5 Legal Rights You Didn’t Know You Had

We’ve all watched crime movies and are familiar with Miranda Rights, which are when the police tell you that ‘you have the right to remain silent’ when you’re arrested. Or the infamous ‘I plead the fifth,’ which the criminals often resort to avoid self-incrimination before the court in law-themed tv shows. However, did you know there are several other legal rights that you have that can help you in times of trouble? We doubt it. Well, not to worry. This is your ultimate guide to the most important legal rights you didn’t know you had!

1. The Right to Compensation through Vicarious Liability

One of your most important rights as an individual is the right to compensation through vicarious liability. Most of us don’t know that when we suffer harm at the hands of someone in the employment of or in control of another entity, we can hold that entity liable.

For instance, if an insurance agent defrauded you, you have a claim against the insurance company, or if a child vandalized your walls, you could sue the parents for damages. If you want to know the extent to which your claim exists, you should seek legal advice from a qualified attorney that specializes in such cases, such as if you were involved in a truck accident, an expert truck accident law firm could help you file a claim against a trucking company.

2. The Right to Refuse an Untimely Search

You may be aware that you can refuse to allow the police access to your home or office without a search warrant, but did you know there are certain restrictions the police must follow even if they possess a warrant?

The first thing you need to know is that search warrants are valid for ten days from their issuance, after which they become void and devoid of all authority. Further, a search warrant only authorizes the police to search premises within reasonable hours, i.e., between 7 AM to 10 PM. Therefore, unless the warrant specifically negates the above conditions, you can refuse the police access to your premises outside of the above hours, even if they have a search warrant.

Also, you would be surprised to know that even if you allow the police into your premises based on a search warrant, you can ask them to leave at any time, and they are legally required to do so.

3. The Right to Discuss your Salary

This is a legal right that almost nobody in the American workforce knows today, and the reason is decades of brainwashing by employers and corporate giants.

Although many companies have policies against discussing salaries and HR managers make it a point to stress that disclosing your salary to your colleagues is prohibited, you will be surprised to know that this is a legal right. The law explicitly authorizes employees to discuss wages, and any penal or disciplinary action taken against employees exercising this right is punishable.

So the next time your HR pulls you in for creating trouble at work by discussing salaries, tell them you’ve read the National Labor Relations Act and are aware of your rights as an employee. We doubt they’ll try to pull such a stunt on you again.

4. The Right to not share your Password with the Police

Although the police will tell you otherwise, there are very strict limitations on the extent to which you are required to cooperate with law enforcement, and that does not include sharing your passwords.

This is a right that stems from the protection against self-incrimination under the 5th Amendment. You can refuse to share your mobile, laptop, home security system, or even e-mail password with the police even if they ask you to. Since the information unearthed by sharing your password can potentially incriminate you, you can safely refuse to abide by such a request.

However, keep in mind that this right does not extend to facial or fingerprint authentication, and if your devices or accounts are locked using any such technology, you must cooperate with the police.

5. The Right to request a change to Medical Records

Another extremely important right that most of us are unaware of is the right to request a change to your medical records.

Under HIPAA, patients have the right to request amendments to their medical records, and the request must be responded to. That means that although the request can be refused by the healthcare provider, a response must be given to the patient, including the reason for the request’s refusal. Patients have the right to disagree with the refusal, and the entire communication is made part of the patient’s medical record, regardless of the outcome.

Final Words

America is the land of freedom and opportunity. We pride ourselves on the rights we have as citizens of this country. However, without learning about our rights, we leave ourselves open to violations of privacy and protection that the law guarantees us.

To take full advantage of the rights you have under the law, do your homework and educate yourself. You never know when you will need it!