Slip and Fall Injury Case

Should You Hire a Lawyer for a Slip and Fall Injury Case?

According to a report by the National Floor Safety Institute, over one million visits made each year to hospital emergency rooms are due to slip or trip and fall accidents.  This makes up around 12% of all ER visits. While the majority of slip and fall accidents are not fatal, they can lead to some serious injuries resulting in significant medical bills and lost wages. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, falls are also the leading cause of both injuries and fatalities in people aged 65 and above.

If you were not at fault and have experienced a slip or trip and fall accident, then knowing what to do in the aftermath of the accident, and whether or not you should hire legal representation, could help you get the compensation that you may be entitled to as a result of the accident.

 

What to Do Directly After a Trip and Fall Accident

After slipping and falling, the first thing you should do is determine whether or not you need to get emergency medical attention. If you are on the scene when somebody else slips and falls, it might be up to you to decide if you need to call an ambulance for them. For example, hitting your head and losing consciousness, even if consciousness is gained quickly afterwards, could be a sign of a more serious head or brain injury, so getting to hospital is important. This applies no matter where the slip and fall accident occurs.

Even in the case of a slip and fall injury that is not so serious, getting checked out by a medical professional as soon as possible is always recommended. This is because there are some cases where injuries might not be immediately obvious. Along with this, getting the accident on your medical records on the same day, or at least as soon as possible after the accident occurred, can strengthen a future personal injury claim.

 

Steps to Take After a Slip/Trip and Fall Accident at a Business

A slip and fall in a commercial establishment can lead debilitating injuries, pain, anger and embarrassment. As in any other slip and fall situation, the first thing to do here is determine whether or not you or the person who has experienced the accident, requires urgent medical care. Wherever immediate emergency medical care is not necessary, follow these steps:

Report the Accident

The accident should be reported to the appropriate member of staff such as the store owner or manager. They will then have a policy that they will need to follow with you, which usually involves documenting what happened.

Document What Happened

Remember that the person you report the accident to will not be on your side in a personal injury claim. Because of this, you should always make your own documentation of what happened. If you can, take a photo of whatever has caused the accident. Take photos of the area you fell. Those photos may show that there were no caution signs, or floor mats. Photos like this can prove to be invaluable in a slip and fall case.

Look for Witnesses

Ask around to see if there was anybody there at the time who saw your accident happen or who saw the spill or dangerous condition before you fell. Get their contact information from them including their name, phone number, email and address. Even if they did not see the accident happen, being a witness to the aftermath, or seeing your injuries can be helpful.

Get a Copy of the Report Form

As part of the documentation of the accident that is carried out by the manager or store owner, you will usually need to fill out an incident or accident report form. This is a good way to make sure that all the facts of the accident are recorded. Once the form has been finished and filled out by both you and the manager, ask to get a copy of it or take a photo of it.

Get CCTV Footage

It can be worth noting if there is a CCTV camera covering the accident site. Take a photo of the video camera and let your lawyer know about it as soon as possible, so that they can get the footage of the accident occurring.

Get Medical Attention

If emergency medical attention was not needed, you should still see a doctor as soon as possible. This will help you rule out any more serious injuries that you might have missed at the time due to the shock and adrenalin. And the doctor will ensure that everything is included in your medical notes. Be sure to follow any instructions for recovery that you are given by your doctor.

Preserve Physical Evidence

Keep anything that might be used as physical evidence to support your case, such as the clothes and shoes you were wearing when the accident happened.

Record Your Feelings

A journal of how you are feeling each day can be very supportive for your personal injury case. It can take some time for the lawsuit to be processed, so writing down how you feel can be a great way to present the impact of the accident on you, even if by the time you go to court, you’ve fully recovered.

 

Should You Hire an Attorney After a Slip and Fall Accident?

While knowing what to do after a slip and fall accident can help to strengthen your claim, hiring an attorney is the best step that you can take after slipping and falling. They will be able to provide you with the best advice tailored to your situation and ensure that you do all the right things in the aftermath of the accident to improve your chance of getting the compensation you deserve. They can liaise with the establishment where your accident occurred, gather evidence, and negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf, while you focus on recovering from your injuries.

At Karns & Karns Injury and Accident Attorneys, we know how frustrating it can be to slip and fall in an establishment that you trusted to keep you safe. Slip and fall injuries, even when not very serious, can lead to a loss of income, medical bills, and painful injuries. If you have slipped and fallen, get in touch today to discuss how we can help you win your case.

The Steps to Take After a Truck Accident

The Steps to Take Following Commercial Truck Accidents

Due to the sheer weight and size of these vehicles, any road accidents that involve a large, commercial truck are often very dangerous and a terrifying experience. The trucking industry is a massive, important one that is integral to the economy. As consumers demand for products grows rapidly, so does the number of trucks on the road. The demand for good truck drivers has never been higher. The trucking industry is a busy, deadline-driven one that puts a huge amount of pressure on truck drivers to cover even more miles in steadily decreasing periods of time.

While it might mean that products are landing on the shelves sooner, the bad news is that the high demand is leaving many professional truck drivers in a situation where they are working under extreme amounts of pressure. In these situations, even the safest and most conscientious professional drivers can be more prone to being involved in an accident. A crash involving a truck can be a very serious accident, and if you have been involved in a road accident with a truck, it’s important to know the steps that you should take afterwards.

 

What Are Some Common Causes of Truck Accidents?

Most accidents on the road involving trucks are caused by an error on the part of the truck driver, according to FMCSA. This is often due to the high demand and pressure on the trucking industry and truck drivers. However, truck drivers are professionals who are held to a higher set of standards compared to regular car drivers. Some of the main reasons for driver error that might be behind a truck accident are:

Decision

This refers to the failure of the driver to make the best decision based on the current driving conditions. For example, this could include exceeding the speed limit, or driving at a speed that is too fast for the current road or weather conditions, such as heavy traffic or heavy rain. Drivers might also misjudge the speed that other vehicles are traveling at or risk a crash by following another vehicle too closely.

Non-Performance

This is the driver’s failure to perform their driving duties adequately. For example, this could be caused by an overworked trucker who falls asleep at the wheel, or their driving being affected by a physical impairment or health condition such as a seizure.

Performance

Over performance is one of the main types of performance issues with truckers. This could involve overcompensating for a driving error, panicking while at the wheel, or having poor directional control.

Recognition

This involves the failure of the truck driver to adequately recognize and respond to driving situations. This might be caused by a distraction inside or outside of the cab, for example, or down to simply not paying enough attention to the road.

 

What to Do If You Have Been Involved in a Truck Accident

It is important that all drivers on the road know what to do after being involved in a truck accident. The first day or two following the accident are the most critical, with a lot to do during this time.

