beach injury attorneys

Personal Injury Risks at The Beach This Summer

Southern California beaches are alive with activity, fun, and frolic throughout the summer – unless there’s a virus scare. The state coastline has always been popular for weeklong vacations or daytime “getaways” for travelers from far and wide. Each summer, Southern California beach towns are inundated with local visitors as well as tourists from other states. But vacationers must be cautious of the unforeseen dangers on the picturesque Pacific coastline.

Common Kinds of Beach Accidents

Accidents on the beach can happen in various situations. At times, such accidents can cause devastating injuries and damages which warrant immediate medical care and treatment. Common accidents that occur on South California beach include the following:

  • Surfing accidents
  • Drowning or near-drowning accidents
  • Accidents due to water sports, including traumatic brain injuries
  • Jet ski accidents
  • Lacerations and cuts from rocks or sharp objects in the water, on ocean jetties, or on the shoreline

If you or someone you love has suffered any such injuries while on a Southern California beach, you should reach out to emergency personnel immediately, including the lifeguard on duty, and request emergency services. When you reach the hospital, be ready to provide the on-duty medical practitioner or nurse with a description of how the incident occurred, as well as details of all your injuries and symptoms.

Drowning Danger at the Beach

Drowning accidents can occur due to negligence through the inability to have appropriate, constant, and close supervision. In the US, drowning ranks as the fifth leading reason for accident injury and death and is even more common for kids 15 years and under.

For every one fatality, four require hospitalization for near-drowning injuries. These can be as serious as permanent brain damage, mental incapacitation, or nerve damage, medical expenses for injuries of that nature can rapidly add up and be an unanticipated burden on the already anxious family.

Surfing Accidents on the Beach

Drowning

While surfing, there is a very real risk of drowning. Getting trapped on the reef, hold-downs, being separated from your board and being unable to swim in, and unconsciousness through an accident are all possible reasons for drowning while surfing. Therefore, it’s vital to always go surfing with a friend who will help you out if a problem manifests itself.

Waves

Waves may appear beautiful from the beach, but they can be remarkably powerful. Some are powerful enough to fracture bones (certainly if you smash into a rock or coral). A common cause of surfing injury is wipeouts on waves.

Locals

At times, the scariest thing about a surf break is the regular surfers. Sometimes local surfers can be unfriendly and even aggressive in some cases. You can reduce the possibility of an incident with a group of unruly locals by behaving yourself, following surf etiquette at all times, and not making a general nuisance of yourself. You have only yourself to blame if you are not behaving.

Surfboards

Surfboards can be dangerous sporting gear as they are pointed at one end, with one or more switchblade-like fins that can tear into anything that gets in their path. It is truly the stuff nightmares are made of. Remain in control of your board while surfing and try to stay out of harm’s way when you wipe out.

Risk of Injuries on the Beach

The beach is swarming with many dangers that could harm you or someone you love. The types of injuries sustained on beaches include:

Riptides, Undertow, and Rip Currents

Never swim in ocean water in the absence of a lifeguard, regardless of how confident you are in your swimming abilities. Unfortunately, swimming can be hazardous, especially at night, due to riptides, rip currents, and undertow.

Spinal Cord Injuries

A surf zone or shore break occurs when waves break directly on the shoreline. Also, they happen to be very powerful. If you dive into a shore break, you are putting yourself at risk for blunt trauma injuries, including spinal injuries. According to a study, most swimming injuries happen in less than two feet of water.

Cuts

You may cut yourself when stepping over any shell fragments, exposed shells, sharp rocks, sea glass, driftwood, or litter (cans, glass, and so on). If you cut yourself on any debris, you should avoid swimming as salt water can enter the wound and apply first aid.

Slip and Fall Injuries

Wet sand may be challenging to navigate, causing some tragic slip and fall injuries.

Assault Injuries

You may suffer an attack by another beach attendee or beach security. Both of these parties can be held responsible for any injuries that they cause you.

Hire a Southern California Beach Accident Attorney Today

Beach accident cases can be challenging to prove as they typically depend on witness testimony. Witnesses can be difficult to track down as people are not always paying attention to the immediate surrounding while enjoying the beach.

If you or a loved one has endured injuries due to a beach accident, time may be a vital factor in your case. Thus, you should not delay in seeking legal counsel. The attorneys at Garmo & Garmo may be able to help you gather the required evidence to prove fault and damages in your case. For a no-obligation case review with a seasoned beach accident attorney, call us today at (619) 441-2500.

 

dental injuries in San Diego

Common Dental Injuries That Result from Auto Accidents

Dental injuries and motor vehicle accidents are rarely thought of together. However, there is always a risk of sustaining serious damage to your teeth, gum tissue, tongue, or other parts of the mouth in a car crash. Many car accident victims also suffer trauma to the head and face, which may include oral damage as well.

Dental injuries may not only cause severe pain and suffering, but they may also result in disfigurement and serious aesthetic challenges. While the law is on your side, you should know how to move ahead with a claim. This post will shed light on common dental injuries that may be caused by California car accidents.

Fractured Teeth Can Impact Your Dental Health

Fractured or cracked teeth can quickly escalate into a tooth abscess. It is possible to suffer root damage from an innocuous hairline fracture too. Fluctuating pain levels, aversion to sugar or temperature, and swelling may be indicative of a broken tooth.

The fracture may only scar the outer portion of the tooth, depending on the severity. It may impact the nerves lying within the roots. Cracked teeth, when left untreated, can infect the sensitive inner pulp. There may be no other option left but to extract the tooth in this case.

