El Cajon Skateboarder Dies in Vehicle Collision

A skateboarder crossing Jamacha Road in El Cajon was killed on the night of December 21 when he was struck by a Nissan. The driver immediately stopped and paramedics were called to the scene, but the skateboarder died from the injuries at the site of the accident, according to NBC San Diego. The identity of the victim has not yet been released.

El Cajon Police are currently investigating the accident and have not stated their opinion on who was at fault in this fatal car accident. Police have also not released information on whether the 20-year-old driver of the Nissan will be charged for any violations in regards to the accident.

While skateboarders are often viewed as reckless by the public and are frequently blamed for the accidents they are involved in, skaters are commonly the victims, not the cause, of injury accidents. Skateboarders are subject to a dangerous mix of low visibility and high speed which can put them at a greater risk for collisions with motor vehicles than normal pedestrians. When a motor vehicle and a skateboarder collide, even at relatively low speeds, the chance for injuries to occur becomes very likely.

Depending on where the skater is hit and whether the collision results in him or her being pulled under the car, flipped onto the hood, or thrown away from it, a variety of injuries may occur. Any and all of these can result in long-term, permanent, or deadly damage to the skater. Even the use of a helmet may not prevent traumatic brain injury from being inflicted on him or her when struck by a vehicle at a high speed.

If you or someone you know has been injured by a negligent driver, the San Diego pedestrian accident lawyers can aid in your search for compensation from the at-fault party. For more information on how we can use our skills and years of experience for your personal injury case, contact our office.

Are You Up Against One of the Top Ten Worst Insurance Companies in America? Find Out from this San Diego, CA Personal Injury Attorney

Ever wonder how your insurance company stacks up against others? Ever wonder how the insurance company for the other driver or property owner will act following an auto accident or slip and fall accident? Will they treat you fair or will they lowball you and play hardball?

In a free report issued by the American Association for Justice (AAJ) entitled, “The Top Ten Worst Insurance Companies in America”, the AAJ reveals how insurance companies put profits over people and policyholders. As the report reads, the insurance companies’ strategy is to “deny, delay, defend–do anything, in fact, to avoid paying claims.”

According to the report, the worst insurance companies in America are:

  1. Allstate
  2. Unum
  3. AIG
  4. State Farm
  5. Conseco
  6. WellPoint
  7. Farmers
  8. UnitedHealth
  9. Torchmark
  10. Liberty Mutual

These insurance companies insure and compensate for auto accidents, slip and fall accidents, life insurance claims, and health insurance claims. Allstate was named the worst insurance company in America–again–in a dubious honor that seems to repeat each and every single year. According to the report, Allstate heads the list because of “a combination of lowball offers and hardball litigation.” It is even reported that insurance adjustors are instructed by their supervisors to deceive claimants by lying.

If you are insured by one of these companies you should consider switching to a more reputable insurance carrier. If you have been injured due to someone else’s negligence and find one of these companies as the insurance company for the negligent person or company, hiring the best California personal injury attorney you can find may be your best strategy.

San Diego Injury Accident Lawyer Tells You to WAIT Before Accepting a Quick Settlement

If you have ever been injured in an accident, you may have experienced one of the new tactics that are being used by insurance companies to improve their bottom line at your expense: the quick, small offer to settle.

San Diego personal injury lawyer looks at this new tactic and cautions injury accident victims to be cautious when deciding “should I accept the insurance company’s offer” in this important article.

Answers to Personal Injury, Wrongful Death, and Car Accident Questions

Q: I was just involved in an accident and the insurance company offered me $1,000 with the promise that they would also pay all my health care for the next three months.  Should I accept their offer?

A: You should never accept a settlement offer from the insurance company unless you are done with treatment or you know what the total cost of your medical care will be.

The insurance companies–most notably Progressive, Mercury, and Allstate–have adopted a new tactic in California to ensure that they reduce the amount of settlements they pay out:  They try to get to the injured person immediately and offer cash quickly and a promise to pay for medical care up to a certain amount of time.  These insurance companies hope that the injured person, who typically does not want to hire a lawyer or be involved in a lawsuit, will accept a paltry amount for their pain and suffering (usually $1,000 or so) and the promise to pay for the injured person’s health care for a limited amount of time.

Here is why you should not accept this offer: you do not know how injured you are within a few days of the accident.  Shortly after the accident, most people are sore and have limited range of movement.  These symptoms could be a simple soft tissue injury that will resolve in 4-8 weeks or it could easily just as be the symptoms for a more serious injury that requires surgery.  Unfortunately, you and your doctors won’t know until you have undergone a conservative health care plan for several weeks and until you typically undergo an MRI.

But, in addition to that reason, the paltry sum of money offered by the insurance company can really only be attributed to the value of your “pain and suffering” and inconvenience following the accident (since they are offering to pay for your health care too).  $1,000 for this damage is too small except for the most trivial and minor of accidents.  Don’t sell yourself short.

Before you settle a California personal injury claim, contact an experienced injury accident attorney to advise you whether you are making a good choice.

How do I apply for Social Security disability benefits?

Elderly Woman Hit in Ventura Car Accident

77-year-old Carolina Alamillo was injured in a car crash that occurred on December 21, 2011, around 4 p.m. on Saticoy Avenue in Ventura. According to the police, Alamillo was walking south on Saticoy Avenue in a marked crosswalk when she was hit by a vehicle driven by 22-year-old Yesenia Estrada.

