Articles Posted in Personal Injury

Statistics regarding motorcycle accidents in California are ominous, and the numbers are getting worse. In 2017, there were 16,505 motorcycle accidents in the Golden State. Those crashes caused 15,527 injuries and 541 deaths. If you’ve been hurt in a motorcycle accident, keep in mind that you only have a limited period of time to seek the compensation you deserve. In California, the law says that you only have two years from the date of the accident to file your lawsuit. If you wait more than two years and there is no justification for that delay, the defense can get your case thrown out of court before trial based upon a “statute of limitations” argument. To be sure you’re not losing out on much-needed compensation, reach out to an Oakland motorcycle accident attorney right away.

A few months ago, a motorcyclist tragically died in an accident on I-880 in Oakland. According to KPIX, the motorcyclist was “lane splitting” when a silver car moved left and struck the motorcycle. (Lane splitting, which is when a motorcycle passes “other vehicles proceeding in the same direction within the same lane,” is legal under California law.)

That impact threw the 31-year-old motorcyclist from the bike and onto the ground. The man died at Highland Hospital, according to the report. Tragically, stories like this are becoming more and more common. In 2016, the number of motorcycle deaths was more than twice the number that occurred in this state a decade prior.

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Sometimes, in your bicycle accident, it may be a near certainty that one person was 100% to blame. Other times, the cause may be less clear and there may be more than one person who was responsible, including you. If you made some mistakes that led to your crash — in fact, even if you were the person primarily to blame for the accident — don’t let that convince you cannot recover compensation for the harm you’ve suffered as a result of that accident. Instead, be sure to reach out to an experienced Oakland bicycle accident attorney to find out about the legal options available to you.

Bicycle accidents, including fatal ones, are tragically common. In mid-January, a 54-year-old woman died in Concord after her bicycle collided with a vehicle along Port Chicago Highway, the Mercury News reported. Other than a statement from police that intoxication “did not appear to be a factor,” details about how the accident occurred were few.

Across the country in New York, a Brooklyn bicyclist died in late October after being struck by a minivan, according to the New York Daily News. Police said the minivan had the right of way, but witnesses at the scene said the van ran a red light, according to the report.

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We all know that speeding has the potential to make bad accidents worse and make serious accidents fatal ones. Statistics from NHTSA back this up. However, you may wonder, “what if my case did not involve a speeding driver? What if I was seriously injured even though the driver who hit me was traveling at a very low speed? Can I still get compensation that will fully cover the extent of my serious harm?” The answer is “Yes, you can.” Start by contacting an experienced Oakland car accident attorney.

In law school, students learn about someone called the “eggshell” plaintiff. Though this may sound like an insult, it really isn’t. It just refers to someone who has a unique potential to be seriously harmed even from a relatively minor accident. That person may be in generally poor health or may have a special medical condition that makes him/her uniquely fragile. The law says that the reason for a person’s peculiar fragility is largely irrelevant. If the person who hit you was at fault, then the law says that he must “take his victim as he finds him,” meaning that he must compensate you for all of the damages that you can prove were caused by the accident.

In a recent Southern California case (Los Angeles Superior Court Case No. BC688739), W.O. was that sort of eggshell plaintiff. The 61-year-old man was injured at a 4-way stop intersection by a man who was going 8 mph when he ran into W.O.’s front passenger side.

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Sometimes, the key to obtaining a positive result in your injury case is proving that the person or entity you sued was liable. You argue they were… they argue they weren’t… and your ability to obtain much-needed compensation hangs in the balance.

Other times, though, the defense admits that they were liable. When that happens, you “have it made,” right? Not necessarily. Sometimes, the key to success isn’t necessarily about establishing liability, it is about getting an award of damages that fully and fairly addresses the extensive damages you’ve suffered. Proving damages is often the most important part of an injury case, and doing so effectively is one of the essential reasons why your case needs the skill of an experienced Oakland truck accident attorney.

Take, as an example, the case of C.W.H., a woman injured in a Southern California crash. The Signal reported that, as C.W.H. passed through a green light at a Santa Clarita intersection, she was t-boned by the driver of a food processing company’s box truck. The truck driver told police that he was “half asleep” when the accident took place and that he had run the red light, according to the report.

