This is my last post at BillDanielsBlog.com, where I’ve been blogging on and off since 2007 or so.
My new blog is at Daniels.Legal and you are so welcome to check it out!
Thanks for your interest.
Bill DanielsPersonal Injury, trial lawyer
One thing that I see over and over in my personal injury practice is depression following traumatic brain injury or TBI. The fact is, about half of the people suffering a TBI experience depression within the first year following the injury; that number rises to nearly two-thirds within seven years.
Depression symptoms include things like feeling down or hopeless, losing interest in usual activities, difficulty sleeping or concentrating, as well as thoughts of death or suicide.
Scientists point to different factors that contribute to depression after TBI, such as physical changes to the brain due to trauma, emotional responses to injury or factors that are unrelated to the injury, but that make the person more likely to experience depression, things like inherited genes, personal or family history, or other factors.
The bottom line? If you have depression symptoms, seek professional help from a qualified health care professional. Depression isn’t a sign of weakness and its not your fault. Don’t be afraid to seek the care you need.
Bill Daniels is a personal injury attorney in Sherman Oaks California. Contact him at email@example.com.
If you find yourself in court, you probably want to think about what you’ve been broadcasting on social media. That’s because what you don’t pay attention to can come back and bite you.
Here are some tips:
1. Archive what you have. If you destroy social media content, that might leave you open to someone accusing you of destroying evidence. Better not to take the chance.
2. Stop broadcasting. Okay, this is going to be hard for some folks, but consider not using social media while you are involved in the court case.
3. Turn on your highest privacy settings. If you don’t know how, find someone who does.
4. Be careful of who you “friend.” Maybe take a run through your friend list. This might be the time to unfriend strangers or people you think might not like you or your case.
5. Be cautious! Assume anything you post will be seen by the other side
Good luck with your case.Filed Under Social Networks
Years ago, I was involved in what became the seminal privacy case, Shulman v. Group W Prods., Inc. (1998) 18 Cal.4th 200.
My major contribution to that case was discoverying that a reality television show was bugging emergency medical technicians with wireless mics. When the EMTs were treating accident victims at the scene, their most intimate patient/provider conversations were recorded without the victim’s knowledge. The California Supreme Court, rightly, found an invasion of privacy.
What made the Shulman intrusion possible was technology. Before small wireless microphones became widely available, no one would have thought of trying to record a private medical conversation with a bug. By the time the reality show in Shulman was taped, wireless mics were small and cheap and probably no one on the show’s staff (or in legal affairs) thought anything about putting one on an EMT and pressing the “record” button.
Now we’re seeing the same kind of threat to privacy from technology, only today its drones.
In the New York Times today, one writer describes sitting at his desk in his home office, looking out, and seeing his neighbor’s drone pointing a camera right at him. (See the story here.)
In the case of the Times journalist, no harm, no repercussions. Only, from a legal point of view, using a drone to peek into a neighbor’s home from an angle that is otherwise inaccessible without intruding on private property, invites a lawsuit.
The lesson? If you are one of those brand new drone owners, respect the privacy of people around you.
If a drone flies onto your property and looks where it shouldn’t, then you have every reason to be outraged and depending on the circumstances, may be able to do something about it.Filed Under Uncategorized
Popular depictions on TV and in the movies of what a personal injury lawyer does are sometimes a bit misleading (and sometimes very much so). For this reason there is confusion on the part of the public about what attorneys in different areas of the law do, and one area that most people are confused with the most is the term “litigation law.” Many people wonder what personal injury law is and what a personal injury lawyer does exactly. For the sake of clarity and to hopefully do a better job than is done in the popular media, here are some definitions that we hope will clear up any confusion:
Personal injury lawyers are trial lawyers. Trial law describes proceedings between two parties to enforce or defend a legal right. Disputes can be decided by a jury or judge in court but can also be settled by agreement. Personal injury litigation can also include pre-suit negotiations, arbitrations, facilitations and appeals.
