Many injuries occur because of another party’s careless actions. From vehicle crashes to tripping accidents to dog bites, these problems result in a mountain of expenses and emotional distress for the injured – all because someone didn’t care about your safety.
If this has happened to you or a loved one in Southern California, you may be entitled to compensation for your financial and emotional suffering. Let Barrios & Machado help you. We are a personal injury law firm trusted by clients in Orange County, Los Angeles County, Riverside County, Ventura County, and nearby areas. Call or text us today at (714) 515-9696.
Common Accidents and Injuries in California
Hundreds of thousands of accidental injuries occur in California each year. According to data from the California Department of Public Health, these are the leading unintentional causes of non-fatal injury hospitalizations in the state in 2015:
- Falls – 107,282 cases
- Motor vehicle accidents (cars) – 13,258 cases
- Poisoning – 12,340 cases
- Motorcycle accidents – 5,209 cases
- Environmental accidents – 5,203 cases
- Getting struck by object – 4,926 cases
- Pedestrian accidents – 3,474 cases
- Other transport accidents – 3,159 cases
- Bicyclist accidents – 2,522 cases.
Accidents like these often lead to costly injuries such as fractures, neck or spine injury, traumatic brain injury, and amputation. Even injuries that seem minor may later develop into a bigger medical condition. A concussion may turn out to be a serious head injury, and a simple backache could actually indicate an acute injury to the spine.
Injurious accidents can also have a real impact on the victim’s mental and emotional health, such as in the form of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and anxiety. Though not as immediately apparent as physical cuts and bruises, these psychological injuries are recognized by science and the medical profession. They also require treatment, and sometimes, long-term management.
When A Negligent Party Causes Your Injury
If you or a family member suffered a serious injury, the huge costs of treatment and missed work can significantly hinder your recovery. You’ll want to get compensated by the person (or persons) who caused the accident. It is then crucial to establish how that party was negligent and how their negligence led to your injury.
Here are some examples of how someone’s careless actions can lead to a personal injury case:
Bad Driving Leading to Auto Accident
Everyone sees irresponsible drivers and their negligent actions every day. Speeding, running stop lights, distracted driving (especially texting while driving), improper turning, and failing to yield are common in auto accidents. As well as drunk driving or driving under the influence of another drug.
Sometimes, however, there are more complex factors in play. For example, one of the most common factors in truck accidents is driver fatigue, which results when truckers are compelled to drive long hours without resting, in order to catch up with their schedules. As a consequence, they operate their large vehicles while tired or drowsy, with diminished reaction times and decision-making ability.
In such as case, it is possible that other parties may be held liable, not just the driver. The trucking company, for instance, may be questioned on their driving safety policies and practices.
Premises Liability in A Slip-And-Fall Accident
Premises liability is the legal concept that holds property owners responsible for the reasonable safety of their guests. If a property owner fails to fix a hazardous condition in their premises, and a guest gets injured by this hazard, the owner may be liable to pay damages. Common scenarios of premises liability include:
- Slipping on a wet floor in a store or restaurant without a caution sign
- Tripping on uneven floors, potholes, or broken steps
- Falling on an icy pathway that the owner failed to clear
- Getting hit by a falling object at a store or construction site
- Drowning or near-drowning injuries in an unsafe swimming pool
- Falling from an unstable deck or staircase
- Inadequate safety measures at an amusement park.
Defective Product Causing Harm to User
Manufacturers and distributors may be held liable if their defective product harms consumers. They can also face legal action if they falsely advertised their product as safe, or if they failed to properly warn consumers of potential dangers from using the product.
This concept of product liability applies to a wide variety of scenarios. It can be a mobile phone user sustaining burn injuries from an overheating device. It can be a car driver getting chest injuries due to a malfunctioning airbag. It can even be a person who develops an infection or a cancer from using a pharmaceutical or cosmetic item. Numerous individuals and families have successfully sued companies whose products caused such significant harm.
Negligent Pet Owner in A Dog Bite Case
A dog bite case in California is unique in that our state has “strict liability” rules. Under California Civil Code § 3342, pet owners are legally responsible for their animals attacking a person, without that person needing to prove that the owner was negligent.
In states without strict liability rules, you would have to prove, for example, that the dog had previously shown viciousness, so the owner should already have known that it could bite. If this is the first time that the pet has attacked someone, the owner could defend themselves by saying it was completely unexpected as it has not happened before.
But since California is strict regarding pet owner liability, you don’t have to worry about this “one bite” defense. The owner can be found liable regardless of their previous knowledge of the dog’s aggressiveness. This rule also applies to owners of other pets or animals.
There are countless other ways another party can be held responsible for an injury. At Barrios & Machado, we are skilled and resourceful in establishing fault in an injury case, so that we can pursue the compensation you deserve.
Compensation You May Be Entitled To
How much might you receive in a personal injury compensation claim? This answer varies widely because it depends on the many unique factors around your injury. We look at severity of your injury, the circumstances leading to the accident, and your present and future monetary losses, among many others.
In general, there are two types of damages you may be entitled to. One is economic damages, which are the ones that have a quantifiable dollar value. Examples are medical bills, rehabilitation costs, lost income, and reduced ability to earn. The other type is non-economic damages. These are less tangible but still compensable losses, such as pain and suffering, mental or emotional distress, disfigurement, and loss of enjoyment of life.
It is important to examine all your losses to maximize your injury claim. A good personal injury lawyer should thoroughly investigate all aspects of your injury and skillfully negotiate for a suitable settlement. At Barrios & Machado, that’s what we do. We work hard to determine all the losses you should be compensated for, and to obtain a favorable settlement from the other party or their insurance company.
Free Consultation with Barrios & Machado
Whether your injury was from an obvious pet attack or a complicated road accident, don’t hesitate to call Barrios & Machado. We have effectively handled injury cases in Southern California, from the straightforward to the most complex. Our legal service has obtained favorable compensation for our clients, helping them return to the routine of daily life.
Your initial consultation with us is absolutely free and confidential. Call or text us at (714) 515-9696 today.