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.

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.

Early Spring may bring More Sacramento Motorcycle Accidents

Accident attorneys at Sette Law in Sacramento are well aware of the sobering statistics – in car crashes and solo accidents the biggest loser is almost always the rider of a motorcycle. Injury lawyers personally deal with the pain and disabilities inherent in most vehicle verses motorcycle accidents and we feel the time is now, as early as April, to remind all drivers to be aware of the risks faced by Sacramento motorcycle riders.

Attorneys work with statistics compiled by state law enforcement and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Unfortunately, our Sacramento accident lawyers report that motorcycle riders experience much higher accident rates than do drivers of automobiles. The NTHSA reports that out of 100,000 car accidents in 2006 – 13.10 involved fatalities. Our Sacramento injury attorneys say the comparison to motorcycle deaths in crashes is staggering – 72.34 percent per 100,000 crashes.

As Sacramento injury lawyers who also appreciate and participate in the recreational sport of motorcycle riding, we want to offer a few more sobering statistics. In 2012 motorcycle accidents rose 7.1 percent over the previous year with 4,957 deaths due to motorcycle accidents. Furthermore, injury lawyers say the NHTSA calculates bike riders are 26 times more apt than vehicle occupants to die in a motorcycle accident. Our injury attorneys also point out that motorcyclists face a five-fold greater risk of injury in an accident. In fact, in 2012, 93,000 people recorded injuries due to a motorcycle accident. Our Sacramento injury lawyers think these statistics are pretty compelling.

Sacramento Injury Lawyers note Disproportionate Injury Rates
In addition, older riders seem to be disproportionally represented in motorcycle accidents. Our attorneys point out that NHTSA data from 2011 indicates 56 percent of bike riders killed were over 40 years old. One reason may be the popular of bigger heavier bikes among more mature riders. Large ‘touring’ type bikes have a greater tendency to roll over in a motorcycle accident. Our Sacramento accident lawyers also attribute the increase of injury to older riders to more fragile physical condition that can come with age. Our Sacramento injury lawyers say the data supports the heightened risk for mature riders – between 2002 and 2011, there was a 78 percent increase in deaths to riders over the age of 40 in motorcycle accidents. Injury attorneys compare this to deaths over the same period to younger riders, which declined.

However, our Sacramento accident lawyers point out that there is an exception. In 2007, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says that riders of “Super Bikes,” that can reach speeds of 190 mph, had a four times higher rate of death rate in motorcycle accidents. Lawyers say this may be due to a couple of factors – speed, of course, and inexperienced young riders.
Our Sacramento injury attorneys understand the allure of motorcycles – our region is a great place to enjoy the freedom and excitement of riding a motorcycle. Accidents, both our attorneys and safety officials say, are preventable, and conscientious riders can enjoy the freedom of motor bikes by employing effective safety measures.

For example, helmets can significantly reduce the severity of injury or of death in a motorcycle accident. Injury lawyers know that head injuries are the number one cause of death in motorcycle accidents. Compared to a rider wearing a helmet, a rider not wearing an approved helmet faces a 40 percent greater chance of death in a Sacramento motorcycle accident. Attorneys also point to a 15 percent increase of a serious injury to riders with no helmet. Our Sacramento accident lawyers see this mitigation as both easy and affordable for motorcycle riders throughout our community.

Our Sacramento injury attorneys also look to motorcycle associations for tips about safe riding. One group states that most accidents are caused by a car turning left in front of a motorcycle. Accident attorneys point out that motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable on this kind of crash. Avoiding this situation calls for extreme awareness on the part of the motorcyclist in order to avoid a Sacramento accident. Our attorneys say this is also true when it comes to lane changes. Automobile drivers may not notice a motorcyclist and precipitously dart over into the bike rider’s lane. Again, our Sacramento injury lawyers say it’s in the motorcyclist’s best interest to survey traffic constantly and anticipate movements that could lead to a motorcycle accident.

Injury attorneys know that it seems a bit ‘unfair’ that so much responsibility be placed on the motorcyclist. However, considering the statistics on death and injury it’s clear the rider has the most to lose in a Sacramento motorcycle accident. Our injury attorneys also want to highlight another very serious threat to motorcyclists, one that can easily be avoided! NHTSA figures for 2012 that show about 27 percent of fatalities were legally drunk at the time of their motorcycle accident. Injury lawyers say that 2,000 of those fatalities were due to single-car crashes. An astounding 43 percent of riders were alcohol impaired. Sacramento injury lawyers add that the incidence is even higher on weekend evenings when authorities recorded an increase of 64 percent of rider fatalities registering inebriated at the time of the motorcycle accident.

