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The Hadi Law Firm Blog


16Sep 2020

Amazon has revolutionized how we buy goods on the internet. Just a few years back it would take a week or two for us to get our perfect sweater or that new iPhone. Today you can have your order in your hands the same day you ordered it. A few clicks from the comfort of your home and you can have whatever your heart desires the same day. Amazon’s gigantic selection of products and unrivaled delivery time definitely has its pros but an important question we should ask ourselves is how is all this possible. How does Amazon offer what we would have said is impossible a few years ago and still remain a viable business model? It’s called a “Hiring Frenzy.”

A major aspect of Amazons processes is the delivery drivers that get your product to you. Mostly, in part to its rapid growth, Amazon oftentimes acquires the services of independent contractors. Amazon’s drivers have full access to private customer information and are in constant contact with Amazon’s customers. You would think any job with so many sensitive functions has a strict and clear vetting system. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case with Amazon’s delivery drivers. This doesn’t necessarily mean that every driver is not hard-working or that some individuals with criminal records don’t deserve a second chance but it’s important to understand the need for organizations to vet all working personnel; especially when it pertains to your personal home and life.

The horror stories of Amazon’s drivers are increasing daily. You’ve probably heard stories of frustrated, overworked drivers like 22-year-old, Derick Lancaster, who quit and left his truck full of packages at a gas station.

Ironically, there is a website devoted to Hiring Felons, that consider’ Amazon a good place to start when looking for a career as a felon.

The Hadi Law Firm is currently handling a case against Kirkland Demouchet, a dangerous member of the Gremlin Gang in Abbeville, Louisiana, was indicted on charges of Racketeering, Conspiracy to Commit Racketeering, and Engaging in a Criminal Street Gang. Demouchet is represented by AKERMAN, who has done a great job of hiding him through the entire 19 month litigation process. We suspect they have no idea where he is and are posturing to intimidate the firm. Kirkland Demouchet delivered for Amazon through Teal Logistics, LLC. Teal Logistics is just one of Amazon’s many contractors who were obviously not properly vetted by Amazon; let alone prepared and organized to work with Amazon. Every business has its bad employees but it seems like this has become a trend with Amazon’s delivery drivers. No matter how large a corporation, Amazon, like every other business, needs to be held accountable for its negligence and endangering people’s lives. Kirkland Demouchet currently has an open Failure to Appear charge for a weapons arrest pending. If and when he presents for his deposition, he will be arrested.

What’s worse is that Amazon seems to turn a blind eye to the plight of its own customers. When Will Brown’s Amazon packages were stolen by the driver delivering them, Amazon sided with its driver asking Brown “How do you know it’s our driver?” Brown found video evidence of the theft and the Philadelphia police are currently investigating. Amazon was quick to point out that the driver is a contractor and not a direct employee, but businesses are responsible for vetting their contractors just as they are for their employees.

Amazon’s lack of vetting practices and refusal of accountability puts its own customers in peril. Want to read more Amazon horror stories? Check out the links below.

https://www.businessinsider.com/amazon-delivery-drivers-reveal-claims-of-disturbing-work-conditions-2018-8
https://www.forbes.com/sites/brittainladd/2018/09/13/hell-on-wheels-what-its-like-to-be-a-delivery-driver-for-amazon/#34fa6927219a
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/amazon-drivers-part-10-million-theft-ring-fbi-says-n1038421
Sources
https://www.businessinsider.com/amazon-driver-quits-tweet-leaves-delivery-van-at-gas-station-2020
https://kpel965.com/monday-night-shootings-in-abbeville-thought-be-linked/
https://archive.vermiliontoday.com/local/another-alleged-gremlin-arrested
https://6abc.com/amazon-delivery-driver-online-shopping-steals-packages/5836562/

9Sep 2020

Driving becomes second nature after a few years behind the wheel and most drivers become easily distracted while operating their vehicles. It only takes a second of distracted driving for an accident to happen that could change your whole life. In 2019, there were 377 people killed in crashes involving distracted driving in Texas alone. On September 1st, 2017, texting and driving was made illegal in Texas and currently every state prohibits the use of a cell phone while driving except for Montana and Missouri.

Distracted driving is defined as “any activity that takes your attention away from driving. Distractions can include anything from texting and talking on a mobile phone to eating and drinking, putting on makeup, shaving, reading, programming a navigation system, watching a video and even adjusting the radio.”

