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Articles Posted in Personal Injury

Whenever a person suffers a catastrophic injury in a truck accident, determining who was liable is a crucial part of the legal case that follows. Getting this answer correct is vital to a fully successful outcome in catastrophic injury cases because they can often involve very high amounts of damages, and that makes it essential to identify and hold liable everyone responsible. This way, you have the best chance of getting everything you’re owed. If you or a loved one has suffered a catastrophic injury, you should make the effort to retain an experienced San Mateo truck accident lawyer who can help you achieve the best possible outcome.

The Fresno County truck accident that catastrophically injured one Philadelphia trucker was an example of this kind of liability scenario where multiple people and entities were potentially responsible. The accident, which was covered in the Fresno Bee, took place after D.J. and his co-driver, J.C., who had traveled from New Jersey to the small town of Firebaugh, California to pick up a load of refrigerated tomatoes, tried to head back to the east coast.

As they left the tomato processing plant, they missed a right turn and continued northbound on what they thought was a city street. In actuality, the city had abandoned the stretch decades earlier and it was a private dead-end drive with concrete barricades on the sides that funneled traffic onto an aircraft company’s property.

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Here in California, the law recognized several types of “duties,” which are legal obligations that people and entities have to others. One of those is the general duty every person and/or entity has to “exercise reasonable care for the safety of others.” If you are hurt because someone didn’t act reasonably to fulfill that obligation, then that failure may constitute negligence. If that negligence took place while you were on someone else’s property, then you may have a potentially winning claim for premises liability and the opportunity to collect a substantial amount in compensation. An experienced San Mateo injury attorney can help you make the most of your premises liability case.

A recent premises liability case from Southern California offers a strong reminder about just how broad this general duty is, and how firmly on the side of injured people the law is.

M.J. had elderly parents in their late 80s who lived in southern Los Angeles County, while she lived three hours away in northern Santa Barbara County. The father had multiple health problems and the mother was bedridden and had dementia.

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There are almost countless ways that an experienced San Mateo personal injury attorney can help you after you’ve been hurt in an accident. Your attorney can be essential as you litigate at trial. Your attorney also can be just as (if not more) instrumental when it comes time to engage in the settlement process.

An experienced attorney will be able to advise you, based on his/her past cases and other knowledge, what your case is approximately worth. That can be key as you seek not to shortchange yourself by making a settlement offer that’s too low. It can also be vital in determining whether an offer from the other side is a low-ball one or a fair one.

Furthermore, your knowledgeable attorney can help when it comes to the timing of making an offer, the timing of accepting or rejecting an offer from the other side and the conditions you place within an offer. As a recent premises liability case shows, these issues of conditions and timing matter more than you might think.

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Your auto accident case may sometimes seem like a frustrating endeavor. There’s the possibility that the driver who hit you had minimal (or no) insurance coverage and few personal assets, making your chances of recovering full compensation for your substantial injuries low. Especially in these times, a skilled San Mateo personal injury attorney can help a great deal. If you get the right legal team on your side from the start, your attorney can do the in-depth investigation necessary to discover the alternate avenues for compensation that may exist to give you a better chance of getting you the total compensation you need.

For example, we can look at an injury case that was in the legal reports again recently (for reasons unrelated to the victims’ injuries.) The underlying accident was a two-car crash at an intersection in Long Beach, which injured five people. Two of those five were a husband and wife who were in neither vehicle. They were dining at a Mexican restaurant located near the intersection and were struck after the collision caused one of the cars to jump the curb and crash into the restaurant.

According to the couple’s lawsuit, that car kept going until it reached the southeast wall of the restaurant. There, it hit the couple and pinned them against the wall, causing them to suffer serious injuries.

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In your premises liability case, as with any injury case, you have to clear several hurdles. You, of course, have to give the court sufficient proof that shows the defendant was negligent and that this negligence caused you harm. You may also, though, need to avoid things like affirmative defenses and statutory immunity provisions that could defeat an otherwise strong case. Having a skilled San Mateo premises liability attorney by your side throughout the process can greatly increase your chances of clearing these hurdles and achieving success.

Overcoming statutory immunity can be a very big deal in your case because, if the defense can persuade the court that the elements of the statute are all present, then you’ll recover nothing. As an example, there’s M.H.’s premises liability case. M.H., a teenage motorcycle rider, was injured while riding at a motocross track. M.H. suffered severe injuries in a collision with another motorcyclist.

The track was located on property owned the parents of her friend, G.Y., so the girl sued G.Y. and his parents. The girl’s argument in her case was that the motocross track was designed negligently and that it lacked directional signs. These things, according to M.H. led to her collision with the other biker.

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A lot of times, when you hear the words “premises liability,” you might first think of a slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall accident in a store or other place of business. The reality is, though, that the law of premises liability in California exists to protect more than shoppers and other guests on commercial properties. It can include slip-and-fall and trip-and-fall accidents, but also swimming pool accidents or broken sidewalk accidents, as well. Basically, if you’ve been hurt on property belonging to someone else because they didn’t keep their property sufficiently safe, you may have a case for compensation and should contact a knowledgeable San Mateo injury attorney without delay.

Another kind of accident that may potentially present a case for premises liability damages is falling tree branch accidents. California has seen several of these accidents trigger litigation in recent years, and another falling tree branch accident has occurred just recently here in San Mateo County, this time with tragic results.

