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Frequently Asked Questions About Personal Injury

Personal injury law encompasses a variety of accidents and injuries. It is common, and totally natural, for clients to have questions. Here are a few of the most frequently asked questions our team receives about personal injury matters.

What are the most common types of auto accident caused by negligence?

The most common auto accidents caused by negligence include accidents involving:

  • A driver under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • A driver who is distracted by texting, GPS, radio, eating or passengers
  • Speeding
  • Failure to maintain lane, yield, or merge properly
  • Drivers trying to “beat” traffic signals
  • Drivers following too close to other vehicles

What are the most common factors that contribute to truck accidents?

The most common factors that contribute to truck accidents are related to the truck itself. Large trucks operate much differently than smaller vehicles, and have limits on braking and acceleration. Large trucks also have much larger blind spots.

Are motorcyclists required to wear a helmet in California?

California requires all motorcycle operators to wear a helmet compliant with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) standards. This requirement is for anyone operating a motorcycle or riding on one, regardless of age.

Are bus accidents more common in some states than others?

Yes. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the 10 states with the highest average of bus accidents include California, Texas, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina. Around 51 percent of all fatal truck/bus accidents occur in these states.

Are there specific laws that pedestrians must observe?

Pedestrians are required to obey traffic laws. That includes obeying traffic signals, crossing in designated areas only, and proper use of sidewalks. Some cities and states have implemented additional laws related to pedestrians, such as not texting while walking.

What are some examples of wrongful death?

In order to qualify as a wrongful death, you must establish that death was caused by someone else’s negligence or intentional harm. Some examples of wrongful death include:

  • Car accidents caused by speeding, drunk driving, or distracted driving
  • A healthcare provider misdiagnosing or improperly treating a condition
  • A surgeon improperly performing a procedure
  • An employer negligently exposing workers to toxic substances

What should I do if I was partially at fault for an accident?

California is considered a “fault state,” meaning that you must prove fault in an accident case in order to obtain damages. If an investigation determines that another driver was 75 percent responsible for the accident, but that you were 25 percent responsible, then you can still recover damages, but the amount will be reduced according to your level of fault.

I was injured in an accident while riding in an Uber, who is responsible for my medical expenses?

Under California law, the person who is at fault for causing an auto accident is responsible for compensating anyone injured as a result. If the Uber driver was responsible for the accident, then his or her insurance (or Uber’s depending on the accident) will be responsible for compensating you for medical expenses. If another driver was at fault, then they and their insurance provider will be responsible for covering your medical expenses up to their policy limits.

Can I sue Lyft if one of their drivers assaulted me?

The answer to this question is, unfortunately, maybe. Lyft drivers are not employees but are classified as independent contractors. Because they are not legally employees, there is a gray area in determining the level of control or liability that Lyft has over the actions of a driver. Every case is different, and it is best to speak with an attorney about your case.

What is premises liability?

Premises liability is an area of law that relates to the responsibility of property owners in maintaining safe and hazard-free properties. For example, the owner of a retail store is responsible for ensuring that walkways and aisles are clean, clear, and free from spills or tripping hazards.

My spouse was killed in a car accident. Can I sue the driver that caused the accident?

If you can prove that the other driver was negligent and caused the accident that killed your spouse, then you may be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit against that driver. This could help you recover medical or funeral expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering you and your loved ones have experienced.

Do I have to pay upfront for you to represent me in a personal injury case?

No. Not only does our firm provide free consultations, but we work on a contingency fee basis. That means that we do not get paid unless you do. If we do not recover compensation on your behalf, then you owe us nothing for our services.