Personal injury trial lawyers are vastly different than, say, transactional attorneys, who spend more time working with paper and may never see the inside of a courtroom.
Personal injury attorneys, on the other hand, spend most of their time in court or preparing to go to court. Their main work mainly involves research, drafting, negotiating and advising. Ultimately, a personal injury lawyer should be ready to take your case to trial if it can’t be settled.
Don’t confuse civil attorneys such as personal injury lawyers with other types of courtroom advocates, such as criminal, family law or probate attorneys. Personal injury law is its own special field and requires specialized knowledge and experience for good results.
At Daniels Law, we take pride in our advocacy. We are an experienced Sherman Oaks, CA law firm that handles all areas of personal injury, insurance and employment law. We feel that a well informed public is a well protected public. Call us if you have questions or believe you have a case.Filed Under Auto Accident, Employment, Insurance, Personal Injury
Employment law in California – just as in nearly all areas of law – is constantly changing as new rules and statutes are revised, old ones discarded and new ones appear. That is why it is a good idea for workers to stay up to date and knowledgeable about these changes and how they affect things like overtime pay, sick leave and protections against discrimination. These are the basic aspects of California employment law which everyone who works, is seeking employment or has ever worked should know:
“At Will” and its Exemptions
The first thing to know about California is that it – like many other states – is an “at will” state. This means that absent an agreement or statutory or public policy exception to the contrary, an employer may terminate an employee for any reason at any time. There are statutory exceptions to this including: terminating an employee in violation of discrimination laws, terminating said employee for union activity and terminating an employee for refusing to carry out an illegal activity. These are called covenant of good faith and fair dealing exceptions.
Hours of Work
California’s employment laws regarding overtime, paid sick leave and vacation are – as they are all over the nation – also in a state of flux. They are complicated and nuisanced but are considered by some to be lenient. An employment lawyer in Los Angeles can explain these laws if you are confused but generally these are the key things to know:
Overtime: California law requires that employers pay overtime at the rate of 11/2 times the employee’s regular rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of eight and up to and including 12 hours in any workday.
Paid sick leave: Last July, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law legislation amending the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014, which requires employers to give paid sick leave to nearly all California employees. The law does have exceptions: The law applies only to employees who, on or after July 1, 2015, worked 30 or more days in California within a year of commencing employment.
Vacation: In California, employers are not required to provide any paid vacation or paid time off (PTO) to their employees. Some employers opt to provide vacation time anyway.
Minimum wage: Nearly all employees in California must be paid the minimum wage as required by state law. Effective January 1, 2016, the minimum wage in California is $10.00 per hour.
Discrimination: Under California law discrimination is prohibited in the workplace based on an employee’s “protected characteristics.” Protected characteristics mean: “race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, marital status, etc.” California’s laws are considered by many to be among the most favorable to employees in the nation.
We are a Los Angeles employment law firm that keeps up to date on the ever changing nature of employment law. The law can and should work for all of us but it is our obligation to know about these laws and/or consult those who do in order to protect and preserve our freedoms.Filed Under Business Practices, Community involvement, Employment, Personal Injury, Safety, Wage and Hour
Here at Daniels Law, we make it a point to stay on top of all things employment law… In July of 2015 a New York jury awarded workers at Moreno Farms $17.4 million in a case of sexual harassment. Several female migrant workers accused male employees of groping and in some cases raping them. In June of 2015 a Manhattan federal court awarded Hanna Bouveng $18 million for Wall St. CEO Benjamin Wey’s sexual harassment and online smears. Finally, just this past December a Chicago jury awarded $2.4 million to an African-American butcher who alleged 5 years of sexual, racial harassment at a South Side grocer. The last alleged victim was a male. Despite the countless seminars, courses and employment manuals available on the subject, the scourge of sexual harassment goes on undeterred by verdicts of this kind. Thus, no worker – male or female – can assume that their workplace is immune to this kind of illegal and disreputable behavior.
