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How the California Common Carrier Law Works
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What if you were injured while riding a taxicab, can you sue the driver or the taxi company?

The answer is yes and you should consult a San Diego automobile accident attorney immediately.

In fact, you have a better chance of getting compensated as a passenger of a taxi cab compared to a person injured as a passenger in a private car.

Why is that?

That is because of the California Common Carrier Law.

The Common Carrier Law holds public transportation companies or those in the business of transporting people to a higher level of care compared to regular drivers.

This means that even if the driver was not negligent in his driving, as long as he did not meet the level of care expected from him by the law, then he and the taxi company can still be held liable for your injuries and other damages.

And it not only applies to taxicabs. As said before, it applies to those who are in the business of transporting people and that includes:

  • Buses
  • Trains
  • Airplanes

Even private vehicles hired to transport people can even be considered as common carriers.

Again, you just have to prove that the level of care required was not met and it resulted in your injuries.

But what is that higher level of care required from common carriers?

Under the law, common carriers are required to use the utmost care and diligence for their passenger’s safe carriage.

As part of this higher level of care common carriers are expected to:

  • Provide passengers a safe mode to enter and exit vehicle
  • Safely transport passengers to their destination
  • Maintain a safe vehicle
  • Hire qualified employees to operate these vehicles
  • Protect passengers from possible harm

Next question will be, when does this duty start and when does it end?

Well, the duties of the common carrier start even before the passenger is inside the car.

As said above, the common carrier must make sure that the passenger safely enters and settles themselves before proceeding.

The duties of the common carrier end after the passenger is brought to their destination and was able to exit in a safe location.

Get help

The Mesriani Law Group has a team of expert and dedicated San Diego injury attorneys who have proven their mettle in handling common carrier accident cases.

For a free consultation, feel free to call us at our toll free number at 1-866-325-4529 or send an email at info@mesriani.com .


Why Trucking Companies Can Be Held Liable in Truck Accidents
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The year 2008 showed the start of the decrease in the number of fatal large truck accidents in the United States.

In previous years, the country has been averaging at least 4,300 fatal large truck crashes, which results to about 5,000 deaths annually.

Now, the number is down to less than 4,000 with the number of fatalities also down to a little over 4,000.

However, that is still a significant amount of deaths related to large trucks.

And the curious thing about these fatal crashes is that majority of the victims are not occupants of the truck.

In fact in 2008, only 16 percent of all fatalities were truck occupants; the rest were either motorists or pedestrians.

If you were one of the motorists or pedestrians injured, or if a family member is killed in one, then you may have cause to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit with the help of a Los Angeles truck accident attorney against the driver and the trucking company.

Now, you may ask, why is the trucking company going to be held liable?

Well, through virtue of vicarious liability, they are responsible for the actions of their employees.

Besides, the insurance policy of the truck is most probably under the company’s name so the claim will really be filed against them.

That is why trucking companies have to be diligent in making sure that their trucks are safe not only for their drivers but the other people on the road as well.

Some of the negligent acts that trucking companies should avoid includes:

  1. Creating driver schedules that will result in violation of federal rules about driver’s travel and sleep time.
  2. Not enforcing safety protocols on the proper loading of cargo.
  3. Hiring drivers who lack experience, training and in some instances lack of commercial driver’s license.
  4. Failing to discipline drivers and employees who violate company and public policies such as driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  5.  Failing to provide safety devices on trucks that could prevent truck accidents or at least minimize damages from the crash.
  6. Failing to ensure that all trucks are well maintained.

Get Help

 The Mesriani Law Group has a team of expert and dedicated Los Angeles personal injury attorneys who have proven their mettle in handling various large truck accident cases.

For a free consultation, feel free to call us at our toll free number at (310) 826-6300 or send an email at info@mesriani.com.

 


The Process of Filing a Wrongful Termination Suit
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Filing a wrongful termination suit against your employer is not easy, and the process can take a long time to complete. That’s why it’s important to assess yourself and the situation first before doing it. If you think your rights truly have been violated, then be prepared for the hard work and challenges that the suit will yield, physically and mentally.


