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Law Change: Unsafe California Companies Can’t Use Immigration Status To Cheat Injured Workers

Posted by on Nov 30, 2016 in Uncategorized |

A recent law passed by the state assembly of California makes it easier for undocumented immigrant workers to report and receive compensation for injuries resulting from safety violations and/or accidents that happen while the worker is on the job. While the new law only affects workers and companies in California, it sets a precedent for the way safety violations and lawsuits involving immigrants should be handled by the courts to be fair to all parties. Here’s why this law is important: The nation relies on immigrant labor, like it or not U.S. industries rely on immigrant labor to meet construction, harvesting and butchering demands. Many of the vital jobs in these fields are dangerous. Too many immigrants are employed by contractors, agencies and subcontractors who pay untaxed, substandard wages to workers who perform these jobs. Many immigrant workers are denied proper medical coverage for injuries and accidents suffered on the job. In only three years’ time in Massachusetts alone, the state’s attorney general received 1,300 job-related complaints about wages and injuries, including stories of untreated broken bones, concussions and other painful, debilitating conditions caused by workplace injuries. The numbers of complaints should be even higher considering that many undocumented immigrants refuse to report their workplace accidents and injuries. They may fear or have been threatened with deportation. They may fear not getting paid, or worse, fear the authorities won’t care about workplace negligence at all. Assembly Bill No. 2159 removes immigration from the civil suit In a wrongful death or personal injury claim brought before a civil court in California, immigration status is not allowed to be admissible or discoverable by the parties. In the past, injured workers or their survivors had to provide evidence of their legal status and prove that they were not in line to be deported soon. Even after proving worker and resident status to qualify for compensation, many immigrants were denied future wage calculations based on U.S. pay before Bill 2159 took effect. These awards are designed to make up for the pay that an injured or deceased worker would have brought home had the injury or death not occurred. The California courts had previously allowed awards for future lost earnings based on the pay the person would receive in their home country, not in the U.S. Companies can no longer get away with this behavior in California. Unscrupulous employers have to tighten up their safety or pay up if they’re negligent. Indiana and other states are struggling with similar issues as they deal with growing numbers of complaints from undocumented workers. Hopefully, other states will take note of California’s approach. Safer workplaces benefit everyone. Especially in construction, a company that takes safety seriously produces a secure product that endures long after the workers leave the job site. If you’ve been injured on the job or know someone who has, make sure they get immediate medical care and talk to a qualified accident attorney before they make any decisions about legal action. Each state’s laws are different when it comes to undocumented workers, but the laws are slowly changing to make it safer for everyone to receive the compensation they’re...

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4 Punishments You Should Expect For Getting A DUI

Posted by on Nov 9, 2016 in Uncategorized |

To some, a DUI may seem like a simple thing. You hear about people getting them often in the news, and so it may seem as though the punishment is not that severe. This is generally not the case; while some people do dodge the punishment, in most cases there can be severe consequences if you are pulled over while under the influence of legal or illegal substances. Here are some things you should expect. 1. Your Driver’s License Will Be Taken Away As a standard punishment, your driver’s license will be taken away. The moment it is determined that you were driving under the influence, the courts will take away your ability to drive. If this is not your first time being cited for a DUI, you could be in bigger trouble than just a minor suspension. You could permanently lose your license. 2. You Will Have To Complete Therapy Or A Program To Get Your License Back In many cases you will be required to go through some sort of alcohol, drug, or therapy program before you can get your license back. If you can prove that you are going to AA (Alcoholic’s Anonymous) or to private therapy, you might be able to give that to the judge, and they will accept that as proper treatment. In some cases you will have to do a class through the state that teaches about the dangers of drunk driving. This could be a replacement for therapy, or it could be in addition to it. It depends on the severity of the DUI, and the frequency with which you have been cited. 3. Your Insurance Premiums Will Go Up Once you get a DUI, you should expect your insurance premiums to go up. The likelihood that you will get in an accident while intoxicated are much higher than if you were driving with the full use of your faculties. Thus, the insurance company raises your premiums as a way to punish you, and to protect themselves. They know there is a good chance they are going to have to pay out if you are in an accident relating to your irresponsible driving. 4. The DUI Will Stay On Your Record You should expect the DUI to stay on your record for a good deal of time. Once again it depends on the severity of the charge, and how often it happens, but you should definitely plan on it being a part of your record from now on. These are just some things you should expect if you are charged with a DUI. This is why many people hire a DUI attorney to help them fight...

