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Keep Dreaming!

Relieving the fears and anxiety of our dreamer families, the United States Supreme Court ruled the DACA program may continue. https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/19pdf/18-587_5ifl.pdf

The court decided the Trump administration’s attempt to end the program did not consider the harm about 700,000 Hispanics would suffer if their immigration status was suddenly yanked away.  https://www.msn.com/es-us/noticias/inmigracion/la-corte-suprema-falla-en-favor-de-los-so%c3%b1adores-y-rechaza-la-revocaci%c3%b3n-del-programa-de-inmigraci%c3%b3n-de-trump/ar-BB15FsIR

The court considered the Trump administration’s move violated equal protection rights because it was motivated by discriminatory or racial hostility.  The administration did not follow proper legal steps to end the DACA program.  So for now, our DACA friends can live, work and enjoy life in the United States.  But the issues is not finished.

The ruling does not end the DACA debate because if proper legal steps are taken through politics, the government could end the program.  Trump’s administration just tried ending it the wrong way.  https://www.msn.com/es-us/noticias/inmigracion/los-dreamers-respiran-pero-millones-de-inmigrantes-siguen-en-vilo-por-estas-decisiones-de-trump/ar-BB15FGYx

So that means Hispanics and equal justice supporters must back politicians that will protect the program.  Those politicians need votes and ground support before upcoming elections. Be more than dreamers – take action! Hispanics, let’s raise our voices, share our experience and show others why we are an important part of this country.

For today, take a deep breath and smile.  Remember to appreciate that America still respects the rule of law.

Amputation Accidents in Indiana

Amputation Injuries at Work

During a legal seminar I attended last week, an Indiana Occupational Safety and Hazards Agency (“IOSHA”) representative presented information covering work place injuries.  The representative explained that since March 2015, new reporting and investigation regulations require IOSHA to investigate amputation injuries across the state.  The presenter was clearly surprised how many work place amputations occur every day.  This safety initiative is designed to investigate problems, enforce safety codes and prevent ongoing hazards for Indiana workers.

FAQ for IOSHA Regarding Amputations

Amputations and Worker’s Compensation

The Goodin Abernathy LLP lawyers are not surprised by these findings because we frequently help clients who have suffered amputated fingers, hands and arms.  Many of our clients need help understanding what Indiana worker’s compensation benefits are available for their damages.  These benefits include lost wages from time off work (TTD or PTD), payment of medical bills, physical therapy and psychological counseling, or payments for their impairment due to permanent physical disfigurement (PPI).

The Indiana Worker’s Compensation Board uses a table to calculate the money owed for amputation PPI ratings.  https://www.in.gov/wcb/index.htm What injured workers need to know is that employers and their insurance companies are obligated to address impairment ratings – but many times the workers are not told of these benefits. Also, the calculations and settlement offers insurance companies make do not always match the reasonable or fair value of a PPI rating: especially in amputation cases.

GA’s Indianapolis attorneys understand the medical and therapy plans needed to fully address amputation recoveries.  We are also experienced in evaluating the correct PPI calculations for claiming impairment benefits with all types of amputations.  Indiana has recognized the pervasive problems of amputation injuries.  This article describes the problems and also discusses a case where a worker suffered two amputations, two different times on the same machine! (click here)

If you need help understanding which benefits are available for your recovery from an amputation, call us.  If you need help calculating the extent of your amputation injury and the its recognized impairment value, contact us and put our experience to work.  Goodin Abernathy LLP will uses its experience, resources (including expert medical review) and legal background to represent you.  Don’t get cut short twice with your amputation – call us for legal help.

ADA and Dwarfism

What happens to whistleblowers and workers facing discrimination in the work place? Tricia Newbold, a dwarf, claims the White House is freezing her out of a job (see article here).

This story reminds me of one of the best cases, and clients, we’ve helped over the years. It involves an American with Disabilities Act claim and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) – legal areas which Goodin Abernathy LLP is experienced in, litigating cases with earnest to represent our clients.

Our client, “B”, is an Achondroplasia Dwarf. Outside of being a dwarf, B had normal dreams and aspirations like the rest of us had at a young age. B came to us because while she was working at a major restaurant chain, a manager and co-workers discriminated against her. They held her back from a job promotion and occasionally made disparaging remarks about her physical stature. They thought it was funny – but the remarks were mean to B.

B started as a hostess and wanted to get promoted to serving tables. Waitresses made more than those in the hostess position. Although the position required different physical requirements, B was up for the challenge.

