Tag: insurance claim

Serious brain injury: life will never be the same

doger stadiumOne year after a brutal beating in the Dodger Stadium parking lot left San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow in a coma, the former paramedic who suffered severe brain injuries now uses a wheelchair. He can respond to questions with a few simple, halting words and  has short-term memory loss. He needs nearly around-the-clock care.

Dr. Mayumi Prins, an associate professor in residence at the UCLA Brain Injury Research Center studies how metabolism is affected after a brain injury. She said glucose sometimes has a tough time getting to the brain. She compared a normal brain to a Los Angeles freeway. “There are divergent pathways but one main pathway that allows glucose to go through,” she said. “With a traumatic brain injury, there are detours and SIG-alerts.”

Tyler Sutton, 38, crashed his motorcycle in December 1992, then fell into a coma. “I used to be No. 1 on the Oxnard High School golf team. I had three or four girlfriends,” the Camarillo man said. “Now I can’t tie a tie. I have to have Velcro on my shoes.” Formerly right-handed, he’s now left-handed. He has to keep his right foot from dragging. “Sometimes, people don’t understand.”

TBI affects all ages, all ethnic communities, and all professions, but is particularly prevalent in young children and older people where it is now the leading cause of death and disability. Among older people, falls are the primary cause of TBI, and among younger people, car crashes and sports injuries are significant contributors.

People are becoming more aware of brain trauma, but it’s important to continually educate yourself.

“Since anyone can sustain a brain injury at any time, it is important for everyone to have access to comprehensive rehabilitation and ongoing disease management,” Dr. Brent Masel, National Medical Director of the Brain Injury Association of America said. If patients with TBI get proper medical care, they are less likely to experience medical problems, permanent disability, job loss, homelessness, suicide and even involvement with the criminal or juvenile justice system. ”

Bill Daniels is a trial lawyer and shareholder with the law firm of DANIELS LAW in Sherman Oaks, CA.  A graduate of Loyola Law School of Los Angeles, he is a former member of the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles Board of Governors, a founding member of Loyola’s Civil Justice Program and a past president of the Encino Lawyers Association.  Since 2007, he has been named a Southern California “Super Lawyer” by Los Angeles Magazine.  Mr. Daniels focuses his practice on serious personal injury, insurance and employment. For information, visit our website at www.daniels.legal or contact us through e-mail: Info@danielslaw.com.

A helmet keeps your head safer. Brain Injury Awareness month

woman who fell off bike
Wear a bike helmet!

Helmet fact: Did you know that once someone has a concussion, they are at higher risk for more concussions or other types of traumatic brain injury?  Be smart. Keep helmets on your kids, wear one yourself on a bicycle, while skating or riding a motorcycle.

In 2014, 242,931 children ages 19 and under were seen in emergency rooms for injuries related to riding bikes.  (Source:  Safe Kids Worldwide.)

Bicycle helmets offer bicyclists the best protection from head injuries resulting from bicycle crashes, and bicycle helmet laws have proved effective in increasing bicycle helmet use.

Motorcycle helmets provide the best protection from head injury for motorcyclists involved in traffic crashes.  Statistics tell us that helmets are 37 percent more effective in preventing motorcycle deaths and 67 percent more effective in preventing braining injuries.  (Source:  US Department of Transportation Fatality Reporting System.)

“Since anyone can sustain a brain injury at any time, it is important for everyone to have access to comprehensive rehabilitation and ongoing disease management,” Dr. Brent Masel, National Medical Director of the Brain Injury Association of America said. If patients with TBI get proper medical care, they are less likely to experience medical problems, permanent disability, job loss, homelessness, suicide and even involvement with the criminal or juvenile justice system. ”

Protect your brain! It’s the only one you’ll ever have!  Learn more.

Bill Daniels is a trial lawyer and shareholder with the law firm of DANIELS LAW in Sherman Oaks, CA.  A graduate of Loyola Law School of Los Angeles, he is a former member of the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles Board of Governors, a founding member of Loyola’s Civil Justice Program and a past president of the Encino Lawyers Association.  Since 2007, he has been named a Southern California “Super Lawyer” by Los Angeles Magazine.  Mr. Daniels focuses his practice on serious personal injury, insurance and employment. For information, visit our website at www.daniels.legal or contact us through e-mail: Info@danielslaw.com.

