Category Archives: Damages

Questions to inquire about prior to hiring an Attorney or Lawyer

California Attorney at Law Norman Gregory Fernandez

California Attorney at Law Norman Gregory Fernandez

Chatsworth – California April 8, 2012

How can you know you have hired the ideal attorney for your legal matter? Exactly what are your legal rights when it comes to a given situation? Are you protected, guided properly, and will all the things involved in your matter be considered before decisions or actions are undertaken? Finding legal help right now can certainly be challenging, further, finding the right legal assistance can certainly be costly.

A part most typically associated with the initial challenge to locate a good attorney is a result of simply not understanding where to begin your actual search. Worse, the expense problem makes this process actually more daunting, presented with the probability of high retainer fees as well as hourly fees, and in the event that you will be looking out for your individual or your family’s needs, here are some thoughts to assist you.

A. Keep family as well as friends away from the legal advice area. I love the phrase “you don’t understand what you don’t understand.” Friends and family don’t understand what they don’t understand. Supplying you with imperfect or outright incorrect information and facts might be dangerous. Your circle of family and friends might be perfect for socializing and receiving everyday views on some things, but not for legal counsel. The majority of people do not know the actual law, how to legally resolve a legal matter, as well as the consequences of measures or omissions in the legal process.

Everyone has an opinion; however, when it comes to protecting you legally, in addition to guiding yourself, one’s family, or perhaps your business, you need more than a family member’s opinion. Family member’s advice may be well intended. But their advice may turn out to be very harmful to your legal case or issue. You should retain a completely independent attorney to deal with your actual legal issue, whether trivial or major, so you can actually obtain the proper legal guidance you need.

B. Stay far away from the ever increasing on-line document preparation solutions on the internet. These normally do not allow for a complete exchange of information and additionally may result in imperfect outcomes which may not fulfill ones actual needs. Documents produced in this manner might address your specifications. But if you have not really been asked proper inquiries, or if you don’t know everything involved, what is produced will be incomplete and could result in complications later because something crucial was not considered.

An example might be a simple Partnership Contract for the organization of a small business. Without terms within the Contract regarding what takes place if a Partner dies, you might have significant problems should that event arise. If you do not know to include a “death involving partner” provision in the contract, the actual on-line preparation service’s questionnaire may not either. Then, you might be devoid of an important part associated with the Contract, causing potential problems for you later on.

There is no way an online document preparation service can replace an experienced attorney.

Having an attorney can cost you more than using the on-line system, but the cost is well worth it. Just like you would never operate on yourself, you should never represent yourself. It is said that only a fool has himself for a client.

C. Find an attorney with a specialization or concentration within the area of law in which you need advice or legal assistance. Attorneys specialize similarly to doctors. You wouldn’t speak to a foot doctor about heart problems or a pediatrician about your aging parent’s memory difficulties. As plainly obvious as these examples appear, you actually might be undertaking the legal equivalent by talking to the incorrect attorney. Find an attorney that practices in the area you need help in.

D. When searching for an attorney, request family and friends (now is the time to involve them) if they know someone good. Go to your computer or smart phone and use the internet to search for a lawyer. For example to find a biker lawyer, type into the search engine “Biker Lawyer,” or if you are looking for a car accident attorney in Chatsworth, California, type in “car accident lawyer in Chatsworth, California. The more specific you type in your search the better.

A word of caution, major search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo usually reserve the first 3 spots on the top of the search engine results for sponsored listings or paid advertisements. This means that the first three results on any search you do are paid advertisements. Further, all of the listings on the right hand part of the screen are usually also paid listings and paid advertisements.

There are also major directories that pop up in the search results that contain nothing but attorneys and lawyers who pay for listings.

Just because a lawyer pays for a sponsored listing or advertisement, does not mean they are the best attorney for you. As a matter of fact I recommend that you stay away from the hacks that pay for sponsored listings or advertisements all over the search engines.

Instead you want to find attorneys who are experienced and who you can speak to. A fancy ad does not make a good lawyer.

Yes, attorneys can certainly be expensive. Ask the attorney before you hire him or her how they will charge you. Ask for an estimate of the actual total costs that will most likely be involved. Ask if the lawyer will allow a few minutes for a free of charge consultation. Ask the attorney about their experience. Notice if you get through to the lawyer or if staff members block your actual access. There is nothing wrong with staff addressing your routine questions, however if you want to talk to the actual attorney, you should be allowed to do so.

Types of Fees.

Flat fees tend to be routine for “one-time” legal services, such as representation in a courtroom for a traffic or certain criminal offenses, as well as for the preparation of papers, such as a contract or perhaps a will.

Hourly fees are normal for matters which will entail continuing services, including representation in a divorce or child custody matter, or for business lawsuits. Often attorneys may ask for a “retainer” in advance; this allows them to acquire their fee while they do the work, and it safeguards them in case you decide to not pay them. As the retainer is used up, the lawyer will ask for another retainer.

Contingency fees are often charged for personal injury matters, such as automobile accident cases, or slip and falls, wherein the attorney will receive a percentage of the total recovery when, and only if there is a recovery for you.

Understanding how fees will be charged and collected is an integral part associated with the attorney selection process. Possessing this information will enable you to compare attorneys and then make an informed decision. Note that the least expensive attorney is not always the best. Per hour fees tend to increase with the attorney’s degree of experience. My advice is to take your time with a selection and ask questions. Shelling out money for legal matters may not be fun, but the results should be better than not hiring an attorney to safeguard you, and will most likely in the end save you money.