The question is, why does this behavior continue to permeate all kinds of workplaces in all industries and professions? Is it due to simple human nature? Is it due to vagaries of the laws concerning sexual harassment as some people believe? Whatever the reasons are, it is the moral and legal obligation of workplaces to do their best to make the workplace safe from sexual harassment.
Sexual Harassment: A Definition
Sexual occurs when: submission to inappropriate conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term of condition of employment (2) submission to or rejection of inappropriate conduct is used as a basis for employment decisions affecting the individual or (3) conduct unreasonably interferes with the individual’s performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment. Sexual harassment is gender neutral in that either sex can be victims. Behavior constituting sexual harassment includes:
- Unwelcome sexual advances,
- Requests for sexual favors
- Other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.
Most employers have a stated guidelines regarding sexual harassment and many conduct training and seminars to re-enforce their position against this illegal and unethical practice. It is the employer’s obligation to do his/her best to provide a safe environment free of harassment for its employees and employees themselves are obliged to know and adhere to these policies. Nevertheless, sexual harassment continues to rear its ugly head in many work environments. And when it does, workers have a right to make a complaint to HR and/or to the EEOC.
Often, however, private legal counsel is the only recourse a worker who feels he or she is the victim of harassment has. If you are in the Encino, CA and surrounding area and you believe that you are the victim of sexual harassment or workplace discrimination you can see an Encino lawyer who will evaluate your case. Our Los Angeles employment law firm can help you understand your rights in cases of harassment and ultimately what compensation you may be entitled to. Simply because sexual harassment is still pervasive in our society doesn’t mean there aren’t tools to fight against this plight.Filed Under Uncategorized
For police, fire fighters and ambulance personnel trained to handle emergencies on a daily basis, car accidents are a daily occurrence; for them—and for personal injury attorneys— accidents are just another day at the office. For the rest of us it’s not that easy. There are some things you should remember that might not have been included in the driver’s manual you studied before getting your license. Here are some of your rights, as a victim, after an auto accident and what they mean:
You always have the right to hire an attorney after an accident. Your insurance company has attorneys and their insurance company has attorneys. You have a right to consult with an attorney to better explain your rights after an accident. He or she can advise you as to whether or not you have a case, exactly who and what you can sue for as well as give you an idea of what kind of settlement you can expect. An attorney can also advise you as to time limits to file your case and possibly keep you from losing before you have even gone to court. In particular, if you are injured due to someone else’s negligence you have the right to sue for things such as:
- Bodily injuries
- Past pain and suffering
- Future pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Hospitalization expenses
- Loss of ability to earn future money
- Property damage
You may also have the right to sue not only the driver of the other vehicle, but anyone else who may have been responsible for the accident. For example, if there was some defect to your car’s design or operation that caused the accident you may be able to sue the manufacturer.
You have the right to demand the other driver’s contact information such as driver’s license and insurance card, email address, and home, work, and cell phone numbers. This information is vital since not only will it allow you to be able to contact this person and his/her insurance company, but it will also be helpful if the other party is hiding the fact that he/she does not have insurance.
You have the right to take as many photos as you can. These days everyone has a camera within reach at nearly all times. Take pictures of the damage done to both cars and the area around the accident as well as any physical injuries. These photos can serve as invaluable tools in any future legal action.
You have the right to obtain the police report of the incident. Before the officer leaves the scene ask for his/her contact information such as badge number, name and department. Also ask for the reference or service number of the report. It should be made available to you after a few days.
You have a right to not make incriminating statements to the other party’s insurance company such as “It was my fault” or “I’m sorry.” The other party’s insurance is not your advocate. They are looking for admissions of guilt/liability and for reasons to deny your claim. You could end up saying something that could damage your case. A serious personal injury attorney in Los Angeles such as Daniels Law can communicate with the other party’s insurance.
For most of us accidents are a confusing time that tests our abilities at crisis management and also test our common sense and judgment.Filed Under Uncategorized
Personal injury is a much nuanced area of the law; in the state of California this is particularly so. However, even though many aspects of personal injury law vary from state to state, there are some commonalities. In general, all personal injury attorneys handle tort laws cases and provide legal representation to persons who claim to have been physically, psychologically, or financially injured due to the action of another person. These types of cases could involve anything from medical malpractice to defective products to bike and car accident, etc.
