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Santa Monica Personal Injury Law Blog

In California, who can file a wrongful death lawsuit?

In the state of California, not just anyone can file a lawsuit following the wrongful death of another person. The ability to file a suit seeking compensation depends upon the relationship you shared with the person who died in a wrongful manner. In other words, you must have a very close familial type of relationship with the victim in order to seek a legal remedy.

Obviously, immediate surviving family members have the right to take action when a loved one dies wrongfully. To clarify further about whom may file a lawsuit, the section below will provide specifics about those who are eligible to pursue a wrongful death claim in the California court system.

Facts and figures regarding spinal chord injuries

The United States currently has a population of about 314 million people. Fifty-four out of every million of these people will suffer a spinal cord injuries each year. That amounts to about 17,000 new SCIs annually. This figure represents the people who survive their spinal cord injuries. As of 2016, there were about 282,000 people with SCI in the United States.

Men are much more likely to suffer a spinal cord injury than women. About 80 percent of new cases are men and 20 percent are women. Most of these cases happen as a result of a motor vehicle crash. The second most common source of SCI is falling, such as acts of violence like gunshot wounds. Sports and recreational activities are the last most common cause of such injuries.

Collision between car and motorcycle leaves 1 dead and 3 injured

Motor vehicle accidents threaten all California residents regardless of the type of vehicle they use. Cars, trucks and motorcycles are all vying for space on the state's roadways and sometimes the worst-case scenario becomes a motorist's reality. Earlier this month, a collision involving a car and a motorcycle left one Rialto resident dead and three others injured.

At the time of the reporting, the cause of the car accident was still being investigated, but some facts have already been revealed. According to a news source, the 18-year-old female driver of a Honda Civic traveled too far to the right of her lane. While attempting to change her position, she over-corrected and veered into oncoming traffic. Three motorcycles were threatened, two of them avoiding the Honda while the third struck the car broadside.

Toxic and dangerous chemicals found in many car wash solutions

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, has issued a report identifying dangerous hydrofluoric acid in car wash products. The acid-containing products have caused at least 48 workers to be burned from 2001 through 2013. In one case a worker died after consuming the products.

The workers who were injured by these car wash products had eye, head and hand burns -- often as a result of gloves that had holes in them or a failure to wear gloves. Seven of the injured workers had to be taken to the hospital as a result of their injuries. Three of them had third-degree burns and two of them needed skin grafts and surgery.

Get educated: What should you know about severe brain injury?

Unfortunately, a significant number of California citizens suffer serious concussions and additional types of brain injuries each year. While medical research into the cause and effect of such injuries is ongoing, there is much still to learn about severe traumatic brain injury. However, organizations like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, already have a lot of knowledge to offer about brain injury.

Over five million Americans suffer from a TBI-related condition. The consequences are far-reaching and include physical affects as well as lifestyle changes. In patients who were hospitalized following a TBI, nearly half still suffer from a related disability one year after the initial injury. Some of the effects of a severe traumatic brain injury include:

Oceanside woman arrested after fatal DUI crash

A woman from Oceanside was arrested on charges of drunk driving after she fatally struck a pedestrian late last month. According to police, after hitting the pedestrian, the woman ran away from her car, leaving the deceased pedestrian in her windshield.

Police indicate that the woman was driving down Mission Avenue at approximately 6:20 a.m., on Monday, June 28. That's when she lost control of her vehicle and struck a 69-year-old male pedestrian who had been walking on the sidewalk. The victim's body entered the car through the windshield, and landed partly on the passenger seat of the vehicle.

Lost earning capacity versus lost wages claims

Understanding the various claims that can be made for economic restitution in a personal injury suit is an essential component of being made whole following a car accident that has left you injured. Two kinds of claims which are often confused with each other are "lost earning capacity" claims and "lost wages" claims.

In the event of personal injury, a plaintiff may successfully seek damages for lost earning capacity if he or she can prove that the injury has had a negative effect on his or her ability to earn an income in the future. The court will consider factors such as the plaintiff's wellness before and after the injuring accident, the plaintiff's age and life expectancy, the occupation and experience of the plaintiff, as well as any special skills and training that were acquired prior to the accident. Documentation of past earnings can be instrumental in the court's decision, however, the emphasis of the claim is primarily the earnings an individual may have lost due to the injury.

Preventing scalding injuries in Los Angeles homes

Hot water scalds young children and elderly the most. Children don't have the motor skills, mental faculties, or experiential wisdom to avoid scalds the way adults do. The elderly also lose motor skills, balance and agility, and sometimes mental faculties, which makes them susceptible to scalds and burns as well. Children and the elderly also have more sensitive skin which burns easier than the skin of young to middle-aged adults.

In the home, scalding injuries sometimes happen in the kitchen when boiling water spills, but the worst of the injuries usually happen in the bathtub or shower when the individual is left unsupervised and the water is too hot for their skin. Fortunately, safety practices can be used to prevent virtually all of these injuries.

Dangers for adult back seat passengers

Automobile accidents are unavoidably dangerous, but improvements to crash safety measures are changing how the automobile industry thinks about who is statistically safest in a car crash scenario. Traditional wisdom has held for decades that the back seat in a vehicle is a safer place for adults to ride than the front passenger seat. This proving to be an outdated idea as new studies indicate that back seat passengers may be more likely to suffer injuries in some cases.

Over the last 20 years, major advances have been made in car crash safety features. Airbags have become more effective, and improvements in seat belt systems mean that they can counteract impacts in a crash. Car Manufacturers have implemented "crumple zones" in automobile designs to lessen impacts where they are most likely to occur -- in the front of a vehicle. Since about 88 percent of all passenger injuries are suffered by those riding in the front of vehicle, manufacturers have understandably focused primarily on front-end safety.

What are the most common traumatic brain injuries?

There are four primary types of traumatic brain injuries — skull fractures, hematomas, contusions and hemorrhages.

Skull fractures happen when part of the cranium is broken. Skull fractures at the base of the skull are most likely to result in vascular and neurologic injury. If the temporal bone is broken, it could affect hearing and/or result in facial weakness. Complex open skull fractures where the brain lining is breached often require surgery to correct.

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