4-Year-Old Child Hit in Carlsbad Pedestrian Accident

July 13, 2018 Injury Lawyer San Diego 0

On the evening of July 7, 2009, a 4-year-old girl from Carlsbad was hit by a car and flown to San Diego’s Rady Children’s Hospital after the accident to treat serious injuries.

Carlsbad fire Battalion Chief Mike Lopez reported that it had happened on the 3400 block of Monroe Street just near Carlsbad High School. The girl suffered from a broken leg when she was boarded onto the medical helicopter to be flown in for treatment, but that at the time she was conscious and alert.

The motor vehicle and pedestrian collision was ruled an accident, and the driver was not arrested. The girl was hit while chasing a ball out into the street as a northbound Chevrolet Suburban was approaching and struck her leg. As of last Wednesday, she was doing okay in the hospital.

What is Shoulder Dystocia?

July 11, 2018 Injury Lawyer San Diego 0

Shoulder dystocia is a medical condition in which a baby’s shoulder gets trapped or pinched behind the mother’s pubic bone during a vaginal delivery. The infant’s head delivers normally, but the shoulders become stuck.

Shoulder dystocia can cause a number of birth injuries to newborns, including bone fractures, damage to the nerves in the shoulders or neck, or Erb’s palsy. To resolve shoulder dystocia during delivery, the doctor or midwife must free the newborn’s trapped shoulder without breaking any bones, putting too much stress on the neck, or injuring the mother.

Moving the mother’s body can sometimes gently turn the newborn so that the shoulders come out naturally. The doctor or midwife may also move the baby to bring the shoulders out, although this presents a slightly higher risk. In about 30 percent of cases, unfortunately, nerve or bone damage harms the delicate newborn.

Risk factors for shoulder dystocia are well-known. They include a high birth weight, which is not unusual especially in second or later-born children. Delivering after the due date or delivering twins or triplets also increases the risk. A mother who had a newborn with shoulder dystocia or Erb’s palsy during a previous birth is also at a higher risk for the condition to repeat itself in a later delivery. A scheduled Caesarean section can reduce or eliminate the risk of shoulder dystocia.

If your child has suffered shoulder dystocia during birth, the experienced San Diego shoulder dystocia injury attorneys can help. Our legal team has the resources, dedication, and experience to help you determine what happened and hold any negligent parties accountable for the injuries. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Obama Gives Auto Defect Plaintiffs the Cold Shoulder in GM and Chrysler Bankruptcies

July 8, 2018 Injury Lawyer San Diego 0

It appears from this ABC News story that Obama will not allow any reasonable and rational consideration stand in the way of nationalizing GM and Chrysler through bankruptcy–a deal that appears only to benefit the auto worker unions.

In the latest move, apparently supported by the Obama Department of Justice, the bankruptcy court issued an order that allowed the “Old” GM to sell all assets to the “New” government- and union-owned GM, while leaving all liabilities–including claims by hundreds of people allegedly injured by defective vehicles–with the “Old” GM. Unfortunately, since all assets had been stripped from the “Old” GM, there most likely will be little if any money to pay these injured plaintiffs.

These plaintiffs are just the most recent group to have their legal rights taken from them during the GM and Chrysler bankruptcies. Most notably, several retirement funds–including teachers’ pension funds–had their equity stake in these companies decrease to nearly 10% of their original investment.

In the case of the GM auto defect plaintiffs, they have effectively lost their day in court to have a jury determine if their loved one’s death or their serious injury was caused by GM’s faulty design or construction. Even if a jury finds in their favor now, it is but a hollow victory since there is no money to compensate these victims for their losses.

The deal for the Chrysler plaintiffs is even worse. Based upon the bankruptcy court’s order, any plaintiff who bought their Chrysler car before the June Order cannot sue Chrysler for injuries caused by an auto defect–even if the injury occurred after the Order was issued.

The Obama administration’s decision to throw injured victims under the bus in the name of protecting these failing behemoths to escape their responsibilities is despicable. Considering that Obama ran on a platform of “Hope and Change” that would look out for people and not the corporations shirking their responsibilities, every American should be extremely upset. Not only is it hypocritical but it puts profits over people.

Look next for Obama to create national medical malpractice caps, artificially protecting negligent doctors from having to take full responsibility for their errors, in order to pass his Health Care Reform bill.

Escondido Fourth of July Party Turns Deadly

July 8, 2018 Injury Lawyer San Diego 0

A private residence house party in Escondido celebrating the Fourth of July last Saturday turned fatal when one party-goer was ultimately shot and killed at the festivities. The victim was identified as Daniel Eugene Alexander, 26, of Escondido.

Escondido Police reported that Alexander had been shot in the head while at the party taking place on Vine Street near West Ninth Avenue. Police had been called to the scene at 11:35 p.m. about a fight on the property. Officers arrived on the scene within three minutes and then heard gunshots. They then found Alexander lying in the driveway, and he later died at the scene. SWAT officers were later called in and searched the house but were not successful in finding a suspect.

Helpful Information About Back Pain and Spinal Injuries

July 7, 2018 Injury Lawyer San Diego 0

One of the most common injuries suffered by San Diego accident victims is a spinal injury, typically resulting in pain to their back or neck. The spine is the foundation and structure for your entire body, so an injury to the spine can be very serious.

Spinal Injuries: Back Pain and Neck Injury

Spinal injuries are serious, common, and are injuries that can affect people the world over from many different incidents. While different diseases such as spina bifida or polio used to be the main causes of spinal problems, the use of motor vehicles and public transportation have made Americans more likely to suffer from the most dangerous forms of spinal injuries. Despite the best attempts to keep everyone safe, we still hear of car accidents in Chula Vista, pedestrian hit-and-runs in San Diego, Amtrak crashes in Oceanside, and, as of recently, train collisions in DC.

Most Californians are involved in some kind of car or traffic accident at some point in their lives. No matter where you are hit, how intensely you are pushed, the force and spinal injury caused by such collisions are unnatural and overall harmful for those involved. Other causes can be gunshot wounds or falls. The spine is one of the most important, and most delicate parts, of our bodies. Back injuries can leave lasting and traumatic disability to all of us.

Spinal cord injury, or SCI, is any damage to the spinal cord that results in a loss of function or mobility. The spinal cord does not have to be severed to leave lasting disability, but damage to the spinal cord can leave a lifelong impact. SCI can be anything from back injuries, ruptured discs, spinal stenosis, or pinched nerves.

The spinal cord is roughly 18 inches long and extends from the base of the brain down to the waist. The nerves embedded by the spinal cord carry messages from your brain to other parts of the body. The vertebra along your spine are categorized, the top being Cervical, (the first vertebrae is C-1), followed by Thoracic, Lumbar, and Sacral.

Some common injuries to the spinal cord resulting from car accidents, falls, or injuries are below.

Disc bulging: A bulging disc related to the lumbar nerves occurs when a disc bulges through a crevice in the spine. Discs are the soft, gelatinous material that cushions the vertebrae, and a bulge occurs when it shifts out of its normal radius from accidents or simply old age. Disc bulges can go unnoticed and remain unsymptomatic if they do not hit a nerve.

Herniated disc: Herniated discs cause pain in the back, legs, or lower extremities. When a disc herniation occurs, the cushion between spinal vertebrae is dislocated. Disc herniation normally would not be problematic except that the dense amount of nerves nearby means that the disc tends to hit and rest on nerves that cause the person a lot of constant pain. When the elastic of the disc ruptures, it can get pushed out and can pinch nerves. Many people who experience a herniated discs already suffer from spinal stenosis, which causes narrowing of the space between the spine and the nerves.

Disc rupture: A disc rupture can occur anywhere throughout the spine. Most commonly it occurs near cervical or lumbar nerves. A disc rupture can cause radiculopathy, which is a root nerve irritation and can cause pain going up and down arms or legs, coupled with weakness or numbness.

Approximately 450,000 people live with SCI within the United States. There are about 10,000 new SCI’s every year, and the majority of them (82%) involve males between the ages of 16-30. Motor vehicle accidents leaving these injuries account for 36% of the total, violence is 28.9%, and different types of falls are 21.2%.

With this rate of serious injury that can result from a car or motorcycle accident in San Diego, don’t be unprepared. Contact us for help if this has ever happened to you or a loved one.

Helpful Information About Minor Traumatic Brain Injury (MTBI)

July 6, 2018 Injury Lawyer San Diego 0

One of the secrets and silent serious injuries one can suffer during an accident is a minor traumatic brain injury (MTBI). Notably, Natasha Richardson died following a closed head MTBI injury after striking her head while skiing. It was also speculated that pitchman Billy Mays’ death was caused by MTBI due to falling objects from the overhead compartments in his plane.

MTBI is a very serious condition that can prove fatal if not quickly diagnosed and treated. To better inform San Diego residents, our website added this helpful information about minor traumatic brain injury (MTBI), including its’ detection and treatment.

