California, Motorcycle Accident, AttorneyA recent case in Santa Clara County in which a plaintiff motorcyclist sued a motor vehicle driver for negligence in a motorcycle and car accident case resulted in a verdict of nearly $1.2 million for the plaintiff. The defendant driver had claimed the motorcyclist was negligent and thus at least partly liable for the accident.

Case background

The plaintiff in the case was traveling along Highway 101 in the first lane of traffic on his motorcycle directly behind the defendant driver at 9:00 a.m. on a Monday morning. The defendant reportedly was distracted by another vehicle’s custom license plate and failed to notice that traffic had slowed in front of him. When he did notice, he slammed on his brakes in order to avoid hitting the vehicle in front of him, causing his car to fishtail and enter the second lane of traffic.

Upon seeing the driver lose control, the plaintiff changed into the second lane to avoid hitting the defendant driver’s car. The defendant hit the vehicle in front of him and then moved into the second lane, hitting the motorcyclist and dragging him across two additional lanes of traffic and the shoulder. The plaintiff argued that the defendant was driving negligently by speeding and not paying attention while the defendant argued that the plaintiff was negligent and claimed that he was tailgating the car when the accident happened. The motorcyclist suffered a hip fracture and blood clots that required surgery.

Trial and results

The case initially proceeded through a 7-day trial. After 3 hours of deliberation, the jury found that the defendant was negligent and awarded the plaintiff economic damages totaling $298,577.67 and $900,000 in non-economic damages. Because of an error with the jury verdict form in which an instruction regarding comparative negligence was left out, the judge ordered a retrial on that issue alone. At the retrial, the motorcyclist was not found to have any comparative negligence for the accident.

Comparative negligence and disputed liability

California allows a plaintiff to recover the percentage of damages that can be attributed to the defendant’s negligence through comparative negligence. Under this doctrine, a verdict will be reduced by the amount of the plaintiff’s own fault. This means that in many motorcycle accidents, defendants will contend that the motorcyclist contributed a portion of fault. If a defendant is successful, any resulting award will thus be lowered.
For example, if a plaintiff is found to be 40 percent at fault while a defendant is found to be 60 percent at fault, the plaintiff will only be able to recover 60 percent of their damages from the verdict amount awarded by the jury. A plaintiff’s personal injury attorney may use experts in order to try to prove that the defendant is liable and that their client is not in a motorcycle accident, knowing that the defendant is likely to dispute liability in the case. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a motorcycle crash in California, contact a motorcycle accident attorney for a consultation about your case and the likelihood of your recovery of damages.




Bicycle Riding, Los Angeles, Accidents, InjuriesLos Angeles bicycle accidents are, unfortunately, on the rise especially in certain parts of L.A.  Bicycles have increasingly become popular again as more people move into the larger city areas. The need for transportation in these areas is always in high demand, and own and operating a car is not always practical for city life. Public transportation is not always reliable or available and some people just prefer not to ride a bus or train.

With all of this in mind, cities have been adding bicycle lanes and creating more bike routes to accommodate this increase in bicycle traffic. While these improvement have enabled more people to use their bicycles safely, there are still many bicycle accidents that occur each year.

New Mapping Project Helps Target High Risk Areas For Cyclists

A new mapping project started by researchers at MIT’s Media lab may provide a way for cyclist to safe safer around the country and help municipalities discover accident “hot spots” and make changes accordingly.

Named the “You Are Here” project, the city is gathering information from police reports regarding bicycle accidents. Using data from 2012, the maps are created for a major city showing where the most accidents occur. Then, using Google Street View for these areas, the map showing the accidents is overlayed on the view to determine if there are visible issues that are causing the high rate of bicycle accidents.

Los Angeles was the first map released by the group. It is the intention of the group to release maps using this data for the top 100 cities in the United States over the next year. Over time, additional data and cities will be added to these maps.

