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Defective Medical Products

Defective Medical Products

Personal Injuries

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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

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.

Punitive Damages and Personal Injury Lawsuits

Image: Jeffransky.com

If you have been injured due to someone else’s negligence, there are two types of damages you may be able to recover: Compensatory and Punitive.

Compensatory damages are the most common type of damages and their purpose is to make the injured party “like whole again.” Compensatory damages can include: medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, physical disfigurement, and other economic or non-economic losses sustained because of the injury.

Punitive damages, on the other hand, are less common. Their purpose is to punish the negligent party and deter them from engaging in similar conduct in the future. Since punitive damages are not intended to compensate for any loss, they are awarded sparingly—only when the circumstances call for it. Generally, a court will consider whether the wrongdoer acted with malice, fraud, or a willful disregard for human life. However, it can be relatively difficult to prove malice in negligence cases. Similarly, courts are more willing to award punitive damages if the tort was committed intentionally (like battery).

Additionally, punitive damages are not always awarded to the injured party, since they aren’t intended to compensate the victim for any actual harm. Some jurisdictions require punitive damages to be paid directly to the court or to a charitable victims’ fund—although this too isn’t all that common.

If you have been injured and are wondering whether you can recover punitive damages, Kershaw, Cook & Talley may be able to help. Call our office at (888) 997-5170 for a free case evaluation.

How Many Personal Injury Cases Go to Trial?

Photo: Eric Chan, Flickr.com

Personal injury cases are legal disputes resolved through civil litigation. Unlike criminal cases, where the State seeks criminal sanctions against an individual, civil litigation consists of parties seeking some type of monetary damage or other specific result. Civil cases deal with a wide variety of laws including contract, tort, and property law. They are either filed as limited cases, where a plaintiff seeks damages of $25,000 or less, or unlimited cases where a plaintiff seeks damages of over $25,000. The majority of civil cases filed are personal injury tort cases where a plaintiff is seeking monetary damages for an injury sustained by another person’s negligence. These lawsuits are brought for various reasons, such as motor-vehicle accidents, medical malpractice, or defective products.

Many civil cases can be resolved without going to trial through an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) process, such as arbitration or mediation.  Arbitration and mediation bring together the persons involved in the lawsuit in an informal setting.  The goal is to reach a fair resolution without incurring the time and expense of trial.

The 2015 Court Statistics Report reported a total of 835,215 civil cases filed in California during the 2013-2014 fiscal year. About 173,420 of these cases were unlimited civil cases. Roughly, 78% of these unlimited civil cases were resolved in either a final judgement or dismissal and only 22% resolved after trial. About 507,728 cases are filed as limited civil cases and about 6% of those were resolved after trial.

While there is no exact national data, the U.S. Department of Justice reports about 4% of all personal injury cases filed nationally actually go to trial. The majority of personal injury cases are resolved in either settlements or dismissals before trial is even assigned.

Here, at Kershaw, Cook, & Talley, our attorneys have extensive experience in litigating personal injury cases. If you or a loved one has been injured, call our office at (916) 779-7000 for a free case evaluation.

Liability for Water Park Injuries- Personal Injury

Photo: The Park Catalog

Summer is here and that means families and friends will be heading to theme parks for a fun and safe day in the sun. While theme parks employ hundreds of ride supervisors and security personnel to ensure the safety of park visitors, unfortunate accidents still happen.

A clear example is the recent water slide accident this past Memorial Day Weekend at The Wave, a newly opened water park in Dublin, CA. California Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal-OSHA) authorized The Emerald Plunge, to operate during the grand opening of the park and entertain park attendees. Unfortunately, the water slide caused an accident where one of the riders, a 10 year-old boy, was whipped off of the slide, skidded onto the concrete, and suffered injuries.

