Author Archives: Staff Writer

The Top 3 Causes of Car Accidents

Smashed front end of car in auto accidentAuto accidents are the #1 cause of personal injury claims in the United States, accounting for 52 percent of claims brought to the average auto accident attorney. Around 10 million Americans are involved in auto accidents every year. In 2014, 33,000 of these people were killed and 2.34 million of them were injured. Sadly, the majority of these accidents could have been prevented. Most traffic accidents—involving vehicle collisions with other vehicles, motorcyclists, bicyclists, pedestrians, animals, or objects—are caused by human errors.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is any situation where the driver of a vehicle is doing something else while driving—texting, surfing the web, fiddling with the GPS, eating, grooming, looking for something, looking at someone in the car, or something else. Distracted driving is the #1 cause of auto accidents in America. AAA estimates that between 25 to 50 percent of all car accidents are caused by distracted driving. It only takes five seconds of distraction for a car to veer off the road or over the center line. Many people mistakenly think they are capable of multitasking, but medical studies show that the brain is only capable of handling one task at a time.

Speeding

Everyone in America seems to be in a hurry to get somewhere. This can get lethal on the road when drivers decide to go over the speed limit. Speeding accounts for almost a third (30 percent) of all car accidents. The faster a car is going, the longer it takes to stop and the more damage it can cause to the human body. Estimates say that 90 percent of drivers speed at some point in their lives, while 75 percent speed on a regular basis. Most of these drivers are not necessarily driving at excessive speeds—they may be going as little as five miles over the speed limit. Yet, the danger increases with every mile per hour over the speed limit. Is it really worth endangering your life and the lives of other people on the road because you want to get somewhere five minutes earlier?

Drunk Driving

A driver’s ability to drive starts decreasing with as little as .02 percent of blood alcohol concentration (BAC), which is the case after approximately two alcoholic drinks. The driver will exhibit reduced ability to judge moving objects and distances, reduced coordination, and reduced response time to emergency situations. The CDC estimates that, every day, 28 people are killed in accidents caused by drunk driving. That’s a little over one death every hour. In 2014, alcohol-related deaths accounted for almost a third of traffic accident deaths (almost 10,000 deaths). Even worse, around 121 million Americans report driving under the influence of alcohol every year. Besides alcohol, drugs also cause almost 16 percent of auto accidents. The numbers are sobering.

Since most accidents are caused by irresponsible human behavior, the ability to decrease the number of accidents lies in the hands of every driver. When you’re tempted to use your phone while driving or to go a few miles over the speed limit or to have a few drinks before getting behind the wheel, think of the sobering consequences. An auto accident lawyer won’t be able to help you if you’re the driver at fault.

4 Strategies for Collecting a Judgment

Attorney Redding CAYou won a court case. Now what? In too many cases, the defendant is either unable or unwilling to produce payment. When you’re facing a reluctant debtor, you’ll probably need to do some additional work to get your money. You can either handle this yourself or enlist the help of a Redding attorney. Here are a few steps you can take.

Ask for Payment

This should be your first step. Wait until the right to appeal period is past (usually 30 days), then send a formal, respectful request to the debtor requesting payment. State the amount of the judgment and mention that it will be accruing interest and that an unpaid judgment will likely end up on their credit report. Include a copy of the judgment.

You can also offer the option of taking installment payments. In some cases, it may also help to state that, if they don’t pay, you are prepared to take the necessary measures to secure payment. Many debtors respond to a respectful request, since they don’t want their credit to be affected or don’t want to pay more than they owe already. Know your debtor, however. If you suspect that he’s the type to move or hide assets, it’s best not to mention what you’re going to do if he doesn’t pay.

Ask for Asset Information

Normally, the debtor receives a “Statement of Assets” form along with the official “Notice of Entry of Judgment”. If they did not fill out this information for you and you don’t know where their assets are located, you can file a form with the court that’s called “Order to Produce Statement of Assets and to Appear for Examination (SC-134)”. The court will set a hearing date, in which you can question the debtor in person about their assets. If the debtor doesn’t show up for the hearing, a warrant can be issued for his arrest. If you are concerned about the prospect of being alone with the debtor or if you want a professional to conduct the examination, you can ask an attorney to do it for you.

