Category: Blog

Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents in California

Cycling continues to increase in popularity as a cheap and healthy transportation option. Statistics published by the League of American Bicyclists shows that at least two California cities have more than 10,000 regular cyclists. Unfortunately, California also has a high number of bicycle accidents each year. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 129 fatal bicycle accidents in California during 2015 – more than every state except Florida.

There are several ways you could be in a bicycle accident while cycling in California. Common causes of accidents include:

  1. Distracted driving. A motorist could strike your bicycle if they are text messaging or checking email while driving. Distracted drivers are less likely to spot cyclists in time to avoid collisions. Motorists who are eating, applying makeup or fidgeting with the radio are also more likely to hit cyclists.
  2. Drunk or drugged driving. Marijuana, prescription medications and alcohol impair the ability to operate a vehicle. Impaired drivers cause bicycle accidents in California and across the country.
  3. Dooring occurs when a passenger door opens in front of a cyclist. You could be thrown from your bicycle and seriously injured if a door opens in front of you with no warning. Dooring accidents are more common in urban areas, and even in bicycle lanes.
  4. Bicycles may suffer from manufacturing or design defects. Some defects may cause accidents. Safety equipment could also suffer from defects that keep them from working properly during an accident.
  5. Poor visibility. Motorists are more likely to hit you while cycling in areas with poor visibility. Some areas may have poor lighting or a large number of blind spots.
  6. Right and left turns at intersections. Right-hook accidents can occur when vehicles make right turns in front of cyclists who are travelling in a straight line. Left-hook accidents can occur when motorists turn left in front of cyclists at an intersection.

Questions About Bicycle Accidents? Contact Our Fairfield Bicycle Accident Attorneys

Bicycle accidents may lead to life-altering injuries that require rehabilitation and other medical services. You or your loved one may be unable to return to work as a result of the injury. After a bicycle accident, it is important to speak with an attorney to determine your options for securing compensation that can help pay these expenses.

The Fairfield bicycle accident attorneys at Barnett & Bennett Law Firm offer free consultations that can help explain if these options are available.

What Should or Shouldn’t I Do After a Car Accident?

When you’re in a car accident, it’s understandable if your state of shock affects your decision-making process after the accident. You might forget to collect the other driver’s information, neglect to seek medical help for your injuries, or not even consider calling the police to file a police report. These decisions, however, are essential steps to take in order to file a strong car accident case. They are especially important should you be interested in seeking compensation for damages sustained in the accident. Don’t just walk away from a car accident. Make sure you get all the information necessary for your insurance and injury claim.

Do This!

After the car accident, it is important you seek medical help immediately if you or someone else is injured in the accident. Severe car accidents have resulted in catastrophic injuries such as crushed or amputated limbs, traumatic brain injuries, or paralysis. First responders are trained to handle these severe injuries. They can provide initial emergency care and transport the injured parties to the nearest hospital for additional treatment.

Report injuries to the police. If no one was injured in the accident, report this information as well. Police officers can write up a report of the accident for you and provide details regarding road conditions, injuries, and other factors. This report could be beneficial to your car accident claim when attempting to prove that the other driver is liable for your injuries. If possible, collect the other driver’s information as well. This includes his or her:

  • Full Name
  • Address
  • Driver’s License Number
  • Home/Work/Cell Phone
  • Vehicle License Plate
  • Insurance Company’s Name
  • Policy Numbers

Don’t Do That!

After the car accident, resist the urge to leave the site of the accident immediately. Instead of facing the possibility of criminal charges for a “hit and run”, stay at the accident site. This is especially important if you have been injured in the accident. Don’t leave to find assistance but call 911 and wait for help. First responders will assist you with any injuries you sustained in the accident. It is also important to contact a car accident attorney to begin collecting evidence for your car accident case.

Do not sign any authorization forms, property damage documents, or finalize insurance paperwork without consulting with a car accident attorney first. You are not legally required to give the other insurance company a statement. Further, make sure all repairs to your damaged property and medical treatment for your injuries are completed. You’ll want to know the full extent of the damages you sustained and the total end costs before submitting your car accident claim. This way you can increase your chances of getting a large amount of coverage or complete coverage of the damages sustained in the car accident.

