O'Mara & Padilla, Attorneys at Law

Encinitas Legal Blog

Autos under recall can still be sold to consumers

It may seem like auto recalls are all over the news these days. However, whether it is defective airbags, faulty wiring or any other defect, residents of California may be unaware that they are driving a defective automobile. In fact, according to one source, 63 million vehicles on our nations streets have some sort of safety recall that has not been repaired.

More recalls mean that more automakers are trying to take responsibility for vehicle defects and are offering consumers a fix, rather than sweeping the issue under the rug. However, California residents may be surprised to hear that it is not against the law for a person to sell a vehicle that has an unfixed, outstanding safety recall. This is because a person who owns a vehicle that has been recalled cannot be required to fix it.

Inmate firefighter in California dies after tree falls on him

An inmate firefighter, age 26, lost his life recently when he was struck by a 3,000-pound falling tree in California. At the time of the incident, his supervisor's radio could not get in touch with emergency officials. The victim was clearing brush when a Douglas fir started falling. The Cal Fire captain shouted at the workers to get away. The victim failed to hear the captain, since the chainsaws they were using were so loud. The falling tree hit him on the head, causing him to subsequently fall in a ditch.

The captain ordered a nearby worker to cut away part of the tree so the victim could be put on a board and moved away. However, the supervisor had trouble reaching the Emergency Command Center on his hand-held radio, due to the remote area where the incident occurred, along with the topography of the area. That instrument resembles a big walkie-talkie but it has a wider range. The captain also had problems contacting emergency officials on the mobile radio in a Cal Fire emergency vehicle. He had to travel one-quarter of a mile away from the scene of the incident, in order to finally reach help.

Those injured on the job may seek workers' compensation benefits

Whether one is working in the construction industry, in a factory or even in a white-collar job, it is entirely possible that a person could suffer an injury on-the-job that prevents them from working. For example, a person could fall from a ladder, slip on a spill on the floor or suffer a repetitive stress injury. When this happens, and a person is left unable to work for a period of time, they may be concerned about how they are going to make ends meet financially.

Fortunately, California, just like every other state in the nation has a workers' compensation system to protect workers in such situations. Workers' compensation is basically an insurance policy owned by the worker's employer, to provide benefits to workers who are injured on-the-job. By supplying workers' compensation benefits, however, this generally means that the worker cannot pursue a lawsuit against the employer.

Spinal cord injuries and your emotional health

Whether you have no memory of the accident that injured your spinal cord or you remember every excruciating moment, there is no doubt that your hours and days are now filled with the consequences of that incident. The life you knew is gone, and your family is now responsible for your care.

Undoubtedly, you are learning to deal with the pain and discomfort of your physical injuries, but the emotional and psychological toll of your situation may feel overwhelming. While the focus of your recovery is on your physical needs, your psychological needs are also vital to your ability to move forward.

Berkeley rugby player suffers paralyzing spine injury

Many California college students take both their sporting activities along with the academic studies very seriously. Unfortunately, some sports played at area colleges present a certain degree of danger. It only takes one wrong move for a sports injury to occur that affects a person's life forever.

A student at the University of California, Berkeley, has suffered a rugby injury that caused him to be paralyzed from his torso down. The incident took place at a champion rugby match in early May at Santa Clara University. While making a move during the game known as a "maul," a disc between two vertebrae located close to the bottom of his neck was thrust into his spine. His paralysis is considered to be "incomplete," since he still retains a certain amount of sensation that allows messages to be sent between his spinal cord and brain. Currently, he can manage to use his wrists a bit and has some sensation in his toes. However, his lungs and abdominal muscles were injured in the incident and are still weak, causing him to contract pneumonia.

Auto companies reach $553 million settlement for airbag defect

Auto companies Toyota, BMW, Mazda and Subaru that manufactured vehicles equipped with Takata airbags have agreed to a $553 million proposed settlement that would provide compensation to the owners of these automobiles in Encinitas and nationwide for the financial losses the suffered after the vehicles were recalled due to defects in the airbags. The settlement affects 15.8 million automobiles. Currently, the settlement is awaiting court approval.

The issue is centered on defective Takata airbags. When deployed, the inflators on these airbags utilized excessive force, which caused sharp pieces of metal to go flying at occupants in the automobiles. At least 16 individuals lost their lives due to this defect and another 180 individuals were injured due to this defect. The defect resulted in the biggest recall of motor vehicles in the United States.

Whiplash is more than just a pain in the neck

Are you suffering from whiplash after a car accident in California? This is one of the most common types of injuries suffered in motor vehicle accidents, but that does not mean that what you are currently experiencing is not serious, painful and overwhelming. It is particularly frustrating when the accident that left you injured is the result of the actions of another person or party.

Whiplash is not a life-threatening injury, but it can be a life-changing one. Just because many people with whiplash will recover in a matter of months does not mean that you will; in fact, it could leave you with long-term damage. As a car accident victim, you have the right to know your legal options, no matter the scope of your physical injuries.

Workers' compensation offers a variety of benefits

Workplace injuries or illnesses permeate every employment sector in California. Of course, it may seem obvious that construction site workers or workers in the manufacturing industry may face dangers in the workplace leading to injuries. But other professions, even office jobs, can still present dangers. For example, a person could be injured after lifting something heavy or a person could suffer injuries if they have to make repetitive movements throughout their shift every day.

Unfortunately, after being injured or made ill on the job, a person may be unable to work for a period of time while they heal from their illness or injury. When that happens, they may want to seek workers' compensation benefits. There are a number of types of benefits a person can seek.

Rate of motorcycle accidents on the rise, study finds

As the season slowly turns to summer, motorcycle enthusiasts are likely tuning their bikes and prepping for months of riding time. Although this form of transportation can provide both a fun and effective means to get from Point A to Point B, there are some risks. These risks may add to the excitement of the journey if taken wisely.

Arguably the most important step towards taking these risks wisely is acknowledging that they exist in the first place. 

How can a traumatic brain injury affect a person's life?

Whether it is caused by a car crash, a sports injury or a fall, traumatic brain injuries (TBI) can be disabling or even fatal. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reports that TBIs play a role in about 30 percent of all fatal injuries in the nation. Therefore, it is important for residents of Encinitas to recognize how a severe TBI can affect an individual's life.

When a person suffers a severe TBI, he or she may suffer from amnesia or may even be placed in a coma. Moreover, of those who were sent to the hospital due to a severe TBI, 43 percent wound up suffering a disability in relation to their TBI 12 months after sustaining the TBI.

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320 Encinitas Blvd
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