The driver was turning a corner and did not see the pedestrian. Alamillo suffered serious injuries and was immediately transported to a nearby hospital for treatment. Was the driver speeding or distracted? Since the elderly woman was walking on a marked crosswalk, the driver appears to be at fault for causing this accident.

At this time, the victim’s family members should immediately seek counsel from an experienced Ventura County car accident lawyer who would educate them about their legal rights. Alamillo’s family members may file a personal injury claim against the car driver to obtain compensation to cover medical, hospital and treatment cost, loss of wages, loss of earning capacity, and other accident-related damages.

Our personal injury law office hopes that the injuries suffered by the pedestrian heal soon and do not prove fatal.

Understanding the Dangers of Fatigued Trucking

Truck driver fatigue and its link to dangerous truck accidents has long been a subject of scrutiny, but the issue has come into focus even more in recent years due to new studies and increased federal regulations on commercial truck drivers. However, fatigued and drowsy driving are still a common occurrence in the trucking industry with many companies encouraging drivers to push past regulations, according to The Trial Lawyer.

In order to prevent fatigued truck accidents, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Commission (FMCSA) has established strict Hours of Service (HOS) regulations. These rules demand that truck drivers and their companies operate with time restrictions regarding how long a driver can operate his or her vehicle and when he or she must take a break or go off duty. Those who violate HOS regulations can be penalized by the FMCSA, but drivers and companies can falsify records and log books which are meant to keep track of truck operation in order to slip past these regulations.

Truck accidents can result in devastating injuries and death for those involved, especially those in smaller passenger vehicles or pedestrians. The massive size and weight of tractor trailers coupled with the speed of the vehicle can easily crush vehicles involved in an accident. Fatigue can lead to truck drivers making mistakes and reacting poorly to emergency situations, thus increasing the chances of an injury accident.

A truck accident can quickly lead to life-altering injuries for those involved, and when driver or company negligence leads to such an incident, victims have the right to seek compensation for their losses. The San Diego truck accident injury attorneys can aid you in your injury case by using their years of experience to your advantage. Contact us today for more information on how we can help.

Motorcycle Accident on Interstate 15 Leaves San Diego Biker Injured

A motorcycle accident on Interstate 15 just south of the Scripps Poway Parkway in San Diego left the motorcyclist injured and slowed traffic for several hours, according to a recent news report from CBS 8.

The accident occurred when the motorcycle’s front wheel failed, causing it to swerve and strike the median. The motorcyclist was thrown from the bike during the crash. Rescue workers took him to a local hospital, which has not released a report on his injuries. Investigators are still trying to determine what caused the accident.

Fatal Hit-And-Run Freeway Crash Kills Tow-Truck Operator

40-year-old Christopher Barton Tatro was killed in a tragic hit-and-run car collision that occurred on December 17, 2011, around 2 a.m. on 91 Freeway in Riverside. According to California Highway Patrol, Tatro was loading a disabled vehicle onto his flatbed truck on the side of the eastbound lanes of the freeway near Monroe Street when he was hit by a tan sedan, possibly a beige late-1990s Saturn.

The car veered from the number five lane into the left side of the tow truck and then struck Tatro. The collision threw Tatro about 60 feet into traffic lanes. He suffered massive injuries to his legs and torso.

Tatro was immediately transported to Riverside Community Hospital where he was later pronounced dead around 4:20 a.m.

From the available information, it appears that negligent and distracted driving of the sedan driver contributed to this serious multiple vehicle collision. If it is found that the sedan driver was driving inattentively, then he may be held liable for this accident. Also, this sedan driver has committed the felony of hit-and-run, which is a direct violation of California traffic law.

The victim’s family members should immediately seek counsel from an experienced Riverside County truck accident lawyer who would educate them about their legal rights. The victim’s family may file a wrongful death claim against the sedan driver to obtain compensation to cover funeral and burial costs, loss of anticipated earnings, loss of love, care and companionship, and other accident-related damages.
Our personal injury law office sends sincere condolences to the victim’s family and friends.

San Diego Personal Injury Attorney Talks About Types of Collectible Damages

If you have ever been injured in an accident, you know that you incur numerous costs and your bills can quickly run out of control. As a result, you may wonder what types of damages you may be entitled to as a result of the other person’s negligence and carelessness.

San Diego disability attorney answers this question for you and describes the types of damages available for accident victims in this important article.

What damages are you entitled to be compensated if you are injured in a California accident case? Find out here…

If you are involved in an accident and you are injured, you may be able to receive compensatory or punitive damages in your personal injury case.

Compensatory damages are intended to reimburse and compensate the injured victim for costs that have been incurred as a result of the accident or for losses which do not create a cost but are compensable nonetheless. Compensatory damages can be divided into two different kinds of damages: economic and non-economic. Economic compensatory damages are basically compensation for anything that has a measurable cost via a bill or invoice such as medical bills for past and future medical care, past and future loss of earnings and earning capacity, and damages to personal property. Non-economic damages are any compensable damage which does not have a bill or invoice such as physical pain and suffering, mental and emotional anguish, and loss of companionship and support. The goal of compensatory damages is to make the injury accident victim “whole” and to compensate for all losses.

Punitive damages are meant to deter future similar conduct by the defendant and to punish for egregious behavior. Typically these damages only are awarded in a small number of cases and only after there is a breach of contract or after a law is broken. Punitive damages are not awarded often and the State of California taxes punitive damages at a rate of 75%.

