FREQUENTLY
ASKED
QUESTIONS

Personal Injury FAQ

Injury law provides means for injured victims to recover compensation for their injuries resulting from the intentional, reckless or negligent acts of others. To receive the best possible outcome, it is important to be represented by an experienced and skilled injury attorney. The attorneys at Keosian Law LLP have extensive experience, skillset, and the resources to handle complex injury claims and lawsuits.

In order to succeed on an injury claim, one must prove both liability and damages. Often times, when accidents occur, one or more parties will be found negligent, meaning they failed to exercise the care that a reasonable person would have in a similar circumstance. The injured victim must prove (1) that the person(s) who committed the unlawful act(s) owed the victim a duty to exercise reasonable care while performing actions that could harm others, (2) that the duty was violated or breached, (3) that the violation or breach caused the victim’s injury and (4) damages – the actual injury caused by the violation or breach. Medical treatment for your injuries should not be ignored. You may have injuries, which require surgeries, medication, therapy or other pain management solutions. Contact Keosian Law LLP at (877) 554-2226 to discuss the details of your injury claim.

Injury law cases may involve:

  • Car Crashes
  • Motorcycle Accidents
  • Truck or Bus Accidents
  • Pedestrian Accidents
  • Catastrophic Injuries such as Brain Injuries and Spinal Cord Injuries
  • Slip/Trip and Fall
  • Dog Bite Injuries
  • Sexual Assault
  • Assault
  • Food Poisoning
  • Burn Injury
  • Crane Accidents
  • Gas Explosions
  • Heavy Machinery Accidents
  • Defective Products
  • Defamation
  • Safety: Move your car to a safe location, if you’re able.
  • 911: Call 911 to seek medical attention and to obtain a police report.
  • Photographs: Take pictures of the accident scene and the damage caused to all vehicles and property involved.
  • Documents and Information: Exchange contact information (name, address, telephone number and email address) with all parties involved. Take pictures of driver’s license, registration, and insurance of all parties involved.
  • Medical Assistance: The outcome of injury cases are generally based on medical records. It’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible.
  • Contact our office immediately before speaking to any insurance company. Many times, insurance representatives try to obtain recorded statements from you immediately after an accident. They will try to use what you say during these statements against you in the future. Take advantage of our free case evaluation.
  • Our representatives are ready to assist 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Call us at (877) 554-2226 immediately after an incident to discuss the facts of your potential case with one of our highly experienced attorneys. The validity of your personal injury claim, the steps that need to be taken to protect your rights, and the likelihood of a successful/favorable outcome will depend on the facts and circumstances surrounding the incident.

Remember, visible injuries are not necessary to file a personal injury claim; for example, headaches resulting from traumatic or mild traumatic brain injuries are often times unnoticed immediately after a car crash. Emotional distress, lack of sleep, dizziness and anxiety are also common symptoms that may arise several days or weeks after an incident. The mere expectation of harm would also be grounds for filing a personal injury lawsuit against a negligent person.

More often than not, victims of car accidents do not have adequate insurance to cover them for their injuries resulting from car accidents. If you are in an accident with an uninsured motorist and do not have Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage on your own policy, you may not receive any compensation for your injuries, even if the other person is placed 100% at fault. An uninsured motorist is an at-fault driver who either has no auto insurance, does not have insurance that meets state-required minimum liability amounts, or a hit-and-run driver would also be considered an uninsured motorist.

Solution: Insurance companies provide UM coverage for their insureds, which is specifically designed to protect them against financial losses stemming from an accident in which the other driver lacks sufficient coverage.

In some instances, an at-fault driver may have some insurance but not enough to cover the full cost of a claim. Many drivers purchase the lowest coverage amounts required by the state to save money on their car insurance.

Solution: Insurance companies also provide Underinsured Coverage (UIM), which covers situations in which the at-fault driver does not have enough insurance to fully cover the injured party’s damages. UM and UIM coverage are usually bundled together and available to protect you in these situations. Though these coverages are typically optional, they are highly recommended.

Yes! An experienced and skilled personal injury attorney can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case. Injured plaintiffs who hire an experienced and skilled accident lawyer generally receive a more favorable outcome than people who represent themselves. Contact Keosian Law LLP at (877) 554-2226 to discuss the details of your injury claim, free of charge.

