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When you’re admitted to a Southern California hospital for treatment or a routine surgery, are you at risk of being injured because of medical negligence?

According to a recent article in the Los Angeles Daily News, ten different California hospitals received fines last month “after state health inspectors found deficiencies in care that resulted in one patient being abandoned on the side of the road to wait for transportation and another dying because a feeding tube was inserted incorrectly.” In short, investigators discovered serious issues relating to medical mistakes and medical malpractice.

Hospitals Fined Across Three Southern California Counties

Over the last year, we have read many news stories and seen various advertisements related to California’s medical malpractice cap. A ballot initiative, Prop. 46, aimed to raise the current cap to $1.1 million and to allow for inflation adjustments. However, California residents “overwhelmingly voted down Proposition 46,” according to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal.

In addition to voting against the medicameical-malpracticel malpractice cap increase, Californians also voted down an initiative that would have “required routine drug and alcohol testing for hospital doctors,” thereby reducing the number of preventable injuries in hospitals.

Background of the Medical Malpractice Cap Initiative

What should you look for when deciding on a California drug rehabilitation facility?  In many cases, consumers believe the higher the price of the facility, the better the care.  However, many high-end drug rehabilitation facilities in Southern California have victimized patients, and a number of them sustained serious and fatal personal injuries.  Should you look, instead, to see whether a facility has been accredited?  How about facilities that have been licensed and/or certified by the state?

Needles & Therapy
A lot of terms exist to suggest that a facility provides high quality care.  Yet it’s important to remember that neither the price tag associated with a facility, nor its accreditation or certification status, can promise a safe environment for a loved one battling addiction.

Drug Rehab Facility Safety in California

Summer is here, but how safe are some of the most popular warm-weather activities in Southern California?  According to a recent article in ABC News, a San Diego toddler nearly died during a drowning accident at a pool party.  According to the California Department of Developmental Services, drowning is “a leading cause of injury-related deaths among children under the age of five” in our state, and near-drowning accidents frequently result in permanent disabilities.  How can you keep your children safe when swimming is involved?  It’s important to know about water safety, but it’s also essential to know the signs of secondary drowning.

Swimming Pool

Details of the Recent Drowning Accident

When Lindsay Kujawa took her son Ronin to an outdoor pool party and turned her back “for maybe five seconds,” the toddler fell into the water, according to ABC News and Good Morning America.  Kujawa explained that she immediately pulled Ronin out of the water “after about 20 seconds,” and the young boy “seemed unscathed.”  Kujawa specifically emphasized that her son hadn’t turned blue and didn’t seem to be choking on water.  As a result, she assumed he was just fine and that the tumble into the pool hadn’t caused any injuries.

Slips and falls can be especially dangerous, especially when a victim falls from heights.  According to a recent article in U-T San Diego, a young 7-year-old boy sustained critical injuries after he fell “about 30 feet from a third-story window at a Del Mar hotel.”  How did this catastrophic hotel accident occur?  The Child Abuse Unit of the sheriff’s office currently is investigating the accident.  In some cases where serious falls occur, the hotel may have been negligent and can be held responsible for injuries.

Slip and Fall
Falls can occur anywhere, including when we’re on vacation.  If you or a loved one has sustained injuries at a hotel or motel, you should contact a San Diego hotel accident lawyer.  The experienced attorneys at the Walton Law Firm can discuss your personal injury case with you today.

Details of the Del Mar Hotel Accident

defective-tire-lawyerDefective tires are the cause of over 400 deaths annually in this country, and thousands of injuries. A tire defect usually occurs in the manufacturing stage, during a process where fabric, wire, and rubber are molded together to create tires as we know and use them.

Today, San Diego’s 10News concluded an investigation revealing that automobile tires that are being marketed as new, are actually old, raising all kinds of safety concerns. According to the report, there are no federal regulations that require a seller of tires to disclose the actually age of the tire to the consumer. The tire may look new, and be presented as such, but the tire may have been manufactured years earlier.

It is well understood that the structural integrity of rubber will degrade over time, causing the tire to become more susceptible to stress, and more likely to fail in a catastrophic way. The failure of a tire while traveling at a high rate of speed can lead to serious injury or death.

Have you been reading news about sports-related brain injuries? Whether it’s a report about the dangers of concussions or other more immediate life-threatening injuries, these stories are becoming more prominent than they were in previous years (and decades). In fact, the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) states that traumatic brain injuries are now the leading cause of death from sports-related injuries.

