| Read Time: 4 minutes | Personal Injury Attorney

Steps for Hiring a Lawyer After a Car Accident

After an accident, retaining an experienced lawyer can help level the playing field during negotiations with the at-fault party’s insurance company. Auto insurers are always looking for ways to avoid paying out on claims, which means they may unfairly deny yours or offer you less compensation than your case is worth. Having a skilled negotiator representing your interests can ensure you aren’t taken advantage of by the other party’s insurance. If you are searching online for “what should I do if I’m hurt in a car accident,” we’ve compiled a list of seven steps to take after an accident. These tips will help you hire the best California car accident attorney for your case. 1. Ask Trusted Family and Friends for Referrals Start by checking with trusted family and friends to see if anyone has previously worked with a personal injury attorney. You might even consider reaching out to co-workers who may be able to provide you with a recommendation. If you worked with a different type of attorney in the past, you could talk to them as well. They will likely have connections with many types of lawyers. They may have a recommendation for a personal injury firm they refer cases to when asked. 2. Research and Meet with Multiple Law Firms Next, you should spend some time researching firms online. If you received any recommendations, start with those firms. If you don’t have any personal suggestions, start looking for attorneys in your geographic area. Delve into the content on their websites, read their “about us” sections, and see if they have written any blog posts. You can get a general feel for their experience and professionalism based on their content. Are they a personal injury firm that specializes in auto accidents? It would be best if you also researched these attorneys online. Look up any potential disciplinary action with the California Bar Association, and see what other information is out there. Some attorneys are noted authorities and may regularly speak at educational events or even teach law courses. If community involvement is important to you, some attorneys list all their volunteer work and charitable causes right on their website. When you have a few firms that are your top picks, it’s time to schedule meetings with each one. 3. Ask Pertinent Questions at the Consultation Don’t show up to your consultations unprepared. Researching firms online is only one part of the prep process. Be sure to have a standard list of questions that are important to you. You should ask each firm these questions, so you make the most of your meetings. Some questions to consider asking include: Will you be the attorney working on my case? What is your experience handling cases like mine? How long do you think it will take to resolve my claim? What will be my role during the legal process? How long does it take you to respond to client communications? What do you see as my case’s strengths and weaknesses? Be sure to inquire about their fee schedule. Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency basis, but it’s imperative to confirm that rather than assume. When an attorney works on contingency, it means you won’t pay anything unless they successfully recover compensation in your case. Your attorney will then take their fees and costs from that, which is usually a percentage of your total settlement. It’s also a good idea to talk about what happens if your case goes into litigation. Make sure the firm has the capacity and financial resources at its disposal to advance these expenses. Some smaller firms may need to transfer the case or partner with a larger firm. Other times, the firm may be at capacity and cannot take on more litigation. You need to have the full picture of what will happen if they cannot resolve your case through negotiations. 4. Bring Important Documents to Your Consultation Before you meet with an attorney, gather all the documentation and evidence you currently have in your possession. That might be an accident report, photographs, hospital records, etc. Anything you have that an attorney can review will help them get a better picture of what your case will be worth and how complicated it will be to pursue. 5. Review Case Results and Past Client Testimonials When you are meeting with attorneys, ask them about their past clients. Is there one you can contact to get their feedback? Also inquire about the attorney’s prior case results and trial experience. Some attorneys have this information right on their website, while other times, you may need to review other documentation offline that discusses specifics of their top awards. You might also want to discuss their professional network. You want a firm that is well-connected and works with some of the best experts. If your injuries are serious, your attorney may need to hire expert witnesses to testify on your behalf. You want a firm that already has a rapport with medical professionals, accident reconstructionists, vocational experts, etc. 6. Take Time to Review Your Options Don’t retain an attorney right there in the office. Take some time to review all your options after you have met with your top choices. Is there one attorney you felt more comfortable with during your meetings? Does one firm charge hourly? If so, you need to verify you can afford the costs, especially if your case ends up in litigation. 7. Choose an Attorney Who Has Experience Handling Similar Cases At the end of all this, you should decide on the California car accident lawyer who best fits your needs. Make sure this attorney has a proven record of success handling claims similar to yours, especially if yours has complex issues. For example, consider an accident with multiple vehicles involved, disputed liability, and a potential claim against an automobile manufacturer. You want an attorney who has experience with defective product cases. Don’t choose an attorney who has limited trial experience, all of which were...

