Disability Discrimination

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission defines disability discrimination as an occurrence in which “an employer or other entity covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act, or the Rehabilitation Act, treats a qualified individual with a disability who is an employee or applicant unfavorable because he/she has a disability.” This means that it is illegal for employers to treat employees or applicants unfairly solely based on a disability. The law also protects individuals from discrimination based on their relationship with a disabled person.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission notes six main types of disability discrimination; direct and indirect, failure to make reasonable adjustments, discrimination arising from disability, harassment and victimization.The law forbids discrimination regarding any aspect of employment, such as hiring, firing, job assignment, pay, layoff, promotion, benefits and all other terms or conditions of employment. Unfair treatment due to a disability is direct discrimination, while company policies that have a worse impact on the disabled, is an example of indirect discrimination. The law also requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations for disabled persons. It is also illegal to harass applicants and employees because they have or had a disability. Harassment can include teasing or any actions that create a hostile or offensive work environment. Victimization discrimination arises if one is treated badly as a result of a complaint of disability discrimination.

If you or someone you know has been a victim of disability discrimination in the workplace, contact Darfoor Law Firm at 1-833-DARFOOR to discuss your options with an experienced discrimination attorney.

What kinds of disability discrimination have you witnessed in the workplace? Please leave a comment on our Twitter page. We look forward to receiving your feedback.

Racial Discrimination

Race discrimination occurs when individual applicants or employees are treated differently based on their race, color or characteristics associated with race. Race discrimination also involves treating individuals unfavorably because of their relationships or affiliation with a certain race. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is a federal law protecting individuals from discrimination in employment based on race, making it illegal for employers to discriminate against individuals because of their race in “hiring, firing, discipline, distribution of benefits, promotion, compensation, job training, or any other term, condition or privilege of employment.”

All aspects of race discrimination regarding employment are illegal, as well as harassment that is fueled by race discrimination. Harassment may include racial slurs, derogatory or offensive comments about a person’s race or color, or displaying racially-offensive symbols. Employment policies or practices that apply to everyone, regardless of race, can also be illegal, if they have a negative impact on the employment of people of a particular race and is not necessary to continue the operation of a business.

Two types of claims can be made regarding race discrimination; disparate treatment discrimination claims and disparate impact claims. A disparate treatment claim alleges that the employee was treated differently than other employees in the same or similar situations. For example, supervisors that only promote white employees. A disparate impact claim alleges that the employers/companies policy or practice has a negative impact on a particular race.

If you believe you or someone you know are victims of race discrimination in your place of employment, contact Darfoor Law Firm to discuss your rights and possible legal action. Call 1-833-DARFOOR for a free consultation.

What is the Purpose of Release After Car Accident Settlements?

After experiencing a car accident, those involved are typically concerned with their health and damages. It is important that medical bills and property damages are covered, allowing a victim to move forward from the accident. In some cases, insurance companies want to settle quickly, especially when their insured is responsible for the accident. Upon agreeing to a settlement offered by the insurance company, you will be required to a sign a release form, which waives your rights to sue the other party in the future or bring any additional claim regarding the accident.

When deciding whether to accept a settlement and agree to a release, one should consider whether their expenses will be covered. Does the settlement amount cover all of your damages? In some cases, the settlement will cover property damage at least, but what if medical expenses are not covered? Lost wages? Pain and suffering? If the settlement amount does not cover all expenses associated with the accident, agreeing to the settlement may not be the best option, as you will waive your rights to further receive compensation for the accident. Also, it is important to confirm that your insurance provider allows you to sign a release, because if the settlement does not cover your expenses, your insurance company may be responsible for paying the difference.

Whether the decision to sign a release form will benefit you depends on the circumstances of your case. Consult with a personal injury attorney at Darfoor Law Firm to determine if a settlement is in your best interest. Call 1-833-DARFOOR for a free consultation to determine your options after an accident.

Premises Liability – Accidents and Injuries in Clubs

Many people enjoy a fun night out at a nightclub, accompanied by friends or colleagues, but what happens when something goes wrong at a nightclub and someone is injured? Although typically we do not imagine nightclubs to be very dangerous, the combination of alcohol and large groups of people, poses a risk to everyone on the premises. In addition to physical violence, robbery and sexual assault also occur in clubs and bars. In fact, in recent years there has been a tremendous increase in rapes reported in clubs and bars.