Keosian Law LLP handles all personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis. We never charge any fees unless we succeed in recovering compensation for our Clients.  There are no out of pocket fees when we take your case. Our law firm will advance all costs associated with your case, including the cost of obtaining police reports and medical records, litigation costs, jury fees, court fees, depositions, expert witnesses, and other fees associated with litigation.  Once we are successful, we will charge a percentage of the recovery and we will deduct the advanced costs from the settlement proceeds. If, in the rare event, we are not successful, you still will not be liable to reimburse us for our costs.

The value of a personal injury case varies based on the amount of damages sustained and expenses you have incurred and are expected to incur in the future. Medical bills (present and future), pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of consortium, loss of earnings, and loss of earning capacity are all factors to consider when evaluating the value of a personal injury claim. When the at-fault party’s wrongful behavior was grossly negligent, extremely reckless or malicious, courts may award punitive damages which is an added amount of compensation.

The injury law firm you choose can have a huge impact on the amount you recover.

A traumatic brain injury (“TBI”) is a catastrophic injury that can result from a rapid head movement, a mild bump to the head, or in severe cases, a violent blow or jolt to the head. A TBI, even if mild (“mTBI”), is a severe injury that can cause a life time of permanent limitations. Despite popular belief, one does not need to lose consciousness or sustain a direct impact to the head to suffer from a TBI or mTBI. A victim of TBI or mTBI may not realize that they have a problem until they try to resume their usual activities.

Common causes of a traumatic brain injury include car crashes, rollovers, motorcycle accidents, sport related activities, and fall incidents. A victim of a TBI or mTBI may require a life-care plan, therapy sessions, surgeries, and 24 hour care. Not only does a TBI/mTBI effect the victim physically, it also causes psychological and financial hardships which should be considered when evaluating the value of a case. In order to properly evaluate all aspects of a victim’s brain injury and build a strong case against the at-fault party or parties, it is crucial to be represented by an experienced brain injury attorney who will connect you with top brain injury experts and provide resources to maximize your recovery.

Common TBI and mTBI symptoms include:

  • Headaches
  • Lack of concentration as a result of the accident
  • Increased sensitivity to light
  • Mood swings causing anger
  • Multi-tasking issues
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Dizziness
  • Vision problems
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Loss of ability to smell or taste
  • Sensitivity to light or sounds
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Loss of motor functions
  • Loss of balance
  • Vertigo
  • Irritability
  • Stress
  • Anger outbursts
  • Lack of memory or diminished short-term memory
  • Lack of energy
  • Fatigue
  • Decreased sexual desire
  • Lack of sleep
  • Sleeping more than usual
  • Decreased desire to complete day to day tasks
  • Attention disorder
  • Bad judgment
  • Unorganized
  • Difficulty planning or making decisions
  • Beginning or completing tasks
  • Highly emotional
  • Mood and behavioral changes
  • Lack of motivation or ambition
  • Inability to understand complex issues
  • Loss of analytical processing
  • Loss of acquired knowledge
  • Personality changes

Some cases can settle very quickly while others may take years to complete. This often depends on a few factors such as (1) the type of injuries involved and the treatments required, (2) amount of damages being claimed, (3) the medical history of the plaintiff, (4) the number and type of defendant you are dealing with, and (5) the facts and circumstances surrounding your case. Insurance companies often try to pay as little as possible to settle your claim. It is important to retain the services of a personal injury law firm that will not settle your case for less than it’s worth. If a company is not dealing fairly with you, taking them to trial may be the only way to secure just compensation for the harm you have suffered. The lawyers at Keosian Law LLP have significant litigation experience against large companies. Contact Keosian Law LLP at (877) 554-2226 to discuss the details of your injury claim.

Property Damage FAQ

Property damage means direct, distinct and demonstrable, physical injury to or destruction of tangible property. Most homeowner insurance policies provide coverage for sudden and accidental incidents that cause damage to property. For best results, contact the experienced property damage attorneys at (877) 554-2226 before initiating a first-party insurance claim.

As businesses and business owners interact with the public, other companies, or the government, legal assistance is always beneficial.

