Transforming and Redefining the Physical Workplace Environment

Newer technologies are replacing even very recently released or introduced trends and capabilities faster than ever. This means that a car, for instance, which you just bought last year, may have multiple add-ons this year, making it simply more remarkable than the one you bought – kind of making you feel sorry for deciding to buy too fast, isn’t it?

For businesses, some sort of a quantum leap is also on the horizon – Workplace Mobility – a move that is seen to greatly improve knowledge workers’ performance and increase company profit through a change in the “how” and the “where” these employees work.

This workplace mobility, which banks in North America have started to implement, has as its most basic infrastructure, borderless networks. Thus, with the latest tablet technologies, next-generation smart phones, virtualization, cloud computing and other advancing wireless capabilities, knowledge workers in the areas of technology, media, finance, telecommunications and others, are becoming less dependent with regard to their work’s location.

More and more companies are expected to make big investments on technology next year to enable them to start practicing workplace mobility. They don’t mind spending more since this move will prove to be more profitable in the long run. How? Besides serving as an invitation to younger knowledge workers, who would only be eager to work hard as part of a global team, collaborating with their counterparts regardless of global positioning and time zone, workplace mobility also means significant reduction in company costs. These simply mean retention of skillful and talented workers and bigger company savings due to lesser company travels, fewer printers and computer units, lesser need to purchase office supplies, reduced consumption of energy, and lesser need to rent a big, costly office space.

The Importance of Court Reporting Services

Litigation is not really about the trial, whether criminal or civil. The court trial itself is a culmination of weeks and maybe months of preparation that will provide the support for the claims of the plaintiff or allegations of prosecutor and the defendant/s. This is where the importance of court reporting services comes in.

Part and parcel of the investigatory aspect of any litigation is that of case law and witness accounts. Case law or precedent is the rule or principle established by the courts in past trials in common law legal systems that has not been successfully challenged or debunked. Such rulings are documented by court reporters as transcripts of court room proceedings and made available to lawyers to use as the basis for their arguments or motions.

Depositions, on the other hand, are verbatim transcripts of statements, interviews, and declarations by relevant persons pertaining to a particular case taken outside of the courtroom and presented during the discovery phase of a trial. These depositions are officially recorded by a court reporter without the supervision of the judge and used as evidence in the trial itself.

Because of the importance of their functions, court reporters have to be extensively trained to do their job properly and maintain certain skills, such as a typing speed of 225 words per minute. They also have to be licensed by the state, and in some states also have to be notaries public to be certified by the courts.

The transcripts provided by Houston court reporting services are important documents that are used in any kind of legal proceeding, ranging from issues of crimes to personal injury to child support. It does not matter if the purpose of the trial is to determine guilt or to decide on what is in the best interest of a child of divorce. Court reporting provides the bricks and mortar with which a competent lawyer can build a case that will stand up in court.

Personal Injury Defined

Personal injury is any harm to an individual caused by the negligent actions or inactions of another person, an entity, or an organization which has a duty of care towards that individual. The key to this definition is the duty of care.

A person, entity, or organization cannot be said to be negligent when such person, entity, or organization has no relationship with the injured or harmed individual. For example, if a child accidentally swallows mommy’s medication for epilepsy and has seizures that eventually results in irreversible brain damage, the drug company is not liable for the injury to the child because it has no relationship with that child, and therefore has no duty of care. However, the mother may be found to be criminally negligent as well as civilly liable for the child’s condition.

Given this qualification of duty of care, personal injury nevertheless encompasses a wide range of circumstances. There are lots of ways that someone can suffer an injury, from a wet patch in a grocery, to a defective drug, to being involved in an accident caused by an intoxicated boat operator, and be eligible for compensation from the at-fault party. However, it is far from a simple matter.

Case law concerning personal injury is still evolving. It was only since the 1970s that personal injury litigation became popular in the U.S., and since then tort law has become increasingly complex. In personal injury litigation, it is the plaintiff who has the burden to prove negligence as well as to provide evidence of serious injury within the statute of limitations, all prerequisites for a viable claim. The tort law varies from state to state, so the personal injury lawyer hired to pursue the claim must have the knowledge and experience to execute the task of protecting the rights of the plaintiff as well as sue for the maximum compensation possible in an effective manner.

Proving Negligent Security

Premises liability is generally difficult to prove, and in most cases the plaintiff is found to have been at least partially to blame for the incident that caused injury. As a result, many premises liability lawsuits end in a largely defense verdict. An exception would be claims of negligent security, which is usually easy to prove based on the presence or absence of security measures.