Norman Gregory Fernandez is an attorney at law licensed throughout the great State of California, and has been practicing law since 1997. He represents personal injury victims and routinely fights insurance companies and big businesses that won’t accept total responsibility for the harms and losses that they cause. He can be reached anytime by calling 800-816-1Law (800-816-1529), via email, or through his website. He’s also available to talk to your group about numerous legal topics.

If you or your family have been the victim of a truck crash, car crash, or other motor vehicle accident in Oxnard or anywhere in California call us for a free consultation at 800-816-1529 x. 1, or go to http://www.thepersonalinjury.com.

California Personal Injury Attorney Website

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Typical Injuries Resulting from Car and Motor Vehicle Accidents

Graphic showing shoulder injury in a car crash

Graphic showing shoulder injury in a car crash

Motor vehicle accident injuries affect differing parts of the body. Head, neck and back injuries are certainly the most frequent, but motor vehicle collisions also frequently affect internal organs, and upper and lower limbs. The following are among the most common injuries, symptoms and treatment for motor vehicle accident injuries:

Head & Neck injuries

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is an extremely serious injury that may result in a car accident. Such a brain injury occurs when the external force of a motor vehicle accident traumatizes the brain. Brain injury may result in permanent or temporary impairment of the brain’s functions. Skull fractures, bruises of the brain (hematoma), and nerve damage in many cases are associated with such brain injury.

Brain injuries are more common in side impact motor vehicle collisions compared to rear-end vehicle accidents. Brain damage in a vehicle accident is frequently associated with the quick acceleration and deceleration of the brain, which causes injury to the point of impact and it is opposite point or contrecoup. Diagnosis of a brain injury can be difficult. Concussions are associated with traumatic brain injury as well as seizures, headaches, dizziness, deficiency of concentration, memory loss, depression or anxiety. CT scans and MRI scans can be used to diagnosis brain injury.

Neck injuries vary from whiplash, probably the most common and annoying injuries caused by car accidents, to disk injuries. Whiplash is an injury frequently related to rear-end impacts. Whiplash injures the soft tissues comprised of nerves, ligaments and muscles. It causes neck pain and limitation of head and neck movement effecting rotation and peripheral vision. It may be temporary or permanent and can affect all aspects of life. If whiplash lasts for more than a few days after a motor vehicle accident physicians will prescribe medications and often refer patients to physical therapists or chiropractors for rehabilitative therapy.

Temporalmandibular joint (TMJ) injury is an injury to the joint and ligaments that allow the jaw to move. Similar to whiplash, the TMJ joint is injured in the acceleration and deceleration of a motor vehicle accident. This may occur with direct or indirect damage to the jaw and effects chewing, eating and speech.

Intervertebral discs make up the spine. The disks lie between each bone (vertebrae) within the spine and form joints giving spines flexibility. Discs are made up of an outer skin called an annulus that surround the interior nucleus, a jelly like substance. If the annulus is torn, a disc may herniate and need surgery. Disks in the neck and spine may bulge, slip or rupture, hence the phrases bulging disc, slipped disc, and ruptured disc. CT scans and MRI scans are often used to diagnosis disc injuries and since such tests are costly doctors will not likely order them immediately after a vehicle accident. It frequently occurs where a disk injury or herniated disc isn’t diagnosed until months following a motor vehicle accident.

Back Injuries

Intervertebral disks in the neck, cervical discs, aren’t the only discs injured in car accidents. Thoracic, mid-back, disks and lumbar, lower back, disks may also be injured in car accidents. Compression fractures may be caused in such accidents causing permanent disability. Also, herniations or bulges may cause spinal-cord compression. Symptoms of spinal injuries include arm and/or leg weakness, paralysis, difficulty breathing, numbness, tingling, and abnormal bowel or bladder control. Disc injuries causing those symptoms may require surgery to eliminate disc material or spinal fusion.

In the same way whiplash injures soft tissues involving the neck, the back nerves, ligaments and muscles may be traumatized by a car accident causing inflammation and pain. Prescriptive medications in many cases are used initially but for continuing pain and inflammation, patients are sent to physical therapists or chiropractors for rehabilitative therapy. Such therapy generally includes infrared heat, hot packs, paraffin bath, hydrotherapy, diathermy, cold packs, ultrasound, electrical stimulation, muscle strengthening, traction, massage, or acupuncture. Another common treatment is steroid injection.

Internal Organs

Internal injuries from a motor vehicle accident include injuries to bowels, kidneys, the spleen, liver, lungs, heart or aorta. Fractured ribs are quite common and could also puncture lungs along with other body organs. Torn spleens are also a frequent injury and may require extensive hospitalization.

Upper limbs

Hands, forearms, arms, shoulders, wrists and fingers in many cases are injured in car accidents as well. Fractures are typical and treatment generally involves splints and casts. Occasionally, such injuries will demand surgery together with splinting and casting. Therapy may also be required for increasing reduced strength and range of flexibility.

Rotator cuff injuries are frequently a result of automobile accidents. MRI scans are often used to diagnosis rotator cuff tears but since these tests are costly doctors will typically not order them immediately after a car accident and will wait for completion of physical rehabilitation before ordering an MRI. Severe shoulder injuries will require shoulder reconstruction.

