Articles Posted in Personal Injury

It is very difficult to understand why unfortunate things happen to wonderful people. Serious injury caused by the negligence of another person or a defective product, can leave a victim in pain. It can also lead to a sense of vulnerability and fear. Lawyers have the opportunity to represent our clients to make sure they are compensated for losses caused by others. As lawyers, we cannot change the fact that our clients have suffered injury. But we can help to provide them with the financial and other assistance to which they are entitled under the law. We are able to seek both economic and non-economic damages to help injured victims deal with their lives after a tragic accident or injury.

For example, during labor and delivery if a preventable injury occurs, we look to the relevant evidence to prove negligence by reviewing the prenatal chart, the labor and delivery record, the fetal monitor tracings, the neonatal intensive care records and more. Parents need legal support after a labor and delivery that results in injury to their infant. As a mother myself, I find great personal satisfaction in representing families of an injured child. Helping young victims and their families will not take away the damage that has been done, but we can connect families with medical experts that provide guidance and support and we can secure the support families will need to care for their injured baby as he or she grows.
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The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission cautions the American public gearing up for July 4th celebrations and has issued a warning about sparklers, bottle rockets and small firecrackers. These small celebratory fireworks can be deceiving in that their size leads us to believe these are harmless. As California injury attorneys, we want you to know that they are not harmless.

In 2010, nearly 2,000 consumers visited emergency rooms due to injuries from these small fireworks in the 30-day period prior to the holiday. And over 8,500 were injured and visited hospital emergency rooms during that year due to both legal and illegal fireworks.

Overall, there were 6,300 reports of injuries from fireworks and the hands, face and head were most likely to be harmed. Many of these injuries involved small fireworks such as firecrackers, bottle rockets, and sparklers. Even more worrisome is the fact that fireworks injury statistics show that often victims are under the age of 15 in 40 percent of the incidents.

A decade after recommendations were made for truck and bus safety, the conversation continues. As California injury attorneys, we are pleased that, at the very least, safety is being discussed.

The national forum on truck and bus crashes and safety began earlier this week in Washington, D.C. The two-day forum which convened at the National Transportation Safety Board goes through today. Live webcasts and other information can be found at the NTSB website.

The NTSB has been raising the level of awareness in the areas of truck and bus accident safety and the forum is intended to bring together industry experts including safety, regulatory and the trucking and busing industry to talk about the continued dangers of transportation. Long-standing recommendations have yet to be enacted or implemented.

As San Francisco personal injury lawyers, we are all too aware of the dangers of driving since we represent those who have been involved in serious accidents and have suffered often traumatic injuries.

And even though California law prohibits drivers from holding a cell phone or texting while driving, there are many other distractions that can result in a serious accident. If you thought it was just cell phones, you are wrong.

Recently, the New York Times reported on the other areas of distraction that many drivers engage in daily that carry the same risk as driving while under the influence. These include opening a bag of chips or nuts, programming a GPS, getting something off the car floor your child dropped, searching for a CD or putting on makeup.

The Los Angeles Times reports that several important steps are being taken to protect pedestrians as they browse the Santa Monica Farmers Market. The system of protections will include signs, barricades and nets that are able to stop vehicles.

The planning for all of this started several years ago. It was prompted after 10 people were tragically killed as an elderly driver went off the road and crashed into pedestrians at the Farmer’s Market. Santa Monica and additional defendants paid $21 million in damages for the loss of life and other injuries. As injury lawyers, we know the shock and sorrow that families experience in tragic accidents.

The nets are reported to be relatively safe for those in the car or other vehicle, but are capable of stopping even a very heavy vehicle. They are similar to tennis court nets, and are strung with cables on the top and the bottom of the net.

As can happen with elderly drivers, the man who was driving at the time of the tragic loss of life, hit the accelerator thinking it was the brake. He was sentenced to five years probation after his conviction in 2007 of ten counts of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence.

