Articles Posted in Personal Injury

In any type of personal injury case, one of the most important hurdles you will have to clear is the defense’s motion for summary judgment. If the court awards summary judgment to your opposing party, then your case is ended before it ever makes it to trial and you are entitled to no compensation. Knowing how to defeat a defense motion for summary judgment is a very important crossroads within your case. Having skilled California legal counsel on your side to deal with these and other important hurdles can be vital to your case’s success.

A recent example of this was the premises liability case of M. M. and a friend decided to eat lunch at a restaurant in Riverside. While eating outside on the business’s patio, M. received a spider bite. This was no ordinary spider bite, though. According to M., the offending spider was a black widow, whose bites can be extremely dangerous. M.’s bite eventually led to a hospitalization for the victim.

M. subsequently sued the business. When you are pursuing compensation based upon a claim of premises liability, there are always certain things you have to prove to the court. You must show either that the property owner failed to protect people on its property from the risk of harm from the hazard, or that it failed to warn people about the risk from the danger. In M.’s case, she asserted that the business did neither.

One very important step in most personal injury cases is the offer of settlement. California has a statute, Section 998 of the CCP, that can offer important benefits to you. If you make a settlement offer that complies with this law, the defense rejects it, and the jury award in your case exceeds the settlement amount you offered, you may be entitled to recover certain additional costs, like the expert witness fees owed to your experts. For advice about how this law and other rules can benefit you and your efforts to obtain fair compensation, contact a knowledgeable California truck accident attorney.

A real-life example of how Section 998 settlement offers can work was the lawsuit filed by Akiko, a singer and songwriter who was injured in a serious vehicle accident. Akiko, allegedly on a last-minute impulse, decided to travel late one night to Las Vegas. She was a passenger in a Toyota Prius when the Prius ran out of gas. The driver attempted to guide the fuel-less car off the freeway and onto the shoulder, but, as he did so, a fuel tanker truck rear-ended the car.

The injuries inflicted upon Akiko, the passenger, were substantial. She suffered several fractured vertebrae in her back and neck. The harm was significant enough that Akiko spent two months in the hospital.

Any 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.

Your 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.

Any 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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As 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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In 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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A 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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When 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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In 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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