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Los Angeles Civil Rights Law Blog

Serious truck accident leads to 1 death

Mechanical failures have the potential to cause serious crashes, injuries and deaths. That's why it is so important for drivers to have their vehicles maintained and to take them for additional maintenance if they hear something that doesn't sound right.

By taking care of your vehicle and making sure to have it maintained at least yearly, you may be able to help prevent an accident like this one. A driver heading south on Pierce Elevated lost a tire at approximately 5:40 a.m., according to news out of Houston. The police at the scene said that the tire came off the axle of the truck and then crossed the barrier wall. It entered the opposite lanes and struck the window of an SUV that had been heading north. The driver in the SUV suffered critical injuries and passed away.

Owners must keep pools safe at all times

Summer is here, and that means more people will be heading out to the pool. With such hot days in California, it's no surprise that public swimming areas may be overflowing with teens, young adults and families.

These public places need to be maintained properly. Failing to do so could lead to serious injuries or deaths. For example, a slick diving board could lead to a person falling off too soon and hitting his or her head on the way down. That could lead to drowning without immediate assistance from a lifeguard.

Should you be receiving equal pay for equal work?

Both California and federal laws state that men and women should receive equal pay for equal work, but unfortunately, some employers still violate these laws. You should receive fair pay for the work you completed, regardless of your gender, skin color, religion and other factors.

If you believe that you are a victim of any type of workplace discrimination and are not receiving equal pay for your labor, you would be wise to work with a lawyer who can help you protect your civil rights and hold liable parties accountable. You do not have to fight for your interests by yourself. 

Voters pass police misconduct bill

Though not everyone was in favor of a bill centered around police misconduct cases within the Los Angeles Police Department, over 57 percent of voters did support it, and it recently passed.

One of the biggest changes that comes with the new bill is that it increases the amount of civilians who will sit on the panels when determining if an officer should be terminated or not.

Seizing your rights under the 4th Amendment

When police officers ask you if they may search your car, home or person, odds are that they lack the probable cause required to do so. If you consent, you essentially waive your rights under the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The question to consider is whether you should give your consent.

You might consent to a search upon request from California law enforcement officials for a variety of reasons. You may feel intimidated by the officer, you may not want to wait for a warrant or you simply didn't realize that you could refuse. After all, understanding exactly what protections you have under the Fourth Amendment isn't generally taught in school.

Could someone else be responsible for the loss of your limb?

You heard the word "amputation," and it sent panic running through you. How will you live? What changes will you need to make in your life once all or part of one of your limbs is gone? How will you support yourself and your family?

You could also feel anger because you didn't need to be in this situation. Had it not been for the negligence of someone else, you might still have all of your body parts. The problem now is knowing where to turn for help in holding legally liable those responsible for your predicament legally liable.

Sexual assault and the importance of gathering DNA

For those who have been sexually assaulted, gathering DNA evidence is incredibly important. It massively increases the odds of finding the person who committed the assault, and DNA evidence stands up well in court.

To this end, the FBI runs a system called the Combined DNA Index System, or CODIS. In it, they use DNA evidence to create profiles of those convicted of crimes and evidence gathered after the fact. When a new victim comes forward, if there is a DNA match with someone who is already in the system, it can identify the perpetrator even if the victim can't remember identifying features, doesn't have any witnesses and would otherwise have a hard time knowing who committed the crime.

Protection over things you don't control

Many civil rights protections are simply in place to make sure that people are all given the same rights, regardless of factors outside of their control.

For example, you may try to rent out an apartment and be turned down because you have a cat. The owner does not want pets in his or her property. While you may feel wronged, this is not a violation of your rights. The landlord can make any determination that he or she wants regarding pets and it is your choice whether you own a cat or not.

Checkout the law before passing through police checkpoints

Many California motorists know how stressful it can be when you're pressed for time, almost late for a business meeting or date, and suddenly come upon an expected police checkpoint on the road. Officers stop you. Your heart starts beating faster. You're not sure what's happening, only that you'll likely never make your appointment on time now. It seems your bad day just got worse and you don't even know the reason for the stop.

Several incidents occurred in recent years that left those following the news aghast and outraged. More than one event resulted in criminal charges against law enforcement officers. The situations had to do with police brutality during supposedly typical traffic stops and checkpoints. It's crucial to remember when you stop at a police checkpoint, or an officer pulls you over in traffic, you retain all your personal rights protected under the U.S. Constitution.

Distracted driving and cell phones: Tips to stay safe

Today, our cell phones link us to the world. They connect us with our friends and family, with our jobs, with our community. These devices provide us entertainment, community, and directions. While these handheld devices have become an integral part of our everyday lives, we must acknowledge the ever-present danger of distracted driving as a result.  

Distracted driving is any action which takes the driver's eyes and attention off the road or their hands off of the wheel. This can include eating, talking, or playing with the stereo, but the use of handheld devices has increased the dangers of distracted driving tremendously. 

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