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Divorce After 50: 3 Things To Know

Posted by on Oct 20, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Divorce is something that many adults go through in their lifetimes. In fact 41 percent of first marriages end in divorce as well as 60 percent of second marriages, and 73 percent of third marriages. Many of these divorces occur before the age of 50. However, there has been an uptick in older Americans divorcing. Today, couples over the age of 50 account for 1 in 4 divorces. There are many reasons for the rise in older Americans divorcing. Longer lives, retirement, and no children at home lead many to consider divorce when they wouldn’t have earlier in life. Here are three things to know about divorcing over the age of 50.  Division Of Retirement Assets Is Not Always 50/50 One of the biggest issues when it comes to divorcing over the age of 50 is figuring out what to do with retirement assets. A divorce attorney can help their client navigate through the various state laws that determine what they are entitled to. Dividing up a retirement account such as a 401(k) requires a court ordered qualified domestic relations order or QDRO. The judge or mediators working on the case will determine how the account is divided in terms of percentages.  Staying Insured Is Important With age health begins to decline, which is why it is very important to have comprehensive health coverage after the age of 50. Divorce can make this very difficult. Those on their spouse’s health coverage may find themselves scrambling to get a new plan. After a divorce, it’s possible to continue using an ex spouse’s existing coverage for up to 36 months through COBRA. There is also the possibility of purchasing a new private policy or through a state’s healthcare exchange. Failure to purchase new insurance can lead to pricey medical care down the line so this is one thing to take care of immediately during a divorce. Prepare For Major Financial Changes One thing that anyone who is divorcing after the age of 50 should prepare for is major financial changes. Recovering financially is something that needs to be done quickly for older divorcees. Hiring a financial adviser may help couples make good financial decisions before, during, and after their divorce. Couples who are not yet divorced may want to consider decisions such as selling a home before the divorce takes place. For married couples the first $500,000 in capital gains from the sale of a home is exempt from federal taxation, that number is only $250,000 for a single person. Working with a divorce attorney and a financial adviser to come up with the best financial scenario for both parties is important. Divorcing after 50 is becoming more common. However, there are a few things to consider. Dividing up retirement assets, keeping up with health insurance, and preparing for major financial changes are even more important for older...

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3 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Waive Your Right to Read the Deposition

Posted by on Sep 29, 2016 in Uncategorized |

If you have to give a deposition for your personal injury case, you are entitled under the law to read the deposition before you sign off on it. When you give a deposition, a court report records everything that is said. When the deposition is over, you are required to sign off on the deposition. Here are three reasons why you need to read the deposition before you put your signature on it.  #1 Catch Errors You Made The first reason why you should read over your transcript from the deposition is to ensure that you did not make any mistakes when you were testifying. It is important that everything you said was true and accurate because you were under oath. It is easy to let your nerves get the best of you and mix up a date, number, or fact when you are testifying. By reading over the deposition, you have chance to make sure that you didn’t mix anything up. If you find an incorrect date, number, or fact, you can correct the information on the errata sheet.  You can also examine your answers and make sure that you did not omit any important information. If you find an incomplete answer, you can elaborate on the errata sheet.  Reading over your depositions is a great way to ensure that you don’t accidentally provide misinformation that could get your case thrown out or compromised.  #2 Catch Errors Court Reporters Made The second reason you need to read over the deposition transcript is because, even though the court reporter is a trained professional, they still may make a mistake. For example, it could be easy for a court reporter to write down a word that sounded similar to the one you actually said or to write down a similar sounding number or date.  Read the transcript carefully for signs of any errors that could have been made by the court reporter; if you find any, you are going to need to correct these errors on the transcript itself and on the errata sheet. Reading out loud is a good strategy for catching these types of mistakes.  You should always read over the deposition carefully to protect your case by making sure that no errors were made by either the court reporter or yourself. Once you sign your name to the deposition, you are authenticating and verifying that all the answers you provided were true and that all the words were recorded as written. This is your one chance to correct any errors or mistakes and protect the integrity of your case. For more information about how to make sure your deposition is accurate, talk an attorney like those at Gilbert, Blaszcyk & Milburn...

