Drunk Driving Accidents and Personal Injury Law: Important Factors to Know About

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If you had to make a list of some of the situations that are unfortunately common in the United States, drunk driving would undoubtedly be right at the top. According to a study conducted by the CDC, 10,265 people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes in 2015 alone. To put that into perspective, that amounts to roughly 29% of ALL traffic related deaths in the country.

Over 1,100 of those deaths involved children and 209 of them involved a driver that was under the influence of alcohol. If you’ve been in the victim of a drunk driving accident, there are a few key things that you’ll need to understand about the legal ramifications moving forward.

Drunk Driving and the Law: What You Need to Know

One of the first topics to know about when talking about drunk driving accidents involves something called punitive damages. These are designed ultimately to make society safer by punishing someone who does something reckless (either intentionally or unintentionally) without even considering what the potential consequences might be. Getting behind the wheel of a car while intoxicated certainly falls under that umbrella. As your case proceeds to trial, you may hear punitive damages referred to as “exemplary damages.”

Because driving under the influence of alcohol or other substances is a criminal offense, much of the legal focus will be on punishing the driver for their actions – NOT necessarily towards compensating you for your losses. This in turn is what punitive damages are intended to do – both act as a form of long-term punishment and make sure that you get the compensation you deserve.
It’s also important to note that sometimes opposing attorneys will attempt to hide the fact that the driver was impaired from a jury by getting them to admit fault for the accident right away. The argument is that because the driver admits that the accident was their fault, the fact that they were driving under the influence is irrelevant. This is why partnering with an esteemed legal team like those at Harshbarger Law is so essential – we help make sure that your jury knows ALL of the relevant facts to make the right decision, no exceptions.

Harshbarger Law: We’re Here For You

At Harshbarger Law, we make all of our clients our number one priority – end of story. We don’t just want to assist you in your personal injury case. We want to leverage the full power of all of our experience to your advantage, helping you to get the financial compensation and other results that you so richly deserve. To find out more information about drunk driving accidents and personal injury law, or to speak to someone about your situation directly, please contact Harshbarger Law today.

Car Accidents and Underlying Injuries: What You Need to Know

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At some point in your life, the following scenario is statistically likely to happen to you: you’re in your car, minding your own business and you’re unfortunately the victim of a car accident. In the immediate aftermath, you take care of what should always be your number one priority – yourself. You stand up, take a walk around and thankfully you’re okay. You have no significant injuries to report. In point of fact, you feel great. You dodged a bullet, right?
Not necessarily. Some injuries sustained as the result of a car accident can wait days or even weeks to manifest themselves by way of certain symptoms. When it comes to car accidents and these types of underlying injuries, there are a few key things you should know about.

Delayed Car Accident Injuries

Suddenly finding yourself with a bad headache a few days after a car accident is absolutely nothing new. However, it could also be a symptom of a potentially serious and even life-threatening problem. Sometimes a headache is just a headache, but other times it could be an advance warning of a clot on the brain or even a neck injury. If this describes your situation, you need to seek medical attention as quickly as you can.
Whiplash is another one of those underlying injuries that can wait weeks to rear its ugly head after an accident. Whiplash is most common if your vehicle is rear-ended, particularly at speeds of 14 miles per hour or less. The classic signs of whiplash include neck and shoulder pain and a general stiffness around your body.
Likewise, many people don’t realize just how fragile the muscles, ligaments and nerves in their body really are. This is another underlying injury that is usually found in rear impact collisions, though it’s unfortunately common in side impact crashes, too. If it’s been a few days since your accident and you suddenly find yourself with mild to severe back pain, head to a doctor right away. In addition to damage to your muscles and ligaments, this could even be a sign of significant damage to your vertebrae – all of which will need to be checked out.

Harshbarger Law: The Friend You Need When You Need It the Most

At Harshbarger Law, our number one priority is and will always be our clients – just the way it should be. If you have any additional questions about underlying injuries after a car accident, or if you’d like to sit down with a passionate expert and speak about your situation in a little more detail, please don’t delay – contact Harshbarger Law today.

What Constitutes a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in San Bernardino?

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For most people, a wrongful death situation is a worst nightmare come true. Nobody wants to think about losing their life due to the actions of someone else, but this is something that is unfortunately common – regardless of where you live, where you work, how old you are and other factors. One of the keys to navigating this type of situation in the best possible way involves understanding what constitutes a wrongful death lawsuit in the first place.

What is a Wrongful Death Situation?

The legal definition of wrongful death is actually fairly straightforward. Any situation where someone unfortunately dies due to the actions or negligence of another falls into this category. According to the experts at the Centers for Disease Control, there are 28.1 million emergency room visits every year for unintentional or accidental injuries.
136,053 people die from these unintentional injuries per year, making it the number four cause of death in the United States. Many of these situations would absolutely fall under the realm of wrongful death lawsuits due to laws in places like San Bernardino.

