| Read Time: 2 minutes | Negligence

Suing the Federal Government for Negligence

The doctrine of sovereign immunity, is a common law concept that began in the era of Kings. Intended to protect monarchs, it prohibits suing the government for their negligent and reckless actions. This hasn’t changed, but laws have been passed that will allow some lawsuits against the government. The Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) was signed into law in 1946, and permits private parties to sue the United States in federal court for negligent or reckless acts committed when acting on behalf of the federal government. If you’ve been injured as a result of the negligence or recklessness of a government employee, it’s important to work with an experienced California federal court attorney to get the highest amount of monetary compensation for your injuries.   What Types of Claims Are Allowable? The FTCA allows claimants to sue for property damage, personal injury, and wrongful death due to negligent or reckless actions of federal employees, if a similar action is allowable by state law in the jurisdiction where the incident happened. It’s important to understand that this limits lawsuits against government employees to acts committed in the scope of employment. For example, you can sue a postal worker that hits you in the rear with their truck while delivering mail, but you can’t sue this same worker for an accident while she’s buying groceries, even if she was driving the mail truck. FTCA prohibits lawsuits for intentional acts such as false imprisonment, defamation and assault, but there are other laws that can be used in these cases. You cannot sue the government for negligent or reckless acts committed by independent contractors working on government projects, but you can usually sue these persons and entities directly. These laws and exceptions are complicated, that’s why it’s wise to hire an experienced California federal court attorney who knows how to help you get the highest possible amount of compensation.   How California Federal Court Attorneys Handle Cases The first step is to file a claim with the appropriate federal agency. This should be done as soon as possible, but must be filed within two years. This is not the same thing as filing a lawsuit. It’s an administrative claim that is a prerequisite to filing a lawsuit if the claim cannot be settled with the government agency. If the agency does not make an offer of settlement, or you are not satisfied with the offer, you have six months from that decision to file a lawsuit. There are many other provisions of federal law that must be carefully adhered to in order to collect a substantial amount of monetary compensation for personal injuries. It’s important to work with a California federal court attorney to get the best results. Serving Turlock, Modesto, Merced, and Monterey, California. Please call today for a free consultation.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Personal Injury

California Product Liability

  According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC,) more than 20,000 die each year due to dangerous and defective products. California law imposes strict liability on product designers, manufacturers and other responsible parties, holding them responsible for injuries caused by their products even if they were not negligent. These laws were passed to encourage companies to create safer products by making it easier for people injured by products to successfully bring claims. If you’ve been injured by a dangerous or defective product, you should call an experienced California product liability attorney to discuss a possible claim for compensation.   Strict Liability for Products in California For most types of personal injury claims, it’s necessary to prove that an injury was caused by negligence or reckless in order to collect compensation. California law does not require this for product liability claims, holding designers and manufacturers liable when a product is more dangerous than it should be or contains inadequate warnings. These are the elements that must be proven for a successful California product liability claim:   The defendant manufactured, designed, distributed or sold products that are defective; That the defect originated with the defendant; That the plaintiff used the product in a manner that was reasonably foreseeable; and That the plaintiff was injured as a result of the defective product.   Strict liability doesn’t mean these cases are slam dunks. The defendants often claim that the defect was caused by other parties and that the plaintiff did not use the product properly, among other defenses. That’s why it’s important to work with an experienced California product liability attorney who knows how to prosecute these cases and collect the largest amount of compensation on your behalf.   California Product Liability Attorney If you’ve been injured or a family member has been injured by a defective medical product, toy, automobile or auto part, food poisoning or other type of product, it’s important to speak to an experienced California product liability attorney as soon as possible to discuss your legal rights. Serving Turlock, Modesto, Merced, and Monterey, California. Please call today for a free consultation.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Auto Accidents

