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Providing legal counsel to San Jose and the Bay Area for over 30 years in the areas of criminal defense, personal injury, employment and disability law.
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CA employment lawyerLooking for a new job can be challenging in any circumstances. This is particularly true if you are pregnant. Going to an interview while expecting or with an obvious baby bump can be awkward, but it is important to realize your rights under state employment laws. Employers are prohibited against discrimination against pregnant women, but determining whether you were not hired on this basis can prove challenging. The following outlines your rights in these matters and tips to guide you through the process.

CA Law Prohibiting Pregnancy Discrimination

Discriminatory practices based on pregnancy are prohibited under both state and federal laws. According to the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), employers are prohibited from denying you a job that you are otherwise qualified for and able to perform, simply on the basis of your pregnancy.

Once you are on the job, there are varying requirements for maternity leave based on the size of the company you work for:

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CA injury lawyerCar accidents occur in a variety of situations, and they can be attributed to any number of causes. In many cases, it is the reckless driving of other motorists which are to blame, and the specific type of behavior can dictate the type of crash and the extent of the injuries you suffer. The following provides insight into the kinds of car accidents that occur, the behaviors responsible for them, and the injuries you could suffer.

Common Types of Car Accident Collisions

According to the Insurance Information Institutes, more than six million car accidents occur each year in the United States. These result in serious injuries for nearly two million drivers and their passengers, while proving fatal for over 32,000 others. Among the most common types of crashes reported include:

  • Front-end collisions: These can occur when a driver hits a telephone pole or tree, as well as when they swerve from their own lane, causing them to collide with others on the road.
  • Side-impact collisions: Otherwise knowns as ‘T-bone’ accidents, these occur when one driver directly crashes into the side of the other. They often occur in intersections and when making turns.
  • Rear-end collisions: These tend to occur in high traffic conditions when one driver hits into the rear end of the vehicle in front of them.

Car Accident Injuries Based on the Type of Crash

Risky driving behaviors put all motorists at risk and make certain types of car accidents more likely. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the following outlines the most common causes. It also lists the types of collisions they are often responsible for and common injuries that can occur as a result:

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Santa Clara County conviction dismissal attorneyBeing convicted of a crime can affect everything from personal relationships to your career. If you are convicted of a crime, you will probably have to notify your employer and futur employers of the conviction. Your friends and acquaintances could change their perceptions about you. Criminal convictions can have a huge effect on your life, but it is important to know that you have options on how to deal with them. One such option is to request a dismissal of conviction against you. 

What is a Dismissal?

Many people refer to dismissals as an expungement when they are, in reality, a dismissal. A dismissal changes your plea of guilty or no contest or your guilty verdict to not guilty once you have made a formal request to the court. If the court grants your dismissal, your criminal record will no longer show that you were convicted, but that your case was dismissed. There are certain restrictions that apply when requesting a dismissal, but many crimes qualify for dismissal.

What Convictions Qualify for Dismissal?

Determining eligibility for a dismissal can be confusing because certain requirements must be met. If you were convicted for a misdemeanor crime and you received probation, you are eligible for dismissal if:

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CA injury lawyerFog is a fact of life in the Bay area. In San Jose, drivers often encounter it either on their way to work in the morning or on the way home from a night out with friends. Unfortunately, it can wreak havoc on the roads, making car accidents and injuries more likely to occur. As the past few months have been particularly bad for ‘Karl the Fog’, the following offers a refresher course for local drivers, with some simple tips to protect yourself.

The Dangers of Fog

While we often think of dangerous driving behaviors, such as speeding, running stop signs, or driving under the influence, as being the main causes of car accidents and injuries, the fact is that weather plays a significant role. According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), adverse weather conditions are responsible for roughly a quarter of all crashes and collisions which occur each year.

In Northern California, our biggest weather concerns tend to be fog, along with damp roads and periods of heavy rainfall. The FHWA estimates that these alone are responsible for roughly 1.5 million crashes each year. Fog can be particularly dangerous as a result of the following:

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CA injury lawyerMotorcycle riding is a popular hobby in our area, with enthusiasts regularly meeting for activities and events. While these can provide a great deal of fun and fellowship, it is important to make safety your top priority. Motorcycle accidents are a common occurrence in San Jose and the injuries bikers suffer as a result tend to be severe. Before your next ride, check out these safety tips and share them with other riders you know.

Motorcycle Accident Causes

One of the first steps in protecting yourself against motorcycle accidents and injuries is understanding how they commonly occur. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in nearly half of all collisions alcohol is a leading contributing factor. Be aware that even one or two drinks can significantly impact your coordination, judgment, and reflexes. Avoid drinking any amount that could put you at risk.