After the elderly driver car accident, various entities concluded that not only were the signs inadequate, but there was no hard barrier system to keep traffic out of the market.
Other cities have used the nets to keep traffic out of areas such as construction zones.
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The tragic bus accident that killed 15 passengers earlier this year in New York, is a sad ending to the many lives lost. Now it has been determined that the bus was traveling 78 miles per hour when it crashed and flipped. The wrongful death and injury lawyers of the California Injury Attorney Blog know that this indicates the accident could have been avoided.

This news was delivered last month by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) which found that the bus was traveling at the highest rate of speed possible for the vehicle only 45 seconds prior to its departure from I-95. At the time of the crash, the bus was traveling between the Bronx and a casino in eastern Connecticut.

In addition to the work of the NTSB in putting together the pieces of this tragedy, the New York State Police are involved in the investigation and have been interviewing witnesses and conducting studies of the crash. The purpose of the investigation is to determine whether the bus driver will be charged criminally.

The bus driver’s account of the accident included a claim that he was trying to avoid hitting a tractor-trailor that had passed him and veered towards the bus. And now it has been revealed that he had served time in prison for manslaughter and larceny convictions — his license has been suspended.

In fact there is no evidence that the accident happened the way the driver described it. Another truck driver came forward as a witness and has said that the tractor-trailer that is alleged to have swerved towards the bus, did not do so.

The investigation has revealed that the bus reached its fastest speed of 78 miles per hour in the 45 seconds before the crash. The speed limit was 55 miles per hour.

There is some thought that the driver may have fallen asleep at the wheel of the bus according to some of the surviving passengers.
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The Sacramento Bee reported recently that an effort is underway in California to pass a consumer-related bill that would protect consumers from renting or buying a car from a rental car company that is subject to a federal safety recall.

California Assembly Bill 753 is supported by the mother of a young woman and her sister who were both killed in a tragic crash in Monterey County in 2005.

Carol Houck’s daughters were killed in a head-on collision on Highway 101 when they were driving a rented Chrysler PT Cruiser that had been subject to a safety recall. Ms. Houck has been dedicated to getting legislation passed to protect drivers from what happened to her children.

Recently, a man drowned in southern California during a scuba-diving class off the coast near Catalina Island. According to Los Angeles authorities, the drowning victim was taking a beginning scuba course when he apparently became unconscious. The victim was rushed to the University of California Catalina Hyperbaric Chamber by a lifeguard boat, but the emergency medical treatment was not successful and he was pronounced dead there.

We currently do not know more facts about this incident. However, it is important to be reminded that when we go outdoors to do fun activities, we also need to be prepared for those activities. When taking a class or a tour, pay attention to the qualifications of those involved.

An example of recreational activity that turned harmful is a recent incident on a Segway tour in northern California. The California Injury Attorney Blog’s affiliated San Francisco injury law firm recently settled a case of serious injury that took place during a Segway tour at a Bay Area recreational area.

The snowy slopes of the Tahoe area are a big draw this time of year. Many skiers and snowboarders have had a great winter in the ski resorts this season.

Tragically, for one University of California, Santa Cruz senior, what should have been a wonderful ski weekend ended in her death while she was snowboarding. Although the autopsy is not complete, the cause of her death appears to have been blunt force trauma after she crashed backward into a ski lift tower.

The local authorities believe the woman, a 22-year old theater student, crashed into a tower pole at a ski resort. She may have not seen the pole as she was apparently turned backwards facing uphill, rather than facing downhill, while sitting on her snowboard and using it like a sled. She also may not have been wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.

Yesterday, the Chicago Tribune published a major report on the dangers of crib bumpers. The California Injury Attorney Blog’s affiliated law firm, Hersh & Hersh represents one of the families featured in the article. We want to ensure that other families protect their children from these dangers.

Preston Maxwell died at age seven weeks. His dad put him to bed one night earlier this year and by morning the baby was found dead in his crib. The baby was found with his nose “pressed between the mattress and crib bumper pad” and his autopsy report concluded that he had suffocated. In other words, the baby’s face ended up wedged between the mattress and crib bumper pad.

According to the Tribune article, the “U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said it will re-examine the safety of crib bumpers.” This will include reopening files on infant deaths to evaluate the “safety of bumper pads on store shelves and rethinking how investigators examine deaths where bumper pads are present.”