personal injury lawyer san diego

How to Choose a Personal Injury Lawyer

Jorgensen Law in San Diego is a well-known personal injury law firm with an excellent reputation for helping seriously injured victims win the compensation they need to cover medical bills and other damages after an accident. If you or someone you love has been hurt in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, finding a personal injury attorney should come second only to seeking proper medical care. Contact 1-888-855-2948 today to discuss a free case evaluation. We specialize in complex cases including severe injuries and wrongful death.

How Do I Hire a Good Personal Injury Lawyer?

Simply looking at flyers, commercials, and billboards to choose an attorney won’t tell you everything you need to know. You want someone with a good reputation who has the necessary experience to win your case, so don’t just go with the first lawyer who returns your phone call. You should adhere to the following steps in order to find the best attorney.

  • Ask for recommendations – You probably know someone who has filed a personal injury case, even if you’re not aware. Most people choose not to discuss their case under the advisement of their attorney. Ask around and make a list of lawyers who are highly recommended. Then start making appointments to narrow down the list.
  • Get to know each attorney – It’s always best to get to know your lawyer on a personal level. See how they run their office, get a sense of how long it takes them to return a text or phone call, and most importantly, see how you get along. Even if someone looks great on paper doesn’t mean they’re the right attorney for you. You’ll be spending months to years working with this person. You want to make sure it’s someone you can have a great working relationship with.
  • Discuss the important stuff – After the basics, talk to each lawyer about their success rate, case history, and fees. Find out if they only handle personal injury cases. Lawyers who handle only one type of case are more likely to have extensive knowledge of that area of law and a good working relationship with their clients. Having an attorney with that kind of experience is important. Once you find a lawyer that fits the bill, speak to them about taking on your case.

Do I Need an Attorney for Personal Injury?

If you’ve been hurt in an accident, you might want to pursue monetary compensation to cover your damages, and a good personal injury attorney can help you do that. The right lawyer will advise you of your legal rights, inform you on what you should and should not say, and make sure you don’t sign any paperwork for the insurance company that is not legally required.

Your attorney will investigate your case and start gathering evidence. This includes photos, witness statements, accident reports, and whatever else you need to help win your case. They will also keep you from accepting a financial settlement from the insurance company or at-fault party. You should be negotiating for a higher amount in order to cover your medical bills, lost wages and earning capacity, and other losses. The insurance company will always try to settle for a lower amount first.

By hiring the best lawyer, you’ll have someone who will look out for your best interest and fight to get you the money you deserve. They will answer any questions you may have, work hard to get you a better settlement, and help you understand what you’re entitled to. California laws can be complex, so having a lawyer who is knowledgeable in this area is imperative.

Call Jorgensen Law in San Diego County today at 1-888-855-2948 if you’ve been severely injured in an accident. The initial case evaluation is always free, and we won’t collect a cent if you don’t win your verdict or settlement. The more legal advice you can get from the beginning, the better your chance of winning your case. Let our skilled legal team give you the advice you need right away.

social security lawyers

Social Security Disability Lawyers California

Hiring California Social Security Lawyers is often the only way to obtain all of your Social Security benefits. Construction, industrial and other California workers are sometimes injured as a result of workplace accidents. Individuals who suffer from chronic heart or lung problems, AIDS, depression and other similar problems or suffer disabilities that are drug or alcohol related are often eligible for Social Security Disability.

The resulting Social Security disability benefits can be paid under two programs: the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSD) benefits program and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits program. The medical requirements for Social Security Disability payments are the same under both programs for most people. The process for proof is the same for a disabled worker.

Am I eligible for disability benefits?

Eligibility for Social Security Disability is based on prior work under Social Security. Eligibility for SSI disability benefit payments is based on financial need. There are other differences in the eligibility rules for the two programs, however the major distinction is that Social Security Disability insurance benefits are available for individuals who have worked in recent years and are now disabled.

social security lawyers
social security lawyers

Permanent disability, long term disability, Title II benefits and lifetime disability are discussed in your Social Security Handbook in a general way. Your Social Security questions that are not answered by the Social Security Handbook should be referred to a Social Security lawyer.

Disabled Widow’s and Widower’s Benefits are paid to individuals who are at least 50 years old and become disabled within a certain amount of time after the death of their husband or wife who has worked under Social Security. Disabled Adult Child Benefits go to the children (disabled before age 22) of persons who are deceased or who are drawing Social Security Disability or retirement benefits.

Disability Insurance Benefits for Disabled Widow’s or Widower’s Benefits and Disabled Adult Child benefits are not affected by whether you are rich or poor. Benefits are determined by a review of a Social Security earnings record. Supplemental Security Income benefits are paid to individuals who are poor and disabled. SSI does not consider whether the applicant has worked in the past.

SSI disability benefits determination is different for children.

The advocates and attorneys at Disability Help Center, located in San Diego, California, are caring, competent and experienced in Social Security Disability benefits cases. For example, “Denied Benefits” (denial of benefits by the Social Security Administration) are quite common on the initial application. The lawyers at Disability Help Center routinely handle these and other Social Security issues and disability benefits appeals. Contact today for your free consultation with your California Social Security Disability lawyer!