Sacramento injury attorneys may be pointing out the obvious – but drinking alcohol and driving a motorcycle is a high risk recipe for disaster. When alcohol plays a role in a motorcycle accident, lawyers know that judgment is impaired and the rider may be the actual cause of the motorcycle accident. Attorneys say that following vehicles too closely or pushing the bike to excessive speed, can lead to the bike rider being held liable for a Sacramento motorcycle accident.

Our injury attorneys at Sette Law, like so many people in our region, appreciate the thrill of riding a motorcycle. However, our profession also highlights the serious nature of any motorcycle accident. Lawyers regularly work with the often painful aftermath of accidents. Our injury attorneys are consequently involved in the details and statistics about motorcycle accidents. Thus, we know that riders are vulnerable and bear great responsibility for their own safety.

Be Informed about Sacramento Car Accidents

Attorneys at Sette Law are immersed in the complexities and nuances of Sacramento car accidents. Our lawyers know that people outside the legal profession are unaware of many details regarding accident law until they, or someone they love, experiences an accident and a resulting personal injury. Our attorneys say that having basic information about car accident law is useful for any driver in Sacramento.

Accident injury lawyers report that a 2012 CHP report documented 2,995 deaths in car accidents in California and 226,544 persons injured. Sacramento accident attorneys also point out that people involved in accidents not only suffer physical injuries but also can endure significant economic harm. And, personal injury lawyers say innocent victims as well as the driver who bears responsibility can face costly or painful repercussions as the result of a Sacramento accident.

Personal injury attorneys can help accident victims receive fair compensation for a variety of losses such as damage to vehicles, costs of medical treatment, legal representation and loss of income. Sacramento car accident lawyers also represent family members whose loved one has died in a car accident. In such wrongful death cases, lawyers can seek compensation for emotional damage, loss of support, love, companionship and financial support. In Sacramento wrongful death actions, attorneys will have to prove the defendant was negligent and that this negligence caused the accident. Injury lawyers know that the concept of Negligence is not always easy to establish.

This is also true in personal injury actions. Attorneys seek to show that a driver accused of causing the accident didn’t show “reasonable care” and that behavior led to the Sacramento car accident. Lawyers know that the concept of “reasonable care” is vague and often debated. The plaintiff’s injury attorney often faces strong argument from the defendant’s accident lawyer. If the debate ends in stalemate, the matter could end up in a jury trial.  

And, that’s not the only challenge faced by the plaintiff in a Sacramento personal injury lawsuit. Attorneys also must show that injuries suffered were directly caused by the car accident. Lawyers for the defendant might argue that an injury was pre-existing, or that it only happened because the plaintiff didn’t seek immediate medical care after the Sacramento accident. Attorneys for the defense pull out all stops to show that injuries were unrelated to the car accident.

Personal injury attorneys who succeed in proving the direct relationship between the accident and injury and prevail in court, can collect damages from the defendant’s insurance carrier. Our Sacramento Personal injury lawyers know that California law requires that drivers have at least minimum liability insurance covering themselves and drivers of their vehicles. Our Sacramento car accident lawyers say this is a $15,000 injury/death policy and $5000 for property damage resulting from a car accident. Attorneys point out that this minimum coverage applies to both California and out-of-state drivers. Interestingly, personal injury lawyers add that the insurance requirement applies to drivers with invalid driver licenses and people with no license at all! Drivers who cannot provide proof of insurance will have their licenses suspended for 12 months if they are involved in a Sacramento car accident.

Attorneys say that insurance companies also have legal responsibilities to drivers they insure. Sacramento personal injury lawyers are aware of these legal requirements, but most consumers do not know that their insurance companies have specific obligations that protect consumers. Sorting through the details of insurance law requires experienced personal injury attorneys who help car accident victims whose insurance carriers may not be fulfilling their legal obligations.

