Thursday, July 31, 2008

Should I Hire an Experienced Court Attorney?

Should I hire an experienced court attorney? I say a big YES to this, in all situations.

Whether you are planning to litigate your cases or not, an experienced Court Attorney would be your reasonable advances to get your legal rights protected. The Attorney would be able to determine what will be the best approach for your case and can advise you on the necessary steps to be taken to address your predicaments.

The same fact holds true, even if you decide to settle out of court, as an experienced Court Attorney can help you get the best settlement you deserve.

An astonishing introduction, I must admit.

I devised that extraordinary introduction just to give people an idea, at first glance, about the importance of having a lawyer who is well adept with various courts, whether state, district or appellate courts, in dealing with their varied causes of action. Surely, having one such Lawyer will truly boost their respective cases and can end with what is desired.

The way our judicial system was framed, in each of the states there were constituted various state courts, federal courts and appellate level courts. Each has their own respective jurisdictional boundaries. In Los Angeles, more particularly, we have these set up.

The reason why I am emphasizing this was that, in any of these courts, there are varying rules implemented and not all Lawyers are licensed to appear in any of these courts without having sanctioned for it. Thus, whenever one has a case, be it an employment, business, or torts case, it is somewhat best to have a representative who is vastly familiar with any of these courts, in all matters. Thus, necessitating the services of an experienced Court Attorney.

For all your legal troubles, I advised you to heed the representation of a qualified Court Attorney, as they can help you get your legal worth.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Simple Advice for a Potential Serious Problem

Rules and regulations, no matter how absurd, have the force and effect of law. Strict compliance is expected upon every one. Otherwise, you will be faced with nasty consequences.

The author of the blog, “Free Government Advice from the EEOC, NLRB and the DOL”, made it a point to inform us of recent developments in the field of employment.

One of these developments includes the updated Compliance Manual section issued by EEOC expanding the meaning of religion in relation to discrimination.

The definition is so comprehensive that, to my mind, it includes anything that a person believes to be religious so long as it is “sincerely held”. The author failed to give his personal view on the matter but for me it is a bit to unfair on the part of the employers. All that an employee should prove is the sincere holding of a religious belief, which is difficult to determine, as it is subjective and dependent on ones state of mind.

Another thing is the guideline memorandum issued by NLRB General Counsel Ron Meissberg where demonstration regarding any employment issue is considered a “protected activity”. The memorandum mentioned three (3) ways on determining such activity.

I concurred with the author’s observation that this would just be the beginning of more immigration cases in the future. The immigrants will not take this sitting down.

Vehicle Accidents on Road Intersections

Around 30% of vehicle accidents happen at road intersections, especially those lacking traffic signs and warnings. This fact is obvious enough since these are the areas where all sorts of automobiles attempt to change lanes, make their turns, change their speeds or halt on red light.

These dangerous conditions are even severed by motorists who disobey traffic rules, fail to give way or beat the red light.

Like for example the accident that happened in Laguna Canyon Road, Irvine last July 18 where a woman suffered serious injuries after being struck by a cement truck that ran a red light. For now, such incident is still subjected to further investigations to determine the extent of liability that the unruly driver has to face.

Meanwhile, not all cases of intersection accidents should be blamed to the drivers. In several occasions, vehicle accident victims may also file charges against the government, if they can prove that the authorities have been negligent in constructing and maintaining a safe road.

Design flaws, lack of traffic warnings, insufficient lighting and malfunctioning traffic devices are some of the reasons that may implicate the government from liability over an accident occurrence.

Now, in order to reduce chances of being engaged in an intersection accident, you should follow these safety reminders:

• Do not attempt to beat the red light

• If you are about to make a turn, maneuver your vehicle on the proper lane as early as possible

• Be more attentive on other vehicles near you

• Know your vehicle’s breaking capacity and check your breaks at least one kilometer before the intersection

• Maintain safe distance from other vehicles

• Watch out for pedestrians who might be waiting for their turn to cross the roads

Complications in Sexual Harassment and Gender Inequality

The article “The Effects of Sexual Harassment Law on Gender Inequality”, posted on July 22, 2008, discusses one of labor and employment’s most prevalent issues, which is sexual harassment.

The article, based on a paper submitted by Daniel Chen and Jasmin Sethi, provide some “potential negative consequences” of the sexual harassment law. According to the article, the enactment of the sexual harassment law may help deter potential acts or violations but in the end, it may have adverse effects on how people view gender equality, more especially in the workplace.

Further, the article suggested that the sexual harassment law could entirely worsen gender inequality because it could be viewed as a tax on the hiring of women, as it would create more problems where discrimination issues may arise.

Whatever complications this law may create, I believe enough laws have been created to address this issue. Employees are guaranteed protection against workplace sexual harassment under both state and federal laws, more specifically Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Under this law, two general categories of sexual harassment may occur:

1. Quid Pro Quo Harassment – When an employee is required to tolerate sexual harassment in order to obtain or keep a job, job benefit, raise, or promotion.

2. Hostile Work Environment Harassment – When harassment at work unreasonably interferes with or alters the employee's work performance, or creates a hostile, abusive or offensive work environment.