If you need assistance with your car accident claim, contact the attorneys at the Barnett & Bennett Law Firm. Our law firm takes the unique approach of having all of our attorneys look over and offer their guidance on all of our cases. This way we can all work together to get you the compensation you deserve for your injury costs.

Could Social Media Affect the Outcome of My Personal Injury Case?

Millions of people across the country use social media services like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Snapchat. Social media has become an inescapable aspect of our lives. However, you should be cautious about what you are posting on your social media accounts if you have recently filed a personal injury claim.

What you say on social media could be seen by attorneys who are defending the parties you have filed a claim against. Your posts, photos and videos on social media could be used to establish a narrative that harms your case. Depending on the nature of the posts, you could even lose the chance to recover compensation. You may use the following social media tips to protect yourself during your case.

  1. Remain cautious: It goes without saying, but you should consider that anything you post could be seen by attorneys working for the defense. You could stay off social media while your case is active. If this is not possible, then exercise extreme caution. Even seemingly harmless photos or posts could be used to hurt your claim.
  2. Turn off sharing: You could be tagged by friends in posts or photos if you have sharing features turned on. These features could be disabled while your case is active. Attorneys working for the defense may be able to see shared content posts.
  3. Limit your social media profile’s Google presence: Your social media accounts may be found with a Google search. However, many social media platforms allow you to modify how you appear on third-party websites and search engines. Considering modifying these features to maximize your privacy.
  4. Be very cautious about deleting content: Spoliation of evidence is a serious offense. You could face court sanctions if you delete posts or social media accounts.
  5. Consult with your attorney: If you are unclear about how your social media accounts should be treated during your case, then ask your attorney for help. Your attorney is there to help your case succeed and to give you guidance that could prevent you from making mistakes.

Contact Our Solano County Personal Injury Lawyers

The merits of your case should be as strong as possible. At Barnett & Bennett Law Firm, our attorneys will work tirelessly to help you obtain the compensation you need to recover from a wrongful injury. If you have questions about filing a personal injury lawsuit in California, then we are here to help.

Five Important Facts About Personal Injury Cases

Contact our attorneys for helpPersonal injury law is a broad legal practice area that may encompass car crashes, slip-and-fall accidents, dog bites, medical malpractice, wrongful death and product liability. This is by no means an exhaustive list of examples. These are cases where a person (or group of people) is hurt physically, emotionally or mentally by the wrongful actions of one or more parties.

Other important facts about personal injury cases include:

  1. We take cases on a contingency fee basis. Personal injury attorneys do not charge you by the hour. You do not have to be wealthy to hire us. Our law firm takes cases on a “contingency fee basis.” We front the costs that are necessary to prove the merits of your case. This could include hiring accident reconstruction experts and compiling evidence through other means. Instead of paying attorneys’ fees up-front, a pre-negotiated percentage is taken out of any settlement or verdict. You do not owe fees unless we successfully recover compensation.
  2. There is a statute of limitations. You only have a certain amount of time to seek damages against the party or parties responsible for your injuries or loss. Although there are exceptions, the “statute of limitations” is generally two years for California personal injury cases. Our attorneys could inform you of any exceptions to the statute of limitations for your situation.
  3. Our personal injury attorneys can review your situation at no cost. It does not cost you money to call our office for help. We could listen to what happened and may inform you of which legal options (if any) are available for your situation. Our attorneys provide free consultations to everyone, regardless of your income or lack thereof.
  4. Multiple people could be at fault for a single claim. Personal injury lawsuits may name multiple defendants. These are parties that are being sued for damages they have allegedly caused to the plaintiff or plaintiffs. Truck accident cases may name multiple parties. For instance, the truck driver and his or her employer could be held accountable for damages.
  5. California is a comparative fault state. If your case goes to trial, California’s comparative fault rules could affect the amount you receive in compensation. Comparative fault means that your recovery could be reduced if you were partially at fault for what occurred. This is not to be confused with “contributory negligence”, where you could not receive any recovery if you were partially at fault.