Call the Police

After being hit by a commercial truck, the first thing you should do is call the police. Do not speak to anybody else before the police arrive, unless you need to provide emergency first aid. Always check your own condition first – if you believe you have been injured, then inform the police of this and they will send EMTs to the scene to help. Once the police arrive, they will need to get a report – this is crucial when you are filing a truck accident injury claim in the future. Provide the police with an accurate description of what happened during the accident.

Take Photos

If you can, take photos of the accident scene and the vehicles involved. Try to get at least a couple photos of the area where the accident took place, any damage to the vehicles, and any visible injuries. If you have dash cam footage, then it’s important to save this as well as it can come in very handy in the future.

Exchange Information

You will need to get some information from the truck driver who you have been involved in an accident with. If possible, before you leave the scene, get their name, contact number, license plate number, insurance information, and the name and contact information of the trucking company that they work for. If you are unable to get this information due to injury to yourself or the truck driver, be sure to arrange to have somebody do it for you.

Get Medical Help

Once you can leave the accident scene, you should seek medical attention right away. This could involve going to the Emergency Room, an Urgent Care center or seeing your doctor. Either way, the sooner you get medical attention, the better. Even if you feel fine, it is worth getting checked out by a medical professional as the shock that an accident can cause can sometimes mask the pain from injuries you have suffered. Along with this, having any injuries documented on the same day as the accident will go in your favor when it comes to filing an accident claim and getting the compensation you deserve.

Contact an Attorney

Contacting an attorney is an important step that you can take at any point during the aftermath of your trucking accident. The sooner you contact an attorney, the better. An experienced personal injury attorney who specializes in truck accidents will be able to help you better understand your case and take on the hard work for you while you focus on recovering from any injuries and getting back on the road. They will handle all negotiations with insurance companies on your behalf and obtain all the necessary documentation for filing an injury claim.

At Karns & Karns Injury and Accident Attorneys, we are ready to fight to get only the best results for our clients. We know how terrifying truck accidents can be, and whether you had a lucky escape or have suffered life-changing injuries from being involved in a collision with a truck, we want to help you get the compensation you’re entitled to – get in touch to discuss your case today.

Wrongful Convictions Happen Way Too Often

Wrongful Convictions Happen Way Too Often

Wrongful convictions occur when justice has gone wrong and someone loses important rights, such as their freedom.  We believe in our justice system to serve and protect citizens, yet all too often the system fails.  California leads the nation in exonerations of people who have been wrongfully convicted of crimes. In fact, hundreds of cases have been overturned since 1989 and freed innocent people from jail. Here we explore the causes of wrongful convictions and how they have changed and continue to shape our legal system.

In the criminal justice system, the underprivileged or poor defendants are the common victims of wrongful convictions because the cards are stacked against them. When people are charged with crimes, legal representation is important. If a person cannot afford an attorney, an attorney is appointed to them. When it comes to a criminal case, lawyers and investigators must examine evidence, call witnesses, file motions, and prepare for trial. Diving into cases, facts and evidence are crucial when an innocent person is charged with a crime. However, time, money and resources are limited either due to the workload of most defense lawyers and the availability of government funding to assist in these cases of indigent clients.

 

Causes of Wrongful Convictions

  1. MISTAKEN IDENTIFICATION

Eyewitnesses are crucial to identifying the perpetrator in a crime, but at the same time it is the number one single greatest cause of wrongful convictions. With the advent of DNA evidence and other forensic testing, eyewitness testimony has become unreliable based on the number of exonerations that have occurred in the past thirty years. But the data shows that traditional eyewitness identifications remain among the most compelling and persuasive evidence in court today.

More and more evidence has shown that a witness’s memory can be contaminated. The National Registry of Exonerations has hundreds of cases of exonerations based on DNA and non-DNA evidence that involve eyewitness misidentifications. Common forms of mistaken identification in standard lineups are:

  • Where the officer knows who the suspect is and provides unintentional cues to the eyewitness about which person to pick from the lineup.
  • The eyewitness often assumes that the perpetrator of the crime is already in the lineup because they believe the police did their job, but all too often, the police don’t have the right suspect.
  • The officer fails to confirm an eyewitness’ level of confidence at the time identification is made, which leads the eyewitness to be susceptible to outside information.

In the age of cellular phones and social media, more and more people are finding out the truth about police violence and these videos have made a whole movement with the George Floyd case. As we continue to see videos and photos taken, we may see more and more guilty people found, than innocent people.

  1. FALSE CONFESSION

In recent years, police tactics and conspiracies and misconduct has come to the forefront.  Illegal practices such as physical and mental exhaustion, stress, hunger, limited education or mental incapacity have led innocent defendants to make incriminating statements, which then lead to false confessions and then an innocent person is charged and convicted of a crime they did not commit. It’s hard to believe, but police are trained to use these tactics all the time, while the general public don’t know anything about interrogation.

External influences and circumstances such as: intimidation, use of force, fraudulent interrogation, threats on family members and duress have all contributed to false confessions.  People who are immature or uneducated oftentimes are manipulated to please authority figures to their own demise believing something else is worse than confessing to a crime they did not commit. Innocent people who have provided a false confession will often recant it afterward. Sadly, the confessions that are given under pressure or by means of coercion are still used to convict them of a crime that they did not commit.

  1. FALSE FORENSIC EVIDENCE

DNA analysis has helped exonerate many innocent people and found many guilty people at the same time. While DNA testing was developed through extensive scientific research at top academic centers, many other forensic techniques have not been validated. Many other forensic analyses have been developed and even those are not as reliable as DNA analysis. This is primarily due to the improper use, investigation or accuracy of the data presented to a jury.  In addition, forensic analysts have been found to fabricate results, overexaggerate or engage in other misconduct.

False or misleading forensic evidence was a contributing factor in 24% of all wrongful convictions nationally, according to the National Registry of Exonerations, which tracks both DNA and non-DNA based exonerations.

Examples of when forensic evidence has gone wrong are:

  • Hair comparisons, where experts overstated the probability of a match.
  • Bullet Analysis were not accurately linking bullets found at a crime scene to bullets possessed by a suspect and thus is no longer used.
  • Arson cases where experts could not identify intentional fires and accidental fires by the appearance of the evidence.

Only seven states have enacted laws to allow wrongfully convicted people back into court based on discredited forensic evidence.  California, Connecticut, Michigan, Nevada, Texas, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

  1. PERJURY BY INFORMANTS

Perjury happens when someone willfully lies under oath. Police use informants very often. Jailhouse informants often testify against a defendant and they often have been incentivized to testify. Its alarming, but perjury is one of the central basis in convicting an innocent person.

Over half of the exonerations have been based on false accusation or perjury. Why do they lie?  Many times its because they have been promised some benefit for testifying against the defendant, such as a special privileges in jail, desire to get a deal from prosecutors or police, or even money.  The lies can be made up, or they can be based on information provided by police and detectives who want to get “their guy.” This information is information the informant never knew about until given to them by police which is very egregious. The highest percentage of exonerations from perjury or false accusations involve high crimes, such as homicide and child sex abuse cases.