Sacramento Injury Lawyers consider Truck Accident Data

Major freeways lace around and through Sacramento. Our injury lawyers at Sette law want to draw attention to trucking accidents that are a tragic byproduct of being part of a major interstate highway system. Our Sacramento accident attorneys know that in a big rig verses car collision, it’s the car and driver that usually sustains the greatest damage and injury. But injury lawyers are very aware that motorists often contribute to Sacramento truck accidents. Our attorneys have been involved in many cases in which motorists simply don’t respect the power of big rigs or the challenges faced by truck drivers passing through Sacramento.
Injury lawyers report that CHP data, from 2008 – 2012, shows approximately 200 people have been injured or killed in truck accidents each year. Add this to the statewide figure of 7,500 to 8,700 injured or killed and it’s clear that we should all pay more attention to public safety and trucking accidents. Injury lawyers also add that the figures for injuries reported by the CHP are probably lower than reality because many smaller accidents remain unreported statewide and in Sacramento. Our accident lawyers are gratified that local figures are much lower than those reported for the County of Los Angeles, but we think our region can do more to prevent truck accidents.

Our attorneys point out that Sacramento County is a thoroughfare for transportation with several highway routes – including eight state highways and Interstates 5, 80, US 50 and 99.  This means that truck traffic is significant and with heavy commuter traffic, everyone must drive defensively to avoid Sacramento accidents. Our attorneys urge motorists and professional truckers to respect each other’s presence on roadways in Sacramento.

Injury attorneys look at driver behavior that contributes to Sacramento truck accidents. Our lawyers believe both truckers as well as motorists can create safer conditions for each other. Professional drivers of big rigs receive training and special licensing. Our injury lawyers think motorists should also be better educated about driving safely in high speeds on freeway environments throughout the County of Sacramento. Accident attorneys know that big rig drivers face many challenges due to the nature of their vehicles.

Nationwide, approximately 600 truckers are killed every year. Our Sacramento accident attorneys say the trucking industry educates and trains drivers, but the very nature of big rigs contributes to very serious accidents. Our injury lawyers know that driving a big rig is strenuous and demanding, requiring specific skills and strength. Professional truckers are trained to use turn signals far in advance of lane changes and turns. They know that sudden changes can lead to deadly accidents. Our injury lawyers suggest that vehicle drivers pay attention to trucker’s signals and to trucker’s rear view mirrors.  Motorists should be aware a trucker’s ‘blind spot’ is significantly bigger than that of a family car driving a freeway in Sacramento. Our injury attorneys also say drivers should recognize that the weight of big rigs makes it impossible for them to ‘stop on a dime.’ If a vehicle driver cuts sharply on front of a trucker, causing him to apply his brakes suddenly, there is the risk of an accident. Injury lawyers say too few motorists realize what it takes to safely drive a big rig in Sacramento.

Personal injury attorneys also recognize that not all truckers adhere to the industry’s safety rules. Long distance trucking sometimes leaves drivers rushing to meet deadlines with too little sleep. Pressure to deliver products can be powerful motivation, leading to serious or deadly freeway accidents in Sacramento. Our injury attorneys urge long haul drivers to make safety paramount over deadlines to prevent trucking accidents.

Injury attorneys believe that safety on our freeways is a shared responsibility. Automobile drivers should understand how difficult it is to maneuver a massive big rig, and give truck drivers the space they need. Our Sacramento personal injury lawyers also point out that professional big rig drivers have a responsibility to consistently adhere to all rules of the road, and to respect public safety. Trucking accidents happen on freeways of Sacramento, our injury lawyers say, when a driver of a car or a truck stops paying attention to their responsibility on the road.

When an accident does happen, our Sacramento injury lawyers advise drivers to keep some basic points in mind. We know that emotions often run high in the aftermath of a crash, but our personal injury attorneys suggest that parties involved keep cool heads and don’t engage in arguments or discussion about the Sacramento accident. Lawyers know from experience that words exchanged in such circumstances can come back to haunt accident victims in the courtroom. Simply share contact and insurance information, resist debating over fault and make no apologies. Our Sacramento injury lawyers also suggest that, if it is safe to do so, parties can capture images of the accident scene with a smart phone or camera. However, since trucking accidents are often serious, Sacramento injury attorneys remind people that medical attention is the most immediate concern.

As Sacramento personal injury attorneys we know that liability in collisions is often complicated. Sometimes fault belongs clearly to an individual driver in a trucking accident. But injury attorneys know that liability can also be shared. People involved in an accident can help accident injury attorneys by keeping clear heads, recording information, names and conditions.

