Law Office of Frederick J. Sette
Personal Injury Attorney
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Concussion Drama Rings True for Sacramento

Personal injury law attorneys have long been familiar with the dire results of a serious head injury. However, the release of the 2015 film “Concussion,” makes the topic even more relevant in Sacramento. Our personal injury attorneys have monitored the rising concern about the effect of concussion on athletes, and the film brings the issue to greater public awareness.  The Sacramento personal injury lawyers at Sette Law are proud that the pathologist who inspired the popular film is a professor at UC Davis. This brings the topic even closer to home for our personal injury law firm and our community. 

Now, with the film inspired by the work of Dr. Bennet Omalu, our Sacramento personal injury lawyers hope that both professional and youth sports leagues will take steps to make America’s most popular sport safer. Like fans everywhere, our Sacramento personal injury law attorneys support youth football and other sports. However, serious head injuries to youngsters is a great concern to parents in Sacramento. Our personal injury lawyers believe the popular film may inspire changes that benefits youth sports throughout Sacramento. Our personal injury law firm and our attorneys are gratified to see that attention to concussions suffered by football players is now receiving increased attention.

Our personal injury attorneys were interested in the long road it took for Dr. Omalu (and others) to convince the NFL and the public of the severity of concussions suffered in football. As Sacramento personal injury attorneys, our lawyers were well aware of the serious consequences of any brain injury, having represented TBI clients in Sacramento. However, personal injury law attorneys say Dr. Omalu’s work that started in 2002, finally shined a light on the dangers of repeated head trauma. Our personal injury attorneys say that incidents of mild concussion are common to many NFL players. It’s relevance in Sacramento, our personal injury lawyers say, is that changes inspired by the film can improve outcomes for young athletes in our community. That repeated blows to the head and mild concussions are very serious, our personal injury attorneys say, should no longer be debated.

The key to Dr. Omalu’s findings was repeated autopsies on the brains of deceased NFL players, our personal injury law attorneys explain. Over nearly a decade, our personal injury attorneys report, football officials ignored the doctor’s findings. Unfortunately, that it was the suicide note of an injured player that finally vindicated Dr. Omalu after years of denial by the NFL, personal injury lawyers report. Our Sacramento personal injury attorneys explain that the disorder named by the doctor, chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), is now a widely accepted personal injury. Attorneys believe recognition of Dr. Omalu’s work, though long overdue, will inspire groundbreaking changes that benefit players throughout the nation and in Sacramento. Personal injury law attorneys will leverage his work as we help victims of CTE and other head injuries recover financially and emotionally.

The Numbers
The concerns of our Sacramento personal injury law attorneys regarding head trauma in sports is supported with data. One parent-driven organization reports that head injuries in youth sports more than doubled over a 10-year span. Our personal injury attorneys believe that the 3.8 million concussions documented indicates an urgent need for attention. Interestingly, 33 percent of sports injuries, our Sacramento personal injury lawyers report, happened during practice.  The organization also highlights the fact that head injuries start young. Our personal injury law attorneys say up to five million of the concussions happened to middle school athletes. Further concerning is that concussions may not be recognized. Our personal injury attorneys say 90 percent of concussions diagnosed never cause a loss of consciousness. This fact alone, personal injury law attorneys believe, calls for much more education about head trauma in youth sports.

Neurological Problems
Our Sacramento personal injury attorneys say that research is exposing additional impacts that CTE may have on health. Although most of the studies have involved adults, our personal injury lawyers report, it’s important to know that CTE is the result of repeated exposure over time. Damage therefore, our personal injury attorneys warn, can start at a very young age. According to Live Science, research on scanned brains of football players retired from the game, revealed abnormalities traced to brain trauma, our Sacramento personal injury lawyers report. Further, our Sacramento personal injury law attorneys say studies also indicate a possible link to increased Alzheimer’s disease and Lou Gherig’s disease. In addition, our personal injury law attorneys say that depression may also be a result of repeated concussions.

Our Sacramento personal injury law attorneys say neuroscientists have shown that concussions damage white matter in the brain. This can prevent the flow of “information signals” in different regions of the brain, our personal injury lawyers explain. Clearly, our Sacramento personal injury attorneys recognize this arena of brain research is relatively new. However, it seems prudent for parents to pay attention if they have youngsters playing sports in Sacramento. Personal injury attorneys know that most damage to brain cannot be “reversed.”  At best, say injury attorneys, drugs and therapies may moderate symptoms. But, personal injury lawyers agree that the brain while powerful, is also delicate.

While brain researchers seek to better understand the impacts of CTE, our personal injury lawyers know the experts are currently limited in diagnosing the condition. Dr. Omalu, our Sacramento personal injury attorneys explain, had to gather all his forensic evidence from deceased players. Currently, there is no other way to affirm the presence of CTE, say our personal injury lawyers. Unfortunately, this makes early detection of CTE extremely unlikely.

Consequently, our Sacramento personal injury law attorneys believe it’s up to parents to make good decisions about children who participate in youth sports. Fortunately, our personal injury lawyers are aware that youth leagues and coaches are making voluntary changes to field practice and games. In addition, our personal injury attorneys say designers of equipment have been creating safer helmets to buffer blows to the head. However, once there is official acceptance of the risk of CTE, our Sacramento personal injury law attorneys anticipate modifications to the rules of the game, as well as improved protective gear on the field. Meanwhile, at our personal injury law firm, attorneys recommend that parents play an active role in safeguarding the future of their young athletes.

Being on Alert for Truckers on Freeways of Sacramento

Personal injury attorneys know from experience that when a client comes to us with injuries from a Sacramento truck accident, the physical damages are likely significant. Our Sacramento accident attorneys point out that freeway driving does not present a level playing field for drivers in Sacramento. Our personal injury law attorneys note that trucks are often twenty or thirty times the weight of a passenger car. Accident attorneys add that trucks present other inequities such as their height – trapping cars beneath the behemoths in a Sacramento car crash. Consequently, attorneys say, in a big rig verses a Sacramento car accident, the motorist is usually the biggest loser.

Our Sacramento personal injury law attorneys will use this month’s blog to talk about the challenges both truckers and motorists face. We believe that mutual awareness may help prevent injurious or deadly truck verses car accidents. Our attorneys first want to point out that commercial drivers in general have a very good safety record across the nation and in Sacramento. But a car crash, attorneys say, is often so devastating that extra vigilance is called for by drivers in Sacramento.