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| Read Time: 4 minutes | Personal Injury Attorney

How Do I Know the Value of My Construction Accident Settlement?

Construction sites are notoriously dangerous places. They pose a risk to both workers and people passing by on the street. While there are strict regulations to keep construction sites as safe as possible, accidents happen regularly. If you were injured at a California construction site, you might be wondering what a fair construction accident settlement amount is. To learn more about what your case is potentially worth, contact a skilled California construction accident lawyer. No two accidents are exactly alike, and therefore, no two settlements are exactly alike. Your case value is dependent on multiple factors, including liability and your damages. At Young Wooldridge, LLP, we can evaluate your case and let you know what you might receive in a settlement or a jury trial. How to Tell If I Have a Case Just because you are injured in a construction accident, doesn’t necessarily mean you will have a successful claim. Before you can collect a settlement for a construction accident, you need to prove the basic elements of a personal injury case. You need to demonstrate that the defendants were negligent and that their negligence caused your injuries. You also need to show that the injury resulted in your damages. These damages may include things like medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Are you an injured construction worker? In California, construction companies are obligated to carry workers’ compensation insurance. If you are a construction employee who is eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, you would need to file a claim for any injuries sustained on the job. If you are covered by workers’ compensation benefits, you’re prohibited from filing a claim against your employer. However, if there was another party responsible for your injuries, you could bring a third-party claim against them. If you work as an independent contractor or an innocent victim, you could file a lawsuit against the responsible party. What Steps Should I Take After the Accident? Immediately following the accident, try to document the scene if your injuries are not too severe. It would help if you tried to get photos of the site and whatever caused your accident. Try to take pictures of your injuries as well. If your injuries are severe, you should call 911 to have emergency responders dispatched. If they are not transporting you to the emergency room from the scene, you still need to seek medical attention as soon as possible. If you plan to pursue a claim for reimbursement of your damages, contact an experienced California construction accident attorney who can help. Do I Need a Lawyer to Help with a Settlement for a Construction Accident? You are not obligated to hire an attorney to represent you, but we recommend it. Construction accident claims are complicated and may involve numerous defendants. At Young Wooldridge, LLP, our legal team has decades of combined experience with construction accidents. Our top priority is helping you get the compensation you deserve after an accident. How Do I Know If the Insurance Company Is Offering a Fair Settlement? The best way to determine whether the insurance company is offering a fair settlement is to speak with an attorney. If you have not already retained a personal injury lawyer, now is the time. You should not agree to settle or sign a release of claims without speaking with a California construction accident attorney first. Without legal representation, it’s doubtful that the insurance company will be offering you a fair amount for your injuries. Insurance companies look for ways to deny claims or avoid paying high settlement amounts. Despite what they may try to tell you, they are not on your side. Without an attorney representing you, you could be missing out on the compensation you are owed. How Do I Know What My Case Is Really Worth? Before you can settle your construction accident case, you must calculate the value of your claim. Two types of damages make up the value of your construction accident claim. The first is economic damages, which reflect your quantifiable financial losses. These may include: Medical expenses; Physical therapy and rehabilitation; Prescription costs; and Lost earnings. The second type of damages is your non-economic damages, which are subjective in value. These damages include things like: Pain and suffering, Loss of consortium, Emotional distress, and Loss of enjoyment of life. In limited circumstances, punitive damages may also be available. These are not awarded to compensate you for the accident. Instead, they are to deter the defendant from engaging in the same behavior and punish them. Punitive damages are available only in exceptional cases—ones where the defendant’s actions were intentional, extremely reckless, or involved fraud or malice. Even if your case technically qualifies for a punitive damages award, there’s no guarantee the court will award one. Comparative Negligence Fault also plays a role in determining the value of your case. California is what’s known as a pure comparative negligence state. That means you can still recover compensation for your injuries, even if you are partially at fault. However, the court will reduce your award according to your percentage of fault. For example, if you were 30% at fault for the accident, you could claim only 70% of your damages. Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer If you were injured in a construction accident, finding the right California personal injury attorney is crucial. Construction accident claims are complicated to pursue, especially when liability is in dispute and there are multiple responsible parties. Do not retain an attorney who doesn’t have prior experience successfully resolving similar cases. There is a chance that your construction accident claim will proceed into litigation. Choose a firm with a proven record of success at trial. To learn how we can help you resolve your construction accident claim for the maximum compensation possible, contact Young Wooldridge, LLP, today to schedule an initial consultation.

