Is It Possible for Patients to Prevent Emergency Room Errors?

Nobody wants to end up in the emergency room, but for thousands of people each year, this is an unfortunate reality. An emergency injury comes with plenty of stress and fear, and it also comes with receiving care from a team of doctors and nurses you have no relationship with, which can sometimes lead to medical accidents and malpractice cases.

Medical mistakes happen in situations that are high-stress all the time. Is it possible to avoid becoming the victim of a preventable hospital or doctor error? These tips may help.

Bring an Advocate

Not only should you have a source of emotional support by your side at the hospital, but you should also have somebody present who knows your wishes. When you are in pain or simply don’t feel well, you need somebody who is going to oversee the situation or at least provide some testimony about what happened.

Prepare a List of Medications & Medical Conditions

One of the best ways to prepare for a medical emergency is to create a small list of the medications you take and the types of medical conditions you have. You should also report the dosage and perhaps when you take these medications. Anything a doctor should know can be placed on one list that you keep in your wallet or purse for emergencies.

Not only does the list tell the medical personnel what conditions you have and how to treat them, but it also prevents chances of drug interactions that could worsen your condition or contribute to additional ailments.

Speak Up

Doctors are educated professionals, but they can make mistakes. They can misdiagnose you or read tests inaccurately. If you feel that something isn’t quite right, you have the right to ask for a second opinion from a different doctor. You will not lose anything by speaking to multiple doctors to gain a comprehensive view of your situation.

Many patients report that they feel their symptoms are ignored by the doctor. If you feel this is the case, tell the doctor right away. Ignored symptoms may lead to misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose an important medical condition.

Do you feel that your doctor or nurse is being negligent? You have the right to bring this up to hospital staff or management. Doing so can improve your treatment and perhaps allow management to take note of problems.

Keep Notes

Another way to protect yourself is to keep careful notes written about your stay. You can keep track of treatments you received in addition to how you felt after each one. You can keep track of the names of the doctors and nurses who treated you as well.

Everything feels like a blur when you are in the hospital, especially in an emergency. But keeping track of important events that occur during your stay will ensure you have the details correct should you pursue your case in court. Specific details are much more compelling to a judge or jury.

Know the Limitations

Of course, many instances of emergency room errors are simply not preventable. Doctors may simply struggle to process information when they are running close to empty after a night of working. You can be completely vigilant and still suffer from an injury in the hospital.

If you are the victim of an emergency room error and believe you have legal recourse, you should consult with a personal injury attorney. You may be able to sue the hospital or doctor for your injuries, especially if your condition worsens after you received improper treatment.

We at the Hernandez Law Offices understand the difficulties you are facing. If you are ready to stand up for your rights in court, call us today. We are ready to discuss your emergency room injuries.

What Are Your Rights During a Search and Seizure?

Are you aware of your Fourth Amendment rights? You should be. As an American citizen, it’s important to know your rights so you’re prepared when dealing with law enforcement.

Put simply, the Fourth Amendment protects United States citizens from unwarranted and unjustified searches and seizures of their person, home, and property. However, in practice, it is not that simple.

The Fourth Amendment still allows for search and seizure that are reasonable and that are warranted by probable cause. Understandably, probable cause can be a gray area and can often depend on law enforcement. Therefore, here’s what you should know about your rights and probable cause.

Rights Covered Under the Fourth Amendment

The Fourth Amendment prevents the violation of basic human rights by not allowing the government to search private property for no reason. But citizens need to be aware of their rights if they are going to defend them. Under the Fourth Amendment, you have the following rights:

  • You can refuse any request to search or seize your property. If probable cause is not available, law enforcement may simply request that they search your home, vehicle, or person. If you agree willingly to this search, they may continue this search. But you are not required to comply.
  • You are able to request a warrant if a search or seizure is suggested. Law enforcement should be able to either outline probable cause or give you a warrant before they begin to search or seize your property.
  • Your rights extend to property that has a reasonable expectation of privacy. This property includes luggage, cars, rental cars, purses, wallets, and hotel rooms – any area in which you would expect to be able to store private items.
  • You are protected from searches for evidence simply upon the suspicion of a crime. Police need to have some reason to believe that you have committed a crime or that a crime is in progress to complete a warrantless search; they cannot simply suspect you.

