December 10, 2013

Sacramento Cyclist Dies

A cyclist, Mr. James Glendon Combis, 59-years-old, died in a crash with an automobile in Sacramento in October. Mr. Combis was riding along Stockton Blvd near Quinta Court approximately 6:30 a.m.. For reasons unknown, he veered suddenly into traffic and was struck by a SUV.

According to the California Highway Patrol, the driver of the Chevrolet Tahoe attempted to stop and avoid hitting Combis but was unable to. Mr. Combis was jetted into traffic and received major, life-threatening injuries. He was rushed to Kaiser South Sacramento Hospital, succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead.

Mr. Combis was not wearing a helmet. The bicycle had no rear light and it is not known if it had a front light. Details like these seem unimportant in the face of such a tragedy but, in fact, may have saved his life.

It isn’t illegal to ride a bike without lights but facts prove lights and reflectors help drivers to see and be more aware of the cyclists around them. Most experts recommend cyclists automatically assume drivers cannot see them and should always take extra precautions.

Drivers approaching an intersection or those traveling in the same direction as a biker do have trouble seeing them. Bicyclists should take care crossing in front of autos and be hyper-attentive to all traffic around them during their ride. Bikers should always make sure they are plainly visible with lights, and reflectors. It is also highly recommended to wear reflective clothing, a helmet and knee pads when riding for further protection.

The driver of the SUV that struck and killed Mr. Combis, Ma Lendy Ortiguesa, is not facing any criminal charges. California Highway Patrol reported he turned directly into the line of traffic. This isn’t always the case, however. This is where it can get tricky. Just because criminal charges do not apply does not mean a civil case is not present. Liability can often lie with the driver of the automobile.

Civil suits address different issues than criminal cases and liability in a civil case depends on different standards. In a case like that of Mr. Combis, civil liability may come into play. For instance, a driver can be going the speed limit in a posted area but if it is raining or some other drastic weather situation occurs the speed should have been lowered.

In a situation like the above, there may be some civil liability. However, no laws were broken and so no criminal charges apply. All too often, car drivers who hit a bicyclist can be held liable in civil court for damages.

If found liable drivers can be forced to pay medical bills, lost wages, as well as pain and suffering for the bike rider. Should the cyclists die the surviving family members may be entitled to payments as well. Moseley Collins has a wealth of experience and legal knowledge in the field of personal injury law. Let him out his education, experience and know-how to work for you.

September 9, 2013

How to Avoid Accident While Driving In Snow

Yes, California is known as the state that rarely rains or snows, but there will come a time during the winter months when we’ll have to travel out of state bounds. Driving in heaps of snow can be challenging, especially if you are not used to doing so. If you’re not extra careful and skillful you can easily have an accident. If the need arises for you to cross state bounds here are some tips you should keep in mind to ensure your safety on the road.

Prepare Your Car

First off, you should make your vehicle is ready to handle the snowy roads. Taking simple maintenance/mechanical precautions can prevent an accident. If you are not experienced in working on cars than its best you seek the professional help of a skilled and trustworthy mechanic.

1. Make sure your vehicle has adequate antifreeze. Anti-freeze is what keeps the engine at appropriate temperature levels in various weather conditions.

2. Ensure that your wiper blades are fully functional; you may even want to consider installing a new pair just to be on the safe side.

3. Check your tires and make sure they are I good condition. Handling icy and snowy roads with tires with little to no tread is extremely dangerous. You’ll also want to check your tires air pressure.

4. Keep an emergency kit in your car at all times. Your emergency kit should include things like; first aid items, blankets, jumper cables and flares.

Driving Safety

1. Avoid driving fast in fact, it’s suggested that you drive under the speed limit. It’s harder to handle a vehicle going fast on slippery roads and it becomes difficult to stop when braking.
2. When it visibility becomes difficult, slow down and take your time.

3. Increase the following distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you.

4. If your front wheels start to skid, shift in neutral and you’ll feel the wheels eventually return to normal traction.

5. Beware of black ice that tends to form on bridges, underpasses, intersections and shaded areas.

6. If plow trucks are on the road, be patient and avoid passing them because they have limited visibility.

7. If your front wheels start to skid, immediately remove your foot from the gas and shift to neutral. Do not try to steer immediately. When the wheels start to skid sideway, traction will slowly return and then you can begin to steer in the direction you want to go. Shift the transmission back into drive and accelerate slowly.

8. If you happen to get stuck in snow, do not spin your wheels because this will cause you to sink deeper in the snow. Instead, move your wheels from side to side, to move some of the snow out of the win and gently step on the accelerator to ease the vehicle out. You may have to drive both backwards and forwards a few times to get the car moving. If you have a shovel available you can also remove some of the snow from the undersides of the vehicle.

April 17, 2013

The Auto Accident Attorney in California- A Look at the Job

Are you trying to find out what auto accident lawyers in California do? If so, you are not alone. People only have limited knowledge of what lawyers do. Their information typically comes from TV ads and shows. As a matter of fact, there are only a very few people out there who actually know what auto accident solicitors do. The competition between lawyers has made lawyers much more greedy than before. They try to snatch as much money as possible from their innocent clients. Right? No, these are just rumors. As we know, black sheep are in almost every profession and field of law is not an exception.

Personal Injury

Auto accident solicitors out there work in a broad field of law, which is termed as personal injury. Personal injury cases, for the most part, are filed against individuals who cause injury to others due to negligence. That person could be an individual or a company. For example, if you slip and fall in a mall and get injured, you may choose to file a case against the owner or manager of the mall. The same applies in case of a car accident as well, if you lost control over your car due to another person’s negligence, you have a right to file a case against him or her. In this case, the accident could have been avoided if the other individual had taken enough care.

Insurance Companies

In cases like these, the auto accident attorney will go after the insurance company for the recovery of compensation. Drivers get auto insurance in order to protect themselves in case of an accident or lawsuit. Therefore, they get the services of a smart auto accident solicitor to make the insurance company pay damages. Insurance providers tend to avoid paying the full amount of compensation a driver deserves. Therefore, an auto accident attorney in Sacramento, CA must be contacted and hired ASAP. Keep in mind that it is often tough to deal with insurance carriers as they have expert lawyers on their side to deal with cases. So, if you are not good at negotiation, you may choose to get expert advice by hiring a solicitor.

Negotiations and Lawsuits

Contrary to all misconceptions, the majority of auto accident disputes are handled without taking the case to the court of law. This is because high expenses occur if the case is taken to the court. Furthermore, at times, cases take years to settle if taken to the court. In the same, insurance company, also do not want to make the matter complex by insisting the victim to accept a small amount as compensation. With effective negotiation, insurance companies given in and agree to pay the exact amount your deserve. This can only be made possible if you choose to have a good solicitor on your side. So, take the time to carry out some research in order to come up with a good list of experienced auto accident solicitors in Sacramento, CA.

April 3, 2013

Hire an Auto Accident Lawyer to Get Your Claim Handled Right

After an accident, you may find it difficult to deal with things, as there are a lot of things going on. Due to the injury you sustained, you may not be able to carry out your day-to-day activities. In the same way, you will find it very hard to file a claim against the party that caused you the injury. For that reason, you should visit with a smart auto accident lawyer in Sacramento, CA. Once you have hired one, you will be able to focus on your life while your lawyer takes care of the things related to your case.

Here it is important to bear in mind that for hiring the best solicitor, you will have to do some research. Hiring a wrong or inexperienced attorney will do more harm than good to you. Depending upon the severity of the accident you faced, you will end up dealing with various experts in order to prove that you deserve compensation. That is why, it is so important to have a good solicitor on your side.

If you really want the best legal service, you may want to go for the best solicitor out there. He or she will ensure success in a short period of time. Other things you should consider when seeking a good one are qualification and reliability. Of course, you should go for an auto accident solicitor in California who is trust worthy. For success, your claim should be valid and it should be heard in the court of law.

First, your solicitor will visit with the defendants in order to make them pay you a fair amount of compensation. In most cases, they succeed in making the defendant pay compensation. This saves them time, money, and effort as the case is settled outside court and the victim gets a fair amount of compensation in a short period of time. But this is possible only if your solicitor is qualified and experienced.

With a solicitor on your side, you do not need to worry about taking care of your case and paying legal fees, as the solicitor will work on contingency bases and get fees only after winning the case. The accident did not take place due to your fault. So why would you bear the expenses? The defendant has to bear all the expenses by giving you a fair amount of compensation.

The best decision you can make after having an auto accident is to get the best solicitor out there. After you have got one, you won’t need to deal with reading legal documents and negotiating with the insurance providers and the lawyer of the defendent. Everything will be on your attorney’s shoulders.

March 22, 2013

Finding the Right Personal Injury Lawyer in California

If you have been hurt due to someone’s negligence, then you should not just wait and let the injury recover. You should go and hire an experienced personal injury lawyer in California to get help.

Personal injury lawyers in California work on both hourly and contingency basis. Before you hire, it is important for you to do research in order to find a lawyer who is competent and experienced. Do not forget to read up on the lawyer to make sure their success rate is high. For this purpose, you can contact the previous clients of the attorney. They will tell you whether they had a good or bad experience working with the lawyer. So, this is very important.

If you are not financially independent or you do not have a lot of money, you should make sure your lawyer will pay out expenses related to your cases, such as expert witnesses, deposition costs, filing fees, medical records expenses just to name a few. If your solicitor is unable absorb these expenses and costs, then you may not give more attention to your case. At times, these expenses will cost you a great of money. So, it is better if your lawyer is ready to bear the related expenses.

Be attentive when the lawyer will be spelling out fee agreements and other matters related to your case. If he or she does not seem to be explaining things properly, you should find another lawyer. At times, lawyers try to keep hidden fees hidden from you. These fees are over and above the contingency fee agreed when the lawyer was taking your case. So, ask your lawyer whether the contingency fee will include other expenses as well.

The rate of success of an attorney in California is very important. Find out if the lawyer has enough experience handling your type of case. A lot of attorneys specialize in handling auto accident cases and other specialize in slip and fall cases, so make sure you are going to choose one who specializes in dealing with various personal injury lawsuits in California. The lawyer should be experienced and have a positive record.

Do not just hire a lawyer you heard about in a TV ad. Moreover, make sure your lawyer does not have too many cases to handle. This is because he won’t be able to spend enough time to handle your case if he already has many cases to resolve. So, do some market research and hire one who is popular due to their case handling in short period of time.
Choosing a California personal injury lawyer is a very important thing if you want to recover compensation in a short period of time. So, take your time to choose the best lawyer possible or you may end up losing your case.

February 16, 2013

Auto Accidents: Drunk Driving in Sacramento

For the past few years, the number of car crashers due to drunk driving has been going out of proportion. It ranges from car vs. motorcycle collision, to 18 wheeler truck vs. school bus, to single vehicle accident to multiple damaged autos. This has been a major worry not only to authorities but also to average pedestrians. There are thousands of innocent pedestrians dying all of sudden because of alcohol intoxication while driving.

Lack Discipline not lack of Education

With all the media platforms that we have in our time, ignorance to advocacies, statistics, and other information relating to auto accident is almost impossible. The government has been incessant about the advocacy. Obviously, what is really lacking in the society is the discipline to adhere, comply, and apply all the information available. The education about drunk-driving is not a top confidential subject which you could not see in mainstream media. It is something which is being repeatedly shown in many avenues.

Insurance

There are many incidents wherein drunk drivers who are obviously at fault don’t have any car insurance with them. Though there is a slim chance for someone to get a driver’s license without having auto insurance, there are still stances where drivers involved in car crashes are not really insured. Even if they are insured, the policy that they have don’t extend the coverage to liability coverage, damage coverage, and etc. This is why even for those people who are non-drivers have to get an accident or auto insurance which cover them even if they are just pedestrians involved in auto accidents. Even those people who are underinsured or uninsured cannot escape paying the damages made in auto accidents. Most likely they will not be allowed to renew their licenses.

Liabilities and Recovering Damages

There is always a certain level of bias when finding out who is responsible in any auto accident. There is greater assumption of guilt to those drivers who have consumed alcohol while driving. Alcohol will always be viewed as a major contributing consideration to any auto accident. That is why it is hard to defend a drunk driver. Juries will always have the inclination to unleash the punishment to drivers who are drunk.

Only a competent and experienced lawyer can somehow reverse this prevailing idea in auto accident case. Qualifying an auto accident lawyer should be a primary consideration. Referral can be a very effective means. Track records and reputation in the field of arena is another factor. Auto accident is a life changing experience. The turn outs can be devastating. There are people’s futures at stake and you can’t just run the risk.

February 15, 2013

Four Tips California Residents Should Know About Auto Accidents

Even with the effort of the government and other private sectors who are relentlessly informing the public about car crashes, there are still 1,300,000 people dying each year because of auto accident around the globe. What is more surprising is the fact that even those people who are considered responsible enough to drive like licensed drivers, young adults, and other highly qualified drivers, are also involved in most auto accident due to driving errors.

Negligence and Litigations

Most of auto accident cases are nothing but struggles to establish who are the people at fault; this means that the driver or the person accused is being tried because of his omission of the necessary care, conduct, or commission of error to cause the accident. There are times that the auto accidents are deliberate but this will be seen in court as a negligent action of an individual.

Traffic Controls

Many drivers assume that they’re smart enough to be managed by traffic signs and warnings. However this attitude turns to regretful aftermath of auto accident. Traffic rules were not crafted just to meet whimsical standards of the experts. They were made to solve issues on the road. Ignorance and arrogance in the road can cause so much unnecessary negative repercussion to many innocent lives. The rule is very simple; obey the rules and never let yourself and others get involved in any auto accident.

Road Arrogance

There are many people who would rather risk their lives in an auto accident than give way to another driver. This attitude results to horrifying accident in many countries. People who are too arrogant in the road seem to rush to their deathbed. Whenever possible keep in mind that you have to be cool while gripping the steering wheel.

Bad Habits

Admit it or not you are guilty of texting, talking to phone, reading, and falling asleep while driving. These are true to many cases of auto accidents in the country. There are task that you can multi task but you should understand that driving shout be excluded from that habit. Bear in mind that you are responsible to many lives not only yours but to all other people who wish nothing but a safe drive home.

There are many ways to prevent auto accidents. People just have to be more responsible and mature while driving. It will also be wise if you are going to invest in car insurance. There are many insurance companies who offer car coverage for a reasonable price. Besides, you cannot drive to any state if you don’t have any car insurance with you. This will be your safeguard in case you get involved in any car crash.

If you’ve been involved in a car crash, it’s best to consult any auto accident lawyer who can assist your case or claim. If you don’t have any lawyer to take care of your case, start choosing the right guy. Always refer to the reputation and track record of a lawyer and you can never go wrong. You should never take the risk – again.

February 14, 2013

Personal Injury Lawyers in California Get Results

If you have faced a car accident, you may be suffering immense frustration and pain. The best call you can make is to find and hire a good personal injury lawyer in California provided the accident has been caused by someone else. After all, the other party should pay you for the injuries you sustained. Depending upon the damages and injuries, your lawyer will figure the amount of compensation you deserve. This is a complicated job, though it can be made a lot easier with the legal assistance of a personal injury lawyer in California.

Why Hire

By hiring a lawyer, you won’t need to understand and memorize the laws related to personal injuries. The lawyer will make certain you are going to get the fair amount of compensation as soon as possible. Insurance companies strive to save themselves as much money as possible. As a result, you are not paid a fair amount of compensation. This happens when they are dealing with a person who has no knowledge of insurance companies.

If you have sustained serious injuries, then you need someone to help you deal with other important matters. This is where the role of a lawyer comes in. Most personal injury lawyers offer services and take fees only if you win the case. Usually, lawyers charge a contingency fee of 30-40% of the compensation you get.

Does Type Matter

There are several lawyers out there and most of them specialize in a certain area. Therefore, you should do some research prior to hiring one. For example, if you have received an injury in a car accident, then you should not go for a medical malpractice lawyer. In this case, you should go for an auto accident lawyer.

It may cost you a few bucks to consult a law firm but it is worth the money. With the help of your lawyer, you will be able to file a claim properly. Here it is important to note that hiring a lawyer you are not feeling comfortable with is not recommended.

What to Look For?

Selecting a lawyer is an important task, so you should do it wisely. You should find out the area where the lawyer specializes. Similarly, you need to figure out how many cases the lawyer has handled in the past. Once you have picked a lawyer, ask them how long your case can take to reach a settlement. At times, smart lawyers negotiate with the defendant and succeed in recovering a fair amount of compensation without taking the matter to the court of law.

If you want to file and win a case with ease, you should get in touch with an experienced personal injury lawyer in California. So, the above-mentioned points should be kept in mind in order to come up with a few good lawyers and choose one that best fits your needs. Hope you will be able to choose the right attorney with the tips given in this article. Remember only an experienced lawyer can get you the compensation you really deserve.

January 25, 2013

Getting Hit By a Drunk Driver In California - What You Should Know After the Accident

If a drunk driver has caused an injury to you or your loved one, then you may be entitled to recover compensation. For this purpose, you should first consult an experienced lawyer. Some drivers who often drive under the influence have no auto insurance policy. As long as you have an insurance policy, no one can stop you from recovering compensation. In the same way, your insurance provider will not up your rates provided the accident did not occur due to your fault.

It is important for you to make the drunk driver liable for what he or she did to you. If you do not own an auto insurance policy, you can still recover compensation from the driver. Here it is important to note that you can recover compensation even if the driver does not have an insurance policy.

If the court finds that the driver was guilty, the jury can hold a hearing termed as sentence haring for victims. The jury will inquire whether you have faced any economic losses not covered by insurance. A good example of this is your deductible. The driver will be ordered by the court to pay you for the losses. In case the driver does not act upon the order, the court can revoke the drivers probation and may send him or her to the jail. A good personal injury attorney can assist you in recovering the right amount of compensation you deserve.

Another thing that you must keep in mind is that if a drunk driver has injured you, then you may recover more compensation if it was discovered that the driver was not sober. It is in the knowledge of insurance adjuster that the court awards additional punitive damages to the victim if the guilty driver is found extremely drunk. Although the majority of cases that involve DUI drivers are not taken to the court, but by hiring a lawyer you can maximize the amount of compensation you can obtain.

What would you do in case the drunken trucker does not own an insurance policy? In such a case, you have to consider a lot of things. If the owner of the car is not the driver, then the owner of the vehicle may have the insurance policy. In addition, if you or your loved one is seriously injured or killed, you should try to get compensation from the driver. For this purpose, you should hire a bona fide, experienced Sacramento car accident lawyer to make things easier.

If the drunken trucker was visible drunk and was still having alcohol, the tavern or bar may be held financially responsible for the injury or death occurred due to the driver. From legal perspective, the situations are complex and with hiring a good personal injury solicitor in California, you may not know whether it is worth taking the case to the court of law. So, think on it and find a lawyer that is best suitable for you. Hope you will find this article helpful. Thanks!

January 9, 2013

The Importance of Having a Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer after an Auto Accident

It is not possible to predict an accident. Most accidents happen due to the carelessness of other drivers. In case you have received an injury in an accident, you should file a case against the guilty driver to recover compensation. But it filing a case and proving it in the court can be a hard nut to crack.

The expenses to treat injuries can be high, so you should recover compensation you deserve from the defendant(s). You need the help of a Sacramento lawyer in order to go through this complicated process.

As said earlier, it is not easy to recover compensation. So, if you want to get justice, you should hire a Sacramento personal injury lawyer. Apart from personal injury, you can also recover compensation for property damages.

In your first meeting with your lawyer, they will help you understand your position and your odds of winning the case successfully. The lawyer will let you know whether it is worth filing a case. So, based on the suggestions of your lawyer, you should make a decision.

The lawyer will study your documents and collect facts related to the accident in order to figure out the amount of compensation you can obtain. Your hospital records and vehicle repair charges are the most important things for your lawyer. Moreover, your lawyer can hire an investigator so as to investigate into your case. This will help him know the reason of the accident that caused you the injury.

The objective of the investigator will be to discover what happened by taking statements from eyewitnesses. Once your lawyer has taken statements from them, his or her next step would be to find out the people responsible for causing the accident.

Once your lawyer has collect relevant evidence, their next move will be to know how to proceed with the case. If you really have a case, he or she will plan to file a case. He will try to find out the liable person and to calculate damages. Most personal injury lawyers are highly trained and experienced. This means they have a wide experience dealing with personal injury cases in Sacramento, CA. They can help you know and understand your rights.

Aside from that, there are various claims when it comes to personal injury. You should consult your lawyer to know more about it. So, you should take their suggestions about the type of claim you should make. Normally, it is determined based on your injury type.

You may not be aware of the rights the constitution gives you. At times, hospitals and companies try to avoid paying compensation even when they are at fault. They try to negotiate with the victims in order to settle at a lower amount of compensation. So, you should first consult your lawyer before agreeing to settle out of the court. Do not agree to make a settlement at an unreasonable amount of compensation. Always follow the tips given by your lawyer. If the other party does not give you the right amount of compensation, you should then file a case with the help of your lawyer.

December 29, 2012

Contact a Car Accident Attorney Immediately

Accidents occur almost every second. The number of vehicles is always on the rise and people, especially, with families are prone to have their own cars so that to move from one location to another one. The causes of these accidents are numerous and most of these accidents are avoidable. But, if accidents occur at all, you have to act swiftly when you come to consciousness.
Being the driver of your car, you have to call your injury lawyer and tell him about the situation in which you are stuck at the moment. If you are injured or some other person is injured by you or there is damage to some property, you have to try to collect as much evidence as possible so that to make it sure that you may not suffer when taken to the court of law.

Car accidents cause a lot of injuries and problems to the drivers or the injured ones. You have to be pretty careful about the aftermaths of car accident. If you are injured, you have to go to the doctor and must go through the scanning process so that you get enough of proof to claim against the wrong doers. The collection of proofs will also ascertain the direction of the legal procedure and the process that will be adopted by prosecution. If you have enough of proof of your innocence, you will not suffer from the aftermaths of the accident. Moreover, if you are able to prove the negligence of another person or a department, the lawyer will be able to win a handsome amount for you so that to recover the damages from the responsible person(s).

Car accidents may be of different kinds. Your car may collide with another car, van, wagon, truck, trailer, property, pedestrian, and so on. All these collisions are afterwards taken to the court of law to fix the responsibility of the wrong doer. If you have already collected the evidence, you will have an edge over others. But, if you were unconscious, and could not collect the evidence, the lawyer or attorney will do so. He will hire professionals to go at the spot and collect as much evidence as possible. If you were not at fault, he will let you get recover damages against the loss to your car and to your health. But, even if you were the wrong doer, he will devise ways that will decrease the sentence to the minimum level by applying the sections of law that make offenses against you less serious ones.

The most probable thing is to avoid accidents as they may cause various injuries to both the car riders and the people who are in the other vehicle. For this purpose, people may go for various training sessions. But, if an accident occurs against your wishes, you have to immediately contact a lawyer in order that you should not face harsh offenses of different sections of law in the country where you are driving.

December 22, 2012

Some Facts that You Should Know About Auto Accidents

The information available regarding auto accidents is quite enormous. However, there is still a seeming lack of prudence for many motorists and pedestrians around the globe. There are people who are still driving arrogantly and carelessly as if the news they hear and watch on TV isn’t real. The fact is, there have been millions of lives taken by auto accidents all over the world. If you would take time to browse the internet or read the news paper, disturbing statistics of car crashes may cause you to be alarmed. There is an average of six million auto accidents per year in the country and trends show that it is still growing as years go by.

Facts
1. Drunk Driving - With all the reminders coming from all media outlets, it is frustrating to know that drunk driving composes 40% of total auto accidents in the country. It’s worth taking note that most of these crashes happen between 12:00 am and 3am in the morning. From 40% it rises to a booming 75% of total fatal crashes in these hours. Driving involves a certain level of discipline and maturity. After a drinking spree and you can barely see the traffic lights, it means you have had enough so don’t push your luck. An auto accident is something that you wouldn’t want to experience. Pull off and take some rest to regain sobriety.

2. Common Composition of Auto Accidents– Commonly, the people who are in a higher risk in an auto accident is those people from the age of 16 – 20 years old. School children are also easy target of car crashes. There is an average of 15 school children getting killed each year. The trend also shows that accidents are more likely to happen at 3pm to 4pm after school on weekdays. Some studies also show that the bigger the engine of a vehicle, the bigger the chance of getting involved in auto accidents. Sports cars are the most involved vehicles in road accidents. Male drivers tend to cause more accidents than female drivers. In this gender statistic, 300,000 of them are teens involved and injured yearly, with 5,000 teenage deaths due to auto accidents.

3. Circumstances – Many people are not aware that there are different types of auto accidents. The most common are called rear-end collisions, collision, side impacts, suicides, and the most deadly - roll overs. Contrary to the common belief, most auto accidents happen 5 km near the homes of victims. These misfortunes are considered the most fatal injury around the world. Records of text/call while driving are also rising. This habit increases your chance of getting in an accident by four times than a driver who is not talking or texting on a phone.

The facts mentioned above are the most prevalent data in many studies by reputable organizations and agencies. An informed citizen makes intelligent decisions in times of need.

It is a good idea if you enroll in first aid class training. Many injuries are aggravated by mishandling of patients. If you witness a road crash, call for medical assistance the soonest possible. It’s hard to determine how long a patient can last after a tremendous impact. Investing in car insurance should also be part of your monthly budget whether you are a driver or just a pedestrian. It’s better to be prepared than sorry. Lawyers are very helpful folks. They can help you make people accountable and responsible within the legal reach.

December 21, 2012

Understanding Main Reasons of Auto Accidents and How to Prevent Them

There are 32,885 people who died in auto accidents in 2010 according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Imagine the thousands of dreams shattered in those horrific deaths. On a worldwide scale, there is an average of 1.3 million people dying per year because of auto accidents. The number may not be as alarming if compared with the total no. of world’s population but it is worth-taking-note that the victims in these accidents are mostly between the ages of 15 – 29. These victims are mostly too young to die. Think of the things they could have done for themselves and for other people. The conclusion to that question is more disturbing.

There have been many studies regarding the auto accidents and there are adequate warnings to the public regarding the matter. One of the most interesting findings is the fact that people tend to be complacent when it comes to road safety. There is this kind of thinking that accidents only happen on TV. It’s very important to realize that the figures given in this article are real and they happen in real life. Auto accidents can be best avoided by knowing its main causes by heart and doing preventive measures.

Steering Wheel and a Bottle of Whisky don’t go together well

Drunk driving is the leading cause of auto accidents. This is very much true for teenagers and people in their twenties. To those people who are not aware, records of drunk driving can affect your insurance policy rates. If you are a regular party-goer, invest in your car insurance well.
There is nothing wrong with admitting that you are drunk. If you know you can’t walk in a straight line, better ask someone to drive you home. If you are drunk, admit it. In the first place that’s one of the reasons why you are in a party. There are 9,337 auto accidents caused by drunk driving in 2010, don’t aim to be one of them this year.

Stop being a Road Flash and a Road Outlaw

Speeding is obviously a bad habit in driving. No matter how late you are or how emotionally occupied you are always think rationally and never push things to the limit. The aftermath of an auto accident is never worth it. Think of the lives that you might take because of irresponsible driving. Beating the red light, ignoring traffic signs, and other road arrogance are signs that you have to review your driving lessons. Driving is a fun day-to-day activity and auto accidents are something that you should not look forward to.

Road Condition and Engine Problem

The first two mentioned auto accident causes are due to human error alone. Crashes due to risky road condition and engine problem are both error of judgment plus the external factors. Before driving your car, it is very important to check the brake, engine, lights, water, oil, and other things that will make a car reliable for a safe and sound trip. Negligence is very much part of auto accidents around the globe.

If you are driving in an unfamiliar terrain, it is very important to drive slowly. This will make you more flexible if there are adjustments that you have to take while driving. There are also road designs which are very impractical to motorist. The power to discern, whether a road is risky or not, should be part of your responsibility as a driver. Remember that a risky slope needs a slow approach. Never take chances. It’s easy to be involved in an auto accident but it will be hard to face the repercussions.

It is also important to be at the peak of your awareness while driving. Never drive in a drowsy mood. There are other unpredictable instances that may come along the way. An alert driver can always make necessary decision in just a glimpse of an eye but a sleepy driver can put everybody at the brink of death anytime.

Being a responsible driver is not only about the skill to drive but also the ability to make a necessary decision before getting in the car, while driving, and after a trip.

References:

the Guardian (2011) US road accident casualties: every one mapped across America. [online] Available at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/interactive/2011/nov/22/us-road-accident-casualties [Accessed: 27 Nov 2012].

Who.int (2012) WHO | Road traffic injuries. [online] Available at: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs358/en/index.html [Accessed: 28 Nov 2012].
Www-fars.nhtsa.dot.gov (n.d.) FARS Encyclopedia: Error. [online] Available at: http://www-fars.nhtsa.dot.gov/People/PeopleAllVictims.aspx [Accessed: 27 Nov 2012].

December 18, 2012

How Long Your Personal Injury Case Will Last?

Are you involved in a car crash which occurred due to another party’s negligence? Have you sustained injuries in the accident? Was your car damaged severely? If so, it is the right time to file a personal injury case in order to get compensation from the negligent party.

When it comes to filing a case, people ask many different questions. One of the most commonly asked questions is about the length of time the lawyer can take to win the case and reach a settlement. This is indeed a very important question. This is because if you know how long it will take, then you will find it easier to prepare for it. This is one reason why you should figure out the amount of time your case can take.

According to most lawyers, a personal injury case can take one to two years to be settled. Usually, most cases are settled within one year. One year is a reasonable amount of time but some complicated cases can take several years. If your case is not too complicated, your lawyer can settle in a few months. With the help of your lawyer, you can figure out the amount of time your case can take. However, your case cannot guarantee that he or she will be able to settle your case in one or two months, for example.

In the first year of a personal injury lawsuit, the lawyer will talk about the injury you sustained in the accident. The next important thing is find out information about the injury, diagnosis and the treatment performed by doctors. The role of the lawyer you have hired would be to conduct a thorough investigation into the case and prepare necessary records. With the help of these records, the lawyer will better understand your case.

During the first year, he will inform the related parties, such as insurance company of your case. The next step of your lawyer will be to file a claim. The other parties will then take the necessary steps. They may contact your lawyer to settle the case out of court.

Many factors should be taken into account in order to estimate the amount of time a personal injury case can take. Your lawyer can consider your prognosis and if the injuries are severe, then the amount of compensation will be higher. As a result, the fight between the lawyers will be intense. So, the case can consume more time.

Being a personal injury compensation claimant, it is important for you to figure out the severity of your injuries and the amount of time you can take to recover from the injuries. This way you can make the right decision as to how to make a claim. At the end of the day, this will determine the amount of compensation you can expect to recover from the opposing party.

December 18, 2012

Seeking Legal Help for Personal Injury Compensation

Have you ever been in an auto accident? Have you sustained a back injury? If so, then it is important for you to know how to file a claim to get compensation for the injuries you received. Knowing this is very important for the victims of these accidents. The amount of compensation you can recover depends on the kind of injuries and damages that occurred in the accident. So, getting assistance from a good lawyer is a stroke of genius in such cases. The compensation will include social damages as well as general damages.

General damages consist of loss of amenity, physical as well as mental injuries. Special damages comprise loss of income, property damage, traveling expenses, accommodation expenses, medical bills, and many other related expenses. As a victim, you should seek legal assistance in order to know more as to the accident compensation amount. The general as well as special damages will increase the amount of compensation you can get.

There are many things that you should do if you are in an auto accident. It is important for you to collect evidence as soon as possible. With your mobile phone camera, you can take snapshots of the car or truck and the spot where the accident occurred. You should also get the contact details of the eyewitnesses of the accident. Once you have contacted the police and acquired the necessary details, your next step should be to get legal assistance. For this purpose, you should contact a lawyer who has plenty of experience on hand. He will be able to get you the compensation you deserve.

In an accident, you may receive minor or serious injuries. The symptoms of some injuries start to appear after a couple days. Whiplash is amongst the most common injuries that occur in a car crash. The attorney can figure out the amount of compensation by scanning through the medical reports of the victim. In case the victim loses his or her job due to the accident, the family of the victim can choose to file a compensation claim with the help of a legal professional. With the help of your lawyer, you can be sure of receiving maximum amount of compensation possible. This is usually done by negotiating with the insurance provider of the other party.

Personal injury lawyers, for the most part, agree to take such cases on a no-win-no-fee basis. This means the lawyer will not charge you any fee until he or she wins your case. If the lawyer wins your case and secures compensation from the other party, you can then pay him or her out of the compensation amount you obtained. Most lawyers take 1/3 of the total amount of compensation as a service fee.

November 30, 2012

How Long Does It Take To Settle A Car Accident Case?

Have you had a car accident recently? Are you hurt badly? Are you wondering how long it will take you to settle the case? If so, you have come across the right article. Many things can occur due to a car accident like vehicular damage, injuries, disability, loss of job and death. If you want to recover the damages as soon as possible then you might be wanting to know the amount of time it may take to settle the car accident case. Given below are some fundamental guidelines that can help you determine the amount of time you may take to settle the case.

Circumstances of The Accident 

As with any case, you need to consider circumstances in order to assess the time and energy that should be invested to resolve the case. A case can take months or even years to resolve depending upon the complications involved. You case can settle in a couple of weeks if the other party does not defend and accepts its fault. On the other hand, a complicate case involving problems, such as disability, drunk driving or even death of the victim can take months or years to reach a resolution. So, basically, it depends on the circumstances.

Attitude of the Insurance Provider

The attitude of the insurance company is another factor that can make a lawsuit shorter or longer. If the insurance providers refuses to settle ASAP or chooses to prolong the case using different tricks, then you may expect to deal with the case for several months or even years. On the other hand, a bona fide insurance provider that prioritize the consumer interests oven their own will try to settle the case in a couple of weeks instead of spending a tidy sum of money to prolong the case.

Ability of Your Lawyer 

The ability of your lawyer also play an important role in resolving your case in short order. While choosing a good lawyer, make sure the lawyer listens to you carefully. Aside from this, the lawyer should have years of experience handling car accident cases successfully. The success rate of the lawyer should be high. An experienced lawyer can handle your case much better than an inexperienced one. So, it is better to hire a specialist rather than a general lawyer.

Have Patience 

Some clients are very desperate to have their case settled. For this purpose, they agree to settle on a small amount that is not reasonable. They do not even bother to consult an experienced lawyer. Some insincere insurance providers offer a small amount of compensation to desperate and needy victims so as to save money. So, if you trust your lawyer, then you should have patience and let them settle the case and recover the right amount of compensation.

If you are involved in a car accident case, you should keep the above mentioned points in mind. By knowing the length of time you will take to settle the case, you can avoid making wrong decision. Hope you will find this article helpful in determining the amount of time you can expect to resolve your car accident case.

November 30, 2012

How Long Does It Take To Settle A Car Accident Case?

Have you had a car accident recently? Are you hurt badly? Are you wondering how long it will take you to settle the case? If so, you have come across the right article. Many things can occur due to a car accident like vehicular damage, injuries, disability, loss of job and death. If you want to recover the damages as soon as possible then you might be wanting to know the amount of time it may take to settle the car accident case. Given below are some fundamental guidelines that can help you determine the amount of time you may take to settle the case.

Circumstances of The Accident 

As with any case, you need to consider circumstances in order to assess the time and energy that should be invested to resolve the case. A case can take months or even years to resolve depending upon the complications involved. You case can settle in a couple of weeks if the other party does not defend and accepts its fault. On the other hand, a complicate case involving problems, such as disability, drunk driving or even death of the victim can take months or years to reach a resolution. So, basically, it depends on the circumstances.

Attitude of the Insurance Provider

The attitude of the insurance company is another factor that can make a lawsuit shorter or longer. If the insurance providers refuses to settle ASAP or chooses to prolong the case using different tricks, then you may expect to deal with the case for several months or even years. On the other hand, a bona fide insurance provider that prioritize the consumer interests oven their own will try to settle the case in a couple of weeks instead of spending a tidy sum of money to prolong the case.

Ability of Your Lawyer 

The ability of your lawyer also play an important role in resolving your case in short order. While choosing a good lawyer, make sure the lawyer listens to you carefully. Aside from this, the lawyer should have years of experience handling car accident cases successfully. The success rate of the lawyer should be high. An experienced lawyer can handle your case much better than an inexperienced one. So, it is better to hire a specialist rather than a general lawyer.

Have Patience 

Some clients are very desperate to have their case settled. For this purpose, they agree to settle on a small amount that is not reasonable. They do not even bother to consult an experienced lawyer. Some insincere insurance providers offer a small amount of compensation to desperate and needy victims so as to save money. So, if you trust your lawyer, then you should have patience and let them settle the case and recover the right amount of compensation.

If you are involved in a car accident case, you should keep the above mentioned points in mind. By knowing the length of time you will take to settle the case, you can avoid making wrong decision. Hope you will find this article helpful in determining the amount of time you can expect to resolve your car accident case.

November 25, 2012

Why Do You Need a Car Accident Lawyer?

If you are reading this article, chances are that you are looking for a car accident lawyer. Most people turn to car accident lawyers when they or their loved ones have faced a car accident. The fact is that it is a good idea to hire a lawyer to deal with matters after an auto accident. But it is of paramount important to do research and come up with shortlisted lawyers to choose from. Not all lawyers are competent enough. Therefore, you should take the time and choose a trust worthy lawyer. Given below are some reasons why you should hire a car accident attorney in the event of facing an accident.

Death

When a road accident causes the death of one or two people, it is understood that the matter should be taken to the court of law. If you have been seriously injured in such an accident, you should be able to hire a lawyer to handle your case. You will become an eyewitness in such accidents. Your lawyer will help you to describe everything clearly in the court.

Personal injuries

If you are hurt in the accident, you will need to settle everything properly. A car accident lawyer will evaluate everything carefully in order to find out who should make payment for the damages. It is not easy to pay medical expenses. So, you should sue the guilty to recover compensation in order to pay medical expenses.

Justice

You cannot put the whole blame on the opposing party in order to run away from the consequences. If you are guilty, then you are responsible for the accident. You need not worry about the consequences if there is an experienced lawyer on your side to assist you in dealing with the matters.

Bystanders

When many innocent individuals have been injured in an accident, it is understood that a lawyer should be hired. This is because you have injured a lot people, and they will come to you in anger. In order to deal with these matters, you should get in touch with a lawyer as soon as possible.

Insurance matters

Every day thousands of road accidents take place. These accidents can cost you a lot of money. You will have to spend a considerable amount of money to get your car repaired. With the assistance of a legal adviser, you can file a case for your rights. If you deserve to receive compensation, your lawyer will help you get it.

You may find it hard to deal with an auto accident lawsuit on your own, especially if you do not know anything about such lawsuits. So, you should hire someone to help you do everything in the best way possible. As long as the lawyer is competent and credible, you can be sure that everything will be fine. Based on the above mentioned reasons, you should understand that it is important to hire a trust worthy lawyer in case of an auto accident. So, take your time and ask around before hiring a lawyer to deal with your case.

November 24, 2012

Why Auto Accident Attorneys Are Necessary

Some people are against hiring an auto accident lawyer. Lawyers cost a lot of money and are not worth hiring, according to them. So, they try to handle their case on their own when they have an auto accident. The truth is that it is not a good idea to handle such serious cases without the assistance of an experienced lawyer. It should be kept in mind that these professionals may seem costly, but the services they offer are always worth the money. In this article, we are going to spell out why it is so important to hire an auto accident lawyer whenever someone faces an accident.

First off, try to understand why lawyers charge a lot of money for handling personal injury lawsuits. One reason is that this field of law is overly complex and keeps on changing. Therefore, lawyers have to work hard in order to keep with the dynamic laws. Aside from this, they have to make continuous efforts so as to improve their skills. They have to fight the competition or people will not want to hire them to handle their cases. As a result, they charge a high fee to provide quality services.

Now, you can see that a common person does not have the knowledge and skills required to handle complex cases. Only a trained and experienced individual, such as an auto accident lawyer can handle such cases effectively.

Another reason why you should hire an expert car/truck accident lawyer is that they can minimize your stress by handling your case. This is important especially if the accident involves personal injuries and vehicle damage. In case of an auto accident, you have to deal with a lot of things. You may have to tolerate severe pain. As a result, you will have to seek the advice of a doctor to cure your injuries.

Just imagine a person who has to put on crutches because of injuries they receive in a car accident. This can have severe impact on their lives. They will not be able to do things by themselves. By hiring a lawyer to deal with their case on their behalf can reduce their stress to a great extent.

Lastly, it is a must to get help from an auto accident lawyer because they can increase the chances of winning the case. If you fight your case on your own, you will come across a lot of things you do not know anything about. You may not understand that how important and hard it can be to convince the judge or jury that you are the true victim. For this, you should be skilled and knowledgeable. Lack of skills and knowledge are the most common reasons why many people lose cases they could have won. So, it is a good idea to hire the services of a good lawyer with an intention to save money. Therefore, you should hire a lawyer as soon as possible after you have faced an accident.

November 22, 2012

Car Accident Attorney - Understand The Details Of Insurance

It goes without saying that auto accidents can be deadly. At times, these accidents cause a lot of deaths. This is because vehicles have become bulkier and more powerful due to advancements in technology. Whenever these bulky vehicles crash into another vehicle, lots of people get injured or even lose their lives. So, whenever you have an auto accident, you should turn to a bona fide and expert auto accident lawyer. The lawyer will let you know whether you have an case and whether you should file a case against the vehicle driver.

At times, people receive serious head injuries in an accident and some even go insane. They suffer from a total loss of sense. Nowadays, youngsters are not willing to slow down vehicles and break traffic rules. As a result, they hit their vehicles into another vehicle or pedestrians. Therefore, you might contact a lawyer outright whenever you are in such a situation. Another thing you should consider is your insurance provider.

Are you a driver? If so, do have an insurance policy? The insurance provider can save you from a lot of hassle involved in a car accident. The first thing you should right after an accident is to send the victim to a medical doctor. This is because the health of the victim is of paramount importance. If the victim is insured, then their insurance company can bear the expenses. However, you should fight till end in order to obtain the compensation for dealing with medical charges.

If you have come across a lawyer who deals with only minor car accidents, then you should leave that lawyer and look for a more experienced lawyer who has experience handling serious accident cases. Always, choose a lawyer who has a good understanding of your situation. That lawyer will help you get out of trouble. Your lawyer will make sure whether the accident happened due to the driver who was not obeying the traffic rules.

Most of the time, auto accidents affect the health and the vehicle of another person. If you are insured, you will not have to pay a tidy sum of money to the victim. On the other hand, if you are not insured, then you will be in hot water. In such a situation, you should definitely get in touch with a car/truck accident lawyer to get professional assistance to deal with your case.

November 8, 2012

Why Car Accident Lawyers Are Important

Being involved in a car accident can be a terrible experience and facing the consequences can be more painful. After the accident, you have a host of things to handle, so you should hire someone who could take care of the legal matters for you. You need to make sure that the case is filed properly with the concerned court and the entire process is completed in the best way possible.

The best way to do so is by finding and hiring a competent car accident attorney. Not all lawyers are competent enough to deal with car accident cases. Therefore, you must do research and come up with a list of reputable lawyers in your area. Then you should compare the services of the shortlisted lawyers and choose one who is competent as well as cost effective. An experienced lawyer can fight your case in the court successfully and recover the compensation you deserve from the guilty party.

By hiring a reliable and experienced lawyer to handle your lawsuit, you are actually leaving the hard part to the legal counsel. Keep in mind that it is not easy to deal with insurance companies. Insurance companies try their best to pay the minimum amount possible as compensation. When the opposing party finds out that you do not have any experience negotiating insurance companies, they will use many different techniques in order to reduce the amount of compensation. The bulk of victims who file such claims come to know that it is a hard nut to crack collecting proofs and proving their point in the court. Since they have no experience dealing with insurance providers, opposition takes advantage of this and takes steps to lower the compensation amount you can receive.

When you are involved in a car accident, you may need to spend a considerable amount of money out of your own pocket. Expenses include medical bills, vehicle repair charges and so on. So, it will cost you a lot of money. Hiring a good car accident attorney will help you reduce these costs. The lawyer will discuss matters with the party that caused the accident in order to recover a reasonable amount of compensation for you. Why should you pay for the negligence of a third party? Of course, they will have to pay the money to you.
 
 
To cut a long story short, you cannot handle a car accident case unless you are a lawyer yourself. This is why hiring a car accident attorney is so important. You should always look for the best lawyer in your area to fight your case in the court of law. Normally, personal injury lawyers agree to handle personal injury cases on contingency basis. So, you do not need to worry about the lawyer’s fee. You will pay them only if you recover compensation from the opposing party. Therefore, do not underestimate the importance of a car accident lawyer. They will try their best to help you win the case. Always choose wisely!