The majority of judgments and settlements only include money for compensatory damages.

Fatal Car Accident Kills Sun City Woman

41-year-old Crystal Stevens, of Sun City, was struck in a tragic pedestrian accident that occurred on December 15, 2011, around 11:30 p.m. on McCall Road near Sherman Road in Menifee. According to the Riverside County Sheriff-Coroner’s department, Stevens was walking on McCall Road when she was struck by a car.

Stevens suffered life-threatening injuries and was immediately transported to Inland Valley Regional Medical Center for treatment, where she was pronounced dead a day later.

From the present information, it appears that the reckless driving and irresponsible actions of the motorist led to this serious car wreck that claimed one life. If the motorist is determined to have been at fault in this case, then he could be held responsible for pedestrian’s wrongful death.

Meanwhile, the victim’s family members should consult with an experienced Riverside County pedestrian accident lawyer who would help them obtain timely compensation to cover funeral and burial costs, loss of future earnings, loss of love, care and companionship, and other accident-related damages.

Our personal injury law office sends sincere condolences to Stevens’ family members and friends.

Understanding the Symptoms of a Traumatic Brain Injury in San Diego

Our bodies are built to withstand trauma and impact in a variety of accidents; however, there are many times when the human body cannot cope with the injuries suffered in an accident. One of the most serious and long-lasting forms is a traumatic brain injury (TBI).

A head injury accident can occur in a variety of manners ranging from sports accidents to car crashes. While some are readily noticeable, many TBIs can go undetected without an understanding of the signs. To protect yourself and loved ones from TBIs and the dangerous effects of leaving one untreated, be on the lookout for these symptoms as listed by the Mayo Clinic:

Mild TBI

  • Temporary loss of consciousness or a state of confusion and disorientation;
  • Headache;
  • Dizziness, nausea, and/or vomiting;
  • Mood swings, depression, or anxiety; and
  • Changes in sleep patterns, including difficulty sleeping or excess sleeping.

Moderate to Severe TBI

  • Prolonged loss of consciousness or profound confusion;
  • Loss of coordination, bladder control, and/or bowel control;
  • Dilation of one or both pupils;
  • Clear fluid draining from nose or ears;
  • Convulsions or seizures;
  • Unusual behavior, such as combativeness or agitation;
  • Persistent or worsening headache; and slurred speech.

Child TBI

  • Change in nursing, eating, and/or sleeping habits;
  • Unusually irritable or depressed;
  • Persistent crying and unable to be consoled;
  • Altered attention span; and
  • Loss of interest in favorite activities and/or toys.

Any and all of these symptoms may mean you or someone you know has suffered a TBI and requires immediate medical attention. Any form of traumatic brain injury can result in devastating consequences that can alter a person’s life forever. If you have suffered a TBI from the negligence or oversight of another, a San Diego ssi lawyer can help you win compensation to deal with your injuries from the responsible party. Contact us today for a consultation.

San Diego Accident Attorney Talks About the Role of the Independent Medical Examiner

Who is the independent medical examiner? What is an independent medical examination (IME)?

The answer is that he is the primary witness against most personal injury victims and the IME is a time for the witness to meet, interrogate, and examine the victim in person–giving him more credibility at trial. San Diego injury lawyer answers this question for you and tells of the role of the independent medical examiner in litigation in this important article.

What is the “Independent Medical Examiner” and what is his role in your California injury accident case? He is the MAIN witness against you!

In most personal injury cases, the primary witness and weapon against the injury accident victim is the independent medical examiner. The word “independent” is misleading. It simply means this person, who is a doctor, is independent of the treating doctors for the victim. However, this person is employed and paid for by the insurance company of the wrongdoer whose negligence and carelessness caused the accident in the first place.

The independent medical examiner often examines the injured person at an independent medical examination (IME). The IME seems like a normal, everyday doctor’s examination but it is really a cross between a deposition and a physical and mental interrogation in which the independent medical examiner documents the record and tries to obtain as many “facts” as possible so that they can conclude that the injury accident victim is either not injured or not as injured as they claim.

Insurance companies hire independent medical examiners over and over again because they know what this witness will say about certain cases and they know that these witnesses will play ball and support the insurance company’s position at trial. It is not because the witness is any better of a doctor than the treating doctor. It is simply that the insurance company is hiring a doctor who will provide a predictable opinion.

Never attend an IME without an attorney or a medical witness such as a registered nurse (RN) who can observe and testify against the independent medical examiner at trial if the examiner attempts to perform an improper medical examination.

San Diego Injury Accident Lawyer Tells of Questionable Insurance Tactics that Harm People

An honest and efficient insurance industry is essential for people to manage risks and make sure that valid injury claims from serious accidents are paid quickly. Without a quick and legitimate way of receiving compensation, people do not receive the compensation they deserve when they need it.

Unfortunately, the insurance industry regularly uses questionable tactics to keep from paying legitimate claims. San Diego injury accident lawyer tells of the tactics used by the insurance industry in this news report.

Insurance Companies Try to Increase Profits Through Questionable Tactics

Posted on Dec 20, 2009

A new free report from the American Association for Justice (AAJ), “Tricks of the Trade:  How Insurance Companies Deny, Delay, Confuse and Refuse”, tells how the insurance industry is increasingly using questionable tactics to increase their bottom lines at the expense of injured people and claimants.  This only harms the public who relies on an honest and efficient insurance system to compensate them for serious accidents.