  • Collect all the materials related to the work that can stand as evidence like the job offer letter, employment contract, time sheets, handbook, performance evaluations, etc. Organize the documents in reverse chronological, or with the most recent document first. Make a summary of the case, containing the basic facts and highlights, and place it at the beginning. It’s also recommended to make an index of the documents. That way, the attorney or paralegal get to see this first before checking the other documents.


  • Get the help of a Los Angeles Wrongful Termination Lawyer. You can look for one at your local bar association, or by searching the internet. Yellow Pages are also recommended.



  • If the grounds for wrongful termination are discrimination or harassment, ask your attorney first about filing an initial complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Almost all types of discrimination lawsuits require the filing of a complaint with EEOC before it can be filed as a private lawsuit in court. Time limits for filing a case should also be observed.



  • File the complaint at the Clerk of Court’s office in your local courthouse. Depending on the details, the attorney will decide whether to file it with the State or Federal court. There should be several copies of the complaint with your signature if there is more than one defendant. The clerk will date and time-stamp each document, while the original copy remains filed in the courthouse. Civil summons will then be prepared and served along with the complaint to the defendant.



  • Wait for the defendant’s answer to the complaint. Default judgment in your favor can be entered if he or they failed to file a reply.



  • Discovery of facts from both sides will follow for possible trial. Attempts to settle can also be made on behalf of either party during discovery.



  • If settlements have failed, the trial will start. Depending on the results of the trial, the judgment may be disputed or appealed.

Hiring a Los Angeles Labor Lawyer can help mitigate the difficulties that comes with filing a wrongful termination suit. Just make sure that the lawyer is knowledgeable and experienced with the case.

Employer Benefits in Hiring Independent Contractors
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An independent contractor is a person who owns a business but has an association with another different company or employer. Independent contractors (ICs) may also be called consultants, freelancers, or self-employed. These people are associated with another, possibly relevant, businesses because they do a particular work for them that require their expertise. It’s best to ask a knowledgeable Los Angeles Employment Lawyer when pondering whether to start hiring an independent contractor or not.

Aside from performing work for them, there are also other reasons why some businesses opt to hire an IC instead of making their own employees do the work. But there may be disadvantages to hiring them as well, that’s why employers need to contemplate on their decision very well before hiring ICs. Here are some reasons why ICs are beneficial to businesses:

  • Financial benefits – Of course, the higher chances of saving money tops this list. ICs get paid more for an hour compared to employees, but employees had to be provided with benefits, office space, equipment, and other necessities and contributions that can increase payroll costs by 20 to 30 per cent or more, like:
    • Social Security and Medicare taxes that can total to 7.56 per cent of the employee’s compensation
    • State unemployment compensation insurance
    • Workers’ compensation insurance
  • Staffing flexibility and greater efficiency – With ICs on board, employers have greater leeway in hiring and letting go of employees. This is can be an advantage for employers with irregular workloads. ICs hired for a specific task or project are let go once it’s done. This minimizes the need to experience the trauma or difficulty of firing employees. Tasks can also be completed faster since ICs bring specialized expertise for it, and usually perform with efficiency to produce something immediately.
  • Security from lawsuits – Due to various employee rights under both state and federal laws, a lot of legal claims against the employer may arise. ICs are independent businesspeople; therefore they are not protected by many of these laws, which include:
    • Right to earn minimum wage and overtime compensation
    • Protection from discrimination based on race, national origin, color, religion, gender, etc.
    • The right to form a union
    • The right to leaves due to sickness or other qualified reasons

However, employers should make sure that they rightfully classify a worker as their employee and not as independent contractor, and vice versa. Employees should seek the help of a Los Angeles Employment Attorney if there is reason to believe that their employers misclassified them.

 


Types of Brain Injuries from Motorcycle Accidents
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Authorities and different agencies never failed to remind the public about the importance of wearing a helmet when riding a motorcycle, or even bicycle. As everyone already knows, motorcycle helmets are used to protect the head of the rider and passengers, if there are any.

