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Are Boats Required to Have Insurance in California?


Coast Guard Compass

California law does not require boaters to insure their boats.

Despite California’s policy on boater’s insurance, it is wise to get coverage to minimize risks to your personal assets. Boating insurance is like car or home insurance; it covers the policy holder and the boat from property damage, theft, vandalism, and injuries. But, while boater’s insurance is like car or home insurance, a boat is usually not covered by either of those policies.   Therefore, you should obtain a separate policy to protect you and your boat.

When purchasing an insurance policy for your boat, it is important to conduct some research on the various insurance providers. Rates differ based on the boat’s location, model, and even the boat owner’s experience. To secure the best coverage at affordable pricing, it is important to discuss “agreed value” and “actual cash value” policies.

Agreed value policies will pay the amount agreed to on the policy if there is a total loss of the boat. Damage that results in partial loss would normally be paid for by a replacement cost. The physical depreciation of the boat would not be a factor considered to determine the value of the damages. Actual cash value policies cover less than agreed value policies but have lower rates Depending on the policy types, discounts can vary with different insurance policies.

While there is no requirement for boater’s insurance, it is advised to get boaters insurance to minimize any risk if you ever get into a boating accident, or if your boat is damaged or stolen. If you need assistance or more information on boater’s insurance feel free to call Kershaw, Cook & Talley at 916-779-7000. We would be happy to help!

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What Steps Can I Take to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

Photo: NY Daily News

Personal injury lawsuits are commonly filed with the help of attorneys or other legal services. While becoming involved in a legal matter can be stressful, personal injury lawsuits are important to recover damages for an injury suffered because of someone else’s negligence.

Soon after any accident or injury due to the fault of another, it is important to contact attorneys you can trust to fight for your legal rights. Before that, however, it is also important to collect all of the facts of the incident or event that led to the injury. The best way to remember details after suffering an injury is to write down notes that list the details of what occurred, when it occurred, and how it occurred.

It is important to gather as much contact information from witnesses who saw you get hurt or anyone involved in the incident that led to your injury. Taking photos or videos of the scene or event is also important and can help your case.

In addition, be sure to promptly treat with your health care providers for your injuries.  Any significant delay in treatment can not only hinder your health recovery, but your legal recovery as well.  Follow your doctors’ advice and do all you can to get better.

It’s important to contact an experienced attorney immediately.  An attorney can evaluate your case, protect your rights, help gather facts and evidence, take away the stress of dealing with insurance companies, present the claim in an organized and persuasive manner to maximize your recovery and file a lawsuit, if necessary, and litigate the case all the way through trial if that’s what justice requires.

If you believe you have a personal injury claim, contact Kershaw, Cook & Talley.  Our experienced attorneys can help protect and fight for your legal rights while you focus on your health and recovery. Call our law office at 916-779-7000 for a free case evaluation and to speak with one of our experienced attorneys.

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I was injured at a Campground. Do I have legal options?

Photo: Parks Victoria

Camping is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and spend quality time with friends and loved ones. While it should be relaxing and safe, camping can be dangerous and lead to serious injuries or death.

Not every camping injury will lead to a recovery of money.  It largely depends upon how the injury occurred, whether the injury is serious or not, or if the person’s own conduct contributed to the injury. Though many people may assume that a majority of camping accidents happen because of nature and there’s no way to prevent them, oftentimes campers can get hurt because someone else was negligent, and/or failed to make sure the campsite or campground was in the safest condition possible

Many campgrounds are operated by state agencies or private companies who are responsible for maintaining safe campgrounds. This includes adequate protocols to ensure safe trails, facilities, equipment, warning signs and proper supervision of campers. After an injury occurs it is important to determine who is at fault for the injury.

Depending on the type of campground there can be more than one entity responsible, including a government agency. An injured camper must act quickly to ensure their legal rights are protected.  There are certain laws called statutes of limitations which require a person to bring a claim within a specified time frame.  If they don’t, they will lose their claim.  In the case of a claim against a government agency, the time frame is only six months.

If you or someone you know has recently suffered an injury at a campsite, call our experienced personal injury attorneys for a free case evaluation.