Our personal injury law attorneys are well aware of the abundant truck traffic on the freeways surrounding Sacramento. Car accidents are, unfortunately, inevitable. And, according to statewide data, on the rise. Our personal injury attorneys report that in 2013 there were 278 deaths and 7511 injuries in truck verses car accidents. Attorneys say this is the highest number in four years. The California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) reinforces the need for vigilance in the County of Sacramento. Personal injury attorneys say OTS data recorded 9,152 fatal and injury motoring accidents in 2012 in Sacramento. Our accident attorneys point out this is concerning because that ranks Sacramento the 7th worst out of 58 comparable counties.

Since trucking accidents are almost always serious and often fatal, special attention should be paid to freeway safety in Sacramento. Accidents, our attorneys believe, can be prevented, when all drivers follow traffic laws in Sacramento. Personal injury law attorneys report that, nationwide, about 5 million big rigs (trucks and buses) travel with 250 million motorists. On the freeways of Sacramento, our accident attorneys agree, there are times of the day when the ratio of trucks to cars seems much higher. According to statistics, Sacramento personal injury law attorneys say that truckers are responsible in fewer than half of the accidents in the County of Sacramento. In 191 truck accidents, attorneys report, 70 were attributed to the driver of the truck.

The Causes of Truck Accidents in Sacramento

Accident attorneys reference highway safety data to look at the primary causes of large truck accidents. Personal injury law attorneys say the main factors listed are truck driver fatigue, speeding and the limited braking capability of big rigs in car accidents. Our attorneys reiterate that commercial drivers do not cause the majority of car accidents. Our lawyers, however, know that some truckers falsify their handwritten work records and log more than the permitted 11 hours behind the wheel in Sacramento. Personal injury attorneys agree with national safety groups that suggest truckers keep electronic time logs that can’t be easily altered. Our Sacramento personal injury law attorneys are aware of local accidents over the past five years attributed to truck driver fatigue in the County of Sacramento. 

Accident attorneys understand that most people know it takes much longer for a trucker to brake to a stop than it does a passenger car. Our personal injury law attorneys say this is one reason why truck brakes must be carefully maintained to avoid a Sacramento accident. Attorneys explain that faulty brakes can cause a truck to roll over, causing a potential deadly car accident. Our injury lawyers say that the truck driver is also in grave danger in a roll-over accident in Sacramento. Personal injury law attorneys say that a new requirement for a stability control system takes effect in 2017. Our Sacramento car accident attorneys say this innovation is designed to reduce deadly truck and car crashes.

Making Trucking Safer for Sacramento
Personal injury attorneys say the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has information on trucking policy and safety. Along with supporting the enhanced stability system, our Sacramento car accident attorneys say the IIHS is looking at rear “underride guards” that are meant to prevent cars from sliding under trucks in an accident. Attorneys say that IIHS research is showing that these rear guards often fail. Our Sacramento personal injury law attorneys agree that federal regulators should look at the IIHS data and take corrective action to protect motorists from deadly truck accidents.

Our car accident attorneys believe that improperly maintained trucks and dangerous driver behaviors threaten highway safety in Sacramento. Personal injury law attorneys look at the data nationwide. In 2013, truck occupants accounted for 16 percent of deaths in truck verses car accidents. Attorneys compare that with the figure for motorists and others at a whopping 67 percent.
Our Sacramento personal injury law attorneys agree that trucking companies, traffic policy and truck drivers can all improve to lower the rate of accidents. But Sacramento accident attorneys also know that motorists must drive defensively throughout the County of Sacramento. Personal injury law attorneys remind drivers that our community hosts several highways that are corridors for trucking. In Sacramento, car accidents, attorneys say, have often resulted in fatalities. Consequently, our personal injury lawyers remind motorists to monitor surrounding big rig traffic. Be aware that IIHS identifies the main lapses of truckers that cause car accidents. Our attorneys report that improper turns, ignoring right-of-way and speeding seem to be the lead causes of truck verses car accidents.

Attorneys agree that highway safety is a shared responsibility. But it is good to keep in mind that from the perspective of our Sacramento personal injury law attorneys, the aftermath of a trucking accident can be physically and financially devastating. Consequently, our Sacramento accident lawyers urge heightened awareness of truck traffic in the County of Sacramento.

Increased Threat of Sacramento Car Accident Injuries

Here’s a new headline our Sacramento personal injury attorneys were not pleased to read: “Traffic deaths rise as drivers, dangers grows.” The Sept. 28 Sacramento Bee ran a disturbing story about national trends that should concern us all in Sacramento. Car crash injury and death rose across the nation and by extension, Sacramento. Increased car accident injuries were traced to a few specific causes by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and in this Blog our Sacramento car crash and injury attorneys will look at what we can do locally to buck this troubling trend.

Four Sources of Concern for Sacramento
Car crash injury and deaths may have naturally risen as more people took to the roads post-recession, according to NHTSA. With a 10 percent increase in traffic deaths nationwide and 13 percent in California over the past three years, Sacramento car accident injuries and deaths have also dominated local headlines. Wrong-way drivers were faulted in several major Sacramento car accidents. Injuries and deaths in these incidents brought attention to the plague of drunk driving. In addition, we experienced the result of distracted driving in a tragic Sacramento car accident. Critical injuries were suffer by a young boy and his father died when a texting driver swerved into the pair on their bicycles in a suburb of Sacramento.

Car crash injuries due to distracted driving and to driving while inebriated are two of the causes of increased traffic deaths cited by traffic agencies in California and Sacramento. Personal injury lawyers at Sette have previously written about the scourge of distracted driving due to the ubiquitous nature of cell phones and their alluring apps that take attention away from the all-important task of safely driving in Sacramento. Car accident injuries are the rise across the nation as distracted driving permeates daily life. In addition, our Sacramento car crash injury attorneys note that distracted driving laws are not routinely enforced throughout the state, and some related traffic fines are too low to be a real deterrent. Government surveys show a definite increase in smart phone use in California and in Sacramento. Car accident injuries and deaths will only continue to rise if law enforcement, traffic officials and the driving public do not attack distracted driving as an urgent problem.

An increasing number of Sacramento car crash injuries may be related to driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. State safety officials say that while alcohol DUIs continue to be a plague, marijuana use is rising and becoming a bigger factor in Sacramento car accident injuries and traffic violations. In addition, prescription drug use is also concern.

Sacramento car crash injuries have also been impacted by the increasing number of motorcycles on the roadway. Post-recession purchase of motor bikes is up, particularly among older riders in Sacramento, increasing car crash injury threat. The heavier bikes favored by these riders are more difficult to control. In a Sacramento car accident, injuries to the motorcyclist are usually the most severe. State safety officials report a concerning rise in incidents since 2010.

