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Turner v. Midland Decision

Posted on Thursday, September 8th, 2016 at 10:13 pm    

Follow the link to read an important published decision by the Eastern District of Kentucky federal court, in which Justin Lawrence successfully argued that his admiralty client, a Jones Act Seaman working on the Ohio River, was entitled to proceed to a trial by jury on all his claims for damages.  Lawrence & Associates later settled the claim for a confidential amount.

Turner v. Midland

Thanks to Westlaw, a Thompson Reuters company that helps attorneys perform legal research, for providing this document.  Attorneys can find out more about Westlaw by following the link to their website.


Join Us as We Restore Trees in Buena Vista Park

Posted on Tuesday, March 29th, 2016 at 7:28 am    

buenavistaparkIn the fall of 2015, vandals destroyed newly planted saplings at the Buena Vista Park in Newport, Kentucky. Lawrence & Associates heard about this criminal act through the Newport Parks Renaissance Commission’s Facebook posts, and offered to help. After six months of planning and a short winter, we are ready to help the Newport Parks Renaissance Commission re-plant the trees and restore the park.

The attorneys and staff of Lawrence & Associates will be donating their time and money to help the Newport Parks Renaissance Commission enhance the beauty of Buena Vista Park in Newport Kentucky.

Justin L. Lawrence, owner-operator of Lawrence & Associates, vouched to personally help with a donation and his own two hands when he was notified that multiple trees of Buena Vista Park had been destroyed by vandals. Since his initial pledge, multiple other members of Lawrence & Associates’ staff have now also pledged their time to restoring these trees and improving the park.

We ask that you please stop by Buena Vista Park, W 12th Street, Newport, Kentucky 41017 on April 9, 2016 at 9:00am to show your support for these wonderful volunteers.


Will My Insurance Cover Me for the Injury I Got in a Hit-and-Run?

Posted on Tuesday, March 8th, 2016 at 7:16 am    

hit-and-runThe attorneys at Lawrence and Associates have helped many drivers who were hurt in a hit-and-run collision. These claims can be simple – for example, when the hit-and-run driver is found by the police and has alcohol in his or her system – or complex – for example, where the hit-and-run driver is never found at all. In almost every case, our attorneys can recover money from an insurance policy to fairly compensate our clients for their damages. However, in many cases the insurance carrier will initially refuse to compensate the injured driver. Depending on the exact circumstances of each case, there are several ways to get paid for your injury.

What Happens When the Hit-and-Run Driver is Found?

In cases where the hit-and-run driver is found and identified by the police, our attorneys will file a claim for damages with the hit-and-run driver’s policy first. In that situation, the insurance claim is no different from any other car wreck on the road. The injured driver looks to the hit-and-run driver’s policy first, filing a lawsuit in court if necessary. If the hit-and-run driver’s policy has to pay the limits of the policy for the injury (or close to the limits), then Lawrence & Associates helps its injured clients recover money from their own policy. However, there are certain legal requirements that come into play – such as notice requirements to the injured driver’s own insurance carrier – that can cause major problems for anyone that tries to go after insurance money without a lawyer. Injured Northern Kentucky drivers should tread cautiously!

What Happens If the Hit-and-Run Driver is Not Found?

It is tougher – but not impossible! – when the hit-and-run driver is never found, but the wreck caused an injury and property damage. In that scenario, Kentucky law states that the injured driver’s insurance policy has to pay first using the uninsured motorist coverage portion of the policy. However, in doing so the injured driver’s insurance carrier becomes adversarial, meaning the insurance company wants to save its money by not paying for the injury! Insurance companies often delay or deny claims by requiring proof in painstaking detail for each and every dollar the injured driver needs for fair compensation. Often, a different, more hostile adjuster is assigned to the case and the injured driver expecting the customary friendly service from his or her carrier is taken by surprise. In Northern Kentucky, most injured drivers without counsel are never aware that they receive less than full compensation because of these factors.

What Happens If Another Driver Causes the Accident but Never Hits My Car?