Premises Liability Laws allow clubs to be held liable for injuries, losses and damages.  Victims are entitled to pursue financial compensation claims if the harm was caused by negligence on the part of the club. The owner of the venue may be deemed negligent for failing to provide a safe environment. Club owners are aware of the risks associated with heavy drinking and large groups of people, and should act accordingly to maintain a safe environment for guests. Negligence may be established if the owner is found to have not provided adequate security, putting all guests safety at risk. Also, if violence, assault, or robbery takes place due to a patron that is overly intoxicated, the owner may be held liable for allowing excessive drinking. It should be noted that if a fight or brawl is agreed upon, or mutual, the club is generally not considered negligent.

If you or someone you know has been injured in a club, due to negligent acts on the part of the club, contact premises liability lawyers of Darfoor Law Firm at 1-833-DARFOOR to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney to determine your options.

If you have ever been involved in a nightclub incident, which resulted in injury, please leave a comment on our Facebook page. We look forward to receiving your feedback.

Nursing Home Negligence- Bed Sores

Families leave their loved ones in the care of nursing home facilities, expecting that they will receive sufficient care and treatment. Unfortunately, we hear stories of negligence in nursing homes too often. There are certain giveaways of nursing home neglect, such as bed sores. Bed sores are not uncommon in nursing homes, and are generally a sign of neglect. There are also medical complications that accompany bedsores such as bone and joint infections and sepsis, which are preventable in most cases.

The Nursing Home Abuse Guide defines negligence as the failure of nursing home staff to exercise proper care, and suggests that negligence in nursing homes is typically due to undertrained or overworked staff members causing carelessness that may result in health complications for the facilities’ residents. Bed sores are an example of lack of proper care, as immobile patients should be re-positioned regularly to avoid sores, in addition to other ailments.

In cases in which bed sores cause harm or death, residents or family members can file lawsuits against the responsible facility. To do so, the victim or their family are required to prove that the nursing home failed to turn the patient within certain regulated time frames, failed to provide the patient with proper fluid to prevent bed sores, failed to monitor and examine patients upon early development of bed sores and/or allowing moisture to be present on the patient for extended periods of time, such as a wet bed or soiled diaper.

If you or a loved one have been a victim of nursing home negligence, call 1-833-DARFOOR for a free consultation by an experienced attorney that understands the standard of care required by nursing homes.

Employee Discrimination – Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is typically a sensitive topic, particularly in reference to the workplace, and the role it plays in employee discrimination. Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employers, generally those with 15 or more employees, from discriminating against employees on the basis of sex.  For those with fewer than 15 employees, state law governs, though most states have enacted laws covering sexual harassment.

In addition to providing men and women with equal pay and opportunities, women and men have the right to secure their jobs without the unwanted romantic or sexual demands, communications or behaviors. It is illegal for employers to demand sexual conduct as a condition or term of employment. Sexual harassment can consist of request for sexual favors, unwanted sexual advances, or any other conduct or a sexual nature that affects an individuals employment.

If sexual harassment can be proven, employers may be liable for compensatory and punitive damages, depending on who committed the harassment and the actions of the company to correct it. If the harassment is committed by a coworker, the employer is liable if they had knowledge of the harassment and did not take immediate corrective action. Victims in sexual harassment cases must show that they believed the conduct was offensive and that any reasonable person in their shoes would have believed the conduct was offensive.

Many employers have procedures for reporting sexual discrimination, though these cases may be difficult to address with co-workers. Legal action may be necessary if an employer takes a discriminatory position against an employee based on sex. Call Darfoor Law Firm at 1-833-DARFOOR to speak with an experienced attorney that can help protect your rights and pursue your case if you have been a victim of sexual harassment.

Strict Product Liability

Strict product liability holds that any seller, manufacturer or distributor is held responsible for injuries caused by defective products, even if measures were taken to avoid the defect. Product defects typically fall into one of three categories; manufacturing, design or inadequate warning. Strict product liability claims differ from other personal injury claims because there is no need to prove that the seller, manufacturer or distributor failed to meet any certain standard, though this does not make them automatically liable for injuries caused by the product. Defendants are not liable if the consumer used the product in a way that could lead to injury, if the consumer’s own carelessness contributed to the injury, or if some other form of interaction with the product led to the injury.

In a strict liability case, the seller, manufacturer or distributor will be strictly liable “regardless of intent or the exercise of reasonable care” for personal injury or property damage to consumers, users and by-standers caused by the goods it has manufactured or sold, if the injured party can prove that the product was in dangerous condition at the time of purchase, the retailer intended for the product to reach the consumer without changes to the product, and the harm to self or property was caused by the defective product.

If you have been harmed by a defective product, it is imperative that you speak to an attorney with experience handling strict product liability claims. Call Darfoor Law Firm at 1-833-DARFOOR for a free consultation. Those who have been injured by consumer products may be entitled to compensation to assist them in meeting their financial needs by holding those responsible for their injuries accountable.