Minor Traumatic Brain Injury (MTBI)

Many people heard of Minor Traumatic Brain Injury (MTBI) recently when it was cited as the sudden cause of death for Natasha Richardson, notable model and wife of Liam Neeson. However, as a life-threatening condition, and one that can be imposed on you by people or places that may be liable for your injury, it is important to know and understand some of these relatively common injuries that can be often misdiagnosed.

One of the biggest problems with MTBI is that most people do not realize that something is wrong until it is too late. If there is no penetration or bleeding, most will try to just shake it off. However, brain injuries can be incredibly complex, and with the brain being center of all activity of our body, damages done to it can affect nearly anywhere else in our body, both physical and mental limitations. Sudden head injuries tend to take us to the emergency room, where time is of the essence, and physicians are only looking for severe brain injuries. This means that minor injuries may go unnoticed. Patients will be told that they are fine, only to develop symptoms in the future which, by that time, will not be attributed to a mild head injury from months previously.

Below are some symptoms that are associated with MTBI. Most can also be attributed to other disorders, so correct diagnosis is typically missed, and the patient is sometimes then accused of fabricating symptoms and/or not taken seriously.

Symptoms of MTBI

  • Difficulty cognitively figuring out new things
  • Being disorganized in approach to new problems
  • Having difficulty completing activities in a reasonable amount of time
  • Becoming easily frustrated, irritable, or having outbursts of anger or rage
  • Problems with word finding or selection
  • Hypersensitivity to light or sound
  • Problems with concentrating and being easily distracted
  • Problems with short-term memory
  • Becoming more forgetful
  • Increased frequency of headaches
  • Increased impulsiveness, impatience, risk-taking, rudeness, or social impropriety
  • Fatigue
  • Problems reading letters and words
  • Difficulty in understanding what others are saying
  • Confusion in telling right from left
  • Getting lost easily
  • Decreased libido
  • Seizures
  • Sensory problems with vision, hearing, taste, smell, sensation
  • Emotional difficulties (depression, fear, nightmares)

A doctor with Duke University noted that a person can seem incredibly and deceptively lucid and normal following injury, but have a sudden turn for the worse as bleeding from the brain can cause a pressure build up until they experience a traumatic brain injury. Delay in symptoms can range from five minutes to three hours. Immediate treatment is always essential, as damage done to the brain from swelling is often irreversible.

Any type of blow to the head has the potential to cause this. Luggage falling on your head when retrieving overhead storage on an airplane at San Diego airport, hitting your head on your steering wheel after being rear-ended on the interstate 5, or even a branch falling while a neighbor trims their tree in your Escondido neighborhood has the potential to induce MTBI.

Remember to always take precautions with accidents, and especially your health.

Three-year Old Run Over by a Lifeguard in Pacific Beach Truck Accident

July 5, 2018 Injury Lawyer San Diego 0

A 3-year-old girl suffered injuries after being run over by a lifeguard on June 30, 2011, at Pacific Beach near Law Street. According to San Diego Police Department, the lifeguard drove Chevy Colorado pickup truck at 5 MPH when he hit the girl, who was covered with a towel.

Paramedics responding to the accident immediately transported the injured child to Rady Children’s Hospital where she received treatment for the minor injuries suffered. The lifeguard was experienced and said he did not see the child, because she was covered by a towel. Fortunately, the young child suffered only minor injuries. The father was surfing at the time of the accident.

The injured girl’s family members should consult with an experienced truck accident lawyer serving San Diego County to obtain compensation to cover treatment, hospital and medical costs, and other accident-related damages. A claim can be made against the lifeguard and his employer.

Colorado River Boat Accident Kills Woman, Injures Others

July 2, 2018 Injury Lawyer San Diego 0

21-year-old Los Angeles County resident Brittany Stark was killed and two others suffered serious injuries in Colorado River boating accident on June 26, 2011, around 10:26 p.m. According to San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Officials, the Ski Centurion was being driven at about 25 mph by 20-year-old Gregory Kettlekamp when it hit the shore and stopped abruptly. Several of the passengers were ejected out of the ski boat.

Stark was immediately transported to La Paz Regional Medical Center where she was later pronounced dead. The other two injured victims were airlifted to Good Samaritan Hospital to receive medical treatment for the injuries suffered.

Now the investigating officers need to determine whether there was a mechanical failure or Kettlekamp was driving negligently. It is still unknown if alcohol was a contributing factor to this collision.

If it is found that Kettlekamp is responsible for the accident, then he may be held liable for Stark’s wrongful death and injuries suffered by others. It would be in the best interest of Stark’s family members to seek counsel from a San Bernardino County boating accident lawyer to know about their legal rights and options. An experienced lawyer will help the victims and their family members obtain compensation to cover funeral costs, medical costs, loss of anticipated income, loss of love and companionship, and other accident-related damages.

Our law office offers sincere condolences to all those who knew and loved Stark for such a tragic loss. We also hope and pray that the injuries suffered by the other passengers heal soon.

Oceanside Motorcycle Accident Caused by Hit-and-Run SUV Driver

July 2, 2018 Injury Lawyer San Diego 0

An Oceanside motorcycle crash on Highway 76 near the Interstate 5 onramp on June 28 was reportedly caused by a hit-and-run SUV driver who had fled the scene, along with his two passengers.

The accident occurred around 7 p.m. on Sunday when the driver of a GMC Yukon ran a red light on westbound 76 as they drove toward the onramp, which then caused the motorcycle coming towards them to broadside the SUV. The passenger on the motorcycle was a 20-year-old Escondido woman who was ejected and crashed through one of the Yukon’s windows and ultimately landing inside of the SUV. The driver of the motorcycle, known only as a man from Escondido, crashed into the SUV and landed on the road. Both riders from the motorcycle had to be flown to a San Diego trauma center with non-life threatening injuries

FMCSA Grants HOS Exceptions to Fireworks Carriers

July 1, 2018 Injury Lawyer San Diego 0

In recognition of the July 4 holiday, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recently granted an Hours of Service (HOS) exemption to some truck drivers that carry fireworks for commercial shows, according to a recent article in The Trucker.

The exemption applies to the 55 companies that are members of the American Pyrotechnics Association (APA). The exemption covers the part of the hours of service rules that prevent drivers from taking the wheel after the 14th consecutive hour of being on duty, as long as they have spent some of that time off-duty or in a sleeper berth. It does not apply to other parts of the HOS requirements, such as the limit on the number of hours a driver may operate a truck within one 24-hour period or the limit of 60 or 70 hours of driving per week.

The exemption applies to APA members who are transporting fireworks between June 28 and July 8, 2013, and it is also in effect for the same time period in 2014. Only one motor carrier who requested a renewal of the exemption has been denied, according to the FMCSA. The agency believes that the exemption will allow APA members to complete their work while still maintaining safety on the roads.

Fireworks are a classic part of Independence Day celebrations, and many southern California families will travel by car to see them. If you’re injured this holiday, the dedicated San Diego injury attorneys can help. Contact us today for a free and confidential case evaluation.

New Court of Appeal Case: Horseplay Around Pool an “Accident” Under Homeowners’ Insurance

June 30, 2018 Injury Lawyer San Diego 0

On Friday, the California Court of Appeals denied State Farm Insurance’s Petition for Writ of Mandate seeking to have the trial court issue judgment in favor of the insurance company. At issue in the case, titled State Farm Fire and Casualty Co. v. Superior Court, was whether the trial court erred in ruling that State Farm owed a duty to defend its’ insured from a lawsuit for personal injuries where its’ insured threw the victim into a pool, landing on an exposed step.

An insurance company’s duty to defend it’s insured is extremely broad. It is broader than the duty to pay a covered loss. The duty to defend applies to any claim that could possibly involve a covered loss.

In this case, the insureds’ 21 year-old son, who lived with the insureds, argued with another young man, Mr. Wright, at a party. When Wright went outside, the son grabbed Wright and picked him up and threw him into the shallow end of the swimming pool. Wright landed on the pool’s concrete step which was above the water line. As a result of this action, Wright fractured his right clavicle and was hospitalized for four days. The son apologized immediately to Wright and claimed that he was just horse-playing.

The son was later arrested for the incident and pled nolo contender to misdemeanor battery.

Wright then sued the son seeking compensation for his injuries. The claim was tendered to the parents’ homeowners’ insurance policy with State Farm. The policy covered “damages because of bodily injury…caused by an occurrence” with an “occurrence” being defined as “an accident…which results in a. bodily injury; or b. property damage.”

State Farm denied a defense to the parents on several grounds, including:

The claim against you does not meet the insuring agreement in the policy, as the actions do not arise out of an accident. Also, the policy specifically excludes damages which are either expected or intended by the insured or the result of willful and malicious conduct.” In short, State Farm treated the son’s actions as a willful assault rather than mere horseplay.

