WarmuthLaw
Resource Library

Number of Immigration Arrests Have Declined Dramatically

Topics: Immigration

Feature
[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Immigration arrests made during fiscal year 2021 have dropped by more than 50 percent from levels seen under pre-pandemic polices during the Trump administration.  According to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), around 72,000 immigration arrests were made during FY 2021, down from the average 148,000 arrests made during FY 2017-2019 and below pandemic-impacted FY 2020, which saw about 104,000 arrests.  The reduction in immigration arrests is seen mostly as a product of immigration policies implemented during the Biden administration. The statistics provided by Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) are for noncitizens in the United States facing a final order of removal from the country.  They do not include arrests and deportations made on the borders.  Several policies have led to lower immigration arrests, including a policy that entering the United States illegally should not be the sole basis for removal.  Under Trump administration policies, ERO was directed to arrest anyone found to be in the US without documentation.  Under Biden administration policies, ERO is directed to prioritize recent border crossers, criminals, and national security threats. Under the new directives, the number of arrests has fallen by more than half, but the number of arrests of serious criminals with aggravated felony convictions increased by almost 70 percent.  The number of arrests of sex offenders increased by about 87 percent. See the full news story here. It was also recently announced that Department of Homeland Security has directed ICE to stop conducting mass raids on workplaces, a tactic commonly used during the Trump administration.  Instead of targeting immigrants, ICE will target the employers who hire immigrants without work authorization.  It is not uncommon for these workplaces to exploit undocumented labor and to threaten them should they report unsafe working conditions.  The guidelines also allow for undocumented workers to become witnesses if they are victims of their employer. See the full news story here. The Law Offices of Scott Warmuth continues to monitor for any significant changes to immigration law to better help us serve our clients.  We have been helping immigrants to the United States live and work legally in the country since 1984.  We examine every clients' situation to help them determine the best course of action to receive work visas and green cards.  We offer free immigration consultations, so call us today at 888-517-9888![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
WarmuthLaw
Resource Library

Long Workdays and Lack of Sleep Increase Work Injury Risk

Topics: Workers' Compensation

Feature
[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The Law Offices of Scott Warmuth has previously blogged about the dangers of drowsy driving: failure to notice dangerous situations, slow reaction times, and serious or fatal injuries that can result from an avoidable car crash.  In the same manner, the dangers of drowsy working are just serious.  The dangers of driving drowsy extend beyond the commute to work and can carry over into work itself, making drowsy work itself dangerous.  Work-related drowsiness is a known risk factor for work injury, whether working behind the wheel of a truck or forklift, or behind a desk or cash register. According to a review of 27 research studies in 2014, workers found to have problems sleeping had a 62 percent increased risk for experiencing a work injury and 13 percent of all work injuries can be traced back to problems sleeping.  The examination also discovered that fewer hours of sleep increases the risk of a work injury regardless of how many hours are being worked.  Risk for injury begins increasing for workers who sleep less than 7 hours a night and continues increasing with less sleep.  Risk also increases when more than 40 hours of work per week, so it is much safer to be well-rested when performing overtime work. The strongest way to fight work-related fatigue and drowsiness is to get at least 7 hours of sleep each night.  Of course, that may just be wishful thinking for many of us.  Some common signs of drowsiness include yawning, blinking in order to keep your eyes open, momentary forgetfulness about the tasks you are performing, and the autopilot phenomenon of performing tasks but not really remembering them.  If you work in a job that requires you to be alert and experience any of those symptoms, there are some short-term fixes, including taking a quick nap while on break or drinking something with caffeine. The Law Offices of Scott Warmuth encourages all workers to perform their jobs as safely as possible, including getting as much sleep as you can to ensure you are not drowsy on the job.  Should the unexpected happen and you suffer an injury at work, our workers' compensation attorneys are here to help you recover physically and financially.  We provide free consultations, and you are not billed for our services until we win your case.  Call us today at 888-517-9888![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
WarmuthLaw
Resource Library

The Basics of Expungement

Topics: Criminal Defense

Feature
[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]What is an Expungement? Expungement is a civil action that removes arrests and convictions from a criminal record, effectively making it seem to most authorities as though the incident never happened.   Expungements seals and hide records, legally allowing a person with an expunged record to answer truthfully that the incident never occurred.  If someone without a criminal record is convicted on an assault charge and has the record expunged, that person can legally say they've never been convicted of assault. Who is Eligible for an Expungement in California? Expungement is available to defendants convicted of misdemeanors and felonies in that do not result in a prison sentence.  They are only available to defendants charged with state crimes.  If the charges were brought in a federal jurisdiction, the records cannot be expunged by California.  Expungement becomes available only after probation has been completed, as have all other sentencing requirements, such as community service.  Committing additional crimes could limit the circumstances under which expungement may occur and could even cause expunged records to be reinstated.  Defendants convicted of certain violent or serious felonies are not eligible for expungement. What are the Benefits of Expungement? People with an expunged arrest or conviction no longer need to disclose that event on forms or applications, as those records will not appear in background checks.  This makes it easier for people who have made a mistake in the past find employment or housing.  Persons with expunged records can legally say they have never been convicted of a crime.  While expungements do not literally remove records from existence, they limit who is available to find those records to law enforcement and certain government agencies.  Committing another crime could void an expungement. Attorneys Can Help with Criminal Record Expungement Experienced criminal defense attorneys can help individuals who have made some mistakes remove a damaging conviction from their record, providing a second chance.  The Law Offices of Scott Warmuth can help with expungements.  Call us today at 888-517-9888 to receive a free consultation.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
WarmuthLaw
Resource Library

