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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.

Dangerous Dogs threaten Neighborhood Safety in Sacramento

Dog bite lawyers at Sette Law pay close attention to legal cases involving death or injuries. Unfortunately, it’s the most spectacular and deadly incidents that grab headlines. But our Sacramento dog bite attorneys are keenly aware of many more serious attacks by out-of-control dogs.
In 2001, the tragic attack of two dogs at a San Francisco apartment left a woman dead. According to our Sacramento personal injury lawyers, the owners of the aggressive  Presa Canario dogs were  actually licensed attorneys. After being charged and convicted of manslaughter and second-degree murder, they appealed the convictions for more than 10 years, continuing to draw national attention to dog bite law. Lawyers reference this high profile case as an illustration of complex state and local regulations regarding dog bites.

Complicated Statutes surround Dog Bite Cases
Sacramento dog bite attorneys explain the San Francisco case has many elements that apply to other incidents which were not as high profile. For example, the dogs had a history of aggression and had been in an abusive environment. These two elements, our Sacramento injury attorneys say, are common in dog bite cases across many jurisdictions. But, laws are not consistent from state to state and other “common law” may prevail. Our Sacramento dog bite lawyers must be aware of which statutes apply in individual cases in Sacramento.
Dog bite attorneys add that dog owners also have protection against liability. For example, if someone trespasses onto private property and is attacked by a dog, the trespasser may share in responsibility or assume all liability for injuries. Sacramento personal injury attorneys say a court can rule that a trespasser assumed a risk and actively contributed to the attack. In Sacramento, dog bite lawyers add that this principle can also apply to someone making a delivery to property where a threatening dog is known to live. In the experience of Sette’s dog bite lawyers, cases like these may result in a jury splitting responsibility for an attack between the injured party and the dog owner.

Owners may have Responsibility for Dog Bites in Sacramento
However, it’s important to realize that California code states that liability for damages caused by a dog bite in a public setting rests with the animal’s owner. The same is true for dog bites on Sacramento private property when the injured person is legally on the property. The dog owner is responsible for the actions of his or her dog.
Sacramento dog bite attorneys must be aware of all circumstances surrounding a dog bite claim or charge in a Sacramento court. Dog bites, like many personal injury issues, require clear proof of liability based on a broad range of evidence.

Court Determines General Contractors May Be Liable For Independent Contractors’ Work Place Injuries

A long running case recent case has determined that a general contractor may be held liable for personal injuries suffered by an independent contractor if the general contractor actively engaged in conduct that contributed to the independent contractor’s injuries.

In Tverberg v. Fillner Construction, Inc. an independent contractor was injured on a worksite after falling into a four-foot deep hole. The contractor had recognized the danger and requested that the condition be fixed. However, before the dangerous condition could be remedied, the contractor was injured.

If you have been injured in a workplace accident it is important to contact an experienced Stockton work place accident attorney to discuss your case and determine your next steps.

This case went through several court hearings, looking at the responsibility of different people on a job site, including the owner, the general contractor, supervisors and several lower level subcontractors when a party suffers an injury.

Here, the court determined that although an independent contractor on the job may retain some responsibility for his or her injuries, a general contractor on a jobsite could be held directly liable for injuries suffered by an independent contractor where the general contractor actively engaged in conduct that contributed to those injuries.

Further, it’s not enough to establish liability if the general contractor simply allows a dangerous condition to exist (is passive about an unsafe condition). The general contractor must be actively involved in some way in creating the dangerous condition. In this situation, because the general contractor asked for the holes to be dug, directed another contractor to dig the holes and failed to cover up the holes after requested to do so, the court determined that any one of these actions could constitute an “affirmative contribution” to the accident.

As a result, the appellate court sent the case back to the trial court for a determination of liability.

If you have been injured on a work site, many complicated laws concerning your right to recover compensation exist. For more information, or to discuss your work accident case, please contact a top Stockton work place accident lawyer at the Law Office of Frederick J. Sette for an immediate consultation.

College May Be Found Liable In Wrongful Death Lawsuit – In re Matter of John Fiocco, Jr., deceased

A tragic case out of New Jersey, in re Matter of John Fiocco, Jr., deceased, highlights the responsibility of public entities to maintain a safe environment. In the wrongful death lawsuit the family of young college student alleges that the College of New Jersey was responsible and should be held accountable for the death of their son. The parents, Susan and John Fiocco allege that “lax security measures” at the campus allowed a stranger to enter their son’s dormitory and murder their son.

