| 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: 2 minutes | Young Wooldridge

How Do I Get A Copy Of The Police Report

One of the most important things you should do after a car accident is to call the police at the car accident scene. Even if no one responds to the car accident, you would still be required to report the accident to law enforcement. Whether your accident was a minor fender bender or a much bigger crash, a police report will be helpful, especially when liability becomes an issue. If you have been involved in a car accident, you may wonder how to get a copy of the police report to be used for settlement or lawsuit. A Bakersfield car accident attorney can assist you in obtaining a police report and help you spot any mistakes that could jeopardize your recovery value. What Is Contained In The Police Report The police officer who responds at the accident scene takes notes and pictures, talks to witnesses, and obtains any other relevant information to prepare the report. Typically, the report will contain: The date, location, and time of the accident. Witnesses involved, their names, addresses. Weather information, road conditions, etc. The extent of vehicle damage. Causes and opinions of the car accident. In some cases, the police opinion may seem to differ from what you think was the cause of the accident. When such is used as evidence, it could jeopardize your car accident settlement. Fortunately, a police report can be amended. But this is possible as long as you have the evidence to show that what is contained in the police report is erroneous. Getting A Copy Of the Police Report The police who respond to your car accident prepare a report regarding the accident. Such a report gives their opinions, especially about who was at fault, which may or may not be correct. That’s why it’s always advisable for a victim to get a copy of the police report and see what may have been omitted or see any mistakes that could interfere with liability. Typically, a police report can be obtained in two ways: You can trace the police who wrote the report through the identification number given on the receipt at the accident scene. You can use the number to call the police department and meet with the police to obtain the copy. Or else, you can get to the government website and get the information on how to obtain the police report. Get a copy from the claim adjuster. In almost all accident cases, the at-fault driver insurance company will have to get a copy of the police report, which may shed light on how their insured was negligent in causing an accident. Note that if the material in the police report is deemed confidential, you may get some portion blacked out. Also, the report may not be available if there are still ongoing investigations about the accident. Police reports play a key role during car accident settlements. Also, it could be used in small claims court as evidence. If you are not sure about the information indicated on the police report after an accident, you can learn more from an experienced car accident lawyer.

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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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