Articles Posted in Personal Injury

car accidentAny time a vehicle crash takes the life of a loved one, the loss is tragic and devastating. When that life lost is your infant child, and the accident happened due to another driver’s alleged distracted driving, the pain can seem unbearable. This is a time when a skilled California wrongful death attorney can help. While you are focusing on your family and your own healing, your attorney can be focusing upon upholding your rights under the law.

A recent case from Placer County shows how a strong case can result in a substantial settlement. The case involved Steve, a father who, according to court documents, was driving along Interstate 80 northeast of Sacramento, stuck in stop-and-go traffic in the freeway’s lane furthest to the right. The traffic in the other lanes was flowing freely. Greg, who was driving his kids in the Ford Explorer provided to him by his employer, was in the right lane behind Steve. Steve slowed to a stop, but Greg never slowed down. Greg’s SUV slammed into the rear of Steve’s vehicle at roughly 60 mph. The impact pushed Steve’s vehicle into the path of a semi truck traveling at full speed in the second lane from the right. The semi hit Steve’s vehicle, and that impact killed Steve’s baby son, who was riding in the back seat in a rear-facing car seat, the Sacramento Bee reported.

Steve and his wife sued for the wrongful death of their son. The parents’ lawsuit alleged that this was a case of distracted driving. While news reports of the case did not specifically identify Greg’s misconduct as texting while driving, the parents’ lawyer did indicate after the case’s resolution that part of the settlement money the parents received would go “to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving and cell phone use behind the wheel,” according to the Bee.

crosswalkYour injuries suffered as a pedestrian involved in a collision with a vehicle can be severe and sometimes life-altering. That was the case for one Southern California man whose Hollywood crosswalk collision resulted in a months-long coma and permanent brain damage. When that happens, it pays to have a skilled California injury attorney on your side to help you determine who is responsible and help you get the compensation from them that you deserve. For the Hollywood pedestrian, his case offered evidence of an intersection that wasn’t properly maintained and traffic laws that weren’t enforced. Ultimately, the injured man secured a settlement of $15 million, according to a Los Angeles Times report.

The pedestrian, John, was walking on the streets of Hollywood, just a few blocks from the “Walk of Fame.” At one point during his walk, he attempted to cross the street. He was inside the marked crosswalk and was hit by a westbound vehicle. The effects of the accident were severe for John. The collision put him in a coma for months and left him with permanent brain damage. As his lawyer told the Times, “He’s a young child in an adult’s body — and always will be.”

When you’re injured as a pedestrian in an accident with a vehicle, there may be many different options available to you for seeking the damages you need. You may have a case against the driver who hit you. If the owner of the vehicle was someone other than the driver, you may have a case against the owner. If the driver who hit you was on the job and “in the course and scope of his employment” when he hit you, the law may give you the opportunity to pursue a claim against the driver’s employer. These are just a few of the avenues that may be available to you in your case, depending on the specific facts.

golferAny injury case will have its challenges that can get in the way of your success. This can be especially true if the defendant in your case is a public entity. However, with a strong enough case, you can still go after public entities in some situations. In one recent case from Southern California, a mother and her son were allowed to continue their pursuit of their premises liability case against a city after an errant golf ball from an adjoining golf course struck the boy as he rode along a pedestrian walkway.

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FedEx driverAs a plaintiff, it is important to avoid doing unnecessary things that will strengthen the defendants’ position and essentially amount to your helping to make their case for them. This is particularly true when it comes to discovery in a personal injury case. One must disclose and divulge what the rules demand, but there may also be many good reasons to reject a defendant’s request when the law says that you are not obligated to acquiesce. In the recent case of an injured truck driver, the California Court of Appeal decided that the plaintiff did not have to participate in an examination that the defense wanted to conduct, since that type of discovery wasn’t covered by the discovery statute.

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motorcycle-accident-300x153In any vehicle accident case, the facts of the case will be unique in various ways. If you, as a plaintiff, have medical conditions that make you uniquely susceptible to injury, and you suffered greater injuries due to your condition, the law says that you should not be penalized for your condition. The case of a woman injured in a Northern California car crash highlighted this “eggshell plaintiff” rule, with a jury awarding her almost $3 million in damages due to the knee, back, and mental injuries she suffered.

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wet road signA man who was seriously injured by a car that had hydroplaned received a favorable ruling recently from the California Court of Appeal that allowed him to resume pursuing his case against a tow truck company that moved his vehicle. The man’s case raised a possible dispute of fact regarding whether the tow truck driver violated a duty to the man by failing to remove him and his vehicle from a busy freeway during a rainstorm.

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pedestrianWhen you’ve been injured by a driver’s negligence, you have several important steps that are before you. You must decide if you will sue, when you will sue, and whom you will sue, among other things. Getting the fullest recovery possible under the law is, in part, based upon making these choices correctly. A recent California Court of Appeal case involving a teenage pedestrian struck along a Northern California road offers some helpful insight on when you may and may not sue a negligent driver’s employer for your injuries.

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magnifying glassIn a personal injury case, you have a lot of important decisions to make. One of those is whether to accept or reject a settlement offer. This is one of many areas where experienced counsel can help immensely. Whether it is wise or unwise to accept a settlement may depend greatly on whether that settlement constitutes a “998 offer” under the California statutes. In another recent case exploring the criteria for valid 998 offers, the California Court of Appeal upheld a ruling against a driver because the release she included as part of the offer she extended was too broad to qualify as a 998 offer.

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police car crashPursuing your personal injury case can involve many complex steps. The law allows a variety of techniques for presenting your case. In fact, there may be a point in your case at which you bring forward multiple contentions, some of which may seem to be in conflict with one another. The law allows you to present alternative claims for liability and alternative factual allegations, and, according to a recent California Court of Appeal case, the use of this technique should not be considered to be a “sham” and disallowed.

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Judge's gavelThere are a lot of things that go into pursuing a personal injury case, including many decisions that must be made and procedural hurdles that must be cleared. At any of a number of points in the process, making a wrong choice in how you pursue your case can cause you to lose, on procedural grounds, your opportunity to obtain the compensation you deserve. That’s what makes tackling your personal injury case on your own so risky. Just as you know all the nuances in your career field, your injury attorney readily knows all of the laws, rules, and procedural hoops that must be complied with simply to get your day in court. One injured Northern California man’s case provided a stark example, since his procedural errors led the court to throw out a default judgment in his favor and also dismiss his case entirely.

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