Sacramento car crash injuries also reflect accidents involving pedestrians and bicyclists. Clearly, bicyclists are an important part of the commuter and recreation community in Sacramento. Car accident injuries to people on bicycles and pedestrians are often very severe. There have been a number of high profile accidents in Sacramento causing personal injury. Our attorneys all recognize that bicyclists and pedestrians face the most severe dangers in a car accident in Sacramento.

Car Crash Trends Suffer Reversal in Sacramento
That car crash injuries and deaths are climbing throughout the state is very concerning to state officials. Over the five years previous to 2010, there was a significant decrease in traffic deaths due to car accident injury. According to the Sacramento Bee article the period marked the fewest California traffic deaths since WWII.  Sacramento car crash injuries and deaths were likely minimized, in part, because of the adoption of seat belt use. In addition, the introduction of safety technology such as airbags have helped keep drivers safer in Sacramento.

Car accident injury and death, however, is arcing upward again, inspiring our personal injury attorneys to wonder how to keep people safe in Sacramento. Clearly, car crash injury is adversely impacted by the use of our newest technology – smart phones and accessible apps. Just as technology has made it safer for drivers, it’s currently creating an enhanced threat to drivers in Sacramento. Our car accident injury and death rates are surely affected by the heightened incidence of distracted driving that leads to Sacramento car crash injuries. Traffic officials cannot be certain about distracted driving statistics because drivers often deny cell phone use after a Sacramento car accident. Injuries and deaths will continue to increase until laws are consistently enforced and fines are meaningful to distracted drivers in Sacramento. Car accident injuries due to the use of electronic devices may decrease if the makers of the technologies also participate in creating safety solutions to prevent car crash injuries and death. Thus far, blocking technology and other potential solutions have met with public opposition.

In Sacramento, car crash injuries won’t diminish until drivers take complete responsibility for public safety. In a survey, the Office of traffic Safety reports that 9.2 percent of drivers admit to being distracted while driving throughout the state and in Sacramento. Still, car accident injuries due to distracted driving do not reflect the true number of motorists violating the law in Sacramento. Our personal injury attorneys and traffic officials bemoan the fact that every day, there’s a new app on the market tempting drivers and threatening a Sacramento Car accident.

Injuries and deaths on the roadways won’t vanish from Sacramento. Car crash injury increase, however, can be reversed throughout California and certainly in Sacramento. Our personal injury attorneys at Sette Law support enforcement of traffic laws and urge our residents to make our roadways safer for families in Sacramento. Car crash injuries are, unfortunately, becoming a daily occurrence in our Sacramento. Our personal injury attorneys want to see a turn-around in the troubling statistics we see in the recent statistical rise and promote driving habits that keep friends and neighbors safe from Sacramento car accident injuries.

Sacramento Injury Lawyers Raise Awareness of Head Injuries

At Sette Law in Sacramento, our personal injury attorneys read an August news report that causes concern for local parents. Two young athletes from Union High School in nearby El Dorado County were hospitalized with serious brain injuries after a weekend game. As Sacramento personal law injury attorneys it is our collective job to monitor the developments involving brain injuries – unfortunately on the rise across the nation and in Sacramento. Personal injury attorneys at Sette Law have families living across our region. It’s only natural that our Sacramento injury law firm attorneys pay special attention to the emerging issue of brain injury and sports. As the Union High incident illustrates, greater safety in high school sports should be a national priority for parents.

At the time this blog was written our personal injury lawyers say that one of the injured boys, Nick Brown, is recovering from serious brain surgery and the outcome of his condition still to be determined. The family has established a Facebook page for updates and also a fund to help with ongoing medical expenses.

Brain Injuries Raise Concern in Sacramento
Personal injury Law attorneys know the lifetime damage that can be caused by a brain injury. Whether because of a sports accident, industrial accident or a Sacramento car crash, injury to the brain often alters a person’s destiny – taking the victim from mainstream to the ranks of the disabled. At Sette Law our Sacramento personal injury attorneys know that, unlike some accident injuries, damage to the brain can effect biological and neurological systems. For example, a Sacramento car crash injury may cause broken bones, lacerations and internal injury that promise to, one day, heal. Recovered victims may be able to return to work or continue to earn a living. But if a brain injury is suffered in a Sacramento car accident, attorneys explain that these injuries can prevent individuals from ever again being fully independent.

 Although brain injuries can and do happen in a variety of circumstances, a recent focus has been on the field of sports. Our Sacramento personal injury attorneys are particularly concerned about this trend because it’s often young people who become victims nationally and in Sacramento. Our personal injury attorneys consulted CDC statistics that show reports of brain concussions have doubled from 2002 to 2012. About 47 percent of these concussions happen in high school football. Soccer and Ice hockey present the next greatest risk of personal injury. Attorneys in Sacramento are aware that our region has also experienced an increase in concussion and traumatic brain injury.

We are aware that there is a national spotlight on this problem, but as Sacramento personal injury law attorneys we urge local parents, coaches and athletic leagues to quickly embrace safety measures, those which become required and those which may be optional, to protect young athletes in Sacramento.
Personal injury law obligates our lawyers to be educated about the details of a wide variety of accidents – from Sacramento car accident injuries, to accidents on private property and even large transportation accidents. However, it’s the devastating effects of TBI on young people that has our Sacramento personal injury law attorneys very concerned. We want to help our community understand the severe consequences of TBI in developing brains and bring enhanced awareness to Sacramento.

Personal Injury Attorneys Grasp medical aspects of TBI
Unlike a Sacramento car crash injury, sports related concussions are often cumulative – there can be several events over time. Our Sacramento personal injury attorneys cite medical experts who report that repeated concussions can lead to a 39 percent greater chance of traumatic brain injury and permanent disability. And, seemingly minor concussions might go unnoticed by coaches and parents in Sacramento. Car crash injury, although dangerous and often severe, is seldom experienced more than once. In addition, brain injuries are often not as visible as Sacramento car accident injuries. Our attorneys explain that, although skin may not be broken, there can easily be bleeding inside the brain.

In addition, our Sacramento personal injury attorneys say that symptoms of a concussion might not immediately be obvious. That’s why is critical that any young athlete receiving a blow to the head get immediate medical attention. Those symptoms include dizziness, inattention, headache, irritability and difficulty with memory. But for families in Sacramento, our personal injury attorneys recommend that youngsters who have experienced a jolt or blow to the head be examined and carefully observed immediately.