Everything You Need to Know: Injury Car Accidents

 

air bag deployedby Will Daniels

You’ve been involved in an injury car accident. You don’t have obvious injuries — you’re alert and aware. But what should you do? The following offers tips of everything you need to know post car-accident. Being well-prepared can make your post- car accident experience less stressful and will ultimately make any claims clearer.

Injury car accidents can be stressful and usually happen at the most inconvenient time. You can significantly reduce this stress by being prepared. The following are a few tips to help prepare yourself in the unfortunate event you are involved in an injury automobile collision.

Be Prepared.

You should stock your car with a few essentials. One way to always ensure you have these essentials with you in one place is to keep a vehicle safety kit. This can take the form of either a premade or homemade safety kit.

At a very basic level a vehicle safety kit should include

:

  • First Aid Kit
  • Tow Strap
  • Reflective Emergency Triangle or Road Flares
  • Jumper Cables
  • Flashlight or Headlamp
  • Spare Batteries for Flashlight or Headlamp
  • Water / Food (Enough to last 2 days)

 

You also want to make sure you keep important information in your glovebox. This includes: vehicle insurance information, vehicle registration, emergency contacts, health insurance information, note pad and pencil or pen. (A disposable camera is a great addition to a glovebox if you don’t have a cellphone with a camera.)

If possible, try to keep your cell-phone charged and located in a place easily accessible in the event of an accident. (Never attempt to use a cell-phone while operating a motor vehicle!)


Don’t Panic!

When you experience an injury automobile collision, it is not uncommon to feel a variety of emotions ranging from anger to extreme anxiety. It is important, following a collision, to remain calm. Always flip on your “hazard” lights and, if possible, move to a safe area.

You should only attempt to move your car out of the collision location if there are no other threats in the vicinity. If you are unable to move your vehicle, ensure that you turn on your hazard lights and stay in the vehicle.

iphoneOnce in a safe location, check to see if there are any injured parties from the crash and call 911, even if the collision is minor. The police dispatcher will instruct you if an officer is required to view the scene and make a record.

DO NOT leave the scene of the collision without exchanging information. Leaving the scene of an automobile collision in which you were involved, without exchanging information, may result in civil or criminal liability.

Once you have ensured that all parties involved are all right, immediately contact your insurance agent or provider immediately.

Document, Document, Document.

After calling 911, document the damage to all cars involved in the collision. This generally involves making notes about the identities of the other driver(s) involved, taking photos of the damage to ALL vehicles and securing witness information. Any discrepancies in the vehicle’s insurance, registration or driver’s information should be noted.

Take notes  (Super helpful tip: most mobile phones have a “Notes” app — input/type the following, rather than using pieces of paper which can either be lost or later prove to be illegible, due to haste, anxiousness, nerves, or a proper surface on which to write).

Make sure to note

  • the time
  • the specific location of accident
  • description of all cars involved

Also list, for each car involved:

  • Make
  • Model
  • Year
  • License Plate Number
  • Damage(s)
  • description of all individuals involved in the injury car accident, including passengers.

Photo Op

If you can, try and take a picture of all the above. If there’s ever a time to be snapping mobile phone pics, this is it — take many photos of both cars from every angle possible.

Make sure to exchange information with the other driver(s), including:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Telephone Number
  • E-mail
  • Driver’s License Number
  • Insurance Company
  • Insured’s Policy Number

 

It’s Almost Over.

Generally, if you have only sustained minor property damage, your insurance company will take care of everything and you should not have to talk to a lawyer. If someone is injured, you may need to seek advice from a lawyer on how to resolve any issues that arise from the incident.

 

Will Daniels

Will Daniels is a law clerk with the law firm of DANIELS LAW in Sherman Oaks, CA. A recent graduate of Loyola Law School of Los Angeles, Mr. Daniels is currently waiting on his bar results. For information, visit our website at www.daniels.legal or contact us through e-mail: Info@danielslaw.com

Legal duty to prevent personal injury on government land

man walking in park
The Government is immune for recreational use of their property.

