What You Need to Know About Premises Liability Law

Outdoor places like supermarkets and amusement parks have their inherent risks by nature. In any event that there is a potential risk associated with one’s property, whether the place is business or residential, the owner of that property can become legally liable in case a person gets injured on the property. Under the premises liability law, the owners of properties have a legal obligation to keep their property safe for visitors.

In any event that an accident like slip and fall takes place on any legal property, there is a high chance for the injured victim to claim premises liability and make the property owner legally responsible for the accident. Take note that there are virtually no place exempt from the legal responsibilities of property owners to ensuring safe conditions for visitors to their places. Owners of public sidewalks, to supermarkets, to government owned buildings, and everything in between are held responsible for maintaining a safe environment for visitors.

The nature of the accident and the severity of the injuries are both assessed when there is a claim for premises liability. The severity of the injury and the conditions of the property should be established before a case is decided upon within a ruling court.

The most common examples of premises liability cases include injuries in a retail establishment, dog bites, and injuries in water parks, parking lots, airports, and amusement parks. In some cases such accidents are purely accidental in nature. In most cases, however, these accidents could be avoided if proper precautions were taken by property owners.

The outcome of an accident is devastating. It could result in catastrophic injuries. For instance, a slip and fall accident in a public place can result in traumatic brain injuries if the head hits a hard surface due to a slippery or wet floor. On the other hand, at amusement parks, people may ride and fall to their death.

Private properties are no less than safer than public properties. For example at a private residence, a small child can drown if he or she is left unattended in a swimming pool, or people can be viciously attacked by a dog. A teenage girl could be molested or stabbed to death in a dark pathway, which constitutes “negligent security”. All these examples fall under premises liability law.

In any event that you or a loved one becomes a victim of such accident, it is very important to seek legal damages. You must talk to an accident lawyer may advice you what to do.

Getting A Divorce Is Not Easy

When it comes to divorce, there is nothing fun about it. No matter what happened, it is always a sad ordeal. Families get broken apart and there is a lot to deal with not to mention that it does get expensive. If you need a divorce, there are ways to get through it and by employing a divorce attorney or divorce lawyer, they can help you and guide you through all of the steps you need to take. Make sure you get a good attorney is the most important point because you do not want your soon to be ex- spouse getting everything you own which would make the process even more difficult than it was in the first place.

A few things to consider when getting a divorce is that being friendly is very important. You may not like that person at the particular time depending on what happened, but fighting and being nasty to one another is only going to make the situation ten times worse. The more mad you make the other person, the more miserable they will want you to be as well so keep that in mind when you find silly reasons to argue about something. Although divorce can seem like a bad thing, some people get divorced and can still be friendly with one another after the whole thing. This is quite possible.

Keeping track of expenses and joint bank accounts will also be important. You may want to gather all of your info, but before you do anything drastic, consult your attorneys because you do not want to do anything that will hurt you in the long run. If you and your spouse have been living apart for a while and decide it is time to get an official divorce, make sure you keep track of any money you give them to borrow or money that you owe them. Writing checks are good ways to have proof that you actually paid them. If you use cash, no one will have concrete proof of it and you could get yourself into trouble.

Letting your attorney figure a lot of the issues for you is the safest because unless you have divorced many times, you probably do not know what you are talking about and we all know that they do. Sit down with them and discuss what you want but do not get too greedy or say anything negative about the other side.

Divorces can be rough, if you have kids, you will need to figure out child support and custody. If you have pets, you will need to figure out who gets to keep who. All of these things are just parts of the big process. Getting help from a counselor or close friend that you can vent to can also be nice because you can get your anger or sadness out without causing problems for yourself. A counselor would probably be best however because you do not want to poor your heart out to a friend and have them get annoyed with you. Counselors can be expensive so talking to a family member could also help.

Cyber Law – Many of the Newest Cyber Laws Are to Protect Businesses

Two decades ago there wasn’t really any type of cyber law. Today, we can’t pick up a newspaper, without reading something about legal issues that involve the Internet, or the companies that do business there. The record and movie industry has been distraught over piracy, copyright infringement, and stolen intellectual property. And they have every right to be, but they aren’t taking it lying down.

In fact, we now see that many of the cyber laws on the books are there because the movie and record industry has sent their lobbyists to Washington DC to get laws passed to prevent this theft. Has it worked? Yes and no, the piracy still exists, and it is doubtful if it can all be stopped. The European Union has just come out with a new law to protect companies from individuals downloading without paying for movies, and songs.

