paralysisIn cases involving catastrophic injuries, there are several things that you, as the plaintiff, need for your case to get the full and fair recovery you deserve. It is important to make sure that you have all of the evidence you need to give the jury a full picture of what happened, both in terms of the accident itself and in terms of what the harm you suffered will mean to you both now and in the future. If you have suffered an accident that has left you paralyzed or otherwise a victim of massive, permanent harm, you may require a large award of damages to meet the very significant needs you’ll have going forward. To make sure you get what you deserve from your case following your catastrophic injury, make sure you have an experienced California car accident attorney on your case.

One man who suffered a catastrophic injury, and whose recent case ended in a multi-million dollar judgment for the plaintiff, was Anthony, whose case was reported in the Antelope Valley Times. With less than a week to go before Christmas 2015, Anthony, his fiancée, and his mother traveled to the Antelope Valley Mall to do some last-minute holiday shopping. Leaving the mall in the late afternoon, they approached an intersection near Lancaster. According to the lawsuit filed by Anthony’s attorneys, a Honda Civic driven by Samantha moved through the intersection and collided with the Lincoln LS in which Anthony was a passenger. According to the Times report, Anthony’s court papers asserted that Samantha admitted to police that she was texting on her cell phone when the crash occurred.

The harm Anthony, a young man in his 20s, suffered was extreme. He incurred a broken neck that left him a quadriplegic. Before the accident, Anthony was a man who had, despite his developmental disabilities, become completely self-sufficient. He had both a steady job and a fiancée.

Brake lightsWhile many people think of low-speed crashes that cause only soft tissue injuries as “minor,” soft tissue damage can cause serious, long-lasting, and even life-altering problems. Even if an accident did not cause any immediate broken or dislocated bones, or lead to any major surgeries in the short term, it can still lead to years or a lifetime of pain and suffering. Regardless of the injuries you suffered, if you were hurt because someone crashed into you, make sure you protect yourself by reaching out to an experienced California car accident attorney about your case.

A recent jury verdict from Los Angeles County (Los Angeles Superior Court Case No. BC597023) is an example of how serious these injuries can be, and the fact that they can lead to significant jury awards. According to his lawsuit, Hernan was walking across the parking lot of a car rental agency at LAX Airport when Wesley began backing up in his SUV toward Hernan. In an attempt to protect himself, Hernan put his arms up. The SUV’s rear window allegedly collided with his arms, and his rear hit the bumper. His head also allegedly hit the window of the SUV. Wesley, in his defense, argued that he barely moved the SUV and that his vehicle and Hernan never came into contact at all.

Hernan’s accident was a clear example of a low-speed pedestrian accident. The defense argued that the SUV was barely moving at all. The injured man, in his lawsuit, asserted only soft tissue injuries. Soft tissue injuries involve harm to the muscles, tendons, or ligaments of the human body. Soft tissue injuries typically are sprains, strains, and contusions. They can cause pain, swelling, and also a loss of the use of a body part.

Tesla carModern technology brings with it many new advances, including new developments regarding the vehicles we rely upon every day. One of the newest such technologies is self-driving vehicles. While autonomous vehicles have the potential to be a safety boon, they also have the possibility of causing injuries if they do not operate as they should. If that happens, and someone is hurt in the process, that injured person may be entitled to compensation for their injuries. If you are hurt in an auto accident, whether involving a human-operated or autonomous vehicle, you should act promptly to contact an experienced California car accident attorney about your case.

ABC 7 News reported on an accident from the Bay Area that was an example of an autonomous vehicle crash with tragic results. Walter was a 38-year-old man who worked as an engineer. Last year, he took a new job at Apple and bought a new Tesla. The report indicated that, according to relatives, Walter noticed a recurring problem with the self-driving feature of the vehicle. Every time he passed the same concrete barrier on Highway 101 near Mountain View on autopilot mode, the vehicle veered toward it. According to the report, Walter noticed this problem on at least seven occasions. He even took the Tesla to the dealership.

On a Friday in late March, Walter was traveling to work from his home in Foster City. While traveling southbound on 101, he again passed the concrete barrier. This time, the vehicle slammed into the barrier, killing the engineer.

scaleSometimes, even cases that are factually very different from your own can still be very helpful and instructive. For example, it might seem like a wrongful death case stemming from a house fire has little in common with a vehicle or pedestrian accident case, but that isn’t necessarily true. One recent California wrongful death case contained important information about a certain type of statutory case settlement offers, which occur in many types of injury lawsuits, and how they work when there are multiple plaintiffs (which can also happen with some frequency in vehicle accident cases). Whether your personal injury case involves just you and one defendant, or it involves multiple parties, make sure that you are equipped for all possible litigation scenarios by retaining experienced injury counsel for your case.

