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Workman’s Compensation: Preparing To Meet With Your Attorney

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work comp attorney billings, work comp lawyer billingsHiring an attorney to help you with a workers compensation claim can change the outcome of your case completely. Without an attorney, many people have been denied the benefits that they were entitled to because they did not have a fair understanding of the laws and their rights regarding workers’ comp benefits. Hiring an attorney will save a lot of stress and help you get the very best outcome possible. Before you meet with your attorney, you should take some steps to prepare for the meeting so that both you and your attorney have the information that you need. If you live in the Billings area, contact the professional attorney’s at Tourtlotte Law to represent you and make sure that you are protected during the claim process.

How To Prep For Your Meeting

Before you meet with your attorney, be sure to have all of the necessary information that your attorney will need to get started.

  1. Summary – Your case is going to require a lot of information about your job. Prepare chronological dates that are easy to follow and document. Create a timeline of events with information such as:
    1. Hire date
    2. Date of the injury and how it happened
    3. Date that your employer was notified of the injury
    4. Time and place of first treatment
    5. Overview of continued treatment
  2. Documentation – Once you have a timeline of the events that occurred, you will want to make sure you have all of the necessary documentation for proof. You should have copies of the report of the injury to your employer, medical records and bills (including names and contact information for any medical providers sought for treatment), and information regarding witnesses of the accident.
  3. Questions – Make sure you are prepared with a list of questions that you have for your consultation. If you have questions about the attorney’s qualifications and experience with the type of claim that you have, be sure to ask. If your claim has complicated issues, be sure to bring them up and get your attorney’s feedback about how they would be handled. Ask about fees and success rates. You want to walk away from your initial visit confident that your attorney can properly and effectively handle your case.
  4. Future Preparation – Ask your attorney what you can do while the legal proceedings are happening. There may be things that you should or should not do while the legal work is being prepped. Your attorney should make sure you understand your rights and guide you on the best possible path to win your case.

You do not have to face a worker’s compensation case on your own, nor should you. If you have been injured on the job, make sure you contact the professional team at Tourtlotte Law in Billings, Montana. We have the experience and education necessary to make sure you are treated fairly and just. If you are entitled to worker’s compensation benefits, be sure to rely

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What Is Workers’ Compensation?

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workers compensation lawyer billingsWorkers’ compensation is a state benefit allowed to employees who have been injured on the job. Because this is a state-mandated insurance, the laws around workers’ compensation vary from state to state. Typically, worker’s compensation benefits can be awarded to a person with an illness or injury that is work-related regardless of is responsible for the injury. Also, the employee receiving the benefits does not have to be at his workplace to be covered. If the injury is job-related it can be covered. For instance, if an employee is driving from a workplace to a work site and is involved in a car accident, it would be work-related.

Work-Related Injuries That Do Not Qualify

Though most work-related injuries will be covered by workers’ compensation, there are some that will not be awarded the benefit. To receive workers’ comp benefits, employees are usually asked to submit to drug and alcohol testing. An intoxicated or drug-impaired injury will not be awarded the benefit. Benefits will also be denied to those who are injured due to a physical altercation he started, committing a crime, and violating the policies of the company.

What Will Workers’ Comp Cover And How Long Will It Be Awarded

There are many chronic and long-term conditions that happen on the job. Some jobs have resulted in long-term heart and lung conditions that require long-term treatment. Other conditions that can be covered by workers’ compensation are chronic back and muscle problems, repetitive stress injuries and even stress-related issues like digestive tract problems. However, not all injuries require long term treatment. If an employee has cut himself and requires stitches, but long-term damage does not occur, the employee will be awarded the benefits to treat the injury. Basically, if the injury can be proven to be work-related, it could be covered by workers’ comp benefits.

Does My Employer Offer Workers’ Compensation?

Not all employers are required by law to provide workers’ compensation benefits. There are many stipulations surrounding an employer’s responsibility to carry the benefit including, how many employees there are and what type of work they are performing. There are many exclusions regarding the benefit of seasonal and temporary employees. To understand more about Idaho workers’ compensation benefits, contact Tourtlotte Law in Billings.

Why Should I Hire An Lawyer If I Have Been Injured?