The Report identifies the following common insurance company tricks:

  1. Denying Claims:  This is the most common tactic and is regularly employed by all insurance companies, including Allstate, State Farm, and USAA.  By denying valid claims, the insurance companies boost their profits because those are monies that will not be paid out.  Insurance companies have even been known to incentivize their employees to deny valid claims.
  2. Delaying until Death:  Insurance companies regularly delay claims in the hope that the claimant will die before the claim is paid or hoping that the injured person will give up or settle for less.  Many people do just that rather than stay the course.
  3. Confusing People:  You are not alone if you have ever been confused after reading your insurance contract.  They even confuse lawyers.  Insurance companies regularly use confusing agreements and language to discourage consumers.
  4. Discriminating by Credit Score:  Insurance companies determine premiums and insurance approvals based upon credit scores.  Lower scores pay higher premiums.
  5. Abandoning the Sick:  Insurance policy holders who are the most need of medical care are often targeted by the insurance companies and have their benefits cancelled to lower the amount of money paid out for health care.
  6. Cancelling for a Call:  Some people will call their insurance company to get a feel how filing a claim will affect their insurance coverage.  If the effect is too negative, they won’t file a claim.  However, just by making the call, the insured has essentially made a claim as far as the insurance company is concerned.  At renewal, the insurance company can use these phone inquiries to deny claims.
Disability Appeal

San Diego Personal Injury Attorney: What You Can Do if the Insurance Company Becomes Difficult to Work With?

If you have ever had to file a claim with your insurance company or the carrier for someone who has injured you, you’ve experienced the tactics that the insurance industry uses to force you to accept lowball settlement offers or to deny claims.

In a new article on our law firm website, San Diego, CA personal injury attorney tells you what you can do if the insurance company becomes difficult to work with.

Answers to Personal Injury, Wrongful Death, and Car Accident Questions

Q: What can I do if the insurance company becomes difficult to work with?

A: Even in cases where liability is straight forward, insurance companies regularly try the same tactics as when liability is contested.  They try to deny your claim, delay your claim, confuse you, or refuse you.  This is not a shock.  All lawyers for injured people know this and so do the state agencies, like the California Department of Insurance, who regulate the insurance industry.  Unfortunately, the DOI which is intended to be the watchdog for the insurance industry in California does not seem to care or have the will to address these tactics.

The American Association for Justice issued a report, “Tricks of the Trade: How Insurance Companies Deny, Delay, Confuse and Refuse” which gives injured people some guidance and tips how to deal with the insurance companies.  To summarize, the Report provides the following tips:

  • Know What is Covered:  If you are making a claim to your own insurance company, know what types of coverage are contained in the insurance policy and how to go about appealing a denial.
  • Complete All Information Carefully:  A mistake, no matter how honest or trivial, can result in a denial.
  • Avoid Cashing a Premium Refund Check:  When your insurer decides to cancel your insurance coverage, one way it may do so is to send you a refund check for the premiums you have paid.  When you cash this check, it is saying that you agree to your insurance carrier canceling your coverage.
  • Put Everything in Writing:  Save all written correspondence and bills from the insurance company.
  • Contact the California Department of Insurance, if Necessary:  The DOI cannot represent you in a private complaint against your insurance company, but reporting the complaint may initiate a government investigation that leads to results.

If you follow these tips and the insurance company is still being difficult, you may want to consider consulting with an attorney who will be able to represent you against your insurance company.

What Surfaces Lead to the Most Slip-and-Fall Accidents?

Slip-and-fall accidents often happen unexpectedly and with no time for a victim to brace him- or herself for the impact that follows. However, such accidents can be predicted when the surrounding surfaces and conditions of where an accident may occur are taken into consideration.

Various surfaces lend themselves to a higher frequency of slips, and when they are combined with other factors, such as spilled liquids and freezing temperatures, the circumstances are ripe for an accident.

Slips occur when the surface a person is walking on suddenly and unexpectedly loses friction, causing him or her to lose footing and slide.

This unexpected sliding usually results in the victim losing balance and falling forward or backward without the ability to prepare for impact.

Some of the most slip-and-fall-prone surfaces include:

  • Marble, terrazzo, and granite – Very slippery when wet.
  • Quarry tiles – Slippery when dirty and wet.
  • Ceramic tiles – Easily slippery when not treated for slip resistance.
  • Vinyl composition tile – Very little slip resistance, especially when waxed and polished or wet.

It is important to understand which types of flooring to use both indoors and outdoors, as surrounding factors like splashing water and rain can easily create dangerous conditions when combined with certain types of flooring. Pedestrians would be well advised to stay mindful of their surroundings and stay aware of what they are walking on. A floor does not need to be icy or even very wet to become dangerous.

Slip-and-fall accidents can easily result in severe injuries such as brain trauma, broken bones, fractures, sprains, and even death if the fall and impact is great enough. The San Diego slip-and-fall lawyers can help you get the compensation you deserve for the injuries suffered in such an accident caused by the negligence of property owners or maintenance crews. For more information on how we can help, contact our offices today.

Teen Suffers Broken Leg in Menifee Truck Accident

A 16-year-old Menifee resident suffered a broken leg in a truck accident that occurred on December 13, 2011, around 5:47 p.m. at Encanto Drive and McLaughlin Road, east of I-215 on the border of Perris and Menifee. According to sheriff’s officials, the teenager was walking north on Encanto Drive when a northbound full-size Dodge truck being driven by a Nuevo woman hit him.

