Consumer Matters is a monthly e-newsletter prepared by The Arcia Law Firm, P.L., and is dedicated to provide you with vital information related to your health, consumer safety, and improved quality of life.  This newsletter will also provide you with recent verdict and settlement information in personal injury, medical malpractice, and other related legal matters.  Feel free to forward this newsletter to friends, family and colleagues that may be interested in its content.  If you would not like to receive any future copies of our informative newsletter, you may unsubscribe below where indicated.

As soon as you hire your first employee, you'll need to know about laws governing employers' relationships with their workers.

As an employer, you are held accountable to a host of state and federal laws that regulate your relationship with your employees. Among the things you'll be expected to know and understand:

  • Proper hiring practices, including how to conduct interviews, investigate job applicants and respect privacy.
  • Wage and hour laws, including those governing the minimum wage, overtime and compensatory time.
  • How to avoid sexual harassment as well as discrimination based on gender, age, race, pregnancy, sexual orientation, disability and national origin.
  • The minimum requirements for sick, vacation, parental and other types of employee leave.
  • How to write an employee handbook, conduct performance reviews and discipline employees.
  • How to fire an employee without trampling on his or her legal rights.
  • How to protect your business and respect employees' rights when they leave.
  • What the law allows if you want to run a background check, do a workplace search or monitor employee conduct.

As an employer, you are required to maintain a high-level of documentation regarding your employees, contractors and personnel.  Here's a list of the most important documents and forms that you should consider each time you hire someone:

  • Employment Letter. This is necessary to document the agreement between the parties, and ensures a starting point for all future salary and performance adjustments and issues.
  • Employee Handbook. If you have such a handbook and didn't give it to the employee during the application and interview stages, now is the time to do so. Get a written receipt and keep it in the employee's file.
  • Covenant Not to Compete. This is useful if you have employees who could harm your business if they left to work for a competitor or started a business of their own in competition with yours.
  • Confidentiality Agreement. Use such an agreement if you'll be disclosing trade secrets and other proprietary information to an employee.
  • INS Form I-9. This form, required by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, is intended to help exclude undocumented aliens from the workforce.
  • IRS Form W-4. Each employee must complete this form so you can properly determine the level of tax to withhold from every paycheck.
  • New Hire Reporting Form. Within a short time after you hire someone -- 20 days or less, depending on your state's rules -- you must file a New Hire Reporting Form with a designated state agency.
  • Employee Benefit Sign-Up. If your business offers employee benefit programs such as health insurance or a 401(k) plan, you may have a sign-up procedure so employees can name their dependents and select options.
  • IRS Form SS-4 (new employers only). The IRS requires an Employer Identification Number for all employers except sole proprietorships.

If you are still uncertain whether your business is in compliance with State or Federal employer/employee guidelines and regulations, please contact us today and we will put you in contact with a highly skilled attorney who can closely review your business practices and prepare a detailed compliance plan for your business.



It doesn’t matter how good your case is, if you lie to your lawyer or the insurance company about past injuries and accidents, the jury is going to make sure you lose.

Remember that the insurance companies have access to vast databases about your private life, including past lawsuits, claims and injuries.

Honesty is the best policy.  Tell your lawyer all about past claims, then he can deal with it accordingly.

The worst thing is for your lawyer to be the last one to know!

Underinsured?  Whose fault is that?

I get calls from potential clients from time to time who have been involved in serious auto accidents, but for whom I can be of no assistance.  I spoke to a man the other day who was rear ended by a large SUV.  He suffered a serious injury to his neck and faces the prospect of multiple surgeries and an inability to work at all in the future.

The bad news is that despite the clear liability and substantial damages, the person who hit him has minimal insurance coverage. The potential claimant, too, had failed to adequately protect himself and his family with the purchase of a sufficient amount of uninsured motorist coverage.

This man ended up getting frustrated at me because I could not solve his problem.  The problem is that he failed to adequately investigate and purchase uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.  This insurance is cheap and frankly is the best deal out there for consumers.  If you are a reader of this newsletter, and have not consulted with your insurance agent to find out how much it costs to buy at least $500,000.00 of uninsured motorist coverage, do it today.

We are available to discuss your rights if you, a friend or loved one has been injured in an auto accident, or is the victim of medical malpractice. We also accept cases involving a slip & fall, wrongful death, product liability, business and real estate disputes.  Please call us today for a free consultation at 1-800-757-9805, email us at info@arcialawfirm.com, or visit our website www.arcialawfirm.com and complete our Free Evaluation form. 

Our Firm accepts and handles personal injury, medical malpractice and other legal matters in Pembroke Pines, Miramar, Davie, Cooper City , Ft. Lauderdale, Plantation, Sunrise, Coral Springs, Lauderhill, Weston, Southwest Ranches, Sunrise, Margate, Oakland Park, Hollywood, Lauderdale Lakes, Hallandale, Dania, Pembroke Park, Wilton Manors, West Palm Beach, Pompano Beach, Miami, Coral Gables, North Miami, Aventura, Sunny Isles, Bal Harbour, Hialeah, Miami Lakes

Driver paralyzed by seat collapse in Ford SUV awarded $10.3M by Palm Beach County Jury

A woman who was rendered a quadriplegic when her Ford Explorer seatback collapsed in a rear-ender was awarded $10.3 million. The Plaintiff, who's in her 60s, broke her neck and is left with only slight use of one of her hands. Plaintiff's counsel argued that the seatback shouldn't have collapsed backward, which caused her to be thrown into the backseat, where her head struck the rear seatback.

The 2000 Explorer's seatback lacked the proper strength and design, which can be found in other Ford models, to prevent it from collapsing, her lawyers argued. Ford's attorneys argued that the collapsing seat was actually a planned safety mechanism. Of the award, her husband received $1 million.

Either the Arcia Law Firm nor Omar Arcia represented any of the parties to this action

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This publication is intended to educate the general public about personal injury, medical malpractice, insurance, and small business issues.  It is not intended to be legal advice.  Every case is different.  The information in this newsletter may be freely copied as long as the newsletter is copied in its entirety.


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Miramar, Florida 33027
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