It isn’t always necessary to hire an attorney for a work-related injury and to receive worker’s compensation benefits. However, an employer does have the right to dispute a workers’ compensation claim and deny the work-related injury. In this instance, it is best to hire a lawyer that is experienced in workers’ compensation claims, like Tourtlotte Law. An attorney will understand the specific laws and requirements surrounding workers’ comp benefits in your state and will help gather the evidence needed to prove why the injury is work related and why workers’ compensation benefits should be awarded. Sometimes, even seemingly straight-forward and easy claims get denied. Although hiring an attorney doesn’t seem necessary, it really can save a lot of time and money to hire an experienced lawyer from the beginning. Avoid the pain of denied claims and heavy disputes by calling the experienced professionals at Tourtlotte Law today.

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Keeping Control Of Your Car In The Snow

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auto accidents attorney billings, auto accidents lawyer billingsLiving in Billings, Montana means spending a lot of time in the snow. To be able to get through our daily routines of living, we have to learn how to drive safely in the snow. Too often we see clumsy drivers drift off the side of the road and into a ditch, or worse, driving too fast and losing control of the vehicle. People are often injured or killed on snowy roads in Billings and it is important that people pay attention to the rules of driving in the snow so that they stay safe and be safe on the roads for others.

Don’t be the person that ends up in the ditch or smashing into a family vehicle because you didn’t follow the rules. Not following the rules results in lawsuits and the need for a qualified car accident attorney. Follow these simple steps to make sure you are being responsible and safe on our Billings roads.

  1. Don’t Be Aggressive – Your movements should be fluid when you drive in the snow. Don’t jerk the steering wheel or slam the pedals. When the roads are slippery and it’s not easy to keep traction, jerking your driving motions can take your wheels from meeting the roads to suddenly sliding out of control. That goes for changing lanes and following behind cars. Be fluid in your movements, not aggressive. You don’t have the freedom of slamming on your brakes if needed so don’t tailgate or rage all over the road. Be easy and keep space between other vehicles.
  2. Anticipate What May Be Ahead – When dealing with snow, you never know if you are going to come upon an accident or a stop in traffic due to an accident. Anticipate what may be coming so that you can slowly stop your vehicle. Always allow extra distance for stopping the vehicle – so pay close attention and look ahead.
  3. Skidding Is Sure To Happen – Eventually, not every time you drive, but at some point, your car is going to skid in the snow. When it does – look where you want to go. Most people will look where their car is heading, but part of recovering from skids is paying attention to where you want to be. Instincts will kick in and help.
  4. Don’t Panic – If you panic, you probably will not be able to recover from a skid. But skids are super manageable. Take steps to help the car recover and get back on track:
    1. Do NOT slam on your brakes.
    2. If the front wheels are skidding, ease off the gas. The wheels should recover in a couple of seconds.
    3. If the back wheels skid, turn the steering wheel in the same direction that the back of the car is sliding, ease off the gas, do NOT touch the brakes. The wheels will regain traction and you can steer back to the direction you want.
  5. Always Pay Attention To Your Traction – You need to be in control and stay in control when driving through the snow. If you don’t pay attention to what your tires are doing, you can end up in a bad situation.

If you do end up in a bad situation and are involved in a car accident, don’t worry. The wonderful attorney’s at Tourtlotte Law Firm in Billings can help you.

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What To Do When Dealing With Faulty Or Defective Products

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personal injury law firm billings mtWhen a personal injury happens because of a faulty or defective product, it is important to understand that the manufacturer and seller of the product are responsible for those injuries and you should and can be compensated for your injuries, though you may not know which steps to take to get you there. The first step you should take is to call a personal injury law firm to speak to an attorney that can help you with your case. In Billings, Montana, you can rely on the professional service of Tourtlotte Law Firm.

What Are Some Examples Of Faulty/Defective Products?

Faulty or defective products happen. That is why manufacturers and sellers have product recalls. However, sometimes there are major damages that result from faulty or defective product use. For example:

  • Car breaks malfunctioning and causing a car accident
  • Defective car seats that break during an accident causing injury
  • Power tools that do not turn off when they are designed to
  • Gas stoves that spark a fire due to faulty wiring

These are just a few of the many types of circumstances involving personal injury due to a defective or faulty product.

Step 1 – Call A Professional Personal Injury Law Firm

Don’t wait. You need to contact a professional immediately. Your attorney will tell you what they can do for you, what compensation they are going to ask for, and what you need to do in the meantime. Your attorney may ask you to gather all of your medical documents, health insurance claims, invoices and other documents that prove the financial strain that the injury put on you. Your attorney will build a case for you based off of the information you can provide, and it could be a lot.

