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Kentucky Legal Issues Blog

Explaining recent developments in insurance case law

At Fowler Bell PLLC, we do not expect our clients to stay abreast of all of the statutory and case law changes in Kentucky that could affect their businesses. In fact, we expect the opposite -- that they are too busy focused on providing insurance services to their own clients to bother with subtle alterations in the state's legal system.

Unfortunately, we are familiar with some cases in which this focus could have led to a legal encounter with a policyholder. The causes have changed throughout the years, but there is one recent development that could concern many insurers in the state, so much so that it could dictate internal policy on handling claims.

Protecting your wellbeing in the workplace

While there is a heavy push for you to take responsible measures to protect your workers from danger, it is also their responsibility as employees to be aware of the dangers of their job and understand how to mitigate those risks with adherence to corporate policies. At Fowler Bell, we have helped many companies in Kentucky to effectively defend their stance in cases where an employee may have made a false or unfounded claim. 

From the moment you hire your employees, you should look for individuals who are team players and show a commitment to maintaining your company's reputation and success. Often, these kinds of people are the workers who are the most willing to follow procedures that are designed to protect them and make their job more efficient and effective. According to arbill.com, some of the behaviors that you should teach your employees from the beginning include the following:

  • You should encourage them to be aware of where emergency exits are around their workstation, as well as understand escape routes. 
  • You should educate them on the importance of arriving at work well-rested and sober. 
  • You should implement resources that will aid in reducing the stress of your employees. An example would be creating an ergonomic desk setting to make repetitive secretarial functions more efficient and comfortable. 
  • You should allow your employees to take regular breaks to rejuvenate and refresh before returning to work. 
  • You should provide hands-on training for the proper use of machinery and equipment. 

When medical claims are denied, insurance defense kicks in

For many people in Kentucky, having reliable health care insurance is critical to their ability to finance unexpected costs associated with various trips to the doctor and treatments. Having insurance is important for people to stay protected in circumstances where unanticipated injuries or illnesses occur. However, there are times when people may be surprised to find out that their claim was denied by their provider. 

Insurance companies are very thorough in their process of creating and articulating their contracts. However, there are times when complicated situations can make it difficult for adjusters and customers to have a clear vision of who is responsible for footing the costs of a certain bill. When a claim is denied, an unsatisfied customer may plead their case and fight for compensation. In these situations, the insurance company may consider defending themselves. 

Can you protect your child during a messy divorce?

You have recently told your child that you and your spouse are seeking a divorce in Kentucky. You expected the news to be difficult for him or her to handle, but you did not quite anticipate just how hard it would be. Now, you are left trying to explain why your relationship is ending, answer questions about how this change will affect your child and continue to provide unparalleled support throughout the process. 

One of the most important things to remember when you first tell your child about your situation, is that he or she will undoubtedly need time to process the information. Often, this process is raw, emotional and difficult. Where possible, it is ideal for you and your spouse to hold such discussions together to provide the highest degree of support to your child. In helping your child cope with the saddening news, Parents suggests some helpful tips for you to consider including the following:

  • Build up your support group and encourage your child to do the same. 
  • Maintain an open relationship where your child is comfortable speaking with you about his or her concerns. 
  • Be honest in disclosing appropriate details and do not make things sound better than they really are. 
  • Never disagree or fight with your ex in the presence of your child. 
  • Establish a fair visitation schedule to allow your child one-on-one time with both you and your ex. 

Want sole custody? You'll have to show you're the better parent

These days, most Kentucky courts prefer to order a joint custody arrangement in which both parents have as much time with the children as possible. This is because the law tends to presume that this will serve the best interests of the children.

If you want sole custody of your children, you will more than likely have to overcome this presumption. You may already believe that you are the better parent for your children, but you will need to prove it to the court. You will do better if you focus on highlighting your positive attributes rather than focusing on negatives about the other parent. The court will want to know that you do not oppose the other parent having a relationship with the children and that you are willing to communicate with him or her. 

Insurance companies deflect responsibility for legal bills

While insurance companies provide consumers with clarity in clauses that discuss protection against certain elements, there are times when disputes are made about who is responsible for footing a bill. Many insurance companies in Kentucky go to extensive efforts to give policy holders an accurate description of the reach of their services. In situations where consumers are claiming they need assistance, but their insurance company disagrees, they have the option of defending their opinion and reasoning for not extending assistance to said policy holders. 

In a controversial case that has taken the nation by storm, infamous Harvey Weinstein's insurers are disputing claims that they are responsible for covering the climbing costs of his legal fees. Weinstein's defense team argues that he has been falsely accused with crimes that he did not commit. They contend that the insurers who are refusing to cover the costs of legal fees are being unfair in their decision against someone who paid excessive premiums over the course of many years. 

Is divorce seasonal?

Have you ever noticed that when you hear of someone divorcing, it suddenly seems like there are other people you know who are also getting divorced? Is this a coincidence? According to Live Science, there may be something to the idea that divorce is seasonal and happens at certain times of the year more often than others.

While actual studies are limited, the thinking behind the research is rather sound and makes good sense. It is thought that the majority of divorces are filed in March and August. While there is no way to find out the exact reason for this, it is thought that these months represent times after seasons where marriage trouble may become more apparent.

What does renters insurance cover?

Having the proper insurance to cover your assets is important. When you own a home, you get homeowners insurance that covers your home and your belongings inside the home. However, when you rent, you do not need coverage on the structure because you do not own it. That is why you would get renters insurance.

According to Allstate, renters insurance covers your belongings. Your landlord would get insurance on the structure. A renters policy will also provide liability coverage for you in the event someone is injured while at your home. Your policy may also offer coverage for expenses if you were to lose the ability to stay in your home due to a covered issue, such as a fire.

Achieving fair temporary orders before your divorce

If you are planning on seeking a divorce from your spouse or if your spouse has announced plans to file for divorce, you are likely dealing with many confusing emotions. This makes it difficult to think clearly, and you may be lying awake at night with a million questions running through your head.

Certainly, among those questions are many concerning the arrangements and decisions that will come about during the divorce negotiations. Once a divorce decree has the signature of the judge, you and your former spouse will have little choice but to comply with its orders. One way you can ensure you get the fairest settlement is to figure out what you want to achieve at your hearing for temporary court orders.

What is professional liability insurance?

If you have a business where you offer professional services, then you have special insurance needs. Your Kentucky insurance coverage should include professional liability insurance. You may also see this referred to as errors and omissions or E&O insurance. According to The Hartford, professional liability insurance offers you protection against claims due to mistakes you make in rendering your services.

You might be familiar with this type of insurance as it relates to doctors, but it is available for any professional. It will help protect you if something goes wrong because of the services you render. For example, if you are in a profession where you offer financial advice and the advice you provide a client ends up doing them financial harm, then your insurance protects you if they sue you by covering your defense costs.

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