Sacramento personal injury law attorneys say the national data indicates that one in five high school athletes will experience a concussion in a single season of play. About thirty-three percent of young athletes reported having two or more concussions within a year and, sadly for young sports participants in Sacramento, personal injury attorneys know that four to five million head injuries happen every year – and kids in middle school are experiencing the greatest increase of head injury.

As Sacramento personal injury attorneys we are obligated to understand the details of brain injury. Whether concussion or TBI happens due to a Sacramento car crash injury or on the football field, the effects on the human brain are the same. The soft-tissue brain is protected by spinal fluid inside the skull. A blow or violent jolt to the head can cause the brain to crash into the skull, harming neural pathways, and the brain itself can swell and bleed. When this happens to young athletes in Sacramento our injury attorneys say that permanent, life altering damage can result.

Of course, prevention of these accidents is a goal encouraged by our Sacramento personal injury law lawyers. Many people are calling for better education for coaches and for improvement of protective equipment. Clearly, there is plenty of room for changes that will make sports safer in Sacramento. Personal injury attorneys point to the many laws that have been passed to protect people in vehicles. Data shows, for example, that Sacramento car crash injuries can be minimized by adhering to seat belt laws – a mandate that was once widely opposed but today saves lives. Our Sacramento personal injury law attorneys support the introduction of new regulations and equipment that will do the same for youth sports.

Accident Attorneys Examine Car Crash Causes in Sacramento

Injury attorneys at Sacramento’s Sette Law pay particular attention to traffic accidents throughout the summer months when so many drivers are on the road in Sacramento. Car accidents, our lawyers report, dramatically increase during the vacationing season so, in this blog, we’ll discuss some of the common causes of  car accidents in Sacramento.

Our injury attorneys say that, although many vehicle accidents never make the nightly news, the summer of 2015 has already made many headlines in Sacramento. Car accidents, Sette lawyers report, have already claimed more than 10 lives since June in Greater Sacramento. And accident attorneys point out that for each death, there are often multiple victims left with serious injuries. The circumstances of these Sacramento accidents differ. Lawyers say that some occurred on local freeways, others on urban streets – from wrong way drivers to excessive speed and drunk driving, our injury lawyers say Sacramento drivers are wise to drive defensively and with awareness that other drivers may not be doing the same.

What Good Drivers Should Watch Out for in Sacramento
Accident attorneys cite recent data that shows one-third of vehicle crashes are due to excessive speed and reckless driving in Greater Sacramento. Sette accident lawyers also live here and know from observation that speed limits are frequently ignored. However, national data supports that casual observation. Referring to a 2012 AAA study, our injury and accident attorneys say that 49.3 percent of drivers admit to exceeding limits by 10 to 15 miles per hour. In regard to the rash of summertime accidents in Sacramento, our injury lawyers say that excessive speed was certainly a factor in some of the car accidents.

Attorneys at Sette Law include other driver behavior, such as road rage and driver fatigue, as catalysts for some Sacramento car accidents. Our lawyers report that one study indicates that about 37 percent of drivers admit to dozing off behind the wheel.  The dangers of encountering a fatigued driver are highest between 4 p.m. and sunrise in Sacramento. Our accident lawyers advise motorists, particularly on area freeways, to be conscious of this potential hazard and drive defensively in and around Sacramento.

Sette accident and injury lawyers, however, are particularly concerned about the prevalence of distracted driving throughout California and in Sacramento. Injury lawyers say a recent accident brings this danger close to home. In July a father was killed and his son critically injured while riding their bicycles, due to a distracted driving accident. Our lawyers say the driver of the car was allegedly reading a text message when he veered into the bike lane, killing the dad and injuring his eight-year-old son. To make a tragedy even worse, the victims were very recent immigrants – Afghan refugees who had fled ISIS to be safe in Sacramento.

And accident attorneys are Sette Law are painfully aware that distracted driving, in general, is a  major concern in California and, by extension, in Sacramento. Injury lawyers refer to the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) which reports that almost 53 percent of drivers admitted to “making a driving mistake while using a cell phone.”  In April 2013 alone, the California DMV reported 57,000 tickets had been written for distracted texting and cell phone use, and 426,000 convictions for violations were issued, our accident and injury lawyers report.  Alarmingly, the OTS reports that distracted driving is a factor in a full 80 percent of vehicle accidents. Attorneys at Sette Law believe this finding is very troubling. Distracted driving is entirely preventable – accidents and deaths that don’t have to happen in the state or in Sacramento.

Our injury lawyers are also aware that Sacramento has more than its share of motorists who run red lights, straight into an accident. Our attorneys even observe this behavior on their drive to our offices as drivers ignore the yellow lights and speed through when lights turn red. In California, the OTS says that almost two in five drivers admitted to doing so within a one-month period. In Sacramento, accident lawyers know that statistics show that most red light runners are young drivers. Nationwide, an insurance industry study indicated that running red lights was the cause of 22 percent of vehicle accidents. Lawyers point out this is a very high figure for a single source of car crashes. The NHTSA backs this opinion with stats – in 2008 the agency logged 2.3 million accidents at intersections.

Yet another danger on roads in the County of Sacramento, our accident lawyers remind us, is driving under the influence. Like distracted driving, this risk is entirely preventable but still continues to threaten drivers in Sacramento. Our accident lawyers say that in 2013 there were 214,828 DUI arrests. In 2008, DUI Drunk Driving Statistics reported a total of 2,397 traffic deaths in which at least one motorist had a blood alcohol level of 0.01 percent or above.

Our Sacramento injury attorneys are concerned about a pretty significant rise in these accidents from 2012 to 2013 in the city of Sacramento. Injury attorneys say that in 2012 there were 25 fatal car accidents – that number rose to 42 in 2013! Just as disturbing to Sette’s accident attorneys is the spike in DUI fatalities, from three in 2012 to 14 in 2013.  This is a very disturbing trend as recorded by City-Data.

At Sette Law, our personal injury attorneys represent people who have been physically and financially harmed in traffic accidents in which someone was negligent. As professional Sacramento accident lawyers, it’s our job to know as much about traffic accidents and driver behavior as possible. However, because we deal first-hand with victims who are suffering, our accident attorneys are personally aware of the profound pain that injuries and wrongful death can bring to people in our community. We feel it is our responsibility to educate drivers in Sacramento. Our injury lawyers care deeply about this community. We work with traffic statistics on a daily basis and we strive to reverse the trend our Sacramento accident attorneys have outlined in this blog.

Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyers Examine Premises Liability

Attorneys at Sacramento’s Sette Law focus on the expansive category of personal injury law. Attorneys specialize in one of the most important (and occasionally complex) arenas called premises liability – when an individual on the property of another owner receives an injury. Our lawyers specify that a property owner (residential or commercial) must be proved negligent – a concept that’s not always clear cut in our cases in Sacramento. Personal injury attorneys will need to show that a property owner was aware of unsafe conditions and, further, did not attempt to repair the condition that led to the Sacramento injury.

Lawyers work with a wide variety of incidents that fall within the broad category of premises or property liability. Attorneys, then, must have a deep grasp of underlying laws regarding this niche of personal injury law. Attorneys in Sacramento must be well acquainted with the factors that impact a party’s ability to be compensated for losses incurred due to the personal injury.

Lawyers don’t expect the average citizen to fully grasp the details of personal injury law. Attorneys study and practice for many years to develop expertise in the arena of liability and personal injury so that we can responsibly represent clients in Sacramento. But lawyers at Sette Law want to share some basic information about premises liability so that, should an incident occur, an injured party might better understand what qualifies as liability for a Sacramento personal injury.

Attorneys Disclose Basics Requirements to Litigate for Personal Injury
Our lawyers point out that premises liability covers a great deal of ground. In Sacramento, injury attorneys have handled cases as varied as slip-and-falls in grocery stores to injuries received at sports events and music concerts and even backyard trampoline accidents that caused painful and costly injury.  Lawyers explain that the circumstances may differ greatly but the basics of liability law are generally shared, although there are some differences in various state laws. Our Sacramento personal injury attorneys will abide by California statutes governing a property owner’s duty when representing injured plaintiffs in Sacramento.  Liability attorneys here refer to state statutes which require property owners to ‘use reasonable care’ to maintain property in safe condition throughout the state and in Sacramento.

Personal injury lawyers know that many factors go into determining whether or not a property owner has fulfilled this mandate. When a plaintiff comes to Sette Law with a potential premises liability action, our Sacramento injury attorneys look for several qualifying conditions including the location of the property, any protections against the threat of harm and, among other considerations, what steps the owner took to protect against the harm that caused the Sacramento personal injury.

Attorneys at Sette Law add that not all states are as broad as California in the definition of who is protected under a property owner’s duty of care. Some states have three sets of ‘visitors’ to property – invitees, licensees and trespassers that are regarded differently under statues governing premises liability and personal injury. Lawyers in Sacramento, however, work within more inclusive statutes that require the following to establish personal injury:

Attorneys verify that a property owner had a responsibility to demonstrate due care to avoid potential injury;

Lawyers must be satisfied the defendant failed to show the required due care, and that the Sacramento personal injury was directly caused due to this lack of care on behalf of the property owner in Sacramento.

Liability Lawyers Manage Wide Variety of Premises Injury

Attorneys know that accidents can happen almost anywhere. Slip and falls may occur due to unsafe conditions in retail stores, amusement parks or someone’s home. But Sacramento personal injury lawyers are quick to point out that most falls may not meet the requirements for premises liability. The same is true for many kinds of injuries, and the courts have established protection against abuse of the legal system for frivolous claims of personal injury. Attorneys are very careful to decline cases that attempt to abuse liability law in Sacramento. Our accident lawyers know that such actions waste time and show disrespect for the rule of law we are pledged to uphold.

However, our Sacramento personal injury attorneys advise property owners to look carefully at their “duty of care.” There are many precedent cases that illustrate the extent of owner-liability for accidents and personal injury. Lawyers reference decisions such as a 2001 ruling that a Florida apartment complex owner did not provide adequate security resulting in the brutal abduction of a young tenant and her life threatening injury. Her attorneys won $15.7 million for the woman who was shot in the head three times.

Our Sacramento personal injury attorneys say that property owners must look carefully at conditions that could threaten safety and security and, consequently, lead to an owner’s liability. Attorneys in our Sacramento office have experience with a plethora of conditions that have contributed to accidents and liability for personal injury. Our lawyers mention events such as poor maintenance of property, dog bites, insufficient night lighting, knowingly housing dangerous residents and defective conditions that lead to accidents and grave personal injury.

Attorneys point to a recent incident that happened in June. A tragic balcony collapse in Berkeley, CA, caused the death of six young people and sent seven others to the hospital with severe injury. Our Sacramento accident lawyers say that officials quickly identified structural problems (such as significant dry rot) that may point to property owner liability.

Sacramento personal injury attorneys know that most premises liability cases do not receive such prominent attention as the Berkeley balcony collapse. The lawsuits handled by Sacramento personal injury lawyers are usually well below the radar of the national media. However, our accident lawyers say that coverage of such major tragedies can put a spotlight on safety and liability issues that may, in the future, save lives and protect people from personal injury. Attorneys expect the Berkeley incident will inspire property owners to more closely inspect their buildings and to reexamine the breadth of responsibility for accidents.

Injury attorneys at Sette Law in Sacramento know that victims of accidents caused by the negligence of property owners can bring untold suffering to people from the devastating financial impact of medical expenses and lost wages to physical suffering that can last a life time. Our Sacramento personal injury attorneys urge property owners to become educated about their significant responsibilities in this arena and to do their part to protect public safety.

Sacramento Liability Attorneys Look at Defective Product Law

Our Sacramento injury lawyers work on behalf of people who are harmed by using products that should have been perfectly safe. Although it seems only fair that consumers should be compensated for such injuries, our personal injury attorneys know that product liability is law is complicated. This blog, from Sacramento injury lawyers at Sette Law, will address some important considerations in product liability and related injury.

