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How it works

There are a number of instances where an individual who is injured in a car accident is partly to blame for the accident. When this is the case, how does a person navigate receiving compensation for the injury or the damage to their vehicle? This article will discuss this subject. In a personal injury claim the person who is said to be at fault for the car accident is ultimately the person responsible for paying for any damage caused by the accident as a result of their negligence [Negligence | Wex | US Law | LII / Legal Information Institute (cornell.edu)]. But, in the event that it is difficult to determine who is at fault, or if there is more than one party at fault for the accident, fault may have to be apportioned or measured as between the negligent parties. If you need legal advice with regard to your car accident, speak to a Bakersfield car accident attorney at  today. The state of California uses pure comparative negligence laws when it comes to matters of fault. This basically means that even if a party is 99% negligent in an accident, he or she still has the right to receive compensation for their injuries or losses as damages. However, the question that comes next is who determines fault in a car accident? When filing a car accident insurance claim it is the insurance company that makes the first determination as to fault. They assign percentage of each party’s fault for the accident corresponding to the conduct of each driver, at least in their opinion. In order to determine who is at fault and their percentage of fault, the insurance claims adjuster bases the percentage of fault on the circumstances linked to the accident and state laws in order to come up with the determination of the driver that acted negligently in the car accident.  A   good lawyer representing you may be able to fight the insurance company’s determination of fault. There are a number of scenarios that may play out when it comes to the percentage of fault and the receipt of compensation. Some of them are: An insurance company will pay their insured’s amount of fault and the claimant’s insurance company pays the remainder, or The insurance company whose driver has the largest percentage of fault may pay the entire claim The determination of how much payment will be made as compensation depends on the insurance company’s policies in this regard, as well as on a lawyer’s ability to fight for the maximum amount of compensation. It is not uncommon for insurance adjusters to work together with their clients in order to determine the party’s percentage of fault. However, if the driver does not agree with the insurance adjuster with regards to the percentage of fault, the driver may choose to seek legal counsel and the matter may go to court to determine fault and the percentage of fault. There are a number of factors that affect the determination of fault. Some of these are: Negligence laws – the way the state views negligence are applied. For example, if the state has adopted pure comparative fault. Police reports and other evidence – a review of the police report gives an idea of the accident and any related evidence must be reviewed too.  Even of the police determine one party is at fault, a personal injury lawyer may be able to challenge that determination. Personal injury protection (PIP) – in some states, PIP pays out to a driver despite fault.  California, however, does not have PIP, but on other states a n injured person might be able to take advantage of PIP even if they are at fault.

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Foreseeability and Proximate Cause

The majority of personal injury cases determine who was at fault in an incident or accident through the question of negligence. The basic definition of negligence is where one fails to use reasonable care in a specific situation. While this is a straightforward definition proving negligence, on the other hand, requires the plaintiff to show that the person who caused the injury was the actual cause of the injury and the proximate cause of that injury. This article will discuss foreseeability and proximate cause in proving fault in a personal injury case. According to the Cornell Law School Legal Information Institute [Foreseeability | Wex | US Law | LII / Legal Information Institute (cornell.edu)] foreseeability is said to ask “how likely it was that a person could have anticipated the potential actual results of their actions.” Foreseeability is the legal concept used to find out the proximate cause of an accident. Proximate cause is defined [Proximate cause | Wex | US Law | LII / Legal Information Institute (cornell.edu)] as “an actual cause that is also legally sufficient to support liability.” Foreseeability and proximate cause are applicable in car accident cases, therefore, seek out a Bakersfield car accident attorney for legal advice in your case. The foreseeability test asks the question: should the person causing the injury have reasonably foreseen the likely results that would have come from their actions? Generally, the law limits the scope of liability through foreseeability by the type of harm and the way it was instilled but it does not focus on the extent of harm. Let us consider what these three elements mean. Unforeseeable type of harm – the person who causes an injury is not liable if the type of harm suffered does not foreseeably stem from their act of negligence. For example, if Daphne dropped a glass bottle on the floor and did not clean it up, she would be liable for injuries caused to anyone who cuts themselves from the glass. But if a freak fire results from sunlight hitting the broken glass at a specific angle and others are injured in the fire, Daphne is likely not liable for such injuries as this type of harm is not foreseeable by her negligent actions. Unforeseeable manner of harm – this is when a person who causes injury is not at fault for a superseding cause when such a cause was not foreseeable. The superseding cause breaks the chain of causation between the initial act of negligence and the injury. Some examples portraying superseding causes that are unforeseeable include: Acts of God – such as earthquakes, hurricanes, volcanoes, etc. Third-party criminal acts, such as burglary Third-party intentional tort, such as false imprisonment, assault Superseding causes that are generally considered to be foreseeable are: Rescuers who cause harm – passersby who may come to the aid of an injured person but may worsen the person’s injuries by moving him/her Healthcare provider negligence; that is doctors and nurses The weakened condition of the injured person may lead to subsequent injury or disease The unforeseeable extent of harm – this is whereby the person who causes injury is at fault for the full extent of whatever harm they have caused, whether or not the extent of harm was foreseeable.  