The most difficult scenario occurs when hit-and-run driver is avoided, but still causes an accident. For example, Lawrence & Associates has represented drivers who struck a tree or telephone pole when swerving to avoid a negligent driver, only to see the negligent driver flee the scene without stopping to help. Although getting money in this situation is not always impossible, it is extremely difficult to recover when there is no contact between the vehicles and no identification of the other driver. Nevertheless, good legal counsel improves your chances of recovering. At the very least, good legal counsel can give you the finality of knowing that a recovery is not possible.

Can Attorneys at Lawrence & Associates Help Me Get Money?

Lawrence & Associates is Working Hard for the Working Class, and we would be happy to help you. Our lawyers are licensed in Kentucky and Ohio, and have experience in helping all kinds of car accident victims recover fair compensation for their injuries. If you’ve been injured in a hit-and-run accident, let us help you!


Social Media and Lawsuits – What You Say Can Be Used Against You by a Defense Attorney

Posted on Monday, February 1st, 2016 at 12:39 pm    

The American Association for Justice creates Trial Magazine, which discusses best practices for trial attorneys and their clients. A recent article on the use of social media by litigants gave ten excellent pointers.

socialmediaFor years, judges have allowed defense attorneys to look at social media accounts. Although this may not seem like a big deal at first (don’t teenagers allow everyone to see what they are doing on social media, all the time?), it can get very invasive. For example, let’s say you have a Facebook account that is set to private so no one can see what you post unless they are a friend. Then let’s say you were hurt in a car accident, and you sent instant messages to a friend on Facebook about the accident, but did not post about the accident on your wall. American case law says defense attorneys can force you to turn over the password for your entire Facebook account, and that the defense attorney can look through every instant message in the account and at every post you ever made to your wall, even if they have nothing to do with the car accident!

By comparison, when police enter a criminal’s home they are only allowed to look in the exact areas that a judge has specified in a subpoena – if the allegation is that they make meth in their basement, the police can go to the basement but may not be able to go through the bedroom drawers. In other words, Facebook users in a car accident have less of a right to online privacy from defense attorneys than meth manufacturers do from the police.

With that in mind, here are ten tips from the American Association for Justice to preserve your online privacy and still have a shot at getting justice in a lawsuit:

  1. Archive the contents of your current accounts – don’t just delete things; make sure there is a backup. Most social media sites will give you directions on how to do this.
  2. Deactivate or stop using your social media accounts. If you can’t deactivate, then after you archive you should delete any information about your injury.
  3. Turn on the highest privacy settings – make sure only your friends can see your information.
  4. Know who your friends are! Make lists of close friends and, if you are going to post during your lawsuit, only post to those close friends. Also, don’t accept random friend requests from people you don’t know.
  5. Become invisible by selecting “only friends” under the “search visibility” option in Facebook. Google Plus has a similar feature by unchecking the box for “Public Search Listing”.
  6. Remove all photos of yourself that are not head shots. Defense lawyers will use your private photos at trial!
  7. Anything you write can be used against you. What seems like a funny joke on Facebook might not seem too funny in a courtroom, and sarcasm doesn’t always come through! Think before you post.
  8. Keep all computers, tablets, or cell phones until the trial is over, even if you get a new one. Defense lawyers sometimes accuse you of destroying evidence if you don’t keep these.
  9. Don’t send messages about the case through instant messenger. Ever.
  10. Don’t join websites or web chat groups, even if they are about the law. Defense lawyers are allowed to troll these sites to try to pick up damaging information about you!

Lawrence & Associates – A Tech Savvy Law Firm

Lawrence & Associates is up to date on technological advances, and as a result we offer better protection from intrusive defense attorneys to our clients than many other firms. If you or someone you know had an accident in Kentucky but lives elsewhere, please do not hesitate to contact Lawrence & Associates for more information and assistance. We are Working Hard for the Working Class, and we can help!


Spotlight On Pete Tripp

Posted on Monday, December 14th, 2015 at 9:28 am    

Learn more about Pete Tripp, the Senior Associate at Lawrence & Associates

Pete-TrippHow long have you been in practice?