To bring an action for sexual harassment, the plaintiff must establish that:

• The plaintiff found the conduct to be hostile, abusive or offensive

• A reasonable person in the position of the plaintiff would consider the conduct hostile, abusive or offensive.

The complainant or plaintiff does not necessarily have to be a victim of the harassment in order to file a complaint against workplace sexual harassment.

To file a suit based upon sexual harassment, the complainant must first file a complaint about the conduct with an administrative agency. For a federal complaint, the complaint would first be filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). There are also state and local agencies, to which complaints may be made under state law. These agencies may help you file a case.

Otherwise, you can hire a lawyer familiar with the nature of your case and this will work well to your advantage.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Who may be Liable in a Plane Crash

Just recently, another plane crash occurred in Moonpark, California, injuring a flight student and a flight instructor. According to reports, the plane has to make an emergency landing due to mechanical problems. However, as the pilot attempted land safely in a Simi Valley field, the plane suddenly crashed. Consequently, the two passengers of the single-engine airplane incurred mild injuries and such vehicle sustained substantial damages.

As this particular incident is still subjected under on-going investigation, let me just point out some possible legal implications of this case. These parties may be held liable for the plane crash:

• The plane manufacturer, if the subject vehicle has been proven to carry assembly defects.

• The maintenance crew, if they have been neglectful in performing their duty of inspecting the airplane’s safeness for travel.

• The flight instructor, if he/she fail to apply the standard procedures in case of such emergency or if he/she has been found incompetent of operating the airplane.

Usually, determining liability in a plane accident involves thorough and intensive procedures. Only experts in the field of aviation can find out exactly what has caused the accident. Yet, after the reason for the crash has been established, the injured victims may rely on the capability of an aviation lawyer to ascertain the probable damages that they can recover.

But then again, if the aviation experts fail to discover the reason behind the crash, a competent personal injury lawyer may still seek other means to have their clients recover compensations for their injuries and damages incurred. The victims may result in filing their insurance claims depending on the coverage of their policies.

As the law suggests, accident victims should be given rightful compensation by whosoever was found liable for the injuries or death. In the abovementioned case, the two injured individuals must consult their respective aviation accident lawyers for proper legal advice and recommendations.

Sonoma Bus Accident injures nine

Nine students have been injured in a bus accident that happened very recently on Highway 101 near Asti California in Sonoma County.

Interestingly, the accident happened with no DUI, both drug and alcohol, involve. Add to that is the testimony of some witness that the one driving the vehicle is a model employee, has a perfectly clean driving records and even conducts training camps for his fellow drivers.

The bus was reportedly taking students from the Geyserville, Cloverdale, Ukiah and Calistoga areas to their high schools when it swerved off the road. The driver tried to steer the bus back on course but overcorrected, hence, the unfortunate accident.

What I am interested to know is who should be held liable for the injuries of nine students?

At the outset, it’s pretty hard to tell. The accident is… purely an accident. The driver wasn’t drunk. The driver wasn’t on drugs. The driver has clean record. There was no other vehicle which impacted or about to impact the bus. No nothing.

Now, let me ask, was the driver exercising due care when the accident took place? He has clean records alright but it doesn’t mean he can’t commit error.

Anyway, the investigation is still going on. For discussion purposes however, who else can be held liable following a bus accident such as this?

The following may be held responsible:

• The bus company
• The bus maintenance company
• The local government

The local government may be held liable if it was found out that the roads were so defective so as to cause the bus accident.

The families of the victim must keep track of the development of the investigation. And the moment fault was pinpointed, they must, really must pursue those who are responsible. Under the law, they are entitled to recover the following, among others:

• Medical and hospital expenses
• Rehabilitation
• Pain and suffering
• Punitive damages

To the families of the nine victims of the bus accident, you are not without resort. The law is in your side. You only have to act. And that means now.

What if no one can be charged in a Motor Vehicle Crash?

A friend of mine once asked me, “If I became a victim of a vehicle crash, would you handle my claim?” Teasing him, I replied, “Of course, if the price is right!”

Kidding aside, more than the money I would gain from winning my clients’ cases, I am more concerned on how these people would rebuild their lives without obtaining justice and sufficient recoveries. This idea always urges me to exert all my efforts in every lawsuit that I handle in order to ensure positive results and rightful compensation for my clients.

In California, where I practice my profession, Motor vehicle crashes are just of common occurrence. These incidents do not necessarily mean that it involves two or more moving vehicles. Just like what had happened last Monday, July 08, where another person died in an accident along 210 Freeway, wherein the victim’s car suddenly wedged under a truck.

I am still unfamiliar about the facts of the incident. However, as I view it, the family of victim may have a hard time in recovering damages especially if the departed was not insured and the driver of the semi-trailer had parked properly, situating an early warning sign along the freeway.

Like in any other vehicular accident claims, the victims must be able to prove that there are other parties at fault in the incident. Further, they must establish that the defendant’s negligence or careless action has been the proximate cause of their injuries.

Yet, I suggest that the family of the Freeway motor vehicle crash victim consult a legal professional to have a thorough evaluation of their case. Somehow, an experienced lawyer can help them find other ways to obtain recoveries. I just hope that the death of the victim would be given justice.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

A reflection on Pedestrian Accident report (Part 2)

Part one of my blog, I was commenting more on the unconventional actions of the cyclists group in their drive to awaken us or to increase our awareness in cycling issues.

