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Are you wondering if filing as an S corporation is right for your business? Depending on your circumstances and the state where your business is located, filing as an S corporation may be an efficient way to maximize tax savings while offering personal asset protection.  However, with the Tax Cuts and Jobs act of 2017, most of the advantages of filing as an S corporation no longer make sense. 

The plan emphasized cutting the corporate tax rate and simplifying the individual income tax system. Whether a hugely profitable multinational corporation or a sole proprietorship, every business that counts as a C corporation (or C-Corp) is now taxed at a flat rate of 21%, down from the original 35%.  Further, because many LLC owners can deduct up to 20% of their business income before their tax is calculated, it can be highly beneficial to file as an LLC based on an individual’s own personal income tax rate. This could range from 10% to 37% based on each individual’s unique filing status and income level.

An S corporation (Subchapter S of the first chapter of the IRS Code) is a type of business tax status that has similar tax advantages as a partnership or LLC.

If your business meets these requirements, you may be eligible for S corporation filing:

  • Domestic Corporation: Most companies registered as LLCs or C corps are allowed (exceptions include sales corporation, insurance company, or financial institution).
  • Shareholders: The business must have no more than one hundred shareholders, all shareholders must be U.S. citizens, and partnerships and corporations must not be shareholders.

If you live in a state that recognizes S corporation filing, making the switch could be a smart move for your business. Here are some of the advantages to filing as an S corporation.

Potential Tax Benefits (Always consult with your Tax Professional)

In most states (including Kentucky and Ohio), a company that has filed as an S corporation is considered a pass-through entity, meaning that you would file your business and personal taxes together rather than separately, thus avoiding double taxation.  However, under current law, your rates may be lower at the c-corporation level.

Although the corporation would still furnish an annual information return (Form 1120-S) to the IRS, shareholders of the S corporation would report business income on their personal tax returns. 

California, Louisiana, New Hampshire, New York City, Tennessee, and Washington DC tax S corporations differently. Before deciding to go ahead with an S corporation filing, check with your attorney or accountant to make sure you understand how an S corporation will be treated in your state.  Recently, in most cases, filing as an LLC or c-corporation may supply more favorable tax treatment.

Asset Protection

Like an LLC, an S corporation provides limited liability protection for the owners’ personal assets. With this type of protection, personal assets cannot be seized as the result of a lawsuit or court ruling. 

Payroll Savings

Under an S corporation filing, business owners are classified as employees rather than employers. This means they can collect a salary as well as dividend income (or ownership draws).

The leftover income, or dividend distributions after paying for one’s salary, is subject to federal and state taxes, but not FICA taxes, which results in overall tax savings. Business owners or shareholders can distribute the dividend income among themselves.

In other business structures, business owners would be required to pay federal and state taxes on their salary along with the remaining income.

Despite the advantages of an S corporation filing, there are some disadvantages to consider as well.

  • Time and effort. Filing as an S corporation takes a significant amount of time and effort due to the extra steps and paperwork involved. This can make it more expensive at least at the beginning because your legal consultations and tax assistance may cost more up front. Even for existing S corporations, filing taxes is more complicated than for other structures, so be prepared to spend more time on it.
  • Constant monitoring. S corporations are subject to a lot of strict rules and guidelines, so the IRS tends to check them closely. It is particularly important to understand all the requirements beforehand and to keep detailed records to prevent your S corporation status from being rescinded.
  • State laws. Not all states offer the same tax benefits for S corporations. It is best to learn your state’s regulations before making your final decision.
  • Tax Cuts and Jobs act of 2017. In many cases, the tax benefits of reducing some of the payroll taxes attributed to owners and “double taxation” of c-corporations were reduced by the flattened c-corporation tax rate of 25 percent and the 20 percent deduction, in many cases, for owners of LLC’s.

The bottom line: it is important for businesses to look at their structure to make sure they are adapting to the always changing tax rules. Just be sure to weigh the pros and cons of your current corporate structure against the pros and cons of any new structure and gather all the facts before making the leap. And always consult with your tax professional.

Written by Emily Walters

This article was originally published in the February 2021 edition of Lex Loci, the Northern Kentucky Bar Association’s newsletter.

Thomas Jefferson famously wrote in the Declaration of Independence that all men were endowed by the Creator with unalienable rights, among which are “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.” Jefferson modified the phrase from the writings of John Locke in his Second Treatise of Government that these unalienable rights included life, liberty, and property. Both the pursuit of happiness and the right to property have faced a fair number of challenges thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. Landlords and tenants had a wacky year, and 2021 is starting out in the same vein.