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Immediate Steps To Take To Regain Your Voting Rights

Posted by on Sep 12, 2016 in Uncategorized |

If you have been released from prison after completing a sentence for a felony conviction, you have a lot of catching up to do. One of the most important steps is to regain your right to vote. In most states and cases, you do get to vote again, but when and how differ widely. Upon release, you should have been given information about how to take care of this, but if for some reason you didn’t get any instructions, read on. Check State Law First Because each state has a different timeline and process—some restore the right automatically, some require an application, some restore right when you get out of prison, and others restore when you complete parole—verify your state’s law first. If you’ve been released from prison and are on parole, and your state doesn’t allow parolees to vote, that’s the end of the story right there, at least until you complete parole. Contact Your State’s Parole Board If you find you’re eligible but need to apply, contact your parole board, even if you’ve finished parole. They should be able to help you with the process or tell you who to contact next. If you’re in a state where you are automatically supposed to get your rights back, you may still want to verify with the board whether you have to do anything other than re-register to vote. Contact Your County’s Registrar of Voters Once you’ve applied, or if you find you are automatically eligible, contact your county’s registrar of voters. They can let you know if they need to receive any paperwork or files from the parole board, and they can also help you re-register. Remember that in a lot of states, you need to purposefully re-register your name because the computer systems there won’t simply hold your voter registration from before you were in prison. If there are any snags—lost paperwork or the computer system won’t let you register—you may need to go back to the parole board to clear things up. If you are still having trouble registering, and the voter registrar and the parole board have you running back and forth, talk to a criminal lawyer who has experience tracking down the snags and getting people re-registered. Once you have completed your sentence and fulfilled your state’s requirements for being eligible again, you have the right to register to vote. Don’t assume that you’re out of luck if you hit glitches during the process. For more information, contact a service like Florida Judicial Comprehensive...

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4 Lessons On Smart Preparation For Your Plans To File Bankruptcy

Posted by on Aug 23, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Are you strongly considering filing for bankruptcy? If so, there are a number of things that must be done to get the proceedings underway. Perhaps you have done research on filing for bankruptcy and the different types of bankruptcy options that are available. Despite your research and best intentions, you may be unaware that there are some behaviors and actions that can hinder your bankruptcy case.  Moving Assets This type of behavior may be viewed by the bankruptcy court as an attempt to hide assets. Perhaps you plan to transfer an asset you have such as a vehicle to a family member, but this action may still be scrutinized. It is also possible that your actions could be reversed if they are discovered. This means that the assets could be repossessed or seized.  Only Paying Certain Debts Paying certain debts could be viewed as an attempt to retain certain property or accounts and dismiss others. Unfortunately, this is a complicated portion of these proceedings, and by filing for bankruptcy, you are waiving your right to choose which debts you want to keep and which ones you want to “throw to the wolves.” There may be certain exceptions when it comes to houses and vehicles. For example, your bankruptcy proceeding may result in you being able to keep your main source of shelter and transportation.  Not Filing Taxes Tax returns are important because they are legal documents that prove income. When people who wish to file bankruptcy do not file tax returns, it may be difficult for the court to prove their incomes. You may also find that you are penalized by the IRS as well as scrutinized by the bankruptcy court. Both agencies may view your actions as though you are attempting to conceal facts. Keep in mind that if you file your taxes after you file for bankruptcy and are due a refund, the money may be intercepted and used in your bankruptcy case.  Splurging and Creating New Debt While it is great that you want to finally get rid of your debt and start fresh and new, this is not a time to go and splurge in an attempt to get some freebies in the process. Creating new debt is irresponsible, and you may find that certain items might be listed as assets in the case, which means you may not be able to keep them. It is also possible that new debts might not be discharged, which means you would still owe these creditors.  A bankruptcy attorney is an excellent resource to use if you have questions about ensuring that you can file a case in as expeditious a manner as possible. These cases are complex in nature, and some laypersons find navigating the legal system frustrating and frightening. By retaining a lawyer, you can keep those emotions under control and have peace of mind that the process is going forward following the guidelines of the law.  For more information or assistance, contact a bankruptcy attorney, like one from O’Brien and Dekker Attorneys at...

