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Baker, Dublikar, Beck,
Wiley & Mathews

North Canton, Ohio legal blog

Auto accidents and estate planning

In the wake of a motor vehicle wreck, victims may be going through a number of hardships. Serious injuries are often an immediate consequence of a crash, whether they involve brain trauma, a broken bone, deep laceration or some other wound. The loss of life is another serious concern that has resulted in a great deal of suffering for many families. However, there are other ways that car crashes can affect victims’ lives as well as the lives of those they love, even though it may not be at the forefront of a car crash victim’s mind immediately following a collision. For example, some car accident victims need to make revisions to their estate plan.

If you have a will, for example, you may want to take another look at the estate plan due to a car crash you were involved in. You may have experienced significant changes with respect to your financial circumstances and these changes may need to be reflected in your estate plan. Whether you have secured a significant amount of compensation following legal action against a reckless driver or you have lost your ability to work because of an injury and are facing financial hardships, changes may need to be made for various reasons. Sadly, some people have had to go over their estate plan because someone they loved, such as a spouse or child, passed away in a collision.

Closing your business due to litigation

We have covered many of the different legal issues that are related to business litigation, but some cases are so serious that they push a business owner to shut down. This highlights the importance of avoiding litigation, of course, but even the most cautious of business owners may find their company in court. Sometimes, those who run a business simply cannot recover from the financial impact of litigation as well as the damage to a firm's reputation.

If you are heading to court for any legal issue related to your business, it is crucial to know exactly what your options are. After litigation, you may also need to take a second look at various factors related to your company and you may need to make certain changes. Sometimes, business owners lose hope and do not think that they will be able to successfully move forward following a lawsuit. However, there may be many different options on the table for them, before and after a case is closed. 

Litigation involving a foreign company

There are many facets of business litigation that business owners come across, and we have covered many on our blog. It is important to remember that there are additional issues which can further complicate these cases, such as a lawsuit which involves a foreign company. If you are an Ohio business owner and have found yourself in the middle of a lawsuit with a company that is located outside of the U.S., it is important to know which options you have and move ahead in the most sensible direction, especially since these suits can be particularly complicated.

There are a number of reasons why litigation that involves a foreign company can be more complex. For starters, the laws vary from one country to another and some business owners may be unsure of how to handle the situation. Communication can be more difficult, aside from the distance there may be a language barrier that also gets in the way of all parties understanding each other. These lawsuits may also involve business partners who are located overseas or you may be interested in taking legal action against a company that is headquartered in another country. Either way, it is pivotal to go over your options and protect your business' interests.

Do you own the mineral rights to your land?

One question with which many Northeastern Ohio residents are grappling is who owns the mineral rights under their land holdings.

The surge of natural gas exploration has been a boon for many property owners in the tri-state region of eastern Ohio, western Pennsylvania and northern West Virginia. But before anyone can profit from the sale of discovered natural resources, a clear title must be produced in order to legally harvest them.

Litigation and your small business

Sometimes, when people hear the words "business litigation" they picture a large corporation or an incident involving a multinational that has received a lot of attention in the news. However, lawsuits targeting businesses can be problematic for small, family-owned businesses as well. If you run a small business, it is important to be aware of the different areas of concern regarding your business and identify the best course of action in the event that your business is taken to court. Some business owners do not think about litigation very much until they find themselves in this difficult position, but preventative measures are also important.

A small business may face lawsuits for a number of reasons, but some are particularly concerning. For example, a small business could face litigation over employment law matters (wrongful termination, denied wages, discrimination, etc.), fraud, a contract dispute or intellectual property rights, among other reasons. If your business has been taken to court over these allegations, it is crucial to figure out the best approach.

How many sexual harassment charges are filed per year?

Business owners may be very stressed out when an employee (or a group of employees) file a complaint over employee rights violations such as denied breaks or denied overtime. However, allegations of discrimination and sexual harassment can be especially concerning and these are issues that have created many problems for workers and companies alike in Ohio. Sexual harassment allegations can damage a business' good name and they can also bring other consequences, such as financial penalties. Moreover, victims of sexual harassment may also experience a number of setbacks, which highlights the importance of preventing unlawful behavior in the workplace.

According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commision, there were more than 12,400 sexual harassment charges filed with the EEOC during the fiscal year 2017. In the fiscal year 2016, 12,860 charges were filed with the EEOC, while the fiscal year 2015 had 12,573 sexual harassment charges filed. Clearly, thousands of people take action over alleged sexual harassment per year and this has become an increasingly concerning issue in recent months.

When an estate dispute involves siblings

We have covered a number of estate issues on our blog, but some are especially emotional and difficult to work through. For example, estate-related disputes which involve siblings and other family members can create rifts in families and high levels of stress and other negative emotions. Whether you are a beneficiary who suspects that an estate is not being managed properly or you are the executor of an estate and are struggling with beneficiaries who claim you have breached your fiduciary duties, this can very tough, especially if the disagreements involve siblings.

Sometimes, siblings are upset with how an estate is distributed and they may believe that they were treated unfairly. Worse, these disagreements can create lifelong hard feelings between siblings and completely derail the hopes of a loved one who set up the estate plan. By talking with your sibling or working to smooth things out between siblings, you may be able to reduce the impact of a dispute. Regrettably, many families have experienced these difficult problems.

When an employee takes legal action

We have covered some of the different reasons why business owners find themselves in court, from contract disputes to deceptive trade practices. However, there are many more reasons why you may find yourself in the courtroom. For example, a current or former employee may decide to file a lawsuit, claiming that the company they work for or used to be employed by is responsible for their suffering. From a slip-and-fall accident to allegations of discrimination or sexual harassment, there are many different allegations that can result in litigation. Moreover, the outcome of these cases can be incredibly damaging for businesses of all sizes, not only in terms of financial penalties but reputation and future business as well.

If one of your employees has decided to file suit against your business, it is critical for you to go over all of the details that surround the alleged incident(s) and do all you can to work towards a favorable end result. There may be certain details involved in the case which may seem insignificant at first but could have a major impact on the outcome. This also draws attention to the importance of prevention and there are a number of ways you can work to keep these lawsuits from arising in the first place. For example, employee training, awareness programs and thorough investigations can all be helpful.

Someone else's distraction can leave you with major medical bills

There's a degree of risk involved every time you get into a motor vehicle. You may take steps to limit that risk, such as choosing not to ride with inebriated drivers or avoiding distractions when you're behind the wheel. However, no amount of care on your part will reduce the risks caused by the poor decisions of another driver.

Distracted driving has become one of the most serious concerns on the road these days. Many people can't resist the temptation of a phone alerting them to a new message or email. Others simply have trouble focusing on the task at hand. Whatever the form of distraction, it can create unnecessary risk for you and everyone else on the road.

Setting up a special needs trust

There are many different options with respect to trusts and wills and it is important for those who are creating an estate plan to carefully look into their choices and find one that suits their individual needs best. For some people, a less common type of estate plan may be the most sensible option. For example, someone who has a loved one who is a struggling with a mental illness or a disability may find that a special needs trust works out best for their family member. There are a number of perks when it comes to special needs trusts and for some families in Ohio, these trusts help ensure that those who are struggling with a disability have the resources they need.

One of the main reasons why people move ahead with a special needs trust is because it allows those who are mentally or physically challenged to retain their eligibility for certain types of government assistance that they may count on, such as Medicaid or SSI. Under a special needs trust, someone who is struggling with a mental or physical disability will be able to gain access to assets via the trust without becoming ineligible for certain forms of government assistance that they count on.

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