If you are searched and evidence or contraband is found, then the police often do have the right to seize these items. Further, they can seize items if they have probable cause to believe that the items are involved in a crime or that they originated through criminal dealings. At this point, you may want to engage professional help to get the items back.

Examples of Reasonable Causes for Search and Seizure

If a law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe that a crime is being committed, then they are allowed to perform a search and/or seizure without a warrant. Here’s what can constitute probable cause:

  • Hearing suspicious sounds. Law enforcement may have reasonable cause to believe that someone may be injured or in need of help if they hear suspicious sounds inside of a building.
  • Smelling drugs. If law enforcement officers smell drugs, they may have reasonable cause to search a person, their home, or their car.
  • Performing a suspicious traffic stop. In general, motor vehicles are considered to have less of an expectation of privacy than an individual’s home.
  • Seeing things in plain view. If an officer sees something illegal when looking into a home from outside, they generally have reasonable cause to enter.
  • Being in an area without expectation of privacy. Schools, as an example, often have lower requirements for probable cause, as the expectation of privacy is less.

If evidence against a person is found through a search that is later deemed to have been illegal, then it must generally be excluded from the case. But there are exceptions to this, such as in the event that the evidence would have been found regardless.
Either way, it’s extremely important for anyone who has experienced a search and seizure or who anticipates one to have legal counsel. If you have further questions about your Fourth Amendment rights, contact Hernandez Law Offices. We offer legal counsel to anyone facing criminal charges.

5 Facts About California’s Dog Bite Laws

Every year, over 4.5 million peoplesuffer from dog bites, and in many cases, bites or attacks can lead to serious injuries or even death. If a dog in California has bitten you or a loved one, you may want to know more about your rights. Check out these five facts.

1. California Has Strict Liability Laws for Dog Bites

In regards to dog bites, California is a strict liability state. That simply means that you don’t have to prove that the owner was negligent as you do with most other personal injury cases. Instead, just by having dogs, owners are automatically liable if their dog bites someone.

2. California’s Strict Liability Only Applies to Bites

In some states, strict liability applies to both dog bites and other injuries caused by dogs, but in California, however, the strict liability only applies to bites. If a dog knocks you over or scratches you, you can still bring a civil suit forward against the dog’s owner, but in this situation, your lawyer has to argue that the owner didn’t use reasonable care in preventing the incident from happening.

3. Defendants Can Use Trespassing as a Defense

If a dog bites you while you are in public or lawfully on the dog owner’s property, the dog owner has no defense. However, if you trespassed when the attack occurred, the dog owner can use that as a defense. In cases involving police or military dogs, the dog handler can argue that the victim provoked the dog, but that defense usually doesn’t apply with civilian dogs.

4. California Imposes Restrictions on Dangerous or Vicious Dogs

When you take a dog owner to court for a bite or attack, you don’t just protect your own rights. You also help to protect other people who may meet the dog in the future. Under California state law, dogs can be labeled as dangerous or vicious. To be considered dangerous, a dog must have done one of the following:

  • Attacked, bit, or engaged in other behavior that required a victim to defend themselves in the last 36 months, while unprovoked and off the owner’s property
  • While unprovoked, caused an injury that is not severe enough to have the dog labeled as vicious
  • Killed, bitten, or inflicted serious injury on at least two domestic animals when unprovoked and off the owner’s property

To garner the vicious label, a dog must inflict serious injury on a victim, which includes muscle tears, disfiguring lacerations, or other injuries requiring stitches or cosmetic surgery. Additionally, if a dangerous dog’s owner can’t keep the dog under control, the dog may move from dangerous to vicious.

With dangerous dogs, owners must meet very strict licensing and behavior criteria. They also have to notify the state if they sell the dog or it dies. Vicious dogs might be put to death, but in some cases, owners are allowed to keep these dogs if they follow certain safety protocols.