In addition, be alert to the warning signs that other drivers on the road may be under the influence. Alcohol-related accidents often happen at night or in the early morning hours. Watch for drivers who swerve in and out of their lanes, as well as those driving either over or under the speed limit. If you notice a driver behaving erratically, your best bet is to pull over, let them pass, and notify law enforcement officials. Other dangerous driving behaviors to be alert for include:

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San Jose CA DUI-field-sobriety-testing attorneyEven if you have never been pulled over on suspicion of driving under the influence, many people are aware of field sobriety tests from popular television programs such as “Cops,” which shows police pulling over DUI suspects and asking them to walk in a straight line or recite the alphabet starting at a certain letter. While shows like “Cops” can entertain us with failed sobriety tests, a DUI conviction is a serious matter and field sobriety tests are used as legitimate evidence in a court of law. 

What are Field Sobriety Tests?

Field sobriety tests were developed to help police officers determine if a person had consumed enough alcohol that it affected their ability to drive. There are two categories of field sobriety tests: standardized and non-standardized. Most police officers will use a combination of both types to determine impairment, but usually only standardized tests hold up as evidence in court. Standardized field sobriety tests were developed in the 1970s, and their effectiveness has been studied and found to have identified impaired drivers 90 percent of the time.

Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) Test

One of the first tests that an officer might use is the HGN test, which measures the involuntary jerking of your eyeball. Nystagmus is the term used for the normal and involuntary jerking of the eyeball. When a person is not intoxicated, nystagmus typically only occurs when the eye is at a high peripheral angle. When a person is under the influence of alcohol, the angle at which nystagmus begins is much less. When the test is conducted, the officer will have the suspect follow a moving object with their eyes in order to observe when nystagmus begins. Intoxicated suspects will typically have difficulty tracking the object as well.

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CA employment attorneyGoogle is one of the largest employers in our area and they have a reputation for providing highly competitive salaries and benefit packages, along with numerous perks to employees. However, not all those working at the Mountain View headquarters are treated the same. Google has been embroiled in controversy recently over their practice of hiring independent contractors to fill positions, which allow them to save money both on benefits, as well as on Social Security and Medicaid benefits. This has become an increasingly hot topic in employment law, not only in our area but throughout the United States. Wrongfully classifying employees is against the law and it is important for workers to be aware of their legal rights in these situations.

Why Some Employers Favor Independent Contractors

In a late July 2018 Forbes news report on Google employment practices, the company is alleged to have a ‘shadow workforce’ of thousands of workers who are denied the perks and benefits regular full-time employees are otherwise entitled to, such as sick time and health care coverage. Google’s Alphabet Inc. admits to having close to 90,000 employees and for the first time in their 20 year history, independent contractors hired through outside agencies outnumber regular employees. Google defends the practice by claiming that temporary workers are required to fill in during busy times or to cover for maternity and medical leaves, but some question whether it is simply about saving money.

The other side of the controversy stems around the companies that provide Google with its temporary workforce. Former workers claim that temp staffing agencies are primarily concerned with claiming a percentage of their workers’ paychecks while failing to provide the proper support and offering benefit plans that are unreasonably expensive. While both companies deny any allegations of wrongdoing, some workers have banded together in initiating legal proceedings.

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CA injury lawyerAccidents happen when you least expect them. As a result, you can be left with serious personal injuries. Even an otherwise minor incident can leave you with ongoing medical expenses while preventing you from working or participating in activities with family and friends.

In many cases, these types of injuries occur as the result of reckless and negligent actions on the part of others. While you cannot always avoid these situations, there are steps you can take to protect yourself. The following outlines some of the most common causes of personal injuries and some simple safety tips to follow:

Car Accidents

According to statistics from the San Jose Police Department (SJPD), roughly 50 people each year are killed in car accidents while hundreds of others suffer serious injuries. Dangerous driving behaviors, such as speeding, aggressive or distracted driving, and driving under the influence are often to blame. Avoid engaging in these types of behaviors yourself and if you notice another motorist tailgating, weaving in and out of lanes, or otherwise behaving in an erratic manner, pull over and notify law enforcement.

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San Jose sex crimes defense lawyerSexual consent has been a hot topic in recent years, with much conversation taking place in mainstream media and on social media platforms. The #MeToo campaign is a social media movement that brought light to sexual harassment and sexual assault and helped change the way those topics were talked about.

