Category: Personal Injury
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 & Scott LLP Law Firm can help discuss and determine your legal options.
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 & Scott, LLP, 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 & Scott, LLP can help you determine whether it would be possible to recover compensation.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 & Scott, LLP, 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
Personal 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 File a Lawsuit if my Child was 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 & Scott, LLP 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.
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 & Scott, LLP 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 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.
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 & Scott, LLP for a free consultation.
Most Common Summertime Injuries
Summer is the season so many people in California live for, and it’s here. Summer means fun in the sun, late nights, long days, and a lot of lazy time spent on the water. It also increases your chances of being injured. Summer is known for a few very common injuries that occur due to the weather, the outdoor living, and the sheer number of activities in which people participate this time of year. It’s time to get to know where the risks for summertime injuries are located before you go out and find yourself in a situation that ends in disaster.
The Most Common Summertime Injuries:
– Pool injuries
– Bee stings
– Falls on the playground
– Biking/boarding accidents
Pool injuries occur when kids and even adults decide to run on the pool deck and slip, when they hit their heads doing flips in the pool, or when they dive into a shallow pool and hit their head or other body parts on the bottom. Pool injuries are often deadly, and always dangerous.
Burns occur when people are outdoors too long, when they touch hot surfaces, and when they don’t use the grill the right way during a cookout. It’s also common to light a fire in the fire pit at night to roast marshmallows and keep the fun going. This is an invitation for many people to burn themselves.
Bee stings are common this time of year when bees are out in full force pollinating, and the playground is always a danger for kids who might not have the foresight to make wise decisions in the excitement of the moment. Biking and skateboarding, as well as surfing, are all common in the summer, and each one comes with a lot of risks.
If you want to enjoy the summer to the fullest, it’s good to know where summertime injuries occur. If you or someone you love is injured in any way this summer, call the personal injury attorneys at Barnett and Bennett. We can help you navigate insurance claims, learn how to deal with financial issues, and we can help advise you about any case you might have after a fall.
Why do Lawyers offer Free Consultations
When people think of lawyers, they often think of old men in high-priced suits and expensive cufflinks who will charge hundreds of dollars just for a few minutes of their time. Don’t let that scare you away from talking to a lawyer after you have been injured.
Like many personal injury attorneys, we offer a free consultation to discuss your injuries, your rights, and your best options to get justice. It is important that we have good relationships with our clients, and the free consultation helps us figure out if we can help you on your case.
Here are the questions we hope to answer in each free consultation.
Do you have a case?
You will have a case only when you can show that somebody did something wrong and caused you harm. The law also must support your case. When we sit down to talk with you, we will ask you questions about what happened to determine if we can legally hold someone responsible for your injury. Those questions will help us decide if you have a valid case.
Does it make sense to hire a lawyer?
Even though you may have a valid case under the law, it doesn’t always make sense to hire an lawyer. Sometimes, a lawyer will not be able to get you much more money than you can on your own. If that is the case, we will tell you. On other cases, the amount of money you need to spend to get justice is far more than the money you can actually get back at the end of a case.
If you don’t need a lawyer, what are your next steps?
We can only give limited advice if we don’t take your case. We will still share some of the resources that can help you if you don’t have a lawyer. Even if we decide not to take your case, we want you to leave with some information that will help you get justice.
If you do need a lawyer, what can we do to help?
When we decide that our firm can help you, we want to make sure you know what to expect. We will go over the process of starting a personal injury case, talk about what you can do to get good medical treatment, and discuss how to make the most of your case.
If you have been injured because somebody did something wrong, give us a call to set up a free consultation.