5. The Statute of Limitations on Dog Bites Is Two Years

If a dog has bitten, attacked, or hurt you or a family member in any way, you should contact the authorities, but you should also consider bringing forward a civil lawsuit. Depending on your situation, you may be able to claim a settlement that covers all your damages including medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

However, you only have two years to bring forward a claim, and in most cases, the sooner you reach out to an attorney, the easier it is to build a case. With minors, the statute of limitations is postponed until you are an adult, and then, you have two years after your eighteenth birthday to bring forward a lawsuit.

If you need help, contact ustoday. At Hernandez Law Offices, we help clients with personal injury, medical malpractice, and criminal law.

Can You File a Lawsuit After You Receive a Settlement?

When you are involved in a car accident where another driver is liable, your first thought may be to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover your damages. However, many personal injury cases settle with the insurance company before they ever get to court. You and your attorney can typically negotiate a settlement offer with the insurer of the liable party.

However, you may wonder what you can do if you need additional compensation after you receive a settlement. In some cases, clients believe they received less money than they need to settle all the damages. This can happen if the injuries you suffer become worse or require additional medical treatment, which is costly.

If you sign a settlement, can you turn around and sue the liable party? Here are some things you need to know.

Can You Still File a Lawsuit After a Settlement Agreement?

The general answer is no. A settlement agreement requires both parties to sign an agreement to settle. In the fine print, the agreement states that you promise not to sue the insurance company for an injury that is from the same accident claim, even if you suffer complications after the fact. The court typically enforces a settlement agreement to prevent you from suing the insurance company.

However, you may be able to explore some exceptions to this rule.

How Can You Sue After Signing a Settlement Agreement?

Some narrow scenarios could allow you to file a lawsuit against an insurer even after you sign a settlement agreement. Some instances include the following:

The Settlement Agreement Has No Mutual Release Agreement

You should have your attorney review the details of your settlement agreement so you are aware of your rights. If the settlement agreement has no mutual release provisions, you may be able to pursue a lawsuit. Although the omission of a mutual release agreement is rare, it could happen.

The Terms Are Not Clear

If the terms are vague, broad, confusing or overall unfair, a judge may invalidate the agreement and allow you to move forward with a lawsuit.

However, you do not have a right to file a lawsuit just because you do not understand the terms in the agreement. Most agreements include complex terminology, which is why you should always have a lawyer look over a settlement agreement before you sign it.

However, you may still have the opportunity to sue if the agreement is not specific and clear in its wording.

The Other Party Acted in Bad Faith

If evidence exists that shows the other party acted in bad faith, the court may invalidate the agreement. Examples include blackmail, coercion, fraud, threats, hidden facts, dishonesty, or violence.

Keep in mind proving the other party acted in bad faith is difficult. However, if you have clear evidence which proves your claim, you should present it to your attorney to possibly file a lawsuit. Evidence can include documentation in the form of emails, texts, social media posts, or voicemails.

When Should You Contact an Attorney?

If you are not already working with an attorney on your settlement for a personal injury, you should seek out legal assistance right away, especially if you believe you may have a case against an insurer. You should never try to take on a major insurance organization on your own.

Our attorneys will help you fight for a fair settlement after your injury. Keep in mind that California has time limits for personal injury claims. Please contact us at the Hernandez Law Offices. Our attorneys are experienced and knowledgeable in all aspects of personal injury law and settlements. We will work hard to help you navigate this complex process.

California Slip and Fall Accidents: What You Need to Know

Slip and fall accidents can lead to serious injuries that may run up expensive medical bills, require pricey medical equipment to treat, and demand time off work for doctor appointments and recovery.

Understanding California’s laws that pertain to slip and fall accidents make it more likely you’ll receive fair compensation for your injuries, though it’s best to work with an experienced personal injury attorney.

Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations in California for personal injury cases, including slip and fall accidents, is two years. This means you have two years after the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover damages. If you are suing only for personal property that was damaged or lost in a slip and fall accident, you have three years to file in civil court.

If you are injured in a slip and fall accident on government property or the negligence of a government agency or employee caused the accident, you must provide the government with notice of your claim within six months of the accident.

Liability and Proving Fault

Anyone who owns, leases, controls, or occupies property in California owes a duty of care to protect anyone who is on their property legally from harm. In many cases, a parent company or insurance company is responsible for paying damages to injured parties, rather than a single named person.