Software companies are also being ripped off, and it’s not just in places like China where you might expect, a lot of stuff happens in the United States, and the Internet is worldwide, as we cross the digital divide. Sometimes people can’t afford songs or movies so they download from a website which has pirated the songs and movies, and then there are the people who build websites who distribute this material who find ways to get a hold of it, usually you legally themselves.

Recently there was a very interesting article on cyber law and one of the big problems in the Wall Street Journal. The article was titled “Warner Bros. Probes Online Leak of Potter” by Loren A.E. Schuker published on November 24, 2010.

It turns out that Warner Bros had their latest Harry Potter film stolen a full four days of head of its debut according to the article. Although the full movie was not available, the first 36 min. were, and the folks that love to play around with file-sharing were able to get it for free. Now then, I’d like to express my opinion on this topic – and then ask some questions, philosophically of course.

If the movie companies can’t get a return on their investment because their films and movies are stolen and given away for free, then they are less likely to spend big budgets on big movies in the future, because they will not be able to make a profit. Indeed, this creates a huge risk in the marketplace, and the reward is not there, if the work will only be stolen.

This is a detriment to not only the United States but also countries like Brazil and India who are also now making movies, along with China. How they protect their movie industries, as they will have the same problems as we do here. How much is at stake – hundreds of billions of dollars per year. That is well over the gross domestic product of at least 300 of the world’s nations – stolen in cyberspace.

Even though we have laws in the United States, the EU, and other countries it is doubtful that cyber law alone can stop this problem. It appears that cyber law is only keeping the honest people honest, and the criminals are moving around too fast to stop, even with the recent domain name repossessions by authorities. Please consider all this.

The Quick and Easy Processing of Canadian Work Visa: By an Applicant Or by an Employer

Statistics regarding the reported number of foreign nationals who migrate to Canada, reported hundreds of thousands foreign nationals every year. The reasons in migrating to Canada vary: economic; family sponsorship; students or tourists; and refugees or those who lost their citizenship but are given the opportunity to have it again as long as they return and live in Canada.

Almost every foreign national who migrated and is migrating to Canada wanted to have a permanent residence upon reaching the country. An applicant’s purpose in processing his requirements is to avail the Canadian work visa. This type of visa permits the future immigrant worker to stay in Canada and have the possibility of obtaining the citizenship which is the dream of every immigrant.

One of the easiest ways to obtain a Canadian work visa is through the category of skilled worker visa. This does not need the employer’s offer of employment and the many processes an applicant needs to undergo before an application can be accepted. Just meet these basic requirements:

A minimum of one year’s paid work experience. A proof of employment is also needed during the application process.

Sufficient settlement funds to support the family and any dependents while waiting for the work to start.

A 67 point which is the passable mark in the assessment test. The evaluation test is needed so that the government is assured that the applicant has the basic knowledge on the new country he is going to adopt; about its history and policies, politics and social aspects, the rights and responsibilities of Canadian citizens.

An adequate knowledge of the official language of the country to be able to communicate; which is important so that the immigrant’s settlement will be easier.

In times the employer is in dire need of skilled workers, the processing of the applicant’s Canadian work visa and working permit are processed in just a short time through the employment authorization of Canada, a Canadian work visa sponsored by the employers”. The maximum length of time the employer spent in getting this type of Canadian work visa is 6 weeks.

This type of Canadian work visa is used by the employers to facilitate the entry of senior executives and managers to the country.

There are work categories of foreign nationals whose applications need not be validated and the facilitation of Canadian work visa is easier:

  • Executives who work for the same company and transferred to branch in Canada
  • Religious and charitable volunteers who will fill the positions offered in Canada
  • Foreign educators who are an exchange professor of Canada
  • Professionals who avail the Post-graduate and Doctoral studies.
  • Movie filming and other documentary shootings in Canada.
  • Singers or performers who has a contract show in Canada

Tucson DUI Attorney – A Savior in Impaired Judgment Driving Offence

Driving under the influence precisely DUI is a traffic offence which is treated under different state laws in the United States of America. In the State of Arizona, DUI is categorized and penalized under the state law which defines different types of penalties under different categories of offenses which a person is charged with. There are three major categories, which, an offender is always charged against. There can be different penalties based on the severity of the charges filed against the offender. In any sort of charges, a Tucson DUI Attorney is the best survivor to get your due right.

Categories of Offences

There are three major classifications of DUI offences which are normally charged against the offender; the offender can be charged with one, two are all three categories under the impaired physical and judgment conditions of the offender at time of scrutiny and tests.