Would Lower Speed Limits in Los Angeles Reduce Car Accidents?

Topics: Auto Accident

Feature
[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Driving too fast can cause car accidents.  The faster any vehicle is driving at the time of an crash, the more severe the injuries suffered by everyone involved.  And recently, more people have been driving faster and more fatal accidents are occurring as a result.  In California, the way speed limits were chosen had some flaws that may have unintendedly inflated speed limits to be higher.  Why?  California speed limits were set based on traffic surveys which measured how fast drivers traveled on any street, regardless of the posted speed limit.  The speed limit would then change based on the speed of the 15% of drivers who drove the fastest. This method of setting speed limits, known as the 85th percentile rule, has been criticized as dangerous and self-defeating.  Raising the speed limit would likely in turn cause drivers to drive faster, which could cause the speed limit to increase yet again during the next traffic survey.  And in general, when using the rule, many more speed limits were raised than lowered, even with some cities in California, including Los Angeles, participating in the Vision Zero plan.  Vision Zero has thus far been unable to lower the number of traffic fatalities in Los Angeles. A new bill recently signed into law, AB 43, aims to allow California cities the option to lower some speed limits without relying on the 85th percentile rule.  Specifically, local governments can opt to set a speed limit 5 mph lower than traffic surveys in areas highly trafficked by pedestrians or designated safety corridors, can set standard speed limits in business districts, can revert to older traffic survey recommendations if the street has not received safety upgrades, and can expand school zones.  AB 43 will take effect next January 1 but may not allow cities to use its provision until June 30, 2024 or a specific online tool is created to deal with driving infractions. See the full news story here. The Law Offices of Scott Warmuth encourages safe driving, which includes traveling at or below the posted speed limit.  Drivers must also be aware of pedestrians, bicyclists, and never drive drunk, drowsy, or distracted.  Our accident attorneys help the victims of car collisions seek medical treatment and financial compensation for their injuries.  We provide free initial consultations and provide a no win no fee guarantee.  Call us today at 888-517-9888 to receive your case evaluation.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
WarmuthLaw
Resource Library

Who is Liable for an Injury at an Airbnb?

Topics: Personal Injury

Feature
[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Airbnb and other house-sharing services can be a great way for homeowners to earn extra cash and a way for travelers to enjoy the comforts of home while paying less than they would for a hotel.  But something that most hosts and renters do not consider?  What happens if someone is injured during his or her stay at an Airbnb rental? Most travelers know that a hotel has a legal duty to keep its guests safe.  When a guest slips on poorly maintained stairs, takes a fall because of a loose railing, or is hit on the head by a falling shelf, that guest can usually file a lawsuit against the hotel seeking damages.  Most hotels have the resources and insurance to properly cover any medical bills resulting from a personal injury on their property.  Most Airbnb hosts do not. And in contrast to a hotel, Airbnb rentals do not typically have a full-time maintenance or housekeeping crew, employ lifeguards or security staff, undergo regular electrical and fire safety inspections, and so on.  You’re staying in someone’s home, and more accidents occur at home than anywhere else.  What happens if an Airbnb guest is hurt? Airbnb offers something called “Host Protection Insurance” to the people who rent out their properties on Airbnb.  It provides up to $1 million in liability coverage for injuries to guests and damage to the property.  If an Airbnb guest is injured in the rented property or in the common area of a rented property, such as a shared parking garage or building lobby, he or she is eligible to pursue an insurance claim for their injury. Not all injury claims would be valid.  For example, injuries sustained that are not the result of an accident could be challenged by Airbnb.  Pursuing an injury claim with Airbnb is something an experienced personal injury law firm can help with.  The Law Offices of Scott Warmuth can help injured Airbnb guests recover physically and financially from their unexpected injuries.  Call us today at 888-517-9888 to receive a free injury consultation.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
WarmuthLaw
Resource Library