Along with the revolutionary call of the cyclists, the news reference I took had also related the recent sampling of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in reference to pedestrian deaths across the United States between 1997 and 2006. This issue now will be the one I seek to ventilate in this blog, a mere continuation of the previous.

Just recently, Federal officials issued a report on pedestrian deaths across the United States between 1997 and 2006. This report was reflected on the sampling of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The information reflected the following:

• Pedestrians had only a slightly higher chance of dying in a car crash than people in a vehicle had
• Male pedestrians are more likely to be killed than female pedestrians
• 20 % of pedestrian deaths were the result of hit-and-run crashes
• The highest percentage of pedestrian fatalities occurred between 6 and 9 p.m., followed by 9 p.m.
• Autumn months had the highest number of deaths
• Both the rate and total number of pedestrian deaths have been dropping over the last decade

What do these samples tell us? To this I say, that there is nothing new and novel to what the samples have reflected. I cannot discount the information doled out by the survey nor its import, but I can fairly say that Pedestrian Accidents have indeed not been lessened considerably, but maybe only slightly.

Pedestrian accidents are expectedly hard to prevent, even how large a precautionary measure is taken by authorities. Accidents indeed do happen, at a glance.

One thing important and a must know for everyone, that along with the changes of times and the upgrades of our safety provisions, people should be not left out in knowing their constitutive legal rights especially so when they can be potentially involved in sullen accidents, whether as a motorists, or as pedestrian and alike.

With the decrease of both the rate and total number of pedestrian deaths over the last decade, I just hope that it does not mean also the decrease in awareness of people in matters of law.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Social networking for lawyers: It’s about time

Since the birth of the internet and the World Wide Web, a.k.a www in the ‘80s and the ‘90s, respectively, the present proliferation of the so-called social networking sites like Friendster and MySpace is hardly surprising.

What could be surprising is when you bump into someone who (1) doesn’t have an “account”, or worst (2) haven’t heard about them yet.

The seemingly phenomenal and increasing popularity of social networking sites has reach the hordes of professionals, not only in United States but the whole wide world.

One particular group of professionals who are currently listing more and more IT experts in their payroll are lawyers. The legal world has finally realized that it has to keep up with what’s in and what’s hot to widen its horizon and expand its reach.

Lawyers are beginning to enlist in professionals social networking sites. There are several devoted to professionals or at least gets flooded by professionals. Because as they say, birds of the same feather are of the same specie – err, flock together.

There are some who voiced out disavowal to this modern practice. Either because they failed to see its value or for the simple reason that they don’t know the How To’s, yet.

The logic actually is very simple. Lawyers are people. People are social beings. Therefore, as social beings lawyers need to socialize. What do you think why lawyers flock golf courses? Or the bars?

One can only surmise that the increasing numbers of lawyer professionals who sign in to this and that site, or even making their own web sites, get positive results.

It’s only like distributing business cards a thousands times. 24/7. In 7 continents. That is, as long as there is an internet connection.

For those who have been living in caves since the ‘90s, you might want to give Facebook, LinkedIn, Plaxo – among others – a needed try.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Perilous campaign on ventilating biking issues (Part 1)

“Two death-defying transit stunts: biking on freeways and walking across the street”, the title of the news article reported by, dated July 22, 2008, written by Steve Hymon, related the campaign of a group of cyclists, coined as Crimanimalz, in their drive to raise awareness of cycling issues including provisions of more bike lanes and bike routes.

The author interviewed three of the members of the group, namely Alex Cantarero, Paul Bringetto, third rider who would identify himself only as Rich. During the course of the interview, the drivers related their adventures as they raised their campaign. Their drive is somewhat revolutionary in a sense, because they went for a two death defying transit stunts last spring that included short stretches on the Santa Monica and 405 freeways, done during rush hour weaving in and out of traffic.

In their desire to raise awareness on their likes, these Romeos take no concern over their safety and what may be the legal consequences of their wager. As they said, they were comfortable with any legal consequences they might suffer just to advance their cause.

They lamented the unfair treatment that bikers get from the authorities, especially the Police where they did not do enough to protect cyclists.

Taking the concerns of the cyclist or bikers, I was astounded in the way they show or express their desire to raise their issues. They are ready to defy the seemingly stringent law on the road just to air their side. A hopeless move, some may say, as they can put their lives in perilous condition in doing such actions.

I can understand the concerns of this sector of road users. But I cannot grasp the idea on taking off-legal moves in pursuit of their drive for spreading awareness of cycling issues. Their acts were dangerous and beyond legal.

With these, the government should take this issue for consideration, and take steps to answer and solve the dilemma of the considerable number of bikers and cyclists.

Wrongful death and Wrongful Death Lawyer

Wrongful death lawsuit arises when a person is killed because of negligence, product liability and malice of another person. Intentional violence that causes death can also be covered by wrongful death lawsuit. In this case, the perpetrator can be prosecuted under criminal law. Close family members can sue to recover damages that result from a wrongful death.

The news entitled “Wrongful Death suit Filed against Chicago Police” posted on July 16, 2008, related an incident that caused the death of a 18 year old boy.

