worker’s Compensation Claim

If you have bipolar disorder, you may find it difficult to work in certain situations. If your employer is aware of your mental illness, they should be aware of what you can and cannot handle. Below is some information about what can cause you to make a claim as well as some tips to help you get your worker’s compensation claim approved. They Cause Stress Stress is very bad for someone that has bipolar disorder and can quickly make their symptoms much worse, such as having a panic attack. If your boss is aware of this and continues to give you more work than you can handle, this would be a worker’s compensation claim if this causes you to have problems, such as panic attacks. Your boss may put you in situations that cause a lot of stress, such as speaking in front of a lot of people. Working in a hostile work environment can also cause a lot of stress. This could be someone in your office, such as your boss, often screaming and shouting. This is especially true if you feel your boss is signaling you out, which can make you feel victimized. Instead, your boss should talk to you calmly in their office. You Can Hire a Worker’s Compensation Lawyer It can be more difficult to win a worker’s compensation claim due to a mental illness. This is because your illness cannot be seen like an injury, such as a broken bone. For this reason, you should hire a worker’s compensation lawyer that has experience working with these types of cases. The lawyer will ask you to provide them with medical proof that you have bipolar disorder. This is important, as this can help you win your case. Your doctor could write a letter stating the exact symptoms you have and what can cause your symptoms to become worse, such as stress. The lawyer has to prove that your stress was due to your work or aggravated by it. They will likely use professionals to make this determination also, such as trauma specialists and psychologists, along with your doctor. From your doctor’s information and the findings of these professionals, your lawyer will start to build your case. Your claim may have to go to trial, and if so, your attorney has to persuade the jury of your mental illness. This is because the insurance company may not see that your mental health problem is part of your worker’s compensation claim. Your worker’s compensation attorney can go over all of this with you in more detail so you can understand how the process will work. For more information, contact local professionals like Bishop Dorfman Kroupa & Bishop...

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3 Alternatives To Drinking And Driving

Posted by on 7:42 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Alternatives To Drinking And Driving

When you’re at a party and have had a few too many drinks, it can be far too tempting to hop in your car and head home. However, drinking and driving is incredibly dangerous and can even be deadly. Even if you do not get in an accident that causes anyone to be injured, you could end up going through a DWI checkpoint or could get pulled over by law enforcement, which could put you in a very serious and very expensive legal situation. There is truly no reason to risk all of these things by hopping behind the wheel when you have been drinking. These are a few alternatives that you can consider. 1. Designate a Sober Driver Designating a friend or family member as your designated driver for the evening is usually the safest and most convenient option for many people. Make sure that you choose someone who you can trust to remain sober throughout the night. One option to “talk someone into” doing so is to offer to be the designated driver for the next party or night on the town. Even if you do have a designated driver, however, it is important to have a plan B in mind in case your friend does choose to drink or if he or she has to leave for an emergency. 2. Take Public Transportation Depending on where you live, public transportation could be a good option for making it home after you have been drinking. Taking the bus, subway, or monorail can be a good choice, but make sure that you are careful about taking public transportation when you are inebriated and could be more at risk when in public. Having a friend accompany you or limiting your drinks can help. Another option is to take a taxi cab, Uber, or Lyft. 3. Ask to Crash Some people are embarrassed to ask their hosts if they can spend the night after a party, but you might be surprised to find that the host is more than accommodating. Another option is to look for a nearby hotel; even though it might not have been in your original budget to pay for a hotel for the night, doing so can be much more affordable than getting a DWI. There are so many other options than drinking and driving. Whether you are going to a party or are heading out for a night of drinks on the town, trying one of these options for getting home is a far better choice than attempting to drive home after consuming alcohol. If you do still end up in trouble, contact a DUI lawyer like David A. Mansfield as soon as possible to ensure your case is handled...

