Personal Injury Cases: Preparing to Meet with Your Attorney

People like to think they’re in total control of their destinies, but based on the number of personal injury cases filed each year, this is clearly not the case. People fall, cars collide, and injuries happen – it’s a part of life. Luckily, there are laws are in place to protect people in these types of incidents. If you’ve been hurt in a fall or accident, you have legal recourse if you believe your injury happened due to someone else’s negligence. But the process is tedious, both physically and mentally. You’ll be preparing for your court case while doing rehab for your injury and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Here are a few tips to make your first meeting with an attorney less stressful.

Write Down Everything

A detailed notation is often the key to victory in an injury case. When we say write down everything, we mean everything – the time, the actions that occurred before and after the accident, who was there, how bad your injuries are, etc. Anything you feel is important in accurately relating the incident should be recorded. Both Apple and Android smartphones have a notation app, which is very useful for traffic or outdoor accidents where pen and paper aren’t readily available. Smartphones also have built-in cameras, so take photos of any damaged property or injuries you’ve suffered.

Collect Police Reports

You should always contact police if you’ve been injured or had property damaged in an accident. A police report contains vital information regarding what happened to you. Cops record the names of witnesses, weather conditions, and whether any legal violations were committed. For example, if a police officer notes that one driver in an accident blew a stop sign before colliding with the other driver, that’s a crucial piece of information that can often lead to a settlement before the start of a court case. Make sure you get the name and department of the officer making the report so you can ask for a copy to show your attorney. A police report isn’t a golden ticket to compensation, but it’s one of the most official records a lawyer can use for leverage.

Obtain Medical Records

Documenting any health-related costs you’ve experienced during recovery from an accident is another critical piece of the puzzle in personal injury cases. Keep notes on the names and specialties of any doctors or therapists you see and be in contact with your insurance company to get copies of bills for any treatments or procedures. You should also meticulously track any pain or suffering you experience during your recovery. Write down how you feel, what level your pain is at, and how your injuries are keeping you from performing daily tasks. This isn’t something you can get a detailed doctor’s note for, so record what you’re experiencing with pinpoint precision.

Rush Injury Law has been helping injury victims receive the compensation they deserve for over 15 years. If you’ve been injured in the San Francisco Bay area and need to consult with a lawyer about your options, visit our website or call 415-897-4801.

Car, Truck, and Motorcycle Accidents

The perils we face when behind the wheel are well-known to drivers of all vehicle types. Whether you’re in a sports car, pickup truck, or motorcycle, the rules of the road (and common sense) must be followed to avoid accidents. Operating a vehicle is dangerous. Despite efforts to improve safety in cars and regulations to keep drivers more attentive, motor vehicle accidents are on the rise. The number of automobile fatalities has risen every year since 2014. Fatalities per 100,000 settled to its lowest ever in 2014 at 10.28, but reached 11.59 in 2016. In addition, three million people are hurt in motor vehicle accidents every year, with over 90 deaths per day. Accident injury cases may vary depending on the vehicle involved, so it’s important to know the facts about different types of automobiles.

Car Accidents

Accidents in normal, boring sedans are by far the most common types of accidents. Fortunately, they often also involve the least amount of pain, suffering, and property damage. Still, a car accident shouldn’t be taken lightly. Be sure to get a police report on any accidents and photograph any damages or injuries. Take a trip to the doctor just in case too, you might have injuries that aren’t visible or painful yet.

Truck Accidents

Trucks are bigger and heavier than cars or motorcycles, which is great for hauling construction materials or other massive industrial projects. There’s a downside to the size of trucks however as their size usually means more catastrophic damage or injury to people hit by them. Commercial trucks are even larger, like big-rigs or trash trucks. While they have industrial utility, they also take longer to slow down, have larger blind spots, and generally don’t perform as well as cars. Be wary when driving near large trucks; always stay out of their blind spots and give them a wide berth.