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4 Tips For Preventing Dog Bites

Posted by on Aug 3, 2016 in Uncategorized |

If you’re a pet owner, it’s your responsibility to keep your dog from harming other people. There are certain things you can do that can be of great help in allowing your dog to be more friendly and less fussy around others. Dog bites can cause serious injuries, and it’s up to you do all you can to prevent these from occurring. By knowing specific tips that will enable you to work on keeping your dog friendlier and less anger around people may be helpful to you. Tip #1: Train your pet One of the most efficient ways to prevent unwanted injuries from occurring is by training dog. Providing the necessary methods that will teach your dog how to act appropriately around others can be extremely helpful in preventing bad behavior. It’s also a great idea to work hard to keep your dog well socialized at all times. You can do this by just walking your pet around the neighborhood and seeing others. Over time, this can enable your dog to be more socialized. Tip #2: Keep your pet confined It’s ideal to have a backyard fence of some type to keep your dog away from visitors to your property. This can prevent the possibility of an individual being bitten by your pet. There are several options these days to choose from that range from wooden fences to invisible ones that will allow you dog to stay in place. Tip: #3: Be mindful around children If you have young kids coming to your property, you will want to be especially aware of your dog. Children are typically too young to understand often the dangers of playing with a pet that is a stranger. It’s not uncommon for dogs to bite kids because of the lack of fear or supervision. Tip #4: Post signs You should make others aware that you do have a dog on your property. This may encourage people to be more careful and proceed with caution before walking to your home. Be sure the sign is easy to read and is put in clear sight for any person that is nearing your home. The benefits of working to prevent dog bites include fewer possible of injuries, and legal action was taken against you because of this. However, if you’re served with a summons and are faced with the need for a personal injury attorney regarding a dog bite, be sure to schedule an appointment today! Go to websites that talk about personal injury laws for more information....

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Five Things You Can Do To Save Money When You Divorce

Posted by on Jul 20, 2016 in Uncategorized |

If you’re not keeping an eye on costs, your divorce could end up costing both you and your ex-spouse a lot of money. The last thing you want to have to do while establishing financial independence from your spouse is accumulate debt. With the following five tips, you can minimize the expense of your divorce and ensure yourself that you are getting off to the right start in establishing your financial independence.  Compromise with your ex-spouse Highly contested divorces where ex-spouses are unwilling to get along and compromise are typically more expensive. By cooperating with one another, you can minimize your reliance on lawyers for mediation and thereby decrease billable hours that raise the legal fees involved with your divorce case. Fill out forms yourself when possible The process of filing for divorce differs greatly by state and jurisdiction. However, regardless of where you live, there are most likely some court financial forms involved with filing for divorce that you can fill out yourself without your lawyer’s assistance. Handling such forms yourself will lower the fees you have to pay to your lawyer or accountant to get through your divorce proceedings.  Do some research on your own to find out what steps in divorce proceedings you and your spouse can handle independently of lawyers.  Get jointly owned possessions appraised In the absence of a prenuptial agreement, divorce requires everything to be split between spouses equally. Of course, you can’t split possessions equally if you don’t know what individual possessions are worth. The value of a real estate property varies constantly depending on fluctuations in the market. It’s important to know what the currently value of any real estate you own as a couple is before making any decisions on who gets which property.  Other items that it can be difficult to evaluate include collectibles, jewelry, or family businesses. To prevent financial loss or unfairness when you divorce, make sure you understand the value of all of the assets you’ll be splitting equally with your ex-spouse.  Don’t rely on your lawyer to communicate with your ex-spouse Often, divorcing spouses make the mistake of using their lawyers as communication channels between one another. This will create unnecessary work for your lawyers and drive up legal fees. Always communicate directly with your spouse to both avoid miscommunication and excessive reliance on a lawyer’s, such as at http://madisonlf.com, assistance. If your exchanges with your spouse tend to become contentious, try communicating only through writing via emails. Also, limit communication to strictly business matters so as not to arouse any anger or...

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What To Do When A Loved One Is Arrested

Posted by on Jun 15, 2016 in Uncategorized |

When a loved one is arrested, a lot of thoughts and feelings might be swirling through your mind. If you’ve never had to deal with such a situation, it can be hard to know what you should do in order to provide some help to your loved one and protect yourself as well. Here are some steps to take.    Hang On to the Warrant If you were present during the arrest itself, you may have quickly seen the warrant that the police used in order to make the arrest in the first place. It might be back at your loved one’s apartment or sitting around in your home. It is vital that you locate and hold on to this document. Not only will it have information on it that you need–such as an officer’s name and the facility where they’ve transported your loved one–but it may also outline the charges that your loved one was arrested for. While it might not provide too many details, the warrant can help a lawyer get started with some kind of defense. Secure Bail As soon as you can, start looking for a bail bondsman. This must be done right away because bail bondsmen are not required to work with anyone; many times they will want to do their own assessment and determine whether someone is a good or bad risk. If they refuse to take your loved one’s case, you need to have the time to talk to another bondsman. Of course, the longer it takes to find you a bondsman, the longer your loved one sits in jail, so you might want to talk with a few bondsmen on the same day in order to secure at least one of them as soon as possible.  Assume Nothing is Private When you go to visit your loved one, you may see no evidence that you are being watched or recorded. However, don’t assume that anything you discuss with your loved one is private. The phone you use may have a recording device, for instance. Avoid talking too much about the case so that you don’t make things more bleak for your loved one, and don’t convey sensitive information. If you have sensitive information, give your loved one’s attorney the details instead; their communication with your loved one is privileged and they can relay that information during their meetings. Now that you’ve been aware of some actions you can take after your loved one’s arrest, you can be of some help during this difficult time. Talk with your loved one’s criminal defense attorney for more...