Lower limbs

Hips, legs, knees, heels, ankles, and feet are also commonly damaged in car accidents. Achilles tendon injuries, ankle sprains, collateral ligament injuries and stress fractures are normal. Fractures in the pelvis, femur, patella, tibia, and ankle may require casting or surgery. For serious hip and knee injuries, total hip replacements or total knee arthroplasty might be necessary following a car accident.

It is very important that you select an experienced personal injury attorney if you have had a car crash or other motor vehicle accident, one who is not only familiar with the injuries you have sustained in the accident, but also the treatment and prognosis as well.

You should be able to tell during a consultation with a reputable personal injury attorney right away, whether they know what they are talking about or not.

Also look at their ratings; Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez has been rated 10 out of 10, the highest rating possible by Avvo.

Our law firm handles car accident cases all over the state of California. You can read about these cases at http://www.thepersonalinjury.com . If you want to discuss your case, you may call me for a free consultation at 800-816-1529 x. 1.

California Car and Motor Vehicle Accident Attorney Website

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Fleeing hit-run driver injures 5 people, 3 seriously in second crash; Maybe it is time to increase penalties.

Scene of Woodland Hills, CA Accident Caused by Fleeing Hit and Run Driver

Scene of Woodland Hills, CA Accident Caused by Fleeing Hit and Run Driver

WOODLAND HILLS, LOS ANGELES – California

A driver fleeing the scene of an accident ended up colliding with two other cars on Ventura Boulevard at Desoto Avenue in Woodland Hills on Saturday.

Police said the driver of a red convertible got into an accident on another portion of Ventura Boulevard. He then took off and continued eastbound, colliding with two other cars that were stopped at a light at Desoto Avenue at around 11:30 a.m.

Five people were injured, three of them critically.

The driver of the car involved in the original hit-and-run accident said the red convertible rear-ended him. He and his daughter were not injured.

This particular accident really hits home for me, because it happened right or I grew up.

I don’t know what’s going on lately but it seems to me that there is a marked increase of hit-and-run drivers, and people fleeing the scene of accidents that their in.

In this particular accident, five people were injured, three critically, because some idiot decided not to stop after they were in accident.

It seems to me if there were mandatory jail sentences for hit-and-run drivers, with sentences being much tougher for hit-and-run drivers, that the word would get out and more people would stop after they’re in a car accident.

Furthermore, I believe that drivers, who were convicted of hit-and-run driving, should lose their driver’s license privileges for the rest of their life. I think maybe with these types of stiff penalties, accidents like this would not happen, and more people would stop rather than flee the scene of an accident.

What do you think?

If you or your family have been the victim of a car crash, or other motor vehicle accident in Woodland Hills or anywhere in California call us for a free consultation at 800-816-1529 x. 1, or go to http://www.thepersonalinjury.com

Woodland Hills Car Accident Attorney Website

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Woman Suffers Major Injuries in I-10 Crash into a Construction Crane

Scene of Crane Accident on the I-10 in Cathedral

Scene of Crane Accident on the I-10 in Cathedral City

Cathedral City – California

A woman was seriously hurt when her car crashed into a crane on the eastbound Interstate 10 Tuesday morning, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The crash near Date Palm Drive in Cathedral City caused traffic delays on the freeway.

Three out of four lanes were closed on the I-10 in the area. All lanes were not back open until 8:30 a.m. Tuesday.

According to CHP Officer Joe Zagorski, 37-year-old Meadow Sanchez of Beaumont was driving the black 2005 Toyota Prius that crashed into a construction crane just before 6:30 a.m.

Zagorski said the crane operator, 52-year-old John Rogers of Cathedral City, had his crane stationed in the center median, while he was putting steel in place for a construction project at Date Palm Drive.

He said Rogers moved the crane and entered the number one lane of the eastbound I-10.

At that time, the Sanchez’s Prius collided with the back of the crane and overturned, blocking three eastbound lanes.

Zagorski said Sanchez sustained major injures and has been transported to Desert Regional Medical Center.

Rogers, the crane operator, was not injured.

It appears to me that by moving the construction crane from the median, into lane number 1, the crane operator and therefore Caltrans, and the private contractor will most likely be liable for this horrendous accident.

Imagine driving down the freeway and all of a sudden a crane ends up in your lane.

If you or someone you know has been injured due to a defective road, negligent construction worker, or another driver in Cathedral City or anywhere in the State of California, you may call us for a free consultation at 800-816-1529 x.1 or check out or website at www.thepersonalinjury.com

Cathedral City and California Car Accident Website

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5 People are dead so far in Los Angeles County So Far During Labor Day Weekend

California Personal Injury Lawyer Blog NewsA fiery crash on the 110 Freeway and several other traffic accidents have claimed the lives of five people on Los Angeles County streets and highways so far over the Labor Day weekend, authorities said.

A motorcyclist was killed Sunday in a crash on Topanga Canyon Boulevard near the Pacific Coast Highway about 2:30 p.m., the California Highway Patrol reported. The victim was pronounced dead at a hospital. Investigators were still on the scene, and no further details were available.

Also, a man died early Sunday when he was trapped under a flaming 1971 Chevy Monte Carlo that had been stopped on the shoulder of the southbound 110 Freeway near 52nd Street.

The 2:40 a.m. incident began when the 18-year-old driver of a 2008 Smart car slowed to avoid rear-ending a vehicle directly ahead, swerved onto the right shoulder and struck the Monte Carlo. Both vehicles burst into flames.