Attorneys first explain that product liability laws may vary from one state to another but at least four principles are common. Our Sacramento personal injury lawyers look at each item and provide basic detail:

1. First, a plaintiff must show his or her personal injury attorney that real harm was done and losses were suffered. Our Sacramento liability lawyers know of many instances in which a product failed and threatened someone’s safety, but didn’t cause an actual injury. Our attorneys say an event like this would not meet this first requirement. But a product failure such as a broken leg caused by a non-working brakes on a new 10-speed bike, would likely meet this criteria. Medical evidence and costs of care should suffice to show loss and injury that attorneys could prove in court.
2. Our Sacramento product liability lawyers will also have to show the court the product was defective as a second requirement for liability. Attorneys know this can be a demanding requirement. Even in light of a verifiable personal injury, lawyers must determine if a product was defectively manufactured, designed or marketed. Let’s look at each category more closely. Our Sacramento injury lawyers explain that, in the case of defectively manufactured products, an error was made at the factory or somewhere in the manufacturing chain before the product was purchased and subsequently caused the injury. Attorneys must clearly identify the point of error to satisfy this criteria and strengthen the case for liability and personal injury.
3. Lawyers can also consider whether or not a product presented sufficient instructions or warnings to protect consumers. Our Sacramento liability attorneys explain that this is also referred to as potential ‘defective marketing.’ If, for example, a weed killing spray might cause eye injury or blindness but that danger is not addressed, a personal injury lawyer will seek to show there was a failure to provide warning and that failure caused the plaintiff’s injury.
4. An attorney representing an injured client may also determine that a product was defective before the manufacturing process. This would constitute a Design Defect and, according to our Sacramento personal injury lawyers, is often more difficult to prove than the aforementioned cases. Interestingly, this arena may play a role in the recent Takata airbag recalls and actions related to deaths and injury. Our liability lawyers suspect plaintiff’s counsel may look to some design flaw (such as the chemicals used to inflate bags) as a potential source of the defect. Our Sacramento personal injury attorneys follow this national case closely for developments that may influence how we adjudicate future claims of product liability.

Lawyers, however, also have experience with product liability cases that will not pass the test of any of the above criteria. If an individual was using a product in a fashion for which it was not clearly intended and was injured, an attorney may struggle to prove any product defect caused the personal injury. A lawyer, for example, would be skeptical of burns received when a woman using a hair curling iron to curl paper ribbon was burned when the paper caught fire. Our product liability lawyer would immediately know that using a hair curling iron on paper was not an intended use of the manufacturer. Further, a mainstream consumer would not use a hair curling iron on volatile paper and the manufacturer was under no requirement to make the product safe for use on paper.

But, Sacramento personal injury attorneys explain that this concept is contingent upon the specific use of a manufacturer’s product. Clearly, the above use is totally unrelated to the intended use. However, according to our liability lawyers, not all cases are so clear. Say you used a butcher knife meant for meat to cut through a head of cabbage. The blade snaps off and severs a finger. Personal injury lawyers could see this as reasonable use of a sharp knife, even if it was meant for meat and not cabbage, and claim product liability.

Lawyers Give Courtroom Confidence to Injured Plaintiffs
Sacramento personal injury attorneys know that product liability can be complicated for consumers to understand. But in addition, the challenge of standing up to a large company in court is significant for most of our plaintiff’s claiming a product injury. Our lawyers, unlike the average person, have significant experience in the courtroom setting. We have faced many corporate attorneys defending a manufacturer’s liability for personal injury. Attorneys may feel at home in a courtroom while our plaintiffs will likely feel intimidated.

Our Sacramento personal injury lawyers recognize just how daunting the experience can be, no matter how strong our plaintiff’s case for product injury. Our attorneys believe that part of our job is to explain the process, dynamics and details of product liability actions to the people we represent, so that we don’t add emotional stress to their physical injury. Our Sacramento personal injury lawyers find this is particularly true when injured individuals file cases against corporate giants. Naturally, most products are manufactured by big companies and it takes a special determination to face off in court over a defective product injury.

But lawyers know that judicial history shows the power of the individual in a court of law. Sacramento personal injury attorneys are well acquainted with “David vs Goliath” cases in which people prevailed over corporate power. When it comes to defective products – and our injury lawyers again refer to the flood of car recalls over the past 18 month – individuals are protected against irresponsible manufacturing and marketing of products that cause injury. Sacramento attorneys track national legal developments to support local clients in their bid to receive just compensation for injuries suffered due to a defective product.

Drunk Drivers Not Welcome in Sacramento

Accident attorneys at Sette Law begin this blog with a sobering statistic: According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the number of people admitting they drove while drunk exceed the population of Texas. Our Sacramento injury lawyers say that number, 29.1 million people, shows the serious, often deadly results of driving under the influence.  Because personal injury attorneys deal with the tragic outcomes of a Sacramento DUI accident, our lawyers compiled data from several sources to help educate our community.

Sacramento accident lawyers often represent people injured and, in the most severe cases, families filing a suit for wrongful death. Our attorneys know that losing a loved one because someone chose to drink and drive is an emotionally devastating event that causes unbearable loss. Consequently, our Sacramento wrongful death lawyers want to focus on prevention. First, our accident attorneys offer recent data from Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and other organizations that track national DUI accidents.

The FBI reported in 2013 that 300,000 people drive while intoxicated per day. That alone is frightening, but Sacramento accident attorneys are even more concerned that just 4,000 of those offenders are arrested.  It’s also common knowledge among law enforcement and Sacramento DUI accident attorneys that many (about 33 percent) of those arrested are repeat offenders. And, most of the fatalities caused in DUI accidents, our lawyers say, happen at night. According to a 2011 NHTSA study, 36 percent of crashes happened at night compared to eight percent during the day. Our Sacramento injury lawyers say the agency’s 2014 data indicates that 28 people die each day due to DUI accidents. Attorneys cite NHTSA’s 2013 survey showing that 290,000 people were injured and more than 10,000 died in DUI crashes that year. Our Sacramento accident lawyers say that MADD reports that their organizations across the U.S. help a survivor or victim of a DUI accident every 8.6 minutes.

Our Sacramento accident and injury attorneys believe statistics such as these should be common knowledge, but are not.  When studies show that two out of three people will, in their lifetime, experience an accident in which alcohol played a role, Sacramento DUI lawyers say that everyone should be very worried.

Teenagers at High Risk in Sacramento

Accident attorneys encourage parents, schools and local communities to take a serious look at the statistics regarding teenage drinking. A study out of Michigan showed that nearly 50 percent of 10th graders and 30 percent of eighth-graders admit to drinking. Our Sacramento DUI attorneys also referenced another study published by the National Academies Press that concluded teenagers using alcohol played a role in 4,700 deaths a year. Particularly troubling, according to our Sacramento injury lawyers, is binge drinking by teens as highlighted in the study – while one out of six kids admits to binge drinking, only one out of 100 parents thinks their teen may indulge in this dangerous activity.

Sacramento DUI lawyers at Sette Law believe these high numbers indicate there is a serious problem with teen alcohol use in the nation and in Sacramento. Injury attorneys urge parents to be more involved and realistic about the pressures their teen may feel to drink alcohol. Our DUI lawyers know only too well the unspeakable family tragedy of a DUI accident. 

