| Read Time: 2 minutes | Young Wooldridge

Strengthening Your Motorcycle Claim

Some of the most complicated forms of litigation are matters related to motorcycle accidents. This is due to the kind of injuries sustained during accidents and how the accidents happen. All these elements contribute to the complexity of the cases. This article will discuss what an injured person involved in a motorcycle accident can do to strengthen their case. Because of the complexities linked to motorcycle accidents, injury victims need to be aware of their rights and take appropriate steps in order to protect themselves. Some of these steps that they can take include the following: Medical treatment and attention – the majority of motorcycle accidents are very serious and result in serious injuries such as head trauma, traumatic brain injuries, or paralysis. It is not uncommon for a victim to become unconscious at the time they are transported to an emergency room. As a result, it is of the utmost importance that the injured victim stays in the hospital for as long as it is recommended by their health care provider. In instances where the injured individual is conscious at the scene of the accident, they should still be transported to a medical facility by emergency responders and describe their injuries to them. This is even the case where the accident injury victim has previously been in a similar motorcycle accident and wasn’t injured or believes that their injuries are not that serious. It is wise to still seek medical treatment. The benefit of this is that it helps establish the timing when the injury occurred as well as to link the injury to the accident. Once an individual has received medical attention, they should continue whatever treatment regimen they are to undergo. Whatever instructions are given to them by their doctor they should obey them to the letter. This includes such aspects as staying off work or not participating in certain activities until they have fully recovered. Before a motorcycle accident claim has been settled, often the victim must complete all necessary medical treatment or requirements. This allows us to determine the exact amount of damages. One tactic used by insurance companies is to deny or lower a claim by blaming the injured individual for not following medical advice. 911 – no matter the circumstances it is important that you call the police after the accident. By having a police presence this helps document the incident. In addition, the police report that is prepared likely has important information, such as who was responsible for the accident and if a citation was given to this person. Further, the police officer documents their observations of the scene of the accident. Wait to repair your bike – the majority of personal injury lawyers handling motorcycle accidents in Bakersfieldadvise that motorcycle owners forgo repairs. This is because the motorcycle itself is a big piece of the evidence. It provides information on the seriousness of the accident. In addition, damaged property helps with the victim’s claim. Take pictures – be sure to take pictures of your injuries, the damaged bike, other vehicles, road signs, weather conditions, etc.

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| Read Time: 3 minutes | Young Wooldridge

When the Road Causes Your Accident

The majority of car accidents involve other vehicles, and as a result it may be one or both drivers that are at fault for causing the accident. However, there are instances where a car accident is due to a faulty road, and other drivers may or may not share some responsibility. This article will discuss how to  know when road issues may be the cause of car accidents. There are a number of different road issues that may cause an accident. Some of these issues may include the following: Potholes Traffic cones Road construction Disintegrating bridges and roads Broken blocks of cement Failing to warn Failing to install traffic lights Obstructed road signs It must be noted that the life expectancy of a road is about 20 years. But if this period of time is exceeded without sufficient repair work, problems arise. Issues arise due to constant use, weathering and other factors; therefore, roads tend to deteriorate as time goes by. As a result, it becomes necessary for road construction and repair to take place. Unfortunately, such construction and repair require funding and the process of obtaining such funding takes time in itself, as does the actual completion of such repairs. Funding allows roads to be smooth and drivable, cleared of debris and insure that bridges are solid and passable. However, when road repairs take long and poor conditions prevail this may lead to multiple accidents that cause injuries or death. There are a number of dangers that lurk when road issues arise; and all these point to the cause of many vehicle accidents. Some common dangers that arise due to the disrepair of roads include the following: Unsound bridges – when bridges are not repaired, they pose a serious danger to groups of people. Once a bridge structure becomes unsound the bridge may either collapse completely, crushing whatever is under it or dropping whatever is on it. As a result, when a bridge becomes structurally deficient it requires immediate repair. Freeways and highways – these are the highest danger areas to all drivers because the presence of traffic itself is a potential danger, and due to the high speed limits. However, when these busy roads go into disrepair it increases accidents in frequency and scale. Common issues that are found on freeways and highways include potholes, crumbling edges, uneven lanes, drop offs onto shoulders and narrow shoulders. These issues may result in a driver losing control of their vehicle leading to a collision or multi-vehicle collision that can result in death or serious injury. The above focuses on the need for repairs, however, another danger that arises is when road repairs begin. Road construction and repair are often the cause of accidents. This happens when drivers try to avoid construction and end up swerving into pedestrians, construction workers or into other vehicles. It is even possible that materials that are being used in the construction and repair of roads may cause a driver to lose their vision of the road. At times a warning sign may be placed incorrectly, closed lanes may lead to accidents and the decrease in speed limits affects only those who follow them. When drivers continue speeding where there is a need to decrease speed, slower drivers become a hazard. If your accident was caused by a road hazard speak to car accident lawyers in Bakersfield, CA.    

