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Articles Tagged with personal injury

If you were injured in an accident in Carlsbad or in another incident that resulted in a serious personal injury, you may be thinking about your options for seeking financial compensation. If you were harmed in a motor vehicle collision, you could be eligible to seek financial compensation by filing an auto insurance claim before you need to move onto thinking about a lawsuit. Or, if you were injured at work, you could be eligible to obtain medical benefits and money to cover lost wages by filing a workers’ compensation claim. For other types of accidents, the first step may be to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party. 

Whether you have already gone through another claims or benefits process, or you are getting started quickly on your personal injury lawsuit, it is important to understand how comparative fault may affect the outcome of your lawsuit.

What is Comparative Fault? 

Whether you are on the road heading to or from work, or you are driving up the California coast with your family for a weekend vacation, you should know that some types of accidents tend to happen more often in the summer than during other months. Winter weather collisions are not typically an issue in Southern California given that the weather is temperate year-round, but many of the summer and warm-weather accident hazards that exist throughout the country are certainly present in San Diego County and throughout the state in the summer. Travelers Insurance identifies some of the most common causes of car crashes from June through September. The following are tips for avoiding a summer auto accident.

 

  1. High Temperatures can Pose Dangers to Your Vehicle

 
High temperatures can wreak havoc on an automobile if it is not regularly and properly maintained. For example, if tires are underinflated and the weather is particularly hot, you could be at risk of a tire blowout while you are driving. Engines can also be at increased risk of overheating during the summer. Most of the vehicle-related risks that come with hot weather can be avoided if you have your vehicle serviced regularly.

the-climate-reality-project-zr3bLNw1Ccs-unsplash-copy-300x200Nobody wants to think about toxic substances that may exist in the drinking water in Encinitas or elsewhere in Southern California. However, companies have disposed of toxic and otherwise harmful substances in ways that result in serious and fatal harms to consumers in California and throughout the country, giving rise to a category of personal injury lawsuits known as toxic tort claims. Toxic tort injuries in a small town in Southern California made national news back in 1996, yet as a recent article in Grist highlights, those toxic substances continue to have relevance. 

Toxic Torts Legislation in Hinkley, California

Anyone who has seen the film Erin Brockovich (2000) probably remembers the name Hinkley, a town in Southern California made famous in 1996 when, as the article explains, “a group of residents famously won a massive direct-action arbitration against Pacific Gas and Electric.” The case involved allegations against Pacific Gas and Electric, which ultimately was found responsible for “dumping hexavalent chromium (aka chromium-6), a carcinogen used to suppress rust formation at the Hinkley gas compressor station, into an unlined pond in the ‘50s and ‘60s.” By the 1990s, the chromium-6 had seeped into the groundwater in Hinkley, and many people suffered serious injuries.

hush-naidoo-382152-copy-300x200Patients in Vista and elsewhere in Southern California who have suffered injuries as a result of defective medical devices may have been the victims of an outdated medical device approval process. According to a recent article from Global Data Healthcare, patients across the U.S. received medical devices that ended up being dangerous for use and may not have been assessed as well as they could have been by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  

Now, in response to a report on tens of thousands of deaths caused by dangerous medical devices, the FDA has plans to change the way it approves medical devices for patient use.

Investigative Report Exposes Tens of Thousands of Medical Device-Related Fatalities

imthaz-ahamed-156276-unsplash-copy-300x169Whether you live in Encinitas or another part of San Diego County, you should know about a bill that has been introduced in California to “prohibit settlement agreements that keep secret information about dangerous products and environmental hazards,” according to a recent article in the Sacramento Bee. The bill is not the first of its kind. To be sure, a number of other states have enacted similar laws to help ensure that consumers can have important information about hazardous products that could cause personal injuries. We want to provide some more information about the bill, and to give you an idea of how it could impact personal injury lawsuits in Southern California concerning product defects.