DC Metro Railway Accident Kills Two Veteran Workers

Public transportation rail systems and trains are potentially very hazardous—not only to pedestrians and patrons but to maintenance workers working on the system. Unfortunately, this proved true yesterday when two veteran employees of Washington, DC’s Metro system–Jeff Garrard, 49, and Sung Duk Oh, 68–lost their lives as they were crushed beneath a maintenance truck.

This tragic workplace accident happened around 1:45 a.m. on January 26, 2010, near Rockville, Maryland while the workers were installing new train control equipment on the track bed. They usually ended their shift at 11:30 p.m. but were working overtime at the time. The maintenance truck that hit the victims had four employees inside it. Jim Graham, chairman of the Metro Board of Directors said that “the tragedy was a direct result of human error.”

The victims were known to have impeccable track records and had not laxed in their services to Metro. With over 10,000 hours of experience between them, Garrard and Oh were fastidious and always careful. Yet, they lost their lives due to someone else’s carelessness and negligence. Both Garrard and Oh lived in Montgomery County, Maryland. Garrard is survived by a wife and teenage daughter (pictured above, photo courtesy of this Washington Post story). It is always very difficult losing a loved one. In normal circumstances it becomes hard to adjust to someone’s passing away. But if a cherished person loses his life to such carelessness, the wounds never seem to heal. Our prayers go out to Garrard’s and Oh’s family.

In addition, this is not an accident unique to Washington DC’s public transportation system. It could have just as easily happened in San Diego or anywhere in California’s many public transportation services. One has to wonder whether the late hours and long hours that the crews were working also played a factor in this industrial accident. Many times accidents like these occur when workers are fatigued.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a San Diego workplace accident, please contact San Diego industrial accident lawyer and the San Diego personal injury attorneys. You may also contact the San Diego truck accident lawyers for a free consultation and helpful information.

La Jolla Community Says Goodbye to 9-year Old San Diego Girl

The La Jolla, California community gave their final good wishes and thoughts for young Ashley Heffington’s soul on Sunday. Ashley was a 9-year old girl who died 12 days after her family’s car was hit by an SUV near the San Diego Sports Arena on New Year’s Eve. Locals visited the La Jolla Presbyterian Church to honor the little girl’s memory and have started a memorial fund to help out the family.

Ashley suffered major bodily injuries from the serious car crash before she finally succumbed nearly two weeks later. The driver of the SUV is suspected of driving under the influence of prescription drugs at the time of the car crash. You can read more of the serious La Jolla car crash that took away this young girl’s life in this CBS8.com story.

We believe that tragic losses such as Ashley’s life are major eye-openers to everyone, reminding them about the importance of driving safely. It is important to be as clear-minded and as attentive as possible when driving, especially when traffic is the busiest. We hope and pray for Ashley Heffington’s soul to rest in peace and for the safety of all San Diegans.

If you or any of your loved ones are victims of a La Jolla auto accident and are in need of assistance, don’t hesitate to contact La Jolla car accident lawyer and the San Diego, CA personal injury lawyers for more information. You can also contact the San Diego accident attorneys for helpful information and a free initial consultation.

Recent Jury Verdict Demonstrates the Risk of Litigation

Clients occasionally seem to be puzzled by the fact that, sometimes, even if they win a trial they might not obtain any monetary recovery. They generally realize that they could lose a trial–that the jury might decide completely against them. But not receiving money for injuries after a jury decides in their favor? Unimaginable.

However, the following recent jury verdict shows that this can happen and demonstrates how it can happen.

Pfc. Jesse Klingler was injured when he was shot at close range with a blank round by an actor hired by a local TV production company. The TV production company was working with the Marines to conduct a simulated interrogation during a military training exercise. Pfc. Klingler was participating as an on-duty marine in the exercise.

A jury awarded Pfc. Klingler $91,000. However, due to litigation strategy, allocation of fault, and the jury’s verdict, Pfc. Klingler will not receive any portion of that verdict.

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.

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, the 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.

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.

2 Bicyclists Struck in Separate Car Crashes

Two cyclists, a 10-year-old girl and a 23-year-old woman, are recovering from injuries they sustained after being hit by vehicles in two different auto accidents in San Diego.

The 10-year-old girl was riding eastbound on Catalina Boulevard at about 7:20 a.m. Tuesday when a 2011 Chevy van turned the corner on Wilcoz and hit her at the intersection. Despite what most people think, the young girl knows how to ride and was doing it safely. She competes in triathlons for kids and was riding in front of her dad, who was training with her. Her father barely avoided the collision.
The girl was taken to the hospital for a fractured leg and collar bone.

The 23-year-old woman sustained non-life-threatening facial fractures when a Hyundai SUV tried to pass her on the 4900 block of College Avenue, near Cresita Drive, at about 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday. The 55 year-old SUV driver was obviously in too much of a hurry to wait until it was safe to pass.

Both drivers’ negligent driving caused these bicycle accidents, and they may be held liable for the damages, including medical bills, loss of income, etc. The victims’ family should immediately seek counsel with a San Diego County bike collision attorney to learn about how to get the compensation they need to cover these expenses.

San Diego Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Reveals the Top 5 Most Common California Motorcycle Accidents

What are the top 5 types of California motorcycle accidents? How should motorcycle riders avoid them? San Diego, CA motorcycle accident attorney reveals these answers.