While there is no clear data collected or recorded to document injuries or fatalities that occur at theme parks, incidents are commonly reported by the news media. Theme parks are known for their thrills, but patrons are still owed a duty of care from the park operators to ensure they can safely enjoy their day. At a minimum, park operators must perform adequate ride maintenance and conduct regular inspections.  If one suffers an injury caused by a malfunction, a violation of a regulation, or a lack of adequate care, the injured party may be able to prove the theme park is responsible for their injuries.

Many accidents occur on park rides or roller coasters. If machinery causes an accident, the injured party may have a claim against the park operators, as well as the manufacturers of the equipment. A theme park can also be held responsible if a patron sustains an injury because of a park employee’s negligence, such as an employee’s lack of supervision or improper training.  Furthermore, the manufacturer of the machinery can be liable if the product is defective, violates protocol, or malfunctions in a way that was reasonably foreseeable. Product liability claims can arise when there is a defect in the ride’s equipment or parts that directly caused the injury.

Let Kershaw, Cook, Talley help you if you, or someone you know has suffered an injury at a water or amusement park. Call our office at 888-997-5170 for a free case evaluation.

Stay Safe on Memorial Day Weekend

Photo: Atlanta Magazine

During Memorial Day, please take some time to celebrate and honor our nation’s fallen heroes with family and friends.  While enjoying the weekend’s festivities keep the following safety tips in mind to ensure the holiday stays fun:

Grilling

Make sure meat is sufficiently cooked in order to prevent food poisoning – up to 48 million Americans each year suffer from food poisoning according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.  Using a meat thermometer can ensure that your meat is not dangerously undercooked, as color is not always a good indicator of doneness.

Moreover, grills can be dangerous objects for young children to be around.  The extreme temperatures and often sharp edges pose a risk of harm to our little ones.  Make sure you maintain a three-foot radius around the grill that is a kid-free zone.  Additionally, keeping the grill clean of grease and cobwebs (which can ignite) can also reduce the risk of grilling incidents.

Travel

Memorial Day brings with it an increase in vehicles on the road and, therefore, a higher likelihood of traffic collisions.  About 400 fatalities occurred during the Memorial Day weekends of both 2015 and 2016, so driving safely is imperative on Memorial Day weekend in order to minimize the chances of those numbers repeating again in 2017.

Pools

Lounging by the pool and swimming is one of the most popular activities among families during Memorial Day weekend.  Let’s keep this a safe and pleasurable event.  Know the depth of the water before diving in as spinal injuries can result in paralysis or even death.  A designated “pool-watcher” can help ensure that kids stay safe when swimming and that Memorial Day stays fun for all.

Kershaw, Cook & Talley wishes everyone a fun and safe Memorial Day weekend.  If, in the unfortunate event that you or a loved one suffer harm or injury resulting from the fault of another that didn’t abide by our community safety rules, please contact our office.

Immigration Status is Inadmissible and Undiscoverable in Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Suits

Gov-Brown-Signing-Bill

Governor Brown signed AB 2159 into law today, adding section 351.2 to the California Evidence Code. Under the bill, evidence of immigration status is inadmissible and undiscoverable in personal injury and wrongful death suits.

Up until today, the governing law in personal injury and wrongful death suits was Rodriguez v. Kline. In that case, the California Second District Court of Appeal held as follows: if a plaintiff whose citizenship is in dispute seeks compensation for lost wages in court, the court holds a preliminary hearing to determine whether or not the plaintiff is “subject to deportation” and whether or not they are taking steps to correct their deportable condition.  If the plaintiff is found to be “subject to deportation”, the jury may find that the plaintiff will recover only those lost wages that he or she could have earned in his or her country of origin.

This bill ends 30 years of disparate treatment toward non-citizens in California, allowing non-citizens to recover lost wages in personal injury and wrongful death claims to the same degree as citizens. It also frees up judicial resources, allowing the court’s time to be spent answering more pressing legal questions than the immigration status of the parties in personal injury and wrongful death matters. Hundreds and hundreds of published cases cite to Rodriguez v. Kline on the question of a plaintiff’s immigration status, illustrating the magnitude of courthouse time that will be freed by ridding the judicial process of Rodriguez’s preliminary hearing requirement. Governor Brown’s bill is a welcome boon to both plaintiff’s rights and courtroom efficiency in an endeavor where both are invaluable.