The jury is supposed to hear about the credibility of the incentivized witnesses who testified against a defendant, including the exact benefits received, the witness’s history of cooperating in other cases, and the witness’s criminal history. If this information is not disclosed, the defendant’s right to a fair trial has been violated. Unregulated jailhouse informant testimony sends hundreds of innocent people to prison and it’s the worst type of injustice in the criminal system. Someone loses their freedom, the victims of the crime get no real justice and taxpayers pay millions.

  1. OFFICIAL MISCONDUCT

More and more wrongful conviction cases are found because law enforcement and prosecutors are motivated to get convictions. Cities, counties, states, and the federal government all have a duty to find innocence and guilt. Call it ego, call it bias, or indifference or call it what it is, utter and total official misconduct. These are the very people who are in charge of seeking truth and justice. When wrongful conviction cases come out, the public is shocked to see the level of negligence, fraud and misconduct by prosecutors or police officers and detectives. If there is even one dishonest officer or prosecutor, wrongful convictions will continue to occur.

What’s surprising is that many times police, prosecutors, and judges are not held accountable for prosecutorial misconduct that leads to wrongful convictions, such as fabricating evidence, reducing to talk to witnesses, presenting false testimony, or refusing to consider other suspects. This is largely due to immunity laws that protect them from liability even in cases of gross misconduct.

 

How to Avoid Wrongful Conviction

While there is often nothing that people who are wrongfully convicted could have done to prevent the events that led to it from unfolding, it’s important to know what you can do, and what to avoid if you are accused of or arrested on suspicion of a crime that you know you have not committed.

 

Avoid Giving in to Pressure

Some police detectives and investigators will put suspects under a lot of pressure in order to get them to crack and give a confession. Unfortunately, this can lead to false confessions. It is important to be mentally strong when you are being investigated and interrogated by the police. No matter how much others might appear to be convinced of your guilt, you must remember that you are innocent until proven guilty, and you should never ever confess to a crime that you did not commit. Remember that you have a right to remain silent.

 

Don’t Speak Without a Lawyer

Whether you are paying for a private attorney or have been given a public defender, you have a right to request legal assistance throughout the process, and you do not have to speak to police officers if you are not accompanied by your lawyer. Having your lawyer beside you throughout all interviews and questioning is highly recommended. They will spot any tactics that might be used by police offers to try and coerce a false confession from you and put a stop to it.

 

What to Do if You Are Wrongfully Convicted of a Crime Overturning a Conviction

Getting a conviction overturned can be a difficult, time-consuming process. Each case is unique, so the amount of time that it can take to get a result can vary depending on the unique circumstances. Sixteen years is the average time that somebody will wait to be completely exonerated, according to the Innocence Project, but there have been cases that have taken over three decades.

 

Getting Compensation for Wrongful Conviction

Overturned convictions can result in the wrongfully convicted person getting a substantial compensatory award. Some states have a cap on how much money an exoneree will be awarded, while others do not cap this at all. The amount of compensation that you may be entitled to if you are found to have been wrongfully convicted of a crime and are exonerated will depend on several factors, including the impact that it has had on your life. People who have served significant time in prison for a crime that they are later found to have not committed will usually be entitled to the largest payouts.

If you or a loved one has been wrongfully convicted of a crime that you did not commit, we want to hear from you. Depending on the seriousness of the crime, it could steal away years of your life for no reason. Why not talk about it with a qualified lawyer today.

Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit

Why The Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Is A Big Deal?

The news about the water contamination has shocked the nation recently. You may have seen various news articles about it and are unsure what it means. From 1953 to 1987, the drinking water at the United States Marine Corps Base Camp in Jacksonville, North Carolina was found to be contaminated and the government knew it. It wasn’t until the 1980s that the United States government finally confirmed extremely dangerous contaminants in two of the eight the ground water plants at the military base. The toxic chemicals were anywhere from 240 to 3,000 times the safety levels. The Agency for Toxic Substance Diseases and Disease Registry (ATSDR) believe that as many as one million military and civilian families were exposed to the contaminated water either by drinking it, showering with it, and/or cooking with it. The exposure went on for decades and the effects of the contamination were so widespread and deadly that the government is now doing something about it. With the recent passing of the Camp LeJeune Justice Act, victims of Camp LeJeune water contamination can finally seek the compensation they deserve. To see if you qualify, call (877) 398-3863 or get a free case evaluation.

What Was In The Water At Camp Lejeune?

According to the ATSDR, tests show that the water plants contained as many as 70 dangerous chemicals, including:

  • trichloroethylene (TCE),
  • tetrachloroethylene (PCE),
  • vinyl chloride (VC) and
  • benzene

The effects of exposure to these volatile organic compounds and dangerous chemicals have been linked to serious diseases, such as cancer and even death. Exposure to these chemicals can also increase the risk of birth defects and other health problems depending on when a person was exposed, the length of exposure, the type of exposure and an individual’s own personal body and habits.

What Health Conditions Are Linked To The Camp Lejeune Water Contamination?

The list of health effects and medical conditions linked to the water contamination is extensive. The toxic exposure at Camp Lejeune may lead to deadly medical conditions, including:

  • Kidney cancer
  • Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
  • Multiple Myeloma
  • Leukemia
  • Liver cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Birth defects
  • Bladder cancer
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Aplastic anemia
  • Kidney diseases
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Rectal cancer
  • Brain cancer
  • Systemic Sclerosis/Scleroderma
  • Cardiac defects
  • Miscarriage
  • Female infertility

During the contamination period, nearly a million civilian workers, military service members and their families were exposed. Unfortunately, pregnant women, newborns and young children who consumed water while at Camp Lejeune are likely the highest at risk of developing deadly medical conditions, cancers, and other diseases. For decades, more and more research has shown that the drinking water contained chemicals that are known to be severely harmful and have been linked to these serious health conditions. In fact, multiple scientific studies and even government measures have confirmed the link between Camp Lejeune’s toxic water and these illnesses.

If you or a loved one suffered health problems or cancer from the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, contact an attorney at Karns & Karns to discuss your compensation. To see if you qualify, call (877) 398-3863 or get a free case evaluation.

What Does The Camp Lejeune Justice Act Mean?

Recently, Congress passed the Camp Lejeune Justice Act which was part of the Honoring our PACT Act signed into law by President Biden on August 10, 2022. The Camp Lejeune Justice Act now provides victims of the toxic exposure to file for compensation based on their injuries. The Camp Lejeune Justice Act claims that the toxic chemicals present in the water caused severe injuries and lead to chronic illnesses or even death. It is reported that over $6 billion dollars have been allocated to victims from Camp Lejeune who now live with severe health related problems.

