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Kentucky Legal Issues Blog

Operating your machine safely in the workplace

Depending on the nature of your job in Kentucky, you may face a unique set of risks each day as you complete your assigned responsibilities. Because construction sites are surrounded with dangers and risks, it is imperative that you do your part to keep yourself and others safe. At Fowler Bell, we are familiar with the complexities regarding workplace safety. 

According to ehstoday.com, there are several cautious actions that you can take in your efforts to operate machinery with an added measure of care and vigilance. These include the following:

  • Participate in trainings: Chances are your employer has put together some type of training course for you to complete as a prerequisite to operating equipment and machinery. Take advantage of such educational opportunities to become familiar with safety protocols and procedures.
  • Communicate with your coworkers: Communication can make a significant difference in the level of safety on a construction site. When you are regularly in contact with your supervisor and coworkers, you can guarantee that everyone is informed of what is going on to prevent accidents due to negligence. 
  • Take your time: Never rush through processes that should be carefully completed. Anytime you are operating machinery, take your time to make sure you do your job correctly without compromising the safety of yourself and those around you. 
  • Perform regular inspections: Machinery that has been regularly inspected, maintained and repaired as needed will be much safer to operate than machines that have been neglected. Do your part to keep machinery operational by immediately reporting any suspicious problems you may notice while using it.

Could you get arrested for attending a protest?

There are many Kentucky news stories about protests recently. Along with those stories come people voicing their opinions about the First Amendment rights and the rights of law enforcement. It can be tough to figure out what rights you do have if you choose to attend a protest. Before you head off, though, it is important to learn more about what is legal and what is not to protect yourself against being arrested for attending a protest.

According to ProPublica, the First Amendment of the constitution does give you the right to peacefully assemble. The keyword there is "peacefully." This basically means that you will not break the law while assembling. If your protest is legal and does not break any laws while it is being held, then you should be okay. However, there are many ways in which a protest can stray into illegal activity territory.

What is required for a bad faith claim?

Dealing with an insurance company, regardless of the reason, can often be challenging. Insurance companies in Kentucky are usually focused on finding ways to make money and not pay it out. When it comes to claims, they will investigate thoroughly to ensure they do not pay out when they are required to do so. Even though most companies are honest and will pay you when you are entitled, you may run into a situation of a bad faith claim.

A bad faith claim, according to the Insurance Journal, is when an insurance company does not rightfully pay a claim. There are three main conditions that must be met to prove this type of claim in the state. You must prove that the insurance company had no legal grounds upon which to deny your claim. You must also prove the claim is something the insurer was bound to cover through your agreement with the company. Finally, you have to show there was no reason for the denial or that the insurance company avoided payment with no reasonable excuse for doing so.

Determining what "best interest" means for a child

For many separating Kentucky couples, the progression of divorce rarely follows a perfectly smooth and anticlimactic course. In fact, separation is often riddled with bitter disputes regarding everything from child custody to financial assets. For couples who have had children together, the process can be especially complicated. However, they must remember that the best interest of their children should be their utmost priority. 

According to the Huffington Post, parents can best facilitate a rewarding outcome for their children when they do their best to work together in reaching solutions that benefit every party. While it can be easy for separating parents to become embroiled in arguing their own wants and needs, their efforts to remain civil and realistic in reaching agreements can reduce the stress of their children while helping them to adjust to their new normal.

How do workers' compensation settlements work?

If you have been hurt on the job in Kentucky, you may have applied for workers' compensation. After filing your paperwork, you may be approached with a settlement. This is when your employer's insurance company wants to offer you something in return for you settling the case and not taking it to a hearing. Insureon notes at this point you can accept the workers' compensation settlement or reject it. You can also negotiate to try to get a better deal.

Generally, you will be offered a settlement based upon your claim. You usually are entitled to disability payments for the time you cannot work, missed wage payments and medical payments for the associated medical expenses. In a settlement, you may not be offered everything you have asked for. You do have the chance to reject the offer and ask for changes to it so you can get what you feel you are owed.

How can I resolve a child custody dispute with my ex? Part 1

One area that some divorcing couples in the Lexington area often have trouble with is child custody. According to the Spruce, across the country, there are 14.3 million custodial parents. When the family structure breaks, disagreements on child custody and what is best for the kids often ensue. 

You may not want their other parent to have as much or any access to your children. Keep in mind that your kids are the ones who suffer the most. Regardless of your feelings are towards each other, you should put the kids’ interests above your own. You do not have to sacrifice your wants and needs in order to do so. Both of you should work together to create a custody arrangement that benefits everyone. Here are some suggestions on how to work out custody disagreements. 

What are some consequences of back child support?

From a job loss that was completely unforeseen to medical problems, a parent may be unable to pay the child support they owe for different reasons. Unfortunately, failing to stay current on child support can lead to all sorts of different consequences for everyone involved. If you are a non-custodial parent living in Lexington and facing challenges that make it hard for you to pay child support, you may want to look into some of your options, such as modifying your child support order or setting up a payment plan.

According to the Internal Revenue Service, failing to pay child support can cause a parent's tax refund to be offset. If you have fallen behind on your child support payments, you may not receive your refund from the IRS. However, you will be given a notice if your tax refund is intercepted. Moreover, there are other consequences associated with missing child support payments. For example, you could face financial penalties, be arrested, or even have trouble applying for a passport. Additionally, back child support can make life hard for custodial parents and children also.

Why Kentucky courts ruled against a third party bad faith claim

When people file a claim with their insurance company in Kentucky, they may assume that the adjustor will review the circumstances, and they will receive the coverage that is their due. A claim denial or a much lower payment may be a shock, but these do not necessarily indicate that someone has been treated unfairly. 

According to the Kentucky Bar Association, in order to prove a bad faith claim, the plaintiff must show the following three elements:

  • The policy obligates the insurance company to pay the claim
  • There is no reason to deny the claim
  • The company knows the denial has no basis, or is recklessly disregarding the existence of the claim

Do you have to produce your ID as a passenger in a car?

Most people may not have the experience of being “ordered” to produce identification to a police officer. Most do so voluntarily in a show of deference to law enforcement, or to avoid further confrontation or an escalation of the situation.

The difference between an officer “asking” for something and “ordering” compliance is often a fine line distinction, but can have life-changing implications. The story of a Utah man who was charged and convicted of a crime after an officer asked for identification exemplifies this. 

When college study help lands you in jail

Have you ever stayed up all night to cram for a test in college? If you're a current Kentucky student, you may even have laughed at that statement asking, "Haven't all college students done this?" You probably have your favorite study enhancements that help you stay awake. If you're one of many students who have fallen under temptation to try Adderall or other stimulants, you may be at significant risk for serious problems.

Drug and alcohol addiction are quite prevalent on many college campuses in the nation. In fact, some say those who attend college full-time are doubly at risk for such problems than their non-student counterparts. What might motivate you to take a particular drug will not necessarily be the same for another student; however, anyone using illegal drugs to help them stay awake or for pleasure may wind up addicted or facing drug charges.

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