Particular types of property owners or lessors which license or invite people to be on the premises as a matter of course take on the responsibility of taking steps to prevent reasonably foreseeable harm from coming to their licensees or invitees. These include commercial establishments, apartment buildings, schools, and banks. Typically, this duty is discharged with hiring security personnel or outsourcing the job to a security company, installing closed-circuit cameras, and implementing security checks and policies.

Most cases of negligent security claims purport that if the security measures had been adequate to cope with the risks of harm or injury as indicated by the circumstances surrounding the establishment, the injury or harm would not have occurred. For example, the owner of a bar where patrons frequently engage in physical altercations after a certain level of intoxication should have a policy to cut off obviously inebriated patrons and to have a sufficient number of bouncers to head off any acts of violence. Barroom fights can lead to severe brain injuries.

Liability is dependent on the degree in which harm can be foreseen based on past incidents and the characteristics of the surrounding area and the premises itself. While a fight could erupt without warning in the above example, the bar owner knows or should have known that sudden eruptions of physical violence are a distinct possibility, or foreseeable.

When a licensee or invitee suffers injury or even death because the property owner or lessor was negligent in addressing the risk of harm despite its foreseeability, premises liability may apply. Consult with a negligent security lawyer with a thorough knowledge of the relevant state’s laws on premises liability and have the case assessed.

Insurance Bad Faith

Insurance companies are all the same when it comes to claims. They would rather not pay anything. This holds true whether filing a claim for property damage after a hurricane in Oklahoma or for medical expenses after a car accident in Louisville. Insurance companies are eager to take money from policyholders in the form of premiums, but not so eager to pay it back out when the time comes.

Of course, it is good business practice to do the proper investigations to ensure that a claim in legitimate and the coverage in order. The process can take time, especially with claims that are complicated, or when claims come in at the same time, such as when a large number of people are affected by a natural calamity or fire. The insurer may also send in an insurance adjuster to determine the extent of the damage and determine the appropriate payment. This is all perfectly legal and within the insurers’ rights.

However, according to the website of the Oklahoma-based Smith Kendall Buxton Law Group, when the delay is unreasonably extended, when the payment is much less than expected, or if the claim is denied for not satisfactory reason, these are indications of insurance bad faith. Insurance companies function as a fiduciary of the policyholders’ premiums, which imply the trust that when the time comes, the policyholders can expect financial relief.

Insurers are required to act in good faith, and that includes processing legitimate claims in a timely and fair manner. When an insurance company fails to live up to their end of the contract, they are considered in breach of their duty as well as the insurance contract. As such, they are civilly and possibly criminally liable. Policyholders have the right under civil law to sue the insurer for insurance bad faith, but it is not at all easy. They will need the expertise of a lawyer with a thorough knowledge of the way insurance works and the language of insurance policies to bring it off successfully.

Preventing Workplace Injuries

Workplace injuries are undesirable from any perspective. The worker suffers pain and is unable to work, and the employer suffers loss of productivity and profit. Fortunately in the U.S., workers’ compensation can help somewhat in alleviating the effects of workplace injury. It should be noted though that it is not always easy to make a successful workers’ compensation claim because insurance companies tend to avoid making payouts. An experienced workers’ compensation lawyer can make the process go much smoother, so if a workplace injury is bad enough to have a serious impact on your income, you should consider hiring one to get your workers’ compensation benefits as soon as possible.

However, an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure. As explained in an article on the WorkSTEPS website, determining the functional capabilities of a prospective employee before hiring can minimize the number of work days lost to injury or illness. For example, an employee with asthma will definitely not be eligible to work in construction.

But even with pre-employment testing, workplace injuries can still occur if the proper safety regulations and precautions are not taken. In this, employers and employees have to work together in preventing workplace injuries.

The employer has the responsibility to ensure the safety of the workplace. This is not limited only to elimination of obvious hazards such as uneven floors, poorly maintained equipment, improper storage, or exposed wiring. Employees should also be provided with protective equipment when indicated and office workers should be provided with ergonomic workstations to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome and other repetitive motion injuries.

On the other hand, employees should do their part to reasonably ensure their own safety and the safety of their co-workers. Safety regulations such as wearing of hard hats and other protective equipment should be followed; observed hazards should be reported; and reasonable care should be taken when operating office and other equipment.