Do You Know the Top 5 Most Common Types of Motorcycle Accidents in California? We’ll Tell You How to Avoid Them…

Riding a motorcycle safely in California requires skill and judgment on the part of the rider. It is a fun way to get transport oneself across the state’s roads and freeways–one of the reasons why so many Californians ride their bikes. However, we all know that riding a motorcycle can be dangerous and there are several common accidents which happen daily on California’s roads from San Diego to San Francisco.

In California, the most common types of motorcycle accidents are:

  • Accidents that happen on bends in country roads
  • Crashes that happen at intersections
  • Wrecks that occur while overtaking slower vehicles
  • Loss of control while riding
  • Poor road surface conditions

Here are examples of these types of accidents and how to avoid them:

Bends in Country Roads

Most motorcycle riders are not experienced riding on country roads. They grew up riding on city and town roads. However, country roads need a special sort of skill, knowledge, and ability, particularly around bends.

Bends on country roads can be smooth and even and open up once you turn into the bend. Other bends tighten up dramatically and make the rider realize that they took the turn at too high a rate of speed only after entering the bend. That leads to a major problem and increases the likelihood that the rider will lose control.

When taking a bend on a country road, pay attention to visual clues such as lines of trees, path of telephone poles, and roadside bushes that will give you an indication of the severity of the bend. Always make sure to take a safer path by entering the bend slower than one would expect is safe and allowing the motorcycle to accelerate through the bend when they have greater room to maneuver.

Accidents at Intersections


This is the most common motorcycle accident in urban areas and usually happens when drivers of cross traffic don’t pay attention. They fail to give way or stop and pull out in front of the motorcyclist forcing him to lay the bike down or collide broadside with the motorcyclist in a “t-bone accident”. Most of these accidents happen at T-intersections with the vehicle trying to make a turn onto the main road or trying to pull out of a parking lot.

Drivers of cars usually have a difficult time judging the speed of an oncoming motorcycle and thereby underestimate the time of arrival at the intersection. Always remember that in a crash between a motorcycle and a car, the bike will end up with the worst of it no matter who is at fault. Therefore, if you are approaching an intersection or riding in the far right lane of traffic, always look out for motorists who may not see you and pull out into the flow of traffic.

Crashes While Passing Slower Traffic

Passing slower traffic, particularly on two-lane roads when one passes in the oncoming lane of traffic, is a test of skill and judgment as well as the motorcycle’s acceleration. If you are not used to riding the particular motorcycle, be extra cautious. Take time to learn how the bike reacts to acceleration and braking in different gears before passing.

It is generally not a good idea to pass when approaching bends, intersections, pedestrian crossings, hills or dips in the road, and while crossing double yellow lines.

Loss of Control


Losing control of your motorcycle is by definition dangerous. Losing control usually happens when the motorcyclist is following too close or the vehicle behind the motorcycle is following too close. To protect yourself, always make sure there is a buffer in front and in back of your bike and you can see all the traffic in front of you so that sudden stops won’t catch you off guard.

Poor Road Surface Conditions


Adjusting to changing road conditions is always a challenge. A variety of road conditions require different riding skills and experience to avoid losing control. These conditions include poor weather conditions, fuel spills, mud, manhole covers, and painted road markings.

Keep a lookout for these road conditions and any road signs warning of danger ahead. Also look out for construction zones where loose gravel and debris gather. Always make sure your tires are in good condition and pressurized correctly. Your life often rests on your tires. When you encounter possible dangers, be sure to allow yourself more space and time to react.

For all of the possible motorcycle accidents, the best cure is skill and experience riding your bike.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a California motorcycle accident, the skilled and aggressive San Diego, CA motorcycle accident lawyers are available to discuss your rights and provide a free consultation.

Pedestrian Struck, Another Killed Crossing El Cajon

25-year-old Melissa N. Ferreira was killed in a tragic car wreck that occurred on November 19, 2011, around 2 a.m. in front of the El Cajon Grand Bar on Main Street. According to El Cajon police officers, a man and woman were struck by a Mitsubishi Montero going westbound in front of the bar.

Ferreira suffered fatal blunt force trauma and was pronounced dead at the accident scene. The male pedestrian suffered non-life threatening injuries and was immediately taken to nearby hospital for treatment.

The SUV’s driver stopped immediately following the crash and was cooperating with investigators. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of the deceased pedestrian. From the available information, it is unclear what led to this serious pedestrian accident. The accident is still under investigation. Alcohol and drugs were not a factor.

The deceased’s family members should immediately seek counsel from an experienced San Diego County car crash lawyer who would educate them about their legal rights and help them obtain compensation to cover the burial and burial costs, loss of anticipated earnings, and other accident-related damages. The injured pedestrian may also file a personal injury claim to obtain compensation to cover treatment, medical and hospital costs.

Our law office sends our condolences to Ferreira’s family and hope that the injuries suffered by the other pedestrian heal soon.

Fatal Oxnard Truck Accident Kills Young Boy

6-year-old Anthony Martinez was killed in a tragic pickup-truck wreck that occurred on November 24, 2011, around 4:20 p.m. at the 1300 block of W. Olive Street. According to Cmdr. Tom Chronister, Martinez was riding his bike along the sidewalk, entered the street, and was struck 50-year-old Jesus Calderon Ruvalcaba.