Step 2 – Ask Your Attorney About Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are not relevant in many cases, but in some, they are warranted. If the person/company responsible for the injury did so out of malicious intent, you could be awarded punitive damages as a punishment to the people responsible for the injury.

Step 3 – Gather Documentation

You are going to need to prove your injury and the financial strain put on you because of the injury. This could be income loss from being unable to work, hospital bills, medical records from the hospital and any other doctors you have seen, therapy invoices due to behavioral health issues from the injury (PTSD, Anxiety, etc), costs of medical prescriptions due to the injury and other documents that your attorney feels are important to your case.

After you have provided your personal injury attorney with the documentation he needs, he will do his job. You won’t have a lot of work to do because your attorney will be able to take care of most of the rest. You may have to appear in court, and you may not. You may be offered a settlement to keep the case out of court, and you may not. Whichever direction it goes, you will have a professional attorney by your side to help you.

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What Elderly Abuse Looks Like

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elderly abuse attorney billings, elderly abuse laywer billingsAs supporters of the elderly, Tourtlotte Law Firm wants the members of our community to understand how abuse happens to the elderly and what can be done to resolve it. People have misperceptions about elderly abuse, but to understand it as a reality and something that truly happens and often ends without justice served.

What Does Elderly Abuse Look Like?

Elderly abuse happens in several different ways. People often think that the elderly are safer living with family members than they are living in a care facility. The truth is, elderly abuse can happen in any setting.

Elderly abuse can be physical, emotional, and financial even. Let’s talk about these 3 types of elderly abuse:

  1. Elderly people do not have to be smacked around or hit to be considered abused by their caretakers. Neglecting the needs of an individual in your care is a common form of elderly abuse and neglect. Denying the elderly patient water, food, or warmth is a form of abuse. Rough handling the elderly, dropping them, not cleaning or addressing their personal hygiene is considered physical abuse according to the law.
  2. Emotional abuse happens in many households and is not limited to the elderly. However, emotional abuse is more easily hidden. Especially with patients that suffer from dementia or other types of memory loss and cannot remember. If they can’t remember, they can’t tell. Being ignored, taunted, or isolated can do significant damage to an elderly in need. If you suspect any type of abuse, please contact the attorney’s at Tourtlotte Law who can jump in and help your loved one.
  3. Financial abuse is something people think about but can be overlooked as we are more concerned with the safety of our loved ones. Caretakers have been known to coerce the elderly into signing documents that they don’t understand, not realizing that they are being frauded out of money and other personal items. Not only is this extremely illegal, but it is also severely damaging to the life of the individual being abused.

At Tourtlotte Law Firm, we know that the elderly require help and caretaking just like children do at some point. They are innocent people that are trusting their caretakers with their physical bodies, their time, and their finances. Unsuspecting individuals will be taken advantage of and will get away with it if the abuse is left unnoticed and swept under the wrong.

If you suspect elderly abuse, do not sweep it under the rug. Do not let it go unnoticed. An innocent person is being taken advantage of and hurt, it is your obligation to step in and tell someone so that that person can get the help that they need. If you suspect abuse, please step up and call the professional attorneys at Tourtlotte Law Firm in Billings. We have experience, education, and the knowledge to know what kind of case is present, and what steps we need to take to start a claim against the people responsible for the abuse. Your phone call is the protection that a person in need requires to move toward safety. Call Us Today.

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Dog Bite Laws: What You Should Know

You are also responsible for them and their actions. So when it comes to a dog bite, what do you know about the law?

You are also responsible for them and their actions. So when it comes to a dog bite, what do you know about the law?Having a puppy is a lot of fun and a lot of work. You have to feed them and bathe them, clean up after them, make sure they go out and get walked, and if you are a good dog owner, you play with them. You are also responsible for them and their actions. So when it comes to a dog bite, what do you know about the law?

Dog bites happen often and more often than not to children. In fact, over 4.5 million people get bit, every year. When do dog bites become an issue for you as an owner? Well, the laws vary from state to state, but in most cases, the victim is entitled to recovering damages if the following can be proven:

  • The dog was not leashed and roaming freely outside of the owner’s home or property.
  • The dog has a history of biting, even one time previously, and the owner is aware of it.
  • The dog owner is negligent of his/her responsibilities and does not keep a knowingly vicious dog away from other people. This is true if the dog is in the care of another person, not the owner, that is aware of the dog’s nature.