California Livestock Collision

The Federal Highway Safety Commission (FHSC,) estimates that there are over a million collisions a year caused by animals on the road. In rural California, accidents involving livestock cause a substantial amount of injuries and property damage. If you’ve been injured in a collision with cows, horses, sheep, pigs or other livestock, you may have a claim against the owner of the animals. It’s important to speak to a California livestock collision attorney as soon as possible after your accident, as deadlines can be short.   What Causes Livestock Collisions in Turlock, Modesto, Merced, and Monterey, California? Drivers rely on traffic signals and speed limit signs to ensure that they can quickly and safely reach their destination, not expecting large obstructions en-route. California has many roads that are adjacent to grazing areas, where animals or groups of animals that appear to be contained. Unfortunately, these animals sometimes escape their enclosures and they can become road hazards. When an animal weighing hundreds of pounds suddenly appears in front of a vehicle, the results can be catastrophic. The force of a collision with a large animal can cause a driver to lose control of their vehicle, spin into oncoming traffic or rollover. If you’re a victim, it’s important to hire an experienced California livestock collision attorney to handle your case.   California Laws Protect Motorists Injured In Collisions With Livestock California Food and Agricultural Code Section 16902 creates a duty for persons that own or control livestock to protect the public by not permitting animals to stray upon or remain on a public highway. Section 16904 of the Code specifies that despite the duty of the animal owners, there is no presumption of negligence when a motor vehicle accident occurs involving their animal, placing the duty on the claimant. It’s possible to bring a successful case against the animal owners, but only with the help of an experienced California livestock collision attorney that knows how to successfully prove the animal owner was negligent.   California Livestock Collision Attorney If you’ve been injured by a collision with livestock in Turlock, Modesto, Merced, and Monterey California, it’s important to contact a California livestock collision attorney as soon as possible to discuss your legal rights and claims for compensation. Please call today for a free consultation.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Auto Accidents

Were you in a car accident with a minor child who sustained injuries?

If you were in a car accident that involved a minor child, and you and the minor child sustained injuries, you both may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, which may include compensation for your medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other resulting harms or losses from the accident. Often these cases are resolved through a settlement agreement, whether before or after filing a lawsuit.   When the car accident caused injuries to a minor child, there are important factors to consider when reaching a settlement. Generally, the court must approve a settlement that includes a minor child because the minor child does not have the legal capacity to enter into a binding contract as a matter of law. The court can appoint someone with the legal power to represent the minor child and enter into a settlement agreement on his or her behalf. Often though, a formal appointment is not needed because the minor child lives under the care of a parent who is not being sued. Accordingly, the parent can represent the minor child and enter into a settlement agreement on behalf of the minor child.   The court, however, must still approve the settlement agreement, and may schedule a hearing. If the matter is settled before filing a lawsuit, the settlement agreement must be filed with the court for its approval in the county where the child resides. If the matter is settled following the filing of a lawsuit, then the judge assigned to the case would have to approve the settlement agreement. Without the court’s approval, a settlement agreement on behalf a minor child may not be valid and enforceable, so it is important to follow the required procedure.  

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Auto Accidents

Were you injured in a car accident and partly at fault?

If you were in a car accident, sustained injuries, and were partly at fault in the accident, you may still have a right to recover compensation for your damages, which may include compensation for your injuries, property damages, and other losses resulting from the accident. Being partly at fault does not mean that you do not recover any compensation for your injuries; rather, it will depend on how much you were at fault.   California is called a comparative fault state, which means that when there is a car accident for which more than one driver is responsible, each driver’s contribution to the car accident is assessed to determine how much compensation a driver can receive. For example, suppose you are driving on a four-lane street and a driver in the lane next to you merges into your lane. The driver does not signal or look over his shoulder to see if there is a car in his blind spot, and he hits your car. The other driver’s unsafe merger causes you to suffer physical injuries and car damage, totaling $10,000 in damages. An investigation finds that while the other driver was 90% at fault, you were 10% at fault because you were driving 20 miles above the speed limit, which contributed to the accident. Consequently, if your recovery totals $10,000 for the damages you sustained from the car accident, your recovery will be proportionally reduced by your fault, which in this example would be 10% or $1,000, leaving you with a total recovery of $9,000.  

