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.

What Are the Types of Personal Injury Cases in San Bernardino County?

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At its most basic concept, a personal injury case is a specific type of legal action brought about by a person who has been harmed by another person. These are incredibly common in the legal profession not only in San Bernardino County, but in the United States. The National Traffic Safety Administration, for example, notes that there are approximately six million auto collisions across the country each year – many of which end up as personal injury cases.

Car accidents may be one of the most common, but they’re not the only type of personal injury situation that you may become a part of. Understanding the different types of personal injury cases is one of the keys to remaining protected at all times.

Premises Liability Cases

One common type of personal injury case in San Bernardino County is a premises liability case. If you go into a retail store and a large item falls off a shelf, hitting and injuring you, that would absolutely allow you to file a personal injury claim.

Slip and Falls

Similar in concept to premises liability cases, slip and fall cases are particularly common in heavily trafficked environments like retail and grocery stores. If a floor has recently been mopped or if it has snowed and water has been allowed to collect on the ground, someone could slip and injure themselves in the process.

Consumer Injuries

Commonly referred to as “products liability cases,” consumer injuries are when you purchase a product that either does not work as intended and results in an injury or when a faulty product results in an injury.

Medical Malpractice

Many people also don’t realize that medical malpractice claims fall under the banner of personal injury cases. This can include everything from a botched surgery to an unauthorized procedure conducted without your consent.

Get the Legal Help You Need Today

At Harshbarger Law, we understand that personal injury cases in San Bernardino can be both physically and emotionally stressful times for everyone involved. They are not, however, roads that you have to travel alone -as precarious as they may be. Our team of highly trained and passionate professional legal experts will work tirelessly to handle ALL types of personal injury cases, getting you the fast results you demand with the outcome you deserve.

To find out more information about personal injury cases in San Bernardino county, or to get answers to your other important legal questions, don’t delay – contact Harshbarger Law now.

New 2017 Car Accident Stats Paint a Grim Picture in San Bernardino County and Beyond

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According to the Association for Safe International Road Travel, roughly 37,000 people die in car accidents on the roads in the United States each year. In addition to that, another 2.35 million people are either injured or seriously disabled. Of those 37,000 deaths, 1,600 of them are children under the age of 15. These stats are collected over a long period of time and are simply averages, but a recent study reported on by Forbes shows that as far as automobile accidents are concerned, things may be getting worse before they get better.

Today’s Dangerous Roads: Breaking It Down

According to a study that was recently completed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 27,875 people died in car crashes in the first six months of 2016 alone. If that sounds high, that’s because it is – this represented a stunning 8% increase over the first six months of 2015. It’s also important to note that 2015’s statistics represented a 7.2% increase over those from 2014, which itself was the single largest increase in 50 years.

In San Bernardino County and other areas in California, the news isn’t much better. The entire state of California falls into Region 9 of the study (along with Arizona and Hawaii) and it experienced a 5% increase in fatalities during the same period of time.
In the end, statistics like these underline just how important it is to practice the safest possible driving techniques that you can at all times. When you live in an area like San Bernardino County, remember that even if you’re intimately familiar with the roads as you’ve been driving them all your life, the same is not necessarily true of those around you. San Bernardino and California in particular usually see an increase in out of town drivers, particularly around the holiday season. These people may not be familiar with the driving habits of locals, creating an incredibly dangerous situation for everyone involved.

If you find yourself in any type of personal injury situation in San Bernardino or in any other area, it’s always important to call 911 for emergency services as soon as possible. If someone is injured, every second counts and your top priority should always be getting them the medical treatment they need as fast as you can. Afterwards, you can call a personal injury attorney to help make sure that you’re protected from a legal perspective. An attorney can help not only make sure that damages to your car are taken care of (along with your medical bills), but they can help protect you in the event that a lawsuit is filed.

Harshbarger Law

From the moment Harshbarger Law opened its doors up until the present day, our focus has always remained the same: we want to provide unparalleled service to our clients above all else. If you’ve been the unfortunate victim of a car accident in San Bernardino County or the surrounding areas, or if you find yourself in a similar type of personal injury situation, please don’t delay – contact your San Bernardino car accident attorneys at Harshbarger Law today.

Financial and Emotional Compensation for Wrongful Death in San Bernardino County

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If you or a loved one has been affected by a wrongful death situation in San Bernardino County and the surrounding areas, it’s always important for you to understand all options available to you from a legal perspective. Many people are already aware of what financial compensation is and how it works. If the person who unfortunately passed away was a provider of family income, for example, financial compensation may be awarded to help account for some essential funds that will no longer be present.

Something that fewer people understand is emotional compensation, however, which can often be a major aspect of any recovery in a wrongful death case. Though the specifics will vary depending on the situation you find yourself in, there are still a number of important things you need to be aware of.

What is Emotional Compensation?

Emotional compensation is designed to help address the psychological impact that you and your loved ones have had to endure due to the wrongful death situation you now find yourself in. This can involve a large number of different things including depression, fear, anxiety, and more. The important thing to understand is that what can be emotionally distressing to one person may not be to the next, which is why there is typically not a strict definition of what would be covered and what would not be.

In order to properly claim emotional distress in a wrongful death lawsuit, you must take certain steps to document these conditions before you file your claim. The chances are high that you’re already seeking medical treatment, so you should speak with your medical professional about the psychological issues that have developed as a direct result of your wrongful death. Many people agree that keeping some type of daily journal where you chronicle your symptoms on an ongoing basis can be particularly helpful, especially if your case ends up in a court of law.

Harshbarger Law

At Harshbarger Law, we understand exactly how devastating a wrongful death situation can be in San Bernardino County and the surrounding areas. This is why we are and will remain singularly committed to our clients, helping to guarantee that they receive not only the maximum financial compensation but emotional compensation that they are entitled to as well.

If you have any other questions about financial and emotional compensation for a wrongful death that you’d like to see answered, or if you’d just like to speak to someone about your own unique situation a little more directly, please don’t hesitate to contact Harshbarger Law today.