4 Serious Injuries that You Can Sustain in a Slip and Fall

Any business or space open to the public has the duty to keep its premises free of tripping hazards. If you have slipped and fallen at a business, you may be able to recover for your injuries under California law.

Injuries resulting from a slip and fall can range in severity, however many people are left with long-term or permanent health problems. For example, in the context of falling on the job, about one-quarter of slip and fall accident result in more than 31 days away from work.

Read on for four common and severe injuries that can result from a slip and fall.

1) Head Injuries

The head is the most vulnerable part of our body. Any injury involving the head should be treated and monitored closely by medical professionals. Brain injuries such as swelling, and bleeding are not always visible. Moreover, brain injuries may only reveal themselves later in the form of concentration issues, emotional instability, and trouble with critical thinking. These types of injuries are usually highly compensable under the law because they affect the victim so profoundly.

2) Broken Bones

Broken bones are usually more easily detected than head injuries as they can be accompanied by large amounts of pain, swelling and bleeding. Broken bones can take months to heal and require additional rehabilitation work. Broken bones can keep people from working for significant periods of time.

That being said, not all broken bones are easy to detect. In the case of fractures, X-rays will be required. This is why it is important to visit a doctor after you fall even if you do not suspect that you broke a bone.

3) Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cord injuries can result in temporary or permanent paralysis. These injuries are caused by the severing or compression of the spinal cord. The closer to the head the spinal cord injury occurs, the more complicated the injury will be. Spinal cord injuries treatment can easily cost well into the seven figures in surgeries, trauma care, rehabilitation and in-home care. As a result, it is critical for victims to protect their legal rights if a spinal cord injury is suspected.

4) Soft Tissue Damage

Soft tissue injuries affect the muscles, ligaments, and tendons and may be diagnosed as a sprain or a strain. These injuries can be painful and result in time away from work, the need for crutches, an inability to engage in activities, and other issues. In some cases, they may require significant medical treatment and may never completely resolve.

Call a Huntington Beach Slip and Fall Lawyer Today to Schedule a Free Consultation

Slip and fall cases are often not easily proven, and simply because you fell and were injured does not mean you automatically have a claim.

Having an attorney review your claim is critical to your case’s success. An attorney will be able to look at the facts of your case and identify weaknesses and strengths.

You should speak to an attorney as soon as possible after your accident so that you can be sure your rights are protected and so the attorney can begin collecting evidence. Our firm offers free case evaluations and usually takes slip and fall cases on a contingency basis, meaning you will not pay our attorney unless you prevail.

Call our office at  714-625-8914 or reach out to us using our online contact form.

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Can You Hold Parents Liable for Bullying at School?

School bullying takes many forms, from name calling and harassment to internet and cyber bullying. In many cases, cyber bullying can be even worse than physical bullying because of the anonymity and breadth associated with it. Cyber bullying may come in many forms, such as malicious online messages, harassment, sharing private or indecent photographs, or posting false information in a public forum.

Under California law, parents can be civilly liable – and in some cases criminally liable – for their children’s bullying, depending upon how far the bullying goes. If your child has been a victim of bullying at school, the bully’s parents may be liable for any damages sustained or injuries incurred. Our Huntington Beach personal injury lawyers have the legal knowledge and skills necessary to confront school bullying head-on and to hold the proper parties accountable.

California Parental Responsibility Laws

California’s parental liability laws hold parents liable for the willful misconduct of their minor children. Specifically, the California statute states as follows:

Any act of willful misconduct of a minor that results in injury or death to another person, or in any injury to the property of another may be imputed to the parent or guardian having custody and control of the minor for all purposes of civil damages.

The California statute also states that the custodial parent or guardian may be held jointly liable with the minor for the minor’s willful misconduct, for an amount not to exceed $25,000 for each wrongful act. While this $25,000 limit can include compensation for medical bills and treatment, it cannot include compensation for non-economic damages like pain, suffering, emotional distress, or mental anguish.

Definition of ‘Willful Misconduct’

Under the statute, “willful misconduct” means that the minor did something on purpose and requires that the minor child intended to act “beyond the level of mere negligence.”