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Personal Injury

Did you suffer an injury directly or indirectly because of a government entity?

You have a right to sue a government entity to receive compensation for an injury you may have suffered directly or indirectly because of the conduct of an employee, agent, or the government entity. However, when suing a government entity, there may be additional steps to follow.   Generally, California law requires that each injured person first file a claim directly with the government entity within 6 months of the injury date before filing a lawsuit in court. This step is required mainly because it informs the government entity about your claim, allows it to investigate and collect evidence, and allows it the opportunity to attempt to resolve your claim with you before litigation. You do not have to accept whatever determination the government entity makes. After allowing the government entity to review your claim, you can file a lawsuit against it in court. If the government entity does not first receive your claim, a lawsuit filed against it in court may be dismissed.   There are time limits to file not only a claim with the government entity, but also a lawsuit in court, so act quickly. The time to file your claim with a government entity may vary, but each entity should make this information available to you. A good rule of thumb is to file immediately because there is generally a 6-month time limit to file a lawsuit in court against a government entity. If you file a lawsuit after the time limit has passed, your lawsuit could be dismissed. Thus, you should file your claim with the government entity immediately, so that you preserve your right to file a lawsuit in court.  

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Auto Accidents

What To Do If You’re Injured In An Uber or Lyft Accident

  If you’re injured in an Uber or Lyft accident in California, it’s important to make sure to report the accident to the police. Don’t let the driver talk you into letting him leave you at the scene or keep going to your destination. If you’re seriously injured, make sure that the police call an ambulance to take you to the closest emergency room to be checked out. Once you’ve taken care of reporting the accident and your health, you should call an experienced California Uber and Lyft injury attorney.   California’s Rideshare Insurance Scheme Is Complicated California requires drivers for  “Transportation Network Companies (TNC’s,) such as Uber, Lyft and other rideshare companies, to be covered by “rideshare insurance” whenever the app is on. The coverage has different policy limits depending on the “period” the ride is in.   The App is Off: This is period 0, the driver’s personal insurance is in effect, and California’s minimum insurance requirements apply. ($15,000 per person, $30,000 per incident for liability, and $5,000 for property damage.)   The App is On, but not yet paired with a Passenger: This is Period 1, and the minimum policy limits increase substantially. ($50,000 per person, $100,000 per incident for liability, and $30,000 for property damage.)   Passenger In Vehicle: These are Period 1 and 2, and California requires $1,000,000 in liability coverage, plus $1,000,000 in uninsured and underinsured coverage.   If you’re seriously injured in a California Uber or Lyft accident, you can collect up to $1,000,000 in compensation for pain and suffering, lost present and future earnings, emotional distress, and other causes of action. This is true even if the car that caused the accident is only carrying a minimum policy for liability for $30,000 because of the required underinsurance coverage. If you’ve been involved in an Uber or Lyft accident, you should call an experienced California Uber and Lyft attorney as soon as possible to discuss your claim.  

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Dog Bite

How Can I Collect Compensation for A Dog Bite In California?

