Throughout the last decade, the use of cell phones and mobile devices have become more than essential in running the life of your average person. We use them to keep track of our children, communicate with our loved ones, and schedule appointments to expedite our business affairs. I’m sure we’ve all noticed how cellular phones have gone from the old “brick phones” to, iPhones, Blackberrys, myTouch, Droids and HTC phones; basically miniature computers that allow us to surf the web and send e-mails to and from.
But what effects do these new technological advances have on our rights and changes to the constitution? Should there be any regulations and limits that the Government control? Well last month in California, the State Supreme Court ruled on that issue, specifically relating to the fourth amendment. As a friendly reminder, I’m sure we all know that the fourth amendment protects us from unlawful searches and seizures from the Government.
Regarding that Supreme Court case, a man named Gregory Diaz was arrested in the San Francisco area in possession of ecstasy. When he was arrested his cell phone was confiscated. And while Diaz was detained, Law Enforcement officers examined his cell phone text folder, read his undeleted messages, and used those text messages to gather more information to charge Diaz with a felony offense.
While that case was in California, precedence was set and it won’t take long for new laws to spread throughout the rest of the Nation. What does this mean for you and I? This means if you carry a cell phone, or any hand-held mobile device, any device that contains your personal data, that information can be observed by Law Enforcement without obtaining a signed warrant from a Judge. They can search your phone for any text messages and even any e-mails that were left on your phone, and they can do this for up to 90 minutes after your arrest.
This precedent allows Law Enforcement with a new way to gather evidence. If you are arrested, you will now see police officers going through your cell phones, and any incriminating evidence left or saved on your phone, can possibly be used to convict you for a criminal offense.
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When you have reached MMI (Maximum Medical Improvement)
, it means that you have reached a point where the doctor cannot do anything else to make you better from a medical standpoint. You may require additional treatment, but that treatment is to help your pain, not to actually correct anything, like surgery would.
Once you have reached Maximum Medical Improvement
, that does not mean that you cannot see the doctor after that! Your case is still open and you can make an appointment and return to the doctor whenever you need to do so. It may cost you a $10.00 copay, but that is well worth it to keep your case open. The insurance company will still pay for the visit and anything else, including prescriptions that the doctor recommends.
ALWAYS REMEMBER , YOU MUST CONTINUE TO TREAT WITH YOUR AUTHORIZED WORKERS' COMPENSATION DOCTOR
AT LEAST ONCE A YEAR. IF YOU GO 365 DAYS WITHOUT SEEING THE DOCTOR, THE INSURANCE COMPANY MAY CLOSE YOUR CASE AND YOU MAY NOT BE ENTITLED TO ANY ADDITIONAL BENEFITS
Often times, a claimant may want to settle their Worker's Compensation
case after they reach MMI (Maximum Medical Improvement). If you think you may want to take a lump sum settlement instead of keeping your case open and continuing to treat with your doctor, please contact us so that we can help you negotiate the best possible settlement
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Posted in workers-compensation-2:Workers' Compensation