If you or a loved one, citizen or otherwise, is seeking legal help for an injury or wrongful death, please contact our office so that we may assist in your recovery.

Negligent Firearm Storage and Handling

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According to an article in the Sacramento Bee, a 3-year-old girl found a loaded gun in an apartment bedroom in Lemoore, CA and shot herself in the head. Detective Matthew Smith of Lemoore police reported to the Fresno Bee that the family of the girl had been visiting from Southern California. The residents of the apartment did not own the gun and were not present when the girl found it – the weapon was registered to one of their friends. No one has been arrested, but the resident and gun owner may face civil and criminal penalties for reckless endangerment of a child and negligent storage of a firearm.

Accidental Firearm Death Statistics

According to articles written about the subject, the number of child deaths resulting from gun use each year is unknown. The data exists, but it has not been compiled or put together by anyone. The National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS), launched by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2002, combines death certificate data, but only operates in 18 states. The figures it reports are therefore not national and should not be interpreted as such. However, across the 17 states for which it has data from 2011, 11 firearm deaths resulted from a person younger than 14 years old pulling the trigger in that year alone. The true number of deaths is likely to be significantly higher across all 50 states.

Victim’s Legal Rights

In California, a court may find that a reasonably careful person would have taken greater care than the apartment lessee or firearm registrant did in order to ensure that the 3-year-old didn’t find and discharge the firearm. In that case, both the apartment lessee and firearm registrant may be liable for harm caused to the child and her family. The family would be able to collect damages for both economic and non-economic harm, including but not limited to funeral and burial expenses as well as damages for the family’s grief and mental anguish. If you or someone you know has suffered a wrongful death in the family due to negligent storage or handling of firearms, call an experienced California personal injury or wrongful death attorney in your area to help you through your tragic and difficult situation.

David Crosby Settles California Car Crash Jogger Lawsuit

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David Crosby of the former folk-rock super group Crosby, Stills and Nash agreed to a $3 million dollar settlement yesterday, for his crash into a jogger on Baseline Avenue in Santa Ynez, California. Crosby claims that he had not been drinking and was “blinded by the sun” when he crashed his 2015 Tesla vehicle into Jose Luquin, who was on an evening run with his 14-year-old son. However, according to the plaintiff’s suit, Luquin was “informed and believed” that Crosby had been drinking prior to the accident. Crosby is known for his lively history of abusing alcohol and other drugs.

The officer present “determined alcohol was not a factor” and also noted that Luquin contributed to the accident by jogging with traffic on the side of the road.

Those at the scene took Luquin to a hospital in the area to attend to his broken leg, broken shoulder, broken ribs, and damaged kidney.  The settlement allots $2,950,000 to Luquin and $50,000 to his son.

Statistics

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 9,967 people were killed in alcohol-impaired driving crashes in 2014 alone. This accounts for 31% of all traffic-related deaths in the US. Drugs other than alcohol were involved in about 16% of motor crashes.

Legal Rights of those Injured

In situations like these in California, those injured by a driver can recover damages for negligence if the driver breaches his or her duty to act with ordinary care, resulting in harm. Drinking and driving can certainly serve as such a breach of duty. However, if the injured party somehow contributed to the damages by acting negligently, recovery will be diminished in proportion to the percentage of fault attributable to the plaintiff. If Luquin took his case to court, a jury would likely determine what percentage of the accident was his fault for jogging on an less-than-strategic part of the road.

If a negligent driver has caused you or a loved one harm, contact a California personal injury attorney in your area to assist in remedying the situation.

