A 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.
Whenever someone injures you while that person is working, your legal options potentially expand, but so do the potential complexities of your case. In a matter of a motorcyclist hit by a taxi driver in West Hollywood recently decided by the courts, the motorcyclist was able to obtain a award of damages not only from the taxi driver but also from the taxi company that contracted with the driver. The Second Appellate District Court concluded that the taxi company’s control over the driver was substantial enough to make the driver an agent of the company and the company liable for the harm the driver caused to the motorcyclist.
When your case goes to trial, you have several hurdles to clear. Sometimes, obtaining a jury verdict in your favor isn’t the last one. In the case of one trucker, he had to fight off a defense claim that juror misconduct should invalidate the outcome and trigger a new trial. The Second District Court of Appeal sided with the injured driver, concluding that, even if the juror engaged in misconduct, the defendant lacked the necessary proof of prejudice that the law required to overturn the verdict and the damages award.
A former lineman for the UCLA Bruins football team received a type of victory recently when a Southern California jury ruled in his favor in the injury lawsuit he brought against the California Department of Transportation and the taxi driver who hit him. The jury concluded that CalTrans bore the brunt of liability for, as the injured man argued, allowing a dangerous intersection to remain in place without any changes to improve safety. Sometimes, a successful personal injury case can be about more than just recovering damages for the harm you incurred. As the plaintiff told KCAL9 about his litigation, “It stands as a big symbolic victory, but mostly, I’m just excited to know that my losses weren’t made in vain.”
In what may have been the largest ever judgment in a case involving a wrongful death of a minor in California, a jury in Compton recently awarded the parents of a Manhattan Beach teen $26 million after the boy died aboard a sightseeing bus, according to The Beach Reporter. The damages award was the culmination of a case finding liable both the bus company and the parents who rented the bus as part of their daughter’s birthday party.
A man injured in a rear-end accident won his case and a $1 million verdict in Los Angeles County recently, according to a juryverdictalert.com report. Even though the accident was a low-speed one, the injured driver still recovered more than $960,000 in pain and suffering damages because he had a preexisting condition that made his pain and suffering much worse. The outcome of this case demonstrates that having a preexisting condition that makes you especially susceptible to harm doesn’t prevent you from recovering the full amount of your damages.
There are many causes of accidents. In California, as in other locations, one of the most common catalysts in terms of causing accidents that lead to injuries or death is a speeding driver. In a recent case from Los Angeles County reported by propertycasualty360.com, a gardener, who was struck by the driver traveling behind him, recovered $5 million for his brain, hip, and diaphragm injuries. The rear driver was partly at fault for traveling somewhere between 11 and 23 mph in excess of the posted speed limit when he crashed into the gardener’s vehicle.
A tragic fire at an Oakland warehouse on December 3, 2016 has killed more than 30 people that were attending a concert. The Oakland Fire Department continues to recover bodies and it is feared that the number of deaths could increase to as many as 40 to 50.
The property where the fire occurred was a warehouse, known as Oakland Ghost Ship, that neighbors claim had been converted to a place where artists lived and worked. However, the City had not permitted the building for residential use or for use as a concert venue. The concert, Golden Dorma 100% silk 2016 West Coast Tour, was advertised online, including a concert Facebook page. A local resident stated that the warehouse is known by locals as the site for rave-style concerts. Shockingly, it has been reported that sprinklers or fire alarms had not been installed in the building. A spokesperson for the building owner claims that the owner did not know that people were living at the building or that it was being used for concerts and parties.
Some local residents have described the building as a tinderbox where tragedy was waiting to happen. Former residents of the building reported that they saw artists using butane torches, water being heated with propane, and sparking electrical wires. The building was divided into a number of different sections that had been decorated with curtains and other fabrics. The interior and exterior of the building was littered with debris that has been described as kindling. The interior stairs consisted of wooden pallets that made it difficult to escape the inferno. Most people died on the second floor where the concert took place. It is inexcusable that the City of Oakland and the property owner allowed such a deathtrap to exist.
When you’ve suffered harm as a result of someone else’s negligence, there are many important hurdles that you and your legal counsel must clear to obtain the compensation you deserve. You have to collect all of the factual evidence you need, navigate all of the required procedural steps, and then, at trial, put on your case and thwart all of the defenses the other side will offer. In a case from earlier this year, juryveridctalert.com reported that a San Bernardino County jury imposed $3.5 million in damages against a negligent driver who crashed head-on into a mom’s SUV, injuring her and killing her 16-year-old daughter. The parents succeeded in part because they successfully countered the at-fault driver’s defense that she was not liable due to a “sudden emergency.”
Sometimes, legal concepts and rules are, in theory, based upon straightforward notions. For example, the law says that an injured person should be allowed to recover the “reasonable value” of the medical services she received as a result of her accident. This sounds like a direct and common-sense method, right? Unfortunately, these theoretically straightforward concepts can become highly complex in reality, especially given the ultra-complicated and byzantine system of medical billing and payment in this country. The Third District Court of Appeal tried to bring some clarity to this murky issue in a recent ruling, declaring that an injured plaintiff can use the full amount of a medical provider’s charges to establish “the reasonable value of the services” received.