Picture of Zev Rubinstein
Picture of Zev Rubinstein
Picture of Zev Rubinstein
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bicycle signIn some cases, in addition to civil claims, a person is able to bring a criminal charge. Such was the case in a very serious recent California hit and run bicycle accident case.

In the case, the victim testified that he was riding his mountain bike inside a crosswalk one June evening when he was struck by a truck. The victim was unable to wrestle free from the vehicle and was dragged under the truck while he reportedly screamed and struck the truck very hard more than 10 times in an attempt to get the driver’s attention. Once the truck slowed, the victim was able to push out from under the truck, but both of his legs were then run over, and he was forced onto his back. As a result, the victim’s tibia was severed in half, he lost two teeth, and he was in a full lower body cast for nine months. The victim now has to use a cane in order to walk and can no longer ride a bike. His bike was broken in two as a result of the accident.

Fortunately for the bicyclist, another driver was present at the scene and witnessed everything. In addition, the driver followed the truck and eventually cut the driver off, reached into his window and pulled out the keys, and then sat the driver onto the curb while his wife called 911. (Please note that this is not an endorsement of these actions, but only a retelling of the facts as set forth by the court in the appeal.)

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In addition to being known for its automobiles, San Diego personal injury lawyers know that San Diego is well known as a tourist attraction. In addition to several museums and theme parks that attract possibly millions each year, we also boast of the Temecula Wine Country area. Although technically located in Riverside, the Wine Country is often associated with San Diego in various news reports.

The California Court of Appeals for the San Diego area recently ruled in a rather interesting case from Temecula, involving a rather unfortunate crash landing of a hot air balloon carrying several passengers. The plaintiff in the case was on the balloon ride as a gift from her son for her 78th birthday.hot air balloon

The plaintiff was a non-English speaking German citizen. Thus, after arriving to the location where the passengers were gathering, her son was attempting to translate information that was being told to the passengers prior to take off. However, since the son was not also going to be riding the balloon, the son was told to stand in a different area. Although the plaintiff and her son were later reunited and drove together to the area where the balloon was launched, it was unclear whether there was some important safety information that may have not been translated for the plaintiff as a result.

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mapSources have reported that the name of the truck driver involved in the deadly accident that happened this August has now been released. News outlets revealed the name, contained in an amended complaint filed on behalf of the mother of a young girl who was seriously injured as a result of the incident. The California Highway Patrol (CHP) released additional information about the driver, including her employer, one of the largest common carriers in the United States.

The Route 125 accident happened on August 2, when the semi-truck jack-knifed another vehicle, resulting in two fatalities and causing injuries to six others. The mother of the child who was seriously injured reportedly stated in the amended complaint that her daughter may be “permanently paralyzed” as a result of the big rig crossing traffic lanes in both directions prior to coming to rest in a jack-knife position. CHP stated that it is reviewing dash cam video footage in order to determine what caused the driver to veer into oncoming traffic. Criminal charges could be forthcoming.

Even though Interstate 5, Interstate 805, Interstate 15, and Interstate 8 may be the more commonly used routes for tractor trailers, as San Diego truck accident lawyers, we know that truck drivers in the San Diego area have to navigate their rigs throughout the entire web of roads in our area. The news report stated that the driver in this case was from Georgia. It could be that she was attempting to reference directions or believed that she had gotten lost just prior to the accident.

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construction materialsConstruction sites are some of the most dangerous work environments. Even when all precautions are taken to ensure the safety of construction workers, there is always a chance that you can fall from a scaffold, get hit by a large object falling from above, or become injured by malfunctioning equipment.

It doesn’t take a San Diego construction accident lawyer to point out the massive amounts of construction and development taking place all throughout San Diego and the surrounding counties. Indeed, the entire state is undergoing massive amounts of new construction. Although the liability of property owners and construction companies may be more obvious with regard to injured civilians, sometimes it’s the subcontractors themselves who are the injured parties. In these cases, the injured individuals are probably not covered by workers’ compensation because they are not employees. Thus, if you are an independent contractor or subcontractor, and you become injured due to someone else’s negligence, you are going to want to contact a lawyer about holding any potentially negligent parties accountable.

In one such California construction accident case, one of the subcontractors got injured when he was attempting to climb down a ladder from the second floor. The worker had to climb through a temporary perimeter safety railing before he could reach the ladder. The perimeter had both horizontal and vertical rails. The man’s coworker went down the ladder before he did without incident. When the worker went to descend the ladder, he placed his hand on one of the horizontal rails. The rail then suddenly and unexpectedly detached, causing him to lose his balance and fall. The worker subsequently brought a lawsuit alleging negligence. The court granted summary judgment for two (Portala and Quality) of the four subcontractors, which was the subject of the recent appeal.

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San Diego slip and fall lawyers know some of the most common sorts of documents that enter into play in personal showerinjury cases are various forms of contracts. These documents are things like car insurance policies, employment contracts, or one or another forms of liability waivers. In the case of premises liability claims, for example, people who have paid to attend a sporting event, amusement park, or county fair may have assumed the risk of any potential injury that may occur while on site. In many cases, the terms of this agreement may appear on the back of a ticket purchased, or in some cases they involve actually signing a document.

In one recent case, an older gentleman signed one such liability waiver in the course of joining a fitness club.

In the case, the 60-something plaintiff signed various forms when becoming a member of the defendant gym. The membership agreement included a section entitled “IMPORTANT: RELEASE AND WAIVER OF LIABILITY AND INDEMNITY,” which stated that the undersigned waived any and all potential for injury, “whether caused by the active or passive negligence” of the defendant club.