Reports said that the victim was shot and killed near a crowded park after he threatened an officer with a large caliber handgun.

Consequently, the administrator of the deceased filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the police. The suit seeks to recover more than $ 50,000 in damages. She claims that there is no justification for the killing because the deceased posed no threat to the police.

Reports also revealed that the victim was the fifth person fatally shot by the Chicago police within a month.

Nowadays, wrongful death cases are rising. A great number of wrongful death claims are filed in our courts.

To those who are planning to file a wrongful death claims I suggest that you seek the assistance of a legal expert. Wrongful death law varies from state to state. Applying the law can be complicated and the best way to protect your right is to hire a wrongful death lawyer who is experienced in your state.

A wrongful death attorney can help you assist in establishing your claim against the defendant. He will tell you if you have still time to file a claim, if you are eligible to file a suit, whether there is enough evidence that the defendant caused the wrongful death, what damages are available and the best way to settle and litigate your claim.

Teen Driving Misdemeanors and a Vehicle Rollover Crash

Car accidents such as vehicle rollover crashes may be common in the country but the news of minors getting involved in tragic mishaps makes it even more appalling, if not a condemnable.

The article, “Six Teenagers Injured in Fresno Rollover Crash”, posted on July 14, 2008, tells of the horrible fate that six teenagers met in a rollover crash. The young minors, between the ages of 13 and 17 suffered badly and one got minor injuries.

Like adding insult to injury, the accident was further complicated by other issues which made the victims’ injuries looked less of a problem than the other trouble that they had gotten into.

According to the California Highway Patrol, the four teenagers were suspected of hit-and-run driving and vehicle theft and the accident happened just as they were trying to run away to evade arrest.

In addition to these misdemeanors, the stolen vehicle caught fire after it rolled over. Luckily, for the teenagers, all of them survived the accident, though most of them suffered major injuries.

Because of this, the teenagers may be slapped with a lawsuit for their reckless and negligent driving manner, aside from the criminal liability that may face for vehicle theft and evading arrest.

Car accidents like these again highlight the issue of teen driving and the strict implementation of driving laws, especially the state’s graduated drivers licensing (GDL) program.

A Center for Disease Control research has shown that motor vehicle crashes account for nearly 36 percent of teenage death and also the leading cause of death for teenagers in the country. In addition, approximately 30 percent of the total cost of motor vehicle injuries may be attributed to persons aged 15 to 24.

Car accidents may be caused by various factors such as the following:

  • Driver’s inattention
  • Distractions such as cell phone use
  • Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs
  • Road conditions
  • Weather conditions
But despite knowing all these facts, accidents on the road continue to rise and have even worsened, as younger people become victims of reckless and negligent driving.

To ensure that only teenagers with permits and under adult supervision would be allowed to drive, other states should seriously consider the implementation of the graduated drivers licensing program.

Monday, July 21, 2008

How Much is the Right Cost in a Wrongful Death Claim

Reading “$29 Million Wrongful Death Award in Kings County Fire”, posted July 9, 2008, one cannot help but be astounded at the amount of compensation received by the decedent’s survivor in this grievous fire accident. The $29 million total settlement was said to be the largest in a wrongful death case verdict in the history of the county.

But how can one really determine a just and fair compensation in a wrongful death claim?

Wrongful death claims arise when victims die in an accident because of negligence or recklessness. In calculating compensation for the wrongful death victims, the court or jury often takes into consideration the following points:

• The gravity of the injury

• The extent of damage

• The status of the offending party

• The effect or repercussion of the accident on the victim and his survivors

According to this account, five people, including a teenage couple and their two-month old and two more other kids, perished in a fatal fire that gutted nine apartments in the county.

In deliberating on the damages award in this wrongful death case, the jury may have considered the factor that the fire accident had caused a tremendous effect on the victim’s family. In this case, the sense of loss is beyond one’s imagination as a whole family totally perished in a single accident. The grief is even more serious as investigations later revealed that the property owners had informed the tenants, six month before the incident that the building is not equipped with smoke or fire detectors.

To be able to pursue claims in a wrongful death case, the following elements are required:

• the death was caused, in whole or part, by the conduct of defendant

• the defendant was negligent, or strictly liable, for victim's death

• there is a surviving spouse, children, beneficiaries or dependents

• monetary damages have resulted from the victim's death.

Pursuing a claim in a wrongful death case may be difficult for grieving survivors hence the services of a lawyer who specializes in this concern is important.

A wrongful death claim lawyer can help you evaluate your case, determine the amount of compensation and represent you during negotiations.

Another Senseless Wrongful Death due to Pedestrian Accident

Another horrific accident and another senseless wrongful death happened again in Hollywood lately.

The CBS Broadcasting reported the incident in an online news article “Suspect Held On $1M Bail for Hitting Pedestrian”.

The accident claimed the lives of two, a man and a woman. The witnesses said the two are holding hands and crossing the street in ped xing when a vehicle lurched into them, instantly killing them.

It appears that the driver is being pursued by LAPD when they saw his car traveling on the wrong side of the road. He however continued driving erratically, “making unsafe lane changes, speeding and dangerously passing other vehicles” the police said.

