The Ins and Outs of Medical Malpractice

The Ins and Outs of Medical Malpractice

Mistakes happen.

The problem is that when a member of the medical profession makes a mistake, there is a good chance that a person’s health and/or overall quality of life could be impacted. In some cases, a mistake could result in someone losing their life.

According to the American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys (ABPLA,) Medical malpractice, “occurs when a hospital, doctor or other health care professional, through a negligent act or omission, causes an injury to a patient. The negligence might be the result of errors in diagnosis, treatment, aftercare or health management.”

Many of us assume that medical malpractice involves a major medical misdiagnosis or a mistake that happens during surgery. The truth is that many things can be considered medical malpractice, including:

• A failure to provide the legally required level of care a patient requires
• Failing to request proper testing that would lead to an accurate diagnosis
• Ignoring or failing to properly identify important symptoms
• Misdiagnosis
• Performing surgery that isn’t necessary
• Failing to acknowledge a patient’s medical history
• Discharging a patient too soon
• Failing to properly handle and read lab results
• Failure to deliver lab results in a reasonable amount of time
• Surgical mistakes
• Failing to provide sufficient follow-up care
• Failure to educate the patient about proper follow-up care

 
One of the challenges the general population encounters daily is that it’s difficult to know if you’re an actual victim of medical malpractice or if your health simply took an unexpected turn that medical professionals handled to the best of their ability.

Most people find that learning they are the victim of medical malpractice requires two things. The first is careful and accurate records of everything that happens whenever they seek medical care. Keep a log of every single member of personnel you encounter and everything that is said to you. You should also keep a list of tests that are run, medications that are administered, and what your expected response to medications/treatments/surgeries is.

If you suspect that you’ve been a victim of medical malpractice, your next step is getting a second opinion. Make sure you go to a doctor/medical facility that isn’t affiliated with your original provider. If the professionals who provide a second opinion indicate that something seems off with your recovery/treatment/diagnosis, it’s time to contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney who will look at your records and listen to your story before providing you with a plan of action.

A medical malpractice case can take a long time to prove. It will take an even longer time to receive your settlement. To preserve your health, you need to leave the legal stuff in your lawyer’s hands and find a doctor you trust who will accurately and compassionately oversee your health.

Read more >

Making Social Media Threats in California

Making Social Media Threats in California

Social media has had a strange impact on many people. There is a sense of anonymity and protection associated with the internet that makes us feel comfortable saying things via social media that we would never dream of saying in a real-world situation. The good news is that most of us understand that there are certain things we simply shouldn’t say or do, not even online, and we’re able to get through the day without overstepping any boundaries.

The bad news is that there are some people, even some exceptionally mild-mannered individuals who seem to develop an entirely new personality while they’re online. They don’t just become pushy and/or overbearing as they engage in online battles, but they will actually post some extremely vile threats on their social media accounts or use social media to bully other people.

In some cases, the situation has gotten out of control.

The truth of the matter is that it’s not okay to use any social media sites to post threats or to become dangerously aggressive. The issue of social media violence has gotten so bad that lawmakers and police officers aren’t just taking notice, they’re taking action.

In California, making social media threats can quickly escalate into cyberbullying. When it does, you could find yourself facing serious charges.

The issue of cyberbullying is dealt with in the California Penal Code 653.2 PC. When you read through the code, you’ll quickly come to realize that you don’t have to actually intend to go through with the threat. The only thing the court system is concerned with is if your victim thinks you intend to mean them harm. If the threat is designed to trigger fear, you could face criminal charges.

At this point, cyberbullying is a misdemeanor, though it’s possible a day could come when it turns into a wobbler offense. It’s also possible that law enforcement will find additional charges they can add to the cyberbullying accusation. If you’re convicted of using social media sites for cyberbullying the maximum sentence is up to a year in a county jail and a $1,000 fine. It’s likely you’ll also be asked to attend anger management classes and maybe have to do some community service.