Out Attorneys Can Answer Questions About Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit in California

We only briefly summarized the aspects of filing a personal injury lawsuit in California. If you have further questions about your eligibility for filing a personal injury claim, please call our attorneys at (707) 425-0671 or describe your situation on our online case review form.

Can I Receive Compensation for a Dog Bite in California?

Our attorneys could inform you of options after a dog biteDogs have been called man’s best friend since as long as many of us can remember. However, there are millions of instances that show dogs do not always live up to this name. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that 4.5 million dog bites occur in the US year. Even minor bites can result in scarring and infections. The CDC estimates that one in five dog bites become infected.

Some dog bites and attacks could cause paralysis, lacerations, nerve damage, factures and severe puncture wounds. Victims may also lose an eye, ear or other parts of the body that are visible to others. Some victims may be unable to control areas of their bodies that are affected by nerve damage. Infections and severe crush injuries may even require victims to have limbs amputated. Corrective surgical procedures could be required.

Victims of dog attacks could also develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or other psychological problems. Disfigurement could cause significant harm to a person’s self-esteem, which could affect their social and professional lives.

Victims of dog attacks could accrue thousands in medical bills and may require rehabilitation services. They could suffer lost wages or a loss in future earning capacity. The factors described above could be considered when determining compensation for dog bite cases.

Who is Liable for a Dog Bite in California?

Liability for dog bites in California depends heavily on the circumstances and which laws are being discussed. California has a strict-liability statute when it comes to dog bites. Therefore, the owner is strictly liable under the state’s dog bite statute in many circumstances. In other states, the owner must have firsthand knowledge that the dog was dangerous before they can be liable for a bite. Dog owners could be liable if the victim was in a public place, lawfully on private property, or invited onto the owner’s private property when they were bitten.

Even if the owner is not liable under California’s dog bite statute, there could be other options for victims to seek compensation. Dog owners can still be negligent in other ways. If you or a loved one were bitten or attacked by a dog, we encourage you to speak with one of our attorneys. The Fairfield personal injury lawyers at Barnett & Bennett Law Firm could review your situation at no cost and explain whether you have legal options against a dog’s owner or other parties.

Do I Need an Attorney If I’m Injured in a Car Accident?

Injured in an accident? Call our attorneys.The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that car accidents are responsible for more than two million injuries in the US each year. Although some car accidents result in minor injuries that resolve without much effort, others can devastate the lives of survivors and their families. Survivors may require long hospital stays, rehabilitation services and an extended absence from their jobs. In cases that involve catastrophic injuries, accident survivors may never recover.

Depending on the circumstances, it may be possible for survivors with these injuries or their family members to secure compensation from the responsible parties. Money from a settlement or verdict could help pay for expenses that are associated with severe injuries.

How Can an Attorney Help My Car Accident Claim?

There are multiple reasons why it is important to hire an attorney after you or a loved one were injured in a car accident. An attorney could help in ways that include:

  1. Investigating the cause of the wreck: Experienced attorneys are familiar with investigating motor vehicle accidents. They know where to look for evidence that could show fault. Some law firms even work with accident reconstruction specialists to achieve these ends.
  2. Preserving evidence: An attorney can help you preserve crucial evidence. In some cases, the at-fault parties may be guilty of spoliation (intentionally or unintentionally), which could alter or erase crucial evidence.
  3. Taking depositions: During discovery, your attorney could take depositions from witnesses or other experts. Depositions could help build a case against the party or other parties who may be responsible for causing the wreck.
  4. Helping you avoid mistakes: There are mistakes you could make after an accident that could put your ability to recover adequate compensation in jeopardy. For example, talking to the other driver’s insurance company. An attorney can advise you on what not to do after an accident.
  5. Helping you communicate: Various people will want to speak with you after an accident. Insurance companies, health care providers or even an attorney hired by the other driver may try to speak with you. Your attorney could facilitate communications with these individuals to help protect your interests.
  6. Helping you negotiate a settlement: Your attorney could help you negotiate a settlement with the at-fault parties or their attorneys. In addition, your attorney could take the case to trial if necessary.

We have only discussed a few examples of why an attorney can help with your car accident claim. Ultimately, an attorney can provide you with a better of chance of recovering the resources you or your family member could need after being injured in an accident.

