One of the primary tasks of personal injury lawyers serving the Riverside area is proving causation. This refers to whether the negligent actions taken by the defendant caused the plaintiff’s slip and fall injury. Watch this featured video to learn about two types of causation and how they might be proven in court.
“But for” causation indicates that, but for the defendant’s actions, the plaintiff would not have sustained the injury. For example, but for the defendant’s failure to clear the aisles of a store, the plaintiff would never have been in a trip and fall accident. Another type is substantial causation. This means that the injury might have occurred anyway, but the defendant’s actions substantially contributed to it. As an example, a hypothetical plaintiff with pre-existing knee pain files a personal injury lawsuit, claiming the defendant’s failure to clear the aisles of a store resulted in a fall that required knee replacement surgery. Since the plaintiff has a history of knee problems, he or she might have needed the surgery at some point anyway. However, the defendant’s actions substantially contributed to the worsening of the knee pain, which led to the surgery.
Indoor rock climbing gyms are a great way to experience the thrill of the sport without worrying about falling off a cliff hundreds of feet in the air. But even indoor climbing walls present the possibility of injuries, and injured climbers might not always be the responsible party. A climbing wall injury case can be a little more complicated than the average slip and fall lawsuit . Consult a personal injury lawyer serving the Riverside area who has plenty of experience with complicated types of premises liability cases.
Assessing the Possibility of Product Liability
Injured climbers might assume that the gym is usually to blame for an accident and their subsequent injuries. But this isn’t necessarily true in all cases. Your personal injury lawyer will consider whether the climbing equipment was inherently defective in design or manufacture. If so, then the manufacturer could be held liable for the damages. For example, the manufacturer might have produced the carabiner out of a poor quality of aluminum alloy that caused it to malfunction. One possible defense to this claim is that the climber was using the equipment in a manner not intended by the manufacturer. Hypothetically, if the climber decided to light the climbing rope on fire, and the climber fell as a result, then the manufacturer would not be found liable because the rope was never supposed to be lit on fire. Additionally, the climber could be found liable for the damage to the equipment and gym.
Taking a Closer Look at Gym Waivers
One key piece of evidence in any climbing gym lawsuit is the waiver. Climbers are required to sign a waiver before they’re allowed to use the equipment, and many of them don’t read the full document. The premises liability attorney will need to carefully examine the waiver, and consider the facts of the case in light of the provisions in the document. Liability waivers are supposed to prevent climbers from suing the gym in the event of an injury. However, if the gym owner or supervisor can be proven negligent, climbers can usually file a lawsuit regardless.
If someone’s spouse dies as a result of acute toxicity from pesticides or chemicals, the surviving victim may have legal recourse. This could include a wrongful death claim that falls under the category of toxic torts. Toxic torts are claims filed by a personal injury lawyer in Riverside. They seek compensation for the victims based on the defendant’s negligence in causing the decedent to be exposed to deadly environmental hazards. A personal injury lawsuit won’t bring the decedent back, but it can allow the surviving family members to attain a sense of justice. It’s also possible to file a toxic tort in the absence of a wrongful death, as long as the injuries were directly caused by the negligent act.
Legal Concepts Regarding Toxic Torts
Like other personal injury lawsuits, a toxic tort claim is based on the legal concepts of liability and negligence. Negligence refers to any careless behavior that leads to the plaintiff’s injury or the decedent’s wrongful death. Liability means that the defendant has been found responsible. In order to win a favorable jury verdict for the plaintiff, the lawyer must prove the following:
- The defendant owed a duty to act with reasonable care toward the public or a specific person.
- The defendant’s careless behavior failed to meet this duty of reasonable care.
- The defendant’s careless behavior caused the plaintiff to suffer harm.
Hypothetically, assume that the defendant is the owner of a farm that grows peppers, and he or she uses pesticides on the fields. The plaintiff is a farmworker who was exposed to toxic levels of pesticides after being instructed to apply the chemicals. The plaintiff may sue the defendant for these injuries if the defendant failed to provide the worker with the necessary safety equipment.
