Diaz Law Firm

FAQS

First and foremost, ensure that everyone is safe and call for medical attention if necessary.

  • Report the accident so a police officer can make an official report and investigation.
  • Take the other person’s information. This includes name, address, insurance policy information, vehicle information and phone number.
  • Take pictures of the accident scene and injuries (if possible). This is important to help establish responsibility of the accident and injuries.
  • Never sign any documents you don’t understand. Remember insurance policies are not on your side and they will try to settle your case with the least amount possible. If they ask you to sign any documents accepting any offer, this will waive your right of getting your medical bills paid and the compensation you deserve.
  • Do not admit fault if you are unsure who caused the accident. Contact us immediately at 855-900-3429. Our consultation is FREE and if we don’t win, we don’t charge you!

We represent clients on a contingent fee agreement for personal injury matters. This means that you don’t have to pay anything upfront and our initial consultation is completely free. Attorney fees are collected only if there is a recovery in the case. If the case is won, the attorney fees will come out of the amount recovered. Most importantly, we don’t get paid if we don’t win.

As a passenger you have the right to make a claim against any negligent driver. This may be the driver of the car you were riding or the other driver. Either of those claims would be filed against the negligent driver’s auto insurance. In the event that there isn’t enough insurance to cover for your injuries or there is no coverage, you have the option to make the claim under your insurance’s Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UM/UIM).

You should never provide a recorded statement of facts to anyone, especially the insurance companies. They will almost always use your recorded statement against you to deny liability and monetary recovery. You should always talk to your attorney prior to giving any statement to the insurance companies and have your attorney present during the recorded statement. Most importantly, don’t provide statements of fault to anyone.

No. Do not accept any settlement on behalf of an insurance adjuster without consulting with an attorney. Adjusters are paid to settle the cases for as little as possible and as quickly as possible. After an accident, the third party insurance adjuster will try to contact you and convince you to accept their minimum offer. Please don’t fall for this. If someone asks you to sign any documents you don’t fully understand, you might be signing away all your legal rights to recover the settlement you deserve.

This depends on how you handled the situation after the car accident. Texas has a statute of limitations for filing personal injury claims and there are certain requirements that need to be met. If you didn’t seek medical attention or failed to report the incident to the police or your supervisor after the accident, your case may be weakened. Calls us immediately to evaluate your case.

Your health is the most important thing. You should ask for immediate medical attention if necessary. After a doctor determines you are out of danger you should do the following:

  • Report the incident to your supervisor- this is highly important because your employer might deny the accident occurred during work and claim it happened outside of work.
  • Seek for medical attention- a physician needs to make an evaluation and recommend a treatment plan.
  • Call us- you need an experienced attorney by your side.

Illegal reentry is considered to be a serious offense that can result in heavy monetary fines and imprisonment. The maximum term of imprisonment will depend on the criminal history of the defendant. The maximum terms are the following:

  • Imprisonment for no more than 2 years;
  • If the defendant has 3 or more misdemeanors involving drugs, crimes against the person, or a felony that is not an aggravated felony, imprisonment for no more than 10 years; and
  • If the defendant has a conviction of an aggravated felony, imprisonment for no more than 20 years.

The state must inform you in a clear language of the following rights:

  • You have the right to remain silent, anything you say will be used against you in court
  • You have the right to an attorney
  • You have the right to have an attorney present during any interview with peace officers or attorneys representing the state
  • You have the right to terminate the interview at any time
  • You have the right to request the appointment of counsel if you cannot afford counsel
  • You have the right to a trial

In Texas, Aggravated Assault is when a person commits assault and he/she either:

1. Causes serious bodily injury to another, or

2. Uses or exhibits a deadly weapon during the commission of the assault.

Overall, when one considers collateral consequences, the government treats the assault of a family member as a more serious crime than the assault of a stranger. It isn’t uncommon for Travis County judges to issue emergency protective orders (EPOs) in family violence cases that forbid defendants from returning to their homes and sometimes even prevents them from seeing their children. If children were present at the time of the incident then Texas CPS (Child Protective Services) may also investigate.

In divorce court, a family violence conviction can be used to deny child custody and limit visitation rights. A family violence conviction can also cause you to permanently lose for any reason. If you are in the military, you may be discharged; if you work in law enforcement, you may be reassigned or fired.

A family violence conviction could cost you a professional license or, if you are a skilled tradesman, make it impossible for you to be bonded. It will appear in your criminal record and will show up in pre-employment and pre-leasing background checks.

Non-citizens convicted of family violence may be denied a green card or deported and denied re-entry.

If you are convicted of even the lowest level of family violence assault, any future misdemeanor family violence or stalking charges may be prosecuted and punished as third degree felonies and you are permanently disqualified for an order of non-disclosure if you successfully complete deferred adjudication probation for any type of offense in the future.

Texas law allows prosecutors to seek a “family violence” conviction even when the defendant and alleged victim are not what one might ordinarily consider family. In addition to blood relatives, a family violence allegation can be made against a foster child or parent, former spouse, domestic partner, roommate, boyfriend, girlfriend, and even a former boyfriend or girlfriend. Depending on the relationship, the term “dating violence” is sometimes used in place of “family violence.”

You might think the term “bodily injury” would require some sort of visible injury like a cut or even a bruise but the legal definition includes mere physical pain. As a result, you can be charged with “Assault with Bodily Injury,” a Class A Misdemeanor and jailable offense, if you are accused of merely slapping another person or pulling his or her hair.