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| Read Time: 3 minutes | Young Wooldridge

Motorcycle Accident Damages

If you have been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, you may be eligible for compensation by way of a personal injury claim. This statement is true in the case of motorcycle accidents. An individual is able to receive compensation by way of a motorcycle accident personal injury claim. There are a number of different types of damages that may be claimed in a motorcycle accident incident. This article will look at a few damages an individual involved in a motorcycle accident can recover in a personal injury claim When an individual is involved in an accident or collision where one of the vehicles is a motorcycle, such an individual should hire a Bakersfield motorcycle accident lawyer to pursue damages for their losses. The main reasons an individual seeks legal recovery is for property damage and injuries sustained during an accident. Motorcycle accidents are often characterized by serious or extensive injuries, as  well as complete damage to the bike itself. As a result, it is important to know which damages to seek in a personal injury claim. Generally, an injured victim is able to seek a number of different damages depending on what happened in the accident. For example, if the accident resulted in time away from work the individual may recover lost wages for this form of loss. Below are some common forms of damages that can be pursued in a motorcycle accident personal injury claim: Property damage – in most motorcycle accidents the bike suffers extensive damage. As a result, it may be necessary for the vehicle to be reconstructed, repaired or written off (“totalled”). The victim may be able to receive compensation for either one of these. The insurance company of the defendant may pay for the repairs or replacement of the motorcycle when the plaintiff wins their case. Pain and suffering – pain and suffering generally speaks to the emotional and psychological harm caused by the incident. This aspect of damages goes beyond the actual injury suffered by the victim. It is referred to as a non-economic damage as no set dollar amount can be put as an appropriate form of compensation. Rather, a calculation is made based on a number of different factors. Some of these factors include the pain suffered by the individual, their injuries, humiliation, loss of enjoyment of  life, emotional  distress and  disfigurement. Lost wages – while the victim is recovering from their injuries, they may not have the ability to work during this period. It may be that they require time in a hospital to receive physical therapy or surgery or it may be recommended that they take bed rest away from work in order to fully recover. It is not uncommon for victims to lose their jobs during these periods or need to take vacation time to cover the recovery period. Thus claiming for lost wages allows the victim to recover for any wage loss they may have suffered during the recovery process, as well as for income that is likely  to be lost into  the future. Medical treatment – damages linked to medical treatment include any medical expenses the victim has incurred as a result of their injuries. Medical treatment may also include future medical treatment that a doctor indicates is required by the victim.