What’s legal for the government?  

A person is injured when a tree falls on him while he is walking on a paved path.  He is injured on an “improved portion” of public property owned by the County of Yolo in California.  He sues for personal injury.  The case is dismissed by a judge.  The Plaintiff appeals.

The appellate court finds that under Government Code § 831.2 the County of Yolo is immune from liability because the injury is caused by a feature of unimproved property, ie., the tree.

Yolo County
Yolo County

The appellate court cites Government Code §831.2, which extends a statutory immunity to injuries caused by a natural condition of any unimproved public property. The court also cites Rendak v. State of California (1971) 18 Cal.App.3d 286, 288, 95 Cal. Rptr. 665, saying “further improvement of a portion of a park area does not remove the immunity for the unimproved areas.“

The appellate court finds that the County does not owe a legal duty of care to a person to prevent injury by unimproved land. Plaintiff’s injuries were caused by decaying natural trees located on unimproved property. So, a government entity is not liable for injuries resulting from a natural hazard even when it attacks someone on improved property.  (See Arroyo v. State of California (1995) 34 Cal.App.4th 755, 762- 764, 40 Cal.Rptr.2d 627.

 

Bill Daniels is a trial lawyer and shareholder with the law firm of DANIELS LAW in Sherman Oaks, CA.  A graduate of Loyola Law School of Los Angeles, he is a former member of the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles Board of Governors, a founding member of Loyola’s Civil Justice Program and a past president of the Encino Lawyers Association.  Since 2007, he has been named a Southern California “Super Lawyer” by Los Angeles Magazine.  Mr. Daniels focuses his practice on serious personal injury, insurance and employment. For information, visit our website at www.daniels.legal or contact us through e-mail: Info@danielslaw.com.

Distracted driving can hurt your company bottom line

looking into rear view mirrorThe National Safety Council today released the white paper “Employer Liability and the Case for Comprehensive Cell Phone Policies,” which details the potential liability employers face when employees are involved in crashes where cell phone use is a factor.

The research includes examples of employers who have been held liable with awards reaching into the tens of millions of dollars, including cases involving employee-owned cell phones and cars and in situations where employees were driving during non-working hours or engaged in personal phone calls.

“Business leaders owe it to their employees to put safety first – especially when employees are on the roads,” said Janet Froetscher, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration estimate on-the-job crashes cost employers more than $24,500 per property damage crash. The cost rises to $150,000 per injury and to as much as $3.6 million per fatality.

NSC president and CEO: “Employers should know a policy that prohibits handheld and hands-free cell phone use by all employees while driving is not only a best safety practice but also contributes to the bottom line.”

Even though April has been Distracted Drivers Awareness Month, distracted driving is still an everyday occurrence.  The news has reported that thousands of tickets have been issued to distracted drivers this month. You not only need to be aware of your driving, you need to be aware of the distracted drivers on the road with you.

Although distracted driving accidents may cost millions of dollars, the ultimate high price is the loss of loved ones. Drive alert, drive safe.

 

Bill Daniels is a trial lawyer and shareholder with the law firm of DANIELS LAW in Sherman Oaks, CA.  A graduate of Loyola Law School of Los Angeles, he is a former member of the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles Board of Governors, a founding member of Loyola’s Civil Justice Program and a past president of the Encino Lawyers Association.  Since 2007, he has been named a Southern California “Super Lawyer” by Los Angeles Magazine.  Mr. Daniels focuses his practice on serious personal injury, insurance and employment. For information, visit our website at www.daniels.legal or contact us through e-mail: Info@danielslaw.com.