Evictions became a hot topic throughout 2020. Residential and commercial tenants alike called for help with paying rent after severe economic consequences and unprecedented losses in employment. Landlords became concerned with maintaining properties without receiving rent. Representing landlords, property managers, and tenants in 2020 required keeping tabs on ever-changing eviction moratoriums, possible aid resources, Centers for Disease Control (“CDC”) declarations, and new compliance procedures. This article seeks to aid attorneys representing landlords and tenants by reviewing the extra steps needed before an eviction is granted, which may require additional evidence introduced at a hearing.

The CDC’s Order and Declaration, titled “Temporary Halt in Residential Evictions to Prevent the Further Spread of COVID-19,” 85 Fed. Reg. 55, 292 (Sept. 4, 2020), was introduced after a national eviction moratorium expired. Congress extended the CDC Order through January 31, 2021 and may well extend the Order through spring of 2021(1).

The CDC Order supplied stability while creating more confusion. It, along with any statute, executive order, Supreme Court Order, or federal order or program, does not suspend or excuse the duty to pay rent or comply with the terms of a lease. However, the use of eviction or forcible detainer as a remedy to nonpayment has been limited through a combination of actions of the CDC, Congress, Governor’s executive orders, and Supreme Court orders.

While these actions stand to reduce the number of evictions, especially those related to nonpayment of rent due directly in part to the pandemic, evictions are still happening. Landlords continue to be creative with nonrenewal of leases, defaulting to month to month, and negotiating partial payment agreements.

The CDC order halts residential evictions for “covered persons” based on a finding of nonpayment of rent. The tenant is required to sign a declaration under penalty of perjury that they are a “covered person” such that they have made best efforts to obtain assistance, earn less than $99,000 annual income (or received a stimulus check under the CARES Act), is unable to make full payment due to substantial loss in income or hours worked (or has extraordinary out-of-pocket medical expenses) and that eviction would likely render the person homeless or living in close quarters in some new shared living setting. The CDC provides a declaration form on their website.

The CDC Order does not apply to states or municipalities that have afforded greater protections, such as a full moratorium on all evictions. Since releasing the Order, the CDC also released a Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQ”) information sheet to help interpret the Order(2). The FAQ specifically states that evictions are allowed for other reasons, such a commission of a crime while on the premises or damaging the property. Again, the obligation to pay rent is not excused.

The Supreme Court of Kentucky’s Amended Order 2020-72 addressed eviction procedures by extending the ongoing requirement for the new form AOC-1027, titled “Verification of Compliance with CARES Act.”(3)

This form is to be completed and filed with any action initiating an eviction, whether residential or commercial. Form AOC-1027 requires lessors to certify the type of dwelling and that the reason for eviction is not tied to nonpayment of rent, fees, penalties, or other charges. This new form includes instructions to determine if the property is a “covered dwelling.” Commercial property is not covered and evictions for reasons other than nonpayment of rent are likewise not covered. However, the Verification of Compliance form is still needed.

Under the Supreme Court Order, the parties, at the initial hearing, are to be verbally informed that agencies may be able to help tenants with payment and help landlords with recouping missed or late payments. The proceedings are placed in abeyance for fourteen days and reset on the next available court date. The only exceptions are (1) a failure to appear after proper service by the tenant; (2) the parties reach a settlement and file an AOC-210, Forcible Detainer Settlement Agreement; or (3) the landlord elects to dismiss the complaint.

With added forms signed by both tenants and landlords seeking eviction, as well as a possible two-week hiatus on each eviction proceeding, evictions are taking longer. The forcible detainer remedy and eviction proceedings were designed to be “summary proceedings.” Baker v. Ryan, 967 S.W.2d 591, 593 (Ky. 1997). Generally, discovery and triable issues are limited, and judgment is prompt. Id. Landlords and property managers now need patience.

A tenant who signs the CDC Declaration may still face eviction. Eviction can be granted for reasons other than nonpayment of rent or termination of a month-to-month lease. This could include violations of lease terms such as unauthorized tenants, damage to property, criminal activity, violation of building codes or health ordinances, or threatening the health or safety of other residents. As such, judges are even more likely to examine each eviction on a case-by-case basis. A written and signed lease agreement can be helpful.

