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Defective Medical Products

Defective Medical Products

Personal Injuries

Dangerous Prescription Drugs

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Breaking News:

Are Boats Required to Have Insurance in California?

  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

Illegal Fireworks Cause Multiple Injuries on Independence Day


Photo Courtesy of the Portland Tribune

Independence Day festivities involving fireworks escalated too far this weekend according to the NY Daily News, as police officers and civilians suffered hospitalizations and serious injuries from coast to coast. Both a 31-year old Nebraska man and a 9-year old girl in Los Angeles lost a hand due to illegal activities involving explosives, and a small girl in Compton suffered severe blast injuries to the face. Plenty of other people across the nation suffered injuries from explosions this weekend, including a man in Auburn, Washington who lost a hand while holding fireworks that exploded and two officers in Chicago who were at the receiving end of “half a stick of dynamite” tossed from a red Toyota Camry.

According to the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC), during the month around July 4th, 230 people on average go to the emergency room every day with injuries caused by recreational explosives. In addition, an estimated 10,500 fireworks-related injuries were treated in US hospital emergency departments during 2014. 67% (roughly 7,000) of those injuries in 2014 took place between June 20 and July 20, illustrating the danger of overzealous Independence Day celebrations. In light of these statistics, it is important to exercise a bit of caution while enjoying Independence Day festivities.

In California, people are held liable for “ultrahazardous” activities regardless of the degree of care they exercise. However, courts have found fireworks not to be these types of “ultrahazardous” activities, and therefore liability for injuries caused by them is decided by traditional negligence principles. If one wielding fireworks breaches his or her duty of ordinary care in handling them, and such breach causes harm, the wielder is liable for the resulting injuries. Liability will be diminished in proportion to the percentage of fault attributable to the one injured. Consult an experienced California personal injury attorney if you or someone you know has been injured by the negligent handling of fireworks.

Safety Tips: 4th of July


Independence Day is one of the most celebrated holidays of the year. People put on their red, white and blue and flock to celebrate the occasion with friends and family. Fireworks are a staple of the holiday as well, with loud booms and colorful sparks resonating across the country. However, precautions are important when using fireworks, as their use causes more than 50,000 fires each year. Below is some information for fireworks safety.

According to Health and Safety Codes §§ 12505 and 12529, California divides fireworks into two categories: ‘dangerous fireworks’ and ‘safe and sane’ fireworks. Some common fireworks that fall under the category of dangerous fireworks are: firecrackers, skyrockets and rockets, sparklers more than 10 inches in length or one-fourth of one inch in diameter, torpedoes of all kinds which explode on impact, chasers and roman candles.[1] Safe and sane fireworks are defined as any fireworks that don’t fall under the dangerous fireworks or exempt fireworks categories.

In California, it is illegal to possess dangerous fireworks without a valid permit.[2] Furthermore, anyone who sells or delivers dangerous fireworks to someone under 18 years of age is subject to a fine of between $500-$1000 and/or imprisonment in county jail for up to one year.[3] Safe and sane fireworks may be purchased and used by the general public, subject to state and local regulations. A good way to find out what restrictions are placed on safe and sane fireworks in your area is to contact your local fire department.

Here are some additional tips:

Report illegal explosives, like M-80s and quarter sticks, to the fire or police department

[1] Refer to Cal. Health & Safety Code § 12505 for the full list.

[2] Cal. Health & Safety Code § 12677

[3] Cal. Health & Safety Code § 12700

Am I liable if another driver has an accident in my car? 


When another driver has an accident in your car, you become liable- or responsible- for their actions through vicarious liability. Vicarious liability, also known as imputed liability, holds an individual responsible for harm or damage caused by another individual in either a negligence lawsuit or criminal prosecution. According to California Vehicle Code section 17150, “Every owner of a motor vehicle is liable and responsible for death or injury to person or property resulting from a negligent or wrongful act or omission in the operation of the motor vehicle, in the business of the owner or otherwise, by any person using or operating the same with the permission, express or implied, of the owner.” In other words, victims may sue you for damages caused by another person driving your car.