November 1, 2012

Why You Should Hire A Car Accident Lawyer

You need to keep a few factors in mind before hiring a car accident attorney. The majority of auto accident cases can be handled without the assistance of a lawyer. But this is not always the case. Some cases are complicated and can be handled only with the help of a professional lawyer. The lawyer will help protect your rights and receive compensation for the injuries you received in the accident. The following are some important reasons why you should hire a good car accident lawyer.

Keep in mind the job of the insurance provider is to pay smallest amounts possible against insurance claims. A lawyer can help you negotiate with the insurance company to make settlement without taking the matter to the court. However, if the matter is not resolved through negotiation, then your lawyer can decide on taking the case to the court. On the other hand, if you make a deal with the insurance company directly and receive compensation, then your lawyer will not be able to help you. So, it is better to hire a lawyer in order to negotiate with the insurance company.

If a lawyer feels that your case is worth taking to the court, you should then accept it. Most lawyers are ready to work on a contingency basis so you should prefer this mode of payment. In this method of payment, you do not need to make any upfront payment to the lawyer. Instead, they will agree to take a percentage of the amount recovered as compensation. Normally, the fee is about 1/3rd of the compensation received. Ask you lawyer whether the payment will include all the legal expenses.

Do not wait too long to choose and hire a lawyer, as it will make it more difficult for your attorney to fight your case and recover compensation from the guilty parties involved.
Ask your lawyer if they can provide you with references. In addition, you should consider the experience of the lawyer as well. Normally, it is better to hire a lawyer who has years of experience handling personal injury cases. An experienced lawyer knows the system and can negotiate effectively with the insurance company.

Handling a personal injury case will sound more difficult and tiresome to you especially if you do not know anything about legal matters. Your lawyer is there to provide you with advice as they have years of experience. They will evaluate your case thoroughly in order to find out whether the case can be settled outside court.

As said earlier, dealing with a personal injury is not as easy as you may think. It has many problems, such as injuries, repair claims, disabilities and settlement issues. So, if you find it too difficult to deal with the opposite party, then it is important that you should consider hiring a bona fide lawyer. Before hiring the lawyer, check on their reputation and background and make sure you feel comfortable with them.

October 17, 2012

Hire A Personal Injury Attorney To Fight Insurance Companies

A personal injury lawyer is a professional who can help you negotiate with insurance companies. Unfortunately, if you have faced an accident, the insurance provider can provide you with the liability protection in order make sure you do not suffer due to the negligence of someone else. However, the agent of an insurance company is responsible to keep costs low. As a result, the insurance company may try to avoid paying you a fair amount for settlement. These agents are very clever and try to trick you if they feel you do not know much about insurance company laws. Therefore, it is recommended to hire a personal injury lawyer to help you deal with the insurance companies.

Don't Settle right away

At times, an insurance provider will spur on you to settle the claim immediately. You need to pay your medical bills and have your car repaired as soon as possible, so what is the harm in making a settlement outright? The thing is that you can take months in order to figure out the losses you had to suffer from due to the accident. And If you do not take your time so as to figure out these costs, you may end up losing a great deal of money.

Some common losses are often not considered in initial claims. These losses include lost function or mobility, lost time at work, pain or suffering, medical or long-term disability. So, you should hire a competent personal injury lawyer in order to include these things in the claim and handle the related matters with convenience. Sometimes, you can acquire the money you need in advance with the professional assistance of a personal injury lawyer. This is because you have to go through a legal structure in order to access the funds.

Bullied Into Submission

Oftentimes, an insurance agent can try to make you believe that you should avail the offer they are making or you are going to miss out. It is right that there are statutes of limitation in the majority of such cases but they are, for the most part, a few years away. But the amount you have decided to claim should not be based upon the length of time you need to agree to the terms or file the claim. Again, in order to make a fair settlement to cover your expenses, you might turn to a professional lawyer.

Going to Court

In some cases, you may need to take the matter to the court of law in order to prove your case. A professional lawyer can easily provide you with the type of assistance you need in the court. They may collect proof and let you know how to answer questions in the court.

Most of insurance companies have expert lawyers working with them. So, dealing with the insurance company without knowledge of relevant laws is not an easy task. You should not miss out just because you do not have experience dealing with such matters. By choosing the right attorney, you can get the help you need. You can do some research in your locality in order to prepare the list of lawyers and then choose one that has a lot of experience.

September 10, 2012

Top Causes of Car Accidents

Some individuals are afraid of traveling by airplane and they completely avoid it. However, the fact is that the number of road accidents is greater than that of airplane crashes. We cannot avoid eating or drinking. In the same way, we cannot avoid using cars or other means of transportation to get to our desired places. Due to the increasing number of vehicles, the number of car accidents is on the rise.

There are numerous causes of car accidents. Every day, we hear news about road accidents. Many people get injured or even die in severe car accidents. Nowadays, scores of diversified things lead to car accidents. Following are some common causes of vehicle accidents:

Drunk Driving

After the establishment of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Uncle Sam imposed strict laws in order to control drunk driving. After the implementation of these laws, the number of road accidents due to drunk driving reduced significantly.

However, despite these preventive measures, one of the most common causes of car accidents is drunk driving. As long as there are stubborn people who are habitual of drinking while driving, it is impossible to control the issue of drunk driving.

Speeding

Another common cause of car accidents is speeding. Exceeding the set speed limit can lead to car accidents. Whenever you exceed the speed limit, you put your life at risk. In fact, you may injure and kill other people as well. Over speeding and lack of control over the car can result in a severe car accident. In order to drive a car properly, you should have complete control over its speed.

Car Breakdown

You might have seen cars being sent back to the manufactures due to technical faults. Despite many breakthroughs and innovations in the car manufacturing industry, there can be technical defects in some cars. When these defective cars are driven on the roads, they can go out of control and cause accidents.

But we cannot say that only car manufacturers are responsible for these car accidents. Accidents can also take place due to the negligence of car owners. The car should be checked regularly to fix any defects. Lack of maintenance can lead to brake malfunction, tire inflation, busted headlights, and broken taillights and so on. You are responsible to take care of your car and have it repaired as soon as possible.

Faulty Road Design

Faulty roads are another major cause of car accidents. Some road designs are not appropriate for some areas. The government is responsible if road accidents take place due to the inappropriate road designs.

Road Condition

Severe weather has bad affects on the road condition. During the construction of roads, some debris is left on the roads. These things can lead to road accidents. The government is responsible for these accidents. Apart from the damages caused by the weather, light road damage also takes place every now and then due to the unattended potholes. Again, the government is liable.

So, these are some common causes of car accidents nowadays. Preventive measures should be taken to avoid auto accidents and if you have been injured call an attorney immediately.

Moseley Collins is an auto accident attorney in the Sacramento area. Call 916-444-4444 for a free over-the-phone consultation!

September 4, 2012

How To Find A Suitable Car Accident Attorney

The field of law is complicated. It has innumerable branches and every branch has many sub-branches. It is not possible for one lawyer to specialize in all of these branches, so they choose one or two to specialize in. In the same way, a branch of law is associated with car accidents and an attorney or lawyer who handles cases related to this field is known as a car accident attorney.

As the name suggests, the role of a car accident attorney is to deal with cases involving car accidents. In car accidents, a person may or may not get injured but the vehicle surely receives some severe dents. Are you involved in a car accident? If so, then you might consider hiring a car accident attorney in order to handle your case. This will give you many benefits, for example, a competent attorney will make certain their insurance company will pay for the damage to your vehicle or physical or emotional damage you experienced in the car accident.

Car accidents are very common, so you may need to hire a car accident attorney at any time. Therefore, in this article, we have given some simple but useful tips about how you can find a competent car accident lawyer.

First off, when you need to hire a lawyer, the ideal way to start your search is to ask around. You might ask your relatives, friends and neighbors for referrals. Some of them may have had an experience working with a lawyer. They may refer you to some good lawyers and give you suggestions about how a certain lawyer works. They can tell you about their work ethics. Such information can help you find the best lawyer.

You can scan through newspapers to kick off the search. Another good place to begin your search is phone directories. These sources can help you prepare a list of suitable lawyers. You can contact these lawyers later to find out more information. The lawyer you choose should have an excellent past record, long experience and the ability to negotiate effectively. Successful attorneys can settle most of cases without taking them to the court of law. Your attorney should also be able to settle the case without the involvement of the court. However, if the case is serous and it becomes necessary to take it to the court, then the lawyer should be able to reach a settlement at the minimum amount possible.

Aside from these, you need to make certain that the lawyer you have chosen is absolutely honest in all his dealings and allows you to discuss your case with him. Moreover, he should update you on the progress of the case on a regular basis. If you can find an attorney who agrees to receive payment after he wins the case, do hire him after having a consultation. Before hiring that attorney, do not forget to settle all monetary matters. There should be a written contract stating all the agreed terms. Review the agreement carefully before signing it. Make payment to the lawyer once the case is settled successfully.


If you are in need of a Sacramento car accident attorney call Moseley Collins right now and get a free consultation! 916-444-4444

July 27, 2012

Construction Companies’ Negligent Maintenance of Construction Site Cause Sacramento Car Accident

The following blog entry is written to illustrate how a car accident lawsuit might follow. Reviewing this kind of case should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

Summary of Facts:
In April 2001 Jim Mire and his wife, Dallas Mire, were traveling east on A Road in Sacramento, CA. Mire said he stopped at the stop sign at the intersection of A and B Street and then proceeded through the intersection and entered a construction project, which he claimed was inadequately marked and unlighted. While maneuvering around the construction cones, his vehicle hit a gravel pile and became airborne and rolled over. Dallas Mire, who was seated in the front passenger seat, was ejected from the car and killed when the vehicle landed on her. She was pronounced dead at the scene. Mire testified at his criminal trial regarding the accident that he had had two beers prior to the accident.

According to Dr. Tent, Mire “sustained a significant de-gloving injury to his right thigh, requiring numerous surgeries.” Tent also said Mire reported losing consciousness at the scene of the accident and said there were changes in his brain as a result of the accident. Mire said he had significant pain in his thigh and hands and had difficulty sleeping.

According to XYZ Construction, Inc., it was the prime contractor for a park expansion project that was the scene of the accident. XYZ subcontracted with 123 Enterprises to construct the site preparation and 987 Barricade to install bumpers, cones and signage in accordance with a barricade plan.

Mire filed a lawsuit in Sacramento County District Court against the city and the three construction companies. Janice Penn, acting as the Administratrix of the Estate of Dallas Mire, sued the same defendants and also sued Mire. Mire and Penn's cases were consolidated.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Construction Companies’ Negligent Maintenance of Construction Site Cause Sacramento Car Accident" »

July 20, 2012

Woman Alleges Defendants’ Negligence Caused Sacramento Car Accident, Part 2 of 2

The following blog entry is written to illustrate how a car accident lawsuit might follow. Reviewing this kind of case should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

Plaintiff claimed that the ditch was, therefore, a hazard without any cones, barricades, caution tape, or other warnings along the edge of the upper parking lot, and that the gate to the lot should not have been left open.

Defendant Maerk contended that defendants wood supplier and/or premises owner were negligent in leaving the parking lot gate open, in that he had told the property owner to keep the gate closed. Defendant Maerk also contended that the plaintiff's employer was negligent for driving at an unsafe speed for the rainy conditions and for failing to see the ditch.

CLAIMED INJURIES
According to Plaintiff: Mild traumatic brain injury; chronic debilitating migraine headaches; decreased concentration; cognitive problems; vertigo; tinnitus; fatigue; memory problems; depression; anxiety.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Woman Alleges Defendants’ Negligence Caused Sacramento Car Accident, Part 2 of 2" »

July 13, 2012

Aspiring Architect Injured In On-The-Job Car Accident in Sacramento, CA, Part 1 of 2

The following blog entry is written to illustrate how a car accident lawsuit might follow. Reviewing this kind of case should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

FACTS/CONTENTIONS
According to Plaintiff: On Dec. 20, 2001, plaintiff Jane Doe was working as a 42-year-old designer at an architectural firm and was a passenger in a car driven by her employer. They were on their way to an appointment at defendant wood supplier's retail store located in Oakland. Defendant premises owner owned the subject real property along with the wood supplier business. Months prior, defendant owner had hired defendant Guy Maerk dba ABC Construction, a licensed general contractor, to renovate the wood supplier premises including work in the parking lot.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Aspiring Architect Injured In On-The-Job Car Accident in Sacramento, CA, Part 1 of 2" »

June 25, 2012

Sacramento Teenager Suffers Brain Injury From Drunk Driving Car Crash, Part 2 of 2

The following blog entry is written to illustrate an example of a personal injury case. Reviewing this kind of lawsuit should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this personal injury lawsuit and its proceedings.)

Plaintiff neuroradiology experts Bart Preston and Fred Millhop interpreted the various imaging studies and explained to the jury how old blood from micro-tearing of the tissue in the brain was the result of trauma as shown by MRI sensitivity studies.

Plaintiff neuropsychology experts Larry Zoo and James Schnell, who had extensive involvement with German, embraced the prior history and explained to the jury that he was a compromised kid to begin with whose problems were mostly situational, and that he had a strong probability of succeeding in life in a structured environment, such as the military.

Approximately six weeks prior to the accident, German was tested for and diagnosed with serious learning disabilities. He also had a pre-existing history of ADHD, bipolar disorder, explosive disorder, and a long history of psychiatric medication therapy.

German sought $26,000 for past medical expenses, a life care plan estimated at $7.9 million present cash value ($42 million not reduced to present cash value), and damages for lost earnings and pain and suffering. He asked the jury for a total of $72 million.
Boon argued that there was no injury and no connection between the hemorrhage and the accident, that German's condition was better at present than it was before the accident, and that the case was an exaggeration.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Sacramento Teenager Suffers Brain Injury From Drunk Driving Car Crash, Part 2 of 2" »

June 25, 2012

Mother and Two Children are Rear-Ended at Stoplight in Sacramento Car Crash

The following blog entry is written to illustrate how a car accident lawsuit might follow. Reviewing this kind of case should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)
INJURIES: Ms. Tulip severely injured her back, undergoing an anterior cervical discectomy, cervical fusion and cervical plating at C5-6.

Facts:
On May 27, 2004, plaintiff Janice Tulip, 40s, a certified Bowen therapist, was driving a station wagon eastbound on Sunset Avenue in Fair Oaks. Her children--Brittney, age 17; and Sam, age 14--were passengers in the back. At the Hazel Avenue intersection, Ms. Tulip stopped to make a right turn, and was rear-ended by a sedan driven by Herman Young.

Claiming physical damages, the Tulips sued Young for motor vehicle negligence.

Young admitted liability for purposes of arbitration.

Brittney sustained soft-tissue injuries to her neck and back. She treated 25 times with a chiropractor and had no residuals.

Sam suffered severe pain in his lower back and neck and headaches. Treating chiropractor Dan Ernie diagnosed cervical sprain, and he underwent 27 chiropractic sessions. At trial, Sam claimed residual pain, saying that he would need 40 Bowen treatments from his mother.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Mother and Two Children are Rear-Ended at Stoplight in Sacramento Car Crash" »

June 18, 2012

Young Man Alleges Car Crash Ruined His Military Career, Part 1 of 2

The following blog entry is written to illustrate an example of a personal injury case. Reviewing this kind of lawsuit should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this personal injury lawsuit and its proceedings.)

INJURIES: German alleged a mild traumatic brain injury and cognitive deficits. After the accident, he was taken to an emergency room. The paramedic report and ER records indicated that there was no loss of consciousness and that neurological exams were normal. A CT scan of his brain 72 hours after the accident was normal with no signs of bleeding, swelling or bruising. German returned to school and took the California High School Exit Examination within 72 hours of the accident.

Facts:
On May 8, 2005, plaintiff Sal German, 17, a high school student, was a passenger in a sport utility vehicle that was riding on Avenue K in Sacramento. The SUV was struck head-on by a car operated by allegedly drunk driver Devon Boon, who lost control of the vehicle as he came around a curve in the road.

German, who was no longer a minor at trial, sued Boon and Boon's employer, the owner of the vehicle, for motor vehicle negligence.

The employer settled before trial for $8,186,000, and the case proceeded against Boon.
Prior to trial, Boon pled not guilty to drinking and driving charges, and claimed that a defective brake pedal in the vehicle and a dangerous curve on the road caused the collision.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Young Man Alleges Car Crash Ruined His Military Career, Part 1 of 2" »

June 18, 2012

Vehicle Collided at Traffic Circle in Sacramento Residential Area

The following blog entry is written to illustrate how a car accident lawsuit might follow. Reviewing this kind of case should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

INJURIES: Two years after the accident, Gertrude underwent a C4-5 and C5-6 fusion surgery.

Facts:
On May 11, 2004, plaintiff Harriet Gertrude, 40, a former computer program manager who was unemployed at the time, was driving a sedan westbound on the inside lane of a traffic circle in Sacramento, CA. Stuart Heinsman was driving a compact car southbound. He entered the traffic circle after passing a yield sign, and the front left of Heinsman's auto struck the front right of Gertrude's auto.

Claiming physical damages, Gertrude sued Heinsman for motor vehicle negligence.
Gertrude claimed that Heinsman failed to yield at the yield sign.

Gertrude later underwent a carpal tunnel release to her right wrist and ulnar nerve transposition to her right elbow.

Gertrude claimed that her surgery and other procedures resulted directly from the car accident, claiming medical specials of $70,000.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Vehicle Collided at Traffic Circle in Sacramento Residential Area" »

June 11, 2012

Sacramento Drunk Driver Causes Multiple-Car Accident

The following blog entry is written to illustrate an example of a personal injury case. Reviewing this kind of lawsuit should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this personal injury lawsuit and its proceedings.)

INJURIES: William sustained serious fractures to both feet and injuries to his back and neck. He was transported by paramedics to the hospital. He was immobilized for over three months and his initial recovery took a year. After three complicated foot surgeries performed in 2003, he attempted to return to work as a truck driver, but claimed that he couldn't due to foot, back and neck injuries, as well as depression and other emotional problems.

Facts:
On April 20, 2003, plaintiff Trevor William, a 43-year-old truck driver, was driving his pickup near Sacramento when Kim Silver, driving an SUV, struck him head-on. Patricia Heather, who was driving behind William, then struck his pickup also.

All three vehicles were totaled.

William sued Silver and Heather for negligent operation of their motor vehicles.

He claimed that Silver was intoxicated. He contended that Heather broadsided his truck due to inattention, tailgating and use of her cell phone.

Heather claimed that she swerved to the right to avoid the main collision and hit the bed of William's pick-up as they both came to a stop on the dirt shoulder.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Sacramento Drunk Driver Causes Multiple-Car Accident" »

June 11, 2012

Sacramento Three Car Accident Causes Strains and Head Injury

The following blog entry is written to illustrate how a car accident lawsuit might follow. Reviewing this kind of case should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

INJURIES: Graves was taken from the scene of the accident via ambulance to Sacramento General Hospital. She was diagnosed with a cervical strain and mild closed head injury. Phillip Zelda did not have any emergency medical treatment.

Facts:
On Dec. 26, 2003, plaintiffs Leslie Graves, 63, retired, and Phillip Zelda, 64, also retired, were passengers in an SUV driven by their son, Brian Zelda, traveling on 19th Avenue in Sacramento directly in front of a van driven by Mitchell Burt. Fran Wallas was driving an SUV in front of Zelda' vehicle. Wallas stopped suddenly at the intersection when she became confused as to the color of the traffic signal controlling her lane of travel. Brian Zelda was able to stop in time, but Burt was not. His van struck Zelda' SUV, pushing it into Wallas's. Phillip Zelda and Graves claimed that they sustained strains and sprains in the accident.

Phillip Zelda and Graves sued Burt and the owner of the van he was driving, Linda Burt. They alleged that Mitchell Burt was negligent in the operation of a motor vehicle and that Linda Burt was vicariously liable for his actions.

Zelda and Graves claimed that Mitchell Burt's inattention and failure to keep a safe distance behind their son's vehicle was the sole proximate cause of the accident.

The Burts argued that the accident was caused by the negligence of Wallas, who was not a party in the lawsuit. They further contended that no evidence was presented on behalf of Zelda or Graves to establish negligence on the part of Matthew Burt. They argued that but for the negligence of Wallas the accident never would have occurred, and that the accident was unavoidable on the part of Mitchell Burt.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Sacramento Three Car Accident Causes Strains and Head Injury" »

June 4, 2012

Wife and Child Sue After Husband Dies From Pain Medication Overdoes Prescribed After Car Accident

The following blog entry is written to illustrate an example of a personal injury case. Reviewing this kind of lawsuit should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this personal injury lawsuit and its proceedings.)

INJURIES: Adam and Gillian both complained of neck and back pain after the accident, and went to an urgent care center later that day. Both proceeded with conservative care with physical therapists and chiropractors.

Facts:
On Jan. 8, 2002, plaintiffs' decedent Adam Oliver, 41, a self-employed marketer of promotional materials, was driving a car with his daughter, plaintiff Gillian Oliver, riding as a passenger. They were rear-ended by a California Department of Transportation pickup truck on Shaw Avenue, near its intersection with West Avenue in Fresno.

Adam eventually underwent a lumbar discectomy fusion to remedy his injuries, and then accidentally died from an overdose of painkillers.

Adam's widow Janice, individually and as successor-in-interest to Adam and Gillian, sued Caltrans, claiming that the agency was entirely at fault for the accident. They also claimed that Adam had been slowing for traffic when he was hit.

The plaintiffs further claimed that, since Adam would not have been taking pain medication if he had not been in the accident, Caltrans was responsible for his accidental death.

Caltrans admitted liability for the car accident, but disputed liability for Adam's death.
Adam's lower back pain did not resolve, but kept getting worse. He sought treatment from various specialists, and then underwent a three-level lumbar discectomy and fusion. During the fusion, there was a complication that caused nerve damage. The nerve damage caused Adam significant chronic post-operative pain in his back and legs, for which he was prescribed pain medications.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Wife and Child Sue After Husband Dies From Pain Medication Overdoes Prescribed After Car Accident" »

June 4, 2012

Woman Claims Sacramento Car Accident Causes Life-Changing Injury

The following blog entry is written to illustrate how a car accident lawsuit might follow. Reviewing this kind of case should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

INJURIES: Torrance sought care the following day. She claimed a life-changing injury to her lower back that developed into discitis at L5-S1. She underwent orthopedic medical treatment and chiropractic care and got MRIs and epidurals. She claimed in excess of $21,000 in medical specials.

Facts:
On March 5, 2004, plaintiff Martha Torrance, 30s, a sales representative, was driving a sedan southbound on Interstate 5 in Sacramento. Fred Rudolph was driving a utility truck in the same direction on the same roadway in the scope of his employment with California XYZ.

Torrance slowed down for traffic congestion, and was rear-ended by Rudolph.

Claiming physical damages, Torrance sued Rudolph, California XYZ and company president Jim Garron for motor vehicle negligence.

The defense admitted liability.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Woman Claims Sacramento Car Accident Causes Life-Changing Injury" »

May 14, 2012

Injured Man Blames Tow Trucks Erratic Driving For Sacramento Car Crash

The following blog entry is written to illustrate how a car accident lawsuit might follow. Reviewing this kind of case should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

INJURIES: Kelly claimed that the accident aggravated a pre-existing lumbar condition, that he had disc herniations worsened or caused by the impact and that he had been asymptomatic before the accident. He sought treatment with Lenny Herman, the director of spinal trauma at Cedars-Sinai Hospital and underwent lumbar laminectomies at the L2-3, L4-5 and L5-S1 levels two months after the accident. Kelly claimed that as a result of the accident and surgery, his back will never be the same and he can no longer engage in skiing, golf and the many activities he had previously enjoyed.

Facts:
At 9 a.m. on Sept. 21, 2004, plaintiff Jason Kelly, a 52-year-old self-employed businessman, was driving his Porsche eastbound on the five-lane IHS in Sacramento, CA, when he was involved in a collision with ABC Supermarkets employee Red Merk and XYZ Towing Inc., employee Kent Cameron.

Claiming lower back injuries, Kelly sued ABC Supermarkets and XYZ Towing, Inc., for vicarious liability. In addition, Kelly named Cameron and Merk for motor vehicle negligence.

Cameron was driving his company's tow truck, changing lanes from the far left and caused Merk to swerve from his lane into Kelly, who was in the middle lane.

Merk claimed that Cameron was driving erratically, that he signaled to move right from the far left lane, when he abruptly moved into Merk's lane causing the accident. Merk had no time to stop or slow and swerved into the plaintiff's vehicle. Cameron, 18, had only been driving for three months. He claimed that he had properly signaled and changed lanes when he observed Merk in his rearview mirror too close at approximately 75 mph and swerved into the plaintiff's car.

Merk followed Cameron to the Haim Street off-ramp. He pulled him over and called the police.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Injured Man Blames Tow Trucks Erratic Driving For Sacramento Car Crash" »

May 9, 2012

Teenage Boy Trapped In Vehicle After Drunk Driver Submerges It In River, Part 2 of 2

The following blog entry is written to illustrate an example of a personal injury case. Reviewing this kind of lawsuit should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this personal injury lawsuit and its proceedings.)

It was suspected that, during this time, members of the party were trying to destroy the evidence of drinking and other illicit activity, waiting for Amos's alcohol level to subside, and were developing their “story” to tell the police. While they waited to call police, Mark remained trapped in the back seat of the car submerged in the icy water at the bottom of the river.

Ultimately, hours later, Amos' blood alcohol level was tested and estimated to have been above the legal limit at the time of the accident. He also tested positive for marijuana. The investigation determined that Amos drove into the river after missing a turn on a dirt road. Amos had a previous citation of reckless driving with alcohol on his record.

CLAIMED INJURIES
According to Plaintiff: Death.

CLAIMED DAMAGES
According to Plaintiff: Not reported.

SETTLEMENT DISCUSSIONS
According to Plaintiff: Not reported.

COMMENTS
According to Plaintiff: This case is unique in that the insurance company quickly settled the case against the adult who was trusted with the care of the teenager for policy limits.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Teenage Boy Trapped In Vehicle After Drunk Driver Submerges It In River, Part 2 of 2" »

May 7, 2012

Father Brings Wrongful Death Lawsuit After His Son Is Killed in Sacramento Car Accident

The following blog entry is written to illustrate how a car accident lawsuit might follow. Reviewing this kind of case should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

Facts:
The plaintiff, a 36 year-old program Manager in the computer industry, was the father of a 7-year-old boy who died in a car accident on Aug. 11, 2006. The child's mother, who was driving, was also killed, as was his older sister, age 9.

The plaintiff sued the mother's estate and her widower. Against the mother's estate, the plaintiff claimed wrongful death, and against the husband, he claimed negligent entrustment.

The plaintiff had primary custody of the child at the time of his death.

The accident occurred when the mother lost control of the Mercury Mountaineer she was driving east on IHS Highway 80 near Sacramento, CA. She and her husband, who was asleep in the passenger seat, were both wearing seatbelts. The children were in the back seat watching a DVD and were apparently not belted. The vehicle rolled over a number of times, and the children were ejected.

The plaintiff claimed that the mother was negligent in her failure to require the children to wear seatbelts.

The husband testified that when he went to sleep, the children were wearing their seatbelts and watching a DVD. According to both the surviving husband's testimony and the plaintiff's testimony, the mother had no history of driving irresponsibly.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Father Brings Wrongful Death Lawsuit After His Son Is Killed in Sacramento Car Accident" »

May 2, 2012

Teenager Killed In Drunk Driving Accident, Part 1 of 2

The following blog entry is written to illustrate an example of a personal injury case. Reviewing this kind of lawsuit should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this personal injury lawsuit and its proceedings.)

FACTS/CONTENTIONS
According to Plaintiff: Decedent Mark Leslie, age 13, was left in the care of a trusted family friend, Rem Sellis, who allowed the child to ride in a vehicle driven by a drunk driver while on a summer fishing trip to Somewhere, CA.

Decedent's parents, plaintiffs Leanor and Evan Leslie, alleged that defendant knowingly allowed an acquaintance, Derrek Amos, to drive the youth even though defendant knew Amos had been drinking heavily. Amos' car ended up in the River on the near Sacramento, drowning Mark, who was later found in the submerged vehicle still strapped in his seatbelt. Amos escaped from the submerged vehicle, saving his own life.

Amos was sentenced to four years in prison after pleading guilty to negligent homicide, driving under the influence, and failure to insure his vehicle. Because Amos had no insurance and defendant was trusted to care for decedent while on vacation, plaintiffs' attorney sued defendant for wrongful death.

According to State Troopers, defendant and his group (including Amos) were drinking on the banks of the River in the middle of the night at a “bonfire.” Defendant brought Mark to the late-night “bonfire party” instead of letting him sleep at the vacation home. When they left, defendant allowed Mark to ride with Amos who, minutes later, drove his vehicle straight into the River after missing a turn on the road. It took almost two hours before defendant's group called for help.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

April 30, 2012

Side Impact Car Collision Brings Neck Injury Claim

The following blog entry is written to illustrate how a car accident lawsuit might follow. Reviewing this kind of case should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

INJURIES: Gregory claimed injuries to her neck, as well as persistent headaches. She claimed that she sustained three 2mm cervical disc bulges. She testified that she evaluated her pain level at an 8 or 9 at the scene of the accident.

Facts:
On Sept. 3, 2004, plaintiff Jackie Gonzales, 19, was traveling southbound in her sports car in Placerville when she struck a sedan traveling westbound driven by Jasmine Kiniky.

Gregory sued Kiniky, and the owner of the car she was driving, Jermaine Kiniky, claiming motor vehicle negligence.

The plaintiff's accident reconstruction expert testified that Gregory merged over to the left as the signs mandated, and she was traveling in the number two lane southbound when the accident occurred. Gregory denied there was any stopped traffic prior to the accident.

Kiniky offered the testimony of her passenger, a co-worker who stated that there were two lanes of stopped traffic. Kiniky inched up between lanes of traffic, and Gregory struck her car.

Gregory sought treatment one week after the accident with orthopedist Steven Goll. Goll took X-rays of Gregory' neck on Sept. 10, 2004 which was in normal limits. Gregory was then referred for an MRI which revealed disc dissection at C3-4, C4-5 and C5-6 and 2mm diffuse annular posterior disc bulges.

Goll recommended physical therapy. Gregory stated that the therapy resulted in no improvement. She then began a course of treatment with chiropractor Gennie Tamin. Tamin' treatment did not offer any relief to Gregory either.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Side Impact Car Collision Brings Neck Injury Claim" »

April 27, 2012

San Francisco Injury Lawsuit Arises After Big-Rig Accident, Part 3 of 3

The following blog entry is written to illustrate an example of an injury case. Reviewing this kind of lawsuit should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this big rig accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

Defendants contested the wrongful death claim as to the parents, and the jury ultimately determined that they were not financially dependent and rejected their wrongful death claim. On the wrongful death claim for the family members, there was a claim for loss of support and loss of household services based upon the industrious nature of decedent. Additionally, there was a claim for loss of financial support in terms of loss of medical insurance benefits. The claim for economic damages was approximately $3 million. Defendants contested the nature and extent of the economic losses, and, through their expert, claimed that the economic losses, once the present cash value analysis by their expert was applied, would result in economic losses of about $1.2 million.

CLAIMED DAMAGES
According to Plaintiff: $3 million economic damages.

SETTLEMENT DISCUSSIONS
According to Plaintiff: The matter went through multiple mediations and settlement conferences. Defendant ABC Group, which was insured by XYZ, refused to acknowledge that it had a higher percentage of responsibility than defendant ABC Produce. This insurer insisted on a 50/50 split on any type of allocation, and, therefore, offers being made to plaintiffs. All defendants contested the wrongful death claim of the parents. Plaintiffs filed a statutory demand on the wrongful death case in the amount of $9.9 million as to ABC Group in response to the settlement position taken by defendants. The last settlement offer made by ABC Produce was $750,000. The initial offer made by ABC Group was $1 million and ultimately was increased to $2 million, but that was the last offer ever made by ABC Group. As a result, the statutory demand was made. As to plaintiff Barron Yemming, defendants made a combined offer of $125,000. In response to that, da statutory demand was made as to ABC Group in the amount of $250,000 and as to ABC Produce for $125,000. Both statutory demands were exceeded.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "San Francisco Injury Lawsuit Arises After Big-Rig Accident, Part 3 of 3" »

April 23, 2012

Woman Claims Sacramento Car Accident Causes Cervical Injury

The following blog entry is written to illustrate how a car accident lawsuit might follow. Reviewing this kind of case should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

INJURIES: Surrie had a corpectomy procedure in May 2004 at C6 for a disc herniation at C6-7. She denied any previous cervical symptoms or treatment prior to the accident.

Facts:
On Oct. 31, 2003, Casey Surrie, the plaintiff, 46, was in the course and scope of her employment as a paratransit driver, driving a 2001 Ford Crown Victoria sedan. She was stopped at an intersection in Folsom, when her vehicle was hit from behind by a 1991 Ford Escort station wagon driven by the Samantha Lemons, who was in the course and scope of her employment with Sacramento Farm. Lemons was driving at 10 to 15 miles per hour at the time of impact.

Surrie sued Lemons and Sacramento Farm for negligent operation of a motor vehicle.
Lemons admitted liability for the accident, but contested causation.
Surrie's passenger was taken by ambulance to the hospital. Surrie herself declined treatment at the scene.

A neurosurgeon testifying for Surrie contended that her cervical condition and resulting treatment were caused by the car accident. He also claimed that she would require future surgery to address adjacent vertebral segments, which would be weakened by the fused levels addressed in the first surgery.

The neurosurgeon who performed the corpectomy testified that Surrie suffered from degenerative changes to the cervical spine and that, even without the accident, she might have required surgery. He contended that surgery was necessary due to Surrie's right side symptoms. Taller further claimed that a rear-end impact like the one Surrie suffered would not result in structural damage to the cervical spine.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Woman Claims Sacramento Car Accident Causes Cervical Injury" »

April 20, 2012

Double Big-Rig Accident Leads To Death of Church Bus Driver in San Francisco, Part 2 of 3

The following blog entry is written to illustrate an example of an injury case. Reviewing this kind of lawsuit should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this big rig accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

Defendant Merryweather then moved over as far as he could in the right lane toward the center line in an effort to give decedent and the bus as much room as possible.

Defendant Carreon said he never observed this movement or any other type of warning from Merryweather. The two vehicles contacted each other, with the tractor of the ABC Group truck coming into contact with the rear trailer of the ABC Produce vehicle. This caused the two vehicles to become entangled, with the rear trailer swinging out to the right and striking the bus and decedent, killing him instantly.

Plaintiff Barrom Yemming was on the bus at the time of the impact, knew that his uncle was down on the driver's side and believed he saw him flying through the air. Defendant Carreon made a statement at the scene that for some reason he moved his vehicle to the right and that precipitated the contact. He denied making that statement to the CHP officer at his deposition and during trial.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Double Big-Rig Accident Leads To Death of Church Bus Driver in San Francisco, Part 2 of 3" »

April 16, 2012

Sacramento Car Accident Results From Horse and Car Collisions, Part 2 of 2

The following blog entry is written to illustrate how a car accident lawsuit might follow. Reviewing this kind of case should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

Plaintiffs alleged the tiger had frightened the Surelys' horse, causing it to run out into the road and collide with decedent's car. Plaintiffs further alleged that the Camerons were negligent in renting their mobile home to a couple with over 20 wild cats, without having obtained a required conditional use permit from the County, without having run a thorough background check on the renters, and without having insisted that the renters install adequate facilities for housing the animals. It was learned that, prior to the accident, a lynx had also escaped from the property. An inspection by the Fish & Game Department found numerous code violations with regard to how the animals were being housed.

The Surelys argued that it was the tiger that frightened the horse which resulted in the accident.

The Camerons argued that there was no evidence connecting the tiger to the escape of the horse. No witnesses observed the tiger in the vicinity of the Surelys' property around the time of the accident. The Camerons' animal tracking expert inspected the paw print on the Surelys' fence post and concluded that it was from a large dog. A Fish & Game warden inspected the post and concluded that it was from a large cat, but that it appeared to be smaller than the paw of the tiger that had escaped.
There was an issue as to the Camerons' insurance coverage. Their carrier defended the case under a reservation of rights, and the Camerons filed a cross-complaint against their insurance broker, cross-defendant Brian Deven of cross-defendant Deven Group. The Camerons claimed the broker negligently failed to obtain umbrella coverage and a policy covering the mobile home.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Sacramento Car Accident Results From Horse and Car Collisions, Part 2 of 2" »

April 13, 2012

San Francisco Big-Rigs Collide Resulting in Wrongful Death To Nearby Bystander, Part 1 of 3

The following blog entry is written to illustrate an example of an injury case. Reviewing this kind of lawsuit should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this big rig accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

CASE INFORMATION
FACTS/CONTENTIONS
According to Plaintiff: On April 17, 2009, decedent Jason Hamm was the operator of a Church bus that ran out of gas and was disabled on the side of southbound Highway 99 between Merced and Fresno, California. The bus was returning from a trip to San Francisco. On the bus were approximately 40 individuals who had made the trip from the church, including plaintiff Barron Yemming, the 17-year-old nephew of decedent. The bus did not have an operating gas gauge, and once it ran out of gas, decedent pulled the bus over to the shoulder area. Diesel fuel was obtained and was put into the vehicle, and decedent was on the driver's side of the bus priming the diesel engine to get it started. The bus had been on the side of the road for approximately 30 minutes at this point. Decedent was next to the driver's side of the vehicle for between 5 and 10 minutes.

Defendant Mark Merryweather, employee and operator of a tractor-trailer vehicle owned and operated by defendant ABC Produce, was southbound on Highway 99 traveling 55 mph. He observed the disabled bus and decedent working on the side of the bus and intended to move from the right lane to the passing lane. He looked in his rear-view mirror and observed defendant Reggie Carreon, the driver of a tractor-trailer rig operated by defendant ABC Group, in the passing lane starting a passing maneuver of his last trailer.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "San Francisco Big-Rigs Collide Resulting in Wrongful Death To Nearby Bystander, Part 1 of 3" »

April 9, 2012

Sacramento Man Killed When Spooked Horse Collides With His Car, Part 1 of 2

The following blog entry is written to illustrate how a car accident lawsuit might follow. Reviewing this kind of case should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

CASE INFORMATION
FACTS/CONTENTIONS
According to Plaintiff: Decedent Sam Leonard, a 48-year-old real estate agent, was driving along Folsom Road in Sacramento in the early morning hours of February 12, 2005, when a horse ran on to the road and collided with Leonard's vehicle. Leonard and the horse were killed instantly. Plaintiffs, decedent's 46-year-old wife, 22-year-old son, and 19-year-old son alleged the corral, owned by defendants Max and Karen Surely, in which the horse was kept, was built of inadequate materials and was dilapidated. The dilapidated fence allowed for the horse to easily break through the fence and escape.

Defendants argued that their fence was adequate, given that their horses had never attempted to escape from the property before.

During the course of discovery and investigation, it was learned that a large Siberian tiger had escaped from a wild animal sanctuary and was roaming through Sacramento County at the time of the accident. The tiger and its tracks were observed at various locations in Folsom and El Dorado Hills, both east and west of the Surelys' property, and both before and after the accident. An animal print was also found on a fence post on the Surelys' corral. Due to heavy rains at the time, no other animal prints were found.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Sacramento Man Killed When Spooked Horse Collides With His Car, Part 1 of 2" »

April 6, 2012

Sacramento Injury Lawsuit Results After Motorcycle and Car Crash

The following blog entry is written to illustrate an example of an injury case. Reviewing this kind of lawsuit should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this motorcycle accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

CASE INFORMATION
FACTS/CONTENTIONS
According to court records: On July 21, 2007, at 10:40 a.m., plaintiff Larry Burt was operating his motorcycle west on California Road, east of Placerville in an unincorporated section of Placer County, California.

Defendant Wallas Tames, a resident of California, drove a pickup truck with a trailer east on California Road and collided with plaintiff's motorcycle. Defendant said he crossed over the center line in a curve and sideswiped plaintiff.

Plaintiff alleged defendant was negligent.

Defendant conceded liability and defendant would not argue comparative fault.

CLAIMED INJURIES
According to court records:
Leg fracture; degloving injury to knee; knee replacement surgery.

CLAIMED DAMAGES
According to court records:
$50,000 past medical; $25,000 to $50,000 future medical.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Sacramento Injury Lawsuit Results After Motorcycle and Car Crash" »

April 2, 2012

Woman Suffers Neck and Shoulder Injury After Sacramento Car Accident

The following blog entry is written to illustrate how a car accident lawsuit might follow. Reviewing this kind of case should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

INJURIES: Benjamin claimed to suffer soft-tissue strain to her neck and back and a torn rotator cuff. She testified that she recovered from the neck and back sprains within three months of the accident and later had surgery to repair her torn rotator cuff.

Facts:
On May 2, 2004, plaintiff Frances Benjamin, 61, a care provider to disabled adults, was driving her Jeep north in the left lane in Sacramento when she was sideswiped by Mary Pensis, who was driving a sedan. Benjamin claimed that she hurt her neck, back and shoulder in the accident.

Benjamin sued Pensis for vehicular negligence. Benjamin also sued Jane Avery, a co-owner of the sedan, but Avery was dismissed as there was no issue of permissive use or negligent entrustment.

Pensis admitted liability, explaining that as she was trying to change into the left lane she had a sneezing attack, causing her to lose control of her car and sideswipe the Benjamin’s vehicle.

Pensis admitted liability for the accident.

Benjamin claimed that she missed six months of work due to her injuries. She testified that she made about $1,600 a month as a caregiver.

Benjamin claimed that she incurred $23,900 in medical expenses, including $11,000 for the rotator cuff surgery, and $9,600 in lost wages. Including damages for pain and suffering, she sought a total of about $133,000.

In addition, Benjamin's husband sought $25,000 for loss of consortium. He testified that he had to do the cooking and cleaning and help his wife with bathing and the toilet for at least six months, including three months after the surgery.

SUMMARY:
RESULT: Verdict-Plaintiff
Award Total: $11,840
The jury found in favor of the plaintiff, awarding her $11,840, but found in favor of the defense on her husband's loss of consortium claim.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Woman Suffers Neck and Shoulder Injury After Sacramento Car Accident" »

March 30, 2012

Sacramento Motorcycle Accident Leaves Plastic Surgeon with Extensive Injuries

The following blog entry is written to illustrate an example of an injury case. Reviewing this kind of lawsuit should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this motorcycle accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

CASE INFORMATION
FACTS/CONTENTIONS
According to court records: On September 15, 2008, at the intersection just north of Interstate 5 and Highway 99 in Sacramento, California, plaintiff Barry Remmy and defendant Matt Oliver were involved in a car versus motorcycle accident.

Defendant was traveling the wrong way on the one-way roadway when he met plaintiff in a curve. Plaintiff made a quick turn on his motorcycle to avoid defendant's vehicle, and the motorcycle slid out from under him.

Plaintiff was a plastic surgeon.

Defendant admitted liability but disputed the claim for lost earnings. Defendant also contended plaintiff was involved in a second motorcycle accident approximately six weeks after the first in which he fell 20 to 30 feet off a cliff and was found unconscious. Defendant claimed many of plaintiff's injuries could be attributed to that accident.

CLAIMED INJURIES
According to court records:
Clavicle fracture; fractured ribs; pain; sleep deprivation.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Sacramento Motorcycle Accident Leaves Plastic Surgeon with Extensive Injuries" »

March 26, 2012

Sacramento Car Accidents Leaves Mother and Two Children With Injuries, Part 2 of 2

The following blog entry is written to illustrate how a car accident lawsuit might follow. Reviewing this kind of case should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

Sarah claimed that she sustained neck pain and left shoulder pain as a result of the November accident. She was placed in an ambulance and transported to Kaiser, where she was treated and released. She underwent approximately one month of additional physical therapy, and two months of chiropractic treatment. MRIs on her back and neck revealed a slight disc protrusion. She claimed that she missed some work as a result of the second accident.

For the January accident, Sarah sought recovery of $57,056.11 in economic damages and $13,000 in noneconomic damages. She claimed $12,121.11 in medical expenses, and $44,935 in lost wages from Jan. 17 to Oct. 30, 2004. Remmy sought recovery of $7,500 for her economic damages, and Aaron sought recovery of $6,000 for his economic damages.

For the November accident, Sarah sought recovery of $18,777.71 in economic damages and $7,500 in noneconomic damages. She claimed $7,942.71 in medical expenses and $10,835.50 in lost wages from Nov. 8, 2004 to Jan. 16, 2005.