Martinez suffered fatal injuries and was pronounced dead at the accident scene. From the available information, it is unclear what led to this serious truck wreck. Was the driver speeding? If it is found that the truck driver was driving negligently or recklessly, then he might be held liable for the young boy’s death.

Meanwhile, the injured juvenile’s family members should immediately seek counsel from an experienced Ventura County bicycle accident lawyer who would educate them about their legal rights. This lawyer may also help young boy’s parents obtain compensation to cover treatment, medical and hospital costs.

Our personal injury law office sends sincere condolences to the young boy’s parents.

Perhaps the Most Important Appellate Court Case for California Personal Injury Clients

On November 23, 2009, the Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District of California (which includes much of San Diego and Orange County) handed down an opinion which helped injured Californians seeking full compensation for injuries caused by others. The opinion, Howell v. Hamilton Meats & Provisions, Inc., declined to follow the insurance industry’s argument that injured people can only collect monies for the reduced amount of their medical bills negotiated by their health insurance companies. The Court upheld the “collateral source rule” that a negligent person must pay for all the harm they caused–including the full amount of medical bills charged by the health care providers–and cannot obtain the benefit obtained by the injured person’s health insurance (the “collateral source”, i.e., a source of payment other than the negligent person.

The Howell case involved a car vs. truck accident where San Diego County resident Rebecca Howell was hit by a commercial truck owned by Hamilton Meats and driven by their employee. As a result of the auto wreck, Ms. Howell was admitted to the hospital and received subsequent treatment from her doctors in the total amount of over $189,000 which included a fusion of the vertebrae in her neck. At trial, Hamilton Meats admitted liability for causing the accident but disputed the amount of damages that Ms. Hamilton was seeking for compensation (this is very typical). After the trial, the Vista, CA jury awarded Ms. Howell nearly $690,000, including her $189,000 in medical bills.

After the rial, Hamilton Meat’s attorneys sought to reduce the amount of the verdict by arguing that the true amount of the medical bills was $59,000 and not $189,000 after her doctors agreed to accept reduced payments from Ms. Howell’s health insurance carrier. Typically, doctors will agree to a reduced payment from a health insurance company so that the total amount paid for care is not the face value of the bill. They do this for a variety of reasons, including having the benefit of being an approved doctor (and receiving a pipeline of patients) and receiving “in-kind” benefits such as equipment and supplies.

The trial court granted the reduction under a line of cases commonly known as Hanif/Nishihama. During the last five years, the insurance companies have convinced the trial courts that this line of cases allowed for post-trial reductions in jury verdicts despite the fact that the collateral source rule clearly stated that injured people can collect the full amount of their medical bills. The collateral source rule had been California law for nearly 40 years before the Howell decision was handed down earlier this week.

The Appellate Court decision reversed the Hanif/Nishihama rulings and clearly states that the collateral source rule is California law.

This is perhaps the most important ruling in favor of injured Californians in the last 5 or 10 years. The insurance companies had used Hanif/Nishihama to ratchet down settlement offers and to reduce jury verdicts. Now, with Howell, injury victims who had the foresight to obtain health insurance prior to their accident will not find themselves penalized for doing so in court.

Read the whole opinion.

We want to salute and thank the San Diego, CA personal injury lawyers who fought for this victory.

Broken Vertebrae

A Back Injury Can Be Extremely Painful and Cause Your Vertebrae to be Permanently Weakened. In Extreme Cases, It May Cause Neurological Damage or Disability. If You Have Been Hurt, Get Medical Assistance Immediately and Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer to Get the Recover You Need.

An injury in the back section of the spinal cord can cause the back vertebrae to be fractured or dislocated. However, if the injury causes damage to the spinal cord, it may result in neurological problems or paralysis. Auto accidents and falls are the most common forms of trauma leading to fractured vertebrae.

For instance, if a pedestrian is struck by a vehicle when trying to walk through a crosswalk, he may be thrown into the air and lands on his back. The victim may immediately feel pain and stiffness after the impact, making him unable to move.

The extent of the back injury varies depending on the location and severity. Broken vertebrae can be extremely painful and require intensive care, medications, and possible physical therapy.

San Diego Car Accident Paralysis

Car Accident Paralysis

While many walk away with little or no injuries from car accidents, there are many more who suffer immediate injuries that permanently change their lives. Among these injuries, suffering paralysis can have a huge impact on a victim, as even small details of everyday life may be affected by becoming paralyzed. Our legal team understands the devastating nature of becoming paralyzed in a car accident and the many circumstances that may lead to a paralysis-causing car crash. For the wellbeing of all California residents, we seek to inform everyone, whether or not they have fallen victim to such injuries, of the nature of these accidents and what actions may be taken to recover.

Coping with Paralysis

Paralysis can be caused by many different injuries and illnesses, however, during a car accident, it is often due to nerve damage, with spinal cord injuries causing the most widespread damage. Depending on the type and location of the injury, a victim may experience complete paralysis that inhibits both motor control and feeling or incomplete paralysis that does not completely stop all feeling or movement. Paralysis can occur in single limbs if the nerves in the limb have been severely damaged, or it can affect both legs (paraplegia) or all four limbs (quadriplegia) if the spinal cord is damaged.