Since 2012. I have been with Lawrence and associates since early 2015. I am admitted in Ohio and Kentucky. Prior to practicing law, my career was in sales, and retail management.

Describe your area of practice.

I head the workers’ compensation practice at Lawrence and Associates, which takes about seventy percent of my time. I practice personal injury, which takes about twenty five percent of my time, the remainder is spent on developing employees and the law office to promote an efficient client-driven organization.

Why did you choose these practice areas?

I would say they chose me. I always wanted to be a litigator, my late father in law was a judge in Ohio, and I excelled in trial advocacy at law school. I represented the law school on the national trial team, helping fill the trophy cabinet along the way. I now teach that class as an adjunct professor. Specifically I chose my position at Lawrence & Associates based on my background. I already had experience as a personal injury attorney with a large Ohio firm, and I had worked in workers’ compensation as a defense attorney for a couple of years before transitioning to exclusively representing injured people.

What attracted you to these areas of practice?

A sense of justice. I have seen first-hand many occasions where the insurance company holds all the cards and the injured worker gets a bad outcome. This simply did not sit well with my personality. I prefer to fight for the injured party rather than protect the wallets of insurance companies. I bring my experience from defense work to aid the injured worker, and to me that feels like it is the right thing to do. I became a lawyer to help people. At Lawrence & Associates, that is the goal. So these practice areas help me achieve that in a firm that shares my ideals.

What makes you or your practice stand out?

Commitment, determination, and advocacy. I begin every case as if it is going to trial. By doing so, we are better prepared to fight for our clients. Because I have a management background, I bring business experience that is simply not taught to lawyers and I use that to make the firm more efficient. The end goal is rapid results-driven recoveries for our clients.

What is the biggest success you have had?

I don’t believe attorneys should look at cases as their successes. The focus should be on whether the client considers the case a success. I suppose the biggest success I have had is in developing a team that believes the goal is to exceed our clients’ expectations. If the client is happy, I’m happy.

What is your favorite part of running your practice?

When a client breathes that sigh of relief because they know we are there for them. I tell my clients that it is my job to worry about their cases, so they don’t have to.

What are the biggest challenges you face?

Big insurance companies. They have all the money, and a system in place that quickly operates against the injured person when they choose to deny a claim. I know what to do when the system turns against my client, but I try to stop that happening in the first place when I can. That is always a challenge,

Do you have any special education, background or skills? What unique talents do you bring to your practice?

I was a person before I was a lawyer! My background includes over a decade of management experience and I bring that experience to my client’s cases. My career has taken me from London, England to the USA with an almost two year spell in Warsaw, Poland in between. Living in other countries gives you other perspectives. I use those perspectives when I strategize over a case. I hold teaching and training qualifications, which hone my skills as a negotiator, I use them to get the best deals I can for my clients.

What is the best advice that you received and who did it come from?

Never give up. My Dad.


Spotlight on Danielle Rodriguez

Posted on Tuesday, November 24th, 2015 at 11:39 am    

Learn more about Danielle Rodriguez, an Associate at Lawrence & Associates

rodriguez-350How long have you been in practice?

I have been with the Firm since July 2015. Prior to practicing law, I taught in public and private education for 8 years.

Describe your area of practice.

I currently focus on Bankruptcy and Personal Injury. I also do some Social Security Disability law.

Why did you choose this area of practice?

I went to law school because I understand how frustrating and scary it can be to face a legal situation with no understanding of the legal field. After watching family and friends struggle with divorce, bankruptcy, and automobile accidents, I decided that I wanted to be able to help others who face that sense of helplessness. I enjoy extending some peace of mind to my clients and helping them see a light at the end of the tunnel.

What attracted you to this area of practice?

As a teacher, I constantly interacted with students and families. I enjoyed those relationships and wanted to practice in an area of law that would facilitate similar connections with my clients. I never would have enjoyed working in a corporate office without face-to-face meetings and regular phone calls. In each of the areas I practice, I am able to develop strong relationships with clients, and that ultimately helps me advocate on their behalf in a more meaningful way.