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Personal Injury

Value of a Knee Injury

If you are injured as a result of someone else’s negligence you may be eligible for compensation by way of a personal injury case. The whole point of a personal injury claim is to receive compensation for whatever damages and losses you suffer as a result of the injury you sustained due to an accident or incident. Therefore, it is not unreasonable to want to know the value of your claim. This article will focus on factors that play a part in deciding the value of a knee injury personal injury claim.https: When it comes to valuing any personal injury case the truth of the matter is it entails basically coming up with the best likely guess of what a plaintiff may be awarded by a judge or jury. Therefore, you will need the help of a car accident lawyer in Bakersfield CA  as it takes two main issues into consideration using these as a yardstick: What the defendant would likely be willing to pay What the plaintiff would likely be willing to accept a settlement No matter whether it is the plaintiff or the defendant trying to calculate the compensation two factors stand out when it comes to valuing injury cases, these are: How bad was the plaintiff’s injuries and how much are his or her losses? The likelihood of a jury finding the defendant liable for the accident or incident that led to the knee injury. When considering the extent of the plaintiff’s injuries the nature, severity and duration of the knee injury take precedence as determining elements. According to Orthoinfo [Common Knee Injuries – OrthoInfo – AAOS] a ‘knee is a very complex joint made up of many components, as a result, it is vulnerable to a number of injuries. Knees are made up of bone, cartilage, tendons and ligaments’. Common knee injuries that may be suffered include dislocations, sprains, fractures, meniscus tears, joint or bone damage and tears to the ligament. Typically, the higher the severity and long-lasting the knee injury, the higher the compensation for settlement or jury verdict to be expected. In addition, injuries such as fractured bones often lead to larger settlements in comparison to soft tissue injuries; and any injury that can be proven by way of an MRI or x-ray are likely to be taken more seriously, as compared to ones that do not appear on imaging evidence. Further, more weight is assigned to injuries that require treatment by physicians rather than physical therapists or chiropractors. It must be noted that trying to accurately determine how much compensation will be received by a plaintiff is difficult and almost impossible. This is because if the matter goes to trial the jury ultimately makes the final decision as to how much money the defendant must pay the plaintiff. However, some aspects are easier to predict such