Unfortunately, many forms of paralysis can never be completely healed, even through extensive surgery. As such, physical rehabilitation can teach victims how to cope with their limitations and regain as much of their abilities as possible. Additionally, vocational rehabilitation can teach victims new skills to be used in a different occupation should the abilities that were needed for their job no longer be possible. With proper care, a victim can increase their quality of life to as high of a level as possible with their paralysis.

The Emotional Impact of Paralysis

While the physical losses experienced because of paralysis can be incredibly difficult, the emotional impact of paralysis can be just as great. Suffering a paralyzing injury can occur in an instant, with victims having no chance to understand their injury before they have begun to experience their losses. This sudden loss of capabilities can cause a victim to experience any and all emotions ranging from denial to anger to depression, with acceptance of their losses possibly not occurring for a long time. Receiving therapy to cope with the emotional trauma of paralysis is just as important as physical rehabilitation, as the mental anguish caused by injuries can damage a victim’s career, relationships, and overall quality of life.

Finding Success in Your Search for Compensation

Our San Diego car accident injury attorneys have years of experience protecting the rights of victims injured in a wide variety of accidents and suffering many different types of trauma. As such, we have the skills and resources built up from years of success needed to find fair and full compensation for your losses in insurance company negotiation and any trials that may be needed. For more information on how we can aid you in your search for compensation and help you cope with your losses, call us.

The Worst Insurance Companies

Which are the Top Ten Worst Insurance Companies in America and Are You Insured by One of Them? Read this Article to Find Out!

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.

Helpful Insurance Industry Information

Insurance Industry News Articles

  • Which are the Top Ten Worst Insurance Companies in America and Are You Insured by One of Them? Read this Article to Find Out!
    The American Association for Justice (AAJ) published a list of the ten worst insurance companies in America. Learn about the horrible things that your insurance company is doing before they do it to you.
  • Do Insurance Companies Not Treat People Fairly? Do They Have a Plan to Cheat People from Benefits They Deserve? This Report Says “Yes”!
    The American Association for Justice (AAJ) published this report telling how insurance companies have a consistent plan to deny insurance claims, delay the payment of claims, confuse people, and refuse to consider claims–all of which is intended to boost their profits at the expense of injured people.

Fair Insurance Settlements

The Insurance Company Seems to Be Nice and Wants to Help Me Get a Fair and Just Settlement. Should I Trust Them?

No.

If insurance companies were as giving and helpful as they sound, they would be out of business. Insurance companies train their adjusters to settle claims for as little money as possible while making you think you are getting a fair amount.

Unfortunately, many insurance companies routinely delay claims, knowing fully well that many policyholders will simply give up. In addition to this, they use several other tactics to make you settle with the lesser claim or even deny you. The bottom line is that insurance companies make money when they don’t pay claims and they will do anything to keep their profits high.

Contact a California Lawyer

The role of a personal injury attorney is to get you the money you need to get back on your feet, whether it is from your insurance company, your employer, etc.

If you or someone you love has been a victim of an accident in San Diego that was not your fault, you deserve to get compensation for your injuries. Our Attorneys has the resources and experience to take on large corporations and insurance companies. Contact our law office to set up a free consultation.

Slip and Fall Injury Accidents

If you fall due to a “dangerous condition” (e.g., ice, trip hazard, standing water, etc.) on someone else’s property and are left with an injury that is long-lasting or interferes with your daily routine, the premise owner may be liable for the injuries you suffered.

But how do you know whether you have a personal injury case in the first place? How should it be handled? Do you need a personal injury lawyer to help you?

Here are some facts about slip and fall liability.

First, you are not alone. Thousands of people are injured in slip and fall accidents every year, some of which are very serious. The causes of these injury accidents range from dangerous flooring, tricky stairs, an unexpected change in elevation that leads you to trip, or an uneven area of ground. These are known as dangerous conditions.

Keep in mind that although you may be injured due to these dangerous conditions, property owners may not be held liable unless they had “notice” of the dangerous condition and (1) either had an opportunity to fix it, or (2) had an opportunity to warn you and others of the dangerous condition. To be legally responsible for the injuries you suffered from slipping and falling on someone else’s property, at least one of the following must be true:

  • The owner of the premises or an employee must have caused the spill, worn or torn spot, or other slippery or dangerous surface or item to be underfoot.
  • The owner of the premises or an employee must have known of the dangerous surface but done nothing about it.
  • The owner of the premises or an employee should have known of the dangerous surface because a “reasonable” person taking care of the property would have discovered and removed or repaired it.

Some tricky wording (you may have noticed “should have” quite often) often leaves room for debate between attorneys for property owners and injury victims. Liability relies heavily on whether the property owner followed its’ own rules and guidelines and whether the property owner or its’ employees used common sense to recognize and fix a dangerous condition. A debate also hinges on what was “reasonable” considering the circumstances. It is often important to determine whether the owner makes regular and thorough efforts to keep the property safe and clean and whether such “inspections” occurred just prior to your injury accident.