Many states that attach responsibility to owners for another driver’s actions limit the owner’s responsibility. California Vehicle Code section 17151(a) states, “The liability of an owner, bailee of an owner…is limited to the amount of fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000) for the death of or injury to one person in any one accident, and subject to the limit as to one person, is limited to the amount of thirty thousand dollars ($30,000) for the death of or injury to more than one person in any one accident and is limited to the amount of five thousand dollars ($5,000) for damage to property of others in any one accident.” However, these limits are inapplicable if you did not use sound judgment in lending your car to the other driver. For example, if you provided your car to an unlicensed or uninsured driver, or an irresponsible driver (drunken driver, distracted driver, etc.). If you were aware of a defect in your car and still allowed someone else drive it, you are possibly negligent. For instance, if you let someone drive your car with bald tires (i.e. tread on your tires are dangerously low and unsafe), and they lost control, and injured or killed someone, you could be held liable.

Car insurance follows the car and not the driver. Depending on your car insurance, the insurance company may cover the damage caused by and to your car even if you weren’t the driver, reducing the amount you pay out of pocket for damages incurred.

Your car insurance is the primary insurance- it is the first to cover damages. If the driver also has car insurance, their insurance is secondary- it will cover damages after the limits of your policy are met. If the damage surpasses your policy limit, and the driver does not have car insurance, you will pay the remaining costs out of pocket.

Permissive use occurs when one person gives permission to another person to use an item they legally possess, in this case, a car. In regards to permissive use, your insurance may cover any driver, family member in your household, and dependent children, if you gave them permission to drive your vehicle. In some states, permissive drivers have reduced coverage while behind the wheel.

AMGEN Tour of California and Bicycle Safety

Photo Courtesy of SacTown Magazine

Photo Courtesy of SacTown Magazine

The AMGEN Tour of California

The 2015 AMGEN Tour of California kicked off in Sacramento on May 10th.  Host to Stage 1 of this year’s race, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson said, “There is no better way to start the race’s route through California’s iconic landmarks, attractions and scenery than in the state’s capital city.”  This is the 10th year of this professional cycling race that typically covers 650 – 700 miles throughout our beautiful state.

Bicycle Safety

May is Bike Safety month.  The Sacramento Valley is already considered one of America’s premier recreational biking areas with our very own Davis, California boasting the highest percentage of residents biking to work in the country, according to a May 12, 2015 Time magazine article.  Additionally, Davis is home to the United States Bicycling Hall of Fame.

With such a bustling bicycling environment, both bicyclists and motorists must respect each other and stay alert to avoid accidents.  Some important safety tips for bicyclists are to always cross at intersections, ride on the right-hand side of the street and never against traffic, use designated bike lanes whenever possible, and ride single file when riding with friends.  Additionally, be sure to wear a quality helmet.  Every year, more than 700 people are killed in bicycle accidents, most of which result from a traumatic brain injury.  Motorists can help by simply staying alert, avoid texting or using your cell phone while driving, and follow the new 3-feet passing law that went into effect in 2014 requiring motorists to give bicyclists 3-feet of space when passing.

Sacramento Bicycle Accidents

California leads the nation in cyclists killed in collisions with motor vehicles, with Florida being a not too distant second, according to a 2014 report issued by the Governors Highway Safety Association.  Surely, this comes as no surprise with our large populations and beautiful year-round weather.  According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, Sacramento County alone had 646 bicyclists killed or injured in 2012 from traffic collisions, with 180 of those collisions occurring within the Sacramento city limits.

Fault and Liability Issues

If a motorist is determined to be at fault in a bicycle accident, he or she can be held liable for the victim’s injuries or death.  In cases where negligence or wrongdoing is involved, families of deceased victims can file a wrongful death claim seeking compensation for damages.  These can include medical and funeral costs, lost future income and loss of love and companionship.

An experienced Sacramento bicycle accident lawyer can also help determine whether a collision was caused by a dangerous roadway condition.  If that is the case, the city or government agency responsible for maintaining the roadway can also be held liable.  A claim of this type against a public agency, however, must be filed within six months of the incident.

For more information, please visit the AMGEN Tour of California and Biking Safety.

I was just in an auto accident. Who do I call?

The answer: First, call 9-1-1 or the police. Second, call an attorney. Third, call your insurance company.

Most people are usually shaken up and unsure of their next steps after getting into an accident. Your mind is racing with thoughts like, ‘Am I hurt?’ ‘Are my children are safe?’ ‘Do we need to move off the road?’ and ‘I really hope that other person has insurance.’ With so many thoughts, calling an attorney is one of the last things on your mind. In reality, it should be one of the first things you do after an auto accident.