What makes you or your practice stand out?

We make personal connections with our clients and their struggles become our own. Client satisfaction is truly important to us—this is one reason why clients are able to speak to their attorneys when they call and receive reply emails promptly.

What is the biggest success you have had?

I feel that every success is an important piece to the overall puzzle. Whether it is as simple as offering assurance to a nervous client or finding solutions to problems that impede a bankruptcy, I am always satisfied to close a case and know that I helped.

What is your favorite part of running your practice?

I love telling clients that, “We’ll take this from here. You don’t need to worry about it anymore.”

What are the biggest challenges you face?

It is important to me to be available to my clients when they need me. Managing emails and phone calls in a timely manner sometimes requires that I come in on weekends and evenings, especially when I’ve been kept out during the day for Court. Although it takes some creative time management, it is a continued priority of mine. I have had several clients express amazement when I returned their phone calls late into the evening or on a Saturday. When a client chooses me or any other Lawrence & Associates attorney, they aren’t just choosing a 9-5 representative.

Do you have any special education, background or skills? What unique talents do you bring to your practice?

As I mentioned before, I worked in education for 8 years prior to practicing law. From the outside, it may seem like teaching elementary school doesn’t have too many similarities to what I do now. However, the skills I acquired during that professional experience have been invaluable to my daily performance as an attorney. I acquired strong problem solving and interpersonal skills, developed the ability to organize and multi-task under even the most stressful situations, and above all, became perfectly accustomed to getting my work done whenever and wherever is necessary. I used to sit at my son’s basketball practice grading papers—now I’m summarizing medical records!

How are you involved with the community?

Currently, I am working with AppalRed Legal Aid to assist several victims of the Social Security Administration’s fraud investigation in Eastern Kentucky. These clients did nothing wrong and are truly disabled, however the SSA is threatening to end their disability benefits because of the possible wrong actions of others. I am hopeful that I can secure a successful outcome for each of them.

What are the future plans for your practice?

It is my goal to help greatly expand the Bankruptcy and Personal Injury practices of Lawrence & Associates. Someday, I would like to combine my knowledge and expertise of public education with my legal career by expanding my practice area to include Special Education Law.

What is the best advice that you received and who did it come from?

“Let all that you do be done in love.”
– 1 Corinthians 16:14


The Problem with Using Yelp When Searching for an Attorney

Posted on Monday, November 16th, 2015 at 4:30 pm    

Yelp can be a thorn in the side of many professionals because Google tends to emphasize Yelp reviews and even publish them in search results. However, Yelp reviews tend not to accurately capture a professional service’s – or any small business’s – actual client relationships. Many have complained about the service for various reasons, some going so far as to call it a scam. For lawyers, Yelp can be especially problematic, and not always as good as more specific services such as Avvo when it comes to ranking lawyers. Here are a few reasons why:

Yelp Requires Attorneys to List Specialties

Keyboard_typingRight off the bat, it’s easy to tell that Yelp is not designed for professionals such as attorneys. While the word “specialty” gets thrown around a lot, for a professional such as an attorney, doctor, or accountant, specialty can mean something very particular. In Kentucky, for example, attorneys are not allowed to claim a “specialty” at all except under very specific circumstances. Thus, even creating a listing on Yelp could theoretically land a Kentucky attorney in hot water! Lawrence & Associates has attempted to compromise by listing our areas of practice in this section, but by also explicitly stating that none is a “specialty” per se.

Yelp Hides Reviews at Random

Again, this is a problem that seems to affect professionals such as attorneys, doctors, or accountants. For whatever reason, our clients don’t seem to leave feedback on Yelp nearly as often as, say, a restaurant patron. For this reason, you will often see only a handful of reviews for an attorney compared to dozens of reviews for a local restaurant such as Grandview Tavern & Grille. Apparently because of this, Yelp tends to assume the relatively few reviews received by professional businesses are “fake” reviews rather than real ones. Look through many local professional listings and you will see reviews hidden as “not recommended” or negative reviews boosted above positive ones. At Lawrence & Associates, we have been fortunate enough to avoid any negative reviews on Yelp, although we’ve seen several clients express frustration that their reviews are not recommended and therefore not visible. Unfortunately, Yelp’s confusing assumptions about reviews for professional organizations tends to lead to the conclusion that there are not many reviews of the business out there or, worse, that the business’s clients are more dissatisfied with the business’s performance than they really are. In either event, this is again a problem that does not exist when using Avvo or Martindale Hubbel.