Examples of Toxic Torts
Toxic torts can be based on a wide range of allegations. For instance, plaintiffs may claim that a landfill or manufacturing plant polluted their groundwater, causing cancers and birth defects. One of the most well-known toxic torts is the Love Canal case. In the mid-1900s, Hooker Chemicals & Plastics Corp. used a dump site at Love Canal, New York to bury 22,000 tons of hazardous chemicals. During the next two decades, the chemicals seeped into the pipes and into the air. More than 1,000 families had to leave their homes permanently, and more than 600 personal injury lawsuits were filed. The cases resulted in multi-million dollar settlements.
Some states are comparative negligence states, and others follow contributory negligence rules. The difference between these two models will be important if you ever file a personal injury lawsuit in Riverside. Since California is a comparative negligence state, you can still recover compensation for your losses even if you were partially at fault for your slip and fall injury. Hear how this works by watching this brief video.
It uses the hypothetical example of Perry and David. Perry is walking on the street while immersed in a handheld videogame. David is listening to music while skateboarding. David crashes into Perry, and Perry sues David for his injuries. The jury determines that Perry is 40% responsible for the accident, which means David is 60% responsible. The rules of comparative negligence state that Perry’s monetary award will be reduced by 40%.
Battery is the act of injuring someone without legal justification. If you’ve been physically attacked by someone, you can consult a personal injury lawyer in the Riverside area to determine if you have a legitimate personal injury claim. The law does allow victims to sue for intentionally inflicted injuries, but there are exceptions. Your personal injury attorney will need to review the police report and your medical records.
The professional featured in this video explains that you can legally defend yourself in a fight and retain the right to sue for damages. However, your claim isn’t likely to be successful if your actions cross the line from acting in self-defense to acting as an aggressor. Your personal injury lawyer will assess whether your use of force corresponded to the use of force by your attacker.
Most dogs are friendly, lovable family pets. Unfortunately, even dogs that are normally mild-mannered can inexplicably attack people. If you were bitten by someone else’s dog, you may be eligible to file an accident lawsuit in a Riverside-area court. Speak with a lawyer who handles accident cases to find out what you need to do to protect your legal rights and options.
What is strict liability?
California is a strict liability state with regard to dog bite cases. This means that defendants cannot successfully argue that they are not liable because the dog did not have a history of aggressive behavior. Defendants also cannot argue that they took all reasonable precautions to prevent injury to others. Regardless of these factors, the dog’s owner may still be held liable for the plaintiff’s losses.
Does it matter where the incident occurred?
Sometimes, yes. Dog attacks often occur in public places, such as when the owner is walking the dog. In this case, the injured party can usually file an accident lawsuit. If the dog attack occurred on private property, then your accident attorney will need to consider whether you were lawfully on that property. If so, you may have a claim.
Why does California have criminal and civil dog bite laws?
Although the strict liability statute does not require dogs to be considered vicious in order to hold owners liable, California does still have statutes that apply to dangerous and vicious dogs. In this state, a dangerous dog is one that has bitten another person in an unprovoked incident and caused an injury labeled as “non-severe.” A dangerous dog might have injured, bitten, or killed another domestic pet twice within 36 consecutive months while away from the dog’s owner’s property. Two separate acts of aggression toward humans within 36 months while away from the owner’s property also fit this category. A dog that is legally considered vicious has severely injured or killed a person, or is owned by someone with an illegal dog fighting conviction. If the owner of a dog legally considered dangerous or vicious fails to exercise reasonable care and the dog causes serious injuries or death, then the owner may be charged with a misdemeanor or felony. However, criminal charges proceed separately from civil accident lawsuits. Even if the owner is facing criminal charges, he or she may still be held liable in civil court.
Elder abuse is an unspeakable tragedy, and it often goes unreported. Nearly 10% of all seniors in the U.S. become victims of elder abuse. This is a tragedy that you can help put an end to. Be alert to the signs of elder abuse , and contact the police and a personal injury lawyer in Riverside if you notice them. If you believe a senior is in imminent danger, call 911 immediately. Otherwise, a personal injury lawyer can walk you through the process of seeking legal recourse.