The Monte Carlo rolled over and fatally injured one of three men who had been standing near the car after it had broken down, the CHP reported. Two other victims were taken to hospitals, one in critical condition and one with lesser injuries.

The driver of the Smart car sustained scrapes and was arrested on suspicion of second-degree murder and driving under the influence, the CHP said. Names of the suspect and victims were not released.

About 11 p.m. Saturday, a pickup truck driven by a 17-year-old male overturned on the 710 Freeway, killing a female passenger and injuring three others. The accident occurred in the northbound lanes just south of the 91 Freeway, the CHP reported. No names were released.
A 23-year-old man driving a Honda Accord died late Saturday when he hit a power pole and tree on Somerset Ranch Road near Paramount Boulevard in South Gate.

The accident occurred about 10:50 p.m. when the driver exited the 105 Freeway at a high rate of speed, collided with another vehicle and slammed into the pole and tree, said South Gate Police Sgt. Mario Saldivar.

The driver was pronounced dead at the scene. A female passenger was in stable condition at a hospital with minor injuries. No names were released.

And a 43-year-old Irvine man was killed while trying to cross the eastbound lanes of the 101 Freeway after crashing his car near Laurel Canyon Boulevard about 9:40 p.m. Saturday, officials said.

The man had been driving west in a black Lexus when he drifted off the shoulder, struck a guardrail and came to rest in the number one lane, the CHP reported.

He got out of the car, tried to run across the freeway and was hit by a BMW driven by a 76-year-old Encino man. The driver of the Lexus was pronounced dead at the scene. His name was not released. The BMW driver was unhurt.

Last year, only one traffic-related fatality was reported in Los Angeles County during the first 36 hours of Labor Day weekend, according to the CHP. Statewide, the CHP has reported six fatalities so far, compared with eight last year.

In Los Angeles County, 227 people have been arrested on suspicion of drunk driving, up from 209 last year, while statewide, the CHP has arrested 1,008 motorists on that charge, compared with 990 last year.

Traffic-related incidents so far this weekend are also higher than the July 4 and Memorial Day numbers this year, authorities said.
“There was a somewhat downward trend, and we were hopeful that would still be the case because people had gotten the message about safe driving,” said CHP Officer Ming Hsu. “Unfortunately, the numbers we have for this period are spiking.”

If you or your family has been injured anywhere in Los Angeles County or the State of California, you may contact our law firm for a free consultation at 800-816-1529 ext. 1, or submit your case through our website at http://www.therpersonalinjury.com

Los Angeles County Car Accident Attorney and California Personal Injury Website

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Passenger of Drunk Driver Killed in Anaheim

California Personal Injury Lawyer Blog NewsANAHEIM – A passenger in a vehicle driven by a woman who was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving died at a hospital early Sunday morning after the pickup they were in hit a car, went onto a dirt embankment and overturned “several” times, California Highway Patrol officials said.

The accident happened at about 12:45 a.m. on the southbound I-5 freeway near Disneyland Drive in Anaheim.

The male passenger, 28, died at 4:15 a.m. at UCI Medical Center in Orange. The female driver, also 28, was arrested on suspicion of felony driving under the influence and remains in custody at the same hospital, where she is being treated for major injuries, the incident report said.

The driver and passenger in the car were taken to Western Medical Center with moderate and minor injuries.
The CHP report says the driver of the 2002 GMC pickup was driving in the third lane “at a high rate of speed.” For unknown reasons, she changed lanes to the fourth lane and struck the left rear corner of the 1995 Mercury Villager, then continued west, where the truck “skidded off” the main lanes and traveled “out of control” onto a steep dirt embankment. The truck then struck part of a bridge and made “several rotations” back across the southbound lanes, where it came to rest in the first lane, the report says.

The CHP did not release the name of the passenger or the driver.

This fatal car accident is a tragedy that could have and should have not happened.

By now everyone knows how dangerous it is to drink and drive. It is almost like playing with a loaded gun, and there is flat out no excuse for drinking and driving.

No one should drink and drive under any circumstances, because like what happened here, they could kill someone.

In this case one person lost their life, and the woman who was arrested life will never be the same either; all for the sake of a drink.

Whatever you do, do not get in the car with someone you know has been drinking alcohol.

Anaheim Car Accident Attorney Website

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11 People Injured in collision involving MTA Bus, and Car in Los Angeles

California Personal Injury Lawyer Blog NewsLOS ANGELES — California

A Los Angeles fire spokesman say 11 people, including a pregnant woman, were hurt when a Metropolitan Transportation Authority bus and car collided in the Jefferson Park area of Los Angeles.

Fire spokesman David Ortiz says a 30-year-old woman in the car was critically injured in the crash that occurred shortly before 6 p.m. Tuesday at 7th Avenue and Adams Boulevard. A 25-year-old pregnant woman on the bus was seriously hurt and her three children are in fair condition. He says five other bus riders, ages 18 to 61, also were taken to hospitals with minor injuries. One person was treated at the scene and released.

Police Officer Karen Rayner says the car was turning left onto 7th Avenue from Adams Boulevard when it collided with the bus.

If you or your family were injured in this accident, or any other bus crash, truck crash, car crash, or other motor vehicle accident in Los Angeles or anywhere in California call us for a free consultation at 800-816-1529 x. 1, or go to http://www.thepersonalinjury.com.

