Articles Posted in Auto Accidents

If you watch enough TV and movies, you’ve probably seen a certain character. That character is the person who is involved in an auto accident and, in the immediate aftermath, is walking and talking and seemingly unaffected by the crash, only to re-emerge several days or weeks later sporting a gigantic neck brace. This may make for good comedy but it isn’t very realistic at all. The truth is that people may suffer injuries in auto accidents, including very serious ones, and not notice any symptoms for days or even weeks after the accident. Just because you did not show symptoms right away or you declined treatment at the scene doesn’t mean that you weren’t hurt and aren’t entitled to compensation. To learn more about your options for recovering damages, talk to an experienced San Mateo injury attorney.

A recent car crash case (San Diego Superior Court Case No. 37-2015-00037880) from Southern California is a good example. S.K. was an 18-year-old driver who was driving through Carlsbad. As he approached an intersection, his light was red. When the traffic signal turned green in his direction, he advanced forward. As he passed through the intersection, a cement dump truck broadsided the teen’s Nissan car.

At the scene, S.K. refused an offer of treatment. There are many reasons why an injured driver or passenger might say that he is “OK” and refuse treatment at the scene of an accident, even if he is injured. An injury, potentially even a serious one, can be masked in various ways. Especially for a young driver, there might be a very massive “dump” of adrenaline experienced as a result of the shock and stress of the accident. That uptick of adrenaline can sometimes mute pain receptors and make one think that they are not in pain, even though a significant injury has taken place.

In many circumstances, including intersection accidents, if a driver who has the right of way is involved in an accident with a driver who was required to yield the right of way but did not, then the first driver would have a strong case for a civil liability and an award of damages. Typically, the driver who failed to yield would be considered negligent in her operation of her vehicle and would be liable for the injuries and other damages that she caused to the driver with whom she collided.

That, however, is not a certainty, and you should be prepared to litigate your case diligently, even if you were clearly hurt and clearly had the right of way. A driver who might appear to have had the right of way, and be entitled to an award of damages, might not succeed if she also violated the rules of the road, such as by speeding. In that regard, some defendants may try to defeat your case by alleging you committed some violation of the rules of the road and that violation was the real cause of the accident. To protect yourself and your case, be sure you have the skill and knowledge of an experienced California injury attorney on your side.

As an example of this type of case, there’s the injury accident of a woman named J.B. (Los Angeles Superior Court Case Number BC 610177) J.B. was driving across westbound Franklin Avenue in Hollywood near the Magic Castle. H.A. had been traveling eastbound but was stopped while waiting to make a left turn into the driveway of the Magic Castle. Seeing what she thought was an opportunity to get to the driveway, H.A. initiated her left turn. Unfortunately, that put her in the path of J.B. and the vehicles collided.

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.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?

In Marie’s case, she sued on May 12, 2016. She sued Evelyn, who was the driver who hit her. She also sued Eduardo and “Does 1 to 100,” who allegedly were the owners of the vehicle and who negligently entrusted the auto to Evelyn prior to the crash. (The law permits you to sue “John Doe,” ‘Jane Doe,” or “Does 1 to X” if you have identified a potentially liable party but do not know that party’s name.)

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.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.

Thus, if you have proof that the other driver was turning left, that you weren’t speeding, and that you didn’t run a red light, you have a strong case with regard to responsibility. Just because you have a strong case when it comes to fault does not mean that you are “home free” with regard to achieving a successful result. There are still other litigation tools that the left-turning driver can use to try to avoid being held liable.

According to the Los Angeles Times, an injured woman and the family of a deceased woman worked out a settlement recently with the City of Los Angeles to bring to an end lawsuits that accused the city of failing to maintain parts of the Venice Beach Boulevard properly, allowing a driver to avoid barriers and crash into pedestrians located on the Boardwalk. The outcome occurred in part because the plaintiffs were able to defeat the city’s claims of immunity (which would have ended their lawsuit) and were subsequently in a position to negotiate a workable settlement. Whether you are intent upon pursuing your case all the way to judgment or are open to settling, it helps to have skilled California pedestrian accident counsel on your side, who can provide you with the benefit of their experience and give you the advice you need.