Up until now, service members and civilians who were affected by the water contamination had to rely on the Veteran Affairs department and the benefits provided by the government, which were limited. Now Veterans, their family members, and others stationed at Marine Corps Base in North Carolina for more than 30 days between August 1, 1953 through December 31, 1987, can file a separate lawsuit for financial compensation.

If you served at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune or the New River Marine Corps Air Station in North Carolina, it is very likely that you had contact with the toxic chemicals. The evidence has shown a direct link between exposure to these toxic chemicals during military service and development of certain diseases later on. If you were stationed at Camp Lejeune and have a current diagnosis of one of the conditions listed above, you may be able to receive compensation under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act.

Do You Qualify For A Camp Lejeune Lawsuit?

The Camp Lejeune Justice Act provides compensation for valid claims that are timely filed within two years from the date President Biden signed the Act into law, which was August 10, 2022. However, there are additional requirements that must be met before then. If you believe you qualify, contact our attorneys today to discuss your claims.

The basic requirements for the Camp Lejeune lawsuit is as follows:

  1. You or a loved one must show evidence of exposure to the contaminated water for at least 30 days between August 1, 1953 and December 31, 1987;
  2. You or a loved one did not leave military service due to a dishonorable discharge; and
  3. You or a loved one must have been diagnosed with one of the above health conditions.

But if you or a loved one only meets the first criteria that doesn’t mean that you don’t qualify for the lawsuit. The Act provides that if you were exposed to the contaminated water during the contamination period, but have not developed an illness yet, you may still qualify for compensation when you do get diagnosed. In this case, you have two years from the date you receive a diagnosis to file a claim for damages.

Unfortunately in some cases the injuries from the toxic water contamination lead to death. If you have suffered the loss of a loved one who has met the criteria above, you can file a wrongful death lawsuit now regardless of when your loved one passed away.

The deadlines for a lawsuit can be complicated and difficult to navigate. At Karns & Karns we walk you through the entire process and keep you informed. If you want to discuss your legal options, contact Karns & Karns today. To see if you qualify, call (877) 398-3863 or get a free case evaluation.

Why Is Acting Fast Important?

The Act provides for over $6 billion dollars in compensation to potentially a million or more individuals. The Act also provides a limited time to file an injury claim. The government will rank the lawsuits into tiers based on the value of the claims. When suing the government, there is a claims process that must occur before filing a lawsuit. After the claims process, the lawsuit is filed and litigation begins. It is hopeful that by then most of these cases will be already ranked and we will know the number of claims involved. Because these claims are based on injuries, medical records will help prove the injury was connected to the toxic water at Camp Lejeune. Our office can help victims gather relevant medical records and other information to make your claim.

It is important that you obtain experienced legal representation right away.  At Karns & Karns, we recommend that you act fast to protect your rights.

  1. Find the right attorney for your claim
  2. Get a free case evaluation
  3. Former Marines should obtain proof that they were stationed at Camp Lejeune (Request Form DD214)
  4. Civilians should request copies of their Social Security Work History (Form SSA-7050-F4) or W-2 or earnings stubs
  5. Medical records showing your related health condition
  6. List your medical providers

Some people may have forgotten about the exposure over the past three decades.  Don’t wonder about your legal options, contact us for a free case evaluation.

Our legal team is ready to listen to your story.  There’s no cost to speak with us, and we’re available 24/7.  Call (877) 398-3863 or get a free case evaluation to see if you qualify.

How To Negotiate A Car Accident Injury Case Without A Lawyer‎

How To Negotiate A Car Accident Injury Case Without A Lawyer‎ 

 

How much car insurance should I have? This is a question we get asked all the time. And there is no right answer. The simple answer is: it depends. Another great answer is, as much as you can afford!

The whole purpose of insurance is to protect you from the unknown. It is impossible to predict when an accident might occur, and how much damage it will cause. Insurance is all about peace of mind. You buy insurance to put yourself at ease so that if an unfortunate accident occurs, your insurance company will pay for the damages, not you.

All 50 states in the United States require that drivers have some minimum automobile insurance coverage. It is important to understand, however, that the minimum required insurance will rarely cover the damages that result from even a relatively minor accident. California’s minimum requirement for bodily injuries is only $15,000.  With medical expenses and pain and suffering damages, car accidents very often cause farm more than just $15,000 in damage. If you are found legally responsible for a car accident and the damages are more than what your insurance policy covers, you are personally liable for paying the difference out of your own pocket. You can see why only having the minimum required coverage does not really satisfy the peace of mind of having car insurance.

At Karns & Karns, this is why we recommend buying as much auto insurance as you can comfortably afford. We don’t mean for that to sound glib. We say it because it is good advice. Minimum insurance does not buy peace of mind. The decision of how much insurance you can comfortably afford is a complicated one. We recommend that you speak to an insurance agent about tailoring your insurance coverage based upon your personal needs and financial condition. Talk to your insurance agent about other types of insurance that can be purchased together with an automobile policy. For example, an umbrella policy or an excess policy can be a great option. This type of policy will kick in and cover you when your underlying automobile insurance coverage is all used up. Also, umbrella policies are usually much less expensive than purchasing additional auto insurance and they cover a broader range of negligence.

Finally, a word about Uninsured/Under-Insured Motorist coverage (UM/UIM). Unfortunately, many drivers on the road have minimum policies or no automobile insurance at all. If you get hit and injured by one of these drivers, there may not be enough insurance coverage to pay for your damages. Like we explained above, $15,000 does not go very far. Even worse, if the driver who hits you is completely uninsured, there will be no insurance to cover any of your damages at all. At Karns & Karns we strongly recommend purchasing UM/UIM coverage. This type of insurance will help cover your damages if you are hit by a driver with little or no insurance. Other drivers on the road cannot be relied upon to have adequate insurance or any insurance at all. This is why we strongly recommend you purchase the highest amount of Uninsured/Under-Insured Motorist coverage you can. It is some of the cheapest insurance out there and will give you that peace of mind.

We offer free consultations and have a track record of providing our clientele with the compensation they rightfully deserve. If you think we might be able to assist you with your legal issues, we’re patiently awaiting your call. You can reach us by calling 888-779-1180.

Leading Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Los Angeles

Leading Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Los Angeles   

Motorcycles are a popular means of transportation in California, especially in Los Angeles. With heavy traffic, a sprawling metro area, warm sunny weather, and favorable lane-splitting laws, Los Angeles is perhaps the place where owning and riding a motorcycle as a daily commuter makes more sense than anywhere else in the world.

Unfortunately, with thousands of registered motorcycles in the city, plus all the careless and distracted drivers on the road, Los Angeles is also the site of more motorcycle accidents than any other metro area. Motorcycle drivers sustain more severe injuries from a collision than car drivers because they don’t have that protective shell of metal around them.