Every insurance policy is different and it will be best to have one of our experienced property damage attorneys review your policy and explain the coverages you have. In general, most standard policies cover the following perils:

  • Water Damage: Most homeowners insurance policies cover sudden and accidental incidents, such as a pipe break/burst or sudden damage caused by rain. On-going leakage or seepage is usually excluded. If not attended to, mold may start to grow within days. Not only is it important to mitigate your damages and prevent further damage, it is also a requirement by all insurance policies and the law.

Although used interchangeably, the terms “flood” and “water damage” have completely different meanings in the insurance industry. Flood occurs when there is outside water that enters the property. Flood requires a separate policy and is generally not covered by standard homeowners policies.

  • Fire Damage: Structure fire insurance claims can become very complex and involve thorough investigations. Although responding fire fighters assist with turning off the fire, they cause significant structural and water damage to the building and personal items in that process. Typically, insurance companies retain the services of an arson and/or cause and origin investigator to demine the cause of the fire. It is important to document and memorialize the details of each inspection and to preserve evidence throughout the process.
  • Smoke Damage: Large wildfires can cause smoke, ash and soot particles to enter nearby properties and cause damage to structures and personal items. These damages are sometimes hidden and or not visible to the naked eye. Our team of experienced property damage attorneys and consulting experts will evaluate your damages and prepare reports and estimates in relation to same.
  • Wind Damage: High-speed winds and/or gusts can cause serious damage to your home. Time and time again, we have represented homeowners whose roofing materials have flown off as a result of high winds and subsequent rain water has penetrated the property and caused serious damage throughout. We have also represented homeowners who had trees fall on their homes and cause serious damage. These claims can become complex. For the best results, contact the experienced property damage attorneys at Keosian Law LLP. (877) 554-2226.
  • Burglary, Break-In & Theft, Vandalism: Burglary claims are generally subject to policy limitations. Most insurance policies apply low limits on cash, coins, silverware, jewelry, watches, rugs, furs, firearms, electronics and other items. Typically, burglars enter the home by breaking glass doors or windows, causing damage to the structure itself. After they break the glass door/window, typically, they walk/run around the home with glass under their shoes while scratching the floors. They ransack the home and while rushing out, they cause damage to walls, dressers, and/or cabinets. It is important to review your insurance policy with our experienced property damage attorneys to determine whether you are adequately covered in the event of a burglary/vandalism loss. Contact us at (877) 554-2226 for a free consultation.
  • Earthquake: California is an earthquake prone state. Your standard homeowners insurance policy does not provide coverage for earthquake. You must purchase a separate earthquake policy for all properties you own. We recommend purchasing a policy with a low deducible, such as 5%. It is important to review your earthquake insurance policy with our experienced property damage attorneys to determine whether you are adequately covered in the event of an earthquake. Contact us at (877) 554-2226 for a free consultation.

Every insurance policy is different and it will be best to have one of our experienced property damage attorneys review your policy and explain the coverages you have. Generally, there are four (4) main applicable coverages you may seek coverage under when a first-party claim for property damage is initiated. Those coverages are:

  • Coverage A: Dwelling – This coverage protects the building structure itself. This includes ceilings, walls, flooring, cabinets, electrical and plumbing.

  • Coverage B: Other Structures – This coverage protects detached structures on the property. Examples include detached garages, detached patios, pools, and fencing.

  • Coverage C: Personal Property / Contents – This coverage protects your personal items. Examples include cash, coins, silverware, jewelry, watches, rugs, furs, firearms, electronics, accessories, shoes, purses, and other items.

  • Coverage D: Additional Living Expenses – This coverage is for any additional living expenses you incur as a result of the loss. For example, if your home becomes uninhabitable (you can’t live in the home) as a result of a fire or water loss, depending on how your policy is written, you will be entitled to either the fair rental value of your home or to lease a home that is comparable to yours. Other examples include added meal expenses or gas expenses for having to drive longer distance to the temporary location.

Before you speak to anyone, call the experienced property damage attorneys at Keosian Law LLP at (877) 554-2226. One of our attorneys will explain the entire claim process to you and help determine whether your insurance company should extend coverage for the incident. Keep in mind – What gets said and done in the first few days of your claim seriously impacts the outcome. Don’t jeopardize a successful outcome by trying to handle this process on your own.

Insurance policies require you to take certain steps after a loss. Most insurance policies generally refer to these steps as “Your Duties After a Loss”. If you fail to meet these duties, your insurance company may have grounds to deny your claim, partially or in its entirety. Once retained, we will be in corner and guide you to fulfill all of your duties.