Los Angeles Bus Accident Attorney Website

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Brake Failure Suspected In Fairfield California Bus Crash

Scene of Bus Crash in Fairfield, California on the I-80

Scene of Bus Crash in Fairfield, California on the I-80

FAIRFIELD – California

The California Highway Patrol is investigating brake failure Tuesday, as the possible cause of a bus crash on Interstate Highway 80 near Fairfield on Monday afternoon.

The United Coach Tours bus had 49 people aboard when it drove off of the westbound I-80 freeway, and into a fence around 4:30 p.m. It came to rest on the side of Lyon Road, which runs parallel to the I-80, said CHP Officer Richard Weaver.

The bus was on its way to San Francisco from Sacramento with passengers onboard who were returning from a lobbying outing, Weaver said.

Twenty passengers suffered minor injuries, including pain and bruising, and 13 went to hospitals where they were treated and released, Weaver said.

The bus driver, a 38-year-old Yunzho Ma, told investigators that she was having trouble with the air brakes on the right side of the bus, Weaver said.

Ma said she was driving at about 70 mph, and when she tried to slow down the brakes failed, Weaver said.

She then steered to the right and went through the fence, he said.

There were skid marks on the road, possibly indicating that the brakes had locked up, Weaver said.

Ma has worked for the South San Francisco charter bus company since 2004, Weaver said.

CHP officers from the agency’s Solano County office were investigating whether brake failure caused the crash, Weaver said.

If you, your family, or your friends were injured in this bus accident, or any bus accident in the State of California, you may call my firm 7 days a week, 24 hours a day for a free consultation at 800-816-1529 x. 1, or go to our personal injury website at http://thepersonalinjury.com.

Fairfield California Bus Accident Attorney

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California snowstorms leave one dead and dozens injured in 40 vehicle pile-up

Scene of the 40 vehicle pileup west the Yuba Gap

Scene of the 40 vehicle pileup west the Yuba Gap

A huge 40 vehicle pile-up has left one man dead and several others injured, after heavy snowfalls battered the Sierra Nevada region of California.

The busy Interstate 80 was shut for several hours 70 miles north east of Sacramento while emergency services battled to clear the road after a big rig carrying highly explosive liquid Hydrogen jack-knifed.

The tanker blocked both lanes and as it turned onto its side dozens of cars and trucks ploughed into its side.

Auburn resident Douglas Swasey, in his 60s, was killed in the accident.

The truck was not damaged, officials confirmed, but had it done the hydrogen could have exploded causing even more fatalities.

Three feet of snow fell, creating hazardous conditions for drivers on mountain roads.

The crash at 1.30pm on Friday left the I-80 shut for several hours and caused massive tailbacks, with the route not opening until early this morning.

One driver told News 10 he heard the sound of metal hitting metal for five minutes after the first impact.

More than a dozen other people taken to hospitals in Sacramento and Reno with minor or moderate injuries.

Another driver, Ty Bombach who tried to help the injured told the press: ‘We found a gentleman by the liquid hydrogen truck and I checked his vitals but he was already gone.

I was surprised more people weren’t hurt because of the carnage that was there when we got there and what followed.’

Blizzards and snow up to three feet deep will hit the Sierra Nevada region falling as low as 4,000 feet and will continue over the weekend.

The storms will bring flooding rains, snow and strong winds across much of California.

Heavy rain will affect the central coast and valleys to the Southland from late tonight until Monday, which could bring possible flooding and mudslides.

Coastal regions will suffer up to three inches of rain but south and west-facing foothills and mountains could have as much as seven inches of rain.

Make sure you take it easy out there on the highways.

If you or your family has been injured anywhere in the State of California, you may contact our law firm for a free consultation at 800-816-1529 ext. 1, or submit your case through our website at http://www.therpersonalinjury.com

Sacramento Car and Truck Accident Attorney

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Let’s Talk about Your California Car Accident.

California Car Accident InformationSo you have been in a Car Accident in the State of California. You know the accident is not your fault. You were injured. What should you do?

The first thing two things you need to do are; (1) get the other drivers information, and (2) get medical help; not necessarily in that order.

When you get the other drivers information, try to get as much information as possible, such as all of the information on their drivers license, their phone number, the year, make, model, license plate and vin number of their vehicle, the color of their vehicle, and even a description of the driver and their passengers. You also need to get their insurance information.

Without the other driver’s information, your chances of recovery in the accident are slim to none.

I have had people with great cases, who could not recover because they failed to get the information of the person who hit them.

Most uninsured motorist coverage policies also require you to identify the person who hit you.

With respect to your injuries, you need to seek immediate medical treatment. If you feel like you need to be transported by paramedic to the emergency room, chances are that you are probably right. It is better to error on the side of caution.

Even if you do not have medical insurance, all emergency rooms are required to treat you, and stabalize you. Go to the emergency room if you need to.

When you go to the doctor, make sure you tell the doctor about all of your problems; do not underestimate your complaints.

I cannot tell you how many people I have talked to who are hurt bad, yet when they describe their complaints, they hold back. How can a doctor treat you if you do not tell them what is hurting?

I know you are also concerned about getting your vehicle repaired, finding temporary transportation, and so on.

The best thing you can do now is to retain a personal injury attorney for your California car accident case.

There are many damages that you may be entitled to such as all out of pocket expenses related to the accident, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress, and so forth, which you have no clue how to value or go after on your own.