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When you’re injured in a rear-end crash with a distracted driver, there is a lot of potential evidence that can help you achieve the full compensation you deserve. Because yours is a rear-end accident, the rear driver will generally be considered to be at fault, so you may not need as much proof of fault, unless the defendant driver alleges that you caused the crash with some inappropriate and unexpected maneuver.

Nevertheless, you may still need to do extensive discovery and put on considerable evidence in order to show the court how bad your wreck was and how extensive your harm was, among other things. In other words, you need an experienced Oakland car accident attorney on your side to be sure you have what it takes to get what you deserve.

A few months ago, there was a ruling from a court in the Central Coast involving a rear-end crash with a distracted driver. According to news reports, a Santa Maria police officer, who the city alleged was on a call, was viewing suspect information on his in-dash computer while driving. Because of that, he was delayed in noticing stopped traffic in front of him. He eventually did notice and, though he slammed on his brakes, he rear-ended the truck of two plumbers on their way to a job.

In some vehicle accidents, determining which driver was at fault can be something close to obvious. In a rear-end accident, the blame very often (but not always) lies with the rear driver for following too closely. Other accidents, such as a “T-bone” collision, are not so obvious. A T-bone collision may be the result of the either of the two drivers improperly failing to yield the right of way.

When you are faced with the latter type of scenario, you need all the evidence you can get to establish that your version of events is the correct one, that your version matches the physical evidence of the accident scene and that you are entitled to compensation. To get that proof you need to put on the most persuasive case possible, be sure you have an experienced Oakland injury attorney representing you.

With the necessary evidence, the outcome can be one that results in a substantial payout. Take, as an example, the recent case (Los Angeles Superior Court Case. No. BC660851) of J.M., a Southern California driver. J.M. was driving home in afternoon rush-hour traffic on Victory Boulevard in Van Nuys when she suffered a serious injury. Reportedly, J.M. was traveling in the outside westbound lane when a limo driver tried to cross all seven lanes of Victory Boulevard. He made it across the first six OK, but when he slid into the seventh lane — J.M.’s lane — it was mere moments before J.M. reached that spot. J.M. t-boned the limo.

About a decade ago, a software company published an advertisement that caught the eye of the so-called “Netizens,” countless online spoofs were made, and an Internet meme was born. Both the original ad, and the spoofs that it inspired, concluded with the line, “It’s more likely than you think.” The same, unfortunately, can be said for road rage: it’s more likely than you think. According to the AAA News Room, almost 4 in 5 drivers have, at some point, engaged in aggressive driving or exhibited substantial amounts of rage while behind the wheel.

Road rage can have many effects on drivers and passengers. One of those effects is potentially to create an emergency on the road. One possible impact (among many) of that emergency is to change the legal assessments regarding who is, or is not, at fault in the vehicle accidents that occur as a result. If you’ve been injured in an accident where another driver was engaging in road rage or aggressive driving, then you should reach out promptly to a knowledgeable Oakland injury attorney to find out more about the compensation to which you may be entitled.

J.S. was driver involved in such an accident and who ended up in court. As he was heading southbound on the 101 freeway, he passed an on-ramp where three cars sought to enter the freeway. One car, a black vehicle, was driven by a driver who allegedly exhibited the classic traits of road rage. The driver allegedly tailgated the woman in front of him and then flipped an obscene gesture as he whipped around her into the #3 lane of the freeway. The woman, according to her testimony, merged into the same lane behind that driver, only to see the driver of the black car slam on his brakes. The woman mashed her braked and stopped in time.

In a famous comedy movie, a major character once declared, “Nothing’s over until we say it is.” While that movie and that line were meant to draw laughs, there is some similarity between that perspective and civil litigation cases, even though the latter are absolutely no laughing matters. Even a setback as serious as a defense verdict at trial does not have to be the end of your pursuit of much-needed compensation. Your case may provide options to take certain actions in the trial court or to seek an appeal. Either way, you may still have an avenue for getting the positive result you need. To pursue these techniques in the most effective way possible, it is worthwhile to have a knowledgeable Oakland injury attorney on your side.