The chase continued even after the driver viciously hit and killed the two victims. He eventually stopped and tried to escape by foot but was held by two witnesses until the police arrived and took him.

What an unfortunate accident for the two. It must be too hard for families of the victim to accept their death. Especially of this sort.

The driver was driving under the influence of alcohol said the police. The family of the victims must strongly go after this man. Above other things, he must face hit and run and manslaughter charges.

He must compensate the victims’ family even if it cost him his life. What he had done is unforgivable.

In 2006, car accident fatalities in the United States totaled to 42,642. Out of that number, pedestrian accident kills a staggering number of 4,784 while nearly 70,000 pedestrians are injured.

Statistics show that at least 1 pedestrian gets killed in a traffic accident every 110 minutes, or so.

Like in this case, intoxication of either the driver or the pedestrian was recorded in almost 50% of the traffic accidents that resulted to pedestrian’s death.

Insurance, Wake Up Call

The insurance industry has once again shaken lately when a certain insurance provider, the Blue Shield of California was sued by the couple Ana Maria and Augustine Simoes along with those affected Angelenos through the L.A. City Attorney, Atty. Rocky Delgadillo, for illegally canceling the health insurance coverage of the couple and hundreds of Californians, Wednesday.

The story was related in the news reported by the, written by Lisa Girion, July 17, 2008, entitled, “Blue Shield sued for allegedly lying about its coverage”.

The evil practice of unilateral rescission of Blue Shield was the root ground of the case, where as alleged in the complaint, Blue Shield has illegally canceled the coverage of more than 850 policyholders including people like the Simoeses since 2002. The suit also accuses Blue Shield of falsely advertising its coverage, alleging that the company often reneges when its members need substantial medical care.

These assertions were of course rebuffed by Blue Shield through its representative Tom Epstein. Epstein defended the cancellation of the Simoes' coverage and called the suit a cheap political stunt that was totally without merit. Blue Shield has said that it cancels policies rarely and that the practice is a legal and necessary tool to combat fraud.

With reference to the couple’s contention, Blue Shield justifies its position of denying payment of the coverage and its cancellation move on the ground that the couple has made some omission on their application. As Epstein said, it believes that it is the responsibility of applicants to tell the truth.

As I view it, this case is something to looked upon, especially that a lot of us or shall we say all of us have our own insurance coverage of any kinds. This case is indeed a wake up call for all of us.

Both sides have made their assertions and denials. They have laid their own theory leaving the courts to decide. However, the ultimate affected sector here are those covered or insured that can suffer the draining costs of their supposed to be covered expenses under their insurance coverage. To them, I express my concern.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Strike for Wage hike

One of the things that make this country land of the free is our right to freely express our displeasure and contentment, particularly in the workplace.

In a news article entitled “UC Medical Workers Go On Strike Over Wages” reported by, the union representing nearly 8,500 employees of University of California hospitals, dormitories, and other facilities are said all set go on a five-day strike.

The sentiment arise because the worker’s are reportedly paid “poverty-level” wages or as low as $10 an hour. Workers decided to strike after almost a year of negotiation, which didn’t yield positive results.

Wage issues are common throughout the country. Especially now that many people are experiencing hard time. They depend on their wages to tide them over; to shelter, feed and support their family members.

But some employers, even including the government, do little about this. Some workers even have to resort to legal remedies to resolve the problem.

With respect to wage claim and other employment issue, the same would be dealt with by workers with the help of an advocate who specializes in labor and employment law.

The labor’s sector is vital to the nation’s development. And it’s good that people are allowed to exercise one of their fundamental rights guaranteed by our laws.

However, things might get complicated in the process. Their act might do them more harm than good in the end. Albeit the law sanctions such activity, there are still other ways that workers can resort to without having so radical.

I’m not saying they were, but it may end like that.

Or, their acts might pay back in the end. But in the meanwhile, there are professional out there who can help expressing the sentiments of the workers.

For every labor and employment problem that they have, there is a labor and employment laws attorney who can help.

Car Crash Accident after Effects and Realities

"They never had a chance to get home", commented by a certain Belen Martinez, 47, who worked in the same crew as with the SUV driver involved in the car crash accident in Westley, who possibly lost her friend, brother-in-law and nephew in the fatal crash.

The sullen accident was reported by, entitled, “Cars Plunge Into Calif. Canal, Possibly Killing 7”, July 15, 2008.

Tuesday, shortly afternoon around 12:21 pm, a fatal accident happened when a sport utility vehicle carrying farm workers (including Belen Martinez’s loved ones) from an orchard south of Westley, collided with a septic truck, sweeping both vehicles into an irrigation canal where it plunged.

It was believed that there were seven dead people in the crash.

The canal runs about 17 feet deep and 100 feet wide in the area where the crash occurred, said U.S. Bureau of Reclamation spokesman, Pete Lucero, for the which operates the 117-mile canal that funnels water from a Tracy pumping plant to the western San Joaquin Valley. As can be gleaned from the description of the canal, we can discount the possibility of having any survivors.

This event is something familiar as accident of this sort happens every now and then, but it is also something overwhelmingly ruinous especially for the helpless family members who have lost their loved ones.

I can see the future for all this, that is, a constitutive lawsuit will spring eventually where the surviving family members of the victims will settle to file their case against the person responsible for the accident. This is a Car Crash Accident after effects and realities.

