slippery floorPremises liability lawsuits cases can include slip-and-fall accidents, trip-and-fall accidents and several other varieties of injuries suffered while a person was on the property of someone else. In many circumstances, slip-and-fall accidents may take place because the operator of a commercial business fails to keep its floors sufficiently clean. As a result, when you pursue a slip-and-fall injury accident case against a merchant, you have to show that the business’ policies and practices it had in place for inspecting and cleaning its floors were not reasonable. If you’ve suffered an injury in a slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall accident in Northern California, you should contact an experienced San Mateo injury attorney to provide you with representation in your case.

M.J. was a shopper injured in a slip-and-fall accident. M.J. was shopping at a discount supermarket when she allegedly slipped and fell due to a patch of liquid on the floor of the store. As a result, she sued the supermarket.

In this situation, as with many accident cases, expert witnesses can be an important component of the case. These individuals can often provide powerful evidence that, if the court finds it persuasive, will go a long way toward influencing the outcome. In M.J.’s case, the supermarket provided an expert who testified that the merchant’s system – which involved sweeping the floor once an hour – was a reasonable method for dealing with hazards like spilled liquids. M.J. also had an expert. The shopper’s expert testified that the store’s practices were not adequate and, on top of that, the store’s floor was unreasonably slippery when wet.

beach volleyballIn any type of personal injury circumstance, there are several things of which you must be aware, and several “landmines” that you must be careful to avoid as they can destroy your case. Any time you are injured, an essential part of the process is identifying the person or entity responsible. However, it is equally important to be certain the party you identified is one from which you can obtain compensation. There are various statutes that state that, in certain situations, particular entities are completely immune from liability, meaning that you cannot obtain a judgment against them and cannot obtain the compensation you need from them. If you’ve suffered an injury in an accident in Northern California, you should be sure to retain an experienced California injury attorney to represent you and give your side the strong advocate you need.

Some injury cases can arise from relatively unusual circumstances. Just because your accident is not typical, don’t mistake that to mean that you cannot sue and cannot win an award of damages. Consider the case of M.A. M.A. was a member of her college’s interscholastic beach volleyball team who was hurt while competing. Her team was playing in a tournament at a college in San Diego County when M.A’s knee allegedly struck a rock in the sand. The impact of the woman’s knee with the rock caused her to suffer an injury, according to her complaint. The woman sued the college that hosted the tournament for negligence and premises liability. She later removed the premises liability claim and added one for “dangerous condition of public property.” The college asked the trial judge to throw out the case based upon something known as “field trips and excursions” immunity.

The trial judge agreed with the college that the statutory immunity for field trips and excursions applied to the woman’s circumstances, meaning that the case must be dismissed. The appeals court, however, explained that this was incorrect. The appeals court made it very clear that the statutory immunity extended to field trips and excursions did not apply to situations where a member of a visiting team is injured during an intercollegiate athletic event. When an institution provides the facilities to be used in the athletic event, its duty to provide safe facilities extends to all players in the event, not just those who are students of the host school.

spiderIn any personal injury lawsuit, there are certain things you have to establish in order to have a chance to receive a favorable outcome. One of the first things you have to establish is something called “duty.” In the law, this means a legal obligation or responsibility to do something or refrain from doing something. If the person you sued owed no legal duty to do anything for you or refrain from an alleged action, then you cannot succeed, regardless of your factual evidence. If you can establish a duty and a failure to meet it, then you are one more step closer to success. When it comes to knowing what you have to prove in order to win your case, and how to go about putting together a persuasive trial presentation that meets your burden of proof, you should protect yourself and your case by retaining a skilled San Mateo personal injury attorney to represent you in your matter.

M.C.’s injury case was one that revolved prominently around the issue of a property owner’s duties. During a lunch at a Riverside County restaurant, M.C. allegedly was bitten by a black widow spider. She complained about the bite to restaurant staff shortly after it happened. The morning after the bite, she experienced extensive numbness in her body. She went to the hospital, was admitted and remained there for six days. The medical providers diagnosed her with “demyelination in [her] thoracic spine” as a result of the bite. M.C. sued the restaurant, asserting claims of negligence and premises liability.

The legal concept of foreseeability and how it impacts your case

One element of the issue of duty is foreseeability. A person or entity generally does not have a legal duty to protect you from things that are not foreseeable. For example, a business in northern New England would not have a duty to protect patrons from attacks by 30-foot crocodiles, because an attack by a 30-foot crocodile in northern New England would not be foreseeable, a popular 1999 suspense film notwithstanding. Black widow spiders and their bites are, unfortunately, quite foreseeable in Southern California.