But, most important is for all drivers to respect the power they have behind the wheel to either prevent or cause a Sacramento accident. Our lawyers work and live in this community too, and we have a stake in the safety of our family and our community. Although our Sacramento personal injury attorneys focus on accident law, our greatest desire is to enjoy a secure and safe environment. Given that our region is home to so many major freeways and highways, it’s inevitable that Sacramento truck accidents occur. Injury accident lawyers at Sette Law stand ready to help and support accident victims but prefer, instead, to focus on prevention that builds safer communities. Our injury lawyers look to trucking industry and Sacramento drivers to share our roadways and our desire for safety.

Dealing with a Car Accident in Sacramento

Personal injury attorneys with Sette Law frequently work with victims of car accidents in Sacramento. Accident lawyers deal with the outcome of missteps on the part of injured victims in the immediate aftermath of the accident – a crucial time for car accident victims to be savvy and use good judgment. Our Sacramento car accident attorneys advise drivers to be educated about the dynamics that happen after a crash in which they are injured. According to personal injury lawyers, there are a few basic practices motorists should keep in mind in case they are involved in a car accident in Sacramento.

Car accident lawyers advise, first and foremost, that drivers do not engage in conversation (or argument) about which driver was at fault in the car accident. Our Sacramento injury attorneys say this might be a first instinct – to apologize or to accept blame. Even though courts may not allow such statements, calling them “hearsay,” our personal injury lawyers know that exceptions have (and will) be made. If you feel that you’ve been injured in a car accident, our lawyers say it’s better to be a listener than it is to do the talking. We know that in the heat of the moment this might be a challenge for victims in Sacramento, but car accident attorneys too often hear a plaintiff’s words come back to haunt them in court.

Our Sacramento injury attorneys suggest that car accident victims listen carefully to any statements made by the other driver. You might also use a recording device on your cell phone to help you remember the important details of the car accident; your personal injury attorney will be grateful. Also, someone injured in a car accident is usually under great stress which makes recall more difficult. With a recording (or accurate notes) our Sacramento personal injury lawyers will be able to build a more accurate account of the car accident that caused your injury.

In addition, use your cell phone to take photos and video of the car accident scene. Attorneys will appreciate any evidence that captures the details and the surroundings. Trite as at sounds, our Sacramento personal injury lawyers know from experience, that a picture is worth a thousand words!

Another common mistake our Sacramento accident attorneys see is when a victim, thinking she has only a minor injury, does not get medical attention. Physicians know that car accident injuries sometimes don’t immediately manifest. Car accident injuries often cause what’s commonly known as “whiplash,” with pain and mobility problems showing up hours, or even days, after an accident. Our Sacramento accident lawyers say it’s smart to take this extra precaution, even if you feel “okay.” Should you neglect to get yourself checked out by a physician, the accident attorney representing the other driver can allege that you were not hurt enough to seek medical help right after the car accident.

Of course, you don’t need a Sacramento accident attorney to tell you to get the other driver’s critical information such as driver’s license number, car license and insurance contacts. But, do not underestimate the work it may take you as a car accident victim in Sacramento, to receive compensation for medical and other expenses incurred by you. This is definitely where you need the expertise of a Sacramento car accident attorney who specializes in personal injury law.

Establishing Liability in a Sacramento Car Accident
Lawyers are aware that state laws usually govern traffic accidents. Lawsuits usually require proof of  “negligence” that caused personal injury in a car accident. As a Sacramento car accident victim, your attorney will provide evidence the defendant’s negligence caused physical harm to you and damage to property. This process requires your Sacramento accident lawyer prove the following principles: a: Harm, B: Causation, C: Breach, D: Duty. Let’s look briefly at each of these items.

Harm: Our Sacramento injury lawyer must prove that the defendant's actions harmed you physically and/or caused harm to your property. Without the support of a personal injury attorney, the defendant’s lawyer may allege your injury is unrelated to the car accident – and be able to support that allegation with evidence you are unprepared to counter without a Sacramento personal injury lawyer at your side.
Causation: It’s the job of your personal injury attorney to show the accident was directly responsible for injuries suffered in a Sacramento car accident. Lawyers may call medical experts to attest to the fact the car accident did, in fact, inflict the injuries.
Breach:  Personal injury lawyers will seek to prove that the defendant failed to obey traffic laws, drove in a reckless manner or otherwise failed to follow his or her legal obligation as a driver. A Sacramento injury lawyer may show evidence such as skid marks at the accident scene or evidence the defendant was driving under the influence at the time of the accident.
Duty: This is the underlying principle understood by our Sacramento accident attorneys. It simply means that drivers are obligated to obey traffic laws, drive safely within speed limits and generally adhere to the rules of the road everywhere, including Sacramento.