Some things to consider when you are considering whether you should pursue your slip and fall injury claim and whether you need the help of a trained personal injury attorney with experience litigating premises liability cases:

  • If you tripped over or slipped on an object that should not have been on the property (the “dangerous condition”), had the dangerous condition been there long enough that the owner should have known about it?
  • Does the property owner have a regular procedure for examining and cleaning or repairing the premises? If so, what proof does the owner have of this regular maintenance?
  • If you tripped over or slipped on an object on the ground, was there a legitimate reason for the object to be there?
  • If there once had been a good reason for the object to be there but that reason no longer exists, could the object have been removed or covered or otherwise made safe?
  • Was there a safer place the object could have been located, or could it have been placed in a safer manner, without much greater inconvenience or expense to the property owner or operator?
  • Could a simple barrier have been created or a warning been given to prevent people from slipping or tripping?
  • Did poor or broken lighting contribute to the accident?

Bear in mind that the notice requirement is a double-edged sword. The primary way the property owner will learn of a dangerous condition is through a visual inspection–in other words, they saw it on their property. Seeing the dangerous condition is enough to put the property owner on notice. However, if the dangerous condition was visible to the property owner, the property owner will argue that you should have seen it too and avoided it. In other words, the property owner will argue that you bear some or all of the responsibility for causing your injuries. This is called “contributory negligence”. It does not prevent you from recovering money for your injuries, but if a jury agrees with the property owner it will reduce the verdict in your favor.

For example, if you slip on water on a supermarket floor, a jury will be asked to determine whether the property owner was responsible for your injuries and whether you were contributorily negligent. Let’s say that a jury determines that your injury is worth $100,000 and that the property owner is 75% responsible and you are 25% contributorily negligent. The result of this verdict is that you will receive a verdict of $100,000 minus 25% ($25,000), for a net jury verdict of $75,000.

Because determining whether a property owner is legally responsible for a slip and fall injury is never absolutely determined until trial–both the property owner and injury victim will have arguments in their favor–many personal injury attorneys do not like representing slip and fall accident victims. These personal injury lawyers prefer cases where legal responsibility is determined, like rear-end car collisions, and the only issue they have to fight over is the value of the injured person’s injury. If they do take the rare slip and fall case, they are often lost or unmotivated to do the hard work needed to successfully prosecute these claims.

That is why you need an experienced slip and fall accident lawyer to help you. We have built a reputation in San Diego, Southern California, and the entire state of California as successful slip and fall accident lawyers who know how to build, document, and strengthen serious slip and fall accident cases. That reputation is known amongst other personal injury attorneys, many of whom regularly refer their slip and fall accident clients to our office due to our expertise. In addition, it is known by the insurance companies and lawyers for property owners who know that we will take these cases to trial and will be successful.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a slip and fall accident and you would like more information, contact us for a free consultation. We will make sure that none of your questions are unanswered and that you are informed about the legal process for slip and fall accident cases.

Negligent Security Information

Many people do not realize that a business can be held legally responsible for injury or death due to the business’s negligent security. Issues of dim lights, video cameras that do not work, broken locks, and lack of security patrols could be the difference between life and death if they create unsafe situations. Criminals wait for an opportunity to strike, and if security provided the opportunity to harm innocent victims then property owners may be legally responsible for those injuries.

Convention centers, shopping malls, apartment buildings, office buildings, hotels, motels, and other property owners are responsible for maintaining a safe environment for their visitors, workers, and residents. Consider some of the issues if you believe that you have been harmed due to negligent security:

  • Was your loved one attacked where a business should have known about a criminal threat and responded to them? If an area has a history of crime, or if the police have been called on many occasions, the business should provide a reasonably secure environment. This includes, and is not limited to, proper lighting, security guards, and surveillance cameras.
  • Parking lots should have sufficient lighting to guide people to their cars and discourage criminals from mugging innocent people. Even adjacent business owners may hold a degree of liability in these cases.
  • Business owners that are aware they are in a high crime area that does not maintain their security systems on windows and doors or have failing buzzer systems, may be held liable for attacks that caused injury or wrongful death.
  • If a school ignored a threat of violence, they could be liable as well. Did the school have a plan for dealing with violence? Negligent security may be a factor if your child was harmed while at school.

If any of this sounds familiar to you or your loved one’s injury or wrongful death, you may have a claim against a business for negligent security. These cases are very fact specific and reviewing your case with an experienced premises liability trial attorney is a must. We have built a reputation for successfully prosecuting negligent security cases. Many lawyers, due to the difficulty and expense, do not handle these cases. We do. In fact, other personal injury lawyers routinely refer their premises liability clients to our office because of our successful reputation. You can contact our office for a free consultation at any time to learn about your legal rights.