What The Map Has Shown About Bicycle Accidents In Los Angeles

The bike accident map for Los Angeles shows that there are three roads that are very dangerous for cyclists. Olympic Boulevard had 72 bicycle related accidents occur in one year, followed by Venice Boulevard with 63 accidents, and Sunset Boulevard with 55 total events. Many of the areas of the city, however, reported some type of accident involving a bicycle.

What does this information mean? Well for city officials, they can take this data and use it for improving bicycle infrastructure in these high-risk areas. For the public, cyclists can use the map to determine the danger spots on their bicycle routes so they can be more cautious in those areas.

Riding a bicycle for pleasure or transportation should always be done with caution. Cyclists do not have the physical protection that other vehicles provide and accidents can lead to serious and life-changing injuries.

If You Have Been Involved In A Bicycle Accident In Los Angeles

If you have been involved in a bicycle accident in the LA area, you are encouraged to speak with a Los Angeles bicycle accident attorney. As an injury victim, you have the right to seek compensation for your injuries and any associated losses. By speaking to an attorney about your accident you will protect your rights as an accident victim.

Schedule a free case evaluation and speak to a Los Angeles bicycle accident attorney about your case today.

Fire Accident, Burn InjuryBurn injury claims are some of the most serious personal injury actions in California. Such was the case in a recent lawsuit involving the severe burning of a minor in a public park has become a precedent setting decision after it was ruled that the defendants in the case, East Bay Regional Park District and Girl Scouts of Northern California, were liable for the injuries caused to 10 year old Fabio Hornischer’s hand and arm in a fire pit.

Circumstances Of The Case

On June 2, 2012, Fabio Hornischer received injuries when his hand and arm slipped into a fire pit that had not been completely snuffed out by the park authorities, even after they had duly inspected the area. Underneath a layer of ashes were several live embers that were still burning, thus causing second and third degree burn injuries to young Hornischer.

The fire pit had been utilized by a Girl Scouts group just prior to the incident, and had been improperly extinguished, thus giving the plaintiff grounds to file a wrongful injury suit. The Girl Scouts group claimed that it had done everything possible to extinguish the fire in the pit before leaving the area, while park authorities maintained that it was up to the boy’s parents to monitor his activities in order to keep him from playing too closely to the fire pit.

At the resolution of the case, the young plaintiff and his representatives received a net settlement of over $2.1 million dollars to compensate him and his families for the medical expenses and other economic losses related to the accident.

What was the legal standard for the liability against the Girl Scouts?

Because the Girl Scouts are a private organization, they would be held to a general standard of negligence.  California defines “negligence” as actions or inactions which show a, “want of ordinary care or skill in the management of his or her property or person.” (See California Civil Code 1714(a)).

In this case, it is apparent that the Girl Scouts of America made some, significant contribution towards settlement of the claim.  This would indicate that there was at least some evidence that they occupied the campsite prior to plaintiff and failed to fully extinguish a fire left in the fire pit.

What Are The Legal Standards For A Dangerous Condition Of Property Lawsuit?

There are several legal standards that must be met in order to file a Dangerous Condition of Property Lawsuit in the state of California. These include such conditions as the following:

  • The defendant who is named in the case must own or control the property on which the accident occurs.
  • The property was in a dangerous state due to neglect or willful oversight on the part of the owner at the time the incident occurred.
  • This neglect or oversight on the part of the owner set the stage for an incident that could have clearly been foreseen.
  • Negligence or willful oversight on the part of persons employed by the property owner created the conditions under which the incident eventually occurred. Meanwhile, the property owner had enough prior notice of a potentially dangerous situation in order to have done something to prevent it before it actually occurred.
  • As a result of one or more of the above conditions, the plaintiff in the case received severe injuries.
  • The conditions created by the negligence of the property owner or their employees played a substantial role in causing the incident to occur.

This is a much more difficult claim to prove than simple negligence.  Government entities have immunities for many “discretionary” acts that may include maintenance of a public campground.  In addition, it would have to be shown that an employee of the government entity engaged in “neglect or oversight” in failing to fully extinguish the embers in a pit meant to hold a campfire.

