Law Office of Frederick J. Sette
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Sacramento Injury Lawyers follow GM’s Continuing Recall Saga

At Sette Law, our Sacramento car accident lawyers watch in amazement as GM recalls continue to mount and some responsibility is shared with federal regulators. A spotlight now falls upon the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) with allegations it was aware of some GM defects years before GM issued a nationwide recall that includes owners in Sacramento. Injury lawyers are concerned that NHTSA’s vigilance fell short of reporting failures in ignition switches that failed and cut off power to airbags in some GM models. Sacramento car accident lawyers have long looked to the NHTSA for reliable information about safety on the streets and freeways of Sacramento. Now, personal injury attorneys learn that a congressional report faults the agency for not making public their findings in 2007.

This revelation comes as GM recalls in 2014 mount to 39 million, impacting drivers everywhere, including Sacramento. Car accident lawyers at Sette Law note that the NHTSA continued to investigate crashes of GM cars related to faulty ignition switches without highlighting the issue until GM itself finally went public.  Our Sacramento personal injury lawyers point out that an NHTSA deputy administrator claims GM cloaked problems by not using the term “defect” in its reporting to NHTSA about the switches. Nonetheless, Sacramento car accident lawyers understand that, as a government agency, the NHTSA has the responsibility of public trust and must live up to that for car owners in Sacramento.

Car accident lawyers also note that the NHTSA had also bestowed a “five Star” crash safety rating on the Chevy Cruze which was later recalled for airbag defects.  This is not the quality of service expected of the NHTSA by drivers in Sacramento.

Injury Lawyers watch Settlement Challenge
Further complicating the GM saga is a recent court decision that was decided in favor of the family of a young woman killed in the 2010 crash of her Chevy Cobalt. Sacramento injury attorneys say the family had arrived at a settlement with GM a few months before the ignition switch defect was made public and recalls were launched. The recent lawsuit sought to overturn the settlement so that the family could move forward with legal action. According to our Sacramento injury lawyers, it was the family’s accident attorneys that hired an expert engineering firm to analyze the mechanics of the Cobalt switch. They discovered the switch had been redesigned to prevent failure, substantiating the family’s claim that GM was aware of the defect leading to their daughter’s death. The court agreed and, Sacramento car accident lawyers say the family is moving forward toward a trial that could impact similar claims in Sacramento. Our injury lawyers say that GM expressed disappointment with the court ruling and claimed they had made the earlier settlement “…in good faith.”

GM Fights to Minimize Liability
Parties suffering injury and loss due to GM defects should be aware that GM mounts its own defense against liability, according to Sacramento car accident lawyers at Sette Law. For example, the company refuses to accept responsibility for the death of a back seat passenger in the 2006 crash of a Cobalt. GM injury attorneys limit their liability only to the young woman driving the vehicle because the Cobalt had front seat, not back seat, airbags. Our Sacramento personal injury attorneys believe this corporate approach is grossly unfair to both families who loss of daughters is equal, regardless of where they were seated in the deadly accident caused by the ignition switch defect.

Victims and their families, according to Sacramento personal injury attorneys, will have to be prepared for a vigorous legal battle as GM seeks to minimize its costs and responsibility.

Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyers Talk Shop

Known in the legal world as tort law, personal injury cases involve a variety of circumstances for our clients in Sacramento. Personal injury lawyers work with clients to win compensation for harm they have suffered due to negligence or an intentional act. At Sette Law in Sacramento, injury attorneys specialize in this specific niche of law that also requires broad knowledge of a range of circumstances that can lead to litigation.

Our Sacramento personal injury lawyers know that high profile cases such as the 1994 McDonalds scalding coffee lawsuit are familiar to people because they made bold headlines. But, for most of our clients in Sacramento, our injury attorneys deal with more commonplace issues such as slip and fall cases, car crashes, dog bites, wrongful death and malpractice lawsuits. Another type of grievance that involves libel and slander has become more frequent with our Sacramento personal injury lawyers – particularly with the rise of such issues due to the use of the Internet to defame individuals and businesses.

Another arena that’s prominent in national news is increasing legal action against car makers for accidents caused by defects. Sacramento injury attorneys at Sette Law carefully follow developments in these cases to support clients in Sacramento.

Personal injury lawyers also represent people who were intentionally harmed. Unlike accidents that happen due to negligence or recklessness, such cases will likely have the additional component of a criminal charge against the individual causing the harm to our client in Sacramento.