What gets said and done in the first few days of your claim can seriously impact the outcome. Don’t jeopardize a successful outcome by trying to handle this process on your own. Almost daily, we meet people who’ve tried to settle a claim without our help. These people have usually become miserable, realizing they missed options in maximizing their recovery. Remember, insurance companies are in business to be profitable and limit claim payments by pointing to policy exclusions in order to deny your claim or limit their exposure.

Insurance companies tend to handle claims more carefully when an experienced property damage attorney is involved, especially one who will take them to trial in the event they mistreat their insureds by causing unreasonable delays, act maliciously, oppressively, fraudulently and in bad faith, or underpay on a claim.

The experienced property damage attorneys at Keosian Law LLP have represented and guided thousands of satisfied client to a successful financial recovery. We will represent you throughout the entire claim process and assist every step of way, saving you time and stress.

Having a professional, experienced and aggressive property damage attorney in your corner who has in-depth knowledge in insurance policies, contract law, and insurance law can facilitate a successful and favorable outcome of your claim. We know and understand the emotional toll on families and business and we are there to support you all along the way, working toward taking you back to your pre-loss condition.

The law requires insurance companies to act in good faith while handling claims and meet their legal and contractual obligations in the claim process. At times, insurance companies and their managing agents handle claims maliciously, oppressively, fraudulently and/or in bad faith. At times, they cause unreasonable delays, unjustifiably deny/underpay a claim, and engage in despicable conduct. It is important to document this type of conduct every step of the way so that there won’t be any confusion or hearsay if/when litigation is commenced. Bad faith damages include economic and non-economic damages, attorney fees and punitive damages to punish the insurer and prevent them from engaging in such conduct in the future. Keosian Law LLP has represented several thousand property owners for property damage claims and cases. Our reputation in the courtroom speaks for itself.

“Malice” means that an insurer acted with intent to cause injury or that its conduct was despicable and was done with a willful and knowing disregard of your rights or safety. An insurer acts with knowing disregard when the defendant is aware of the probable dangerous consequences of its conduct and deliberately fails to avoid those consequences.

“Oppression” means that the insurer’s conduct was despicable and subjected you to cruel and unjust hardship in knowing disregard of your rights.

“Fraud” means that the insurer intentionally misrepresented or concealed a material fact and did so intending to harm you.

“Despicable conduct” is conduct that is so vile, base, or contemptible that it would be looked down on and despised by reasonable people.

Before you speak to anyone, call the experienced property damage attorneys at Keosian Law LLP at (877) 554-2226 to go over the facts and circumstances surrounding the incident. We will explain the entire claim process to you and help determine whether your insurance company should extend coverage for the incident.

What gets said and done in the first few days of your claim can seriously impact the outcome. Don’t jeopardize a successful outcome by trying to handle this process on your own. Almost daily, we meet people who’ve tried to settle a claim without our help. These people have usually become miserable, realizing they missed options in maximizing their recovery. Remember, insurance companies are in business to be profitable and limit claim payments by pointing to a policy exclusions in order to deny your claim or limit their exposure.

The term “Personal Property” is refers to your personal items such as furniture, clothing, accessories, purses, shoes, belts, electronics, documents, and more. These items may become damaged after a loss.

Burglary claims are generally subject to policy limitations. Most insurance policies apply low limits on cash, coins, silverware, jewelry, watches, rugs, furs, firearms, electronics and other items. It is important to review your insurance policy with our experienced property damage attorneys to determine whether you are adequately covered in the event of a loss. Contact us at (877) 554-2226 for a free consultation.

No. That adjuster works for your insurance company. The adjusters get paid by the insurance company and their job is to represent the interests of the insurance company. It is best to have an experienced property damage attorney on your side who will work in your best interest and maximize your recovery.

Preferred vendors are contractors who get substantial work from insurance companies who are willing to work for smaller profits than local competitors, which can impact the quality of their work. Insurance companies often times try to force insureds to hire preferred vendors because they are likely to support insurance company adjusters when faced with decisions like whether to repair/clean versus replace (they will likely choose the least expensive method). Be very cautious of this. You may request the insurance adjuster to hire the preferred vendor directly instead of you hiring them because if something goes wrong, the adjuster could point out that you hired them, not the insurance company (in an attempt to wash their hands from any liability).

