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.

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. 

Medical Liens in Personal Injury Cases

Medical bills can quickly start to pile up immediately after an accident, and a personal injury case can take months or sometimes even years to resolve. As a result, many personal injury victims are left wondering what to do about their medical bills while they wait for a settlement or verdict in their case. If you find yourself in this situation, it’s important to learn about the role of medical liens in personal injury cases.

Any party that pays for a victim’s medical expenses can file a lien against the victim’s personal injury case. This means that the party will cover the cost of treatment for now, but they expect to be reimbursed as soon as the victim is awarded compensation from the at-fault party.

For example, let’s say you are involved in a serious car accident and taken to a local hospital for treatment. You are required to stay in the hospital for several days so doctors can ensure you are in stable condition before you are released. Even if you are insured, it’s possible that your insurance will not cover all of the expenses related to your treatment. Most of the time, the hospital expects the patient to pay the remaining balance of the bill. But if you are filing a personal injury claim against the other driver, the hospital can file a lien against your case instead.

Many people are surprised to learn that health insurance providers can also file a lien against a personal injury case if they have covered any of the victim’s medical expenses. However, there are limits on how much the health insurance provider can recoup from your settlement and other rules that must be followed in order for the lien to be enforced.

Medical liens allow personal injury victims to get the treatment they need without having to worry about how to pay for their expenses before they are awarded compensation. But, it’s important to work with an experienced personal injury attorney to ensure the parties that are filing liens against your case are complying with the law and not asking for more than what they deserve.

If you have been injured, contact personal injury attorney James Rush at Rush Injury Law. James Rush will protect your rights to ensure you are not taken advantage of while fighting for the compensation that you deserve. To schedule a free consultation, call our office at 415-897-4801 or fill out the online form on our website

Who Has the Burden of Proof in a Car Accident Case?

Most people are familiar with the phrase “innocent until proven guilty,” which means a criminal defendant is presumed innocent until the prosecution has proved otherwise. In criminal cases, the burden of proof falls on the prosecution. But, what about in personal injury cases involving a car accident? Here’s what you need to know about the burden of proof in a car accident case:

The Victim Must Prove Fault
If you are injured in a car accident, the at-fault driver’s insurance company will not compensate you until you have proved that their policyholder is truly at fault for the crash. Therefore, the person who is attempting to recover compensation in a car accident case has the burden of proof.

For example, let’s say you are rear-ended by a distracted driver while you’re stopped at a red light. The other driver was clearly to blame in this accident, but it is still your responsibility to prove this to the driver’s insurance company.

Determining who has the burden of proof becomes more complicated when both drivers are partly responsible for the accident. For instance, let’s say someone rear-ends you after you slam on the brakes in the middle of the road because you realize you’re about to miss your turn. The other driver could say that both of you are to blame. He is at fault for not stopping his vehicle before it hit yours, and you are at fault for slamming on the brakes when it wasn’t an emergency. In this case, the other driver will have to prove that you were partly to blame and you will have to prove that the other driver was partly to blame.

How to Prove Fault
Pictures from the scene of the accident can be very useful when it comes to proving fault in a car accident case. It is recommended that you snap photos of property damage, injuries, the positioning of the cars, debris on the road, and nearby traffic signals. Statements taken from witnesses can also be used to prove the other driver was at fault. A witness may have seen the driver driving erratically or not paying attention in the moments leading up to the crash.

If your case is complex, an accident reconstruction expert may be needed. This expert witness can use the photos and other evidence from the scene to recreate the accident and prove which driver was to blame.

Have you been injured in a car accident caused by a negligent driver? Let personal injury attorney James Rush at Rush Injury Law help. James Rush will immediately get to work gathering the evidence that he needs to prove the other driver is to blame for the crash. To schedule a free consultation, call our office at 415-897-4801 or fill out the online form on our website

Benefits of A Spoliation of Evidence Letter After A Truck Accident

It’s important to contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible anytime you think that you’ve been injured due to the negligent acts of another person. Getting in touch with an attorney right away is especially important in the event that you are injured in a truck accident. Why? An attorney will need to act quickly to send the trucking company a spoliation of evidence letter after a truck accident.

What is a Spoliation of Evidence Letter?
A spoliation of evidence letter is written in order to demand that certain evidence that is relevant to the case is not destroyed.

The Benefits of Sending A Spoliation of Evidence Letter
Personal injury attorneys must review a lot of evidence in order to determine who is liable in a truck accident case. Most of this evidence is in the trucking company’s possession, so if your attorney doesn’t act quickly, some of the evidence could be intentionally or accidentally destroyed by the trucking company.

For example, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires that all trucking companies keep detailed records of inspections, repairs, and driver logs. These documents contain valuable information about the driver’s trip and the truck’s maintenance that could be crucial to your case. But, trucking companies are only required to hold onto these records for six months, at which point they can be legally destroyed. If a spoliation of evidence letter is not sent within this timeframe, the evidence that you need to prove liability in your case could be destroyed.

Once the letter is sent, the trucking company should comply with the request and hold onto the documents. But unfortunately, many trucking companies still try to escape liability by destroying the documents. If this happens, the fact that the company destroyed evidence after receiving a spoliation of evidence letter could be used against them in court. The jury may see the destruction of evidence as a sign of guilt, which means they will be more likely to rule in your favor. So, even if a spoliation of evidence letter is not enough to convince the trucking company to preserve the evidence, the fact that you sent this letter will still work to your advantage.

Have you been injured in a truck accident? There’s no time to waste—contact personal injury attorney James Rush at Rush Injury Law now. James Rush will send a spoliation of evidence letter right away to ensure every piece of evidence is preserved. To schedule a free consultation, call our office at 415-897-4801 or fill out the online form on our website