Defense counsel for ABC Services argued that Sarah's treatment was unreasonable and unnecessary, and that she frequently telephoned doctors requesting an extension of disability.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Sacramento Car Accidents Leaves Mother and Two Children With Injuries, Part 2 of 2" »

March 19, 2012

Woman Injured in Two Car Accidents Sues Drivers For Injuries, Part 1 of 2

The following blog entry is written to illustrate how a car accident lawsuit might follow. Reviewing this kind of case should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

INJURIES: Sarah claimed that she sustained neck and back strain as a result of the January accident. Aaron and Remmy claimed that they sustained soft-tissue neck and back injuries.

Facts:
On Jan. 17, 2004, plaintiff Sarah Serrie, 41, a computer technician, was driving a car in the left-turn pocket in El Dorado County. Her son, Aaron, 15, and daughter, Remmy, 13, were passengers. When Serrie stopped her car, it was rear-ended by a utility van driven by Sam Lemons.

On Nov. 8, 2004, Sarah Serrie was in a second accident. She was driving south in Folsom, CA, and Barry Samsin was driving a car north, in a left-turn pocket. Another driver waived Samsin through a gap in a line of cars which were stopped for a traffic light. Samsin had almost completed his left turn when he struck Serrie's vehicle over the rear tire.

Serrie and the two children sued ABC Services, the owner of the vehicle in the January accident; Sarah also sued Samsin for the November accident. Both causes of action were brought on the same complaint, and both cases were tried together.
For the January accident, Sarah, Aaron, and Remmy claimed that Sarah stopped when the traffic light changed. They claimed that Steven Lemons was driving the van in the course and scope of his employment with ABC Services, and that ABC Services was vicariously liable.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Woman Injured in Two Car Accidents Sues Drivers For Injuries, Part 1 of 2" »

March 8, 2012

Woman Involved in Sacramento Auto Accident Suffers Spinal Injuries

The following blog entry is written to illustrate how a car accident lawsuit might follow. Reviewing this kind of case should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

INJURIES: Several days after the accident, the plaintiff visited her general physician for neck pain. After an extended course of pain medications and physical therapy, an MRI revealed a herniation at L4-5. She underwent a laminectomy and cervical fusion more than a year after the accident.

Facts:
On Sept. 24, 2003, the plaintiff, a nursing assistant, was stopped on Folsom Avenue in Sacramento, CA when her vehicle was struck from behind by a car driven by the defendant. The impact was approximately 10 mph, and the damage sustained by both cars was minimal. The police were not summoned.

The plaintiff sued the defendant for motor vehicle negligence.

The defendant did not test liability.

After the surgery, the plaintiff returned to her job, but eventually began experiencing pain in her neck again. After another set of imaging studies, it was determined that the plaintiff had adjacent disc disease. She underwent a second fusion more than four years after the accident.

Defense counsel argued that the impact was so minimal that the risk of injury -- much less one of this magnitude -- was minimal, if nonexistent. Defense counsel contended that the 10 mph impact and the facts that the police were not called and the plaintiff waited three days to visit a doctor prove that the damage was minimal.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Woman Involved in Sacramento Auto Accident Suffers Spinal Injuries" »

March 1, 2012

Sacramento Car Crash Leave Man with Spinal Injuries, Part 2 of 2

The following blog entry is written to illustrate how a car accident lawsuit might follow. Reviewing this kind of case should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

The plaintiff sought $300,000 in past medical bills, 80,000 in past lost earnings, $300,000 in future lost earnings and pain and suffering.

The defense argued that Wallace had little more than whiplash and standard soft-tissue injuries. Counsel claimed that anything else was related to pre-existing, asymptomatic, degenerative disc disease and the defendant was liable only for a temporary aggravation of pre-existing conditions.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Sacramento Car Crash Leave Man with Spinal Injuries, Part 2 of 2" »

February 23, 2012

Car Runs Stop Sign in Sacramento Resulting in Multi-Million Dollar Lawsuit, Part 2 of 2

The following blog entry is written to illustrate an example of a personal injury case. Reviewing this kind of lawsuit should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this personal injury lawsuit and its proceedings.)

CLAIMED INJURIES
According to Plaintiff: After the accident, plaintiff complained of a head laceration, neck pain, right flank and hip pain and bruising, right shoulder pain, back pain, and a possible loss of consciousness. He was taken to an emergency room. Initial x-rays of his right hip found no fracture; however, due to persistent pain, an MRI was performed, which revealed acute fractures of the right sacral ala, superior and inferior rami, and public fractures. A CT scan of his head was reported to show no acute findings. He was diagnosed with right sacral and pelvic fractures and lumbar and sacral tenderness. On August 3, 2008, plaintiff reported feeling numbness in his left leg. An examination found palpable tenderness in the right groin over the ramus and in the posterior right sacral region. On August 6, 2008, he was examined by another doctor and he reported continued morning headaches. X-rays of his right ribs taken on August 10, 2008 revealed a non-displaced fracture of the anterior segment of the eighth rib. By September 3, 2008, plaintiff's headaches were becoming more severe, with confusion, altered mental status, blurred vision, lower extremity tremors, and numbness. A CT scan revealed a 2.5 cm hematoma on the left cerebral hemisphere and midline shift. He was admitted to a hospital, and burr holes were done for drainage. The following day, a CT scan found more hemorrhage and a craniotomy was performed. He was discharged on September 14, 2008. Plaintiff was subsequently diagnosed with disc bulges at L3-L4 and L4-L5, severe spinal stenosis at L4-L5, and L5-S1 facet hypertrophy. He underwent physical therapy from April 14, 2009 until May 25, 2009, and he underwent an epidural injection on January 14, 2010. He underwent a surgery at L4-L5. Plaintiff claimed that he had cognitive deficits and experiences memory loss, confusion, and right arm tremor. Plaintiff's counsel argued that plaintiff's relationship with his wife and his quality of life had been affected by his injuries. He suffers from depression and a personality change, with him being more aggressive and argumentative with a shorter temper. Plaintiff's counsel argued that this was an effect of the closed-head injury. Defense counsel disputed the traumatic brain injury claims and the need for back surgery.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Car Runs Stop Sign in Sacramento Resulting in Multi-Million Dollar Lawsuit, Part 2 of 2" »

February 23, 2012

Sacramento Car Accident Results in Million Dollar Settlement, Part 1 of 2

The following blog entry is written to illustrate how a car accident lawsuit might follow. Reviewing this kind of case should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

INJURIES: Wallace sustained right (dominant) shoulder impingement syndrome as well as radiculopathy in his neck. After the accident, he was taken to an emergency room, where he was treated and released. He underwent several months of conservative treatment, including chiropractic care, physical therapy, pain medication and epidural and facet injections.

Facts:
On Jan. 5, 2006, plaintiff Sam Wallace, 57, an office manager, was reportedly rear-ended at 35 mph by Ronald German on the 605 Freeway in Sacramento.
Wallace sued German and his employer ABC Electrical Contractors Inc., for motor vehicle negligence and vicarious liability. Wallace asserted that the accident resulted from German's inattentiveness.

Wallace underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder and an anterior cervical decompression and fusion at C5-7 with right structural iliac crest autograft instrumentation on Sept. 5, 2006. The fusion alleviated the radiculopathy, but did not cure the severe, ongoing headaches.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Sacramento Car Accident Results in Million Dollar Settlement, Part 1 of 2" »

February 16, 2012

Sacramento Auto Accident Results in Catastrophic Injuries, Part 1 of 2

The following blog entry is written to illustrate an example of a personal injury case. Reviewing this kind of lawsuit should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this personal injury lawsuit and its proceedings.)

CASE INFORMATION
FACTS/CONTENTIONS
According to Plaintiff: In June 2008, plaintiff Matt Marrion, a 74-year-old farmer, was driving a truck southbound on El Dorado Hills Avenue when he came to a stop at the intersection with Grass Valley Avenue and then began to proceed through the intersection. He was struck by a truck driven by defendant Rod Martinez, who was traveling eastbound on Grass Valley Avenue making a delivery for his employer, Interstate Services, to ABC Logistics Services Inc. Martinez did not stop at a stop sign at the intersection.

Plaintiff sued Martinez, his employer, Interstate, and ABC Logistics, alleging that Martinez was negligent in the operation of the vehicle, while Interstate and ABC were vicariously liable. Defendants filed a cross-complaint against Jerry Mann for indemnification and apportionment of fault.

Plaintiff's counsel argued that Martinez was not paying attention and was speaking to his assistant at the time of the accident. Plaintiff's counsel argued that plaintiff stopped, looked both ways, and then proceeded into the intersection at 5 mph.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Sacramento Auto Accident Results in Catastrophic Injuries, Part 1 of 2" »

February 16, 2012

Car Accident in Sacramento Leaves Man With Serious Injuries

The following blog entry is written to illustrate how a car accident lawsuit might follow. Reviewing this kind of case should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

INJURIES: Cameron claimed he sustained herniated discs at L4-5 and L5-S1. He also complained of dizziness. He underwent three months of chiropractic treatment in addition to three lower back epidural injections. He did not work for approximately a year after the accident as he could not stand for more than 10 minutes at a time. He also underwent a microdiscectomy in May 2009. He may need additional epidural injections or a back fusion in the future.

Facts:
On Dec. 20, 2005, plaintiff Oliver Cameron, 37, a quality control inspector for medical supplies, was stopped at the intersection of Sacramento Avenue and Fair Oaks Street in Sacramento when his car was rear-ended by a delivery truck driven by Phil Lawry. Lawry was driving approximately 35 mph at the time of the accident.

Cameron sued Lawry and his employer, ABC Glass Systems Inc. He alleged that Lawry was negligent in the operation of his vehicle and that ABC was vicariously liable for Lawry' actions.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Car Accident in Sacramento Leaves Man With Serious Injuries" »

February 14, 2012

Big Rig Runs over Teenager Causing Serious and Life Threatening Injuries, Part 2 of 2

The following blog entry is written to illustrate an example of an injury case. Reviewing this kind of lawsuit should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this big rig accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

At the time of the accident, ABC was performing a construction contract for the City of Sacramento. Plaintiff alleged that the City knew, or should have known, that the ABC dump truck/trailer was a hazard at certain City intersections, as it could not make an intersectional turn without substantially encroaching into the opposite lane of traffic. Plaintiff further alleged that the City's contract specifications with ABC Construction required “re-routing” of the contractor's heavy equipment away from after-school pedestrian routes used by grammar school children.

CLAIMED INJURIES
According to Plaintiff: Plaintiff sustained life-threatening, near-amputation of his left leg; large right leg laceration; blunt abdominal trauma; repeated orthopedic, neurological, and plastic surgeries.

CLAIMED DAMAGES
According to Plaintiff: Plaintiff's past medical bills exceeded $500,000. Plaintiff's Life Care Plan prepared by Sams & Associates, Rehabilitation and Life Care Planners stated plaintiff's future medical expenses for “one time” future surgeries were approximately $305,000 at present cost.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Big Rig Runs over Teenager Causing Serious and Life Threatening Injuries, Part 2 of 2" »

February 7, 2012

Sacramento Teenager Hit By Big Rig Sues For Negligence, Part 1 of 2

The following blog entry is written to illustrate an example of an injury case. Reviewing this kind of lawsuit should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this big rig accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

CASE INFORMATION
FACTS/CONTENTIONS
According to Plaintiff: Plaintiff, age 14 at the time of the accident, was walking from his school to tutor a classmate in math. As plaintiff was walking to his friend's house, Defendant was driving an ABC Construction Services Inc. dump truck weighing 80,000 lbs, hauling a trailer weighing 19,600 lbs, with a “street paver” of unknown weight loaded on the trailer. The combination dump truck/trailer was in excess of 55 feet in length. Defendant was traveling west on Cyprus Street, intending to turn north onto N. Fort Street in the City of Sacramento, California. Both Defendant and his employer, defendant John Sann of ABC, knew from actual experience driving at this particular intersection that the ABC dump truck/trailer combination could not make a northbound turn from westbound Cyprus Street onto northbound Fort Street without encroaching 6 feet into the oncoming southbound traffic lane of Fort Street.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Sacramento Teenager Hit By Big Rig Sues For Negligence, Part 1 of 2" »

February 1, 2012

Sacramento Car Accident Case Results In Cervical Injury and Million-Dollar Settlement, Part 2 of 2

The following blog entry is written to illustrate how a car accident lawsuit might follow. Reviewing this kind of case should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

The plaintiff had an assortment of pre-existing ailments and injuries dating back to the early 1990s, including neck pain and migraines, defense counsel noted. The plaintiff was also involved in at least two accidents prior to this incident, including one in 1999, when she hired an attorney and claimed cervical injury.

Plaintiff's counsel acknowledged that the plaintiff had a pre-existing condition, but insisted that she was relatively symptom free in the two-year period prior to the subject accident and never experienced radicular pain. Plaintiff's counsel argued that the plaintiff was unusually susceptible to injury and that this seemingly innocuous incident caused the symptoms.

The defense medical expert related the disc herniation, the adjacent disc disease, both surgeries and significant medical expenses and disability to the minor car accident, according to defense counsel.

SUMMARY:
RESULT: Mediated Settlement
Award Total: $1,250,000
The case settled for $1.25 million.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

January 25, 2012

Woman Severely Injured in Sacramento Car Accident When Rear-Ended, Part 1 of 2

The following blog entry is written to illustrate how a car accident lawsuit might follow. Reviewing this kind of case should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

INJURIES: Several days after the accident, the plaintiff visited her general physician for neck pain. After an extended course of pain medications and physical therapy, an MRI revealed a herniation at L4-5. She underwent a laminectomy and cervical fusion more than a year after the accident.

Facts:
On December 14, 2008, the plaintiff, a nursing assistant, was stopped on ABC Avenue in Sacramento when her vehicle was struck from behind by a car driven by the defendant. The impact was approximately 10 mph, and the damage sustained by both cars was minimal. The police were not summoned.

The plaintiff sued the defendant for motor vehicle negligence.

The defendant did not test liability.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Woman Severely Injured in Sacramento Car Accident When Rear-Ended, Part 1 of 2" »

January 18, 2012

Sacramento Personal Injury Case Involves Collision Between Two Trucks, Part 3 of 3

The following blog entry is written to illustrate how a car accident lawsuit might follow. Reviewing this kind of case should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

CLAIMED INJURIES
According to Plaintiff: Severe head injuries as well as non-life threatening physical injuries; originally conscious after being airlifted to Sacramento County Medical Center; lapsed into vegetative state one week after brain surgery and lingered in that condition for 13 months before death.

CLAIMED DAMAGES
According to Plaintiff: $775,079 medical specials; $342,825 lost income and household services.

COMMENTS
According to Plaintiff: Initial evaluation of the case by accident reconstructionists concluded that it was impossible to tell in which lane the initial impact between Merry’s pickup and the Travis rig occurred. There was no question that the second impact between the pickup and the second ABC truck occurred in the westbound lane of traffic.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Sacramento Personal Injury Case Involves Collision Between Two Trucks, Part 3 of 3" »

January 11, 2012

Sacramento Truck Accident Puts Man In Comma and Leads to Death, Part 2 of 3

The following blog entry is written to illustrate how a car accident lawsuit might follow. Reviewing this kind of case should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

Plaintiffs alleged that Travis’ testimony that the initial impact involved Merry’s pickup striking his cab behind the driver's door demonstrated that he did not see the beginning of the accident because it did not account for the damage to the headlight, front quarter panel and front wheel of his cab. Human factors analysis demonstrated that Travis’ description of the accident—Merry’s pickup turning sharply, crossing the centerline and striking him behind the driver's door--was contrary to anticipated driver behavior; drivers do not turn sharply into oncoming traffic. Plaintiffs alleged that the impact Travis described would not have resulted in the pickup moving from that impact into the path of the second truck.

Contrastingly, accident reconstruction established that what actually happened was that Travis allowed his rig to drift over the centerline. In response, Merry attempted to steer sharply to the right to avoid the oncoming truck but was struck by the front of the cab behind the driver's door of the pickup, causing the pickup truck to then spin into the path of the oncoming second truck and trailer.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Sacramento Truck Accident Puts Man In Comma and Leads to Death, Part 2 of 3" »

December 13, 2011

Sacramento Car Accident Victim Incurs Major Medical Expenses, Part 4 of 4

The following blog entry is written to illustrate a common motion filed during civil litigation. Reviewing this kind of filing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this automobile accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

Ms. Johnson returned for a follow-up examination with Dr. Greene on March 17, 2009. She reported little improvement in her low back pain and continued to experience weakness and pain radiating into the right lower extremity. Dr. Greene recommended a lumbar discography from L1-2 through L5-S1 based on his review of her lumbar spine MRI and symptomatology. He further noted Ms. Johnson would be a candidate for surgical discectomy depending on the results of her lumbar discography.

On June 16, 2009, Ms. Johnson underwent lumbar discography which proved positive for 112 10/10 severe pain at L4-5 and positive for 8/10 concordant pain at L2-3. Ms. Johnson was then admitted for right percutaneous discectomy with automated nucleotome and pitutitary rongeur under fluoroscopic monitoring at L4-5.

As a direct and proximate result of the injuries that Ms. Johnson suffered due to defendant Black’s negligence, she incurred the following medical expenses:

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Sacramento Car Accident Victim Incurs Major Medical Expenses, Part 4 of 4" »

December 6, 2011

Automobile Accident Victim From Sacramento Files Lawsuit For Spinal Injuries, Part 3 of 4

The following blog entry is written to illustrate a common motion filed during civil litigation. Reviewing this kind of filing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this automobile accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

PLAINTIFF'S SPECIAL DAMAGES cont.

Ms. Johnson's August 19, 2009 lumbar MRI revealed a 3mm right paracentral hernation at L1-2, 2mm annular bulge at L4-5, 3mm central/right paracentral contained hernation at L2-17 and abroad 2mm posterior herniation at L5-S1. Because of the persistent nature of Ms. Johnson's symptoms, Dr. White referred her to orthopedic surgeon, Edward Long, M.D., and pain management specialist, Roy Greene, M.D., for further evaluation.

Ms. Johnson presented to Dr. Long on November 11, 2009, reporting increased back pain with radiation into her upper and lower extremities and continued headaches and vertigo. Examination revealed tenderness to palpation, decreased range of motion, diminished sensation in the right L5-S 1 dermatome, and positive straight leg test. He diagnosed Ms. Johnson with cervical strain and right lumher radiculitis.

Treatment recomendations following examination included lumber epidural steroid injections and possible lumbar discography.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Automobile Accident Victim From Sacramento Files Lawsuit For Spinal Injuries, Part 3 of 4" »

November 30, 2011

Car Accident Leaves Sacramento Woman With Catastrophic Back Injuries, Part 2 of 4

The following blog entry is written to illustrate a common motion filed during civil litigation. Reviewing this kind of filing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this automobile accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

PLAINTIFF'S SPECIAL DAMAGES cont.

Ms. Johnson continued her chiropractic care with Michael White, D.C. at Valley Chiropractic on May 14, 2009. Ms. Johnson presented at that time with worsening neck and back pain with radiation into her shoulders and arms. She also complained of daily headaches, jaw pain, vertigo, and difficulty sleeping. Examination of her cervical spine revealed discomfort and tenderness to palpitation at C1-C7. Dr. White noted the presence of trigger points in the upper trapezius, myofascial sternocleidomastoid muscles and suboccinpitl areas. Examination of Ms. Johnson's thoracic spine revealed tenderness to palpitation at T1-T12 and trigger points in the erector spinae muscles, and myofascial triggers points of the trapezius bilaterally. Spurlings and Soto Hall tests produced positive results. Ms. Johnson's lumbar spine examination revleaed spasm of the erector spinae bilaterally, tenderness at L1 through L5 and S1. Straight leg test was positive in both right and left legs, Braggards sign test was positive bilaterally, and Patrick-Fabre test was positive on the left and right.

Dr. White diagnosed Ms. Johnson with a concussion, cervical sprain/strain injuries with somatic dysfunction, thoracic sprain strain with dysfunction, lumbar sprain/strain injuries with ligament instability, rotator cuff sprain/strain, medial epicondylitis, and vertigo/dizziness. He recommended chiropractic manipulation and physiotherapy in the form of heat and electrical stimulation.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Car Accident Leaves Sacramento Woman With Catastrophic Back Injuries, Part 2 of 4" »

November 22, 2011

Sacramento Woman Severely Injured In Car Accident, Part 1 of 4

The following blog entry is written to illustrate a common motion filed during civil litigation. Reviewing this kind of filing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this automobile accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

PLAINTIFF’S TRIAL BRIEF

PARTIES

Plaintiff Monica Johnson is represented by the XYZ Law Group. Defendants Theresa Black and James Black are represented by ABC Law Group.

BRIEF STATEMENT OF FACTS

This action arises out of injuries that Monica Johnson suffered in an automobile vs. automobile accident that occurred on March 31, 2009. At the time of the accident, Ms. Johnson was driving her 1998 Toyota Camry eastbound on Highway 50 just east of Watt Avenue in the city of Sacramento, California. Defendant, James Black was driving his 2007 BMW X-5, failed to stop for traffic and struck Ms. Johnson's vehicle from behind in a heavy impact. A copy of the Traffic Collision Report is attached hereto and it indicates Mr. Black was clearly at fault. Ms. Johnson's vehicle was totaled as a result of the accident. Photographs of the damage to Ms. Johnson's Camry and a copy of the repair estimate are attached.

PLAINTIFF'S CONTENTION

Liability is not an issue.


PLAINTIFF'S SPECIAL DAMAGES

Despite being properly restrained, Ms. Johnson struck her head on the interior of the vehicle during the accident and experienced neck and back pain.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Sacramento Woman Severely Injured In Car Accident, Part 1 of 4" »

October 31, 2011

Sacramento Woman Suffers Head Injuries In Car Accident, Part 4 of 4

The following blog entry is written to illustrate a common motion filed during civil litigation. Reviewing this kind of filing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

Disputed Costs for Frank Yung, Ph.D.:

1. $95.00 for advanced costs
2. $12,223.75 for apparently 31.75 hours at $385 per hour

Number (1) above addresses costs advanced to Frank Yung, Ph.D. Plaintiff is unsure what this advanced cost is, or what it was for. Without some description and or justification of this cost, Plaintiff refuses to pay for it.

As to number (2) above, the deposition of Frank Yung, Ph.D. stated that he only had put in 4 1/2 hours on his review and consultation in this case. Plaintiff was not made aware of these extra hours spent in review or examination of the Plaintiff. Frank Yung is now trying to charge $12,223.75 for unaccounted for time as well as testing that he didn't administer. Frank Yung, Ph.D. stated that he was in the other room working on other things when the Plaintiff was completing her diagnostic testing. In fact, his face time with the plaintiff admittedly was only 2 1/2 to 3 hours. His review of the records consisted of scanning medical records in (by his assistant) and a 90-minute review. Based on his testimony it is hard to fathom how Frank Yung could have spent the claimed 31.75 hours of review and consultation on this case.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Sacramento Woman Suffers Head Injuries In Car Accident, Part 4 of 4" »

October 27, 2011

Insurance Company Fights Sacramento Car Accident Victim Over Expert Costs, Part 3 of 4

The following blog entry is written to illustrate a common motion filed during civil litigation. Reviewing this kind of filing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

EXPERT FEES cont.

Disputed Costs for Dr. Greene:

1. $4725.00 for apparently 10.5 hours of work at $450 per hour
2. $175.00 for an MRI/CT scan
3. $225.00 for 3 X-Rays
4. $800.00 for a confirmatory consultation
5. $450.00 for a preparation of a report

As to number (1) above, the deposition testimony of Dr. Greene loosely estimated that he only had put in 7 hours on his review of this case (far less than the 10.5 Defendant has claimed). A reasonable review of the medical records in the Plaintiff's opinion could have been done in less than half the time and accordingly the costs for this should be cut in half to $2,362.50 for 5-plus hours of work.

Numbers (2) and (3). The MRI/CT scans and the X-rays were unnecessary as several had already been taken and the Defense should have provided those to Dr. Greene well before his evaluation of the client. Therefore, these costs should not be reimbursable at all.

For number (4) Plaintiff is unsure what a confirmatory consultation even is. Without some description and or justification of this cost, Plaintiff refuses to pay for it.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Insurance Company Fights Sacramento Car Accident Victim Over Expert Costs, Part 3 of 4" »

October 23, 2011

Sacramento Automobile Accident Victim Fights Excessive Costs, Part 2 of 4

The following blog entry is written to illustrate a common motion filed during civil litigation. Reviewing this kind of filing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES

DEFENDANTS' COST MEMORANDUM IMPROPERLY CLAIMS $25,773.25 IN COSTS WHICH SHOULD BE TAXED

Code of Civil Procedure § 1033.5 provides for the items recoverable as costs. The statute sets forth items specifically recoverable (subdivision (a)) and not recoverable (subdivision (b)), with all remaining items discretionary with the court (subdivision (c)(4)). In all cases, however, allowable costs must be reasonably necessary to the conduct of the litigation rather than merely convenient or beneficial to the preparation, and reasonable in amount. Id. at § 1033.5 (c)(2) and (c)(3).

As set forth below, Defendants have included unreasonable and unjust costs in this lawsuit which should be denied.

A. FILING AND MOTION FEES

Regarding Item No. 1 in Defendants' Memorandum of Costs, "Filing and Motion Fees" items a, b, and c wrongfully seeks $129.50 for the filing of 1) Stipulation and Order to Continue Trial; 2) a Motion to Compel a Court Ordered Psych Exam as well as an Ex Parte for the same.

Again, as noted above, Plaintiff won the case however she failed to beat Defendant's 998 offer. Being the case Defendant is only entitled to post-§998 offer costs. All of these filings took place well before the trial in this matter and therefore any associated costs should be disallowed.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Sacramento Automobile Accident Victim Fights Excessive Costs, Part 2 of 4" »

October 18, 2011

Sacramento Woman Catastrophically Injured In Car Accident, Part 1 of 4

The following blog entry is written to illustrate a common motion filed during civil litigation. Reviewing this kind of filing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

Plaintiff Deborah Hill’s Motion to Strike and/or Tax Costs

Plaintiff will move this court for an order striking and/or taxing the following items of cost set forth in Defendants Memorandum of Costs filed in this matter.

Per code Plaintiff is only required to pay Defendant's post-CCP 998 offer costs the court finds reasonable. Defendant's CCP §998 offer was served on March 16, 2010 and expired April 16, 2010. Thus the only recoverable costs are those incurred after April 16, 2010.

(1) Regarding Item No. 1, "Filing and Motion Fees" Items a, b, and c, wrongfully included in CCP §998 offer, therefore not entitled to a reimbursement of these costs;

(2) Regarding Item No. 8, "Expert Fees," wrongfully seeks $25,643.75 because it is much too expensive for the services provided and is therefore unjustified and unreasonable thus preventing Defendants from getting a reimbursement for these costs.

Plaintiff seeks an order taxing these costs pursuant to the provisions of Code of Civil Procedure § 1033.5.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Sacramento Woman Catastrophically Injured In Car Accident, Part 1 of 4" »

October 15, 2011

Experts Battle In Sacramento Man's Car Accident Trial, Part 2 of 2

The following blog entry is written to illustrate a common motion filed during civil litigation. Reviewing this kind of filing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

DISCUSSION

California Evidence Code Section 720 requires that an expert must have "special knowledge, skill, experience, training or education sufficient to qualify him as an expert on the subject to which his testimony relates."

Mr. Hall has no education, experience or other qualifications as an engineer, and does not otherwise qualify to determine impact speeds, vehicle speeds, change in velocity of the vehicles, or the forces involved in the collision. Mr. Hall did not examine the accident scene, nor is there a police report in this case that would have provided him with physical evidence at the scene of the accident. His methodology for computing speeds was to look at photographs of the damage to the respective vehicles, use a magnifying glass to estimate the amount of inches of damage, and then utilize a formula on a preprinted form entitled "Low Speed Collsion (sic) Worksheet"; however, the formula begins with an estimated value of .25 for a coefficient of restitution, which he supplied based upon his memory of having read such a value on a NHTSA website for 2001-2006 Honda Civic automobiles.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Experts Battle In Sacramento Man's Car Accident Trial, Part 2 of 2" »

October 9, 2011

Sacramento Man Involved In Rear End Car Accident, Part 1 of 2

The following blog entry is written to illustrate a common motion filed during civil litigation. Reviewing this kind of filing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

Plaintiffs John and Anna Greene’s Motion in Limine Number1 to Exclude Testimony of Bill Hall

INTRODUCTION

Defendants have designated Bill Hall, as an expert witness, who intends to give opinions on matters that are far beyond his qualifications and far beyond his expertise. Mr. Hall has no formal education beyond high school, and had worked as a police officer for the city of Sacramento for 15 years. Although Mr. Hall has taken some courses in accident reconstruction, there are no accident reconstruction issues in this case. This case involves a very clear rear end impact to a stopped vehicle. Extracts from Mr. Hall's deposition relating to his lack of qualifications are referenced herein.

Mr. Hall intends to give unqualified opinions in the following areas:

1. An engineering analysis, that calculates the speed of the two vehicles involved in the collision, based upon vehicle damage photographs that he reviewed months after the collision and engineering formulae and concepts that he is not qualified to analyze; and,

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Sacramento Man Involved In Rear End Car Accident, Part 1 of 2" »

October 5, 2011

Insurance Company Tries To Deny Payment Of Sacramento Woman's Car Accident Expenses, Part 7 of 7

The following blog entry is written to illustrate a common motion filed during civil litigation. Reviewing this kind of filing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

ARGUMENT

Dr. Lee's opinions about the reasonableness of Plaintiff's medical bills must be excluded, California Evidence Code § 803, because they are not based on special knowledge, skill, experience, training, education, or matters perceived by, or personally known or made known to him, that are if a type that reasonably may be relied upon by an expert in forming such opinions, California Evidence Code § 801(b).

In his deposition, Dr. Lee admitted that he had no access or exposure to Plaintiff's medical bills or any other relevant information, Naples Restaurant, Inc. v Coberly Ford (1968) 259 Cal App 2d 881, 66 Cal Rptr 835, that his opinions are based solely on irrelevant, conjectural and speculative data, Roscoe Moss Co. v. Jenkins (1942) 55 Cal. App.2d 369, 130 P.2d 477; Hyatt v Sierra Boat Co. (1978) 79 Cal App 3d 325, 145 Cal Rptr 47, Stephen v. Ford Motor Co. (2005) 134 Cal App 4th 1363, 37 Cal Rptr 3d 9, and that he has no experience or expertise in the relevant subject matter, Maatuk v. Guttman (2009) 173 Cal App 4th 1191, 93 Cal Rptr 3d 381.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Insurance Company Tries To Deny Payment Of Sacramento Woman's Car Accident Expenses, Part 7 of 7" »

October 2, 2011

Catastrophic Medical Costs At Issue In Sacramento Woman's Auto Accident Lawsuit, Part 6 of 7

The following blog entry is written to illustrate a common motion filed during civil litigation. Reviewing this kind of filing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

DR. LEE SHOULD BE PRECLUDED FROM EXPRESSING OPINIONS ABOUT THE REASONABLENESS OF PLAINTIFF'S MEDICAL BILLS BECAUSE INSURANCE REIMBURSEMENTS ARE IRRELEVANT TO THE DETERMINATION OF REASONABLENESS, AND THOSE OPINIONS ARE INADMISSIBLE UNDER THE COLLATERAL SOURCE RULE

A plaintiff may introduce evidence of the amounts billed by health care providers, because they reflect on the nature and extent of his or her injuries, help jurors assess overall general damages, and give them an accurate picture of the extent of the plaintiffs injuries Hanif v. Housing Authority (1988) 200 Cal.App.3d 635; Nishihama v. City and County of San Francisco (2002) 93 Cal.App.4th 298; Greer v. Hossam Ali Buzgheia, (2006) 141 Cal. App. 4th 1150; 46 Cal. Rptr. 3d 780; Katiuzhinsky v. Perry (2007) 152 Cal App 4th 1288.

On the other hand, it is reversible error to allow a defendant to admit collateral source cash payments into evidence, limit Plaintiffs' recovery of special damages for medical expenses to the amounts paid by a financial services company to purchase the accounts from medical providers, or prevent the plaintiff from arguing to the jury that the full amounts billed represent the reasonable value of the medicals services provided, Olsen v. Reid, (2008) 164 Cal.App. 4th 200; Katiuzhinsky v. Perry (2007) 152 Cal.App. 4th 1288.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Catastrophic Medical Costs At Issue In Sacramento Woman's Auto Accident Lawsuit, Part 6 of 7" »

September 29, 2011

Doctor's Opinion At Issue In Sacramento Car Accident Case, Part 5 of 7

The following blog entry is written to illustrate a common motion filed during civil litigation. Reviewing this kind of filing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

DR. LEE SHOULD BE PRECLUDED FROM EXPRESSING OPINIONS ABOUT THE REASONABLENESS OF PLAINTIFF'S MEDICAL BILLS, BECAUSE THOSE OPINIONS ARE SUBSTANTIALLY MORE PREJUDICIAL THAN PROBATIVE.

The court in its discretion may exclude evidence if its probative value is substantially outweighed by the probability that its admission will:

(a) necessitate undue consumption of time, or

(b) create substantial danger of undue prejudice, of confusing the issues, or of misleading the jury, California Evidence Code § 352.

A trial judge must balance the probative value of the proffered evidence against its prejudicial effect in the context of the case before the court, considering materiality, the strength of the relationship to the issue on which it is offered, and whether it is necessary to prove the proponent's case or merely cumulative to other available and sufficient proof, Burke v. Almaden Vineyards, Inc. (1978) 86 Cal App 3d 768, 150 Cal Rptr 419. Evidence should be excluded as unduly prejudicial, when it is of such nature as to inflame the emotions of the jury, and motivate them to use the information to reward or punish one side, rather than logically evaluate the point upon which it is relevant, Vorse v. Sarasy (1997) 53 Cal App 4th 998, 62 Cal Rptr 2d 164.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Doctor's Opinion At Issue In Sacramento Car Accident Case, Part 5 of 7" »

September 26, 2011

Sacramento Car Accident Victim Challenges Medical Experts, Part 4 of 7

The following blog entry is written to illustrate a common motion filed during civil litigation. Reviewing this kind of filing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

An expert must base his opinion either on facts personally observed or on hypotheses that find support in the evidence; Pacific Gas & Electric Co. v G. W. Thomas Drayage & Rigging Co. (1968) 69 Cal 2d 33, 69 Cal Rptr 561, 442 P2d 641, and not on irrelevant, conjectural, or speculative data, Roscoe Moss Co. v. Jenkins (1942) 55 Cal. App.2d 369, 130 P.2d 477; Hyatt v Sierra Boat Co. (1978) 79 Cal App 3d 325, 145 Cal Rptr 47.

Thus, in personal injury actions against lawn mower and tire manufacturers experts were not permitted to testify about articles and statistical surveys dealing with other mowers and tire failures, where the proponent of the evidence failed to show any similarity between the other tire failures and mower accidents, none of the material the experts consulted constituted the type of professional technical literature that reasonably may be relied on by an expert in forming an opinion, and the opinions were based on mere speculation, Luque v McLean (1972) 8 Cal 3d 136, 104 Cal Rptr 443, 501 P2d 1163; Stephen v. Ford Motor Co. (2005) 134 Cal App 4th 1363, 37 Cal Rptr 3d 9.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Sacramento Car Accident Victim Challenges Medical Experts, Part 4 of 7" »

September 24, 2011

Experts Battle In Sacramento Car Accident Case, Part 3 of 7

The following blog entry is written to illustrate a common motion filed during civil litigation. Reviewing this kind of filing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES

THIS COURT MAY HEAR AND DETERMINE THE ADMISSIBILITY OF DR. LEE'S TESTIMONY, OUT OF THE PRESENCE AND HEARING OF THE JURY

(a) When the existence of a preliminary fact is disputed, its existence or nonexistence shall be determined as provided in this article;

(b) The court may hear and determine the question of the admissibility of evidence out of the presence or hearing of the jury;

(c) A ruling on the admissibility of evidence implies whatever finding of fact is prerequisite thereto; a separate or formal finding is unnecessary unless required by statute, California Evidence Code §402.

DR. LEE SHOULD BE PRECLUDED FROM EXPRESSING OPINIONS ABOUT THE REASONABLENESS OF PLAINTIFF'S MEDICAL BILLS, BECAUSE THERE IS NO PROPER BASIS FOR HIS OPINIONS.

If a witness is testifying as an expert, his testimony in the form of an opinion is limited to such an opinion as is:

(a) Related to a subject that is sufficiently beyond common experience that the opinion of an expert would assist the trier of fact; and

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Experts Battle In Sacramento Car Accident Case, Part 3 of 7" »

September 18, 2011

Sacramento Woman Suffers Catastrophic Injuries In Car Accident, Part 2 of 7

The following blog entry is written to illustrate a common motion filed during civil litigation. Reviewing this kind of filing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

INTRODUCTION

On March 7, 2011, Plaintiffs Motion in Limine regarding collateral source payments was discussed. It is plaintiffs understanding that the issue was taken under submission, and on March 8, 2011, the court tentatively indicated that the court may entertain a motion post trial to reduce any finding of medical specials, based on amounts paid. However, the amount of medical billings would be admissible at trial.

In this case, when Dr. Lee was deposed on August 28, 2010, he was asked, "Have you reviewed those medical bills relating to Robyn Anderson's treatment in this case?"
Answer: I have reviewed some of them and commented on some.

Question: Okay. In preparation for today's deposition, did you go through and do a line-item-by-line-item commentary on her bills to date?
Answer: No. I did not.

Question: But if I understand you correctly, you haven't been provided by defense counsel with a packet of the billing with the intention of you going through and commenting on that billing; is that correct?
Answer: Right. I have not been provided a packet of just the billing and provided a comment on those specific bills. That's correct.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Sacramento Woman Suffers Catastrophic Injuries In Car Accident, Part 2 of 7" »

September 10, 2011

Sacramento Automobile Driver Struck And Injured By School Bus, Part 1 of 7

The following blog entry is written to illustrate a common motion filed during civil litigation. Reviewing this kind of filing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

Plaintiff Robyn Anderson’s Motion in Limine to Preclude Defendants' Expert Witness, Stanley Lee, M.D., from Expressing Opinions as to the Reasonableness of Plaintiff's Medical Bills

Plaintiff Robyn Anderson respectfully request that this court hear and determine the question of the admissibility of the following evidence, out of the presence or hearing of the jury, pursuant to California Evidence Code § 402, and issue an order, in limine, prohibiting Defendants' expert witness, Stanley Lee, M.D., from expressing opinions as to the reasonableness of Plaintiffs medical bills.

This motion is made on the grounds that any opinions and conclusions on this subject would lack foundation and be based on mere speculation, California Evidence Code § 803, any probative value is substantially outweighed by the probability that its admission will necessitate undue consumption of time and create substantial danger of undue prejudice, confusing the issues, and misleading the jury, per California Evidence Code §352.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Sacramento Automobile Driver Struck And Injured By School Bus, Part 1 of 7" »

August 17, 2011

Car vs. Pedestrian Accident Caused By Fatigued Sacramento Physician, Part 11 of 11

The following blog entry is written to illustrate a common motion filed during civil litigation. Reviewing this kind of filing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this automobile accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

DR. LEE’S RELIANCE ON CASES FOCUSED POST-JUDGMENT OR -VERDICT IS MISPLACED SINCE PLAINTIFF NEED NOT PROVE THAT HE SHOULD BE AWARDED PUNITIVE DAMAGES AT THIS STAGE OF THE LITIGATION

Dr. Lee relies on Ebaugh v. Rabkin, (1972) 22 Cal.App.3d 891, which is not applicable to Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint. Ebaugh concerned the reversal of a jury's award of punitive damages because the evidence was insufficient to support the verdict for punitive damages against the employee and employer. There was also prejudicial error because one of the jury instructions permitted punitive damages against the employer if it found the employee was acting in a willful, reckless or wanton manner without regard to the employer's conduct in directing or ratifying the employee's actions. Id. at 895-896. Ebaugh does not apply to this stage of the litigation since it was an appeal of a jury verdict at trial. The standard for meeting the burden of proof to overturn a jury verdict is certainly different from the notice pleading requirements of California law.

Dr. Lee cites the following cases, all after judgment, verdict or nonsuit, which do not support granting her motion to strike since the cases do not concern the pleadings stage of litigation: American Airlines, Inc. v. Sheppard, Muffin, Richter & Hampton (2002) 96 Cal.App.4th 1017.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Car vs. Pedestrian Accident Caused By Fatigued Sacramento Physician, Part 11 of 11" »

August 14, 2011

Negligent Sacramento Doctor Hits Pedestrian On Sidewalk With Her Car, Part 10 of 11

The following blog entry is written to illustrate a common motion filed during civil litigation. Reviewing this kind of filing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

PUNITIVE DAMAGES ARE ALLOWABLE IN THIS NEGLIGENCE ACTION

The California Supreme Court has determined there are circumstances under which punitive damages can be awarded in unintentional tort actions. Potter v. Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. (1993) 6 Cal.4th 965, 1004. In particular, the Supreme Court has upheld punitive damages in cases of negligent driving. See Peterson v. Superior Ct. (1982) 31 Cal.3d 147; Taylor v. Superior Ct. (1979) 24 Cal.3d 890, 894.

In Taylor, the Supreme Court explained the availability of punitive damages to plaintiffs in motor vehicles tort actions:

A conscious disregard of the safety of others may constitute malice within the meaning of Section 3294 of the Civil Code. In order to justify an award of punitive damages on this basis, the plaintiff must establish that the defendant was aware of the probable dangerous consequences of his conduct, and that he wilfully [sic] and deliberately failed to avoid those consequences.Id. at 895. (emphasis added.) Taylor and Peterson are directly applicable to this case. Plaintiff's prayer for punitive damages, which is based on Dr. Lee's inarguable awareness of the probable dangerous consequences of operating a vehicle under fatigue and while asleep and her actions of deliberately failing to avoid the dangerous consequences by driving in a fatigued state, is undeniably supported by California law.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Negligent Sacramento Doctor Hits Pedestrian On Sidewalk With Her Car, Part 10 of 11" »

August 10, 2011

Sleep-Deprived Sacramento Physician Strikes Pedestrian With Car, Part 9 of 11

The following blog entry is written to illustrate a common motion filed during civil litigation. Reviewing this kind of filing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

The First Amended Complaint does not contain mere allegations that the Defendant's actions were carried on with willful and conscious disregard of the rights of others. In this regard, Brousseau v. Jarrett (1977) 73 Cal.App.3d 864, 872 and Grieves v. Superior Ct. (1984) 157 Cal.App.3d 159, 163, are inapposite to the present case. Unlike Brousseau and Grieves, Plaintiff did not merely allege that Defendant's actions were "willful" or "malicious." Plaintiff refrained from making the sort of conclusory arguments that were scorned in Brousseau and Grieves, The claim for punitive damages in Brousseau and Grieves were not based on specific facts. In this case, Plaintiff pled approximately four pages of detailed facts that allege Dr. Lee acted without regard for the safety of others in her operation of a vehicle while sleeping.

As alleged throughout the First Amended Complaint, Dr. Lee was incompetent and unfit to safely operate a vehicle because she was fatigued. From her residency training, she knew that she was a foreseeable threat to the health and safety of the public if she drove in a fatigued or sleepy condition. She deliberately was disregarding the high probability that she would fall asleep behind the wheel and cause permanent harm to another person.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Sleep-Deprived Sacramento Physician Strikes Pedestrian With Car, Part 9 of 11" »

August 7, 2011

Reckless Sacramento Physician Strikes Man With Car, Part 8 of 11

The following blog entry is written to illustrate a common motion filed during civil litigation. Reviewing this kind of filing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this automobile accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

Further, the case law cited by Dr. Lee does not support her argument that negligence or recklessness is insufficient to warrant punitive damages. Defendant's citation, to Tomaselli v. Transamerica Ins. Co., (1994) 25 Cal.App.4th 1269 actually supports Plaintiff's claim. The Court in Tomaselli held that punitive damages are appropriate if the defendant's acts are reprehensible, fraudulent or in blatant violation of law or policy. Id. at 1287.

In this case, Dr. Lee's actions of driving while asleep, when she knew or should have known of the dangerous probability of causing a motor vehicle accident, Were reprehensible. She knew that she was fatigued. She was trained to avoid driving while fatigued. She likely dozed off while driving before falling asleep - yet she continued to drive the trip from Sacramento to El Dorado Hills. She also blatantly violated multiple motor vehicle safety codes and a regulation prohibiting the operation of a vehicle while the driver's alertness is impaired by fatigue. See 13 C.C.R. 1214. Dr. Lee should not have operated the motor vehicle under the conditions, and her decision to do constitutes malice and oppression.