You can also file a subpoena (i.e. a request for the production of documents) for the debtor’s bank records, paycheck stubs, property deeds, and the like. This is a separate request from the examination order.

Levy Assets

Start with the low-hanging fruit, the easiest assets. Wages, bank accounts, and business income are some of the easiest ways to collect. You can garnish up to 25 percent of a debtor’s wages, levy his bank accounts, or get a sheriff or marshal to collect the money from the business’s cash register (called a till tap).

If these options are not available to you, you can put a lien against personal and business property. This option is more complicated. You will need to file a lien in every county where the debtor might have property. You will then need to wait to receive your money until the debtor sells the property.

Suspend Their Licenses

If your judgment is from a car accident, you can request that the debtor’s driver’s license would be suspended. In California, it will be suspended for six years for judgments exceeding $750.

If your judgment is against a person that must be licensed to operate, such as a contractor or real estate agent, you can request that their professional license be suspended. However, you can only do this if your judgment was related to their professional services.

Collecting on a judgment can take time and effort, but getting paid makes it worth the effort. Keep a cool head and stay persistent. And ask your Redding attorney for help if necessary.

Where to File a Lawsuit (and Other Important Details)

Lawyer Redding CABy the time you’re at the point of filing a lawsuit, you’ve probably already had untold hassles with the offending party—usually surrounding the issue of getting them to pay or make good on their contract. But filing a lawsuit is a large undertaking in itself. Here are some things you’ll need to consider when you finally take the whole ball of yarn to a Redding lawyer.

Which State?

One of the first things your lawyer is going to discuss with you is the question of where to file your lawsuit. A court must have jurisdiction over the defendant in a case in order to make a legal judgment. There are two types of jurisdiction: personal jurisdiction (authority over the parties in a case) and subject matter jurisdiction (authority over the type of case that is being filed).

Generally, a state court has personal jurisdiction over every citizen and business owner in the state. Let’s say you managed a store branch in California for an employer who lived and had his business registered in Nevada. Because the employer was doing business in California, the California courts have jurisdiction over him.

However, if you had an accident in Nevada, and the individual who demolished your car and your health lives there, you will probably need to file suit in Nevada. But if that individual hit your car while he was on a one-time business trip in California, your case can be filed in California.

Which Court?

Subject matter jurisdiction involves the question of whether you need to file in a court with exclusive, limited, or general jurisdiction. For instance, bankruptcies can only be filed in bankruptcy court, which is a federal court with exclusive jurisdiction. State courts do not have the authority to handle bankruptcy cases.

Small claims cases and limited civil cases fall under limited jurisdiction, which means that the court has limitations on the amount of damages that can be claimed. In California, small claims courts can take cases involving damages up to $10,000 while limited civil courts can handle cases for amounts up to $25,000.

General jurisdiction courts, such as California superior courts, can hear a wide variety of cases. However, you’ll still need to determine the right county to file in. That’s called venue. You’ll need to file in the county where the incident happened or where the defendant lives or does business. If those criteria involve three different counties, you can choose the court that’s the closest or most advantageous for you.

Federal or State Court?

There’s one more consideration to be aware of, and that is the issue of whether to file in a state court or a federal court. There are certain types of cases that a state court does not have jurisdiction over—for instance, cases involving federal entities, federal laws, federal employees, or foreign nationals; cases where no one state has jurisdiction over both parties; or cases where the damages claimed are at least $75,000.

When you’re planning to file a claim, it’s good to have a general understanding of the court system. However, you really should consult with your Redding lawyer to make the right decision. Where you file makes a big difference.

8 Unusual Claims: Legal Trivia from Your Redding Attorney

MythBusters_Exploding_Water_HeaterWe take every personal injury claim seriously, but we have heard about some claims that are quite unusual. These cases happened in various parts of the world, but every Redding attorney has probably encountered at least one unusual claim as well.

Stuck in the Elevator

A senior woman in the United Kingdom got trapped in the doors of an elevator at her local Bingo hall for over 15 minutes.