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| Read Time: 3 minutes | Personal Injury Lawyer

Determining Fault and Negligence in Your Injury Claim

In any personal injury case, the critical question asked at the outset is who was at fault. Fault is an essential aspect of any personal injury case because once it is determined, whoever I s at fault becomes responsible for paying damages or compensation. This article will discuss determining fault and the use of negligence to prove fault. According to one legal dictionary [Fault legal definition of fault (thefreedictionary.com)], fault is defined as “neglect of care, an act to which blame or censure is attached.” Fault can then rightfully be used interchangeably with liability. In a personal injury case, it is easy for person A involved in the incident, such as a car accident in Bakersfield CA [https://www.youngwooldridge.com/bakersfield-car-accident-attorney/], to decide that person B involved in the accident is at fault for the accident. While person B affected may blame person A and C, this brings about the question as to who determines the issue of fault in a personal injury case? The most straightforward answer to this question of fault is determined by the circumstances surrounding the case. To accurately decide who is at fault, an investigation into the case must be made to determine all potential parties at fault. All this is carried out by a personal injury attorney representing the plaintiff. The attorney will, if necessary, present the case to the defendant(s) or a court so that a determination  can be made about who is at fault. It is not uncommon for a party involved in an injury claim who is at fault to carry liability insurance. When there is liability insurance, the burden of paying a damages award or settling the case falls on the insurance company. More often than not, the insurance company will carry out its own investigation into the incident and make an independent decision as to which party is at fault. If there is a disagreement as to who is at fault, the injured person and their attorney may choose to file a personal injury lawsuit. This gives the court, whether jury or judge, the ultimate power of determining who is at fault. Most personal injury claims are a result of an act or acts of negligence. Negligence is defined by the Cornell Law School Legal Information Institute [Negligence | Wex | US Law | LII / Legal Information Institute (cornell.edu)] as “a failure to behave with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised under the circumstances.” Negligence entails an act that falls below the standard of care expected of a reasonable person, which results in the harm of another person. To show the fault of a person using negligence, four elements must be proven.  These elements are: Duty of care – There must exist a legal duty owed to the plaintiff by the defendant. For example, all vehicle drivers owe a duty of care to other road users. Breach – It must be proven that the defendant breached their legal duty of care  by acting unreasonably. Causation – The breach of the defendant’s duty of care must cause harm. For example, while running a red light, the defendant sideswiped plaintiff’s car. Damages – there must be actual damages or losses suffered as a result of the incident. For example, medical bills, lost wages, property damage, etc.  

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

Do you have a witness to your accident?

If you have been involved in an accident and decide to make a personal injury claim, having a witness from the incident can be very valuable. This article will discuss the role witnesses can play in your personal injury claim. It must be noted that witnesses are an asset when you are making a personal injury claim. Because they stand to support your version of events and may even be able to provide new information that can be used to prove who was at fault. There are two different kinds of witnesses; there are those who saw the events as they unfolded and those who may have seen the immediate aftermath of the event. Both these types of witnesses are essential to your case. The one who saw the events as they unfolded can describe how they happened, while the one who saw the accident’s immediate aftermath can confirm how you appeared after the accident. That is, injured, delirious, confused, etc. However, as with all forms of evidence regarding witnesses, time is of the utmost importance. If you fail to contact a witness and have the information collected soon after the accident, this information may be lost. As with issues relating to time, memories might fade, and recollecting exact events can become a blur. When this happens, such information is not valid anymore. During a car accident, passersbys who saw the accident or anyone who lives or works nearby may be very useful when it comes to your claim. This is because they may be able to provide you with helpful information. For example, they may inform you about a dangerous condition that caused accidents previously in the exact location. Further, they can verify your version of events with regards to how the accident happened. To find witnesses, you need to return to the accident scene and speak to people who may live around the area or work in the line of sight of where the accident happened. Another good place to find witnesses is by looking at the police report. The police report provides witnesses by name, address and phone number. If you can find these witnesses and state who was at fault for the accident, it is essential to move quickly. Take note of the following steps: Get as much information as possible – firstly, gather all the details of the witness, their names, physical address, home, work and cell phone number. If they provide you with more information, the better; some may even be willing to throw in their email address. The point is that you need them for the case. Therefore, it is important not to scare or irritate them. Talk about what they saw – speak to the witness about precisely what they saw and where exactly they were when they saw it. This gives credibility[Credible legal definition of credible (thefreedictionary.com)] to the information they provide. If they are willing to, ask if it is ok to write what they told you and send it to them to check how accurate it is. Further, inform them that you may need a written statement from them. For legal advice and representation, speak to a car accident lawyer in Bakersfield [https://www.youngwooldridge.com/bakersfield-car-accident-attorney/.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Personal Injury

What Type of Evidence You Need To Show For Your Personal Injury Claim?