Burglaries have been on the rise (for multiple reasons). Having represented thousands of property damage clients whose homes have been damaged or burglarized/vandalized, we recommend the following:

  • Install and regularly monitor your security cameras. Install cameras that will notify you once motion is detected. Older cameras are nice but serve little to no purpose nowadays.

  • Install and activate your alarm systems ALL the time, even when you’re going to run a quick errand at a nearby market. Burglars/Vandals usually monitor homes and enter when no one is there. An alarm system will help minimize/limit their time in your castle. 

  • Install glass breaking sensors. Since some alarms won’t sound unless a door or window opens, burglars/vandals have been breaking glass and entering without opening a door or window. A glass breaking sensor will sound the alarm, even if the door or window doesn’t open. 

  • Get a large dog because they are great deterrents. Burglars’ main objective is to enter and steal as much as they can in the least amount of time, without having to encounter people or dogs.

  • Put up signs that tell outsiders that you have an alarm system, security cameras and a dog. 

  • Install bright motion lights around your house. Burglars don’t like the attention that comes with bright lights. 

  • Stay in touch with your neighbors. Keep each other informed of unusual activities within the neighborhood.

  • Don’t create habits. In other words, don’t leave the house every morning at the same time and come back home at the same time. Make their job as difficult as you can – to a point where they can’t reasonably track when you leave or when you come back. 

  • Always pay very close attention to your surroundings. 

  • Purchase adequate insurance to properly insure your jewelry, watches, coins, rugs, furs, firearms, electronics and other items that have limits on our homeowners insurance policy.

  • Don’t leave cash at home. Most insurance policies will cover only up to $200 in cash. 

  • If you have a safe, make sure it’s bolted down.

Save our number and call us with any questions regarding burglary/vandalism issues and/or claims. (877) 554-2226.

You should review your insurance policies every year. Why? The cost of construction fluctuates. You may have remodeled your property with more expensive materials such that your prior coverages would be insufficient. You may have purchased more personal or business items which would require additional coverage. You may have expanded your business where you may need additional liability insurance coverage to protect yourself in the event of an accident or negligent conduct of your employee(s). Contact us at (877) 554-2226 for a free consultation and a complimentary review of your homeowners, business and/or automobile insurance policies.

A public adjuster is simply an adjuster who will write a repair estimate and try to reach a settlement with the insurance company. Why settle early on when you can hire a licensed and experienced property damage attorney to fight for you and recover more money on your claim?  Remember, a public adjuster is not a licensed attorney. Typically, public adjusters are connected the fire departments’ radio systems and desperately and randomly show up at your door step to solicit your business. If/When a public adjuster reaches an impasse with your insurance company, the insurance adjuster knows there’s not much legal recourse a public adjuster can take. Usually, public adjusters contact experienced property damage litigation attorneys like Keosian Law LLP to take over the claim when they’re at an impasse with the insurance company. One may ask, why go through the haste? Shouldn’t I just hire the experienced property damage attorney from the start? Well, there you have it; you’ve answered your own question.

Business Law FAQ

Business Law deals with everything from the creation of new business to any issues that can arise while operating, such as tax law, intellectual property, real estate, sales, employment, bankruptcy, contracts and more.

As businesses and business owners interact with the public, other companies, or the government, legal assistance is always beneficial.

Business attorneys help guide businesses through the myriad of state and federal laws that affect its business. They help with all aspects of entity issues (such as forming a corporation or other entity, corporate maintenance, selling additional shares, stock option plans, and dissolution), contracts (drafting, review and negotiation), disputes with third parties, and other issues that affect your business, such as employment issues, protecting intellectual property and regulatory compliance.

Proper business planning and formation at the outset can help prevent serious issues or pitfalls in the future. We strongly recommend and encourage you to contact the experienced Business Law attorneys at Keosian Law LLP at (877) 554-2226 to determine which type of business will best meet the needs of your operation.

  • Sole Proprietorship: A sole proprietor is someone who owns an unincorporated business by himself or herself. Sole proprietorships are easy to establish and dismantle, due to a lack of government involvement, making them popular with small business owners and contractors. The main disadvantage of a sole proprietorship is the unlimited liability that goes beyond the business to the owner. The debts of the sole proprietorship are also the debts of the owner.