Learning more about the common causes of motorcycle accidents can help you drive defensively and protect yourself on the roadways. If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle crash, a personal injury attorney in Los Angeles can help.

 

What Are the Leading Causes of LA Motorcycle Accidents?

No matter how safely you drive, a moment of negligence or recklessness on the part of another driver can cause a catastrophic crash, such as:

  • Lane-splitting
  • Poor road conditions or road hazards
  • Cars or trucks making left-hand turns
  • Head-on collisions
  • Drivers operating vehicles under the influence of drugs or alcohol

We’ll go into detail about these causes a little bit more. Your personal injury attorney in Los Angeles can help you understand which party or parties may be at fault for your collision.

 

Lane Splitting

Lane splitting refers to a motorcycle operator driving between two lanes of stopped or slow-moving cars, effectively creating a lane for themselves. Lane splitting is illegal in many states, but not California.

The California Vehicle Code defines lane splitting. This happens when a rider operates a motorcycle between slowed or stopped vehicles that share the same lane. Lane splitting can happen on either divided and undivided streets, highways, or roads.

There is a debate about the safety of lane splitting. There are certainly some obvious dangers with lane splitting.  The biggest danger to a motorcycle driver is a car suddenly changing lanes into a faster-moving lane, not seeing the motorcyclist, and hitting them. There is also less room for a motorcyclist to maneuver in the narrower space between two lanes. Car drivers may not anticipate a motorcyclist driving in between lanes and therefore may not be looking for them when changing lanes.

On the other hand, there are also risks associated with a motorcycle sitting in stop-and-go traffic.  Lane splitting at moderate speeds may be safer than the motorcyclist driving behind a vehicle. It may reduce the risk of a rider being rear-ended in stop-and-go traffic, since the motorcyclist is often harder to see.

Many people do not fully understand the rules and nuances of lane splitting, and automatically assume the motorcyclist is at fault for any collison.  There is a well-known bias that exists against motorcyclists.  That’s why it is important for all riders to have an experienced and aggressive lawyer in their corner to help defend their rights when they are involved in a lane-splitting accident.

 

Poor Road Conditions or Road Hazards

From uneven surfaces to potholes and cracks, road hazards can be more dangerous for motorcycle riders than drivers of regular cars or trucks.

Los Angeles often has road construction, too, which can be tricky to navigate, as people may be taking detours and not paying as much attention to other drivers on the road. The balance required to stay on the bike over poor road conditions makes it harder for a motorcycle driver to avoid a collision. Loose sand or gravel on the roadway in construction areas can pose a huge risk to riders.

If the city or county of Los Angeles is responsible for not maintaining the roadways, or for unsafe construction zones, then they may be to blame for a motorcycle accident.

 

Head-On Collisions

This type of crash is just how it sounds — another vehicle collides with the motorcycle rider from the front. These types of collisions account for more than half of all motorcycle-related fatalities, as there is often no time or opportunity for the rider to lay the bike down. These collisions occur most often when another driver runs a stoplight or tries to beat a red light.

 

Left-Hand Turns

Cars or trucks making left-hand turns may strike a motorcycle driver driving straight through an intersection.

Oftentimes, drivers may not use their blinkers, which makes it hard or impossible for a responsible rider to anticipate the turn. Or, they may simply not see a motorcyclist if they’re trying to overtake a car. The rider may often be in the car driver’s blind spot.

 

Driving Under the Influence (DUI)

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is incredibly dangerous but sadly, not uncommon on the streets of Los Angeles.

A drunk driver may not have fast enough reflexes to avoid striking a motorcyclist or might be driving recklessly and speeding. Because of a motorcycle’s small size, they’re harder for car drivers to see, especially when the driver is intoxicated.

 

What Kind of Injuries Does a Motorcycle Collision Cause?

It’s not uncommon for victims of motorcycle accidents to suffer significant harm. Although helmets are required in California, they can’t protect drivers 100% from concussions or traumatic brain injury (TBI). Broken limbs are also common, as are “road rash” or “degloving” injuries, when the top layers of the dermis and epidermis of your skin are scraped away.  Any rider cringes at the prospect of these sorts of injuries.

Medical bills after a motorcycle accident can quickly add up, including emergency care, surgeries to correct physical damage, or physical therapy and aftercare. For responsible riders who are injured in an accident because of another driver’s negligence, hiring a personal injury attorney in Los Angeles is essential to ensuring that they get full and fair compensation for all of their injuries and damages.

We offer free consultations and have a track record of providing our clientele with the compensation they rightfully deserve. If you think we might be able to assist you with your legal issues, we’re patiently awaiting your call. You can reach us by calling 888-779-1180.

What to do if you are involved in a car accident

What to do if you are involved in a car accident

  1. STAY IN YOUR CAR AND GET TO A SAFE SPOT. Never get out of your car in traffic.  If you get out of your car in the roadway, you might be hit by another car.  Your best bet is to stay in your car, and if possible, move your car to a safe spot out of traffic.  This usually means over to the right shoulder.  If you’re on a busy street, consider turning onto a side street.  If your car is too damaged to move safely, or if you or anyone else is too injured to move safely, then just stay in your car and proceed to Step #2.
  2. CALL THE POLICE. California law requires that all traffic accidents be reported to the local authorities.  Do not be afraid to call 911.  If anyone is injured, immediately call 911 and be sure to request an ambulance.
  3. EXCHANGE INFORMATION. Once you are safely pulled to the side of the road and out of the flow of traffic, be sure to get the names, addresses, phone numbers, driver’s license numbers, license plate numbers, and insurance information of all involved drivers.  Emotions will almost always be running high at this point, but try to remain calm and respectful.  Do not discuss who is at fault… there will be plenty of time for that later!
  4. TAKE PICTURES. Make sure you take pictures of all the cars involved in the accident.  Pictures that show damage to the cars in the accident are extremely important, because they can help prove how an accident happened.  Pictures of damage to vehicles, damage to other property, skid marks, etc. can also help corroborate injuries.  You can never take too many pictures.
  5. TALK TO WITNESSES. Be sure to get the name and phone number of any witness, even if the other driver admits the accident was their fault.  An at-fault driver (or their insurance company) will often try to change their story and deny any wrongdoing.  Witnesses who can verify what happened in an accident will help ensure that at-fault drivers and their insurance companies don’t try to weasel their way out of accepting responsibility for their negligence.
  6. GIVE YOUR STATEMENT TO THE POLICE. When the police respond to the scene, cooperate fully with them and aide them in their investigation.  Speak clearly and slowly.  The police will give you a receipt with instructions for how to request a copy of the police report.  It’s usually a little quarter-sized or half-sized slip of paper.  Be sure to keep that receipt in a safe place, because you will need it later.
  7. IF YOUR CAR IS TOWED FROM THE SCENE. If your car is not drivable, the police will call a tow truck to have your car moved to a certified police tow yard.  The tow truck driver will give you a receipt with the location and phone number of that tow yard.  Be sure to keep that receipt in a safe place, because you will need it later.
  8. TREAT YOUR INJURIES. If you are badly injured, treating your injuries is usually not a choice.  You may be rushed to an emergency room in the back of an ambulance.  But even if you are able to safely drive away from the scene of an accident, it is important to see a doctor if you are experiencing any pain or discomfort at all.  This includes what people commonly refer to as whiplash symptoms.  Whiplash is a phrase that has been hijacked by the insurance industry and turned into a code word for “minor injury that will get better with just a little time.”  But frequently, what feels like whiplash may actually be a much more serious injury.  This is the type of injury that will NOT get better with just a little time.  Sometimes, pain symptoms can develop hours or even days after an accident.  One of the best ways to see a doctor quickly for a non-life threatening injury is to visit an urgent care facility.  Urgent care facilities tend to operate a little more efficiently than emergency rooms.  If you experience any symptoms associated with head trauma, such as nausea, dizziness, blurred vision, or slurred speech, be sure to visit a doctor immediately.
  9. CALL A LAWYER.  There is only one person who can truly protect your legal rights after an accident: your lawyer.  It is important to understand that your legal rights and interests will not be protected by insurance companies, not even your own insurance company.  In fact, insurance companies will almost always take immediate steps to minimize the value of your injury claim.  Your own insurance company will try to find a way to make the accident partially your fault, so they can increase your rates later!  Call the lawyers at Karns & Karns before you do anything else, and keep insurance companies in check. We offer free consultations and have a track record of providing our clientele with the compensation they rightfully deserve. If you think we might be able to assist you with your legal issues, we’re patiently awaiting your call. You can reach us by calling 888-779-1180.