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| Read Time: 4 minutes | Personal Injury Attorney

Premises Liability Laws in California—Do You Have a Case?

Premises liability cases involve injuries that occurred on someone else’s property. A property owner can be held legally responsible for damages that take place on their property in certain situations. If you slip and fall in a grocery store, do you have a premises liability case? If you can prove negligence against the property owner or business tenant, you might have a valid legal claim. Pursuing compensation in these matters can be complicated, which is why it’s crucial to retain a skilled California premises liability attorney. What Is Premises Liability? Under premises liability laws, property owners must keep their property in a reasonably safe condition for visitors. They must warn visitors and guests of any dangerous conditions, especially those hazards that may not be open and obvious. If a jury decides a property owner is negligent, injured victims have a right to recover compensation for their injuries and other damages. Property owners cannot avoid legal responsibility by claiming to not know about the hazard. To determine whether a property owner should’ve learned about the dangerous condition, look at factors such as: How obvious was the danger? Were there complaints about any hazardous conditions? How long did the hazardous condition exist? Did the hazard injure anyone else? Were there poor attempts at fixing the dangerous condition? Premises liability doesn’t typically deal with minor or trivial defects. Determining what a dangerous condition is can depend on the type of property. If property owners cannot fix the hazard, they must at least warn visitors. A property owner can achieve this by posting a visible notice that warns arriving visitors before they are in a situation that could result in harm. Types of Premises Liability Cases in California Some people mistakenly assume premises liability cases deal only with slip and fall accidents. While attorneys typically file a significant number of slip and fall lawsuits on behalf of clients, many other accidents fall under premises liability laws. Some of the most common premises liability cases in California include the following: Slip and falls: uneven flooring, loose carpets, spilled liquids, ice, missing stair railing, broken stairs, etc.; Dog bites: bites and other injuries caused by someone’s animal; Construction accidents: crane accidents, falls from scaffolding and ladders, roofing accidents, no warning signs for people passing by, etc.; Amusement parks and waterparks: rides, parking lots, line areas, and food-service outlets; Swimming pools: falls and drownings at either public or private pools; Elevators and escalators: Faulty equipment and negligent maintenance; and Negligent security: Assault or other crimes that occur due to a lack of proper security. Premises liability claims arise from injuries sustained on nearly every type of property. You could be injured at a private residence, public parking lot, shopping mall, retail store, school campus, apartment complex, government building, hospital, and more. California Premises Liability Laws Premises liability in California is based on negligence. Property owners and those who occupy a property have a legal obligation to keep their property in a reasonably safe condition. If they do not or fail to warn visitors about hazards, they could be held legally responsible. Establishing the threshold for what’s reasonably safe will depend on what a prudent property owner would have done when faced with similar circumstances. Unfortunately, determining what a reasonable property owner would do is not necessarily straightforward. If your case is decided through a jury trial, the jury will consider multiple factors before finalizing a liability decision. Some of these factors can include: Where the property is located; The chances of another person entering the property in the same manner as you; The likelihood that an injury would result; Whether the owner was aware of the hazardous condition or should’ve known; Who had the burden of reducing or avoiding the risk; and The degree of control the owner had over the hazardous condition. California premises liability laws allow you to sue the person or company who owns, leases, occupies, or controls the property where you were injured. The law doesn’t require this to be the same person or entity. Someone could manage and control the property but not own it. In some cases, you’ll have multiple defendants. Some property owners and businesses will try to delegate their duty to others, but California’s premises liability laws won’t allow it. That means if an employee doesn’t fix a hazardous condition or warn their employer, the employer could still be liable for someone’s injuries. Under the legal theory of respondeat superior, employers are vicariously liable for any acts of negligence that occur within the course and scope of an employee’s job duties. How Do I Know If I Have a Case? To successfully sue for premises liability in California, you must prove negligence against the property owner. To start, you have to show the defendant is the one who owns, leases, or has control of the property. This person or entity has to be the party who is tasked with inspecting, examining, and verifying the property is reasonably safe. You must show how the defendant was accountable for their property. Is there something missing that would’ve made the property reasonably safe? Consider a negligent security claim for a parking lot assault. Did the store owner know about crimes occurring in the parking lot but fail to install any security cameras or hire a security guard? This case could be an example of breaching a duty of care. Were you injured due to the hazardous condition? You must show evidence that you suffered injuries on the property due to the dangerous condition. This evidence includes verifiable losses, meaning you must have sought medical treatment, lost time from work, etc. You can be injured, but if you don’t seek medical treatment for your injuries, you won’t be able to prove damages. Finding the Right Injury Lawyers to Help Choosing the right premises liability attorney in California is crucial. You need an attorney with the necessary experience and resources to litigate your case. It’s not uncommon for insurance companies to deny premises liability...

