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Elder Abuse

The maltreatment of elderly persons inflicted upon by those in relation to them (including family members, friends and caregivers), by outside entities or as a self-inflicted act on behalf of the elder person themselves. Elder abuse is commonly seen during claims of medical malpractice and nursing home neglect, where a personal injury attorney is often contacted for legal guidance.

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Elimination Period

The time between when a person declares they are disabled and when they start to receive long-term disability benefits. Generally, this period lasts for an average of six months before benefits begin to be paid out.

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ERISA

Also known as The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974. This is a federal legal statute that establishes minimum standards for pension plans in private industry and provides for extensive rules on thefederal income tax effects of transactions associated with employee benefit plans.

ERISA was enacted to protect the interests of employee benefit plan participants and their beneficiaries by requiring the disclosure of them to financial and other information concerning the plan; by establishing standards of conduct for plan fiduciaries; and by providing for appropriate remedies and access to the federal courts.

ERISA is sometimes used to refer to the full body of laws regulating employee benefit plans, which are found mainly in the Internal Revenue Code and ERISA itself.

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Evidence

Any kind of information that is used to help a judge and/or jury make a decision about the facts of a case. Types of evidence may include the testimony of witnesses, legal documents and photographs, medical records (used heavily for automobile accident cases and other personal injury claims) and damaged property.

Depending on the type of case that is presented, there are often strict rules that determine what kinds of evidence may and may not be admitted at a trial.

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Expert Opinion

The testimony of a person who has special training, knowledge, skill or experience in an area relevant to resolution of the legal dispute. An expert opinion is often given for social security disability claims, when a vocational expert is asked to testify whether they believe an individual can or cannot work based on their medical conditions and limitations.

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