Wrongful Death Examples

One of the most common types of wrongful death situations in San Bernardino has to do with motor vehicle fatalities, of which the CDC estimates that there were 45,343 in 2005 alone. Many of these involve trucking accidents, but other factors like DUI or DWI-related fatalities could also contribute to a wrongful death situation.
Medical malpractice is another unfortunately common type of wrongful death situation, not just in San Bernardino but in the United States as well. Medical malpractice includes not only substandard care, but also misdiagnosis or a failure to diagnose serious illnesses or injuries. According to one study, as many as one in five medical errors are potentially very serious and often prove to be fatal.
These are not the only examples of wrongful death, however. An injury on an unsafe premises (like a slip-and-fall situation), workplace fatalities, traumatic brain injury fatalities and others could all potentially lead to a loss of life.

Harshbarger Law

If you’re looking for a passionate, experienced Redlands attorney that always puts the focus on the client and who guarantees a level of professional, excellent service that you won’t find anywhere else, you’ve come to the right place. We are singularly dedicated to producing only the highest quality work, guaranteeing that every client has the most efficient representation possible – whether you’re looking for a wrongful death attorney in San Bernardino or need assistance with another issue entirely.

To find out more information about how we can help your own personal legal situation, please contact Harshbarger Law today.

Premises Liability: What You Need to Know

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Whenever you visit another location – be it a commercial business like a retail store or the private residence of a friend or family member – they have a duty to make sure that you are protected from certain types of accidents and injuries. A failure to do so would fall under the category of premises liability and you may be able to recover damages and other financial compensation as a result of your injury.

What is Premises Liability?

An injury that you’ve sustained elsewhere likely falls under the category of premises liability if all of the following criteria are true:
• Some type of hazardous or otherwise dangerous condition existed on the property long before you got there.
• The property owner was WELL AWARE of the hazardous or dangerous condition and also had an adequate amount of time to take care of the situation before visitors arrived.
• The injured person (in this case, you) suffered injuries or other traumas that were a direct result of the aforementioned dangerous condition or hazard.

Proving that all three of these things are true may be difficult from a legal perspective, but it is certainly not impossible with the right information and the right team of legal professionals at your side.

Types of Accidents That Fall Into the Liability Category

Because liability has such a broad definition from a legal perspective, there are a wide range of potential accidents that could occur as a direct result of someone else’s negligence. These include but are certainly not limited to ones like:
• Slip and fall accidents. An example of this would be a retail establishment that has a duty to keep the sidewalks in front of the entrance clear of snow and ice during the winter, but fails to do so.
• Dog bites or other types of animal attacks, even if you were invited onto the property.
• Daycare negligence situations or others involving young children.
• Swimming pool accidents, which are particularly common during the warm summer months of the year.
• Assaults and other forms of attacks.

Harshbarger Law

In the legal world, liability is not a subject to be taken lightly. The state of being responsible for something or someone is nothing to trifle with, which is why if you have any questions about an injury or other situation it is always important to contact a team of legal professionals as quickly as possible. The staff at Harshbarger Law have decades of combined experience dealing with all types of liability situations and we always promise to put the client front and center at all times.

If you have any additional concerns about liability law, or if you’d like to sit down and speak to someone more directly about your own situation, please don’t delay – contact Harshbarger Law today.

Misconceptions About Wrongful Death Lawsuits in San Bernardino

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Wrongful death lawsuits are understandably complicated, which has led to a wide range of different misconceptions cropping up over the years. One of the most important ways to guarantee that you’re making the right decisions in terms of whether or not to bring about a wrongful death case in San Bernardino or anywhere else involves clearing up as many of these misconceptions as you can.

All Wrongful Death Situations are Unintentional

Though a wrongful death situation is typically defined as the death of one party due to the negligence or neglect of another, this is not always the case. OJ Simpson, for example, was sued for wrongful death during the 1990s due to the murder of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her companion, Ronald Goldman. The case was based entirely on an intentional murder.

Wrongful Death Damages are Limited in Scope

Another common misconception is that damages awarded in a successful wrongful death case are only limited to things like funeral and burial costs, along with the loss of the deceased party’s expected income for the rest of their lives. This is not the case. In fact, there are a wide range of different types of losses that a survivor will likely be able to receive compensation for.

These include but are not limited to ones like:
• Compensation for the pre-death pain and suffering of the deceased party. In wrongful death terminology, this is commonly referred to as a “survival claim.”
• All medical costs that the deceased victim had to pay as a direct result of the injury that they sustained prior to passing away. This is common in medical malpractice wrongful death cases, as huge sums of money are often spent as the result of an improper diagnosis.
• Compensation for the loss of any inheritance that a person would have received.
• Compensation for loss of love and companionship.
• Compensation for a loss of care that a survivor would have received, along with things like guidance and nurturing.

