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Posted by on May 29, 2017 in Personal Injuries | 0 comments

Your Rights as a Long-term Disability Insurance Claimant

Insurance is a business after all, so it is not surprising that insurance companies will do everything they can to minimize the money they put out and maximize the money they put in. So, they may deny claims, and there are instances where even legitimate claims are denied. This can be a moral and legal issue, but that is for another article.
According to the website of Fields Disability, it is possible to make an appeal, so the insurance company can reconsider its decision of denying your claim. But before making an appeal, it is important to know your rights as a person who is claiming for long-term disability coverage.

Right to get a copy of your insurance policy

You and your employer or insurance company have agreed upon on an insurance policy, indicating the terms and conditions of the insurance, such as what constitute as a disability and what doesn’t. It is important to get a copy of this insurance policy so you can know what aspects of your claim you can improve so your claim will be more viable.

Right to check your medical records

Of course, one of the most important things in a long-term disability insurance claim is evidence that you are actually disabled. You have the right to take a look at your medical records, such as X-rays, MRI’s, reports regarding emergencies, medications, surgeries, and other documents that may bolster your claim. This is because there is a chance that the medical professional and insurance company has missed a significant part of your medical condition, resulting into the denial of your claim.

Right to check your file in the insurance company

If your claim has been denied, you can go to the insurance company and request for a copy of your claim document and their denial letter, so you can better pinpoint the parts where the denial may have risen from. This way, you can specifically target these parts for improvement to better your chances of being granted coverage.

Right to appeal the denial of your claim

This is arguably the most important right you have as a long-term disability insurance claimant. Whether your claim is weak or strong, you have the right to appeal to the insurance company to reconsider their decision to deny your claim. Yes, this can actually change things, especially if you exercise your other rights and improve your claim.

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Posted by on Feb 15, 2017 in Sex Crimes | 0 comments

Solicitation of a Minor: A Major Sexual Crime

Solicitation of a minor, or child enticement, is the deliberate persuasion, enticement or invitation of a a person who is below the age of 16, to enter a home, a vehicle, an office, or any form of dwelling for the purpose of engaging in a sexual activity (such as fondling, molestation, sodomy, or sexual assault) or to have sexual intercourse. The mere attempt to solicit or entice a child can also result to solicitation charges even though the offense is actually never getting carried out.

Many states prosecute sex crimes committed on minors very aggressively. Besides possibly mandating a criminal to register as a sex offender (for the rest of his/her life), anyone convicted can also face up to 30 years imprisonment and fines of up to $100,000.

Time in jail and cost of fines will significantly increase if solicitation of a minor is charged at the federal level. According to the United States Department of Justice, Section 2422(a) and (b) of Title 18 of the United States Code, solicitation of a minor can be charged on:

  • “Whoever knowingly persuades, induces, entices, or coerces any individual to travel in interstate or foreign commerce, or in any Territory or Possession of the United States, to engage in prostitution, or in any sexual activity for which any person can be charged with a criminal offense, or attempts to do so, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both;” and,
  • “Whoever, using the mail or any facility or means of interstate or foreign commerce, or within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States knowingly persuades, induces, entices, or coerces any individual who has not attained the age of 18 years, to engage in prostitution or any sexual activity for which any person can be charged with a criminal offense, or attempts to do so, shall be fined under this title and imprisoned not less than 10 years or for life.”

Upon release from federal prison, if a convicted felon fails to register as a sex offender, he/she could be charged with a separate crime that carries up to 10 years imprisonment and considerable fines.

As explained in the website of the law firm Horst Law, “Sexual crimes involving children almost always have heavy criminal implications and if a person accused of solicitation of a minor or other sexual offense does not start building a defense immediately, the chance they will face serious criminal punishments rises significantly. Any sex crime is considered a felony and with that entails the possibility of jail time. The official level of a solicitation of a minor offense often varies with what the accused was trying to solicit from the minor. In many instances, the level of felony charged will be one degree lower than that of the crime being solicited. Some of the most common criminal penalties that people accused of solicitation of a minor face include:

  • Soliciting a minor to observe sexual conduct – Fines ranging from $25,000 to $100,000, and jail time between eight to 30 years.
  • Aggravated sexual exploitation – Fines ranging from $25,000 to $100,000, and jail time between eight and 30 years.

