Articles Posted in Personal Injury

aaron-burden-60068-copy-300x212For families living in Carlsbad, it is extremely important to ensure that your children are wearing seatbelts and are properly restrained in the event of a car accident in Southern California. According to a recent report from NPR, 43% of kids who die in motor vehicle crashes are not properly restrained, which means that these children either were not wearing seatbelts at all or were not wearing seatbelts or other safety harnesses in the proper manner. What can parents learn from this information? It is extremely important to require your kids to wear seatbelts whenever they are in the car, and it is also necessary for parents to educate themselves about the proper restraints for children of all ages.

Traffic Accidents on the Rise

As the report explains, deadly traffic accidents are on the rise in the U.S., and many of them are preventable. In particular, in fatal crashes involving children, the simple act of properly restraining your child could prevent deadly injuries. We do know that some parts of the country have higher rates of child fatalities than others. All in all, however, more than 18,000 children across the U.S. were involved in car accidents between the years 2010 and 2014, and of those children, 15.9% died as a result of the car accident.

andrew-branch-126761-copy-300x212Anyone in Oceanside who has used Roundup weed killer and developed cancer should know that this pesticide may be linked to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. According to a recent article in The New York Times, the active ingredient in Roundup, glyphosate, might be a cause of cancer. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which is a branch of the World Health Organization (WHO), reported recently that glyphosate is “a probable carcinogen,” and it cited links between its use and the development of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

A number of individuals who have developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma have filed a lawsuit against Monsanto, the maker of the pesticide. The product liability lawsuit alleges that Monsanto failed to warn consumers about the risks associated with using Roundup. What else should Oceanside residents know about the risks of Roundup and the possibility of a product defect claim?

Disagreement Over the Effects of Glyphosate

louis-moncouyoux-3620-copy-300x200If you are working at a job site in San Clemente, what kinds of protections can you expect from your employer to prevent a workplace injury? According to a recent article in Bloomberg BNA, there is a new safety rule in California that is designed to protect employees “from high heat in indoor workplaces.” What does the new rule require, and are employers currently obligated to abide by it?

Cal/OSHA Proposal Targets High Heat Workplaces and Heat Illness Prevention

Workplaces in San Clemente and throughout Southern California can be extremely hot in terms of temperature. Even in the winter months when the weather is slightly cooler, workers in many different industries still can be exposed to high temperatures that could result in heat illnesses, which can lead to more debilitating injuries. As the article explains, the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) has proposed a new rule that would require state employers to “implement a written heat illness prevention plan.” This heat illness prevention plan “could be part of a workplace’s already required illness and injury prevention program, which covers all types of risks.”

ryan-wilson-18905-copy-300x300If you are staying at a hotel in Rancho Bernardo with your family, and there is a swimming pool accident, who is liable? Hotel accidents and accidental drowning incidents happen more often than they should. Hotels in Southern California and throughout the country often have signs around pool areas that warn about risks. In some situations, parents sign waivers for their kids to use a hotel pool. Can a hotel still be liable in the event that a drowning incident occurs and a child sustains serious personal injuries?

The facts of each case are different, but it is important to know that warnings and waivers do not always release hotels or other property owners from liability in a swimming pool accident.

Premises Liability and Swimming Pools at California Hotels

bethany-legg-14229-copy-300x200For residents of Vista, California who regularly commute to work in San Diego County or have teen drivers on the road, it is extremely important to be aware of the dangers of distracted driving. As a fact sheet from the National Safety Council (NSC) explains, April is distracted driving awareness month. It is always a good idea to think about how distracted driving can impact our lives and to discuss safe driving and car accident prevention tips with your teen drivers. What else should you know about distracted driving and the risks of a crash in Southern California?

Using Technology to Prevent Distracted Driving in Vista

We often link technology with the increased risks of distracted driving. For instance, according to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), texting or talking on a cell phone while driving can greatly increase the risk of a serious motor vehicle crash. However, sometimes technology can actually help when it comes to distracted driving prevention.

eric-parks-87099-copy-200x300Who is responsible for severe and fatal bicycle accidents that occur in San Diego? The answer to that question depends on the specific facts of the case, but a recent report from NBC 7 News San Diego emphasizes just how important it is to file a bicycle accident lawsuit in Southern California if another party’s negligence results in your injuries. As that report notes, the City Council for the City of San Diego came to a unanimous agreement to pay a $4.85 million settlement to a cyclist who sustained severe and debilitating injuries as a result of an accident caused by uneven pavement.