Category-A

It is unlawful to either drive or take control of motor car under the influence of intoxicating liquor, drugs, vapors or any combination of the three. Above mentioned factors impair your judgments and driving under influence of the same will be prosecuted.

Category-B

It is unlawful to drive or take control of motor car, if blood alcohol concentration ‘BAC’ is 0.8 percent or higher, the driver will be handcuffed under this category.

Category-C

Offender can be charged with this category of offences, if driver or person who controls the motor is found with BAC level of 0.15 percent or more within 2 hours of driving.

All of above mentioned categories are charged on certain tests made by the officer who suspects the driver of being under influence; in such conditions it is very difficult for a common person to defend his/her position. Tucson DUI attorneys are the best and well qualified person to contact to. Attorney should always be approachable to cope with such situations to avert any prolonged stay in jails and weakening the position of defense against the charges filed by the prosecution. There are certain good reasons to hire a better attorney, few of them are; he always keeps himself/herself well aware of the rules and changes of the same, he/she is well acquainted with State laws and rights of a person, a better bargaining of bail out amount in the court and many more.

A good Tucson DUI attorney always knows the better way outs for any sort of offenses charged against his or her client in the court. He/she would be in very good position to advise the client about the possibilities of the cases and work out in proper direction to materialize the case winning chances. Above all, Tucson DUI attorney knows all weak and strong points of the cases to reach at desirable results.

The Five Most Common Legal Mistakes Made by Families Hiring a Household Employee

Mistake #1: Misclassifying the worker as an independent contractor.

If you hire someone to work in your home, the IRS considers that person to be your employee. Classifying the worker as an independent contractor (by using Form 1099) is considered tax evasion. Beware: the IRS recently announced a major enforcement initiative targeting several key industries, including household employment.

Mistake #2: Failure to properly address overtime.

Nannies and other household employees are considered non-exempt workers under the Fair Labor Standards Act. That means their employer is required to pay overtime for all hours over 40 in a 7-day work week (live-in nannies are generally an exception to this rule, although a few states require live-ins to be paid overtime as well). Overtime hours must be paid at a rate that is at least 1.5 times the regular rate of pay.

Many families try to side-step overtime by offering a salary. In their minds, jobs that pay a salary — instead of hourly — are legally able to pay a fixed amount of wages regardless of how many hours the employee works. This is true in most “white-collar,” “highly-compensated” professions because workers in these types of jobs are not prone to abuse. In the case of household workers, however, employers must make sure to properly address overtime pay.

Note about overtime: If the worker and employer agree to a salary based on a schedule that regularly includes more than 40 hours, the family should protect themselves by addressing overtime in an employment agreement that is signed by the employee. For example: Family and nanny agree to $450 per week based on a 45-hour work week. The employment agreement should specify that the weekly compensation was calculated based 40 hours at the regular rate of pay $9.47/hr plus 5 hours at the overtime rate of $14.21/hr. Additionally, it must be stated that any hours over 45 in a work week will be paid at the overtime rate of $14.21.

Overtime issues are particularly dangerous for employers because there is no statute of limitations. So former employees can file a wage dispute many years after the relationship has terminated. Back wages plus back taxes, penalties and interest can make this a very expensive mistake. The good news is a simple employment agreement makes all the worries go away.

Mistake #3: Putting a household employee on the company payroll.

Household employees are not considered direct contributors to the success of a business. And since businesses are entitled to tax deductions on payroll expense, it is an illegal tax deduction to include a domestic worker’s payroll expense as part of the company payroll and tax reporting. Instead, it should be handled separately through the household employment reporting process. If the expense is childcare related, the family can take the tax breaks associated with those wages — but it must be handled on the personal income tax return.

Based on this same logic, it is considered insurance fraud to put a household employee on the company’s group health plan.

Mistake #4: Failing to properly withhold and report payroll taxes.

Household employers are required to administer the payroll tax withholding and reporting process:

1. Establish household employer tax IDs with the proper state and federal tax authorities;

2. File a New Hire Report with your state (usually within 14 days of the employee’s start date although some states mandate the report be done within 7 days);

3. Calculate the proper tax withholdings each pay period and keep track of the totals (Social Security is 6.2%; Medicare is 1.45%; federal and state income taxes are based on the employee’s Form W-4 selections; other employee taxes vary by state)

4. File quarterly tax returns with the state and remit the employee’s state taxes along with your employer state taxes (i.e. unemployment)

5. File 1040-ES returns with the IRS and remit the employee’s federal taxes along with your employer federal taxes (i.e. Social Security & Medicare match)

6. At the end of each tax year:

6a. Prepare Form W-2 for any and all employees who had wages during the year.