The accident happened on a late summer afternoon in August 2013. Locals and tourists were enjoying the usual activities along the Venice Beach Boardwalk until a driver, who had managed to maneuver his car around the Boardwalk’s barriers, drove his vehicle into the crowd on the Boardwalk. The crash injured 16 and killed one Italian woman who was on her honeymoon.

One of the injured people, as well as the family of the deceased woman, sued the City of Los Angeles. The lawsuits asserted that the inadequacy of the barriers between the Boardwalk and a nearby city street (which the driver used to enter the Boardwalk with his car) amounted to a dangerous condition and that the city’s failure to correct this hazard made it liable for the injuries caused.

Health insurance is an everyday part of life for many of us. The Affordable Care Act was passed and signed into law due to the federal government’s recognition of just how interwoven health insurance is with health care in this country. One of those aspects in which health insurance interweaves with health care is the idea of an insurer’s “network” and a treatment carrying different prices, depending on whether the provider was “in network” or “out of network.” Thus, what if you are significantly injured in an auto accident? You likely will require a substantial amount of medical care, but, if you sue and receive compensation for your injuries, you won’t be responsible for paying the bills you rack up. Are you still responsible for limiting yourself to providers within your network? If you’ve been injured in an auto accident and find yourself in need of answers to these and other questions, contact a knowledgeable California truck accident attorney to discuss your options.

A recent case involving an injured passenger named Dave explored this scenario and provided some helpful guidance for people injured in California vehicle accidents. Dave was injured in a Ventura County auto accident caused by Jose, who was, at the time of the accident, an employee of an organics company. The RV driven by Dave’s wife developed a flat tire on a freeway, and the semi truck driven by Jose slammed into the rear of the RV, causing serious injuries to Dave’s face, teeth, neck, and lower back. He ultimately underwent a three-level spinal fusion surgery to address his back problems. Dave had insurance, and his insurer had a “network” of preferred providers. Dave, however, decided to seek care from providers who were outside his plan.

Eventually, Dave sued the organics company for Jose’s negligent driving. In his case, Dave sought a substantial award of medical expense damages. At trial, the injured man had documented proof of the medical bills he had amassed. At the trial’s end, the jury ruled in favor of Dave and awarded him $3.6 million in damages, including $269,000 in past medical expenses. With regard to medical expense damages, the jury awarded Dave the full billed amount that he established in his case.

People who are injured in auto accidents come in all shapes and sizes, varieties, and walks of life. Some are young, some old. Some are the “picture of health” before their accidents, while others have pre-existing conditions. If you are someone who has a pre-existing health problem, and you find yourself injured in a crash for which someone else was at fault, it is very important to act decisively and quickly. One thing you should do is retain an experienced California car accident lawyer. Just because you have pre-existing health problems doesn’t mean you cannot recover damages. In fact, depending on the facts of your case, the damages award you receive may include an amount to cover the extent to which your accident worsened your pre-existing condition.

One example of this was an action decided in Los Angeles Superior Court (Case No. BC557692) recently, which involved a scenario that is likely one of every parent’s nightmares. The child who would become the plaintiff in the case was sitting in the back seat of a vehicle, directly behind the driver’s seat. The driver was fully stopped at an intersection controlled by a stop sign. The defendant slammed into the stopped vehicle at a high rate of speed. The crash inflicted multiple fractures upon the child and also a traumatic brain injury, according to the plaintiff’s case.

The driver who rear-ended the vehicle with the child admitted liability and was determined to be 100% at fault. Medical professionals determined that the girl was a “4” on the coma scale (which translates to “severe traumatic brain injury”) at the scene of the accident and later assessed her as a “12” (which translates to “moderate traumatic brain injury”) at the hospital.

In 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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A 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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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.”

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