 

Understanding Your Rights After an Auto Accident

firefighters fighting fireFor police, fire fighters and ambulance personnel trained to handle emergencies on a daily basis, car accidents are a daily occurrence; for them—and for personal injury attorneys— accidents are just another day at the office. For the rest of us it’s not that easy. There are some things you should remember that might not have been included in the driver’s manual you studied before getting your license. Here are some of your rights, as a victim, after an auto accident and what they mean:

smashed carYou always have the right to hire an attorney after an accident. Your insurance company has attorneys and their insurance company has attorneys. You have a right to consult with an attorney to better explain your rights after an accident. He or she can advise you as to whether or not you have a case, exactly who and what you can sue for as well as give you an idea of what kind of settlement you can expect. An attorney can also advise you as to time limits to file your case and possibly keep you from losing before you have even gone to court. In particular, if you are injured due to someone else’s negligence you have the right to sue for things such as:

  • Bodily injuries
  • Past pain and suffering
  • Future pain and suffering
  • Disability
  • Disfigurement
  • Mental anguish
  • Hospitalization expenses
  • Loss of ability to earn future money
  • Inconvenience
  • Property damage

You may also have the right to sue not only the driver of the other vehicle, but anyone else who may have been responsible for the accident. For example, if there was some defect to your car’s design or operation that caused the accident you may be able to sue the manufacturer.

You have the right to demand the other driver’s contact information such as driver’s license and insurance card, email address, and home, work, and cell phone numbers. This information is vital since not only will it allow you to be able to contact this person and his/her insurance company, but it will also be helpful if the other party is hiding the fact that he/she does not have insurance.

You have the right to take as many photos as you can. These days everyone has a camera within reach at nearly all times. Take pictures of the damage done to both cars and the area around the accident as well as any physical injuries. These photos can serve as invaluable tools in any future legal action.

You have the right to obtain the police report of the incident. Before the officer leaves the scene ask for his/her contact information such as badge number, name and department. Also ask for the reference or service number of the report. It should be made available to you after a few days.

You have a right to not make incriminating statements to the other party’s insurance company such as “It was my fault” or “I’m sorry.” The other party’s insurance is not your advocate. They are looking for admissions of guilt/liability and for reasons to deny your claim. You could end up saying something that could damage your case. A serious personal injury attorney in Los Angeles such as Daniels Law can communicate with the other party’s insurance.

For most of us accidents are a confusing time that tests our abilities at crisis management and also test our common sense and judgment.

Bill Daniels is a trial lawyer and shareholder with the law firm of DANIELS LAW in Sherman Oaks, CA.  A graduate of Loyola Law School of Los Angeles, he is a former member of the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles Board of Governors, a founding member of Loyola’s Civil Justice Program and a past president of the Encino Lawyers Association.  Since 2007, he has been named a Southern California “Super Lawyer” by Los Angeles Magazine.  Mr. Daniels focuses his practice on serious personal injury, insurance and employment. For information, visit our website at www.daniels.legal or contact us through e-mail: Info@danielslaw.com.

23004.1 Recovery for care and treatment provided person injured or diseased by‏….

California Government Code section 23004.1 (see below) creates a sort of “super-lien” in personal injury cases.  It pops up when a county provides medical services, so watch out for this if that is your situation.

If there are county provided medical services in connection with a personal injury case, then the county has a lien against any settlement or judgment proceeds that may not even require it to reduce its claim in proportion to the attorneys fees and costs incurred to recover the money (what we call the “common fund doctrine”).

 

Bill Daniels is a trial lawyer and shareholder with the law firm of DANIELS LAW in Sherman Oaks, CA.  A graduate of Loyola Law School of Los Angeles, he is a former member of the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles Board of Governors, a founding member of Loyola’s Civil Justice Program and a past president of the Encino Lawyers Association.  Since 2007, he has been named a Southern California “Super Lawyer” by Los Angeles Magazine.  Mr. Daniels focuses his practice on serious personal injury, insurance and employment. For information, visit our website at www.daniels.legal or contact us through e-mail: Info@danielslaw.com.

 

23004.1. (a) Subject to the provisions of Section 23004.3, in any case in which the county is authorized or required by law to furnish hospital, medical, surgical, or dental care and treatment, including prostheses and medical appliances, to a person who is injured or suffers a disease, under circumstances creating a tort liability upon some third person to pay damages therefor, the county shall have a right to recover from said third person the reasonable value of the care and treatment so furnished or to be furnished, or shall, as to this right, be subrogated to any right or claim that the injured or diseased person, his guardian, personal representative, estate, or survivors has against such third person to the extent of the reasonable value of the care and treatment so furnished or to be furnished.