Each picture, performance, or sexual request can signify a separate count of solicitation of a minor. As a result, the penalties for child sex abuse can quickly stack up if not adequately defended against.”

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Posted by on May 4, 2016 in Family Life | 0 comments

Signs That You Need To Consult A Marriage Counselor

When we decide to get married, we aspire to make it work and perfect. Just like in fairy tales, our objective is to “live happily ever after.” But like what they say there is no such thing as perfect. While we want to make our married life work, there will come a time when things will not go well. Most couples who still believe that they can still fix their marriage end up making things worse.

Just because you cannot fix your relationship does not mean it is beyond repair. It only means that no one wants to give in and you are fixing it based on what you want. If your spouse is no longer happy, there is a relationship problem that you need to fix. According to the website of Kathleen Snyder, relationship struggles can be difficult for couples to handle. This is where a marriage counselor can help you.Seeking the help of a marriage counselor can work wonders for the married couples. Figures from Statistics Brain revealed the following numbers:

  1. 65% of couples reported significant improvement after seeing a marriage counselor
  2. 75% of couples believe that they are “better off” after a counseling session
  3. 50 percent of couples still maintain their improved relationship two years after counseling
  4. 22% of couples who attended marriage counseling cite love for each other as their reason for attendance while 19% say that they do not communicate well
  5. Married couple would attend an average of 20 sessions in marriage counseling

But when is the proper time to get into marriage counseling? Here are some of the signs that you need the help of a relationship professional:

  1. When there is no communication. In reality, the challenge in most relationships is the lack of communication. When couples do not talk, it is usually hard to get back in the right direction. A counselor can device new ways for the people to communicate
  1. When there is communication but always negative. When the talking is in the negative, your spouse would feel that they are being judged, shamed, disregarded, or insecure. When the married couple talks in the negative, the communication turns into emotional abuse
  1. When you are afraid to open up. When there is an issue that you need to communicate with your spouse but you just cannot do it, it is really a problem. A marriage counselor can help you clear things up with your spouse.
  1. When affection is taken as a punishment. When you give your spouse the silent treatment and vice versa, it only shows imbalance in your relationship.
  1. When you are considering or already having an affair. Contemplating about having an affair shows that you are looking for something different from your current relationship. While survival is still possible even after the affair, it is best to nip it in the bud right away. As long as you and your partner are committed to working things out, the marriage can still be saved.
  1. When you are living independent from each other. When you and your partner become more like roommates than a married couple. The lack of communication, intimacy, and the feeling of just “co-existing” is a tell tale sign that something is wrong with your relationship and you need a professional to bring back the spark in your relationship.

Marriage is not like a grocery item that you can easily return and replace with another item. It is a life long commitment. For any signs of trouble, the couple needs to work things out or if they cannot, a marriage counselor can help them patch things up.

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Posted by on May 3, 2016 in Online Services | 0 comments

5 Reasons Why Live Chat Makes Sense for Your Business

Providing excellent customer service is one of the keys to the success of your business. You want to make sure that your customers gets the best experience in your website. They may have some queries or concerns that needs to be addressed right away. You don’t want to keep them waiting or else they might go somewhere else. This is where a live chat platform will come in handy. You can cater to the needs of your customers right away without having for them to wait a long time.

Numbers Don’t Lie

Several statistics have showed why live chat is the best form of customer service. Not only does it provide several benefits but also delivers a high level of customer satisfaction. Here are figures that proves live chat is worthwhile for your business:

  • 73% of satisfied customers prefer using live chat than any other support methods such as email, telephone, and social media.
  • 44% of customers revealed that having a live chat address their inquires while making an online purchase was one of the most important website offerings
  • While making an online purchase, 83% of customers got live chat support
  • 62% of customers were more convinced to make purchase if customer support was available
  • 63% of customers were more likely to come back to a website that has live chat features

Benefits of Live Chat

Here are some more reasons for considering live chat for your business:

  1. Live chat turns leads into potential customers

As you are able to address concerns and queries right away, live chat helps convert leads into sales. A recent study revealed that chat can increase conversions by approximately 20 percent. According to the website of Lasso Live Chat, these features can make visitors feel that their needs are being satisfied and concerned being heard.

