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L&I Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) and the Washington State Accident Fund

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Cost of living adjustment under an L&I claim

In short, L&I benefits are going to increase by a little over 6% this year. This is a historically high increase. Last year, the cost of living change of 5.5% was also historically high. COLAs are based on the average annual wage of all workers in Washington State. In order for the increase to be over 6%, average annual wages of employees must also increase in a similar amount. For work injury claimants, this news could not come at a better time. If you would like to review more information about the COLA this year, please refer to the 2020-2021 Benefits Schedule.

However, we must also think ahead considering our current reality. Businesses, workers and employees have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Consequently, unemployment rates are very high. And, many businesses have been forced to close. Some of those closures are temporary. However, many are permanent. This is especially true in certain industries such as hospitality and retail. Both are industries that previously employed many workers. The Corona virus is going to negatively impact our economy for quite some time.

What is the L&I accident fund?

The Department of Labor and Industries administers the Accident Fund. Say that you had a workplace injury. Moreover, say that you are receiving payments and financial benefits under your workers’ compensation claim. Then, it’s important to know that the money is coming from the Accident Fund.

Previously, economic downturns had negative impact on the financial health of the Accident Fund. Specifically, during economic waves in the early and mid-2000s, Washington State businesses experienced L&I rate increases. In other words, employers had to pay higher worker’s injury insurance rates towards the fund. In 2003, the rate increase was an astonishing 28.8%.

Starting in 2007, we saw four straight years of L&I rate increases. Unfortunately, these rate increases were necessary. Businesses received significant rate rebates that left the Accident Fund nearly empty. In fact, there were $200MM in workers compensation rebates for employers in 1999 and 2000, and $315MM in rebates in 2007. It isn’t a coincidence that L&I rates had to increase after those employer rebates.

L&I workplace injury insurance rates in Washington State

The employer rebates depleted the Accident Fund. Therefore, L&I implemented an increase to the work injury insurance rate to repair it. Business and labor stakeholders on the Worker’s Compensation Advisory Committee (WCAC) decided to do something about it. Explicitly, the WCAC established targets to ensure that the reserves in the Washington State Accident Fund will be sufficient to withstand the next recession. Thanks to COVID-19, that next recession is already knocking on our door.

Currently, the Accident Fund is healthy enough to sustain the upcoming recession. Interestingly, recent forecasts estimate that the Washington State government faces $8.8B revenue shortfall through 2023. That kind of shortfall is going to require cuts. Because the Accident fund is healthy, the workers’ compensation system is going to be an easy target for tax cuts. Therefore, now more than ever, it’s important to focus and monitor the financial health of the Accident Fund.

The viewpoint of a workers’ compensation attorney

Our (currently) healthy workers’ compensation ecosystem provides a critical safety net for working families. That safety net prevents financial ruin when catastrophe strikes. For that reason, we must actively resist the kinds of Accident Fund depletion that we saw in 1999, 2000, and 2007.

As a society, we cannot afford to empty this workers’ compensation insurance fund and hope to save it with rate-increases later. For more information about this issue, please read this recent article. It was written by The Stand, which is a publication for workers in Washington State.

This article was first published on https://tarareck.com/l-and-I-cost-of-living-adjustment/

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How Damages Are Calculated In A Personal Injury Case

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How Damages Are Calculated In A Personal Injury Case

A personal injury case is a civil matter brought by an individual who has been injured because of the negligence or careless act of another person, company, or entity. Several factors are considered to determine how much money the injured person should receive as damages.

Severity of Injuries

The severity of injuries is the number one factor in determining damages – the more serious the injuries, the greater the damages will be. This is because the injured person will likely have more medical expenses and may miss more work. In addition, they may suffer from long-term or permanent injuries that will require ongoing care.

Injuries aren’t just limited to physical traumas. Emotional injuries, such as PTSD, can also result in a large settlement.

