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California Legal Blog

Personal injury claims: the cost of spinal cord injuries

An unexpected event like a car accident or a slip and fall incident can have a tremendous impact on an individual's life. He or she will have to deal with the immediate pain that accompanies injuries suffered in these accidents, but the physical, emotional and financial damage can be quite long-reaching. In fact, many people in California who are harmed in various types of accidents suffer injuries that last a lifetime. For these victims, merely making ends meet can be extremely challenging.

Just look at spinal cord injuries as an example. An individual who suffers a spinal cord injury that results in any incomplete motor function can see medical costs and living expenses exceed $300,000 for the first year of treatment alone. Each subsequent year can cost more than $40,000. A victim who suffers high tetraplegia may wind up with more than $1 million in medical and living expenses the first year after the injury is suffered. Each year following that can cost as much as $185,000.

Motor vehicle accidents cause most pedestrian deaths in 30 years

Despite a crackdown on drunk and distracted driving, as well as the implementation of a number of safety features in vehicles, car accidents continue to occur in California and across the U.S. at an alarming rate. Perhaps the most vulnerable to these wrecks are pedestrians. These individuals are, of course, without the protections afforded by motor vehicles, which means that they often suffer extensive harm when struck by a car, truck or motorcycle.

In fact, one report indicates that more than 6,000 pedestrian deaths occurred nationwide in 2018, which is the highest number of pedestrian deaths in the last three decades. What's the cause of this significant rise? There are a number of factors. While an increase in roads that lack crosswalks and sidewalks are partially to blame, the bigger issue is distracted drivers and the increased use of larger vehicles like SUVs. Cellphone data usage has skyrocketed by 4,000% in the last decade, which goes to show that motorists are likely more distracted today than they have ever been in the history of the automobile.

Employment law and pregnancy discrimination

California workplaces are meant to be fair and safe for all. Even though that basic concept is well-known, people with biases and outdated practices will still discriminate against others in the workplace. For employees, this can mean being passed over for jobs, promotions or raises, and it can even lead to a hostile work environment when an individual is demeaned and humiliated in the workplace. For employers, claims of discrimination can have a profound financial impact. It is easy to see how there is a lot on the line for both parties when claims of discrimination are raised.

One often overlooked form of discrimination is discrimination against pregnant women. Employers sometimes find themselves concerned about hiring a pregnant woman, because she may soon be taking significant time off of work. The same thinking is sometimes held with regards to promoting a pregnant woman. Some employers even go so far as to fire pregnant women out of fear of lost production during their maternity leave. None of these actions are acceptable in the eyes of the law, and they may lead to a lawsuit.

When does a California company have to pay workers overtime?

There are many laws at the state, local and even federal levels that help manage the relationship between employers and employees. Some of the most basic and critical rights are the rights of hourly workers to a fair and reasonable wage.

Federal law sets specific minimum wages that employers must pay their hourly workers. Hourly workers also have the right to overtime compensation under federal law. Understanding when businesses have an obligation to pay overtime compensation can help employers remain in compliance with laws and employees advocate for their rights.

California firm efficiently handles wage and hour claims

California's workers don't have time to worry about the intricacies of wage and hour laws. While this is understandable (after all, they are focused on performing their job duties and caring for their families), sometimes knowledge of this area of the law is critical to being treated fairly in workplace. Those who don't know their rights may be unfairly taken advantage of when employer fails to pay overtime wages, fails to make payments on time in accordance with applicable statutes or denies them breaks that are provided for by the law.

Of course, it's unrealistic to expect all workers to understand the ins and outs of employment law. If they knew this information, then they may not be in the profession in which they are working. For this reason, skilled employment law attorneys stand ready to help. These attorneys can help workers who are unfairly treated to hold their employer's feet to the fire, so to speak. By taking legal action, a wronged employee may be able to not only secure compensation that is owed to them, but their actions may deter employers from taking advantage of other employees down the road.

Motor vehicle accidents and settlement negotiations

When victims of motor vehicle accidents in California decide to take legal action, they decide to do so with the intent of imposing liability and recovering compensation. Sometimes this requires aggressive litigation at trial. In many cases, though, these matters can be settled through negotiations. Before settling a case, though, a car accident victim needs to consider several factors to determine if settling is in his or her best interests.

The first and most obvious thing to assess is the strength of the case. One way to conduct this analysis is to look at the outcomes of cases with similar facts. Then, using a critical legal eye, a car accident victim can determine the likelihood that he or she will succeed at trial. This requires analyzing the evidence at hand and how the law applies to the circumstances of one's case. Such an analysis may unveil legal challenges such as witness unavailability, evidence counter to one's position and even adverse rulings in similarly situated cases. The last step in determining the strength of a case is to look at the strengths and weaknesses of the defendant's case.

Uptick in cellphone use could lead to motor vehicle accidents

There's no doubt that car accidents continue to be a problem in the Gold River area and surrounding communities. In fact, as electronic devices continue to become more universally used, distracted driving has seemingly become more frequent. Those who take their eyes off the road, even for a moment, can lose control of their vehicle, causing them to veer into traffic, drive over the posted speed limit and blow through stop signs and traffic signals.

Although state laws have attempted to curtail distracted driving, the truth is that cellphone usage while driving is becoming riskier. Even though cellphone use itself is down, motorists were manipulating their phones by sending text messages and surfing the Internet 57 times more frequently in 2018 when compared to 2014 figures. These actions can result in serious injurious or even fatal motor vehicle accidents.

A primer on premises liability lawsuits

Californians who enter the premises of another rarely give much thought to their own personal safety. This is especially true when they are visiting with friends or shopping. This is because the law provides protections for those who are invited onto the premises of another. Those property owners who fail to ensure that their premises are safe for others may be held liable for any injuries that the hazardous conditions on their property may cause.

Before an individual can succeed on a premises liability lawsuit, though, he or she must prove certain legal elements. First, an individual must establish his or her legal status as a visitor. This is important because the identified legal status dictates the applicable legal standard. Invitees, such as a store customer, are owed the highest standard of care. This standard requires a property owner to exercise reasonable care to identify and remedy hazardous conditions.

Be on the lookout for brain injury symptoms after a crash

Car crashes can cause fatal injuries or leave someone with severe physical disabilities. Those who experience a crash often consider themselves fortunate if their injuries are seemingly minor in the immediate wake of the accident. The unfortunate truth is that not all serious injuries have obvious symptoms immediately.

Some of them take several days or even weeks to develop. This is particularly true in cases of brain injury. Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are some of the most debilitating and severe injuries that a person can suffer. You should watch for symptoms for some time after a crash. Getting timely treatment is important to improving your prognosis and your ability to connect with compensation from the person or entities responsible for the crash.

A quick look at some important California wage laws

Many Californians are used to receiving steady and reliable paychecks. In fact, these payments may be so consistent that they don't realize the extensive legal framework in place to protect employee wages. All too often, though, employers fail to adhere to these laws, which can cause serious financial harm to expectant workers. Therefore, it is important to have a basic understanding of wage and hour laws. By doing so, individuals can better determine when a wage and hour claim is appropriate.

Under California law, in general workers must be paid at least two times per calendar month. However, certain executive, administrative and professional employees may be paid once monthly. Additionally, employers must identify a consistent payday and post that date so that employees are informed. Failing to adhere to these laws may result in legal action, especially when payment is withheld for any reason.

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Gold River, CA 95670

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