Since Plaintiff's allegations are based on facts and not speculation, the present case is consistent with the decisions cited in Defendant's moving papers, i.e., College Hospital, Inc. v. Superior Court (1994) 8 Cal.4th 704 [plaintiffs failed to plead facts regarding defendants' intent to injure or facts of vile or despicable conduct]; Colonial Life &Acc. Ins. Co. v. Superior Court (1982) 31 Cal.3d 785, 792 [a defendant may be liable for punitive damages if it acts with a conscious disregard of the plaintiff's fights]; Lackner v. North (2006) 135 Cal.App.4th 1188 [summary adjudication of plaintiff's punitive damages claim was proper since plaintiff's evidence failed to show defendant acted despicably].

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Reckless Sacramento Physician Strikes Man With Car, Part 8 of 11" »

August 3, 2011

Punitive Damages Sought By Sacramento Auto Accident Victim, Part 7 of 11

The following blog entry is written to illustrate a common motion filed during civil litigation. Reviewing this kind of filing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this automobile accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

PLAINTIFF HAS PLED SUFFICIENT FACTS TO ESTABLISH THAT DR. LEE'S CONDUCT WAS DESPICABLE AND WITH A WILLFUL AND CONSCIOUS DISREGARD FOR THE SAFETY OF PLAINTIFF

Plaintiff seeks punitive damages against Dr. Lee pursuant to Civil Code Section 3294, which states in pertinent part:

(a) In an action for the breach of an obligation not arising from contract, where it is proven by clear and convincing evidence that the defendant has been guilty of oppression, fraud, or malice, the plaintiff, in addition to the actual damages, may recover damages for the sake of example and by way of punishing the defendant.

(c)(1) "Malice" means conduct which is intended by the defendant to cause injury to the plaintiff or despicable conduct which is carried on by the defendant with a willful and conscious disregard of the rights or safety of others.

(c)(2) "Oppression" means despicable conduct that subjects a person to cruel and unjust hardship in conscious disregard of that person's rights.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Punitive Damages Sought By Sacramento Auto Accident Victim, Part 7 of 11" »

July 31, 2011

Litigation Costs Become Issue After Sacramento Car Accident Victim Wins Trial, Part 5 of 5

The following blog entry is written to illustrate a common motion filed during civil litigation. Reviewing this kind of filing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

ITEM NO. 12 FOR COURT REPORTER FEES IS ALLOWABLE BY STATUTE.

Finally, defendant objects to plaintiff's cost Item No. 12 for the fees charged by the official court reporter of this trial. At the conclusion of the case, plaintiff submitted a check to the clerk of the court in the amount of $2,483 directly for payment of the official court reporter fees.
Pursuant to Government Code section 68086(a)(1), such a fee was required by statute:

"(a) The following provisions apply in Superior Court:(1) In addition to any other fee required in civil actions or cases, for each proceeding lasting more than one hour, a fee equal to the actual cost of providing that service shall be charged per one-half day of service to the parties, on a prorata basis, for the services of an official court reporter on the first and each succeeding judicial day." Obviously the services of the official court reporter are required by law and were paid by plaintiff and are therefore recoverable.

CONCLUSION

Here, defendant chose to turn down an eminently fair settlement offer and instead elected to go to great expense in fighting liability and damages in this case by extremely expensive defense expert witnesses. Additionally, defendant wasted substantial court assets and time in insisting upon a two-week jury trial that could have been resolved far less expensively.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Litigation Costs Become Issue After Sacramento Car Accident Victim Wins Trial, Part 5 of 5" »

July 30, 2011

Sacramento Car Accident Victim Shows Evidence Of Egregious Conduct By Local Doctor, Part 6 of 11

The following blog entry is written to illustrate a common motion filed during civil litigation. Reviewing this kind of filing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this automobile accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

The majority of the new allegations in the First Amended Complaint describe the residency training that Dr. Lee should have heeded in order to avoid causing the subject incident. Dr. Lee was provided training at National Hospital, prior to the incident, about the specific risk posed to the public by fatigued or sleep-deprived medical residents. The article "Extended Work Shifts and the Risk of Motor Vehicle Crashes Among Interns" published by the New England Journal of Medicine on January 13, 2005, was just one of many scientific journal articles offered to Dr. Lee on the subject. The collective information regarding Dr. Lee's training is directly relevant to the action and establishes the fact that Dr. Lee was acutely aware of the dangerous risks posed to the public, including Plaintiff, by driving home in a fatigued or sleepy condition after being awake for a continuous 18 hours. Plaintiff has sufficiently, and with much detail, alleged the various ways in which Dr. Lee acted with malice and oppression by disregarding her training on a multitude of levels.

The present case is highly distinguishable from Austin v. Regents of Univ. of California (1979) 89 Cal.App.3d 354, where the Court held, ... the allegations in plaintiff's complaint are purely conclusory. Here, Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint is replete with facts establishing how Dr. Lee acted with a willful and intentional decision to operate a motor vehicle in a fatigued, sleepy and impaired condition. Her conduct was despicable in light of her residency training at National Hospital. Also, National Hospital provides its residents with alternative means of travel, such as a shuttle, bus, or taxi vouchers, but Dr. Lee willfully and knowingly chose to drive home with a conscious disregard of the rights or safety of Plaintiff and the public.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Sacramento Car Accident Victim Shows Evidence Of Egregious Conduct By Local Doctor, Part 6 of 11" »

July 27, 2011

Sacramento Hospital Liable For Injuries Caused By Doctor In Car Accident, Part 5 of 11

The following blog entry is written to illustrate a common motion filed during civil litigation. Reviewing this kind of filing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this automobile accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

ARGUMENT

LEGAL STANDARDS ON MOTION TO STRIKE

Motions to strike are not favored. Weil & Brown, Civil Procedure Before Trial, § 7:197. The policy of California law is to construe the pleadings liberally ... with a view to substantial justice. C.CP. § 452.

Plaintiffs First Amended Complaint meets the notice pleading requirements under California law. What is important is that the complaint as a whole contain sufficient facts to apprise the defendant of the basis upon which the plaintiff is seeking relief. Perkins v. Superior Ct. (1981) 117 Cal.App.3d 1, 6. Specificity is not required in the Complaint because modern discovery procedures necessarily affect the amount of detail that should be required in a pleading. Ludgatelns. Co. v. Lockheed Martin Corp. (2000) 82 Cal. App.4th 592, 608. The First Amended Complaint adequately informs Dr. Lee of the damages sought and the legal bases for those damages. Since Plaintiff has met the notice pleading requirements, Dr. Lee's motion to strike should fail on all accounts.

PARAGRAPH 32 SHOULD NOT BE STRICKEN SINCE PLAINTIFF'S ALLEGATIONS ARE FACT-SPECIFIC AND ESTABLISH IN DETAIL HOW DR. LEE ACTED WITH MALICE AND OPPRESSION

Defendant seeks to mislead the Court by alleging that Plaintiff's claim for punitive damages is conclusory and based solely on the new fact alleged that Dr. Lee was awake for at least 18 hours prior to the incident. Dr. Lee claims that Plaintiff's new allegations contained within paragraphs 31 and 32 do not alter the factual scenario of the case, but that is exactly what the new allegations have done.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Sacramento Hospital Liable For Injuries Caused By Doctor In Car Accident, Part 5 of 11" »

July 27, 2011

Sacramento Car Accident Victim Contests Defense Expert's Costs, Part 4 of 5

The following blog entry is written to illustrate a common motion filed during civil litigation. Reviewing this kind of filing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

PLAINTIFF'S COST BILL FOR MODELS AND EXHIBITS IN THE AMOUNT OF $4,987.62 IS INHERENTLY REASONABLE.

Plaintiff's cost bill Item No. 11 documents the costs for models and exhibits used at trial in the total amount of $4,987.62. For presentation of evidence in a two-week jury trial involving hundreds of documents and dozens of blow-ups, such costs are on their face entirely reasonable. Defendant's argument that these costs are excessive is not supported by any evidence other than the argument of counsel. For example, counsel argues that plaintiff should have instead used the Elmo exhibit as opposed to actual blow-ups. This seems to be a reverse of defendant's prior argument that plaintiff should not have used high-tech gadgetry (such as Elmos), but instead should rely upon low-tech presentations such as blow-ups.

As the court will recall, blow-ups were used with virtually every witness called by plaintiff and were extremely helpful to the jury in the presentation of the evidence in this case. In contrast, the quality of the Elmo in the courtroom was less than ideal and was remote in distance from the jury box. Ultimately, the jurors received into evidence a number of blow-ups that assisted them in their deliberations. (See Part 5 of 5.)

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

July 25, 2011

Sacramento Doctor Hits Pedestrian After Ignoring Signs Of Extreme Fatigue, Part 4 of 11

The following blog entry is written to illustrate a common motion filed during civil litigation. Reviewing this kind of filing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this automobile accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

●Defendant Susan Lee, M.D., failed to use reasonable care appropriate to avoid driving on public roads, streets and highways in a sleep-deprived and fatigued state and also acted wantonly, recklessly and with malice and oppression at the time of the incident. She admitted to the police at the scene of the incident that she had fallen asleep at the wheel.

Also, in Paragraph 32 Plaintiff pled a detailed factual account of Dr. Lee's training at National Hospital, which was taken from the deposition of Caleb Smith, M.D., who was Dr. Lee's superior at National Hospital and administered many of the residency trainings. These facts build the foundation for Dr. Lee's malicious and oppressive conduct on the date of the incident. These facts take up approximately four pages of the entire First Amended Complaint. In the interest of brevity, Plaintiff has not repeated the lengthy allegations herein.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Sacramento Doctor Hits Pedestrian After Ignoring Signs Of Extreme Fatigue, Part 4 of 11" »

July 23, 2011

Catastrophically Injured Sacramento Man Sues After Car Acident, Part 3 of 5

The following blog entry is written to illustrate a common motion filed during civil litigation. Reviewing this kind of filing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

In essence, defendant argues that the expert witness bill from ABC Engineering should be substantially cut because Mr. Ridley Hall used computer programs to create an animation and blow-ups that were used at trial. The argument goes on to sate that such a presentation could have been done by less expensive, low-tech means . No explanation, however, is given by defendant as to how computer modeling and a computer-based animation could have been done less expensively to communicate the same thing. Obviously, due to evidentiary foundational requirements, Mr. Hall had to base his animation on appropriate documentation and evidence in order to create an accurate reconstruction of the subject accident. There is no declaration submitted by defendant by any competent expert that says that the computerized accident reconstruction could be done at a more reasonable expense or using "low-tech means."

In fact, the jury found that Mr. Hall's presentation was so important that they asked for the animation to be replayed during their deliberations. All of Mr. Hall's computer-created exhibits were painstakingly used one by one during his testimony, as was his animation.
The case cited by defendant, El Dorado Meat Co. v. Yosemite Meat and Locker Service, Inc., (2007) 150 Cal.App.4th 612, actually supports the type of evidence that was used in this trial:

The problem with the electronic equipment and the labor costs rejected in Science Applications, as we understand it, was that these were more expensive methods of doing things that could be done by less-expensive, low-tech means, and therefore they were not reasonably necessary to the conduct of the litigation but were "merely convenient or beneficial to its preparation." (§1033.5, subd. (c)(2).)

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Catastrophically Injured Sacramento Man Sues After Car Acident, Part 3 of 5" »

July 22, 2011

Catastrophic Auto Accident Involves Sacramento Physician, Part 3 of 11

The following blog entry is written to illustrate a common motion filed during civil litigation. Reviewing this kind of filing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this automobile accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

PLAINTIFF HAS SUFFICIENTLY ALLEGED FACTS WHICH ESTABLISH MALICE AND OPPRESSION ON THE PART OF DR. LEE

Plaintiff specifically pled a variety of facts - not conclusions - supporting the allegations of malice and oppression against Dr. Lee.

The following facts pertaining to Dr. Lee's conduct were pled, providing sufficient basis for punitive damages:

●At said time and place, Defendant Susan Lee, M.D,. was driving the SUBJECT VEHICLE east on University Road. Defendant Susan Lee, M.D., knowingly and intentionally got behind the wheel while fatigued, sleepy, and in an impaired condition, fell asleep while driving and drove the SUBJECT VEHICLE east on University Road and up and onto the raised sidewalk and struck the pedestrian Plaintiff from behind.

●Defendant Susan Lee, M.D., failed to use reasonable care while negligently, and also wantonly and recklessly with malice and oppression, knowingly and intentionally got behind the wheel while fatigued, sleepy and in an impaired condition, fell asleep while driving and drove the SUBJECT VEHICLE east on University Road and up and onto the raised sidewalk and struck the pedestrian Plaintiff from behind. (See Part 4 of 11.)

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

July 19, 2011

Insurance Company Fights Sacramento Man Injured In Auto Accident, Part 2 of 5

The following blog entry is written to illustrate a common motion filed during civil litigation. Reviewing this kind of filing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES IN OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO TAX COSTS

THE PURPOSE OF SECTION 998 IS TO ENCOURAGE SETTLEMENTS AND TO PUNISH A PARTY WHO FAILS TO ACCEPT A REASONABLE OFFER FROM THE OTHER PARTY.

In Elrod v. Oregon Cummins Diesel, Inc. (1987) 195 C al.App.3rd 692, the court spent considerable time evaluating the purpose of Code of Civil Procedure section 998. The court noted as follows:

"Section 998 should be interpreted so as to effectuate its purpose of encouraging the settlement of lawsuits before trial." Section 998 achieves its aim by punishing a party who fails to accept a reasonable offer from the other party. 195 Cal.App.3rd at 698-699.

In this case, the parties could have avoided an extremely expensive and time-consuming two-week jury trial had defendant and his insurance carrier accepted an entirely reasonable offer that is nearly half of what the jury ultimately awarded plaintiff.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Insurance Company Fights Sacramento Man Injured In Auto Accident, Part 2 of 5" »

July 18, 2011

Drowsy Doctor Hits Sacramento Man On Sidewalk, Part 2 of 11

The following blog entry is written to illustrate a common motion filed during civil litigation. Reviewing this kind of filing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this automobile accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

Dr. Lee seeks to strike the following portions of Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint: (a) portions of Paragraph 6, line 15 regarding Defendant's malicious and oppressive behavior; (b) Paragraph 32 regarding the details of Dr. Lee's training at National Hospital; (c) Paragraph 42 regarding Dr. Lee's malicious and oppressive conduct; and (d) Plaintiff's prayer for punitive damages against Dr. Lee. Her motion to strike fails on all counts because Plaintiff's allegations are allowed under the negligence theories pled in his First Amended Complaint and he has pled sufficient facts to justify seeking punitive damages.

STATEMENT OF FACTS

FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS THAT SUPPORT PRAYER FOR PUNITIVE DAMAGES

On June 16, 2009, shortly before 1:00 p.m., Plaintiff, a pedestrian, was jogging on the eastern sidewalk of University Road, near the intersection of Small Way, in El Dorado Hills. Dr. Lee was driving east on University Road. Knowingly and intentionally driving in a fatigued and sleepy condition, Dr. Lee fell asleep while driving and drove up and onto the raised sidewalk and struck Plaintiff from behind. Plaintiff flew violently onto the hood and smashed into the. windshield, then up onto the roof. (Id.) Plaintiff was carried approximately 59 feet east before being thrown off the top of the vehicle. (Id.) Dr. Lee, while still asleep, then dragged Plaintiff approximately 38 feet where Dr. Lee ultimately ran over him again.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Drowsy Doctor Hits Sacramento Man On Sidewalk, Part 2 of 11" »

July 15, 2011

Sacramento Man Seriously Injured In Car Accident, Part 1 of 5

The following blog entry is written to illustrate a common motion filed during civil litigation. Reviewing this kind of filing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

Plaintiff Tammy Greene's Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Opposition to Defendant's Motion to Tax Costs

INTRODUCTION

As the court is well aware, this was a very serious automobile injury, disputed liability case, with a major defense mounted by defendant Li. To boil defendant's Motion to Tax Costs down to its essence, Li complains that plaintiff's expert witness presentation was too expensive and the court should therefore not exercise its discretion to award expert witness fees pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure §998. What Li's motion fails to point out is that the defense experts charged even higher fees, as is reflected in the trial transcript. Just to cite one example, defense expert witness Walter Brown, who testified all of 15 minutes at trial, and charged well in excess of $10,000 for his services in rendering an opinion as to whether the lights were on or off on the plaintiff's Lexus. Had defendant been the prevailing party in this case, there is little doubt they would have been asking for expert witness costs well in excess of the amount requested on plaintiff's cost bill.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Sacramento Man Seriously Injured In Car Accident, Part 1 of 5" »

July 14, 2011

Sacramento Pedestrian Hit By Fatigued Driver, Part 1 of 11

The following blog entry is written to illustrate a common motion filed during civil litigation. Reviewing this kind of filing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this automobile accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

Plaintiff's Opposition to Defendant Susan Lee, M.D.'s Motion to Strike Punitive Damages from First Amended Complaint

INTRODUCTION

On June 16, 2009, at approximately 1:00 p.m. in the afternoon, Defendant Susan Lee, M.D., fell asleep while driving and struck down the Plaintiff, David Hall, with her car as he was jogging on the sidewalk. Dr. Lee caused David to sustain serious and permanent injuries, including: traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, thoracic spine fractures, left fibula fracture, multiple lacerations, severe abrasions (road rash) from his upper back, arms, knees, thighs and toes, and contusions.

As part of her training at National Hospital, Dr. Lee was taught about the dangerous probable consequences of operating a motor vehicle while sleepy or fatigued. Despite the training, Dr. Lee, who is to do no. harm as a physician, left National Hospital where she had been working and awake for at least 18 consecutive hours, and drove home in a sleepy and fatigued condition. She was significantly impaired and unable to drive home safely.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Sacramento Pedestrian Hit By Fatigued Driver, Part 1 of 11" »

June 30, 2011

Sacramento Plaintiff's Car Destroyed By Insurance Company After Accident, Part 7 of 7

The following blog entry is written to illustrate a common motion filed during civil litigation. Reviewing this kind of filing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

In Galanek, the court reiterated a maxim of jurisprudence that is apropos here: A fundamental principal of our legal system is that "no one can take advantage of his own wrong," citing Civil Code section 3517. Galanek v. Wismar at 1428. Similarly here, XYZ, Ins. Co., cannot be allowed a procedural advantage on liability due to its destruction of critical evidence.

Unlike the cases of inadvertence above, here XYZ, Ins. Co., did not lose or misplace evidence - it consciously destroyed it, knowing that this was a serious injury claim and that litigation was likely to follow. Further, XYZ, Ins. Co. misrepresented to plaintiff's counsel that the Brown vehicle had never been inspected by their experts, when in fact such an inspection had taken place weeks before. And moreover, XYZ, Ins. Co. was placed on written notice within six weeks from the date of this accident that plaintiff demanded that the Brown vehicle be preserved for inspection by experts. As the law makes clear: [T]he court has broad powers ... to make whatever just orders are necessary to remedy the spoliation. Cedars-Sinai, supra, 18 Cal.4th at 8 (emphasis added). This court should exercise those powers and grant the relief sought so that Ms. Black is not severely prejudiced from recovering the full measure of her damages from defendants for her severe injuries.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Sacramento Plaintiff's Car Destroyed By Insurance Company After Accident, Part 7 of 7" »

June 25, 2011

Sacramento Driver Suffers Traumatic Brain Injury In Car Accident, Part 6 of 7

The following blog entry is written to illustrate a common motion filed during civil litigation. Reviewing this kind of filing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

It is anticipated that the defendant will claim that the destruction of the vehicle was accidental or non-intentional. Even if the court finds that defendant Brown's spoliation of evidence was inadvertent, the court should still grant plaintiff's requests for evidentiary sanctions: where a party inadvertently destroys evidence, the court may issue sanctions intended to level the playing field or even up the score. Puritan Insurance Co. v. Superior Court (1985) 171 Cal.App.3rd 877, 883-884. In this case, an expert witness inadvertently lost a failed drive shaft. The court reviewed numerous early California authorities and determined that, None of these authorities suggests a willfulness requirement for violations of subdivision (b)(2). Puritan Ins. Co., 1717 Cal.App.3rd at 884.

In Galanek v. Wismar (1999) 68 Cal.App.4th 1417, 1427, the court properly shifted the burden of proving lack of causation to the defendant attorney who negligently permitted a storage facility to destroy a defective automobile before either party could perform an inspection. The destruction of evidence made it impossible for plaintiff to prove that defendant's negligence was the cause of her losses. (Ibid.) In addition, there is no intentional standard set forth in section 2023.030, merely that such sanctions can be issued against anyone engaging in conduct that is a misuse of the discovery process. Destroying key evidence under the facts as outlined above is surely a misuse of the discovery process.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Sacramento Driver Suffers Traumatic Brain Injury In Car Accident, Part 6 of 7" »

June 21, 2011

Sacramento Car Accident Defendant Destroys Critical Evidence, Part 5 of 7

The following blog entry is written to illustrate a common motion filed during civil litigation. Reviewing this kind of filing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

DEFENDANT'S SPOLIATION OF CRITICAL EVIDENCE NECESSITATES AN ORDER TO PRECLUDE THE DEFENDANT'S ACCIDENT RECONSTRUCTION EXPERTS FROM TESTIFYING

The guiding California Supreme Court case controlling spoliation of evidence is Cedars-Sinai Medical Center v. Superior Court (1998) 18 Cal.4th 1. In Cedars, plaintiff brought a medical malpractice action arising out of a birth injury. During discovery, the hospital was unable to locate key medical records pertaining to the birth. The plaintiff then filed a separate cause of action of intentional spoliation of evidence. The court began the opinion by noting the serious affront to justice that is caused by destroying evidence:

The intentional destruction of evidence is a grave affront to the cause of justice and deserves our unqualified condemnation. 18 Cal.4th1, 4.

In the opinion, although the court dispensed with a specific cause of action for intentional spoliation of evidence, it confirmed the broad powers that the court has in dealing with issues such as are presented in this case.

Destroying evidence in response to a discovery request after litigation has commenced would surely be a misuse of discovery within the meaning of section 2023, as would such destruction in anticipation of a discovery request. The sanctions under Code of Civil Procedure section 2023 are potent.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Sacramento Car Accident Defendant Destroys Critical Evidence, Part 5 of 7" »

June 17, 2011

Automobile Crash Leaves Sacramento Woman With Serious Brain Injuries, Part 4 of 7

The following blog entry is written to illustrate a common motion filed during civil litigation. Reviewing this kind of filing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

XYZ, INS. COMPANY’S DESTRUCTION OF EVIDENCE HAS SEVERELY PREJUDICED THE ABILITY OF PLAINTIFF TO ESTABLISH CERTAIN FACTS CRITICAL TO LIABILITY ISSUES

Defendant's decision to destroy their insured's vehicle and then to misrepresent that it had never been inspected by their experts, has caused serious prejudice to plaintiff's ability to prove certain issues extremely important to liability. Such issues include:

(1) Crush analysis that would allow plaintiff's experts to more accurately assess the speed of defendant Brown's vehicle when he smashed into plaintiff's stalled car on the freeway.

(2) Determining the speed of defendant Brown's vehicle would also be important in addressing defendant's perception and reaction times when he observed the plaintiff's stalled vehicle prior to this accident.

(3) The distance of illumination from defendant Brown's headlights in front of him is also a factor that in part is based upon his rate of speed.

(4) The Delta V that all accident reconstructionists use in determining the change of velocity, which equates into the force of impact and is also a fundamental calculation for purposes of accident reconstruction.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Automobile Crash Leaves Sacramento Woman With Serious Brain Injuries, Part 4 of 7" »

June 14, 2011

Experts Battle In Sacramento Car Accident Lawsuit, Part 3 of 7

The following blog entry is written to illustrate a common motion filed during civil litigation. Reviewing this kind of filing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

Shortly after this accident occurred, XYZ, Ins. Co. retained ABC Engineering, Inc., and directed them to conduct an inspection of both of the involved vehicles. As the report from defense counsel confirms, an inspection by ABC's engineer of the defendant's 2008 Nissan 350Z occurred on August 4, 2009. Thus, despite the fact that XYZ, Ins. Co. was aware of a serious injury claim within weeks of this accident, and was obviously aware of the importance of having engineers inspect the involved vehicles, a conscious decision was apparently made to destroy the defendant's vehicle and make it unavailable for inspection by plaintiff's expert. Consequently, the specific purpose of this motion is to preclude any defense experts from testifying as to an accident reconstruction of the subject accident because of their significant advantage in having their engineers personally inspect the defense vehicle, while depriving plaintiff of a similar opportunity.

CHRONOLOGY OF RELEVANT EVENTS:

June 17, 2009: Date of the subject accident.

July 17, 2009: Multiple telephone conversations between XYZ, Ins. Co. and Robyn Black's parents about the accident and her severe injuries.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Experts Battle In Sacramento Car Accident Lawsuit, Part 3 of 7" »

June 11, 2011

Auto Accident Leaves Sacramento Woman With Brain Injury, Part 2 of 7

The following blog entry is written to illustrate a common motion filed during civil litigation. Reviewing this kind of filing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

Within approximately two weeks after this accident, defendant Brown's insurance company, XYZ, Ins. Co., made contact with plaintiff's parents. XYZ, Ins. Co. was advised as to the serious injuries suffered by plaintiff during numerous telephone conversations that took place with the Black family and XYZ, Ins. Co.'s adjuster at that time, Kyle Hill. Additionally, Mr. Hill sent correspondence on behalf of XYZ, Ins. Co. to the Black family requesting authorizations to obtain medical records, thus further evidencing the fact that XYZ, Ins. Co. was fully aware that injuries were sustained. XYZ, Ins. Co. obviously recognized the importance of inspecting the involved vehicles, as reflected by their correspondence of July 31, 2009, to the plaintiff asking permission to have their "accident reconstruction engineer" inspect the Black's 2007 BMW 325i that was involved in this accident.

In early August of 2009, this law firm was retained to represent Robyn Black. Correspondence was sent to the adjuster Kyle Hill, which contained a paragraph as follows:

"I also request that you preserve your insured's vehicle for inspection purposes. I am sure you will do all within your power to preserve any relevant evidence for this case, as required by California Penal Code section 135."

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Auto Accident Leaves Sacramento Woman With Brain Injury, Part 2 of 7" »

June 8, 2011

Sacramento Woman Suffers Catastrophic Injuries In Car Accident, Part 1 of 7

The following blog entry is written to illustrate a common motion filed during civil litigation. Reviewing this kind of filing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

Plaintiff's Motion in Limine to Exclude Defendant XYZ, Ins. Co.’s Accident Reconstruction Expert Testimony

INTRODUCTION

This case arises out of a major automobile collision that occurred on Highway 50 westbound near the Sunrise exit on June 17, 2009. At that time, Ms. Black's vehicle became disabled and stalled on the freeway and was struck with great force by defendant's vehicle. The collision resulted in extremely serious injuries, including a fractured neck and a traumatic brain injury.

The purpose of this motion in limine is to exclude accident reconstruction testimony by defendant's experts due to defendant's insurance company's intentional or negligent spoliation of evidence, namely the defendant's vehicle. As is explained in more detail below despite a specific written request to preserve such evidence, the defendant's vehicle was not only destroyed but plaintiff's counsel was misled by defendant's insurance adjuster as to the availability of the vehicle for inspection by plaintiff’s experts.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Sacramento Woman Suffers Catastrophic Injuries In Car Accident, Part 1 of 7" »

May 31, 2011

Sacramento Woman Fights Tire Company After Tires Cause Car Accident, Part 5 of 5

The following blog entry is written to illustrate a common motion filed during civil litigation. Reviewing this kind of filing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

SIMILAR ACTION DOES NOT REQUIRE SHARED EXPERTS

Dr. Brown and Mr. West are not the same party. They are not married, or even related. They are not represented by the same attorney. One is the purchaser of the tire, the other is not One has privity of contract with Valley Chevrolet and The Auto Center, the other (West) does not. The defendants have cross complained against Dr. Brown for the damages claimed by Mr. West.

Dr. Brown has not hired Mr. West's experts (save, Mr. Goldberg), and has no contract or agreement with those experts. Either plaintiff could settle with one or more of the defendants leaving the other plaintiff to go it alone.

Nevertheless, XYZ argues that Dr. Brown should be forced to withdraw Drs Bakstrom and Hall, and rely upon Mr. West's experts instead. There is no compelling reason to do so. Dr. Brown has identified a perfectly reasonable number of experts, and the expected testimony of those experts is expected to overlap barely, if at all.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Sacramento Woman Fights Tire Company After Tires Cause Car Accident, Part 5 of 5" »

May 28, 2011

Tire Blow-Out Causes Sacramento Auto Accident, Part 4 of 5

The following blog entry is written to illustrate a common motion filed during civil litigation. Reviewing this kind of filing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

None of the expert witnesses listed above has been deposed by the defendant, despite the fact that this same defendant sought a continuance of the December 2009 trial in order to have more time to conduct expert discovery. XYZ contends, essentially, that either Dr Bakstrom or Dr. Hall must go, to save time and money, without actually having heard a word from either expert. Plaintiff Brown contends that both Dr. Bakstrom and Dr. Hall are essential to her case against the formidable, well financed, and experienced corporate defendant (as well a the other two defendants - Valley Chevrolet and The Auto Center).

It is worth remembering that XYZ designed, manufactured, distributed, and marketed the subject tire. Much of the discovery and investigation associated with its defense was incidental to its primary business - making, marketing, and selling tires. Dr. Brown, a retired dentist, has had to start from scratch, using experts who have not had the benefit of unlimited access to XYZ 's wealth of resources.

Dr. Brown needs both Dr. Hall and Dr. Bakstrom. Even if there were some overlap subject matter, both of these experts would still need to be deposed because there are areas o their testimony which do not overlap at all (i.e. accident reconstruction, chemical composition and decomposition). Since both experts are necessary and would still testify, even if any hypothetical overlap were excluded at trial, plaintiff assumes that the defendants would take the experts' depositions.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Tire Blow-Out Causes Sacramento Auto Accident, Part 4 of 5" »

May 26, 2011

Tire Experts Find Fault With Manufacturer In Sacramento Auto Accident, Part 3 of 5

The following blog entry is written to illustrate a common motion filed during civil litigation. Reviewing this kind of filing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

In her expert witness disclosure statement Dr. Brown identified seven (7) retained experts Of these seven, two were voluntarily withdrawn by the plaintiff, leaving five. Of those five:

Paul Smith, M.D. , is a neurologist designated to testify regarding Dr. Brown's head injury and dementia. None of the other retained experts are qualified to provide expert testimony on any medical/neurological issue.

Alexa Chong, R.N., is a home health care expert, designated to testify regarding the value of the services rendered to Dr. Brown by her family members. No other expert designated by any party is qualified to give such testimony.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Sven Bakstrom, Ph.D., is an engineer who will give testimony regarding his reconstruction of the subject collision and he analysis of the failure of the tire. No other expert designated by Dr. Brown is qualified to perform accident reconstruction, and no other expert is a mechanical engineer.

Bob Hall, Ph.D., is a professor of chemistry. Dr. Hall will give testimony regarding the chemical factors associated with the failure of the subject tire. Dr. Hall is not an accident reconstructionist. The focus of his testimony will be on the chemical factors that lead to tire failure by age.

Continue reading "Tire Experts Find Fault With Manufacturer In Sacramento Auto Accident, Part 3 of 5" »

May 24, 2011

Sacramento Car Accident Defendant Tries To Limit Victim's Medical Experts, Part 2 of 5

The following blog entry is written to illustrate a common motion filed during civil litigation. Reviewing this kind of filing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

What is particularly egregious about XYZ 's failure to timely file and serve this motion is that XYZ attempted to have similar motion heard, ex parte, on December 4, XYZ withdrew the motion when its motion to continue the trial date was granted. Still, it is not as though this defendant, whose counsel swore that the proposed motion was attached to a declaration filed on March 25, was prompted by surprise or urgency in drafting this motion.

XYZ had a draft of the motion ready to file on December 4, 2009, and proposed version to attach to a declaration on March 25, yet the defendant declined to file and serve the motion until after the statutory deadline.

XYZ 's motion raises no minor issue. The defendant seeks to exclude the entirety of certain of the plaintiffs experts' testimony before any party has even heard the substance of the testimony. XYZ claims excessive consumption of time (a claim which is proved false herein), yet the same defendant could not manage to provide the court and opposing counsel with adequate notice.

The court should deny XYZ 's motion for failure to comply with C.C.P. §1005(b) if not also for the substantive reasons stated below.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Sacramento Car Accident Defendant Tries To Limit Victim's Medical Experts, Part 2 of 5" »

May 20, 2011

Sacramento Car Accident Victim Fights For Medical Experts, Part 1 of 5

The following blog entry is written to illustrate a common motion filed during civil litigation. Reviewing this kind of filing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

Plaintiff Anna Brown's Objection and Opposition to Defendant XYZ Tire, Inc.'s Motion for a Protective Order Limiting the Number of Plaintiffs' Experts

PRELIMINARY OBJECTION

Defendant XYZ Tire, Inc., failed to give adequate notice, or to file its motion, according to the deadlines provided in California Code of Civil Procedure Section 1005(b). C.C.P. §1005(b) requires that the defendant's motion and supporting papers be filed and served at least 16 court days before the hearing. The hearing is scheduled for April 23, but the moving papers were filed on April 2, only fourteen (14) court days before the hearing. The moving papers, delivered by express mail, should have been served no later than March 28. Instead they were served on Friday, April 2, and delivered on Monday, April 5, more than a week after plaintiffs’ counsel should have received them.

On March 26, XYZ brought an ex parte application to schedule the hearing on this motion for a date between April 16 and April 23, 2010. XYZ 's counsel did not request an order shortening time. To the contrary, defense counsel Allison Greene observed that the motion could be served with "normal notice."

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Sacramento Car Accident Victim Fights For Medical Experts, Part 1 of 5" »

May 17, 2011

Sacramento Car Accident Victims File Suit Against Tire Company, Part 6 of 6

The following blog entry is written to illustrate a common motion filed during civil litigation. Reviewing this kind of filing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

A motion in limine seeking to preclude any reference to corporate defendant's nonprofit status was properly granted where such status was not relevant to the issues and might improperly curry favor with the jury. See Notrica v. State Comp. Ins. Fund (1999) 70 Cal. App. 4th 911, 933-935. As such, the mere mention of plaintiff being a "war hero" or any derivative thereof is substantially prejudicial to the defendants as a jury may be inclined to gamer sympathy and thereby obtain an award to plaintiff solely because of his status as a war hero and not based upon whether or not XYZ was responsible in any manner for the accident or the extent of the injuries sustained in the August 25, 2008 accident. Therefore, pursuant to Evidence Code §352, such evidence must be excluded from trial.

Finally, evidence pertaining to Mr. West being a veteran of WWII and being involved in two of the most well known military battles is not admissible as character evidence for two reasons. First, evidence of character, other than for honesty, is inadmissible to attack or support the credibility of a witness. Evidence Code §786. Here, Mr. West's military history does not in any way demonstrate his propensity to tell the truth. Second, even if it did, evidence of a witness's good character for credibility is inadmissible unless evidence of the witness's bad character has first been admitted. Evidence Code §790. As such, Mr. West military history must also be excluded as improper character evidence.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Sacramento Car Accident Victims File Suit Against Tire Company, Part 6 of 6" »

May 14, 2011

Defendant In Sacramento Car Accident Case Fights Use Of Plaintiff's War Hero Status, Part 5 of 6

The following blog entry is written to illustrate a common motion filed during civil litigation. Reviewing this kind of filing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

Evidence Code §352 allows a Court to exclude otherwise relevant evidence where there is a substantial danger that the probative value of the inclusion of such evidence will be outweighed by the danger of undue prejudice. People v. Cardenas (1982) 31 Cal. 3d 897, 904. As the Court in Cardenas further explained, §352 provides grounds for excluding evidence that is inflammatory. 5 Id. at 906. Section 352 requires that the trial Judge to balance the probative value of the offered evidence in comparison to its potential of prejudice, undue consumption of time and confusion. Jefferson, Cal. Evidence Benchbook (1972) comments, §22.1, pg. 288.

The California Supreme Court elaborated on what undue prejudice connotes and explained such as evidence that carries with it a danger of evoking emotional bias against a defendant while offering little probative value. People v. Gionis (1995) 9 Cal. 4th 1196, 1214. Similarly, evidence that would confuse the issues or work to mislead the jury should be excluded pursuant to Section 352. People v. Milner (1988) 45 Cal. 3d 227, 238; Ehrhardt v. Brunswick, Inc. (1986) 186 Cal. App. 3d 734, 740.

In the instant case, self serving statements pertaining to plaintiff's military service or any evidence that plaintiff was a war hero or any derivative thereof is pure character evidence being offered for the explicit purpose of evoking sympathy for plaintiff in the minds of the members of the jury.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Defendant In Sacramento Car Accident Case Fights Use Of Plaintiff's War Hero Status, Part 5 of 6" »

May 10, 2011

Sacramento Auto Accident Leads To Lawsuit for Defective Tires, Part 4 of 6

The following blog entry is written to illustrate a common motion filed during civil litigation. Reviewing this kind of filing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

THIS COURT MAY EXCLUDE IRRELEVANT AND SUBSTANTIALLY PREJUDICIAL EVIDENCE IN ADVANCE OF TRIAL BY WAY OF A MOTION IN LIMINE

The usual purpose of motions in limine is to preclude the presentation of evidence deemed inadmissible and prejudicial by the moving party. FMC Corp. v. Plaisted & Cos. (1998) 61 Cal. App. 4th 1132, 1168. The Court has the inherent power to grant a motion in limine to exclude any kind of evidence which could be objected to at trial, because said evidence is irrelevant or subject to discretionary exclusion as being unduly prejudicial or a piece of evidence that will mislead the jury. Clemens v. American Warranty Corp. (1987) 193 Cal. App. 3d 444, 451; Peat, Marwick, Mitchell & Co. v. Superior Court (1988) 200 Cal. App. 3d 272, 288. One of the main purposes of motions in limine is to properly narrow the issues for trial and preclude irrelevant evidence from flooding the courtroom. The advantage of such motion is to avoid the obvious futile attempt to "unring the bell" in the event a motion to strike is granted in the proceeding before the Court related primarily to irrelevant and prejudicial evidence. Hyatt v. Sierra Boat Co. (1978) 79 Cal. App. 3d 325, 337.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Evidence Code §350 regulates that only relevant evidence is admissible. This is because relevancy is not an inherent characteristic of evidence but exists as a relation between an item of evidence and a proposition sought to be proved. See McCormick on Evidence, 3rd, § 185. Accordingly, evidence is relevant if it has any tendency in reason to prove or disprove any disputed fact of consequence to the determination of the action. Evidence Code §210.

Continue reading "Sacramento Auto Accident Leads To Lawsuit for Defective Tires, Part 4 of 6" »

May 7, 2011

Faulty Tire Leads To Sacramento Car Accident, Part 3 of 6

The following blog entry is written to illustrate a common motion filed during civil litigation. Reviewing this kind of filing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

Plaintiffs are claiming the tire was defective solely because of its chronological age. Based upon this, plaintiffs claim that XYZ should have warned Ms. Brown that the tire was too old to still be in service. XYZ disputes these claims and contends that the tire failed because it was poorly maintained and had sustained impact damage before this accident. Defendants also contend that Ms. Brown stepped on the accelerator rather than applying her brakes and thereby drove her van into the telephone irrespective of the tire failure. XYZ also disputes the nature and extent of plaintiff’s claimed injuries stemming from this auto accident.

Mr. West and his counsel have asserted on several occasion in this litigation including multiple times in various pleadings submitted to the court including their mandatory settlement conference briefs that Mr. West was a veteran of Pearl Harbor and D-Day, which occurred December 7, 1941 and June 6, 1944 respectively. In fact, when Mr. West appeared for the two Mandatory Settlement Conferences in this case he wore a Pearl Harbor cap. Obviously such references and events have arisen without any relation to this subject accident. Since evidence or testimony of Mr. West's military service is irrelevant and sought solely to garner sympathy, it must be excluded. (See Part 4 of 6.)

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

May 2, 2011

Multi-Car Accident Injures Two People From Sacramento, Part 2 of 6

The following blog entry is written to illustrate a common motion filed during civil litigation. Reviewing this kind of filing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

Obviously, plaintiffs' interest in including such evidence is to attempt to curry favor with and sympathy from the jury despite this evidence having no connection with this action. Accordingly, evidence of Mr. West's service in the military and his status as a veteran of WWII must be excluded on the grounds that such evidence: (1) is irrelevant to this action pursuant to Evidence Code section 350; (2) is an improper attempt to prove good character pursuant to Evidence Code section 1001; and (3) will necessitate undue consumption of time, create substantial danger of undue prejudice, and confuse or mislead the jury pursuant to Evidence Code section 352.

This motion is made upon this notice, the following Memorandum of Points and Authorities, and upon all books and papers found within the Court's file, and upon all such other evidence, oral or documentary, as may be presented at the hearing of this motion.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES
STATEMENT OF FACTS

This is a personal injury case brought by Anna Brown and Alex West, arising out of a single vehicle accident that occurred on August 25, 2008, in the early afternoon. The accident occurred in a residential area in the city of Sacramento, California.

Continue reading "Multi-Car Accident Injures Two People From Sacramento, Part 2 of 6" »

April 30, 2011

Sacramento War Veteran Involved In Car Accident, Part 1 of 6

The following blog entry is written to illustrate a common motion filed during civil litigation. Reviewing this kind of filing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)

Defendant XYZ Tire, Inc.'s Motion in Limine No. 10 to Exclude Reference to Plaintiff Owen West's Military History or References to Him as a "War Hero"

XYZ Tire, Inc. (hereinafter, "XYZ") moves this court in limine for an Order precluding plaintiff Owen West, his attorneys, and all witnesses and experts from referring to, commenting upon, or otherwise attempting to introduce at trial any and all testimony or evidence pertaining to plaintiff Owen West being a veteran of World War II, including references to his involvement in Pearl Harbor and D-Day or attempting to portray plaintiff as a "war hero" or "patriot," or any variation or derivative thereof throughout the course and scope of this tria,l pursuant to Evidence Code §§ 210, 350 and 352.

The admission of evidence or testimony concerning Owen West being a veteran of World War II and his involvement in two of the most well known military battles, D-Day and Pearl Harbor, both of which occurred over a half-century ago (66 and almost 69 years respectively) cannot possibly be relevant to any issue in the present action.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Sacramento War Veteran Involved In Car Accident, Part 1 of 6" »

March 25, 2011

Sacramento Car Accident Defendant Fights Litigation Costs After Losing At Trial, Part 7 of 7

The following blog entry is written to illustrate a common motion filed during civil litigation. Reviewing this kind of filing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident case and its proceedings.)

CCP 998(c)(2)(A) deals with the situation where a defendant's 998 offer to compromise is not accepted by a plaintiff and that plaintiff does not obtain a more favorable award than the defendant's 998 offer to compromise. In this situation CCP 998(c)(2)(A) states, [i]n determining whether the plaintiff obtains a more favorable judgment, the court or arbitrator shall exclude the post-offer costs. The court in Bennett v. Brown (1963) 212 Cal.App.2d 685 explained the rationale for this rule excluding plaintiff's post offer costs when determining if their award is more favorable than the defendant's 998 offer. To hold otherwise would enable plaintiff to dramatically increase its postoffer cost for the sole purpose of increasing the likelihood that its final judgment would exceed defendant's offer. Bennett v. Brown, supra, 212 Cal.App.2d at p. 688.

As previously discussed, this case is distinct from the situation in Bennet. In this case, the plaintiff's 998 offer to compromise was rejected by the defendants. Therefore the Bennet rationale does not apply. Moreover, there is nothing in CCP 998 that excludes postoffer costs in situations where a plaintiff's offer is not accepted by the defendants. CCP 998 provides the following for these situations:

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Sacramento Car Accident Defendant Fights Litigation Costs After Losing At Trial, Part 7 of 7" »

March 22, 2011

Sacramento Woman Must Fight For Costs Despite Favorable Car Accident Verdict, Part 6 of 7

The following blog entry is written to illustrate a common motion filed during civil litigation. Reviewing this kind of filing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident case and its proceedings.)

MS. HILL IS ENTITLED TO RECOVER EXPERT WITNESS FEES SINCE MS. HILL'S RECOVERY EXCEEDED HER SECTION 998 DEMAND

On January 6, 2010 Ms. Hill made a section 998 offer to compromise in the amount of $18,000. This offer was rejected by defendants. Section 998, which reflects this state's policy of encouraging settlements (Poster v. Southern Cal. Rapid Transit Dist. (1990) 52 Cal.3d 266, 270), creates a financial incentive to encourage the parties to make and accept reasonable settlement offers. (Berg v. Darden (2004) 120 Cal.App.4th 721, 726-727.) Marcey v. Romero (2007) 148 Cal.App.4th 1211, 1215-1216. It is undeniable that Ms. Hill's 998 offer was reasonable. It was only $1,550 more than the jury verdict. Ms. Hills offer was far more reasonable than defendants's 998 offer of $7,500.