6b. File Form W-2 Copy A and Form W-3 with the Social Security Administration.

6c. Prepare Schedule H and include it with your personal federal income tax return.

7. Monitor ever-changing tax and labor law and respond to notices, alerts and inquiries from the state and federal tax agencies.

Mistake #5: Failure to secure workers’ compensation insurance.

Workers’ compensation insurance provides financial assistance with lost wages and medical costs in the event that your employee becomes injured or ill as a result of the workplace or job duty. It is not required for household employers in all states (check your state or our website for a listing of requirement thresholds by state). If you are required to carry a workers’ compensation policy — or if you elect to carry one — check with your homeowner’s insurance provider first. Many umbrella policies already include coverage for domestic workers.

Note about workers’ compensation: A few states (i.e. New York, New Hampshire, and Ohio) require that policies be obtained through the state.

BONUS: When you successfully navigate these potentially-expensive problem areas, you are entitled to one or more significant tax breaks and your employee receives many critical benefits and protections.

Choosing An Accident Claim Lawyer For Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Have you recently been involved in an accident that not only caused you pain and injury but has also put you through a large amount of post-traumatic stress? Post-traumatic stress disorder is a condition that often occurs in people who have been through a tragic ordeal, such as an extreme car accident, involvement in a war, physical abuse or other instances where you can be both physically and emotionally scarred. As you are trying to find an accident claim lawyer to represent you in your personal injury case, it is recommended that you find an accident claim lawyer who is familiar with post-traumatic stress disorder as well.

Since we all have a different emotional makeup, it is difficult to tell at first if a person will be affected by PTSD after an injury. But as time goes on the injured person will begin showing signs of the disorder if they do indeed suffer from it. Some of these symptoms may include…

• Disturbing recollection of the traumatic events which leads to distress

• Reoccurring dreams or nightmares about the event

• Feeling like the event is occurring over and over again

• Psychological distress when faced with other instances that are reminiscent of the accident

• Detachment from friends and family (depression and anxiety may set in)

• Avoiding activities or going to places that may trigger unwanted thoughts about the event

Fortunately, there is some good news if you find that you are struggling with this condition. You can seek psychological help so that you can get back to your old self once again. Also, you can find an accident claim lawyer in your area that specialises in cases that involve PTSD to help you gain more compensation for your claim. Choosing the right accident claim lawyer to assist you in your case will help to determine whether or not you will receive additional compensation for PTSD.

If you would like to include your post-traumatic stress condition in your case, it is recommended that you go with a solicitor who has plenty of experience working on cases involving post-traumatic stress disorder. When working with this type of accident claim lawyer, it is very important that you give them all of the details about the accident itself as well as what you are going through both physically and mentally. If you are already seeing a psychologist and have been diagnosed with PTSD, then ask for a copy of your records so that you may allow your accident claim lawyer to use them in your case. Although it may be difficult, it is vital that you are completely honest with your accident claim lawyer so that they can get you all of the financial compensation possible by using the details and medical proof you provide them with.

As previously mentioned, it is best to locate an accident claim lawyer who has several years of experience working with post-traumatic stress disorder cases – but why? Well, they will know more about how the system works when it comes to getting around any problem areas and providing you with the results you deserve than a new accident claim lawyer who has not dealt with PTSD cases. Choose the accident claim lawyer that you feel most comfortable speaking with since you will have to discuss the details of your experiences with them. The more that you are able to share with them about your PTSD, the better off you will be in the end.

The Meaning of a Compromise Agreement

Well, you can’t please everybody every time. This also applies to employer/employee relations. Sadly there are times when not everything goes smoothly and, regardless of the reason, the employee, for whatever reason, needs to be let go.

The circumstances surrounding the departure may be contentious or perfectly amicable. Redundancy, in particular, is often the reason for making a compromise agreement. The main point of the agreement is that when an employee leaves the company, the parting can be achieved with employment ending on agreed terms.

Having a compromise agreement ensures protection for the employer, which is why it can be a valued document to obtain. Any further future claims the employee could otherwise make may be prevented. This of course brings a great peace of mind for the employer.