Helpful Personal Injury Case Information

Personal Injury Case Articles

  • This Opinion Maybe the Most Important Decision for California Personal Injury Attorneys and Their Injured Clients!
    The Howell v. Hamilton Meats & Provisions, Inc. decision may be the most important decision for California personal injury attorneys and their injured clients. The California Court of Appeals reinstated the collateral source rule’s guarantee that plaintiffs are entitled to the full billed value of their medical bills and not the discounted payment from their private health insurance carrier. ssdi payment calculator – In this case, a San Diego, CA woman won her appeal to have $130,000 of her jury verdict reinstated after the Court discounted the verdict by the reductions obtained by her health insurance.
  • The Third Appellate District Becomes the Latest Appellate Court to Uphold the Collateral Source Rule That Negligent Defenders Should Not Benefit from Injured People Who Have the Foresight to Purchase Health Insurance.
    The California Court of Appeals for the Third Appellate District recently ruled in King v. Willmett that the collateral source rule bars the reduction of jury verdicts based upon reduced amounts paid by the injured person’s health insurance company. The rule prevents the courts from rewarding negligent defendants from benefiting from the foresight of injured people who purchased and then used health insurance to pay for their medical care arising from an accident. This is a very important decision benefiting California injury victims. It overrules the argument made by insurance defense attorneys in the Nishihama and Haniff cases. Schedule a free consultation with an experienced disability attorney or representative in the Phoenix area, and all of Arizona. Call (888)939-4692 or via the web https://disabilityhelpgroup.org. We would be honored to answer your questions or represent your case.
  • Get Out of Red Light Camera Tickets with This California Appellate Court Case–People v. Khaled
    In People v. Khaled, the California Court of Appeals ruled that the hearsay rule applies to photographs and videotapes used by police agencies to enforce red lights at intersections monitored by cameras. In order to substantiate the photographs, prosecutors must call witnesses who can lay a foundation for when, where, and how the photograph is taken in order for it to be introduced into evidence. Further, laying such a foundation is necessary to establish that the photograph was not altered by Photoshop or some other method.

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

Q: What can threaten my California slip and fall claim?

A: If you have suffered injuries after falling on slippery tiles, you should speak to a San Diego injury law firmto discuss filing a California slip and fall claim. Denial, low settlement offers, and unfair adjusters could ruin the outcome of your California slip and fall claim.

Since this kind of claim can be very difficult to pursue, it’s best that you don’t try to tackle it on your own. Therefore, you should know about the various ways in which your claim could be minimized or denied when you’ve fallen on slippery tiles so that you can help your law firm build your case.

Threats to a California Slip and Fall Claim

Keep in mind that insurance adjusters will try all sorts of tactics to settle your claim as quickly and cheaply as possible. It doesn’t matter if you have suffered a traumatic brain injury while losing your balance on slippery tiles.

One threat to your claim is that it could be outright denied. Insurance companies will search for any loopholes that put you at fault or cast doubt on your version of how your accident occurred.

Another threat is that you may be offered an unfair settlement. A San Diego injury law firm can help determine whether a settlement is truly fair and will address any future medical or vocational needs. If you accept a low settlement before you realize the full extent of your injuries after you slip and fall on slippery tiles, you will not be able to ask for more damages.

Your claim could also be threatened if you think your insurance adjusters are fair. Be advised that their goal is to save the company money, not to look out for your best interest.

Act Now For Help With Your California Slip and Fall Claim

If you or a loved one have been injured in a slip and fall accident in California, we are here to help. When you’re ready to get started on your case, simply contact our law offices online or by phone. The consultation is free!

California Bans Texting While Driving

On July 1st, 2008, California passed a law that made it illegal to talk on your cell phone while driving, unless the driver had a hands-free device, such as a Blue Tooth enabled headset. The purpose of this legal adjustment was to rid drivers of distractions and allow them to concentrate more fully on the road.

When this law was enacted, instead of removing distractions, a new demon came about: texting. Engaging in texting, which requires users to both read, type, and send, suddenly appeared to make talking on the phone much less harmful. In response to this, California made it illegal to text while driving on January 1st, 2009, anywhere within the State, including San Diego County.

While the exact statistics of accidents caused while texting are difficult to ascertain, illegally texting while driving could potentially lead to some of the following scenarios:

  • Hitting a pedestrian in a crosswalk in Oceanside, CA
  • Fatally injuring a biker along the road in Coronado, CA
  • Rear-ending a semi-truck on the freeway in San Diego, CA
  • Running a red light at an intersection in Santee, CA
  • Failing to navigate a curve and plummeting in a ditch on State Route 67 in Ramona, CA

According to a 2006 study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, the leading factor in most car crashes and truck wrecks were deemed to be driver inattention.

Not all states have laws against talking on the phone or texting while operating motor vehicles. A lot of states are still wrestling with this issue as they have seen a ride in fatal car accidents due to texting and cell phone usage. But all who take the road in California are subject to California laws, and all drivers are responsible for their automobiles and remaining free of distractions.

If you or a loved one are the victim of a car accident caused by a driver’s inattention, and especially while on the phone or driving, you deserve to be compensated for your sufferings, and you may need a lawyer to help you win your case. We have the experience and quality in serving the San Diego County personal injury victims.

With convenient offices near the trolley line in Downtown San Diego and in Carlsbad, CA for our clients in North San Diego County, we are dedicated to helping the victims of car accidents in the San Diego County and to providing a high level of responsiveness, communication, and personal attention.

Postponing a conference call will not kill you; looking down to answer your phone and missing a red light could.

Texting While Driving Injuries

Any Distraction can Endanger a Driver’s Safety. However, Texting is the Most Alarming Because It Involves All Three Types of Distraction –Visual, Manual, and Cognitive.

5 Unknown Facts About Texting and Driving

Motor vehicle crashes remain the leading cause of death for American teenagers.