Pursuant to CCP § 998 when determining if the defendants did not obtain a more favorable judgment than Ms. Hill's 998 offer Ms. Hill is entitled to add to her jury verdict both pre and post offer statutorily recoverable costs. Stallman v Bell (1991) 235 Cal.App.3d 740, 748. The court in Stallman provided the following rationale:

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Sacramento Woman Must Fight For Costs Despite Favorable Car Accident Verdict, Part 6 of 7" »

March 18, 2011

Car Accident Trial Results In Recovery For Sacramento Woman, Part 5 of 7

The following blog entry is written to illustrate a common motion filed during civil litigation. Reviewing this kind of filing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident case and its proceedings.)

Depositions Costs

Each party took only one non-expert deposition in accordance with CCP § 94(b). Ms. Hill did not take the deposition of defendants experts and wold have stipulated to defendants taking the depositions of plaintiff's two experts, consistent with CCP § 95(b). Accordingly, the deposition costs would have been the same had the case been brought in limited jurisdiction.

Trial Costs: Jury and Court Reporter

Whether in limited or unlimited jurisdiction the facts of the case would have been the same and therefore the trial would have taken the same amount of time. Defendants have provided no authority that Ms. Hill would have been restricted in the number of witnesses she would have been allowed to call at trial had she brought the case in limited jurisdiction. If the jury trial would have been the same length in limited jurisdiction, then the jury fees, jury food and court reporting fees would have been the same wether the case was in limited or unlimited jurisdiction.

Service of Process Costs

Ms. Hill includes costs for service of process for serving three individuals: Sophia Lee, John Lee, and Sgt John Smith. Once again, all three of these individuals would have been served whether the case was in limited or unlimited jurisdiction. Therefore the costs associated with service of process would have been the same wether the case was in limited or unlimited jurisdiction.

http://www.moseleycollins.com/lawyer-attorney-1245027.html

Continue reading "Car Accident Trial Results In Recovery For Sacramento Woman, Part 5 of 7" »

March 15, 2011

Sacramento Woman Recovers Damages For Car Accident Injuries, Part 4 of 7

The following blog entry is written to illustrate a common motion filed during civil litigation. Reviewing this kind of filing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident case and its proceedings.)

Plaintiff’s Requested Statutory Costs Would Have Been The Same Had The Case Been Brought In Limited Jurisdiction

In addition to the Dorman factors, we urge this court to consider other factors as well, such as the limited costs associated with this litigation. Except for procedures specifically designed to lower litigation costs in limited civil cases, the rules of procedure generally applicable to civil actions also apply to limited civil cases. CCP §90. In other words the majority of the procedures in limited jurisdiction are the same as unlimited jurisdiction.

The general right of the prevailing party to recover their costs is established by CCP §1021, which provides that parties to actions or proceedings are entitled to reimbursement of costs as provided in the Code of Civil Procedure. Code of Civil Procedure §1032 provides for the award of costs to prevailing parties, which includes the party with a net monetary recovery. Ms. Hill is the prevailing part and the party with a net monetary recovery. Had the case been brought in limited jurisdiction she would have been entitled to all of he costs and her costs would have been virtually the same as the costs in this case. Accordingly, there is no reason for the court to award Ms. Hill anything other than all of her requested, statutory recoverable costs because she failed to recover more than $25,000.

The discretion provided in CCP § 1033 makes sense if the plaintiff incurs excessive costs that she would not have incurred had she been in limited jurisdiction. For example, if Plaintiff had taken 10 depositions at a cost of $5000 there would be reason to restrict the costs since CCP § 94(b) restricts the number of depositions allowed by the parties to only one per side.
In the current case, however, the costs would have been the same whether the case was in limited or unlimited jurisdiction. With the limited exception of the initial case filing fee, each costs requested by plaintiff would have been the same if this case was brought in limited jurisdiction.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Sacramento Woman Recovers Damages For Car Accident Injuries, Part 4 of 7" »

March 11, 2011

Verdict In Sacramento Car Accident Case Leads To Fight Over Costs, Part 3 of 7

The following blog entry is written to illustrate a common motion filed during civil litigation. Reviewing this kind of filing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident case and its proceedings.)

ARGUMENT

PLAINTIFF IS THE PREVAILING PARTY AND IS ENTITLED TO ALL OF HER STATUTORILY RECOVERABLE COSTS

Plaintiff was Entitled to Bring Her Case In Unlimited Jurisdiction

At the time of filing the subject lawsuit, Ms. Hill had economic loss totaling $27,000. As a result, at the time of filing her lawsuit, the amount in controversy exceeded $25,000. California Code of Civil Procedure § 85(a) defines a limited civil case as one where:

(a) The amount in controversy does not exceed twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000). As used in this section, amount in controversy means the amount of the demand, or the recovery sought, or the value of the property, or the amount of the lien, that is in controversy in the action, exclusive of attorneys' fees, interest, and costs.

Since Ms. Hill had economic damages which exceeded $25,000, it was proper for her to file her case in unlimited jurisdiction. Filing the case in limited jurisdiction would have required Ms. Hill to concede her reasonable and necessary medical expenses, her lost wages and any non-economic damages.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Verdict In Sacramento Car Accident Case Leads To Fight Over Costs, Part 3 of 7" »

March 8, 2011

Jury Awards Sacramento Woman Damages In Car Accident Trial, Part 2 of 7

The following blog entry is written to illustrate a common motion filed during civil litigation. Reviewing this kind of filing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident case and its proceedings.)

During the litigation, defendants made two 998 offer's to compromise. The first for $4500, the second for $7500. Plaintiff made two 998 offers to compromise. The first for $45,000, and the second for $18,000. The second 998 offer was served on the defendants on January 6, 2010.
Prior to making the second 998 on offer to compromise in January of 2010, Plaintiff's incurred the following recoverable costs:

a. Filing fees, $371.90;b. Service fees for John Lee, $60;c. Service fees for Sophia Lee, $83;d. Hill deposition transcript, $507.45;e. Lee deposition transcript, $329;f. Counsel travel to Lee deposition $368.;The total of these costs are $1,719.35

Following the 998 offer to compromise, Ms. Hill incurred the following recoverable costs:

a. Deposition of Dr. White, $308.05
b. Deposition of Dr. Ross, $384.80
c. Service fees for Sgt John Smith, $318.00
d. Witness fees for Linda Lane, $372.20
e. Witness fees for Alberto Miller, $35.00
f. Jury fees, $538.26
g. Court recorder fees, 400.00

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Jury Awards Sacramento Woman Damages In Car Accident Trial, Part 2 of 7" »

March 5, 2011

Sacramento Woman Wins Jury Award In Car Accident Case, Part 1 of 7

The following blog entry is written to illustrate a common motion filed during civil litigation. Reviewing this kind of filing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident case and its proceedings.)

Plaintiff Paula Hill’s Opposition to Defendants' Motion to Strike Memorandum of Costs or, in the Alternative, Motion to Tax Costs

INTRODUCTION

Plaintiff Paula Hill was victorious in her jury trial against defendants Sophia Lee and John Lee. Ms. Hill was forced into trial by defendants who refused her section 998 offer which was only $1550 more than the jury trial verdict. Now, having lost at trial and facing a judgment which, when combined with Ms. Hill's recoverable costs, exceed Ms. Hill's 998 offer to compromise, defendants ask this court to strike all of Ms. Hill's costs. To do so would be plainly unjust. Ms. Hill is the prevailing party, she had a good faith belief she would recover more than $25,000 at trial when she filed the lawsuit, and she made a reasonable offer to compromise to avoid the unnecessary costs of litigation. This court should not punish Ms. Hill because the defendants incorrectly valued this case.

PERTINENT FACTS

This case arose from a car accident which occurred in Sacramento on March 1, 2008. As a result of the accident Ms. Hill suffered a strain in her neck and back. Ms. Hill treated with various treatment providers including an acupuncturist and two chiropractic offices. After about a year of consistent treatment, Ms. Hill fully recovered from her injuries.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Sacramento Woman Wins Jury Award In Car Accident Case, Part 1 of 7" »

January 31, 2011

Sacramento Car Accident Victim Must Fight Employer For Part Of His Settlement, Part 8 of 8

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident and personal injury case and its proceedings.)

White 's Lien Amount Must be Reduced by $10,682.58, Which Will Directly and Exclusively Benefit Mr. Black, Not his Counsel.

Mr. Black is legally obligated, based on his "Retainer Agreement (Contingent Fee)" with the XYZ firm to pay that firm 40% of his recovery. In addition, that agreement requires him to pay costs for the prosecution of this action. Those amounts will be deducted from the $100,000 settlement amount.

But White then proposes deducting its full workers' compensation lien of $23,717.22, from what Mr. Black has left from his $100,000 recovery, despite that White did nothing that effectuated that recovery amount. If White is permitted this unreasonable deduction, that will mean money coming from Mr. Black's pocket. In other words, Mr. Black will walk away with considerably less -- only about $31,000. This is completely inequitable, which is why California law requires an allocation to be made.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Plaintiff proposes that White's lien be reduced by a total of $10,682.58. Plaintiff has calculated the reduction by (1) deducting 40% of the lien amount as White 's equitable share of attorney's fees ($9,486.88); (The 40% calculation is based on the percentage of attorney's fees owed by Mr. Black under his retainer agreement with his counsel.), and (2) deducting 24% of the costs amount as White's equitable share of costs ($1,195.70). (The 24% calculation is based on the fact that the workers' compensation lien amount of $23,717.22 is 24% of the total settlement amount of $100,000.) The sum of $9,486.88 and $1,195.70 equals $10,682.58.

Continue reading "Sacramento Car Accident Victim Must Fight Employer For Part Of His Settlement, Part 8 of 8" »

January 27, 2011

Sacramento Orthopedic Surgeon Finds Damage To Car Accident Victim, Part 7 of 8

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident and personal injury case and its proceedings.)

It was plaintiff's counsel -- the XYZ firm, and particularly Ms. Brown -- whose sole efforts led to the successful settlement of this action for defendants' automobile policy limits.

It was the XYZ firm that did all of the discovery in the case; it was the XYZ firm that collected and subpoenaed all the medical records and other records dealing with liability and damages issues. It was the XYZ firm that interviewed witnesses; and it was the XYZ firm who took depositions of key witnesses and defended the depositions taken by defendants' counsel. It was the XYZ firm that calculated Mr. Black's past and future lost wages as well as medical expenses, further ensuring that all of his medical expenses were accounted for in the damages calculations.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

It was the XYZ firm that arranged the mediation, and filed a mediation brief that laid out all the factual detail supporting Mr. Black's claims regarding defendants' liability for the collision and for Mr. Black's damages. It was the XYZ firm that rehabilitated the testimony of Dr. Lee regarding the need for future surgery for Mr. Black, based on medical evidence that firm had collected and which Ms. Brown presented to Dr. Lee during his deposition. It was the XYZ firm that made the section 998 demand before White ever even intervened in the case, and it was that demand that the defendants, following and as a result of all the work the XYZ firm had done, accepted.

Continue reading "Sacramento Orthopedic Surgeon Finds Damage To Car Accident Victim, Part 7 of 8" »

January 23, 2011

Workers' Compensation Claim Becomes Issue In Sacramento Car Accident Case, Part 6 of 8

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident and personal injury case and its proceedings.)

To the same effect are Quinn v. State of California, 15 Cal. 3d 162, 167-69, 124 Cal. Rptr. 1 (1975) (holding that an employee who obtains a judgment in a third-party action that creates a fund from which the compensation insurer's lien is satisfied, in whole or in part, can require the passive beneficiary to bear the fair share of the litigation costs, including attorney's fees); Hartwig v. Zacky Farms, 2 Cal. App. 4th 1550, 1555-56, 3 Cal Rptr. 2d 828 (1992) (holding that merely retaining separate counsel or filing a complaint in intervention or a lien, with little else, does not satisfy the standard of "active participation"; there, the declaration offered by the employer's workers' compensation insurer's attorney was insufficient to support a finding that the lienholder had actively participated in the case); and Kindt v. Otis Elevator Co., 32 Cal. App. 4th 452, 458-60, 38 Cal. Rptr. 2d 121 (1995) (same essential holding).(These cases were decided under section 3856(b), Cal. Lab. Code, referring to judgments rather than settlements. But situations arising under sections 3856 and 3860 must be treated alike. E.g., Kaplan v. Industrial Indem. Co., 79 Cal. App. 3d 700, 705-06, 709, 145 Cal. Rptr. 210(1978).)

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

These cases all hold that where an employer or his workers' compensation insurer retains separate counsel, files a complaint in intervention and even undertakes a litigation task or two, that participation is nominal and the intervenor becomes a passive beneficiary of the common fund.

Continue reading "Workers' Compensation Claim Becomes Issue In Sacramento Car Accident Case, Part 6 of 8" »

January 21, 2011

Attorney's Fees At Issue In Sacramento Car Accident Lawsuit, Part 5 of 8

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident and personal injury case and its proceedings.)

ARGUMENT

White's Lien Must be Reduced Because Plaintiff's Counsel Alone Successfully Prosecuted This Action.

While an employer or its workers' compensation insurer may seek from any settlement between an injured employee and a third-party tort-feasor, reimbursement for compensation he has paid to the employee, that reimbursement is reduced by "the reasonable expenses incurred in effecting such settlement, including costs of suit, if any, together with a reasonable attorney's fee to be paid to the employee's attorney, for his services in securing and effecting settlement for the benefit of both the employer and the employee." See Cal. Lab. Code, § 3860(b) and (c).

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

This principle applies to the situation where, as here, settlement is effectuated ... solely through the efforts of the employee's attorney. See Cal. Lab. Code, § 3860(c).

In Kaplan v. Industrial Indem. Co., 79 Cal. App. 3d 700, 702-03, 709, 145 Cal. Rptr. 210 (1978), the court of appeal ruled that this principle applies even where the employer or his workers' compensation insurer has retained separate counsel as long as the settlement, which represents a common fund from which the lien is paid, is the result of the efforts of the plaintiff's attorney.

Continue reading "Attorney's Fees At Issue In Sacramento Car Accident Lawsuit, Part 5 of 8" »

January 19, 2011

Sacramento Employer Settles For Car Accident Caused By Its Employee, Part 4 of 8

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident and personal injury case and its proceedings.)

The XYZ firm also submitted a 16-page mediation brief including all of the facts supporting plaintiff's claims of liability and damages against the defendants. Prior to the mediation, the XYZ firm also made a section 998 demand for the defendants' automobile policy limits of $100,000. The firm offered evidence at the mediation that Mr. Black's economic damages totaled $124,000 and his total damages approached $250,000. At the mediation on April 8, 2010, the defendants' counsel agreed that if the XYZ firm's damage calculations were correct and if Dr. Lee would confirm under oath the information about medical damages and causation the firm had collected and presented at the mediation, defendants would accept plaintiff's statutory offer to settle the case for their auto policy limits of $100,000.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Defendants took Dr. Lee's deposition on May 13, 2010, which Ms. Brown personally attended. While being questioned by the defense attorney, Dr. Lee was unable to give an opinion related to plaintiff's need for future surgery. Ms. Brown then presented Dr. Lee with exhibits she had prepared depicting the MRI findings, asking him a series of questions relating to Mr. Black's injuries, whether the accident was the causative factor for those injuries, as well as his need for future surgery. She was able to rehabilitate Dr. Lee's testimony related to questions asked by the defense attorney at the beginning of Dr. Lee's deposition.

Continue reading "Sacramento Employer Settles For Car Accident Caused By Its Employee, Part 4 of 8" »

January 17, 2011

Witnesses Saw Defendant Truck Driver Slam Sacramento Man's Car, Part 3 of 8

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident and personal injury case and its proceedings.)

The XYZ firm also retained a nurse to prepare a medical chronology; an investigator to obtain a statement from Sandy Silverberg, who had witnessed the accident; an accident reconstruction and bio-mechanical consultant; and a radiologist. The firm prepared Mr. Black for his deposition and attended that deposition; prepared for and attended the deposition of Ms. Silverberg; and prepared for and took the deposition of defendant Melinda Smith.

The XYZ firm prepared two case management conference statements and attended two case management conferences, one in October 2009 and the other in May 2010.

The XYZ firm set up the mediation and retained the mediator.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Prior the mediation and in preparation for it, Ms. Brown met with Dr. Daniel Lee, M.D., the orthopedic surgeon who had operated on Mr. Black's left shoulder, to collect further evidence for the mediation on the issue of causation and damages. The XYZ firm also prepared numerous calculations regarding Mr. Black's past and future wage losses, his billed amount of medical expenses and his future medical expenses for the mediation.

Continue reading "Witnesses Saw Defendant Truck Driver Slam Sacramento Man's Car, Part 3 of 8" »

January 14, 2011

Sacramento Driver's Truck Slammed By Man Who Ran A Red Light, Part 2 of 8

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident and personal injury case and its proceedings.)

PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL SOLELY LITIGATED THIS CASE TO A SUCCESSFUL CONCLUSION; WHITE'S INVOLVEMENT WAS NOMINAL

Plaintiff's counsel, the Law Offices of XYZ, and particularly its principal, Marcia Brown, were solely responsible for securing the $100,000 settlement from defendants in this case. White did nothing in that regard, and it was otherwise only nominally involved in the case. It was the XYZ firm that, in May 2009, filed suit against the defendants on behalf of Mr. Black who had suffered serious injuries when defendant Melinda Smith ran a red light and slammed into his truck while he was in the course and scope of his employment. This is a reference to the Declaration of Marcia Brown, dated July 19, 2010, filed in support of this motion.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

It was the XYZ firm that thereafter propounded copious discovery (form interrogatories, special interrogatories, document requests and requests for admission) on the defendants, and thereafter reviewed defendants' discovery responses. Plaintiff's firm also responded to defendants' copious discovery requests (general interrogatories, special interrogatories, document requests, and requests for admissions).

The exhibits referred to are attached to Ms. Brown's declaration. Exhibit 1 is a time line showing the progression of the suit and the XYZ's firm work on it.

Continue reading "Sacramento Driver's Truck Slammed By Man Who Ran A Red Light, Part 2 of 8" »

January 10, 2011

Sacramento Man Seriously Injured In Car Accident, Part 1 of 8

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident and personal injury case and its proceedings.)

Plaintiff Owen Black's Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Support of Motion for Allocation of Attorney's Fees and Costs Related To His Automobile Accident Case (Cal. Lab. Code, § 3860(c))

Motion for an equitable allocation of attorney's fees and costs under section 3860(c) of the California Labor Code.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

INTRODUCTION

Plaintiff's counsel is like the title character in the story, The Little Red Hen. Like the little red hen who, all on her own, found the grain of wheat, planted it, tended it, and eventually mixed it with other ingredients to produce a delicious cake, plaintiff's counsel took every step from start to finish, solely and successfully prosecuting Mr. Black's case against the defendants who had seriously injured him in a car accident.

Plaintiff's counsel filed the action; undertook all the discovery, including preparing for, taking, defending and attending depositions; collected all of the pertinent documents, including medical records, witness statements and accident reports; retained the experts; scheduled and attended the mediation; produced a series of damages calculations and filed a mediation brief laying out the factual basis for plaintiff's claims regarding defendants' liability for the car accident and for his damages. The case settled when defendants accepted plaintiff's section 998 demand of $100,000, based on the evidence solely and exclusively gathered by plaintiff's counsel.

Continue reading "Sacramento Man Seriously Injured In Car Accident, Part 1 of 8" »

December 12, 2010

Amount Of Medical Insurance Coverage At Issue In Sacramento Car Accident Claim, Part 3 of 3

The following blog entry is written to illustrate a common motion filed during the pre-trial stage of civil litigation. Reviewing this kind of briefing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident case and its proceedings.)

LEGAL ARGUMENT

A plaintiff in a personal injury action is entitled to recover from the defendant tortfeasor the "reasonable value" of medical services rendered to the plaintiff, including the amount paid by a collateral source, such as an insurer. Nishihama v. City & County of San Francisco (2001) 93 Cal.App.4th 298. As medical expenses fall into the category of economic damages, they represent actual pecuniary loss caused by the defendants' wrong. (Civil Code Section 1431.2(b)(1); Hanif v Housing Authority (1988) 200 Cal.App.3d 635, 641.) Thus, when the evidence shows a sum certain to have been paid or incurred for past medical care and services, whether by the plaintiff or by an independent source, that sum certain is the most the plaintiff may recover for that care despite the fact that it may have been less than the prevailing market rate. (Hanif v. Housing Authority, supra, 200 Cal.App. at 641.)

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

In this case, the set amount of plaintiff's reasonable medical services is that which was actually paid by Aetna Blue Cross in facilitating CMSP under which plaintiff was covered. These actual payment figures are attached as Exhibit A as Amount Paid. By virtue of this resolved amount, and pursuant to Hanif and Nishihama, these amounts paid reflect the objectively verifiable monetary losses for the plaintiff's treatment. (Civil Code § 1431.2(b)(1)

Continue reading "Amount Of Medical Insurance Coverage At Issue In Sacramento Car Accident Claim, Part 3 of 3" »

December 9, 2010

Sacramento Man Involved In Two-Car Collision, Part 2 of 3

The following blog entry is written to illustrate a common motion filed during the pre-trial stage of civil litigation. Reviewing this kind of briefing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident case and its proceedings.)

FACTUAL BACKGROUND

This case involves an automobile accident that occurred on August 9, 2008, on northbound Watt Avenue south of Marconi in the city of Sacramento, county of Sacramento, state of California. Plaintiff Randall Brown claims that defendant Brenda White was negligent in the operation of her motor vehicle that day. Plaintiff claims physical injury as a result. Defendant disputes liability as well as the nature and extent of plaintiff's overall claims.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Plaintiff Brown did not seek medical attention on the date of the accident, and continued to Lake Tahoe on the date of the accident. Two days later he was seen at Memorial Hospital upon his return trip home from Lake Tahoe and was diagnosed with a closed head injury, cervical sprain, rotator cuff sprain, and a lumbar sprain. Plaintiff was discharged with instructions to follow up with his primary care provider.

After the accident, plaintiff stopped working at Blockbuster, and lost his health insurance benefits. He then sought and received benefits through CMSP, which provides health insurance for low-income indigent adults in thirty four rural counties in California. This program is facilitated by Aetna Blue Cross. Brown continued to treat with a number of different facilities, and the records attached as Exhibit A show the various medical providers he has sought.

Continue reading "Sacramento Man Involved In Two-Car Collision, Part 2 of 3" »

December 7, 2010

Sacramento Man's Medical Expenses Challenged After Car Accident, Part 1 of 3

The following blog entry is written to illustrate a common motion filed during the pre-trial stage of civil litigation. Reviewing this kind of briefing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident case and its proceedings.)

DEFENDANTS’ MOTION IN LIMINE TO SET REASONABLE VALUE OF MEDICAL SERVICES

SUBJECT EVIDENCE: REASONABLE VALUE OF MEDICAL SERVICES AS THAT AMOUNT REDUCED OR ADJUSTED BY MEDICAL PROVIDERS PRIOR TO PAYMENT BY NATIONAL INSURANCE CO.

Basis For Set Value: Hanif v. Housing Authority (1988) 200 Cal.App.3d 635, 641; Nishihama v. City & County of San Francisco (2001) 93 Cal.App.4th 298, 306-309; Civil Code Section 1431.2(b)(1).

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

INTRODUCTION

Under California Law, the most a personal injury plaintiff can recover for medical services is the amount that has been paid or incurred for those services, even if that amount is less than the market rate. Hanif v. Housing Authority (1988) 200 Cal.App.3d 635, 641; Nishihama v. City & County of San Francisco (2001) 93 Cal.App.4th 298, 306-309. Defendants Brenda White and Donna White hereby move this Court for an order setting the reasonable value of medical services for plaintiff's medical providers to that which National Insur. Co. paid the providers on behalf of plaintiff Randall Brown due to his coverage through County Medical Services Program (CMSP), which coverage is facilitated by National Insur. Co. CMSP provides low-income indigent adults with health insurance in thirty-four rural counties in California.

Continue reading "Sacramento Man's Medical Expenses Challenged After Car Accident, Part 1 of 3" »

December 4, 2010

Compensation For Medical Treatment At Issue In Sacramento Automobile Collision Case, Part 9 of 9

The following blog entry is written to illustrate a common motion filed during the post-trial stage of civil litigation. Reviewing this kind of briefing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident case and its proceedings.)

CONCLUSION

It is respectfully submitted that the plaintiff in this matter did carry her burden of proof in establishing that she suffered both economic and non-economic harm as a direct result of the automobile accident in question.

The testimony of the plaintiff was that she sought medical care and treatment immediately after this accident and was admitted to Kaiser Hospital's emergency room where she was examined, found to have suffered a physical injury, and was administered powerful narcotics as a result of her pain and suffering. Additionally, she testified that as a result of this accident she became nauseated and was vomiting which further required medical care and treatment for a condition which was not present prior to this accident occurring. The plaintiff's testimony as to her loss of income as a result of the off work notice given by physicians at Kaiser also demonstrated economic damage.

The court, by allowing counsel for the defendant to use exhibits over and over and over again after objections were made to their introduction constituted irregularities in the proceeding and attorney misconduct. To have allowed defendant's counsel over objection to question witnesses concerning medical records that the witness did not author, and which the witness did not rely on in reaching opinions and conclusions for the purpose of attempting to impeach the plaintiff's claim of certain injuries is sufficient to grant this motion for new trial. What counsel for the defendant attempted to do was to show by an absence of record, without establishing a foundation that the record even inquired or dealt with the subject matter of the personal injuries prejudiced this plaintiff and apparently influenced the jury to disregard the law with regard to causation.

Continue reading "Compensation For Medical Treatment At Issue In Sacramento Automobile Collision Case, Part 9 of 9" »

December 1, 2010

Amount Awarded For Car Accident Injuries At Issue In Sacramento Trial, Part 8 of 9

The following blog entry is written to illustrate a common motion filed during the post-trial stage of civil litigation. Reviewing this kind of briefing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident case and its proceedings.)

Based on the fact that there was no evidence to show that the plaintiff was under any medical care and treatment for either her back or her neck prior to this automobile accident, and given the fact that the plaintiff did seek immediate medical care and treatment which was rendered at Kaiser, the evidence must be given weight to support a finding that the plaintiff was harmed as a result of the defendant's imminent liability.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

The question is not whether or not the plaintiff recovered from her injuries over time, but instead is a question of whether or not she was injured or harmed as a result of this negligent conduct and as such incurred both economic and non-economic losses. The testimony in this case was not refuted by any evidence presented by the defendant that the plaintiff following this accident was admitted to the emergency room at Kaiser, received medical care and treatment, was administered powerful narcotics, that the plaintiff followed up her injuries with her primary care physician within two (2) days of the date of this accident, that the plaintiff was off work for a period of time as a result of her injuries, and that the plaintiff suffered pain and suffering as a result of this accident.

Continue reading "Amount Awarded For Car Accident Injuries At Issue In Sacramento Trial, Part 8 of 9" »

November 29, 2010

New Trial Demanded By Sacramento Woman Injured In Auto Accident, Part 7 of 9

The following blog entry is written to illustrate a common motion filed during the post-trial stage of civil litigation. Reviewing this kind of briefing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident case and its proceedings.)

THE VERDICT WAS AGAINST LAW

The ground for new trial that the verdict is against law, is separate and distinct from other grounds listed in Code of Civil Procedure section 657, and does not involve the weighing of the evidence. Rather, the jury's verdict is against law if it is unsupported by the evidence. (See Sanchez-Corea v. Bank of America. (1985) 38 Cal.3d 892.)

In the case of Kruse v. Bank of America. (1988) 202 Cal.App.3d 38, at 51 and 52, the court stated that the test for substantial evidence is:

Substantial evidence, however, is not synonymous with any evidence. To constitute sufficient substantiality to support the verdict, the evidence must be "reasonable in nature, credible and of solid value." It must actually be "substantial" proof of the essentials which the law requires in a particular case. For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Here, there is no reasonable or credible evidence to deny that this plaintiff was in fact injured as a result of this accident and that such injuries required medical care and treatment all to the economic and non-economic damage of the plaintiff.

Continue reading "New Trial Demanded By Sacramento Woman Injured In Auto Accident, Part 7 of 9" »

November 25, 2010

Plaintiff Claims Improper Attorney Conduct In Sacramento Car Accident Trial, Part 6 of 9

The following blog entry is written to illustrate a common motion filed during the post-trial stage of civil litigation. Reviewing this kind of briefing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident case and its proceedings.)

THERE WAS IRREGULARITY IN THE PROCEEDINGS RELATING TO THE COURT'S ALLOWING EVIDENCE

Over the objection of counsel for the plaintiff, defendant's counsel engaged in what can be described as nothing less than misconduct.

In the case of Smith v. Covell. (1980) 100 Cal.App.3d 947 at 959 the court says that questions which calls for patent hearsay evidence cannot be brought in the back door on cross-examination of a party or for any other reason. That court rejected at page 960 claims by counsel that such questions were for the purpose of impeachment holding that such claims do not barr the evidence from being presented based on the hearsay rule. For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

In this case, over objection of counsel, defendant's attorney questioned Dr. Lee and Dr. Gold about medical records which were not admissible under Evidence Code section 1271 or 1272. Objections were made at the time counsel for the defendant attempted to question the doctors concerning medical records which they did not prepare and which did not contain any information concerning the claims of the plaintiff. All of this was for the purpose of trying to demonstrate that the plaintiff did not complain of neck injuries over an extended period of time.

Such records include Exhibit 181 for identification which was written on March 17, 2005, by unknown persons. Counsel for the defendant asked questions concerning this document over objections that it lacked foundation, and was nothing more than hearsay to elicit responses that this document does not show any claim for a neck injury.

Continue reading "Plaintiff Claims Improper Attorney Conduct In Sacramento Car Accident Trial, Part 6 of 9" »

November 23, 2010

Sacramento Jury Trial Results In Insufficient Damages Award For Car Accident, Part 5 of 9

The following blog entry is written to illustrate a common motion filed during the post-trial stage of civil litigation. Reviewing this kind of briefing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident case and its proceedings.)

The testimony of plaintiff, Alice Hall, was that not only did this accident cause her injury which led to her admission to the emergency room on the night of this accident, but she also suffered economic damages in that she was off work for three (3) days following this accident. According to her testimony she was not able to work on March 6th, March 7th and March 9th. Based on her income level of slightly more than Fifty-Six Dollars ($56.00) per hour her economic damage immediately following this accident was One Thousand Two Hundred Thirty-Three Dollars ($1,233.00). No evidence was submitted by the defendant to refute that economic loss based on her inability to work for a period of time following this accident.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

While the defendant in this action provided considerable evidence concerning Ms. Hall's neck injury, no evidence was ever submitted which refuted her low back injury. Thus, if this jury had followed the instructions given by this court under CACI 3900, 3901, 3903, 3903a, 3903c, and 3903d the jury would have had to have found that the negligence of Charles White, which was admitted, was a substantial factor in causing harm, as defined by the court to this jury. Once Question No. 1 was answered in the affirmative, then the jury had an obligation to determine the nature and extent of the economic and non-economic damages to be awarded to the plaintiff. However, in this case, because the jury did not follow the law as given to it by the court those questions were not answered.

Continue reading "Sacramento Jury Trial Results In Insufficient Damages Award For Car Accident, Part 5 of 9" »

November 21, 2010

Jury Awards Sacramento Driver Damages After Auto Accident, Part 4 of 9

The following blog entry is written to illustrate a common motion filed during the post-trial stage of civil litigation. Reviewing this kind of briefing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident case and its proceedings.)

THE EVIDENCE IS CLEARLY INSUFFICIENT TO JUSTIFY THE VERDICT

The evidence in this case is overwhelming that the plaintiff, Alice Hall, did in fact suffer an injury as a result of this accident.

In that regard, attached hereto and incorporated herein by this reference and marked as Exhibit A is a copy of the traffic collision report which was reviewed and referred to by Mr. Berg and Dr. Wagner. On page 3 of 5 the report indicates that there is a complaint of pain to the low back of Ms. Hall as a result of this accident.

Additionally, marked as Exhibit 179 for identification in the trial was the emergency room record concerning Ms. Hall's admission to Kaiser. For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Plaintiff, Alice Hall, testified that following this accident she was transported by her husband to the urgent care facility of Kaiser. Upon admission to the urgent care it was determined that she should be transferred immediately, according to her testimony, to the emergency room.

Exhibit 179 for identification, which is marked as Exhibit B and attached hereto clearly indicates that at the time of her admission on the date of this accident, March 5, 2005, Ms. Hall did complain of low back pain. In fact, Exhibit 179 shows that not only radiology was performed on her low back, but she was administered morphine as a result of the pain which she incurred.

Continue reading "Jury Awards Sacramento Driver Damages After Auto Accident, Part 4 of 9" »

November 18, 2010

Sacramento Woman Sues For Damages After Two-Car Collision, Part 3 of 9

The following blog entry is written to illustrate a common motion filed during the post-trial stage of civil litigation. Reviewing this kind of briefing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident case and its proceedings.)

MORE RELIEF AVAILABLE

In weighing and evaluating the evidence, the court is a trier of fact and not bound by factual resolutions made by the jury. The court may grant a new trial even though there is sufficient evidence to sustain the jury's verdict on appeal, so long as the court determines that the weight of the evidence is against the verdict. (Candido v. Huitt. (1984) 151 Cal.App.3d 918, 923.)

The court has the power to consider the credibility of witnesses to draw reasonable inferences contrary to those drawn by the jury. (Valdez v. J.D. Diffenbaugh Co., (1975) 51 Cal.App.3d 491, 512.) For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

It is not only the right, but the duty of the trial judge to grant a new trial when he or she believes the weight of the evidence to be contrary to the findings of the jury. (Tice v. Kaiser Co., (1951) 102 Cal.App.2d 44, 46.)

A new trial should be granted when the verdict is against law. These grounds apply one when the evidence is without substantial conflict in any material point and insufficient as a matter of law to support the verdict. (McCowan v. Spencer (1970) 8 Cal.App.3d 216, 229.)

A verdict is against law, if the evidence is legally insufficient to support the verdict. (McCowan. supra.)

Continue reading "Sacramento Woman Sues For Damages After Two-Car Collision, Part 3 of 9" »

November 16, 2010

Muilti-Car Sacramento Accident Leaves Driver Injured, Part 2 of 9

The following blog entry is written to illustrate a common motion filed during the post-trial stage of civil litigation. Reviewing this kind of briefing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident case and its proceedings.)

MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES

COURT’S AUTHORITY TO GRANT A NEW TRIAL

A new trial is an examination of the issues of fact in the same court after trial and decision by the jury, court or referee. (Code of Civil Procedure section 656.)

A motion for new trial is proper only to secure examination of the issues of fact. (Rinaldo v. Superior Court. (1936) 15 Cal.2d 585.)

The test of propriety from the order granting a new trial is not whether there is sufficient evidence to support the jury's verdict, but whether a contrary verdict would have been supported by substantial evidence. (Biggins v. Hanson. (1967) 252 Cal.App.2d 16.)

A motion for new trial may be entertained where issues of law or issues of law and fact, are determined as well as where issues of fact are decided. (Carney v. Simmonds. (1957) 49 Cal.2d 84.) For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

The trial judge is accorded wide discretion and ruling on motions for new trial and exercise of this discretion is given great difference on appeal. (Sherman v. Kinetic Concepts. Inc., (1998) 67 Cal.App.4th 1152.)

RELIEF AVAILABLE

The verdict may be vacated and other decisions may be modified or vacated, in whole or in part and a new and further trial granted if all or part of the issues on the application of the party aggrieved for any of the following causes materially affecting the substantial rights of such party: (1) Irregularities in the proceeding of the court, jury or adverse party, or any order of the court or abuse of discretion by which either party was prevented from having a fair trial; (2) Inadequate damages;

Continue reading "Muilti-Car Sacramento Accident Leaves Driver Injured, Part 2 of 9" »

November 14, 2010

Sacramento Woman Suffers Catastrophic Injuries In Car Accident, Part 1 of 9

The following blog entry is written to illustrate a common motion filed during the post-trial stage of civil litigation. Reviewing this kind of briefing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident case and its proceedings.)

Plaintiff Alice Hall will move the court to grant her motion for new trial on the issue of damages on the grounds set forth within her notice of intention to move for new trial, filed separately.

INTRODUCTION

The jury in this matter returned a verdict on special questions submitted to them on November 7, 2008.

Prior to the matter going to the jury the defendant Charles White by and through his attorney of record, Jeffrey Smith, had admitted liability. Therefore, the only special questions presented to the jury dealt with the issues of damages. In this verdict the jury found that defendant Charles White's negligence was not a substantial factor in causing harm to plaintiff Alice Hall. None of the other special questions were responded to.

Plaintiff has filed a notice of motion for new trial and judgment notwithstanding the verdict within the statutory period after the verdict was entered. No written notice of the entry of the judgment has ever been given to this party. For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

In the notice for new trial, plaintiff alleged the following grounds:

1. Irregularity in proceedings of the court and jury;
2. Misconduct of the jury;
3. Inadequate damages;
4. Insufficiency of the evidence to justify the verdict and the verdict is against law;
5. Error of law occurring at trial.

Continue reading "Sacramento Woman Suffers Catastrophic Injuries In Car Accident, Part 1 of 9" »

November 12, 2010

Damages At Issue In Sacramento Auto Accident Case, Part 5 of 5

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident case and its proceedings.)

Further, in Sesler v. Ghumman, 219 Cal. App.3d 218, 224 (1990), the court found that a driver making a left turn across multiple lanes of traffic must yield to oncoming traffic in each lane of travel. The court in Sesler stated that while a motorist may waive his or her own right-of-way, neither the law nor common sense dictates that the waiver applies to any other motorist. Id. In Sesler, the plaintiff was traveling south when he stopped his motorcycle in a left turn pocket and waited for traffic to clear in the three oncoming lanes; the cars in oncoming lanes 1 and 2 stopped and motioned for the plaintiff to proceed with his left hand turn in front of them. Id. Seeing no hazard in lane 3 (the lane closest to the curb), the plaintiff commenced his turn; but the defendant, who had been traveling north in lane 1, had moved to lane 3 to avoid the cars he saw stopped in front of him and he collided with the plaintiff in the intersection. Id.

Therefore, it is contrary to the law for defendant White to argue in this matter that she had no duty to anticipate that other drivers would not yield the right of way. See Id. at 222. A party has a right to jury instmctions on his or her theory of the case, if they are reasonable and supported by the pleadings and the evidence, or any inference which may properly be drawn from the evidence. See Sesler, 219 Cal. App.3d at 223. In the present action, defendant's theory was not supported by any evidence. As a result, it was improper for defendant to argue that Plaintiff caused or contributed to this accident. For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

DEFENDANT'S IMPROPER ARGUMENTS SOUGHT TO IMPROPERLY MOTIVATE THE JURY THROUGH PASSION AND PREJUDICE

Plaintiff Hall asserted to the Court that there was a substantial probability that, if defendant was permitted to make improper arguments concerning claims of Plaintiff's contribution to the accident, it would inflame the jury.

Continue reading "Damages At Issue In Sacramento Auto Accident Case, Part 5 of 5" »

November 9, 2010

New Trial Sought By Plaintiff In Car Accident Case, Part 4 of 5

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident case and its proceedings.)

Plaintiff's claims against defendant are based upon defendant's negligence relating to defendant's clear violation of California Vehicle Code §21801 (a) (unsafe left turn). In Bewley, the court expressly stated that a driver is under a duty, both by statute and common law, to operate his vehicle without negligence so as to abstain from injuring any other person or property. Id. (Citing Civil Code §1708).

CACI jury instruction 700 expressly instructs a jury that:

A person must use reasonable care in driving a vehicle. Drivers must keep a lookout for pedestrians, obstacles, and other vehicles. They must control the speed and movement of their vehicles. The failure to use reasonable care in driving a vehicle is negligence. For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Defendant clearly violated Vehicle Code §21801 (a) by making an unsafe left turn in front of Plaintiff. See Vehicle Code §21801(a); Hickson v. Beitel, 103 Cal.App.2d 391, 393-394 (1951). Section 21801 (a) expressly states that:

"[t]he driver of a vehicle intending to turn to the left or to complete a U-turn upon a highway, or to turn left into public or private property, or an alley, shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles approaching from the opposite direction which are close enough to constitute a hazard at any time during the turning movement, and shall continue to yield the right-of-way to the approaching vehicles until the left turn or U-turn can be made with reasonable safety."

Continue reading "New Trial Sought By Plaintiff In Car Accident Case, Part 4 of 5" »

November 7, 2010

Sacramento Man Wins Car Accident Case, Part 3 of 5

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident case and its proceedings.)

In the present case, it is clear that this Court is entitled to, and actual obligated to, make a separate determination as to whether or not the verdict, which included a finding of seventy-five percent fault on the part of Plaintiff, was appropriate. Further, Plaintiff submitted evidence of medical bills of in excess of $18,970.54. Evidence was also presented concerning the need for future medical care at a cost of in excess of $23,400.00. Therefore, Plaintiff submits that the evidence establishes that the verdict is improper, and that there was inadequate evidence presented by defendant at trial to support such a verdict. For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

DEFENDANT SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN PERMITTED TO ARGUE COMPARATIVE NEGLIGENCE OF PLAINTIFF AT TRIAL

In advance of trial, Plaintiff filed a Motion in Limine seeking to preclude defendant from arguing at trial that Plaintiff caused or contributed to the accident. Defendant's contention that Plaintiff has any fault in this accident is without merit. At the time of the accident Plaintiff was lawfully proceeding eastbound on West Ave. with the flow of traffic. He had the right of way at all times, and he had the legal right to expect that defendant would not make an illegal left turn directly in front of Plaintiff's vehicle. Based upon the exact details of the accident, defendant had no evidence to support a bare claim that Plaintiff somehow contributed to the accident. And defendant presented no such evidence at trial. (See Part 4 of 5.)

Continue reading "Sacramento Man Wins Car Accident Case, Part 3 of 5" »

November 4, 2010

Two-Car Collision In Sacramento Leaves Man In Serious Condition, Part 2 of 5

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident case and its proceedings.)

ARGUMENT

THE TRIAL COURT IS ENTITLED TO AND MUST INDEPENDENTLY REVIEW THE EVIDENCE, SO AS TO GRANT A NEW TRIAL WHEN A JURY VERDICT IS AGAINST THE SUBSTANTIAL WEIGHT OF THE EVIDENCE

In a jury trial, each party has two hearings, one before the jury and the other before the court as "a 13th juror." Nordent v. Hartman, 111 Cal.App.2d 791, 798 (1952). It is not only the right, but also the duty of the trial judge to grant a new trial when he or she believes the weight of the evidence to be contrary to the finding of the jury. Rice v. Kaiser Co.,102 Cal.App.2d 44, 45 (1951)

As part of its review of the verdict, a trial court is not bound by the conclusions of the jury:
In weighing and evaluating the evidence, the court is a trier of fact and is not bound by factual resolutions made by the jury. The court may grant a new trial even though there may be sufficient evidence to sustain the jury's verdict on appeal, so long as the court determines the weight of the evidence against the verdict. Candido v. Huitt, 151 Cal.App.3d 918 (1984).

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

The authority of a trial court to grant a new trial is established and circumscribed by statute, which provides seven legal grounds for such a motion. See Code of Civil Procedure §657(1)-(7). These grounds are: (1) Irregularity in the proceedings; (2) Misconduct of the jury; (3) Accident or surprise; (4) Newly discovered evidence; (5) Excessive or inadequate damages; (6) Insufficiency of the evidence; and (7) Error in law. See Id.

Continue reading "Two-Car Collision In Sacramento Leaves Man In Serious Condition, Part 2 of 5" »

November 1, 2010

Sacramento Man In Catastrophic Automobile Accident, Part 1 of 5

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident case and its proceedings.)

Plaintiff Peter Hall’s Notice of Motion and Motion for New Trial; Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Support Thereof

On June XX, 2010 at 8:30 a.m., or as soon thereafter as the matter may be heard in Sacramento Superior Court, Plaintiff Peter Hall will move this Court for an order for a new trial of this matter.

Plaintiff's Motion is based on the attached Memorandum of Points and Authorities, the evidence and case law, the pleadings, documents, records, and files in this action, and such oral and documentary evidence and argument which may be presented at the hearing on this motion.

MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES

INTRODUCTION

On or about February XX, 2008, Plaintiff Peter Hall, age 25, was driving his 2001 Range Rover eastbound on West Blvd. in Sacramento, California. Suddenly, defendant Genvieve White made an unsafe left turn in her 2004 BMW X5 SUV from westbound West towards University Dr., crossing three lanes of traffic, directly in front of Plaintiff. Plaintiff was unable to avoid defendant's vehicle, resulting in a severe collision between the vehicles.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

On or about March XX, 2010, trial of this matter commenced in Department "X" of the Sacramento Superior Court. During the trial plaintiff presented substantial evidence and expert opinions supporting his position that he had sustained general and special damages totaling in excess of $129,000.00.

Continue reading "Sacramento Man In Catastrophic Automobile Accident, Part 1 of 5" »

October 30, 2010

Damages Sought By Sacramento Driver After Car Accident, Part 3 of 3

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident case and its proceedings.)

This Court May Exclude Evidence That Will Waste Time And Confuse Jurors

Evidence Code §352 states that the court in its discretion may exclude evidence if its probative value is substantially out weighed by the probability that its admission will (a) necessitate undue consumption of time or (b) create substantial danger of undue prejudice, of confusing the issues, or of misleading the jury. (Emphasis added.) See People v. Sanders (1995) 11 Cal.4th 475, 514; Cubic Corp. v. Marty (1986) 185 Cal.App.3d 438, 455.

Any testimony regarding the automobile collision involving plaintiff that occurred in 1998 will likely involve an undue consumption of time. There is no record that plaintiff was in an accident in 1998 and no record of any injury sustained as a result of the alleged accident. For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

The only record of a 1998 accident involving plaintiff is his statement to William Hill, P.A., one of the many individuals who have treated plaintiff since the crash with defendant. Thus, plaintiff anticipates that defendant will attempt to introduce the testimony of William Hill that plaintiff told Hill plaintiff was in a 1998 car accident. This testimony will add nothing new to the evidence presented because it has no bearing on liability, causation, or damages. Allowing testimony regarding this event will prolong the trial without good reason or justification.

Further, any mention of this collateral matter will create a substantial danger of confusing the issues and misleading the jury. Should this evidence be admitted, the jury will likely speculate that plaintiff's injuries were caused by a 10-year-old accident.

Continue reading "Damages Sought By Sacramento Driver After Car Accident, Part 3 of 3" »

October 27, 2010

Sacramento Auto Accident Victim Fights To Exclude Evidence Of Prior Collision, Part 2 of 3

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident case and its proceedings.)

Evidence Of The 1998 Automobile Collision Is Irrelevant And Therefore Must Be Excluded

Evidence Code §350 states that no evidence is admissible except relevant evidence. "Relevant" evidence is defined by Evidence Code §210 as "having any tendency in reason to prove or disprove any disputed fact that is of consequence to the determination of the action." See People v. Kelly (1992) 1 Cal.4th 495, 523 (only relevant evidence is admissible).

Any evidence of the 1998 automobile collision involving plaintiff has no potential to prove or disprove a disputed fact that is of consequence to the determination of this action. Plaintiff was not mentioned in the Traffic Collision Report and he received no medical treatment as a result of the collision. (Morris Depo., 226: 20-24.) There is no evidence that plaintiff suffered from any injury related to a 1998 accident. Further, there is no evidence that plaintiff suffered from any pre-existing medical condition from 1998 to 2008. (Morris Depo., 233: 9-15.) Thus, any inquiry regarding the 1998 collision is not relevant. For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Other evidence that may be excluded under the authority of Evidence Code §350 is that which is speculative. See William Dal Porto & Sons, Inc. v. Agricultural Relations Board (1987) 191 Cal.App.3d 1195, 11-12. The court must exclude evidence if the trier of fact must draw speculative or conjectural inferences from it. See People v. Parrison (1982) 137 Cal.App.3d 529.

Continue reading "Sacramento Auto Accident Victim Fights To Exclude Evidence Of Prior Collision, Part 2 of 3" »

October 26, 2010

Sacramento Man's Car Accident Back Surgery Subject Of Experts' Opinions, Part 5 of 5

The following blog entry is written from a defendant’s position as trial approaches. Reviewing this kind of briefing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this automobile accident case and its proceedings.)

Similarly, in Bonds v. Roy (1999) 20 Cal.4th 140, the Supreme Court held that when a plaintiff fails to disclose that he intends to seek an opinion from a treating physician, the trial court may preclude that physician from testifying at trial on a subject whose general substance was not previously described in an expert witness declaration, reasoning that the whole purpose of supplying the information set forth in an expert witness declaration is to avoid surprise and gamesmanship at trial. This concept can be applied to the facts of this case. As there has been no testimony or documents supporting a causal link between the subject accident and this fusion surgery, any testimony at trial supporting a causal link would be a surprise to the defense, and should be disallowed to be introduced.

Plaintiff has had ample opportunity to find a doctor or expert that will support a nexus between the surgery and this accident, and as that nexus has not yet been found, plaintiff should be foreclosed from attempting to claim this surgery in damages at trial based upon the probative value of this evidence being substantially outweighed by the danger of an undue consumption of time, danger of undue prejudice, of confusing the issues, and of misleading the jury, per C.C.P. § 352. For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Pursuant to C.C.P. § 352, Jones v. Ortho Pharmaceuticals, (1985) 163 Cal.App. 3d 396, and the Supreme Court's holding in Bonds v. Roy (1999) 20 Cal.4th 140, defendants Donna Lee and Veronica Lee request the court to order that plaintiff, plaintiff's witnesses, and his counsel are precluded from attempting to solicit, in any form or manner, any evidence from lay witnesses, non-retained treating physicians Paul White, P.A., Dr. John Brown, M.D., Dr. Devin Smith, or retained experts Sydney Chu, Dr. Andrew Greene, or Dr. Sean Finklestein, as to the causation of his claimed injuries specific to plaintiff Henry Johnson’s February 2009 L5-S1 fusion surgery at Memorial Medical Center.

Continue reading "Sacramento Man's Car Accident Back Surgery Subject Of Experts' Opinions, Part 5 of 5" »

October 24, 2010

Sacramento Man Injured In Serious Car Accident, Part 1 of 3

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident case and its proceedings.)

Plaintiff's Motion in Limine to Exclude References to A 1998 Automobile Accident

Plaintiff, Owen Black, by and through his attorney of record to request an order prohibiting any mention of an automobile crash involving plaintiff that occurred in 1998 in the State of Washington. This motion is based on the grounds that the evidence is irrelevant, immaterial, confusing, prejudicial, and is expressly prohibited by the laws of this state.

Preliminary Statement

This case involves a civil action arising from an automobile accident that occurred on July 10, 2008, when the defendant crashed her vehicle into the rear of the Toyota Land Cruiser plaintiff was driving. As a result of the crash, plaintiff sustained severe injuries. The defense will attempt to introduce evidence that plaintiff was involved in an automobile accident in 1998. For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

In 1998, plaintiff was a passenger sitting in the back seat of an automobile when it was hit in the side by another motorist. Plaintiff was not injured, did not receive any medical treatment as a result of the alleged incident, and worked in the construction industry for more than a decade following the alleged incident. Moreover, there is no record or report that plaintiff was in any accident in 1998. There are no medical records indicating he was in an accident in 1998. (See Part 2 of 3.)

Continue reading "Sacramento Man Injured In Serious Car Accident, Part 1 of 3" »

October 24, 2010

Insurance Company Fights Medical Treatment For Sacramento Driver's Accident Injuries, Part 4 of 5

The following blog entry is written from a defendant’s position as trial approaches. Reviewing this kind of briefing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this automobile accident case and its proceedings.)

Dr. John Brown, M.D., a radiologist who interpreted imaging data as a treating doctor of plaintiff Johnson, was deposed on February 2, 2009, and his transcript has not been completed by the court reporter. Dr. Brown testified that as a radiologist he is unable to determine the sources of any of the degenerative changes that he saw on plaintiff Johnson' imaging data he reviewed. For this reason, Dr. Brown's opinion on causation would be speculative, and would not assist a trier of fact in determining causation.

Based upon the standard for expert testimony in Evidence Code Section 801(a), an expert's opinion is limited to a subject that is sufficiently beyond common experience that the opinion of the expert would assist the trier of fact. In this case, it is clear that any opinion on causation would only cause to mislead or confuse the jury, as the opinions in regards to plaintiff's February 2009 fusion surgery are consistent that plaintiff's experts and treating physicians can not offer an opinion linking the subject accident and this disc injury. For this reason, there is no need for the testimony, as it may cause the jury to be confused as to why the plaintiff is claiming a surgery where not a single medical professional or doctor can causally link to the subject incident. For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

This will then allow the jury to make a link that can not be established through the evidence. In Jones v. Ortho Pharmaceutical Corporation, (1985) 163 Cal.App. 3d 396, a similar situation arose whereby the medical experts in a case were in consensus that there was no causal link between the complained of injuries and a product that was ingested.

Continue reading "Insurance Company Fights Medical Treatment For Sacramento Driver's Accident Injuries, Part 4 of 5" »

October 21, 2010

Medical Experts Battle Over Sacramento Man's Auto Accident Injuries, Part 3 of 5

The following blog entry is written from a defendant’s position as trial approaches. Reviewing this kind of briefing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this automobile accident case and its proceedings.)

Paul White, P.A. (date of deposition: January 29, 2009; page and line 31:13-17; 32:10-15)

Q: Are you going to give a medical opinion regarding Mr. Johnson's back, neck, and pain between his shoulder blade injuries as pertains to his August 9th, 2007, motor vehicle accident?
A:No.

Q: Would it be fair to say that as far as rendering opinions on causation, you are not going to render an opinion on the causation of Mr. Johnson's back, neck, or pain between the shoulder blades?
A: It would be fair to say that I'm not going to render an opinion on the cause of his symptoms.

Sydney Chu (date of deposition: January 9, 2009; page and line 27:1-6)

Q: And as it pertains to this case, is it true that you will not be offering any biomechanical opinions regarding the accident?
A: You are correct. I will not be discussing biomechanics, injury causation or anything remotely associated with those two topics.

Dr. Sean Finklestein, Ph.D. (date of deposition: February 3, 2009; page and line 42:13-23)

Q: Okay. Let's move on to the last category, and your last category is that the radiological studies suggest there is not sufficient force to cause the disk injury. Can you comment on the forces involved in that opinion?

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Medical Experts Battle Over Sacramento Man's Auto Accident Injuries, Part 3 of 5" »

October 21, 2010

Injured Sacramento Driver Seeks Punitive Damages For Car Accident, Part 3 of 3

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident case and its proceedings.)

Plaintiff here can only allege that defendant ran a red light and entered an intersection by driving into a lane that was not intended for through traffic. (Incidentally, these are factually disputed.) If true, such acts were negligent. But even grossly negligent or reckless acts do not suffice for punitive damages. Dawes, supra. Tacking on the words "willful and conscious disregard" does not create an action for punitive damages. Broussear v. Jarrett (1977) 73 Cal App 3d 864, 872.

Indeed, if plaintiff's theory on punitive damages were allowed, then virtually every traffic collision case would result in punitive damages: in virtually every such case will be found a defendant who ran a red light, or entered a wrong lane, or drove excessively fast, or otherwise exhibited behavior that was less than admirable - but hardly the stuff of punitive damages. For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

At the most, plaintiff's allegations of defendant's running a red light and entering an undesignated lane might be grossly negligent. But, as Dawes teaches, that is not enough. Indeed, Dawes was decided before the legislature amended the statute to add despicable conduct to the requirements for stating a cause of action for punitive damages. None of these allegations approach the Dawes threshold, let alone that of the revised statute.

Continue reading "Injured Sacramento Driver Seeks Punitive Damages For Car Accident, Part 3 of 3" »

October 19, 2010

Car Accident Forces Back Surgery For Sacramento Man, Part 2 of 5

The following blog entry is written from a defendant’s position as trial approaches. Reviewing this kind of briefing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this automobile accident case and its proceedings.)

DISCUSSION

Plaintiff claims that lumbar fusion surgery on February 6, 2009 was related to alleged injuries suffered by plaintiff from the subject incident of August 9, 2007. Although this claim is being made by plaintiff, there is no documents, evidence, or testimony of his experts, retained, or non-retained, that support this causal link. In fact, quite the opposite is true. Not only has there been a consensus among all the experts that they are not willing to render an opinion on causation for this fusion surgery, but plaintiff's own expert Dr. Sean Finklestein opined that the forces involved in the subject accident were not sufficient to cause a disc injury. For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

The pertinent testimony is as follows:

Dr. Andrew Greene, M.D. (date of deposition: January 20, 2009; page and line 74:6-11)

Q: Do you intend on offering any opinions or have you been asked to offer any opinions about the relatedness of the surgery to the August 2007 accident?
A: Specifically to surgery?

Q: Yes.
A. No.

Continue reading "Car Accident Forces Back Surgery For Sacramento Man, Part 2 of 5" »

October 18, 2010

Reckless Sacramento Driver Catastrophically Injures Sacramento Man, Part 2 of 3

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident case and its proceedings.)

DISCUSSION

A motion to strike is of course appropriate to strike any "improper matter in a pleading, or any part of a pleading" not drawn or filed in conformity with the laws of this state. CCP § 436.

One might begin the discussion of punitive damages with the universally recognized principle that [t]he law does not favor punitive damages and they should be granted with the greatest caution. Dyna-Med Inc v. Fair Employment and Housing Commission (1987) 43 Cal 3d 1379, 1392. This of course makes excellent sense, as the defendant will be subject to personal liability virtually equal to one found guilty of criminal conduct.

The burden of proof a plaintiff must meet is higher than that for any other civil issue: the plaintiff must prove by "clear and convincing evidence" that the defendant is guilty of oppression, fraud, or malice ... Civil Code § 3294 (a). An one appellate court noted, "Clear and convincing evidence" requires a finding of high probability ... requiring that the evidence be "so clear as to leave no substantial doubt." In re Angela P (1981) 28 Cal 3d 908, 919. For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

The elements plaintiff must prove are no less stringent. The plaintiff must prove "oppression, fraud or malice." CC § 3294 (a). Thus, "the cases have uniformly recognized that proof of negligence, even gross negligence, or recklessness is insufficient to warrant an award of punitive damages." Dawes v. Superior Court (1980) 111 Cal App 3d 82, 90.

Continue reading "Reckless Sacramento Driver Catastrophically Injures Sacramento Man, Part 2 of 3" »

October 16, 2010

Sacramento Driver Suffers Back Injury In Car Accident, Part 1 of 5

The following blog entry is written from a defendant’s position as trial approaches. Reviewing this kind of briefing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this automobile accident case and its proceedings.)

Defendants' Motion in Limine to Preclude Sydney Chu, Paul White, P.A., Dr. Smith, Dr. Greene, Dr. Finklestein, and Dr. Brown from Testifying as to Causation of Plaintiff's Disc Injury

INTRODUCTION

Defendants Donna Lee and Veronica Lee hereby move this Court for an order instructing that plaintiff, his witnesses and counsel are precluded from attempting to solicit, in any form or manner, any evidence from lay witnesses, non-retained treating physicians Paul White, P.A., Dr. John Brown, M.D., Dr. Devin Smith, or retained experts Sydney Chu, Dr. Andrew Greene, or Dr. Sean Finklestein as to the causation of his claimed injuries specific to plaintiff Henry Johnson’s February 2009 L5-S1 fusion surgery at Memorial Medical Center.

The basis for this motion is that plaintiff's counsel disclosed that retained experts Sydney Chu, Dr. Sean Finklestein, and Dr. Andrew Greene would render opinions regarding causation for injuries from the subject accident that occurred on August 9, 2007. Also disclosed was that non-retained expert and treating medical provider Paul White, P.A., would also render an opinion on causation. For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

At Dr. Greene’s and Mr. White's depositions, each of these medical treaters testified that they would not render an opinion regarding the causation of plaintiff's L5-S 1 disc injury that led to L5-S1 fusion surgery by Dr. Devin Smith at Memorial Medical Center, on or around February 6, 2009. As well, at deposition, Dr. Smith testified that he would not render any opinion on causation as to the L5-S1 fusion surgery that he performed.

Continue reading "Sacramento Driver Suffers Back Injury In Car Accident, Part 1 of 5" »

October 15, 2010

Sacramento Driver Runs Red Light Causing Serious Car Accident, Part 1 of 3

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident case and its proceedings.)

Defendant's Motion to Strike Punitive Damages: Points & Authorities
Procedural Matters

This motion is filed pursuant to the Court's tentative ruling, which became the final ruling, and in which the Court granted plaintiffs motion to amend for punitive damages, but also granted leave for the defense to file and serve a motion to strike. Thus, the Court apparently granted to motion to file based on the jurisprudence governing filing amended complaints, and is permitting this forum of the motion to strike to address whether the punitive damages allegations should be allowed to stand.

FACTS

This case is based upon a two vehicle accident which occurred on November 18, 2008. Plaintiff Eli White was on a motorcycle and collided with defendant Lee’s vehicle. There is a dispute as to who had the green light. There are no allegations of driving while under the influence; plaintiff simply lists various aspects of an ordinary vehicle accident in the First Amended Complaint and then appends conclusory language that the actions entitle plaintiff to "exemplary and punitive damages." For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

The only facts upon which counsel attempts to bring this ordinary auto negligence case under punitive damages are: (1) defendant was "running a red light," defendant "traveled in an undesignated lane at a high rate of speed," and (3) "proceeded into a busy intersection." Id.

Continue reading "Sacramento Driver Runs Red Light Causing Serious Car Accident, Part 1 of 3" »

October 13, 2010

Sacramento Road Rage Case Leads To Serious Car Accident, Part 6 of 6

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident case and its proceedings.)

Hill's Request Should Be In the Form of a Demurrer. Motion to Strike, or Judgment on the Pleadings. Not a Motion for Summary Adjudication.

Defendant also argues that plaintiffs' request for punitive damages should be stricken because plaintiffs' complaint only contained legal conclusions and generalizations. Defendant's characterization is inaccurate as the portion of the complaint seeking punitive damages is full of specific factual allegations. Furthermore, if the basis for this motion is the legal sufficiency of the plaintiffs' complaint, then defendant should have challenged it instead with a demurrer, motion to strike, or motion for judgment on the pleadings.

Defendant cites Cohen v. Groman Mortuary, Inc. (1964) 231 Cal.App.2d 1 for the proposition that plaintiffs' request for punitive damages should be stricken because the complaint contained only legal conclusions. In Cohen, which was an appeal on a motion for judgment on the pleadings (rather than a motion for summary adjudication), the complaint sought punitive damages by stating abstract legal conclusions such as malice, wanton, and willful. (Id. at 8.) No specific factual allegations were made to support the punitive damages claim. (Id.) Plaintiffs' complaint in the subject action is replete with specific facts.

Plaintiffs alleged that in an act of road rage, Hill swerved his car toward Sean Black's SUV; that Hill's car traveled erratically; and that it slammed into Sean's SUV, causing it to roll over three times. The Lynchs' complaint does not contain generalizations and legal conclusions. It is supported with numerous and specific factual allegations. For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

A motion for summary adjudication is not the proper procedure for defendant to attack plaintiffs' complaint.

Continue reading "Sacramento Road Rage Case Leads To Serious Car Accident, Part 6 of 6" »

October 11, 2010

Sacramento Highway Car Accident Due To Reckless Driver, Part 5 of 6

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident case and its proceedings.)

Plaintiffs Do Not Need to Show that Defendant Intended to Injure Sean Black In Order to Recover Punitive Damages

By describing the subject crash as "merely" accidental, Hill argues that Sean cannot recover punitive damages because he does not have evidence that Hill intended to injure Sean. First, the crash was not just a simple accident. Hill caused the crash by acting recklessly in a number of ways just before the crash. Defendant's conduct made the crash all but inevitable. But more importantly, there is no bar to recovering punitive damages under Civil Code § 3294 if plaintiffs cannot prove that defendant intended to harm plaintiff.

A conscious disregard of the rights or safety of others means a conscious disregard of the probability that the actor's conduct will result in injury to others. (Taylor v. Sup. Ct. (1979) 24 Cal.3d 890, 895.) Here, Hill's conduct immediately before the crash significantly increased the chances of injury to others, especially to Sean. In order to obtain punitive damages, plaintiff need not prove that defendant intended to cause injury to the plaintiff. (Grimshaw v. Ford Motor Co. (1981) 119 Cal.App.3d 757, 808.) For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Rather, plaintiff needs to only show that defendant acted in conscious disregard for other people's safety. (West v. Johnson & Johnson Prods., Inc. (1985) 174 Cal.App.3d 831, 867 (inadequate product testing); Penner v. Falk (1984) 153 Cal.App.3d 858, 867 (landlord's knowledge for years that conditions on premises created danger of criminal attacks); Nolin v. National Convenience Stores, Inc. (1979) 95 Cal.App.3d 279 (allowing grease to build up near gas station pumps).)

Continue reading "Sacramento Highway Car Accident Due To Reckless Driver, Part 5 of 6" »

October 9, 2010

Malicious Behavior By Sacramento Driver Results In Major Injury Accident, Part 4 of 6

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident case and its proceedings.)

LEGAL ARGUMENT

A Triable Issue of Material Fact Exists as to Whether Defendant Hill Acted with Malice, Oppression, and Willful and Conscious Disregard of the Safety of Sean Black.

Summary adjudication to dispose of a plaintiff's prayer for punitive damages is granted only if the moving party is able to prove that there is no merit to the punitive damages claim. (Code of Civil Procedure §437c(f)(1).) A plaintiff may recover punitive damages in a tort claim if there is clear and convincing evidence that the defendant has been guilty of oppression, fraud, or malice. (Civil Code § 3294(a).) Malice is defined as despicable conduct which is carried on by the defendant with a willful and conscious disregard of the rights or safety of others. (Civ.C. § 3294(c)(1).) Oppression is similarly defined as despicable conduct that subjects a person to cruel and unjust hardship in conscious disregard of that person's rights. (Civ.C. § 3294(c)(2).)

Defendant Hill claims that plaintiffs cannot prove that Hill's conduct before the violent collision and rollover merits the imposition of punitive damages. Defendant's motion ignores overwhelming evidence of his own despicable conduct, which directly led to the crash and Sean's serious injuries. For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

In the moments before the subject collision, Hill intentionally acted in a number of ways that exponentially raised the risk of a high speed crash and significant harm to Sean Hill. They include:
*repeatedly cutting off Sean;
*driving erratically;
*shaking his fist while leaning across his front passenger seat;
*doing all of the above while holding a cigarette;
*doing all of the above while traveling at 65 to 70 miles per hour; and
*swerving towards Sean's vehicle.

Continue reading "Malicious Behavior By Sacramento Driver Results In Major Injury Accident, Part 4 of 6" »

October 7, 2010

Angry Sacramento Freeway Motorist Confrontation Leads To Auto Collision, Part 3 of 6

The following blog entry is written to illustrate a common motion filed during the early stages of civil litigation. Reviewing this kind of briefing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident case and its proceedings.)

STANDARD OF REVIEW

Summary judgment and summary adjudication are to be granted only with great caution. (Dolquist v. City of Bellflower (1987) 196 Cal.App.3d 261, 266.) In reviewing a motion for summary judgment or summary adjudication, the court's sole function is to determine from the submitted evidence whether there is a triable issue as to any material fact. (C.C.P. §437c(c); Zavala v. Arce (1997) 58 Cal.App.4th 915, 926.) The court should strictly construe the moving party's evidence and liberally construe the evidence presented by the motion's opponent. (Zavala at 926; Shively v. Dye Creek Cattle Co. (1994) 29 Cal.App.4th 1620, 1627.)

Any doubts as to the propriety of granting the motion should be resolved in favor of the party opposing the motion. (Id., citing Molko v. Holy Spirit Assn. (1988) 46 Cal.3d 1092, 1107.) If there is a triable issue, it is error for the trial court to grant summary judgment. (Doiichin v. Guerroero (1995) Cal.App.4th 1832, 1837.) For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

A defendant has met its burden of showing that a cause of action or claim for damages has no merit only if he has shown that one or more elements of the cause of action or claim for damages cannot be established. (C.C.P. § 437c(p)(2).)

Continue reading "Angry Sacramento Freeway Motorist Confrontation Leads To Auto Collision, Part 3 of 6" »

October 5, 2010

Sacramento Liquor Company Liable For Employee's Car Accident, Part 2 of 6

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident case and its proceedings.)

FACTUAL SUMMARY

William Hill has difficulty controlling his anger. (See, Plaintiffs' Separate Statement of Undisputed Material Facts) Many of his friends have told Sean that he has anger control issues. About a year before the subject crash, Hill was involved in a fistfight at a bar and gave the other combatant a bloody nose.

On September 21, 2008, William Hill and Sean Black were both traveling eastbound on Interstate 80. Sean saw Hill's car in the rear view mirror, accelerating towards him and changing lanes. Hill, without using his turn signal or slowing down, cut Sean off, squeezing his car between a truck and Sean's SUV. Sean immediately braked hard to give Hill more room. For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Hill and Sean continued traveling eastbound on Interstate 80. At one point, when they were driving next to each other, Hill flipped Sean off. Moreover, Hill repeatedly cut off Sean.

Just before the collision, Hill leaned across his front passenger seat and shook his fist at Sean. At the same time, Hill was holding a cigarette and driving at 65 to 70 miles-per-hour. He made a sudden, jerking movement and his car swerved towards Sean's SUV.

Continue reading "Sacramento Liquor Company Liable For Employee's Car Accident, Part 2 of 6" »

October 2, 2010

Sacramento SUV Driver Injured In Car Accident, Part 1 of 6

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident case and its proceedings.)

Plaintiffs' Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Opposition to Motion for Summary Adjudication

INTRODUCTION

Sean Black is suing defendants William Hill ("Hill") and Liquor Products, Inc. ("L-P") for the serious neck and back injuries he suffered when the car driven by William Hill struck Sean Black's SUV at highway speeds, causing Sean's SUV to violently roll over three times, crushing its roof in the process. Sean's wife Carrie Black has a loss of consortium claim. William Hill was employed by L-P and was within the course and scope of employment when the collision took place.

This motion should be denied on both substantive and procedural grounds. Substantively, defendant Hill brings this motion on the grounds that there is no evidence to support plaintiffs' request for punitive damages. The motion should be denied because ample evidence exists to show that defendant Hill acted with malice, oppression, and a willful and conscious disregard of the safety of Sean Black. Just before the subject collision, defendant Hill consciously and recklessly cut off Sean repeatedly, drove erratically, swerved towards Sean, and shook his fist at Sean, all while holding a cigarette and traveling at 65 to 70 miles-per-hour.

Defendant Hill's motion must also be denied on substantive grounds because he incorrectly argues that punitive damages are allowable only if the defendant intended to injure the plaintiff. Neither statutory nor case law supports this baseless requirement. For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Sacramento SUV Driver Injured In Car Accident, Part 1 of 6" »

September 18, 2010

Jurors' Background And Biases Fair Game In Sacramento Car Accident Case, Part 3 of 3

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident case and its proceedings.)

U.S. Supreme Court Standard

Wainright v Witt, (1985) 496 US 412 held the standard for exercising a challenge for cause is whether the jury may be "substantially impaired" from following the law. A question of whether the juror can "follow the law" is insufficient to meet this standard. Most jurors try to be fair and most will say that they can follow the law. And, indeed jurors usually use their best efforts to comply with their duties. But, there may be circumstances of a specific case or a specific rule of law in which the juror may try to follow the law, but is impaired from doing so, by virtue of their knowledge, training, experience, or other factors. The parties in personal injury cases are entitled to know about jurors who have no impediments to applying the law as instructed by the court, not jurors who may try and fail to comply.

Trial Counsel Must be Given Latitude to Discover Bias

In considering the challenges for cause, California has detailed provisions for challenges. There are three grounds for a challenge for cause: 1) general disqualification, which disqualifies the juror from serving in the action on trial; 2) implied bias, as, when the existence of the facts as ascertained, in judgment of law disqualifies the juror; or 3) actual bias, when a state of mind exists on the part of the juror in reference to the case, or to any of the parties, which will prevent the juror from acting with entire impartiality, and without prejudice to the substantial rights of any party. (CCP §225, (b)(1)(A), (b)(1)(B), and (b)(1)(c). For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

A challenge for implied bias may be taken for one or more of the following causes:

(e) Having an unqualified opinion or belief as to the merits of the action founded upon knowledge of its material facts or of some of them.

(f) The existence of a state of mind in the juror evincing enmity against, or bias towards, either party. (CCP §229.)

Continue reading "Jurors' Background And Biases Fair Game In Sacramento Car Accident Case, Part 3 of 3" »

September 16, 2010

Sacramento Car Accident Trial Presents Constitutional Issues, Part 2 of 3

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident case and its proceedings.)

Scope of Requested Voir Dire

The scope of questioning has to accomplish the goal of a "fair and impartial jury" in this personal injury matter, which may involve numerous issues. Although CCP §222.5 permits the court to impose some limits, the statute specifically requires that the court take into account: any unique or complex elements, legal or factual, in the case and the individual responses or conduct of jurors which may evince attitudes inconsistent with suitability to serve as a fair and impartial juror in the particular case.

(California Code of Civil Procedure) section 222.5 grants counsel in a civil trial the right to conduct "oral examination of prospective jurors to enable them to exercise both peremptory and for cause" challenges. The scope of such examination may be restricted by the trial court within reasonable limits that allow counsel liberal and probing examination to discover bias and prejudice within the circumstances of each case. Bly-Magee v. Budget Rent-A-Car Corp. (1994) 24 Cal.App.4th 318, 324. For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Time Restrictions

CCP §222.5 specifically prohibits arbitrary time limits: Specific unreasonable or arbitrary time limits shall not be imposed. In the past, some local and state court rules sought to impose time limits. However, this rule has long ago been withdrawn.

Continue reading "Sacramento Car Accident Trial Presents Constitutional Issues, Part 2 of 3" »

September 14, 2010

Jury Selection Issues Arise In Sacramento Car Accident Trial, Part 1 of 3

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident case and its proceedings.)

Plaintiff's Trial Brief on Jury Voir Dire: Personal Injury Case

California Law Provides for the Intelligent Exercise of Peremptory Challenges

Plaintiff, Hank Choo, by and through his attorney of record, hereby requests the right to have an adequate voir dire conducted by counsel. California Code of Civil Procedure (hereinafter CCP) §222.5. provides that following examination by the court:

"...counsel for each party shall have the right to examine, by oral and direct questioning, any of the prospective jurors in order to enable counsel to intelligently exercise both peremptory challenges and challenges for cause."

Since the purpose of voir dire is intended to select a fair and impartial jury in civil trials (CCP §222.5), the statute provides:

"During any examination conducted by counsel for the parties, the trial judge should permit liberal and probing examination calculated to discover bias or prejudice with regard to the circumstances of the particular case." For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Because of the need for follow up questions, justice may on occasion require counsel to cover the same subject or similar questions to those posed by the court. CCP §222.5 recognizes this fact, and states: The fact that a topic has been included in the judge's examination should not preclude additional non-repetitive or non-duplicative questioning in the same area by counsel.

Continue reading "Jury Selection Issues Arise In Sacramento Car Accident Trial, Part 1 of 3" »

September 11, 2010

Admissibility Of CHP Collision Report Challenged In Sacramento Car Accident Case, Part 3 of 3

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident case and its proceedings.)

Officer Smith's Traffic Collision Report Should Be Excluded

Vehicle Code §20013 sets forth the rule regarding the admissibility of police reports. It states in pertinent part: "No such accident report shall be used as evidence in any trial, civil or criminal arising out of an accident ... "

In Box v. California Date Growers Association (1976) 57 Cal.App.3d 266, the court applied Vehicle Code §20013 when it properly excluded the officer's police report following a motorcycle versus truck accident. The Court of Appeals affirmed the lower court's decision that the Highway Patrol Officer's traffic report was not admissible. Thus, in the present case Officer Smith's Traffic Collision Report should be excluded in its entirety pursuant to Vehicle Code §20013 and the above-cited authority. For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Highway Patrol Officer Smith Is Not A Qualified Expert Witness And His Testimony Lacks Foundation

California Evidence Code §720 states: (a) A person is qualified to testify as an expert if he has special knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education sufficient to qualify him as an expert on the subject to which his testimony relates. Against the objection of a party, such special knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education must be shown before the witness may testify as an expert.

In the present case, defendants have not demonstrated a foundation that Officer Smith has special knowledge, skill, experience, training or education sufficient to qualify him as an expert on the subject of automobile ownership. Further, there is no foundation of reliability of information the officer used to form the opinion stated. Thus, any testimony on this subject by Officer Smith should be excluded because he is not qualified to testify as an expert on this subject.

Continue reading "Admissibility Of CHP Collision Report Challenged In Sacramento Car Accident Case, Part 3 of 3" »

September 9, 2010

Sacramento Automobile Driver Rear-Ended In Highway Accident, Part 2 of 3

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident case and its proceedings.)

Likewise, in the present case, any conclusions reached by the police officer who investigated the accident should not be allowed by this court. More specifically, the officer's opinions and conclusions in the police report or in the form of testimony should not be allowed.

In Francis v. Sauve (1963) 222 Cal.App.2d 102, the court analyzed the issue in greater detail. The court reiterated that a police officer may testify as to the point of impact when his opinion is based upon percipient observations. The court discussed its refusal to admit into evidence expert opinions in traffic accident cases where the factors involved are too varying and too indefinite to constitute the basis of an opinion, such as the probable course of the cars after impact (Fishman v. Silva (1931) 116 Cal.App. 1). For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Moreover, this issue was litigated during the State Farm's motion for summary adjudication, which was denied. The defense attempted to have the issue of whether there was insurance coverage decided by the California Highway Patrol officer. State Farm's UMF #6 and plaintiff's objection:

6. Officer David Smith determined at the scene of the accident that Plaintiff Hank Choo is the owner of the 2000 Range Rover driven by plaintiff.

6. Objection: Police officer's determination of ownership is irrelevant. Waller v. Southern Cal. Gas Co. (1959) 170 Cal.App.2d 747, 755

Continue reading "Sacramento Automobile Driver Rear-Ended In Highway Accident, Part 2 of 3" »

September 7, 2010

Sacramento Car Accident Leaves Man With Catastrophic Injuries, Part 1 of 3

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident case and its proceedings.)

Plaintiff' Hank Choo’s Motion in Limine to Exclude Opinion Evidence of Highway Patrol Officer and Traffic Collision Report, and Limitation of Testimony at Trial

Plaintiff requests of the court an order in limine prohibiting the attorneys for all parties offering evidence of, or making any reference to, any conclusions and/or opinions referred to in the Traffic Collision Report generated by Highway Patrol Officer David Smith.

Preliminary Statement

This action arises from an automobile accident that occurred on August 9, 2008, when the defendant crashed her vehicle into the rear of a 2000 Range Rover plaintiff was driving. Plaintiff anticipates that defendants will attempt to introduce evidence of Highway Patrol Officer Smith's opinion that plaintiff Hank Choo was the owner of the 2000 Range Rover. For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Opinions In Police Reports Or Elicited By Way Of Testimony Are Inadmissible

It is well settled that as a general rule opinions of police officers should not be admitted in automobile accident cases. Waller v. Southern California Gas Company (1959) 170 Cal.App.2d 747. In Waller, the court correctly disallowed the opinion of the police officer as to whether which party, if any, had violated the right of way.

Continue reading "Sacramento Car Accident Leaves Man With Catastrophic Injuries, Part 1 of 3" »

September 4, 2010

Defendant Fights Admission Of Prior Felony In Sacramento Car Accident Lawsuit, Part 3 of 3

The following blog entry is written from a defendant’s position as trial approaches. Reviewing this kind of briefing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident case and its proceedings.)

Victor Lee was convicted in Miami, Florida in 1978 of felony drug possession. There have been no subsequent felonies. Defendants respectfully request that any evidence of or reference to defendant Lee’s 30-year-old conviction is only intended to mislead and prejudice the jury, and convey irrelevant character evidence, and should thus be prohibited from mention. This conviction is three decades old and has no bearing on Mr. Lee’s credibility today, thirty years after the fact. Mr. Lee has been straightforward in his testimony about the motor vehicle accident in which he was involved in this case. There is no similarity between the conduct involved in the felony offense and the conduct of Mr. Lee alleged in this case. For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Reference to or the introduction of evidence of this remote felony conviction has no probative value and would be highly prejudicial to defendants in that it would unfairly convey the impression that Mr. Lee’s conviction in the early 1970s is relevant to his character today and of his conduct in the subject motor vehicle accident. And would undoubtedly mislead and confuse the jury into believing that such evidence would somehow be probative of the ultimate issues in this case. Further, the introduction of such evidence would require time-consuming rebuttal by defendants.

Continue reading "Defendant Fights Admission Of Prior Felony In Sacramento Car Accident Lawsuit, Part 3 of 3" »

September 2, 2010

Sacramento Bus Driver Catastrophically Injures Rental Car Driver, Part 2 of 3

The following blog entry is written from a defendant’s position as trial approaches. Reviewing this kind of briefing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident case and its proceedings.)

THE COURT SHOULD EXCLUDE EVIDENCE THE PROBATIVE VALUE OF WHICH IS SUBSTANTIALLY OUTWEIGHED BY ITS PREJUDICIAL IMPACT OR HAS THE RISK OF MISLEADING OR CONFUSING THE JURY

Evidence Code section 352 gives the Court discretion to exclude evidence if its admission will necessitate the undue consumption of time, or if its probative value is substantially outweighed by a substantial danger of undue prejudice, confusion of issues and misleading the jury. (Evidence Code §352.) Pursuant to Evidence Code section 352, the court should weigh the probative value of proffered evidence against the probability that it will create a substantial danger of undue prejudice. (People v. Murphy (1979) 8 Cal.3d 359.) If the Court finds that the probative value of the proffered evidence is weak and a danger of undue prejudice is strong, then it should rule that such evidence is inadmissible. (People v. Stanley (1967) 167 Cal.2d 812.) For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

There are a number of different factors with which to determine the strength or weakness of the probative value of evidence. Among the factors which the court should consider are the following:

Its materiality;
The strength of its relationship to the issue upon which it is offered;
Whether it goes to a main issue or merely a collateral one; and
Whether it is necessary to prove the proponents case or merely cumulative to other available and sufficient proof.

(Burke v. Almaden Vineyards, Inc. (1978) 86 Cal. App.2d 750.)

Continue reading "Sacramento Bus Driver Catastrophically Injures Rental Car Driver, Part 2 of 3" »

August 30, 2010

Sacramento Car Accident Victim Sues Rental Car Company, Part 1 of 3

The following blog entry is written from a defendant’s position as trial approaches. Reviewing this kind of briefing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident case and its proceedings.)

Defendants’ Motion In Limine to Exclude Reference to 30-Year-Old Prior Felony Conviction

Defendants Victor Lee and XYZ Car Rental Of Sacramento hereby move this court, in limine, before jury selection at the trials commencement for an order instructing plaintiff, his counsel, and each and every one of plaintiffs witnesses, not to mention, interrogate on, or in any other manner convey to the jury whether during voir dire, opening statement, testimony, final argument, or otherwise, any reference to or evidence of defendant Victor Lee’s 30-year-old felony conviction. For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

This motion is based on the ground that the probative value on credibility of said felony conviction is outweighed by the risk of undue prejudice and that argument about or reference to or admission of such evidence regarding defendant is not relevant and should be precluded on the ground that its entry would be more prejudicial than probative.

THE TRIAL COURT POSSESSES THE INHERENT POWER TO GRANT MOTIONS IN LIMINE AND SUCH MOTIONS ARE A WELL ESTABLISHED METHOD OF EXCLUDING INADMISSIBLE EVIDENCE

Clemens v. American Warranty Corp. (1987) 193 Cal.App.3d 444, 451.

Continue reading "Sacramento Car Accident Victim Sues Rental Car Company, Part 1 of 3" »

August 25, 2010

City Police Officer Leaves Sacramento Car Accident Victim With Life-Threatening Injuries, Part 10 of 10

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this personal injury case and its proceedings.)

It is worth noting that situations similar to those described in this automobile accident case could just as easily involve the California Highway Patrol or the law enforcement divisions of any local municipality, such as Roseville, El Dorado Hills, West Sacramento, or Elk Grove.

The Evidence Presented by Plaintiff at Trial Constitutes "Significant Evidence."

During the course of this trial, there was significant evidence with regard to the brain injury, and other physical injuries, suffered by Sandra White. Every medical expert, plaintiff and defense, agreed that she did indeed suffer a traumatic brain injury. Further, the testimony of plaintiff’s experts and defendant's experts as to the extent of Ms. White's injuries was not identical, but that is surely to be expected. The mere fact that there was contradicting expert opinion evidence does not diminish the solid value of the evidence presented. For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Further, plaintiffs provided significant evidence not only by way of expert opinion, but also through testimony of Ms. White's family that was consistent with what was seen on the "sub rosa" videotape. There was no significant "contradiction," as defendant suggests, that would be sufficient to support a granting of a JNOV. Rather, plaintiff put on substantial evidence in support of her injuries and the verdict in this case. Even defendant's experts confirmed that Ms. White had a brain injury and multiple physical injuries as a result of this collision. Thus, this court should deny defendant's Motion for a Judgment Notwithstanding the Verdict.

Continue reading "City Police Officer Leaves Sacramento Car Accident Victim With Life-Threatening Injuries, Part 10 of 10" »

August 23, 2010

City Defendant Seeks To Overturn Jury Verdict For Sacramento Car Accident Victim, Part 9 of 10

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this traumatic brain injury case and its proceedings.)

It is worth noting that situations similar to those described in this automobile accident case could just as easily involve the California Highway Patrol or the law enforcement divisions of any local municipality, such as Roseville, El Dorado Hills, West Sacramento, or Elk Grove.

In Hewitson, and similarly in Rives, the court concluded that the "trial court's determination of the value of a particular asset [closely held corporation] is a factual one and, if there is substantial evidence to support it in the record, the determination must be upheld on appeal." Hewitson, 142 Cal.App.3d at 885. The court continued its explanation by stating that if such determination is based solely or in large part on the opinion of an expert, the determination will not be upheld on appeal, unless the opinion satisfies the standard of admissibility set forth in Evidence Code section 801. Id. (citing In re Marriage of Rives (1982) 130 Cal.App.3d 138, 149-151; cf.. Solis v. Southern Cal. Rapid Transit Dist. (1980) 105 Cal.App.3d 382, 389-390). For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

The Hewitson court then goes on to explain that Evidence Code section 801, in dealing with the admissibility requirements of opinion testimony by an expert witness, provides in subdivision (b) thereof, three separate but related tests that a matter must meet to serve as a proper basis for an expert opinion. First, the information used must come from (a) the witness' personal observation, or (b) the witness' personal knowledge, or (c) an assumption of facts finding support in the evidence. Second, the matter about which the opinion is based must be of a type upon which the expert may reasonably rely. Third, an expert may not base his opinion upon any matter held to be improper as the basis of an expert opinion by constitutional, statutory, or decisional law. Id. (citing People v. Plasencia (1983) 140 Cal.App.3d 853, 857).

Continue reading "City Defendant Seeks To Overturn Jury Verdict For Sacramento Car Accident Victim, Part 9 of 10" »

August 21, 2010

Sacramento Jury Awards Car Accident Victim Huge Damages, Part 8 of 10

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this personal injury case and its proceedings.)

It is worth noting that situations similar to those described in this automobile accident case could just as easily involve the California Highway Patrol or the law enforcement divisions of any local municipality, such as Roseville, El Dorado Hills, West Sacramento, or Elk Grove.

The mere fact that plaintiff's experts had no knowledge of a video clip from a couple of minutes out of one day in Sandra White's life that was six months prior to the trial in this matter does not discredit or otherwise diminish the evidence, before the jury that determined Ms. White's future care needs. While defendant argues that plaintiff’s experts' opinions were "based upon improper or unwarranted matters," and as such the "judgment should be reversed," defendant relies solely on the "sub rosa" videotape that was played before the jury.

The twelve jurors in this matter that found in favor of Sandra White also saw this video and had the opportunity to weigh the credibility of both plaintiff’s experts and defendant's experts in light of all the evidence, including the "sub rosa" videotape. This court should not now usurp that function and make credibility determinations and weigh evidence, which is contrary to the function of the court when evaluating a motion for JNOV. For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Defendant's Analogy Is Easily Distinguished From this Case

Defendant provides an analogy by referencing In re Marriage of Hewitson and In re Marriage of Rives as support for the proposition that plaintiff’s experts' testimony does not constitute substantial evidence.

Continue reading "Sacramento Jury Awards Car Accident Victim Huge Damages, Part 8 of 10" »

August 19, 2010

Sacramento Car Rental Company Sued After Accident With Bus, Part 4 of 4

The following blog entry is written from a defendant’s position as trial approaches. Reviewing this kind of briefing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident case and its proceedings.)

ONLY RELEVANT EVIDENCE IS ADMISSIBLE FOR ANY PURPOSE.

