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California Jaywalking Law

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Archive: Jul 2019

California Jaywalking Law

Jaywalking is a common term for a pedestrian crossing the street at a place that is not an intersection or crosswalk. Although California law does not specifically use the term jaywalking, it prohibits crossing the road at any place except in designated locations. If a vehicle strikes a jaywalking pedestrian, the pedestrian could be wholly or partially at fault for the collision. Learning the state’s jaywalking law can help both pedestrians and drivers.

Pedestrian Duties in California

California Vehicle Code (CVC) section 21955 contains the state’s jaywalking law. It states that pedestrians may only cross the roadway at crosswalks, intersections with traffic control devices and intersections with police officers directing traffic. Crossing in the middle of the road between adjacent intersections breaches a pedestrian’s duties and breaks the law.

It is also against the law for a pedestrian to step off a curb when it is not safe to do so, even at a crosswalk or intersection. If an approaching vehicle does not have a reasonable amount of time to come to a stop, the pedestrian must remain on the curb until it is safe to cross. Stepping out in front of an oncoming vehicle could make the pedestrian responsible for a resultant accident. Finally, pedestrians cannot cross the road where signs prohibit doing so.

Pedestrians should use sidewalks and designated overpassed, tunnels and bridges whenever available in California. The only time it is legal for a pedestrian to walk in the road is if a sidewalk or passageway is not available and if the pedestrian walks on the leftmost edge of the road. The only time a person can walk on the right-hand edge of the road is if no other way to cross safely exists.

A Pedestrian’s Right-of-Way

When a pedestrian does use a crosswalk, he or she has the right-of-way, as long as the pedestrian uses the crosswalk correctly. CVC section 21950 gives a pedestrian the right-of-way over vehicles at marked crosswalks and unmarked crosswalks at intersections. Yet this law does not give pedestrians the right to dismiss their duties of care. They must still cross safely rather than walking into the path of an oncoming vehicle. It is illegal for a pedestrian to unnecessarily stop traffic while using a crosswalk.

A pedestrian’s duty to use due care for his or her safety does not relieve a driver of his or her duties. A driver must still exercise due care for the reasonable safety of pedestrians while stopping at crosswalks and intersections. Drivers must pay attention to the road, obey speed limits and come to complete stops at intersections and crosswalks. They must yield the right-of-way when pedestrians have the legal right to cross. If a pedestrian does step out in front of a vehicle, the driver has a duty to reasonably try to avoid the crash.

If you or a loved one was a victim in a pedestrian accident, our Orange County personal injury attorneys can help. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation to explore your legal options.

Liability for Jaywalking in California

If a pedestrian is guilty of jaywalking in a traffic collision, he or she could bear at least partial responsibility for the accident. California is a pure comparative negligence state, meaning an injured pedestrian could file a lawsuit for some damages even if he or she contributed to the accident. The courts will assign a percentage of fault to each party involved in the accident. Then, the courts will reduce the plaintiff’s damage award in proportion to his or her amount of fault.

Jaywalking is a suitable defense for a driver involved in a pedestrian accident. If the driver can prove that the pedestrian stepped off the curb negligently or tried to cross the road at a place that was not an intersection or crosswalk and that this action caused the collision, the driver might not be liable for damages. Jaywalking is against the law in California. Breaking this law as a pedestrian could eliminate any right to financial compensation from the driver.

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What Is a Supplemental Job Displacement Voucher?

In the state of California, after an employee suffers on-the-job injuries it is up to the discretion of a doctor to determine if the worker requires any work restrictions or accommodations to return to work. The employer must consider these restrictions if the employee returns to work.

In some cases, the employee is unable to return to work. The employee is no longer able to perform the same assigned duties he or she did before the injury. However, not returning to work is often not viable for the individual or the employer – one needs a source of income and the other needs an employee. Instead, job retraining may take place, as established by the California Department of Industrial Relations through a Supplemental Job Displacement Voucher.

What Is a Supplemental Job Displacement Voucher?

A supplemental job displacement voucher is a $6,000 benefit that pays for educational retraining or skill enhancement at state-approved or accredited schools. These benefits are for injured workers who are unable to return to work in the same capacity they did before the injury. This includes if workers unable to return to the regular position they held before, or to a modified or alternative position.