The definition of “serious bodily injury” is more intuitive. It means bodily injury that “creates a substantial risk of death or that causes death, serious permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.”

Texas law does not require the alleged victim to sustain an actual injury in an assault case. Physical contact that merely causes pain can suffice for an assault with “bodily injury,” which is a Class A Misdemeanor, punishable by up to 180 days in the county jail and a fine of up to $4,000 (note that a jail sentence may be probated, depending on various factors, in which case a defendant may not actually spend any time in jail).

Furthermore, a mere verbal threat or “offensive” physical contact can qualify as Class C Misdemeanor Assault under Texas law. This lesser assault is the equivalent of a traffic ticket.

To begin the process for expunction of records, one must first file a petition. A hearing will be set no sooner than 30 days after the petition is filed. Usually the expunction will be granted at that time, assuming the petitioner is eligible. From that point forward, the petitioner can legally deny the arrest which has been expunged. The arrest records, however, will not be destroyed immediately. Instead an order is transmitted to the agencies that maintain the records instructing them to destroy the records. Typically it takes up to 90 days for the agencies to destroy the records. It is important to check for compliance with this order since agencies often fail to fully comply with the order.

WAGE AND OVERTIME

Yes. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) establishes standards for minimum wages, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and child labor. The FLSA requires employers of covered employees who are not otherwise exempt to pay these employees a minimum wage of not less than $7.25 per hour and at least 1½ times the regular rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek. Certain occupations and establishments are exempt from the minimum wage, and/or overtime pay provisions.

Please contact our office to schedule a free consultation.

The FLSA protects covered workers without regard to an employee’s immigration status. No employer should have an unfair advantage because he employs undocumented employees and doesn’t pay them.

All employees of certain enterprises having workers engaged in interstate commerce, producing goods for interstate commerce, or handling, selling, or otherwise working on goods or materials that have been moved in or produced for such commerce by any person, are covered by the FLSA.

A covered enterprise is the related activities performed through unified operation or common control by any person or persons for a common business purpose and —

1. whose annual gross volume of sales made or business done is not less than $500,000 (exclusive of excise taxes at the retail level that are separately stated); or

2. is engaged in the operation of a hospital, an institution primarily engaged in the care of the sick, the aged, or the mentally ill who reside on the premises; a school for mentally

3. is an activity of a public agency.

Any enterprise that was covered by the FLSA on March 31, 1990, and that ceased to be covered because of the revised $500,000 test, continues to be subject to the overtime pay, child labor and recordkeeping provisions of the FLSA.

Employees of firms which are not covered enterprises under the FLSA still may be subject to its minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and child labor provisions if they are individually engaged in interstate commerce or in the production of goods for interstate commerce, or in any closely-related process or occupation directly essential to such production. Such employees include those who: work in communications or transportation; regularly use the mails, telephones, or telegraph for interstate communication, or keep records of interstate transactions; handle, ship, or receive goods moving in interstate commerce; regularly cross State lines in the course of employment; or work for independent employers who contract to do clerical, custodial, maintenance, or other work for firms engaged in interstate commerce or in the production of goods for interstate commerce.

Domestic service workers such as day workers, housekeepers, chauffeurs, cooks, or full-time babysitters are covered if:

1. their cash wages from one employer in calendar year 2010 are at least $1,700 (this calendar year threshold is adjusted by the Social Security Administration each year); or

2. they work a total of more than 8 hours a week for one or more employers.

Tipped Employees

Tipped employees are individuals engaged in occupations in which they customarily and regularly receive more than $30 a month in tips. The employer may consider tips as part of wages, but the employer must pay at least $2.13 an hour in direct wages.

The employer who elects to use the tip credit provision must inform the employee in advance and must be able to show that the employee receives at least the applicable minimum wage (see above) when direct wages and the tip credit allowance are combined. If an employee’s tips combined with the employer’s direct wages of at least $2.13 an hour do not equal the minimum hourly wage, the employer must make up the difference. Also, employees must retain all of their tips, except to the extent that they participate in a valid tip pooling or sharing arrangement.

Some employers incorrectly classify workers as “independent contractors” when they are actually employees under the FLSA. It is important to know the difference between the two because employees (unless exempt) are entitled to the FLSA’s minimum wage and overtime pay protections and correctly classified independent contractors are not.

The FLSA contains a two-year statute of limitations (three-years for willful violations). This means that any part of a back-wage claim which was earned more than two years before a federal court lawsuit is filed may not be collectible. To ensure we can complete our investigation before the statute of limitation expires, contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

All discussions with our office are confidential and protected by the attorney-client privilege.

Here are a Few Suggestions

• If you don’t have a permanent address, give us your cell phone number, or the number and address of a friend or family member who knows how to reach you.

• If you are not sure of the name of your employer, some suggestions are: take a picture with a cell phone or write down the license number of your employer’s vehicle; do the same for any company names on the vehicle. Do the same for other employers on the job. If you get a paycheck write down all the information on the check before you cash it. If you can, make a photocopy of the check or take a picture of it. Make a note of your job location by writing down the address.

• If there is no record of your hours or pay, start keeping one. Every day you work, write down the time you start and the time you finish. Write down if you took time for a meal break and how long the break was. Write down every time you get paid, with the date and how much pay you received.

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