  • Partnership: An arrangement between two or more people to oversee business operations and share its profits and liabilities. Partnerships do not pay income tax because the tax responsibility passes through to the partners, who are not considered employees for tax purposes. Partners are personally held liable for any business debts of the partnership, which means that creditors or other claimants can go after the partners’ personal assets.

  • Limited Liability Partnership: This arrangement limits partners’ personal liability so that, for example, if one partner is sued for malpractice, the assets of other partners are not at risk.

  • Limited Partnership: A hybrid of general partnerships and limited liability partnerships. At least one partner must be a general partner, with full personal liability for the partnership’s debts and at least one other whose liability is limited to the amount invested. The general partners maintain operations of the firm and have full liability, whereas limited (silent) partners, who are often passive investors or otherwise not involved in day-to-day operations, enjoy limited liability.

  • Corporation: A legal entity created by individuals, stockholders, or shareholders, with the purpose of operating for profit. Corporations are managed by a board directors and allowed to enter into contracts, sue and be sued, own assets, remit federal and state taxes, and borrow money from financial institutions.

The process of incorporation gives the business entity a distinct feature that protects its owners from being personally liable in the event of a lawsuit or legal claim. There are two main types of corporations:

  • C Corporation: Owners receive profits and are taxed at the individual level, while the corporation itself is taxed as a business entity

  • S Corporation: Consists of up to 100 shareholders and is not taxed separately. The profits and/or losses are carried by the shareholders on their personal income tax returns.

  • Limited Liability Company: Allows you to take advantage of the benefits of both the corporation and partnership business structures. LLCs protect you from personal liability. Your personal assets such as your house, investment properties, bank accounts, and cars won’t be at risk if your LLC gets sued or faces bankruptcy.

The team of experienced Business Law attorneys at Keosian Law LLP have an in-depth understanding of legal issues involving businesses and how to protect them effectively. Contact us today at (877) 554-2226 to determine which type of business structure will best meet the needs of your operation.

Written contracts help make sure that the parties who are making a deal are on the same page. When disputes arise, courts often look at the written terms of a contract and the intent of the parties at the time they entered into a contract. The experienced Business law attorneys at Keosian Law LLP can help make sure your best interests are represented when your business enters into a contract. Call us today at (877) 554-2226.

Some people think they do not need to consult an attorney until there is a lawsuit. This is a very big misconception. Having an attorney assist with how your business is formed and operates can help you avoid many lawsuits and liabilities in the future. Keosian Law LLP proudly serves the residents, families, and businesses in California. We have an in-depth understanding of legal issues involving businesses and know how to protect them effectively. Call us today at (877) 554-2226 to review your business structure, insurance policies and contracts.

Bankruptcy FAQ

Chapter 7 bankruptcy—also called “straight” or “liquidation” bankruptcy—is designed to give you a fresh start by wiping out many types of debt. In return, the bankruptcy trustee sells (liquidates) your nonexempt property to provide partial repayment to creditors. Many people have very little nonexempt property, so most Chapter 7 bankruptcy filers end up keeping most or all of their property.

A debtor is someone who owes money for an outstanding debt. “Debtor” is also the term used to describe someone who files for bankruptcy relief. A debtor can be an individual or company. By contrast, the “creditor” is the person or business to which the debtor owes money, and a “codebtor” is responsible for a debt along with you. For instance, if your aunt cosigned your loan (signed a contract agreeing to pay for the car if you didn’t), your aunt would be the codebtor on the loan. As codebtors, you’d both be responsible for paying off the obligation.

