What To Consider When Hiring An Accident Injury Attorney
If you’ve been injured in an accident that was not your fault , you may be entitled to compensation from those liable for your injuries. You should contact a personal injury attorney, and hire one that is right for you and your situation. You definitely want to consider the following prior to hiring an accident injury attorney: (more…)
What are the Similarities and Differences between Wrongful Death and Personal Injury Lawsuits?
Whether dealing with a personal injury or wrongful death, our Paso Robles wrongful death attorneys can review the unique factors of your case and work to maximize your recovery.
Both types of cases require proving that the defendant was responsible for causing damages, usually based on either negligence or strict liability law. In a wrongful death case, there are two California statutes that apply and they involve two different types of lawsuits. California Code of Civil Procedure 377.30-377.35 allows a survival action where the representative of the estate can pursue legal actions for recovery that the deceased person could have pursued, had the person lived. In this respect, the survival action is similar to a personal injury case where you can recover economic losses such as medical bills or punitive damages if the conduct causing injury and death was particularly egregious. Under the Californiawrongful death statutes 377.60 ― 377.62, every family member entitled by law to recover damages files their own claim separately. In addition to spouses, children, siblings and grandparents, putative spouses and their children also have rights to recovery. A putative spouse is one who believed in good faith that the marriage was valid even though it was not (for example, bigamy). In addition, children under the age of 18 who lived with deceased persons for more than 180 days and depended on them for more than half of their survival needs also have a right to recovery, whether related or not.
Paso Robles personal injury lawyers can help you determine your rights to pursue a wrongful death or survival action.
James McKiernan Lawyers offers a free consultation to discuss your case and you owe no fees unless we are successful.
How Does California Negligence Law Affect Recovering Damages?
When you suffer injury because of someone else’s negligence, you generally have the right to recover compensation for damages. Santa Maria personal injury attorneys can review the factors surrounding your injury and devise a strategy to prove negligence and maximize your recovery.
The Supreme Court case ruling that changed how Californiacourts view negligence was Li v. Yellow Cab Co. In this case both the plaintiff and the defendant contributed to causing the accident. Prior to this case, California courts did not allow parties whose negligence contributed to an accident to recover damages. Yet in this case, the Supreme Court set a new precedent by deciding that the plaintiff had the right to compensation. Even so, the court reduced the amount of damages the plaintiff could recover based on her percentage of fault. In the legal world, lawyers refer to this type of negligence law as pure comparative negligence. Even if a plaintiff is 99 percent at fault, they still have the right to recover one percent of damages. The main factor involved in a negligence case is proving the other party was negligent and presenting their actions in such a light that the court assigns the party a significant percentage of fault. Under California Civil Code §1714, anyone lacking ordinary care or skill who causes someone else injury is responsible for damages.
California accident litigators can protect your rights in an accident injury case by thoroughly investigating how the accident occurred and by working diligently to gather evidence and interview witnesses.
James McKiernan Lawyers has established a reputation for being successful in accident cases. James McKiernan is a member of the Million Dollars Advocate Forum, a selective group of lawyers who have obtained million dollar verdicts on behalf of their clients.
What are Some Common Types of Catastrophic Injuries?
Santa Maria catastrophic injury lawyers work with families whose loved ones suffer serious injury because of someone else’s wrongdoing or negligence. When others are at fault,California law allows injury victims to recover compensation to deal with medical costs and other expenses related to the injury.
An injury rises to the level of catastrophic when it permanently prevents the individual from doing any gainful work. Some common severe injuries that fall into the catastrophic injury category include:
- Traumatic brain injury. According to the Family Caregiver Alliance (FCA), every year about 300,000 people who suffer from traumatic brain injury (TBI) require hospitalization and 99,000 experience permanent disability.
- Spinal cord injury. The Foundation for Spinal Cord Injury Prevention, Care & Cure reports that there are approximately 12,000 new SCI cases every year. The number of individuals living with SCI in 2008 was about 259,000 persons.
- Amputation. TheNationalLimbLossInformationCenter indicated that approximately one out of every 200 people in theUnited States experiences amputation, totaling an estimated 1.7 million people with limb loss. Males are at a higher risk for amputations than women and amputations can occur as a result of accidents that cause serious injury, infection or disease.
- Extensive or deep burns. The American Burn Association reports that approximately 3,000 burn deaths occur every year from residential fires and 500 occur from causes such as occupational hazards, traffic accidents and other reasons. Overall, medical practitioners treat around 450,000 burn injuries a year.
Santa Maria injury attorneys can investigate the circumstances of your loved one’s or your catastrophic injury and determine the prospects of recovering compensation.
James McKiernan Lawyers provides excellent representation and has a successful track record for obtaining fair compensation for clients.
How Do Seatbelts and Airbags Save Lives?
Sometimes knowing about statistics can bring home the reality of how important safety precautions are. We all have heard that seat belts and airbags save lives. But to what extent is this true? San Luis Obispo auto accident lawyers can tell you that while following safety precautions reduces the likelihood of injury in an accident, they also serve another advantage. They frequently influence the court or insurance company’s decision to assign you a lesser percentage of fault for injury.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) tracks statistics and evaluates safety measures every year. One of its statistics is estimating how many lives seatbelts and airbags save along with how many lives they could have saved, had people used them. The value in calculating these estimates is that it allows NHTSA to determine the effectiveness of safety devices and laws that enforce their use. NHTSA estimated the following statistics for 2007:
- Seat belts saved the lives of 15,147 people from ages five and older
- Frontal air bags saved 2,788 lives of people age 13 and older
- If people used seat belts 100 percent of the time, they would have saved an additional 5,024 lives
NHTSA also estimates that risks of injury and death reduce by 50 percent when people wear seat belts. The combined use of seat belts and air bags offer adults the greatest protection, but you should use both and not substitute an airbag for a seat belt.
If you or a loved one suffers serious injury in an auto accident, you can discuss your accident with a personal injury attorney in San Luis Obispo free of charge and find out about your rights to recovering compensation.
For more than 30 years, James McKiernan Lawyers has protected people’s rights in auto accident cases and helped them recover damages.