The next time you’re poised on the brink of making threatening a social media associate, remember how much trouble you could get into, and curb the impulse.

Read more >

Think Before Posting those Vacation Photos

Think Before Posting those Vacation Photos

One of the best things about social media sites like Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Twitter is the ability to quickly post all of your photos so that your friends and family can admire them.

Those same pictures can also make you an easy and attractive target to anyone who is looking for a home to break into.

The problem with posting vacation pictures on your social media account is that if you’re posting those pictures while you’re still on vacation, you are literally telling any would-be burglar that your house is standing empty. This is especially true if you happen to answer a question about how long you’re going to be gone.

Don’t assume that posting vacation pictures is the only way you can get into trouble. The same is true if you make a comment about waiting for a flight, discuss an out-of-town business trip, or even a routine lunch date. Most importantly, don’t take advantage of the option some social media sites provide allow you to share your precise location with all of your friends and family.

Most people feel comfortable sharing vacation photos on social media accounts because they reason that they are all friends and that their friends would never steal from them. But take a moment to go through your current friend’s list. How many of those people do you really know and how many are people who you’ve simply met a few times at different events or through other friends? 

The first thing you should do is change your account settings so that the only people who can see your posts are your friends and family. If you also use social media for a business, then create a separate account for your business and make sure you don’t include any of your travel plans on it.

The next thing you need to do is refrain from sharing information about vacation plans, weekend getaways, and more on social media. When it comes to posting the pictures, wait until you get home. When you do decide it’s time to post those holiday snaps, make it very clear that you’re already home and that life has returned to normal.

Don’t assume that just because you’re not actively posting your vacation photos while you’re away from home that you don’t have to worry. Make it very clear to anyone you’re traveling with that you don’t want to be tagged in any of their vacation photos.

Read more >

What Happens if You Drive on the Wrong Side of the Road in California

What Happens if You Drive on the Wrong Side of the Road in California

Everyone knows what side of the road you’re supposed to drive on. We also know that there are a few times, such as when we’re passing a slower moving vehicle, that we’re allowed to temporarily move to the other side but that we’re supposed to return to the correct lane as quickly and safely as possible.

What you might not know is that you can get a ticket for driving on the wrong side of the road for making an illegal U-turn, passing in a no-passing zone, or for simply failing to pay attention and drifting into the other lane. Don’t assume that just because the road is divided by solid yellow lines painted on the asphalt rather than a concrete barrier that you can’t be ticketed for driving on the wrong side of the road, you can be.

The issue of driving on the wrong side of the road is addressed in California Vehicle Code Section 21651.

California lawmakers take driving on the wrong side of California roads very seriously. It’s not just a traffic ticket, it’s a misdemeanor. At best you’ll be charged a fine and have 2 points added to your driving record. At worse, you could be charged up to a $10,000 fine and have to spend a year in jail.

If someone is injured or killed because you were driving on the wrong side things can quickly go from bad to worse. In this situation, you could face felony charges. If convicted, your sentence could include up to three years in prison. In cases of death and injury, additional charges such as vehicular manslaughter and reckless endangerment can be added to the original charge. You’ll also likely find yourself named as the defendant in a civil case.

Considering the very serious consequences connected to driving on the wrong side of the road in California, it’s in your best interest to make sure you always keep your vehicle between the yellow lines and the road’s shoulder.

Read more >

Consequences of High-Speed Chases in California

Consequences of High-Speed Chases in California

High-speed car chases happen all over the country, yet whenever people hear about a high-speed chase, they automatically assume it took place in California. That’s because California, and more specifically, Los Angeles, is considered the Car Chase Capital of the World.

There are a few reasons that California and high-speed chases go together. The first is that there are a lot of people in California and an extensive highway system. That combination means more opportunity. In 2002, there were over 700 car chases just in Los Angeles. 

The second is that there is more media coverage, specifically helicopter film coverage, in the L.A. area, which means that rather than being a single paragraph buried in the bottom of an online newspaper column, the California chase makes it onto television and attracts a lot of attention.

