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Providing legal counsel to San Jose and the Bay area for over 30 years in the areas of criminal defense, personal injury, employment and disability law.
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California injury lawyer, California defect product attorneySeven states and Washington, D.C. have legalized marijuana. An additional 28 states now have medical marijuana laws. With these changes, a new cause of injury has become known: defective marijuana. It may sound strange today, but experts believe that in the future consumers will be injured more frequently by marijuana sold at dispensaries. In order for consumers to be compensated for their injuries from marijuana, they must file a type of lawsuit called a product liability suit against the retailers, wholesalers, distributors and/or manufacturers of the drug. Product liability lawsuits seek to hold parties responsible for putting defective products into the marketplace for public use.

First Marijuana Product Liability Case Filed

The first lawsuit of this kind was filed in Colorado in 2015. A consumer alleged that the marijuana he purchased was laced with a harmful fungicide that he ingested. He claimed he would never have purchased marijuana that used such potentially dangerous ingredients. The consumer argued that marijuana companies are cutting corners in order to more easily grow plants and to create a more potent product.

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California injury attorney, California accident lawyerTraumatic brain injuries range in severity and can be sustained in many ways. Because of this, there are a number of ways doctors treat traumatic brain injuries (TBIs).

What Is a TBI?

A TBI is a brain injury that is sustained after the head is jolted or shaken. A type of mild TBI that most people are familiar with is a concussion. Falls, sports, and car accidents are common causes of TBIs. The Center for Disease Control estimates that each year there are approximately 2.5 million TBIs sustained. Some of those will be severe and require hospitalization.

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California accident lawyer, California injury lawCeiling collapse is a dangerous threat to poorly-maintained and poorly-constructed rental units and homes. Victims of ceiling and balcony collapse are often caught by surprise and can sustain serious injuries, such as head trauma or death. In order to bring a suit against the responsible parties, victims of ceiling collapse should bring a premises liability lawsuit with the help of a skilled attorney.

What Causes a Ceiling Collapse?

Water is the most common culprit. Leaky pipes running above the ceiling are a major source of ceiling collapse. Another source is a lack of waterproofing. The Berkeley balcony accident that killed 13 students several years ago was possibly caused by wood rot from water damage over time, experts said.

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California truck crash lawyer, California car crash attorneySelf-driving passenger cars made headlines years ago when they first were road tested, and in the foreseeable future will likely become commonplace. The same technology used in these cars is now being tested on tractor-trailers.  A self-driving truck manufacturer, Otto, has been conducting trial runs in Ohio. In October 2016, an Otto truck made the first commercial shipment by a self-driving truck when it drove 120 miles to deliver a shipment of beer.

This is the first of many trips Otto trucks will make during its test program in Ohio. As part of the test program, a human operator will ride in the passenger cab to intervene if need be.

Safety of Self-Driving Cars and Trucks

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California accident attorney, California injury lawyerSome accident victims find themselves in the unfortunate situation of sustaining an injury when they are already injured or unhealthy. It can feel like you are being kicked when you are down. They may think that because they were already injured prior to the accident that they cannot recover at all. This is not true. We have helped many personal injury clients with preexisting conditions be compensated for injuries from accidents where they were not at fault.

California Law on Preexisting Conditions

Under California law, an accident victim may recover to the full extent that his or her condition has worsened as a result of an accident. This is what is known as “taking a victim as you find him.” It is not a defense to say that a healthier person would not have had as many injuries. California Civil Jury Instruction 3927 states that an accident victim:

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California accident attorney, California injury lawyerDriving at night means that you are three times more likely to die in a car accident than in the daytime, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Also, single-vehicle fatal accidents are much more likely to happen at night. During the nighttime, six of 10 fatal crashes involve one vehicle. During the daytime, six of 10 fatal accidents a involve at least two vehicles.

There are a number of reasons for this. Some are in a driver’s control while others are outside a driver’s control.

Contributing Factors Outside a Driver’s Control

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Posted on in Personal Injury

California accident attorney, California injury lawyerIf you have been hurt in a car accident, there is a one in five chance the driver of the car that hit you was driving distracted. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were about 297,000 distraction-affected car accidents in the United States in 2014. This accounts for 18 percent of all injury crashes.

California has some of the toughest distracted driving laws in the country. California highly regulates what you can and cannot do on your smartphone while driving. The newest regulation requires a driver to only use a smartphone if it is mounted to the dash or windshield, and the driver is limited to one finger tap or swipe.