Permanent Labor Certification for Businesses Hiring Foreign Workers

Topics: Immigration

Feature
[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Employment-based visas are available for eligible foreign workers who meet certain requirements.  Before a foreign worker can be hired however, businesses must follow certain steps to allow them to hire an eligible foreign worker.  One such requirement is that a business must attest that a US citizen cannot perform the work of the position they are trying to hire for.  To prove that their company meets this requirement, the business must complete the permanent labor certification (PERM) process with the US Department of Labor (DOL). Immigrants to the United States seeking an employment-based visa do not have any specific responsibilities when it comes to this stage of the immigration process.  That said, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) does advise that immigrants seeking employment in the US could benefit from an understanding of the program.  However, the PERM process is solely the domain of employers.  Businesses seeking foreign workers must receive PERM certification from DOL prior to seeking immigration authorization with USCIS. PERM certification requires the DOL to verify that hiring a foreign worker for the position in question will not have a negative effect on workers in the United States.  Specifically, DOL examines how the hiring of the position will affect the wages, working conditions, and job opportunities of American workers.  With all the sensitive information potentially involved, it is very important for businesses seeking PERM certification to be precise. The Law Offices of Scott Warmuth helps businesses seeking to hire foreign workers complete the PERM labor certification process.  Our immigration attorneys have been helping people who want to work in the United States, and the businesses the hire them, since 1984.  We provide free initial consultations and can explain how our law firm customizes its services to help your company meet its business goals.  Call us now at 888-517-9888![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
WarmuthLaw
Resource Library

Second Opinions in Workers’ Compensation Claims

Topics: Workers' Compensation

Feature
[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]After a work injury, immediate treatment options are limited.  The California workers' compensation system only allows treatment inside a medical provider network (MPN) that workers do not choose.  Instead of choosing your own doctor to provide treatment options for your work injury, the doctor is instead chosen by the insurance company.  The insurance company is more likely to guard its own bottom line than to insure any one injured worker is receiving the best treatment from the doctor chosen on his behalf.  Injured workers, however, do have some limited recourse if they are unhappy with their treating doctor. Injured workers in California, though initially limited to a doctor of the insurance company's choosing, do have the option to seek second and third opinions if they are unhappy with the diagnosis or treatment provided by their initial doctor.  But even then, options still remain limited.  The second and third opinions are still limited to the MPN designated by the insurance company.  If a worker is still unhappy after their third opinion inside the MPN, only then may he or she request an independent medical review (IMR) from a doctor outside of the MPN. Getting to that stage of a workers' compensation claim is difficult.  To seek a second opinion, injured workers must provide notification to the insurance company that they want a second opinion, choose a physician from the MPN, schedule an appointment with the new physician within 60 days, and finally notify the insurance company of the appointment date.  The same steps must be taken for a third opinion.  It could be several weeks or months before injured workers can seek an IMR from a preferred physician not associated with the insurance company's MPN. The Law Offices of Scott Warmuth helps injured workers find the correct doctor to help them treat their injuries.  Our workers' compensation attorneys help our clients switch doctors as often as it takes to ensure they receive the best treatment possible.  Our workers' compensation legal services are provided with a no recovery, no fee guarantee and initial consultations are free.  Call us at 888-517-9888 to speak with a workers' compensation expert today![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
WarmuthLaw
Resource Library

2021 Car Crash Fatalities Could Be at Highest Levels in 15 Years

Topics: Auto Accident

Feature
[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Data from the National Safety Council (NSC) show that 2021 is poised to see a sharp increase in fatal vehicle incidents, continuing a troubling trend from 2020.  In 2020, car crashes resulting in fatalities increased by about 7.5 percent over 2019 numbers, even with the pandemic reducing overall driving mileage by 13 percent.  And in the first half of 2021, car-involved fatalities increased by 16 percent over the same period in 2020.  If the increase remains the same, fatal car crashes could be at their highest level since 2006. The increase in fatal car crashes during the pandemic, even with reduced levels of traffic, is attributed to more aggressive and reckless driving.  More drivers traveled at excessive speed due to the reduced traffic, with many more choosing to drive while intoxicated or without seat belts, resulting in more serious and fatal injuries in car crashes.  But even as traffic has returned to normal levels, the number of fatal crashes continues to rise.  It is unknown why this trend has not reversed yet. See the full news story here. There are several solutions to reducing the number of fatal accidents, some of which have been demonstrated as effective in other parts of the country and the world.  Most of the solutions involve lowering the speed at which vehicles drive, including lower speed limits, speed trap cameras, roundabouts, and road diets.  Los Angeles is one of the major cities participating in Vision Zero, with the goal of reducing traffic deaths to zero by 2025.  Los Angeles County is also participating, but with the goal of zero traffic deaths by 2035.  While the progress of Vision Zero in Los Angeles has not yet proven to be effective, it continues to be implemented. The Law Offices of Scott Warmuth encourages everyone on the road to drive safely to ensure you reach your destination unharmed.  As a car accident law firm, we have seen too many lives changed by the careless actions of reckless drivers.  We help the victims of car accidents seek physical, mental, and financial recovery for injuries suffered in a crash.  We provide free initial consultations and a no win no fee guarantee.  Call us today at 888-517-9888.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]