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Personal Injury

Big Box Stores and Premises Liability

Californians enjoy the savings provided by big box stores. A number of major retail chains provide a wide variety of items in bulk for a significant discount. And who doesn’t like to save money, right? But are there risks to shopping in these huge stores? When accidents happen in a commercial business, the injuries are often subject to personal injury claims under premises liability laws. If you or a loved one suffer an injury while shopping in a big box discount store, you could be eligible to receive compensation for your injuries. An experienced personal injury attorney in Bakersfield can help you determine if you have a case. What is Premises Liability? Premises liability laws are in place to protect the public from accidents in public, commercial buildings, and other places. Basically, the owner or store manager has a responsibility to take all reasonable actions to ensure that the store is free of obstacles or other means by which patrons could become injured. For example, if a customer spills laundry detergent on the floor of a store, the store must take certain actions. First, a store employee will clean up the mess. Then, proper warning signs must be posted around the site for a certain amount of time, warning other shoppers of a wet floor and possible fall risk. If the mess is not cleaned up properly, or no signage is in view, and another shopper slips and falls, they could possibly file a claim against the store under premises liability law. What About Big Box Retail Stores? Large chain big box retail stores make their profits by buying huge quantities of products and selling them cheaply, and often in bulk. Warehousing costs are reduced by storing large pallets of products right in the store. Very often, this shelving is located immediately above the products on display for sale. A roll of paper towels is relatively light; but the weight of a wooden pallet containing 24 cases, each with 100 rolls of paper towels is significant. In the event of a collapse or inadvertent shifting of a load while placing more pallets of product nearby, these heavy amounts of products could fall on unsuspecting patrons, causing serious injuries. Moreover, since this accident features heavy objects falling from above, head injuries are likely and could be catastrophic. If you or a loved one suffers an injury in a bog box retail location and have questions about your legal rights, contact the Personal Injury Department at Young Wooldridge, LLP. Our Personal Injury attorneys have experience with handling premises liability accident claims. We can help you file the claim and vigorously pursue your right to compensation from the responsible parties. Call us today or send a message online to arrange your free same-day, initial case review.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Personal Injury Attorney