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Not Your Usual Exam: What To Know About The Workers’ Comp Independent Medical Exam

Posted by on 12:18 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Not Your Usual Exam: What To Know About The Workers’ Comp Independent Medical Exam

For those who suffer from an on-the-job injury, you can rest assured that workers’ comp insurance will cover you for your medical expenses as well as provide you with a portion of your salary while you stay home and get better. At some point, once you have been collecting benefits for a while, you may receive a request to undergo a particular type of medical exam called an independent medical exam (IME). Read on to learn more about this type of exam and what it could mean for your ability to continue to get workers’ compensation benefits. What is an independent medical exam? The workers’ comp insurance agency uses guidelines based on past injuries to estimate how long you are expected to be out of work due to your specific injury. If a certain amount of time has passed and you claim to still be unable to return to your job, you may be asked to undergo this exam. It should be understood that simply being asked to undergo this exam is not an indicator that you are about to lose your benefits, but is instead a sign that the workers’ comp insurance agency needs additional information about your injury and your treatment progress. What could happen as a result of the IME? The IME will result in 3 possible outcomes: 1. Your injuries appear to have healed enough for you to return to work. 2. Your injuries are healing, but you need more time off work to recuperate. 3. Your injuries are not going to heal, and you are suffering from permanent injuries. How should I handle the IME? Be prepared for this exam by reviewing your past medical information and refreshing your memory. Re-read your accident report and review all past medical treatments, surgeries, hospitalizations, therapies and medications prescribed. The need to be consistent with your facts and information cannot be overemphasized; the lack of consistency could make it appear that your claim is fraudulent or not serious enough for continued benefits. Do not hesitate to bring any paperwork or records with you to the exam. The IME doctor, who is chosen and paid by the workers’ comp insurance agency, will question you and examine you thoroughly, paying particular attention to the body part or parts that were injured. Don’t be afraid to speak up and tell the doctor exactly how much pain or discomfort you are continuing to experience and about the effect that the injury has had on your life in general, including the emotional effects. If you feel you are being denied the workers’ comp benefits to which you are entitled, contact a workers’ compensation attorney...

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What Factors Go Into Making A Wrongful Death Claim

Posted by on 6:11 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on What Factors Go Into Making A Wrongful Death Claim

When a loved one has been killed due to the actions of another, by way of an accident or perhaps medical malpractice, their loved ones have the right to gain restitution. If the person who caused the accident is not held criminally liable, then it’s possible to seek justice through the civil courts. How can you win a wrongful death claim? There are certain facts that can help you prove your case more effectively. How Is a Wrongful Death Suit Judged? The majority of wrongful death lawsuits are judged based on several factors and will vary depending on how your loved one was killed. These factors include the insurance coverage of the defendant and how much it would cover in the event of a win for you and what kind of assets they have, for example, if they own their home or have vehicles. Also taken into account in a wrongful death lawsuit are accident reports provided by the police, eyewitness accounts, including passengers in the vehicle, video footage and physical evidence such as skid marks, road conditions, weather and lighting factors, any potential mechanical issue with both cars and a number of other factors that could have lead to an accident. For a medical malpractice lawsuit, the doctor’s medical practice history is taken into account, possible lack of training with certain procedures and if there had been any reports of incidents of a similar nature or other such injuries stemming from this doctor in the past. How Does the Victim Play Into It? There are other factors that the court will look at in determining a wrongful death lawsuit. For example, the court will look into the life expectancy of the person who was killed. This can help in two ways. The first way is to determine the amount of damages the loved one’s family can receive, and it also helps to determine if they might have lived if not for issues that might have come up during the medical procedure if the person died due to medical malpractice. The court can determine this by looking at the person’s age, medical history, lifestyle and even occupation to help judge the case fairly. The court may also take a look at how much financial support the person’s family will lose as a result of their death. This is based on how long they have worked at their career and potential future earnings that will have been lost. Continue reading more...

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A Few Reasons To Hire An Auto Accident Lawyer

Posted by on 11:27 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on A Few Reasons To Hire An Auto Accident Lawyer

If you are ever involved in an auto accident, it is always a good idea to talk with a lawyer experienced in dealing with this kind of situation. Not only will he or she know how to work with insurance companies, but will also understand the different laws regarding who has to pay what and how much compensation you should expect to receive. Even though most car accident cases are settled without going to a trial, it is important you have legal representation to help you completely understand the settlement. Here are just a few of the situations you may come up against. Insurance Limitations When there are serious injuries involved in the car accident, the person at fault may not have enough insurance coverage to pay for everything. When this happens, your auto accident lawyer will work with your insurance company to help pay the difference. If there is still not enough coverage, you will need to have a judgement set up against the other party. Sometimes this can be taken care of when the person sells a piece of property, but many times it will be something that sits without being paid for many years. Your lawyer will make sure there is a lien against any property, life insurance payments, or inheritances to fulfill what is owed to you. Signing Away Rights If you decide to take the insurance company’s offer of settlement, you need to be sure that it is enough to cover your expenses. An experienced lawyer will work with your medical team and any mechanics working on your vehicle to find out what type of expenses you will incur. Your lawyer can also make sure that if you will require long-term medical care that it will be included in the settlement. You may receive a lump sum once the case is settled with additional payments if there are more medical bills tied to the accident. Usually this amount is limited to a specific amount of time and you will need to have definitive proof that the accident was the cause. Even if you were only slightly injured in the accident, it is a good idea to consult with an auto accident attorney. Many will give you a free initial consultation and will not require any payment until after the case settles. It certainly will not hurt to have someone experienced with the whole process on your side. For more information, contact companies like Knafo Law...