California law also subjects parents and guardians to potential criminal liability for the acts of their minor children. Specifically, the law requires parents to exercise reasonable care, supervision, protection, and control over their children, and failing to do so can result in a misdemeanor criminal charge and a potential jail sentence.

Parental Responsibility for Injury or Death Caused by a Minor Child

Under California law, a parent may be liable for an injury or death caused by a minor child if both of the following circumstances hold true:

  • The parental negligence made it possible for the child to cause the injury.
  • The parental negligence made it probable that the child would act in the way he or she did.

Evidence of parental knowledge can be proven by either direct or circumstantial evidence at trial.

Contact a Huntington Beach Personal Injury Attorney Today to Discuss Your Case

School bullying and harassment can have significant short and long-term effects on child victims. Fortunately for victims, it may be possible to obtain compensation for the parents of children who harm others. To discuss your case, contact the experienced Huntington Beach, California personal injury attorneys at The Law Office of Brent W. Caldwell by calling 714-625-8914, or contact us online.

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Kids with Special Needs May Require a Heightened Level of Supervision at School

For nine months out of the year, your children spend much of their time at school. It’s natural to be concerned about their safety and supervision while they’re there. In fact, school officials owe a duty of care to every student. Additionally, the law holds that students with special needs are owed an even greater level of supervision.

Supervision Standards

Schools must provide all students with general supervision, which relates to the supervision of groups of children by a specified number of supervising adults (such as at recess). Schools must also provide all students with specific supervision, which relates to the supervision of students who are engaged in activities that would be inherently dangerous without careful instruction (such as a woodworking project). For students with special needs, on the other hand, a school’s standard of care must extend to a more individualized focus on that child’s specific needs. The child’s known special needs, including behaviors and physical limitations, must be factored in when framing the level of necessary supervision for that child.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act requires that students with special needs who qualify for special education and related services be afforded Individualized Education Programs (IEP) that are tailored to their own needs. If the identified students also have behavioral issues that could interfere with their own or someone else’s education or that could harm them or someone else, those students must also receive a behavioral plan. Each student’s IEP, including the behavioral plan, will guide the professional standard of care that must be upheld for that individual student.

Heightened Level of Supervision

Once established, the heightened level of supervision for children with special needs must be maintained for their own and other students’ safety. Put simply, schools have a higher duty of supervision for students with special needs. If your child was harmed at school due to a lack of adequate supervision on the school’s part, first seek immediate medical attention for your child and then consult an experienced personal injury attorney with expertise in school negligence cases.

IF Your Child Was Harmed Due to School Negligence, Contact a Qualified Huntington Beach Personal Injury Lawyer Today

If a lack of adequate school supervision has harmed your child, the Law Offices of Brent W. Caldwell can help. Brent Caldwell understands school negligence cases, and he has the commitment and expertise to fight for justice for you and your child. To schedule a consultation with one of our experienced personal injury lawyers, call our office today at 714-625-8914 or send us an email through our online contact form.

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Is California a Strict Liability State for Dog Bites?

In California, the law favors dog bite victims. In most situations, if a dog bites another person, the dog’s owner will responsible for the injuries stemming from the bite. This is largely due to California’s dog bite statute that imposes strict liability on dog owners for injuries caused by their pets.

What is Strict Liability?

Strict liability is a legal term that means that a person will be liable for injuries if the accident occurs regardless of fault. In a typical personal injury accident case, an injured person must show that someone acted negligently or unreasonably. For example, if someone tripped on a rug in a store, that person would have to prove that the store acted unreasonably in having a tripping hazard on its premises. In dog bite cases, a victim does not have so show that anyone acted with negligence.

Thus, it is not a defense for the dog owner to say that the dog was wearing a muzzle or that the owner took other reasonable precautions to prevent the accident. The fact that the dog bite occurred means that the accident victim should be compensated for his or her injuries.

The California dog bite law specifically states that a dog’s former viciousness or lack thereof does not factor into whether someone will be considered liable. Because the dog bite statute imposes strict liability, typically dog bite cases are easier to prove.

What are the Requirements to Prevail in a Dog Bite Case?

There is one requirement under the law that dog bite victims must prove. The dog bite victim has to be attacked in a public place or a private place where the victim was lawfully. If you are invited into a home and are attacked inside, you are lawfully in a private place.  So long as this requirement is met, strict liability will apply and the dog’s owner will be responsible for paying for your damages.