Personal Injuries Can Happen When You Least Expect Them

Accidents by their very nature occur suddenly and without warning. An accident can result in a personal injury while performing the most routine activities that you may have done hundreds of times without incident. On other occasions, personal injuries can happen when we attempt some new skill, chore or activity. Depending on the circumstances of your personal injury accident, you may be able to file a legal claim for damages. What are the Most Common Personal Injury Claims in California? California residents in and around Bakersfield experience accidents every day as they go about their daily lives. Some of the personal injury cases we see routinely at Young Wooldridge LLP include, but are not limited to, the following. Car Accidents– These are by far the most frequent cause of personal injuries throughout California. According to Driver Knowledge, approximately 2 million drivers experience permanent injuries due to car accidents every single year. The negligence of another driver can cause catastrophic injuries in a matter of moments. If you are involved in a car accident and incur a personal injury, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and losses. Slip-and-Fall Accidents– Uneven or unsafe walkways are a hazard in busy public thoroughfares and places of business. Loose objects or weather conditions can cause slip and fall accidents. People often slip and fall because of unsafe surfaces or walkways in public places. If someone’s negligent care of a public walkway contributes to your personal injury accident, you should contact a personal injury attorney to determine if you have a case or not. Premises Liability – Premises liability laws are in place to protect the public from accidents in public, commercial buildings, and other places. Basically, the owner or store manager has a responsibility to take all reasonable actions to ensure that the store is free of obstacles or other means by which patrons could become injured. If an injury takes place on public or commercial property, you may be eligible for compensation. Dog Bites– California laws require pet owners to keep their pets safely under control at all times. If a pet is not properly restrained and causes you an injury, this is considered negligence under California law. If you sustain a serious injury due to a dog bite, you should consult a personal injury attorney to assist in filing a claim for financial remuneration to cover medical expenses and other damages. Defective Products– Defective products that are improperly designed or made at the factory can sometimes slip through quality control and be sold to unsuspecting individuals. If you purchase a new product and use it properly, and incur an injury from it, you have the right to file a personal injury claim against the manufacturer, and in some cases, the store where the item was purchased. Experienced Personal Injury Attorney in Bakersfield The Personal Injury Attorneys at Young Wooldridge LLP have experience in assisting clients with claims for all types of personal injury. If you or a loved one has been injured due to the negligence of another, call us today at 661-327-9661 to schedule a consultation about your possible personal injury claim or fill out our online form.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Personal Injury

Proving Negligence in a Personal Injury Lawsuit

In most California personal injury cases, negligence is a deciding factor. Therefore, knowing about what constitutes negligence and how to prove it is important. If you or someone you love have suffered a personal injury through the fault of another party, it is highly likely that negligence is involved. Defining Negligence Negligence is legally defined as follows: “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 (e.g., a duty to help victims of one’s previous conduct).” While aspects of “ordinary prudence” and “some duty to act” are often debated, the courts generally have a firm understanding of these terms as applied to personal injury negligence cases. Basically, a person of ordinary intelligence and capacity who acts or fails to act in such a way that causes another person or party to sustain an injury is guilty of negligence. Proving Negligence Claiming another person or party was negligent in their actions or lack thereof is not sufficient; the law demands that the injured party provide sufficient proof of said negligence. Legally, four elements must combine to prove negligence occurred. They are: Duty, breach, cause, and harm. The existence of a legal duty of care – this means that the defendant (the accused) was obligated to prevent harm from happening to the plaintiff (the victim of injury). The breach of that duty – this means that the negligent party created or allowed a dangerous situation to occur when they could have taken reasonable measures to stop it. The sufferance of an injury or harm – this refers to the physical and mental trauma, property damage, and lost income that resulted from the breach of duty. The proof that said breach caused the injury – this is evidence that the actions or omissions of the defendant directly or indirectly caused the plaintiff’s injury. If all four factors can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt before the court, you may be able to collect financial compensation from a personal injury lawsuit based on negligence. Many other factors can be involved, as every personal injury case is different, whether it happened in a car, truck, or motorcycle accident, through a defective product, a construction accident, or by other means. If you or someone you love suffered a personal injury where you believe negligence is a factor, contact Young Wooldridge, LLP by phone or contact form. We are able to fully serve your legal needs during the Coronavirus pandemic and can provide a same-day review of your case with a free phone or video consultation.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Personal Injury

When Do I Need a Personal Injury Attorney?