Tooth Loss because of Luxation

Tooth luxation occurs when the tissues and ligaments holding the tooth in place get stretched or torn, causing the tooth to get displaced. It may result in the tooth loosening to the point where you can wiggle it or get pushed up into the gum line. Tooth luxation generally occurs when the driver’s head hits a hard object, such as the steering wheel.

Car accident victims should quickly seek dental treatment for any displaced teeth before the tooth detaches and becomes an avulsed tooth. Everyday wear and tear can cause this. You should know that you have the responsibility to take all steps towards mitigating the damages. Otherwise, you may unknowingly reduce the compensation received in a car accident settlement.

Risk of Oral Infection after an Auto Accident

An avulsed tooth is when a tooth gets detached from its socket or knocked out. This is a rare dental injury and is usually associated with head trauma. A capable dentist may be able to salvage the tooth. Moreover, time is of the essence. 120 million Americans, as per the American College of Prosthodontists, are estimated to be missing at least one tooth.

You can reduce the risk of an avulsed tooth by going to a dentist and having the tooth reimplanted. The hole left behind by an avulsed tooth can leave you vulnerable to infection.

Dental Injuries Need Urgent Care

Dental injuries are often overlooked by victims in the initial aftermath of an accident. In fact, many victims are overwhelmed by the severity of other injuries even after discovering the oral damage. This causes them to postpone the dental treatment during the recovery period.

Delaying care may leave your broken tooth exposed to pathogens and cause decay. The deterioration may spread to other healthy teeth and the gums. Delaying treatment is a bad idea since it can affect the credibility of your car accident claim. Failure to seek immediate treatment makes the injuries appear less severe to insurance companies. It may negatively impact the value of your claim.

You should immediately have your teeth checked for chips and breaks if you experienced whiplash or head trauma. Whiplash is a violent motion that can leave your teeth damaged and cause pain in the back and neck.

Compensatory Damages for Cosmetic Dental Issues

Teeth may become scuffed or chipped after coming in contact with inflexible or abrasive surfaces. Scratched and chipped teeth can affect your confidence. It can also compromise your comfort in a social setting and performance at work. These invisible costs may not have a tangible receipt. Moreover, they are legitimate losses warranting compensation.

You may be able to qualify these losses as special damages in a personal injury. This is especially true if you had to seek veneers or caps for disguising the damage done to the teeth. Pain and suffering is a hidden cost that may arise from seeking dental treatment.

For many people, a trip to the dentist is nothing less than visiting the house of horrors. It is stressful and traumatic. You may be able to claim damages for the distress you feel like part of the pain and suffering component. Speak with an accomplished car accident attorney to learn more.

Impact of Dental Injuries on Daily Life

Your teeth are necessary for smiling confidently, speaking articulately, and chewing food. Dental injury may disrupt several facets of your life. You should seek a solid and reliable car accident attorney and familiarize yourself with the steps required in a personal injury claim if you damaged your teeth. The compensation should include components beyond the potential medical implications and pain.

Our Capable and Resourceful Dental Injury Lawyers are Here to Help

The personal injury attorneys at Garmo & Garmo, LLP can help if you or a loved one suffered dental injuries as a result of a car accident caused by a negligent or careless driver. To request your free, no-obligation consultation, call us at 619-441-2500 or complete this online form.

 

accidents from not using turn signal

Accidents Caused by Not Using Turn Signals

When a driver fails to use the turn signals, it increases the risk of a car accident. Turn signals let the other road users know where the vehicle in front of them is going. Spontaneous lane change or a sudden turn without signaling does not give time to the other motorists to adjust their vehicles, which can result in an accident. California law allows victims of car accidents to file a personal injury claim if their injuries were the result of a negligent driver not using turn signals.

Turn Signals are Important

Turn signals matter because they let the other driver know in which direction the automobile ahead of them is going. The only way to indicate a lane switch or a potential turn is by using these indicators. These signals are helpful for pedestrians as well. They let pedestrians anticipate the movement of a particular car in a parking lot, at intersections, and in other places. This can prevent pedestrians from walking straight into a moving vehicle.

California Statutes Regarding Turn Signal

There are a number of situations in which the California Vehicle Code mandates using turn signals. California Vehicle Code 22107 mandates all drivers to give an appropriate signal in case another vehicle can be affected by their turn. It also prohibits drivers from turning from a direct course until it is made in a reasonably safe manner.

CVC 22108 states that a driver needs to signal their intention to turn left or right by having the turn signal on continuously for the last 100 feet of travel. CVC 22110 comes into effect if the car is not equipped with turn signals. In such a scenario, the signal needs to be made through a signal lamp or by giving a hand.

Failure to abide by these rules can result in negligence per se. The plaintiff will need to prove elements of damage and causation when this applies. Medical bills, lost income, costs of future treatment, pain and suffering, loss of earning capacity, and property damage are a few common forms of compensation.

Filing a Car Accident Claim in California

You may be entitled to compensation if you suffered serious injuries in a car accident that was caused because of a driver not using turn signals. Hiring an experienced car accident attorney can help you increase the likelihood of a successful claim. Your attorney will be able to walk you through the available legal options.

They will also ensure that you are within the statute of limitations. You may lose your right to file a claim if you miss the statute of limitations deadline. Most insurance companies tend to take accident claims seriously only when backed by an attorney. This is because they know that responsible attorneys will never allow their clients to settle for a lowball offer. Instead, the car accident lawyer will be prepared to go to trial.

