Articles Posted in Car Accidents

In any type of personal injury case, you need proof that (1) the defendant’s negligence harmed you and (2) the harm caused you to suffer compensable damages. The latter of these two is called causation. When it comes to the element of causation, some cases may require more proof than others. If you come into court with a medical history that includes pre-existing conditions, especially a history of injury to the same part of your body that was hurt in your auto accident, your opponent will inevitably argue that the harm you are currently dealing with is not the result of your accident, but rather the result of your pre-existing condition. To make sure you don’t get snared by this “pre-existing condition” trap, you need clear proof that your overall well-being, while not perfect, clearly was far better before the accident and became markedly worse immediately after the accident and as a result of the accident. To make sure you have the evidence you need to accomplish these ends, be sure you have a skilled California injury attorney representing you.

D.C.’s case (Orange County Superior Court Case No. 30-2016-00874301) was one that included this type of issue related to causation. D.C., a senior chief petty officer in the U.S. Navy, was visiting family in southern California when his rear-end accident occurred. According to the petty officer, he was driving near Anaheim when traffic slowed ahead of him. He slowed too, but the vehicle behind him hit his rental car on the left rear side. The rear driver allegedly was going about 20-30 mph when the vehicles collided.

Before the accident, the petty officer allegedly had already experienced some problems with his back. Many years before, the petty officer had suffered a traumatic injury to his back and that had left him with ongoing back pain, which existed at manageable levels. According to the petty officer, his ongoing degree of limitation from the injury was so small that the military had cleared him for full duty and he had served in a forward position in Afghanistan just one year before the accident. That assignment included wearing a heavy helmet and toting gear that weighed 50+ pounds, according to the petty officer.

Knowing 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.

Each personal injury case comes with its own unique set of circumstances. Sometimes, the events that unfold may make a case more complicated than it might have otherwise been. One of the keys to success is making sure that, whatever happens, you are prepared and equipped to continue forward through the legal system and get the compensation you need. To do that, it helps to make sure that you have a knowledgeable California car accident attorney handling your case.

Take, for example, the injury case of a Bay Area woman named Rebecca. Her case began with an accident during the winter holidays of 2013. Rebecca was a passenger in a vehicle that was hit by a vehicle driven by 91-year-old Raymond. Raymond’s auto insurance policy had a limit of $15,000 for any single injury and $30,000 for any one incident.

Shortly after the accident, Raymond died from unrelated causes. When the person who is at fault for the accident that injured you dies shortly after the crash, that can potentially create complications for you. The law only allows you to sue living people or entities currently in existence in order to obtain compensation for the harm you suffered. If another driver caused a crash that injured you, and that driver is living, you would sue that driver. If the driver has died, pursuing compensation generally involves naming the deceased’s probate estate as the defendant. This may become complex if there is no legal heir who steps up and becomes the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate.

In 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.

Modern 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.

When you are injured in an auto accident, one of the most important things you’ll have to decide is if you have a case for damages and, if so, who is liable for the injuries you suffered. While the other driver is an obvious candidate, the facts of your case may indicate that there are others who are liable to you for the harm you suffered. Experienced California car accident attorneys can help you as you make each of these very important decisions.

One case that presented facts that allowed for an action against an arguably unlikely defendant was the lawsuit that arose from a Sept. 4, 2011 crash in the Los Angeles suburb of Glendale. Joanne was driving through Glendale late one Sunday when there was a power outage. As she passed through the intersection of Glendale Avenue and Broadway, another vehicle slammed into Joanne’s car. The broadside impact sent Joanne’s vehicle into a pole. Everyone in Joanne’s car was hurt, but she suffered the most severe injuries.

In intersection accidents, there may be a variety of individuals or entities you can potentially sue for the harm you suffered in the crash. This group could include, obviously, the other driver. Also, though, you may be able to sue the governmental entity responsible for the roadway(s) involved if the intersection was designed or maintained in an unsafe fashion. Several injured drivers or passengers have successfully litigated or settled cases recently in which they alleged that an intersection was unsafe either in its design or in its maintenance.

Alcohol and automobiles shouldn’t mix. When they do, bad things, including serious injuries, can happen. When those things do happen, sometimes vehicle accidents and injuries are involved. In those circumstances, it is important to have capable California car accident attorneys on your side to represent your interests and make sure you get everything the law says you deserve in your drunk driving accident case. In one such case (Case No. BC548489, Cal. Super. Ct. March 22, 2017), one man injured in a drunk driving case recently received $12 million from a Los Angeles County jury.

Lance was an employee of a property management company. On St. Patrick’s Day, he took out one of his clients (a board member of a homeowners association that his management firm represented) for drinks. After drinking, the men got back into a car, with Lance driving. While traveling down the Ventura Freeway, Lance struck another vehicle. The resulting crash caused serious injuries to the HOA board member. In fact, doctors nearly had to amputate the passenger’s right arm, which ultimately required 30 surgeries to treat, according to the passenger.

The passenger sued for his injuries. He didn’t just sue Lance, though; he also sued the management company for which Lance worked. In any injury case, it is important to identify all of the plausible avenues for obtaining recovery for your damages and advancing all of them in your litigation in order to give yourself a strong chance of success.

Whenever you are taking on an insurance company in a personal injury case, you can expect that the insurer will defend itself with as many counter-arguments as possible. The defense may argue that your injuries weren’t results of your accident. The insurance company may argue that the treatment you received wasn’t really medically necessary. Regardless of the arguments advanced by the insurance company, you’ll need strong California car accident attorneys on your side to utilize the facts and the law related to your case to ensure that you get what you deserve.

One recent instance in which this occurred was a case arising out of a March 2011 Orange County car crash. Carmen suffered serious injuries in the collision. The crash was a result of another driver running a red light and slamming into her vehicle.

Although Carmen originally had no spinal tenderness or range-of-motion limitations, she eventually sought care from a chiropractor. She later saw an osteopath, who performed an MRI and diagnosed multiple disc protrusions in the lumbar and cervical spine. Eventually, Carmen underwent several epidural steroid injections to treat her back problems. These injections were extremely expensive, and the sum total of Carmen’s medical expenses quickly rose into the tens of thousands of dollars.

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.

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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.

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