Who Actually Pays for My Injuries?

Dog bite injuries can be severe and compensation can be high. Many dog bite victims incur medical expenses, lose income because they miss work, and experience significant physical and emotional pain and suffering. If the attack has left the victim scarred or disfigured, there will be additional compensation.

Typically, the dog owner does not have to pay out of pocket. Rather, there are likely insurance companies that are liable. Insurance policies can be difficult to interpret and many times the insurer will argue that there is no coverage under the policy.

This is where a trained dog bite lawyer can argue on your behalf. A lawyer will be able to determine what insurance policies cover the accident and argue to a court that they do in fact provide coverage.

Many people know the owner of the dog who attacked them and are relieved to find out that this friend or acquaintance will not have to pay directly. The representation of an attorney can also help prevent any personal issues from arising between neighbors or acquaintances after a dog bite.

Contact a Huntington Beach Dog Bite Attorney Today

If you have been bitten by a dog, you have a limited time to bring your claim As a result, it is important to speak to an attorney as soon as possible.  To schedule a free consultation with an attorney, call the Law Offices of Brent W. Caldwell today at  714-625-8914 or get in touch with us through our online contact form.

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Can Apologizing after an Accident Ruin your Chances of Recovering Compensation?

After an accident, many people have the urge to apologize. While it may be good manners to apologize, it is not a good idea to do so from a legal perspective. Even a simple “I’m sorry” could be taken as an admission of fault, potentially damaging your ability to recover compensation. While accidents can occur in myriad ways, there are some things that accident victims should always do regardless of the type of accident that occurred. A few of these are discussed below. Continue reading “Can Apologizing after an Accident Ruin your Chances of Recovering Compensation?” »

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The Dangers of Distracted Driving

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Dangers of Distracted Driving

  • 9 people are killed each day in accidents caused by distracted driving
  • 1,060 are injured in crashes involving a distracted driver
  • 1 out of 3 people admit they text and drive
  • 23x more likely to be involved in an accident while texting and driving
  • 1 in 5 accidents involving and injury report a distraction as a factor
  • 2 in 5 teens say they’ve been in a car while the driver was distracted by using a phone
  • Sending or receiving a text takes the drivers eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds. At 65 mph that’s 140 yards, or the equivalent of driving almost 1.5 football fields.

Car Accident Statistics

  • 6 million – The average number of car accidents each year in the US
  • 3 million – The number of people injured in car accidents each year
  • 2 million – The number of drivers that with permanent injuries caused by car accidents
  • 90 people – Die in car accidents each day

Factors of Fatal Accidents

  • 40% – Alcohol
  • 30% – Speeding
  • 33% – Reckless Driving

Seatbelt Safety

  • 1 in 7 people don’t wear their seatbelt while driving
  • 45% – The percentage that seatbelts reduce risk of death
  • 50% – The percentage that seatbelts reduce risk of serious injury
  • 30x – You’re 30 times more likely to be ejected from a vehicle during an accident if not wearing your seatbelt.

Sources:

  • gov/Features/dsDistractedDriving
  • gov/motorvehiclesafety/seatbeltbrief/index.html
  • gov
  • www-fars.nhtsa.dot.gov/Main/index.aspx
  • gov/library/publications/2011/compendia/statab/131ed/transportation.html
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Concussions & Brain Injury Facts

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Traumatic Brain Infographic

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Motorcycle Accidents Infographic

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Motorcycle Infographic

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Crash Type & Driver Behavior – Infographic

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Crash Type and Driver Behavior Infographic

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Top 10 Deadliest Streets in Huntington Beach

Between 2000 and 2011 there were 122 deaths from auto accidents in Huntington Beach. 72% of all deaths happened on the same 10 streets making them the deadliest streets in HB.

Deadliest Streets in HB (Top 11)(Beach Blvd, PCH, Warner Ave, Brookhurst St, I-405, Goldenwest St, Adams Ave, Indianapolis Ave, Edinger Ave, Atlanta Ave) Continue reading “Top 10 Deadliest Streets in Huntington Beach” »

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