The Court of Appeals upheld the trial court’s ruling that State Farm acted improperly when they denied the parents with a defense to Wright’s claims. The Court found that under the stipulated facts, an “accident” did occur which would give rise to the duty to defend. The Court held that although the son intentionally picked up Wright and threw him at the pool, the son did not intend or expect the consequence (that Wright would land on a step). Therefore, the duty to defend existed because Wright’s injury was neither expected nor intended by the son, nor was it the result of a malicious act by the insured.

San Diego Motorcyclist Killed in Accident Identified

June 30, 2018 Injury Lawyer San Diego 0

A Wednesday evening motorcycle crash in San Diego County’s El Cajon last week had left one man dead who had been traveling on his motorcycle. The rider was recently identified by the San Diego Union-Tribune as 37-year-old Lance Michael Hagerty. Hagerty had been killed when his motorcycle rear-ended a pickup truck as it was attempting to turn into a driveway about 5 p.m. in El Cajon on West Bradley Avenue near Wing Avenue, according to the county Medical Examiner’s Officer. Hagerty had lived and worked in El Cajon.

Hagerty was wearing a helmet at the time of the collision and was riding a newer-model sports bike, according to El Cajon police. He was taken to a hospital after the wreck, where he died. The westbound traffic on Bradley Avenue had been diverted for about five hours as investigators examiner the scene, police said. The driver of the pickup truck had not been hurt.

If you or anyone you know has ever been injured or killed in a San Diego motorcycle accident, please contact San Diego motorcycle wreck attorney and the San Diego personal injury lawyers.

Was Pitchman Billy Mays Killed by MTBI; Second Celebrity Head Injury Death After Natasha Richardson?

June 29, 2018 Injury Lawyer San Diego 0

Did Billy Mays, the 50-year-old celebrity pitchman, die of a Minor Traumatic Brain Injury (MTBI) following a “hard” landing by a US Airways flight between Philadelphia and Tampa, Florida?

That is the question buzzing around the internet right now.

Mays had been flying home to Tampa after filming an OxiClean commercial in Philadelphia when the front tire of his US Airways flight exploded following the hard landing. Initially, no serious injuries were reported and Mays posted on his Twitter feed about the hard landing saying it was par for the course with US Airways. After the landing, objects fell from the ceiling, although it is unclear what those objects were, and hit Mays in the head.

After landing, Mays told a local news crew about the hit to his head:

“All of a sudden as we hit,” Mays said. “You know it was just the hardest hit. All the top…you know the things from the ceiling started dropping and it hit me on the head, but I got a hard head.”

Mays was found dead at his home the next day by his wife, Deborah. Reportedly, Mays did not feel well when he went to bed later that night. No other major health problems have been disclosed.

Escondido Woman Suffers Critical Injuries in Dangerous Roadway Accident

June 29, 2018 Injury Lawyer San Diego 0

A 23-year-old Escondido woman was critically injured recently when the car in which she was riding careened off the road on Calavo Drive and into a swimming pool, according to a recent news report from NBC San Diego. The road, known to the locals as “Rollercoaster Road,” has been a source of concern for many years due to the dangers it poses to drivers.

The car involved in the Escondido Rollercoaster Road crash was traveling down Calavo Drive near Nordahl Road when it left the roadway, crashed through a fence, and wound up inside a neighbor’s swimming pool. The pool’s owners and their neighbors rushed out to the scene when they heard the crash and pulled the injured woman out of the vehicle. The driver, a 33-year-old man, managed to climb free of the vehicle and swim to safety. He is expected to recover fully from his injuries.

According to locals, the stretch of road where the accident occurred consists of sharp turns and drops that make local teens compare it to a roller coaster. At sufficient speeds, the wheels of a car or truck will actually leave the road at some points. Other serious accidents have occurred during the road’s layout, including one in 2008 that left a local resident in a wheelchair after a car lost control and hit him.

Car accidents aren’t always the fault of a negligent or careless driver. Roadways that feature sharp turns, bad pavement, or insufficient warnings or guardrails can turn a normal day’s drive into a tragedy. That’s why our skilled dangerous roadway accident lawyers are dedicated to helping injured people and their families get the compensation they need when road engineers have failed. For a free consultation, call us today.

Elder Pedestrian Killed In Victorville Hit-And-Run Crash

June 28, 2018 Injury Lawyer San Diego 0

64-year-old Manuel Cadena was killed in a Victorville hit-and-run car accident that occurred on June 26, 2011, around 8:40 p.m. at Palmdale Road west of Borrego Road. According to San Bernardino County Coroner’s Office Officials, Cadena was crossing Highway 18 (SR-18), when a dark-colored SUV, possibly a green or black Toyota, fatally struck him.

The SUV driver turned right onto Borrego Road after hitting Cadena and left the scene. Officers responding to the accident immediately transported Cadena to Victor Valley Community Hospital in Victorville where he was pronounced dead a few hours later.

From the available information, it is evident that the negligent driving and irresponsible actions of the SUV driver lead to Cadena’s wrongful death. Leaving the accident scene is a serious violation under California law. California Vehicle Code 20001 (a) states:

“The driver of a vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury to a person, other than himself or herself, or in the death of a person shall immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the accident.” Motorists are not only required to stop but also remain at the scene of the crash and wait until authorities get to the scene. In addition, if the driver stayed and aided the victim, Cadena may still be alive today.

There is a clear violation of traffic rules. Cadena’s family members should immediately seek counsel from a San Bernardino County pedestrian accident lawyer to know about their legal rights and options. An experienced lawyer would assure that the at-fault party is held liable and that the victim’s family members obtain timely and fair compensation to cover funeral and burial costs, loss of love and companionship, and other accident-related expenses.

Our law office offers sincere condolences to all those who knew and loved Cadena for such a tragic loss.

Kolcraft Recalls Strollers Due to Fingertip Amputation Risks

June 27, 2018 Injury Lawyer San Diego 0

Kolcraft Enterprises, Inc. and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) have issued a recall of several models of the Kolcraft Contours Options stroller.

When the hinge mechanism on the stroller is being locked or unlocked, it creates a gap in which a child’s or parent’s finger can become wedged, increasing the risk for amputation or other serious injuries when the mechanism is closed. The CPSC has received five reports of product defect injury from the strollers, including two adults who had fingers smashed in the hinge and three children who required amputations after their fingers were caught in the hinge.

The recall affects three- and four-wheeled strollers with model numbers ZL002, ZL005, ZL008, ZL015, and ZL018. The model number and date the stroller was manufactured are on a sticker placed above the left wheel on the ZL002 and on a tag sewn into the back of the seat on the other models.

The strollers were sold between January 2006 and November 2009 at various retailers across the U.S., including Toys “R” Us, Target, and online at Amazon.com. Parents and caregivers should stop using the strollers and call Kolcraft at (800) 453-7673 for a free repair kit.

Defective products can cause serious injuries, especially when the defect is not obvious or expected. If you or someone you love has been injured by a defective stroller or other items, contact the knowledgeable San Diego defective child product injury attorneys today. We’ll help you find out what happened and protect your legal rights.

Sacramento Jury Awards Fired Employee $116,000 After Being Fired

June 27, 2018 Injury Lawyer San Diego 0

A federal court jury in Sacramento awarded Erma J. Alaniz, a fired office manager, $116,031 from her former employer, Dr. Rober Peppercorn, finding that Dr. Peppercorn unlawfully retaliated against Ms. Alaniz. The jury found that Dr. Peppercorn’s actions violated the California Fair Employment and Housing Act.

During the course of the trial, the jury heard evidence that Dr. Peppercorn blamed Ms. Alaniz for a tense workplace environment arising from his attraction to Tiffany Raspberry, a young assistant working in Dr. Peppercorn’s medical office. The evidence further showed that Dr. Peppercorn’s relationship with Ms. Raspberry caused his marital problems and that Ms. Alaniz sympathized with his wife and provided her with financial records demonstrating that Dr. Peppercorn gave Ms. Raspberry financial assistance through his business.

When Dr. Peppercorn found out that Ms. Alaniz was looking for another job, he terminated her. The exchange ended in a loud exchange where Dr. Peppercorn blamed Ms. Alaniz for creating rumors and gossip about him and Ms. Raspberry.

The jury did decide not to award punitive damages, rejecting a finding that Dr. Peppercorn acted with “malice, oppression or fraud.”

Escondido Police Shoot and Kill Pit Bull

June 26, 2018 Injury Lawyer San Diego 0

Earlier today, Escondido police shot and killed one of two pit bulls that had attacked a woman’s dog.

The attack happened near the intersection of West 10th Avenue and South Maple Street in Escondido. Neighbors report seeing the dog being attacked and came to fend off the pit bulls with shovels.

Animal control officers tried to catch the pit bulls, but the animals confronted the officers very aggressively. Police officers arrived later only to find the pit bulls circling the officers. Pepper spray was ineffective and when one of the dogs rushed the police officers, one of the dogs was shot twice and later died.