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car crashAs a San Diego car accident lawyer, it is not uncommon to come across cases that contain what are sometimes known as “hybrid” legal claims. In the case, the plaintiff was injured in a car accident, which is a straightforward personal injury case as far as the types of claims he likely pursued.

However, the person reportedly responsible for causing the accident was driving in the course of his employment, implicating his employer as the responsible party, subject to the legal principle of respondeat superior (L:atin for “let the master answer,” i.e., be held liable for the actions of its agents). Additionally, the plaintiff who was injured in the car accident had already suffered an injury during the course of his employment, for which he was receiving workers’ compensation benefits.

Therefore, the plaintiff sued the driver who was allegedly responsible for the accident and his employer. After the plaintiff reached a settlement with the defendants, the plaintiff’s workers’ compensation administrator intervened in the case, attempting to recover for its alleged financial damages that occurred as a result of the accident. However, following the settlement, the county defendant moved for summary judgment against the workers’ compensation administrator, hereinafter known as GB (an abbreviation of the company’s name), arguing that it did not establish that it was entitled to reimbursement for payment as a result of the accident. The trial court granted the motion, and GB appealed, arguing there were triable issues of fact with regard to whether the car accident caused any part of the plaintiff’s permanent disability.

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San Diego personal injury lawyers often receive calls to represent individuals injured as a result of car accidents. crosswalkDriving is a large part of Southern California culture.

The California Court of Appeals recently reached a decision in a Los Angeles car accident case, Ramos v. Pong, Cal. Ct. App. (2017), which is instructive on the matter of cases in which a pedestrian is hit and injured by a driver who then flees the scene.

The case arose out of an incident in which the defendant driver hit a pedestrian crossing the street. The defendant conceded negligence by way of a pre-trial stipulation, thus making the sole issue at trial that of damages. The defendant had offered a settlement under Code of Civil Procedure section 998 in excess of $20,000. At trial, however, the jury awarded the plaintiff damages of $16,800. The plaintiff appealed, challenging in particular the trial court’s ruling to exclude evidence regarding the defendant’s failure to stop.

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dogAs an experienced San Diego dog bite attorney, it is not uncommon to hear of litigation in instances in which people sustain injuries as a result of a dog or another animal biting them. Most times, the injured party will file a lawsuit against the owner of the dog or another person tasked with caring for the animal. Less common, however, is the nature of the claims found in a recent case, in which the representatives of a woman who was killed by several dogs pursued various claims against the local governmental agency tasked with animal control issues.

The lawsuit arose out of a situation in which a woman was fatally attacked by several pit bull dogs in Los Angeles County in May 2013. The owner of the dogs was convicted of second-degree murder as a result of the attack. When the lawsuit was initially pursued against the defendant, herein designated as the “Department,” the plaintiffs were apparently told that there was nothing the Department could have done differently to prevent the attack. Over time, however, the plaintiffs were contacted by a former employee/whistleblower, and additional subsequent evidence was purportedly uncovered that suggested the Department had been called in regard to the dogs involved in the attack on several occasions — on at least seven occasions in the 18 months preceding the attack alone.

As early as June 2005, and again in January 2006, the Department received complaints that a pack of pit bulls was running “at large,” attacking livestock, pets, and people — reportedly having escaped from the owner’s property. The Department did not impound the dogs at that time, as required by the County code. This was even though the Department reportedly observed that the owner was keeping more than three dogs, which according to County law necessitated a kennel license.

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shoulderA recent California Court of Appeals decision illustrates the importance of not threatening to sue someone, especially in writing, unless you understand the potentially far-reaching consequences of your actions.

In a decision filed just last week, the plaintiff gave birth via Cesarean section at the defendant hospital in October 2013. On the day after the procedure, the plaintiff fell while walking along a hospital hallway, resulting in a fractured right shoulder.

In February 2014, the plaintiff sent a detailed letter to the defendant, describing her injury and allegedly outlining the basis for her “medical negligence” claim. The plaintiff apparently additionally requested damages in the amount of $240,000 and purportedly stated that she would “move to the court” if she did not receive a check within 20 days. The defendant subsequently denied the plaintiff’s claim after its insurer reviewed the plaintiff’s records. In October 2014, the plaintiff’s retained counsel sent a letter to the defendants, stating they were providing notice pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure § 364. The formal lawsuit followed in January 2015.

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bike wheelA California Appeals court recently entered a somewhat routine decision in a car accident case, but the ultimate holding may take some Californians by surprise. In the case, a bicyclist was involved in an accident with a car, which apparently caused injuries (the appellate decision did not discuss the actual claims in the case).

On the day of the accident, the plaintiff was involved in a car accident when his bicycle collided with the vehicle being driven by the defendant. The plaintiff stated that he could not remember what happened on the day of the collision. He could not recall what he saw or what color the light was just before the accident happened. However, the driver of the vehicle and two witnesses at the scene stated that the plaintiff’s bicycle entered the intersection on a red light, and the car had a green light when the driver entered the intersection. Thus, when the plaintiff filed a personal injury action against the car’s driver and its two owners, the trial court granted a motion for summary judgment on behalf of the defendants.

Regarding the evidence in the case, one of the witnesses stated that he had entered the crosswalk before noticing a bicyclist approaching very quickly and then entering the intersection, resulting in the accident. On the basis of this witness’ account, as well as the driver’s statement and the other witness’ statement, the police officer who responded to the accident stated his opinion that the bicyclist was responsible for the accident, and the trial court adopted that conclusion.

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