Texting is easily one of the most dangerous things you can do while operating any vehicle. It takes the driver’s eyes off the road, their hands away from the steering wheel and their focus shifts to their phones. The Texas texting while driving law prohibits the use of handheld electronic devices for sending, reading or writing messages behind the wheel. The law includes texting as well as emails, instant messages, Facebook chats and other forms of text communication.

What are the exceptions to the Distracted Driving Laws in Texas?

  • Drivers under 18 and adults with learner’s permits are permitted to use wireless devices for making emergency calls to the following:
    • Emergency response service
    • Hospital
    • Fire department
    • Health clinic
    • Medical doctor’s office
    • Individual to administer first aid treatment
    • Police department
  • Texting is permitted only when using voice-to-text hands-free technology.
  • Using GPS or other navigation systems is permitted.
  • Drivers can use their devices for the purpose of playing music.
  • The state’s distracted driving laws do not apply to drivers who are operating an authorized emergency vehicle and using their device while acting in an official capacity.
  • How does Texas enforce the Distracted Driving Laws?

    Primary enforcement: Police can pull you over if they see you violating state distracted driving laws.

    Secondary enforcement: Police can cite you for violating distracted driving laws only if you break another law while doing so.

    In Texas we use primary enforcement, meaning the police officer does not need another reason to stop the driver. Having a reasonable suspicion of texting while driving is enough.

    Penalties for Distracted driving laws in Texas.

    1st offense: $25 to $99
    2nd and following offense: $100 to $200

    There’s also an additional amount for court costs and fees. Anyone convicted of texting and driving who happened to also cause serious injury or death to others may face one year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000.

    There are some debates regarding the effectiveness and enforceability of these laws but data shows that do deter drivers from texting and driving. Distracted drivers are 5.36 times more likely to cause a car crash than other drivers. That text can wait, Drive Safe!

28Aug 2020

Planning for a vacation can take weeks to months of preparation from scheduling to budget allocation and the last thing you would want is to get into an accident that may ruin your whole trip. It’s unfortunate enough to be involved in a car accident but it’s even more complicated to deal with as a tourist while you are on vacation. Whether you’re in a different state or a different country you are still protected by legal rights against harm caused by the negligence of others. You may find yourself asking these questions:

– Who do I call for help?

– Where should I go to file a report?

– Will I be able to go home as scheduled?

Of course, you’ll never know when accidents may happen but it’s always better to be prepared if in case this happens to you while on vacation. Depending on the severity of an accident, even if it is a minor fender bender or a major collision, here are some guidelines you need to keep in mind if you ever get in a car accident while on vacation:

Call the emergency hotline

Call for help immediately. If you are not able to call, you may ask someone from the area or any witness nearby to call for you.

Check for injuries

Even when there are no apparent symptoms, you should consider having yourself examined in the emergency room after an accident to make sure there are no hidden injuries and get a copy of your medical report.

Secure a copy of the Police Report

You should ask the police officers who responded to the scene of the accident to give you a copy of the police report to avoid the hassle of dealing with an out of state police department when you are back home.

Document the accident

Take photos or videos of the accident scene, damages on the vehicle and your injuries for evidence. Don’t forget to exchange information with the other parties involved including the witnesses as it may be impossible to find them after or when you have already returned home.

Call the car rental company

Inform them of the accident and discuss your insurance options. They may also be able to guide you through your next steps after the accident or provide assistance for car replacement (if needed). And remember: Don’t throw away transportation tickets or rental receipts. You may need these documents when you decide to pursue legal claims in the future.

Seek legal advice from your attorney

If you or any of your companions are injured in the car accident, call your personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Laws vary for different states so its best to consult with a lawyer knowledgeable of the laws that govern the place where your accident has happened. Your car accident attorney can help carry out the investigation and help you with all the necessary actions needed to process your legal claim.

Additional tips before going on a vacation that can help you in case of an accident while on vacation:

1.Research the nearest hospital and police station near your place of accommodation.

2. Save local emergency numbers of the place you are traveling to on your phone and write a copy for your wallet.

3. Educate yourself on local traffic laws and driving procedures of the location you are traveling to. For example, when you get into a car crash in Texas, you should move the vehicle out of the roadway to a safer spot so you can exchange the necessary information with the other driver and avoid further accidents from happening.

4. Check the routes of your itinerary before you proceed with your tour.

5. Familiarize yourself with the car you rented, especially if renting something you don’t often drive.

Hopefully, if there are no major injuries and everything has been settled with the other party accordingly, you can carry on with your vacation.