What are Personal Injuries?
In California, personal injuries are divided into three categories that determine whether the “threshold” has been met – Intentional, Negligence and Strict Liability. In cases of negligence, several things must be proven (1) a duty was owed to another, (2) that duty must have been breached in some way or another, (3) that breach must be both the actual and proximate cause of injury (4) there must be some degree of damages. Strict liability is where an individual is liable whether the conduct was intentional or negligent. Finally, intentional is where someone intended the injury that occurred
The Statute of Limitation
The statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim in the state of California is two years. For medical malpractice the limit is three years. In California, if you believe you have a case it is crucial that you find a personal injury attorney in California who can advise you as to your rights. If you have waited too long to file, it could mean the end of your case before it even begins.
Injury and Damage Limits
Damages awarded to victims of personal injuries in California fall into two basic categories – economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages are out-of-pocket damages that can be documented such as medical bills, medical expenses, car repair bills, etc. On the other hand, non-economic damages are of an intangible nature. This covers things like pain and suffering, inconvenience, etc.
Before you hire an attorney, make sure that he/she is familiar with the applicable laws in your state. At Daniels Law you can retain the best California litigation attorney to familiarize you with all aspects of personal injury law in California. Our offices can provide you with a Los Angeles attorney who has the necessary knowledge and skills that could mean the difference between winning and losing or even getting your case to court.Filed Under Uncategorized
On the surface, product liability would seem to be a pretty cut and dry area of the law and being a litigation attorney may not seem super exciting. I mean it all seems like common sense. Some manufacturer or seller creates or distributes a product, a consumer purchases it and is injured, or perhaps even dies as a result of using it and naturally the manufacturer is automatically responsible for said injury and attempts to make things right. However, this area of law has many pitfalls that await consumers who have been harmed and for the inexperienced personal injury attorneys who try these cases.
Filing a Product Liability Lawsuit
According to some estimates, injuries, deaths and property damage from defective and recalled products cost the public more than $500 billion each year. Recently, a man in San Jose was awarded a $9.8 million judgment in a product liability case involving a surgical stapler that caused him grave bodily harm. Thus, product liability cases, unfortunately, are not an insignificant part of the legal system. In this case, without the proper legal counsel as to the circumstances, criteria and time limits involved in filing suit in a personal injury claim for product liability,it could have ended even more tragically for this person. Knowing when to file a case is one of the first steps to succeeding in personal injury cases involving product liability. In the state of California, for example, an action must be brought within two years from the time when the injury occurred. Here are some other things to know when filing a personal injury claim involving a defective product:
Establishing liability in personal injury cases involving a defective product
There are four legal means for establishing liability in personal injury cases involving a defective product:
- Negligence: This is when expected, reasonable care is not taken and an obligation to do so exists. Negligence can occur when defective partsor improper assembly result in some injury.
- Breach of Warranty: This is when a seller fails to uphold a claim or promise regarding their product.
- False Advertising: This is when a consumer is misled into believing that a product is safer than it actually is.
- Strict Liability: This is when the manufacturer or seller of a defective product is responsible for all injuries occurring from the use of the product. This also means that everyone involved in the making of a consumer product is potentially liable for any personal injury that results from using the product.
Obviously, manufacturers and sellers never mean to harm consumers with the products they create or distribute. However, intent is irrelevant when you suffer an injury and are required to pay hospital bills or when a loved one is struck down through no fault of his or her own. How can you be made whole after you are harmed by faulty—even deadly—products? We are Daniels Law, a Hollywood law firm that specializes in all areas of personal injury including the very complicated area of product liability. We are familiar with all aspects of product liability and can inform you as to your time limits to file and the types of product defects (design, manufacturing errors and false advertising) there are. We know that the cost to life and limb in these cases can be inestimable.Filed Under Uncategorized