• A Look at Negligence in Slip and Fall Cases

    If you are injured after slipping and falling, who should be responsible for your medical costs? A slip and fall attorney in Riverside who takes your case will consider the issue of negligence when determining what kind of damages you should pursue. Negligence is the critical factor that determines who is at fault when someone is injured during a fall.

    Watch this video to learn more about the role of negligence in slip and fall cases. Your personal injury lawyer will evaluate whether the owner of the property on which you fell took all reasonable precautions to prevent a fall. Similarly, he or she will also consider if you were negligent in any way that contributed to the fall. If you were partially responsible for the fall, you may still receive compensation, but the amount you get may be reduced to account for your actions.

  • FAQs and Answers About Wrongful Death at the Hands of Police Officers

    When a loved one dies due to the negligence or unlawful actions of a police officer, it can be difficult to know where to turn. During this confusing time, it is essential to get the assistance of an accident and injury attorney in Riverside with experience in government liability cases . If you suspect that your loved one’s death was the result of wrongful actions by police officers, here are the answers to some questions that may be on your mind.

    How do I know if my loved one’s death qualified as a wrongful death?

    The best way to understand your loved one’s case is to review the details with an experienced attorney, who can investigate the facts and help you decide how to proceed. There are several factors that can contribute to wrongful death, from actions that deprived your loved one of his or her civil rights to negligent behavior on the part of the police that contributed to the death. For instance, using excessive force and denying medical care may both fall into the category of wrongful death. Inadequate training by the police department is another issue that can arise. Your attorney will look at all of the circumstances involved in the case to help you decide if you should file a lawsuit.

    Are these cases filed in state or federal court? Government Liability Cases at Law Offices of Harlan B. Kistler

    Wrongful death cases involving police officers can be tried in both state and federal court, depending on the nature of the complaint. If you claim that the officer violated your loved one’s civil rights, then the case will be held in federal court. A case involving improper training may be heard in state court. Your attorney will help you determine the right venue for filing the case.

    What kinds of damages are likely to be paid?

    This amount varies dramatically depending on the details of the case and whether it goes to trial or is settled outside of court. It also depends on the jurisdiction and if there are any local immunity laws for police officers and departments.

  • What Are Private Nuisance Lawsuits?

    You are entitled to the right to use your private property without interference, or nuisance. Private nuisance lawsuits deal with this right to use your own space without any unreasonable obstructions. If you believe that a person or entity is interfering with your enjoyment of your property, an attorney in Riverside can help you file a private nuisance complaint.

    Private nuisance lawsuits may arise between neighbors when one neighbor claims that the other neighbor’s actions are preventing him or her from getting the full enjoyment of his or her home. For example, if a neighbor installs a bright light that shines in your bedroom all night and refuses to make any adjustments, your lawyer may recommend that you file a private nuisance case. Other actions, such as pollution of your property, excessive sound, or extreme and ongoing foul odors, can also fall into the category of private nuisances. Discuss your situation with an attorney to determine if your circumstances meet the criteria for filing a private nuisance lawsuit.

    Private Nuisance Lawsuits in Riverside, CA

  • Cat Bite Injuries 101

    Cat bites can cause serious injuries and infections. As with dog bites, the owner of the cat may be liable for your injury, and you may be eligible to receive damages in a personal injury lawsuit. If you are the victim of a cat bite, consult with a personal injury attorney in Riverside to determine if you could be eligible for compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Here is what you need to know.

    Cat bites are serious.

    Although cat bites may seem less significant on the surface than dog bites, they should still be taken seriously. Cats’ teeth are extremely sharp, which means that they can pierce deep layers of tissue, and the bacteria in their mouths can cause infections. The bacteria that you may be exposed to during a cat bite can lead to septicemia, or blood poisoning, which is a serious medical condition that usually requires hospitalization. If you are bitten by a cat, you should clean the wound and seek medical care as soon as possible. Without treatment, you could develop an infection within as few as 24 hours.

    Cat bites and personal injury lawsuits

    The cat’s owner may be responsible for your expenses.

    After a cat bite, consult with a personal injury attorney to discuss your case and understand your options. If the cat owner was negligent in preventing the bite from occurring, he or she could be held responsible. Depending on where you live, the owner may be responsible regardless of the cat’s history of behavior, or you may need to demonstrate that the owner should have known that the cat was aggressive based on the animal’s actions in the past.