Other Issues: Allegations of Comparative Fault on the Part of Plaintiff

As with almost any personal injury claim, there were also arguments to be made here by the defense that the plaintiff may have contributed at least in part to causing his own harm, in playing in and around a fire pit that may contain hot embers.  The counter argument is obviously that the plaintiff had no reason to suspect the fire was still “live” if it just appeared to be dead coals.

The Time To Contact An Attorney Is Now

This verdict shows how complex a claim for negligence against both private and public parties can be.  If you have been severely injured as the result of a dangerous property condition, especially one that was caused by negligence, the time to contact a qualified injury attorney is now. You deserve and require full compensation, not only for the injuries you have received, but also for the medical bills you have racked up, and for the wages you have lost due to time missed from work.

If you have also had property, such as a car or boat, repossessed or received an eviction notice due to your inability to pay rent, you will also require due compensation to make up for these losses. The sooner you get in touch with a professional legal attorney, the sooner you can go to court in order to get the compensation you need to regain full control of your financial independence.


Construction Site, Accident, Injury, Attorney, Los Angeles, CaliforniaOn October 20, 2011, a young California man, who was employed as a union carpenter for Ghilotti Construction, fell and injured his back while working on a bridge. The incident occurred as the result of a piece of uncapped rebar snagging the worker’s pant leg and causing him to fall. He was wearing a 50 pound utility belt at the time of the fall, and his leg remained about two feet in the air, both of which exacerbated the injury he sustained.

The carpenter (plaintiff) did not report that he was injured at that time, but his foreman observed the fall and remarked that it looked like it hurt, although he denied making the comment later at trial. The plaintiff and the foreman both testified at trial that workers did not like to report workplace injuries for fear of reprimand and/or losing their jobs.

The plaintiff returned to work the day following the incident, but became concerned when he was unable to lift a 20-pound pipe, an action that he normally could complete with ease. The plaintiff’s foreman claimed that the plaintiff said that he had been hurt at home and that he was not aware of any injury sustained at the job, but that claim was negated when the foreman’s friend and neighbor testified that the foreman knew of the injury and was concerned about losing his job for letting it occur on his shift.

The plaintiff sought medical care about 10 days after the incident occurred. He was diagnosed with bulging and protruding discs at L4-5 and L5-S1. He reported pain at a level 9/10 over the next several months and tried to relieve the symptoms by taking pain medication and engaging in physical therapy. The plaintiff also reported using alcohol to assist with pain management.

In February, 2012, the plaintiff underwent back surgery to help relieve the pain and restore his functioning, but the surgery had less than optimal results. Neither narcotic nor non-narcotic medications were relieving his 7 to 8 level pain, and he continued alcohol use for relief.

In September 2012, in anticipation of another back surgery, the plaintiff discontinued pain medications and alcohol, but later went to the emergency room for both pain management and alcohol/narcotic withdrawal symptoms.

Two days after the plaintiff was released from the hospital, he was involved in a single-car crash where he suffered head trauma and was in a coma for three weeks. When bystanders reached the scene, the plaintiff was having a seizure. It is thought that the accident was caused by the plaintiff’s seizure, and was not alcohol related as the defendants tried to claim.

The second back surgery finally took place in April, 2014. In the interim, he was declared 100 percent disabled and lived on disability and support from his mother and his ex-wife.

The defendants in this case were the general construction company, Ghilotti Construction, and the rebar company, Harris Salinas Rebar, Inc. At trial, it was determined that had the rebar been capped with the bright-orange plastic top as it should have been, the incident would not have occurred.

The jury was tasked with determining the level of fault of each of the defendants regarding the fall, and also whether they should be liable for the damages sustained in car accident, which greatly impacted the disability status of the plaintiff.

The jury found in favor of the plaintiff and awarded the him $10,791,332. The amount of this award was based on the medical costs incurred for both the fall and the car accident, and on the loss of income that the plaintiff will experience over his lifetime.