Many allegations of sexual misconduct hinge on consent. Sexual consent can be a tricky subject because of the unfamiliarity and ambiguousness of what constitutes sexual consent. As discussed below, California has some of the most progressive sexual consent laws in the country. If you have been accused of sexual assault or another sex crime, it is important to understand California’s sexual consent laws.

What is Sexual Consent?

In California, consent is defined as the positive cooperation toward a sexual act. The cooperation can be either through act or attitude, but the person must act freely or voluntarily and must have knowledge of the act that is happening. The law also states that a current or previous dating or marital relationship does not constitute consent. A person who is under the influence of alcohol or drugs cannot consent to sexual intercourse, even if the intoxication was voluntary. Both partners must be conscious and aware of the sexual acts that occur for the acts to be consented to.

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CA injury lawyerPublic transit trains are a convenient and cost-effective way to get across San Jose. Whether for work, school, or simply for visiting friends and family, they eliminate the need for driving and getting stuck in traffic. For the most part, accidents are not common. However, when they do occur, they can result in serious personal injuries. While passengers on board need to take the appropriate safety precautions, it is equally important for pedestrians to be aware of the dangers as well.

VTA and ACE Train Accidents in San Jose

On September 14, 2018, a tragic accident involving the VTA train in San Jose left a local woman with serious injuries. The accident occurred around 9:30 p.m., near First Street and Jackson Avenue. The Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office was still investigating the details, but it appears the woman was struck while either walking by or across the train tracks. The victim, who was taken to a local hospital, is expected to recover. Considering the massive weight of VTA trains and the speeds at which they travel, she is fortunate to not have suffered more severe and life-threatening injuries.

A woman struck just several weeks earlier by an ACE train traveling through San Jose was not so lucky. The incident occurred on August 31, when an Altamont Corridor Express train passing through the Alviso neighborhood hit a jogger running either on or near the tracks. Again, authorities are struggling to piece together what may have occurred, but say that witness accounts and evidence from the scene indicate that the woman killed did not intentionally put herself in harm's way. The incident appears to be a tragic accident, which authorities continue to investigate.

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CA injury lawyerBeing in a public place and suddenly suffering a slip and fall accident can be embarrassing. While you may be tempted to downplay the incident, the fact is these types of accidents are one of the most common ways in which serious and potentially debilitating personal injuries occur. To protect your rights, the following outlines five important steps you need to follow.

What to Do When a Slip and Fall Accident Happens

Slip and fall accidents are common and can happen in any public place. According to the National Floor Safety Institute, roughly eight million people seek emergency care for slip and fall injuries each year. These can result in medical conditions you are immediately aware of, such as a broken ankle or a head injury that knocks you unconscious. They can also involve more subtle injuries, such as muscle or tendon sprains and strains, which often have symptoms which take days or even weeks to appear.

  1. Do not make any assumptions about the situation or the injuries you may have suffered. To prevent being stuck with potentially enormous out of pocket costs, follow these steps when any type of slip and fall accident occurs:
  2. Notify someone in authority right away. Filing an accident report is one of the most important steps you can take after a slip and fall. Have a friend or onlooker find the appropriate person to report your accident to before you even attempt to get back on your feet.
  3. Make note of the exact day, time, and place where the accident occurred. Look around you for anything that might have contributed to your slip and fall accident, such as wet or uneven floors, torn carpeting, or excess clutter. Under the California statutes, property owners can be held liable for failing to maintain the premises and for not letting others know that dangerous conditions exist.
  4. Get contact information for witnesses at the scene. Often times, people will immediately come forward after your accident to see if you are all right. Get a brief description of what they saw, along with their complete name and address. Enlist a friend or other onlooker to help if you are unable to do this yourself.
  5. Get medical attention immediately. If you are dizzy or having trouble walking, do not hesitate to call an ambulance to the scene. Otherwise, seek treatment at your local hospital emergency room.
  6. Follow your doctor’s instructions. Seemingly minor injuries can take weeks or even months to heal. Not following your doctor’s instructions could increase the risk of ongoing disabilities and jeopardize your rights in a claim.

Contact Us Today for Help

At the Jachimowicz Law Group, we know that slip and fall injuries can have long-ranging impacts on your health and financial security. To ensure you get the compensation you need to cover your medical expenses, lost wages, and other costs, reach out and contact our passionate San Jose slip and fall accident attorneys to request a consultation today.

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San Jose white collar crime defense lawyerNot all crime is violent - white collar crime is a crime that is typically carried out by business people or government officials and is characterized by its financial motivation. White collar crime usually involves some sort of deceit, lying, or violation of trust in order to gain financial or business incentives. Though it is not a violent crime, white collar crime is still damaging and can destroy businesses and cost people their life savings. Because of the seriousness of the crimes, white collar crime can be prosecuted at both the state and the federal level, which can have damaging consequences.