Have ever been impacted by a defective product? Share your story with us on our Instagram page. We look forward to receiving your feedback.

Negligent Security

Negligent security is a subset of premises liability, in which a property owner faces responsibility for crimes or injuries that occur on their property. Property owners have an obligation to keep the people on their property safe, therefore it is their responsibility to maintain adequate security on the premises. Retail businesses that fail to use security cameras to prevent robberies may be accused of negligent security, as well as landowners that fail to prevent foreseeable crimes.

Florida law does not typically hold business owners responsible for crimes on their property, however, if the owner is aware of crime risk such as, businesses in high crime areas or businesses that are repeatedly targeted, the owner has a duty to implement reasonable security measures. In the event of a violent crime that occurs because of negligent security, circumstance determines who is responsible. If the property owner has not provided sufficient security for their property, which allows for the violent crime, the property owner is liable for all injuries obtained by victims involved in the crime. Sufficient security can range anywhere from a landlord ensuring their tenants have working locks on their door to a club owner maintaining a certain amount of security officers or bouncers at all times during hours of operation.

A negligent security case in Florida requires the plaintiff to prove (1) the property owner had a legal duty to provide sufficient security for the premises; (2) the owners breach in providing sufficient security caused/allowed the crime to occur and (3) the plaintiff suffered injury or damage due to the incident.

Negligent security can be tough to prove on your own. Contact Florida premises liability lawyers of Darfoor Law Firm at 1-833-DARFOOR to assist in your case if you are a victim of negligent security. The attorneys can determine if there has been a breach of duty and obtain the necessary compensation to cover your injuries and property damages.

Bad Faith Claims

The majority of drivers are content with their insurance company and depend on their insurance, especially while facing difficult times leaving them unable to work due to injuries or with a large bill due to property damage. In these cases, we expect the support of our insurance company and believe they will have us covered. Unfortunately that is not always the case. Some insurance companies delay their insured’s claims or even deny them without any good reason; this is referred to as a bad faith claim.

There are two types of bad faith claims, first party and third party. A first-party bad faith claim occurs when an insurance company refuses to pay or investigate a claim of their own insured. A third-party bad faith claim occurs when an insurance company fails to defend, compensate, investigate or settle a claim for a party different than their insured. Insurance companies are required by common law and statute to recognize and investigate claims, respond quickly and not slow down the process, and identify reasons for denying or delaying a claim. The state of Florida does not allow first-party bad faith claims under common law, though both common law and statutory law both allow third-party-claims. Florida Statute 624.155(1) allows any person to bring a civil action against an insurer if the insurer is “not attempting in good faith to settle claims when,, under all the circumstances, it could and should have done so, had it acted fairly and honestly toward its insured and with due regard for her or his interests.”

If you believe that an insurance company is not handling your claim in an appropriate manner, call the Darfoor Law Firm at 1-833-DARFOOR to speak with a Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorney that knows the concept of bath faith by insurance companies. We want to ensure that your claim is handled quickly and correctly, allowing you to receive compensation for your injuries, as well as your troubles.

If you have had a negative experience with an insurance company while filing a claim, please leave a comment on our Instagram page about your experience. We look forward to hearing from you.

Alternative Dispute Resolution: Arbitration

Arbitration is a form of alternative dispute resolution, which uses a third party or a panel to make a decision regarding a dispute, and can be court ordered or voluntary. Arbitration is different from mediation, because a decision is made, which is why lawyers and clients must be cautious in agreeing to arbitration. Alternative dispute resolutions are typically preferred, as they are faster and more cost effective than litigation. Arbitration also helps to avoid hostility between parties, as well as being flexible, private and providing simplified rules of evidence and procedure.

Following an agreement to continue with the process of arbitration, both parties may need to agree on certain aspects, such as using a single neutral arbitrator or a panel. Once the procedural elements are agreed upon, the parties may proceed to arbitrator selection. Fortunately, parties are able to choose arbitrators that specialize in areas relevant to their dispute, to obtain the best results. Forward to the hearing, which is less formal than litigation, both parties will present their evidence prior to arbitrator deliberation. Finally, the arbitrator(s) will make a decision and dictate an award, which will be considered binding and not allow for appeal. The parties are required by law to agree to terms determined by the arbitrators’ decision, though the courts will review the case and decision to guarantee there was no misconduct throughout the process.

Have you been compelled to participate in an arbitration? Leave a comment on our Facebook page regarding your experience in an arbitration proceeding. We look forward to receiving your feedback.