Construction zones are dangerous places for workers and for pedestrians and passersby. There are more than 11,000 construction site injuries reported each year. Many of these injuries are catastrophic and result in workers losing their livelihood and their ability to function normally. As seen in this case, not all companies follow safety guidelines as they should, and they are often not penalized when they fail to do so.

If you or someone you love has been injured on a construction site, hiring an attorney is the most advisable course of action to take once your medical needs have been documented. It is essential to see a doctor anytime you are hurt on someone else’s property in order to ensure your rights are upheld and that you can document fully any medical issues that you are experiencing.

A California attorney can help both the victim and his or her family members, not only in securing the compensation that they are entitled to, but with finding resources to help with the emotional fall out as well.


With beautiful weather and scenic views, California attracts walkers and cyclists alike. In addition, people flock to the outdoors to combat health risks, such as stress, obesity and heart disease, and improve their overall health. However, the downside involves an unforeseen safety risk for these health-conscious people: More than ever, walkers and cyclists are likely to be hit by a vehicle.

Statistics Show the Increase in Crashes for Walkers and Riders

Bike Crash, Bicycle AccidentThe Government Accountability Office released data that showed that pedestrian fatalities increased by 3 percent – from 11 percent to 14 percent – between 2004 and 2013. During the same time frame, the numbers increased from 1.7 percent to 2.2 percent for cyclists. However, overall traffic deaths dropped by about 25 percent – from 43,000 to 33,000 – during that period.

Since more Americans than ever are walking and riding to work, these figures correspond to the increased numbers. In 2005, about 3.3 million people walked to work while that number skyrocketed to 4 million people by 2013. During that same time frame, about 530,000 rode bicycles to work, which jumped to 860,000 cyclists by 2013. In addition, those numbers are likely underreported since it only included those who walked or rode to work every day and not just once in a while.

Additional Statistics on Specific Risks

Pedestrian, Accident, Injury, DeathFurther data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System highlights specific dangers for walkers and cyclists:

• Men were most often pedestrian accident victims – 69 percent – and cyclist accident victims – 87 percent.
• Fatalities happened most often between 3 p.m. and midnight.
• About 33 percent of walkers and 20 percent of cyclists registered a blood-alcohol content level of .08 or higher, which means they are considered impaired under federal and state law.

In some cases, conflicting interests mean that safety needs of cyclists and walkers are put on the back burner. For example, while the GAO looks at overall national safety efforts, the state might look at ways to improve highway safety and transportation across the state, possibly sacrificing walker and bicycle safety. Even so, several cities, including San Francisco, have implemented zero-death campaigns and focus on improving overall traffic safety. In 2013, additional programs through the U.S. Department of Transportation have specifically dedicated $676 million to walker and cyclist safety. However, cities and states will need to up their efforts if they want to keep these individuals safe and reduce overall fatality statistics.

Implementing Practical Measures in Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety

Due to the sheer size and mass of cars and trucks and the vulnerability of a walker or rider, these individuals will nearly always be on the losing end of a collision. However, these statistics provide some insight on how to promote increased safety measures for walkers and cyclists. Men can take additional precautions, such as following the rules of the road, wearing high-visibility clothing and donning helmets each and every time they ride. Riders and walkers should take extra caution during the high risk hours between 3 p.m. and midnight. Furthermore, they should remain alert, avoid alcohol consumption while walking or riding and take proactive measures to keep safe.

Contact Our California Attorney after a Collision

Despite a walker’s or rider’s best efforts, you might not be able to avoid an accident through no fault of your own. Our dedicated lawyers provide you with diligent representation after a serious collision or a fatality. Contact our attorney for specific information on how we can help with your case.  We have personal injury law offices in Los Angeles and throughout California including

Orange County CA, Pedestrian, Bicycle, Accident, AttorneyOrange County, CA has experienced a surge in bicycle and pedestrian accidents resulting in injury or death in the past few years.  Pedestrian and bicycle incidents are occurring more frequently as each day passes. In fact, by some estimates, a pedestrian is struck and killed in the O.C. every six days and the numbers have gone up so much in Orange County CA over the past few years that county administrators decided to invest in pedestrian and biker safety. The county no longer wants people to know it for its title of “most dangerous county” for bike riders in the state of California. Instead, it wants people to know it as a county that takes the life of every human being seriously.