More evidence may be needed at the hearing to prove that forcible detainer is necessary for reasons other than the nonpayment of rent or fees. This may include testimony of other residents. The CDC’s FAQ released in October 2020 also clears landlords to question or prove the invalidity of matters asserted in the tenant’s declaration. Prior to a hearing, attorneys may need to discuss with the court the taking of evidence on the issue of nonpayment of rent with a false declaration, even if only to get the evidence on the record for future appeals. Bringing a copy of the CDC’s FAQ to the hearing may help. Likewise, tenants need to understand the legal consequences of supplying false information on the CDC declaration.

Attorneys representing parties in eviction proceedings face other common pitfalls. Most attorneys think the District Court is the court of jurisdiction for Kentucky evictions; however, the District Court’s jurisdiction is not exclusive. If the amount in controversy exceeds the $5,000 threshold, the Circuit Court has subject matter jurisdiction. Anthony v. McLaughlin 566 S.W.2d 581, 585-586 (Ky. App. 2018). Commercial evictions are most likely to fit in this category.

Property managers or building managers cannot prepare and file a Petition for Forcible Detainer on behalf of a lessor who is a corporation, LLC, or other housing agency. Any such filing or appearance in court for the eviction proceeding is considered the unauthorized practice of law. Meinshausen v. Friendship House of Louisville, Inc., 607 S.W.3d 199 (Ky. App. 2020), Hornsby v. Housing Authority of Dry Ridge, 566 S.W.3d 587 (Ky. App. 2018).

The parties should also keep in mind whether the leased property is in a jurisdiction that has adopted the Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act (URLTA) under KRS Chapter 383. URLTA provides uniformity to tenant and landlord obligations and procedure prior to the filing of a Forcible Detainer Action. Locally, URLTA has been adopted by the cities of Covington, Bromley, Dayton, Bellevue, Florence, Ludlow, Melbourne, Newport, Silver Grove, Southgate, Taylor Mill, and Woodlawn. This covers significant portions of Kenton and Campbell Counties. While URLTA has not been adopted everywhere, the spirit of the law is often applied. Likewise, housing subsidized through various HUD programs may by subject to further regulations.

Recovery of past due rent payments is not an aspect of the summary proceedings in a forcible detainer action but, instead, falls under a separate action based on contract. Recovery of damages may depend on the terms of the lease and URLTA.

Pitfalls for landlords and tenants alike can be avoided with proper legal representation and well-written lease agreements. Staying abreast of changes can help both landlords and tenants keep a working and valued relationship. The pandemic has been marked with constant changes and only the future knows which changes will stay in our collective pursuit of happiness(4).

Need help determining your rights in a landlord-tenant situation involving an eviction? Contact Emily Walters for an appointment.

Endnotes: 1. 2. 3. 4. Other sources generally relied on: Jesse Brewer,; Lexington Fair Housing Council (; Greater Cincinnati Northern Kentucky Apartment Association (

Emily Walters – Experienced Litigation Attorney

If you have questions around eviction laws or landlord and tenant rights, don’t hesitate to contact Emily Walters today to discuss your situation and make an appointment.

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With the emergency release of the coronavirus vaccine, this is the question weighing on the minds of business leaders everywhere, from small business owners to corporate CEOs. There is not a one-size-fits-all answer for everyone. When preparing to make the decision, there are several factors that should be considered:
  • Your industry.
  • Proximity of your employees to each other, customers, or the public.
  • Your employees’ general feelings about the vaccine.
  • Whether the risks and benefits of requiring the vaccine outweigh the risks and benefits of not requiring it.
Industry & Close Contact

Healthcare workers who provide direct care are the most obvious choice for vaccine mandates. Other businesses in industries where employees have consistent close contact with each other or the public—such as food, transportation, or schools where virtual learning is more difficult—can make a strong argument for mandating the vaccine.

For businesses in other industries, particularly offices where remote work is possible or social distancing is a lot easier, it will be more difficult to make an argument for a mandated vaccine. In this case, recommending or making the vaccine optional would be easier to justify.

The bottom line: If you decide to require the vaccine, you must be able to reasonably justify your decision, possibly in court.
Employees’ Opinions

While this should not be the ultimate determining factor, it is important to keep this in mind. If you have strong reason to believe the majority of your employees will object to the vaccine, you may need to be a lot more cautious about how you unroll your plan to require or recommend it.

On the other hand, if your employees are already open to the vaccine or have been asking for it, you will have an easier time encouraging cooperation.

