Father and Daughter are Victims in Fatal Palmdale Street Racing Accident

Last week, in what seems to be a street race gone wrong, a father and daughter were killed in a violent crash. The Palmdale, California, accident presumably occurred when two vehicles were racing against each other and one of the vehicles lost control, striking a traffic pole.

The AV Times reports that the two people killed were driving a 2014 Chevrolet Camaro that was going southbound on east 25th street. The vehicle was driven by 54-year-old Manuel Paniagua and in the passenger seat was his daughter, Vanessa Paniagua who was only 17 years old.

The other vehicle involved in the race drove away from the scene without offering any assistance whatsoever to the occupants of the Chevy Camaro. That driver faces possible criminal charges for competing in a street race and for leaving the scene.

The Palmdale Sheriff’s Department is presently investigating the tragic crash and is encouraging anyone with information on what exactly caused the crash to come forward.  In regards to seeking damages for the accident, there are a few avenues that can be explored, but that will ultimately depend on who the investigation finds to be liable. It could possibly turn out that if Mr. Paniagua is found liable, the heirs or relatives of Vanessa Paniagua might retain the right to file a wrongful death claim, or in the case that the other driver was found liable both Vanessa and Manuel Paniagua’s heirs could file a claim.

It is often the case in car accidents that the passenger and driver are related which can make filing a wrongful death claim more complicated. Because of the complexities involved in this case, and many other cases like it, it is best to consult a California personal injury attorney so that they may properly assess the situation.
Our California wrongful death attorneys are here to answer any questions you might have. Just give us a call at (323) REAR END.

The Essentials of California Injury Law

Information on some of the various laws governing injury lawsuits in CaliforniaIf you have been injured in an accident in California, or you have been a victim of someone else’s negligent or careless action, you have a right to be compensated for your injuries and also for the loss of wages you have incurred, your medical bills and your pain and suffering.

However, there are some limitations you have to bear in mind if you decide to file a lawsuit.

Limitations Regarding the Lawsuit

The first limitation involves time limits for litigation. All states set limits on the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit in court after you’ve suffered some type of harm.

In California, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is typically two years from the date of the injury. If the injury was not discovered right away, then it is one year from the date the injury was discovered. But to file an injury claim against a government entity, you are governed by a statute of limitation of only 6 months. It is important to know the differences because they can change the outcome of your case.

The other important limitation regards the maximum damages cap. For personal injury victims, the amount of economic damages that a victim can receive is not limited. This amount of damages is based on the amount of funds that the victim requires to be restored to his/her physical or mental condition prior to the injury. This includes medical expenses, lost wages, compensation for disability and loss of earning capacity.

However, a limitation exists regarding the non-economic damages in the claim. These damages include pain and suffering, mental anguish and inconvenience. In California, personal injury victims can only receive a single-digit multiplier of the economic damages that they are awarded. For example, if a personal injury victim is awarded $20,000 in economic damages, the maximum amount of non-economic damages that he or she can receive is $180,000 if the number 9 is the single-digit multiplier that is used.

“Pure Comparative Negligence” Rule

You should also be aware of the fact that in some personal injury cases, such as car accidents for example, the defendant may make the argument that you were the one responsible (at least partially) for causing the accident that forms the basis of your claim.

In that case, if you do share some level of liability, it can affect the total amount of compensation you’ll end up receiving. In shared fault injury cases, California follows a “pure comparative negligence” rule. What this means is that the amount of compensation you’re entitled to will be reduced by an amount that is equal to your percentage of fault for the accident.
If you need help navigating the often complex California injury laws or need help with starting a case, please contact our Los Angeles personal injury law firm at (323) REAR END.

Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse Is An Increasing Issue in California

California nursing home laws and how these types of cases are becoming more prevelantWhen we send our elderly loved ones to nursing homes, we expect them to receive the utmost in exceptional care. While this is most often the case, many studies suggest that some elderly are receiving less-than-standard treatment or are even experiencing abuse. Recently, there have been several cases in California and across the United States that indicate a high level of nursing home abuse or neglect.

If you have a loved one currently residing in a nursing home in California, you want to make sure you understand the current nursing home laws in order to ensure that they are receiving the best possible care. Nursing home neglect and elder abuse are becoming increasingly more prevalent in the US so the more people that know the laws the more likely it is to stem the problem.

How The Laws Help

In California, all nursing home facilities are regulated by the California Department of Public Health, Licensing and Certification Division. The purpose of the CDPH and other related agencies is to ensure that health care facilities are complying with state laws and regulations regarding health care and to avoid any neglect or abuse.

There are several basic requirements to keep in mind that California law requires of its nursing homes.