The problem with high-speed car chases is that while they look fun on television, they are actually extremely dangerous, and often it’s the bystanders who get hurt and even killed as a result of the car chase.

It doesn’t matter how good a driver you think you are, you will never be able to outrun the police, who will use radios to stay on top of your exact location. Engaging in a high-speed car chase will simply get you in even more legal trouble than you faced prior to trying to flee the police. Even worse, there will be elements of the chase you simply can’t control.

A recent California car chase illustrated just how badly things can go when you attempt to flee the police. In June, a driver in a flatbed truck attempted to evade the police. At one point he was driving on the wrong side of the road. He lost control of his vehicle when the police deployed a spike strip and crashed his vehicle. The wreck was so severe the 10 Freeway was shut down while debris was removed.

California lawmakers call fleeing the police reckless evasion, a wobbler offense that can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. Reckless evasion is addressed in the California Vehicle Code 2800.2 VC.

If you’re convicted of misdemeanor reckless evasion, you could be sentenced to:

• Up to one year in jail Fined $1,000

 
If you’re convicted of felony reckless evasion, the sentence can include:

• Up to 3 years in prison
• A fine that’s as large as $10,000
• The judge could order that the vehicle you used to flee from the police be impounded for thirty days, which will make you responsible for impound fees as well as towing.

 
In order to convict you of reckless evasion, the prosecution has to prove that:

• You intentionally evaded the police
• That it was clear both the vehicle the officer was in and the officer was a member of the police force 

 
It doesn’t matter if you’re worried about getting a ticket or if you’re about to be arrested for a serious crime, trying to evade the police and leading them on a high-speed chase will only make the situation much worse. Not only will the evasion lead to additional charges, but if your actions lead to property damage or if someone gets hurt, you could also find yourself as the defendant in a costly civil lawsuit.

Read more >

3 Signs That Your Child is being Victimized by a Bully

3 Signs That Your Child is being Victimized by a Bully

Many of the kids who are returning to school this fall haven’t attended an actual school since March 2020. While this return is good in terms of reconnecting on a social level and regaining some normalcy, it also means that once again, parents are worried about bullies. 

A single bully can do an enormous amount of damage to a child. They hit the child’s self-confidence takes can haunt your child for the rest of their life. In addition to psychological trauma, parents also worry about bullying and physical abuse.

Most kids don’t report bullying problems to their parents. Catching the early warning signs and putting together a plan of action takes a great deal of diligence, observation, and communication.

Pay Attention to Your Child’s Appearance Both Before and After School

The first sign that a child is being bullied is often changes to their clothing and overall appearance at the start of the school day versus the end. Yes, kids trade clothing and jewelry. Yes, kids rip, tear, and stain their clothing via innocent actions. However, if your child is consistently coming home looking bedraggled, or is hiding torn clothing, or constantly has items of clothing missing, it could indicate that your child has attracted a bully.

Look for Bruises, Cuts, and Scrapes

Active kids do get banged up while playing, but kids who are being bullied will often also be covered in cuts and bruises which is why you should ask how your child was injured. Not only should you pay attention to how they received the injury, but also to how they tell you about it. If the bruise was sustained while playing sports, your child will likely have an entire adventure regarding the wound. However, if they are quiet about the injury or try to hide it, it could indicate a bullying problem.

Changes in Personality

Kids’ personalities are in a constant state of flux. They go through stages of intense joy, irritation, and resistance. Sometimes these changes happen at a rapid-fire pace. What isn’t normal is for a happy, bubbly kid who likes school to go through a prolonged period of depression where they no longer want to socialize. It’s also unusual for your child to suddenly lose all interest in activities and friends that they have always loved in the past. 

Sudden and long-term changes often indicate a bullying problem.

If you notice signs that your child’s return to school has resulted in them being bullied, you’ll want to take a proactive stance before the situation leaves your child emotionally or physically scarred.