The second pit bull was taken into custody by animal control and the dog’s owners could be facing criminal charges for the attack.

We hope that these dog owners face the maximum criminal penalty for allowing their obviously dangerous dogs to run around the neighborhood unescorted. Luckily the dog that was attacked is expected to survive. But it could have easily been a person or a child that was attacked. It is unconscionable that these dogs were left unattended on the streets.

If you or a loved one has ever been injured by a dog bite or attack, please contact us so that your rights are immediately protected.

Hot Coffee the Movie Shows the Ill Effect of Tort Reform

June 26, 2018 Injury Lawyer San Diego 0

Remember the McDonald’s coffee case? A woman orders a cup of hot coffee. She puts the cup in between her legs as she drives. Then, the coffee spills, and she gets third-degree burns on very private areas on her body. Cha-ching!

Though, that is not exactly the whole story. Susan Saladoff, director of the documentary film Hot Coffee, which premieres on HBO tonight at 6 p.m. PST, shows viewers what really happened in the infamous “McDonald’s hot coffee” lawsuit. The movie looks at what actually happened to Stella Liebeck, why the case got so much media attention, who funded the effort, and who really profited from spilling hot coffee.

Hot Coffee is a “call to action.” It asks the question, What happens when access to court is so lopsided that the average person cannot gain access? And who really pays the price, the negligent party or taxpayers?

In the four cases the film documents, Saladoff shows how Americans are surrendering their Constitutional rights in all sorts of ways without even knowing it and how they are being screwed by the system –not taking advantage of it.

If you or someone you love has been injured or killed because of a defective product or negligent person, you are entitled to damages. The California personal injury attorneys will protect your Constitutional rights and get the money you deserve.

Imperial Valley Woman Accuses Employer, 2 Others of Assault

June 25, 2018 Injury Lawyer San Diego 0

On the evening of June 7, Yessenia “Jesse” Moreno of Westmorland, a town outside El Centro in the Imperial Valley, reported that she was assaulted by her employer and two others while she was working at The Town Pump, a local restaurant.

“All I know is (her co-worker, Estella Jimenez) ran toward the bar area, I get halfway to the bar, and before I know it the owner Andrew (Salazar) comes at me in a hostile way and her sister comes at me yelling at me,” Moreno said. “We then started fighting.

“I recall Andrew threw a drink at me, and (Estella’s brother, Zobeck Aguire) threw all kinds of beer on me,” she said. “I remember I was on (Estella’s sister, Esther Aguirre), Andrew was on me and I realized he was choking me.

“Then all of a sudden I feel a big something hit my face, and it was a big glass salt shaker that was full of salt,” Moreno said. “Estrella had thrown it at me.”

Westmorland Police arrested Andrew Salazar, 37, Zobeck Aguirre, 33, and Estrella Jimenez, 24, were arrested and booked into Imperial County jail.

San Diego Police Department Officer Acquitted for Oceanside Car Accident and Road Rage Assault

June 24, 2018 Injury Lawyer San Diego 0

The case involving off-duty San Diego Police Officer Frank White has finally been settled. On Monday, a jury found Officer White not guilty in this road-rage car accident that occurred in Oceanside in March of 2008 that culminated in the shooting of a woman and her young son. Officer White, 29, was acquitted of a felony count of grossly negligent discharge of a firearm and a misdemeanor count of exhibiting a firearm.

Prosecutors of the case argued that White was an easily-angered man who had no justification for not only displaying his revolver, but also firing five rounds into Rachel Silva’s car at night on March 15, 2008. Silva had been struck twice in the arm and her son was struck in the leg. Deputy District Attorney Jeff Dusek noted that as a trained police officer, White should have taken other steps to diffuse the situation that brought about the shootings. White had been off-duty and not in uniform at the time it happened, and his wife Jacquellyn was reportedly with him at the time.

California Court of Appeals: Medical Bill Adjustment and/or Writeoff Not Enough to Sustain Collateral Source Attack

June 24, 2018 Injury Lawyer San Diego 0

San Diego injury victims have repeatedly had their cases undervalued by insurance companies and their attorneys who reduce the victims’ medical bills by the amount paid or written off by medical insurance companies. This process, arising from the misapplication of two Court of Appeal opinions–Hanif and Nishihama–have allowed insurance companies directly attack and gut the collateral source rule.

Under the collateral source rule, evidence that a person or entity other than the tortfeasor has paid for the injured person’s medical care is excluded from evidence in determining the reasonable value of medical damages. In short, the medical damages is the fully billed amount of medical bills.

Earlier today, the Court of Appeal handed down an opinion in the case of Olsen v. Reid that defendants cannot seek reductions of medical damages simply by presenting a bill indicating that an adjustment or write-off was applied to a medical bill. The Court reversed the trial court’s post-trial ruling reducing Ms. Olsen’s medical damages from $62,475.81 to just over $5,000. The Court held that the defendant had not presented sufficient evidence to support the ruling when all it did was present a copy of Ms. Olsen’s medical bill with some amounts indicating a write-off and adjustment of most of the bill.

The Court also issued two concurring opinions which dramatically attack the insurance companies’ ability to obtain a reduction in medical damages. First, Judge Moore summarizes the case history of the collateral source rule and the subsequent attacks by Hanif and Nishihama before finally concluding that Hanif/Nishihama unjustly abrogates the collateral source rule and is, therefore, impermissible. Secondly, Judge Fybel’s concurring opinion lists a number of missing evidentiary items that were presented in Nishihama to obtain the reduction of medical damages–all of which were missing in this case. Most of the items that Judge Fybel describes are very hard for anyone–whether the plaintiff or defendant–to obtain as they contain trade secrets of the medical insurance companies.

We are still reviewing the Court’s opinion and will provide additional information after that review.

Chula Vista Bicycle Rider Killed While on Nationwide Bike Trek

June 23, 2018 Injury Lawyer San Diego 0

A memorial service is scheduled on Saturday for a Chula Vista man killed on June 21, 2009, during a cross-country bike tour in order to protest government bailouts. The suspect thought to have killed the biker was a drunk driver in Illinois who left the scene of the car crash and was later arrested.

The fatal bicycle accident of Chula Vista resident Jim Gafney, 65, is mourned by his wife Nancy, three daughters, and a large extended family, who had asked him not to take part in the tour, although he was a seasoned bike rider. Gafney was apparently incredibly determined to make his voice heard on the bailouts, which he worries will affect his future generations in a very negative way, and his family hopes that his mission will not be lost but instead, that his death would help carry on his mission and echo his voice.

Gafney was a former Navy man and retired computer engineer who had worked at Camp Pendleton. He had left Chula Vista for his bike across the country on April 27 and was on U.S. Route 50, about 60 miles east of St Louis when, just before 1 a.m. he was struck from behind by a 1997 Nissan Altima being driven by a 27-year-old man suspected to be drunk, according to Illinois State Police. The driver was arrested shortly thereafter by an officer for speeding when they noticed the damage to his car. He told state troopers that he had been driving over a hill and saw Gafney but was not able to stop or avoid hitting him, according to Master Sgt. Chris Trame. Trame notes that the road on which the Chula Vista biker died was just a two-lane roadway with no shoulder, an area that was very isolated and not well lit. The driver is facing charges that include aggravated driving under the influence and leaving the scene of the accident.

Bicyclist Killed in San Diego Bike Accident

June 23, 2018 Injury Lawyer San Diego 0

A 22-year-old man was killed late on the night of June 19, 2009, while riding his bicycle in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. The county’s Medical Examiner’s Office identified 22-year-old Jonathon R. Ramirez as the victim in this tragic San Diego fatal bike accident.

After being hit, Ramirez was rushed to a hospital where he died from head and neck injuries on Saturday morning, as reported by the Medical Examiner’s Office.

Law Group Has Gone Paper-less: A Report and How-To Guide

June 23, 2018 Injury Lawyer San Diego 0

The paperless office has been the dream of many San Diego businesses, including personal injury lawyers. The benefits are tangible and real: reduced office storage space, the ability to access file documents from any file right on your desktop, remote access to any office file from anywhere in the world, and the ability to share and communicate with clients instantaneously through e-mail. As data becomes increasingly digitized and the ease of digitizing data also increases, the paperless office becomes more and more inevitable as the next clear method of law office management.

In the past, the hurdles to achieve this goal has been equipment costs, document management, and the transition cost of changing office systems. However, these hurdles no longer exist and creating a paperless office is now very simple–even for a solo practitioner.

The Law Group is now 5 months into its’ transition to a “paperless” office. Bear in mind that “paperless” does not mean “without paper”. Paper has been around for thousands of years and will continue to have a place in the digital office for the foreseeable future. The goal must be to reduce all unnecessary paper by digitizing it and storing it in a central location.