(b) The county may, to enforce such rights, institute and prosecute legal proceedings against the third person who is liable for the injury or disease in the appropriate court, either in its own name or in the name of the injured person, his guardian, personal representative, estate, or survivors. Such action shall be commenced within the period prescribed in Section 340 of the Code of Civil Procedure. In the event that the injured person, his guardian, personal representative, estate, survivors, or either of them brings an action for damages against the third person who is liable for the injury or disease, the county s right of action shall abate during the pendency of such action, and continue as a first lien against any judgment recovered by the injured or diseased person, his guardian, personal representative, estate, or survivors, against the third person who is liable for the injury or disease, to the extent of the reasonable value of the care and treatment so furnished or to be furnished. When the third person who is liable is insured, the county shall notify the third person s insurer, when known to the county, in writing of the lien within 30 days following the filing of the action by the injured or diseased person, his guardian, personal representative, estate, or survivors, against the third person who is liable for the injury or disease; provided, however, that failure to so notify the insurer shall not prejudice the claim or cause of action of the injured or diseased person, his guardian, personal representative, estate, or survivors, or the county.

(Added by Stats. 1967, Ch. 1495.)

Wildfires and Personal Injury

Wildfires are a very dangerous and real problem in California. In such a dry state wildfires can start for a number of reasons. Some wildfires are caused by lightning striking in the wrong place at the wrong time, some are caused by problems with utility company equipment, some are caused by controlled fires burning out of control and some are caused by human error or some act of negligence. Regardless of the cause, the bottom line is this: Wildfires can and do happen; and when they strike, the fallout can be devastating.

Wildfires that burn in or near populated areas can cause some extensive damage; if you live in one of these areas you are at risk of potential property damage, personal injury (such as smoke inhalation or severe burns) or even death. For those affected by such fires, the aftermath can be absolutely heartbreaking. This is why when dealing with the negative impacts caused by wildfires—such as the one that burned near Shaver Lake earlier this year—it should be handled with the utmost care and respect.

If you and/or your loved ones find yourselves trying to figure out how to deal with the fallout after losing your home or being injured in a California Wildfire, Daniels Law is here to help. We are very invested in the wellbeing of those who have been negatively affected by the wildfires that have raged here in California recently, so at Daniels Law you’ll be sure to find the best Los Angeles personal injury lawyer to handle your case. Give us a call today to discuss all of your options.

 

Bill Daniels is a trial lawyer and shareholder with the law firm of DANIELS LAW in Sherman Oaks, CA.  A graduate of Loyola Law School of Los Angeles, he is a former member of the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles Board of Governors, a founding member of Loyola’s Civil Justice Program and a past president of the Encino Lawyers Association.  Since 2007, he has been named a Southern California “Super Lawyer” by Los Angeles Magazine.  Mr. Daniels focuses his practice on serious personal injury, insurance and employment. For information, visit our website at www.daniels.legal or contact us through e-mail: Info@danielslaw.com.

California Personal Injury Law: The Basics

Personal injury is a much nuanced area of the law; in the state of California this is particularly so. However, even though many aspects of personal injury law vary from state to state, there are some commonalities. In general, all personal injury attorneys handle tort laws cases and provide legal representation to persons who claim to have been physically, psychologically, or financially injured due to the action of another person. These types of cases could involve anything from medical malpractice to defective products to bike and car accident, etc.

What are Personal Injuries?

In California, personal injuries are divided into three categories that determine whether the “threshold” has been met – Intentional, Negligence and Strict Liability. In cases of negligence, several things must be proven (1) a duty was owed to another, (2) that duty must have been breached in some way or another, (3) that breach must be both the actual and proximate cause of injury (4) there must be some degree of damages. Strict liability is where an individual is liable whether the conduct was intentional or negligent. Finally, intentional is where someone intended the injury that occurred

The Statute of Limitation

The statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim in the state of California is two years. For medical malpractice the limit is three years. In California, if you believe you have a case it is crucial that you find a personal injury attorney in California who can advise you as to your rights. If you have waited too long to file, it could mean the end of your case before it even begins.