Embezzlement

This type of crime occurs when someone takes property that is entrusted to them, usually through the misappropriation of money. Typically, those who embezzle tend to take small amounts of money over a period of time to reduce the chance that they will get caught. Sometimes, people will take a large amount of money and then disappear.  

Corporate Fraud

There are many different types of fraud that fall under the category of white collar crime. Types of fraud include:

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San Jose pedestrian accident lawyer hit and run

Pedestrian accidents are unfortunately common in San Jose, leaving victims with potentially serious personal injuries. The trauma that victims and their families suffer is made even worse when the driver responsible flees the scene. A recent hit and run in San Jose involving two children highlights the dangers victims of these accidents face and raises questions regarding how these drivers can be held accountable. 

Hit and Run Accident in San Jose Injures Two Children

A Labor Day pedestrian accident in San Jose that injured two children has police reaching out to the public in an attempt to identify the driver involved. According to NBC Bay Area News, the accident occurred in the afternoon hours of September 3, 2018, at the intersection of Cottle Road and El Molino Way. Witnesses state that the driver of a white, four-door Honda Civic did not stop at a traffic sign before entering the intersection, where he struck a 12-year-old girl and a 13-year-old boy who were riding their bikes. Rather than stopping to check on the victims, the driver fled the scene. Fortunately, both children were wearing bicycle helmets at the time of the accident and are expected to make a complete recovery from their injuries.

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San Jose, CA employment law attorney employee expensesWhile expense accounts are seen as a perk in some companies, the reality is that employees in a variety of fields are entitled to be reimbursed for money that they spend while performing their jobs. These expenses can add up to significant amounts of money, and if your employer has failed to pay for work-related expenses, you should consult with an employment law attorney to learn about your rights and options.  

Employee Expense Reimbursement

Many larger companies track and reimburse expenses submitted by employees, and there are a variety of programs available to assist in calculating and repaying employee expenses. However, employees at smaller companies are often not so lucky. While California law does require employers to reimburse workers for necessary expenditures and losses incurred on the job, it is not uncommon for workers to have to absorb these expenses themselves. 

The most common types of job-related expenses covered under the law include: 

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San Jose underage DUI attorneyDrinking and driving is a deadly crime. In 2016, alcohol-related driving fatalities accounted for 28 percent of all traffic fatalities in the United States. Though the number of alcohol-related traffic fatalities has decreased for underage drinkers, juvenile drunk driving remains a problem. In 2016, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that car crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers and about a fourth of those car crashes involved an underage drinking driver. Underage drinking and driving is a serious offense, which is why perpetrators face strict punishments. Understanding these punishments is vital if you or your child are facing juvenile DUI charges.

Laws Regarding Drinking and Driving

There are a handful of laws applicable to juvenile DUI cases, with some of them targeting underage offenders. Teens who choose to drink and drive are subject not only to the underage DUI laws but also the regular DUI laws.

“Zero Tolerance” Law - VEH 23136 

This law states that a person under the age of 21 can be charged with a civil offense if they are caught driving with a BAC over .01%. Violating this law can result in an administrative license suspension of at least one year, but up to three years if the person has a history of DUI.

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San Jose dangerous road car accident attorneyMotor vehicle accidents are complex events. While reckless driving behaviors such as speeding, distracted driving, and driving under the influence are among the leading causes of car crashes and injuries, there are often multiple factors that contribute to a collision. Heavy traffic and roadway conditions can make car accidents more likely to occur, and they can lead to an increase in the number of vehicles involved. According to a recently released traffic safety report, San Jose, and the Bay Area in general, have some of the worst roads in the state when it comes to these types of conditions. 

Rating San Jose Roads

An August 2018 report in the Mountain View Voice confirmed what most drivers in our area already knew--that the San Francisco Bay Area has some of the worst roads in the state when it comes to congestion and increased car accident risks. If you spread out routine repairs and the average amount of expenses associated with a collision, these issues cost each driver in the area close to $3,000 per year, almost double other locations in the state. 

The report is based on studies released in August by TRIP, a national transportation research group based in Washington, DC. The study shows that San Jose roads are particularly bad, with vehicle expenses due to dangerous road conditions costing each local driver, on average, more than $2,700 annually. Based on TRIP assessments, roughly 82 percent of the roads in San Jose are in poor or mediocre condition. This puts additional strain on drivers and their cars, resulting in faster vehicle depreciation, greater fuel consumption, and increased car accident risks. 