For all of the above reasons, such testimony and evidence is also irrelevant. Relevant evidence is that which has any tendency in reason to prove or disprove any disputed fact that is of consequence to determination of the action. (Evidence Code §§210, 780, 1202.) No evidence is admissible except relevant evidence. (Evidence Code §350.) Testimony about these supposed standards and practices for police accident-reporting have no application to determine if the subject accidents in this matter are a singular event or multiple events. These standards merely serve to provide guidelines to officers in their report writing duties. These standards were not developed for the purpose that plaintiff and his expert proposed. For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

POLICE ACCIDENT REPORTING STANDARDS ARE AN ISSUE OF LAW AND INTRODUCTION OF SUCH EVIDENCE IS UNDULY PREJUDICIAL

An experts testimony on an issue of law is not admissible, including an application of law to facts. The experts testimony on these matter usurps the judges and jurys responsibilities. (Summers v. A.L. Gilbert Co. (1999) 69 Cal.App.4th 1155 (expert opinion on the legal question of duty was not admissible.)

Continue reading "Sacramento Car Rental Company Sued After Accident With Bus, Part 4 of 4" »

August 19, 2010

Life-Altering Car Accident Leaves Sacramento Woman With Millions In Hospital Bills, Part 7 of 10

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this personal injury case and its proceedings.)

It is worth noting that situations similar to those described in this automobile accident case could just as easily involve the California Highway Patrol or the law enforcement divisions of any local municipality, such as Roseville, El Dorado Hills, West Sacramento, or Elk Grove.

However, plaintiff's experts testified not only to plaintiffs physical limitations, but also to her traumatic brain injury and to her continued future need for care in a supportive environment. Even defendant's medical and neurological experts, during their trial testimony, agreed that plaintiff Sandra White did in fact suffer a traumatic brain injury. For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Regarding defendant's seven purported "false assumptions" that supposedly make the evidence presented in this case "insignificant," plaintiff responds as follows:

Not one of plaintiff's witnesses was aware of the "sub rosa" video prior to their testimony. Despite defendant's contention that the sub rosa contradicts the weight of the evidence, plaintiff’s family testified 1) that plaintiff was able to leave the house by herself on occasion and in fact had confusedly wandered in the neighborhood on occasion; 2) that plaintiff was able to dress herself on occasion, but more frequently than not needs assistance; 3) that plaintiff could move her arm somewhat, and that her movement and rotation in her left arm had reduced over recent months; 4) that plaintiff required supervision and was not the same since the collision and that the family tries to watch her as much as they can; 5) that plaintiff could walk unassisted on occasion, having good days and bad days.

Continue reading "Life-Altering Car Accident Leaves Sacramento Woman With Millions In Hospital Bills, Part 7 of 10" »

August 17, 2010

Bus Versus Car Accident Leaves Sacramento Man Catastrophically Injured, Part 3 of 4

The following blog entry is written from a defendant’s position as trial approaches. Reviewing this kind of briefing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident case and its proceedings.)

This case arises from two consecutive accidents involving the same bus, one at the intersection of Seminary and International involving the Universal vehicle, and one half a block away where the bus was driven into several residences across the street. Setting aside the issue of relative liability on the part of both drivers, the fact that only one police report was generated for both accidents is not probative of whether one or more accidents occurred. It is determinative that there was a relationship between the two accidents, as they both involved the same bus and that they were consecutive in time. For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Evidence Code section 352 gives the court discretion to exclude evidence if its admission will necessitate the undue consumption of time, or if its probative value is substantially outweighed by a substantial danger of undue prejudice, confusion of issues and misleading the jury. (Evidence Code §352.) Defendants respectfully request that any evidence of or reference to police accident report writing standards as determinative of the status of the accident as a singular event is only intended to mislead and prejudice the jury, and should thus be prohibited from mention.

Continue reading "Bus Versus Car Accident Leaves Sacramento Man Catastrophically Injured, Part 3 of 4" »

August 16, 2010

Car Accident Victim From Sacramento Suffers Catastrophic Injuries, Part 6 of 10

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this personal injury case and its proceedings.)

It is worth noting that situations similar to those described in this automobile accident case could just as easily involve the California Highway Patrol or the law enforcement divisions of any local municipality, such as Roseville, El Dorado Hills, West Sacramento, or Elk Grove.

THE VERDICT WAS SUPPORTED BY SUBSTANTIAL EVIDENCE

Defendant contends that a miscarriage of justice will be promoted if the verdict stands and further contends that the verdict is not based upon substantial evidence. Defendant's contention is plainly wrong for several reasons.

First, defendant does not challenge the finding of liability in this matter and is thus not entitled to a JNOV in that regard. Further, defendant suggests that because plaintiff’s experts were not aware of the sub rosa videotape at the time of their testimony, and that "sub rosa" videotape simply wipes away any and all evidence of injuries to plaintiff Sandra White. However, plaintiff presented evidence that was sufficient to "reasonably inspire confidence," and support the verdict, as such defendant is not entitled to a JNOV as to the damage award and defendant's JNOV motion should be denied in its entirety. For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Defendant Erroneously Contends that Plaintiffs Experts Relied on False Assumptions

Defendant argues that plaintiffs experts relied on false assumptions, including 1) that plaintiff was unable to leave the house by herself; 2) that plaintiff was unable to dress herself; 3) that plaintiff could not move her arm and needed shoulder surgery; 4) that plaintiff required 24-hour supervision; 5) that plaintiff could not walk unassisted; 6) that plaintiff would not be allowed to smoke; and 7) that plaintiff could not conduct a transaction by herself. Defendant suggests that the "sub rosa" video contradicts all of these alleged false assumptions. (See Part 7 of 10.)

Continue reading "Car Accident Victim From Sacramento Suffers Catastrophic Injuries, Part 6 of 10" »

August 14, 2010

Auto Accident On Sacramento Freeway Leaves Victim With Brain Injury, Part 5 of 10

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this personal injury case and its proceedings.)

It is worth noting that situations similar to those described in this automobile accident case could just as easily involve the California Highway Patrol or the law enforcement divisions of any local municipality, such as Roseville, El Dorado Hills, West Sacramento, or Elk Grove.

A party may rely upon "reasonable inferences" from the evidence to support a verdict. Hauter, 14 Cal.3d at 110. An inference is a deduction of fact that may logically and reasonably be drawn from another fact or group of facts found or otherwise established. Cal. Evid. Code, § 600; See also Ajaxo Inc. v. E*Trade Group Inc. (2005) 135 Cal.App.4th 21. Further, in evaluating a JNOV notion, any conflicting evidence is resolved against the moving party; and the party in whose favor the verdict was rendered is entitled to the benefit of every favorable inference which may reasonably be drawn from the evidence and to have all conflicts in the evidence resolved in his favor. Castro v. State of California (1981) 114 Cal.App.3d 503 (emphasis added); see also Fountain Valley Chateau Blane Homeowner's Ass'n v. Dept. of Veterans Affairs (1998) 67 Cal.App.4th 743. For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Further, a judgment notwithstanding the verdict can be sustained only when it can be said as a matter of law that no other reasonable conclusion is legally deducible from the evidence, and that any other holding would be so lacking in evidentiary support that the reviewing court would be compelled to reverse it, or the trial court would be compelled to set it aside as a matter of law. Moore v. San Francisco (1970) 5 Cal. App. 3d 728, 733-734 (referencing Palmer v. Agid (1959) 171 Cal.App.2d 271). A JNOV motion must be denied if substantial evidence supports the verdict. Begnal v. Canfield Assocs., Inc. (2000) 78 Cal.App.4th 66; Campbell v. Cal-Gard Surety Svs., Inc. (1998) Cal.App.4th 563; Palm Medical Group, Inc. v. State Comp. Ins. Fund (2008) 161 Cal. App. 4th 206, 218.

Continue reading "Auto Accident On Sacramento Freeway Leaves Victim With Brain Injury, Part 5 of 10" »

August 14, 2010

Police Reports Play Big Role In Sacramento Bus Accident Lawsuit, Part 2 of 4

http://www.moseleycollins.com/lawyer-attorney-1245027.htmlThe following blog entry is written from a defendant’s position as trial approaches. Reviewing this kind of briefing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident case and its proceedings.)

THE TRIAL COURT POSSESSES THE INHERENT POWER TO GRANT MOTIONS IN LIMINE AND SUCH MOTIONS ARE A WELL ESTABLISHED METHOD OF EXCLUDING INADMISSIBLE EVIDENCE

Clemens v. American Warranty Corp. (1987) 193 Cal.App.3d 444, 451.

A MOTION IN LIMINE MAY BE USED TO EXCLUDE ANY EVIDENCE TO WHICH COUNSEL COULD OBJECT AT TRIAL IS IRRELEVANT OR IS SUBJECT TO THIS DISCRETIONARY EXCLUSION BECAUSE OF ITS UNDULY PREJUDICIAL EFFECT

Clemens v. American Warranty Corp. (1987) 193 Cal.App.3d 444, 451.

THE COURT SHOULD EXCLUDE EVIDENCE THE PROBATIVE VALUE OF WHICH IS SUBSTANTIALLY OUTWEIGHED BY ITS PREJUDICIAL IMPACT OR HAS THE RISK OF MISLEADING OR CONFUSING THE JURY

Pursuant to Evidence Code section 352, the Court should weigh the probative value of proffered evidence against the probability that it will create a substantial danger of undue prejudice. (People v. Murphy (1979) 8 Cal.3d 359.) If the Court finds that the probative value of the proffered evidence is weak and a danger of undue prejudice is strong, then it should rule that such evidence is inadmissible. (People v. Stanley (1967) 167 Cal.2d 812.) For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Police Reports Play Big Role In Sacramento Bus Accident Lawsuit, Part 2 of 4" »

August 11, 2010

Highway Car Accident Leaves Sacramento Woman With Catastrophic Brain Injury, Part 4 of 10

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this personal injury case and its proceedings.)

It is worth noting that situations similar to those described in this automobile accident case could just as easily involve the California Highway Patrol or the law enforcement divisions of any local municipality, such as Roseville, El Dorado Hills, West Sacramento, or Elk Grove.

In its case in chief, the City presented testimony of its medical experts, Christine Jones, M.D, Barry Stein, M.D., and David Hernandez, M.D. The City's accident reconstructionist, Scott Black, also testified. Additionally, defendant City played for the jury a "sub rosa" videotape of plaintiff Sandra White. The defendant City, however, did not call its designated experts David Hall (economist), Gene Perry (life care planner), or Charles Small, Ph.D. (neuropsychologist).

The jury in this matter returned a unanimous verdict in favor of the plaintiff, Sandra White, in the amount of $6,872,001.00, $426,636.00 for past economic loss and $6,445,365.00 for future economic loss. For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

LEGAL STANDARD FOR A JUDGMENT NOTWITHSTANDING THE VERDICT

A Judgment Notwithstanding the Verdict ("JNOV") challenges the legal sufficiency of the evidence, essentially asking whether the evidence was sufficient to prove the claims or defenses asserted and now embodied in the jury's verdict. See Hauter v. Zogarts (1975) 14 Cal.3d 104; Clemmer v. Harford Ins. Co. (1978) 22 Cal.3d 865. For purposes of a JNOV, all evidence supporting the verdict is presumed true, making the issue whether the facts, when presumed true, constitute a prima facie case or defense as a matter of law. Moore v. San Francisco (1970) 5 Cal.App.3d 728; Fountain Valley Chateau Blanc Homeowner's Ass'n v. Dept. of Veterans Affairs (1998) 67 Cal.App.4th 743.

Continue reading "Highway Car Accident Leaves Sacramento Woman With Catastrophic Brain Injury, Part 4 of 10" »

August 11, 2010

Sacramento Man Files Lawsuit Against Bus Company For Accident, Part 1 of 4

The following blog entry is written from a defendant’s position as trial approaches. Reviewing this kind of briefing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident case and its proceedings.)

Defendants Clive White and Universal Rental Car’s Motion in Limine to Exclude Reference to Police Accident Report Writing Standards

Defendants Clive White and Universal Rental Car hereby move this court, in limine, before jury selection at the trials commencement for an order instructing plaintiff, his counsel, and each and every one of plaintiffs witnesses, not to mention, interrogate on, or in any other manner, convey to the jury whether during voir dire, opening statement, testimony, final argument, or otherwise, any reference to or evidence of police accident report writing standards as evidence that the two consecutive bus accidents that are the subject of this litigation actually constituted a single event.

It is anticipated that plaintiff and his experts will reference police accident report writing standards as evidence for his contention that the bus accident at the intersection of Seminary and International involving defendants vehicle and the following bus accident half a block away in which the bus ran into residences across the street, were a single event caused exclusively by defendant Williams. For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

One of plaintiffs accident reconstruction experts referenced CHP accident reporting standards to support his opinion that these bus accidents constitute a single event. Defendant contends that these were two separate accidents albeit they were consecutive and that they both involved the same bus.

Continue reading "Sacramento Man Files Lawsuit Against Bus Company For Accident, Part 1 of 4" »

August 9, 2010

Sacramento Woman Suffers Traumatic Brain Injury In Car Accident, Part 3 of 10

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this personal injury case and its proceedings.)

It is worth noting that situations similar to those described in this automobile accident case could just as easily involve the California Highway Patrol or the law enforcement divisions of any local municipality, such as Roseville, El Dorado Hills, West Sacramento, or Elk Grove. For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

As a result of the impact severity, Ms. White was knocked to the other side of the vehicle, despite her use of the passive restraint system within the vehicle. She was rendered unconscious and was in a coma for many days following the crash. She suffered a severe brain injury, cracked hip bones, a cracked skull and subdural hematoma, large lacerations on her head, a ruptured spleen, and many other related serious and life threatening injuries. She spent roughly the next two months in hospitals and in rehabilitation. Eventually she suffered gaping wounds in her buttocks, leaving her disfigured. Further, testimony was given that showed Ms. White was rendered permanently brain damaged by this avoidable collision.

Prior to this catastrophic car crash, Sandra White, a mother and grandmother, had a functional life filled with the typical array of ups and downs. Testimony was given that prior to this collision, Ms. White took care of her parents, enjoyed friends, and had relatively good health. She did have anxiety problems and, according to the experts, had mental illness in the form of schizophrenia. Yet she was functional and lived independently. Now, she needs help with most daily tasks and requires supervision. When she left the nationally renowned rehabilitation center in Roseville, California, Universal Trauma Rehabilitation, she developed many life survival skills so she could re-integrate into the world with the help of others. But she still was a danger to herself and others, easily confused, easily fatigued, and in constant pain. She requires assistance from skilled nurses.

Continue reading "Sacramento Woman Suffers Traumatic Brain Injury In Car Accident, Part 3 of 10" »

August 7, 2010

Sacramento Woman Struck By Cop In Auto Accident, Part 2 of 10

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this personal injury case and its proceedings.)

It is worth noting that situations similar to those described in this automobile accident case could just as easily involve the California Highway Patrol or the law enforcement divisions of any local municipality, such as Roseville, Folsom, El Dorado Hills, West Sacramento, or Elk Grove. For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

From his own testimony, Mr. Black froze, bringing his vehicle to a stop as it straddled the #2 lane (slow lane) on the Highway 50 westbound, directly in the path of travel of Officer Smith. Smith then slammed on the brakes and tried to steer away from the vehicle in his path by turning his wheel to the right, then skidding. Officer Smith left two parallel skid marks. Smith swerved and braked to avoid Black's Impala then slammed directly into the side of Ms. White's 1995 Nissan Altima. The impact was so severe, it crushed the vehicle to the midline of the occupant compartment; she was hit at 30-40 m.p.h. at impact. Only five inches of metal on the side of her vehicle stood between her and the oncoming battering ram of the front end of the police vehicle. For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

During the trial, counsel stipulated to the fact that Ms. White was not in any way at fault for the collision. The stipulation was read to the jury. The jury returned a plaintiff’s verdict, determining that Officer Smith was 55% at fault for this collision and that Ken Black was 45% at fault for the cause of the collision. Defendant has not challenged this finding by way of defendant's Motion for Judgment Notwithstanding the Verdict. (See Part 3 of 10.)

Continue reading "Sacramento Woman Struck By Cop In Auto Accident, Part 2 of 10" »

August 4, 2010

Speeding Law Enforcement Officer In Car Accident With Sacramento Woman, Part 1 of 10

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this personal injury case and its proceedings.)

It is worth noting that situations similar to those described in this automobile accident case could just as easily involve the California Highway Patrol or the law enforcement divisions of any local municipality, such as Roseville, Folsom, El Dorado Hills, West Sacramento, or Elk Grove.

PLAINTIFF'S OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR JUDGMENT NOTWITHSTANDING THE VERDICT

This opposition by plaintiff is made and based on the Memorandum of Points and Authorities attached hereto, the evidence presented at the trial in this matter, the reporters' transcripts of the trial proceedings, and upon such argument and further evidence as may be presented at the hearing thereof. For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

MEMORANDUM OF POINTS & AUTHORITIES

INTRODUCTION

On September 9, 2005, a completely avoidable high-speed collision between two vehicles occurred on Highway 50 at the onramp of Watt Avenue shortly before midnight. Sacramento law enforcement officer William Smith was rocketing down the road, eastbound, with two county probation officers in his vehicle, returning from a police matter in an unrelated incident. Smith was not authorized to be speeding, and he testified he had no right to do so. According to Smith, he was not driving in an emergency fashion, or otherwise permitted to be operating under "Code 3" conditions. Therefore, it is undisputed that he had, at all times relevant, an obligation to adhere to the same rules of the road as a motor vehicle operator as any other citizen.

Continue reading "Speeding Law Enforcement Officer In Car Accident With Sacramento Woman, Part 1 of 10" »

August 1, 2010

Sacramento Jogger Struck By Doctor's Car In Sidewalk Accident, Part 11 of 11

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this personal injury case and its proceedings.)

It is worth noting that situations similar to those described in this automobile accident case could just as easily involve any of the healthcare facilities in the area, such as Kaiser Permanente, U.C. Davis Medical Center, Mercy, or Sutter.

DR. BLACK’S RELIANCE ON CASES AFTER JUDGMENT OR VERDICT IS MISPLACED - PLAINTIFF NEED NOT PROVE THAT HE SHOULD BE AWARDED PUNITIVE DAMAGES AT THE PLEADINGS STAGE OF THE LITIGATION

Dr. Black relies on Ebaugh v. Rabkin, (1972) 22 Cal.App.3d 891, which is not applicable to plaintiff's First Amended Complaint. Ebaugh concerned the reversal of a jury's award of punitive damages because the evidence was insufficient to support the verdict for punitive damages against the employee and employer. There was also prejudicial error because one of the jury instructions permitted punitive damages against the employer if it found the employee was acting in a willful, reckless or wanton manner without regard to the employer's conduct in directing or ratifying the employee's actions. Id. at 895-896. Ebaugh does not apply to this stage of the litigation since it was an appeal of a jury verdict at trial. The standard for meeting the burden of proof to overturn a jury verdict is certainly different from the notice pleading requirements of California law. For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Dr. Black cites the following cases, all after judgment, verdict or nonsuit, which do not support granting her motion to strike since the cases do not concern the pleadings stage of litigation: American Airlines, Inc. v. Sheppard, Muffin, Richter & Hampton (2002) 96 Cal.App.4th 1017; Cloud v. Casey (1999) 76 Cal.App.4th 895; Tomaselli, 25 Cal.App.4th 1269; Mock v.-Michigan Millers Mutual Ins. Co. (1992) 4 Cal.App.4th 306; Roth, 185 Cal.App.2d 676; Fick, 98 Cal.App.2d 683; Spencer v. San Francisco Brick Co. (1907) 5 Cal.App. 127.

Continue reading "Sacramento Jogger Struck By Doctor's Car In Sidewalk Accident, Part 11 of 11" »

July 30, 2010

Punitive Damages Sought Against Sacramento Physician And Hospital For Car Accident, Part 10 of 11

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this personal injury case and its proceedings.)

It is worth noting that situations similar to those described in this automobile accident case could just as easily involve any of the healthcare facilities in the area, such as Kaiser Permanente, U.C. Davis Medical Center, Mercy, or Sutter.

PUNITIVE DAMAGES ARE PERMISSIBLE IN THIS NEGLIGENCE ACTION

The California Supreme Court has determined there are circumstances under which punitive damages can be awarded in unintentional tort actions. Potter v. Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. (1993) 6 Cal.4th 965, 1004. In particular, the Supreme Court has upheld punitive damages in cases of negligent driving. See Peterson v. Superior Ct. (1982) 31 Cal.3d 147; Taylor v. Superior Ct. (1979) 24 Cal.3d 890, 894.

In Taylor, the Supreme Court explained the availability of punitive damages to plaintiffs in motor vehicles tort actions:

A conscious disregard of the safety of others may constitute malice within the meaning of Section 3294 of the Civil Code. In order to justify an award of punitive damages on this basis, the plaintiff must establish that the defendant was aware of the probable dangerous consequences of his conduct, and that he wilfully [sic] and deliberately failed to avoid those consequences. For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Id. at 895. (emphasis added.) Taylor and Peterson are directly applicable to this case. Plaintiff's prayer for punitive damages, which is based on Dr. Black’s awareness of the probable dangerous consequences of operating a vehicle under fatigue and while asleep and her actions of deliberately failing to avoid the dangerous consequences by driving in a fatigued state, is undeniably supported by current California law.

Continue reading "Punitive Damages Sought Against Sacramento Physician And Hospital For Car Accident, Part 10 of 11" »

July 30, 2010

Court Must Evaluate Evidence In Sacramento Car Accident Case, Part 9 of 9

The following blog entry is written from a defendant’s position post-verdict. Reviewing this kind of briefing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident/bus accident case and its proceedings.)

Plaintiff's own medical expert, Dr. Levine, testified that the basis for his opinion (of injury) was only as good as the facts upon which they were based, i.e. the history and reports provided by plaintiff. As indicated above, plaintiff's reporting was replete with distortions and omissions, including but not limited to her failure to reveal to Dr. Levine a subsequent trip and fall for which she sought treatment with a chiropractor for four months. For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Finally, plaintiff walked with a prominent limp in front of the jury at all times during the six-day trial. She testified that her limp was always present, both in and out of the courtroom. She was then directly impeached with videotape, shown to the jury, depicting her walking freely and uninhibited, without a cane, just days before the trial commenced. Even without all the additional evidence as discussed above, the video evidence alone was a sufficient basis on which to conclude that plaintiff was not credible and was not truthful in claiming injury in this case.

After hearing all evidence discussed above, the jury held that plaintiff had sustained no injury as a result of the negligence of defendants. California law requires that, in order to grant a judgment notwithstanding the verdict, there must be "no evidence of sufficient substantiality to support a verdict" rendered by the jury.

Continue reading "Court Must Evaluate Evidence In Sacramento Car Accident Case, Part 9 of 9" »

July 28, 2010

Sacramento Hospital Sued For Car Accident Caused By One Of Its Doctors, Part 9 of 11

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this personal injury case and its proceedings.)

It is worth noting that situations similar to those described in this automobile accident case could just as easily involve any of the healthcare facilities in the area, such as Kaiser Permanente, U.C. Davis Medical Center, Mercy, or Sutter.

The First Amended Complaint does not contain mere allegations that the defendant's actions were carried on with willful and conscious disregard of the rights of others. In this regard, Brousseau v. Jarrett (1977) 73 Cal.App.3d 864, 872 and Grieves v. Superior Ct. (1984) 157 Cal.App.3d 159, 163 are inapposite to the present case. Unlike Brousseau and Grieves, Plaintiff did not merely allege that defendant's actions were "willful" or "malicious." Plaintiff refrained from making the sort of conclusory arguments that were scorned in Brousseau and Grieves, the claims for punitive damages in Brousseau and Grieves were not based on specific facts. In this case, plaintiff pled approximately 4 pages of detailed facts specifically alleging Dr. Black acted without regard for the safety of others in her operation of a vehicle while sleeping. For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

As alleged throughout the First Amended Complaint, Dr. Black was incompetent and unfit to safely operate a vehicle because she was fatigued. From her residency training, she knew that she was a foreseeable threat to the health and safety of the public if she drove in a fatigued or sleepy condition. She deliberately was disregarding the high probability that she would fall asleep behind the wheel and cause permanent harm to another person. Despite her acute knowledge of the high risk of injuring someone with the vehicle, Dr. Black consciously chose to drive home while in a fatigued, sleep-deprived and exhausted condition. For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Sacramento Hospital Sued For Car Accident Caused By One Of Its Doctors, Part 9 of 11" »

July 27, 2010

Multiple Experts Battle Over Injuries To Sacramento Accident Victim, Part 8 of 9

The following blog entry is written from a defendant’s position post-verdict. Reviewing this kind of briefing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident/bus accident case and its proceedings.)

Plaintiff still claims, in current moving papers, that her bus was "rammed" by defendant's vehicle. In sharp contrast, the jury was shown photographs, copies of which are attached, which clearly reflect that defendant's vehicle merely scraped along the left front cover of the bus. Further evidence established that no hidden or structural damage occurred to the bus. Damage to defendant's van was minor, estimated at approximately $100. Common sense and inferences drawn from such evidence allowed the jury to conclude that no injury would result from the impact.

Defendant called Dr. Edward Stein, a physicist, to reinforce the unlikelihood of injury. Dr. Stein convincingly and completely refuted plaintiff's claim of injury. He testified as to the force of the collision, and explained to the jury that plaintiff would have experienced a vibration in her seat inside the 40-foot bus due to contact from defendant's vehicle. Similarly, Officer Brown testified that plaintiff may have been jostled by the contact between vehicles, but that he did not believe that plaintiff could have been injured.

Medical evidence established that plaintiff originally complained of minor contusion type injuries immediately following the accident. By the time of trial, plaintiff's claims had expanded to include significant problems in her neck, low back, left hip, left buttocks, left thigh, left shin, left foot, left shoulder, headaches, and post traumatic stress disorder. Medical records prepared by plaintiff's own providers note that plaintiff was an unreliable reporter, and prone to misrepresentation, exaggeration, and inconsistent reporting of symptoms. Plaintiff's gross overreaching was made clear in evidence to the jury and undoubtedly contributed to erosion of plaintiff's credibility.

Continue reading "Multiple Experts Battle Over Injuries To Sacramento Accident Victim, Part 8 of 9" »

July 26, 2010

Injured Sacramento Car Accident Victim Seeks Damages From Doctor, Part 8 of 11

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this personal injury case and its proceedings.)

It is worth noting that situations similar to those described in this automobile accident case could just as easily involve any of the healthcare facilities in the area, such as Kaiser Permanente, U.C. Davis Medical Center, Mercy, or Sutter.

Since plaintiff's allegations are based on facts, not mere speculation, the present case is consistent with the decisions cited in defendant's moving papers, i.e., College Hospital, Inc. v. Superior Court (1994) 8 Cal.4th 704 [plaintiffs failed to plead facts regarding defendants' intent to injure or facts of vile or despicable conduct]; Colonial Life &Acc. Ins. Co. v. Superior Court (1982) 31 Cal.3d 785, 792 [a defendant may be liable for punitive damages if it acts with a conscious disregard of the plaintiff's fights]; Lackner v. North (2006) 135 Cal.App.4th 1188 [summary adjudication of plaintiff's punitive damages claim was proper since plaintiff's evidence failed to show defendant acted despicably]; Hilliard v. AM. Robbins (1983.) 148 Cal.App.3d 374, 391 [plaintiff improperly alleged a separate cause of action for punitive damages instead of pleading the. statutory language in the negligence and strict liability causes of action]; Cohen v. Groman Mortuary, Inc. (1964) 231 Cal.App.2d 1, 8 [plaintiff did not plead any facts relative to malice]; Roth v. Shell Oil Co. (1960) 185 Cal.App.2d 676; and Fickv. Nilson (1950) 98 Cal.App.2d 683.

Plaintiff has alleged that Defendant knowingly and willfully decided to drive home after working excessive hours on the night of the incident, in spite of residency training that stated operating a vehicle under those conditions was likely to result in physical harm. For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Injured Sacramento Car Accident Victim Seeks Damages From Doctor, Part 8 of 11" »

July 24, 2010

Reckless Behavior By Sacramento Physician-Resident Causes Car Accident, Part 7 of 11

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this personal injury case and its proceedings.)

It is worth noting that situations similar to those described in this automobile accident case could just as easily involve any of the healthcare facilities in the area, such as Kaiser Permanente, U.C. Davis Medical Center, Mercy, or Sutter.

PLAINTIFF HAS PLED SUFFICIENT FACTS TO ESTABLISH THAT DR. BLACK’S CONDUCT WAS DESPICABLE AND WITH A WILLFUL AND CONSCIOUS DISREGARD FOR THE SAFETY OF PLAINTIFF

Plaintiff seeks punitive damages against Dr. Black pursuant to Civil Code Section 3294, which states in pertinent part:

(a) In an action for the breach of an obligation not arising from contract, where it is proven by clear and convincing evidence that the defendant has been guilty of oppression, fraud, or malice, the plaintiff, in addition to the actual damages, may recover damages for the sake of example and by way of punishing the defendant.
(c)(1) Malice means conduct which is intended by the defendant to cause injury to the plaintiff or despicable conduct which is carried on by the defendant with a willful and conscious disregard of the rights or safety of others.
(c)(2) Oppression means despicable conduct that subjects a person to cruel and unjust hardship in conscious disregard of that person's rights. For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

As established above, under California's notice pleading requirement, plaintiff only has to plead ultimate facts sufficient to apprise defendant of the basis upon which plaintiff is seeking relief. Here, Plaintiff has sufficiently alleged that Dr. Black's actions fit within the meaning of C.C. § 3294. In unambiguous language, plaintiff has described Dr. Black's actions in paragraphs 14, 15, 29-32, 37-39 and 42 of the First Amended Complaint that amount to malice and oppression, i.e., despicable conduct which is carried on by the defendant with a willful and conscious disregard of the rights or safety of others.

Continue reading "Reckless Behavior By Sacramento Physician-Resident Causes Car Accident, Part 7 of 11" »

July 24, 2010

Multiple Victims In Sacramento Bus And Car Accident, Part 7 of 9

The following blog entry is written from a defendant’s position post-verdict. Reviewing this kind of briefing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident/bus accident case and its proceedings.)

LEGAL ARGUMENT

EVIDENCE AT TRIAL SUPPORTS THE JURY'S VERDICT AND DOES NOT MEET THE STANDARD FOR JUDGMENT NOTWITHSTANDING THE VERDICT AS SOUGHT BY PLAINTIFF.

California Code of Civil Procedure § 629 allows for a motion for a judgment notwithstanding the verdict and provides that the court "shall render judgment in favor of the aggrieved party notwithstanding the verdict whenever a motion for a directed verdict for the aggrieved party should have been granted had a previous motion been made." For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

In considering such motions, California Courts uniformly hold that such motions shall be granted only when there is no evidence of sufficient substantiality to support the verdict rendered. In Newing v. Cheatham (1975) 124 C.R. 193, the court held as follows:

A directed verdict may be granted, when, disregarding conflicting evidence, and indulging every legitimate inference which may be drawn from the evidence in fayor of the party against whom the verdict is directed, it can be said that there is no evidence of sufficient substantiality to support a verdict in favor of such party, if such a verdict has been rendered. 124 C.R. at 198.

Continue reading "Multiple Victims In Sacramento Bus And Car Accident, Part 7 of 9" »

July 22, 2010

Fatigued Sacramento Doctor Causes Auto Accident, Part 6 of 11

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this personal injury case and its proceedings.)

It is worth noting that situations similar to those described in this automobile accident case could just as easily involve any of the healthcare facilities in the area, such as Kaiser Permanente, U.C. Davis Medical Center, Mercy, or Sutter.

The majority of the new allegations in the First Amended Complaint describe the residency training that Dr. Black should have heeded in order to avoid causing the subject auto accident. Dr. Black was provided training at Central Hospital, prior to the incident, about the specific risk posed to the public by fatigued or sleep-deprived medical residents. The article "Extended Work Shifts and the Risk of Motor Vehicle Crashes Among Interns," published by the New England Journal of Medicine on January 13, 2005, was just one of many scientific journal articles offered to Dr. Black on the subject. For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

The collective information regarding Dr. Black's training is directly relevant to the action and establishes the fact that Dr. Black was acutely aware of the dangerous risks posed to the public, including plaintiff, by driving home in a fatigued or sleepy condition after being awake for a continuous 18 hours. Plaintiff has sufficiently, and with much detail, alleged the many ways in which Dr. Black acted with malice and oppression by willfully disregarding her relevant training on many levels. For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

The present case is highly distinguishable from Austin v. Regents of Univ. of California (1979) 89 Cal.App.3d 354, where the Court held, ... the allegations in plaintiff's complaint are purely conclusory.

Continue reading "Fatigued Sacramento Doctor Causes Auto Accident, Part 6 of 11" »

July 21, 2010

Sacramento Accident Victim Challenges Jury Verdict, Part 6 of 9

The following blog entry is written from a defendant’s position post-verdict. Reviewing this kind of briefing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident/bus accident case and its proceedings.)

At trial, plaintiff proved herself to be a poor historian who could not get her facts straight. She could not remember details of a slip-and-fall in a liquor store after the bus accident. She testified that she made no claim for the subsequent injury, but documents produced at trial proved that a claim was made against Hartford Insurance Company. For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Plaintiff exhibited a prominent limp during trial and used a cane at all times in the presence of the jury. She testified that she was unable to walk without a cane and that her limp was always present, in and out of the courtroom. However, four days of surveillance videotape of plaintiff taken immediately before trial began showed plaintiff walking without a limp and without a cane 3 of the 4 days. The only time plaintiff walked with a cane on the videotape was as she was coming out of her lawyer's office on the day prior to trial.

The jury was interviewed post-verdict by both plaintiff and defense counsel. Plaintiff's counsel asked a group of jurors why they ruled that plaintiff was not injured in the accident. One of the jurors responded, observation.”

Continue reading "Sacramento Accident Victim Challenges Jury Verdict, Part 6 of 9" »

July 20, 2010

Injured Auto Accident Victim Seeks Punitive Damages From Sacramento Doctor, Part 5 of 11

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this personal injury case and its proceedings.)

It is worth noting that situations similar to those described in this automobile accident case could just as easily involve any of the healthcare facilities in the area, such as Kaiser Permanente, U.C. Davis Medical Center, Mercy, or Sutter.

ARGUMENT

LEGAL STANDARD ON MOTIONS TO STRIKE

Motions to strike are not favored. Weil & Brown, Civil Procedure Before Trial, § 7:197. The policy of California law is to construe the pleadings "liberally" ... with a view to substantial justice. C.CP. § 452.

Plaintiffs First Amended Complaint meets the notice pleading requirements under California law. What is important is that the complaint as a whole contain sufficient facts to apprise the defendant of the basis upon which the plaintiff is seeking relief. Perkins v. Superior Ct. (1981) 117 Cal.App.3d 1, 6. Specificity is not required in the Complaint "because modern discovery procedures necessarily affect the amount of detail that should be required in a pleading." Ludgatelns. Co. v. Lockheed Martin Corp. (2000) 82 Cal. App.4th 592, 608.

The First Amended Complaint adequately informs Dr. Black of the damages sought and the legal bases for those damages. Since Plaintiff has met the notice pleading requirements, Dr. Black's motion to strike should fail on all accounts. For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

PARAGRAPH 32 SHOULD NOT BE STRICKEN SINCE PLAINTIFF'S ALLEGATIONS ARE FACT-SPECIFIC AND ESTABLISH IN DETAIL HOW DR. BLACK ACTED WITH MALICE AND OPPRESSION

Continue reading "Injured Auto Accident Victim Seeks Punitive Damages From Sacramento Doctor, Part 5 of 11" »

July 18, 2010

Doctor Claims Sacramento Accident Victim's Injuries Are Exaggerated, Part 5 of 9

The following blog entry is written from a defendant’s position post-verdict. Reviewing this kind of briefing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident/bus accident case and its proceedings.)

Dr. Jones's first report was written without benefit of review of medical records. In Dr. Jones's second August 27, 2002 report, following his review of records, Dr. Jones notes plaintiff's inconsistent and migrating symptoms as reported in records. He notes that records suggest multiple contusion type injuries during the accident. He also notes inconsistencies in the pain reported by plaintiff and plaintiff's reported contact with the interior of the bus during the accident. For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

In Dr. Jones's January 3, 2005, third and final report, following review of additional records, Dr. Jones notes that records reveal no anatomic basis for plaintiff's back pain or leg pain. He further opines that Dr. Levine's contrary opinions are unfounded and scientifically invalid. He notes that Dr. Cink agrees that plaintiff has no objective findings to support symptoms and states that Dr. Cink's conclusions regarding disability are significantly weakened by the disproportionate symptoms and paucity or absence of objective findings. The disability rating that he opined seems excessive absent any identifiable objective findings.”

Continue reading "Doctor Claims Sacramento Accident Victim's Injuries Are Exaggerated, Part 5 of 9" »

July 18, 2010

Pedestrian From Sacramento Hit On Sidewalk By Physician's Car, Part 4 of 11

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this personal injury case and its proceedings.)

It is worth noting that situations similar to those described in this automobile accident case could just as easily involve any of the healthcare facilities in the area, such as Kaiser Permanente, U.C. Davis Medical Center, Mercy, or Sutter.

PLAINTIFF HAS SUFFICIENTLY ALLEGED FACTS THAT ESTABLISH MALICE AND OPPRESSION ON THE PART OF DR. BLACK

Plaintiff specifically pled a variety of facts - not conclusions - supporting the allegations of malice and oppression against Dr. Black.

The following facts pertaining to Dr. Black's conduct were pled, providing sufficient basis for punitive damages:

At said time and place, Defendant Olivia Black, M.D. was driving the subject vehicle east on Oak Street. Defendant Olivia Black, M.D. knowingly and intentionally got behind the wheel while fatigued, sleepy and in an impaired condition, fell asleep while driving and drove the subject vehicle east on Oak Street and up and onto the raised sidewalk and struck the pedestrian plaintiff from behind. For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Defendant Olivia Black, M.D., failed to use reasonable care while negligently, and also wantonly and recklessly with malice and oppression, knowingly and intentionally got behind the wheel while fatigued, sleepy and in an impaired condition, fell asleep while driving and drove the subject vehicle east on Oak Street and up and onto the raised sidewalk and struck the pedestrian plaintiff from behind.

Continue reading "Pedestrian From Sacramento Hit On Sidewalk By Physician's Car, Part 4 of 11" »

July 14, 2010

Accident Victim's Injures Challenged By Sacramento Automobile Driver, Part 4 of 9

The following blog entry is written from a defendant’s position post-verdict. Reviewing this kind of briefing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident/bus accident case and its proceedings.)

Dr. Jones testified that there were absolutely no objective findings of injury at the time of his medical examination. He testified that references in his medical reports to plaintiff having sustained a strain/sprain injury in the accident were based solely upon history provided by plaintiff and not independent findings. For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

In plaintiff's moving papers, she cites Dr. Jones's July 18, 2002 report where he notes, "Ms. Perry merely sustained mild sprain, strain and contusion type injuries" as evidence that plaintiff was injured. As noted above, Dr. Jones testified that the diagnosis relied upon by plaintiff was based upon the medical history provided by plaintiff and was not supported by any objective findings on examination. The quote from Dr. Jones's report is essentially just Dr. Jones's acknowledgment that plaintiff gave a history of contusion and sprain/strain type complaints.

The overwhelming opinion of Dr. Jones was that plaintiff suffers "a clearly factitious pain disorder." "Factitious" is defined by Webster's Dictionary as "sham" produced by humans rather than by "natural forces"; or produced by special effort. Dr. Jones substantiates this opinion with numerous references in his initial report to plaintiff's exaggerated examination responses and inconsistent and nonsensical behavior at examination. Specifically, Dr. Jones noted that plaintiff was waiving her trunk forward and backward while sitting on the edge of her chair during examination, but later, during examination of the low back, she moved the same parts of her body as though she were writhing in pain .

Continue reading "Accident Victim's Injures Challenged By Sacramento Automobile Driver, Part 4 of 9" »

July 14, 2010

Sacramento Physician Falls Asleep While Driving, Then Strikes Pedestrian, Part 3 of 11

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this personal injury case and its proceedings.)

It is worth noting that situations similar to those described in this automobile accident case could just as easily involve any of the healthcare facilities in the area, such as Kaiser Permanente, U.C. Davis Medical Center, Mercy, or Sutter.

STATEMENT OF FACTS

FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS THAT SUPPORT PRAYER FOR PUNITIVE DAMAGES

On June 16, 2007, shortly before 1:00 p.m., plaintiff, a pedestrian, was safely jogging on the eastern sidewalk of Oak Street, near the intersection of Main Street, in Sacramento. Dr. Black was driving east on Oak Street. Knowingly and intentionally driving in a fatigued and sleepy condition, Dr. Black fell asleep while driving and drove up and onto the raised sidewalk and struck plaintiff from behind. Plaintiff flew violently onto the hood and smashed into the windshield, then onto the roof. (Id.) Plaintiff was carried approximately 59 feet east before being thrown off the top of the vehicle. (Id.) Dr. Black, while still asleep, then dragged plaintiff approximately 38 feet where she ultimately ran over him. For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Over the night of June 15-16, Dr. Black was working as a medical resident at Central Hospital in Sacramento, California, which is owned and operated by defendant Sacramento County Medical Center ("SCMC"). Plaintiff alleged that immediately prior to the incident, Dr. Black worked excessive hours, including, but not limited to, an overnight shift after inadequate sleep and without any rest. (Id. 15.)

Continue reading "Sacramento Physician Falls Asleep While Driving, Then Strikes Pedestrian, Part 3 of 11" »

July 11, 2010

Doctor From Sacramento Hospital Causes Horrific Car Accident, Part 2 of 11

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this personal injury case and its proceedings.)

It is worth noting that situations similar to those described in this automobile accident case could just as easily involve any of the healthcare facilities in the area, such as Kaiser Permanente, U.C. Davis Medical Center, Mercy, or Sutter.

Plaintiff also sufficiently alleged facts that established how Dr. Black acted with oppression by subjecting plaintiff to serious physical injuries in knowing disregard of his right to safety. (Id.) Given defendant’s training at Central Hospital, Dr. Black should have avoided driving home on June 16, 2007. For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Plaintiff's allegations supporting his punitive damages claims are not irrelevant or conclusory. The allegations set forth actual facts regarding Dr. Black's extensive training on how to acknowledge and avoid the dangerous conduct that gave rise to the present litigation. Facts establishing Dr. Black's training on fatigue and sleep-deprivation are directly relevant here.

Further, Dr. Black's decision to drive while impaired is no different than a person driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol with conscious disregard for the safety of others. Punitive damages are routinely pled in motor vehicle accident cases where the defendant was driving under the influence. See, e.g., Peterson v. Superior Ct. (1982) 31 Cal. 3d 147; Taylor v. Superior Ct. (1979) 24 Cal.3d 890, 894. In fact, plaintiff is clearly entitled to plead punitive damages under statutory and common law rights controlling his causes of action. Those include: Civ. Code § 3294; Potter v. Firestone & Rubber Co. (1993) 6 Cal.4th 965, 985; Taylor, 24 Cal.3d at 894.

Continue reading "Doctor From Sacramento Hospital Causes Horrific Car Accident, Part 2 of 11" »

July 10, 2010

Pedestrian, Van, And Bus Involved In Sacramento Collision, Part 3 of 9

The following blog entry is written from a defendant’s position post-verdict. Reviewing this kind of briefing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident/bus accident case and its proceedings.)

Photographs in evidence included pictures of the County Transit Authority Bus which plaintiff was operating at the time of the collision. Photographs revealed mere scraping damage to the left front corner and some damage to a protruding side view mirror. Repair estimates produced at trial revealed no structural damage to the bus.

Defendant called the owner of the van driven by defendant at trial. The owner testified that the only damage to the van was to the right side view mirror. He estimated damage at approximately $100. For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Defendants also called Dr. Edward Stein, a physicist, to testify with regard to causation. Dr. Stein testified that the force of the collision between the delivery van and the 40-foot bus would have resulted in plaintiff merely feeling a "vibration" in her seat. He stated that a glass of water on the dashboard would not have spilled as a result of he impact. He further testified that the bus would have only rocked slightly as a result of contact between the vehicles.

Continue reading "Pedestrian, Van, And Bus Involved In Sacramento Collision, Part 3 of 9" »

July 7, 2010

Sacramento Woman Injured When Van Collides With Bus, Part 2 of 9

The following blog entry is written from a defendant’s position post-verdict. Reviewing this kind of briefing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident/bus accident case and its proceedings.)

FACTS

This case arises from an accident involving a bus, a van, and a pedestrian, which occurred on November 13, 2002. Trial of this matter commenced on March 26, 2005, the Honorable David Black presiding.