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3 Options For Helping A Loved One Who’s In Jail With A High Bond

Posted by on Jun 15, 2016 in Uncategorized |

If you have recently been informed that someone close to you has been arrested and is in jail, your first instinct might have been to get him or her out as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, this is not always easy. If your loved one’s bond is too high for you to pay, you might think you’re out of options. However, these are three potential things that you can do to help in this situation. 1. Work with a Lawyer for a Possible Bond Reduction First of all, you should know that your loved one’s bond is not necessarily set in stone. If you work with an attorney, the attorney may be able to appeal to the court to have the bond reduced. This is often a possibility of the defendant does not have a serious criminal record and is not charged with a serious crime and if your loved one has strong community ties and is not considered at risk of skipping out on bail. Consider talking to a defense attorney about this option and about representation for your loved one’s court case. 2. Use the Services of a Bail Bondsman If you hire a bail bondsman, like one from STAT Bail Bonds LLC, you will not be responsible for paying out the full amount of the bond. Instead, you’ll pay a percentage of the bond to the bondsman, and he or she will take care of the rest. Unlike if you paid the entire bond upfront yourself, you will not get this money back, even if your loved one goes to court. Instead, the money will be kept by the bondsman for providing the service. 3. Provide Support While Your Loved One’s in Jail If these methods fail and you are still unable to get your loved one out of jail, all you can do is attempt to provide as much support as possible while he or she is incarcerated. Hiring an attorney to help with his or her case, visiting the jail when you can, writing letters or accepting phone calls from your loved one and sending money for hygiene items, snacks and other essentials can all be helpful. Every jail is different, so you’ll need to contact the facility in which your loved one is incarcerated to determine how to best provide support. Knowing that someone you care about is in jail and feeling that there is nothing that you can do about it can be highly upsetting. However, if you follow these three tips, you may be able to do something to help your friend or family member...

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3 Things You Should Expect During A Divorce

Posted by on May 27, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Going through a divorce can be incredibly stressful. Many people find that during the process of the divorce they were extremely under prepared for a divorce. Here are some things you should expect from your divorce.  1. It Will Probably Be More Expensive That You Anticipated Everyone knows that divorces can be expensive. You might think that you and your spouse are the exception and that you will be able to resolve it cheaply. That is great if you are able to, but you should prepare for an expensive divorce, then if it ends up costing you less you will be excited about the saved money. However, you don’t want to delay the divorce because you can’t afford it. The reason divorce is so expensive is that both couples will need to pay for a divorce attorney. This means that you will be responsible for your own bill. You should start saving in advance. In addition, if you go through mediation you will need to pay the mediator. If you end up going to court this will be even more money in legal fees. Thus, prepare for the worst and set aside a good deal of money to pay for the divorce. 2. Expect Your Souse To Look Out For Their Own Interests First During a divorce your main concern is making sure that you have what you need and protecting your own interests. Even if you and your spouse are amicable, don’t expect your spouse to look out for your well-being. At this point their attorney will be advising them to do what is right for themselves. You and your attorney need to make sure that you fighting for what you need. If you are concerned that the agreement isn’t fair, that the custody isn’t right, or that your spouse is taking advantage of you, you need to speak up. No one is going to make sure you are protected unless you do it yourself. 3. You Will Be More Emotional Than You Expect Even if the divorce is the best thing for you and your marriage, it will be very emotional to go through the actual process. Throughout the process you will eel a wide range of emotions. You might become angry, depressed, frustrated, relieved, excited, and so much more. Try not to let these emotions dominate your decisions. You need to try and think rationally through the divorce, which is why therapy or support from loved ones is so important. By understanding what you should expect from a divorce you can protect...

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