Proving Liability in a Car Accident Claim for Not Using Turn Signals

You and your attorney will need to prove the negligence of the at-fault party before you can receive compensation for your losses and damages. The burden to prove the other driver’s negligence by not turning on the turn signal falls on the victim. You would also need to prove that the accident caused the damages and injuries suffered by you.

The following elements of personal injury need to be established for a successful case:

  • The driver owed a duty of care to the victim
  • The duty of care was breached
  • The plaintiff suffered physical, emotional, or financial injury
  • The plaintiff’s losses and damages were the result of the breach of duty of care

While you don’t need to prove these elements at the time of filing a claim with the insurance company, it is recommended that you build a strong claim to have a better negotiating position.

Necessary Evidence to Prove Your Claim

Every driver owes another driver a duty of care on the road. This means that the motorist has to employ best driving practices for keeping the others safe on the road. Any breach of this duty of care leaves the at-fault party liable for damages.

These are a few ways negligence can be proved in a personal injury lawsuit:

  • Video footage of the negligent action
  • Car accident reconstruction
  • Eyewitness testimony
  • Record of arrest or ticket connected to the accident
  • Medical records linking the accident to injuries suffered

It can be difficult to gather the necessary evidence on your own, especially if you are still recovering from your injuries. Having an attorney can help gather evidence. Many law firms have expert investigators on their panel that can collect enough relevant evidence on your behalf.

Speak to a Car Accident Attorney in California Today

Car accidents can leave a victim overwhelmed and confused. Mounting medical bills and loss of earning capabilities don’t help in easing the pressure. The legal team at Garmo & Garmo, LLP has a deep understanding of the personal injury law in California, and we can build a strong case for damages.

We will leave no stone unturned in establishing evidence and pursuing the highest possible compensation you are entitled to from the liable parties and their insurers. To schedule your free consultation, call us at 619-441-2500 or fill out this online contact form.

wrong-way accidents in La Mesa

Wrong-Way Accidents Increasing Across The US

Headlights of another vehicle coming directly at you from the opposite side when you are driving on a one-way road can be a nerve-wracking experience. Even highly experienced drivers may find themselves to be helpless in this situation and may fail to prevent a wrong-way accident.

According to an AAA research study, wrong-way accidents can result in devastating injuries in most cases. The at-fault driver in these accidents may be distracted, may have lost direction, or may be driving while intoxicated. There has been a marked increase in the number of wrong-way crashes in recent years across the country and this post will attempt to explain the reasons behind that.

Wrong-Way Accident Statistics

The wrong-way driving crash is described by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) as one in which a car traveling in the opposing direction of legal traffic flow on a high-speed access ramp or divided highway hits another car traveling in the right direction on the same highway.

In 2018, these crashes resulted in 428 traffic fatalities. This is up from 415 wrong-way accidents in 2017. These numbers are a part of the analysis released earlier in 2020 by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. According to a recent study, wrong-way accidents were found to have increased by 27 times in the past few decades. They have become one of the most dangerous types of car accidents.

In another study conducted by the California Department of Transportation, the fatality rate was found to be 12 times higher in wrong-way traffic accidents. The fatality rate was found to be 22% in wrong-way collisions as compared to 0.3% in other types of car accidents as found by a Michigan study.

Causes of Wrong-Way Accidents

Data from a variety of traffic safety sources was looked at by researchers for analyzing the factors that contributed the most to wrong-way car collisions. Four factors stood out the most:

  1. Alcohol impairment

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) reports that alcohol impairment has been, by far, the single major factor in causing wrong-way driving accidents. The statistics have not changed much since 2012 when NTSB issued the special investigation report regarding wrong-way collisions. A AAA study found that 6 out of every 10 or 60.1% of wrong-way drivers that are involved in a vehicular accident had a BAC (blood alcohol concentration) higher than 0.08%.

  1. Elderly confusion

Drivers above the age of 70 are at a higher risk of being involved in wrong-way driving accidents as compared to their younger counterparts. Typically, older drivers drive fewer miles and spend less time on the road as compared to younger people. Correlating with this, seniors do suffer from cognitive, memory, and vision impairments. This can cause accidents as highlighted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

  1. Driving alone

This may not be a direct cause for getting involved in a wrong-way driving accident, but AAA reports that 87% of wrong-way drivers did not have any other passengers in the vehicle. This has led to the hypothesis that the presence of a passenger in the vehicle to alert the driver of their mistake can drastically reduce the number of such accidents.

According to the study, passengers play an important role in alerting drivers when they wrongly enter a one-way road. This allows the driver to take corrective action before the error can result in a crash.

  1. Issues with road design

Confusion can be heightened when such one-way streets or exit ramps are not properly marked using signs. Poor lighting, faded signs, and foliage-covered signs because of poor maintenance are a few other factors that can lead to confusion. The drivers may think they are traveling in the right direction until they see other vehicles coming toward them.

  1. Harsh weather conditions

Roadway visibility is affected by certain weather conditions that can cause a head-on collision. Dense or heavy fog and rainfall among other forms of inclement weather can significantly reduce roadway visibility. Drivers that don’t slow down because of decreased visibility increase the risk of causing or being involved in an accident.

  1. Distracted driving

Driver distraction is by far the most frequently occurring cause of a head-on collision. It is easy for drivers today to become distracted due to mobile usage, car entertainment panel, eating, and other things. Even if you were paying attention to the road, the other driver may be distracted by something in the back seat among other things and cause the accident.