Yelp Does Not Have Categories for Most Types of Law

Finally, it can be difficult to find the type of attorney you need by using Yelp. Yelp does not have categories for many areas of law that people in the Greater Cincinnati area commonly need. For example, Lawrence & Associates practices in bankruptcy, personal injury, social security, and workers’ compensation. Yelp has categories for bankruptcy and personal injury, but not for social security or workers’ compensation. Looking for a patent attorney? You can’t use Yelp. Until Yelp focuses more on professional services, it is probably a good idea to look elsewhere for referrals to local businesses. As stated above, Avvo specializes in attorney referrals (you can see the listing for Justin Lawrence here).

Attorneys Can and Will Make Referrals to Other Attorneys

If you need a referral to an attorney, call Lawrence & Associates. Even if we can’t help you, we are happy to refer you to another reputable attorney near you. Lawrence & Associates is Working Hard for the Working Class. Call us today!


Kentucky Workers’ Compensation 101: An Overview of the Program

Posted on Wednesday, August 6th, 2014 at 4:42 pm    

Kentucky workers compIn Kentucky, it is mandatory for employers’ to provide workers’ compensation. If there is a job-related injury or death, it is the employer’s responsibility to provide the employee or the employee’s family with medical and disability benefits.

Who is Considered an Employer?

Under KRS 342.630, an employer is any person or entity with one or more employees. This definition includes state, city and county. That’s pretty straightforward. 

Who is Considered an Employee?

Under KRS 342.640, an employee is anyone working under contract for hire, expressed or implied; executive officers of corporations; state, county or city employees; volunteer firefighters; those who sell and deliver newspapers; and anyone person performing services in a trade profession or business. Although the list of covered employees is vast, under KRS 342.650 there are several exemptions including: agriculture employees, certain religious organizations and a domestic worker in a private home if less than two.

The 3 Major Components of Kentucky Workers’ Compensation…

  1. Medical Expense pay
  2. Disability pay
  3. Vocational Rehabilitation

Workers’ compensation can be viewed as a type of insurance that accommodates employees who need compensation for medical care due to an injury during the course of work in exchange for the employee’s right to sue their employer for negligence. Plans vary according to jurisdictions, though they can be made for weekly payments instead of wages as a type of disability insurance, compensation for past and future economic losses, the payment or reimbursement of the medical expenses as a type of health insurance, and benefits payable to the dependents of workers who were killed as a type of life insurance. Not included in worker compensation plans are punitive damages for employer negligence and general damages for pain and suffering.

If you or someone you know has been injured on the job, contact Lawrence & Associates today! We can help you get the benefits that you deserve!

Contact Us (859.371.5997) for a Free Consultation


Hurt Working On the Water? Kentucky Workers’ Compensation Vs. The Jones Act (Admiralty Law)

Posted on Thursday, July 17th, 2014 at 7:48 am    

TugboatKentucky has a greater length of navigable waterways and streams than any other contiguous state, but many Kentucky attorneys know precious little about admiralty law. At Lawrence & Associates, we represent injured workers every day both in state based Worker’s Compensation and through the federal maritime courts. At our Fort Mitchell, Kentucky office, we fight for injured workers’ rights!

Compensation Via The Jones Act

The Jones Act (Admiralty Law) and Kentucky worker’s compensation systems offer very different remedies. Both the Jones Act and unseaworthiness claims under general maritime law allow for damages that are very similar to damages for other tort cases based in negligence. The plaintiff can present and recover for past and future medical expenses, past lost wages and future loss of earning capacity, and past and future pain and suffering.