If you’re hurt in a slip and fall accident on someone else’s property, you’ll need to prove several things in order to receive compensation to cover your injury expenses and other losses:

  • First, you need to prove that the defendant was responsible for the property you were on when you fell.
  • You must also prove that the defendant was negligent in some way that was a substantial factor in your injury due to your fall.

For slip and falls, this usually involves showing that there was a condition on the property that increased the risk of falling, that the defendant knew or should have known about the condition, and that the defendant failed to remove or repair the condition or protect people on the property from harm in another way, such as putting up a barrier around the hazard.

Comparative Negligence

Many slip and fall accidents aren’t the fault of a single person; there’s often some blame on the injured person’s part too. California uses a pure comparative negligence rule when determining how much plaintiffs can recover in damages.

Comparative negligence means that courts look at the amount of fault each party had in the accident when they decide on a dollar amount to award. For example, if you suffer a head injury in a slip and fall accident that was deemed 25 percent your fault and accumulate $100,000 worth of damages, the court will reduce your award by your fault percentage, leaving you with $75,000.

Allowable Damages

The main damages plaintiffs recover from California slip and fall lawsuits are classified as compensatory damages. Compensatory damages reimburse or compensate the injured party for their actual losses. There isn’t a cap on compensatory damages awarded in California slip and fall cases.

Some losses result in economic, or pecuniary, damages. These damages are for losses where an exact dollar amount is easily determined, such as medical bills and lost wages from work. Other losses result in noneconomic damages. Pain and suffering damages are the main non-economic damages that may be awarded in a slip and fall personal injury lawsuit.

In rare cases if a defendant’s conduct was particularly egregious, a California court may award a plaintiff in a slip and fall case punitive damages, which are meant to punish the at-fault party rather than compensate the plaintiff for a loss.

Hernandez Law Offices serves personal injury clients in the greater Fresno and Madera, California, areas. If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident, contact ustoday to set up a consultation appointment at no cost to you.

What Should Your Workers’ Compensation Include?

You are owed a safe work environment, but accidents happen, and for this reason, most businesses are required to have workers’ compensation benefits. Regardless of who caused the accident, most work-related injuries are covered by workers’ compensation. However, if you’ve never struggled through the process of workers’ compensation, you may not know what it includes, so keep reading to learn more.

Medical Bills

Naturally, if you get hurt, you’ll need some kind of medical treatment. Luckily, workers’ compensation coverage usually covers any related procedures as long as they have been recommended by the doctor. This doesn’t just include the actual treatment, but it also includes diagnostic tests (X-rays, MRIs, etc.), emergency room visits, and hospital stays.

Some injuries aren’t fixed with just a trip to the emergency room or doctor. For example, if you broke your wrist while working, you may need additional rehabilitative treatments after the wrist has healed to regain mobility and functionality.

In some cases, your injury leads to long-term or permanent issues, such as a permanent disability or a drastic change in mood. This is known as pain and suffering and is not included in workers’ compensation benefits. You can only get workers’ compensation if you are able to sue someone related to the injury.

Lost Wages

Regardless of the severity of your injury, you may have some lost wages from missing work. If you only missed half a day for a trip to your doctor, workers’ compensation benefits will likely not cover the lost wages. However, once you’ve missed a few days of work, wage replacement eligibility begins immediately.

Workers’ compensation should include some coverage for lost wages. In most cases, the benefit is two-thirdsof your average wage. This amount may seem unfair at first glance, but unlike your actual wages, the workers’ compensation benefits are not taxed.

Disability

Some workers may qualify for long-term or permanent disability benefits, but the qualifications are strict. First, the injury must qualify for workers’ compensation, so it must have happened while you were at work. The injury must be severe enough to render you disabled or impaired, and finally, the disability prevents you from returning to work (or hinders your ability to fully do your job).

Some workers can return to work but, per doctor orders, they have restrictions on what they can and can’t do, such as lifting heavy objects or standing for too long. Even in this event, you may qualify for permanent disability benefits. Of course, if you end up recovering 100 percent from your injury, you will no longer qualify for permanent disability benefits.