Ways to Prevent Wrong-Way Collisions

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and UC Davis collaborated on a 3-year program in 2020 to pilot several prevention measures. Some of these measures have proved to be highly successful in preventing wrong-way driving accidents. These include:

  • Installing 2-way reflective pavement markers blinking red at wrong-way drivers and yellow or white at drivers driving in the right direction
  • Signs stating ‘Wrong Way’ at alternate spacings
  • LED signs stating ‘Do Not Enter’
  • Active monitoring systems that send an alert to the California Highway Patrol when a driver enters the ramp or highway the wrong way

Caltrans noted that there was a 44% reduction in wrong-way accidents in San Diego after the installation of the reflective pavement markers. These measures are continually being implemented in California and other states, such as North Dakota.

Speak with an Experienced Car Accident Attorney Today

Wrong-way accidents are primarily head-on collisions and can result in severe injuries or even the death of the victims. The skilled wrong-way accident attorneys at Garmo & Garmo, LLP can help you seek maximum compensation to pay for your medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages, among other things. To request a free consultation with one of our attorneys, call us at 619-441-2500 or complete this online form.

texting while driving

Proving The Other Driver Was Texting in An Auto Accident

Distracted driving, which primarily includes texting while driving is one of the more common causes of auto accidents in California and other parts of the country. Texting and driving can lead to life-threatening injuries or even the death of the victims in the event of an accident.

The driver that hit you because they couldn’t wait to pull over and reply to a text should be brought to justice. You should be prepared to hire a capable and resourceful personal injury attorney in California for getting the distracted driver to compensate you for their recklessness and negligence.

California’s Ban on Texting and Driving

In California, it is illegal to text or simply even hold a cell phone in hand while driving. This law has been in place since 2017. California District 20 Assemblyman Bill Quirk issued a press release that linked 12 fatal car accidents in a single year with handheld cell phone use while driving. More than 13,000 citations were issued by the California Highway Patrol in the same year for writing, reading, and sending texts while driving.

Another 78,000 citations were issued for operating a vehicle while using a cellphone. Drivers are not allowed to do anything more than perform single swipes and taps on a smartphone under state laws. The cell phone should be mounted on the dashboard or windshield of the vehicle.

How to Hold the Negligent Driver Liable for Distracted Driving or Texting While Driving

Your lawyer will have to show that the motorist in question was driving and texting when the accident occurred for you to be awarded compensation in a distracted driving personal injury case. Here are a few methods employed by reliable car accident attorneys to prove that their client was a victim of negligence occurring because of texting while driving:

  1. Acquiring cellphone records

It is against the law to use a cellphone while operating a vehicle in California. Your attorney will subpoena the defendant’s cellphone records to effectively support your claim. The attorney will need a court order to obtain the records since the majority of cellphone companies refuse to release these sensitive records.

  1. Police report

You should not delay calling the law enforcement officials to the accident scene. The police officer will review the accident scene and try to determine the reason for the crash. You should tell the officer if you noticed the other driver was on their cellphone. The police officer is likely to mention texting while driving in their police report if they have reason to believe that it was a factor in the car crash.

  1. Eyewitness statements

Another important component in proving negligence is eyewitness statements. You should collect the name and contact information of other witnesses to the accident. There is a high likelihood that someone standing nearby, or another driver was privy to the accident and saw the at-fault driver glance down at their phone.

  1. Camera footage

Your attorney can determine whether there were any cameras in the area during the accident. They may obtain the footage to prove your claim.

  1. Innovative tech

Experienced attorneys may use innovative evidence, such as from the Textalyzer to prove the other driver was responsible for the accident. Textalyzer is a new roadside test used by the police to learn whether a driver was involved in texting while driving or not.

The device is similar to a breathalyzer that is used for determining whether a driver was driving intoxicated. It allows the officers to determine whether the at-fault driver sent an email, text, or performed any other activity on their phone.

There are penalties to refuse to submit to a textalyzer test. It can attract a license suspension among other similar penalties. It can be challenging to obtain this type of evidence. However, a capable personal injury attorney will be able to get the evidence on your behalf.

Get the Maximum Compensation You Deserve

It can be difficult for you to gather necessary evidence supporting your claim while you are still recovering from your injuries. Unfortunately, delaying this step may result in the evidence getting misplaced, forgotten, or lost. It may also cause the statute of limitations deadline to run out.

This is why you should not delay in contacting a skilled car accident attorney. There are several paths that can be taken for getting the compensation you deserve. You can file a claim with the insurance company after the accident. Your attorney will build the claim for you by gathering the necessary evidence that shows the other driver was texting.

Insurance companies use various tactics to get away with denying the claim or paying less than what victims rightfully deserve. A strong claim may compel the insurance company to compensate for your losses. If not, you should be prepared to bring the distracted driver to court. This will require the expertise of a knowledgeable attorney since they would need to present a strong case before the judge and jury.

Discuss Your Distracted Driving Injury Case with a Qualified Personal Injury Attorney

You can make distracted drivers accountable for their actions when they are responsible for your injuries and losses. Reach out to the reputable and proven car accident attorneys at Garmo & Garmo, LLP to make the at-fault driver pay for their serious negligence. Get in touch with us today by calling at 619-441-2500 or simply fill out this online contact form.