  1. Live chat increases customer service efficiency and reduces customer service expenses

Aside from easy installation, a live chat program can also be easily learned. In addition, the cost per transaction is significantly lower than other communication channels. The customer service rep can also interact with multiple clients simultaneously while still offering “personalized” service.

  1. It can boost the level of customer satisfaction

An an emarketer.com survey found that 63% were more likely to return to a website that offers live chat. When the customer see the chat button, they become more confident.

  1. Increases the likelihood of purchase from the customer

A study by Marketing Power revealed that customers who use live chat are three more times more likely to purchase since the method is direct and personal. Live chat can help you focus more on the needs of your competitors.

  1. It gives you a competitive advantage over the competition

The 2013 U.S. Wireless Customer Care Non-Contract Performance Study revealed that customers prefer live chat than other communication channels thus giving you a competitive advantage over competitors.

In this day and age when competition in the industry is quite competitive, you need to find a way to make your business stand out from the competition. Adding the live chat feature is one effective way to give yourself a competitive edge in the industry.

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Posted by on May 2, 2016 in Workplace Injuries | 0 comments

Preventing Workplace Injuries

Preventing workplace injuries is the responsibility of both the employer and the employee. In legal parlance, this is called duty of care. For the employers, it is their responsibility to take all the necessary steps to ensure the health, safety, and well-being of their employees. Business owners must not view this as a legal duty but as a business case as well. For employers, showing duty of care helps build and reinforce their trust and commitment to employees. Likewise, it helps improve staff retention, boost productivity, and greater employee engagement.

While the employers put the policies and guidelines in place, it is the job of the employee, on the other hand, to follow the practices, participate in the training and report hazards. Under the law, employees have the right to refuse work that will undermine their safety without fear of disciplinary action.

Employers are also legally bound to abide by relevant health & safety and employment laws as well as the common law duty of care. They also have the moral and ethical duty not to cause or fail to prevent, physical or psychological injury which they must fulfill to prevent personal injury and negligence claims. An employer is guilty of violating their duty of care once they fail to do everything reasonable in the circumstances to keep their employees safe from harm.

According to the website of Scudder & Hedrick, PLLC, the Occupational Health & Safety Act and Regulations outlines the different safety requirements that all businesses must meet for the sake of their employees. Here is a partial list of an employer’s duty of care to their employees:

• Ensure that the workplace is free from serious recognizable hazards and complies with standards, rules, and regulations based on the OS & H Act
• Make sure that workplace conditions conforms with applicable OSHA standards
• Provide safe tools and equipment and ensure that employees use and properly maintain them
• Establish color coded posters, signs, or labels to warn employees of potential hazards
• Maintain or update operating procedures and inform employees so they can follow safety and health requirements
• Provide employers with safety training in an understandable language
• Implement a written hazard communication program and train employees on proper precautions about exposure to hazards

Here are some of the workers’ responsibilities as laid down in the Occupational Health & Safety Act and Regulations:

• Protect their own safety and health as well as of their co-employees
• Work hand in hand with their employers on safety and health concerns
• Inform their employers about any workplace situation that could be hazardous to them
• Follow the provided safety instructions and training
• Properly use and maintain safety equipment and devices

Employees rights as provided for in the Occupational Health & Safety Act:

• Be informed about workplace hazards
• Take part and assist in determining and solving health & safety issues
• Refuse unsafe work

According to the website of LaMarca Law Group, P.C. despite these standards being in place, workplace injuries are still a common occurrence in American companies. Employees must be vigilant in safeguarding their health and safety in their workplace to prevent accidents from happening.

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