Injury and Damage Limits

Damages awarded to victims of personal injuries in California fall into two basic categories – economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages are out-of-pocket damages that can be documented such as medical bills, medical expenses, car repair bills, etc. On the other hand, non-economic damages are of an intangible nature. This covers things like pain and suffering, inconvenience, etc.

Before you hire an attorney, make sure that he/she is familiar with the applicable laws in your state. At Daniels Law you can retain the best California litigation attorney to familiarize you with all aspects of personal injury law in California. Our offices can provide you with a Los Angeles attorney who has the necessary knowledge and skills that could mean the difference between winning and losing or even getting your case to court.

 

Bill Daniels is a trial lawyer and shareholder with the law firm of DANIELS LAW in Sherman Oaks, CA.  A graduate of Loyola Law School of Los Angeles, he is a former member of the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles Board of Governors, a founding member of Loyola’s Civil Justice Program and a past president of the Encino Lawyers Association.  Since 2007, he has been named a Southern California “Super Lawyer” by Los Angeles Magazine.  Mr. Daniels focuses his practice on serious personal injury, insurance and employment. For information, visit our website at www.daniels.legal or contact us through e-mail: Info@danielslaw.com.

 

Sexual Harassment: Everything You Need to Know

Here at Daniels Law, we make it a point to stay on top of all things employment law… In July of 2015 a New York jury awarded workers at Moreno Farms $17.4 million in a case of sexual harassment. Several female migrant workers accused male employees of groping and in some cases raping them. In June of 2015 a Manhattan federal court awarded Hanna Bouveng $18 million for Wall St. CEO Benjamin Wey’s sexual harassment and online smears. Finally, just this past December a Chicago jury awarded $2.4 million to an African-American butcher who alleged 5 years of sexual, racial harassment at a South Side grocer.

The last alleged victim was a male. Despite the countless seminars, courses and employment manuals available on the subject, the scourge of sexual harassment goes on undeterred by verdicts of this kind. Thus, no worker – male or female – can assume that their workplace is immune to this kind of illegal and disreputable behavior.

The question is, why does this behavior continue to permeate all kinds of workplaces in all industries and professions? Is it due to simple human nature? Is it due to vagaries of the laws concerning sexual harassment as some people believe? Whatever the reasons are, it is the moral and legal obligation of workplaces to do their best to make the workplace safe from sexual harassment.

Sexual Harassment: A Definition

Sexual occurs when: submission to inappropriate conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term of condition of employment (2) submission to or rejection of inappropriate conduct is used as a basis for employment decisions affecting the individual or (3) conduct unreasonably interferes with the individual’s performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment. Sexual harassment is gender neutral in that either sex can be victims. Behavior constituting sexual harassment includes:

  • Unwelcome sexual advances,
  • Requests for sexual favors
  • Other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.

Most employers have a stated guidelines regarding sexual harassment and many conduct training and seminars to re-enforce their position against this illegal and unethical practice. It is the employer’s obligation to do his/her best to provide a safe environment free of harassment for its employees and employees themselves are obliged to know and adhere to these policies. Nevertheless, sexual harassment continues to rear its ugly head in many work environments. And when it does, workers have a right to make a complaint to HR and/or to the EEOC.

Often, however, private legal counsel is the only recourse a worker who feels he or she is the victim of harassment has.  If you are in the Encino, CA and surrounding area and you believe that you are the victim of sexual harassment or workplace discrimination you can see an Encino lawyer who will evaluate your case. Our Los Angeles employment law firm can help you understand your rights in cases of harassment and ultimately what compensation you may be entitled to. Simply because sexual harassment is still pervasive in our society doesn’t mean there aren’t tools to fight against this plight.

Bill Daniels is a trial lawyer and shareholder with the law firm of DANIELS LAW in Sherman Oaks, CA.  A graduate of Loyola Law School of Los Angeles, he is a former member of the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles Board of Governors, a founding member of Loyola’s Civil Justice Program and a past president of the Encino Lawyers Association.  Since 2007, he has been named a Southern California “Super Lawyer” by Los Angeles Magazine.  Mr. Daniels focuses his practice on serious personal injury, insurance and employment. For information, visit our website at www.daniels.legal or contact us through e-mail: Info@danielslaw.com.