These were our office goals in making the transition:
1. Reduce office administrative time sorting and filing paper in files.
2. Reduce the time used to search paper files for relevant documents.
3. Create a method to better share documents with clients, opposing counsel, etc.
4. Eliminate the need to store closed files, thereby reducing overhead costs.
5. Stay within a budget of $1,000 for accomplishing this goal

All of these goals were achieved. In addition, we attained other goals, including reducing paper, toner, and copying costs.

After reviewing a number of resources and conferring with other attorneys who have done the same thing, here is how we did it.

The Small Solo Tech Blog shows the five quick steps to a paperless office:

It really is that simple.

In order to effectively go paperless, you need the following equipment:
1. High Speed Scanner
2. Document Tracking Software
3. PDF File Creating Software

In addition, you should consider purchasing a second monitor for your desk (which will require an advanced video card for your computer). While this is not necessary for implementing a paperless office system–or anything else, for that matter–I swear that once you start utilizing a second monitor, you will not go back. A second monitor is like having additional desktop space to hold and manage your documents. It makes cutting and pasting between documents extremely easy and allows you to maintain your e-mail on one screen while drafting a document on another.

High-Speed Scanner
What we have found to be useful is a scanner that will scan single or double-sided documents in a single pass at a rate of at least 15 pages per minute. Based upon the recommendations of others, we purchased Fujitsu ScanSnap s510 scanners for each workstation. We haven’t been disappointed. The scanners scan quickly with a push of a single button, scan right to PDF, come with a full version of Adobe Acrobat (a value of $200 itself), and at a price of $395 per scanner they are the right price to meet our goals. I even bought one for my home office to scan personal bills and records.

Document Tracking System
Once you scan your documents to save on your server, you must be able to search amongst your files and also create an automated file naming system which will logically name your files and organize them for future use.

There are a number of third-party products out there. However, since our office was already using Time Matters for our practice management software, we decided to use its’ document tracking software and established an automatic file naming protocol which organizes files by matter and then description.

The automatic file naming protocol we use is this:

Matter Name/YYYYMMDD Name of Document Author.pdf

Why do we use this naming protocol? Primarily because it is easily searchable in both Time Matters and through Windows Explorer. Putting the date for each document in front of the file name allows documents to appear chronologically in Windows Explorer. This provides another way to locate documents quickly beside searching via the descriptive file name.

PDF Creation Software
Again, there are a number of third-party software solutions out there. But since the ScanSnap already comes with a full version of Adobe Acrobat–which also seamlessly integrates with Time Matters–we use Acrobat.

Even if you don’t plan to transition to a paperless office, we highly recommend purchasing a copy of Acrobat for your office. The latest version of Acrobat, version 9, includes a number of powerful tools including the ability to insert digital signatures in documents, insert signature tabs and labels to direct clients to take action, and bates stamp documents.

Implementing a System
Really, this is the hardest part. Not only do the partners and supervising attorneys need to buy in and insist that the system be strictly adhered to, but that commitment needs to flow to the support staff. Everyone needs to be able to perceive the benefit of changing how business is done.

Our system is very simple. As soon as a document comes in the office before any action is taken the document is scanned and stored. The document is also marked so that other staff recognizes that the document has been scanned.

In addition, to limit the number of documents required to be scanned, we have done away with our fax telephone line and printer in favor of toll-free internet fax. Faxes now appear on our desktops in PDF format and can be directly saved to the server. In addition, this allows us to fax documents from our desks without having to retrieve hard copies from the paper case file.

The benefits of this system are significant. But the time and effort might seem daunting. I assure you, however, that this system can be implemented in 30 days and everyone–your clients, your staff, and yourself–will love the change.

Five People Stabbed in Dangerous Chula Vista House Party

June 22, 2018 Injury Lawyer San Diego 0

A Saturday night party on June 20 in Chula Vista turned dangerous and threatening when five people suffered knife wounds and had to be treated at local hospitals after a fight on the premises.

The fight was located on 4th Avenue near Palomar Street in Chula Vista and happened about 11:30 p.m. on Saturday. Witnesses told the authorities that there had been several people fighting, but no one had seen the weapon that injured five people at the Chula Vista party.

All the suspects had left before the police arrived, although one had been described as a 25-year-old Latino and was seen wearing a white T-Shirt, while a second suspect was described as a 6-foot-3 Latino, roughly 200 pounds, last seen wearing a collared shirt and blue jeans.

Medical Malpractice Protections Extended to EMTs While Driving

June 22, 2018 Injury Lawyer San Diego 0

In February of this year, the California Court of Appeals extended the protections afforded to medical doctors under the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA) to emergency medical technicians (EMTs) who are in the process of transporting patients for medical care.

In the opinion by Justice Madeleine Flier, the Court of Appeal held that such protections were warranted since the services provided by EMTs were “inextricably identified” with the health and medical care of their patients. Further, the Court rejected the argument by the plaintiff, a Los Angeles police officer injured while riding along in the ambulance when it was involved in a collision, that MICRA protections could only be extended to those services to which an EMT was licensed. The court held that EMTs were licensed to provide transportation by the Department of Motor Vehicles’ special license and, therefore, were still protected by MICRA when involved in traffic accidents while transporting patients.

Whiplash Injury Risk Increases As Rear-End Crashes Become More Severe

June 22, 2018 Injury Lawyer San Diego 0

When a rear-end crash occurs, there is always a risk that whiplash injuries to the head, neck, and back will become permanent. This risk increases along with the severity of the accident. The faster the rear vehicle is traveling in a rear-end accident, the more likely it is that the passengers in the front vehicle will suffer long-term or even permanent disabilities due to the resulting whiplash injuries.

Multiple studies have found that permanent head, neck, and back injuries from whiplash are more likely at higher speeds. A 2005 study from Sweden found that permanent whiplash injuries were rare when the rear vehicle was traveling under 10 miles per hour. Temporary pain and loss of mobility occurred in some patients, but these injuries usually resolved within a month.

At higher speeds, however, whiplash can cause permanent injuries or death. A 2002 German study looked at nine cases in which drivers or front-seat passengers were killed after their vehicle was rear-ended at a speed of 100 miles per hour or more. Fractures of the spine, internal bleeding, and severe soft tissue damage proved fatal in each fatal car crash. At speeds between 60 and 90 miles per hour, deaths were less common, but permanent injuries from whiplash were likely.

Rear-end accidents present specific injury risks that differ from other kinds of accidents. Our skilled Southern California car accident attorneys have experience representing those who have been injured in rear-end accidents, as well as other types of car crashes. To discuss your case with us and learn more about your legal rights, call us today.

San Diego Drug Recall Attorneys

June 20, 2018 Injury Lawyer San Diego 0

As technology progresses, new drugs hit the pharmacy shelves at an incredibly rapid rate. Though, not all drugs that pass through the system are as safe as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) claims it is. As a result, many patients suffer seriously, and often deadly side effects from these potential life-saving medications.

Defective Product Injuries : Drug Recall

Pharmaceutical Drugs are Meant to Better Lives. However, When Drug Companies Sell Products to Consumers Without Rigorous Testing, They Can Do More Harm Than Good.

As technology progresses, new drugs hit the pharmacy shelves at an incredibly rapid rate. Though, not all drugs that pass through the system are as safe as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) claims it is. As a result, many patients suffer serious, and often deadly side effects from these potential life-saving medications.

A drug recall occurs when a particular drug is removed from the market because it is either defective or potentially harmful. This can be done voluntarily by the manufacturing company or requested by the Food and Drug Administration if they receive numerous reports from physicians about the dangers of usage.

According to an analysis of FDA data, in 2009, there were a staggering 1,742 drug recalls, a huge leap from the 426 recalls reported in 2008.

Reasons for Drug Recalls

Manufacturing Defect

This accounts for the majority of recalls. It typically occurs when something goes wrong during the manufacturing process. Or if the packaging itself is not made according to approved specifications.

Design Defect

The defects exist when a product does not perform as intended or presents unreasonable risk of injury. This typically occurs when studies, additional data, or adverse events show that a drug may unreasonably increase the risk of a serious side effect.

Labeling Defect

A labeling defect occurs when the company does not provide the proper warning labels or cautions in the instructions to inform product users of risks involved with usage.

FDA Drug Recall Classifications

Category I: The use of, or exposure to, the recalled drug is most likely capable of causing a serious health issue or even death to the consumer.

Category II: The use of, or exposure to, the recalled drug is not likely to cause a serious health issue. At most, it may cause temporary or medically reversible adverse health consequences.

Category III: The use of, or exposure to, the recalled drug is not likely to cause an adverse reaction.

Contact a Drug Recall Attorney

If you or a loved one has experienced any extreme side effects, such as a heart attack or stroke, because of a recalled drug, get medical attention and contact an experienced San Diego product liability attorney immediately. You may be able to hold the manufacturer responsible for some or all of the injuries you incurred.

Filing a claim against a large drug company can be difficult and very confusing. Drug companies will bend over backward to protect their brand name and reputation from being tainted. If you have a case, call our San Diego product recall attorneys and we will work to get you the monetary compensation for your injuries, hospital and medical bills, loss of wages, and other injury-related costs.