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car accidentKnowing exactly how extensive your injury accident damages are and, as a result, how much your injury case is “worth,” are important pieces of knowledge in any personal injury litigation, especially in California. California has a statute, Section 998 of the Code of Civil Procedure, that is designed to promote the settlement of civil cases. It says that if the defense makes a settlement offer that meets all the statutory requirements listed in Section 998 (a qualifying “998 offer”), then there are some very important consequences you can face, depending on how you handle that offer and how your case resolves.

If your opponent makes a valid 998 offer that you decline, and the jury (or judge in a bench trial) awards you a sum of damages that is less than the settlement offer (or returns a defense verdict), then not only are you not eligible to recover the costs that you incurred after the date of the settlement offer, the defense can recover their costs that were racked up after the date of the offer. This difference can be quite a significant sum, and is just one more example of how your injury case can benefit from the knowledge and skill provided by an experienced California personal injury attorney.

A recent case from San Bernardino County (Superior Court Case Number CIVDS1505973) was an example of this process in action. The event that led to litigation was an intersection collision in the city of Upland. A city employee ran a red light and crashed into M.N. The employee was on the job at the time that the accident took place. The injured woman sued both the city and the man who hit her. The key dispute in this trial focused less upon whether or not the employee had caused the accident, and more around the extent of the injured woman’s damages.

segwayGenerally, in a personal injury lawsuit, there are two broad categories of damages for which you can receive compensation: economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages refer to things for which you can readily prove the dollar amount of your loss. Your medical bills could demonstrate your past medical expense damages. Your past income documents might prove your past lost wages. An economics expert might give evidence about your future lost earnings. A medical expert might give testimony about your future need for care and the cost of that care.

Non-economic damages include things like pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life and mental anguish. These can be more subjective determinations that a jury must make in your case, but the amount of these damages (and the amount of compensation you can receive for them) may be very large. If you’ve been hurt in an accident, you want to be sure that you get the most from all the forms of damages to which you are entitled, which is why you should retain the services of a knowledgeable California personal injury attorney to handle your case and provide the representation you need.

An example of a case that could have been a situation involving significant amounts of both economic and non-economic damages was the case of R.C. According to a report by the San Diego Union Tribune, R.C. was operating a Segway device along Camino de la Costa in San Diego County when she encountered a large area of roadway that was cracked and broken. The broken roadway caused R.C. to lose control of her Segway and crash to the ground. The injuries she suffered in the accident were very severe. Specifically, the woman shattered her pelvis in the crash, requiring medical providers to screw in metal plates, the report indicated.

funeralCertainly, everyone hopes to have a trial that is both free from problems and one that arrives at a successful outcome. You want your trial to end with a “winning” result, one that won’t be overturned later. Unfortunately, the system is not perfect and mistakes can occur in jury trials because they depend upon imperfect human jurors. One of the essential things in managing any personal injury case, and one in which an experienced California injury attorney can help, is being sure that you respond to those unexpected “wrinkles” in the right way. If you’ve lost a loved one in an accident in Northern California, you should be sure to retain an experienced California wrongful death attorney to handle your case and provide the representation your family needs.

One recent case with such an unexpected element was brought by V.T., a widow. V.T.’s husband was killed in a tragic accident involving a tractor and a pickup truck. The husband, while trying to repair the tractor, became pinned between that vehicle and the truck. The accident killed him.

V.T. and her four daughters sued several individuals and entities for wrongful death. The case went to trial and the jury awarded a total of $670,000. However, because the jury awarded no damages to the man’s two adult daughters, the appeals court later threw out the damages award and ordered a new trial on damages. After the second trial on damages, a jury awarded a total of $9.4 million. That figure was cut in half because the first had found that the deceased man was 50% at fault for the accident.

ladder fallChances are, unless you are a lawyer or someone deeply familiar with legal issues, you’ve probably not heard the Latin phrase “respondeat superior.” But those two Latin words can mean a lot if you’ve been hurt in an accident. Respondeat superior is a Latin phrase that loosely translates to, “let the master answer.” The theory behind this concept is that, in some situations, someone who hires another person may be indirectly liable for the acts of negligent committed by the person they hired. This doctrine of law may open the door of possibilities for you, expanding your options against whom you can pursue compensation. To make sure your injury case names all of the people and/or entities who might be liable to you, be sure you have representation from an experienced California injury attorney.