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San Jose, CA car accident lawyer drowsy drivingWith school back in session after summer vacation, students will face the struggle of balancing busy schedules, while parents face the pressure of getting children to classes on time. These changes and the increase in activity can take a toll on your energy levels and sleep schedule, leaving you groggy and tired throughout the day. Unfortunately, this makes car accidents more likely to occur. In fact, being tired can impact your driving abilities in much the same way as alcohol does, leaving you susceptible to serious injuries. 

The Impact of Drowsy Driving

For high school and college students, balancing work, school, studying, and a social life is physically demanding. For parents of young children, keeping up with morning routines, such as gathering lunches and homework while rushing to get kids to school on time, can leave them tired and yawning midway through the afternoon. While it is easy to downplay the effect lack of sleep has on driving ability, the fact is that the toll it takes is significant. 

According to reports from the American Automobile Association (AAA), driving on less than the recommended eight hours of sleep each night can be similar to driving under the influence of several alcoholic drinks. Staying awake for more than 18 hours in a row can mimic the effects of driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of .08%, which is over the legal limit. Being tired impacts your body in many of the same ways as alcohol, putting you and others on the road at risk. The effects of drowsy driving typically include:

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California school bus accident lawyern terms of mass transit accidents, school buses are perceived to be among the safest forms of transportation. However, for parents who put their children on a bus each day, this provides little relief; neither does it make up for the fact that many of these vehicles offer little practical protection in the event an accident does occur.  

For years, efforts have been underway to make school buses safer by equipping them with seat belts. Lap and shoulder harnesses are a lifesaver in car accidents, preventing passengers from striking hard surfaces and being thrown from the vehicle. While there are states that have already implemented plans to upgrade their existing school bus fleets, California previously had no official type of plan in place. However, after a lengthy legislative battle, Governor Jerry Brown recently signed a bill making shoulder and lap belts mandatory in school buses throughout the state by the year 2035. 

New Assembly Bill Improving School Bus Safety

Governor Brown signed California Assembly Bill 1798 on August 27, 2018. It officially requires all school districts in the state to either retrofit buses with lap belts and shoulder harnesses or to invest in new buses which are already equipped with these seat belts. Money should not be an excuse for noncompliance, as districts have nearly two decades to obtain the funding needed to make the change. 

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San Jose pedestrian accident injury lawyerAs the first three quarters of 2018 wind to a close, San Jose authorities are struggling to come to grips with an alarming statistic. A recent accident involving a man who was killed after being struck by a dump truck off Monterey Highway marks the 11th pedestrian death to occur in San Jose this year. While pedestrian accidents in general tend to result in more serious personal injuries, this recent rash of fatalities has both residents and community leaders concerned. 

Seventy-One-Year-Old Killed By Dump Truck in Pedestrian Accident

In late July, 2018, The Patch reported on a fatal accident which occurred in a recycling yard in the 1900 block of Monterey Highway, claiming the life of an older San Jose resident. A 71-year-old man was walking through the recycling yard parking lot just before 2:30 p.m. on July 19th when he was suddenly struck by a dump truck and fell to the ground. Not seeing the man, the dump truck driver ran over the victim, who was pronounced dead at the scene. 

Police state that the driver is cooperating with authorities in the investigation and that drugs and alcohol use do not appear to have been a factor in the accident. The tragedy marks yet another in a string of pedestrian accident fatalities to plague San Jose, the 11th since the beginning of 2018. 

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San Jose Traffic Ticket Defense LawyerThe U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics estimates that 42% of police contact occurs at traffic stops, and of that, about half result in a citation. While a traffic stop can be anxiety-inducing, it is essential to keep calm and use common sense. Your behavior during a traffic stop might be your make-or-break moment when a police officer is determining whether or not to issue you a ticket. Here are some useful tips on what to do and what not to do when you are pulled over:

Acknowledge Their Attempt.

Signal to the officer that you see they are trying to pull you over. Turn on your right blinker to indicate that you will be pulling off onto the shoulder, or if there is no shoulder available, turn your hazard lights on to show that you are trying to find a safe stopping location. If you do not indicate your acknowledgment and intent to comply, the officer might believe that you have reason to flee, or are attempting to do so.

Be cautious at night.

If the stop occurs after daylight hours, try to find a well-lit area to stop, such as a restaurant, gas station, or parking lot. If there are no businesses nearby, pull over to the right shoulder, as far away from the road as possible to keep yourself and the officer out of danger.

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