A compromise agreement can be offered to a departing employee either before they leave or after employment finished. The important thing to remember is to include the words: Without Prejudice. This means that if the agreement is not accepted, its terms cannot be used as evidence in any later proceeding.

While this might be good news for the employer, shouldn’t both parties have protection rights? Yes! That’s another good reason for setting up a compromise agreement.

An employee will be offered a settlement sum – often one of the main reasons for entering into the agreement in the first place. This is limited to a specific amount but it is also customary, although not a legal requirement, for an employer to pay the legal costs incurred by the employee. In this way it ensures an employee cannot start making absurd claims, leaving the employer stripped of all funds. In order to settle the matter legally and avoid future problems, before proceeding, it is good for the employer to consider the payment figure due to the employee.

Drawing up a legal compromise agreement is a sensible decision; it offers a simple precaution, avoiding costs of tribunal proceedings that could occur at a later date.

To be valid, the agreement must be in writing and specify the claims being settled. In addition, the employee should seek independent legal advice from specialist compromise agreement solicitors. These solicitors will advise on the terms of acceptance and check that the conditions that regulate these agreements are satisfied.

Copyrighting Your Work is Work

There was an article in Digital Pro Photo magazine about the steps to follow if you think your copyright has been violated and how to proceed smartly. Basically it said “be reasonable” in your expectations. This not only will help protect your copyright, assuming you filed one correctly, but it will enhance your chances of having a judge find in your favor and not lose the whole judgment because of legal fees, etc.

This is a great article for budding photographers as well as seasoned professionals. And, it got me to thinking about my own copyright…which Margo Pinkerton (from the Barefoot Contessa’s Photo Adventures) has helped me correct on my images. I’ve discovered that I need to do a lot of work on currently available images and that I have to steam line my work flow to make certain it protects my work in the future. A lot of work for certain, but what’s the alternative. If, or perhaps when, someone accidentally or deliberately uses one of my images without permission I don’t want to be left high and dry.

By the way, let me pass on Margo’s advise on how a copyright needs to be written to be correct. There are three ways (without the quotes, of course):

  • Copyright 2008 “Your Name”
  • Copr. 2008 “Your Name”
  • © 2008 “Your Name”

As it turns out Digital Pro Photo’s website has a lot of good information, from back issues of the magazine, on the subject of copyright. Anyone interested might want to check it out.

Truckers Offer Safety Tips for Holiday Season

The Thanksgiving holiday is the busiest travel time of the year, with people moving all around the country returning home to visit friends and family. With so many people taking to the road at once, the number of accidents is bound to increase. With this in mind, the American Trucking Association has released guidelines to help keep drivers safe. Called the “Share the Road” campaign, it’s an effort to give drivers an understanding of how to keep safe when driving around tractor trailers, and how to keep your family safe this holiday season.

The truck drivers who speak during Share the Road events are truckers who are million-mile accident free truckers, meaning they have driven over one million miles in their careers without an accident. They are recognized as some of the safest drivers in their field. During the year, these truckers travel to schools and communities, speaking about their experience driving a truck and giving people a first-hand account of what it’s like to sit behind the wheel of a big rig.

In fact, one of the activities they allow the students to do is to literally sit behind the wheel of a big rig, checking out the mirrors and seeing exactly how far blind spots extend. Drivers can take for granted that trucks can see them, without having an idea just how little visibility those truckers have in the cab. This exercise gives the person a real-life look at just what the driver can (and can’t) see.

Even without this first-hand knowledge of sitting behind the wheel, there are certain things that drivers can do to make sure truckers can see them. Share the Road offers an instructional video to educate the public. Some tips they offer:

  • Make sure you can see the truck driver’s face in the mirror. If you can see the trucker’s eyes, that means the trucker can see you. If the trucker’s face is not visible, however, you should move out of that blind spot into a safe zone where you are visible to the trucker.
  • Never pass on the right-hand side. The blind spot for a tractor trailer is much larger on the passenger side of the truck. The passenger side blind spot can extend three lanes wide and the length of the truck. If it is unavoidable and you must pass on the right side of the truck, do not linger in the blind spot.
  • Make sure you can see both truck headlights in the rear view mirror before pulling in front of the truck. A fully loaded tractor trailer can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, which is equivalent to 25 cars. Because of this increased weight, it can take trucks 300 feet, the length of a football field, to come to a complete stop. If a driver pulls in front of the truck too closely and then has to stop suddenly, the trucker may not be able to stop in time, causing serious injury driver of the car it has just rear-ended.

By following these tips, families can have safe, happy holiday seasons.

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