Cause of Injuries

When a personal injury occurs, the second most important factor will be the cause of the damage. In order to prove that the defendant’s negligence is responsible for the injury, it’s best to hire personal injury lawyers who can show that the defendant acted recklessly or failed to meet a reasonable standard of care. By showing that the defendant could have prevented the cause of the injuries, plaintiffs can ensure the best financial outcome for a settlement.

Settlement v. Trial

The third most important factor in determining damages in a personal injury case is whether or not the case goes to trial or is settled out of court. The benefits of a settlement are that it is typically quicker and cheaper than a trial.

If the case goes to trial and the jury awards the plaintiff damages, the amount will typically be much higher than if the case had been settled out of court. This is because juries often feel more sympathetic towards plaintiffs and are willing to award them greater damages.

How Much Compensation Can Be Received in Personal Injury Cases?

The overall total that can be received in a personal injury case will depend on the aforementioned factors. In unfavorable scenarios, the case is dismissed, and no compensation is awarded.

However, in most cases, the injured person can expect to receive a monetary award to compensate them for their medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. In addition, punitive damages may also be awarded when the defendant acted recklessly or intentionally caused harm.

Some of the more famous personal injury settlements include the following:

  • $2.9 million awarded to a woman who suffered severe burns after being scalded by coffee from McDonald’s.
  • $37 million awarded to a man who became a quadriplegic after a car accident.
  • $5 million awarded to the family of a woman killed in a drunk driving accident.
  • $10 million awarded to a man who was paralyzed in a construction accident.

When considering a personal injury case, it is important to understand how damages are calculated. By understanding the factors that are considered, you can get a better idea of what you may be entitled to receive if you are successful in your case.

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William D King: What Is a Criminal Lawyer?

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Criminal Lawyer

What Is a Criminal Lawyer? Types of criminal lawyers and how to find them!

A criminal trial is considered the most complicated and expensive trial of all cases. Though many people can represent themselves in court, it is always advisable to seek the services of a criminal lawyer for representation. It must be noted that there are several types of lawyers and so it is important to know the type of criminal lawyer you are looking for.

What role do Criminal Lawyers play?

Criminal lawyers are usually seen either in US television shows or movies. It depicted that lawyers like to argue with judges and everyone else around them. However, the reality is not much closer to how it is seen on TV; lawyers do not act like aggressors in courtrooms. They are professionals who know what they exactly need to say and when they need to say it. A criminal lawyer’s job is never over until their client gets acquitted.

As per William D King, a criminal lawyer must be well versed with all rules of evidence, so he can deal with any type of evidence that might get produced against his client during trial proceedings.

Criminal Lawyers- Types Available!

There are several types of Criminal Lawyers available depending upon the requirement of the case, nature of the crime committed, and another relevant factor. They are as follows-

Criminal Lawyer –

This is a specialized lawyer who deals with criminal cases only. It should be noted that not all lawyers can work as Criminal Lawyers; they need to have studied law in order to take up criminal cases. A wide variety of crimes are dealt with by this type of lawyer which includes drug charges, theft, robbery, and others.

Madonna Blyth Criminal Lawyers –

This is considered the most popular type of criminal lawyer available for representation in different courts. These lawyers also deal with other types of civil cases apart from criminal cases; however, their main specialization lies with criminal cases only. Madonna Blyth Criminal Lawyers hold immense experience in dealing with these kinds of cases and so it is always advisable to seek their services.

Legal Aid Criminal Lawyers –

This type of lawyer is appointed by the government or state to provide legal help to people who cannot afford to hire an independent criminal lawyer for them. The amount of fees that are charged by this kind of criminal lawyer is fixed and it does not increase even if the case takes months together for completion. These lawyers specialize in practicing only before magistrate’s courts, so they cannot be hired for high profile cases like murder etc. However, Legal Aid Criminal Lawyers can represent clients before session’s court or other higher courts depending upon the discretion of the judge concerned. Thus it is important to make sure whether your case requires a Magistrate Court lawyer or Sessions Court Lawyer before hiring one for yourself.