Case Law for Pedestrian Accidents in San Bernardino

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According to a recent study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (also referred to as NHTSA), pedestrian accidents are unfortunately a lot more common than you might think. It is estimated that 5,000 pedestrians die in motor vehicle-related accidents each year. Roughly 76,000 people across the country were injured after getting hit by a car or truck in 2012 alone.

Whether you’ve been the victim of a pedestrian accident in San Bernardino or the surrounding areas or you’ve caused such an incident yourself, staying up to date on all relevant case law is always something that you should prioritize.

Pedestrian Accidents in San Bernardino

Whenever a driver gets behind the wheel of a car, it is expected that they exercise reasonable care in terms of the pedestrians and other drivers around them. Failure to do so is considered negligence, something that must be proved in order to successfully file a claim after such an incident has taken place.

Just a few of the examples of negligence in San Bernardino include but are not limited to ones like:
• Distracted driving (like driving while texting)
• Speeding
• Failing to fully yield to pedestrians at crosswalks
• Disobeying or outright ignoring traffic signs, signals and laws
• Not signaling while turning
• Failing to exercise the appropriate level of caution given current weather or traffic conditions
• Driving while under the influence of alcohol or other types of controlled substances

In the rare event where both the driver of the vehicle and the pedestrian they struck are found to be at fault, this is called “comparative negligence” in the state of California. All relevant insurance companies can then determine blame based on the specifics of the situation in terms of both parties. If a driver failed to yield to a pedestrian at a crosswalk but that pedestrian also walked into traffic without looking, it is very possible that they could both be found at fault. From a legal perspective, this would complicate the situation – which is why getting help from legal professionals is so important.

Harshbarger Law

At Harshbarger Law, we understand that pedestrian accidents can be an incredibly harrowing and stressful time for everyone involved – this is a large part of the reason why our number one priority in these situations is and will always be our clients, first and foremost. If you have any additional questions about pedestrian accidents in San Bernardino or the surrounding areas, or if you’d like to sit down and speak to a legal professional about your specific situation in a little more detail, please contact us today.

Dog Bite Laws in San Bernardino

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According to recent studies, dog bite incidents are probably a lot more common than you realize. One study estimates that over 316,000 people visit hospital emergency rooms each year as the result of a dog bite, which breaks down to about 898 cases per day. While it’s always important to seek medical attention as soon as possible after a dog bite occurs, understanding the legal ramifications of such a situation is equally essential to the safety and well being of yourself, of the victim and of the animal in question moving forward.

Dog Bite Laws in San Bernardino

Thankfully, the legal context surrounding dog bites in San Bernardino and other areas in California is quite clear. California Civil Code section 3342 covers this particular topic and specifies that if your dog bites ANYONE, you as the owner will be held liable for damages in a civil claim. This is true providing that:
• The injury to the person in question was indeed caused by a dog bite, and
• The injured person was in a public place or was lawfully in a private residence when the incident occurred.
This means that if you and your dog are out for a walk and it bites someone, you will be held responsible. Likewise, if you’ve invited someone over to your home to watch a movie one evening and they sustain a dog bite, you will also be held liable despite the fact that you are not in a public place and it was common knowledge that a dog lived in the home.
The only exception to this is that if the dog in question was technically engaged in some type of military or law enforcement work. If you get bit randomly by a police dog, whether you’re in public or in private, you will not typically be able to sue for damages – even if it is found that you weren’t actually doing anything wrong at the time.

Harshbarger Law

At Harshbarger Law, we understand that accidents happen – but this simple idea does very little to actually comfort you in the event of a dog bite. Whether you’ve been on the receiving end of a bite yourself or if your furry little friend lashed out at another person, the importance of finding a legal professional to offer you the care and attention-to-detail you need cannot be overstated enough. To find out more about dog bite laws in San Bernardino, or to discuss any other type of personal injury situation in greater detail, please contact Harshbarger Law today.

Personal Injury Truck Accident Lawsuit in San Bernardino County

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According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, personal injury lawsuits involving truck accidents are a lot more common than one might think. In 2015, there were 2,646 deaths of passenger vehicle occupants in crashes involving a large truck in the United States. 563 motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians were killed in similar conditions during the same year. If one of your top priorities is always to navigate the roads of San Bernardino County as safely and as securely as possible – as it should be – there are a few key things you need to know about personal injury truck accidents and the lawsuits that may follow.

The Dangers of Truck Accidents

A study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety also revealed that when a death is involved in a crash with a large truck, the majority of the time the deceased are usually the people who were traveling in smaller vehicles. The major issue is that trucks often weigh between 20 and 30 times more than a passenger car. They’re also taller and have a higher level of ground clearance, meaning that you don’t just have to worry about getting hit head-on – a smaller car under riding a truck in a crash is also a very real concern.