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Valuing Your Case: Lawyers

If you were involved in an accident that resulted in causing injury due to someone else’s negligence you may be eligible for compensation through a personal injury claim. Such claims can be facilitated by a personal injury lawyer who will provide representation and advice to a plaintiff during the process of filing and litigating the case. This article will discuss how personal injury lawyers value a personal injury case. The key reason why anyone would hire a personal injury lawyer is in order for them to work at getting you, the injured individual, a fair amount of compensation for the injury or loss you have sustained. As such, it is important for the lawyer to value your case in order to be able to identify what a fair amount of compensation would be. Car accident lawyers in Bakersfield CA  and most personal injury lawyers identify that an out-of-court settlement is a preferred option as compared to going to court. It must be noted that, in personal injury law damages [Damages | Wex | US Law | LII / Legal Information Institute (cornell.edu)]; that is the injuries you sustain and any losses (property, medical expenses) are what is used to calculate the money for your compensation. There are three types of damages; economic, non-economic and punitive. Punitive damages are designed to punish a grossly negligent person and are only used in specific cases, however, they typically do not form part of the compensation calculations. Economic damages are those financial losses that are suffered as a direct result of the injury and the accident. They are relatively easy to calculate and include medical bills and lost wages. Non-economic damages are losses that are difficult to calculate as they do not come with a dollar figure attached to them. They are often referred to as the “pain and suffering damages”. They are often associated with mental anguish, loss of consortium, stress and anxiety, pain and suffering, etc. An experienced attorney will know how specific insurance companies operate and will likely have an idea of how much money is available. When it comes to cases that go to court, the experienced attorney will need to do some research in order to determine what juries award in cases similar to yours. The attorney will also do an honest assessment of the value of your case and what you consider to be fair and this will inform the settlement amount the attorney will demand on your behalf. The truth of the matter is that only you, the injured individual, knows the true value of your case. However, when determining a settlement value for a claim it is of the utmost importance to keep in mind that the goal is to recover compensation and in order to recover such compensation, a form of compromise is necessary. That being said, where the plaintiff has a strong case with indisputable facts and the liability is clear, it is likely that the case is a high-value one and can be settled for a high value amount. Speak to your attorney for his or her honest opinion on the value of your case and work towards receipt of compensation.

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Residual Injuries and Compensation

After being involved in an accident that has left you with injuries, sometimes it is hard to determine how long those injuries will last. There are what is referred to as residual injuries or long lasting injuries, which can be sustained in a car accident. It is important to understand how such residual injuries may affect the compensation value of your claim. This article will discuss the effects that residual injuries have on your personal injury case value. The term residual injury is used in reference to permanent or long-lasting injuries that are suffered by an accident victim. Speak to a car accident attorney in Bakersfield  to know more about the residual injury damages in your case. Residual injuries include: Scarring – a common and permanent residual injury is scarring. This can be either from the original injury suffered by the individual or as a result of the needed medical treatment they underwent. When scarring is extensive and or prominent it often means that the plaintiff will receive a large value for damages. Such a large value can be attributed to cosmetic reasons as well as the fact that scar tissue results in the area where it is on the flesh to be less flexible. When scarring is found on joints or areas of the body that flex it may result in permanent, while slight, loss of movement. As such, it gives reason for a higher value in damages. Disfigurement[Disfigurement Definition | Law Insider] – it is often the case that any compensation with regards to the disfigurement of an individual has a high monetary value only when the scarring and disfigured area is visible to the public. For disfigured areas that are found underneath clothes or can be covered by clothes these generally do not attract a high value for damages. Further, while there is no written social bias it is likely that a woman who has permanent scarring and disfigurement is considered to be more affected as compared to a man who may have the exact same scar on the exact same place of the body. Even aspects of ageism come into play, as well as social standing. For example, a young single woman is more likely to be compensated more for her scars as compared to an older married woman. Joint or back injuries – some injuries related to joints and back leave permanent or long-lasting effects after one is involved in an accident. This is especially so in accidents that cause spine disc injuries displacement, damage or narrowing to the vertebra cartilage, dislocation or ligament injury to any joints While it may be true that the pain subsides or the injury resolves or stabilizes, it is likely that the injured individual will suffer some form of discomfort, pain or a lack of mobility as they age. As a result, such injuries attract a higher compensation value. The truth is that no matter how small the residual injury, disability or disfigurement is, it can have a large and long-lasting effect on your life for a long time. And when an injury has a serious effect on our lives it has a direct impact on the value of our personal injury case.

