car accidentEach 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.

slip and fallThere can be many different ways to achieve a successful result in your injury case. Some of these favorable results may be achievable without even having to go to trial. If your opponent does not perform certain procedural tasks within the period established by the law, you may be able to obtain a “default judgment,” which can allow you to receive compensation just as if you’d had a full trial and won. Default judgments are just one example of the techniques available to help you with your case. A knowledgeable California premises liability attorney can provide you with the advice and representation you need for pursuing default judgments or any of the other options available to you under the law.

One example of a successful default judgment case was the one filed by Rita, a tenant in Los Angeles County. One day, Rita slipped and fell on a puddle of water, injuring herself. Rita decided to sue her landlord for premises liability, asserting that the area of water was a result of a leakage from defective plumbing. The plumbing leak was a result of the landlord’s failure to repair the defect, which made him liable for the woman’s injuries, according to the plaintiff’s lawsuit.

The landlord was served with court papers on March 20, 2015. The requirement was completed by a registered process server who personally served the landlord. The landlord admitted that he received these papers. Eleven months later, Rita served the landlord with additional papers containing her statement of damages. Again, the landlord was personally served by a registered process server. Those papers stated that the tenant was seeking more than $80,000 in damages.

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.