Our injury attorneys add that it isn’t just the teenage years that show heightened risk. Young drivers in general seem vulnerable to drinking and driving accidents. Lawyers cite a 2011 survey by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration showing that the “rate of drunk driving is highest among 21-25 year olds.” Sacramento accident attorneys point out this study is supported by NHSTA data, showing a 32 percent rate of drunk driving for this approximate age group.

Education May Reduce DUI Accidents
Although our Sacramento DUI lawyers discourage the practice of drinking and driving, we feel it’s good for people to know more about how alcohol effects the body and brain. On average, people can metabolize about one drink per hour without alcohol playing a role in an accident. Our attorneys further explain that it’s not the kind of alcohol imbibed, but rather, how much is taken over a period of time. Sacramento accident and injury attorneys urge people to monitor alcohol consumption and to never risk an accident. Our attorneys add that people should be aware that nothing counteracts the effects of alcohol, other than time – not coffee, strenuous exercise or a cold shower will help to prevent a potentially deadly DUI accident.

Attorneys representing the victims and loved ones of a drunk driving accident know that alcohol dramatically effects the brain and, consequently, the body. Our Sacramento injury lawyers regularly call expert witnesses in DUI cases to attest to impacts such as slowed reaction time, impaired vision, and hazy thinking that lead to a DUI accident. Our attorneys say that alcohol damages neurons in the brain – affecting normal connections that impact judgment and lead to accidents. Attorneys know that alcohol can actually move from circulating in the blood to the brain. The changes caused can turn a normally cautious driver into one who is ripe for a DUI accident. Lawyers further add that teens are at even greater risk of harm because their brains are still developing. Essentially, our Sacramento accident and injury lawyers know from courtroom experience, that no one is immune from the effects of excessive alcohol consumption and the high risk of a vehicle accident.

Lawyers Look for Sobering Solutions
Although MADD has been an effective national leader in the fight against drunk driving, the organization can’t manage the threat alone. Our Sacramento DUI attorneys say that educators, community groups and parents must be part of the solution to prevent DUI accidents. Our lawyers say that drunk driving is a community problem, one that requires attention and participation from all quarters. It’s our hope that, as Sacramento wrongful death and accident attorneys, we can help increase awareness of the significant effects of driving under the influence. And, as parents, our Sacramento injury lawyers believe we must begin early and inside our own homes with education and support so that tomorrow’s teens will face a safer future behind the wheel.

Sacramento Accident Lawyers Pitch in for Bicycle Safety

Spring came very early this year, inviting bicyclists to the streets of Sacramento. Personal injury attorneys at Sette Law want local riders to adopt proven safety habits that that help to prevent Sacramento accidents. Our lawyers, of course, support bike riding as a good alternative to driving and for recreation as well. However, injury attorneys find themselves dealing with too many preventable bicycle accidents. Facing lawyers for defendants of automobile drivers who have hit bicyclists can be challenging and frustrating for our injured plaintiff. Attorneys at Sette know that victims of a car verses bike accident, often suffer very serious injuries, and court proceedings can add extra stress. Consequently, our personal injury lawyers offer advice from some of the nation’s most prominent experts about how to safeguard against Sacramento bicycle accidents.

Attorneys Tap NHTSA for Bicycle Safety Data
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration monitors vehicle accidents across America, including car vs. bicycle accidents. Lawyers point out that the NHTSA acknowledges that many such accidents are caused because of the bicyclist’s actions – such as ignoring important safety measures -  like always wearing a helmet, or failing to observe common traffic rules. Our Sacramento personal injury attorneys have direct experience that verifies the NHTSA statement. That’s why we reiterate some simple bicycle safety practices – as a reminder that bicyclists can help prevent accidents that often leave the bicyclist with the most serious injury.

Our lawyers remind riders that traffic laws apply equally to motorized vehicles and bicycles. Actions like running through stop signs and riding against traffic are common contributors to Sacramento bicycle accidents. Our lawyers point out that motorists are simply not expecting bicyclists to ride on the wrong side of a roadway, or to speed through a stop sign. This kind of behavior simply isn’t anticipated by motorists, and our Sacramento personal injury attorneys think bicyclists must be aware of the risks they take when disobeying traffic laws. Yet another practice that surprises motorists, according to the NHSTA and our Sacramento personal injury lawyers, is when bicyclists swerve in and out of traffic. It’s so important to remember that, in a car verses bicycle collision, it’s usually the bicyclist who ends up with the most severe injury. Attorneys at Sette Law emphasize this most fundamental rule for bicyclist safety – follow traffic laws as if your life depends on it!

Some Good Bicycle Habits for Riders in Sacramento
Personal injury lawyers urge all bike riders to wear regulation helmets, and then to develop some additional safety habits. The NHTSA says that the street is actually the safest place to ride a bicycle. Our accident and injury attorneys assume this is because the rules of the road apply to cars and to bicycles as well. When riding, bicyclists are advised to make themselves stand out – wear brightly colored clothing, equip bikes with proper reflectors and make eye contact with drivers to avoid an accident. Injury attorneys further encourage bicyclists to ride consciously – that means thinking ahead about automobile traffic. For example, bicyclists should notice parked cars with doors that might suddenly open and cause a serious bicycle accident on the street of Sacramento. Injury lawyers know it’s hard for any rider to monitor multiple elements in the traffic environment. But our Sacramento personal injury lawyers also know that it’s the bicyclist who has the most to lose in an accident.

Our Sacramento personal injury lawyers, however, add that the NHTSA believes that children under the age of 10 should not ride in the street. Experts say that riders that young do not yet have the maturity to monitor the complexities of street traffic. But to avoid injury, attorneys say that riders on sidewalks must also be very aware. Motorists backing out of driveways are a particular danger and present the threat of grave injury to children. Of course, motorists must be responsible when entering or exiting driveways for this very reason.

Sacramento personal injury lawyers are monitoring local policies regarding riding bikes on sidewalks. There is some belief that local ordinances are not clear about the limits of riding bicycles on sidewalks in Sacramento. Accident attorneys recall that a pedestrian injured by a bicyclist highlighted the issue when she challenged a city code and filed suit for compensation for serious injury. Attorneys say, bike riders, whether riding in a street or on a sidewalk, must exercise focus as well as awareness.
Personal injury attorneys work with bicycle accident victims who might have avoided accidents by simply making a habit of thinking ahead and monitoring traffic. Motorists often are not aware of bicyclists and may change lanes or turn unexpectedly. As Sacramento accident and injury lawyers, we know this puts the onus on the bicyclist – perhaps unfairly. Nonetheless, personal injury attorneys at Sacramento’s Sette Law say this kind of constant vigilance is required for bicycle riders to protect themselves from grave injury.