These situations entitle a worker to a supplemental job displacement voucher to train for or find new employment. This applies to all types of workers including police officers and firefighters. This may not apply to undocumented workers, who may not be able to legally perform permanent work due to their immigration status.

It is important that the injured worker submit a workers’ compensation claim in order to be eligible for a supplemental job displacement voucher. This voucher includes medical care, temporary disability, and permanent disability benefits. Injured workers in California may be eligible for other benefits as well, depending on their specific cases. If you or a loved one needs assistance with a workers’ compensation claim, contact us. Our Orange County workers’ compensation lawyers offer free consultations and can help you explore your legal options.

What Can a Person use a Supplemental Job Displacement Voucher for?

The Supplemental Job Displacement voucher that will pay for any part of job retraining. It is a $6,000 voucher that can pay for the following.

  • Education-related retraining or skill enhancement at a California public school
  • Training at a State Eligible training provider list (ETPL) provider
  • Tuition, fees, books, other expenses
  • Occupational licensing
  • Professional certification fees
  • Exam prep
  • Placement agencies
  • Vocational counseling
  • Resume prep
  • Tools required by education or training program
  • Computer equipment up to $1,000
  • Miscellaneous expenses up to $500

The idea is that the Supplemental Job Displacement voucher will pay for any aspect that may be necessary for job retraining and obtaining a new position.

What Else Should I Know About a Supplemental Job Displacement Voucher?

A supplemental job displacement voucher is a useful part of workers’ compensation. Individuals who are willing to return to work in some way can use these job retraining benefits to prepare themselves for a new career. After receiving a supplemental job displacement voucher, the individual must promptly use the voucher before it expires, either two years from the date of the voucher or five years from the date of the injury. If an individual has more than one workers’ compensation claim, he or she may be eligible for multiple job displacement vouchers.

How to Obtain a Supplemental Job Displacement Voucher

The process for obtaining a supplemental job displacement voucher is a fairly simple one. This three-step process requires the following steps.

  1. A doctor’s medical opinion
  2. Decision of the employer to offer work
  3. Decision of the employee to accept the offer.

The doctor’s medical opinion must be in the form of medical records that indicate the extent of an employee’s injuries. The worker should give this document to his or her employer. The insurance company also requires documentation of the offer letter for work. An employer must make the offer letter to return to work within 60 days of treating the physical injury. The employee then has 30 days to accept the offer.

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What Is the Workers’ Compensation Medical Disclosure Act?

Workers’ compensation insurance is there to benefit workers injured on the job, but it can be complex and difficult to understand. This is especially true when your employer’s insurance company denies your claim. The intent of workers’ compensation laws is to support workers, but the job of an insurance company claims adjuster is to protect their company’s interests. They thoroughly investigate claims to ensure they are legitimate.

However, gathering the information needed to investigate your claim can feel like an invasion of privacy. Claims adjusters and employers may legally access some, but not all, of a claimant’s medical records without consent. Several federal acts are in force to protect your rights. While you may need to disclose some information to file your claim, it is important to be aware of your rights to privacy. 

What Is the Workers Compensation Medical Disclosure Act?

The workers compensation medical disclosure act defines what information it requires and what information it allows an employer to ask for. It defines relevant medical information as the following:

  • Information regarding the nature of injury for which an employee claims a benefit
  • Information pertaining to diagnosis, costs, and the nature of treatment of the injury which the employee claims benefits.
  • Records regarding the injury for which an employee claims a benefit that is necessary for the employer to have in order to modify the employee’s work duties and other accommodations.
  • Information that is necessary for the employer to defend itself in adjudicated cases.

The act also allows employers to access this information with or without express consent of the employee. Typically, the insurance providers or administrators provide these documents. However, the act still protects rights of the employees. An employer may not request or gain access to infractions that are not directly related to the workers’ compensation claim. Lastly, employers may not divulge this information to any other persons or entities.

Do I Have to Allow My Employer Access to Medical Records?

Even under the workers’ compensation medical disclosure act, an employee must release their medical records for a workers’ compensation claim. Although this may seem like an invasion of privacy, without medical records there is no way to validate a workers’ compensation claim. Employers may request medical information related to your claim, but they may not request any other sensitive medical records. They also may not use force or coercion against an employee to disclose their information. Fortunately, there are several federal laws in place to protect your privacy.