Criminal Lawyer Perth –

This is a type of Criminal Lawyers who has been hired by the government to represent people who need legal help in higher courts like the Supreme Court. If someone cannot afford to hire a lawyer for them, then they can approach these types of criminal lawyers for representation. It should be noted that a criminal lawyer in Perth must have enough experience and expertise in dealing with such cases before practicing as one.

Legal Aid Criminal Lawyers –

In some parts of Australia, Legal Aid Commissions are appointed by the state or federal government to provide free legal help to those who cannot afford an independent criminal lawyer for themselves. The amount of fees that are charged by this kind of criminal lawyer is fixed and it does not increase even if the case takes months together for completion.

Criminal Lawyers Sydney –

This type of Criminal Lawyer is hired by the state to represent people who need legal help in different kinds of cases. If someone cannot afford to hire a lawyer for them, then they can approach these types of criminal lawyers for representation. However, it should be noted that an independent criminal lawyer must have enough experience and expertise in dealing with such cases before practicing as one.

Legal Aid Criminal Lawyers –

In some parts of Australia, Legal Aid Commissions are appointed by the state or federal government to provide free legal help to those who cannot afford an independent criminal lawyer for themselves. The amount of fees that are charged by this kind of criminal lawyer is fixed and it does not increase even if the case takes months together for completion.

Conclusion:

Thus, before hiring a Criminal Lawyer in Sydney it is always advisable to choose the type of criminal lawyer which suits your needs. Legal Aid Criminal Lawyers can be hired by people who need help for cases that are filed in lower courts like Magistrate’s court or Local Court. However, if one cannot afford to hire an independent criminal lawyer for them and their case is too complicated then they can approach these types of lawyers as well. People who want representation from a Criminal Lawyers Perth in the higher courts must ensure whether it requires a Magistrate’s Court Lawyer or Sessions Court Lawyer before hiring one for them. Thus, there are different kinds of criminal lawyers available depending upon your budget and desired location says William D King.

 

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5 Reasons To Contact A Workers’ Compensation Attorney

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Occupational injuries are much more common than you might think. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 3.0 million nonfatal workplace injuries were reported in 2013, resulting in an alarmingly high incidence rate of 3.3 cases for every 100 full-time workers. Although many of these accidents occurred in traditionally risky workplace environments (e.g., construction sites, coal mines, and oils rigs), most were reported by employers in relatively safe settings.

What Is Workers’ Comp?

The good news is that most companies are required carry workers’ compensation, which is a type of insurance that provides coverage for work-related illnesses and injuries. The bad news is that there is no guarantee you will by fully reimbursed for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering you experience as a result of an accident at work. With that in mind, here are five reasons you might decide to contact a workers’ compensation attorney.

1. You Can No Longer Work

Severe occupational accidents may result in a disability that prevents you from working ever again. Because the insurance companies that provide workers’ comp coverage are not in the habit of cutting huge settlement checks unless they absolutely must, you will need the services of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to handle negotiations for you. It is important to note that permanent disability settlements must last you and your family for the rest of what would have been your working years. Expert legal representation is needed to secure the largest possible settlement.

2. Your Employer Did Not Have Insurance

Because workers’ comp can be expensive, some unscrupulous employers do not carry it. If you were hurt on the job and your boss informs you that he does not have insurance, you can sue him for damages. As an employee, you have the right to be reimbursed by your boss for any out-of-pocket medical expenses, lost wages due to the injury, as well as your pain and suffering.

3. Your Employer Denies Your Claim

Because insurance premiums get more expensive the more claims you submit, employers are often reluctant to approve a claim unless they must. An experienced attorney can ensure that your boss understands the legal ramifications of denying a legitimate claim only because it might end up costing him more money for coverage.

4. Negligence Was Involved

Even if an accident caused the injury, gross negligence is grounds for a lawsuit. Whether the negligent party was your boss or another employee, you should explore your legal options with the help of a lawyer.

5. You Need Surgery

Once again, insurance companies are often reluctant to approve surgeries unless they are deemed necessary. An experienced attorney may be able to convince the insurer that your surgery is not only necessary, but also cost-effective.

If any of those mentioned above are true, you should contact a workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible.

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