These requirements include, but are not limited to:

  • The nursing home must meet Title 22 licensing requirements;
  • The patient must receive the appropriate amount of care to maintain physical and mental well-being;
  • The patient must maintain his or her health or improve while in treatment; and
  • The patient must feel it is his or her choice in terms of what treatments they receive.

With all of this said, the CDPH and the laws they are meant to uphold are not all-encompassing and some things do fall through the cracks. When this is the case, and it leads to elder abuse or neglect, the victim may be entitled to punitive damages under California Law. A personal injury lawyer would be the person to contact if this occurs. If you or someone you know has experienced or is currently experiencing nursing home neglect or elder abuse give Glen Lerner Injury Attorneys a call at (323) REAR END.

The Sudden Emergency Defense and What It Means For Californians

Generally, accident victims want to know when a motor vehicle accident occurs is who was at fault immediately after a crash. From the plaintiff’s point of view, the most important thing is whether the defendant truly the cause of the accident. In many instances, the defendant will openly admit that they caused the accident but insist that they should not be legally responsible for any damages because of a sudden emergency or illness. In the state of California, this is known as the Sudden Emergency Defense or Medical Emergency Defense.

California’s Sudden Emergency Defense Has Limited Ability

It is important to first note that this defense does not apply to a mental health condition or mental illness. California Civil Code §41 states: “A person of unsound mind, of whatever degree, is civilly liable for a wrong done by the person. . .”  As to other persons with no mental health issues, there is a potential and narrow defense for an individual who is suddenly and unforeseeably struck by a physical illness while driving a motor vehicle.

The sudden emergency defense generally states that the defendant-driver was not negligent because he or she acted with reasonable care in an emergency situation.  The defendant-driver was not negligent if he or she proves all of the following:

  1. There was a sudden and unexpected emergency situation in which someone was in actual or apparent danger of immediate injury;
  2. That defendant-driver did not cause the emergency; and
  3. That defendant-driver acted as a reasonably careful person would have acted in similar circumstances, even if it appears later that a different course of action would have been safer.

This is sometimes referred to as the imminent peril doctrine, and can be used either by the defendant- driver or by a plaintiff, and sometimes both, if the circumstances exist.

In California, a driver suddenly struck by an unknown or unforeseen illness which he could not anticipate while driving an automobile, which makes it impossible for him or her to control the car, is not negligent!  The motorist must be faced with an emergency situation by no fault of his or her own, and is thereafter held to a standard of care of a legally prudent person under the same or similar circumstances experienced by the motorist.

In most usual cases, this is a defense used by defendants and defense counsel when all other potential defenses are unavailable or fail.  When the defendant-driver raises this defense in a motor vehicle accident, that defendant has the burden of proving that the physical condition arose, that it was unforeseeable, and that it rendered the driver incapable of operating the motor vehicle.
The Law Offices of Glen Lerner Injury Attorneys have been representing individuals and families with personal injury and wrongful death claims for many years. Contact us for more help at (323) REAR END.

Pit Bulls Attack Elderly Man in Lincoln Heights

Lincoln Heights man and dog attacked by pair of pit bulls in CaliforniaTwo pit bulls are currently being detained by the Los Angeles Animal Services Department after viciously attacking a 76-year old man and killing his Pomeranian during the afternoon of February 2nd, 2017.  According to a CBS Los Angeles news report, the pit bulls also pushed 76-year old Valentin Herrera to the ground. Herrera’s grandson has said that his grandfather is currently in the hospital with minor injuries and is expected to make a full recovery.

What Happened

Herrera’s grandson, Christian Flores, told local news that his grandfather has dementia and is diabetic. The dogs allegedly bolted through Herrera’s front door after gaining access through an open gate before attacking Herrera and his small dog.

Animal control officials investigated the issue and questioned the dog’s’ owner before taking the two pit bulls away. It is customary in situations like this that animals be placed in a shelter and quarantined for 10 days until their fate is determined in a hearing. Animal control officials have also questioned neighbors to see if any previous complaints have been registered regarding the two pit bulls.

Dog Bite Strict Liability Statute

Based on this news report it appears that the pit bulls wandered into Herrera’s yard, attacked his small dog and then turned around and mauled him. Under California law, dog owners can be held financially responsible for the injuries and damages their pets cause. According to California Civil Code Section 3342 (a): “The owner of any dog is liable for the damages suffered by any person who is bitten by the dog while in a public place or lawfully in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness.”

What Should You Do?

If you are the victim of a dog bite, there are several things you can do to protect your rights. Just like you would do if involved in a car accident, you want to be sure to gather as much information as possible from the dog’s owner. After your safety is ensured, you probably want to start looking into hiring a personal injury attorney. Contact us 24/7; we’re here to help at (323) REAR END.