Life is never really the same when you or someone you love suffers a personal injury. You may be forced to adopt dramatic changes to even performing the most mundane tasks. The National Center for Health Statistics reports that around 31 million people each year receive medical treatment due to injury. Many people wonder when or if they should contact a personal injury attorney in Bakersfield. Young Wooldridge, LLP has served our surrounding communities since 1939, and we have the seasoned experience to help you in the event of an accident. What is Involved in CA Personal Injury Law? The personal injury laws of California provide legal recourse for those suffering personal injuries from the actions or negligence of another party or parties. Young Wooldridge, LLP can assist you with filing a claim with the courts to pursue compensation. Our attorneys have forged strong relationships throughout our community with legal and medical professionals. These partnerships allow us to formulate the best possible defense for your claim. When you need a talented, experienced personal injury attorney in Bakersfield, Young Wooldridge, LLP can provide the legal assistance you need for the following types of accidents: Car Accidents Construction/Industrial/Oil Field Accidents Burn Accidents Dangerous and Defective Products Dog Bites Motorcycle Accidents Premises Liability Traumatic Brain Injuries Truck Accidents Wrongful Death If you or a loved one have suffered a personal injury, contact the attorneys at Young Wooldridge, LLP by phone or online to schedule a confidential consultation. How Can Young Wooldridge, LLP Help? Every accident is as unique as the Bakersfield resident who suffers an injury. Due to these differences, and the many complexities that can be present, California personal injury laws can be complicated. You need a seasoned, knowledgeable personal injury attorney to defend your rights and fight to obtain you the compensation you deserve. In cases where one of the family’s providers becomes injured and unable to work, it is especially important that your attorney be able to provide efficient and effective negotiation and litigation on behalf of your claim for compensation.  Call or send an online message to Young Wooldridge, LLP today if you or a loved one have been injured in an accident due to another party’s negligence.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Business Law

COVID-19 and Public Meetings: An Update on the Brown Act Requirements

 On March 17, 2020, Governor Newsom issued a new Executive Order that relaxed additional requirements of the Brown Act. Water Law attorney Brett Stroud prepared the following update for our clients and those who conduct business at public meetings:  Yesterday, Governor Newsom issued Executive Order N-29-20 (“March 17 Order”), which altered some of the provisions of his previous Executive Order N-25-20 (“March 12 Order”), including his relaxation of certain Brown Act requirements. The March 17 Order differs from the March 12 Order in one significant respect: it removes the requirement that an agency provides a publicly accessible location from which members of the public can observe the meeting and provide public comment.  Instead, an agency may hold the meeting entirely by teleconference, provided it also “implements a procedure for receiving and swiftly resolving requests for reasonable modification or accommodation from individuals with disabilities, consistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act and resolving any doubt whatsoever in favor of accessibility” and “advertise that procedure each time notice is given of the means by which members of the public may observe the meeting and offer public comment.” In short, the March 17 Order permits an agency “to hold public meetings via teleconferencing and to make public meetings accessible telephonically or otherwise electronically to all members of the public.”  The agency must provide notice within the usual timeframe, provide a method for members of the public to offer public comment during the teleconference meeting, and provide a procedure for members of the public to request accommodations based on disability. Like the March 12 Order, the March 17 Order applies specifically “during the period in which state or local public officials impose or recommend measures to promote social distancing, including but not limited to limitations on public events.”  On March 16, the California Department of Public Health issued updated guidance relative to public gatherings.  That guidance indicates that “all gatherings should be postponed or canceled.” If you have any questions or would like specific advice on applying the March 17 Order for your agency, please feel free to contact an attorney in our Water and Special Districts Department.  In particular, if you plan to hold a meeting by teleconference, please contact us for assistance in preparing your agenda.  We can be reached by phone at 661-327-9661.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Business Law