Types of Elderly Abuse
To learn about the types of elder abuse, watch this featured video and consult your personal injury lawyer about your own observations. Your personal injury lawyer may ask you about suspicious physical problems, such as unexplained bruises, lacerations, or broken bones. Some seniors are medically neglected. Their caregivers may fail to give them prescribed medications, neglect to take appropriate actions to prevent bedsores, and fail to call a doctor when needed.
In 1994, the country was horrified to learn of the violent deaths of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman. Simpson’s ex-husband, former NFL player O.J. Simpson, was acquitted of the murders. However, a civil lawsuit was brought against him and he was found liable for wrongful death. There are significant differences between verdicts in criminal cases and the outcomes of wrongful death accident lawsuits. If you’ve lost a loved one due to someone else’s actions, you can consult an accident lawyer in Riverside to discuss how an accident lawsuit would proceed differently from a criminal case.
As you’ll learn when you watch this featured video, a verdict in a criminal trial is not binding on a civil accident lawsuit. One of O.J. Simpson’s defense lawyers points out that the burden of proof is different. In a criminal case, a defendant must be found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. In a civil accident lawsuit, a defendant must be found liable by a preponderance of the evidence.
Families often prefer to keep their aging loved ones at home, but unfortunately, this isn’t always possible. Even if your family chooses a nursing home with a solid reputation, it’s important to know that any nursing home resident can become injured due to negligence or abuse. Visit your loved one often and remain alert to the potential signs of negligence. If the resident does sustain unexplained injuries or illnesses, consult a nursing home abuse lawyer in Riverside immediately.
Medication errors can be especially tricky to detect, since family members cannot monitor their loved ones 24/7. But if you do notice that your loved one’s medical conditions seem to be worsening, it might be a sign that the nursing home staff isn’t administering the doses as prescribed. Consider having a frank discussion with your loved one’s doctor about this possibility. A physician can let you know about the side effects or symptoms that you should watch out for. If your loved one is hospitalized with a mysterious illness, you could ask if a blood test might reveal medication levels.
Dehydration is a major concern for responsible caretakers of elderly nursing home residents. As a person grows older, thirst recognition isn’t as strong. Plus, many medications can increase the risk of dehydration. Seniors suffering from dehydration may have dizziness, difficulty walking, confusion, low blood pressure, and a rapid heart rate. Since seniors are at a high risk of severe complications of dehydration, they should be seen at a hospital promptly if these symptoms occur. Bear in mind, however, that as a person approaches the end of life, he or she is likely to refuse food and water. Consider whether your loved one’s doctor has advised you to expect his or her impending death before jumping to conclusions about nursing home neglect.
Another common nursing home injury is pressure sores, also known as bedsores or pressure ulcers. Many nursing home residents have mobility restrictions. They need assistance at regular intervals to change their positioning and to transfer from a bed to a wheelchair. If a nursing home resident hasn’t been repositioned properly, pressure sores can quickly develop. They most commonly affect the hips, heels, back, ankles, and elbows. Pressure sores become progressively worse when not treated promptly. Eventually, the lesions can cause life-threatening infections .
If your loved one is in a nursing home, the last thing you want to believe is that he or she could be being abused or neglected. Unfortunately, these cases happen all too often, so loved ones need to be vigilant. A common issue experienced in nursing homes is understaffing, which can lead to negligent care. If you suspect your loved one could be the victim of elder abuse or nursing home neglect, contact an attorney in Riverside to find out what your rights are.
Nursing home understaffing occurs when a home accepts more patients than they can adequately care for with the staff that they have. These staffing issues can be exacerbated when nursing homes try to compensate by hiring staff without proper background checks, further putting residents at risk. Understaffing can also lead to unreasonable overtime demands that can make staff careless and overstressed. Consistent understaffing leaves residents vulnerable to falls, missed medication doses, and sores and infections from inattentive personal hygiene assistance. Emotional distress is also possible. If your loved one exhibits these symptoms, contact an attorney to determine if you should file a lawsuit.
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