O'Mara & Padilla, Attorneys at Law

Encinitas Legal Blog

Be prepared by knowing the steps to take after an accident

It may not be easy to hear, but the chances that you will be involved in an automobile accident at some point in your life seem to be increasing. More drivers on the road combined with faster speeds and more distractions add up to a dangerous combination. It is likely that you already know this since you pay your insurance premiums on time and fasten your seat belt when you get into a vehicle.

Motor vehicle accidents bring your world to an instant halt. You may spend the next few weeks or even years dealing with the aftermath. This may include car repairs, medical bills or the tragic loss of a loved one. Knowing what to do from the moment the vehicles come to a rest may help you through the challenges that lie ahead.

Errant driver crashes into mechanic shop, injuring worker

Workplace accidents can take many shapes. Most commonly we think of on the job injuries being suffered in accidents that are directly related to work duties being performed. For example, warehouse workers may suffer an injury after being crushed or pinned by a forklift, while construction workers may be harmed from a scaffolding fall or and collapsing trench. While these types of situations are certainly common, they are not the only way that a workplace injury can be suffered.

To see an example of another way these instances can occur, one need only look at a recent accident in California that left an auto mechanic with injuries. Reports indicate that a driver lost control of her vehicle, causing her to strike two parked cars. After that, she steered her car into a car repair shop. Her vehicle then struck a car lift that just happened to be holding a vehicle in the air while mechanics worked on it. Debris from the collision struck one of the mechanics.

FDA approves blood test that detects brain injuries

There are a number of frightening and downright terrifying injuries and illnesses that can befall an individual at a moment's notice. Figuring out how to recover from these conditions can be expensive and stressful, especially when the injury or illness is so severe that it leaves an individual unable to live his or her normal life. This is often the case with those who suffer brain injuries.

However, there may be hope for these victims. Recently, FDA approved FDA the first blood test that can help accurately diagnose traumatic brain injuries. The test searches for proteins that can be leaked into the bloodstream by brain cells after the head is struck. Researchers say that the test can detect the proteins in as little as 12 hours after the incident, which could lead to quicker treatment. Although the tests will need to be confirmed by a CT scan, it can help pick up on trauma that may be missed by a mere CT scan alone, and it can prevent those who have not suffered a brain injury from unnecessary radiation that can be induced through a CT scan.

Personal injury claims for hope of a better future

A recent post on our blog discussed the discovery process and the importance it can have when a car accident victim chooses to take legal action against the party who caused him or her harm. In the days, months, and years following a car accident, it can be easy to lose focus of one's legal options as an individual turns to his or her recovery, return to work, and coping with what could be a life-altering injury. Yet, these victims need to make sure that they are doing everything they can to protect their legal rights. After all, succeeding on a personal injury lawsuit can punish a negligent individual, provide a victim with a sense of closure, and perhaps result in the recovery of much needed compensation.

Readers of our post on discovery may recognize, though, that the legal process, even when dealing with what may seem like an easy case, can be fraught with complicated issues. Those who are unprepared when entering this arena can be hit with surprises. When these unexpected turns are dealt with incorrectly, one's legal claim can be placed in jeopardy.

Should I settle my accident case or go to trial?

After your accident, you may have spent a lot of your recovery thinking about how to pay for your medical care. While your insurance may have covered some of the costs, you may also have out-of-pocket expenses that have crippled your budget. Additionally, there is the principle of the thing if the accident that caused your injuries was the result of someone else's negligence or recklessness.

If you have decided to seek compensation for your injuries through a civil lawsuit, you may find yourself weighing an offer of settlement from a representative of your opponent. It may even seem like a generous sum, one that would certainly make a dent in your bills. However, before you accept a settlement offer, be certain you understand the legal ramifications.