After being involved in an accident, you will need to have evidence to support any personal injury claim that you may want to make later. Therefore, it is essential to gather all the necessary evidence for your personal injury claim. This article will discuss how to gather evidence and what evidence is needed for your claim. Firstly, it is of the utmost importance to note that the first few days after the accident or incident are the most crucial when it comes to gathering evidence. This is mainly because the longer time passes, the less likely it is that the evidence will still be there or the evidence may be destroyed. Many different types of evidence must be used to strengthen your personal injury case. Some common forms of evidence to gather and preserve include the following: Physical evidence – such evidence can be touched or seen as compared to being described. When it comes to an accident, thefault can be easily determined by having physical evidence. This can include a dent in a vehicle that shows where it was hit by another car. Or it can be a way of showing how severe the impact of the accident was or bloodied clothes showing the severity of injuries. It is essential to gather and preserve physical evidence within the first few days after the accident. This is because such evidence can get lost or changed by time or weather and destroyed or repaired. One way of gathering physical evidence is through photographs, as this preserves the evidence exactly as it was at the time of the accident. Using photographs – photographs are a good option when you do not have the piece of physical evidence or cannot preserve it. Photographs can be taken by a smartphone or digital/standard camera. When taking photographs, a large number of photos must be taken from different angles. This allows you to pick out the best ones that clearly show what you were trying to highlight. Another option is to shoot a video. Do not forget to take pictures of the road in car accidents just in case skid marks[Speed from Skidmarks – Collision Recon] are present. If possible, take photos of the traffic flow on a specific day at a particular time, etc. Photographs should be taken accurately, so they show the conditions that were there immediately after the accident. Further, it is essential to print out or process the photographs immediately and ensure that the date is indicated on the back of the prints, on a receipt or digital file. Take note that if an accident happens in an open public place, you have the right to take pictures. Go back to the accident scene – it is always encouraged to return to the scene of the accident as soon as possible. Just in case there’s evidence or witnesses available. To learn more about the evidence needed to support your personal injury case, speaks to a Bakersfield car accident attorney at [https://www.youngwooldridge.com/bakersfield-car-accident-attorney/] today.    

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Personal Injury

Elements to a Successful Personal Injury Claim

At one point in most people’s lives, they will be involved in an incident that will lead to an injury. This could be from a car accident or slip and fall accident. However, not every incident requires legal action. That being said, when another person or entity is liable or at fault for your harm or injury you may be eligible to file a personal injury claim. This article will discuss what you need in order to make a personal injury case. To make a personal injury claim, by way of a lawsuit or insurance claim, you will need to be able to prove that the defendant was negligent in some way. In addition, you will need to prove that as a result of his or her negligence this led to your injuries or damages. The term negligence [Negligence | Wex | US Law | LII / Legal Information Institute (cornell.edu)] is defined as “a failure to behave with a level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised under the circumstances.” The behavior usually consists of actions, but can also consist of omissions when there is a duty to act.” As a result, proving negligence is a key element in determining the likelihood of success of your personal injury case. In personal injury law, the burden of proving the two elements of fault and damages fall squarely on the shoulders of the person making the claim. In the event that your claim gets to trial the legal standard which you must prove your case is by “a preponderance of the evidence”. This basically means that you must prove to the jury or judge that it is ‘more likely true than not true’ that everything you are saying is correct with regards to the cause and extent of your injuries and the liability of the defendant. That being said, it is highly unlikely that your case will make it to trial or to the verdict stage; as the majority of personal injury cases are settled long before these stages. However, when looking at how strong your case is, it is important that you think along the lines of successfully meeting the burden of proof required in a personal injury case. It must be noted that it is not in every single personal injury case where the question comes down to whether or not the defendant was negligent even though this is an extremely important factor. Different personal injury cases focus on different aspects. For example, if the injury you suffered was because of a defective product or an accident at work then your claim follows totally different rules. A workplace accident follows the rules of making a worker’s compensation claim. In this regard, the question does not come down to liability as an issue, rather, it is where the accident or injury took place and if it really is a workplace accident. Further, a key rule with regards to workplace accidents is that the injured employee or worker is barred from suing the employer by law in most cases. To learn more about what makes a civil case succeed and what is required speak to a personal injury attorney in Bakersfield CA [https://www.youngwooldridge.com/].    