    You should document the injury.

    If you plan to contact a personal injury attorney, document the circumstances of the bite and the injury as soon as possible. Visit a doctor and get a copy of the medical records for your lawyer to review. The more proof and information you can provide your attorney, the easier it will be for him or her to make your case.

  • Should I Accept a Settlement Offer?

    After your accident lawyer files a lawsuit in Riverside, you may be presented with the option to settle the case before it goes to trial. A settlement is an agreement in which the plaintiff receives an agreed upon sum of money in exchange for dropping the case. Every case is unique. Talk to your car accident lawyer about the specifics of your case to determine if accepting the settlement offer might be better than taking your chances with a trial.

    Watch this video to learn more about settling your accident lawsuit. You’ll hear how liability factors may play a role, as well as how the involvement of an insurance company might affect a settlement offer. If the defendant is alleged to have acted in a particularly egregious manner, then he or she may be more willing to settle for a higher amount.

  • Physician-Patient Privilege and Its Role in Wrongful Death Cases

    Accident lawsuits filed in Riverside aren’t always brought by the victim of the accident. If the victim dies, his or her family may file the claim. Wrongful death lawsuits give surviving family members the opportunity to pursue justice on behalf of their lost loved one. Families should take care to choose an accident injury attorney who has experience litigating wrongful death cases, as complex, unique issues can arise. These include the physician-patient relationship, and the right to preserve the confidentiality of medical information.

    Medical Records

    In any accident lawsuit, the victim’s medical records play a crucial role. They serve to establish the type of injuries, severity of symptoms, and causation of injuries. Medical records can even be a factor in calculating non-economic damages like pain and suffering. This is because the more serious the injury is, the higher the non-economic damages are likely to be. In cases in which the accident victim survives, he or she can simply sign a waiver to release these medical records. Wrongful death cases aren’t this straightforward, however.

    Physician-Patient Privilege

    Federal and state laws protect the confidentiality of medical information. Physicians cannot legally share a Role of Physician-Patient Privilege in Wrongful Death Cases patient’s medical information with anyone unless that person consents. This doesn’t apply to all medical information, only the data that is labeled “protected health information” under HIPAA. This includes individually identifiable data that isn’t readily available from other sources, such as records filed with the person’s employer or educational institution. Even after a person dies, the physician-patient privilege continues—but it isn’t absolute.

    Medical Record Waiver

    Depending on the laws of the individual state, an accident attorney can still access medical records if an official waiver is authorized. The decedent’s surviving spouse, other next of kin, or personal representative may be authorized to waive the physician-patient privilege.

    Health Information Scope

    A valid waiver doesn’t necessarily mean that all of the medical records for the decedent’s lifetime can be released. The decedent’s personal representative or next of kin must take care to ensure that the only medical records that are released are the ones that are relevant to the wrongful death lawsuit.

  • What Are Economic and Non-Economic Damages?

    All damages are money paid to a plaintiff to compensate him or her for losses that were caused by the negligent or intentional behavior of the defendant. Your personal injury lawyer in Riverside can clear up any confusion you might have about the different types of damages. Economic damages, for instance, are damages intended to compensate you for the monetary losses that can be objectively verified. These include your past and future medical expenses, lost wages, loss of future wages, and property damage expenses. In short, any damages from your trip and fall accident that can easily be added up with a calculator are economic damages.

    Some slip and fall injuries cause harm that cannot be objectively calculated. These damages are non-economic. For instance, your personal injury lawyer may request damages for your pain and suffering caused by the injury, as well as your mental anguish. In a wrongful death lawsuit, the lawyer may request compensation for the family’s loss of companionship and support, and a surviving spouse may request damages for the loss of consortium.

    Economic and Non-Economic Damages in Riverside, CA

  • Moving to a Nursing Home? Know Your Legal Rights

    Any move is a major effort, and moving to a nursing home is a particularly challenging transition. Packing up and settling in are only a small part of it. You should also take the time to review your legal rights as a nursing home resident. For instance, you have the right to have a lawyer in Riverside review your contract before you sign it. When you move in, the nursing home is required by law to provide verbal and written notice of your legal rights and the services you’re entitled to receive.