As an example, look at the case of O.M. (Orange County Superior Court Case No. 30-2017-00918947-CU-PA-CJC) O.M. and J.H. were both people headed to work in the Fullerton area when their paths crossed and O.M. was hurt. O.M. was proceeding on foot while J.H. was commuting by car. The timing of this accident was somewhat unsurprising when you consider that, according to the California Department of Public Health, some 36% of all pedestrian accidents occur during the “rush hour” periods of 6:00-8:59 AM and 3:00-5:59 PM.

The collision happened after J.H. encountered a T-intersection and prepared to turn left. According to O.M., J.H. began proceeding with his right turn while still looking to his left to check for oncoming cars. Allegedly, that action caused the driver not to see the pedestrian (O.M.) as she crossed the street. The driver hit her and the impact was substantial. O.M. allegedly suffered a traumatic brain injury and a neck injury that would eventually require fusion surgery and would require her to need therapy for the rest of her life.

When you are injured as a pedestrian in an accident, you have several decisions to make and you may have several options for seeking a much-needed award of damages. Especially when you suffer substantial injuries in a crash, it is important to identify all those who may be liable, because simply recovering a judgment against an individual driver may diminish your ability to get the full compensation you need. If you can prove that the driver who hit you was engaged in job-related activities at the time of the collision, then you may be able to get a judgment of liability against the driver’s employer on the basis of something the law calls “vicarious liability.” To achieve this and other litigation goals, be sure you have an experienced Oakland injury attorney on your side.

A recent case that originated in Orange County was an example of this type of legal issue. J.A. was a pedestrian walking after dark in May 2013. As the pedestrian crossed a street, B.Z. crashed her car into J.A. The driver did not see the pedestrian until the moment before her vehicle collided with the woman. The accident caused J.A. to suffer serious injuries. At the time of the accident, B.Z. was talking on her cell phone using her car’s hands-free Bluetooth system.

B.Z. was a manager with a court reporting agency and was on the phone with one of the agency’s court reporters when the crash happened. J.A.’s assertion was that B.Z. and the reporter, M.H., were talking business and that the manager was acting the “scope of her employment” during that phone call. B.Z. asserted that M.H. was a close personal friend, that they were discussing family matters and that work-related topics never came up during the call. B.Z. also asserted that she and M.H. spoke several times per week to discuss personal matters. M.H. also testified that the two were friends and spoke frequently.

Sometimes, success in your premises liability lawsuit isn’t about taking a case to trial and obtaining a jury verdict in your favor. While that is certainly one way to achieve success, a winning outcome may also come via settlement. With a sufficiently large settlement payment, you can benefit in two ways. You get the money that you require to pay your bills and get back on your feet. Additionally, you obtain that money in a quicker, more efficient way, avoiding the stress and time that often go with taking a case all the way to trial and through to a verdict. Determining whether you should settle your injury case or continue litigating is just one of the ways that knowledgeable advice from a skilled California premises liability attorney can benefit you.As an example of a successful settlement, look at the case of H.B., as reported by the Los Angeles Times. H.B. was a woman out enjoying the festivities of New Year’s Eve in Los Angeles in 2014. In the course of H.B. and her friends’ revelry, she accepted a “piggyback” ride from a male companion as they traveled to a dance club just before midnight. As the man transported H.B. down North Cherokee Avenue in Los Angeles, he tripped. This sent H.B. crashing down. She hit her head and suffered serious injuries.

If you find yourself in a situation like the situation that H.B. encountered, you might have an impulse not to take legal action and seek compensation for the harm you suffered. After all, you weren’t exactly walking methodically down the sidewalk when the accident happened. You and your friend were two adults, one of whom was riding atop the other piggyback-style. Doesn’t this prevent you from winning your case?

The answer is no, it does not, as H.B.’s outcome illustrates. The city, by the way, did advance such an argument. According to the Times, it contended that H.B. got hurt as a result of her own negligence. In your premises liability case, if your opponent can prove that you did something improper (or failed to do something that you reasonably should have done), that property owner may be entitled to a judgment that you were at fault for your accident and injuries. If a defendant successfully makes that argument in a motion for summary judgment, that ends your case before you even get to trial.