While many bicycle accidents involve negligent motorists who are not paying attention to their surroundings or motorists who are driving aggressively and strike cyclists, the recent settlement makes clear that matters of premises liability can also affect the rate of bicycle accidents in urban areas.

Details of the Bicycle Accident in San Diego

kalu-ci-146209-300x200For many San Diego residents, the relatively recent and seemingly ever-expanding Takata air bag recall was a source of anxiety and frustration. As you may remember, the Takata air bags installed in dozens of different automobile makes and models ran the risk of exploding as a result of a defective inflator, causing severe and life-threatening shrapnel injuries, and some victims even died as a result of their injuries. Over the last several weeks, Takata news stories have largely focused on culpability for the Takata executives who may have known about the serious product defect yet did not take steps to remedy the issue before consumers got hurt. However, according to a recent article in CNET.com, there is a new Takata air bag safety issue that has prompted another recall.

What do you need to know about the new recall, and what should you do if you drive one of the affected vehicles?

New Takata-Sourced Air Bag Product Defect

Lately, we have had several clients who were treated at Palomar Medical Center after being injured in car accidents (or other accidents), and were asked by hospital staff how the accident occurred, and whether the patient/client intended to hire a lawyer (remember, the accident just happened). The Palomar employee then informs the patient that it will not likely be billing the patient’s health insurance, but will wait and submit medical bills to the patient’s lawyer, and wait to get paid out of the case.

This situation causes a fair amount of confusion to the patient, and a high dose of concern. Some of these patients call to see if the hospital can do this, and worry that they will personally be on the hook for medical bills.

Can Palomar Hospital do this? The short answer is Yes. Under California’s Hospital Lien Act, a hospital that provides medical services to a person injured by an accident or some other wrongful act may place a lien on the damages recovered from the negligent party “to the extent of the amount of the reasonable and necessary charges of the hospital.” Civ. Code § 3045.1.  But what the hospital can recover is not absolute. For example, it cannot take more than half of any amount recovered by the injured party. Also, its lien is secondary to other liens. So, for example, if you hired a lawyer before the hospital perfected its lien, the hospital’s lien would be secondary to your attorney’s lien for fees. Since most personal injury fee arrangements are one-third of the recovery, Palomar could only make a claim for up to half of the rest, which is roughly 33%.

91px-Galago_spine_Mivart-46x300According to a recent study conducted at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and reported in Digital Journal, certain hospital-acquired infections at San Diego healthcare facilities can have a long-term negative impact on spinal cord injury (SCI) patients. SCI patients who acquire pneumonia and other infections while at the hospital being treated for their catastrophic injuries see a drastic impact on their ability to recover. Specifically, the report indicates that “hospital-acquired pneumonia and wound infections negatively affect the clinic long-term outcome after acute traumatic spinal cord injury.” The study appeared in the peer-reviewed journal Neurology.

Importance of Reducing Hospital-Acquired Infections in California

One of the most significant takeaways from the recent Ohio State study is that hospitals must do more to prevent hospital-acquired infections if they are going to see spinal cord injury patients recover to the best of their abilities. Patient protection demands that hospitals take additional steps to reduce the rate of hospital-acquired infections if they are going to take patient safety seriously. As the report explains, “rates of microbial infections in hospitals, although falling due to improved hygiene, remain problematic.”

MYSINGSO-byk-300x116Did you recently purchase a beach chair at the IKEA store in San Diego on Fenton Parkway? While IKEA can be a great option for purchasing reasonably priced furniture, a recent report from the Newport Beach Patch indicates that the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has issued a safety recall of a number of the furniture store’s beach chairs due to the risk of a fall-related injury and the risk of fingertip amputation. To be clear, these chairs have a product defect and can pose an unreasonable risk of injury. If you bought a beach chair at IKEA between February 2013 and December 2016, it is extremely important to learn more about this recall and to take steps to avoid sustaining a preventable personal injury.

How Many Products Have Been Impacted By the Recall?

According to the report, thus far around 33,400 IKEA chairs have been recalled due to the risk of injury. The specific chair that is subject to the recall is the IKEA MYSINGÖ beach chair. They came in a variety of colors, but the chairs have a basic structure in common – they are all foldable and they have a wood base. Each has a polyester fabric seat attached. You can identify the recalled chairs based on the article numbers, which are smaller labels that should be present on the wooden frame of the chair, as well as sewn into the fabric. The following models are subject to the recall:

01 02 03 04