Bicycle Accidents Cause Severe Head Injuries to Two in San Diego Area

June 20, 2018 Injury Lawyer San Diego 0

Two bicyclists were sent to the hospital with severe head injuries in two separate San Diego-area bicycle accidents recently, with one of the accident victims also suffering spinal cord injuries.

The first accident involved a 54-year-old woman riding her back in Carmel Valley. She was traveling down a steep hill on El Camino Real when she lost control of the bicycle and fell. Rescue workers rushed her to a nearby hospital for treatment of the severe head injuries she suffered in the accident. Investigators are still trying to determine what caused the accident and whether she was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash, according to an article in the Del Mar Times.

The second accident left a 25-year-old man with spinal fractures, jaw damage, and a traumatic brain injury. He was riding along a driveway on Camino Santa Fe when he crashed. Medical workers said that his injuries were non-life-threatening, but the hospital to which he was taken has not issued an update on his condition. Meanwhile, investigators continue to look into the causes of his accident.

Injuries from bicycle accidents can range from bruises and scrapes to severe, even life-threatening traumatic brain injuries or spinal cord injuries. Our dedicated San Diego bicyclist injury lawyers have the experience and resources to help you get the compensation you need for any kind of bicycle-related injury caused by another’s negligence. For a free, confidential consultation, call us today.

San Diego Food Recall Lawyers

June 20, 2018 Injury Lawyer San Diego 0

Every year, hundreds of food products and pet food products are pulled from the shelves of stores and warehouses because they are contaminated, unsafe, or have other dangerous risks. This makes it increasingly difficult to trust the food that we purchase for our loved ones and ourselves from companies we have been loyal to for years. In the case of a food recall, it is the responsibility of the manufacturing company to absorb all costs of the recall, including informing the public, recalling the product, and paying for any damages.

If you or a loved one has been a victim of a contaminated food product, contact an experienced food recall attorney immediately. Our San Diego expert food recall attorneys understand that companies will bend over backward to protect their brand name and reputation from being tainted. If you have a case, we will protect your rights and get you the money damages you need.

San Diego Dangerous Household Items Attorneys

June 20, 2018 Injury Lawyer San Diego 0

Many people don’t realize it but there are a lot of common household items that are considered to be hazardous materials. Companies that manufacture these products must make sure that these items are as safe as possible and are labeled properly to warn consumers of their risks, usage, and storage.

Unfortunately, because of slips made within the production system, businesses sometimes distribute defective products to their consumers that may cause injury and sometimes death.

Defective Product Injuries : Dangerous Household Items

Too Many People Are Injured or Killed When Companies Make Mistakes in the System and Produce Defective and Dangerous Products.

Many San Diegans don’t realize it but there are a lot of common household items sold in California that are considered to be hazardous materials. These include medications, paint, motor oil, antifreeze, auto batteries, lawn care products, pest control products, drain cleaners and pool care products. Companies that manufacture these products for sale in San Diego must make sure that these items are as safe as possible and are labeled properly to warn consumers of their risks, usage, and storage.

Unfortunately, because of slips made within the production system, businesses sometimes distribute defective products to their consumers that may cause injury and sometimes death.

Children are at the greatest risk of being hurt or poisoned by these products. Each year in the U.S., more than 2,000 children under the age of 14 die as a result of a home injury, according to Safe Kids USA.

Dangerous Household Items Include:

  • Cleaning products
  • Indoor pesticides
  • Automotive products
  • Workshop/Painting supplies
  • Lawn and garden products
  • Batteries
  • Thermometers
  • Fluorescent light bulbs

Other hazardous household items consist of batteries, thermometers, fluorescent light bulbs, driveway sealer and other flammable products.

How to Buy and Store Dangerous Household Items Safely

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, to lower the risk of a chemical emergency, you can follow these guidelines:

  • Buy only as much of a chemical as you think you will use. This will minimize waste and storage.
  • Keep products containing hazardous materials in their original containers and never remove the labels unless the container is corroding. Corroding containers should be repackaged and clearly labeled.
  • Never store hazardous products in food containers.
  • Never mix household hazardous chemicals or waste with other products. Incompatibles, such as chlorine bleach and ammonia, may react, ignite, or explode.
Dangers of Hazardous Products

Harmful and toxic products with insufficient warnings can result in a fire, explosion, or toxic poisoning. Ordinary household items and toys can cause serious injuries and can permanently afflict you for the rest of your life.

Contact a Hazardous Household Items Attorney

When products cause injury due to design or manufacturing defects or failure to warn about proper use, you may have a claim against the manufacturer. If you or someone you love has been injured or killed from exposure to a harmful household item or defective product, seek medical attention immediately and contact a hazardous household items attorney. Our dedicated San Diego defective product lawyers will get you the compensation to cover your injuries. Call our personal injury law office to set up a free consultation.

San Diego Airplane Accident Lawyers

June 20, 2018 Injury Lawyer San Diego 0

We rarely see news headlines about major airline crashes. In fact, airplanes that carry hundreds of passengers are considered quite safe and crashes only occur a few times a year around the world. Just because major airlines don’t often have injuries or deaths associated with them doesn’t mean that plane crashes are rare. Small aircraft that only carry a handful of people, crash much more often and have a higher chance of leading to serious injury or death. Aviation accidents are typically a result of pilot negligence.

Whether you are injured in a crash while flying or injured on the ground by in a plane crash, our experienced San Diego airplane accident attorneys will help you obtain compensation to which you are entitled. Our lawyers will work for your best interest. Contact us to set up a free consultation.

Elderly Chino Pedestrian Injured in San Bernardino County Car Crash

June 20, 2018 Injury Lawyer San Diego 0

67-year-old Luis Octavio Castillo was seriously injured in a Chino pedestrian accident that occurred on June 15, 2011, around 7:37 a.m. along the 3300 block of Riverside Drive. According to police officials, Castillo was walking through a construction area when he was struck by a 2007 Scion TC driven by 21-year-old Lissette Carolina Menijvar.

Due to a county construction project, the eastbound lanes of Riverside Drive had been temporarily diverted to the westbound lanes. Castillo was immediately airlifted to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center for medical treatment. The investigating officers need to determine if the diversion of roads and construction area had proper signs to guide drivers along.

From the facts set forth in the news story, it appears that Menijvar may have been at fault for causing this serious pedestrian crash. Under California Vehicle Code Section 21950(a), “The driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within any marked crosswalk or within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection….”

However, the construction company may be held liable for the damages as well after a further investigation. Castillo needs to consult with a San Bernardino County pedestrian accident lawyer to obtain compensation to cover treatment, medical and hospitalization costs, and other accident-related damages.

Our personal injury law office sincerely hopes and prays that the injuries suffered by the pedestrian heal soon and do not prove life-threatening.

Can an Insurance Company Hide Witness Statements?

June 20, 2018 Injury Lawyer San Diego 0

What happens if you are involved in a car accident in California and the at-fault driver’s insurance company takes recorded statements of witnesses to the accident? Can you review them during your personal injury lawsuit?

The California Court of Appeals recently ruled in the case of Coito v. Superior Court that such statements are discoverable and must be turned over to the other party.

Are Witness Statements Protected by Attorney Work Product Privilege?

Posted on Jun 20, 2010

Are witness statements collected at the scene of an accident or by your personal injury attorney following an accident subject to the protections of the attorney work-product privilege–a privilege which allows injury accident victims to keep these statements confidential and away from the hands of insurance companies and their lawyers?

The issue was recently tackled by the Court of Appeal for the Fifth Appellate District of California in the case of Coito v. Superior Court.  The Court was asked to determine whether a statement of a witness to an accident by an attorney is protected by the work product privilege.  The Court held that such statements are not protected and can be discovered by opposing counsel during discovery.

The Court distinguished the case of Nacht & Lewis Architects, Inc. v. Superior Court holding that Nacht & Lewis did not hold that a list of witnesses from whom statements had been taken, nor the statements themselves, were privileged.  Such statements have very important evidentiary value, including containing inconsistent statements, prior consistent statements, or past recollections recorded–all of which would be admissible at trial.  However, were these statements to be protected by the attorney work-product privilege, the opposing party could not have access to these important pieces of information and evidence.

The Court also rejected a qualified attorney work-product privilege defense–in other words that in certain circumstances and with certain limitations, the privilege would exist.  The Court held that a recording or document which shows the attorney’s thoughts and interpretation of the evidence and case was protected by the privilege.  However, in most cases where the attorney or his representative is simply asking questions and the witness responses are simply answering those questions, then the privilege would not attach.  The statement would not contain any interpretive input from the attorney.  The Court also rejected the argument that the selection of the attorney’s questions itself was interpretive–the statements had evidentiary value only.

What this means, for people injured in accidents in California and the insurance companies who oppose them, is that witness statements are discoverable absent an affirmative showing that the statement contains protected interpretive analysis by the attorney.