Benefits & Risks

In this decision, the primary factor that weighs in the balance is health: the health of your employees, the health of your customers or clients, and the health of the community where you do business. If your employees are at a high risk of contracting and spreading the coronavirus, that should be weighed heavily in your decision. If not, other factors may be more important to consider.

In any case, legal considerations will also have to be weighed as you determine the best course of action.

Feeling uncertain? Get in touch with one of our experienced business attorneys today.

Requiring the vaccine or not requiring the vaccine both have legal implications for businesses. Here are some issues to keep in mind.

  • OSHA Standards. Businesses must always adhere to OSHA standards for providing a clean and safe workplace. Whether you require or recommend the vaccine, or simply present it as an option, you will still need to ensure you are following all of OSHA’s guidelines.
  • Workers’ Compensation. Vaccines typically result in side effects, often mild but occasionally severe. Be aware that a serious reaction attributed to the vaccine and requiring medical attention could result in a workers’ compensation claim for which you will most likely be liable. One way to mitigate this risk is to provide time off for the employees to recover from the vaccine’s side effects.
  • Insurance Coverage. Before making your decision, find out whether your health insurance provider will cover the vaccine. If coverage is not available, consider paying for the vaccinations as a preventative move against any vaccine-related lawsuits or claims that may arise.
  • Wrongful Termination. Be mindful of how you plan to proceed if you require or recommend the vaccine and an employee refuses to receive it. While health and safety needs to be your first concern, it’s important to exhaust all of your legal options before taking a more drastic step in order to avoid grounds for wrongful termination.
  • Discrimination or Harassment. It’s important that employees do not feel coerced to take the vaccine if they have reasonable grounds for refusal, such as a disability, pregnancy, or sincerely held religious belief. Always try to use factual language and a neutral tone and be willing and ready to make reasonable accommodations to avoid being charged with discrimination or harassment.
  • EUA (Emergency Use Authorization) Status. Due to the vaccine’s EUA status, when someone receives the vaccine, they will be presented with very clear language from Pfizer or Moderna (vaccine developers) as well as the FDA and CDC emphasizing the voluntary nature of the injection. Therefore it’s important to ensure that any language you dispense among employees regarding the vaccine does not come off as coercive in one direction or another.
  • NLRA-Protected Protests. The NLRA protects employees’ right to protest various situations in the workplace. Union or non-union employees could come together and protest the vaccine mandate (or to demand a mandate), so you must be prepared to handle these situations cautiously to avoid them escalating into a larger issue.
Talk to one of our business attorneys for advice on how to plan for and mitigate risk. Reasonable Accommodations

If the employee refuses to be vaccinated due to a disability or sincerely held religious belief, they cannot be forced to receive the vaccine. However, if they truly pose an imminent threat to the health of those around them in their current position, you may need to make an accommodation. Can the employee work remotely? Can the employee step away from the job for a leave of absence? Can the employee be temporarily reassigned to a different position that would minimize direct contact with others?

Making these kinds of accommodations will help protect you from legal backlash while providing a safe and comfortable work environment for all of your employees, including the ones not receiving the vaccine.


If you find that no reasonable accommodations can be made and the employee is directly at risk and putting others at risk for contracting the virus, you may feel that termination is your only option. Talk to an attorney before making the final decision to ensure you fully understand state and local laws on this matter. Depending on how things are handled, you could quickly be facing a wrongful termination claim. Getting legal advice beforehand can help you avoid a lawsuit.

Deciding whether or not to require the COVID-19 vaccine is a complex decision, and employees’ mixed feelings and potential fear or uncertainty about the vaccine can add to the confusion. When navigating such a situation, the best thing to do is to communicate clearly and frequently with your employees.
  • Provide facts and education about the vaccine in neutral language.
  • Explain why you are requiring or recommending the vaccine, or leaving it optional.
  • Avoid coercive language.
  • Make time to discuss employees’ concerns one-on-one.

In all of your communications with your employees about the vaccine, it’s helpful to emphasize the primary goal of providing a safe, healthy work environment for everyone.

Need some advice? This decision is a tough one, but it’s one you don’t have to make alone. Our business attorneys are here for you, 24/7. Call us at (859) 781-9100 to set up an appointment. We will help you weigh all your options and make the decision that is best for you and your business.

Jack Gatlin – Business Law Attorney

Our team can help you from the very first days you are forming your business through representation in legal matters during operation. We are comprehensive in our business legal support.