Confidential Settlements and Defective Products in California

Assemblyman Mark Stone introduced Assembly Bill 889, which is designed to prevent lawsuit settlements that are conditioned on information about defective products that could pose “a danger to public health and safety” being kept confidential. Currently, when consumers file lawsuits against manufacturers after being injured by a product with a safety defect, for example, the manufacturer can settle the lawsuit and require the consumer to agree to confidentiality. Often, such confidentiality is to ensure that a protective order issued by the court that “prevent[s] plaintiffs from disclosing information that they have learned and insist, as a condition of settling a lawsuit, that the parties remain silent about the matter.”

nabeel-syed-2856-copy-300x200If you live in Rancho Bernardo and regularly commute within the San Diego area, you probably know that self-driving cars have become a frequent topic of conversation and concern in California. Many Southern California residents are not yet ready to share the road with autonomous vehicles, while others in the industry are pushing for the expansion of the self-driving car market. On the one hand, those in favor of self-driving cars argue, for instance, that these vehicles “will help create a safer, cleaner, and more mobile society,” according to a recent article in Science Magazine. On the other hand, some consumer safety advocates contend that the costs associated with autonomous vehicles may not outweigh the safety benefits, according to a recent report in USA Today.

Where does California law stand on autonomous vehicles and auto accidents? How should Rancho Bernardo residents assess the risks and benefits of self-driving cars?

Liability and Manufacturer Specifications

joao-victor-xavier-304057-copy-300x169If your teenager plays contact sports or engages in other activities in San Clemente that increases his or her risk of a concussion, is it better to avoid these sports altogether? Do the benefits of team sports and individual recreational activities outweigh the potential harms associated with a mild traumatic brain injury (TBI)? According to a recent report from NPR, teens may be sustaining concussions at a higher rate than most parents would like to believe. The report cites a research letter that was recently published in the peer-reviewed journal JAMA, which indicates that “approximately 20 percent of teens . . . have been diagnosed with at least one concussion.”

What is causing teen concussions at such a high rate? What steps can parents take to reduce the risk of a TBI altogether, and to ensure that their child heals properly after sustaining a head trauma?

High School Students Surveyed About History of Head Injuries

bethany-legg-14229-copy-300x200Many Valley Center residents have heard about the risks of distracted driving. Indeed, as a report from ABC News 10 discusses, on January 1, 2017 additional cell phone laws took effect that prevent California drivers from holding a phone or doing anything more than making a single tap or a single swipe. While drivers are still permitted to use cell phones as GPS devices, provided that they are mounted somewhere in the vehicle, the change to the law aims to prevent distracted driving accidents. What about distracted walking? While the term might sound like an odd one, it is becoming a relatively serious problem in California and throughout major urban areas in the country.

According to a recent report from KEYT News 3, a local official is proposing a change to the law. In short, in order to improve public safety, San Mateo County Supervisor David Canepa is hoping to institute a distracted walking law that “would make it illegal to use the crosswalk while using your cell phone.” Is such a law likely to pass? Is it necessary to prevent pedestrian accidents?

Pedestrian Accidents on the Rise Due to Smartphone Use

joao-victor-xavier-304057-copy-300x169Is high school football in San Marcos really as dangerous as scientists and physicians have been suggesting? Does playing high school football increase young athletes’ risk for sports-related concussions and more serious traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), in addition to placing them in danger of developing the degenerative brain condition known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE)? Most physicians would say, in general, yes. However, according to a new study published in JAMA Neurology, not all high school football players appear to have sustained long-term damage from playing the sport in their youth. High school football players in the 1950s did not, on the whole, show signs of cognitive impairment.

This study appears to call into question some of the recent research on TBIs and high school football. What are the key takeaways from this study, and should this research change the way we manage the risk of brain injuries in contact sports?

Study Explores Link Between Youth Sports-Related Concussions and Long-Term Cognitive Health

david-cohen-249124-copy-300x160Could a multi-vehicle accident caused by road rage and aggressive driving happen in Vista, California? According to a recent report from ABC News, a motorcyclist’s road rage and aggressive driving caused a serious crash around Santa Clarita. The collision involved a sedan and a pickup truck, and that pickup truck overturned as a result of the crash. The motorcyclist—who was caught on film by other drivers, fled the scene of the car accident. The incident should alerts drivers throughout Southern California to the serious risks associated with road rage and other forms of aggressive driving.

Details of the Road Rage Accident

According to report, the accident happened at approximately 5:45 a.m. on a recent weekday morning. While witnesses could not say precisely what started the altercation, those heading southbound on State Road 14 managed to film a motorcyclist who “appears to try to kick the sedan” the approaches on his right. As a result of the motorcyclist’s behavior, the “sedan veers to the left and briefly collides with the motorcyclist before losing control and crashing into the highway divider wall.”

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