The Tragedy of a Pedestrian or Bicycle Incident

Walking and biking accidents are such a tragedy because they mostly occur because of neglect. Neglect occurs when a person or party either acts or fails to act in a way that is in the best interest of another party. All people are supposed to look out for themselves and for other people who share the roads and sidewalks at all times. More often than not, drivers do not yield to walkers. Such drivers may not see the walkers or the bikers because of various distractions. In some cases, outright defiance causes the incidents. Furthermore, rushing causes more occurrences than any other causes. Workers rush to their jobs; students rush to school; anxious persons rush to the stop sign.

Walkers and bikers sometimes forget to look both ways before they cross. They sometimes fail to yield to the signs that are on the streets. The result of the neglect is a list of people who prematurely lose their lives and the potential that went along with them. The people who survive such incidents are often left trying to pick up the pieces of their lives with incapacitating injuries as well as emotional and psychological damage.

Walking accidents affected the lives of six Orange County residents in 2012. Those persons were either killed or severely injured. Some of the victims since 2008 were minor children under 15 years of age.

The Costs of Walking and Biking Incidents

The cost of the incidents is humongous for individual victims and their family members. They have to find a way to cover hospital bills, funeral expenses, household bills, therapeutic bills, medication expenses and the like. Such occurrences end up costing the county, as well.

What Orange County Is Doing to Make It Better

The county has received large sums of grant money that is it using to invest in safety. The leaders have a wonderful vision for safer streets, and they are going to enact such visions immediately. The county has received more than $53 million for some of its projects. It intends to invest in protected bikeways and better technology at the lights and crossways. The current structure is simply not safe enough, and the county intends to improve it ASAP.

What to Do if an Incident Still Occurs

The county’s efforts will most likely decrease the occurrences of walking incidents and bicycle occurrences. However, some may still occur because of the element of human error. In such cases, a victim can contact a special lawyer who can assist in many ways.

How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help

A personal injury lawyer can help by acting as a comforter, friend and silent fighter for the victim’s rights. Such a lawyer has the main goal of obtaining compensation for a person who has fallen victim to walking or biking injuries. The lawyer will fight to get the victim compensation for medical bills, medication, therapy and more. The lawyer may be able to convince the judge to issue punitive damages, as well. Judges sometimes order an offender to pay additional damages because that person is guilty of neglect in the most severe form.

Contact a Specialist for an Injury Today

A victim of a bike or walking accident does not have to feel defeated or alone. A personal injury attorney can often help that person to restore his or her life to what it was before the incident. A victim can call and request a free consultation. The attorney may provide no-win-no-fee representation, as well.



Orange County Register, Oct. 20, 2015, A Deadly Year: In O.C., a pedestrian is struck and killed every 6 days!

car crash, accident, attorney, Los AngelesThe National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently ruled to improve its rating system with the intention of encouraging manufacturers to produce safer vehicles. The new safety rating system includes changes such as:

  • Adding new technologies to the crash avoidance aspect
  • Using additional test dummies for testing
  • Adding marks to the score for pedestrian safety adequacy

The previously mentioned changes are just the tip of the iceberg in the new rating system. The new system is not set to go into effect until 2019, but the public can comment and share its opinion on the matter. Additional changes that will occur in the new rating system are:

  • An added oblique crash test
  • Improved sensor technology for the test dummies
  • Ratings for advanced technologies like forward collision warning

The current system has only one category for an overall rating. It uses a five-star rating model with five stars indicating that the vehicle is perfect. The new system will have three separated categories and ratings for each subdivision. The scoring will break down into the following categories:

  • Crash avoidance systems
  • Pedestrian safety
  • Crash worthiness

The organization will still rate the vehicles with an overall score, but it will base the overall score on an average of the three subdivisions. The new system gives prospective buyers a more detailed approach to shopping for a safe vehicle. It will also make the award-giving process more precise for NHTSA.