Death

Workers’ compensation coverage should also include death benefits if an employee passes as a result of the work-related injury. Even if the worker didn’t pass until months or years after the injury, but the injury caused the death, close relationships may qualify for death benefits from workers’ compensation.

Usually, the only people who qualify for death benefits are those who are dependent on the lost loved one. This nearly always includes children under the age of 18, and spouses are usually considered, but some states may limit benefits if the spouse has a high income of their own. Adult children may also qualify for benefits if they have a disability that prevents them from earning money.

As long as your injury is related to an accident or hazard at work, you should qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. Problems arise, however, and your employer may try to deny your benefits. If you need more information about workers’ compensation claims, or you’re ready to get help for your workers’ compensation claim, contact us at Hernandez Law Offices today.

Discovery Techniques in a Personal Injury Case

The discovery process allows opposing parties to get relevant information from each other. You need to prepare for the discovery process so that you don’t make any mistakes with your answers. Below are some of the techniques that the other party can use to get information from you.

Requests for Admissions

Requests for admissions ask you to accept or deny specific statements. The opposing party will construct their request for admissions carefully so that they can better understand your position on specific issues. For example, in an auto accident case, the defendant might ask you to admit that:

  • You drank at least five bottles of beer before driving
  • You drove with an expired driver’s license
  • You abruptly stopped just before the accident

You tick the appropriate box or dash (to accept or deny the statement). Some requests for admissions require you to explain your denials. Answer the questions carefully and honestly. Even if you don’t explain your denials at that point, the opposing party might require the explanations later.

Depositions

A deposition requires oral questions and answer. The parties to the case plus their respective lawyers meet and hold the depositions in the presence of a court reporter who records the proceedings. Here are a few tips to help you ace your deposition:

  • Carefully listen before you ask a question
  • Don’t interrupt the other party
  • Answer honestly
  • Seek clarification if you don’t understand a question
  • Correct yourself if you realize a mistake

Your injury lawyer will prepare you for the depositions. Follow your lawyer’s advice to the letter to strengthen your case.

Interrogatories

Interrogatories are roughly similar to depositions in that the other party asks you questions and you answer them. The main difference is that for interrogatories, the questions come in a written form. Unlike requests for admissions, interrogatories don’t limit your answers to acceptance or denial – interrogatories are open-ended.

For example, in an auto accident case, the opposing party might ask you to:

  • Describe the accident in your own words
  • Describe any preexisting injuries you had
  • Describe any lingering pain you still have

You have a limited time to answer the interrogatories. Answer the questions honestly, and seek legal counsel to ensure your answers don’t weaken your case.

Physical Examinations

The discovery process is not just about answering questions. The opposing party can also request the court to let them examine you physically. A physical examination might be necessary if the accident has left you with permanent disfigurement, scarring, or disability.

Consider a case where you want compensation for a huge scar on your face. The defendant might request a physical examination so that they can ascertain the degree of the scarring.

Requests for Production

Requests for productions require you to produce tangible evidence, typically (but not always) documents. The opposing party will only request you produce evidence they believe you possess. For example, in an auto accident claim, the other party might ask you to produce:

  • Medical records
  • Pictures of your damaged vehicle
  • Shoes you had at the time of the crash

Unlike requests for admissions, requests for production tend to be broad rather than specific. Some of the requests might overwhelm you. You can object to unreasonable requests if you have a relevant legal justification.

The way you handle the discovery process can strengthen or weaken your case. Ideally, your lawyer should prepare you so that your compliance with the court orders don’t harm your case. Hernandez Law Offices can prepare you for the discovery process and help you pursue your damages. Contact ustoday so that we can review your case and start work on it.

How Senior Drivers Can Lower Their Risks of Car Accidents

Old age comes with some issues that can increase the inherent danger of driving. As a senior driver, you should take the relevant steps to minimize the risk of an accident. Below are some precautions that can help.

Don’t Drive In Challenging Conditions

Some things increase the risk of accidents for everyone. However, the risks affect senior drivers more than others because the latter often already have frailties due to old age. Examples of challenging conditions include:

  • Poor visibility due to rain, snow, smog, dust, or darkness
  • Slippery road surfaces due to rainfall, snowfall, or ice
  • Strong winds

Plan your driving routes and times to avoid such dangerous conditions.