 

atv accident

Safety Concerns About All-Terrain Vehicles

An ATV (All-Terrain Vehicle) refers to a motorized off-road vehicle meant to travel on four low-pressure tires, with a seat meant to be straddled by the rider and handlebars to control the steering of the vehicle. Type 1 ATVs are to be used by a single operator with no passengers, while Type 2 ATVs are intended to be used by an operator and a passenger.

A “cookie-cutter” or “one-size-fits-all” approach to ATV safety does not work. The ATV industry advises all riders to operate the type and size of ATV meant for their age bracket. Youth model ATVs are designed for smaller feet and hands and travel at a slower speed suitable for younger riders.

ATV Crashes and Death Statistics

According to the United States Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC), between the years 1982 and 2016, 15,000 individuals lost their lives in ATV accidents. Over 3,200 of those fatalities were children below the age of 16 years. Sadly, over 1,400 of the children killed in ATV accidents were younger than 12 years.

ATV child fatalities are only a tiny percentage of children who survive injuries on ATVs, many of them devastating. According to CPSC estimates, in 2015, there were 26,700 ATV-related injuries for children below the age of 16. Robert Adler, CPSC Commissioner, has stated, “ATVs remain the most dangerous discretionary use product for children within CPSC’s jurisdiction.”

ATVs are no less perilous for adults. The CPSC estimated that people requiring emergency department treatment for ATV-related injuries was 97,200 in 2015. California, along with four other states, accounts for one-fourth of all ATV-related fatalities in the country.

Inappropriate ATV Size Leads to Many Fatalities, Injuries

ATVs have become increasingly popular in recent years, and this has led to a rise in fatalities and injuries from ATV accidents. Most children killed on ATVs across the country were operating adult-sized ATVs, despite industry advisory.

ATV collisions, rollovers, and ejections can lead to death and severe injuries among children because of their lack of bodily strength and motor coordination required to safely manage an ATV, their limited maturity, and their cognitive and perceptional abilities to react fast and appropriately in hazardous circumstances.

Inherent Design Flaw

ATVs have an inherent design defect that typically contributes to the crashes and injuries they cause. An ATV’s center of gravity is high, making it top-heavy. This means that while they can allow their rider to go easily over uneven, rough surfaces, they can also tip and rollover in the flash of a second.

It does not take much to flip the vehicle over, and a sizable rock hitting an ATV tire at a specific angle is enough to cause an accident. Sadly, such accidents often end in an injury or fatality for the rider. ATVs that are designed for adults are large, ranging anywhere from 250 to 2000 pounds, and can reach speeds up to 60 m.p.h. Thus, it is easy to understand the destruction that these accidents can cause a child rider.

ATV Training, Protective Gear is Vital

It is crucial to choose an appropriately sized ATV, use adequate protective gear, and undergo proper training to protect kids from ATV injuries or fatalities. By undergoing practical ATV rider safety training, you will learn about local regulations, protective gear, places to ride, and environmental concerns pre-ride inspection, starting and halting, hill riding, tight turns, emergency stopping, and maneuvering around obstacles.

Safety Guidelines

Children 16 and below should not operate an adult ATV. A person riding an ATV should follow the below-mentioned suggestions before and during riding:

  • Participate in a safety training course to understand how to operate an ATV safely, and only ride an ATV that is appropriate for your size and age.
  • Always wear eye protection and an approved helmet.
  • Wear long sleeves, long pants, over-the-ankle boots, and gloves to prevent bruises and cuts.
  • Only operate the ATV during daylight hours.
  • Always ride at safe speeds on a designated ATV trail.
  • Learn about basic first aid to address minor injuries and be able to get help in an emergency situation.

While riding an ATV, it is vital to never do the following:

  • Never ride while intoxicated on drugs or alcohol.
  • Never ride on public roads or paved surfaces (except to cross over them).
  • Never exceed the number of manufacturer-recommended passengers.
  • Never allow your children or teenagers to ride an ATV with a passenger.

Riding an ATV will always be risky. As they are fun, many children and teens will want to try them. There is no assurance that kids will not get injured, even with precautions and protective regulations in place.

Speak to an Experienced ATV Accident Lawyer in California

ATVs are inherently dangerous, but they also seem to invite risky operator behavior. A majority of ATV crashes occur due to rider negligence, such as ignoring safety regulations, riding when intoxicated, or allowing kids to ride adult ATVs.

ATV accidents also occur due to poor maintenance by the ATV owner or design/manufacturing faults. If you or your loved one has been injured in an ATV collision, or you have lost someone you love because of ATV rider negligence or product defect, you may be entitled to compensation. Unfortunately, many states don’t have robust legislation to protect kids from injury and fatalities in ATV crashes.

The skilled attorneys at Garmo & Garmo are here to help victims and to try to use the legal system to prevent further accidents. For a no-charge consultation with an ATV accident attorney, call today at (619) 441-2500. 

the discovery process in a personal injury case

Understanding the Discovery Process in a Personal Injury Case

If you are unable to settle your personal injury claim with the insurance provider of the other party early on in the process, your personal injury lawyer will file a lawsuit on your behalf, and then you are in litigation. This means that both parties are under the court’s jurisdiction and must follow the rules of the court.

Also, the court places time limits on the parties to complete specific work on their case. In a personal injury case, this is where the discovery process comes in. The parties conduct discovery to obtain information pertinent to the lawsuit.

What is Discovery?

A significant pre-trial part of the litigation process is known as discovery. In this time period, both parties request and exchange all pertinent information related to the lawsuit. The discovery process will include information about the parties, how the incident occurred, what the specific injuries are, the medical treatment details, and all evidence of the damages (both special and general) suffered by the plaintiff.

