With years of experience working with Teamsters, our firm has acquired a wealth of knowledge and tips that many UPS employees find helpful. Here are a few tips all Teamsters should know:

You Can Predesignate Your Own Doctor for Work Injuries:

When you are injured on the job, you will most likely be instructed to see a physician at a clinic designated by UPS. However, many Teamsters do not know that you can predesignate your own personal physician who will be more objective and often of higher quality. A physician who is unaffiliated with UPS is more likely to evaluate and diagnose your work injury with your best interest in mind. If you would prefer to be seen by your regular doctor for a work-related injury, you can fill out this form.

You Have Legal Benefits – What’s Covered?

Teamsters are often surprised to learn how many services their legal benefits actually cover. From Real Estate, to Administrative, to Financial, to Domestic, to Traffic/Criminal, and Civil Law, Teamsters have a variety of legal options available to them. These benefits are also extended to spouses, domestic partners, and children up to age 18. Here are a few examples of what your benefits cover that you may not even know about:

Have you received a traffic ticket recently? Speeding? Moving Violation?

The Teamsters Legal Fund will provide you a defense for traffic violations ranging from minor parking tickets to misdemeanors like D.U.I.

Are you in debt from medical bills, student loans, or credit cards? Are collection agencies calling you nonstop, even during dinner on a Sunday, trying to get every penny out of you?

Teamsters have access to a powerful defense team of attorneys who will negotiate with these agencies for you and help significantly reduce your debts. You don’t have to fight debt collectors on your own. If a lawsuit has been filed against you, its important to act quickly. Teamsters benefits cover defense and litigation fees so that you can get back to rebuilding your credit without worrying about your past.

Are you going through a divorce or a child custody battle?

The Teamsters Legal Fund ensures that you are financially taken care of during this difficult time. Your benefits cover divorce litigation, child custody, and child support litigation. You have access to highly skilled, trained family law professionals who can walk you through the legal process step by step and advocate on your behalf.

Have you recently suffered a personal injury? Did you lose out on wages from missing work? Do you have hospital and doctor bills piling up?

The Teamsters Legal Fund will cover your attorney fees to make sure that you are compensated for your pain and suffering. The phrase “personal injury” can be vague and a bit confusing. Most people think of slipping on a banana peel or falling down the stairs. However, several accidents, even minor ones, fall under this category. Always obtain a free consultation with an attorney to see if you have a case. Injuries resulting from auto accidents are taken on a contingency-basis, which means that Teamsters pay zero out of pocket and are still entitled to a settlement.

Have you ever thought about a getting a will or trust?

Wait, these things aren’t just for the rich and the elderly?

With your legal benefits, you can create a will or living trust at zero cost. It is always a good idea to have a will or living trust to protect your future. A living trust will ensure that the individuals you want to inherit your property will actually receive it. Additionally, you can designate specific guardians for your minor children. Without a living trust, your assets could be tied up in probate court for over a year and the custody of your children will be in the judge’s hands.

What is probate? Why should I want to avoid it?

It is very common to be unfamiliar with the probate process. Probate is the legal procedure in which a judge supervises and approves the transferring of one’s assets and property. In California, this process can take up to two years. In addition, attorney’s fees are calculated off the gross value of your estate and set by law. This can become extremely expensive. During this time, mortgage payments can come and go, leaving someone responsible to pick up the financial burden. By taking advantage of creating a living trust, you take control of your future and ensure your family will never have to worry about the probate process.

Here is a list of additional services and costs that are covered under the Teamsters Legal Fund:

  • Landlord/Tenant Dispute & Eviction
  • Mortgage Refinance
  • Chapter 7 & Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
  • Guardianship
  • Paternity
  • Adoption
  • Visitation
  • Prenuptial Agreements
  • Marriage Annulment
  • Consumer Transaction
  • Mortgage Foreclosure
  • Filing fees
  • Travel Costs
  • General Legal Counseling

You Can Choose the Right Law Firm for You:

The new Teamster Legal website lists a number of law firms near your zip code, but how do you know which one to go with?

First, think about what type of service you are looking for. Are you interested in multiple services? Many of the law firms covered under your Teamster benefits specialize in one area, but may not be knowledgeable in another. A law firm with several lawyers that covers a broad range of services and is successful in each area of litigation is the best option. Several solo practitioners will attempt to be “jacks of all trades” but are essentially masters of none. A firm with multiple attorneys who specialize in different legal areas is ideal.

Further, choosing the law firm closest to you is not necessarily the best option. Remember, your legal benefits also cover any travel-related costs, so your attorney can drive to you. For example, Jorgensen & Salberg, a Tustin-based firm, has clients in San Diego, Los Angeles, Mammoth, the High Desert, and the Inland Empire. A loyal law firm will not let distance make a difference.

Ultimately, it is important to research the firm you are interested in. Every law firm has a different atmosphere and you will want to work with one that makes you feel comfortable. Smaller firms often allow a closer client relationship and will allow you to get quick updates on your case or helpful answers to your questions. The legal process is generally not one that individuals enjoy going through, but the law firm you choose can truly define your experience.

Check with your local about your legal benefits and remember these key tips. Even if your local doesn’t have legal benefits, some law firms on the Teamster panel may be willing to work with you.

Every week you are contributing to the Teamsters Legal Trust Fund, its time to take advantage of your legal benefits and rights!

Click here  to find out more information.