The teenager suffered a broken leg and was immediately transported to a nearby hospital for treatment. From the present information, it is unclear what caused this major truck accident that left one person seriously injured.

Since it is a pedestrian accident, the motorist’s negligence or reckless driving could have been responsible for causing the accident. If it is found that the driver was driving inattentively, then she may be held liable for this accident.

Meanwhile, the victim’s family members should immediately seek counsel from an experienced Riverside County truck accident lawyer who would educate them about their legal rights. The injured victims’ family may file a personal injury claim to obtain compensation to cover treatment, medical and hospital costs, and other accident-related damages.

Our personal injury law office hopes that the injuries suffered by the teenager do not prove fatal.

Battery Cases for iPod and iPhone Recalled Due to Burn Hazard

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has recently issued recalls for two separate battery cases for the iPhone and iPod due to burn and fire hazards that each present. The recalls see the Mophie iPod Touch Rechargeable External Battery Case and Rocketfish iPhone 3G/3GS Battery Case both recalled after reports that the cases led to an overheating of the battery which caused burns and even fires in some cases.

The Mophie battery case has an integrated circuit switch which has been found to overheat and has led to deforming of the product and nine incidents of minor burn injuries. The product was sold at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and other retailers, and has over 6,000 units being recalled. The company plans to issue replacements.

The larger of the two recalls, the Rocketfish Model RF-KL 12 Mobile Battery Case, was sold exclusively at Best Buy stores and has 31,000 units being recalled in the U.S. and 1,000 in Canada. Reports of the battery cases overheating while charging have resulted in minor burns and property damage due to fire. Best Buy will issue a $70 gift card to their stores in the U.S. and $105 in Canada to consumers who have the model.

Dangerous products present serious hazards to unsuspecting consumers who do not realize that they are in danger of major injuries caused by defects. If you or a loved one has been injured by an unsafe product, the San Diego defective product attorneys can help you win the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Contact our offices today for a free consultation on your injury case.

Marine Struck When Helping Disabled Driver, DUI Crash

A marine was struck when he stopped to help a disabled motorist on Interstate 805 (I-805) in the Chollas View area on December 13, 2011, around 2 a.m. According to the California Highway Patrol, the Marine and two others stopped on the southbound connector to eastbound SR-94 when he was hit.

The Marine was struck by a minivan driven by a woman, who was subsequently arrested on suspicion of drunken driving. Paramedics took the Good Samaritan to UCSD Medical Center to receive treatment for the injuries suffered.

From the present information, it is quite clear that the reckless driving and irresponsible actions of the motorist led to this serious car wreck that left a Good Samaritan seriously injured. If the motorist is determined to have been at fault in this case, then she could not only face criminal DUI charges but could also be held responsible for the injuries suffered and the damages caused. To drive a vehicle under the influence of alcohol is a direct violation of California traffic laws.

The injured victim’s family members should immediately seek counsel from an experienced San Diego County DUI auto accident lawyer who would help them obtain timely compensation to cover treatment, medical and hospital costs, loss of wages, loss of earning capacity, and other accident-related damages.

Our San Diego personal injury law office hopes that the injuries suffered by the Marine do not prove fatal.

Elderly Pedestrian Struck and Pinned Under Car in Thousand Oaks

83-year-old Ella Mae Day of Thousand Oaks was pinned under a car in a tragic pedestrian accident that occurred on December 7, 2011, in the 1000 Block of Calle Almendro in Thousand Oaks. According to Ventura County sheriff’s officials, Day was walking on the sidewalk west of her home when she was struck and pinned down by a vehicle backing out of a driveway driven by 80-year-old Marshall Bowen.

Day suffered blunt force injuries to the chest and was pronounced dead at the accident scene. From the present information, it is unclear what caused this major car accident that claimed one life.

Since the driver was backing, the motorist’s negligence or reckless driving could have been responsible for causing the accident. If it is found that the driver was driving inattentively, then he may be held liable for this accident.

Meanwhile, Day’s family members should immediately seek counsel from an experienced Ventura County pedestrian accident lawyer, who would educate them about their legal rights. This lawyer may also help the deceased’s family obtain compensation to cover funeral and burial cost, loss of anticipated earnings, loss of love, care and compassion, and other accident-related damages.

Our personal injury law office sends sincere condolences to the victim’s family and friends.

Elderly Pedestrian Killed in Fontana Car Accident

61-year-old Domingo Nava of Fontana was killed in a tragic pedestrian accident that occurred on December 3, 2011, around 5:54 p.m. near the intersection of Sierra Avenue and Reed Street. According to San Bernardino County coroner report, the pedestrian was hit by a vehicle while he was walking across the street.

Nava suffered major injuries and was immediately transported to Kaiser Hospital for treatment where he was pronounced dead at 7:22 p.m. From the present information, it is unclear what caused this major car accident that killed the elderly pedestrian. Was the driver negligent? Did the car driver fail to notice the pedestrian and stop the vehicle in time to prevent the collision? Was the victim walking in a marked crosswalk?

Nava’s family members should immediately seek counsel from an experienced San Bernardino County pedestrian accident lawyer who would educate them about their legal rights and options. The deceased’s family members may file a wrongful death claim against the motorist to obtain compensation to cover the cost of funeral and burial, loss of love, care and companionship, and other accident-related damages.