A recent case from Los Angeles County involved the use of these statutory settlement offers. The case arose out of a tragic accident in Southern California. A house fire in Hacienda Heights left one man, Juan, seriously burned but killed his wife, Virginia, and his three-year-old son. The rented home that the family shared allegedly had no working smoke detectors, which led to a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the two dead victims.

In wrongful death lawsuits like this, the deceased person’s legal heirs have what’s called legal “standing” to sue (which means that the law gives them the right to bring an action). In this case, the boy was the biological child of Juan and another woman, which meant that the boy and Virginia had two different sets of legal heirs (although Juan was part of both groups). Each set sued the owners of the house in the wrongful death action.

motorcycle accidentIn any civil trial, the court is going to establish certain deadlines and other important dates. Obviously, one key date is the date of trial. Before that, however, there will be deadlines for things like designating expert witnesses and completing all forms of discovery. It is very important to make sure you comply strictly with all of these deadlines. Being late can mean losing out on presenting key evidence. You can also use these dates to your advantage. If your opponent is the one who fails to meet the court’s deadlines, you may be able to use that failure to keep certain potentially harmful evidence out of your case. To make that you are both compliant and also using the rules of procedure to your best advantage, make sure that you have a knowledgeable California motorcycle accident attorney handling your case.

One serious injury case in which the court’s deadlines and the rules of procedure aided an injured plaintiff was the lawsuit filed by Jeremy, a motorcyclist riding in Brentwood in Southern California. During that trip, Jeremy was hit by a vehicle driven by Tomoe. The accident inflicted serious injuries upon Jeremy, and he sued Tomoe for negligence, seeking a large sum of damages. Jeremy’s case was persuasive, and the jury found in his favor, awarding him more than $2.4 million in damages.

Tomoe appealed the verdict. In her appellate case, she argued that the trial court improperly rejected her request to allow for additional discovery and to postpone the trial. The woman’s underlying contention was that, if the judge had granted her requests, she could have presented expert opinion evidence that would have contradicted Jeremy’s testimony, including Jeremy’s statements regarding how fast he was going.

pothole in roadAs a bicyclist, a pedestrian, or another user of public roads or sidewalks, you are entitled to expect that the roads and sidewalks will be maintained in a safe condition and, if a hazard exists, that you will be appropriately warned about it. When that doesn’t happen, and you get hurt as a result, you may be entitled to compensation. Sometimes, this compensation may be achieved through a judgment and, other times, a settlement. A skilled Southern California bicycle accident attorney can provide you with needed representation in your case, including helping you analyze decisions like settling versus going forward with litigation.

A few months ago, the Los Angeles Times reported on one California bicyclist whose serious injures led to a large settlement. Peter was operating his bike along Valley Vista Road in the Sherman Oaks neighborhood of Los Angeles when his accident took place. While pedaling down the road, Peter encountered a large pothole. Unable to avoid the pothole, the bicyclist tried to drive through the hazard. The attempt was unsuccessful, and Peter lost control, with the crash throwing him to the ground. Peter then sued the City of Los Angeles.

In a case like Peter’s, there are certain essential things that you’ll need to accomplish in order to achieve a favorable result. First, you will need to show that the entity you sued was liable for the harm you suffered. In Peter’s case, he presented proof that the pothole was hazardous due to the deficient maintenance of the road and the low lighting in the area of the hole, which made the pothole “a concealed trap” for people like bicyclists, the Times reported.

bicyclistAs a bicyclist, there are certain risks that come with taking to the road on your bike. That is especially true if you are a racing bicyclist. One of the risks that shouldn’t “come with the territory,” though, is the risk of injury or death due to the negligence of a driver of a car, truck, or van. In one recent case, a van driver’s decision to park that vehicle in the path of a group of bicyclists was potentially an action that elevated the risk of harm to the bicyclists and allowed the family of one dead cyclist to pursue their wrongful death claim. Whether you’re bicycling to race or simply as a means of transportation, you may be entitled to damages if you are hurt by a driver’s negligence. You should act without delay to contact an experienced California bicycle accident attorney about your case.

Suzanne, the cyclist whose fatal accident spawned a recent lawsuit, was from Bakersfield but was participating in a road race in Mariposa County in May 2012. During the race, the race organizer had support vans to assist riders. At one point, a support van stopped to help a rider, and the driver parked the van in the road, within a lane designated for racers. When Suzanne and a group of other racers encountered the van in their lane, the other cyclists were able to swerve into a lane intended for vehicle traffic. Suzanne wasn’t able to steer around the van and crashed into it. As she lay on the ground, at least one other cyclist was unable to avoid her and ran over her. The woman died from her injuries.