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About Ending An Abusive Marriage With A Prenuptial Agreement Involved

Posted by on 6:20 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on About Ending An Abusive Marriage With A Prenuptial Agreement Involved

Do you need to get out of an abusive marriage that includes a prenuptial agreement? If you are worried about the situation you will be in if a divorce is filed, you may have more rights than you think. All you have to do is seek help from a divorce lawyer to find out if the prenuptial agreement can be contested. Take a look at this article to find out how a lawyer can help with your situation during the divorce process. Discuss the Type of Abuse Involved Your lawyer will ask you a lot of questions about the nature of abuse that you go through in the marriage. Make sure that you are completely honest, even if you are embarrassed about anything. If you can provide any evidence of abuse, hand it over to the lawyer. For instance, if you have taken photographs, your lawyer will need them to build your case. You can also expect him or her to investigate the situation to find out if there are any witnesses that can speak for you in court. Figure Out if the Prenuptial Agreement is Valid You must keep in mind that signing a prenuptial agreement does not mean that you must abide by it in a divorce. It is possible for the agreement to be considered invalid in the eyes of the law. If your spouse forced you to sign the agreement before marriage and did not allow you to read over it, it is likely invalid. The agreement might also be invalid if you did not know what you were getting into at the time that it was signed. A lawyer will thoroughly review the agreement to find out what your rights are. Assist with Your Safety During the Divorce Divorcing an abusive spouse can be a scary situation, especially if he or she is making threats. A lawyer can file for an emergency court order that will make it mandatory for your spouse to leave until the divorce is settled. He or she may also be required to avoid making any contact with you during the process, such as through a restraining order. The restraining order can also cover any children that are involved in the marriage so you don’t have to worry about their safety. Keep in mind that abuse can nullify certain rights of your spouse, even if they are written in the prenuptial agreement. Get in touch with a divorce lawyer so you can begin the process of ending your abusive marriage in a safe...

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Do You Need A Divorce To Escape Your Abusive Spouse? What To Consider

Posted by on 6:31 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Do You Need A Divorce To Escape Your Abusive Spouse? What To Consider

If you are experiencing domestic abuse and you are considering a divorce, you want to meet with a divorce lawyer to talk about the safest way to go through with the process. You want to be sure that you can file without your spouse coming after you or trying to abuse you, and that you have somewhere you can go for protection from your abuser. Here are few of the things it would be best to have when you go to meet with the attorney. Proof of Abuse Do you have physical proof that you’ve been abused? Here are some great types of evidence you’ll want to have for your case: Pictures of bruises or markings Eye witnesses that have seen the signs of abuse on your body Messages or written talk of the abuse from the abuser Police reports or complaints of abuse or disturbance at your household Threats from the abuser These are going to be a key to show why you want the no contact order, and why you want to file for divorce. A No-Contact Order You want to file for a no-contact order so it’s illegal for your spouse to contact you after you file for the divorce. This way, they know they will face legal consequences if they try to call you or meet up with you in person. You will need to have evidence of abuse to get the no-contact order approved and put in place when you file. Divorce Settlement Work on a divorce settlement with your lawyer so you can present the settlement to your spouse as soon as you file. They may be willing to settle the divorce to get everything over with quickly if they notice that you are very serious about following through, and if they aren’t able to contact you. The lawyer can work with you to make the settlement fair and detailed, so you can get everything over with quickly. There are a lot of different advantages to meeting with a lawyer and getting the protection in place before you file for divorce, instead of filing for divorce and then waiting to see if the abuser wants to abuse again. Talk with an experienced divorce lawyer at a law firm like McKissick & McKissick and bring all of your information and proof so you can get your case started, and so you can get closer to being safe from your...

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