During the discovery process, the parties can use a variety of information-gathering tools, including but not limited to request for documents, interrogatories, requests for admission, depositions, and medical exams. All parties are entitled to serve each other with various types of discovery to collect information to build their case, or in the case of the defendant to “tear down” the plaintiff’s case. In a personal injury case discovery process, there are various ways to get information.

Specific Discovery Tools

Interrogatories refer to written questions that necessitate written responses. Request for documents falls in the category as it involves specific written requests that the other party reveals all relevant documents in their control. Requests for Admission ask the other party to admit that some facts are false. Therefore, the other party does not waste time proving such facts in court.

Depositions represent the most crucial area of a personal injury case discovery process. They are live interviews that offer a chance to each party to sit down with the other side or witness and ask a series of questions related to the case.

Legal experts opine that this process can be the most beneficial too. The questions and answers of deposition are recorded live in writing for both parties to evaluate and use to build their case. Either party to a lawsuit can depose the other party. Furthermore, any witness to the incident, any witness to the plaintiff’s injuries, or any specialist relevant to the case could be deposed.

Lastly, the defendant can ask the plaintiff (injured party) to submit to a medical exam by a doctor engaged by the defense lawyer to examine and assess the injuries sustained by the plaintiff.

All responses in a discovery process are given under the penalty of perjury, which means that the individual or party responding takes an oath of truth in providing their responses. If your personal injury case elevates to the level of litigation and discovery, you definitely want to have a seasoned personal injury attorney on your side.

Suggestions for Deposition

Your lawyer will inform you what they require from you if you are deposed. However, there are two primary things to remember. First off, never guess. The aim of a deposition is to provide facts, not to speculate on what could’ve happened. Even if you feel self-conscious saying it, sometimes the right answer is “I don’t know.”

Secondly, it is natural to want to explain things to allow your listener to understand. But you must resist this impulse during a deposition. It is your adversary’s job to get the answers. Your job is only to respond to the question asked, not to provide further information.

Things to Remember About Discovery

  • Be mindful that it is highly probable that anything and everything will unravel at some point during the discovery process.
  • Be honest with your lawyer about the facts and documents that may be presented to allow them to prepare adequately for trial.
  • Discovery can be prolonged, costly, frustrating, and intrusive, and whether you want your life to undergo that level of scrutiny should play into your decision whether or not to initiate a lawsuit.
  • Be forthright, as nothing will make you lose a lawsuit faster than lying in discovery and getting caught.

Get Experienced Legal Guidance with the Discovery Process in Southern California

The discovery process is crucial and one that should be taken seriously. The adversarial counsel will undertake everything it can to challenge your version, poke holes in your story, or even discredit your character-whatever it takes to win the lawsuit. In this scenario, it is vital for you to have robust legal representation at your side.

Consider speaking to our experienced La Mesa personal injury attorneys at the law offices of Garmo & Garmo to learn more about the merits of your case and pursue a robust legal strategy for the compensatory damages you are entitled to. For a complimentary consultation with a seasoned personal injury attorney, call today at (619) 441-2500.

Nursing Home Abuse attorney in el cajon

How Negligent Hiring And Supervision in Nursing Homes Can Cause Injuries

It is imperative for employers to identify the right individual for the job, particularly when that job involves providing care to children or the elderly. To achieve that end, there are stringent staffing procedures in place meant to ensure that only the qualified are allowed to offer direct care to elderly residents in nursing homes.

Despite proper licensing procedures, there are still cases where less qualified employees can slip through the cracks. When this occurs, and the employee causes an injury, the nursing home itself will be responsible either via negligent hiring or negligent supervision.

Negligent Hiring: Meaning

Negligent hiring refers to a type of legal claim that is made by a client or worker who is somehow injured by an employee that a company engages. They are typically made when there is something in the employee’s history that could have indicated that they would engage in questionable behavior.

For instance, a negligent hiring claim could be brought against an employee who assaulted a client when the employee had a criminal conviction for assault on their record. Such cases are quite common in industries where an employee has a significant level of control over others or access to other’s assets, including real estate agents, nursing home workers, utility workers, hotel staff, and rental apartment personnel, among others.

The legal liability for negligent hiring is attached when the employer was either aware or should have been aware of the employee’s background but did not take adequate steps to consider that background when making hiring decisions. There are various measures that every employer, particularly nursing homes, should take to ensure that they aren’t hiring a reckless employee, such as:

  • Undertaking a criminal background check
  • Verifying employment and personal references
  • Validating college degrees
  • Conducting a drug screening
  • Performing credit checks
  • Verifying driving records

The employer should also confirm claims made by an applicant, such as why they left their previous employment, why there is a gap in employment on their resume, etc. The plaintiff must show the following to establish a negligent hiring claim:

  • The employer should have conducted a suitable investigation of the employee and failed to perform it;
  • A thorough investigation would have shown the unsuitability of the employee for the specific duty to be performed or for the employment in general; and
  • It was unreasonable for the employer to engage the employee in view of the information they knew or should have known.

Foreseeability is the core element here. The liability for negligent hiring will come into play when the specific hazard that occurred could have reasonably been foreseen when the employee was hired.

Negligent Supervision: Meaning

Negligent supervision is akin to a claim of negligent hiring, except that it involves wrongdoing by the employee that would not have necessarily been foreseeable through a background check, but that the employer was aware or should have been aware that it would occur.