Whether you are the victim of a motorcycle accident, or the rider liable for it, as long as you are not wearing a helmet, the chances of acquiring head and brain injuries are high. Severe injuries may require legal assistance from a Los Angeles Motorcycle Accident Attorney.

There are 4 components that make helmets effective: the outer shell (disperses and lessens impact energy before it reaches the head) impact-absorbing liner (reduces and absorbs the shock), comfort padding (makes wearing more comfortable), and a retention system (the chin strap which secures the helmet on even during a crash).

The following are just some of the injuries to the brain a person can acquire in the event he gets into a motorcycle accident without a helmet.

  • Nerve damage: The head is not the only thing that may get displaced on impact; the brain inside the skull may do so as well. When this happens, the brain’s nerves get stretched or torn. Nerve damages usually result to coma, abnormal limbs movement, high blood pressure, and fever.
  • Contusion: Also called bruising, this injury is also acquired when the brain moves back and forth inside the skull. As a result, bleeding or skull fractures can occur, which can further lead to brain swelling, coma, or higher pressure inside the skull.
  • Anoxia: Also known as the lack of oxygen to different parts of the brain, anoxia arises from an injury to the brain’s blood flow. If there is no or less oxygen on the brain, it can lead to heart attack, stroke, loss of memory, speech problems, seizures, and even long-term coma or brain death.
  • Hematoma: This is a pool or lump of blood that may form on the outer layer (Epidural), middle (Subdural), or the inside (Intracerebral) part of the brain. It can be removed through surgery, depending on its location and whether it’s getting larger or not.
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage: This is a bleeding in the brain that may also occur in 3 areas: on the outer surface (Subarachnoid), in ventricles or spaces (Intraventricular), or in the brain tissue (Intracerebral).

Call a Los Angeles Accident Attorney from the Mesriani Law Group at (310) 826-6300 if you have been severely injured in a motorcycle accident caused by a negligent motorist.

 


Harassment and the Department of Fair Employment and Housing
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One of the perennial problems in employment in the US is harassment. This misconduct is defined as a form of discriminating conduct that is offensive and unwelcomed, and is serious enough to have an adverse effect on the employee, both in terms of his work performance and his conditions in employment. Harassment often happens to employees of a protected class, and is imputed to the employer.

Protected class can be determined by the employees’ characteristics, such as:

  • Age
  • Color
  • Disability
  • Marital status
  • Medical condition
  • National origin
  • Race
  • Religion
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation
  • Veteran and military status

An example of harassment can happen when someone constantly tells racist or sexist jokes towards a particular group of workers. Employees have the right to complain about such harassment, but some employers tend to turn a blind eye and even retaliate against them, which is another unlawful conduct and may require harassed employees to get the help of a Los Angeles Harassment Attorney.

In California, to battle against harassment, the government created the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). The agency protects California-based employees from discrimination and harassment. Under their regulations, denial of family and medical care leave and denial of pregnancy disability leave or reasonable accommodation are also under the protected class.

Other regulations mandated by the agency include but are not limited to the following:

  • Prohibits employers from restricting their employees from using any language in the workplace, unless there is a justifiable business reason behind and that the employees are properly notified about it, including the possible consequences for violation.
  • Require employers to provide information to all employees, including supervisors, about the nature, illegality, and remedies in a sexual harassment complaint, notably through training. The publications for all employers should meet the standards set by the CA Government Code Section 12950.
  • Oblige employers to accommodate their employees’ and applicants’ religious beliefs and practices.
  • Have them provide reasonable accommodation to employees and applicants with a disability.
  • Allow applicants and employees to file complaints with the agency against employer, employment agency, or labor union who failed to grant equal employment required by the law.

Employees who may have been discriminated or harassed by a supervisor or anyone in the workplace – even by non-employees – should get the help of a Los Angeles Employment Lawyer if they are planning to file a lawsuit for what happened.