Motorcycle Accidents

Driving a motorcycle is a unique experience you just can’t get if you’re driving a car or truck. There’s a feeling of freedom and excitement that comes from the wind blowing past you and the landscape visible on all sides. Unfortunately, while motorcycle drivers have a clear, unobstructed view of the road, motorcycles are sometimes hard to see for drivers in cars or trucks. Motorcycles are simply more dangerous than other vehicles – the death rate is higher and the coordination and skill required to operate one proficiently is much more taxing than a car. In addition, some riders are resistant to helmet laws, which makes them 11 times more likely to die in an accident. Wear your helmet! Failure to wear a helmet not only increases the chance of death, but it might limit the amount of compensation you can receive in an accident case.

No matter what type of vehicle was involved in your accident, contact Rush Injury Law for a consultation. Accident victims are often entitled to compensation and you don’t want to miss out on a windfall to pay bills and expenses.

What to Do If You’re Bitten by A Dog

Dogs are a staple in many American households and not just as pets, but beloved family members. Dogs are trained around the world for emotional support and therapy, providing comfort to grieving and injured people. Man’s best friend is a very appropriate statement, but untrained dogs with poor or inattentive owners have risks. Over 4 million Americans are bitten by dogs each year and most of the bites happen to young children. We don’t like to think about dogs biting people, but it does occur, and California happens to have some the strictest laws in the country regarding these incidents. If you’ve been bitten by a dog, or if your own dog has acted up and hurt someone, Rush Injury Law can answer any questions you may have.

California Civil Code section 3342 covers dog attacks. States in America have two policies regarding dog bites – strict liability or negligence. California is a strict liability state, meaning owners of dogs who bite rarely escape liability. The law says that a dog’s owner is responsible for any person’s injuries inflicted by the dog in public space or while the person was lawfully on private property. “Lawfully on private property” refers to postal workers, firefighters, police, or emergency personnel. If a police officer chases a suspect into your backyard and your dog bites the officer, you could be on the hook for damages and more. Same goes for anyone invited into your home or property – if they get bit, it’s on you.

The law has protections in place for police or military animals. If a police dog bites someone during the pursuit of a suspect or if the dog was agitated or bothered, a lawsuit won’t fly. These laws aren’t absolute though – a police dog can still get in trouble if it bites in a setting where police are not doing work.

Dog owners aren’t helpless against fraudulent or suspect claims. If the owner can prove that the victim was unlawfully on their property, they may escape blame for dog bites. If the owner can prove that the dog was provoked to the point of being in pain, the victim may lose their case as well.

If you’re bitten by a dog, be sure to immediately sterilize the wounds with soap and water and then apply an antibiotic ointment daily to prevent infection. If bleeding, be sure to elevate the affected area and apply pressure to the area with a clean towel to stop the flow. Be sure to seek medical attention immediately if the bleeding doesn’t subside or if an infection is feared. Your first call should always be to medical personnel, not your attorney. Only discuss legal options once the immediate danger of the injury subsides.

Dog bite victims are often entitled to payment of the medical expenses, lost wages, and personal pain and suffering. Rush Injury Law has attorneys that specialize in getting dog bite victims the compensation they deserve. Contact them today to see if you have a legitimate claim.

Accidental Death Cases

Death isn’t something we like to think about, but it’s a part of life and when it happens accidentally, there are lots of factors to consider. California has one of the lowest rates of accidental death in the country (which is obviously a good thing), but when it does happen, you’ll have questions that only lawyers can answer. The team at Rush Injury Law has years of experience dealing with accidental fatalities. If someone was negligent in the accident, you deserve justice. Our attorneys are dedicated to getting compensation for families who have lost a loved one.