Texting While Driving & Employer Liability

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Texting While Driving Statistics

As technology advances and the popularity of mobile devices increases, so do the number of fatalities and injuries associated with texting while driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 18% of all fatal crashes in 2012 were caused by driver distraction. In one year alone, 3,328 people died and 421,000 people were wounded.[1] In 2010, one of every eleven traffic fatalities was caused by driver cell phone use.[2] Overall, studies have estimated that twenty-eight percent of traffic accidents occur when people talk on cellphones or text while driving.[3]

Legislation

Congress has not enacted legislation implementing a national ban on texting or using a wireless phone while driving, but a number of states have passed laws banning texting or phones usage or requiring hands-free use of wireless phones while driving.[4] In June 2012, the National Safety Transportation Board (NSTB) issued a recommendation to ban the use of all cell phones while driving, including hands-free devices. California has legislation addressing each. Subject to a few exceptions, California Vehicle Code § 23123 forbids driving while using a wireless phone unless the phone is specifically designed to allow hands-free operation and is used in that way. And California Vehicle Code § 23123.5 outlaws texting while driving unless the device is designed to allow voice-operated, hands-free operation to dictate, send, or listen to a text and is used in that way.

Employer Liability

Evolving legislation may create questions for employers who require employees to communicate via telephone while operating a vehicle. Generally, the doctrine of respondeat superior (vicarious liability) allows employers to be held liable for their employee’s negligence in the operation of an automobile if the employee’s conduct was within the scope of his or her employment. The often critical question is determining, in an accident caused by texting or phone use, whether the cellular communication was within the scope of the employees employment. Employers who encourage their employees to use hands-free devices as a safe alternative while driving may reduce their liability in an accident. However, determining the full scope of liability is dependent on multiple factors, and parties with questions should consult a California personal injury attorney.

[1] https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/dangers-texting-while-driving

[2] Isaac A. Hof, Wake-Up Call: Eliminating the Major Roadblock That Cell Phone Driving Creates for Employer Liability, 84 Temp. L. Rev. 701 (2012).

[3] Danielle Lenth, Chapter 570: Paving the Way for Autonomous Vehicles, 44 McGeorge L. Rev. 787, 795 (2013)

[4] https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/dangers-texting-while-driving

65-year old woman found dead after hit-and-run in Gibson Ranch

On the morning of Saturday, June 18, the body of a 65- year old woman was found in a ditch in the Elverta area near Gibson Ranch, California. Police later identified the body as that of Donna Zurfluh, who was walking on the south side of Elverta Road between 2am and 6am when she suffered a hit-and-run collision. The stretch of road she was walking did not have a pedestrian path, and was dark when she was killed. The speed of the vehicle and cause of the collision have not yet been determined. Ms. Zurfluh served her community by teaching adults with special needs and running a recovery program for people struggling with substance abuse – we extend our sincere condolences to Ms. Zurfluh’s family and community who are undoubtedly feeling the pain of loss in her absence.

Pedestrian Injury Statistics

According to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), most pedestrian deaths occur between 4pm and midnight during weekdays, while most weekend fatalities occur between 8pm and 4am. Males seem more likely to suffer fatalities as pedestrians, with 70% of pedestrian fatalities in 2011 being male. Roughly one-fifth of children 10 to 15 years old killed in traffic accidents were pedestrians, with roughly the same figure holding true for those 65 and older. 62% of those involved in pedestrian fatalities were adults ranging from the ages of 21 and 64. Alcohol seems to be a significant factor in these pedestrian fatalities, with 37% of pedestrians killed in 2011 having BACs of .08 g/dL or higher at the time of the accident.

Victim’s Legal Rights

In addition to criminal sanctions for fleeing the scene of accident, drivers can be subject to civil penalties for causing harm by breaching their ordinary duty of care. In situations involving automobiles, drivers owe a heightened duty of care due to the dangerous nature of high-speed automobiles. If you, or a loved one, suffered injuries in an automobile accident, and you believe the driver failed to act with ordinary care, call a California personal injury attorney to receive the help you need and deserve.

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.

CLIENT TESTIMONIALS

“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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