Avoiding Pedestrians When Driving in the Rain
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There are a lot of complications involved when driving under adverse weather conditions. Rain makes road slicker not only because of water but also due to oils and other substances, making the likelihood of vehicular accidents higher during these times. However, pedestrians are also more likely to fall victim to vehicles in this condition, especially if a driver is being careless.

To avoid facing a Los Angeles Pedestrian Accident Lawyer and an accident claim, here are some tips that drivers can take note of.

  • The most important thing to remember when driving in the rain is to do it more carefully.  It’s best to start slowing down already even if the rain is just starting to come or pour heavily. Aside from slippery roads, another problem with rain is the mist or fog that comes with it, which can very well affect the driver’s visibility.
  • Slowing down early is also a good opportunity for you to check your brakes. Brakes are prone to failing when they are saturated, which often happens after crossing a deep puddle of water or flood. But make sure that no one is behind you when doing it to know if they are operating properly.
  • Make sure your windshield wipers are doing fine, because you will need to use it throughout the trip. Turn it up to a high speed to avoid impaired vision.
  • Turn up the lights as well, especially when driving at night. Bright lights will provide you with a wider and higher field of vision, enabling you to see any pedestrians who may be crossing, or who may suddenly dart out.
  • It’s also a good idea to “watch for shapes and not for colors” when driving in the rain. Low light and rainfall may gray out a driver’s vision, but silhouettes of pedestrians and other objects on the road are still recognizable even from afar.
  • Slow down when approaching commercial areas, or locations around where a lot of people are expected to be present.
  • Learn how to drive defensively. You may find yourself riding on roads without sidewalks, so stay vigilant even if you have the “right of way.” Learn also what do in the event that a collision does happen.

A Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney can help a victim of pedestrian accident, or any road accident for that matter, to recover compensation from the negligent party. Call Mesriani Law Group at (310) 826-6300 to get a help from an expert lawyer now.

 


Car Accident Compensation: How to Deal with an Insurance Adjuster
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As a driver, you are at risk of sustaining injuries every time you sit behind the wheel. You may be involved in a car accident if you encounter a motorist who has no respect for traffic rules.

If you suffered from losses or were hurt in the accident, it is advisable that you give a demand letter to the other driver’s insurance company in the hope of receiving a settlement pay from it. Once it received your letter, you and the insurance adjuster will then engage in a settlement negotiation in order to resolve the problem immediately.

Dealing with an insurance adjuster may be difficult because there is a high chance that he will offer you a low amount of settlement. If you do not know the proper way on how to deal with him, it is advisable that you follow these tips:

·         Acquire legal assistance from a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer- Having a legal expert on your side is an advantage, especially if you do not know the different issues that are involved in the negotiation process.

Aside from helping you understand the process, your lawyer will also tell you the different techniques that the insurance adjuster might use against you in order to lower the amount of your settlement pay.

·         Know the amount of settlement pay you want to receive- Before you talk to the adjuster, you should already know how much money you should get from him. It will prevent you from easily accepting his offer if you are already under too much pressure.

However, you should lower the amount of your expected settlement pay if the adjuster presented facts which you failed to take into account while trying to determine how much should be given to you.

·         Do not accept the adjuster’s initial offer- There is a high chance that the adjuster will offer you a low amount at the start of the negotiation process. You should not accept his offer if you think that it will not be able to cover all your losses.

In addition, you should ask him to give you valid reasons why he is offering you that amount.

Aside from asking the adjuster to justify his decision regarding the offer, you can also provide him with facts which show the reason why you need to receive a higher settlement pay.

If you want to know more tips on how to deal with an insurance adjuster, you can call a Los Angeles personal injury attorney from the Mesriani Law Group at (310) 826-6300.

 


Employers and Employees’ Guide on Dealing with Sexual Harassment
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Sexual harassment is an act which is strictly prohibited by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. When it occurs in the workplace, both employers and employees will likely suffer from the emotional trauma and legal problems that it might cause.

Employers

Employers are responsible for protecting their employees from sexual harassment. This act not only causes tension in the workplace, but may also expose you to liability, especially if you were accused of ignoring the problem or protecting the alleged harasser.