    Right to Benefits and Healthcare

    A nursing home cannot attempt to inhibit your right to apply for Medicare and Medicaid benefits. If you receive these benefits, you cannot be asked to leave the facility. Nursing homes must treat all residents equally, regardless of whether they are private payers or benefit recipients. Furthermore, you have the right to keep your clinical records confidential, to be fully informed about your healthcare, and to choose your own doctor. You are entitled to participate in your medical care and treatment planning for as long as you are legally considered mentally competent. You also have the right to refuse medical treatment if you wish.

    Right to Personal Possessions

    When you move to the nursing home, you’ll undoubtedly have to downsize. However, you still retain the right to keep and enjoy the use of your own personal possessions and clothing. The only lawful reason a nursing home could interfere with this right is if the possession or use of a certain object would endanger health or safety. For example, a nursing home could lawfully prohibit residents from keeping fireworks in their rooms.

    Nursing Home Legal Rights in Riverside, CA

    Right to Visitors

    No nursing home staff member is lawfully allowed to interfere with your right to see your loved ones. You also have the right to see:

    • Ombudspersons
    • Resident advocates
    • Service providers
    • Physicians
    • State and federal government representatives

    Right to Humane Treatment

    It should go without saying that every human being has the right to receive humane treatment. You have the right to be free of physical and mental abuse, and no nursing home worker can isolate you from other residents against your will. If you are neglected or abused, you have the right to raise grievances, contact a personal injury lawyer, and file any claims you wish.

  • What to Know About Mesothelioma Lawsuits

    Mesothelioma is a rare, but highly aggressive type of cancer that is difficult to treat. In nearly every case, mesothelioma is linked to asbestos exposure. This means that individuals who worked as auto mechanics, carpenters, manufacturing plant employees, electricians, and HVAC mechanics could be at risk of mesothelioma. If you have developed this cancer, or a loved one has died from it, contact a personal injury lawyer in Riverside to discuss a possible wrongful death claim.

    When you watch this featured video, you’ll learn more about asbestos exposure and mesothelioma lawsuits. Since it can take several decades for cancer to develop after asbestos exposure, it may still be possible to file a wrongful death lawsuit, even if the exposure took place years ago.

  • Emerging Trends in Public Nuisance Lawsuits in California

    California is widely regarded as a leader in environmental sustainability, but that doesn’t mean it’s immune to toxic hazards that can harm human health. These toxic threats may be the subject of litigation in the form of public nuisance lawsuits, which personal injury lawyers near Riverside may handle. There are a few interesting trends in public nuisance lawsuits in California, including litigation pending against oil companies regarding climate change.

    Public Nuisance Lawsuits

    The legal definition of a nuisance is quite broad, which makes it a catch-all of sorts for difficult-to-classify litigation. Any physical condition or human activity can be a nuisance if it:

    • Causes harm to another person
    • Reduces a person’s enjoyment and reasonable use of property
    • Is offensive or indecent to the senses

    A personal injury lawyer can file a private nuisance lawsuit on behalf of one neighbor and against another neighbor. In contrast, a public nuisance lawsuit is filed over a problem that affects an entire community or a large number of people.

    Climate Change Lawsuits

    According to the Carbon Majors Database , 7.4% of all global greenhouse emissions released between 1988 and 2015 were caused by five oil companies: Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Shell, and BP. And on September 19, 2017, the cities of San Francisco and Oakland filed separate public nuisance lawsuits against these five companies. They allege that the defendants knew the greenhouse emissions they caused to be released would worsen climate change. They further allege that the defendants knew worsening climate change directly contributed to rising sea levels in coastal cities. Damages are demanded to fund adaptations of these cities to the rising sea level.

    Chemical Contamination Lawsuits

    While climate change lawsuits are a relatively new trend, plaintiffs have been filing toxic tort lawsuits against pesticide manufacturers for years. Usually, these lawsuits are individual or class action lawsuits. Recently, personal injury lawyers have used public nuisance lawsuits that allow California cities to sue for chemical contamination. A few cities, including San Diego, have sued Monsanto to demand that the former PCB manufacturer pay for the cleanup of waterways polluted by PCBs.

    Chemical Contamination Lawsuits in Riverside, CA