Further, if you are married, you spouse may also have a cause of action for loss of consortium even if they were not in the car with you.

I estimate that a reputable personal injury attorney such as myself, can get you more money in your pocket for your personal injury case, than you would ever get on your own in 99% of all cases.

The reason is simple, personal injury cases are complex.

The insurance companies exist for one thing only; to make a profit, not pay you money. If they can, they will try to get you to settle for pennies on the dollar for what your case is actually worth.

They may offer you a couple of thousand dollars on a case that may be worth tens of thousands of dollars.

They know that if you are unrepresented, that you are an easy mark!

Don’t be a victim a second time around. You should be worried about getting better, and not about fighting the insurance company. Let me do that for you.

If you have been injured in a car accident, or any other motor vehicle accident in the State of California, give me a call 7 days a week, 24 hours a day at 800-816-1529 ext. 1.

By California Car Accident Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © March 3, 2011

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What can you do if your Lover gives you a Sexually Transmitted Disease in California?

What do you do if your lover gives you a sexually transmitted diseaseYou met someone you really like, you had sex with them, soon after you discover a lesion or something else wrong on your private parts, you go to a doctor, you find out you now have herpes. (Or worse) What can you do?

Well there are a lot of things that you can do. The purpose of this article is to discuss the legal remedies available to you if someone knowingly or negligently gives you a sexually transmitted disease. This body of law is called “Sexual Torts.”

Before I get started with this article, let me lay a foundation; first some sexually transmitted diseases are fatal, such as HIV, and Class C Hepatitis. Others such as Syphilis can be fatal if left untreated.

In California it is a felony punishable in California State Prison, for someone who is HIV positive to willfully expose another person to HIV through unprotected sex.

Many other States have similar laws.

Prosecutors have also prosecuted people who knowingly had unprotected sex when they knew they had HIV or Hepatitis with crimes such as criminal negligence, attempted murder, battery, etc.

If any of you out there know you have HIV or Hepatitis, you should consult with an attorney in your State before you go around having sex with someone, even if you disclose the fact that you are infected or have the disease to that person.

California’s willful exposure law basically means that even with disclosure to your partner, you are still required to use protection.

California does not want you passing your disease to other people. Most other States are the same. It is a public health issue, not a privacy issue!

Now getting back to the gist of this article; what can a person do if they are infected with an STD by another person?

In a nutshell, you can report the conduct to the police, district attorney, or health department, and you can sue them for monetary damages, and potentially punitive damages for a Sexual Tort in civil court.

I deal with civil remedies.

There are two standard civil common law causes of action that normally apply to sex torts cases, battery, and negligence.

Battery would be alleged if the person who infected you actually knew they had an STD and failed to disclose it to you.

Negligence would be used if the person who infected you should have known they had an STD.

Fraud can also be alleged if the person who infected you lied to you about actually having an STD.

There have been a couple of multi-million dollar cases involving a person who was infected with an STD by another person.

In the case of deceased movie star Rock Hudson’s same sex partner, he sued because Rock Hudson had sex with him while infected with HIV and failed to disclose it. The same sex partner won a seven figure judgment, without even proving that he got infected with HIV.

In another case, a middle aged woman was infected with genital herpes by her elderly lover. He never denied having herpes, but claimed he told her. She won a seven figure judgment in that case.

There are many problems prosecuting sexual tort cases in civil court. One of the big problems is a lawsuit is only as good as the person you are suing.

If a defendant has little or no money, it can be real difficult or impossible to actually collect a judgment. Most attorney’s including myself, will not take such a case on contingency unless there is a substantial likelihood of collecting a judgment.

Look what happened in the O.J. Simpson civil wrongful death case. The families of the decedents got a 50 million dollar civil judgment against O.J. Simpson, but were only able to collect thousands on the Judgment.

What good is a judgment unless you can collect the money on it?

Unless you get a civil judgment for battery, fraud, or another type of intentional tort, the judgment can be set aside in bankruptcy court if the defendant goes bankrupt.

There is also the statute of limitations issue. In California you have two years to file suit for battery or negligence from the time you knew or should have known, that your lover gave you an STD.

I am always willing to give free consultations to victims in these types of cases to determine if a civil lawsuit is feasible.

On a human level, I suggest that all persons get tested for STD’s before engaging in sexual conduct.

If you are a person who has an STD, you should have your partner sign a written disclosure and release before engaging in sexual conduct. As discussed above, if you have HIV, you may still not be protected.

I have seen people more protective of their cars and property than their own bodies.

You must realize that there are people out there infected with some nasty diseases. Some of them have no problem having sex with you without disclosing their diseases.

There are legal remedies available to you.

By California Personal Injury Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © February 16, 2011

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To Retain a Lawyer or to Not Retain a Lawyer, What Should You Do?

California Personal Injury Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez

California Personal Injury Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez

As a California Personal Injury Lawyer, I give free consultations to injury victims throughout the State of California almost every day.

Inevitably about 5% of the people I talk to have either tried handling their California personal injury matter on their own, or are very reluctant to “get lawyers” involved because of what they heard about lawyers, or are clueless about how the legal system works.

Ultimately, out of the 5% of the people mentioned above, about 1% or 1 out of 100 people I talk to decide to handle the matter on their own.

To me, an experienced California Personal Injury Attorney, it is inexplicable why someone would choose not to retain an attorney to handle their personal injury case. Let me tell you why.