21Aug 2020

Despite the many things you should be worrying about during a personal injury claim, your health shall always be your priority. The most important part of your recovery is making sure you are treated and cared for accordingly. The Letter of Protection is a written agreement that guarantees your medical bills will be paid using the money you’ll be getting from your settlement and the hospital agrees to wait until the case reached a verdict.

If you do not have health insurance, you may request your lawyer to write a Letter of Protection (LOP) as long as you were not the at-fault party.

LOPs are not always necessary, but it can be very useful even if you have health insurance. Sometimes, they will refuse to pay for your medical bills and would insist that the at-fault party’s insurance should be the one to pay instead or if the doctor or if the hospital refuses to provide you medical services because they doubt your capability to afford the bill.

Benefits from LOPs


Assurance

Get all the required medical treatment that you need and guarantee that the full cost of your medical expenses will ultimately be covered by your settlement.

Save time and money

You won’t have the need to use a credit card or loan money that would take forever to get approved by the bank. You can immediately start with treatment and focus on your recovery plus, there won’t be interest charges.

It’s Legal

LOP is a legal binding document. Insurance companies will try to discredit your use of the LOP as an attempt to make it look like your lawyer and your doctor are conspiring to minimize your settlement.

What happens if you lose the case?

LOP can sometimes be used to delay the hospital or physician from immediately charging the plaintiff’s credit until the case is resolved.

But just like any other debt, the hospital or physician will now have the cue to the demand for the payment and you are still obligated to pay the medical bills.

Insurance companies would delay the process as much as they can until you give in to a much lower settlement. If you want to get fair treatment and compensation from an accident and you think a Letter of Protection would help your case, seek legal help immediately. A lawyer can draft an agreement with your medical provider so that you can begin or continue treatment.

8Aug 2020

Racing has been one of the most exciting forms of entertainment and competition. There’s formula racing, sports car racing, and other types of professional racing.

Now I know most people think street racing is cool and entertaining since the idea of having fast fancy cars racing against each other has been popularized by the media. However, there is not much emphasis on the risks and how something this dangerous can turn into a serious crime.

Texas Transportation Code, Section 545.420 – Racing on Highway

A person may not participate in any manner in:

(1) a race;

(2) a vehicle speed competition or contest;

(3) a drag race or acceleration contest;

(4) a test of physical endurance of the operator of a vehicle; or

(5) in connection with a drag race, an exhibition of vehicle speed or acceleration or to make a vehicle speed record.

(1) “Drag race” means the operation of:

(A) two or more vehicles from a point side by side at accelerating speeds in a competitive attempt to outdistance each other; or

(B) one or more vehicles over a common selected course, from the same place to the same place, for the purpose of comparing the relative speeds or power of acceleration of the vehicle or vehicles in a specified distance or time.

(2) “Race” means the use of one or more vehicles in an attempt to:

(A) outgain or outdistance another vehicle or prevent another vehicle from passing;

(B) arrive at a given destination ahead of another vehicle or vehicles; or

(C) test the physical stamina or endurance of an operator over a long-distance driving route.

Penalty

Before, street racing in Texas was only considered a simple traffic violation. But in 2003, the law implemented a stricter penalty depending on the cause of the accident.

The first offense of racing on a highway is: a Class B misdemeanor

A second offense of racing is: a Class A misdemeanor

A third conviction for racing is: a state jail felony

For Drivers

Your participation in a street race in Texas is now considered a Class B misdemeanor.

-Racers can face jail time of up to 180 days with a fine of up to $2,000, or both.

– Street racers can have their driver’s license suspended for up to a year and they must complete 10 hours of community service.

For Repeat offenders

For repeat offenders, the punishment is much higher and can also make its way to becoming to a second-degree felony.

– Suspension of the driver’s license.

– 2 to 20 years in prison or a fine of up to $10,000 or both.

If found guilty after receiving two-second felonies for illegally racing, the next offense can lead to life in prison.

For Drunk street racers

In Texas, You will automatically have your license suspended for a year and will merit you a class B misdemeanor with a $1,000 fine for drinking and driving. But is a street racer is caught illegally racing while drunk or if open containers of alcohol are found within the racing vehicle, regardless of the blood alcohol level of the driver, the punishment can increase from a class B misdemeanor to a second-degree felony.

Passengers

Passengers are not an exemption. They will also receive the following punishments:

-class B misdemeanor that includes a $2,000 fine

-up to six months in jail

– or both.

Spectators

Even if you were only caught watching or attending these events, you can also receive:

-a fine up to $500

– have the vehicle towed

if someone gets accidentally killed during these illegal racing events, spectators can also face manslaughter charges and additional felony penalties.