Manage Your Health Conditions

Some age-related health problems increase the risk of accidents. Examples of such health problems include:

  • Vision impairment
  • Hearing impairment
  • Arthritis
  • Heart problems
  • Dementia

Those who manage their health issues continue to drive safely. For example, if you have a hearing problem, you can get hearing aids so that you can continue to listen to the environment around you and stay safe.

Maintain Physical Agility and Alertness

A physically fit and alert person can react to road dangers faster than other people. Take these measures so that you are always alert behind the wheel:

  • Get adequate sleep, especially the night before a long drive.
  • Stay physically active – your doctor or a physiotherapist can help you identify safe exercises for you.
  • Take regular breaks on long drives.
  • Eat well-balanced meals.

Stop driving and take some rest if you feel drowsy or lethargic at any time on the road.

Drive the Right Car

You shouldn’t struggle with your car. Choose a car that you can easily handle. Examples include:

  • Cars with an automatic transmission
  • Cars with power steering
  • Cars with power brakes

In addition, you should maintain your car to ensure every system is functional. For example, malfunctioning windshield wipers can leave your windshield dirty and interfere with your visibility.

Understand Your Medications’ Side Effects

Some medications induce drowsiness. Examples include:

  • Antihistamines
  • Antidepressants
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Medications for Parkinson’s disease

Understand all the side effects of your medications so that you can know how they affect your risk on the road. Plan your driving so that you only drive once the effects of your medication wane. Note that you should not have to determine whether you are drowsy. Ask your physician how long the side effects last.

Increase Your Following Distance

Reduced reaction time is a common issue for some senior drivers. Whenever you are on the road, leave an adequate following distance so that you can stop or change lanes should the car in front stop without warning.

Take Defensive Driving Classes

Defensive driving classes, especially those that target seniors, can also improve your road safety. The classes will teach you:

  • How to avoid distractions
  • How to deal with difficult driving conditions
  • How to deal with age-related frailties that affect driving safety

As a bonus, many insurance companies give discounts to senior drivers who complete these classes.

Acknowledge Your Limitations

Human nature means that many people don’t like to admit their weaknesses. However, you risk yourself and other road users if you deny your weaknesses, such as hearing or vision impairment. Acknowledge your limitations so that you can take measures to deal with them. For example, once you learn that you can’t drive 300 miles without rest, you probably shouldn’t attempt it again.

Hopefully, you won’t experience any car accident in your senior years. However, in case of a car accident, consult an experienced lawyer to review your case and advise you on the way forward. Contact Hernandez Law Offices for a free initial consultation on your car accident case.

A Guide to Negligence Involving Slip &Fall Take-Out Restaurant Cases

Due to the worldwide pandemic, many restaurants are changing the way they serve customers and provide service. As take-out options increase for dining establishments, so does the chance for a slip and fall accident. While some slip and fall accidents are truly just a clumsy mistake, others might be the direct result of the negligence of a restaurant.

If you’ve been involved in a slip and fall accident at a restaurant, then consider how the restaurant may have been responsible for your injuries. You may be unaware of the many ways a restaurant can be held negligent in an injury case.

Take-Out Areas

Not every restaurant was equipped to handle take-out orders. In some cases, restaurants had to shift, adjust, and make do with limited amounts of space. For example, some restaurants may have an outdoor waiting area. The outdoor space may not be properly lit or have proper safety precautions.

If a patron has to step up over a curb or sidewalk, then the take-out space should have warning signs, especially with the expanded foot traffic. Without the warning signs, guests can easily trip and fall in this area. After your injury occurs, images will provide clear views of the take-out location and the presence of natural dangers.

Walking Conditions

A restaurant’s entranceway and lot should also provide ideal walking conditions for guests who walk in and out. In many cases, the food you carry could block out views of obstacles and objects as you head back to your car. A parking lot with potholes, loose gravel, or obstacles could turn into a disaster as you slip and fall.

The weather conditions and proper care could also play an impact. For example, you may have been injured due to icy walkways in front of the restaurant. Soaked entry carpets could create slippery puddles. During poor weather conditions, employees and managers should keep up with the ground conditions both inside and outside the restaurant.