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Filing for bankruptcy is a very difficult and emotional decision. With layoffs and unemployment skyrocketing in the past year thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, growing numbers of individuals and families are facing the bleak reality of personal financial difficulties. Filing bankruptcy is different for each person, and we can help you determine what option is best for you and your unique situation. Here are some of the most common concerns and questions we hear about Kentucky bankruptcy rules so you can put your mind at ease before consulting with a lawyer. Whether you file Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy depends on your personal situation. The most common type of bankruptcy, Chapter 7, is available to individuals, married couples, corporations and partnerships. It seeks to discharge unsecured debts, which means that creditors can no longer take action to collect those debts and you will not have to repay them. Chapter 7 is a liquidation proceeding, meaning any nonexempt assets are sold or liquidated by the trustee and distributed to creditors according to the federal Bankruptcy Code. Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a repayment plan available only to individuals. It is often used by people with higher incomes or more assets such as a home. There are income and debt restrictions on filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, and our personal bankruptcy lawyers can help navigate the Kentucky bankruptcy rules to decide if this is the right option for you. Thinking about filing bankruptcy? Call us at (859) 781-9100 for a free consultation. We are here to help you on this difficult journey. Yes, they will! By law, all actions against a debtor must cease once the bankruptcy documents are filed. Creditors cannot initiate or continue any lawsuits, wage garnishees, or even telephone calls demanding payments. Secured creditors, such as banks holding a lien on a car, will get the stay lifted if you cannot make payments. This is a common question, because obviously a decision to file bankruptcy is difficult. Under Kentucky bankruptcy rules, bankruptcy filings are public documents, but in order to access them a person must have a pacer account, which would be uncommon for anyone who is not a lawyer. Many people are familiar with the Community Newspapers running police reports, criminal and civil court cases. This is not the case in bankruptcy. If you are in Boone, Kenton, Campbell, Grant, Pendleton, Bracken or Gallatin County and want to learn how bankruptcy may help you, give us a call at (859) 781-9100 for a free consultation. Brandon Voelker, one of our bankruptcy lawyers One of the major purposes of bankruptcy legislation is to afford the opportunity to a person hopelessly burdened with debt to erase his or her debt and thereby get a fresh financial start. According to Kentucky bankruptcy rules, a bankrupt’s debt is erased when he or she is discharged. The debtor is discharged 3 to 5 months after bankruptcy is filed. At that time all debts (with some exceptions) are written off. Exceptions include:
  • Taxes
  • Fraudulently obtained debts
  • Alimony, maintenance and child support
  • Debts for willful or malicious injury to another person or property
  • Government educational loans
  • Debts from death or personal injury caused by drunk driving
  • Debts incurred post-bankruptcy
Sometimes. In the event you have a second mortgage that exceeds the fair market value of your home, you may be able to strip off the lien in a Chapter 13. For example, if you have a $100,000 home, with a $100,000 first mortgage and $50,000 second mortgage, the second mortgage may be able to be stripped off. Unfortunately, most lenders are not properly administering Federal and/or State programs for which they were given money by the government during the bank bailout. In other words, banks are providing their customers inaccurate information.
If you are told that you must be late on payments to get a loan modification, you are being given inaccurate information.
This is a scenario that our firm witnesses time and time again when we help people file for bankruptcy:
  • The bank tells the homeowner they must be on late payments to receive a loan modification.
  • The homeowner feels obligated to miss payments to begin the process of seeking modification.
  • The homeowner then faces an unending string of obstacles: the bank claims not enough information was sent in, the information needs updated, and so on.
  • The customer then falls so far behind in payments that their home is in foreclosure. They receive letters advising the modification cannot be given and/or there is simply not enough time to process.
  • In the meantime the person’s home is ready to be sold at the courthouse steps.
How can this situation be avoided? Unfortunately, the only way to ensure you will not lose your home in this manner is to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, but you will have to pay all back payments on your home during the Chapter 13 plan period. It is paid back interest-free.Waiting too long, while being told their loan is in review, often leaves the homeowner with such a large hole they cannot make the Chapter 13 payments while maintaining their current loan payments. There is nothing that prohibits a person from continuing to seek a loan modification while in bankruptcy. Your personal bankruptcy lawyer will advise the court and seek approval if you are granted a modification. The important thing is to not get too far behind to where financially the problem cannot be fixed.