Evidence at trial established that the subject accident occurred when defendant Smith swerved in an attempt to avoid striking a pedestrian, defendant Tina Greene. As he swerved, the front right comer of defendant Smith's van scraped against the front right corner of a city bus operated by plaintiff.

At trial, plaintiff claimed extensive personal injuries, including soft tissue injury to her neck and back, and wage loss commencing at the time of the subject accident and continuing to and ongoing at the time of trial. At trial, defendants Universal Cafe and Randy Smith denied liability, and asserted that the subject accident did not generate force sufficient to cause injury and that plaintiff sustained no injury as a result of the accident. For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

The jury found that Randy Smith was negligent but found that such negligence was not the cause of injury and damage to plaintiff.

Continue reading "Sacramento Woman Injured When Van Collides With Bus, Part 2 of 9" »

July 7, 2010

Sacramento Man Suffers Catastrophic Injuries In Car Accident, Part 1 of 11

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this personal injury case and its proceedings.)

It is worth noting that situations similar to those described in this automobile accident case could just as easily involve any of the healthcare facilities in the area, such as Kaiser Permanente, U.C. Davis Medical Center, Mercy, or Sutter.

Plaintiff Paul Wong’s Opposition to Defendant Olivia Black, M.D.'s, Motion to Strike Punitive Damages from the First Amended Complaint

INTRODUCTION

On June 16, 2007, at approximately 1:00 p.m. in the afternoon, defendant Olivia Black, M.D., fell asleep while driving her car and struck plaintiff, Paul Wong, as he was jogging on the sidewalk. Dr. Black caused Mr. Wong to sustain serious and permanent injuries, including: traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, thoracic spine fractures, left fibula fracture, multiple lacerations, severe abrasions (road rash) from his upper back, arms, knees, thighs and toes, and contusions. For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

As part of her training at Central Hospital, Dr. Black was taught about the dangerous probable consequences of operating a motor vehicle while sleepy, sleep-deprived, or fatigued. Despite the training, Dr. Black, who is to “do no harm” as a physician, left Central Hospital where she had been working and awake for at least 18 consecutive hours, and drove home in a sleepy and fatigued condition. She was significantly impaired and unable to drive anywhere safely.

Continue reading "Sacramento Man Suffers Catastrophic Injuries In Car Accident, Part 1 of 11" »

July 2, 2010

Sacramento Bus Driver Injured In Auto Collision, Part 1 of 9

The following blog entry is written from a defendant’s position post-verdict. Reviewing this kind of briefing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident/bus accident case and its proceedings.)

Defendants Universal Cafe and Randy Smith submit the following Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Opposition to Plaintiff's Motion for Judgment Notwithstanding the Verdict.

OVERVIEW

Plaintiff presented claims for personal injury over the course of a six-day trial. During trial, evidence presented established that plaintiff was making exorbitant claims as a result of a minor scraping contact against the front right corner of a bus she was driving. Evidence further established that plaintiff has exaggerated and misrepresented claims and facts throughout this case. For example, the jury watched plaintiff limp in front of them with a cane for several days, and then saw videotape evidence of plaintiff walking freely and uninhibited without a cane taken just days before trial commenced. Based on all evidence, the jury returned a verdict finding that plaintiff suffered no injury. For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Clearly frustrated at having been exposed for misrepresentation and deception, plaintiff now moves for a judgment notwithstanding the verdict, claiming that undisputed medical evidence establishes that she sustained an injury.

Continue reading "Sacramento Bus Driver Injured In Auto Collision, Part 1 of 9" »

June 14, 2010

Two-Vehicle Car Accident Results In Injuries To Sacramento Motorcyclist, Part 6 of 6

The following blog entry is written from a defendant’s position as trial approaches. Reviewing this kind of briefing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this automobile accident/personal injury case and its proceedings.)

Plaintiff testified at trial that he currently has pain in the left hip/pelvis area which he rates as a 3 on a scale of 0-10. He did experience more acute flare ups 1-2 times a year since the car accident he has been released back to work and has returned to Dr. Black, who has sent him to physical therapy and taken him off work for a week or two. Dr. Black testified that he expected plaintiff would have on-going pain for 3-5 years following the accident however, because it was already 3.5 years after the accident, he would expect that plaintiff will have the on-going pain for another 1.5 years. The jury's award for future medical expenses ($720) and future lost earnings ($4,250) were not substantial.

Based on the above evidence, the award of $190,000 for past pain and suffering and $80,000 for future pain and suffering was excessive and not based on the evidence presented at trial. A new trial should be granted.

In the Alternative, The Court Should Remit The Award.

As noted above. Code of Civil Procedure section 662.5(b) sets forth the procedure whereby the court may deny a motion for a new trial conditioned upon acceptance of a reduction of the award. In general, the trial judge has discretion to grant a new trial or the grounds of excessive damages, and it is the court's duty to grant such a new trial or provide for a reduction of a verdict if, under the circumstances, it believes the jury's award is excessive. (Bazzoli v. Nance's Sanitarium, inc. (1952) 109 Cal.App.2d 232.) For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading "Two-Vehicle Car Accident Results In Injuries To Sacramento Motorcyclist, Part 6 of 6" »

June 11, 2010

Motorcyclist From Sacramento Hit By Woman In Car Collision, Part 5 of 6

The following blog entry is written from a defendant’s position as trial approaches. Reviewing this kind of briefing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this automobile accident/personal injury case and its proceedings.)

LEGAL DISCUSSION

THE COURT HAS A DUTY TO SET ASIDE AN EXCESSIVE VERDICT UNSUPPORTED BY THE EVIDENCE.

A New Trial Should Be Granted Because The Award for Past and Future Pain and Suffering by the Jury Was Unsupported by the Evidence. For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

The Court has authority and the power in this case to reweigh the evidence independently from that of the jury to determine whether the past pain and suffering and future pain and suffering award was excessive.

Defendant maintains that the amounts award by the jury for past and future noneconomic damages is simply unsupported by the evidence. To that end, the evidence at trial demonstrated that plaintiff suffered only soft tissue injuries. Plaintiff testified at trial that plaintiff's CT scans and x-rays taken at the hospital following the car accident were all negative.

None of plaintiff's doctors testified at trial that plaintiff required surgery or that he would require surgery in the future. Plaintiff's past medical bills were only $15,221 and there was no evidence presented at trial to suggest that plaintiff suffered enduring, severe injuries or pain as a result of the accident.

Continue reading "Motorcyclist From Sacramento Hit By Woman In Car Collision, Part 5 of 6" »

June 9, 2010

Car Accident Leaves Sacramento Man Seriously Injured, Part 4 of 6

The following blog entry is written from a defendant’s position as trial approaches. Reviewing this kind of briefing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this automobile accident/personal injury case and its proceedings.)

Code of Civil Procedure §662.5(b) provides in pertinent part as follows:

In any civil action where after trial by jury an order granting a new trial limited to the issue of damages would be proper, the trial court may in its discretion:

b) If the ground for granting a new trial is excessive damages, make its order granting the new trial subject to the condition that the motion for a new trial is denied if the party in whose favor the verdict has been rendered consents to a reduction of so much thereof as the court in its independent judgment determines from the evidence to be fair and reasonable. For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

In deciding a motion for new trial on excessive damages, the court has the power (and the responsibility) to reweigh the evidence:

A new trial shall not be granted upon the ground of ... excessive or inadequate damages, unless after weighing the evidence the court is convinced from the entire record, including reasonable inferences therefrom, that the court or jury clearly should have reached a different verdict or decision. [CCP § 657]

In Horsford v. Board of Trustees of Calif. State Univ. (2005) 132 CA4th 359, the jury awarded one plaintiff $300,000 in economic damages and the second plaintiff $250,000 in an employment discrimination case.

Continue reading "Car Accident Leaves Sacramento Man Seriously Injured, Part 4 of 6" »

June 7, 2010

Sacramento Man Suffers Injuries After Car Hits His Motorcycle, Part 3 of 6

The following blog entry is written from a defendant’s position as trial approaches. Reviewing this kind of briefing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this automobile accident/personal injury case and its proceedings.)

THE VERDICT

The matter was submitted to the jury on February 5, 2008. On or about February 5, 2008, the jury rendered the following Special Verdict:

Past Medical Expenses: $15,221.75

Past Lost Earnings: $28,686.00

Future Medical Expenses: $720.00

Future Lost Earnings: $4,250.00

Past Pain and Suffering: $190,000.00

Future Pain and Suffering: $80,000.00

Total: $318,877.75

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

In light of the evidence that plaintiff suffered only soft tissue injuries from the accident and had only $15,221.75 in past medical expenses defendant maintains that the jury award for past pain and suffering in the amount of $190,000 as well as the award for future pain and suffering in the amount of $80,000 was extremely excessive, and unsupported by the evidence. A new trial is warranted under the circumstances.

AUTHORITY

Code of Civil Procedure §657 outlines the basis for granting a new trial. In pertinent part, it provides:
The verdict may be vacated and any other decision may be modified or vacated, in whole or in part, and a new or further trial granted on all or part of the issues, on the application of the party aggrieved, for any of the following causes, materially affecting the substantial rights of such party:

Continue reading "Sacramento Man Suffers Injuries After Car Hits His Motorcycle, Part 3 of 6" »

June 3, 2010

Jury Finds For Sacramento Man After Auto Accident Trial, Part 2 of 6

The following blog entry is written from a defendant’s position as trial approaches. Reviewing this kind of briefing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this automobile accident/personal injury case and its proceedings.)

Plaintiff next treated at Occupational Medical Center on July 14, 2004, with complaints of pain in the left thigh, left groin, pelvis, and left lower abdomen. He was diagnosed with a left thigh strain, left groin strain, abdominal wall strain, testicular contusion, left thigh contusion, chest wall contusion, and closed head injury. He was referred to physical therapy and placed on temporary disability. Plaintiff was evaluated again on July 19, 2004, at which time his complaints remained the same and he was to continue with physical therapy.

Plaintiff then waited more than two months after the car accident to seek further medical treatment, when he presented to orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Black on October 12, 2004, with complaints of pain in the lumbar spine, right buttock which radiated to the right foot, as well as pain in the left thigh and groin. He was referred to physical therapy. By a November 28, 2004 visit, it is noted that the physical therapy had improved his symptoms, and he was released to return to his job as an emergency responder for vehicles that are disabled on toll bridges, on or about November 29, 2004. Thereafter, plaintiff has only seen Dr. Black sporadically and returned to work at a physical job, with the exception of occasional flare ups where Dr. Black has taken him off work for short periods of time.

At the time of trial, plaintiff presented to the jury $15,221.75 in medical specials. For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Plaintiff testified at trial that he currently has pain in the left hip/pelvis area which he rates as a 3 on a scale of 0-10. He did experience more acute flare ups 1-2 times a year since he has been released back to work and has returned to Dr. Black, who has sent him to physical therapy and taken him off work for a week or two.

Continue reading "Jury Finds For Sacramento Man After Auto Accident Trial, Part 2 of 6" »

June 1, 2010

Sacramento Woman Fights Car Accident Jury Trial Verdict, Part 1 of 6

The following blog entry is written from a defendant’s position as trial approaches. Reviewing this kind of briefing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this automobile accident/personal injury case and its proceedings.)

Defendant Virginia Hall submits the following Memorandum of Points and Authorities is support of her Motion for New Trial or, in the alternative, remittitur:

INTRODUCTION

A new trial is warranted due to the imposition of excessive damages that were unsupported by the evidence. In the interests of justice, Ms. Hall's motion for new trial or, in the alternative, a reduction in damages must be granted.

BACKGROUND

This action arises out of an automobile versus motorcycle accident which occurred at 8:35 p.m. at the intersection of College Street and Ash Boulevard in Sacramento, California on June 12, 2004. Plaintiff was operation the intersection with Ash. As plaintiff entered the intersection, he collided with the 2002 Jaguar S-Type driven by defendant, Virginia Hall, who was turning left from southbound College Street onto eastbound Ash.

The matter proceeded to trial on February 2, 2008. Plaintiff testified at trial that following the accident with Ms. Hall, he stood up and walked over to the curb. When he got to the curb, he sat down and felt pain in his back, as well as pain and weakness in his left leg. For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Plaintiff was taken to University Hospital following the incident, with complaints of pain in his lower left extremity. Plaintiff did not sustain any broken bones from the accident.

Continue reading "Sacramento Woman Fights Car Accident Jury Trial Verdict, Part 1 of 6" »

May 23, 2010

Highly Improper X-Rays Demanded Of Sacramento Car Accident Victim, Part 5 of 5

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident/personal injury case and its proceedings.)

Moreover, the Notice of Independent Medical Examination of plaintiff expressly states: Further, the scope of said examination shall include and require a history to be given by plaintiff, as well as possible X-rays and any and all clinical and laboratory tests as required by the examining physician. Such X-rays are necessary in light of plaintiff's alleged orthopedic injuries and claim of post-trauma arthritis.

This is clearly improper and grounds for objection. As stated by Weil & Brown, supra, Questioning plaintiff regarding medical history? The statute mentions only a physical examination. Nothing is said about the right to question the plaintiff regarding his or her injuries or prior medical history. Id., § 8:1520. Other demands are improper (e.g., demands for a complete medical history). Plaintiff may object and refuse compliance. Id., § 8:1529.

As for X-rays, Weil & Brown is again instructive:

Limit on X-rays: The Discovery Act reflects public concern regarding excessive exposure to X-rays. It allows an examinee to avoid submitting to X-ray examination by giving the examiner access to existing X-rays of the same portion of the examinee's body. In such event, no additional X-rays may be taken without the examinee's consent or on court order for good cause shown. [Ca Civ Pro § 2032.520]. Id., § 8:1580.

Finally, one of the terms by which Plaintiff agreed to submit to the defense medical examination was that Plaintiff's counsel receives a copy of the report, including any record review, within five days of the Defendants' receipt of said documents. Defendants' counsel would not agree to provide a copy of any record review, but merely with a copy of the "IME report." This is clearly improper, as the plaintiff is entitled to receive a copy of the full report. CCP § 2032.610.

Continue reading "Highly Improper X-Rays Demanded Of Sacramento Car Accident Victim, Part 5 of 5" »

May 21, 2010

Sacramento Car Accident Defendants Demand Intrusive Medical Exam, Part 4 of 5

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident/personal injury case and its proceedings.)

PLAINTIFF'S OBJECTIONS TO DEFENDANTS' NOTICE OF MEDICAL EXAMINATION OF PLAINTIFF ARE WELL-FOUNDED

The relevant declarations and exhibits thereto paint a clear picture of the Defendants' intransigent refusal to comply with Code of Civil Procedure §§ 2032.220 and 2032.610, necessitating plaintiff's proper objections.

Plaintiff's Notice of Objection set forth objections to defendants' Notice of Independent Medical Examination, specifically that (a) the examination of a doctor chosen by the defense is not an independent medical examination, but rather a defense medical examination; (b) the date of the examination had not been cleared with Plaintiff or his counsel prior to its setting; (c) the statement defendant is informed and does not believe any clinical or laboratory testing will be necessary is ambiguous, as the statement must state that no clinical or laboratory testing will be performed; (d) x-rays as requested will not be allowed as said x-rays have not been shown to be necessary or indicated; and (e) the clinical and laboratory requests referred to in defendants' Notice will not be allowed as they are not indicated and such testing is inconsistent with the statement in their notice that "defendant is informed and does not believe any clinical or laboratory testing will be necessary."

The propriety of plaintiff's objection to calling the medical examination an "independent medical examination" or "IME" is obvious. Since the examining physician was chosen solely by the defendants and is paid by the Defendants, there is nothing "independent" about his examination of plaintiff, and to suggest by nomenclature that it is "independent" is deliberately misleading and deceptive. (Evidence Code § 352.)

Continue reading "Sacramento Car Accident Defendants Demand Intrusive Medical Exam, Part 4 of 5" »

May 18, 2010

Defense Medical Examination Request Causes Dispute In Sacramento Car Accident Suit, Part 3 of 5

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident/personal injury case and its proceedings.)

There is no statutory authority permitting Defendants to apply ex parte for an order compelling the medical examination of the Plaintiff, thus Defendants' Ex Parte Application for such an order is fatally defective. Additionally, since Defendants' proposed Notice of Motion and Motion to Compel, submitted concurrently with their Ex Parte Application, fails to state the time, place, identity and specialty of the examiner, and the "manner, conditions, scope and nature of the examination" as required by CCP § 2032.310(b), and also fails to include a separate statement of disputed matters setting forth the discovery request, the objection thereto and the reasons why an examination should be compelled, as required by California Rules of Court Rule 335(a)(6), it too is fatally defective.

It would be anomalous, if not absurd, to grant Defendants' request for an order shortening time to hear a noticed motion to compel that is, in and of itself, procedurally improper and defective.

Moreover, because the date noticed by Defendants for the medical examination of the Plaintiff, on October 24, 2006, has not yet arrived, Defendants' motion would in any event be premature because the issue has not yet ripened. Plaintiff has indicated to Defendants that he will submit to a defense medical examination provided that Defendants comply with the code sections governing medical examinations.

Continue reading "Defense Medical Examination Request Causes Dispute In Sacramento Car Accident Suit, Part 3 of 5" »

May 16, 2010

Sacramento Automobile Accident Victim Fights Intrusive Exam, Part 2 of 5

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident/personal injury case and its proceedings.)

Finally, defendants' Ex Parte Application for an Order to Continue Trial, Discovery Cut-Off and Time to Designate Expert Witnesses is without merit, as there is no reasonable basis for the relief they are seeking. If defendants would simply agree to conduct their medical examination of the plaintiff in conformity with the code requirements, there is no reason why the defense medical examination of plaintiff cannot proceed on October 24, 2006, thereby obviating the need for any continuance. If, on the other hand, defendants remain steadfast in their refusal to comply with the Code as it relates to the scope and conduct of defense medical examinations, their position can only be construed as a stalling tactic to avoid mediation and trial.

Such tactics do not warrant continuances that would be substantially prejudicial to the Plaintiff, who is prepared to participate immediately in a meaningful mediation in an effort to settle this case and, if necessary, to proceed to trial. The plaintiff should not be further prejudiced by Defendants' transparent stalling tactics. Accordingly, Defendants' Ex Parte Application for a Continuance of Trial, Discovery Cut-Off and Time to Designate Expert Witnesses should also be denied in its entirety.

A MOTION TO COMPEL A MEDICAL EXAMINATION CANNOT BE MADE EX PARTE; IT REQUIRES ADHERENCE TO NOTICED MOTION PROCEDURE

Code of Civil Procedure § 2032.250(a) states:

Continue reading "Sacramento Automobile Accident Victim Fights Intrusive Exam, Part 2 of 5" »

May 14, 2010

Sacramento Car Accident Victim Refuses Unnecessary Medical Exam, Part 1 of 5

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident/personal injury case and its proceedings.)

PLAINTIFF MILTON WHITE’S COMBINED OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANTS’ EX PARTE APPLICATION TO COMPEL INDEPENDENT MEDICAL EXAMINATION OF PLAINTIFF
MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES

INTRODUCTION

Defendants' Ex Parte Application to Compel the Independent Medical Examination of plaintiff, is both procedurally defective and premature, and should thus be denied in its entirety. Defendants' motion to compel cannot be made on an ex parte basis, but requires a noticed motion. Defendants' motion is also premature, as the date noticed for the medical examination of car accident victim plaintiff Milton White has not yet arrived.

Further, defendants' proposed motion to compel submitted with their Ex Parte Application is equally defective, in that it fails to state the time, place, identity and specialty of the examiner, and the manner, conditions, scope and nature of the examination as required by CCP § 2032.310(b), and also fails to include a separate statement of disputed matters setting forth the discovery request, the objection thereto and the reasons why an examination should be compelled, as required by California Rules of Court Rule 335(a)(6).

Additionally, defendants' request for monetary sanctions must be denied, not only because of the procedural impropriety of their Ex Parte Application, but also because the prejudice they complain of was visited upon themselves by their own dilatory conduct and their stubborn refusal to adhere to the statutory requirements governing the scope and conduct of defense medical examinations.

Continue reading "Sacramento Car Accident Victim Refuses Unnecessary Medical Exam, Part 1 of 5" »

May 12, 2010

Sacramento Man Suffers Back Injury In Car Accident, Part 5 of 5

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident/personal injury case and its proceedings.)

Plaintiff has a long medical history of complaints regarding his lower back, neck, and left leg. Plaintiff was involved in an automobile accident in 1991, during which he reported sustaining back and neck injuries. He received three months of orthopedic treatment following this incident. Plaintiff also reported experiencing back and neck pain after a September 1995 automobile accident. Plaintiff saw a chiropractor for six months following the 1995 incident. Plaintiff later was involved in a mountain bike accident in 2002 following which he reported experiencing back pain. He received five months of chiropractic treatment after the biking accident.

On August 2, 2003 -- just one year prior to the subject accident -- plaintiff was involved in a rear end automobile accident during which he purportedly sustained soft-tissue, lower back and left leg injuries. Plaintiff received five months of treatment for back and left leg pain. An MRI was taken on November 11, 2003, and revealed mild stenosis due to a disc herniation at L2-3 as well as a posterolateral extrusion at L4-5, which probably was hitting the left nerve root causing the dorsal and plantar foot pain in the lower left extremity. Plaintiff underwent three epidural blocks between November and December 2003. Plaintiff eventually settled the claim against the driver who rear-ended his vehicle through the driver's auto insurer.

After the subject accident in September 2004, plaintiff consulted with an orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Mick Greene. Records subpoenaed from Dr. Greene reflect plaintiff admitted his belief that the August 2003 accident was the inciting event for his current complaints regarding back and left leg pain. However, plaintiff claims he was essentially asymptomatic at the time of the September 2004 accident, and that the subject accident re-exacerbated his symptoms.

Continue reading "Sacramento Man Suffers Back Injury In Car Accident, Part 5 of 5" »

May 9, 2010

Employer Sued For Sacramento Automobile Accident, Part 4 of 5

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident/personal injury case and its proceedings.)

Miranda Towing has also been named as a defendant and cross-defendant based upon its position as the employer of Mr. Brown. Liability may be imposed against Miranda Towing under the permissive-user statute (Cal. Vehicle Code § 17150) and/or as the principal or employer of a negligent operator under the doctrine of respondeat superior. (See Vind v. Asamblea Apostolica, Christo Jesus (1957) 148 Cal.App.2d 597, 602-604.)

With regard to Vehicle Code § 17150, that statute provides that owners of a motor vehicle may be held liable for injuries to person or property resulting from a negligent or wrongful act or omission in the operation of a motor vehicle by any person using or operating the same with the permission of the owner. However, such liability is limited to the amount of $15,000 for the injury to one person in any one accident. (Cal. Vehicle Code § 17153.)

DAMAGES

Plaintiff's Claimed Injuries And His Extensive History Of Back, Neck, And Leg Pain

Plaintiff, who is 54-years-old, alleges he sustained injuries to his lower lumbar region and left leg as a result of the subject automobile collision. He claims he has pain down the left side of his leg to his foot, and pain in his left calf. He further claims he suffers tingling from his left knee to the bottom of his foot. He also complains of numbness on the bottom of his left foot.

Continue reading "Employer Sued For Sacramento Automobile Accident, Part 4 of 5" »

May 7, 2010

Injured Sacramento Man Sues Towing Company After Car Accident, Part 3 of 5

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident/personal injury case and its proceedings.)

The investigating officer could not make a determination of which party was most at fault due to the lack of physical evidence or an independent witness. None of the parties were cited as a result of the accident. The traffic collision report notes the parties stated that the driver of a red pick-up truck may have been a witness to the incident. However, none of the parties obtained the witness's contact information. Plaintiff confirmed during his deposition that he did not speak to the driver of the red pick-up truck after the vehicles pulled over following the multi-car collision.

Plaintiff commenced this action on September 9, 2005 by filing a complaint for personal injury damages against Mr. Lee, Paul Black, and Universal Market Service, Inc. Paul Black and Universal Market Service were named as the employers of Mr. Lee under a vicarious liability theory. Mr. White has filed Doe amendments to the complaint and named Mr. Brown and Miranda Towing.

On December 20, 2005, Mr. Lee, Paul Black, and Universal Market Service filed a cross-complaint for comparative indemnity and declaratory relief against Mr. Brown and Miranda Towing. An amendment to the cross-complaint named Miranda Towing.

On April 5, 2006, Miranda Towing and Mr. Brown answered the complaint and cross-complaint, and filed a cross-complaint for comparative fault, indemnity, and declaratory relief against Mr. Lee, Paul Black, and Universal Market Service.

Continue reading "Injured Sacramento Man Sues Towing Company After Car Accident, Part 3 of 5" »

May 5, 2010

Multi-Car Accident Injures Sacramento Drivers, Part 2 of 5

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident/personal injury case and its proceedings.)

SUMMARY OF THE FACTS

This matter stems from a three-car accident which occurred on September 21, 2004 at approximately 9:30 a.m. on the eastbound side of the 5 freeway in the city of Sacramento. At the time of the accident, Jack Brown was driving alone in the course and scope of his employment with Miranda Towing in a 1993 Chevy tow truck. Mr. Brown was traveling in the number five of six lanes eastbound on the 5 freeway.

Tony Lee was alone in his 2002 Ford Ranger and was in the number four lane on the eastbound side of the 5 freeway. Plaintiff Milton White was alone in his 1979 Porsche and was in the number three lane on the eastbound side of the 5 freeway.

Mr. Brown was traveling in the number five lane at approximately 60 miles per hour when a large tractor trailer started merging into his lane from the right. In order to avoid the merging tractor trailer, Mr. Brown activated his turn signal and moved his vehicle into the number four lane, which was occupied by Mr. Lee's Ford. Mr. Brown looked in his rear-view mirror and saw Mr. Lee's Ford prior to making his lane change and there was plenty of room for him to move safely. After Mr. Brown merged into the number four lane, he watched Mr. Lee's vehicle in his rear-view mirror.

Continue reading "Multi-Car Accident Injures Sacramento Drivers, Part 2 of 5" »

May 1, 2010

Sacramento Man Injured On The 5 Freeway In Car Accident, Part 1 of 5

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident/personal injury case and its proceedings.)

MIRANDA TOWING AND JACK BROWN’S TRIAL BRIEF

STATEMENT OF THE CASE

This lawsuit arises from a vehicular accident which occurred on September 21, 2004, at approximately 9:30 a.m. on the eastbound side of the 5 freeway in the city of Sacramento. The accident occurred when a Ford Ranger driven by defendant Tony Lee sideswiped a Porsche driven by plaintiff Milton White. Mr. Lee claims that he was cut off by a tow truck driven by Jack Brown which caused him to sideswipe plaintiff's Porsche, although the tow truck did not strike either vehicle. Plaintiff has sued Mr. Lee and his employer(s): Paul Black and Universal Market Service, Inc., Mr. Brown and his employer, Miranda Towing, as defendants.

Mr. Brown is not responsible for causing the accident. The evidence shows that the subject accident was solely caused by Mr. Lee. Just prior to the collision, Mr. Brown activated his turn signal and safely moved his vehicle from the number five lane into the number four lane. Mr. Brown looked in his rear-view mirror and saw Mr. Lee's Ford prior to making his lane change and there was plenty of room for him to move safely.

After Mr. Brown merged into the number four lane, he watched Mr. Lee's vehicle in his rear-view mirror. Mr. Lee continued to approach the rear of Mr. Brown's vehicle at a high rate of speed. As Mr. Lee reached the rear of Mr. Brown's vehicle, Mr. Lee applied his brakes suddenly and swerved into the number three lane, striking plaintiff's vehicle.

Continue reading "Sacramento Man Injured On The 5 Freeway In Car Accident, Part 1 of 5" »

April 17, 2010

Girl Suffers Brain Injury In Sacramento Car Accident, Part 4 of 4

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this brain injury/automobile accident case and its proceedings.)

Past Medical Expenses:

Sacramento Fire Department $ 798.00

Children’s Hospital Sacramento $ 26,430.40

University Children’s Medical Group $ 1,724.07

Doug Walters, M.D. $ 238.00

Paul Smith, M.D. $ 1,960.00

Advanced Imaging $ 85.00

TOTAL PAST MEDICAL EXPENSES $ 31,235.47

Future Special Damages:

As can be seen from the attached Life Care plan, Amanda also has a myriad of future care needs. The cost of future medical care totals approximately 2.8 million dollars to 4 million dollars in an apartment living setting, and 8 million dollars to 9.1 million dollars in a supported living environment. Additionally, Amanda's future loss of earning capacity totals approximately $488,753 to $1.7 million dollars depending on her educational level.

Maggie Smith

Maggie was located in the front passenger seat, fully seat-belted when the collision occurred. As a result of this violent crash, she sustained a cervical fracture at C-2 and rupture of the intraspinous ligament, which required HALO immobilization. She also sustained injuries to her shoulders and knees. Maggie is currently 53 years of age and will require a lifetime of medical care involving medications, diagnostic studies and arthroscopies of both shoulders.

Continue reading "Girl Suffers Brain Injury In Sacramento Car Accident, Part 4 of 4" »

April 15, 2010

Sacramento Family Facing Huge Bills Due To Car Accident, Part 3 of 4

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this brain injury/automobile accident case and its proceedings.)

Past Medical Expenses:

Sacramento City Fire Department $ 692.00

Childrens Hospital Sacramento $ 114,946.00

A. Cooper, M.D. $ 72.76

Sacramento County CCS $ 1,643.25

Freddie Segal $ 686.79

University Children’s Medical Group $ 16,566.67

TOTAL PAST MEDICAL EXPENSES: $ 134,607.40


Future Special Damages:

As can be seen from the Life Care plan, Alexa has a myriad of future care needs. The costs of such future care total approximately 10.9 million dollars to 11.7 million dollars. Additionally, Alexa will suffer 1 million dollars to 1.3 million dollars in lost earning capacity depending on her educational level.

Amanda April

Amanda was sitting in the rear driver's side of the car. Amanda also suffered a traumatic brain injury and was diagnosed with a right transverse temporal skull fracture. She sustained loss of consciousness and amnesia. Amanda's mental status deteriorated upon arrival via helicopter to CHS, where she was intubated. She exhibited altered mental status while at the hospital. Amanda was also diagnosed with a right clavicular fracture and a right 7th rib fracture. She was noted to have right ear hearing loss and had blood in her right ear canal.

Amanda has been diagnosed with global learning disability, language communication delay, attention deficit disorder, gross and fine motor skills disability, chronic intermittent cephalgia, and multiple additional neurocognitive deficits. (See Part 4 of 4.)

Continue reading "Sacramento Family Facing Huge Bills Due To Car Accident, Part 3 of 4" »

April 12, 2010

Automobile Accident In Sacramento Injures Family, Part 2 of 4

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this brain injury/automobile accident case and its proceedings.)

Just before the collision, Black was traveling at a minimum of 58 miles per hour in a 35-miles-per- hour zone. By the time Martinez saw and appreciated the speed of the truck, she had already committed to her left turn. At the last moment, Black applied his brakes to no avail, and smashed into the rear passenger side quarter panel of the small Audi that Martinez was driving. The collision was violent, causing the Audi to spin counterclockwise. The truck drove up onto the sidewalk on the west side of Mission, knocking over both a fire hydrant and a palm tree.

Black was cited by for violating section 22350 of the Vehicle Code (speeding) and paid a fine.

Mr. Black was acting in the course and scope of his employment for his employer, Automotive Group, which is liable under the theory of respondent superior.

DAMAGES

Alexa Martinez
Alexa was sitting in the rear passenger position at the time of impact, and she suffered the full force of the direct hit by the defendants' truck. As a result, Alexa sustained extensive facial and skull fractures, lacerations, hematomas and contusions. She was diagnosed with subarachnoid, intraventricular and intracerebral hemorrhages and contusions, respiratory failure requiring intubation, and she was bleeding from her right ear. She was unconscious and nonresponsive at the scene.

Continue reading "Automobile Accident In Sacramento Injures Family, Part 2 of 4" »

April 9, 2010

Sacramento Girl Suffers Brain Injury In Car Accident, Part 1 of 4

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this brain injury/automobile accident case and its proceedings.)

PLAINTIFFS’ TRIAL BRIEF

INTRODUCTION

On August 20, 2005, Tammy Martinez was driving her mother, Maggie Smith, and her two nieces, 19-month-old Alexa Martinez, and 5-year-old Amanda April, northbound on Mission Boulevard (Mission) in Sacramento. The weather was clear and sunny at the time of the accident. As Martinez approached the intersection of Mission and Hollis, she intended to turn left to go westbound. Mission is a two-lane, north/south street in a business district. Hollis is a residential street with one lane in either direction. The intersection is controlled by standard 3-phase lights. There are no left-turn pockets, or left-turn arrows. On this day, numerous pedestrians were walking in this business district, and vehicle traffic was moderate. The posted speed limit at the intersection is 35 mph.

Defendant Ralph Black was 18 years of age and was employed by Automotive Group as a used car salesman. He was in the process of selling a used Ford F-150 pickup truck to a customer. Black's manager instructed him to take the pick-up and get it filled with gasoline while the sales contract was being drafted.

Continue reading "Sacramento Girl Suffers Brain Injury In Car Accident, Part 1 of 4" »

April 5, 2010

Sacramento Woman Challenges Plaintiff's Auto Injury Claim, Part 3 of 3

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident/personal injury case and its proceedings.)

On July 6, 2006, plaintiff presented to Lee M. Messi, M.D. for a neurosurgical consultation. Dr. Messi wrote a report. In the report, it is noted that plaintiff stated he was involved in an accident and that he had a sore body, but his neck was the main symptom of pain. Dr. Messi reviewed plaintiff's MRI of his cervical spine and stated that the MRI shows "evidence for significant disc abnormalities at both C4-5 and C5-6." At the C5-6 there is a disc osteophyte complex and narrowing of the AP diameter of the spinal canal to 8mm. In addition, there is some right side neuroforaminal narrowing and possible impingement of the right C6 nerve root. At the C4-5 there is a central disc protrusion narrowing the spinal canal approximately in 9mm. In general the space diameter of the canal appears to be quite compromised with an average diameter of 9mm even in the areas where there is no disc abnormalities.

Dr. Messi recommended cervical epidural blocks and if this approach did not work, plaintiff may be considered as a candidate for a two level anterior cervical diskectomy and fusion at C4-5 and C5-6.

SPECIAL DAMAGES

Plaintiff seeks medical expenses, wage loss, and general damages.

1. Past Medical Expenses:

Provider Dates Amount Charged Amount Reduced Hanif Number

Kate Brown, D.C. Feb 8, 2006 $514.13 $0.00 $514.13

MRI Feb 21, 2006 $1,695 $0.00 $1,695

Lee Messi, M.D. July 6, 2006 $750.00 $0.00 $750.00

TOTAL $2,959.13 $0.00 $2,959.13

Continue reading "Sacramento Woman Challenges Plaintiff's Auto Injury Claim, Part 3 of 3" »

April 3, 2010

Car Accident In Sacramento Leaves Both Drivers Injured, Part 2 of 3

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident/personal injury case and its proceedings.)

On February 9, 2006, plaintiff returned to Dr. Brown with pain in his right arm and hand along with neck pain associated with the accident. Dr. Brown provided ultrasound treatment and myofascial release.

On February 14, 2006, plaintiff returned to Dr. Brown with pain in his neck which radiated to his right arm and hand. Dr. Brown referred plaintiff for an MRI at Advanced MRI of Sacramento.

On February 21, 2006, plaintiff had an MRI of his cervical spine at Sacramento Imaging Center which was read by Kenneth Dorham, M.D., who's impression was:

1. Mild to moderate anterior extraduarl impressions at the C4-5 and C5-6 levels as described. At the C4-5 level this is due to a small central disc protrusion, and at the C5-6 level, this appears to be due to a moderate broad based disc osteophyte.

2. Right sided neural foraminal narrowing at the C5-6 level due to bony hypertrophic changes.

3. The cord has a generally flattened appearance throughout the cervical spine and the AP diameter of the canal even where the disc appear normal is less than 9mm. This is likely developmental in nature.

On March 2, 2006, plaintiff returned to Dr. Brown with neck pain radiating into his right arm. Chiropractic adjustments were administered.

On March 16, 2006 plaintiff returned to Dr. Brown with ongoing pain in his neck.

Plaintiff treated with Dr. Brown from February 8, 2006 to March 16, 2006 for a total of 5 visits.

Continue reading "Car Accident In Sacramento Leaves Both Drivers Injured, Part 2 of 3" »

April 1, 2010

Woman From Sacramento Involved In Car Accident, Part 1 of 3

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident/personal injury case and its proceedings.)

Mandatory Settlement Conference Statement of Defendant Dina White

STATEMENT OF FACTS

This case arises out of a red light/green light dispute that occurred at the intersection of University Avenue and Green Street in Sacramento, CA, on January 22, 2006. Defendant, Dina White, was traveling in a 2002 Audi Quattro and came to a stop at University Avenue to make a left hand turn. When the left hand turn signal changed to green (an arrow), defendant proceeded to turn left. Plaintiff, Michael Owen, was traveling in a 1998 BMW 528i, eastbound on University Avenue and drove through the intersection on a red light. The passenger side fender and hood of defendant's Audi came into contact with driver's side front fender of plaintiff's BMW.

Besides these two drivers, there are no witnesses to this accident. There is no police report in connection with this case. Both vehicles were declared a total loss as a result of this accident.

LIABILITY

Plaintiff is at fault for causing this accident by illegally running a red light.

INJURIES AND TREATMENT

On February 8, 2006, plaintiff presented to Kate Brown, D.C. to establish care. According to Dr. Brown's initial exam report, plaintiff stated that he was involved in the accident when a Audi ran a red light and hit his automobile.

Continue reading "Woman From Sacramento Involved In Car Accident, Part 1 of 3" »

March 30, 2010

Surgery Needed By Sacramento Man Injured In Car Accident, Part 5 of 5

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident/personal injury case and its proceedings.)

Although Mr. Owen acknowledges the need for surgery, his personal obligations due to his wife's medical condition preclude him from pursuing a surgical option at this time.

In the absence of surgery, Mr. Owen is left with constant pain, numbness in his hands and fingers, and reduced range of cervical motion. This has not only reduced his ability to drive, but also his enjoyment of it. Where before the accident, he used to walk five miles each day, now, he can do a mile at most, with frequent breaks, and the attendant pain. Social activities as simple as hosting a barbecue for family and friends is now out of the question.

MEDICAL SPECIAL DAMAGES

Key Health (MRI) $1,695.00

Dr. Kate Brown D.C. $514.13

Dr. Messi M.D. $750.00

MEDICAL SPECIALS TO DATE $2,959.13

FUTURE MEDICAL SPECIALS

Two Level Cervical Fusion $80,000.00


WAGE LOSS

At the time of the accident Mr. Owen was self-employed by World Limousine Service as a driver. In that position, Mr. Owen earned $50.00 per hour, or $72,000.00 per year. As a result of the injuries which he sustained in the subject motor vehicle accident, Ms. Owen missed the eight weeks immediately after the accident. This wage loss alone is $12,000.00.

Continue reading "Surgery Needed By Sacramento Man Injured In Car Accident, Part 5 of 5" »

March 25, 2010

Sacramento Man Suffers Back Injury During Car Accident, Part 4 of 5

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident/personal injury case and its proceedings.)

An MRI was taken of Mr. Owen's cervical spine on February 21, 2006, at the Sacramento Imaging Center. This scan was interpreted as revealing:

1. Mild to moderate anterior extradural impressions at the C4-5 and C5-6 levels. At the C4-5 level this is due to a small central disc protrusion and at the C5-6 level, it appears due to a moderate broad based disc osteophyte;

2. Right sided foramina 1 narrowing at the C5-6 level due to bony hypertrophic changes;

3. The cord has a generally flattened appearance throughout the cervical spine and the AP diameter of the canal, even where the discs appear normal, is less than 9 millimeters.

Dr. Brown immediately referred Mr. Owen to Dr. Lee Messi for neuro-surgical consultation. Dr. Messi summarized his findings in a letter of July 6, 2006. Dr. Messi noted that Mr. Owen was then experiencing posterior neck pain with radiation into his right upper extremity. On examination, Dr. Messi noted weakness in Mr. Owen's biceps and triceps muscles upon dorsiflexion of the right hand, with decreased bicipital reflex on the right when compared to the left. Dr. Messi noted that Mr. Owen's cervical range of motion was restricted to 60% of normal. Dr. Messi reviewed the MRI scan and noted significant disc abnormalities at both C4-5 and C5-6. Dr. Messi concluded that Mr. Owen's symptoms were consistent with radiation from a C5-6 disc abnormality.

Continue reading "Sacramento Man Suffers Back Injury During Car Accident, Part 4 of 5" »

March 22, 2010

Two-Vehicle Automobile Accident In Sacramento, Part 3 of 5

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident/personal injury case and its proceedings.)

At deposition, Defendant also remembered telling the police what lane she was in. However, Mr. Owen distinctly remembers hearing Defendant tell the investigating officer at the scene that she had turned left "from the second lane," which would be a lane for through traffic. Mr. Owen remembers the officer repeating the question two or three times, and getting the same response each time.

Defendant has the burden of proof with respect to her allegations and her Affirmative Defenses, and Defendant's recall of events during her deposition make it impossible for her to prove: 1) that Plaintiff did anything whatsoever to cause the accident and/or 2) that she was proceeding cautiously in making her ill fated attempt at a left turn across oncoming traffic.

The accident was clearly caused by the negligence of Ms. White in either of two ways:

1. She jumped the red arrow for the left turn and attempted to squeeze between the gap in oncoming traffic in front of Mr. Owen.

2. She made the turn from the lane next to the left turn lane, having the green and seeing that same gap in traffic.

Ms. White therefore either ran the red arrow or made an illegal left turn. In either case she failed to lawfully yield to oncoming traffic in the intersection. Plaintiff has the burden of proving that the accident was caused by Defendant's failure to exercise reasonable and due care while making a left turn. Failing to make certain that the intersection was clear before turning left it was the negligence of Defendant in either version.

Continue reading "Two-Vehicle Automobile Accident In Sacramento, Part 3 of 5" »

March 20, 2010

Automobile Collision In Sacramento Leaves Man Injured, Part 2 of 5

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident/personal injury case and its proceedings.)

California Vehicle Code §21801 states in relevant part:

(a) The driver of a vehicle intending to turn to the left or to complete a U-turn upon a highway, or to turn left into public or private property, or an alley, shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles approaching from the opposite direction which are close enough to constitute a hazard at any time during the turning movement, and shall continue to yield the right-of-way to the approaching vehicles until the left turn or U-turn can be made with reasonable safety.

Even in the unlikely event that the traffic signal for Plaintiff had changed from green to yellow and then to red after Mr. Owen had entered the intersection, Defendant would still be entirely responsible for the collision and injuries. Vehicle Code §21451 states in relevant part:

(a) Any driver, including one turning, shall yield the right-of-way to other traffic and to pedestrians lawfully within the intersection or an adjacent crosswalk.

The finder of fact is likely to conclude that Mr. Owen entered the intersection lawfully, and at a reasonable speed. And that Defendant, either turning from a non-turning lane or from the left turn pocket, saw a gap in traffic created by Mr. Owen maintaining a reasonable following distance behind the vehicle in front of him, made an ill fated attempt to squeeze through this gap.

Continue reading "Automobile Collision In Sacramento Leaves Man Injured, Part 2 of 5" »

March 17, 2010

Sacramento Man Seriously Injured In Car Accident, Part 1 of 5

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident/personal injury case and its proceedings.)

Mandatory Settlement Conference Statement of Plaintiff Michael Owen

FACTS
This matter arises from negligence of Defendant Dina White in causing an automobile accident on January 22, 2006, at the intersection of University Avenue and Green Street in the City and County of Sacramento. Plaintiff Michael Owen was the restrained driver of a 1998 B.M.W. 528i proceeding eastbound on University Avenue. He was in the process of crossing the intersection of Green on the green light. He was free of any back and neck pain.

Defendant Dina White had been proceeding westbound on University Avenue in her 2004 Audi Quattro, and made a sudden left turn, directly into the path of Mr. Owen's vehicle. Ms. White said that she was proceeding slowly. Mr. Owen said that she was flying in such a manner that Mr. Owen was unable to avoid the inevitable impact.

Mr. Owen, now 58, is a former commercial airline pilot, and is now a limousine driver. In this accident he sustained neck and back injuries that can only be alleviated by surgery. Mr. Owen has also lost income because the constant pain from the accident injury makes it impossible to drive as many hours as he did before the accident, or to lift heavy luggage in and out of the vehicle.

Continue reading "Sacramento Man Seriously Injured In Car Accident, Part 1 of 5" »

March 14, 2010