Federal Protection of Medical Records

Federal protections are in place to protect your medical records. When it comes to workers’ compensation claims it is challenging to decide what information to disclose. Disclosing the wrong information may lead to the denial of your claim. On the other hand, you may have information you would prefer your employer and others not know. Two federal provisions that protect your rights are the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and the Drug Abuse Treatment and Rehabilitation Act.

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPAA)

This federal law protects an employee’s privacy. HIPAA exists in various places, such as hospitals and physical therapy practices, and restricts the sharing of medical records. The HIPAA Privacy Rule permits the disclosure of health information for workers’ compensation purposes without individual authorization, but it does require that information must be within the employer’s direct purpose or interest.

The Drug Abuse Treatment and Rehabilitation Act and the Comprehensive Alcohol and Alcoholism Prevention, Treatment and Rehabilitation Act

These federal laws protect employee privacy concerning information related to substance and alcohol abuse treatment.

If you have recently filed a workers’ compensation claim, it is useful to understand the basic information regarding medical records and privacy and protect your rights. Hiring an experienced Orange County workers’ comp attorney can help you with your claim. Contact DiMarco | Araujo | Montevideo today to schedule a free consultation.

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Understanding Labor Code 4850

California enacted Labor Code 4850 to benefit law enforcement officers, firefighters and other public safety/service employees in the event they suffer an injury while performing their duties. The labor code allows these workers to receive their full salaries for no more than one year within a five-year period from the date an on-the-job injury.

The code provides for a salary in the event the worker suffers a temporarily totally disability from an injury or illness incurred in the course of performing their duties. If you are a public safety/service worker, it is important to understand Labor Code 4850.

What Is Labor Code Section 4850?

Labor Code Section 4850 does not only cover law enforcement officers and firefighters. It applies to all of the following public safety/service workers:

  • City police officers
  • City, county, or district firefighters
  • Sheriffs
  • Officers or employees of any sheriff’s offices
  • Inspectors, investigators, detectives, or personnel with comparable titles in any district attorney’s office
  • County probation officers, group counselors, or juvenile services officers
  • Officers or employees of a probation office
  • Under Section 830.31 of the Penal Code, law enforcement officers who work on a regular, full-time basis in a first-class county
  • Lifeguards employed year-round on a regular, full-time basis by a county of the first class or by the City of San Diego
  • Airport law enforcement officers
  • Harbor or port police, wardens, or other officers of harbor or port districts or city/county harbor departments
  • Police officers of the Los Angeles Unified School District

Individuals in these roles who perform the correct duties have the right to receive Labor Code Section 4850 benefits. The benefits of Labor Code 4850 are one-year of non-taxable salary. It also includes the continued provision of heath care and pension benefits. If the individual remains disabled after these benefits expire, they will continue to receive benefits at the state rate. However, they may have to pay for health insurance benefits and employer pension contributions may terminate, as well.

How Long Does Section 4850 Last?

Section 4850 strictly allows benefits to last for one year after the date of each injury. This means if the individual incurs a second injury while on Labor Code Section 4850, a new year will begin from the date of the new injury. If two injuries occur concurrently, a claims administrator may try to argue for allowing only one year and no additional time.

Are There Breaks in Section 4850?

There are no breaks in Labor Code Section 4850. The employer must provide salary for one year within a five-year time frame from the date of injury. If the individual returns to work and has a subsequent total temporary disability period, that time may be in smaller periods.

When Does Labor Code Section 4850 End?

Labor Code Section 4850 benefits end after one year. Other reasons the benefits may end are because five years from the date of injury have passed; or that the administrator stops payment of benefits after termination of employment, resignation, or receipt of disability pension retirement benefits has occurred. Keep in mind that after one year, individuals who suffer a disability will be able to receive benefits at the state rate. However, if five years has passed, the individual may no longer be able to receive any benefits.

If you are a public safety/service employee in California, it is important to understand Labor Code Section 4850. You may be eligible for compensation under Labor Code Section 4850 following an injury. If you feel you need legal representation to claim Section 4850 benefits, contact an Orange County workers’ compensation attorney who can guide you through the often complicated process of filing for you benefits.

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