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Recover damages after a child is hurt or killed in a car crash

It seems impossible to go a day without hearing about a big car accident occurring in California. Victims of these events often feel that seeking relief for their losses is impossible. If children suffered injuries or died in a car crash, parents may feel achieving compensation for the resulting losses is particularly difficult. By taking the right steps, parents can seek maximum relief for their children and themselves.

How often are children hurt or killed in car accidents? What relief is available to them and their parents? What if parents are found partially at fault for their child's injuries or death?

Drugged driving can cause serious auto accidents

It's no secret that drunk driving is extremely dangerous. After all, it can have a dramatic effect on an individual's ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. While law enforcement, public interest, and government organizations in California and nationwide make active efforts to curtail the occurrences of drunk driving, there is another problem that all of us on the road are facing: drugged driving. Depending on the type of drug involved, drugged driving can be just as dangerous if not more so than drunk driving. For example, a hard drug like heroin can cause excessive drowsiness as well as thinking and memory problems. Even softer drugs like marijuana can dramatically affect an individual's ability to drive safely. Marijuana can cause delayed reaction times and disturb an individual's ability to accurately perceive distance, speed and time. Drugged driving seems to be becoming more common. A 2017 survey found that almost 13 million drivers over the age of 16 admitted to driving under the influence of drugs. Nearly 44 percent of motorists killed in fatal car accidents in 2016 were found to be under the influence of illicit substances. As drugs like marijuana tend to become more acceptable in society, and the opioid epidemic continues to grow, drugged driving will likely be a problem for years to come. Those who were injured in an accident caused by individuals under the influence of drugs may want to consider taking legal action in hopes of imposing liability and recovering damages. If successful, these individuals may be able to recover compensation not only for financial losses like medical expenses and lost wages, but also for emotional harm. To learn more about how to prove negligence in a drugged driving case, victims should consider discussing their situation with a qualified legal professional.

Assessing settlement of a personal injury claim after a car crash

For many in California, the thought of taking legal action is terrifying. The possibility that litigation may be involved can be paralyzing. Yet, those who are injured in a car crash face this very real possibility. This means that they need to be prepared as fully as possible for litigation if they hope to impose liability and recover compensation for their damages. However, before a case goes to trial the parties usually have the opportunity to sit down and discuss the possibility of settlement. By settling a case, a victim can acquire compensation for his or her losses while avoiding the stress and costs associated with litigation. Defendants, on the other hand, may want to settle a case to avoid the potential of larger judgments against them if the matter goes to trial. Before agreeing to a settlement, a victim needs to consider many things. For example, the strength of a case may dictate that it is in a victim's best interest to take the matter to trial rather than settle. This means that a careful analysis of the facts at hand needs to be made. Witness testimony needs to be considered and possible defenses that may be raised during trial also need to be taken into account. By identifying a case's strengths and weaknesses, as well as the likelihood of success at trial, a victim can better assess whether or not accepting a settlement is in his or her best interest. Although settlement is a very real possibility in most personal injury cases, trial preparation is often key to spurring resolution. Therefore, car accident victims need to go ahead and build a strong legal foundation so that they are in a better bargaining position at the negotiation table.

What are the elements of an auto part defect claim?

Consumers in California buy automobiles with the expectation that they are safe to operate on a daily basis. While this is generally the case, sometimes vehicle defects create situations where innocent motorist are seriously injured. These victims can face significant losses that are emotional, physical and financial in nature. This is why some of these victims choose to seek compensation through an auto product liability lawsuit. To succeed on one of these claims, an individual must prove three legal elements. The first is that the defective auto part was unreasonably dangerous. This characteristic may arise at any point along the manufacturing and supply chains. Therefore, a defective design may be enough to satisfy this element. So, too, may errors in shipping the auto part. Even an inadequate warning may be enough to show that the product was unreasonably dangerous. The second and third elements of an auto product liability claim are similar. The second is that the vehicle product in question was being used as intended at the time the injury was suffered. The third element is that the product was not substantially altered in a way that affected its intended use. Therefore, those who have substantially altered their vehicles may struggle to show that they were injured by a defective auto part, although it's not impossible. If these elements can be shown, then strict liability can be imposed. If successful, a victim will simply need to show the extent of the damages imposed upon him or her. It may sound easy enough to prove only three legal elements, but the truth of the matter is that defense attorneys have numerous strategies to try to combat these types of claims. Therefore, it is often wise for victims of defective auto products to seek assistance from skilled legal professionals.