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Personal Injury

Duty of Care and Personal Injury Cases Pt. 2

A commonly used term in personal injury cases is the “duty of care”. This article will discuss how the duty of care is breached and how this may lead to a personal injury case. Duty of care plays an important role in determining fault in a personal injury case. A basic English definition of the duty of care is “a moral or legal obligation to ensure the safety or well-being of others”. When an individual fails to meet the legal obligation of a duty of care, they are said to have breached their duty of care and may be held liable for any harm or injury that results. A person can hold another person or entity liable for breaching a duty of care by way of filing a lawsuit of negligence. The person filing the lawsuit is referred to as the plaintiff and the party being sued is the defendant. However, at this stage, the breach of a duty of care and negligence are just allegations or claims and must be proved. To have a successful personal injury case the plaintiff must prove four elements: A duty of care must exist There must be a breach of the duty of care Damages Causation[Cause | Wex | US Law | LII / Legal Information Institute (cornell.edu)] The legal term negligence basically means a breach of a legal duty of care. The duty of care and the breach form part of the four elements to be proven by the plaintiff. The duty of care must be established.  For example, in a car accident a driver always has the duty of care of driving in a way that ensures the safety of all other road users. The plaintiff must prove that there was a breach of this duty of care. There must exist some harm or injury suffered by the plaintiff; therefore, near misses usually do not count. Further, there must be a link between the harm or damage suffered and the breach of the duty by the defendant. This is referred to as causation. How then does a breach of the duty of care lead to a personal injury case?  Consider this illustration: James drives his semi-truck. One day he is running late and is driving over the speed limit. Annie is in her personal vehicle on the way to the grocery store and is slightly under the speed limit. James runs a red light and slams into Annie. Annie suffers a spinal injury, broken arm and broken ankle. Annie may choose to file a personal injury lawsuit against James. To succeed in her lawsuit, Annie would need to prove the following: James had a duty of care.  Every  driver has a duty o f care  to other drivers  and generally to anyone in the area to drive safely. James breached his duty of care – driving above the speed limit and running a red light qualifies as a breach of duty of care. Harm – Annie’s injuries count as harm or damages The breach caused harm. Had James not sped and run a red light, Annie would not have been injured. Therefore, Annie has a valid case. For more information on personal injury cases contact a Bakersfield accident [https://www.youngwooldridge.com/bakersfield-car-accident-attorney/] law firm.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Personal Injury