Injury lawyers emphasize that personal injury litigation must be related to negligence or dangerous conditions by a person or an entity that owes individuals a “duty of ordinary care.” Our Sacramento personal injury lawyers point to the “duty” of GM to provide safe vehicles for drivers across the nation and in Sacramento. Injury lawyers say manufacturers and similar organizations share this responsibility. Individuals such as physicians and surgeons, landlords and others are in a similar position of duty to people in Sacramento.

Personal injury lawyers explain that dog owners also have a responsibility to public safety. Dog bite lawsuits are not uncommon and usually involve animals that are off-leash and out-of-control. In Sacramento, injury attorneys may seek compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, costs of surgery and other expenses related to a dog bite in Sacramento.

Personal injury lawyers should be selected on the basis of their expertise and experience in the particular arena of law.

Athletes risk Sports Related Head Injuries

As Sacramento Personal injury lawyers, we’ve watched as head injuries as the result of high school and college sports have increasingly made headlines. The good news about this development is that finally public awareness about this serious risk to young athletes is rising in Sacramento. Personal injury attorneys once had to battle to get recognition that traumatic brain injury is, in fact, associated with some of the most popular youth and college sports in Sacramento. Head injury lawyers at Sette Law may now refer to many high profile cases of brain injury lawsuits that have brought financial assistance to victims as well as spurred changes in safety on athletic fields. 

We now know that traumatic brain injury is the most frequent cause of death in sports-related injuries. Our Sacramento head injury attorneys say that, although this awareness is growing, some sports organizations have been slow to support injured athletes. Protection such as reducing physical contact in practices and regulating when an injured athlete can return to play are yet to be implemented by national organizations, leaving that responsibility to individual colleges including those in Sacramento. Head injury attorneys believe this policy creates an uneven patchwork of regulations. Our Sacramento injury attorneys hope that such reasonable protections will be implemented throughout the country and in Sacramento.

Head Injury Lawyers monitor Multiple Sports
Traumatic brain injury is not limited to football in Sacramento. Our personal injury lawyers also track sports such as soccer, ice hockey, wrestling and more. There is even an increase in brain injuries to cheerleaders! Sacramento head injury lawyers say that cheerleading has changed from shaking pom poms to highly athletic routines that involve gymnastics. Falls related to risky stunts have led to head injuries and concussions that account for approximately 20 percent of cheerleading injuries. At Sette Law, our Sacramento personal injury lawyers are also tracking the growing popularity of soccer for youngsters, adults and professional players in Sacramento. Head injury attorneys say that a McGill University study revealed that over 60 percent of college players showed symptoms of a concussion in a single season.

Head Injury Lawsuit Settlement is Insufficient
Sacramento injury attorneys believe brain injuries will continue to rise across the spectrum of sports so long as national governing organizations fail to step in with clear regulations to protect athletes. A settlement in a brain injury lawsuit recently announced by the NCAA only raises our concern for athletes in Sacramento. Personal injury lawyers applaud some elements of the class-action lawsuit settlement but point out there is no fund for damages suffered by athletes across America or in Sacramento. Instead, a personal injury lawyer must sue on behalf of individuals with serious brain trauma. In addition, colleges throughout the nation retain discretion in returning players to the game after they’ve experienced brain injury. Our Sacramento personal injury attorneys believe that significant changes are necessary to protect athletes from brain injury and, sadly, that change seems slow in coming.

Alert for Chevy Cruze Owners in Sacramento

Personal injury attorneys at Sette Law are keeping a close eye on the recent recall of Chevy Cruze vehicles with airbags made by Takata Corp., headquartered in Japan. To date, GM has recalled 33,000 Cruze vehicles made in 2013 – 2014.

The problem is not related to GM’s other massive recalls involving airbags, and our Sacramento injury lawyers point out the result of the defect is also different. According to a personal injury lawsuit filed on behalf of Brandi Owens, a car accident victim in Georgia, the Takata airbags can explode with excessive force causing grave injury to drivers or passengers. Our Sacramento car accident lawyers also point out the drivers-side airbags can “rupture” and expel metal fragments which prevent the bag from inflating. The Georgia woman lost her sight in one eye due to the defective airbag.

At Sette law, our Sacramento car accident lawyers monitor the work of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to stay current with the agency’s investigations and findings. In the Georgia case, the NHTSA probe made it clear this Takata defect is different from the massive airbag-related GM recall earlier this year that affected car owners in Sacramento.

Personal injury attorneys are challenged to follow recall actions that now involve numerous car makers from Asia and Europe to the streets of Sacramento. Personal injury attorneys observe that in June, Japanese firms such as Honda and others issued global recalls for nearly 3 million cars based on airbag problems. Our Sacramento car accident lawyers point out that, thus far, 10.5 million cars equipped with Takata airbags have been recalled worldwide. Less publicized is the precautionary recall of BMW 3 Series cars, also equipped with Takata Airbags, according to our Sacramento injury lawyers.