Suzanne’s family sued the organizer for wrongful death. The family faced some clear hurdles to success in their case. The law says that there are certain types of activities that carry with them a degree of risk. When you voluntarily choose to participate in that activity, you do something called “assumption of the risk.” That means that you have voluntarily chosen to accept the consequences, including possible harm, that can come from taking part in that activity. In other words, if a football player breaks his leg as a result of a regular and legal tackle executed by an opposing player, the injured player is generally not entitled to a recovery for his damages (absent other special circumstances) because he voluntarily chose to take part in the potentially dangerous activity of football.

motorcycleIn any personal injury case, there may be facts that make you feel good about your case and other facts that make you pessimistic. If you’ve been hurt in an auto accident, the key, as a layperson, is simply to recognize that you’ve suffered harm and to contact experienced California counsel about your rights and potential for recovery. Sometimes, even very challenging facts may not be “deal breakers.” Recently, one motorcyclist’s family was able to hold a restaurant owner partly to blame in court (Los Angeles County Superior Court Case No. SC112366) for a California motorcycle accident that happened outside the bounds of the restaurant’s property.

The case began with a tourist’s ill-fated visit to an oceanside restaurant. After Terry, a tourist from Oklahoma, left the Malibu restaurant, he turned left because he desired to go north on the PCH. Unfortunately, there was a median barrier in that part of the PCH, and traffic leaving the restaurant was only allowed to access the southbound lanes of the highway. What Terry had done was turn northbound onto the southbound lanes of the highway. Joseph, a southbound motorcyclist, made a desperate attempt to avoid Terry’s vehicle. In the process, Joseph fell off his bike and died from his injuries.

Looking at this case, you might think that Joseph’s family only had a case against Terry. Joseph’s parents’ legal team realized, however, that the blame for this fatal motorcycle accident went beyond just the misguided tourist. The exit from the restaurant parking lot onto the highway was unclear, which meant that it was foreseeable that a customer might become confused and turn the wrong way onto the highway. Since such an accident was foreseeable, that meant the restaurant was potentially liable for harm occurring as a result of the exit’s confusing nature, even though the actual incident took place outside the bounds of the restaurant owner’s property.

U-HaulThere may be many reasons why you, as a person injured in an auto accident, might prefer to litigate your case in court as opposed to arbitration. You may feel that a jury will give you a fairer hearing, or that a jury will be more likely to award the full and fair amount of damages for the harm you’ve suffered. Regardless of the reasons, if you and your California truck accident attorney have identified trial as a better option than arbitration, it is important to avoid traps that will force you to arbitrate your claim.

One example of an injured person who avoided arbitration was Virgil, a warehouse worker for a company that sold fitness equipment. In the summer of 2013, the worker’s supervisor, Charles, instructed him to haul a load of massage chairs and exercise machines to the Sacramento State Fair. The employer sent Virgil to Sacramento in a truck that the employer had rented.

During the trip from San Bernardino County to Sacramento, the truck blew a tire. The blow-out caused Virgil to suffer injuries. Virgil sued the company that owned the rental truck, arguing that the owner had negligently maintained the truck, and that negligent maintenance had caused the blow-out and the man’s related injuries.

semi truckWhen you’ve been injured in an auto accident, you may have a case for damages. Even with a strong claim, there are several things you’ll need to do if you are to convince a jury and receive a favorable verdict and award of compensation. In many cases, achieving a successful result may rely, to a significant degree, on having compelling and persuasive expert witness testimony. Knowing which type of expert testimony, and which type of expert witnesses, you need to succeed is one of the areas where experienced California auto accident counsel can help you and your case.

One case (Monterey County Superior Court Case No. M133274) in which experts played an important role was a truck accident involving Sabino, a man who was hurt traveling along Highway 101 in Monterey County. Sabino was headed southbound on Highway 101 at around the same time that Dalvir was approaching Highway 101 on eastbound San Juan Road. Dalvir steered his tractor-trailer onto the southbound 101 and stopped. Sabino tried to stop his Honda Accord in time but could not, eventually crashing into the rear of Dalvir’s truck. Sabino suffered serious injuries in the accident. Specifically, Sabino alleged that the accident inflicted a lumbar spine injury upon him and that it forced him to undergo lumbar decompression and fusion (back) surgery.

The car driver sued the trucker and the trucker’s employer for the injuries he suffered. Sabino’s lawsuit asserted a fairly common and familiar claim as the basis for recovery:  that Dalvir was negligent because he improperly failed to yield the right of way when he pulled in front of Sabino and stopped, and that the employer was liable because Dalvir was acting within the scope of his job when the accident happened.