The problem was, the restaurant outright denied her requests to be a server. On top of it, they were callous about it. The employer did not take time to consider what our laws say about equal opportunity for all workers. And probably worse yet, they did not take the time to consider the moral issues involved with the situation.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and its 2008 update, the ADA Amendments Act (“ADAAA”), provide legal protection for disabled workers in our country. Goodin Abernathy LLP submitted a Charge of Discrimination for B with the local EEOC office. When the EEOC gave us a “Right to Sue” letter, we filed a legal complaint against the employer in Federal Court.

We collected evidence in B’s case, showing the employer failed to reasonably communicate with her about the server’s position. Nor did they consider whether reasonable accommodations would have easily allowed B to perform the server’s job. On top of that, our investigation revealed the rude comments by staff and B’s supervisors.

The company’s attorneys fought and complained, but we did not give up. We did not expect a lot. We did not expect for B to retire on the case – but we did expect to win. B recovered financial compensation allowed under the law. And, we won, because as attorneys, we used the law and fought for somebody’s equal rights.

Contact attorney Chip Clark at Goodin Abernathy, LLP with any ADA or EEOC questions you have. Give us a chance to partner with you – fighting for the legal rights you morally deserve.

When a Driver Without Insurance Hits You

When a Driver Without Insurance Hits You

The “S” family was driving together when another vehicle hit them. During this auto accident, their vehicle flipped, causing the “S” family various injuries. They were taken by ambulance to the hospital and required medical treatment for months after the accident. Their medical bills grew large, but the driver who caused the accident did not have insurance to cover the damages.S family - personal injury case, indianapolis

The personal injury attorneys at Goodin Abernathy LLP are experienced in this area of the law. The “S” family was smart – they were driving with an insurance policy that covered them if an “uninsured” driver caused their damages. The legal team at Goodin Abernathy collected the “S” family’s insurance policy and handled their claims. The “S” family did not need to negotiate directly with their own insurance company or the hospital. The Goodin Abernathy LLP personal injury attorneys handle this work for their clients.

The hospital filed liens to collect any money paid to the “S” family – even from their own insurance company. Goodin Abernathy’s attorneys communicated with the hospital and simply negotiated a distribution of insurance proceeds that left everyone involved satisfied.

This case was complicated due to the insurance policy terms and hospital lien. If someone you know is injured in an automobile accident, contact us for answers to questions about insurance and medical bills. The Goodin Abernathy LLP attorneys first try to resolve the claims through settlement – but take cases to court and present them to juries if and when necessary. Our goal is to optimize your recovery by paying attention to each client’s individual interests.

Contact our Spanish speaking attorneys today at (317)574-3090 or 1(800) 625-4710.

Indiana Job Safety: Factory Deaths and Serious Injury

A Hispanic worker was cooked alive at his job in a tuna factory.  Legal penalties were ordered for the dangerous acts of the man’s co-workers and the factory management. http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2015/08/13/bumble-bee-forced-pay-6m-worker-cooked-alive/31620881/

Indiana’s Worker’s Compensation laws control injury and death claims when workers suffer job accidents.  This website answers many common questions injured workers have regarding their claims.  http://www.in.gov/wcb/2382.htm  Undocumented Latino workers can legally claim medical costs and disability benefits in Indiana.  In certain cases, they can also sue general contractors, property owners or other service providers for negligence.  Unfortunately, many Spanish speaking Hispanics do not know that Indiana’s worker’s compensation laws protect them.

Our attorneys speak Spanish and many of our Goodin Abernathy LLP clients are Latino.  Since many employers and their insurance companies try to avoid paying the benefits legally required for job accidents, our experienced attorneys fight for their legal rights.  We evaluate settlement offers and push for reasonable awards.

We have represented injured workers throughout Indiana with injuries like: A burned foot when a cleaner stepped in hot oil; amputated fingers and hands when workers get their hands stuck in machines; broken backs where workers fall or get crushed at construction projects; brain injuries from head trauma after falling or getting hit by construction materials.  Also, our attorneys successfully handled cases for workers trapped inside large machinery and furnaces, like the man killed at the tuna plant in the story selected above.

Many of our Hispanic clients are worried about their immigration status.  Many of their legitimate claims go unreported because a worker does not believe the law protects them.  Contact us.  The Goodin Abernathy LLP attorneys explain the benefits Hispanic workers can legally recover – regardless of their immigration status.  Call us today for a free Spanish consultation.