According to a survey conducted by the American Automobile Association and Seventeen magazine, almost nine in 10 teenage drivers (86%) have driven while distracted, even though 84% say they know they shouldn’t.

Because texting involves both physically taking the phone out, mentally thinking about, and reading the text, it is especially dangerous for young teens who are inexperienced and more risk-taking behind the wheel.

Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)

The No. 1 source of driver inattention is the use of a wireless device.

Distracted driving is a growing problem on America’s roads, and the number of injuries and deaths will keep climbing every year unless drivers start educating themselves about safety regulations.

Text messaging has grown an almost 10,000-fold increase in 10 years and many drivers still continue to text even though they are aware of the dangers (Virginia Tech/NHTSA). Most of us have texted while driving; and though you may not have gotten into an accident, you probably drifted into another lane or had to make a sudden stop because you were distracted by the text message. Yet, we still make no efforts to stop.

Drivers who use handheld devices are four times as likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves.

(Insurance Institute for Highway Safety)

In addition, drivers who are texting can be more than 20 times more likely to crash than non-distracted drivers. The National Safety Council estimates 25 percent of all crashes in 2008 involved talking on cell phones – accounting for 1.4 million crashes and 645,000 injuries that year.

As a response to these astounding numbers, California law passed the Wireless Communication Device Law (effective January 1, 2009) banning drivers from writing, sending, or reading text messages on a wireless telephone while driving, (California Vehicle Code 23123).

Driving while using a cell phone reduces the amount of brain activity associated with driving by 37%.

(Carnegie Mellon University)

Because texting involves both physically taking the phone out, mentally thinking about, and reading the text, it is especially dangerous for young teens who are inexperienced and more risk-taking behind the wheel.

Texting while driving involves three types of distraction: visual, manual, and cognitive. The process of reaching for a phone and reading a text message requires you to take your eyes off the road, taking hands off the wheel, and take your mind off what you are doing.

Using a cell phone while driving, whether it’s handheld or hands-free, delays a driver’s reactions as much as having a blood alcohol concentration at the legal limit of 0.08%.

Car and Driver Magazine was the first to put this to the text. Rigging a car with a red light to alert drivers when to brake, the magazine tested how long it takes to hit the brake when sober, when legally drunk at .08, when reading and e-mail, and when sending a text.

The results were frightening. The driver was slower reaching and braking while e-mailing and texting than he was while under the influence of alcohol. This proves that in some ways, texting while driving is more dangerous than drunk driving.

Source: University of Utah

Contact a California TWD Attorney

If you or a loved one are the victims of a car accident caused by a driver’s inattention, and especially while on the phone or driving, you deserve to be compensated for your sufferings, and you may need a lawyer to help you win your case. We have the experience and quality in serving San Diego County personal injury victims. Contact our personal injury office to set up a free consultation.

San Diego Wrongful Death Law Firm

Money Can Never Replace the Hole Left Behind by the Loss of a Loved One, It Can Ease the Financial Pain that the Family Members Must Endure. We Can Help the Dependents Obtain the Monetary Help They Need.

Money can never replace the hole left behind by the loss of a loved one. However, justice and California law requires a negligent party to pay for all the damage they cause, including the death of another person. Making sure your family obtains full justice means receiving money that can ease the financial pain that the family members are burdened with after someone close has died.

In the event of a fatal accident in San Diego caused by the negligence of another, the surviving relatives of the deceased victim have the right to make what is called a wrongful death claim. In a wrongful death claim, the surviving family is asking for monetary damages for the loss of their loved one.

In the state of California, a wrongful death claim generally consists of four elements:

  1. The death was caused, in whole or part, by the conduct of the defendant;
  2. The defendant was negligent or strictly liable for the victim’s death;
  3. There is a surviving spouse, children, beneficiaries or dependents; and
  4. Monetary damages have resulted from the victim’s death.

Who Can Sue?

First in line are the surviving spouse, children, and surviving issue of deceased children of the decedent.

If these claimants do not exist, then the next in line in order are the person’s parents, siblings, children of deceased siblings, grandparents, and then their linear descendants.

If none of these claimants exist, it can become a bit more complicated. The second group of claimants includes a putative spouse (someone who can prove that they were married to the decedent but not married by law), children of the putative spouse, stepchildren, and parents of the decedent.

When Must I File a Wrongful Death Claim?

Every state has a limit on the amount of time a person has to file a wrongful death lawsuit in court. In the state of California, the time limit, also called the statute of limitation, is about two years, with a few exceptions.

If you do not file your wrongful death action on time, you will be barred from filing it all together.

How Much and What Can I Sue For?

California law governs the amount of damages that can be recovered by beneficiaries.

Family members can sue for compensatory damages, which cover medical costs, funeral expenses, lost wages, grief, and loss of companionship.

Punitive damages may also be awarded in a wrongful death case if the defendant’s actions were particularly reckless and heinous. These damages are distributed among the survivors.

Contact a Wrongful Death Claim Lawyer

Because of the potentially high amount of monetary damages that can be recovered from a wrongful death claim, insurance will go to great lengths to defend themselves from these actions. It is best to have a dedicated wrongful death claim attorney by your side to make sure you get the best representation possible.

Our wrongful death claim lawyers will make sure you get the reparations you need and deserve. Contact our personal injury law office to set up a free consultation.