What You Need To Know

A bite from your dog could result in a lawsuit. Victims are allowed to open personal injury cases when they’ve been bitten or attacked by a dog. You could be held accountable for injury expenses including medical and other losses. You will also have to cover any legal expenses accrued from the lawsuit. Because dog bite laws vary from state-to-state, make sure you are updated on the laws in your location. Be responsible for your pet and be proactive. This could save someone from getting injured by your pet, and it could save you a lot of time and money.

First Bite Laws

The first bite law is a pretty basic law that most states follow. Basically, if your dog hasn’t bitten before and does not have a vicious or violent history, then you will not be liable for damages sustained by the dog. This law could be disputed if the dog owner had any idea that the dog could become vicious or attack a person.

Taking Precaution As A Dog Owner

As a dog owner, it is your responsibility to take the proper precautions necessary to decrease the risk of dog bites. There are several things you can do to keep your dog under control and away from any situations that could result in a bite or attack.

  1. Always keep your dog on a leash if you have him in public. It should not matter if you are in an area that allows dogs to roam freely. This is your responsibility. At home, make sure your fencing will hold the dog in and that there are no problems with the latches, door, or other parts of the fencing.
  2. If your dog has an aggressive personality, keep him away from other people and out of public. It would be a good idea to get aggressive dogs into a training program where they can learn appropriate behavior.
  3. Warn visitors that you have an aggressive dog. Even if you have him locked up in another room. Put up signs at your property so that people understand your dogs’ behavior and that they need to proceed with caution.

If your dog does cause a situation and bites or attacks another person, contact the professionals at the offices of Tourtlotte Law. We can help you determine your personal situation and your rights. We will work hard to help determine the nature of the problem and to get you through any lawsuit against you.

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Personal Injury Lawsuit: Proving Your Side

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personal injury law firm billingsA common question asked by personal injury clients is “Does filing a personal injury lawsuit require me to go to trial?”

More than likely not. Although there is the possibility that a trial will take place, more than 95% of personal injury lawsuits settle without a trial. A settlement doesn’t always happen the same way. Sometimes a settlement will happen during meditation, or even right after a lawsuit is filed. But sometimes a settlement won’t occur until just before trial or after a plaintiff has given his disposition. It isn’t necessary to stress about having to go through a grueling trial, but be aware that it could happen.

If a lawsuit actually does go to trial, the plaintiff/victim will need to provide a burden of proof in order to win the lawsuit. What is a burden of proof? In criminal cases, it basically means that you have to prove your case beyond a reasonable doubt. This is a more difficult thing to prove than civil personal injury lawsuits where the plaintiff/victim only needs to prove that they are more than likely right – over 50%.

When a lawsuit goes to trial, both the plaintiff and the defendant are even on a judicial scale. During the trial, the evidence is brought out to help prove each sides case. The evidence isn’t always a physical piece of evidence like photos or documents. Evidence can also be witness and expert testimonies, or plaintiff/defendant testimonials. The evidence is meant to help the arguments of either side and encourage the jurors to side with them.

The justice scale is tipped each time evidence is shown during the trial. The scale tips in the plaintiff/defendant’s favor more as he/she provides more evidence. However, some evidence is much stronger than others and really have more of an effect on the scale of justice. So, the scale isn’t necessarily going to tip in each parties favor as they present evidence. If the plaintiff provided very strong evidence that tipped the scale in his direction, the opposing party would have to present evidence of a much stronger nature to tip the scale back to their side. The winner of the trial is the party that has provided stronger evidence and ends the trial with the scale tipped more in their favor.

This type of scenario is common in lawsuits that are trying to prove negligence on the defendant’s part. This happens in auto accidents, bicycle accidents, and other similar types of accidents. Some personal injury lawsuits begin with the defendant already presumably at fault. In these types of cases, the plaintiff has no need to provide a burden of proof. He/she only needs to prove damages made to them.

Personal injury lawsuits should not be handled on your own. It is extremely important to consult with personal injury attorneys’ that know the laws regarding different types of personal injury lawsuits and what you will need to prove to win. Having a consultation with a personal injury attorney can make the difference between winning a lawsuit and failing to provide enough evidence to prove your case and losing.

In Billings Montana, reach out to the professionals at Tourtlotte Law Firm. Our team is experienced and ready to help you win your case!