Attorneys can assist with brain and spinal cord injury claims

Brain and spinal cord injuries are life-altering events. Sufferers are often left with impaired physical abilities, and some are rendered disabled for the rest of their lives. The emotional and financial toll placed on these victims and their families is nothing short of astounding. Those in California affected by brain and spinal cord injuries may find it hard to move forward, as the challenges awaiting them are enormous. Although hope of better treatment options are always looming on the horizon, these victims and their families should consider taking legal action if appropriate, in hopes of recovering the compensation they need to acquire the best medical care that is currently available.

Pursuing a personal injury claim can be stressful. After all, if you've been affected by a brain or spinal cord injury, then you have enough to deal with in your day-to-day life. That is why skilled legal professionals can prove beneficial. These competent individuals can go to work for you to build a claim that is strongly supported by the facts and the law. They can aggressively engage in settlement negotiations, participate in strategic jury selection and passionately advocate at trial.

Sleep-deprived drivers are as dangerous as drunk drivers

If you are like most California residents, you wouldn't consider getting behind the wheel after drinking. You know that doing so puts lives in danger. Drunk drivers' abilities diminish to the point where they may not even realize they have crossed over into oncoming traffic, run a red light or stopped in the middle of the street.

You already know this about driving drunk, but it may surprise you to know that you could end up doing the same things if you get behind the wheel when sleep-deprived. The fact of the matter is that drowsy driving is just as dangerous as drunk driving.

Child brain injury sufferers may develop neurological issues

Car accidents and sporting accidents can leave a child in Encinitas with serious injuries, including those that affect the brain and the spine. While these injuries can leave a victim with significant physical deficiencies, they can also cause long-term neurological problems.

A recent study found that children who suffer traumatic brain injuries have an increased risk of developing neuropsychiatric disorders. According to that study, these children are more likely to develop headaches, depression and intellectual and emotional disorders when compared to children who don't suffer a traumatic brain injury. The risk increase can be significant, too, including 16 percent of participants to the study developing intellectual disorders. In fact, only about approximately 60 percent of all children who suffer from a traumatic brain injury are expected to be symptom-free after five years.

Researchers replicate brain injuries to further treatment options

Suffering a blow to the head can leave an individual dazed and confused. Some people in California who experience this sensation shrug the matter off as symptoms fade, but in reality they may have suffered a brain injury. Statistics show that 2.5 million people suffered a brain injury in 2010, but experts suggest the number of actual brain injuries suffered per year may be much higher, because many people who suffer a blow to the head fail to seek medical treatment.

One reason people may be hesitant to seek treatment for a brain injury is because medical interventions in this area have stalled over the last decade and a half. Why? Simply put, it has been challenging for medical researches to figure out how best to study brain injuries without posing a risk of further harm to those who have suffered a brain injury. The difficulty has been that, until now, researchers have been unable to replicate brain injuries outside of the human body. Now, though, medical researchers in Georgia have found a way to take stem cells from mice and apply a chemical that replicates changes to the brain similar to those seen in brain injuries.

Rail industry slow to put safety measures in place

When you think about train crashes, you likely remember the same news stories others in California hear. Those accidents make compelling news, with miles of cars toppled across the tracks and hundreds of victims hospitalized or dead. What you may not realize is that train accidents occur across the U.S. every week, but only the most traumatic receive media coverage.

If you are one of the millions of riders who use trains for either business or pleasure, you may feel relatively safe inside the heavy, solid cars that carry you to your destination. However, any train is vulnerable to the most common cause of accidents on the rails: human error.

Kia and Hyundai vehicles may have dangerous auto defects

There are numerous components that make a motor vehicle function effectively. A defect in any one of these component parts can pose a serious safety risk. As a result, unsuspecting motorists can be injured in accidents or fires. It is for the protection of consumers that the law allows individuals to pursue an auto product liability lawsuit when their injuries are directly linked to a defective auto product.

Some may be able take such legal action if they have been injured by fires started in certain Hyundai and Kia vehicles. The Center for Auto Safety has urged the recall of more than three million Kia Sorrentos, Optimas and Souls, as well as Hyundai Sonatas and Santa Fes. The group claims that non-collision fires have started in these vehicles, with 220 already having been reported to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Yet, the NHSTA has failed to issue a recall. It claims that the matter is under investigation.

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