forkliftA Southern California security guard recovered a judgment of $17 million for the injuries he suffered at work when a forklift ran over his leg, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reported. The injury was so severe that it ultimately necessitated the amputation of part of the guard’s right leg. The guard was able to succeed, in part, because his California personal injury attorney persuaded the jury that, although the guard was negligent, his negligence did not play a substantial role in causing the injuries that eventually cost the guard part of his leg.

The injured security guard worked at the Mira Loma facility of a now-bankruptcy publication. He was injured when a moving forklift at the facility struck him in the leg. The forklift was traveling in reverse at the time of the accident. The forklift actually dragged his leg for several feet and, in the process, crushed the guard’s leg and tore the skin off the leg. The business had to retrieve a second forklift and use the second forklift to get the first forklift off the guard’s leg.

Almost two years after the accident, doctors concluded that the man’s leg could not be completely saved and he underwent a partial amputation. By that time, he’d undergone “11 surgeries, several infections and months spent in hospitals and nursing homes,” according to the Press-Enterprise report.

car accidentA jury in Sacramento recently awarded an injured plaintiff nearly $2.9 million in damages for the injuries the plaintiff suffered in a serious rear-end accident (Case 34-2013-00149232-CU-PA-GDS). The plaintiff’s evidence was enough to convince the jury that the harm from the accident had caused numerous serious injuries and forever altered the life of the very active 26-year-old plaintiff.

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gavel and moneyIn some cases, a plaintiff might receive an offer of settlement in their auto accident case. In other cases, a plaintiff might receive a judgment and a damages award in their favor. However, sometimes, a plaintiff may be entitled to receive a jury verdict award and enforce the terms of a settlement. One recent Bay Area case was an example of how this worked.

The litigation in this instance arose from an August 2009 rear-end crash in Alameda County. Two men in the lead car sued for the injuries they suffered. Since the men were on the job when the accident occurred, a third-party vendor of their employer paid a portion of their expenses, leaving each man and the vendor pursuing claims against the rear driver.

 

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door knockerIn any civil lawsuit, steps like marshaling all of the evidence that supports your case is an obviously important part of the process. There are other procedural details, however, that can be easier to overlook or, alternatively, easier to get wrong if you aren’t keenly familiar with the rules. In one recent case involving a fatal vehicle crash, the plaintiffs retained counsel, and they did comply with the rules, which is why their $2 million judgment survived a defendant’s challenge to the manner in which they provided service of process.

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truck crashSometimes, obtaining a truly successful outcome in your auto accident case involves not just proving your case and establishing your damages but also making sure that the judgment asserts liability against the right defendants. This is especially true if your damages award is large. Obtain a multi-million dollar judgment against an employee making $15 an hour, and you may recover only a small fraction of your total damages. Obtain that same judgment against the employee and his corporate employer, and you may have a much greater chance of obtaining the full amount of the damages awarded to you.

That is why, in many auto accident situations, it is beneficial, as a plaintiff, to pursue both a driver and the driver’s employer when possible. In many situations, the fact that the accident took place while the employee was commuting to work would close the door on obtaining a judgment against the employer. The “going and coming” rule of liability says that, if an employee causes an accident while going to or coming from work, the employer generally isn’t liable under a respondeat superior theory of liability. In one recent case originating in Orange County, a motorcyclist was allowed to pursue a driver’s employer, even though the accident occurred as the driver was traveling to work.

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burning carA Northern California mother, injured in a fiery crash when a street sweeper made a U-turn and hit her SUV, fought for nearly two years to obtain compensation for the harm she suffered. In the end, despite the defense’s attempts to paint the mother as partly at fault and its extremely low settlement offers, the jury found for the plaintiff and returned a damages award of $8.3 million for her past and future harm, according to the Napa Valley Register and juryverdictalert.com.

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motorcycleWhen you’re injured in an auto accident, you may be keenly familiar with the facts of your case. Winning your case, however, involves much more than just a strong presentation of facts. One recent Orange County case was a prime example of this. A motorcyclist won his case due in part to his legal team’s ability to keep out of evidence a potentially damaging statement that was not admissible.

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delivery driverIf you are injured in an auto accident, you’ll likely have to jump through several hurdles as part of your pursuit of recovery. One of the keys to maximizing the chances of success is avoiding hurdles that are not mandatory but that can trip up your case. In one recent case involving an injured delivery driver, the Sixth Appellate District Court decided that the driver didn’t have to submit to an exam by the defense’s vocational rehabilitation expert because that type of exam wasn’t expressly listed in the California statutes.

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Fine-PrintIn many walks of business (and life), you will hear people talk about “the fine print.” In legal matters, it helps to have a team on your side well-versed in identifying the little things that can make big differences in your injury case. For example, California law has a statutory section that requires plaintiffs, in some situations, to pay some of a defendant’s costs if the plaintiff received and refused a qualifying settlement offer. In the case of one injured pedestrian, she escaped paying any of the defendant’s costs because the defendant’s settlement offer did not meet the strict requirements of Section 998 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

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construction siteA recent jury verdict from Northern California provided a measure of justice for a man severely injured while he was working at a California Department of Transportation road work site when a driver struck him. The jury award exceeded $56.5 million, according to a Sacramento Bee report. The outcome of the case provides a clear illustration of the benefit of pursuing all of those potentially responsible for your damages. In this case, while the driver was negligent, it was CalTrans, rather than the driver, who was 100% to blame for the man’s injuries.

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