The circumstances of the Owens lawsuit are cause for concern for drivers in Sacramento. Car accident lawyers in our firm pay attention to vehicles with Takata airbags, regardless of the make of the car. According to police reports, Brandi Owens was at an intersection and traveling at a slow rate of speed that should not have triggered an airbag. But, the bag exploded and careened into the back seat of the Chevy Cruze.

At Sette Law, our Sacramento personal injury attorneys look beyond immediate events to the underlying causes and commonly shared circumstances of car accidents, particularly in cases such as the flurry of airbag defects that could harm drivers in Sacramento.  Car accident lawyers must not only be able to advocate for victims in court but also possess a breadth of knowledge about similar cases nationwide. Our Sacramento injury lawyers develop this broad expertise so that we can help car accident victims receive fair and just compensation for their injuries.

Serious Injuries Close Down Spider-Man Performance

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the California Supreme Court has agreed to hear the appeal of a company whose insurer was ordered to pay the full cost of treating anaccident victim.

The outcome of the Supreme Court’s decision in Howell v. Hamilton Meats, will likely have a major impact on almost every personal injury matter in Marin County and all over California, by affecting how medical damages are calculated.

For many years, California courts have unfairly limited a victim’s recovery of medical damages to the “discounted amount” paid by the insurance company. The discounted amount is the actual payment amount a hospital is willing to accept from an insurance company in exchange, for example, for business or prompt payment. This amount is often significantly less than the victim’s actual medical bills.

In a rare victory for accident victims, in November the state appeals court in San Diego determined that an injured person who has insurance could recover the full cost of treatment from the person responsible for the injury.

In Howell v. Hamilton Meats, a woman – Rebecca Howell – was injured when a truck made an illegal U-turn and hit her car. Her medical bills for surgery and treatment at 2 separate hospitals totaled $190,000, but the hospitals agreed to accept $60,000 from Howell’s insurer. In a 3-0 decision, the state appeals court determined that Howell was entitled to the full $190,000, in part because it was her foresight in getting health insurance that allowed for the discount in the first place. The court reasoned that Hamilton Meats shouldn’t reap the benefits of Howell’s planning.

The California Supreme Court granted review of this decision on March 11.

As a California Personal Injury attorney concerned that accident victims receive the full compensation they deserve, I will be following this case closely and reporting on how the California Supreme Court’s ruling will affect the recovery of medical damages.

California Man Injured In Copper Canyon Boating Accident

According to the Today New’s Herald, a California man, Adnan Karaby, was injured after he fell off the bow of a pontoon boat and into the pathway of an oncoming motorboat. Karaby fell overboard after the pontoon boat encountered several waves. Fortunately, he wasn’t seriously injured, although he sustained multiple lacerations to his leg and dislocated his finger.

In the Stockton area and throughout California, April 1 marks the official beginning of boating season. Following a few safety tips can help prevent boating accidents such as Mr. Karaby’s, and help ensure the safety of California’s waterways.

Some guidelines covering California state park waterways in the Stockton area include:

• Don’t ride on the bow of any vessel.

• Have a personal flotation device for everyone on board the boat. Children under 12 must wear their life jackets.

• Obey speed limits – typically 35 mph in open areas and 5 mph in restricted areas.

• You must be 16 years old to drive a boat. Minors 12-15 can drive a boat if accompanied by an adult.

Boating can provide hours of enjoyment and entertainment. As a California boating accident attorney, I advise my clients to follow simple guidelines in order to ensure everyone on board has a fun, and safe, time on the water.

Two California Men Die In Scuba Diving Accident

According to the Modesto Bee, two men have died as the result of a scuba diving accident at a Tuolumne County mine. Four men were diving at the old Jamestown Mine when two of them disappeared under the water. Although they were able to bring one of them to the surface, he subsequently died as the result of his injuries. The body of the other man has not yet been recovered.

Whenever tragic accidents occur, several questions of fault are raised. It is important to speak to an experiencedCalifornia personal injury attorney to determine your next steps.

Here, it is unknown why the men were scuba diving at the mine. The circumstances surrounding that decision are important. Further, it is unknown whether appropriate restrictions and warnings were in place surrounding the gold mine and whether the county allowed an unreasonably dangerous condition to exist on its property. Answering these questions is crucial to maintaining a lawsuit.

When accidents happen, an experienced California personal injury lawyer understands the issues involved and will conduct a thorough investigation into all the factors at play and determine the best steps for obtaining compensation in your matter.