Our attorneys can provide you with a free consultation that could help you determine your legal options. To speak with one of our Solano County car accident attorneys, please call (707) 425-0671 or describe what happened on our case review form.

Can I File a Lawsuit if my Child was Injured on Halloween?

Was your child injured on Halloween?There are multiple ways that children are injured each year while participating in trick-or-treating or other Halloween festivities. Depending on the type of accident that occurred, children can be severely injured or even killed. In some cases, children are hurt on Halloween because other parties were negligent. However, this also means that parents may be able to file a lawsuit against the negligent parties. Parents may be able to file a lawsuit in cases that involve:

  • Pedestrian accidents: Statistics collected by Safe Kids Worldwide show that pedestrian accidents involving children increase twofold on Halloween. There are more drivers and kids on the road during this holiday. Drivers may be liable for hitting trick-or-treaters in some cases. For example, you may be able to file a lawsuit if a driver forgot to turn the headlights on. The same could be said if the driver was distracted or impaired by alcohol or drugs.
  • Defective costumes: Children can be harmed by costumes or accessories that contain defects. For example, a costume made with flammable materials could put children at risk of being burned. Other costumes may be designed in a way that can limit visibility or increase the risk of a slip-and-fall accident. In such cases, the manufacturer or retail outlet that sold the costume may be responsible.
  • Being hurt on someone’s property: There are multiple ways a trick-or-treater could be harmed while visiting other properties. Some property owners may fail to keep their dogs locked up, which could cause a trick-or-treater to be mauled. In other cases, property owners may use dangerous props or decorations. For example, some decorations create fire or electrical hazards. Other properties may have poor lighting or other trip and fall hazards. These are only a few of many possible examples.
  • Haunted house injuries: Businesses may operate “haunted houses” each year on Halloween. Depending on the circumstances, commercial haunted houses may be liable for injuries. Last year, Erebus Haunted Attraction in Pontiac settled for $125,000 with a woman who was injured after she was knocked down by a moving wall in a poorly lit hallway.

Multiple parties could be liable for a Halloween injury. If a Halloween decoration on someone’s property injures a trick-or-treater, the property owner and manufacturer of the decoration might be held accountable.

Do I Need an Attorney After a Halloween Injury?

You should speak with a personal injury attorney if you believe negligence may have caused your child’s Halloween injury. The Solano County personal injury lawyers at Barnett & Bennett Law Firm could investigate your claim and help you determine which party or parties are responsible. Damages from a lawsuit could help pay for the costs associated with catastrophic injuries or wrongful death.

What Are Common Delayed Injury Symptoms After a Car Accident?

What are delayed injury symptoms?Car accidents are notorious for causing immediate and noticeable injuries. Broken bones, burns, lacerations and spinal cord injuries are all possible outcomes after a crash. However, car accidents can also have delayed symptoms that may take hours or days to materialize. Common delayed injuries after a car accident include:

  • Internal bleeding: The blunt force trauma from a car accident could cause internal bleeding, which is potentially fatal if left untreated. You may experience severe bruising, confusion, dizziness and fainting.
  • Whiplash: You may suffer from neck, back or shoulder pain after an accident. These are possible signs of whiplash.
  • Post-Concussion Syndrome: If you suffered a concussion during your accident, then you could experience delayed symptoms caused by post-concussion syndrome. According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms of post-concussion syndrome include insomnia, anxiety, fatigue, dizziness, problems concentrating, impaired memory function and headaches.
  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): Car accidents are traumatic events. As a result, you may be at risk for developing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD. This is a debilitating mental health condition that can affect every aspect of your life. According to the Centers for Disease Control, symptoms of PTSD include panic attacks, nightmares, flashbacks and depression.
  • Blood clots: When your body is subjected to blunt force trauma, it can increase the risk of a blood clot forming. Large amounts of blood could flow to the area where the injury occurred. If a clot forms in a blood vessel, it can travel to other parts of the body and cut off circulation. This could trigger a heart attack or stroke.

Always seek medical attention after a crash, even if you believe you were not seriously injured. Not only could medical attention save your life, it may also immediately establish documentation that shows the extent of your injuries.

Should I Talk About My Injuries with an Insurance Adjuster?