Karns & Karns Opening New Las Vegas Location!

Karns & Karns Opening New Las Vegas Location!

We at Karns & Karns are pleased to announce that we are opening up a new location in lovely Las Vegas, Nevada. We have a history of working incredibly hard for our clients across California and getting them the maximum compensation they deserve. We’re excited to bring the same dedication and attention to detail to Nevada!

If you’ve been in an accident involving some serious injury, been harmed because of defective or dangerous products, or want your civil rights protected, you’re in the right place. We know how to lead our clients through every step of the legal process, and we may be able to alleviate any legal stressors in your life with our effective skills and practices.

 

Personal Injury Lawyers in Las Vegas, Nevada

When you’re harmed at no fault of your own, you deserve to be fairly compensated. We have successfully represented many clients in a multitude of personal injury areas.

 

Car Accident Lawyers

If you’ve been in a car accident, you might know how confusing or overwhelming it feels to deal with the aftermath. We have extensive experience in car accident law and defending victims who’ve been in these kinds of collisions.

 

Wrongful Death Lawyers

Losing a loved one may feel troubling. While this process is likely to be challenging to deal with, we may be able to help make it feel less stressful and complicated. We want you to be able to return to a sense of normalcy as quickly as possible, as well as win you the compensation you deserve following the wrongful death you and your family have experienced.

 

Uber and Lyft Accident Lawyers

While rideshare accidents may seem highly similar to other kinds of collisions, the involvement of an employing company may make these types of incidents seem more confusing. In many cases, rideshare companies—including Uber and Lyft—may be responsible for paying the damages and we are the right law firm to help you get the compensation you deserve.

 

Brain Injury Lawyer

If you’ve endured a brain injury, the affect on your life will never be the same. Suppose you’ve been in an accident and you need compensation for your medical bills, property damages, lost wages, lost earning capacity, or any other aspect of your life or future that’s affected as a result of someone else’s negligence. In that case, you deserve top notch legal representation and a team of legal and medical experts to get you the most compensation.

 

Pedestrian Injury Lawyer

Pedestrians often go outside with the least amount of protection, at least in comparison to the other large vehicles that are driving all around them. Because of this, they may be at the greatest risk for severe injury. If you’ve been hurt as a pedestrian, we believe you deserve the highest possible compensation and we are always here to assist you.

 

Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

Motorcyclists are generally driving significantly smaller vehicles than those around them. While this often allows them the ability to better see what is going on around them, in some cases, it can lead to injury. If you’re looking for good legal representation following your motorcycle accident, you’re in the right place.

 

Slip and Fall Lawyer

Many places, including grocery stores and restaurants, allow customers to come in and exchange money for goods or services. However, there are occasionally hazardous spills and environments that, when left unattended, may lead to severe injuries. We may be able to assist you in receiving the necessary compensation and holding these businesses accountable for their negligent actions.

 

Truck Accident Lawyer

If you’ve been in a truck accident, including one involving a big-rig, semi-truck, or 18-wheeler, we feel you deserve compensation for your injuries and damages, and are ready and willing to help. Truck companies and manufacturers are often to blame for these accidents, especially if they force their employees to work long hours or do not follow safety rules and procedures.

 

Our Other Practice Areas

We at Karns & Karns also pride ourselves in assisting our clients in several other practice areas.

 

Other Personal Injury Cases

There are other circumstances where you might face severe injury, and they may include the following:

  • Boating accident
  • Bus accident
  • Burn accident
  • Construction site accident
  • Dog bite
  • Train accident

If you’ve experienced injury due to the fault of another party, you deserve to be fairly compensated and have the best legal representation.

 

Other Practice Areas

We also passionately and deliberately represent clients who’ve been harmed in other ways. Our legal team may be able to help you in some of the following areas:

  • Defective and Dangerous Products
  • Insurance Bad Faith
  • Federal and State Civil Rights Violations, including these common areas:
    • Police brutality
    • Excessive force
    • Prison abuse or neglect
    • Wrongful death by law enforcement
    • Sexual assault
    • School abuse and neglect
    • Mistreatment of children or the disabled

We have extensive legal experience, and are equipped to give you the assistance and compensation you need and deserve. If you’re planning on taking legal action for any reason, it’s strongly recommended you hire a qualified attorney in the appropriate practice area for your case.

 

Reach Out to Karns & Karns for Assistance With Your Legal Issues in Las Vegas, Nevada

We at Karns & Karns may be new to Las Vegas, but that doesn’t mean we’re lacking in legal knowledge. We’re award-winning attorneys, touting the title of “Top 100 National Trial Lawyers,” an Avvo rating of 10.0, and many other honorable accolades that prove our dedication to success for our clients.

We offer free consultations and have a track record of providing our clientele with the compensation they rightfully deserve. If you think we might be able to assist you with your legal issues, we’re patiently awaiting your call. You can reach us by calling 888-779-1180.