The Secretary of the United States Department of Transportation said that he would like to see more technologies develop for accident prevention. He is leaning toward pushing for self-driving technology because he feels it would decrease the number of fatalities that occur because of inattentive drivers.

Will the Cars Be Safer?

A large majority of the vehicles will be safer than before because the manufacturers will want to have them pass the inspections. They will beef up the safety features so that they have a chance at winning safety awards, as well. Safety awards not only give prospective buyers confidence about their purchases, but also they give the manufacturer a great opportunity to sell more vehicles. Safety awards are boastable accolades for some manufacturers to have. The safety aspects weigh heavily on a consumer’s mind when that person is considering a vehicle to purchase.

Will Accidents Decrease Because of the New Standards?

While the new standards and procedures look good on paper, they will not completely diminish the occurrence of automobile accidents. As long as humans operate the vehicles, the room for error exists. Furthermore, humans create the safety technology. Human error can exist there, as well. Even if the self-driving technology were to develop and take off today, accidents would still occur because of imperfection. Young vehicle technology is known to have its fair share of glitches from time to time.

The increased technology and sturdy vehicle craftsmanship can certainly minimize the extent of damage that some car accident victims have to ensure. For example, increasing the number of airbags in the vehicle could save accident victim from a heap of injuries. Some manufacturers have started using technology that minimizes the likelihood that the victim will develop whiplash. Pedestrian safety systems and crash avoidance systems will help, but they will not be able to eliminate human error or the problem of congested city streets. For example, Los Angeles, California is one of the top 10 most congested cities in the U.S. for driving. Accidents are plentiful there.

What to Do If an Accident Occurs

Even though the changes in the rating system will not eliminate accidents, residents can take comfort in knowing that they will always have accident attorneys on their side. Many traffic accidents occur because of negligence. Negligence is an act or a failure to act in a way that serves the best interest of another person. Drivers are often guilty of negligence in automobile accidents. The accidents occur because of neglect by drinking, distracting oneself or rebelling against the rules of the road. Accident lawyers can try to obtain compensation for people who have sustained injuries in a vehicle accident. Such attorneys can try to get them the funds they need for hospital bills, auto repairs, household bills, therapies and the like.

Contact Car Accident Lawyer in Los Angeles, California Today

The first step in trying to collect compensation is calling up the lawyer’s office immediately. A lawyer will schedule a consultation during which the victim can discuss the events leading up to the accident. The lawyer will then let the victim know what he or she can do to make that person’s life easier. Car accident attorneys know that life is difficult following an accident, so they will do everything they can to accommodate victims.

Truck, Agriculture, California, Crash, Accident, Attorney In October, 2015, a Plaintiff was awarded $5.1 million in damages for the injuries she sustained in a trucking related accident. This award included $1.8 million in economic damages and $3.25 million in non-economic damages.

Facts Of The Case

In December,2013 the Plaintiff Elvia Gonzalez was driving straight down Ferrell Road in Imperial County. As she was driving, the Defendant Jose Maneses turned his semi-truck left in front of her, causing a collision. As a result of this accident, the Plaintiff succumbed to many injuries.

In her court filing, the Plaintiff stated that she suffered from a dislocated right ankle, a fractured left ankle, a fractured left hip, injury to a lower disc in her back, and multiple soft tissue injuries. Plaintiff was required to undergo a hip replacement surgery due to the fracture and had to have a fusion operation performed on her back. Medical records state that she may need to further undergo a knee replacement and have shoulder surgery to help alleviate the pain she is experiencing.

Plaintiff has also stated that she is suffering from Chronic Pain Syndrome and con no longer work as a housekeeper.

