• What Happens When Personal Injury Victims Have Pre-Existing Conditions?

    Accident attorneys serving Tracy and Livermore typically handle cases in which a plaintiff sustains injuries and financial losses as a result of someone else’s negligent or intentional actions. For instance, a drunk driver might run through a red light and strike the victim’s car, causing brain injuries, fractures, and lacerations. Cases such as this are fairly straightforward, but not all plaintiffs were in good overall health prior to the accident. This can make litigation more complicated, although an attorney can still help the plaintiffs receive the compensation they’re entitled to.

    Accident attorneys in Tracy, CA

    Disclosing Pre-Existing Conditions

    In order for an injury lawyer to represent a plaintiff’s best interests, he or she needs to be fully informed of the circumstances of the accident and how the plaintiff’s health was affected. It probably isn’t necessary for plaintiffs to disclose every detail about their medical history. However, they should discuss pre-existing medical conditions that might have been affected by the accident, such as orthopedic impairments or mental health disorders. It’s best to be upfront about these issues in court, so that the attorney for the defendant cannot argue that the plaintiff attempted to conceal information.

    Identifying Pre-Existing Medical Conditions

    In some cases, plaintiffs might not realize that they had a pre-existing health problem before the accident. For example, a car crash won’t cause osteoporosis, but it can cause weakened bones to easily break. This means that the defendant won’t be on the hook for paying for the plaintiff’s bone health medications, although he or she should be liable for the cost of medical care for the fractures. Another pre-existing condition that might not have been previously diagnosed is degenerative disc disease. This occurs when the discs in the spine become weakened and compressed, and more vulnerable to physical trauma. A car crash can cause a disc to rupture. It’s the responsibility of the physician to determine which conditions were pre-existing, and which were directly caused by the crash.

    Finding Evidence of Worsening Health

    Personal injury lawyers can help their clients secure compensation for damages stemming from the worsening or aggravation of pre-existing health conditions. The plaintiff’s medical records will be invaluable in proving exactly how the accident caused additional harm. The lawyer may also hire an expert witness to testify about the exact way the accident worsened the pre-existing condition.

  • Can I Sue a Restaurant for Food Poisoning?

    The pain and gastrointestinal effects of food poisoning can range from unpleasant to excruciating. Sometimes, food poisoning can even be life-threatening. It’s possible to accrue significant medical expenses if you need to be hospitalized for a foodborne illness, and you shouldn’t have to pay for medical bills when someone else is to blame. It’s tricky to prove that a restaurant is liable for a particular case of food poisoning, but it’s still worth your time to visit a personal injury lawyer serving Tracy or Livermore. Depending on the specifics of your case, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover compensation for your losses.

    A person suffering from stomach ache related to food poisoning lawsuits in Tracy, CA

    Preserving the Evidence

    Food poisoning liability can be difficult to prove, and your attorney will need all of the evidence he or she can get. If you brought your leftovers home from the restaurant, do not throw them out if you suspect the food made you ill. Your injury lawyer may request to send them to a lab for testing to confirm that the restaurant served you contaminated food. Upon falling ill, you should go to an urgent care clinic or ER, even if you feel like you could recover at home. Your illness may be more serious than you think, and your medical records will be instrumental in proving your claim.

    Testing Your Illness

    A general diagnosis of food poisoning, not supported by lab tests, probably won’t be enough to obtain a favorable outcome for your case. Ask the doctor to conduct lab tests to determine exactly which pathogen has caused your illness. Some of the most common are salmonella, E. coli, and norovirus. It’s possible to use DNA testing to confirm that your pathogen originated from the restaurant.

    Determining Liability

    Restaurants owe a duty of care to their patrons to handle food under sanitary conditions, and to cook it to the proper internal temperature. Your attorney can investigate the restaurant to determine if the staff may have breached the basic standards of food hygiene. However, it’s also possible that the restaurant itself isn’t to blame. The problem may be further up the supply chain, such as the farm or processing plant. Pinpointing the exact cause of your illness will determine the party named as the defendant in the lawsuit.

  • Quick Look at Compensatory Damages | Bakerink, McCusker & Belden

    One of the most common questions asked of personal injury lawyers serving Tracy and Livermore is, “How much is my claim worth?” No attorney can precisely predict how much money you could receive in a jury award or settlement, but you can get an estimate of your compensatory damages. Compensatory damages refer to the money intended to compensate you for the actual amount you lost because of the other person’s negligence.