Los Angeles Rideshare Accident Lawyer

Los Angeles Rideshare Accident Lawyer

If you’ve been in a rideshare accident, you may feel confused about what next steps to take. What should you do after a rideshare accident? How do you figure out who’s at fault and who’s paying for the damages? And how long do you have to file a claim in Los Angeles?

We at Karns & Karns are highly experienced in personal injury law, including car and rideshare accidents, and we may be able to give you the guidance you need. Allow us to break down everything you need to know about rideshare accidents in Los Angeles.

 

How Do You Calculate Fault After a Los Angeles Rideshare Accident?

In California, including Los Angeles, fault in a personal injury accident is calculated on pure comparative negligence. This means that in a rideshare accident, multiple parties might be at fault and responsible for paying damages.

In general, fault is calculated in percentages as determined by legal representatives and insurance companies. In order to calculate the damages a particular party is responsible for, you multiply their percentage by the total amount of damages.

If the driver of a rideshare vehicle is driving while texting and rear-ends the vehicle of a driver who is rubbernecking, both parties maybe at fault. Maybe the rideshare driver is considered 60% at fault, and the rubbernecking driver is responsible for 40% of the damages. If the total amount of damages is calculated to be two million dollars, the rideshare company and driver may be responsible for $1.2 million in damages.

 

Who Pays for Damages in a Los Angeles Rideshare Accident?

At-fault parties will need to pay the damages for a rideshare accident. In a typical car accident, these damages may be paid for by insurance companies. However, in rideshare accidents, the rideshare company itself may be held liable depending on the damages. Whether or not the rideshare company is responsible may also be determined by the driver’s status within the phone application used to manage the ride. This may include the Uber or Lyft apps, for example.

In a case where the rideshare driver does not have the application active on their device, they will likely be responsible for paying all of the damages out of their individual insurance or their own pocket. This is similar to being off the clock, as employers are typically not liable for accidents that occur while employees are off company property and not working.

However, in the case the rideshare driver has the app running and is waiting for work, the rideshare company will generally be held liable to a certain extent. In this case, Uber or Lyft will generally pay for up to $50,000 in bodily injury per person, $100,000 in bodily injury per accident, and $25,000 in property damage per accident.

Suppose a rideshare driver is en route to pick up a rider or is on the way to a rider’s final destination. In that case, rideshare companies will often offer even more coverage: up to one million dollars. However, in some cases, rideshare drivers may be required to use their own collision insurance to pay for damages.

 

What is the Statute of Limitations for a Los Angeles Rideshare Accident?

In California, the statute of limitations for most personal injury claims is two years. A personal injury accident generally includes any accident where at least one party has been injured, and this may include your rideshare accident case.

 

What Can a Los Angeles Rideshare Lawyer Do for You?

If you’re considering taking legal action following your Los Angeles rideshare accident, you may want to hire a lawyer to assist you in your case. Your lawyer may be able to help you throughout the entirety of the legal process in many ways.

 

Referrals and Resources

Many lawyers may be able to offer suggestions for medical care facilities to visit, as well as, supply you with extra resources that might be helpful to your recovery. We strongly recommend visiting a medical professional following your accident if there is any chance you may have been injured.

 

Collect and Analyze Evidence

Your lawyer may also be able to assist with collecting and analyzing evidence for your case. This may include getting into contact with potential witnesses for statements, as well as, footage of the accident from nearby traffic cameras or private businesses.

 

Legal Knowledge

Your lawyer, especially if they are familiar with personal injury law and rideshare accidents, likely has the legal knowledge to aid you through your case. This may be useful in constructing arguments and analyzing evidence.

 

Adept Negotiation Skills

Lawyers are often considered to be adept negotiators. Your lawyer may be able to use their skills to lower your fault or increase your compensation, especially during settlement negotiations.

 

Maximize Potential Compensation

Your lawyer may be able to maximize the compensation you’re entitled to because of their unique situation. The combination of legal knowledge, negotiation skills, and understanding of your side of the story may assist them in effectively negotiating, decreasing your fault and obtaining the most compensation for you as possible.

 

Tailored Next Steps

Depending on the specifics of your case, your lawyer may be able to assist you further. You may be asked to avoid discussing your case, stay off of social media, or seek medical attention, for example.

 

Get the Help You Deserve From a Los Angeles Rideshare Accident Lawyer at Karns & Karns

We at Karns & Karns know how stressful a rideshare accident may feel, but we dedicate ourselves to fighting for our clients and maximizing their compensation. Our legal team is compassionate and confident, allowing our clients to feel supported each step of the way.

We only accept payment for our personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis which means you don’t pay us, until you get paid, and we’re available to schedule a free consultation any time. If you think we may be able to help you, feel free to contact us by calling 888-779-1180.

Drowning Cases and How California Is Changing Safety Laws

Drowning Cases and How California Is Changing Safety Laws

When it comes to accidental deaths among children, drowning is second only to motor vehicle accidents when it comes to children ages 14 and under. It is also the sixth most prevalent cause of unintentional deaths in the United States, among all ages. So even though you may not see news reports about drownings, drowning incidents occur on a regular basis. Victims of a drowning accident may be able to sue the party or parties responsible for their deaths.

 

How Many People Die by Drowning Every Year in California?

The following are the drowning accident statistics provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

  • The number of people who drown in unsupervised pools and beaches is substantially higher than in controlled facilities.
  • In California, an average of 1.08 people die from drowning every year per 100,000 people.
  • The number of drownings rises throughout the spring and summer months because of the warm weather.
  • Beaches have a greater rate of drowning than swimming pools, on average. This is most likely due to the fact that there are more people swimming there on average.
  • The majority of drownings occur between 4 and 6 p.m., while the majority of them occur before midday.
  • Drowning is four times as common in men than in women.

 

What Has Been Done To Prevent Drownings in California?

To prevent drownings, the state of California has undertaken a variety of initiatives, including public education and awareness campaigns, provision of swimming lessons, and encouraging improved access to lifesaving equipment. In addition, the state has enacted legislation to improve water safety, including requirements for lifeguards at public pools and beaches.

 

The three major pieces of legislation guiding Californians are listed below:

1. Alex’s Law (Sb 722)

California SB 722, better known as “Alex’s Law,” was signed into law by Governor Newsom on October 8, 2021. When children are engaging in or around a school swimming pool, an adult certified in CPR is required by the law to be present at all times. The regulation was enacted in the wake of the death of Alex Pierce, a 13-year-old student at the time, in a school pool during an after-school band party.

 

2. Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act

The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act was passed in 2007 and was approved by Congress to require pool owners and operators to observe certain basic safety practices that assist to lower the danger of certain forms of drowning. A requirement of the legislation is that drains in swimming pools and hot tubs have safety coverings to keep people safe from the power of suction. Virginia Graeme Baker, age six, perished in a hot tub drain in 2002 after being sucked in so tightly that it took two men to extricate her, hence the legislation.

