The Overtime Rule

In 2014, President Obama directed the Secretary of Labor to update the overtime regulations to reflect the original intent of the Fair Labor Standards Act, and to simplify and modernize the rules so they’re easier for workers and businesses to understand and apply. The department has issued a final rule that will put more money in the pockets of middle-class workers – or give them more free time.

The final rule will:

On a fair summer day with a temperature of 70 degrees, the inside of your car can turn into a scalding 90 degrees with closed windows after just 10 minutes. Dogs cannot cool themselves down as easily as people, and once they overheat, they can suffer extensive organ damage or die.

Are there laws in place to protect these hot dogs in need? There are several states that have laws specifically about pets in cars. New Hampshire is one of them. New Hampshire RSA 644:8-aa states as follows:

“It shall be cruelty to confine an animal in a motor vehicle or other enclosed space in which the temperature is either so high or so low as to cause serious harm to the animal.”

The saying goes that “a picture is worth a thousand words”.   This is very true, especially when you have been injured in an accident.  If you’ve been injured in a car accident, suffered a slip and fall accident, injured on a construction site, or even been bitten by a dog photographs can be very effective evidence in your personal injury case. Good pictures can help explain how the injury occurred and document your injuries,  strengthening your case.

You should take pictures of any visible injuries as well as the damage to the vehicles if you have been in an accident.  Try to include a picture of each vehicle’s license plate number as well.  It is also helpful to take “scene” pictures of the surrounding area, including any skid marks, street and traffic control signs as well as the streets and their layouts.  If you were injured in a fall, take pictures of where you fell and what caused you to fall while the condition still exists (such as snow and ice, or defective stairs).

It is also helpful to document your injuries, as well as your healing in pictures.  Bruising, wounds and scars are all important to document while the injuries are readily apparent, photographs showing any medical treatment such as sutures, casts, braces can all help tell your story to the insurance company or to a jury about what you experienced.  If you have trouble performing any activities of daily living discuss these with your attorney, perhaps a video will explain these difficulties better than the written word.   Good photographs can increase the value of a claim when it comes time to resolve your case.

Statistics show that dog bite attacks make up over one-third of homeowners insurance claims filed every year. In a claim for injuries from a dog bite, it is the injured party’s responsibility to prove their case.  First, the victim has to identify the attacking dog and the dog’s owner or responsible party. Most cities and counties require dogs to have identification tags with the owner’s contact information along with vaccination information for Rabies.

Most dog bite claims are settled by insurance companies before having to go to court. Some states have laws making the owner or keeper of a dog liable for the injuries caused by that dog, this is often referred to as strict liability. This means the owner is liable for any injures caused by their dog, regardless of whether or not the owner knew the dog was dangerous.   New Hampshire is a strict liability state.  It is also important to find out if the animal has a history of aggression.  You should check with the town or city to see if there is any record of the dog biting or attacking in the past.

Contributory negligence is also something to consider when contemplating a claim.  For example, a person who climbs over the fence into a dog pen and gets bitten obviously contributed to the attack by making a bad choice. They may have partial (or even full) liability for their own dog bite injury. Provoking the dog can also be a contributing factor. These factors are important in determining if you have a viable claim and the value of your claim.

 

The City of Manchester is undertaking $180,000 worth of upgrades to Victory Park in Manchester. The park spans a City block and is in our neighborhood. The street adjacent to the park is also host to the weekly Farmer’s Market. We are so pleased to see the City undertaking these improvements.

The improvements include cleaning the monument, erected in 1929 in remembrance of World War I, repairing sidewalks and replacing park benches landscaping, planting trees and bushes and improving the lawn.

We look forward to following the beautification of our neighborhood.

Social Media – How Facebook and other social media sites can ruin your personal injury case. 

You have recently been in a motor vehicle accident and have complained of severe neck pain as a result of the accident. A friend has just invited you to go water-skiing at the lake. You know your neck has been feeling better so you think, why not? Throughout your day at the lake, you and your friend take a number of pictures (including several of you on the lake water-skiing) and post them on Facebook.

Facebook has over 1 billion users. Instagram has over 100 million. Twitter has over 900 million users. Social media is never truly private. Before you know it, the picture of you water skiing at the lake is in the defense attorney’s hand. You claim neck pain but the pictures say otherwise!!

If you are involved in a car accident, you may be able to have all or some of your medical bills paid. New Hampshire automobile insurance policies have what is referred to as Medical Payment (Med Pay) coverage.  Medical payment coverage is a no fault benefit that you can collect even if you were at fault for the accident.  If you purchased a car insurance policy with Med Pay coverage, or if the car in which you were driving or were a passenger in had Med Pay insurance, it will pay your medical bills up to the designated policy limit for the policy. There are no co-pays and no deductibles.  If you have this insurance, you can and should use it to help defray your medical costs due. Some policies even offer additional coverage if you were wearing your seatbelt.

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