For more information, or if you or a loved one has been harmed in a California accident, please contact the Law Office of Frederick J. Sette, dedicated to helping those injured by the carelessness or recklessness of others.

Personal Injury Lawsuit To Be Filed Against Muni In Death Of San Francisco Woman

According to the San Francisco Examiner, the family of a 23-year-old woman killed in a fatal Muni bus accident in August plans to file a personal injury lawsuit this week. Emily Dunn died in the pedestrian accident after a Muni shuttle bus hit her while crossing the street. Reports indicate that the bus driver was driving on the wrong side of the street.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, it is important to speak to an experienced California accident law firm promptly to protect your rights and determine your next steps. A knowledgeable Stockton personal injury lawyer can provide critical advice concerning your personal injury questions and what to do after an accident.

Unfortunately pedestrian accidents are far too common. The National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) estimates that nearly 80,000 pedestrians are struck each year by motor vehicles resulting in serious injuries. Nearly 5,000 of these accidents result in wrongful death. Many times, these accidents occur where the pedestrian has the right-of-way, is crossing at a cross-walk and obeying all traffic signals. An accident may occur because of driver negligence, such as where a driver is distracted, is speeding or has drinking. Other times, an accident occurs due to a condition of the road itself – such as where the design of the sidewalk is unsafe, debris blocks safe passage, defective roadway design or poor property maintenance.

When the negligence of other people or entities results in harm to you, you may be able to recover compensation for your injuries. Damages may include medical expenses, lost wages, mental distress and pain and suffering. An experienced California personal injury lawyer can evaluate your claim, conduct an investigation and determine which parties may be responsible.

For more information or if you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident, contact the dedicatedStockton personal injury lawyers at the Law Office of Frederick J. Sette. Our California accident lawyers are committed to helping those injured through the negligence of others.

Amusement Park Accident Under Investigation

The Sacramento Bee reports that a crane collapsed at a small Sacramento area amusement park. Two workers were injured in the accident. Safety officials have been called to investigate the workplace accident.

If you have been injured in any type of accident – such as an amusement park accident or workplace accident – it is important to speak to a knowledgeable Stockton personal injury lawyer to discuss the incident and protect your right to obtain compensation.

Here, two workers were working on the towering Scandia Screamer ride when the crane they were on, as well as part of the ride, fell over. The accident left two park employees dangling by safety harnesses, badly injuring one. The crane operator – who was not a park employee – also suffered personal injuries.

Where workplace accidents occur, many issues of liability arise. In some instances, those injured may file worker’s compensation claims against their employer, regardless of fault. In these situations, workers are paid a percentage of their salary to cover disability payments. Employers are shielded from civil lawsuits, but the payments workers receive are often too low to fully cover medical bills and other expenses. In other situations, it may be possible to file a civil lawsuit against a third party – such as a contractor who was on the work site or a manufacturer of faulty equipment – in order to obtain adequate payment. In a third party lawsuit you may be able to recover pain and suffering, medical expenses, future damages and enjoyment of life.

An experienced Stockton work related accident lawyer can advise you regarding the type of action you may be able to file if you have been hurt at work. For more information, or if you have suffered any type of personal injury, contact the experienced Stockton personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Frederick J. Sette for a free consultation.

Elderly Woman Killed In San Jose Pedestrian Accident

Bay Area news reports that an elderly woman was struck and killed in San Jose late Tuesday night while she was walking in the street. The woman was 75-years-old and was struck by a 19-year-old woman driving a Toyota Camry. The pedestrian accident is still under investigation.

If you or a loved one has suffered injuries as the result of any type of personal injury accident it is critical to contact an experienced Stockton accident lawyer promptly to preserve your rights and determine your next steps. Even though a lawsuit may be the furthest thing from your mind, it is important to discuss your options with a dedicated personal injury attorney in order to protect your future.

Reports indicate that the cause of the accident wasn’t “immediately clear.” Here, as in any accident it is important to investigate all potential factors in order to determine exactly what happened. Many times, the real cause of serious injuries and wrongful death isn’t readily apparent. For example, an accident may be the result of driver error – including recklessness or careless such as driving too fast for the conditions, distracted driving or drunk driving. Other times, a defective auto part – such as tires, brakes or lighting – leads to an accident. In these situations a knowledgeable Stockton product liability lawyer can advise you of your rights. In some cases, negligent roadway design – such as improper lighting, inadequate signage or poor maintenance is the real cause of an accident.

Determining the causes of an accident is the first step to recovering appropriate compensation for you.

For more information, or if you or a loved one has been injured in a car or pedestrian accident, contact the dedicated Stockton personal injury lawyers at the Law Office of Frederick J. Sette for immediate attention.