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Gaps in Treatment and Compensation

If you have suffered injury as a result of someone else’s negligence then you may be eligible for compensation by way of a personal injury claim. This article will discuss how gaps in your medical treatment can affect the value of your claim. After an individual is injured in an accident then they are likely to make some visits to the doctor. It may be that such visits are carried out often in the first few months and then decrease as time goes by. Such doctor visits may include tests and follow-up visits, all these are designed to track your injuries and determine your healing progresses. It must be noted that keeping up with your appointments is of the utmost importance as this greatly benefits you and has a strong deciding factor in a personal injury claim that you may file. Any gaps in your treatment are likely to devalue [Devalue Definition & Meaning | Dictionary.com] your claim and compensation amount. Speak to car accident lawyers in Bakersfield  for more information on getting compensation in your personal injury claim There are two noted gaps in personal injury claims: (1) between the occurrence of the accident and when you start getting treated for the injuries sustained from the accident, and (2) when you see a doctor for injuries and then allow a few months to go by before seeing the doctor again. It is important to note that the insurance adjuster dealing with your case is looking for any way to devalue your claim. As a result, if the insurance adjuster sees any gap in your medical treatment it will be used as evidence that your injuries are not as bad as you say they are. For example, if there is a six-month gap between the time you had a car accident and then sought medical treatment it likely will be used as evidence that your injuries were not severe at all. Hence the need and importance to visit your doctor after the accident. In addition, work at keeping a journal documenting your doctor visits, symptoms and pain. It must be noted that there are times where there is a good reason for the existence of gaps in treatment. A presence of a gap does not necessarily mean that an individual is not injured; it is likely that the individual was not experiencing any pain or problems. Thus, it is impossible to avoid a gap in such cases. In other circumstances, it may be that the individual was sick and unable to make the appointment or they were out of town for whatever reasons and thus could not make the appointment. It is important though that the individual informs their attorney about such gaps and the reasoning for them so the gaps cannot be used against the plaintiff. While gaps may be an issue, it is of the utmost importance that the injured individual follows the doctor’s orders. Not only is this important for the individual to achieve full recovery, but that may be the deciding factor as to whether an injury heals or becomes a permanent problem. Therefore, it is in your best interests to follow the treatment provided by your doctor.

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Vehicle Accidents: Common Injuries

It has been reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that over 3 million people are injured annually in vehicle accidents across the United States. The types of injuries are largely based on the circumstances surrounding the accident, however, some injuries are more common than others. This article will discuss the most common type of injuries being caused in vehicle accidents. In some circumstances injuries resulting from a car accident may very well resolve in a few days even without a person receiving medical treatment. However, this is not the case with more serious injuries, such as those that may result in causing permanent disability. If you are involved in a car accident then speak to Bakersfield auto accident lawyers [https://www.youngwooldridge.com/bakersfield-car-accident-attorney/] with regards to availing the due compensation for your injuries. Injury severity and type basically depends on a number of factors; such as: Whether or not the individual was wearing a seatbelt The position the individual’s vehicle was hit from; that is the side, front or rear end What was the positioning of the individual’s body; facing forward, sideways? The speed at which the accident occurred; was it a high speed accident or low speed one? The presence of airbags in the vehicle, and their positioning Generally, there are two categories of injuries that result from car accidents; impact injuries and penetrating injuries. Impact injuries are when an individual’s body hits some part of the inside of the vehicle. For example, when you hit your elbow on the frame of the door. Penetrating injuries, on the other hand, are generally cuts and scrapes; this can be as a result of glass that has shattered or objects flying inside the car. The most common injuries caused in a car accident are: Soft tissue injuries – these are injuries to the body’s connective tissue that is ligaments, tendons and muscles. A typical example of a soft tissue injury that is common in car accidents is whiplash[Whiplash – Symptoms and causes – Mayo Clinic]. This type of injury is where the muscles and ligaments in the neck and upper back are stretched as a result of the jerking movement of the head and neck caused in an accident. Cuts and scrapes – it is not uncommon to have various items in our vehicles for our convenience such as glasses, cell phones, coffee mugs, dash cams, handbags, and even books. It is these things that cause cuts and scrapes in the event of an accident as these loose objects fly around in the car during the collision and may inflict injury to the vehicle occupants. An airbag could result in cuts and scrapes when it deploys. Head injuries – these may range from minor to serious. When a vehicle stops unexpectedly or changes direction occupants’ heads are subjected to sudden movements that are unnatural. These may result in muscle strains as well as a shaking of the brain. The domino effect of the accident could result in traumatic brain injury, concussions, brain bleeds, etc. Chest injuries – these often happen due to the positioning of the steering wheel and how much freedom of movement is available. An occupant’s body can be thrown forward against a seatbelt which can result in bruising Leg and arm injuries – are often from side impact