If the person who hit you was driving distracted, it can help your case by proving that the other driver was at fault. Fault can be a difficult part of a case to prove.

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California injury attorney, California workers compensation attorneyIf you have been injured on the job, your case could sound in workers’ comp, which would mean that your employer is responsible for your injuries. In some cases, another party may be responsible or partially responsible for your injuries. This would mean that you have a third-party claim.

What Is a Third-Party Claim?

A third-party claim arises when someone other than your employer caused your injuries. For example, if you are working on a construction site and a party who is not your employer created a dangerous condition that leads to your injury, you can file a third-party claim.

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Posted on in Personal Injury

California accident attorney, California dog bite lawyerDog bite injuries can leave victims of an attack in serious condition. There can be deep wounds, and there is a risk for serious disease. Medical care is required in approximately 20 percent of all dog bites, according to the American Veterinary Medical Foundation. Alarmingly, about half of all dog bite victims are children who are more vulnerable to injury that could last for years. If you or your child has been injured, you should not be forced to pay medical bills and go uncompensated for the pain stemming from the dog attack.

Types of Damages in a Dog Bite Case

Many people who are injured undervalue how much they believe they are owed because they do not understand the types of damages for which they may be eligible. These types of damages include:

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b2ap3_thumbnail_video-camera_20170125-144023_1.jpgIn today’s world, most businesses - from gas stations to department stores - have video cameras recording the premises. Also, with so many people owning smartphones, people are able to video record at any time. Given that video recording is more commonplace, videos are increasingly playing a larger part in personal injury cases. Many times this can help an accident victim, but it can also hurt the case of someone bringing suit.

Video Footage Can Help Your Case

Video footage of your accident typically helps your case. Video footage is more powerful than testimony. If there is no video footage, a jury or judge will have to listen to eyewitnesses testify about how the accident occurred. Video footage can show the jury or judge exactly what transpired and can show how traumatic your accident was.

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California accident lawyer, California injury attorneyWhen you are in an accident that is not your fault, California law provides that you be compensated for several types of injuries. This holds true whether your claim is based on a car accident, a slip and fall, a dog bite, or a defective product.

What Does the “Value of Your Case” Mean?

Most of the time accident victims do not know the value of their case. When lawyers talk about the “value of your case,” they are referring to how much a judge or jury would award you if your case went to trial.

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Calfornia injury laws, California personal injury attorneyImagine you are at an ATM bank machine, and after you make a withdrawal, you are violently attacked and robbed. Under California law, it may be possible that the bank, other business owner or property owner where the attack took place is liable for your injuries. This area of law is called “ premises liability.”

Premises liability is separate from criminal law. Going back to the ATM example, the district attorney could prosecute your attacker, and the court could sentence him to jail time. In addition, a personal injury attorney could file a suit based on premises liability against the business or property owner in an attempt to get you monetary compensation for your injuries.

Business owners are generally required to take measures to protect visitors from crimes committed at the business. Business or property owners, especially those in high crime areas, could have a duty to provide security personnel, good lighting, security cameras, locks, alarms, and fences.

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California car accident attorney, California personal injury lawyerRide-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft have become popular ways to get around cities. These new companies posed an issue, however, for what party and what insurer would be responsible for injuries in the event of a car accident. These insurance coverage issues have been addressed by California. However, this area of law is new and could see changes as new problems arise.

Types of Accidents Involving Uber

There are several ways an accident can happen with an Uber driver where the Uber driver is at fault:

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Posted on in Personal Injury

California injury attorney, California car accident lawyerWhiplash is commonly reported by people in car accidents. In fact, it is the most common motor vehicle accident injury. Many San Jose car accident attorneys find that people do not know what whiplash is until they experience it for themselves. Whiplash is a serious condition that affects one of the body’s most vulnerable parts: the neck and spine. Whiplash can injure spinal bones, spinal discs and neck tissue, nerves, muscles, and ligaments.

Whiplash Definition

Whiplash is inflicted on drivers or passengers in a car accident that causes the head to rapidly move back and forth. This injury gets its name because the neck moves in such a way that looks like a cracking whip. Whiplash is most often caused by rear-end collisions. However, whiplash injuries can be sustained by any type of car accident or any other traumatic accident.