Read more >

California Ear Bud Laws

California Ear Bud Laws

Earbuds are awesome. They provide you with a way to tune out all the noise connected to the world and lose yourself in music, white noise, audiobooks, and podcasts. The earbuds fit snugly into your ear so that you don’t have to worry about anyone being disturbed by what you’re listening to.

What you might not know is that California does have some earbud laws that could impact you.

Cars and Earbuds

The first is you aren’t allowed to drive with earbuds in your ears. Not even if you’re using them to use your cell phone. The reason driving with earbuds in both of your ears is strictly prohibited in California is because lawmakers believe that the noise-canceling features of earbuds make it difficult to identify and react to outside stimuli that could prevent you from getting into an accident. It’s also possible that having the sound pumped directly into your ears, rather than coming from your radio speakers serves as a distraction.

There is some wiggle room. The law reads that you can’t restrict both ears, but doesn’t say anything about having an earbud in a single ear. 

It’s worth noting that even if you don’t have anything pumping through the earbuds, you still can’t drive with two earbuds.

If you are caught driving while wearing earbuds, the experience will cost you. The traffic violation will cost $160 plus court costs, plus any other violations the traffic officer is able to cite you with.

California Bikes and Earbuds

Don’t assume that just because you’re on a bike, you can get away with wearing earbuds. The same law that applies to drivers also applies to bikers. You can have an earbud in one ear, but not in both. If you’re caught with both ears covered, you will be ticketed.

Read more >

How to Get Into Trouble With Airport Security

How to Get Into Trouble With Airport Security

Even though everyone should know that the individuals who work in airport security don’t appreciate a sense of humor, we’re still being bombarded by news stories about people who simply couldn’t behave themselves either at the airport or on the plane and found themselves on the wrong side of airport security. 

You don’t want your name attached to any of these stories so if you’re future plans include flying, it’s a good idea to take some time and review the things that could get you into trouble with airport security.

Joking With Airport Security

Oddly enough, the thing that seems to land the most people in hot water with airport security is joking around. Some people simply can’t stop themselves from saying things that might be funny to most people. The problem is that while the security person you’re talking to might have a sense of humor, their training makes it impossible to play along. Saying the wrong thing, such as commenting about a bomb or having weapons, will result in you getting detained.

It’s in your best interest to keep your jokes to yourself until you’re far from the airport.

Failing to Double Check the Protocols for Flying with Liquids

One of the biggest headaches most people run into is forgetting the rules regarding liquids and tucking something such as mouthwash or a bottle of water into their carry-on bag that doesn’t meet airport regulations. 

The good news is that the airport isn’t telling you that you have to leave all of your liquids behind. You can still bring them with you, but if there are in a container that’s bigger than 3.4 ounces and in a resealable bag, they can’t be in your carry-on luggage. It’s important to note, that the size of the container is important. It doesn’t matter if you’re only transporting an ounce of liquid, if it’s in a full-size container, you must stow it in your checked luggage.

If you do forget and tuck something in your carry-on that doesn’t meet the airport’s requirements for liquid on flights, pay careful attention to how the security team tells you to dispose of the container and follow their instructions to the letter. Don’t get belligerent or obnoxious, simply do what you’re told.

Carrying a Large Amount of Cash

Perhaps one of the strangest things that can get you in trouble with airport security is having a large quantity of cash on you when you enter the airport. The good news is that airport security won’t stop you from flying simply because you have a lot of cash tucked into your pockets, but you should be prepared to answer questions about why you’re using so much cash rather than relying on debit/credit cards while you travel. The existence of the cash will also usually get you flagged for additional security tests so be prepared for the check-in process to take longer than it would if you didn’t have a large amount of cash on you.

Being Obnoxious

Honestly, the biggest thing that gets people into trouble with airport security is their own attitude. The problem is that traveling is already a stressful process and it doesn’t take much to bring out the worst aspects of our personalities. As a result, we can get short-tempered when the airport staff asks us questions that seem too personal or irrelevant. The problem is that the worse your temper gets, the more likely it becomes that airport security will get involved and detain you. 