From AANS medical reports to the high-profile cases concerning athletes in the National Football League (NFL), it’s important to know the causes and symptoms of these brain injuries. And more significantly, you should know of potential legal claims that can arise from head traumas incurred while playing sports.

What Types of Traumatic Brain Injuries Occur in Sports?

A freelance photographer happened to have his camera at the ready when a semi-tractor trailer truck slammed into a car parked on the side of the I-805 freeway.

According to reports, just prior to the crash a driver clipped an electronic CalTrans sign and knocked it into the freeway. Numerous cars struck the debris, causing traffic to slow. One driver, Doug Calapan, pulled over to the shoulder to report the accident when a large big-rig truck came barreling down upon him. As the video shows, his car was struck with tremendous force.

Amazingly, the Mr. Calapan survived without serious injury.

motorcycle.jpgSouthern California saw yet another unfortunate crash between a vehicle and a motorcycle, leaving several people with injuries. According to 10 News, on Tuesday a Yamaha motorcycle rear ended a 2012 Volkswagen Jetta in San Diego’s Torrey Pines neighborhood. California personal injury lawyers are all too familiar with the dangers of motorcycle versus vehicle accidents like this one. As is usually the case in these types of accidents, the motorcyclist and his passenger sustained injuries that were much more severe than the passengers of the vehicle. The motorcyclist, a male in his 20s, suffered a fractured spine and the motorcycle passenger, a female in her 20s, suffered a broken hip. Luckily, the driver of the Jetta, a man in his 50s, was unharmed, however his two passengers suffered minor injuries.

Motorcycle Safety
This accident is a reminder of the substantially heightened risk that motorcyclists take every time they go out on the road. With this heightened risk in mind, it is of vital importance for motorcyclists to adhere to safety rules, such as traveling a safe distance from other vehicles and wearing the proper safety equipment.

However, even if all of the proper safety measures are taken by motorcyclists it does not guarantee that everyone else on the road will drive safely too. Drivers make negligent decisions every day across the country. Many drivers failed to see riders, cut in front of them, or otherwise engage in risky conduct that increases the risk of collision. When these errors are made if is more often the motorcyclists most often pay the higher price. It is not uncommon for riders to face serious (even fatal) injuries while car drivers and passengers are unharmed.

Legal Assistance
If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident in our area it is important to contact a San Diego motorcycle accident attorney immediately for several reasons. One extremely important reason to contact an attorney as soon as possible following an accident is that statute of limitation laws are applicable to all personal injury and wrongful death cases. This means that if a victim or a victim’s family waits too long to take legal action they may lose their right to bring a lawsuit at all. This time limit varies depending on the particular circumstances of the case—who was hurt, who was at fault, and how they were negligent. Since the time limit can vary greatly it is important to contact a lawyer specializing in personal injury and wrongful death, and can make sure that a suit is brought within the appropriate time frame.

Beyond the statue of limitations, an attorney can help ensure that an appropriate investigation is conducted and that evidence from the accident is obtained and properly saved for a future case. Even if a suit is filed within the statute of limitations, the further away from the time of the accident a case begins, sometimes the harder it is to preserve crucial information about exactly what happened.

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Our San Diego injury lawyer was encourages to read that the California Public Utilities Commission is showing that it takes threats to California consumer safety seriously this week with the announcement that it will investigate allegations of wrongdoing by Pacific Gas and Electric Company (“PG&E”). PG&E is responsible for building and maintaining a large portion of the state’s pipelines that deliver gas to homes and businesses. The investigation comes on the heels of reports filed by two PG&E welders, Marshall Worland and Mike Mikich, both of whom claim that PG&E has violated safety protocols and failed to properly make necessary repairs to existing lines.

According to an article from the San Francisco Chronicle, Worland and Mikich have cited many problems with gas pipelines throughout the state. For example, they have said that many of the state’s older gas transmission lines are plagued by rust and corrosion and are in need of repair or replacement. In addition, Worland and Mikich assert that during the re-installation of pipelines that had been tested for strength using high-pressure water tests, no workers were assigned to inspect the welding and ensure that it was being done properly. The welders say they have personally observed substandard welding work that they claim may make large portions of the gas pipelines extremely dangerous. explosion.jpg

If the welding is not done correctly, of course, the structural integrity of the pipelines will be compromised, and there can be devastating consequences. In fact, part of the reason for concern with the quality and safety of PG&E pipelines stems from an explosion that occurred in September of 2010 when a gas transmission line blew up in a residential area. Eight people were killed, and more than three dozen homes were destroyed in the blast. Since then, PG&E has been under more and more scrutiny, and with the welders’ recent allegations, that scrutiny is only increasing.

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