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California product liability attorney, California personal injury lawyerE-cigarettes may be gaining in popularity among smokers, but these new devices have left numerous people severely injured. Because these are hand-held devices and are devices used close to or touching the face, these exploding e-cigarettes pose serious danger.  If you have been injured by a defective e-cigarette, vape pen or any other malfunctioning device, you may be entitled to compensation under a legal theory of personal injury law called “product liability.”

Cause of Exploding E-Cigarettes

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, the battery is the part of the e-cigarette that causes the explosion. E-cigarettes use lithium ion batteries with flammable liquid electrolytes. This liquid is prone to overheating and exploding when the battery receives too much voltage when charging. This is just one of the reasons why e-cigarettes explode. E-cigarettes are a new technology, and the industry is not highly regulated. Many e-cigarettes are produced in China.

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California injury attorney, California car accident lawyerHit and run accidents are common and occur when a driver of a car involved in an accident leaves the scene. These drivers have no regard for the people they may have injured or the property they damaged. Hit and run accidents involve other cars, bicycles, and pedestrians. If you have been injured in a hit and run, you are still eligible to receive compensation.

Incidents of Hit and Run Accidents

According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, in one year in San Jose alone, there were 293 hit and run accidents reported. In Santa Clara County, 400 hit and run accidents were reported in 2013, the most recent year data is available. Officials have said that Los Angeles suffers from a hit and run epidemic.

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California accident attorney, California wrongful death lawyerWrongful deaths are tragic and unfortunately happen frequently each year. According to the Center for Disease Control, there were 136,053 unintentional injury deaths and 13,959 unintentional fall deaths in the United States in one year.

What Is a Wrongful Death Claim?

Wrongful death claims are a type of lawsuit that can be brought by a deceased person’s family when the deceased person died in an accident that was not his or her fault. It may be possible for the family to recover even if the family member died due to reasons that were partially his or her fault.

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California accident attorney, California personal injury lawyerBurn injuries can happen in a variety of ways in a variety of places. They can happen at home, at work, or while in public. Regardless of how you are burned, the injuries from burns can be severe and life-altering. Under California law, you may be entitled to money damages if you sustained the burns in an accident where you were not at fault.

There are several common causes or sources of burn injuries:

  • Heat. Contact with overly hot items, liquid, or gas can cause burns. For example, touching a piece of exposed, overheating equipment or getting hot coffee spilled on you can cause a heat burn;
  • Chemicals. Exposure to chemicals, many of which are found in houses, can cause burns. Bleach, rock salt, ammonia, drain cleaners, lye, and rust remover can all cause chemical burns if they are left on bare skin too long;
  • Electricity. Electrical burns happen after a victim comes into contact with electricity or lightning. Electrical burns are unique because the can be internal and can cause extensive damage throughout the body; and
  • Friction. Friction occurs when the skin moves over a hard surface. These types of burns are likely to happen in accidents where someone falls out of a moving vehicle, for example.

People often underestimate the value of burn injuries. Keep in mind that you should be compensated for all medical costs, including medical costs you will have to pay in the future and the cost of any plastic surgery. Burn victims should also be compensated for pain and suffering. In addition, the victim should be compensated for any lost wages. Special consideration is also given to disfigurement.

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California truck accident attorney, California personal injury lawyerGetting in an accident with a large truck can have serious consequences. Semi-trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. Such a large vehicle is no match for cars on the road, especially at high speeds on highways and interstates. According to the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, in 2014 there were 411,000 accidents involving large trucks that were reported to police. About one-fifth these accidents resulted in at least one injury or death.

Trucking Regulations

Federal and state governments regulate trucks because of the dangers they pose. Many times when there is a truck accident, an attorney will also discover that the truck was not in compliance with the minimum requirements set out in the regulations. If this is the situation, it will help your accident case.

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California injury attorney, California accident lawyerIf you have been involved in an accident and believe that a governmental entity is at fault, the law requires that you take particular steps in order file suit. Governments have additional protections from lawsuits that individuals and businesses do not. This is called “sovereign immunity,” and it can limit a governmental entity's liability or damages.

If you want to sue the State of California, the California Tort Claims Act will likely require that you pursue an administrative remedy through the Government Claims Program. If that claim is rejected or denied, you could then bring a lawsuit in court. Other governmental entities have different procedures that you must follow, but usually you must file an administrative claim first.

When administrative claims are required, it is imperative that you get guidance from an attorney knowledgeable in filing suits against government entities. The claims must be carefully worded and set forth the proper information. Failure to provide complete information could result in your claim getting denied and will limit your future lawsuit in court to what was stated in your administrative claim.

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