This anticipated course of action is ideal and a must wager for the surviving families of the car crash victims, in order for them to be compensated for their loss. This I advise and recommend for them as well as to those who may experience like situation in the days to come.

The Need for Legal Rehabilitation in your Ankle Injury Sufferings

If you had an accident at work or were involved in a frontal car crash, which damaged your ankle quite severely, it is worth knowing that you have the right to file a claim or lawsuit against the erring person who caused your Ankle Injury. This injury type is covered under the broad mantle of Personal Injury law where the victims can ventilate and go against the party who may have been reckless in its affairs.

Ankle injury , as said by many medical experts is an all too common injury that can happen at anytime and its effects is said to go on resolutely for years unless proper treatment is addressed. More so, severe ankle injuries may have some significant residual disability in any form that can affect the ability to walk which in turn can lead to extensive period of therapy and treatment. Thus, this type of injury is something that should not be neglected, but must given due consideration, especially to those injured through accidents.

I would like to relate the story that happen to Los Angeles Lakers forward Luke Walton, reported by with the heading “Lakers' Walton To Undergo Ankle Surgery”, where Luke is said to undergo surgery to remove bone spurs from his right ankle on Friday. All are hopeful for the ultimate recovery of the player especially his considerable number of supporters.

I can only say that this guy really has to deal with his situation and take the proper medical treatment, religiously I should say, in order for him to go back in the hard court and play his sports. It is highly probable, that his ankle injury can affect much of his career as a player and his physical condition as well. I hope that all will be settled and clear for Walton, hopefully.

Having an Ankle injury is something to be wary about, especially that its after effect can spell a huge difference in our lives. Rehabilitation, both medical and legal, must be considered by those who are injured as caused by any accident.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Proactive Boating accidents compensation pursuit

Boating accidents can be held as a rare eventuality that can happen only in episodic or occasional basis. There might be some vestige of truth to this assertion, I surmise, as sea travel is not availed mostly by the general mass.

However, I would like to relate the boat accident that happen sometime mid of this month (Tuesday July 10, 2008) in San Joaquin Delta, where a respectable Manteca Fire Marshal named Marvin Mears had received serious injuries in a ski boat accident. The ski boat collided with a sailboat at midnight on that date.

Following the event, Mears was rushed to the emergency room where he has been treated for his severe injury. However, to date, there is yet no report on Mears' condition following his surgery. All his close friends as well as those concerned can do right now is to wish for his ultimate recovery.

The operator of the ski boat however, named Christopher Baker (a 32-year-old), was later found to have operated the boat under the influence of alcohol and to which he was arrested and pinned with the constitutive charge of DUI and causing serious injury.

With this story to tell, one can say, that though boat accidents are rare, its effects are disastrous and life changing.

Following the event, several public opinion have emerged all dealing with the issues of alcohol use and abuse, to which they relate that the same has played a big part in boating accidents that occur around California. For some, they urged the authorities to wage more measures emphasizing boat safety so that accidents like these can be avoided. To these, I agree.

In the matter of the victim’s injury compensation pursuit, as an Attorney, my only advice for the victims of boat accidents is to be proactive in their compensation pursuit against the negligent and erring operator or owner of the boat transport. They have to give special attention to this hurdle as this can spell their future.

Motorcycle Accident in Broad Daylight

Although it is just common to hear motorcycle accidents in California, you should not be reluctant to accept that such incidents have been causing great damages and loss of lives every year. Just like what had happened in a motorcycle accident that happened just last month in Riverside County where a 26-year-old man died due to severe injuries.

According to instant news article, the victim was not able to reach the hospital alive after his Honda motorcycle collided with City of Riverside Public Works vehicle. Meanwhile, as the victim’s family still mourns in grief, this particular incident is still subjected to further investigation.

On the other hand, I can’t still figure out why this accident happened early in the morning where the street is free from any defects. I’m just hoping that the on-going investigation would end soon enough so that the victim’s relatives may file their charges against whoever is accountable.

If ever, the liable for party for the incident can be compelled to pay damages enough to compensate the loss of the said family. Aside from the funeral costs, the liable party may have to reimburse the surviving family for the following:

• Damage to property

• Emotional and mental distress

• Loss of future wages

• Loss of association

• Other expenses and losses resulting from the victim’s death

Now, I do suggest that the relatives of the departed hire the assistance of a highly skilled motorcycle accident lawyer for proper guidance and establishment of their lawsuit. A lawyer with a commendable background in handling this particular type of case will give them assurance that justice will prevail and that they will be properly compensated.

Albeit the accident may identify a government employee as the liable party, it is the right of every victim of negligence to acquire suitable damages.

Another Expensive Lesson on Disability Discrimination

I don’t know if the company has some sort of jinx on it or just couldn’t get their people straight.

Just recently, the US Employment Opportunity Commission charged Wal-Mart with yet another discrimination suit. This time it’s disability discrimination lawsuit.

The Commission said that the retail giant refused to hire a man with cerebral palsy who uses crutches or a wheelchair for mobility. Wal-Mart was then preparing to open a new 24-hour Supercenter and was conducting mass hiring.