Brandon Voelker – Bankruptcy Attorney

If you have any questions about filing for bankruptcy, please don’t hesitate to contact our office today.

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If you were hurt on the job, or if you contracted COVID-19 at work, you probably have a lot of pressing questions about workers’ compensation in Kentucky. We are here to help you get what you need to recover from your on-the-job injury. From wage replacement issues to medical treatment concerns, to misgivings about returning to work, our dedicated, compassionate attorneys are here to answer your questions about workers’ compensation in Kentucky and help you navigate your way through the entire process. Learn more about our workers’ compensation legal services. The Kentucky workers’ compensation system is the most beneficial to those who make the system work for them. If you are not proactive about your case, you are likely to experience one or more of the following:
  • Your claim will be denied
  • You are forced to return to work too soon
  • You are forced to return to duties that are unsafe for your condition
The good news is, we have decades of combined experience that allows us to create highly effective cases for injured workers. We will put forth all our resources to get you the care and consideration you need.

Hurt on the job in northern Kentucky? Call (859) 781-9100 for a free consultation. Our northern Kentucky law firm helps people navigate the workers’ compensation system so that they can receive the full range of benefits they deserve after any type of on-the-job injury or accident such as:
  • COVID-19
  • Back and neck injuries and pain
  • Shoulder, knee, and joint injuries and pain
  • Foot and ankle injuries
  • Head and brain trauma
  • Psychological conditions from trauma
  • Overuse injuries
  • Machinery, motor vehicle, and construction accidents
  • Chemical exposure
In many cases, injured workers are compelled by their employer to visit a business health center, which is created for the benefit of employers, not employees. Unfortunately, these business health centers are usually inclined to just try to get you back to work, without determining the extent of your injuries. When your injuries are not healed and you seek additional medical care, your employer or workers’ compensation carrier will then use the business health report to say you are not in need of additional care. When you are hurt at work, it is important that you choose your doctor, not your employer.

If you have been injured at work in Campbell, Boone, Kenton, Grant, Pendleton, Owen, Gallatin, Harrison or anywhere else, please call (859) 781-9100 or contact us online for a free consultation. There is no charge for an initial consultation.

    Brandon Voelker and Emily Walters, two workers' compensation attorneys

    Yes, you can. But many times your Kentucky employer or insurance carrier will try to get you to see a doctor of their choosing, who may not have your best interests at heart. If you are currently on Workers’ Compensation Benefits and your adjuster recommends you see a doctor for an Independent Medical Exam or IME, recognize that it is not truly an “independent” exam. It is an exam being paid for by the workers’ compensation carrier, many times to second guess the opinion and recommendations of the doctor you have chosen to treat you. A better term is DME or Defense Medical Exam. If you are hurt at work, tell your supervisor immediately. If your supervisor is unavailable, inform someone over him or her right away, even if that means going straight to the owner of the company. The Kentucky Workers’ Compensation Act requires an injured worker to give timely notice to his or her employer. If the injured worker fails to do this, he or she may be barred from pursuing benefits. After informing your supervisor or someone else in management, contact a workers’ compensation lawyer as soon as you can. PPD is determined by your treating doctor providing an impairment rating to your whole body based on the American Medical Association’s Fifth Edition. The best way to describe this process is to imagine your body as a pie with 100 pieces. Your doctor may determine you have an impairment of 10% to your whole body, or, in other words, 10 pieces of the pie are gone. A workers’ compensation attorney or your doctor can file a medical fee dispute to obtain necessary treatment. If you are having problems getting medical bills paid after a Workers’ Compensation Claim, please call our northern Kentucky office in Covington, (859) 781-9100. We will be more than happy to provide a free consultation over the phone or in person. You do not have to go to court for a Kentucky Workers’ Compensation Claim. Workers’ Compensation Claims are handled in an administrative proceeding by appointed Administrative Law Judges who decide your case. Either party may appeal ultimately to the Kentucky Court of Appeals.