When you’re flying, it’s in your best interest to take several deep breaths and remain as calm as possible.

The good news is that provided you follow the rules, give yourself plenty of time, and are on your best behavior, you shouldn’t have any trouble with airport security the next time you fly.

Read more >

Car Theft in California

Car Theft in California

Car theft is a serious problem in California. Data collected by the California Highway Patrol revealed that in 2019, 151,244 California vehicles were stolen. That means that someone had a vehicle stolen in California every 3.5 minutes. The accumulated value of these vehicles was about $1.2 billion. 

What is really alarming is that those figures indicate a shocking 8.2 percent increase in auto thefts from the year before. 

Things got even worse in 2020 when 180,939 vehicles were reported stolen. The accumulated value of the stolen vehicles was $1.6 billion. This represents a 19.6% car theft increase from 2019.

Law enforcement would like to turn that trend around.

The issue of car theft in California is addressed in Penal Code 487(d)(1) which is where the topic is formally referred to as grand theft auto. When you read through the law, you’ll find that taking any vehicle without the owner’s permission when that vehicle has a value that exceeds $950, is considered grand theft auto. If you’re caught, the prosecutor will decide if they want to pursue misdemeanor or felony charges.

The consequences of a car theft conviction in California are severe. 

If felony charges are pursued, you face a sentence that includes:

• Sixteen months to three years in prison
• Up to $5,000 in fines
• Restitution

 
In many cases, grand theft auto in California is combined with other crimes, such as burglary, assault, reckless endangerment, and traffic violations.

If you are borrowing someone’s vehicle, it’s in your best interest to make sure they write down that they gave you permission to drive it or at the very least, have a few people witness them saying that you were welcome to use the vehicle. Treating the loan of a vehicle as a business deal reduces the chances of a communication breakdown resulting in car theft charges. When borrowing a vehicle, it’s always best to be extremely cautious and to make sure everybody connected to the car understands the situation.

Read more >

Be Prepared for a Blackout

Be Prepared for a Blackout

Electricity is one of those things you don’t appreciate until you suddenly find yourself in the middle of a blackout. The good news is that there are some things you can do to make sure you’re ready the next time the power goes out, even if the power remains out for several days.

Know Where Your Flashlights Are

Instead of using candles, keep a large supply of flashlights and batteries on hand. Ideally, you should have one flashlight in every single room so you can quickly find them. Make sure that everyone in the house is in habit of putting the flashlights back after each use. The flashlights won’t do you any good during a blackout if you can’t find them.

Stock up on Power Packs for your Electronics

Pick up a few power packs and charge them up. These will come in handy if the power goes out for a long time. They allow you to keep your phone charged so that you can contact someone if there’s an emergency. During a blackout, you should try to conserve your cell phone’s battery by only using it for important calls. Don’t use the power packs to charge anything but the cell phones until the power comes back on.

Keep Some Food Staples in Your Home

Even if you don’t eat things like crackers and other non-perishables very often, it’s not a bad idea to have some stashed in your pantry so you can eat while you wait for the power problem to be resolved. Remember, without power, you’re microwave, hot plates, and electric stoves won’t work so there could be an extended time that you’re unable to cook food, so you need something that can be eaten straight out of the package.

In addition to making sure you have plenty to eat, make sure you also have plenty of bottled water on hand at all times.

Keep your Gas Tanks Full

If you’re in the middle of a city-wide (or larger) blackout, the gas stations won’t have power either. This is why it’s a good idea to always make sure you keep enough gas in your vehicle so that if something does happen in a blackout, you can at least drive to the nearest hospital.

Get a Carbon Monoxide Alarm

An increasing number of people are investing in generators, which allows them to use some things during a blackout. The bad news is that this also increases the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Having a few alarms in your home goes a long way towards keeping you safe if fumes somehow leak into your own home.

The most important thing to remember during a blackout is that staying calm makes the situation easier and that eventually, the power will come back on.

Read more >