Firstly, most people have no clue that they are entitled to recover the following damages in a typical personal injury matter:

Out of Pocket Expenses: All out of pocket expenses flowing out of the personal injury matter such as: loss of wages, medical cost, prescription cost, cost of travel to and from the doctor, prescriptions, loss of use of vehicle, either the repair cost of a damaged vehicle, or the fair market value of a damaged vehicle when the repair cost exceeds the fair market value, rental car, loss of future wages, future medical expenses, etc.

Non Economic Expenses: Pain & Suffering, Emotional Distress, Loss of Enjoyment of life (loss of enjoyment of life consists of compensation to a person for not being able to do things that they used to do, while they are injured. Such as cleaning, cooking, walking, dancing, going out, etc.)

In a nutshell a typical person has no clue that they are entitled to the things mentioned above, how to value such things even if they know about it, and most importantly, how to get it.

Going further, if an injured person is married, they typically do not know that their spouse also has a cause of action against the person who injured them for loss of consortium. Hell most personal injury lawyers in California do not even go for loss of consortium.

Loss of consortium in a nutshell is damages that a spouse of an injured party are entitled to, for the loss of the things that their spouse used to do with and for them in the marriage, because of their injury. In many cases loss of consortium can amount to a substantial amount of money.

I have just touched the tip of the iceberg with this article. Ultimately, only a fool has themselves for an attorney.

I can assure you that in 99% of cases, a person without an attorney will get less than a person with an attorney in a California Personal Injury case.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a California Personal Injury matter you may call my personal injury hotline 7 days a week, 24 hours a day for a free consultation at 800-816-1529 extension 1. You may also check out my personal injury website at http://www.thepersonalinjury.com.

By California Personal Injury Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © February 10, 2011

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8 People are Killed at an Off-Road Racing Event in Lucerne Valley; What are the Legal Ramifications?

Many of you have heard by now that 8 people died in the Lucerne Valley, at an off road racing event, when a truck went out of control during the event. Many of you may not know that 39 other people were injured; 10 seriously.

I personally send my heartfelt condolences to all of the family and friends of the victims of this tragic accident, and wish those injured a speedy recovery.

You can see by the raw video below that the spectators were standing way too close to the racing vehicles. Many have said that the reason why so many people were killed and injured was preciously because the fans were way too close to the action.

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I have heard that there will be no charges filed against anyone having anything to do with the race, but that the national park service is going to do an investigation, since they were the ones that gave a permit for the race.

I have seen news reports that the promoters and organizers of this event put signs up stating that people should stay at least 150 feet away from the racing vehicles. I am sure they think that this warning is sufficient to protect them from being responsible for this horrible accident; I disagree.

As a Personal Injury Attorney, I deal with negligence cases in one form or another every day. The way I see it, the organizers and promoters of this event are legally responsible for the deaths of 8 spectators, and the injury of 39 others.

They owed a duty of due care, to provide a safe way for the spectators to watch the race. They should have had adequate security at the event to keep the spectators a safe distance from the race. The owed a duty of due care, to erect barriers, tape, or something so that spectators such as the ones who were killed and injured, would have known where to stand during the race.

They apparently did nothing but put signs up saying that spectators should stay 150 feet away from the action. Hell, I for one do not know how to measure 150 feet without some kind of tape measure.

Many might argue that the persons who were killed and injured assumed the risk of harm that they suffered at this event. I disagree. Spectators are not engaged in a dangerous sport, they are simply there to watch. With some minimal precautions from the organizers and promoters of this event, this tragedy could have been avoided.

If you or your family suffered through the wrongful death of a loved one at this event, or your or a loved one were injured at this event, all me now for a free consultation at 800-816-1529 x. 1. You may be entitled to substantial compensation for your loss.

By California Personal Injury Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © August 2010

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4 Year Old Boy killed in Hwy. 101 truck crash in South San Jose, California; driver is being held on DUI charges

James Lee is arrested in connection with a crash that killed 4 year old.

James Lee is arrested in connection with a crash that killed 4 year old.

A 4-year-old boy was killed Sunday night in South San Jose after an alleged drunken-driver returning from a heavy metal concert slammed into the back of the family’s broken down pickup truck.

 James “Jimmy” Francis Lee’s blood-alcohol level was “about twice the legal limit” of 0.08, said California Highway Patrol Officer Brien Rayner. “He said he fell asleep.”

About 6 p.m., the boy’s father had been unbuckling his 4-year-old son from the back of the family’s Chevrolet S-10, which was parked on the shoulder of southbound Highway 101 near Bailey Avenue when a Ford F-150 smashed into the truck. The boy’s mother and 12-year-old sister had already gotten out of the truck and were not injured.

Lee, 44, of San Jose was booked into Santa Clara County Jail on charges of felony DUI and vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, according to Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sgt. Rick Sung. He has not yet been arraigned, and has until Wednesday to be formally charged if he remains in custody. 

The Santa Clara County coroner’s office identified the boy as Jose Cortes-Diaz of Gilroy. 

The names of his parents and sister were not made public. The boy’s father suffered a broken jaw and fractured rib, according to the CHP reports.

The CHP said the collision caused the Ford to roll over onto its roof and the Chevy to roll down an embankment. The CHP noted that the Ford had been traveling about the speed limit of 65 mph or 70 mph at the time of the accident. 