Qualified medical examiners and the return to work determination

Workers' compensation benefits can be a financial lifesaver for those Californians who are injured on the job and as a result find themselves unable to work for a period of time. Although it may seem relatively simple to obtain and retain these benefits, it can actually be quite challenging. When issues regarding one's ability to qualify for benefits arise, it may be wise to acquire the assistance of an attorney who is adept at handling these types of legal cases.

One situation where an attorney may be helpful is when questions arise as to a workers' compensation recipient's ability to return to work. Whereas an injured worker may feel like he or she is unable to return to work and should therefore continue to receive benefits, medical professionals and/or the workers' compensation board may feel otherwise. There are many factors that may come into play when a determination is made with regard to one's benefits under these circumstances, including the state of one's medical condition, the type of work the worker can perform, and the type of work his or her employer can make available for the worker.

Car accidents and the discovery process

A car accident can leave you reeling on many fronts. You might find yourself overwhelmed by the physical and emotional pain thrust upon you, but you could also wind up finding yourself with unsustainable financial burdens. If the wreck forces you to miss work, then you may suffer from lost wages. If you're hospitalized as a result of the crash, then you may incur substantial medical expenses. Without taking any action, these damages can leave you on the brink of ruin. Therefore, if you believe that the accident that harmed you was caused by the negligence of another, then you might want to consider pursuing a personal injury lawsuit.

Once you enter the legal arena, though, you need to be prepared to negotiate and litigate with a firm command of the facts and the law. Surprises, in the legal field, are rarely pleasant. Instead, they can knock your once solid case off the rails, leaving you susceptible to defeat. Therefore, you need to make sure that you conduct appropriate discovery so that you can ensure that your case is as sound as possible before going to trial.

California enacts new regulations to protect hotel workers

No one should have to put their health and safety on the line just to perform their job duties. Yet, this is the case for nearly every Californian. Even those who seem to work in the safest of environments can be at risk of injury or death. In many instances, this damage is caused slowly over time, which can make it difficult to identify and prevent. However, the state of California is being proactive in its attempt to protect workers, as its recent enactment of certain regulations show.

Recently, Cal/OSHA approved new regulations aimed to protecting hotel housekeepers. Specifically, the measure is focused on ensuring that these workers are kept safe from musculoskeletal harm. This issue often goes unnoticed until it is too late, but it is not a surprising issue, as many of these workers must consistently lift mattresses that can weigh up to 100 pounds, push carts that are loaded with heavy cleaning items, and vacuum for hours during the day. This strenuous work can result in sprains and even torn ligaments and tendons, as well as sprains and pulled muscles. These injuries can be so serious that they can cause disability.

Is your pilot fit to fly?

If you fly regularly, you may have found a way to overcome the natural nervousness many feel when boarding an airplane at San Diego International Airport. However, even if you take a flight only occasionally, your confidence in the pilot is often a comforting thought. After all, pilots are well trained and experienced before they take over in the cockpit.

What you may not realize is that the deciding factor in whether pilots are fit to fly is often the pilots themselves. Of course, pilots must undergo a routine medical exam every few years, but on a daily basis, the pilot determines if he or she is ready to take control of an aircraft, much like you decide if you are fit to drive a car or go to work.

One dead in Encinitas pedestrian accident

The warm weather that envelops the Encinitas area year-round makes it prime for taking to the outdoors. Many area residents choose to ride bicycles or motorcycles, while others take to foot as a way to get to work or school, or merely as a form of exercise. While these individuals can certainly enjoy the outdoors in this area, it is not without its risks, as pedestrians often have to be in close proximity to moving cars and trucks. Therefore, their safety is often left in the hands of motorists who may be acting negligently.

When these negligent drivers cause a pedestrian accident, the results can be devastating. Recently in Encinitas, a 61-year-old man was killed after he was struck by a car while near an intersection. Reports indicate that the wreck occurred near the Encinitas Village shopping center. The collision occurred just outside of a crosswalk, and the victim suffered extensive injuries. Although he was rushed to the hospital, he later died from his injuries. The accident remains under investigation at this time.

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