The company argued that the disability of the applicant will “pose a safety risk to himself or customers if he worked at the store using a wheelchair or crutches.”

The case cost Wal-Mart another $300,000 to pay the rejected applicant. A rather another expensive lesson to learn by Wal-Mart.

Disability discrimination lawsuit is covered by Title I of the ADA. The law prohibits discrimination of employees or applicants based on their disability. Employers who violate the law can be made to pay the discriminated employee or the rejected applicant.

It isn’t an overstatement to say that discrimination of all sorts is still prevalent in the country today. Having a “colored” presidential candidate didn’t and arguably will not change that fact.

What we need is faithful enforcements of laws on discrimination. If we cannot achieve equality of treatments among and between our citizen by plea and rhetoric – I agree that we use the full extent of the law to achieve it.

Even if it cost ‘em a fortune.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Fair and Swift Justice – Drowning Injury

We all enjoy camping especially during summer. It is a time to have fun and enjoy the moment together with our family and friends. Most schools always organize camping to develop the skills and character of the student.

However, not all camping events have a successful ending. Some results to tragic incident such as drowning injury due to negligence of some of the organizers.

In a recently reported event, a seven-year-old boy was drowned while on camping. The report relayed that the boy was drowned in the schools swimming pool despite the presence of some lifeguards and considering that, it is a day camp.

When parents allow their child to join a camp they’re expecting that their children will be protected and secured especially in dangerous places like swimming pools. They are hoping that the organizers are exercising extra ordinary diligence in ensuring the safety of their children.

For the considerable number of drowning injury cases I encountered, I commonly observed that camping organizers do not usually observed the required diligence provided by law in this type of event. They escape their supposed liability under the law because most cases like this result to settlement.

I just hope that aside from monetary damages they incurred during settlement, the people behind this activity will also face legal consequences. Maybe because of this, they should be more careful and responsible in their succeeding activities.

The supposed to be an “enjoyable event” results to agony and mourning because of the negligence of its organizers. The law should provide a bigger penalty to this kind of incident especially where children’s are involved.

Aggressive Teens: Too Risky to Handle

Aggressive, adventurous, risk taker and being irresponsible are some of the well-known character of teenagers.

Adolescence is stage of experimentation and adventurism. Expectedly, safety is not among the top concerns of teenagers in their day-to-day activities. At this stage, teenagers may not be expected to be responsible.

I know because I became a teenager once. I can still remember how it felt to be one.

The aggressive attitude of most teenagers is manifested not only in school and at home but also on the road.

Just this week, a 13 year-old boy died in another teen car accident. Speeding is blamed as the culprit. The deceased teen together with two others were on their way shark fishing. Obviously, they never made it. Instead of fishing, they were brought to a nearest hospital.

Statistics shows that about 5,000 teens ages 16 to 20 die due to fatal injuries caused by car accidents. Approximately, 400,000 drivers age 16 to 20 are seriously injured. In fact, about 12 percent account for teen car crashes.

Study also shows that teens are more likely to be involved in a car accident than adults do. In addition, teen drivers wear seatbelts less often.

Due to the increasing case of teen car accidents, it is about time that the government studies its current policy on teen driving, license issuance and road ethics before several lives are put in danger.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Against All Odds Of Partnership Breach

Partnership is a business undertaking for purposes of dividing profits among partners.

No formal understanding or agreement is required to its existence. However, sound business practice dictates that agreement on at least the basic provisions must be laid down clearly.

Fundamental partnership agreements on allocation of profits or losses, costs, obligation and liabilities of the partners must be addressed.

The foregoing pieces of information are necessary in case of dissolution or breach of partnership responsibilities.

There are various steps in formalizing a partnership agreement, from choosing a name to determining tax liability In the end, you will realize the worth of having to go through such processes than not to have at all.

In business, misunderstandings occur often and if responsibilities and liabilities of the partners were not clearly delineated, there would be chaos.

How many friendships have ended because of failed business partnership? I say, countless.

Oftentimes, small partnership problems may escalate into a big one causing some partners to back out. It is at this stage that agreements embodied in “black and white” can be of great help.

In short, document all matters involving your business from start to finish. If the day comes that you need to justify certain decision, you will want written documentation to support it.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Construction liability – harsh but it is the law

As far as the construction industry is concerned, the builders or laborers’ safety must be of paramount consideration. Of course, I believe it’s second only to the concern that is the worthiness of the structure they’re building, but equally important nonetheless.

Hence, we can see signage like “Safety First”, “Hard Hat Area” and the likes, in the construction areas. Failure to place them on site would entail negligence on the part of the owner of the construction company. The owner may face not only civil liability but criminal liability as well.

Take the case of what happened in Brooklyn just recently. In a news article published by the Daily News, a building contractor was reported to be facing possible murder charges for a construction accident that killed a worker and injured another when a foundation collapsed. He said he tried to warn his employees because it was raining.

Government authorities fined the contractor in the meanwhile as the investigation is still going on.

I surmised the lesson here is quite simple: when something happened, the law looks whose negligence it is that produced the accident. Once it is determined, the law attaches some form of liability to the person at fault to compensate the unfortunate victim of accident. And just like in the news, it may not have been of the contractor’s direct fault that produced the accident and death of the worker – but that is the law.