Lawyers Quote Disturbing Data on Bike Accidents
Our attorneys refer to Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Center statistics that clearly show the hazards faced by bicyclists. The organization’s 2012 study showed that about two bicyclists were killed each day of that year and a whopping 29,000 bicyclists suffered various degrees of injury. Attorneys know that this latter figure is likely skewed low due to the fact that many bicycle accidents go unreported.

What to Do After a Sacramento Bicycle Accident
Attorneys at Sette Law suggest that bicycle accident victims adopt the same practices used in any vehicle accident. It’s critical that while people involved exchange information, they do not engage in extra conversation that might later be used in court. Personal injury lawyers for a defendant may quote parts of a verbal exchange that might imply the bicyclist admitted culpability! Our Sacramento accident attorneys know that people often say unintended things when under stress, so it’s best to limit conversation. In addition, our personal injury lawyers advise bicycle accident victims to document events and the environment with a cell phone camera or texting details to themselves. Also, it’s critical to seek immediate medical attention, according to our Sacramento personal injury lawyers. Delaying medical care could harm any claim of an accident related injury. And, attorneys  advise seeking legal representation to minimize any financial and personal losses caused because of a bicycle accident.

Medical Malpractice Attorneys face High Standards of Proof in Court

Sacramento medical malpractice attorneys must have command of numerous and complex legal details regarding health care, hospitals and their employees, and the actions of specific physicians. At Sette Law in Sacramento, our malpractice lawyers must draw information from numerous disciplines and venues to establish an injury was caused due to a physician’s, a hospital’s or a hospital employee’s malpractice. Attorneys explain that each of these areas is governed by slightly different nuances and application of existing law regarding medical malpractice.

Injury lawyers, however, point out that in each case, a defendant will be required to prove four fundamental conditions in any malpractice action in Sacramento. Our personal injury attorneys will look first to establish the injured party has a mutually agreed upon, patient-doctor relationship. This is often simple to prove when individuals hire doctors and physicians agree to treat a patient in Sacramento. Malpractice lawyers may find that direct relationship is problematic if a defendant brings charges against, say, a consulting physician who did not have direct treatment responsibilities. Our Sacramento medical malpractice lawyers add that no person can claim such a relationship with a doctor whom they overheard dispensing medical information to another person. Although, personal injury lawyers usually have little trouble affirming the doctor-patient link, this relationship is fundamental (and not always clear) in any claim of malpractice.

Secondly, lawyers will seek to establish that a physician’s diagnosis or treatment regimen was, in fact, negligent. Again, our Sacramento personal injury lawyers say this factor can be more complicated than it appears. A defendant must show that another qualified doctor in the same circumstances would not have harmed the defendant in the same manner. However, our malpractice lawyers are quick to point out that this doesn’t mean the doctor has to be the best in his or her discipline. It’s not a test of physician quality but, rather, of a doctor demonstrating ‘reasonable skill and care.’ Our Sacramento malpractice attorneys say this can often be a ‘moving target’ of proof, with competing opinions about what constitutes a lack reasonable skill and care that leads to an injury.

Malpractice lawyers ordinarily will call in an expert witness to testify about this aspect of a Sacramento malpractice case. An attorney will ask the witness – who is ordinarily a physician in the same specialty as the plaintiff – about what the standard for care is and to comment on how the plaintiff’s care was below standard and how that care caused the alleged injury. Lawyers on both sides may debate these findings. Our Sacramento malpractice lawyers further report that this bar is particularly high for physicians in a medical specialty. Their extensive education and training raises the expectations for the standard of care in disciplines such as radiology, anesthesiology, internal medicine and other medical specialties.

Sacramento malpractice attorneys at Sette Law must also demonstrate a very clear link between the  defendant’s alleged negligence and the  plaintiff’s  injuries – a challenge for plaintiffs who were suffering from an illness or injury prior to the defendant’s care. For example, if a patient has terminal cancer and dies in the midst of an operation, was it the procedure poorly done or the cancer causing the death? Malpractice lawyers must clearly establish that it was the actions of the physician that led to the fatality and not the presence of the disease. One again, the onus is on the Sacramento malpractice lawyer to ferret through medical testimony, literature and case files to establish the necessary link.

Finally, our Sacramento malpractice attorneys must show that the physician’s actions led to tangible harm and caused personal injury. Lawyers look to show physical pain and mental harm, and also consider the harm done because of medical costs and lost earnings. So, even if the plaintiff can demonstrate a doctor showed an unacceptably low standard of care, without real harm done, there is no malpractice.

Injury attorneys deal with a wide variety of malpractice cases. From news reports, the public may be aware of instances in which a sponge was left inside a patient’s body during a surgery, leading to additional harm and personal injury. Our lawyers may represent a client whose physician neglected to inform him or her that a prescription medication could cause cardiac arrest. Our Sacramento malpractice lawyers say that most of their cases involve improper treatment, a failure of a physician to properly diagnose and failing to inform patients of risks involved in procedures or treatments (including medications).

Sacramento personal injury attorneys say that, unlike some court actions, malpractice cases have a rather short statute of limitations. Since rules vary from state to state, the limits can be from six months to two years. Our Sacramento malpractice lawyers report that California requires that injured parties file actions within one year from when the date the injury was (or should have been) discovered to three years from the date it occurred. According to our personal injury attorneys, if an injured party in California files outside these limits the court will dismiss the claim – no matter how strong the evidence of medical malpractice.
Injury lawyers are also bound by California’s limits on damages awarded in cases of medical malpractice. Attorneys say the state has capped non-economic awards at $250,000 and a personal injury attorney cannot request an award beyond that amount. The Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act, (MICRA), passed in 1975, compensates victims for pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, psychological damage and other damages that are hard to quantify in dollars and cents. Sacramento malpractice attorneys say many efforts to raise this cap have hit the ballot box over the decades. They point out that MICRA never addressed inflation and for 40 years the diminishing value of $250,000 has unfairly impacted victims of medical malpractice. But attorneys point out there is no cap on compensation for past and future medical care, on loss of income or a plaintiff’s earning ability because these matters are quantifiable as economic damages in medical malpractice.

Sacramento personal injury lawyers say this arena of law requires particular expertise and urge injured parties to seek experienced, legal representation.