    Compensatory Damages

    In other words, compensatory damages include your related medical bills, lost wages, and property damage. If your neighbor’s dog attacks you and destroys your designer handbag, your compensatory damages would include the value of that handbag. You can help your attorney develop an accurate estimate of your damages by keeping track of all of your expenses in the wake of the incident. Save receipts for all of your pharmacy co-pays, and save any other documentation, such a estimates for your car repairs if the incident was an auto accident or personal injury.

    Bakerink, McCusker & Belden provide numerous legal services for clients in Tracy, CA. Whether you were injured in an accident or want to plan your will, our team is here to provide the guidance and representation you need. Reach out to us today to learn more or to schedule a consultation to discuss your case.

  • What to Expect from a Personal Injury Case Assessment

    If you have been injured as the result of the reckless behavior of another party, you have the right to consult a personal injury lawyer in Tracy or Livermore. It’s a good idea to ask if there are any documents you should bring to your first consultation with your lawyer. To perform a thorough case assessment, your lawyer will likely need to see your medical records. You’ll be asked to sign a medical release form. You can rest assured that your injury lawyer will keep your information in the strictest confidence. Your lawyer may also ask to see your insurance policy, and the police or accident report.

    Personal injury lawyer in Tracy, CA

    Your personal injury lawyer will ask you some questions about the incident. Provide all the details you can remember about what happened before, during, and after the accident. Using all of your information and relevant documents, your lawyer will weigh the strengths and weaknesses of the case. You’ll discuss whether there is merit to pursuing a lawsuit. If so, your lawyer will identify one or more defendants.

    When you choose Bakerink, McCusker & Belden, you can expect comprehensive expertise and reliable counsel. We have assisted numerous clients throughout Tracy, CA, and the surrounding areas, and we are ready to help you as well. During your initial consultation, our personal injury lawyers will evaluate your situation and offer the necessary legal guidance. Following this assessment, we will begin collecting evidence and constructing a strong case on your behalf. Our commitment is to secure the compensation you deserve. Contact us today to schedule your consultation.

  • Understanding the Contingency Arrangement in Personal Injury Cases

    After sustaining injuries in an accident, many people are hesitant to contact a personal injury lawyer because they worry about not being able to afford their legal fees. But this should not be a deterrent to seeking legal justice. Instead, simply look for a personal injury lawyer near Tracy and Livermore who will take your case on a contingency basis . A contingency arrangement offers zero risk to you because, in the event that you do not recover a jury award or settlement, you won’t owe any legal fees.

    Contingency Arrangement in Personal Injury Cases

    With a contingency arrangement, the personal injury lawyer agrees to handle your case and charge nothing, with the possible exception of copying fees or payments to expert witnesses. If you do obtain a favorable jury verdict or settlement deal, then the injury lawyer will take a percentage of the compensation in exchange for handling the case. Personal injury lawyers litigate many types of cases on a contingency basis, including auto accidents, slip and fall injuries, and dog bite cases.

  • Look At How Catastrophic Injuries Are Handled In Injury Cases.

    Catastrophic Injury and casesWhen you approach a personal injury lawyer in Tracy or Livermore , one of the first things he or she will try to determine is the severity of your injuries. Most personal injury cases require the responsible party to make the other person whole again—in other words, the person who was injured should be not bear any of the financial responsibility for his or her accident. Permanent injuries, including scarring, are handled differently. These injuries are usually considered to be catastrophic injuries and require a much different approach from personal injury lawyers. Here is a closer look at how catastrophic injuries are handled in injury cases.

    Basics of Catastrophic Injuries

    Although there is no standard definition of catastrophic injuries, they are usually considered to be injuries that cause long-term or lifelong disability, disfigurement, or need for medical care. In most cases, catastrophic injuries prevent a person from returning to the work they did previously or leave them in need of home care aides or other medical assistance. For instance, someone who is paralyzed in an accident or suffered brain damage that prevents from him or her returning to his or her job would typically be considered catastrophic injuries. Disfigurement, such as scarring, may qualify as a catastrophic injury, depending on the severity.

    Standard Personal Injury vs. Catastrophic Injury Cases

    If your injury is catastrophic, your lawyer will approach your case differently. The awarded damages are typically significantly higher for these types of injuries, to offset loss of future income and the need for future medical care. As such, the evidence requirements are much more stringent, and your attorney will gather information from a variety of medical experts to prove the true nature of your disabilities and the kinds of care you need in the future. In some cases, personal injury lawyers rely on witnesses who are experts in projecting future income potential to show how the injury has affected earning power. This proof is necessary to ensure that victims with personal injuries receive the compensation they need to offset the costs of long-term care.