Carpet Adhesive Explosion

Did you think that laying carpet was dangerous? In 1998, Gregory Roach and Gordon Falker of Ohio were severely burned when the highly flammable fumes from their carpet adhesive caused a nearby water heater to explode. They filed suit against the adhesive manufacturer, Para-Chem, and were awarded $8 million.

Grain in the Eye

In the 19th century, a merchant in Essex, England, got a grain of rice in his eye while guests at a wedding were throwing rice at the newlyweds. He received the equivalent of £3,000.

The Biting Horse

A woman was tending to her horse at a stable when another horse lunged at her and bit off a chunk of her lip. The horse wasn’t let out of his stable very much and had become bad-tempered because of it. The woman was awarded £21,500.

Left Dangling

A man was left dangling through the ceiling of the next floor after the floor below him collapsed. He had been decorating a bathroom when the floor gave way.

Scalded by a Hot Water Bottle

A girl tried to use a hot water bottle that she had bought at a 99p store in London. The stopper came off while she was in bed and the water bottle scalded her with its contents. She was awarded £10,000.

Beware of Cookies

Two teenagers in Colorado decided to bake cookies for their neighbors and leave them on their doorsteps. One neighbor sued them, saying that finding cookies on her doorstep caused her to have an anxiety attack.

The Forgotten Coworker

A man was loading a truck when his fellow driver drove off with him in the back. Because the truck doors were open, the man fell out of the truck while it was moving. All of this took place without the driver noticing.

We hope you don’t experience an unusual situation, but if you do get injured, ask us about becoming your attorney in Redding. No situation is too unusual for us.

Hiring a Personal Injury Redding, CA, Attorney

lawyers-1000803_960_720One of the best ways to decide on the best personal injury Redding, CA attorney is to take a look at what kind of cases the firm has completed previously. What were the results of the cases? Does the firm seem to provide aggressive, high-quality representation for their clients?

What is Personal Injury?

Lawsuits for personal injuries are filed by affected people or their representatives after being injured by someone else’s negligence. Both physical and emotional injuries apply in this category, and they can be caused from a variety of behaviors or sources. A few common examples of personal injury situations include slip and fall, medical malpractice, product liability, assault and battery, and a car accident.

Goal of Personal Injury Lawsuit

The reason you might consider a lawsuit is to ensure the responsible party provides sufficient compensation to the person who was injured to help cover all losses sustained as a result of the injury. If you’ve been injured as a result of someone else’s negligent actions, be sure to contact an attorney at our firm for more information about preserving your personal rights.

Reasons to Hire an Attorney

If you have been injured, you are going to need as much help as you can get as soon as possible. Don’t make the mistake of hiring the first Redding, CA attorney you find; be sure you’re fully educated on the subject and the firm to ensure you’re getting the best possible fit for your circumstances and case.

Do You Have a Case?

In a personal injury cases, there are many factors to consider, such as the severity of the injury, the type of injury, how much the injury costs, how the damages will be compensated, liability concerns and much more. Because of this, it’s best to discuss the details at length with an attorney first.

Dealing with Your Insurance Company

When you’re working on a claim by yourself, you’re the only one who can contact your insurer. By retaining our attorneys, you can lend us the responsibility and stress of dealing with insurance agents and policies. Be sure all communication with your insurer is written down so you’re fully protected for your case.

How We Decide Cases

At all stages, we are completely honest with our clients. If we feel your case doesn’t require a lawyer to complete, we’ll inform you so that you won’t have to waste your money or time dealing with us. We want to help you no matter what that involves.

Types of Personal Injury Cases

With several years of combined legal experience, the attorneys at our firm are all greatly qualified to support you in your personal injury cases. We are completely dedicated to ensuring you get the best possible outcome for your lawsuit. With our experience, we have been able to acquire plenty of knowledge by representing clients in several types of cases, including but not limited to:

  • Car accidents
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Semi accidents
  • Truck accidents
  • Animal bites
  • Injuries at the workplace
  • Liability accidents on another’s premises
  • Many more

Contact Us Today

Contact our firm today to schedule an appointment with a Redding attorney at your earliest convenience. During this appointment, you will receive a no-obligation review of your case for free. We consider all cases to be important, so we want to do everything possible to ensure you’re getting the best care for your case. Call us today to learn more!