What to Do When Your Employer Denies Medical Leave

Posted by Allison Sullivan on Jul 25, 2018 11:57:27 AM

Crystal Reynolds Fisher's 18-year-old son became sick with a fever, ending up on life support as he deteriorated rapidly. Crystal, who works at a gas station in her local Albion, Michigan community, texted her boss to let her know that she would need to take time off work in order to be close to her son during his recovery.

Dawn's response was chilling: "If you can't come to work, that's you quitting."

Crystal posted the text conversation on her personal Facebook page, where it quickly began to spread and eventually appeared on national news organization websites detailing Crystal's situation.

In the case of Ms. Fisher, the company she works for terminated the employment of the manager after her story made national news and granted her medical leave as needed. 

But... what if you don't have a story that 'goes viral', attracting national attention and putting pressure on a company to approve emergency leave?

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Topics: Worker's Compensation

Happy Fourth of July from Bluestein Attorneys!

Posted by Allison Sullivan on Jul 4, 2018 9:06:00 AM

The United States of America is celebrating its 242nd birthday this year, and we'd like to wish all of you and safe and happy celebration!

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Topics: holidays

Why Are South Carolina's Roads So Deadly?

Posted by Allison Sullivan on Jun 13, 2018 8:54:45 AM

While South Carolina's overall traffic fatality rate has been trending slightly downwards, Lexington County and Richland County have unfortunately been seeing the opposite.

According to The State newspaper, by May 17, traffic deaths in Lexington County in 2018 were double what they were by the same time last year, with 34 deaths in total compared to last year's 17. Richland County, meanwhile, was already battling a battling a surge in traffic fatalities on Columbia roads, and looks poised to continue the fight throughout 2018.

What's causing this sudden spike in traffic fatalities? How can you keep yourself and your family safe on South Carolina's roads? 

Let's take a look.

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Topics: Automobile Accident

Were You Exposed to Asbestos During Military Service?

Posted by Eugene Powell on May 21, 2018 8:23:58 AM

When asbestos was originally introduced to the public, it was considered something of a miracle due to its ability to more effectively fireproof housing, machinery, automobiles, and more.

We are primarily used to hearing about asbestos being used in housing construction or automobile manufacture, but did you know every branch of the United States military used asbestos as a flame retardant, too? Long after the harmful effects of long-term asbestos exposure were known, its use continued unabated until nearly 1980.

Asbestos is either partially or fully banned in more than 17 countries. You may be surprised to learn, however, that the United States is not one of them.

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Topics: Veterans Affairs

Does South Carolina Have a Good Samaritan Law?

Posted by Allison Sullivan on May 11, 2018 8:03:32 AM

As the opioid crisis continues to unfold across the country, South Carolina has seen a devastating increase of overdose-related hospitalizations and deaths over the past few years.

According to SC DHEC, deaths caused by overdoses numbered about 550 in 2016, showing an increase of nearly 20% in just two years.

As the United States begins to reckon with the long-term effects of prescription drug abuse and opioid addiction, we have also seen increasing situations where witnesses to an opioid overdose don't call for help until it's too late because they are worried about being charged with a crime themselves.

Can a friend or loved one safely call 911 for someone overdosing, without getting into legal trouble? Does South Carolina have a Good Samaritan law regarding drug overdoses?

Let's take a look at how Good Samaritan laws in South Carolina work, what they cover, and what to do if you witness someone who has potentially overdosed.

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Topics: Criminal Defense

Medical Malpractice at Veterans Affairs: What to Do If You're Affected

Posted by Eugene Powell on Apr 30, 2018 9:20:09 AM

In our last blog, we looked into ways to protect yourself and your loved ones from medical malpractice as a result of VA care.

Unfortunately, medical malpractice isn't limited to care received at private medical facilities or in hospitals  — veterans have also found themselves subject to sometimes serious injuries as a result of care they received at the VA.

Current servicemembers and military veterans who have suffered as a result of medical malpractice at the VA do have options! Today, we'll take a look at the two ways to seek a remedy, the steps included, and why it's important to have legal representation.

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Topics: Veterans Affairs

Do Prisoners Have Rights?

Posted by Allison Sullivan on Apr 20, 2018 3:02:47 PM

The recent prison riot at Lee Correctional Institute in Bishopville seems to have begun as a dispute over gang territory and contraband like cell phones. It ended with seven inmates dead and seventeen more injured, after a staff of forty-four guards found themselves trying to maintain order in a prison that houses nearly 1,600 men.

The riot and its aftermath exposed a serious problem with understaffing in both South Carolina prisons and in the prison system nationwide.

Some prisoners' rights activists like those at the National Action Network have asserted that the prisoners' right to safety was violated by the circumstances that led to last week's riot. We've heard more than a few people ask: Do prisoners have rights? What can a prisoner or their family do if they feel their civil rights were violated?

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Topics: Criminal Defense

Medical Malpractice at VA Facilities: How to Protect Yourself

Posted by Eugene Powell on Apr 17, 2018 8:13:20 AM

Local Columbia newspaper The State recently reported on the case of U.S. Navy Veteran Eric Walker. Mr. Walker sought care at the Dorn Veterans Hospital in Columbia, SC, while suffering from severe pains in his abdomen.

The hospital asked for a routine urine sample — that's where the 'routine' part of this ER visit ends. To Walker's shock, the hospital informed him that he had flunked their drug test and his stomach pains were caused by "excessive cocaine use" and other drug ingestion. 

Medical staff at Dorn did not attempt to provide treatment for his pain and told him instead to go home and seek help for drug addiction. 

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Topics: Veterans Affairs, Medical Malpractice

Does Workers’ Compensation Reimburse Travel Expenses? (And Other Common Workers’ Comp Questions Answered) .

Posted by Allison Sullivan on Mar 21, 2018 8:52:30 AM

For employees who become injured or even ill due to workplace events or conditions, Workers' Compensation can be the bridge they need to get from the initial injury to total recovery without losing the ability to make ends meet.

While most employees have heard of Workers' Comp during employee orientation or special safety presentations, there's a lot of that isn't widely understood.

Workers' Compensation insurance, which accounts for nearly 1.6% of employer spending overall (according to this report from the Center for Construction Research and Training), is a complex program that many day-to-day employees don't know much about.

We thought we'd take today to answer a few frequently asked questions about Workers' Compensation in South Carolina.

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Topics: Worker's Compensation

Who Covers My Medical Bills After a Car Wreck?

Posted by Allison Sullivan on Mar 12, 2018 12:30:02 PM

Car wrecks that cause injury can come in many forms — vehicle collisions, wrecks involving tractor trailers, motorcycle wrecks, and more. After you've exchanged car insurance information with the at-fault party, called your own insurance company to notify them to start the claims process, and sought medical care for your injuries, you may be wondering — who pays the medical bills after a car accident, and how can you be sure your medical care will be paid for?

Let's take a look.

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Topics: Motorcycle Accidents, Personal Injury, Automobile Accident, Wrecks Involving Tractor Trailers