There are many factors that contribute to personal injury truck accidents in San Bernardino County, like how difficult it is for trucks to brake in general. A truck will always travel about 20 to 40 percent farther than a car will to come to a complete stop, something that is complicated by factors like slippery roads and other weather conditions.

Lawsuits involving truck accidents are inherently complicated as you’re not just dealing with another driver and their insurance company – you also have to take into consideration the company that the trucker was driving for, that company’s insurance company and any other entity that may have a stake in what they were hauling in the first place. It’s more difficult than just suing a single person, as essentially all of these parties may have played contributing roles depending on things like policy and jurisdiction. This is why it is always so important to contact a personal injury attorney specializing in truck accidents right away – they can help you untangle this admittedly complicated situation and get to the results you deserve as quickly as possible.

Harshbarger Law

At Harshbarger Law, we understand just how stressful it can be to get into a car accident when the other vehicle happens to weigh several tons. Personal injury lawsuits in general are frustrating, stressful and dangerous – to say nothing of how issues compound themselves in truck accidents. If you or a loved one has been injured by a commercial vehicle in San Bernardino County, or if you’d just like to speak to someone about your own personal situation in more detail, please don’t delay – contact Harshbarger Law today.

History of Wrongful Death Cases in San Bernardino

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Whenever a person dies before their time – either due to the negligence of another person, the misconduct of a third party or even something like murder – the situation is referred to in a court of law as a wrongful death. These types of cases, which can only be brought into a court of law by a personal representative of the estate of the deceased, have a long and storied history in the United States – particularly in San Bernardino and the surrounding areas.

Wrongful Death Cases in San Bernardino and Beyond: An Overview

Wrongful death liability in general actually dates all the way back to the Fatal Accidents Act of 1846, also commonly referred to as “Lord Campbell’s Act.” Established as an act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, it was the first such document of its kind to establish that relatives of people killed by the wrongdoing (either intentionally or unintentionally) of others were able to recover damages as a result. It was quickly established by many other countries around the world, including the United States. It has largely been the law of the land ever since.
Perhaps the most famous wrongful death case in the history of the country happened in 1994, when O.J. Simpson was tried (and ultimately found not guilty) for the murder of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman.
San Bernardino in particular has been in the news recently due to a particularly high profile wrongful death case. In November of 2016, a federal judge set a trial date for a wrongful death lawsuit alleging that a member of the San Bernardino County sheriff’s department fatally shot and killed a man who was both unarmed and mentally ill at a motel in 2015 without reason to do so. The trial for that case is still a long way off – it will begin on March 6 of next year – but you can expect to see many more headlines about its activities between now and then.

Harshbarger Law

Sadly, wrongful death cases in San Bernardino and the surrounding areas are nothing new. They’ve happened before and they will happen again – but that doesn’t mean that this is one road you have to travel alone. If you or a loved one has been affected by a wrongful death case, or if you’d like to sit down and discuss your situation with someone in more detail, please don’t delay – contact the experts at Harshbarger Law today. Our number one focus is and will always be our clients.

Who Can Bring a California Wrongful Death Claim in San Bernardino County?

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Wrongful death is a situation where someone loses their life due to the (usually negligent) actions of another person. This can occur in a wide range of situations in San Bernardino County and elsewhere in both California and the country at large. The CDC reports that in 2005 there were over 45,000 motor vehicle fatalities that would classify as wrongful deaths.

If this is a situation that you find yourself in, gathering as much information as possible about who can file a claim and where it should be filed is the key to making sure everything ends in the way you need it to.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?

In San Bernardino County, along with most of the other 50 states, the following are a few examples of the types of people who can bring a wrongful death claim to court:
• The deceased person’s spouse.
• Parents of minors who have been killed.
• Parents of adult children who have been killed.
• Minors, in the event that their parents were the victims of a wrongful death.
• Adult children if the victim was an adult parent.

In order to successfully prove that claim, those bringing about the wrongful death action will usually have to prove negligence on behalf of the deceased. They will need to be able to show not only that someone was negligent of their duty of care, but that the negligence directly contributed to the death of the person in question. Note that this is the same burden of proof that the deceased person would be required to show had they survived the accident that they sadly became a victim of.

Harshbarger Law – Your Legal Experts

Whenever a loved one unfortunately passes away due to an event like a wrongful death situation, it can be an incredibly stressful and difficult time. One of the major reasons why it’s important to seek legal help immediately is to take as much of the stress and hassle off your plate as possible, so that you can get back to doing the most important thing of all – caring for your loved ones through such emotional turmoil.

If you’d like to find out more information about wrongful death claims in San Bernardino County, or if you have any other important legal questions that you want answers to, please don’t hesitate to contact Harshbarger Law right away.