Category: Blog

NHTSA Launches Anti-Drug Slogan in Time for Labor Day Weekend

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, has launched an anti-drug slogan right before Labor Day Weekend to vitalize their national campaign, announced in January 2018, to combat driving under the influence of drugs. The slogan reads: If you feel different, you drive different. Drive high, get a DUI.

Law enforcement officers are intensively focused on keeping alcohol and drug-impaired drivers off of roads during holiday weekends. With the nation’s growing opioid epidemic and more states legalizing cannabis, NHTSA is striving to be more vocal about their fight against impaired driving. As part of this campaign, NHTSA is reminding the public that it is dangerous to drive under the influence of drugs.

In 2016, the California Highway Patrol, or CHP, reported 38 deaths due to vehicle accidents during Labor Day Weekend. There were over 3,600 vehicle fatalities throughout the year. According to NHTSA, about 30-percent of those vehicle fatalities in 2016 involved a driver with a blood alcohol content above the legal limit. Since recreational marijuana sales became legal in California starting January 1, 2018, it is even more crucial to spread awareness and education about drug-impaired driving.

While it is the job of the CHP and local police to keep the streets safe for drivers and pedestrians over the holiday weekend, the CHP has set up guidelines to report unsafe drivers so the public can play their part too. If you see someone driving dangerously by weaving in and out of lanes, or veering out of their lane, ask your passenger to call 9-1-1. Try to be as thorough as you can about where you are located, your speed, and details about the car in question. If you are driving alone, always put your safety first, and either use a hands-free device or pull over to the side of the road or into a parking lot before you make the call.

From Barnett, Bennett, & Scott LLP, we want you to have a safe and fun Labor Day Weekend. If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident with an impaired driver involved, Barnett & Bennett Law Firm can help discuss and determine your legal options.

What to Do When the Other Driver Isn’t Insured

If you’re in a car accident with another motorist that is uninsured or underinsured, it may create even more hassle. Being knowledgeable about car insurance policies can help you to ensure that you receive the proper compensation for your damages.

Uninsured Coverage

If you happen to have an accident with an uninsured driver, you’ll have to go to your insurance company to cover any damages. Uninsured motorist coverage, or UM, is insurance that covers you when you are involved in a car accident with an individual that does not have car insurance. It also protects you if the other motorist is at fault for the accident. Though, it’s required by most state laws that drivers have insurance, some motorists are driving without insurance and this is one way to protect yourself and your car.

Underinsured Coverage

Similar to uninsured coverage, having underinsured coverage (UIM coverage) can help you recover damages when you are in a car accident with a driver who has a policy that does not cover compensation for damage and injuries.

 

It’s best to file a claim immediately with your car insurance company. Many insurance companies limit the time that the policy holder has to file a claim.

Questions About a Car Accident?

If you need assistance with your car accident claim, contact the attorneys at 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 injuries or loss.

Common Facts About Slip and Fall Accidents

Slip and fall accidents are a common occurrence. It is essential that you know what to do after a slip and fall accident because you may be able to recover compensation for your injury. For instance, poorly maintained property could put you and others at risk of being injured.

Common Injuries Due to Slip and Fall Accidents

This is a list of common injuries may occur to individuals during slip and fall accidents:

  • Head Injuries. Hitting your head as a result of slip and fall accident may cause swelling, bleeding, or even a loss of consciousness that could result in a head injury. Head injuries may result in a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) or concussion which can have lasting effects on you. It’s important that you seek medical care after sustaining any amount of injury to the head.

 

  • Cuts and Abrasions. Injuries to the legs, arms, hips, and head are most common. Cuts and abrasion are usually less severe and may require stitches.
  • Back and Spinal Cord Injuries. If you sustain back or spinal cord injuries, you should medical attention immediately. These injuries could be life-threatening and cost you a significant amount of money and physical mobility.
  • Sprains, Fractures and Broken Bones. Slip and fall accidents may cause damage to ligaments and bones as a result of impact onto hard surfaces. Most common injuries are to the arms, legs, and hips. These injuries may require X-rays or surgery.

 

In the state of California, there is a statute of limitations on when an injured party can file for a lawsuit. An individual has two years to file an action for any of the above injuries against the negligent party. Though, there are a few exceptions to this rule. It’s best to contact a personal injury attorney for more information.

Need More Information About Slip And Fall Accidents?

If you had a slip and fall accident that resulted in injury, you should contact a personal injury lawyer. At Barnett & Bennett Law Firm, our attorneys will work tirelessly to help you obtain the compensation you need to recover from a slip and fall accident. If you have questions about filing a personal injury lawsuit in California, then we are here to help.

Six Motorcycle Safety Tips for Summer Riding

It goes without saying that motorcyclists face serious risks to their safety while riding. Unlike a typical motor vehicle, a motorcycle offers no protection during a collision. To make matters worse, the roads are full of dangerous drivers who routinely put motorcyclists at risk for severe injuries or death. You could take the following motorcycle safety tips into consideration while riding this summer.

  1. Make yourself more visible. Motorists may be unable to see motorcyclists in time to avoid collisions. Therefore, it is important to maximize your visibility. You could wear bright clothing or safety gear, such as a helmet. The color of your motorcycle and the types of lights it uses can also make a difference.
  2. Wear safety gear. You should always wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle. Not only is it required by California law, it could save your life. Other types of gear, such as a bodysuit, can protect you from weather or accidents.
  3. Plan your trip ahead of time. Certain road conditions can increase the risk of a motorcycle accident. For instance, heavy rain or strong winds can make riding dangerous. You can check the weather before departing to your destination. Construction zones can also pose a hazard to your safety. You can search for active construction zones on Caltrans’ website.
  4. Brush up on your skills. Inexperienced and seasoned riders can benefit from enrolling in motorcycle safety courses. The California Highway Patrol operates the California Motorcyclist Safety Program. For riders under 21 years old, the program is mandatory. You can also enroll in this program to receive a motorcycle endorsement on your California driver’s license.
  5. Maintain your motorcycle. Like other motor vehicles, motorcycles can suffer from wear and tear. You should keep your motorcycle and its various parts in working order. If the lights, brakes, tires or other essential parts break down, it will increase your risk of an accident.
  6. Watch for hazards. Potholes, construction zones, gravel, debris left by other vehicles and sand are examples of hazards that can cause you to lose control of your motorcycle. It is important to scan the road for these hazards.

There are other basic riding techniques our blog did not cover, such as riding at a speed that is safe for present conditions or not following other vehicles too closely. Follow our blog for future updates on these topics.

Questions About Motorcycle Accidents? Call Our Fairfield Motorcycle Accident Attorneys

You should speak with an attorney if you or a loved one suffered harm in a motorcycle accident. It may be possible to recover compensation for your injuries or loss. The Fairfield motorcycle accident attorneys at Barnett & Bennett Law Firm can help you determine whether it would be possible to recover compensation.

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.






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Barnett, Bennett & Scott LLP

712 Empire Street,
Fairfield, CA 94533

P: 707.425.0671