Late last month, according to a Facebook post issued by Burlingame City Hall, a tree limb of approximately 60 feet in length “dropped suddenly.” The branch crashed down upon a group of people picnicking in Washington Park and killed a 29-year-old woman. Additionally, three other people were hospitalized as a result of the impact, according to the San Mateo Daily Journal. The Daily Journal also indicated that the city had, following the accident, hired independent arborists to examine and assess the condition of the large pine tree.

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When you are injured due to someone’s else negligence, you may find yourself facing an argument that, despite that negligence, the other person isn’t liable – and not entitled to compensation – because you “assumed the risk” of the kind of danger that ultimately hurt you. There are many circumstances, though, where you can successfully overcome an “assumption of the risk” defense and win your case. To get the help you need to do that, be sure you’re represented by a skilled San Mateo injury attorney.

A Bay Area woman’s injury was an example of an “assumption of the risk” case. D.W. was walking her dog at the Tilden Regional Park in the East Bay Regional Park District when she was hurt. Another park visitor’s dog, which was a very large breed, wandered over to where D.W. was and, although the dog’s owner told his dog to sit, the dog did not sit. Eventually, the dog returned to his owner but, as he did so, he collided with D.W., causing her to fall, break her leg and dislocate her ankle.

D.W., having been seriously hurt, sued the owner, A.W., for the harm she suffered. The injured woman accused the large dog’s owner of negligence that caused her accident. The injured woman also shrewdly added an additional assertion: that A.W. was negligent per se because he violated an East Bay Regional Park District Ordinance that said that allowed dogs at the park to be off-leash, but required that owners maintain control over their off-leash animals at all times.

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News reports have revealed a new surge of COVID-19 cases. CNN reported that, on June 23, California logged more than 7,000 new cases. That was a new record. The old record? Just over 5,000… on June 22. It’s clear the dangers of COVID-19 aren’t going away anytime soon, and that may lead you to a question: what happens if I become infected as a result of visiting a store, restaurant or other establishment? Do I have any legal recourse for that business’s failure to protect me? Depending on the facts of your case, you may have a basis for a civil lawsuit, so it is worth your while to consult a knowledgeable San Mateo personal injury attorney if that happens to you.

In California, as in every other state, there’s something called premises liability law. This is the area of law that applies to things like “slip-and-fall” cases, “trip-and-fall” cases, swimming pool accidents or a bedbug lawsuit against a hotel. It can apply in most situations where someone responsible for a property failed to act in a reasonable manner to keep the property reasonably safe. If there was a hazard that posed a foreseeable risk of harm and the person or entity who owned, leased, managed or controlled that property knew or should have known about the danger, but failed to take proper steps to address the hazard or else to post proper warnings about the dangerous condition, then that’s potentially a case of premises liability.

In the circumstance of a COVID-19 infection, the hazard (the coronavirus) is obviously well-known in the general public, as is the potential risk of harm (infection.) Nevertheless, a successful case will still require the harmed individual to prove that this general knowledge met the law’s standard for actual notice or constructive notice on the part of the property manager.

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When you’re hurt and you have to sue for damages, a trial may be part of the process. It’s important to remember, though, that the trial itself is not the beginning, middle and end of your case. There is a great deal of work that goes into the period before your trial in order to ensure that the outcome you get is the outcome you need. To be sure you have the right legal help to get you to a successful outcome, make sure you have an experienced San Mateo injury attorney working for you.

I.T.’s case was an example of the importance of success in the pre-trial phase. I.T. was a construction worker who fell through a skylight at a construction site and who, as a result, sued the general contractor on the project. Before the trial, the defense filed a motion arguing that I.T. was an independent contractor, that the contractor could not be liable under California law and that it was entitled to summary judgment in its favor.

The battle over a defense motion for summary judgment is an extremely important crossroads in any injury case. In a civil lawsuit, there are generally two ways to arrive at a successful outcome. One is through settlement and one is via a judgment. To receive substantial compensation via either of these paths, it is often necessary to defeat a defense motion for summary judgment. A summary judgment for the defense is something ordered by the court that says that, regardless of what evidence you might put on at trial, there is no possible way under the law that you could succeed in getting a judgment in your favor.

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Many of us have heard a lot on the cable news channels about the importance of “precedent” in the law in recent years. Precedent is, of course, very important. It means that, generally, if past rulings said that a defendant was not liable in a particular set of circumstances, then you typically won’t win your case if the circumstances surrounding your injury were substantially similar to those past cases. Sometimes, though, the law should – and does – change. Just because previous injured people have lost their cases that seem similar to yours, that alone is not reason to give up on your case. Instead of giving up, discuss your situation with an experienced San Mateo injury attorney to find out if there may still be possibilities for success for you.

A recent case involving a baseball spectator is an example of how changing standards in an industry may mean a change in the law. S.J. was a 12-year-old girl attending a baseball game in Long Beach. She and her mother were seated just beyond the protective netting behind home plate. A foul ball struck the girl in the face, causing massive damage including a cranial hemorrhage and severe damage to her optic nerve. The girl required the insertion of a metal plate behind her eye, which was the first of several surgeries she would require to treat fully the harm caused by the foul ball.

Historically, baseball spectators who suffer injuries after a foul ball hits them have had very little success in personal injury lawsuits. That’s because of a legal concept called “assumption of risk.” That concept says that, if you voluntarily engage in an activity that carries with it certain inherent risks, then you become the person responsible for any harm occurring as a result of that activity. That has often included baseball spectators, as voluntarily choosing to attend a baseball game carries with it the inherent risk that a foul ball (or a homerun ball) might hit you and hurt you, meaning that the player, the league/association or the stadium owner were not responsible.

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