Infant Killed after Dog Attack in Lemon Grove

June 18, 2018 Injury Lawyer San Diego 0

An eight-month-old boy died after being attacked by at least one pit bull in Lemon Grove around 5 p.m. on June 14. According to 10 News, the incident happened in the boy’s crib at the family’s home on 3000 block of West Street near North Avenue, where their three male pit bulls also resided.

Animal Control removed all three canines, ages three to five years old, from the scene. Police are still unsure about how many dogs attacked the boy and why. However, a neighbor mentioned that two of the pit bulls had killed two cats in the neighborhood. A thorough examination will determine whether the dogs are aggressive and if they will be euthanized.

It is devastating that the mother lost her only son to a tragedy that could and should have been prevented. Dog attacks on small children are especially vicious because children are helpless and unable to defend themselves.

According to statistics, there were 31 fatal dog attacks in the year 2011. Over the past year, several other pit bull attacks have been reported in the San Diego area, including the death of an elderly Paradise Hills woman.

Under California law, a dog owner can be held liable for personal injuries caused by his or her pet. California’s Civil Code Section 3342 states: “The owner of any dog is liable for the damages suffered by any person who is bitten by the dog while in a public place or lawfully in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness.”

If you or a loved one has been injured in a dog attack because of a careless owner, it would be in your best interest to contact an experienced San Diego dog attack attorney, who will hold the negligent dog owner liable. For a free assessment of your case, contact our San Diego personal injury office.

Newhall Toddler Seriously Injured In Dog Attack

June 17, 2018 Injury Lawyer San Diego 0

A 5 year-old toddler, Jose Sadino, was seriously injured in a dog attack at a Newhall apartment complex on June 11, 2010. According to the news stories, a vicious pit bull jumped out of a window and started attacking Jose who was playing with other children outside the apartment complex. Sadino’s mother, along with a few neighbors, intervened and made the dog go away. Los Angeles Sheriff’s officers took the pit bull into custody to determine if it had a prior bite history and whether the owner will face any criminal charges.

Jose Sadino sustained serious injuries, but thankfully none of them are expected to be life-threatening. The owner of the pit bull may be held liable for the injuries caused and may have to compensate for the expenses involved. Clearly, the owner should have made sure that the pit bull was securely tied and that it was restrained. Dog owners have an absolute duty to make sure that their animals do not injure or kill others. Further, in a civil justice context, dog owners can be held strictly liable for any damage or injury caused by their dog.

We sympathize with Jose Sadino’s family and wish him a complete recovery soon. We hope that his wounds heal and that his scars, if any, can be treated and minimized. Jose Sadino’s parents can seek compensation for their medical expenses and suffering from the pet owner if this accident occurred due to his/her negligence. People who are injured in a dog attack need to know that they have certain legal rights that could help them come out of the accident, financially.

Driver Under the Influence Collides with San Diego Firefighter Truck

June 16, 2018 Injury Lawyer San Diego 0

Yesenia Mitre, 25, collided with a firefighters’ truck and left four firefighters injured. The truck was on its’ way to answer a medical emergency on the morning of June 13, 2010. According to reports, Mitre drove out directly in the lane of traffic the fire truck was traveling in close to Alpine in eastern San Diego County. Due to the collision, the fire truck lost control and hit a pole.

According to the San Diego 6 news report, Mitre was driving under the influence and was arrested. The four firefighters sustained serious injuries while Mitre sustained a broken wrist.

It is indeed an unfortunate thing that due to the negligent and intoxicated driver, the four firefighters were badly injured. It is absolutely insane that instead of giving way to the emergency truck, Mitre drove right into its path. Mitre will most likely be found to have violated California Vehicle Code Section 23152(a) which states that “It is unlawful for any person who is under the influence of any alcoholic beverage or drug, or under the combined influence of any alcoholic beverage and drug, to drive a vehicle.” Under California law, it is also illegal to drive a vehicle with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or higher.

Teen Bicyclist Struck in Escondido Bicyclist Accident

June 16, 2018 Injury Lawyer San Diego 0

An Escondido teenage boy was struck and injured in a North San Diego County car accident on June 15, 2011, around 12:36 p.m. at Grand Avenue and Rose Street. According to Escondido Police Officials, an 84-year-old elderly man, driving a Chrysler Town & Country van, made a wide turn into Grand Avenue, climbed the sidewalk, hit a traffic pole, and finally came to halt after slamming into the side of the building. The boy was waiting on his bicycle next to the pole when he was hit.

The bicyclist suffered serious injuries and was immediately transported to Rady Children’s Hospital for treatment. From the available information, it is clear that the 84-year-old driver made too wide of a turn and caused this bicycle accident. This leads us to question his driving abilities.

The investigating officers need to determine whether the driver was speeding, distracted, or was talking on the cell phone when this accident occurred. It would be in the best interest of bicyclist’s family members to seek counsel from a North San Diego County bike accident lawyer to know about their legal rights and options.

The bicyclist crash attorney would assure that the at-fault is held liable for the damage and help the victim’s family members obtain timely compensation to cover treatment, medical costs, hospitalization expenses, and other accident-related expenses.

Our personal injury law office sincerely hopes that the injuries suffered by the boy heal soon.

Shuttle Drivers Sue SuperShuttle; Claim They Were Improperly Called “Independent Contractors”

June 16, 2018 Injury Lawyer San Diego 0

A class-action employment lawsuit was filed by current and former drivers of SuperShuttle International, Inc., a van service serving many of California’s airports (including San Diego’s Lindbergh Field), alleging that the company cheated them out of millions of dollars of wages by classifying the drivers as “independent contractors” or “franchises” instead of employees.

The suit alleges that the company, by making the designation, avoided state labor laws governing minimum wage and overtime pay and shifted the operating cost of the vehicles to the drivers, including forcing drivers to pay for the leasing and maintenance of the vehicles, their insurance coverage, and other expenses. In many cases, drivers earned less than minimum wage after expenses were deducted and were not provided meal and break periods–which would be required for employees.

The lawsuit seeks damages of “at least $100 million” and appears very similar to the claims presented by drivers for FedEx Ground. FedEx Ground recently lost that case at trial and on appeal.

If you work for a company that designates you as an “independent contractor” and you believe that you should instead be considered an employee, please contact us to discuss your rights.

Pedestrian Injured In Orange County Car Crash

June 15, 2018 Injury Lawyer San Diego 0

A 74 year-old woman sustained serious injuries in a pedestrian accident on June 15, 2010 when she was hit by a Nissan Sentra. According to the news report submitted in the Orange County Register, the injured pedestrian was walking with her dog in the 3100 block of Yorba Linda Boulevard in Fullerton when she was struck by the car.

Police officials stated that the injured lady might have stepped into the westbound lanes to go around the car, which was coming out of an apartment complex driveway. The injured woman was taken to a nearby hospital where she was treated for her injuries.

We wish the injured pedestrian a speedy and complete recovery and hope that her injuries are not life threatening. Normally, California law holds that drivers must give the right of way to pedestrians in marked crosswalks and at an intersection. Under California law, an intersection is any place where two streets come together at a right angle. However, even given these protections (which are set forth in California Vehicle Code Section 21950) does not relieve the pedestrian from exercising reasonable care for his safety.

Downtown San Diego Trolley Accident Kills Pedestrian

June 15, 2018 Injury Lawyer San Diego 0

An eastbound San Diego trolley in Downtown San Diego struck and killed a pedestrian over the weekend on the afternoon of July 12, 2009, authorities say.

The fatal trolley accident occurred on the trolley line on C Street between Fourth and Fifth Avenues, shortly after 3 p.m., Sgt. Ramona Hastings of the San Diego Police Department said. A dispatcher of the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department said that the victim died at the scene and that streets in the immediate surroundings were closed for investigations, which had not been concluded as of Tuesday morning. The victim’s name had not been released.

Should Doctors Prevent Texting While Driving?

June 15, 2018 Injury Lawyer San Diego 0

The New England Journal of Medicine recently published an essay where the writing doctor recommended that family doctors begin asking their patients whether they text and drive or talk on their cellphones while driving.

A recent essay in The New England School of Medicine suggests that doctors should begin asking their patients whether they drive while texting or talking on a mobile phone.  The doctor, Dr. Amy Ship, reports that family physicians routinely ask patients whether they engage in dangerous or risky behavior such as smoking, watching their diet, or remembering to fasten their seat belt.  Dr. Ship believes that asking about distracted driving should be incorporated into these risk questions.

Distracted driving–whether by talking on a cellphone or texting while driving–is certainly a problem, particularly amongst teenagers and inexperienced drivers.  That is why our San Diego personal injury law firm helps sponsor the Teens Against Distracted Driving program where teenagers and their parents can take a pledge not to text and drive.

But can asking regarding dangerous behavior be effective to making patients safer?  Is it the place of medical doctors to take on the issue of texting while driving as a preventative medicine issue?  Is it too much of an intrusion into individual behavior to have primary car physicians ask about their patients’ personal behavior which is not medically related?

