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Los Angeles County Personal Injury Law Blog

When big trucks crash: danger on California highways

At the Law Offices of Mauro Fiore, Jr., in California, we know that when a collision happens between your vehicle and a semi truck, your smaller vehicle almost always comes out with the worst damage. You and your passengers likewise can receive the most severe injuries.

GTG Technology Group points that the average 18-wheeler weighs about 80,000 pounds while the typical passenger vehicle weighs only about 4,000 pounds. Given that you share the roads with these behemoths on a daily basis, it just makes sense that you approach them cautiously and give them as much room as possible.

Do truck drivers use drugs?

You may not think that professional drivers would use illegal substances behind the wheel in California. However, some truck drivers use drugs on the road, and this has the ability to affect their driving.

Truck drivers may use drugs behind the wheel for a variety of reasons. Reuters says that young drivers without much experience make up many of these drug users, and they may rely on these substances so they can drive overnight or long routes. Earning more money may also be one of the factors which motivates drivers to take drugs.

Homeowner responsibility for injuries

When you host parties at your California home, you may pay more attention to comfort than to safety. Accidents can easily happen at your home, though. We at the Law Offices of Mauro Fiore, Jr., know it is important to understand when you might be liable for the injuries a guest incurs.

FindLaw says that if someone is injured at your house, you can be held accountable for those injuries. This is because you are responsible for ensuring that your home is safe. There may be times, though, when both you and your guest are at fault for the incident and any resulting injuries. You usually expect that your guests will behave in a safe manner. If someone is harmed after acting carelessly, this person will also be considered responsible for the injuries incurred.

Is your high schooler's football helmet doing its job?

With high school football season well underway, you may not be thinking much about equipment anymore; you have already purchased all the necessary gear and have no worries. You are probably more concerned about making all your child's games and helping your child improve his or her playing ability.

However, before you think your child is in the clear, you need to know one important fact: that helmet may not be as safe as you think it is. Concussions from sports activities are too common. Make sure to choose a helmet that provides enough protection for your child.

Have my rights under FMLA been violated?

There may come a moment in a Californian's life where they need to take extended time off of work, be it for family or health reasons. Fortunately, there is an act that allows you to get that time off without fearing job loss. It's called the Family and Medical Leave Act, or FMLA. The Law Offices of Mauro Fiore JR., are here to step in and help if you feel that your protection under this act has been violated.

The FMLA is designed to help you out in two primary situations. One is if you or a loved one suffers from a long-lasting illness and cannot work because of it. The other situation covers the period of time after a child is born or adopted, and is intended to give new parents the chance to create a bond with your child.

How can a crash affect your spine health?

California bikers know that they take their lives into their hands every time they hit the road. Motorcycles are smaller and offer less protection than other cars. This means motorcyclists often risk absorbing more of any impact with their body, which can result in a higher rate of severe injuries. What are some common spinal cord injuries you can expect if you're caught in an accident?

The National Institutes of Health did a study on the pattern of spinal cord injuries in motorcycle accidents. Among these injuries, the thoracic spine was the most affected. This was followed by lumbar and cervical. However, in over 40% of the victims, multiple areas of the spine were damaged at once. Of the 126 people who were affected, 11 of them required spinal surgery and 13 people died from their injuries.

The sharp incline in dangerous distracted driving

California drivers have more access to technology than ever before. While this can help immensely by giving everyone an easily accessible navigation system, a way to contact authorities, and so on, it has also created many dangers. In particular, distracted driving is on the rise due in no small part to technology.

The Federal Communications Commission states that distracted driving has risen to more deadly levels than ever before, even competing with drunk driving for the most dangerous activity on the road. According to their numbers, 660,000 drivers are using their cellphones every single daylight moment, whether it's to check texts or messages, browse sites, or even using it for a legitimate purpose like a navigational application. Because of this, over 1,161 people are injured daily in crashes that were caused by distracted driving behavior. An average of 8 people die daily for the same reason.

Part 2: Understanding whether you are an independent contractor

This is the second part of a two-part blog on the difference between an independent contractor and employee in California. When you understand the distinction, you are in a better position to understand your rights as a worker. At the Law Offices of Mauro Fiore, Jr., we know the finer points of the law and how California’s laws are designed to protect individual workers.

The test for whether you are an independent contract or an employee is not based solely on the type of contract you have signed. For example, you may sign a contract with a business to provide a certain type of personal service and the contract may read “Independent Contractor Agreement” at the top and be filled with terminology and provisions that would lead you to believe you were should be treated as an independent contractor. However, if during the course of providing personal services to the business, you are in fact working as an employee, then you are in fact an employee and not an independent contractor. In other words, the presence of a contract is not dispositive.

Part 1: Understanding whether you are an independent contractor

Even when you are classified as an independent contract in California, you may actually be an employee of the organization or company where you work. Often the distinction between independent contractors and employees is not as clear you may think, regardless of the contract you entered into or the way you are paid. At the Law Offices of Mauro Fiore, Jr., we understand your rights and the obligations of employers under California law.

Working as an independent contractor may have some advantages over traditional employment but it usually has disadvantages as well, such as disqualification for certain benefits set aside under California law for employees. When a relationship is established between a business and a person who provides personal services for compensation, the law presumes that the relationship is that of an employee and an employer. Such a relationship qualifies some employees for workers’ compensation insurance and brings them under the coverage of minimum wage laws, rules governing working hours and mandatory break and rest periods. Employees are also entitled to reimbursement for expenses they incur during the regular course of their business.

What to do if you are injured while working

California workers who sustain an injury or develop an illness in connection with their work may be eligible for workers' compensation benefits. These may include payments for necessary medical treatment, permanent or temporary disability benefits, and more.

Figuring out whether you qualify for workers' comp can be difficult. The following overview can help, but the best way to know for sure is to speak with an experienced workers' compensation attorney.

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Law Offices of Mauro Fiore, Jr.

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