What happens to the car?

If the illegal street race resulted to personal injury or damages in property, a peace officer will take the vehicle to the nearest licensed vehicle storage facility unless it is seized as evidence.

Other Penalties

There are many other charges with designated penalties that a street racer may be liable for such as, damaged property, caused injuries, or evading a police officer for refusing to stop. You will be paying thousands of dollars for fines, your license can either be suspended or revoked or spend some time in jail.

If any person whether he or she was involved in the race or just merely a pedestrian walking in the street who suffered bodily injury because of the offense of racing the defendant can be charged with a third-degree felony.

If a person gets killed or suffers severe bodily injury, you may face a second-degree felony with a penalty range of 2 to 20 years.

Such misdemeanors and felonies will affect your chances of future employment because it will go on your permanent record.

Prosecutors provide serious consequences for street racing because it puts society at high risk and grave danger making cases like these very hard to win.

If you were caught in a street racing event, make sure to hire an experienced criminal attorney that will help you in giving you the best possible deals. You may consider doing a plea bargain for a reckless driving charge which has lighter punishments and penalties than those for illegal street racing or worse, you may be charged with a second-degree felony if a person is killed or suffers serious bodily injuries from the street race.

1Aug 2020

WHAT IS A HOSPITAL LIEN?


Lien – is a legal right that guarantees an underlying obligation

Hospitals and other emergency medical providers in Texas are required to provide treatment for accident victims. They are protected by the state, by allowing them to file a hospital lien for medical bills. The lien gives them the right to claim payment for rendered services from the money recovered by the injured person in a personal injury claim against someone who caused the injury. If you were recently in an accident and were injured due to another person’s negligence, you will probably get a bill in the mail.

It is common for health insurance companies to refuse to pay for emergency medical treatment when the injury was caused by a negligent party with no insurance. While in some cases, insurance companies will not pay your settlement until they are satisfied the hospital lien has been resolved, which can result in huge delays before you receive your money.

EXCEPTIONS


  • It only applies the first 100 days of the injured individual’s hospitalization.
  • The physician can request the hospital to act on their behalf to collect the lien for all necessary medical charges for the first seven days of hospitalization.
  • The lien only applies if you are treated in a hospital or emergency medical services within 72 hours of the incident.
  • The hospital should only collect money from a third party, and not your own insurance company.
  • The lien cannot be attached to the person at fault for the injury. It’s only attached to the person who claims compensation from the injury you are involved with.
  • It is important for the hospital to file the lien before the insurance company pays the injured party. Otherwise, the hospital will lose a claim against the insurance company.
  • You are still obliged to pay your hospital bills even without a lien.

How TO VALIDATE HOSPITAL LIENS?

The hospital must comply with all requirements for filing a lien. They will first send a notice of the claim by filing it with county records.

After a hospital or provider receives notice from the county clerk that the lien is filed, the hospital has five business days to send a written notice to the injured individual or the legal representative of the injured individual by mail to the last known address.

The injured party will need to check with the county clerk to see if any notice of a hospital lien has been filed. If they lose track of the lien, the hospital will have grounds against all parties for not settling the lien first.

If you can prove the amount charged to you is higher than the actual rate of the hospital, you can challenge the hospital lien and have it reduced. Suing the hospital and proving their bills are unreasonable can invalidate the hospital lien.

If the provider fails to follow these guidelines, the validity of the lien can be called into question.

HOW TO DEAL WITH HOSPITAL LIENS?


NEGOTIATE

The key to negotiating the maximum possible reduction on the charges is to have a seasoned attorney who knows the law and the strategies in battling Texas hospital liens.

Depending on the amount of liability insurance coverage available and the amount of the hospital lien, most hospitals are willing to negotiate down on the amount they recover from the liability insurance proceeds and sometimes, the hospital may reduce their charges in exchange for prompt payment.

USE YOUR HEALTH INSURANCE

If you have health insurance, you may seek their assistance in reducing the hospital’s bill and the lien.

Always ask for legal counsel, explore your options to ensure that your personal injury claim is processed as fair as possible.

If you find the hospital bills to be reasonable and you are left with enough settlement money that covers all of your damages, you can either pay the bill or instruct the insurance company to pay the bill out of the settlement.

COVID-19 BUSINESS INTERRUPTION CLAIMS: If you own a business that has been closed or limited by COVID-1 crisis. we may BE ABLE TO HELP you make a claim. Contact us today!
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