Dr. Ship takes the position that any efforts to keep patients safer and alive is fair game for medical doctors.  She herself initiates the conversation by letting her patients know that texting and talking on the cellphone causes more auto accidents.  She then tells them that multitasking when talking on the cellphone is obviously dangerous, otherwise patients would not mind if their surgeon spoke on the phone while operating on them.

Anything to increase awareness of the problem of distracted driving helps.

Hit and Run Driver Injures Encinitas Bicycle Rider

June 15, 2018 Injury Lawyer San Diego 0

A woman on a bicycle coming home from a bar on the morning of June 12, 2009, in Encinitas was severely injured when she was hit by a van. The victim and her girlfriend were riding their bikes home on southbound Pacific Coast Highway 101 near Chesterfield Drive when the victim was struck.

The van’s driver was driving an older tan colored box-shaped van. He initially got out of his vehicle and told the victim’s girlfriend that he would move his van to a safer location and return to help, but he never did. The sergeant reports that the man was last seen driving towards Solana Beach. Paramedics that arrived on the scene took the victim to Scripps La Jolla Hospital for treatment.

Santa Ana Hit and Run Car Collision Causes Injuries

June 14, 2018 Injury Lawyer San Diego 0

A SUV driver was arrested and charged with hit and run causing injury on June 13, 2010, after he hit a sedan, leaving the occupants inside injured. According to the California Highway Patrol, this car crash occurred near Orangethorpe Avenue close to the northbound 57 Freeway (SR-57).

The SUV left the sedan in an upside down position at the incident scene and fled away from the scene. The driver of the SUV went west on Orangethorpe Avenue and was arrested as he drove on the southbound 57 Freeway.

We offer our sympathies to the injured victims and wish for their speedy and complete recovery. Injured victims can seek compensation for their medical bills and other relevant expenses from the SUV driver if he is determined to be negligent in causing this traffic accident. Regardless, it is inhuman to leave someone injured at the scene of an accident. There is no excuse for a hit and run accident. Not only is it a violation of California Vehicle Code Section 20001(a), but it is simply morally reprehensible that someone would cause such a major accident and then leave the scene of the accident.

Ventura County Bicycle Accident Involving SUV Leaves Camarillo Man Dead

June 14, 2018 Injury Lawyer San Diego 0

76-year-old Camarillo resident John H. Dillingham Jr. was killed in a Ventura County bicycle accident that occurred on June 11, 2011, around 1:15 p.m. on Pleasant Valley Road. According to California Highway Patrol Sgt. Bob Granieri, Dillingham was attempting to make a turn onto Freedom Park Drive when he accidentally veered into the eastbound lane and was struck by an SUV driven by 63-year-old Oxnard local Eva Labrador.

Dillingham was immediately transported to Ventura County Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead two hours later. An investigation is under process. Though the victim mistakenly rode into the wrong lane, the driver failed to see the victim and safely move her car away. The investigating officers need to determine whether Labrador was speeding or distracted. If Labrador is at fault, then she may be held liable for Dillingham’s wrongful death.

Dillingham’s family members should immediately seek counsel from a Ventura County bicycle accident lawyer to obtain timely compensation to cover funeral and burial expenses, loss of love and companionship, and other accident-related damages.

Our law office offers sincere condolences to all those who knew and loved John H. Dillingham for such a heart breaking loss.

New Vehicle Technology Lets Cars “Talk” to Each Other to Prevent Accidents

June 13, 2018 Injury Lawyer San Diego 0

Vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) technology that allows vehicles near one another to communicate may lead to breakthroughs in vehicle safety by warning drivers about the behavior of nearby vehicles, according to a recent article from the Associated Press.

V2V systems were the subject of a recent conference in which automakers offered demonstrations of one system currently under development. The system uses a wireless communications grid to allow vehicles within about 1,000 feet of one another to trade information about 10 times per second.

The vehicles trade information on their location, direction, and speed. If an oncoming vehicle poses a risk of a crash, red lights inside the vehicle light up and warning sounds alert the driver of the oncoming vehicle, allowing the driver to avoid a crash even if parked cars, buildings, or other obstacles prevent the driver from seeing the oncoming car.

Although V2V systems show promise at helping drivers avoid serious auto accidents, they are not yet ready for road use. Testing will begin this summer in Ann Arbor, Michigan, using volunteer drivers and a closed test course. Researchers predict the overall effectiveness of the system will depend on how drivers respond to the vehicle’s warnings.

Car accidents can cause serious injury, and even a careful driver cannot always prevent or avoid them. If you’ve been injured in a car accident, please don’t hesitate to call the knowledgeable San Diego car accident injury lawyers to learn more about your legal options and your rights after a crash. For a free, confidential consultation, call us today.

Southern California Personal Watercraft Safety Statistics

June 11, 2018 Injury Lawyer San Diego 0

Personal watercraft (PWC) injuries account for about one-third of all boating- and watercraft-related injuries per year in southern California, according to the California Department of Boating and Waterways. PWC accidents are especially common along California’s southern coast and on Lake Perris.

Southern California sees more personal watercraft injuries each year than the rest of the state. A significant percentage of these accidents take place on inland lakes, such as Lake Perris and Silverwood Lake. For instance, about 10 percent of all California PWC accidents each year occur on Lake Perris, while about 28 percent of all California PWC accident each year occur along the Southern California coast. The Colorado River is also a frequent site of PWC and other boating-related injuries.

You can help protect yourself from a PWC accident by following a few simple steps:

  • Always wear a properly-fitting personal floatation device (PFD) while riding a PWC, as required by California law;
  • Never drive or ride on a PWC if you’ve been drinking; and
  • Avoid excessive speeds, as speeding is a key factor in many California personal watercraft accidents.

If you or someone you care about has been injured in a PWC accident, the skilled San Diego personal watercraft injury attorneys are prepared to help. We can put our experience to work for you at every step of the process, from filing an insurance claim to fighting on your behalf in court. Contact us today for a free, confidential consultation.

ATV Crash in Valley Center Leaves Two Injured

June 9, 2018 Injury Lawyer San Diego 0

Two North County San Diego all-terrain vehicle riders crashed their ATVs just south of Rincon and had to be rushed to local hospitals on Sunday afternoon. The accident happened around 2:20 p.m. on Paradise Creek Road, just south of Paradise Creek Lane, as California Highway Patrol’s website reported.

One rider had to be flown to Rady Children’s Hospital via helicopter and the other was taken by ground ambulance to Palomar Medical Center in Escondido. Neither rider had been wearing a helmet, and no additional information on the crash was available as of Sunday night.

San Diego Elder Financial Exploitation Lawyers

June 9, 2018 Injury Lawyer San Diego 0

As They Get Older, Elders are Less Able to Think and Act Independently.

They Hire Help or Ask Their Family Members to Take Care of Their Homes and Assets. Unfortunately, Unscrupulous People See This Vulnerability and Take Advantage of this By Financially Exploiting an Elder.

People over 50 years old hold over 70% of the nations wealth, and most of them don’t even realize the value of their belongings. As San Diego seniors and retirees get older, they become less physically and mentally able to live independently, so they hire helpers or ask family members, who have access to their homes and assets, to take care of them. Many of the people who are directly responsible for the elder’s care take full advantage of this without the elder’s permission and exploit the elders financially to benefit themselves.

Who is Most Likely to Exploit an Elder?

Family members, including sons, daughters, grandchildren, or spouses, are most likely to financially exploit an elder. They may have a substance abuse, gambling, or financial problem. Or, they justify the exploitation because they feel that what they are taking is rightfully theirs and will be deprived of it. There are several other factors that may contribute to financial abuse that stems from insecurity. For example, an abuser may fear that the elder will get sick and use up their savings, depriving them of an inheritance. The abuser may also have negative feelings toward the elder or to other family members and what to pretend them from inheriting any of the elder’s assets.

What are the Signs of Financial Exploitation?

  • Significant withdrawals from the elder’s accounts
  • Sudden changes in the elder’s financial condition
  • Items or cash missing from the senior’s household
  • Suspicious changes in wills, power of attorney, titles, and policies
  • Addition of names to the senior’s signature card
  • Unpaid bills or lack of medical care, although the elder has enough money to pay for them
  • Financial activity the senior couldn’t have done, such as an ATM withdrawal when the account holder is bedridden
  • Unnecessary services, goods, or subscriptions
Report Elder Financial Exploitation

If you or someone you know is being financially exploited, tell someone you trust and act immediately. In the U.S., you can also call Eldercare Locator at 1-800-677-1116. You should also contact an elder abuse lawyer right away. The San Diego elder financial exploitation attorneys are trained at handling these kinds of situations. It is important that the abuser is brought to justice, and damages caused by the elder be compensated. Contact us so we can ensure the safety of the victim and prevent others from being abused.