When To Retain An Attorney On A Personal Injury Case

Have you or a family member been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence?  If so, you probably realize that you have legal claims which you can pursue in a court of law.  But what’s probably less clear is how and when you should initiate that process. Time is of the essence.  All claims for personal injury are limited by something known as a statute of limitations.  Essentially, this is the time frame within which a plaintiff must take… Read More >

Partially At Fault For a Car Accident

Many people wonder if it is possible to sue for injuries sustained in a car accident that was partially their fault.  The answer that that question is “yes,” and the reason is because California adheres to the legal doctrine of “pure comparative negligence.”  In States that apply this legal doctrine, car accident victims can technically recover damages if a third party is at all responsible, regardless of how negligent the victim themselves was in causing the accident.  The catch is… Read More >

Driver Monitoring Programs: The Wave of the Car Insurance Future?

Earlier this year, actor Paul Walker died when the Porsche GT5 in which he was driving tragically crashed around a turn and caught fire.  The super car was fitted with three black boxes, much like those on airplanes, and the information extracted from them (which survived heat in excess of one thousand degrees) has since been used to confirm that the cause of Walker’s accident was excessive speed and not a manufacturing defect or poor maintenance. Although we’re unlikely to… Read More >

The Dangers of Slow Driving

We all know it’s illegal to speed, but did you know that California also makes it illegal to drive too slow?  The restriction is codified into the California Vehicle Code at CVC § 22351, which states: “No person shall drive so slowly or stop on the roadway so as to impede traffic or block the normal and reasonable movement of traffic.” Slow driving doesn’t get as bad a rap as speeding, but it can be just as dangerous.  Slow drivers… Read More >

Social Media And Your Personal Injury Claim

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Social networking has become common-place in our personal lives, but what is far less certain is how the law treats what we post online—particularly in claims for personal injury. In November of last year, the New York Court of Appeals in McCann v. Harleysville Insurance Co. denied a defendant’s motion to access the private Facebook page of a plaintiff who was claiming damages in a personal injury action.  The judge reasoned that the defendant “failed to establish a factual predicate… Read More >

The Dangers of Texting While Driving

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It should come as no surprise that texting while driving increases your chances of getting in an accident.  However, a recent study conducted by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute reveals exactly how dangerous it can actually be. Specifically, Virginia Tech researchers examined the behavior of truck drivers on more than 6 million miles of road and concluded that people who text while they drive are 23 times more likely than non-distracted drivers to crash or have what they call a… Read More >

Generic Drug Users Stripped Of All Legal Recourse

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“Generic” prescription drugs are chemically identical substitutes that offer an affordable alternative to name-brand drugs.  But what if I told you that by choosing a generic–or in many cases, by having that choice made for you by your insurance company or pharmacy–that you were waiving your right to legal recourse in the event that the drug causes you to incur serious injury, even if the generic manufacturer is aware of the risk and chooses to conceal it from you? For… Read More >

Bad Faith Insurance and ERISA: An Overview of Available Damages

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In California, insurance companies owe a duty of good faith and fair dealing to the people who they insure.  This duty is often referred to as the “implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing,” and it automatically exists by operation of law in every insurance contract.  As a general rule, if an insurance provider violates the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, a policy holder may sue in tort in addition to bringing a standard breach of contract… Read More >

Failure Rate for DePuy Hip Replacement May Reach 50%

In August of 2010, DePuy Orthopaedics, a subsidiary of John & Johnson, Inc., announced a recall of its ASR XL acetabular hip implant system after receiving numerous and repeated warnings from orthopaedic surgeon groups that the implant’s rate of failure was substantially higher than the acceptable range.  Now, it appears that the rate of failure may be even higher than previously thought. Last week, surgeons with the British Hip Society and the British Orthopaedic Association announced that failure rates for… Read More >

When Are You Entitled To Future Medical Expenses?

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A proper assessment of damages in personal injury claims requires consideration of future medical expenses.  However, such claims are inherently speculative, since they involve costs that plaintiffs have yet to actually incur.  It is therefore important to understand the threshold for when the law determines they are collectable. Scognamillo v. Herrick is instructive for this purpose.  In Scognamillo, the plaintiff won a verdict that included damages for a surgery his physician predicted he might have to undergo.  Specifically, the plaintiff’s… Read More >