The most common causes of accidental death in California are auto accidents, but injuries, falls, and drug use are contributors as well. According to records, car crashes are the 15th most common cause of death in California, falls are 23rd, other injuries 26th, drug use 42nd, and drownings 45th. These statistics may not seem high, but accidents accounted for nearly 10,000 fatalities. More importantly, accidents are the leading cause of death in children under 15 after congenital birth defects and low birth weight. California’s strict gun laws thankfully keep firearm deaths to a minimum. 

Accidental death cases don’t always end with the victim’s family receiving compensation. There’s a legal difference between wrongful death and accidental death.  If a person is killed because they pulled in front of your car and got hit, that’s likely to be ruled just an accidental death and the deceased at fault. But if a driver has a few drinks and hits a pedestrian, that will be wrongful death and that driver is in deep trouble.

Car accidents are the most prevalent reason that attorneys deal with accidental death cases. Reasons that an automobile accident that might cause a wrongful death case include speeding, failing to yield to stop signs, failing to yield to oncoming traffic, and driving while distracted. Drunk drivers still kill far too many people every year, but deaths from distracted driving are on the rise.

There’s nothing a lawsuit or financial compensation can do to bring back a loved one. Accidental deaths are always tragic; a family member is taken too soon, leaving behind a grieving family. Grief eases with time, but the financial burden families endure when they lose the breadwinner is devastating. When the high earner of the household is taken away, all of a sudden college funds, housing payments, and medical expenses could be unbearable. That’s why it’s critical to build your case through the help of an attorney.

Rush Injury Law knows what to do when these unfortunate events happen. No amount of litigation can ever bring back a family member, but it can ease the burden they leave behind when it comes to paying bills. Wrongful death cases are never easy. Wounds can be reopened during investigations when painful memories surface. But it’s important to discover all the facts if you think your loved one was killed with negligence. The team at Rush Injury Law will fight to get the compensation you deserve.

Slip and Falls on Icy Roads and Walkways

February is one of the coldest months of the year and with it comes snow, ice, and other nasty weather that can make outdoor trips treacherous. Slip and fall accidents (obviously) increase this time of year and business owners have an obligation to keep walkways and stairs clear of ice and snow. Personal injury claims in slip and fall accidents do have to meet several criteria for a settlement to be issued in the state of California. The experts at Rush Injury Law can help determine if your fall is the fault of someone else and collect the compensation you deserve.

Slip and Fall Law in California

California Civil Code 1714 (a) states:

“Everyone is responsible, not only for the result of his or her willful acts, but also for an injury occasioned to another by his or her want of ordinary care or skill in the management of his or her property or person, except so far as the latter has, willfully or by want of ordinary care, brought the injury upon himself or herself.

What does this mean? Property owners must make sure to prevent injuries to passersby by taking care of their surroundings in a reasonable manner. This means clearing ice and snow, laying down salt to prevent slips, and cleaning up wet areas. Most people think of ice and snow, but moisture tracked indoors to supermarkets or other places with tile floors are also hazardous.

The word “reasonable” appears in the law for a specific cause – slip and fall victims must prove they were injured as a result of negligence on the part of the property owner and not because of their own actions.

Comparative Negligence

Slip and fall claims will be denied if the person who fell did so because of their own actions. If the person slipping was inebriated, ignored warning signs, entered a blocked off area, or was distracted by their phone, insurance companies aren’t going to bend over backward to pay you.

In California, comparative negligence is a concept where blame is divvied up between the two conflicting parties. A percentage of fault is placed on the head of both plaintiff and defendant. For example, say a person slips on an icy walkway, but they were distracted watching a video on their phone. The property owner is at fault for not clearing the walkway, but the victim will also share some blame due to their own carelessness. In this case, the property owner might be hit with $20,000 in damages, but only have to pay $15,000 if it’s deemed the accident was 25% the fault of the person who slipped.

Rush Injury Law handles all sorts of personal injury and slip and fall claims, whether it’s from an icy walkway in front of a business or a slippery floor in a movie theater. Our attorneys will help maximize your compensation so that you can account for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. 

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