In Chapter 7, the debtor’s household income must be low enough to qualify. Suppose the household income is below the state median income for similar households. In that case, the debtor presumptively qualifies for Chapter 7, although the judge can still require filing under Chapter 13 if the debtor has sufficient income to fund a Chapter 13 plan. If the debtor’s income is higher than the median, the rules then look at the debtor’s means. If, after considering certain expenses and debt payments, enough income exists to fund a repayment plan, the debtor will qualify.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy wipes out most types of unsecured debt. Unsecured debts are debts that aren’t guaranteed by collateral property. (A mortgage is a secured debt guaranteed by the home; an auto loan is a secured debt guaranteed by a vehicle.) Unsecured debts wiped out by Chapter 7 bankruptcy include credit card debt, medical bills, and gasoline card debt.   However, you can’t wipe out all unsecured debt. For instance, child and spousal support and student loans (except in limited circumstances) are nondischargeable—you’ll remain responsible for repaying them after bankruptcy. Some other debts might not be dischargeable if the creditor objects, such as recent debts for luxury goods, debts incurred based on fraud (such as lying on a credit application or writing a bad check), and tax debts first due within the previous three years.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is also called a wage earner’s plan. It enables individuals with regular income to develop a plan to repay all or part of their debts to creditors. Debtors generally propose a repayment plan to make installments to creditors over three to five years. If the debtor’s current monthly income is less than the applicable state median, the plan will be for three years unless the court approves a longer period “for cause.” If the debtor’s current monthly income is greater than the applicable state median, the plan generally must be for five years. In no case may a plan provide for payments over a period longer than five years. During this time the law forbids creditors from starting or continuing collection efforts.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Basics: Discharge most types of unsecured debt. The trustee will try to sell any significant nonexempt property in order to repay your creditors.

Basics: You repay your creditors (some in full, some in part) through a Chapter 13 Repayment Plan.

Time Frame: Typically, three to four months to complete.

Time Frame: Lasts three or five years (depending on your income). At the end, most of your unsecured debt balances will be discharged.

Property: Many Chapter 7 debtors keep all or most of their property. Petitioners with significant equity or assets that are not exempt by law could lose them to satisfy some debts.

Property: No property is liquidated under a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Your Income: Some high-income earners won’t be eligible for Chapter 7.

Your Income: Chapter 13 requires a regular income for the monthly payment.

Homeowners/Foreclosures: Can temporarily stop foreclosure, but unless you can get current on your mortgage, the foreclosure will eventually continue.

Homeowners/Foreclosures: Can stop a foreclosure and you can make up past due mortgage payments through your repayment plan.

Eligibility: Available to those whose income is less than the median of their state, or those who can pass the means test.

Eligibility: Has no income requirement, but unsecured debt must be below $419,275 and secured debt below $1,257,850.

For many debtors, Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a good option. It has provisions that will allow an individual with regular income to repay some creditors less than the amount owed while keeping all assets, including houses and cars. But not everyone is eligible. Contact the experienced Bankruptcy attorneys at Keosian Law LLP at (877) 554-2226 to determine who can and cannot file this bankruptcy type.

The injury law firm you choose can have a huge impact on the amount you recover.

Employment Law Cases FAQ

First, what you need to know is that most relationships between an employer and an employee are “at will”, which means you can quit your job anytime you want and conversely your employer can fire you for pretty much any reason they want and sometimes for no reason at all.

You may have signed some paperwork when you first started your job but that doesn’t necessarily mean you are guaranteed employment with your employer or that you can’t get fired. Those documents you initially signed can be for several reasons, for example, it helps the employer to figure out how your taxes are going to come out every pay check, or the document you signed is meant for you to acknowledge the rules and regulations of the workplace, or for you to acknowledge receipt of the employee handbook. None of these guarantee your employment. With that said, chances are you are considered an “at will” employee and can be fired for almost any reason and in some cases for no reason at all.

This means your employer does not have an obligation to keep you employed. However, they do have an obligation to treat you fairly according to California law. But please be aware, just because your boss is mean to you, or you feel you’re overloaded with assignments doesn’t necessarily mean your employer has broken the law and in turn doesn’t always mean you were harassed, or discriminated against. Also, just because you were fired doesn’t always mean you were wrongfully terminated. California law states that you as an employee need to prove that the unfair treatment you’re experiencing at work was due to a protected category of employee.

  • Sexual Harassment
  • Racial Discrimination
  • Religious Discrimination
  • Pregnancy Discrimination
  • Breast Feeding Violations
  • Gender Discrimination
  • Sexual Orientation Discrimination
  • Age Discrimination
  • Disability Discrimination
  • Rest and Meal Breaks
  • Wage and Overtime
  • Hostile Workplace
  • Retaliation
  • Wrongful Termination

Title VII of the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 prohibits sexual harassment in the workplace. The two types of sexual harassment that may occur at work are:

  • Quid Pro Quo (“this for that”): When an employer offers an employee some sort of job benefit in exchange for a sexual act.
  • Hostile Work Environment: When the employer’s sexually harassing behaviors have become repetitive and aggressive or widespread that an employee is unable to perform his/her job duties. Anyone within the company can file a hostile work environment claim, whether he/she is directly or indirectly a victim. In other words, an employee who is constantly being harassed by her manager to the extent that he/she is unable to perform his/her job duties is a direct victim. An employee who regularly witnesses another employee being sexually harassed can also file a claim, even though he/she has never been directly harassed.