More often than not, our clients call us seeking help months after they were involved in an accident. When we ask why they waited to call us, the story is typically the same; the process became too complicated, the insurance companies were beginning to act unfairly, or the other party to the accident started changing their story. This passage of time occurs frequently and poses many challenges for your potential case.

The goal for any good attorney is creating an exact picture describing the day of the accident for the jury. They need to present the weather conditions (rainy, windy, snowy, etc.), road conditions, and essentially show the jury exactly what happened. The more you place the jury in the actual setting of the accident, the more successful the outcome of your case. However, waiting months after an accident to call an attorney creates significant problems with preservation of evidence and trial preparation. Most attorneys will want to hire an investigator to travel to the scene of the accident and take pictures. If your car accident was in June, and you waited six months to call an attorney in December, the road conditions will be different (possibly covered in snow), the weather will be different, and the surrounding area might change (i.e. road work, construction).

The passage of time also causes problems if you were injured as a result of your accident. It is difficult to remember exactly how you felt after the incident, the course of your medical treatment, and the severity of your pain. Calling an attorney early after an accident, allows us to walk you through the entire process and ensure all of the relevant evidence is preserved in order to put your best case forward.

If you call or retain an attorney, it does not automatically mean your case will go to trial. Attorneys can be incredibly helpful in dealing with insurance companies and the other party to the case. In addition, an attorney coordinates any medical treatment and investigation regarding the accident. You want to ensure all of the evidence is preserved in the event you go to trial. You are likely to lose important evidence the longer you wait to call.

So, if you are ever in an auto accident, call 9-1-1 first, then call an attorney, and contact your insurance company. This alleviates the stressful process of dealing with the accident so you can focus on your recovery, and make sure we put forth the best case possible for you. If you, or someone you know, were injured in an auto accident, call Ian Barlow or Stuart Talley of Kershaw, Cook & Talley at (888) 997-5170. An attorney will focus on your case, so you can focus on yourself.

Defective & Dangerous Products

Chicago Medical Malpractice Lawyers

The attorneys at Kershaw, Cook & Talley successfully represent consumers in lawsuits against manufacturers and companies involving defective products and product recalls. Our experienced trial attorneys recover thousands of dollars on behalf of injured individuals in cases involving defective medical devices, dangerous drugs, car defects and more.

Referring Attorneys

Best Chicago Medical Malpractice Lawyers

At times, attorneys require further expertise and resources, legally and financially, to resolve a legal matter. We have the team, capability and dedication to handle challenging cases. If you have a case exceeding your resources with respect to workforce or experience, consider contacting our firm. We welcome referrals from firms in Sacramento and throughout the United States.

Our Services

Medical Malpractice Lawyers, Kershaw, Cook & Talley

We provide free case consultations. If you, or a loved one, suffered an injury due to another’s negligence or wrongful conduct, call our firm. We will examine your individual situation and explain your legal rights. Our attorneys have extensive experience representing injured individuals, in both jury trials and settlement negotiations.

Personal Injury Attorneys, Personal Legal Service.

Kershaw, Cook & Talley is a Sacramento law firm founded on the principle of helping our clients through personalized legal services. With this philosophy, Kershaw, Cook & Talley has garnered a statewide and national reputation for providing outstanding legal representation and obtaining significant compensation for our clients.

Nationally Recognized Personal Injury Law Firm.

We understand personal injury cases are often emotionally and financially straining. Our team of top personal injury attorneys in Sacramento is committed to seeking justice for individuals injured as a result of another's negligence or intentional misconduct. At Kershaw, Cook & Talley, our experienced personal injury attorneys will hold the responsible parties accountable for their actions.


“Bill and Stu worked expeditiously to get my hip claim resolved.
I couldn’t believe how personable they were and easy to contact.”

-S. Thomas

“Stuart helped me with a case involving a defective hip replacement. He was incredibly responsive to my calls and concerns and really kept me updated on what was going on in the litigation. Even though his office was not in my hometown, he actually flew out to meet with me. He was incredibly knowledgeable about the case and really helped me through a very difficult time.”

-Personal Injury Client, as seen on AVVO

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