| Read Time: 3 minutes | Employment Law

Negligence Elements: Duty of Care and Breach of Duty

The majority of personal injury claims are based on the legal concept of negligence. In order to succeed in your personal injury claim or case you need to prove negligence in accordance with the negligence elements. This article will discuss the negligence elements, duty of care and breach of duty; and how they work in a personal injury case. There are four negligence elements that must be proven in a personal injury case in order to succeed. These four elements are: Duty of care Breach of duty of care Causation Damages It is important to note that even if the plaintiff is able to only prove three out of the four elements he or she will lose their case. As such, it is advisable to speak to a car accident lawyer in Bakersfield [https://www.youngwooldridge.com/bakersfield-car-accident-attorney/] for legal advice and representation in your specific personal injury claim. Firstly, if you and your attorney decide to settle the claim, the issue of fault does not need to be proven. However, it is the key element in all personal injury cases, as the at-fault person is the one who pays the damages of the victim.  You are not  likely to get a settlement of a case where you cannot prove the other  driver was at fault, or negligent. The term duty of care basically means having an obligation to not injure another person or to put them in the line of danger. When put like that, generally every person owes another person some measure of care, especially while driving. In some cases, it is difficult to determine what duty of care is owed to another person; this is mainly because there are no laws in place stipulating how a person ought to act. However, in other cases there are laws set out giving a standard of the duty of care. For example, the Vehicle Code [California Vehicle Code :: 2005 California Code :: California Law :: California Code :: US Codes and Statutes :: US Law :: Justia] spells out how drivers ought to conduct themselves while driving. When it comes to other circumstances and incidents the law requires the act of reason on the party that owed the duty of care. For example, a grocery store owner is required to take ‘reasonable’ steps to ensure customer safety; such reasonable steps might include checking for floor spills on a regular basis, warning about known spills with brightly colored cones,  and cleaning them up as quickly as possible. The breach of duty could be a result of a careless act, or sometimes a failure to act where appropriate. In simple terms this means that the person breached their duty of care by creating or allowing a dangerous situation over and above the normal level of risk an individual may encounter. In car accident cases, it is often easy to determine whether an individual breached their duty of care. For example, roads and highways have speed limits posted, so a driver’s duty of care maty involve observing the speed limit.  Determining whether a driver was going above the speed limit may be established easily through the testimony of eyewitness statements as to the car’s speed rate. If the speeding contributed to the accident, then the third element that is needed  to  be  proven, causation, will also be present.  Or, in another example, a driver has the duty to stop at a red light. Therefore, it would be a breach of the duty of care if the vehicle entered the intersection when the light was red. This also can be determined by eyewitness statements. However, in other situations determining the breach of duty of care is much more difficult because compliance with the duty is not the only element that must be taken into consideration. For example,  if two cars collide in an uncontrolled  intersection it might  not be clear who had the right  of way.    

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Employment Law

Common Causes of Big Rig Truck Accidents

Any vehicle accident can lead to trauma, however, one of the scariest accidents anyone may be involved in is with a big rig truck. There are many incidents whereby vehicles are squashed, smashed, run off the road or collide with big rig trucks. All these incidents can occur as a result of a number of different factors. This article will focus on some of the common causes of car accidents involving big rig trucks. According to info bloom [What is a Big Rig? (With pictures) (infobloom.com)], “the term big rig is a colloquialism for a semi-truck or a tractor trailer, a two-part truck that consists of both a tractor, the truck portion with the engine, and a trailer.” Another common term for big rig is semi-truck and includes 10 to 18 wheelers. As shown by the definition these are huge vehicles that may take up the space of one or two smaller vehicles. There are a number of factors that may contribute to a vehicle accident; if you were involved in one, contact a Bakersfield big rig accident lawyer [https://www.youngwooldridge.com/truck-accident/] today for legal advice and representation. Some common big rig accident causes include: Fatigue and drugs – generally when a driver is tired, they may fall asleep, fail to pay attention or misjudge driving conditions. When a driver is drowsy or tired it directly affects their ability to control the truck, impairs their judgement, slackens their reaction time and could stop a driver frommaking safe decisions. It is not uncommon for truck drivers to suffer fatigue as a result of long driving hours. Many trucking companies allegedly push for truck drivers to meet deadlines that may require them to drive longer than the legal hours they are required. This results in driver fatigue and accidents. Some drivers use performance enhancing drugs to stay awake longer. However, federal regulations make it a must for trucking companies to test their drivers for alcohol and drugs as part of a condition of their employment. Such drug tests are carried out randomly for drivers who are on duty. More so such tests must be conducted when a driver is involved in any accidents that result in a fatality. Driver error – the cost paid by a small vehicle when the driver makes an error may be skidding off to the side of the road. However, the consequences of driver error when driving a truck are more severe. When a driver takes a curve too fast, speeds excessively or fails to monitor blind spots this could result in a collision, jackknifing or the truck rolling onto its side. Equipment problems – a common cause of truck accidents is mechanical or equipment failures. Manufacturing defects or design errors can result in an accident. Where equipment is not properly maintained this could lead to accidents. Mechanical problems can include depowering the front brakes so as to reduce the expense of the wear and tear of the tires and brakes. Failure to load and secure cargo properly could contribute to a truck rolling over. Where the trailer is not properly attached to the truck, this increases the chances and risks of the vehicle jackknifing.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Business Law

Kern Business Journal Executive Profile: Jerry Pearson

Jerry Pearson is a partner and business attorney at Young Wooldridge, LLP, whose practice focuses on handling labor and employment matters on behalf of California businesses and keeping his clients in compliance with the California state labor code. This executive profile was originally published in the February/March 2017 Issue of Kern Business Journal. Name: Jerry Pearson Title: Attorney Company: Young Wooldridge, LLP About the company/organization: Since 1939, Young Wooldridge, LLP has represented business and corporate clients, public agencies and individuals in a wide range of legal matters. The firm provides high-quality legal services in a variety of practice areas including business transactions and litigation, employment and labor issues, water and agriculture, oil and gas, real estate law, estate planning and probate and civil litigation. We work hard to deliver positive results in a cost-effective manner for our clients. What I do: My practice is limited to representing management in all aspects of labor and employment matters. Where I grew up: I was born in Torrance, California and grew up in Fresno. How I landed in Kern County (if applicable): After graduating from law school I was hired by the Kern County District Attorney’s office and we’ve been here ever since. Education: B.A. In History from CSU-Fresno and my JD from San Joaquin College of Law in Fresno. Family: Married to my wife Denise for 26 years. We have two daughters, Lindsay 19 and Emily 15. Hobbies: I follow the Boston Red Sox–literally. My wife and I travel to see them in different cities and stadiums including our favorite, Fenway Park. What was your very first job and what did you learn from it? My first job was working at a baseball academy owned by former Fresno State coach Bob Bennett. I learned that working outdoors in the Central Valley really wasn’t for me. Who or what has been the biggest influence on your career? My family is the biggest influence in my career. My wife Denise has played a major role in helping me choose my career path and she has an uncanny ability to keep me on the right path. My daughters are the reason I do this each day, they are the inspiration for what I do. What was the best piece of advice you ever received? “Know what you don’t know” What is the most challenging part of your job? Without a doubt keeping up with the ever-changing landscape of employment laws in California and helping my clients stay in compliance What is the most rewarding part of your job? I am rewarded each day when my clients continue to put their trust in me. What is the most memorable accomplishment of your career?  Walking into the courtroom my first day on the job as a deputy district attorney and conducting a jury trial. I didn’t even know which table to sit at when I walked in, but I got a conviction before I walked out.          

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