Our personal injury law office sends our deepest condolences to the Nava’s family.

Apple Valley Car Accident Injures Pedestrian

35-year-old Clifford Richardson was injured in a serious pedestrian accident that occurred on December 1, 2011, around 11:12 p.m. in the traffic lanes of Highway 18 (SR-18) east of Apple Valley Road. According to San Bernardino County sheriff’s officials, Richardson was hit from the back by a motorist while he was walking around the traffic lanes.

Richardson suffered serious injuries and was immediately transported to St. Mary’s Medical Center from where he was airlifted to a trauma unit. 70-year-old Floyd Keeth who struck Richardson told officials that he failed to see the dark-clothed victim.

The injured pedestrian’s family members should immediately seek counsel from an experienced San Bernardino County car crash lawyer who would educate them about their legal rights. The injured victim may also file a personal injury claim against Keeth to obtain compensation to cover treatment, medical and hospital costs, and other accident-related expenses.

Our personal injury law office hopes that the injuries suffered by the pedestrian do not prove fatal.

Young Boy on Bike Hit by Car in Sherman Heights

A 6-year-old bicyclist was injured in a serious car wreck that occurred on December 4, 2011, around 2:45 p.m. near 25th Street and L Street in Sherman Heights. According to the police, the car had stopped at traffic light. As the car began to move, the boy went off the sidewalk on his bike and darted in front of the car.

The boy suffered a bruised lung and abrasions and was immediately transported to Rady Children’s Hospital to receive treatment. From the present information, it is unclear what caused this major car accident that injured a young boy. Was the driver negligent? Was the boy at fault? Did the car driver fail to notice the boy and stop the vehicle in time to prevent the collision?

The young boy’s parents should immediately seek counsel from an experienced San Diego County bicycle accident lawyer who would educate them about their legal rights and options. The injured boy’s parents may file a personal injury claim to obtain compensation to cover treatment, medical and hospital costs.

Our San Diego law office sincerely hopes that the injuries suffered by the young boy do not prove life-threatening.

California’s “Strict Liability” Dog Bite Rule

California is one of several U.S. states that has “strict liability” for dog bites. This rule can have a significant effect on how you and your skilled San Diego County dog bite injury attorney decide to approach your case after a dog bite occurs.

In “strict liability” dog bite states like California, an owner may be held liable for a dog bite even if the dog has never bitten before or the owner had no reason to believe the dog would act aggressively toward others.

Dog Bites

She just wanted to pet the doggy…
  • Your toddler is severely injured when she approaches a loose dog in a Chula Vista park. The dog bite leaves her with severe facial scarring and lost vision in one eye.
  • Your grandfather is hospitalized with a broken hip and cracked ribs after a dog on a leash lunges and knocks him down on an Escondido, California sidewalk.
  • You are delivering furniture to a house in San Marcos, CA. When the homeowner opens the door, her dog lunges at you, clamps down on your leg, and doesn’t leg go until the ligaments in your knee are severed.

When dogs are not properly trained or restrained, or if they are under stress, even dogs that know you can bite, injure, and possibly kill.

When a dog bites, the shock and trauma of being attacked can be as serious for the victim as the physical injury. When you are overwhelmed by medical procedures and numbed by shock, it can be hard to get things straight. You may need a lawyer to help you recover compensation for your losses, but you will also need a friend who can help you better understand your situation and lend the support you need.

Our attorneys can give your case the personal attention it deserves.

People often assume that Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, German Shepherds, and a few other breeds are the most dangerous dogs, but any dog can become dangerous depending on the situation.

  • Dogs that are not properly socialized…
  • Dogs that are frightened, injured, or ill…
  • Dogs that are overprotective, high-strung, or simply surprised…
  • Dogs whose aggressive behavior has been encouraged by the owner…

Any dog, of any breed, can bite or attack. According to California Civil Code Section 3342, in most dog bite cases the owner of the dog is liable for any damages, regardless of whether the dog has shown vicious behavior in the past.

Dog owners can be negligent or reckless in several ways, including:

  • Training the dog to attack, kill, or otherwise behave aggressively
  • Failing to socialize the dog or correct aggressive behavior
  • Failing to properly enclose or restrain the dog
  • Failing to react appropriately to circumstances that may lead to a dog bite.

For example: A dog owner allows a large dog to run loose in a San Diego park where many small children are playing. Small children are at eye level with a large dog, and may surprise a dog by trying to kiss or hug it. A responsible owner should keep the dog restrained and monitor its interaction with the children. Otherwise, a child may end up with serious facial injuries and permanent scarring.

Dog attack fatalities are extremely rare, but they do happen. Research compiled by the National Canine Research Council shows that an average of one or two fatal dog attacks occur every year in California. The same research strongly suggests that in most cases the owner of the dog has been reckless or negligent in training and/or securing the dog. In some cases dogs have been trained to kill. Since roughly 1970, at least ten California dog owners have been convicted of involuntary or voluntary manslaughter in the wake of a dog bite fatality.

In April 2009, a pack of dogs attacked two horses and killed two pet dogs in a series of attacks in North County. California Civil Code 3341 states that if a dog kills, worries, or wounds a livestock animal, the owner of the dog is liable for damages. If the dog is caught in the act, it is legal for the livestock owner to kill the dog.