COVID-19 and Public Meetings: Brown Act Implication of Executive Order N-25-20

On March 12, 2020, Governor Newsom issued an executive order relaxing certain requirements of the Brown Act and the Bagley-Keene Act, affecting public meetings. Water Law attorney Brett Stroud prepared the following information: On March 12, 2020, Governor Newsom issued Executive Order N-25-20 (“Order”), exercising his emergency powers under Government Code sections 8567, 8571, and 8572.  The Governor has the authority to “suspend any regulatory statute, or statute prescribing the procedure for conduct of state business … where the Governor determines and declares that strict compliance … would in any way prevent, hinder, or delay the mitigation of the effects of the emergency.”  (Gov. Code, § 8571.)  Exercising that power, Governor Newsom has temporarily relaxed certain requirements of the Brown Act and the Bagley-Keene Act. Ordinarily, an agency must post notice of a teleconference meeting at all locations from which any board member will participate, allow the public to attend and offer public comment at any of those locations, and have at least one board member physically present at each location.  Furthermore, a quorum of the Board must participate from locations within the agency’s boundaries.  Those requirements are suspended by section 11 of the Order, and agencies are permitted “to hold public meetings via teleconferencing and to make public meetings accessible telephonically or otherwise electronically to all members of the public.”  The agency must provide notice within the usual timeframe and must provide “at least one publicly accessible location from which members of the public shall have the right to observe and offer public comment.” It should be noted that the authorization applies specifically “during the period in which state or local public officials impose or recommend measures to promote social distancing, including but not limited to limitations on public events.”  The California Department of Public Health has issued such guidance relative to public gatherings. The guidance requires cancellation or postponement of gatherings larger than 250 persons.  Smaller gatherings should only be held if the venue allows for 6 feet of distance between persons.  If individuals at higher risk may be present, gatherings should be limited to 10 individuals.  In the public agency meeting context, all members of the public are permitted to attend, including those at higher risk, and the agency cannot limit attendance to 10 individuals. If you have any questions or would like specific advice on applying this Order for your agency, please feel free to contact an attorney in our Water and Special Districts Department. We can be reached by phone at 661-327-9661.  

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Uncategorized

Halloween Safety Tips for You and Your Family

Personal Injury Attorney | Happy Halloween!  It’s time for kids (and parents too!) to get dressed up and hit the streets in search for the ultimate treat!  However, what’s scarier than any costume you may see, are the child safety statistics that this holiday brings. According to Safe Kids Worldwide, children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year.  Here are some tips to ensure you and your kids have a safe holiday. Walk Safely Use traffic signals and crosswalks; cross the street at corners When crossing the street look left, right, then left again; keep looking as you cross. Do not use electronic devices when crossing the street. Walk, don’t run across the street. Teach children to make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them. Always walk on sidewalks or paths. If no sidewalks are available, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible. Children should walk on direct routes with the fewest street crossings. Watch for cars that are turning or backing up. Teach children to never cross in between parked cars or to dart out into the street. Trick or Treat With an Adult Children under the age of 12 should not be alone at night without adult supervision. If children are mature enough to be out without supervision, they should remain in well lit, familiar areas, and trick-or-treat in groups. Costumes can be Creative and Safe! Use reflective stickers or tape to decorate costumes and trick-or-treat bags. If possible, choose light colors for costumes. Masks can obstruct a child’s vision. When possible, choose face paint or makeup. Give children flashlights or glow sticks to help them see and be seen by drivers. When selecting a costume, make sure it fits properly to prevent trips and falls. Drive Extra Safely on Halloween Kids get excited on Halloween and can move in unpredictable ways. Slow down and be alert in residential neighborhoods. Take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians and on curbs. Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully. Remove all distractions inside your car so you can fully concentrate on the road and your surroundings. Anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic. Drive slowly and turn your headlights on earlier in the day to spot children from greater distances. Popular trick-or-treating hours are 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. so be especially alert for children during these peak hours. Following these effective tips can greatly reduce the risk of injury for you and your child on this holiday.  The personal injury attorneys at Young Wooldridge, LLP wish you and your family a safe and Happy Halloween!  

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