Duty of Care and Personal Injury Cases Pt. 1

When filing a personal injury claim there are many terms that will be introduced to your vocabulary. One of these terms is the “duty of care”. This article and a subsequent one will discuss the duty of care. The term duty of care plays an important role when it comes to issues relating to fault in a personal injury case. According to the Cornell Law School Legal Information Institute [Duty of Care | Wex | US Law | LII / Legal Information Institute (cornell.edu)] the duty of care requires people to “act in the same manner as a reasonably prudent person in their position would.”   “Prudent” simply means careful.  A basic English definition of the phrase is “a moral or legal obligation to ensure the safety or well-being of others”. Generally, each person has a legal duty of care; that is, to act in a reasonable way in order to avoid injuring another person. However, when an individual fails to meet the legal obligation of duty of care, they may be held responsible for any harm or injury that is experienced by others. In the case of a car accident, if driver Ben hits driver Danny after running a red light, then Danny can sue Ben for injuries and car damage that results from the accident. This is still possible in the case where Ben had no intention of injuring Danny. Ben is likely to be liable for Danny’s injuries because Ben had the duty to act in a reasonable way; and a reasonable action would have been to stop at a red light so as to avoid the possibility of injuring someone. Therefore, Ben owes a duty of care to all other road users by being a reasonable driver. A reasonable driver would not run a red light as this is careless and may result in injury to others. Therefore, Ben breached his duty of care.   The duty of care is acting reasonably so as to uphold the safety of others and is applicable in most situations. That being said, some situations have the law imposing other duties of care. For example, bus drivers owe a higher duty of care to passengers. As a result, a bus company may be liable for the injuries of a passenger when the company was slightly or partially at fault for causing an accident. Further, the law imposes much higher duties of care for some professionals; this includes lawyers and doctors/ health care professionals. In the case of doctors, they are not only expected to act as a reasonable person but also to act with the standard of skill and professionalism of a similarly trained doctors under the same circumstances in the same geographical area. A breach of a doctor’s duty of care can lead to medical malpractice cases. Duty of care is not limited to individuals but can extend to businesses as well. This is applicable, for example, in slip and fall accidents, product liability cases, etc. The company, store or business is held liable for injuries resulting from a breach of the business entity’s duty of care. For more information on a personal injury case, speak to a Bakersfield accident attorney [https://www.youngwooldridge.com/bakersfield-car-accident-attorney/].  

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Personal Injury

Personal Injury Claim Evidence

If you have suffered an injury or damages as a result of the negligent action of someone else, you may be eligible for compensation by way of a personal injury claim. In order to receive such compensation, you will need to win your personal injury claim and this requires evidence. This article will discuss the evidence needed to prove your personal injury claim. In every personal injury claim evidence is necessary to prove your claim for it to succeed. Where the question of liability is an issue, and requires that you establish that the other person was negligent, there are specific types of evidence you will need so as to successfully prove your case. The question then is what types of evidence do you need to do this. Some evidence includes the following: Police reports – especially in car accidents police reports are very important. This is because they document the circumstances and cause of the car accident. One of the first things to do in a car accident is to call the police. Once the police officer is on the scene, he or she may provide the scenario of the accident, determine who caused the accident and may even give the individual a citation. In addition, the police report will have witness statements, and the witnesses’ names and likely addresses. All this is vital information for your case. Eyewitness statements – eyewitness statements are very important as they provide a ‘corroborating opinion’ as to the occurrence of the events and give details with regards to when, where and how your injury happened. Photographs – when/if possible after a car accident it is wise to return to the scene of the accident or assign someone else to do so in order to take photographs of the scene. This provides evidence that might help document the cause of your injuries and the circumstances surrounding the accident. In addition, it paints a picture of the scenario as to how the accident occurred. Photographs may show skid marks of tires on the road, the volume of traffic on the day, an obscure road sign, non-working traffic signals, etc. Videotape from local  business – nowadays, there is often videotape of an accident showing exactly  what happened.  This can prove helpful  for an accident victim to  prove their case. Medical treatment records – all medical records linked with your injury are of the utmost importance as evidence. Therefore, it is necessary to include any medical treatment records and bills from emergency services, hospital visits, doctors, chiropractors and physical therapists. A doctor or medical expert’s testimony provides substantial evidence when explaining the cause of your injury. For example, if you suffered a herniated disc[Herniated disk – Symptoms and causes – Mayo Clinic] the doctor or medical expert can testify with regard to the impact the car accident had that resulted in the herniated disc and can dismiss any notion, likely from the defendant, that it was caused by an already existing injury or an unrelated one. This is mainly because a defendant will almost always argue some injuries were a result of other issues. Keeping with the example of a herniated disc, it is caused by many factors including the natural process of aging. Deciding and figuring out whether or not you have sufficient evidence to bring a lawsuit can be difficult to do on your own. Especially so if you are unfamiliar with personal injury cases. For legal advice and representation speak to a Bakersfield personal injury lawyer [https://www.youngwooldridge.com/] today.

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