  If you’ve been seriously injured by a dog attack in California, you can collect compensation from the owner of the dog, or anybody else that had custody or control of the animal at the time of the attack. As long as you were lawfully on the property, you can make a claim under California’s “strict liability” code for pain and suffering, emotional distress, lost earnings, and other damages. If you’ve been a victim of a dog bite in California, it’s important that you speak to an experienced California dog bite attorney, as soon as possible, to discuss your claim.   California Holds Dog Owners Strictly Liable California Civil Code  §3342 imposes strict liability for dog bites in California. This means that a dog owner is responsible for injuries caused by their dog, even if the dog has no history of being aggressive and has never bit anybody before. This applies not just to the dog owner, but to any person that’s in charge of the dog at the time of the attack. If the attacks take place at somebody’s home, the homeowner or renter’s insurance policy will cover the loss, and a business’s insurance will similarly provide coverage. Trespassers are excluded from collecting under strict liability, but can make a claim if an owner intentionally prompted his dog to attack you, even though you posed no imminent risk.   When Would I Be Barred From Suing? California’s strict liability applies only when an innocent person is attacked by a dog. If the owner can show that your injury was a result of your teasing or abuse of their dog, your claim will be barred. The best way to assess the strength of your claim is to speak to a California dog bite lawyer as soon as possible after a dog attack. If you or a family member have recently been bitten by a dog and are wondering what your options are, give us a call at (209) 600-4389 to set-up a free consultation. At Silva Injury Law Inc., our philosophy of legal practice is one of individual attention to each client. We focus on promoting healing through compassionate advocacy.  

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Auto Accidents

You May Be Entitled To Punitive Damages If You’re Injured By A Drunk Driver in California

When you’re injured by a drunk driver, you’re entitled to compensation for your medical costs, lost earnings, and pain and suffering, just like any other personal injury case. In addition, based on the facts, you might also be entitled to collect punitive damages from the persons or entities responsible. The intent of punitive damages is to punish heinous behavior, sending the message that our society will not tolerate such conduct. If you’ve been injured in a drunk driving accident, you should speak to a California personal injury attorney about collecting compensation and punitive damages.   Does My Case Meet the Standard For Punitive Damages? Not every drunk driving case meets the standard for punitive damages. For example, somebody that had a few glasses of champagne at a graduation party, and bumped your car in the rear would be liable for negligence, but it’s unlikely that it would be possible to collect punitive damages even if they tested slightly over the legal alcohol percentage. On the other hand, if somebody stopped at a bar at the end of their shift driving an 18 wheeler, downed 10 shots of whiskey, got back in the truck and plowed into you, there would be a serious chance of collecting punitive damages. The issue is whether the drunk driving behavior was truly outrageous. An extra glass of champagne at a party is negligent, but drinking shots before driving an 18 wheeler is extremely reckless!     If you’ve been seriously injured by a drunk driver, you should contact the Silva Injury Law firm at (209) 600-4389 to set-up your free consultation.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Medical Malpractice

How to Find the Best California Medical Malpractice Lawyer

If you’ve suffered injuries as a result of poor medical care, you may be a victim of medical malpractice. If a medical practitioner (doctor, nurse, physician’s assistant, physical therapist, chiropractor, podiatrist, etc.) or medical care facility (hospital, surgical center, etc.) fails to use the proper standard of care, and the patient is injured or killed as a result, they are liable for medical malpractice. Medical malpractice cases require a tremendous amount of expertise, so it’s important to hire the best California medical malpractice lawyer you can find.   Common Types of Medical Malpractice The most common type of medical malpractice involves failing to diagnose, or misdiagnosing an illness. For example, a person diagnosed with heartburn at an emergency room is sent home and dies from a heart attack or doctors fail to diagnose cancer that spreads and becomes more difficult to treat. In other cases, the diagnosis may be accurate, but the wrong treatment is prescribed so that the person’s condition does not improve or worsens. Surgical errors, such as leaving an instrument inside a patient, can cause severe infections. Birth injuries caused by improper techniques are another type of malpractice. Always remember that you need to prove not just that the practitioner made a mistake, but that harm was done as a result. If you think you’ve been a victim of medical malpractice, it’s important to consult with the best California medical malpractice attorney to find out if you have an actionable claim.   Time Limits To File Are Short California has one of the shortest medical malpractice statutes of limitation in the country, requiring that actions be started within one year from when you knew or became suspicious of malpractice or three years from the actual injury. If the medical malpractice involves a municipality, the filing period could be even shorter. That’s why it’s important to consult with the best California medical malpractice lawyer you can find, as soon as possible.    

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