Chronic Pain Syndrome

Chronic Pain Syndrome (CPS) is described by the medical industry as pain that lasts for an extended period of time and does not respond to normal medical therapies. Some doctors place this at over six months, while others state that it is considered chronic if the pain lasts more than three months.

CPS is hard to diagnose and treat because it is very individualized. Some people may suffer from pain more acutely than others, or the cause of the pain simply cannot be identified. Because of this, doctors need to rely on many therapies to treat the patient suffering from this disorder.

Increased Truck Related Accidents In Imperial County, California

In a study conducted by the National Highway Safety Transportation Association states that a large majority of truck accidents occur in rural areas and on smaller highways. These roads are generally smaller in width than an expressway and there are fewer traffic regulating devices.

This report also states that a majority of these accidents occur during daytime hours during the workweek instead of at night and on the weekends as many people believe.

With a large agricultural industry in Imperial County, there are many trucks on the roads leaving the farms and other agricultural areas at all times of the day and night. This large volume of trucks has led to an increased number of truck related accidents in this area.

Understanding The Award For This Case

Initially, the lawyers for the Plaintiff asked for $19.5 million in total damages. The Defendant admitted fault for the accident and acknowledged the injuries sustained by the Plaintiff. Attorneys for the Defendant counteroffered a $3 million settlement. Once the case went to trial, the final award for $5.1 million included:

• $422,000 in damages for past medical costs
• $2.4 million in future medical care costs
• $18,200 for past lost wages
• $85,000 for future lost wages based on the age of the Plaintiff which was 59
• $1 million for lost family services

The Plaintiff had filed a CCP section 998 demand of $6 million which the final award did not exceed.

Speak To An Lawyer If You Are Involved In A Trucking Accident

Sadly, most people that are involved in an accident that includes a big-rig suffer catastrophic injuries. Many of these injuries are even more severe than the Plaintiff suffered in the case described above. The sheer size and weight of a semi-truck makes it nearly impossible not to cause serious harm to the passengers of a smaller vehicle.

If you or your loved one has been involved in a truck related accident, it will be in your best interest to speak to a truck accident attorney. Speaking with a lawyer will help you protect your rights as an accident victim.

Under California law, you have specific rights to seek monetary damages for injuries you received as the result of a negligent act of another person or entity. These damages may include current and future wage losses, medical expenses, as well as other economic impacts you suffered.

Hiring an attorney to represent your case ensures that the insurance company that represents the other party upholds the terms of their policy and abides by state law.

eye injury, lawyer, attorney, California, Los AngelesInjuries to the eyes are very serious and often can be hard to treat. The eye is a very delicate organ and the bone and muscle structure around the eye can easily be damaged. Injuries to the eyes can lead to changes in physical appearance of the face, changes to vision, and possibly blindness.

Types Of Eye Injuries And Their Causes

The most common injuries that occur to an eye are objects that pierce the eye during a fall or in an accident. The second leading cause of eye injuries is blunt trauma that causes damage to the eyes or the orbital socket area surrounding the eyeball. Blunt trauma to the eye is commonly associated with a slip and fall incident or being hit in the face during an altercation.

According to a report that was presented to the American Academy of Ophthalmology in 2015 conducted by research students at John Hopkins University, over 45,000 serious eye injuries occurred during the previous 10 years. This study only recorded information about eye injuries that required emergency hospital care.

Information in this study showed that there were over 8,000 eye injuries attributed to blunt trauma to the eye caused in a physical altercation. In people age 60 and over, almost 8,500 eye injuries were recorded during a slip and fall event. Eye injuries from falling down stairs were recorded nearly 1,000 times.

Other injuries included having an object enter the eye. Of these events, the leading cause of having an object enter the eye was during a fight, followed by shrapnel during a vehicular accident. Childhood accidents while carrying sharp objects came in last place..

Recent studies by the insurance industry reveal the leading causes of injury claims related to damage to the eyes.  Overall, the leading causes of eye injuries were physical confrontations (fighting or being attacked) and slip and fall accidents (i.e. brawls and falls).