An example of a case where this concept of “respondeat superior” was a key element was M.J.’s injury action. O.M. owned a landscaping business and hired M.J. to help on a job trimming trees. The jobsite was a private property owned by D.S. M.J., while using a ladder (that O.M. had provided) to do her job, fell off the ladder and suffered substantial injuries.

When you’re hurt in a situation like what happened to M.J., there may be several different ways you can pursue the compensation you need in order to get by while you are recovering from your injuries (and afterward.) For some people, compensation may be through workers’ compensation benefits. For others, though, getting the needed compensation may require filing a civil lawsuit. If are in the position of suing, you may have multiple people or entities whom you can name in your case. The more individuals and/or entities you can name, the better your chances of achieving a full and complete recovery award.

Legal News GavelIn an injury case, small details can make big differences. A complaint that alleges that you suffered harm as a result of an accident that took place in a particular month could potentially end in total defeat if your opponent can show that no such accident ever took place when you said it did, even if the error was just a typo. If you make a mistake regarding a date in your complaint, there may be ways to correct it. It is vital to understand how these procedures work and follow them properly to make the corrections you need, which is why it pays to have an experienced California injury attorney on your side who is knowledgeable in the law and procedural processes.

The case of a man named G.M. was an example of this kind of scenario. One day in 2013, G.M.’s boss ordered him to clear space on a top shelf to make room for certain hot-air balloon equipment. G.M.’s boss specifically ordered him to stand on a pallet while the boss used a forklift to raise the pallet (with G.M. atop it) up to the top shelf to allow the employee to clear the space. Unfortunately, this didn’t end well for G.M. He suffered a 12-foot fall in the attempt, which resulted in a broken foot.

G.M. sued for his personal injuries. In his complaint, the employee alleged that the accident took place on August 5, 2013. The case went to trial. At trial, G.M. encountered a problem. Various pieces of evidence, including a doctor’s report, indicated that the accident took place on October 5, 2013, not August 5, 2013. At the trial, G.M. acknowledged that the doctor’s report refreshed his memory and that the accident did occur in October, not August,

If your opponent in your auto accident case asked the court to take “judicial notice” of a document, would you know what that meant? Would you know how to respond? Even many very intelligent and educated people would probably answer “no” to those questions. However, these kinds of evidentiary decisions can make or break an injured person’s personal injury lawsuit. That’s why it is so important to have the representation of a skilled California car accident attorney in your case.highway

A dispute over “judicial notice” was at the center of one woman’s recent auto accident case. The accident, in which Marie suffered injuries, happened on May 20, 2014. Whenever you are injured in an auto accident, there is the possibility that there may be multiple people and entities that are liable for the harm you suffered. The facts of your case likely will permit you to sue the driver. If the owner is someone other than the driver, this may represent a second possible defendant. If the driver was “on the job” when the crash occurred, you may also have a claim for liability against the employer.

Regardless of the number of people or entities you are suing, it is important to act with all due speed. If you file your lawsuit after the deadline (the “statute of limitations”) has expired, you are not entitled to any compensation, no matter how strong your proof is. So what do you do if you are reaching the end of the statute of limitations period, and you don’t know the identities of some people who could be liable?

If you’ve been hurt in an accident in California in which another driver was making a left-hand turn, whether the accident took place in an intersection or elsewhere, the facts of your case may place you in a very strong position to recover compensation for your injuries. Making a left-hand turn is a potentially dangerous maneuver, so the law places a substantial onus on the left-turning driver to wait until she is sure it is safe before making that turn. Regardless of the precise details, if you’ve been hurt in an auto accident in Northern California, you should be sure to retain a skilled California car accident attorney to handle your case.Legal News Gavel

A case from Los Angeles County Superior Court (Case No. BC615394) was an example of a successful left-turn injury lawsuit. The accident was a two-vehicle collision. C.H. was traveling across El Segundo Boulevard when she attempted a left turn. V.H., a maintenance supervisor for the City of Los Angeles, was headed straight in the opposite direction. The two vehicles crashed, and V.H. was hurt.

In California, if you were hit by a left-turning driver, and your traffic signal was green, the odds of success for you can be quite high. The only ways that the left-turning driver can establish that you were actually the one at fault for the accident are to show that you were speeding, that some sort of sudden emergency caused her to slow or stop her turn (which prevented her from clearing the intersection in time), or that your light was actually red, rather than green.