O'Mara & Padilla, Attorneys at Law

Encinitas Legal Blog

Car accidents and the family car doctrine

It's no secret that teen drivers are often dangerous drivers. In addition to their inexperience, many of these young motorists are distracted while behind the wheel, oftentimes engaging in texting and driving. As a result, many teen drivers cause car accidents that result in serious injuries. Although the victims of car accidents can typically recover compensation for the damages inflicted upon them, this can be challenging when suing a teenager who has very little, if any, money.

This is where the family car legal doctrine can be of assistance. Under this legal theory, a parent can be held liable for the negligence of a minor when he or she causes an accident in the parent's car. This liability can be imposed regardless of whether the child is named on the parent's insurance policy. The spirit behind this law is that parents will carefully assess whether their child can properly and safely drive a motor vehicle before handing the keys over.

Just because it isn't immediate doesn't mean it won't be painful

Being involved in a motor vehicle accident is never ideal, and a similar incident can leave you feeling shaken up and unnerved. Following the crash, your primary concern likely revolved around your safety and well-being, but after walking away feeling as though you were fine, you might have chosen to forgo seeking medical care.

Although you may not experience any immediate pain following a collision, it may still be in your best interests to visit a doctor. Certain car crash injuries might not show up immediately, but that doesn't mean that they won't cause you a significant amount of pain and suffering in the future.

California workers injured when pesticide sprayed

A number of times on this blog we have discussed workplace injuries, the impact they can have on an individual's life, and how workers' compensation benefits can be helpful in helping him or her find financial stability while he or she focuses on reclaiming his or her health and getting back to work. Sometimes, though, workers' compensation isn't enough, and third-parties are responsible for a worker's injuries. When this is the case, an injured individual may be able to recover damages through both a workers' compensation claim and a personal injury lawsuit.

A group of California agricultural workers are doing just that after being harmed by exposure to pesticides. According to their claim, their employer asked another employee to spray pesticide near where the workers were performing their job duties. The workers then became exposed to the pesticide, causing them to exhibit symptoms that included breathing problems, vomiting, headaches and eye and mouth irritation. Fifteen workers had to be hosed off, and eight of them had to be taken to the hospital for additional treatment.

How can work-related back injuries be avoided?

Workplace injuries can arise from a number of circumstances. Some workers are hurt when they fall from scaffolding while others suffer injuries due to being pinned by machinery. Although there are a number of different types of workplace accidents and injuries, one of the most common types of harm suffered are back injuries.

OSHA has provided guidance to businesses in hopes of them making changes to avoid work-related back injuries. For example, when it comes to manually handling material while on the job, OSHA suggests that employers find ways to reduce the amount of weight being handled as well as the range of motion and the frequency with which those objects must be moved. By taking these steps, repetitive stress injuries may be avoided. Also, conveyor belts and carts that items are being lifted from should be built to a height that allows employees to avoid awkward and uncomfortable positions.

Our skilled litigators are ready to aggressively handle claims

We recently discussed the importance of making and meeting objections during litigation. While appropriately doing so can significantly increase the chances that you will succeed on your personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit, doing so also leaves the door open to argue those issues on appeal. This is no small thing, especially since many personal injury and wrongful death cases are reversed and remanded on appeal, meaning that they are sent back to the trial court for additional proceedings that take into account the ruling by the court of appeals. In other words, a successful appeal can give you a second bite at the apple.

Ensuring that you can adequately make and meet objections takes extensive preparation, legal know-how, and litigation skill. These are attributes held by all of the attorneys at O'Mara & Padilla Attorneys at Law. On the front end, we diligently work to ensure that we not only uncover all evidence that is beneficial and detrimental to our clients' claims, but we also critically think about the issues and the arguments so that we can anticipate the arguments that will be made by the other side.

Have you considered these possible driving distractions?

You may feel that you are a relatively safe driver. You may not drive at excessive speeds or act aggressively toward other travelers, but those factors alone may not mean that you always act in a safe manner behind the wheel. For instance, you may become distracted more often than you think.

Driving while distracted is a serious issue that often leads to severe car accidents. This type of issue is particularly scary because you and other drivers may not even realize that you have become distracted. Have you ever found yourself daydreaming while behind the wheel and not even realized how far you have traveled? If so, you drove while distracted. Many other factors could also lead to distraction.

Why proper objections and responses are so important

If you've ever watched a courtroom drama on television, then you've probably seen countless objections made. So frequently, in fact, that you may feel like you know the basic objections and what they mean. This is true for many Californians who believe they may understand the definition of hearsay or why a fact is or isn't relevant.

However, the act of making and responding to objections has far more meaning than whether or not a witness will be allowed to answer a question. This is because an objection, or its response, can preserve the issue for appeal. Essentially, this means that if a party receives an adverse judgment, then he or she can appeal the case, but only those issues that were preserved can be considered by the court of appeals. When a party fails to make an objection, the issue is considered waived on appeal, meaning that the court cannot consider it.

When a California school bus ride turns disastrous for your child

As with many California families, your children may ride school buses to and from their school every day. If your kids are athletes, they likely use bus transportation to get to many sporting events scheduled at other schools. School bus travel is, in fact, so common in the United States that you may not even give it a second thought when one of your kids takes his or her seat on one of these massive vehicles.  

Some say school officials should conduct training for students before they use this type of transportation. In recent years, there have been several serious motor vehicle collisions involving school buses. By teaching children ahead of time what to do if their bus is involved in a crash, it may help reduce the number of injuries that occur in a particular incident. If you learn that driver negligence was a causal factor to your child's injuries, there are immediate steps you can take on his or her behalf. 

Drunk driving accident leaves California state employee injured

On a daily basis, most Californians go to work to earn a living for themselves and their families. Sometimes, though, these individuals are injured on the job, which can throw them out of work for a significant period of time. When this happens, medical expenses and lost wages can take quite a toll. Although workers' compensation may be available to these individuals, those benefits don't always cover the full extent of one's losses. In instances where a third-party's negligence contributed to the accident, an injured worker may be able to pursue both workers' compensation and a personal injury claim in hopes of recovering compensation for the full extent of damages suffered.

One California Department of Transportation worker may be in this position now after being injured in a car crash while on the job. According to reports, the worker was sitting in his truck on the side of the road as part of a trash collection group when he was rear-ended by another vehicle. He was later taken to the hospital for treatment of his injuries.

Errant teenage driver strikes and kills pedestrian

While many injuries and deaths associated with car accidents occur when two or more vehicles collide, they also often involve pedestrians. Sometimes motorists fail to yield at crosswalks, but other times unsuspecting individuals are struck by vehicles while they are merely walking down the sidewalk.

This recently happened in San Marcos when an errant teenage driver ran up onto a sidewalk and struck another teenager. The pedestrian, a senior at a nearby high school, died as a result of the collision. The driver was also injured, but not seriously. Police continue to investigate the wreck to better understand exactly what happened. While that takes place, the victim's family is likely suffering extensive heartache that nobody should be forced to confront.

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