If you feel like you have been sexually harassed at work, the experienced and knowledgeable employment law attorneys at Keosian Law LLP can help you seek justice against your employer. Contact us at (877) 554-2226.

Remember, visible injuries are not necessary to file a personal injury claim; for example, headaches resulting from traumatic or mild traumatic brain injuries are often times unnoticed immediately after a car crash. Emotional distress, lack of sleep, dizziness and anxiety are also common symptoms that may arise several days or weeks after an incident. The mere expectation of harm would also be grounds for filing a personal injury lawsuit against a negligent person.

It is not always obvious to tell whether you have been harassed or discriminated against in a way that would violate California employment law. As a general rule, the following can be considered harassment:

If your manager or boss requests a sexual favor in return for a promotion or raise. If your manager, boss, or even coworkers make inappropriate jokes or comments based on your ethnicity, gender, religion, or age, this also constitutes hostile work environment when it results in any reasonable person feeling intimidated, uncomfortable, or threatened in a way that negatively affects his or her employment.

Typically this conduct is severe and pervasive in nature.

It is important to note that just because your boss was mean to you does not necessarily mean you are a victim of a hostile work environment. Your employer’s conduct must violate the law based on the categories listed above.

Retaliation occurs when your employer takes adverse action against you, such as wrongful termination or a demotion, because you filed a report or complaint for harassment, unfair pay, unsafe conditions, illegal activities, discrimination, as well as against workers who request pregnancy leave, disability accommodations or medical leave, etc. Retaliation is illegal and your employer may be held liable. If you feel like you have been retaliated against, the experienced and knowledgeable employment law attorneys at Keosian Law LLP can help you seek justice. Contact us at (877) 554-2226.

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act states employers cannot treat pregnant women differently because of their pregnancy. Pregnant women have the right to ask their employer to make reasonable accommodations for their disability. Employers can do this by temporarily giving you different/new job duties or adjusting your work schedule.

Pregnancy discrimination cases can relate to a pregnant woman’s right to maternity leave. Your employer shall not make unlawful demands related to your maternity leave. Employers must allow pregnant women to take the same type of leave as other temporarily disabled workers. Pregnant women are also protected under the Family and Medical Leave Act, which ensures every woman who goes on maternity leave spends time with her newborn. Pregnant women are allowed to take up to twelve weeks of unpaid leave. Fathers are also allowed twelve weeks of unpaid leave to bond with their newborn. If you choose to take an FMLA-related leave of absence, your employer must allow you to come back to work in the same or an equivalent capacity at the conclusion of your leave.

Examples of pregnancy discrimination include:
  • Refusing to hire a pregnant woman
  • Failing to attempt providing reasonable accommodations while pregnant
  • Negative comments about the pregnancy or the need to take leave
  • Failing to provide maternity leave
  • Firing a pregnant employee
  • Failing to provide a promotion due to pregnancy
  • Harassment due to pregnancy such as insulting or intimidating comments
  • Failure to allow an employee to return to her job after maternity leave
  • Basing recruitment decisions based on pregnancy
  • Changing employment expectations such as number of working hours
  • Firing or treating an employee differently because they need to pump breast milk
  • Harassing or inappropriate comments about the use of a breast pump

If you believe you are a victim of pregnancy discrimination, contact Keosian Law LLP at (877) 554-2226 to speak with our experienced and knowledgeable employment law attorneys.

The short answer is yes.

If you work at least 3.5 hours in a day, you are entitled to a 10-minute paid rest break.

If you work over 6 hours, you are entitled to a second 10-minute paid rest break.

If you work over 10 hours, you are entitled to a third 10-minute paid rest break.

If you work over 5 hours in a day, you are entitled to a 30-minute meal break.

If you work over 10 hours in a day, you are entitled to a second 30-minute meal break.

Please note you cannot be required to work during any required rest or meal break.

Contact Keosian Law