The crash sent a tool box from the pickup bed of the family’s Chevy flying right into Jose’s head.

“Oh Jesus!” Lee’s father, James Lee Sr., 64, of San Jose, said in an interview when he was alerted of the boy’s death by the Mercury News. “I am so sorry for that little boy. Everybody likes my son. He’s a great kid and a good-hearted guy. But he had no business driving.”

Lee Sr. said he believed his son was at a concert at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View on Sunday, where bands were playing in the Rockstar Mayhem Festival. Lee Sr. said his son, a father of two daughters, had recently bought a home in Gilroy. Father and son have worked for about three decades together as truck mechanics in San Jose.

Emergency crews said Jose was barely breathing when they arrived.

“The little boy was wedged behind the driver’s seat,” said San Jose fire Capt. Chuck Rangel. “He wasn’t doing too good.”

Firefighters pried him out with the Jaws of Life and hoisted him into a LifeFlight helicopter and flew him to San Jose Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead, officials said.

At the time, Santa Clara County sheriff’s helicopter happened to be flying in the area. Pilot Rob Heyde and partner, Deputy Leo Gonzalez, saw there were injuries down below, and traffic was beginning to jam up. The two decided to make an emergency landing on 101, after clearing the freeway using their public announcement system.

“They really went overboard to help,” said Sung, of the sheriff’s office. They were joined by a San Jose police motorcycle officer who was also there by chance.

Lee Sr. said his son had been in jail perhaps 15 years ago, but he couldn’t remember for what. Lee Jr. has no criminal record as an adult in Santa Clara County. According to a records search by the Department of Motor Vehicles, Lee is a commercial driver who had a spotless driving record.

Lee Sr. said his son, who attended Del Mar High School in San Jose, had been trying to get his life together after a bad relationship. But according to his father, Lee Jr. didn’t have a known drinking problem.

“I wasn’t aware of one,” Lee Sr. said.

San Jose Car Accident Attorney Website / San Jose Truck Accident Attorney Website

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Toyota sued over deaths in horrendous California crash

Toyota Product Defect AttorneyLos Angeles – California

Relatives of a California state trooper and three family members whose fatal car wreck helped spark Toyota’s wide-ranging safety recall have sued the automaker for defects they say caused the vehicle to speed out of control and crash.

The lawsuit, filed on Tuesday in San Diego Superior Court, was the latest in a wave of product-liability cases and other legal action brought against Toyota Motor Corp over complaints of sudden, unintended acceleration in its vehicles.

But the fiery August 28 crash near San Diego of a Lexus ES 350 sedan driven by off-duty California Highway Patrol Officer Mark Saylor drew intense media attention and renewed government scrutiny of safety problems that led to the recall of some 8.5 million Toyota vehicles worldwide.

Toyota President Akio Toyoda, grandson of the company’s founder, extended his condolences to the Saylor family in an apology he delivered to a congressional hearing last week.

Saylor was driving his wife, their 13-year-old daughter, and his brother-in-law on a family outing when their car “began to accelerate on its own” and sped out of control despite Saylor’s attempts “to apply the brakes and otherwise do everything possible to stop” the car, the lawsuit says.

The car reached speeds of up to 120 miles per hour before it struck another vehicle, plowed through a fence, hit a berm and flew through the air, then rolled several times into a field and burst into flames.

The family’s final moments before impact were captured in the recording of a frantic 911-emergency cell phone call placed by Saylor’s brother-in-law, Christopher Lastrella, in which he is heard telling the dispatcher, “Our accelerator is stuck … We’re in trouble … there is no brakes.”

Others in the car are heard saying, “hold on” and “pray” as the call ended, the lawsuit said.

The suit names Toyota, its U.S. division and other corporate entities as defendants, along with the Lexus dealership where Saylor was given the doomed car as a “loaner vehicle” while his own Lexus was being serviced.

Although the suit makes no specific allegations as to the root cause of the unintended acceleration, it says the car in question “was defective when it left the control of each defendant” and that “adequate warnings of the danger were not given.” The suit seeks unspecified monetary damages on behalf of the parents of Saylor and his wife.

Toyota officials have said they do not comment on pending litigation.

San Diego County Sheriff’s investigators concluded the crash likely was caused by the gas pedal becoming stuck in an all-weather rubber floor mat designed for a larger vehicle but placed by the Lexus dealership in the sedan loaned to Saylor.

But the accident report said “other avenues of unintended acceleration could not be explored,” mechanical or electrical, due to catastrophic damage to the vehicle.

The report also revealed that another driver who had been loaned the same car a few days earlier told investigators the vehicle raced out of control on him when the gas pedal jammed in the floor mat, which he managed to free after placing the gear shift into neutral.

He complained to a dealership receptionist when he returned the car, the receptionist told investigators she alerted the detail specialist on duty, but the detailer claimed never to have received such a complaint, the report said.

Toyota has recalled more than 5 million vehicles in the United States for slipping floor mats. Another 2.2 million U.S. recall notices were issued for sticking accelerator pedals.

The Transportation Department has said that complaints of unintended acceleration in Toyota and Lexus vehicles are linked with more than 50 U.S. crash deaths under investigation over the past decade.

If you or your family have been the victim of a car crash in a Toyota due to sudden acceleration or other product defect anywhere in California call us for a free consultation at 800-816-1529 x. 1, or go to http://www.thepersonalinjury.com

Toyota Product Defect Attorney

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