If you want to protect your employees from sexual harassment or if you want to avoid being accused of tolerating such unlawful act, it is advisable that you follow these tips:

  • Monitor the behavior and performance of your employees- If you work closely with your employees, you will be able to immediately notice if one of them is acting differently or is performing badly.  It is advisable that you talk to this employee immediately in order to know if sexual harassment is the reason behind his poor performance. This way, you will be able to resolve the problem before it can cause significant damage to the company.
  • Investigate sexual harassment complaints- It is your responsibility to investigate a sexual harassment complaint, even if you believe that the complainant’s allegations are baseless.
  • Implement an anti-sexual harassment policy- You should let your employees know that the company prohibits this unlawful act and those who will be found guilty of it will be punished.

Employees

Employees should be aware of their rights against sexual harassment so that they can assert or fight for them if they feel that this unlawful act was done against them.

As an employee, being sexually harassed can put you in a difficult position, especially if the person who has done the illegal act has the power to make employment decisions which can affect your employment.

If you feel that you were sexually harassed by your co-employee or supervisor, these tips will help you deal with the situation properly:

  • Consult a Los Angeles harassment lawyer- Acquiring legal advice from an expert will enable you to know the different legal options that you have, especially if you are planning to fight for your rights.
  • Gather evidence- You will need to gather evidence which supports your claims in order to have a higher chance of proving the harasser’s guilt. For example, you need to print out the malicious emails that were sent to you by the harasser.
  • File a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) - Claims involving sexual harassment, which is known as a type of sex discrimination, may be filed with the agency.
EEOC has the power to investigate your allegations. If these claims were proven to be true, the agency may help you pursue a case against the harasser.

For more information about sexual harassment, you can call a Los Angeles employment lawyer from the Mesriani Law Group at (310) 826-6300.

 


Eye Protection in Construction Accidents
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More than 2000 construction workers in the US suffer eye injuries on the job, according to federal statistics. Such injuries may result not only to missed work days but worst, even to blindness. Infectious diseases like conjunctivitis, influenza, or even HIV can be transmitted through the eyes’ mucous membranes. To know about the legal implications of a construction accident, seek legal counsel from a Los Angeles construction accident lawyer.

Use of eye protectors such as goggles, safety glasses, mask, visors and other safety gears, is the only way to avoid such injuries. The nature and extent of work hazards should be considered when choosing the protective equipment. The following are some of the protections that can be used for construction work.

  1. Safety glasses: These are used as minimum protection from dust, chips, or other flying or blown particles. Get hybrid glasses with foam or rubber around the lens or the wrap-around type that can be converted to goggles for better peripheral vision.
  2. Goggles: These provide protection from high impacts, chemical splashes, and torch cutting or welding light. Goggles with indirect venting protect eyes from splashes or fine dust, while direct ones are good when working with large particles to lessen fogging. For workers with contact lenses, go for tight-fitting goggles.
  3. Face shields: Use face shields when working with chemicals that may be splashed or sprayed onto the face. They should be tinted or metal-coated for added heat and splatter protection. If you are wearing face shields, make sure to also wear safety glasses or goggles underneath.
  4. Full facepiece respirators: This is the best eye protector, especially for workers with contact lens, against dust, chemicals, and smoke. Additional proper eye protection should be used if wearing half-mask respirators.
  5. Welding helmet, goggles, faceshield, and respirator: Welding work requires multiple protections not only for the eyes. Even surrounding tissue can get severely burned. Use the darkest lens for the goggles to protect against the welding light.

Aside from using eye protectors, workers should also know what to do in case of an accident that can affect the eye. For example, they should know what to do if fragments of rocks or dusts get inside or punctures their eyes, if someone suffered burns in the eye while working with chemicals, or if someone is accidentally struck on the eye.

They should also know that a Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney from Mesriani Law Group is ready to help them acquire the rightful amount of compensation for their injuries. Workers can reach the lawyers through contact number (310) 826-6300.

 


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