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Can I Sue For IVC Filter Injuries?

Unfortunately, blood clots can still occur when doctors implant faulty IVC filters into their patients. IVC filters are used to prevent life-threatening pulmonary embolisms, which block the artery in the lungs making it hard to breathe. Essentially, these IVC filters are supposed to catch blood clots that would get into your lungs. If the filters are unable to catch the blood clots, it can cause serious health problems. These include, but are not limited to, death, hemorrhages, severe and persistent pain, symptoms similar to a heart attack, or shortness of breath and chest discomfort. In addition to the filters not catching the blood clots, the filters are sometimes breaking off and migrating into different parts of a person’s body. Often times patients are not warned of the risks of these filters and neither are the doctors, even though the consequences are so severe. If a company that manufactured or produced IVC filters was careless and made a faulty product, you may have grounds to sue for your injuries.

Faulty IVC filters that cause harm can potentially lead to a products liability claim. Products liability cases target companies for either designing defective products, manufacturing defective products, or failing to warn the consumers of the risks of their products. Depending on the nature of a person’s injuries, an IVC filter lawsuit can be based on any of the above reasons.  Due to the severity of the damage caused, a lawsuit against one of these companies could provide significant compensation. Medical expenses, lost wages and impaired earnings, loss of enjoyment of life, pain and suffering, or compensation for wrongful death are some of the common things that people sue for.

If you or a loved one were implanted with an IVC filter and it broke or malfunctioned, you may have a products liability claim. If you would like to receive a free case consultation about a potential blood clot filter injury, please call our offices at (916) 779-7000.

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S & J Rentals v. Hilti, Inc. – A Win for KCT in Oklahoma

Today, a District Court Judge for the Northern District of Oklahoma issued an order granting our request to re-transfer a case back to California—a very rare occurrence.

The case is S & J Rentals v. Hilti, a class action lawsuit brought on behalf of California business owners against a manufacturer of power tools, Hilti, Inc. Plaintiff alleges that Hilti has engaged in a fraudulent business scheme involving its tools’ “automatic shutoff” function which requires purchasers to pay roughly $600 for reactivation exclusively to Hilti. Class members were never fully informed of this mandatory cost and therefore seek redress under California Law for fraudulent business practices.

The issue was that, although this case only involves California residents and was filed in California federal court, Hilti asserted that the case belongs in Oklahoma federal court due to a forum-selection clause buried in its sale contracts. We opposed Hilti’s position since Oklahoma law limits class actions to only Oklahoma residents and Plaintiff would have no remedy there. However, the California judge adopted Hilti’s interpretation of the forum-selection clause—that forum was proper in state or federal court where plaintiff would have the same procedural protections under Rule 23 as in California—and transferred the case to federal court in Oklahoma.

Upon receiving the case, the Oklahoma district court judge interpreted the forum selection clause as requiring the case to be filed in Oklahoma state court and issued an Order to Show Cause as to why she should not dismiss the case. Contrary to its original position, Hilti asserted that the forum selection clause requires the case to be filed exclusively in Oklahoma state court and requested dismissal. We filed a brief, (1) arguing that Hilti waived enforcement of the forum-selection clause by initially requesting transfer to Oklahoma federal court, and (2) requesting re-transfer to California for a reconsideration of the original judge’s ruling.

In her Order, the Oklahoma judge accepted our argument in its entirety. She noted that, although reconsideration of a transfer order should be extremely rare, due to the extraordinary circumstances in this case, it would be a “manifest injustice” to not permit reconsideration here. She continued, “[t]his procedural muddle is a mess of defendant’s creation,” and since Hilti was familiar with the laws of Oklahoma, “[i]t would have been the height of incompetence for [Hilti] to draft a forum selection clause without understanding [which forum it required] and the Court does not believe that defendant behaved in such a careless manner when drafting this forum selection clause.” Ultimately, since the California judge’s original transfer “order relies on [Hilti’s] misrepresentations” of the forum-selection clause to its benefit and plaintiff’s detriment, the case was transferred back to the Eastern District of California for further proceedings.

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