Personal injury lawyers develop expertise in car accident litigation which is anything but simple. Just this brief summary of the dynamics of personal injury lawsuits shows how many elements must be in place for a car accident victim to be compensated for financial losses. Our Sacramento car accident lawyers urge victims to contact a legal professional rather than face the defendant’s trained personal injury attorney in court alone. There are many missteps, both large and small, that Sacramento injury attorneys know how to avoid. A good personal injury lawyer will help a car accident victim receive just compensation for medical bills, damages to property and other losses. In addition, an experienced car accident lawyer can advise accident victims about the equity of settlements offered and also protect your individual rights.

Our Sacramento personal injury lawyers at Sette law are highly experienced in representing car accident victims. Lawyers here understand the dynamics of lawsuits that conclude with a verdict or a settlement. It’s our job as professional car accident attorneys to use our professional focus on car accident law and personal injury to benefit clients through compassionate, yet strong, representation.


Pedestrian hit by Bike Rider seeks Compensation in Sacramento

Bicycle accident lawyers in Sacramento will watch the development of an accident claim that focuses on code governing pedestrian safety in Sacramento. Bicycle accidents have become increasingly common as residents choose bikes over cars for transportation in Sacramento. Our bicycle accident lawyers feel the action filed by Hilary Abramson may force clarification or change to a local code that appears to conflict with a state vehicle code.

The 69-year-old woman was hit by a bicyclist riding on a sidewalk in Sacramento. Her bicycle injury law suit asks for compensation for pain and suffering that included two weeks in the hospital and surgery. As a result of these Sacramento bicycle accident injuries, our lawyers say she is disabled with one leg shorter than the other. At the heart of her legal action is state vehicle code that would require bicycles to only ride on streets in Sacramento. Bicycle accident lawyers in Sacramento, however, know that a local traffic code indicates it’s okay for bikes to be on sidewalks in residential neighborhoods.

Her Sacramento bicycle injury claim is for $3.5 million. But, the victim explained her aim is to create greater safety for pedestrians in Sacramento. Bicycle injuries like hers would not happen, she believes, if safety laws were consistent and enforced in Sacramento.

Bicycle Injury Lawyers see Rise in Accidents

With an increase in people riding bikes to work and school comes greater threat to riders and pedestrians in Sacramento. Bicycle injury is most often associated with riders being hit by vehicles with bicyclists being extremely vulnerable on the streets of Sacramento. Our personal injury attorneys at Sette Law cite data from the national Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Center that shows an increase in injuries from 2011 to 2012 with 49,000 reported injuries to riders. Our Sacramento bicycle injury lawyers, however, say this figure does not reflect reality – the Safety Center reports most bicycle injury accidents go unreported nationally and, by extension, in Sacramento.

Our Bicycle injury attorneys at Sette Law encourage bike riders to know and follow best practices as outlined by the League of American Bicyclists. Although the rules appear simple, they could prevent serious accident, even death, in Sacramento. Bicycle injury accident prevention includes:
Be predictable when riding in Sacramento: Bicycle accidents could be avoided if riders follow traffic laws, signal turns, ride consistently straight and make their moves clear.
Be conspicuous: Prevent Sacramento bicycle accidents by wearing bright colored clothing, riding where vehicle drivers can see you, using reflectors on bikes and making eye contact with drivers in Sacramento.
Avoid bicycle accidents by thinking ahead: Constantly watch for what car drivers may do next, like turn or swerve, or open car doors in your path. Be aware of road hazards, potholes and debris, when riding in Sacramento. Our bicycle accident attorneys also note the safety group advises riders not to ride on sidewalks!
Finally, safety first: The league suggests riders have appropriate tools and always wear helmets. Our Sacramento bicycle accident lawyers go one step further and add that, since head injuries are a leading cause of death and injuries to riders, a helmet should be a basic personal requirement for bicycle riders in Sacramento.

Personal injury lawyers at Sette Law will monitor developments in the Abramson case and hope for greater clarification of traffic laws that creates greater safety for pedestrians and bicyclists in Sacramento.