 

3. The Swimming Pool Safety Act of California (SB 442)

SB 442, the Swimming Pool Safety Act, went into force in 2007 to protect swimmers. Private and public swimming pools must be erected with an appropriate fence, wall, or other enclosure and furnished with an approved pool safety cover under the law.  The act is designed to increase safety at public swimming pools by implementing new regulations for both pool operators and pool users.

Among these new regulations are also requirements for pool operators to post warning signs, provide safety instructions, and maintain safety equipment; and requirements for pool users to follow the posted safety instructions and refrain from engaging in unsafe behavior. Exit alarms were also deemed necessary as there might be a need to evacuate the pool at a moment’s notice.

All of these precautions were put in place to protect less ardent swimmers and provide a rapid response to people who might have an urgent need in and around the pool area.

 

Preventing Drowning by Taking Precautions: What You Should Do

Individual Swimmers

  1. Swimming is a dangerous sport and you should never do it alone. It’s best to go swimming with a friend or a buddy. Observe one another closely. Even if there are other people or a lifeguard there, parents must constantly keep an eye on their children.
  2. If you want to go swimming or boating, avoid drinking alcohol. Reaction speed is slowed and judgment and balance are affected by alcohol.
  3. If you or someone you’re with has a medical condition like epilepsy, diabetes, or a cardiac ailment that might cause impairment or loss of consciousness while swimming, use particular caution. Changing or missing a dose of medicine might lead to devastating consequences.
  4. Even if you’re an experienced swimmer, you should be mindful of the dangers of rapid currents, deep water, or an abrupt drop-off in natural bodies of water.
  5. To save a life, you must recognize a drowning individual. A common misconception is that if a person does not ask for aid, they are safe. When someone is in danger of drowning, their primary concern is to keep their airways open, not to say anything. The individual may appear to be splashing or waving. Typically, the individual tries to maintain his or her head above water by flailing around in the water with his or her arms outstretched.

 

Boaters

  1. Wear a life jacket or other form of personal flotation device (PFD) for everyone, including infants, children, teens, and adults.
  2. Be wary of low-head dams and waterfalls in rivers, streams, and channels. There are a variety of low-head dams in existence, but the most common are constructions that are just six to 10 feet high. They can be particularly hazardous because of the presence of powerful backwash currents at the base of dams and waterfalls, which can pull people under.
  3. Make sure you’re aware of the current weather and water conditions before you go boating.
  4. If you’re a boat passenger or operator, don’t drink any alcohol.

If you need assistance after you sustained injuries in a California boating accident, the California boating accident injury attorneys at Karns & Karns can help.

 

Pool Owners

  1. Keep youngsters out of the pool unless an adult is there to supervise them. Homes with pools need to have a fence with self-latching, self-closing gates. The fence and hardware should be checked regularly for wear and tear and working order.
  2. For public pools, an alarm is required by SB 442, the Swimming Pool Safety Act. However, this is also invaluable for home pool owners. In this case, in addition to the pool, the alarm should ring somewhere else in the house, such as the garage. When a home’s doors or windows open straight onto the pool area, an alarm must go off.

 

Training for Swimming

Many organizations, such as the Red Cross and the YMCA, suggest that the best method to avoid drowning is to enroll children in swim lessons.

Children in these programs are required to master five skills: resurfacing after submersion, treading water, spinning 360 degrees in the water, swimming at least 25 yards, and rising out of the water without the assistance of a ladder.

The Red Cross also actively encourages swimming educational institutions to teach students never to go into the water when a lifeguard is not on duty, and never to go swimming alone.

 

Lawsuits for Drowning Victims

Accidental drowning victims’ relatives and survivors may be able to file a lawsuit against any negligent parties. A person or business may be held accountable for a drowning accident in numerous ways if:

  • When the event occurred, there was little oversight, according to the investigation.
  • The construction of the pool was not up to code.
  • Overcrowding at public beaches and private pools were not strictly enforced.
  • The officials “forgot” to post signs alerting visitors to the area’s potentially hazardous currents.
  • During an incident, there were not enough supervisors, such as lifeguards, on-site at all times (i.e. open business hours).
  • Lack of safety equipment or warnings.

Drowning victims can bring lawsuits against whoever they feel is responsible for their injuries. This could be the person who was supposed to be watching them (i.e the lifeguard), the homeowner that owns the pool, or even the manufacturer of the pool.

For assistance with a drowning lawsuit, a California personal injury attorney at Karns & Karns can provide effective legal guidance and support.

The goal of these lawsuits is usually to get money to cover the cost of the victim’s medical bills. It may also be to cover for pain and suffering, lost wages, wrongful death, and other expenses related to the incident. A successful lawsuit may result in financial compensation for the victim’s family to help cover the damages incurred as a result of the drowning.

Legal claims based on carelessness or wrongful death are common in most drowning accident instances.

 

Which Victims of Drowning Accidents Are Eligible for Compensation?

After a drowning accident, victims may be entitled to compensation. The family of a drowning victim might get compensation for funeral expenses, loss of income, and other damages, including pain and suffering if the victim died as a result of the accident.

A full settlement can include:

  • Expenses related to medical care (both past and future).
  • In the case that the victim was a spouse or loved one, the loss of financial and emotional support or companionship.
  • A victim’s inability to work in the future due to disability or other permanent injury sustained in the accident.

 

Drowning Accident Lawsuit Fault Determination

In California, the determination of fault in a drowning accident lawsuit is a complex process. Generally, the party who negligently caused the drowning will be held liable for the damages suffered by the victim. However, the plaintiff must first show that the defendant was negligent and then must prove that the negligence was a proximate cause of the injury or fatality. This can be difficult to do, especially in cases where there are multiple defendants or where the defendant argues that there was no duty or that the plaintiff was also negligent.

So, first and foremost the state safety standards will be considered. Did the defendant(s) comply with state law in managing the pool, beach, lake, etc? The defendants may be held accountable for accidents if they don’t follow the set rules.

 

Consult a Lawyer After a Drowning Incident

When a person drowns, their family may be left with many questions. What happened? Who is responsible? How can we prevent this from happening again? A lawyer can help answer these questions and more. They can help determine if the drowning was accidental or if someone should be held liable. They can also help families understand their legal options and what they may be able to recover financially.

We understand that suing someone for a drowning tragedy may be a challenging and stressful experience for all parties involved. However, it may make all the difference in the world if you had the help of a lawyer who has previously won these kinds of cases. The attorneys at Karns & Karns understand the complex legal issues surrounding drownings and can provide you with the guidance you need during this difficult time. We have years of experience representing survivors and families of those who have drowned and are committed to helping you get the best possible outcome for your case.

For a free consultation, you may call the California drowning accident attorneys at Karns & Karns at (888) 779-1180.