  • Emotional Suffering Cases: Understanding Your Rights

    If you were injured as a result of the negligent or reckless actions of another person, you may have the grounds for a personal injury lawsuit. Consider talking to a personal injury lawyer near Tracy or Manteca about your legal rights and options. Depending on the circumstances of your case, your personal injury lawyer might pursue compensation on your behalf for your actual losses and your pain and suffering, which may be referred to as your emotional injuries. Injury Cases

    Examples of Emotional Injury Cases

    Emotional distress can arise from many different types of personal injury cases. It may be an element in auto accident cases in which the victim has suffered mental anxiety along with physical injuries. Emotional damages can be associated with intentional torts, in which the defendant intentionally assaulted the victim. Emotional injuries may also arise from dog bite cases or slip and fall accidents.

    Elements of Emotional Injuries

    When determining whether to pursue compensation for emotional injuries, your personal injury lawyer will consider whether certain elements are present in your case. Under California case law, the defendant must be shown to have acted in an extreme manner that is outside of the scope of exercising reasonable care. The defendant must have acted in a way that showed reckless disregard for the victim’s safety or the defendant must have intentionally acted in this way. Additionally, the plaintiff must be shown to have suffered from severe emotional distress. The defendant’s actions must be a substantial factor in causing this extreme emotional distress.

    Proof of Emotional Injuries

    Emotional injuries are often difficult to prove, but there are ways that your injury lawyer can demonstrate your emotional distress. After an incident occurs, it’s important to keep careful track of all problems that stem from the incident. Perhaps your emotional distress was severe enough to cause you to miss work or even to get fired. Perhaps you had to work with a psychologist or other mental health counselor. Document the specific symptoms and other challenges you experience from day to day and describe the way in which these problems interfered with your daily life. Your account of your emotional distress should be supported by documents or testimony from your doctor or mental health professional.

  • Can a Parent File a Personal Injury Claim for a Child?

    Parents of children who have been injured as a possible result of someone else’s negligent or reckless actions should consult a personal injury lawyer in Tracy or Manteca. A personal injury lawyer will review the case to decide if it is appropriate to pursue damages. Since the rules of statutes of limitations are different when applied to children, it is possible for the child to wait until the 18 th birthday before filing a lawsuit on his or her own behalf. However, a guardian ad litem can also file a lawsuit on behalf of a minor child prior to the 18 th birthday. Usually, the appointed guardian ad litem is the natural parent of the child.

    Many lawsuits resolve with settlement arrangements. If the personal injury lawyer negotiates a settlement on behalf of the minor child, then the court must approve this settlement before it can be finalized. The injury lawyer will file the minor’s compromise petition with the court to seek a court order approving the settlement.

    Personal Injury Claim in Tracy

  • A Look at Common Personal Injury Cases

    Personal Injury Attorney in Tracy, CA If you’ve been injured as a result of someone else’s actions, you can consult a personal injury lawyer near Tracy or Manteca to assess whether you may have the basis for a claim. A personal injury lawyer may file an intentional or negligent tort on your behalf. An intentional tort is filed when the defendant is accused of acting intentionally to cause your injuries, whereas a negligent tort involves injuries that arise from negligent acts. Of the different types of claims a personal injury lawyer may file, negligent torts arising from car accidents are among the most common.

    An accident attorney can also file a personal injury claim after a victim has been attacked by someone else’s dog. Slip and fall cases, which are referred to as premises liability cases, arise when an individual slips or trips on someone else’s property. In these cases, the lawyer must demonstrate that the property owner or manager knew or reasonably should have known that the hazardous condition existed, yet failed to fix the problem in a timely manner.

  • What Is Proximate Cause in a Personal Injury Case?

    Personal Injury Lawyer A personal injury case can involve complex issues, which is one reason why it’s advisable to choose a highly experienced personal injury lawyer with offices in Tracy or Livermore. Your personal injury lawyer must not only prove the actual cause of your injuries, but also the proximate cause or legal cause. Proximate cause is a key concept in holding a defendant liable for negligence . To better understand proximate cause, it may be easier for your personal injury lawyer to explain what proximate cause does not entail.

    For example, if you drive through an intersection and a car nearly hits you, you may be understandably upset. As you continue driving, your distressed emotional state may prompt you to hit a parked car and sustain injuries. In this instance, the negligent driver may have remotely influenced your accident, but his or her actions do not constitute a proximate cause. To prove that proximate cause does exist, your injury lawyer would have to demonstrate that the defendant could reasonably foresee that acting in a negligent manner could have caused your injuries.