Never tease a strange dog or act aggressively toward it. Dogs will bite when provoked, and when a dog has clearly been provoked into biting, the owner is not liable for damages. For more tips on how to avoid dog bites, see the County of San Diego’s pet care and behavior tips.

Dog bite victims aren’t just physically injured. An animal attack can cause lasting sensations of fear and panic, from general anxiety to a specific fear of dogs.

We can help you take control and start down the road to recovery. Our attorneys will fully explain every aspect of your dog bite case and will even help you find a medical doctor or a therapist if necessary. You will feel more confident and in control when you are fully educated about your case and able to make informed decisions.

San Diego Woman Raped After MySpace Meeting

Two San Diego men, Brian Shippee, and Robert Melgoza, plead not guilty in San Diego Superior Court Friday for the alleged assault and battery and rape of a San Diego woman after a “MySpace Meetup” went horribly wrong. Another man, Vincent Barnett, Jr. was also involved and is currently being held in Arizona pending extradition to San Diego.

In May 2008, the victim agreed to meet Barnett at Palomar College and accompany him to a party. Reportedly, the two were friends through the social networking site, MySpace, and agreed to a meeting or “meetup”.

Prosecutors say that Barnett, and his companion Shippee, picked the woman up in their car. However, instead of taking her to the party, the two men took the woman to meet with a third man, Melgoza, at a camper. Allegedly, the three men then sexually assaulted the woman.

We are absolutely disgusted by this behavior and hopes that all three men are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. It is also a strong reminder that people should take every precaution if they are going to engage in “meetups” with people they do not know or have never met before.

This Holiday Season, Think Toy Safety

There are few things more fun during the holiday season than watching a child’s eyes light up when he or she receives a prized new toy. For those who buy toys, though, it’s important to keep safety in mind.

It is recommended that shoppers keep in mind the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) safety guidelines for children’s toys in order to prevent defective toy injuries to the best of your abilities.

Products and toys designed for use by children are meant to be fun and safe playthings that delight children of various ages without presenting hazards that products for adults often would. Although such products are held to high standards by government agencies, they are often subject to defects that slip past safety tests. When such dangers are present in a children’s product, they can easily cause serious and even deadly injuries.

Accidents caused by defective children’s products are devastating for both the child and his or her family. Injuries caused by toy defects can require extensive hospital stays, multiple surgeries, physical therapy, and other financially taxing procedures to ensure a steady recovery, and some children’s lives may never be the same. While it’s important to get money from negligent manufacturers to cover such expenses, a family often finds closure as well and may even help prevent others from suffering a similar fate. The families of those injured by such products have the right to seek financial compensation for their child’s injuries and related financial costs. The San Diego child injury lawyers understand the distress of any child injury accident and are committed to protecting the rights of consumers throughout their case and helping the child receive what he or she needs to get better.

Child Product Regulations and Law

In order to combat the serious dangers of defective products, the United States Federal Government passed the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act in 2008. Under the act, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) was given further funding and new, stricter regulations were placed on manufacturers concerning lead content and metal jewelry. Specifically relating to children’s products, stricter regulations were imposed on cribs and pacifiers; small parts; and baby bouncers, walkers, and jumpers. As such, manufacturers who violate such rules face legal penalties and are more susceptible to lawsuits concerning their unsafe products.

Types of Child Product Defects

Product defects typically fall into one of three categories. These types of defects are:

  • Design Defects – This type of defect is due to how a product is conceived and what elements are decided by the company to be part of the product. Because the design is faulty, all products within the line are affected by the defect.
  • Manufacturing Defects – These defects occur in the actual creation of the product. Due to a variety of reasons, some or all of the products are created with a flaw because of how it was manufactured.
  • Warning Defects – This happens when the warning on a product fails to properly inform consumers of the dangers of the product, or a warning is completely absent on a potentially dangerous product.

Common Child Product Hazards

While there are many types of defects that could be potentially hazardous to children using a product, there are some defects that are commonly hazardous and often lead to serious and fatal injuries. These child product hazards include:

  • Choking Hazards – Children can easily choke on any object that is small enough to put in their mouths. Small toys, such as balls and balloons or toys with smaller pieces that are either loose or could come off, present a serious danger for small children.
  • Suffocation Hazards – If products such as clothing or cribs contain materials that can become trapped over a child’s face and block their breathing, there is a great chance of a suffocation incident occurring.
  • Falling Hazards – Products such as high chairs or cribs that do not properly restrain children or tip over easily can result in children falling and being injured.
  • Fire Hazards – If a product does not meet flame resistance standards, it puts children at risk of burn injuries. Often, costumes and other clothing that is not flame retardant can easily catch fire and severely harm the child wearing it.
What Can a Product Liability Claim Do?

A product liability claim enables consumers that have been harmed by a dangerous or defective product to hold the negligent party responsible, such as the manufacturer, designer, or distributor, for the harm caused while also obtaining compensation for any of their losses. Manufacturers of any product are obligated to produce an item that is safe and free of harmful defects, but when a manufacturer is negligent, the safety of innocent consumers, including the youngest ones, may be put in danger.

An essential part of knowing if you have a valid product liability claim is understanding how the actual defect occurred. A product may be defective in its design, which is when a mistake or flaw in the design makes the product dangerous when used as intended. A defect may also come as a result of the manufacturing process, and other defects may involve such issues as inadequate or missing warning labels or instructions which may cause injury or harm the user.