Compensation Via Kentucky Workers’ Compensation

Worker’s Compensation claimants get Permanent Partial Disability. Permanent partial disability simply takes an impairment rating created by the American Medical Association, multiplies it by the employee’s average weekly wage and some arbitrary, statutorily derived factors, and then presents a weekly amount to be paid to the employee over the course of 425 weeks. This weekly sum replaces all lost earnings and pain and suffering damages that could be received in a trial.

If You Are Truly Injured, a Trial in Maritime Court Could Provide the Most Compensation

Although there are some other benefits received under the worker’s compensation system that can match or offer alternatives to a trial’s more traditional damages, generally an injured worker will receive greater damages via trial than through Worker’s Compensation. The only exception to this rule is a plaintiff that is not seriously injured, and who is likely to return to work with no impairment whatsoever. In that case, the lower cost and relative speed of the worker’s compensation system is an advantage to the plaintiff. Further, worker’s compensation allows for temporary total disability at two-thirds of the plaintiff’s average weekly wage until the injured worker reaches maximum medical improvement or returns to work. Maritime law’s corresponding benefit, Maintenance, is merely the replacement cost of daily expenses and is always far lower. So an injured worker whose damages are almost exclusively past, related medical bills and missing pay during a short period in which he or she cannot work may prefer the worker’s compensation system.

If you or someone you know has been injured on the job on the water, contact Lawrence & Associates today! We can help you get the benefits that you deserve!

Contact Us (859.371.5997) for a Free Consultation


Can a Kentucky Employer Fire Me For Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim?

Posted on Tuesday, July 1st, 2014 at 4:05 pm    

Workers CompIt’s one of the most common questions we hear from new clients: Can my employer fire me for filing a Workers’ Compensation claim? The short answer to this question is no. Kentucky law does not allow an employer to fire an employee in retaliation for filing a workers’ compensation claim. The employer also cannot refuse to promote you or refuse to give you a raise because you filed a workers’ compensation claim. An employee that has filed a workers’ compensation claim is in one of the rare “protected classes” under the law, similar to gender and race. Just as an employer can’t fire you for being black or white, an employer can’t fire you for filing a workers’ compensation claim.

Employers Can’t Fire You for Filing a Workers’ Comp Claim But They Can Get Nasty

As many Kenton County workers know, an employer can be cruelly creative and many employers will try to get around the prohibition against firing employees for filing a workers’ compensation claim. Kenton County employers will sometimes start finding problems in an employee’s work after they’ve been hurt on the job even though there were no problems before. Employers will change an injured employee’s hours so they don’t get the full benefit of their paycheck. Northern Kentucky employers will sometimes even begin treating an employee nastily, so the employee will want to quit before they can be fired. When a Northern Kentucky employee is having these kinds of problems with the employer, is it still a good idea to file a workers’ compensation claim?

So Should You File Even though They May Get Nasty? Absolutely!

Our years of experience at the Kenton County offices of Lawrence & Associates have taught us that an employer that will give an injured worker a hard time for no reason is the kind of employer that will fire the employee anyway. An employee working for that kind of employer is exactly the kind of injured worker that has to protect his or her rights. You can only protect your rights by filing a workers’ compensation claim, and in order to file a workers’ compensation claim correctly – and see it through to the end – you need a good lawyer. That’s where the experienced attorneys at Lawrence & Associates come in.

Fighting Everyday to Make Sure Injured Workers Get their Benefits

At Lawrence & Associates, we fight every day to make sure injured workers like you get the benefits you deserve. You deserve full treatment of your medical bills, TTD and PPD and potentially other benefits like vocational rehabilitation. Injured or not, no one can guarantee your job tomorrow. When you are injured, that means you have to take a stand and fight for the benefits that you have a legal right to receive under Kentucky law. We want to help you fight for your rights.

If you or someone you know has been injured on the job, contact Lawrence & Associates today! We can help you get the benefits that you deserve!

Contact Us (859.371.5997) for a Free Consultation

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