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Personal Injury

Personal Injury Involving Minors

Most personal injury cases result from accidents or incidents that involve adults. However, it is unfortunate that some accidents or incidents involve children. This article will discuss personal injury laws relating to accidents and incidents involving children. It must be noted that personal injury law assumes that a child does not use the same well-informed judgment as compared to adults. As a result, there are special rules that have been created when it comes to issues relating to compensation and liability for accidents that involve children. While accident occurrences are not uncommon with children, there exist certain incidents that befall children that lead to a personal injury claim. As with a personal injury claims relating to an adult, the issue of negligence [Negligence | Wex | US Law | LII / Legal Information Institute (cornell.edu)] or carelessness plays a large part even in personal injury claims relating to children. Take note that, for personal injury case, a child is considered to  be any person under the age of 18. It must be noted that while the procedures and rules used with regards to personal injury compensation vary from one state to the next, children are entitled to the same range of damages that can be compensated for in a personal injury case that was filed by an adult. Therefore, a child may be compensated for pain and suffering, disability, emotional distress, and permanent injury,  even for future lost income if the injuries are severe and permanent. In addition, the child’s parent or guardian has the right to be compensated for medical bills that were paid on behalf of the child; however, this is separate from the other damages. As expected, a child is not able to negotiate the settlement of their personal injury claim, therefore, their parents have the legal right to do this on their behalf, hopefully with the assistance of legal representation from Bakersfield car accident lawyers. Most states in the United States, including California,  require a judge to approve any settlement before it is finalized on behalf of the child. There are instances where minors are legally liable for accidents. The liability is similar to the issue of care and carelessness as in all personal injury claims involving adults. However, the standard of care expected of an adult does not apply to minors. The issue of one being careful gives the implication of the individual fully understanding the risks associated with being careless; however, minors, and specifically young children, do not fully comprehend the risks in the same way that an adult does. As a result, the standards are applied differently with children in different age groups regarding the standard of liability or negligence. Generally, children who are younger than 7 years of age are not held liable for injuries that were caused accidentally; it is said that they are too young to comprehend their actions were careless. However, their parents or legal guardians may be held liable for negligence for failure to control their child  in such instances Older children, above 7 years old, on the other hand, are typically held responsible for their negligence if they fail to act carefully,  but since they are children their actions are judged by the actions of a reasonably careful  child of  the same age. However, children in their middle teens are generally held to the same standard as adults.  

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Personal Injury Attorney Bakersfield CA