    If you reside anywhere in the Northern Kentucky area and need assistance with a Workers’ Comp claim, call our office at (859) 781-9100 for a free consultation. Kentucky law provides that an attorney may charge a fee of 20% of the first $25,000 recovered, 15% of the next $10,000 and 5% thereafter, with a maximum fee of $12,000.
    If an attorney doesn’t win your workers’ compensation case, you pay nothing.
    Hurt at work? Don’t wait a moment longer. Contact Brandon Voelker today. If your spouse was killed in a work-related accident, you are entitled to benefits. The Kentucky Workers’ Compensation Act provides benefits for a surviving spouse and children. If that is the case, it is obviously an emotional time for the family. And we would like to help. If you have lost a spouse, contact us and we can spend some time answering your questions and explaining exactly what your options are. In Kentucky, you have two years from either the date of injury and/or the last day that Temporary Total Disability (TTD) payments were made. Yes, you can. Third party claims can also arise. You may have a Workers’ Compensation Claim, as well as a third party personal injury suit. To insure all possible claims are considered, it is necessary to talk to qualified workers’ compensation attorney. If you were hurt at work or contracted COVID-19 on the job, don’t wait another moment. Call us today at (859) 781-9100 for your free consultation. We want to help you get the care you need. 

    Brandon Voelker – Workers’ Compensation Attorney

    If you have any questions regarding your workers’ compensation rights, please don’t hesitate to contact our office today.

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Our law firm represents multiple cities in Northern Kentucky. We frequently counsel and advise on unique areas of municipal law that affects all property owners. There are many gray areas and unique laws related to zoning and property rights. Each case has a unique twist, but there are some common themes that we see time and time again.

New Home with Right of Way showing in front sidewalk and yard

The Public Right-of-way (ROW) is the strip of land dedicated to public infrastructures such as streets, sidewalks, and utilities. This area generally extends from the edge of the road to the sidewalk or utility poles.

Image explainng what a right of way is

In order to properly determine where the public ROW starts on your property, you will have to hire a property surveyor to locate exactly where your private property transitions into the ROW. The picture below shows a general example of where property lines exist and what is typically considered the ROW.

While the ROW land is dedicated for use by the city or utility company, the maintenance responsibilities for the ROW lie on the individual property owner. Therefore, you are responsible for cutting the grass, and maintaining the sidewalk clear of branches, leaves, foliage, dirt, debris, snow, and ice. Additionally, some cities require that the property owner is responsible for repairing sidewalks on their property. You will want to contact your local government or check your cities ordinances to see if you are responsible for repairing. A property owner, however, is not responsible for repairing the actual roadway driving surface.

Easements are a right granted to a person or entity to use the land or property of another. Easements can be either permanent or temporary. One of the most common examples of an easement is when property owners grant easements for the placement of utility poles, water pipes or electricity lines. A Right-of-way is the actual land area acquired for a specific purpose. If a property has an easement running across it, the rights to use the property are extended to the party it was issued to, but still owned by the original property owner.

The answer to this question varies greatly from city to city. To find the exact answer to this question you will have to check the ordinances in your city. Generally, however, you are forbidden from allowing the growth of any tree, shrub or bush, within the Right-of-way, grow into the street in any manner that is hazardous to the public use of that Right-of-way. Therefore, you cannot obstruct a driver’s vision, interfere with the use of the sidewalk, cause the sidewalk to crack from roots, or interfere with any public utilities in the Right-of-way. It is your responsibility to keep the Right-of-way clear from hazards and ensure that anything growing in this area does not block the view of a driver or a pedestrian’s use of the area. Furthermore, while cities generally permit planting here, some require a permit. You will want to contact your local government to see if a permit is required before planting vegetation in this area.

A Site Distance Triangle (SDT) is a corner of any intersection that is needed to be kept free of visual obstacles to allow drivers to see oncoming traffic. The SDT represents the area where all trees, bushes, and vegetation located on private property which overhangs a street or sidewalk is to be kept trimmed to avoid obstructing the view of travelers, in a vehicle or pedestrians. Again, you will need to consult your city ordinances or contact your local government for any specific restrictions regarding vegetation limits in this area. An example of the SDT area is shown below.

Image explainng what a site distance triangle is

Utility companies have rights to the public ROW and often have priority to space, along with the city. For cities that require a permit, the reason is typically to ensure your plants will not affect above or underground utilities. Your selection of plants can be impacted based on what types of utilities may be underground. For example, gas, electric, and fiber optic lines are typically shallow and can get intertwined with roots much easier than a storm or sanitary sewer which tends to be much deeper. If you do wish to plant vegetation in the Right-of-way your safest bet is to call your local government and see if any restrictions are in place. If not, be sure to keep in mind that you are still responsible for keeping the Right-of-way free of debris and the area safe for motorists.

Jack Gatlin – Business Litigation Attorney

Our team has decades of experience educating and representing individuals, municipality, and business owners in the areas of right-of-way law.

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