In some conditions like heavy snowfall or downpours, constant cleaning may be impossible. In those cases, safety signs should be used to indicate potential problems. A lack of proper safety and warning signs could create a negligent situation for a restaurant.

Restaurant Cleanliness

Weather is not the only factor that contributes to injuries, as cleanliness plays a big role in consumer safety. Straw wrappers, receipts, and pieces of food can all create dangerous walking conditions and may cause a person to slip when stepped on. Negligence occurs when an injury incident could have been avoided with proper care, such as when such litter is ignored rather than cleaned up.

Witness statements, pictures, and video surveillance can present extra details for such a case. For example, if there was a food spill, the surveillance video can show exactly when the spill occurred and how long the mess was ignored. With enough evidence, a lawyer can hold a restaurant liable for your injuries.

Food Temperatures

Food and beverages may contribute to slip and fall injury cases. If hot soups or hot drinks spill out of containers, you could suffer from serious burns. A third-degree burn includes the charring of the skin, potential scarring, and emergency room treatment.

In some cases, these injuries could be worse than the fall itself. Restaurants could also be liable for serving food at temperatures that are too hot. Even if take-out orders are meant to cool off, customers should not handle dangerously hot food when they pick up take-out in the first place.

Based on the burns, a doctor can determine the temperature that the food was served, and if the food was served too hot.

Move forward with your case with the help of the trained lawyers at Hernandez Law Offices. We will help you seek compensation for your slip and fall injuries.

Workers’ Compensation Claim Denied? 3 Steps to Take

Injuring yourself at work can be a traumatizing experience. Not only could it cause physical pain and immobility in some cases, but a workplace injury can also affect your emotional health and cause financial distress for you and your family.

Fortunately, workers’ compensation benefits are possible in most situations – and even if your claim is denied, you can still appeal and win benefits to help you become financially whole. Learn the three things you need to do if your workers’ compensation claim is denied.

1. Hire an Attorney

Consult an attorney immediately if your claim is denied. Your attorney will not only be able to help determine why your claim was denied, but they’ll devise a plan to appeal the denial to secure you the compensation you need. On average, individuals who hired lawyers to appeal their denial were awarded 47 percentmore in benefits, so legal help can be a worthwhile investment.

Make sure to gather all the necessary documents before your legal consultation. Your attorney will want to see copies of your initial injury report, medical records showing the extent of your injury and treatment, income statements, and the letter notifying you of your compensation denial.

2. Understand the Reason

You may be surprised to learn why your workers’ compensation claim was denied, but an attorney can help.

Timing is one of the most common decisions why a workers’ compensation claim is denied. Basically, you need to report your injury to your employer within 30 days as per California state law. Therefore, if you fell or hurt yourself on a piece of machinery, your claim will be better off if you notify your employer immediately. You also must file a claim for workers’ compensation within the proper time frame, or your claim could be denied.

A denial may also occur if your employer disputes your claim. For example, your employer may state your injury or illness occurred outside of work. You and your attorney can work together to gather evidence proving the workplace or your position resulted in the injury or illness.

Finally, if you did not receive any medical treatment because of your injury or you are unable to provide proof any medical treatment, your claim will most likely be denied.

3. Appeal the Denial

Once you and your attorney determine and understand the reason for the denial, you can begin the appeal process. An appeal requires a multi-step process, but your attorney will help you through the entire process.

To get started, an application for adjudication of claim must be filed within one year after your injury, after the last day you received medical benefits, or after the day when your temporary disability benefits end. This form opens your workers’ compensation claim with the state’s appeal board.

You and your lawyer will also need to file a “declaration of readiness to proceed,” which notifies the judge you are ready for a hearing. You may then schedule a meeting with your attorney and judge to reach a settlement agreement.

If you are unable to reach a settlement agreement, your appeal will get a hearing, which is similar to a trial. The judge will make a decision based on the arguments and evidence from both sides to determine if your denial was warranted or if you do, in fact, need workers’ compensation benefits.

Help is available if your workers’ compensation claim was denied. Contact Hernandez Law Offices today for assistance. Our experienced team is ready to help you get back on track financially after your workplace injury, so get in touch today to set up a consultation about your claim.