In cases involving daycare facilities, nursing homes, and any other setting where caregivers are charged with the welfare of others, it can be proven when the caregiver knows or should have known that an injury would occur to an individual in their care, but they failed to prevent it from occurring.

Negligent supervision liability attaches when the employer becomes aware or should have become aware of the issues with an employee that indicated their unsuitability, and the employer fails to investigate, terminate, or reassign the employee.

In nursing homes and daycare centers where employees exercise a significant degree of control over their charges, negligent supervision can be proven through:

  • The caregiver’s duty to care for the victim exists.
  • The caregiver’s failure to prevent the type of injury that occurred.
  • Injury to the victim due to inaction on the part of the caregiver.
  • The injury was such that it should have been foreseeable to the caregiver.

Types of Injuries that Occur Due to Negligent Hiring and Supervision

Negligent Hiring

Some examples of injuries in nursing homes that could result from negligent hiring include the following:

  • A nursing home engages an employee with an assault conviction on his record and then they proceed to assault a patient.
  • A nursing home hires a registered nurse whose certification was expired when they were hired, who then administers the wrong drugs to a patient.

Negligent Supervision

Negligent supervision in nursing homes could result in the following injuries:

  • The nursing home administrator is aware that a specific nurse and patient don’t get along with one another, yet assigns that nurse to the patient anyways, and the nurse slaps the patient during an argument.
  • The nursing home administrator is aware that a particular employee steals small items from other workers, and the employee ends up stealing several thousand dollars from a patient’s room.

Legal Assistance from Compassionate, Caring Attorneys

At Garmo & Garmo, we provide robust legal representation for victims of abuse and negligence. If you or someone you love has experienced inexplicable injuries or illness in a nursing home, we want to help you defend your rights and fight for your interests. Call our La Mesa office today at (619) 441-2500 to speak to an experienced nursing home abuse attorney. 

ptsd after car accident

Can Auto Accidents Cause Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?

Automobile accidents are the primary reason for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the general population. Annually there are approximately six million vehicle crashes in the country, leading to over 2.5 million injuries. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) reports that 39.2 percent of MVA survivors develop PTSD.

PTSD Predictors

According to a research study, the perception that your life was in peril was the strongest predictor for PTSD six months after the trauma. In another study, it was found that avoidance behaviors, the suppression of thoughts about the vehicle crash, rumination about the trauma, and dissociation were most strongly linked to PTSD symptoms two to six months following a wreck.

A strong feeling that your life was under threat during a vehicle accident can cause avoidance behaviors (such as not getting into a vehicle or traveling on the highway), which can increase the chances of PTSD. This type of avoidance strengthens the belief that driving is hazardous, which is a thought pattern that can increase your fear response.

Things to Look Out For

After a vehicle crash, it is understandable to feel various emotions, such as confusion, fear, shock, guilt, grief, and helplessness. But with PTSD, these feelings do not lessen over time and actually worsen.

The fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) highlights that you may have PTSD if you have experienced or seen serious trauma, such as a car wreck, and develop some of the below-mentioned symptoms:

  • Changes in emotional responses
  • Avoidance behaviors
  • Negative changes in mood and thinking
  • Intrusive memories

Any or all of the above symptoms may also develop as a part of your body’s natural response to a traumatic event. These symptoms should gradually subside over time in people who do not develop PTSD.

If you believe that your symptoms are getting more serious and/or more frequent if you are avoiding more situations or your symptoms are starting to impact your life, then you may be at risk for developing PTSD.

Filing a PTSD Claim after a Vehicle Accident is Possible

If you are a car accident victim suffering from PTSD due to a devastating crash, it is possible to file a case against the reckless parties for your damages. However, you will require a seasoned personal injury attorney for a favorable outcome in such cases for various reasons, including:

As PTSD is a mental and emotional disorder, it can be challenging to convey its effect and severity. In comparison, a physical injury has clearly visible effects on a victim, along with medical bills that help quantify the seriousness of the injury.

You must certainly prove that you were clinically diagnosed with PTSD. Further, even if PTSD is determined, you must show that your automobile accident directly contributed to or led to the development of the mental condition.

Calculating the value of your claim can also be complex as there may not be any medical bills or other disabilities that can quantify the debilitating impact of PTSD.

Lawsuits based on pain and suffering are often punitive measures, which are reserved for vehicle crashes where the liable parties exhibited gross recklessness and a general lack of remorse for their deeds. While a PTSD claim can succeed, it may require more effort than a standard lawsuit.

What can I do to Pursue a Successful PTSD Personal Injury Claim?

To successfully pursue a case based on PTSD after a car crash, the following is highly recommended:

Hire a Personal Injury Attorney

Work with a personal injury attorney who is experienced in developing cutting-edge case strategies with complex damages in mind. They must possess the skills and knowledge to develop a compelling argument based on your PTSD.

Engage Expert Witnesses

Expert witnesses can corroborate your PTSD diagnosis and that your automobile crash directly led to your PTSD development. Experts may include medical professionals, academics, licensed therapists, or other experienced specialists who may have a first-hand understanding of PTSD and how it develops. Engaging more witnesses is always beneficial for your case.

Consulting a Professional to Determine the Value of a Case

Hiring an expert who may be able to correctly quantify the damages related to your PTSD can be meaningful to your case. It can be complicated to determine how much your case is worth. Thus, consulting a specialist with experience in calculating the value of a case involving a mental condition can be very meaningful to your recovery.