Assistance to Help Your Child Recover

As a consumer, you have the legal right to pursue compensation from anyone responsible for the dangerous product when it has caused you undue harm or injury. Product liability law empowers consumers to hold negligent manufacturers or any other liable party responsible for the harm caused, so it is imperative to build a strong case in order to get successful results. If your child has been harmed by a defective or unsafe toy, documentation such as receipts and or written statements by anyone who witnessed the accident may be essential to your case. A qualified attorney can also help by proving negligence and showing that the sole cause of your child’s injuries was the product defect.

Compensation can be given for economic as well as non-economic damages associated with the injury accident, such as medical expenses and the pain and suffering your family endured as a result of the incident. Compensation can make a significant difference in how well your child is able to recover, so filing a claim may be one of the best decisions you can make for your family.

Helping Families Move Forward

The child injury lawyers in San Diego understand how traumatic it is when the child you love is injured, especially when it is a child’s product that you should be able to trust that was the cause. Our legal team has dedicated our careers to helping those injured as a result of another’s negligence and, as such, we have the resources, skills, and passion needed to fight for justice for your family. Manufacturers may have well-funded attorneys on their side who may do everything in their power to dodge liability for your child’s injuries, which is why you should have the best legal representation to preserve your rights and get the money your child needs to recover.

Finding a San Diego Defective Child Product Lawyer

Child product manufacturers are called on to have a high level of quality and safety precautions, but they do not always follow these guidelines. The San Diego defective product attorneys are dedicated to not only winning compensation for injured children and their families, but finding justice in holding negligent companies responsible for the injuries they caused. Contact us today for further details on how our law team can help you find compensation for your losses.

Metrolink Train Accident Kills Car Driver

An unidentified man in his 70s was killed in a fatal Los Angeles train accident that occurred on November 29, 2010, around 9:35 a.m. at Francisquito Avenue, approximately 116 miles from San Diego. Sherita Coffelt of Metrolink said that train number 304 was heading from Union Station in Downtown Los Angeles to San Bernardino when it struck the elderly man’s car, killing him.

The elderly motorist was pronounced dead at the accident scene by the authorities. Two passengers in the train also suffered injuries in this train accident and were transported to a nearby hospital for treatment.

From the present facts, it is unclear as to how this train accident occurred. Did the train driver ignore a red signal? Was he distracted that he did not notice the victim’s car? At the same time was it the elderly person’s failure to observe safety signals? Was he unable to calculate the distance between his car and approaching train? If negligent operation by the train conductor caused this train accident, then the train conductor and his employer might be legally required to compensate the elderly person’s family for the cost of funeral expenses, loss of love and companionship, and other related damages. The deceased’s family would be well-advised to consult with an experienced Los Angeles personal injury lawyer who will advise them about their legal rights and options.

Elderly Motorist Injured In Lake Elsinore Bus Accident

Margaret Birch, 75, suffered serious injuries in a serious Lake Elsinore car accident that occurred on November 29, 2010, around 3:00 p.m. According to California Highway Patrol Officer Ron Thatcher, Birch pulled her minivan in front of a school bus when the collision occurred. The impact of the car crash was so strong that Birch’s car was pinned under the school bus.

Fortunately, all the 51 school students who were traveling in the bus escaped unhurt. Birch was immediately transported to Inland Valley Regional Medical Center in Wildomar to receive treatment for her leg injuries.

This accident is a good illustration of one of the main rules of the road: always watch out for traffic before entering an intersection or roadway. If you do not look for cross-traffic, you can possibly violate another motorist’s right of way and cause an accident. Even worse, that motorist may be driving a larger vehicle—such as a school bus—placing you and your passengers in danger of serious injury or even death.

We sincerely hope and pray that Birch did not suffer any life-threatening injuries in this bus accident.

Paralyzed San Diego Rollover Car Accident Victim Beats Ford Motor Co….Again (x6)

We’ve written before about Benetta Buell-Wilson’s ongoing fight with Ford Motor Company regarding her record-breaking $369 million trial court verdict after her Ford Explorer rolled over on Interstate 8 (I-8), which left her paralyzed due to a crushed spine (Crippled San Diego Injury Victim Beats Ford Motor Co.; Record San Diego Roll-Over Verdict to be Reviewed).

Well, Buell-Wilson won again and this time it is final. Ms. Buell-Wilson has been fighting since she was injured earlier this decade and for the last five years since a San Diego jury awarded her $369 million, including $27.6 million in compensatory damages and nearly $340 million in punitive damages. After several appeals, including a reduction of the total verdict to $82 million, the United States Supreme Court finally ended this legal ordeal by failing to accept Ford Motor Company’s appeal. Ford will now be forced to pay Buell-Wilson the $82 million verdict.

In June 2002, Buell-Wilson was severely injured and paralyzed while she was driving on I-8 near Tavern Road in Alpine in East San Diego County. The San Diego County auto accident occurred when she swerved to avoid an object on the freeway, causing her vehicle to roll over several times and come to rest on its’ roof. Buell-Wilson alleged that the design of the Ford Explorer because it was unstable and had a weak roof, particularly at its’ “C pillar” behind the front seat and in front of the rear seat.

Congratulations to Buell-Wilson and her husband. It takes a great deal of determination and courage to fight a multi-billion dollar company like Ford to get the compensation one deserves and to punish Ford for its’ knowing failure to make a safe vehicle. We hope they now have peace.