It is likely that you will be contacted by an adjuster working for the other driver’s insurance company soon after your accident. The adjuster may ask about any injuries you suffered during the crash. Telling the adjuster that you believe you are not seriously injured could affect the outcome of your claim and any future compensation.

If you did not seek medical attention after the accident, then it is possible that you suffered serious injuries that will require more medical care than you had originally anticipated. When the insurance adjuster calls, it is best to leave them with identifying information and politely hang up the phone. If you believe the negligence of one or more parties contributed to your accident, then you should call an attorney. An attorney can help you review options for recovering damages from these parties.

Barnett & Bennett Law Firm provides experienced and passionate legal representation for individuals who were injured by the negligent actions of others. Our East Bay Area car accident attorneys make each case a team effort to provide the best possible outcome for our clients.

Auto Accident Liability: Lane Changing

Accidents are horrible enough, however, not knowing the rules around an accident is even worse. Lane changing is among the most common causes of auto accidents on the road. Especially on highways and multilane roads, high-speed limits and more cars are prone to getting in accidents. With the rising responsibilities and risks of drivers on the road, it can be even trickier finding out which party is at-fault.

Liabilities in Changing Lanes

Liabilities for any accident are sorted into two main categories: violation of motor vehicle statutes and driver negligence. However, filing a claim based on lane-changing negligence is broken down into four additional parts:

  • Duty: Was the other driver operating his vehicle responsibly?
  • Breach: Did the other driver change lanes without warning?
  • Causation: Were you hurt due to the other driver’s negligence?
  • Damages: Can you prove your injuries using medical records or primary evidence?

If the other driver was driving illegally, you can use this to determine auto accident liability. Most states, including California, have laws in place they are meant to prevent lane changing accidents. The majority of these laws state that drivers should only change lanes when it is safe to do so. Additionally, they must use the correct signals continuously for a minimum of 100 feet before changing lanes. It does not matter if the other driver was convicted of a crime during the accident. You may still be able to use the proof of the law-breaking to build a civil case.

How to Prove Auto Accident Liability in Your Accident

Even though you may believe you know who was liable for the accident, it can be hard to prove auto accident liability it in a court setting. You will need to obtain proof that the other driver was negligent in the form of eyewitness statements, police reports, and photos of the scene of the accident. You might also need to prove that you did not play any contributing role in the lane changing accident by speeding or something of the like.

Contact the experienced lawyers at Barnett & Bennett if you are considering filing a lawsuit after a lane-changing accident.

Is There An Increase In Accidents In Fairfield In The Summer Time?

It is dangerous to drive a motorcycle anytime. However, accidents are more likely to happen during the summer time. There are a number of reasons that motorcycle accidents in Fairfield are more common in the summer time.

More Traffic Congestion

There are more vehicles on the road during the summer months. That is one of the reasons that motorcycle accidents are more common in the summer. Roads are often congested due to road trips and vacations.

More Teenage Drivers on the Road

More teenagers hit the road during the summer months. There are several reasons that motorcycle accidents in Fairfield are more likely to occur if there are more teenage drivers on the road. Teenagers are more likely to cause a wreck because of their lack of driving experience. They are also more likely to attempt to do risky things while they are behind the wheel.

Increased Risk Of Tire Blow Outs

A tire blowout can easily lead to an accident. Tire blowouts are more likely to occur during the summer because of the increased temperatures. The hot air causes the tire to expand.

Construction

Construction workers are typically their busiest during the summer time. This is one of the reasons that motorcycle accidents are more likely to occur. Motorcycle riders have to be especially cautious when they are driving in a construction zone.

Excess Heat

It is important for motorcycle riders to drink plenty of water during the summer time. The hot weather can increase the risk of dehydration. Many motorcycle accidents occurred because the drivers were dehydrated. Drivers are more likely to get disoriented when they are dehydrated.

Call an Attorney

People who have been involved in motorcycle accidents in Fairfield should contact an attorney. You may be able to get compensated if the accident was the fault of someone else. Contact Barnett & Bennett for a free consultation.






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Barnett & Bennett Law Firm

712 Empire Street,
Fairfield, CA 94533

P: 707.425.0671