California Standard For Premises Liability And Negligent Security

California Civil Code 1714 states that an owner of a property, private or public, has the responsibility for keeping the property safe for anyone that enters that property by invitation. What this means is that a person or business owner is obligated to make their property safe for you to use if they “invite” you to that property. Inviting can mean everything from a personal social call to being open to the public to conduct business.

Keeping the property safe means that it should be free from objects that may cause you harm, including things that could hamper your ability to walk, such as broken pavement, loose rugs or tiles, or cluttered pathways. It also means that the property owner has a responsibility to keep the property well-lit and protected by security measures if necessary o ensure that visitors are safe.

For instance, if a person is attacked in the parking lot of a business in the evening, the business owner may be responsible for the event if:

• The parking lot was not properly lit to protect visitors.
• The area is known as a high crime area and proper safety devices, such as CCTV or even a security guard was not posted to protect visitors.
• The landscaping around the parking lot was kept in a manner making it easy for a person to lay-in-wait and attacks someone in the parking lot.
Any injuries sustained by that person in the parking lot are the responsibility of the business owner under California Premises Liability Laws.

Under the same guidelines, a business or property owner would be held responsible for a slip and fall injury to a person visiting the property if:

• The property owner failed to maintain the walkways in a manner that is safe, such as eliminating cracks and holes in the pavement and keeping walkways well-lit.
• Property owner fails to maintain stairs and elevator areas to ensure the safety of all those who use these devices to move from one floor to another.
• Debris and other clutter is left intentionally in walkways which causes the visitor to have to walk in abnormal patterns to avoid the debris, leading to a fall.

Premises liability is a very broad law and anyone who has been injured while visiting a property not their own may be entitled to receive compensation.

Your Right To Seek Compensation For An Eye Injury

If you have received an eye injury as the result of a negligent act of another person or entity, you are encouraged to speak with a personal injury attorney about your rights to seek compensation for your losses.

Your attorney will explain to you the types of compensation that you can seek under California law and the provisions of the insurance policy covering the event. Your attorney will protect your rights as a victim of negligence and seek full and complete compensation on your behalf from the responsible party.

Proving Financial Damages in California Injury CasePeople who sustain catastrophic injuries in accidents often have their lives changed for a long time—if not permanently. In order to recover, a victim must prove the value of their damages.1 The following are examples of evidence that a California accident attorney can use to prove damages after a catastrophic injury:

Past medical expenses and lost income – The financial losses that you have already incurred are often the easiest type of damages to prove in a personal injury case. For example, medical bills can concretely indicate how much your treatment cost and paystubs and timesheets can show how much work and income you lost. However, if the other party questions whether all of your treatments or time off work were necessary, you may need a medical or occupational expert to testify regarding your injuries. Additionally, if the opposing party disputes the severity or cause of your injury, your doctor may have to testify to your diagnosis.

Future medical costs and lost income – Proving the estimated losses you will likely incur in the future due to your injuries is slightly more complex. A medical professional can testify to your prognosis and the necessary future treatment for your recovery, as well as the usual cost of those treatments. If you are unable to return to your previous job, an occupational expert can assess your work abilities—if any—to determine your future earning capabilities. This can then be used by economic experts who can use inflation2 and other calculations to determine your future lost earning ability, income, benefits, and more. 

Intangible losses – Catastrophic injuries can often cause extensive pain and suffering, permanent disabilities, impairments, disfigurement, emotional issues, and more. Fortunately, the law provides for compensation to victims for such intangible losses, which are known as general damages. The evidence to prove such intangible losses can vary widely and can include expert testimony, personal notes and journals, testimony from close family or friends regarding your physical and emotional state, and more. 

It is important to have a California accident attorney on your side who knows how to accurately calculate damages to ensure that you receive the full amount you deserve following a catastrophic injury.

Steven M. Sweat, APC
5757 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 450
Los Angeles, CA  90036