Vehicle crashes can be traumatic, and no one has the right to discount the effect one may have on our emotional, physical, and mental well-being. If you developed any health issues or disorders, you deserve compensatory damages regardless of how much it “looks” like it affects your life.

Consult a Southern California Auto Accident Lawyer about Filing a PTSD Claim

If you or someone you love has experienced a devastating car crash that has had a profound, traumatic negative effect, filing a PTSD lawsuit may be possible with the help of a personal injury lawyer.

PTSD that stems from a car accident can be life-changing and debilitating. It typically leads to emotional, mental, and physical consequences, besides the stresses of medical expenses and treatment. To speak to a skilled car accident injury attorney at the law offices of Garmo & Garmo, call today at (619) 441-2500.

personal injury settlement money management

Strategies to Protect and Manage Your Personal Injury Settlement

Personal injury or loss due to negligence on another’s part can lead to emotional, physical, and financial damages for you. In the aftermath of such an incident, loss of earnings and huge debts could incur. In case you are pursuing a personal injury claim through a La Mesa, California attorney or have already collected settlement compensation; it is vital to safeguard those funds for future medical bills, lost income, and various other expenses.

The State of California, the Federal Government, and Your Settlement Award

Personal injury lawyers in California are often asked whether injury victims can collect a garnished injury settlement. Both yes and no are applicable answers to this question. Under state and federal law, individual injury settlement awards are subject to various vulnerabilities and protections.

Similar to most other states, in California, personal injury awards may be garnished for child support arrears and back federal and state taxes owed. Specific factors govern the attachments, and for those reasons, your settlement award may be vulnerable to garnishment.

But with regards to judgment creditors, the state law exempts personal injury settlements from garnishments. It is vital to properly manage your settlement funds to protect them from creditors seeking to garnish money from your bank accounts.

How do Judgment Creditors Take Your Settlement Money?

By garnishing your money, creditors attempt to recover the debts you owe them. Upon filing a lawsuit against you, creditors may be allowed by a court order or judgment to take money directly from your bank accounts for the debts owed.

According to the state law, it is permissible for a creditor to garnish up to an amount that is less of either 25 percent of the debtor’s weekly income or 50 percent of the amount by which the debtor’s income exceeds 40 times the minimum hourly wage.

Four Vital Measures to Prevent Personal Injury Funds from Garnishment

Open a Separate Account

Maintain a designated bank account into which you deposit only your settlement funds. As personal injury awards are exempt from creditor garnishment, it is important to clearly demarcate settlement award money as such. It is not a wise idea to commingle personal award funds with other money.

Maintain Comprehensive Records

In order to trace the origin of your settlement money, detailed records are vital. Maintain organized copies of the settlement agreement and review your bank account statements. Ensure that you retain all deposit and expense receipts related to your settlement award.

Consider Not Using a Bank Account

The use of prepaid credit and debit cards restrict the exposure of your funds to creditors while enabling you to access the money as required. But these cards do have certain drawbacks. Often, high fees are associated with prepaid cards, along with deposit restrictions. You will need to weigh the pros and cons to decide if prepaid cards are a good idea in your circumstance.

Cooperate with your Creditors

If you attempt to avoid creditors, it will only aggravate the situation, and they will aggressively pursue action against you to recover the debts owed. To relieve the stress of further legal action and protect your settlement funds, negotiate a payment schedule with your creditors to pay off your debt. Oftentimes, you can get creditors to agree to accept significantly less than the amount owed as payment in full.

Disclosure of Personal Injury Claims in Bankruptcy

When filing bankruptcy, the debtor must list all assets and property they own. The failure to disclose can comprise bankruptcy fraud, even if unintentional. A personal injury settlement is an asset, similar to tangible assets such as your vehicle, house, and other private property.

The date that the claim arose (which is typically the date you sustained injuries or had the accident) and not the date you filed the claim or collected the settlement or award determines whether it will be included as an asset in your bankruptcy estate. On your bankruptcy petition, you must list your personal injury claim or your potential accident cause if no case has been filed.

Personal Injury Claim Exemption

Simply because you need to list your claim or lawsuit does not automatically mean that you will lose the money if you file bankruptcy. Like all assets, it is critical to understand whether an exemption is available for the protection of the assets.

Under Federal bankruptcy exemptions, up to $25,150 collected as a result of a personal injury claim award of settlement is protected, with certain exceptions. To continue, the following is also protected under federal bankruptcy exemptions:

  • Payments you get to compensate you for lost future income, at least to the extent necessary to support you
  • Payments you collect due to the wrongful death of specific individuals, to the level necessary to support you
  • All payments you are entitled to collect under the reparation law for victims

The amount of exemption doubles for a married couple who file together only if both spouses sustained injuries. Every three years, the exemption amounts are adjusted. The situation is different if you have already won or settled your injury claim and collected funds from it before filing for bankruptcy. In such cases, the funds themselves are the asset and whether you get to retain them depends on whether any associated exemptions are available.

Hire Experienced Attorneys in La Mesa, CA to Maximize your Settlement Award

The chances of a personal injury victim obtaining maximum compensation managing and protecting their settlement monies are much better when they are represented by a skilled and knowledgeable personal injury lawyer. Garmo & Garmo is an established California law firm with a proven track record of success in personal injury cases and several other areas of the law.

Our attorneys have helped countless victims recover full and fair compensation for their injuries. For a no-obligation consultation with a member of our legal team, call today at (619) 441-2500.