Recent decisions of the Court even expanded the contractor’s duty of ensuring the safety of construction premises. The duty now involves both the workers and visitors, i.e. workplace safety in the inside and security from the outside that not everyone gets in, lest that person meets an accident and make the contractor liable for him.

Construction liability, in effect, is now covered by the general law on negligence instead of premise liability, which is more limited in scope. The contractor has extraordinary burden that he can be liable, by virtue of recent jurisprudence, even to a trespasser as long as the accident took place in his premises – so the law says.

Dura lex sed lex. The law may be harsh but it is the law.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Employment Arbitration: Bad for Employees

Employment arbitration is a way of resolving dispute by and between an employer and employee outside of the court system by hiring someone who acts as the parties’ private judge.

Sadly, employees do not have much choice on arbitration. Upon hiring, employees are made to sign an arbitration agreement or the same may have been contained in their employment handbook.

However, in the case of Davis v. O'Melveny & Myers, 485 F.3d 1066 (9th Cir. 2007), the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals invalidated an arbitration agreement covering all employees of an international law firm on grounds that it was procedurally and substantively unconscionable under California law.

I say, employment arbitration is bad for employees for these various reasons:

  1. The parties pay for the arbitrator.

    Financially, an employee is no match for the resources of the employer. Win or lose, the poor employee has to shell out money.
  2. Arbitrators may set limitations, which will prevent an employee to prove and win his/her case.

    Even if the parties hire a good arbitrator chances are your ability to gather evidence, request documents from the other side, or conduct witness interviews may be restricted.
  3. Arbitrators often favor the employer.

    Most likely, arbitrators have arbitrated in a previous case involving the same employer and another employee. The arbitrator and employer have already gained familiarity with each other.
  4. Arbitrator awards tend to be much smaller than that of a jury.
  5. Arbitration is confidential.

    This is an advantage on the part of employer. Their dirty laundry will not go public.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Medical Malpractice: The Irony of a Growing Cause of Death

It is said medical malpractice is now the fifth growing cause of death in the United States. It is quite ironic because you seek medical attention to stay aground, not 6-feet below it.

In any case, like the Mount Everest, it is there. We cannot deny its existence. Especially, four more to go and it would be the major cause of death of our citizens. That would be the biggest irony of all.

Lawyers, generally, battle for medical malpractice victims. But as there are always two sides of a coin, there are also lawyers who represent erring medical professionals. That is not a bad thing as we are all just doing our job.

For the medical professionals, let me just state that nobody have the monopoly of good quality service. When we are charged with a responsibility of doing something in this life, we do it well, don’t we? Now, some blame tort lawyers for the rising medical cost in the country. But who started the cycle? Who started committing wrong so the lawyers came? It can be easily answered. It’s not even a chicken and egg argument. It is clear where this started.

But in fairness to some, accidents can really happen almost everywhere and the operating table is not an exception. It’s just that we have a law. As the famous adage goes: the law may be harsh, but it is the law.

For those who have been a victim of medical malpractice, let me just remind that while it is true that the law is in your side, still there is nothing absolute in this world. Everything has an exception. Your claim cannot be pursued just about anytime you want. It is subject to what is called Statute of Limitation.

For those who are living in California, you have 3 years from the date of the injury, or one year from the date you discovered or would have reasonably discovered the injury, whichever occurs first. If your action is based on a discovered foreign object in your body, prescription does not start to run until you discover or should have discovered the object.

The periods of limitation for medical malpractice apply to minors six years of age and older. Stay healthy!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Some significant California employment laws

Every state and jurisdictions has its own set of laws regulating the employment institution all intended in giving safeguards to the vulnerable sector of the workers.

In California in particular, there are varying laws (state-level) that were constituted addressing the various aspects and issues of employment especially in regulating the affairs between the sector of the labor and capital that is most likely in constant opposition from one another.

California employment law encompasses almost all employment issues and concerns. As early as pre-employment until termination, these laws set in to regulate the affairs of both players in the employment arena.

To name a few of these laws would be worthwhile. Thus:

Employment law in California, in part covers:

  • Cal-COBRA, a California health coverage protection that requires employers with 2 to 19 employees to provide their employees (and their dependents) the right to continue health insurance coverage after a qualifying event occurs.
  • California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), a California statute and the principal law that prohibits employment discrimination covering employers, labor organizations, employment agencies, apprenticeship programs and any person against any work discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, physical or mental disability or condition, sex, status, pregnancy, and other related discriminatory acts.
  • Employee benefits law covering ERISA, California Laws Regulating Group Health Plans, 401 (k) plans, and other allied laws.
  • The California Whistleblower Protection Act
  • California worker’s compensation administered and monitored by the Division of Workers' Compensation (DWC). DWC administers workers' compensation claims, and provides administrative and judicial services to assist in the resolution of disputes that arise in connection with claims for workers' compensation benefits.
  • Occupational Safety and Health law (Cal/OSHA), which protects workers and the public from safety hazards through its various programs and provides consultative assistance to employers.
  • Many others
Whenever, you have come to face employment law challenges, you can invoke any of the foregoing laws to which you can ventilate your respective causes. You can seek the aid of an Employment Law Attorney to help you build up the proper case based on your specific predicaments.