Negligence and Personal Injury Cases

The manner in which the term negligence is used by the general public is different from how it is used as a legal concept. However, when you are involved in a personal injury case this term is likely to come up as an important part of your case. This article will discuss negligence and personal injury cases. The majority of personal injury cases use negligence as a legal concept to show that the other person is responsible for the accident. According to the Cornell Law School Legal Information Institute [Negligence | Wex | US Law | LII / Legal Information Institute (cornell.edu)] the term negligence is defined as “a failure to behave with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised under the same circumstances. The behavior usually consists of actions, but can also consist of omissions when there is some duty to act.” From this definition it is correct to say that the legal concept of negligence is based on a standard of care that is practiced by an ordinary person under similar circumstances as the individual in question. “Prudence”  simply mean care.  Speak to a Bakersfield car accident attorney [https://www.youngwooldridge.com/bakersfield-car-accident-attorney/] to see if negligence can be proven against the other driver in your case. As noted, the concept of negligence is used to prove or show that a person had a duty of care and failed at it and that gave rise to the injury that resulted in the personal injury case. There are four basic elements of negligence: Duty of care Breach of duty of care Causation Damages These elements can be explained in this way: the plaintiff must show that the defendant had a duty of care (1) owed to him or her and failed to meet that duty, which means breached the duty of care (2). The plaintiff must have suffered some injuries, damages or losses (4) as a result of and caused by the defendant’s breach of the duty of care (3). As noted above the plaintiff must prove his or her case. Let us use the example of a car accident. Jane is involved in a rear end collision accident with Marlon. While approaching a traffic light-controlled intersection, Jane stops as the traffic light turns red. However, Marlon traveling behind Jane takes a moment to change the channel on the radio and collides into Jane. Jane suffers whiplash injuries and damage to her tail light and bumper. In her personal injury case, Jane must prove Marlon’s negligence in the following way: Duty of care – Marlon owed Jane duty of care, as a road user, in that all drivers must be fully attentive and focused on driving Breach of duty of care – Marlon breached his duty of care by focusing on changing the radio station rather than noticing Jane brake and stop at the traffic light intersection Causation – Jane must be able to link her whiplash injuries and the damage to her vehicle to Marlon’s causing the accident. Damages – Jane must prove that she suffered whiplash by way of medical records as well as damages to her vehicle by evidence such as photographs of the damaged areas, a police report, or repair records.

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| Read Time: 3 minutes | Personal Injury

Personal Injury: Negligence Per Se

One term sometimes used during in a personal injury case is “negligence per se.” This article will discuss what negligence per se is and how it might affect your personal injury case. Negligence per se is a legal concept of fault that can be used in certain personal injury cases to prove negligence. Various jurisdictions define negligence per se in different ways, however, the differences are slight and generally, negligence per se applies when a defendant violates a specific law, and that is the underlying cause of the accident. According to the Cornell Law School Legal Information Institute [negligence per se | Wex | US Law | LII / Legal Information Institute (cornell.edu)] negligence per se “means negligence in itself…a defendant who violates a statute or regulation without an excuse is automatically considered to have breached her duty of care and is therefore negligent as a matter of law.”  By proving a defendant violated the law, you do not need to prove anything further to show negligence.  It is the violation of the law that proves the negligence. The principle of negligence per se speaks of an act as being negligent when the violated law is one that has been designed and created to protect the public. This includes the violation as a few examples, of the following laws: Speed limit laws Driver blood alcohol content limits Zoning codes Building codes The concept of negligence per se is a way  to prove the negligence elements of duty of care and a breach of duty the of care. As a result, there is no need to establish or demonstrate the manner in which the defendant acted in a careless manner when using the concept of negligence per se,  once the violation of law is proven. So in a car accident, there is no need to argue as to how the defendant driver fell short of their duty of care; rather, the question is was the law violated or not. If it was, the question now focuses on whether this violation was the cause of your injuries or damages. If the driver was, for example, convicted of an infraction for driving through a red light,  that will be all  that is needed to prove negligence. In a personal injury case, one may bring the negligence per se allegation as a stand-alone claim, or it may included under a negligence cause of action filed in a personal injury case. As with the legal concept of negligence, there is a need for the plaintiff to prove specific elements of their case. This requires a qualified and experienced car accident lawyer in Bakersfield. The lawyer must establish that: A law was violated by the defendant – often this is easy to show in car accidents as the driver may be convicted of a traffic violation The law was designed to prevent injury that thus occurred – most laws are clear as to their intent is to protect the public, and are designed to ensure the prevention of bodily injury or some form of harm. Often this is spelled out in the law text itself. The plaintiff is among the class of persons to be protected by the law that was violated – the majority of laws that are in place are designed to protect the general public, therefore, proving that the law encompasses protection of the plaintiff may be easily established. While negligence per se may appear to be pretty straightforward, it must be noted that there exist exceptions and these require legal experts to navigate successfully. Contact a personal injury lawyer for legal advice and representation in your case.          

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