The college argued that it was protected from civil suit as the result of immunity laws that shield public and charitable institutions from liability unless the institution was either “grossly negligent” or allowed a “dangerous condition” to exist at the time of an accident. However, the court ruled that allegations that the college allowed open access to the dorm 16 hours a day and did not make sure that exterior doors leading into the dorm and the trash compactor room were locked, could be considered “grossly negligent” and/or a dangerous situation. As a result, the college could not hide behind immunity statutes to shield itself from civil liability.

Similarly in California, public entities may be held liable for creating dangerous conditions. If you have been injured as the result of a dangerous condition on public property or have lost a loved one, a Stockton injury lawyer can advise you of your rights and consult with you regarding your next steps.

Under California law, several different issues and laws may be considered in determining whether to file a wrongful death lawsuit or premise liability claim. For example, was the public entity aware of the dangerous condition? Even if the entity was not aware of a condition – should they have discovered the condition? Did the entity adequately inspect and maintain the property? In the event the entity was aware of a dangerous condition, did it take adequate steps to prevent foreseeable risks of harm?

In almost all personal injury situations, especially those including a wrongful death, a detailed investigation must be conducted and many questions asked concerning the actions any person – or entity- took or failed to take to prevent an accident or injury from occurring.

In the tragic New Jersey case, a judge has determined that the college’s failure to keep its dormitories locked and safe, may be considered “gross negligence” by a jury and as a result, it is possible the college will be found liable and be responsible to pay compensation to the family for damages arising out of the loss of their son.

For more information about wrongful death or premises liability, please contact a dedicated Stockton injury attorneyat the Law Office of Frederick J. Sette, helping families of those harmed by the negligence of others for more than 15 years.

Zoo Reportedly Followed All Precautions In Tragic Wild Dog Mauling Accident

A preliminary investigation into the accident that claimed the life of a young boy reveals that the zoo met or exceeded all safety requirements for animals and visitors, proving that no exhibit is "fail-proof" as explained by the zoo's president. The horrific accident occurred after the boy fell into an African wild dog exhibit. Although nearby staff responded "within seconds," it was too late to save the boy.

The zoo has been open since 1898 and this was the first time there's been a "visitor incident of this magnitude." The incident occurred after the boy's mother put him on a wooden railing on the edge of a viewing deck. The boy fell and bounced of the netting intended to catch him. He then dropped into the enclosure holding the dogs.

Initial reports reveal no signs of negligence - the Pittsburgh Zoo had successfully completed its five-year review in September and the U.S. Department of Agriculture had inspected zoo recently and found it safe.

Fortunately, incidents like these are rare and show the need to follow strict safety precautions on both the part of the owner/operator of the zoo as well as the patrons. Many times attending an event - whether going to the zoo where there are dangerous animals, spending the day at an amusement park riding rollercoasters or attending a baseball game with the hopes of catching a foul ball - involves a certain amount of risk taking and danger.

Whether the amount of risk you are exposed to is "reasonable" is often a legal question. If you or a loved one has been hurt as a patron, it's important to consult with an experienced Sacramento personal injury attorney. Often, determining whether you may be entitled to compensation involves a complicated analysis of the risks involved, the warnings provided and other factors.

Where an unreasonably dangerous condition exists that an owner or operator knew of or should have known of but failed to either correct or provide sufficient warning, they may be held liable for damages in a "premises liability" lawsuit.

However, in many situations the "danger" is part of the fun - such as amusement park rides where you expect to be frightened and thrilled, just not hurt. California law continues to grapple with the scope of the "assumption of risk" defense - that is where a patron "assumes the risk" of injuries from the inherent risks of an activity.

Where an owner/operator takes steps to eliminate dangers and warn of potential risks, the injured party may face challenges recovering compensation for injuries resulting from a dangerous activity. Alternatively, where an owner/operator allows an unreasonably dangerous condition to exist, they may be held responsible for harm that occurs and required to pay damages.

In the zoo instance, initial reports suggest that this was simply a tragic accident. Other zoos and exhibits are sure to examine just what happened in an effort to prevent other such incidents from occurring again.

For more information about premises liability or dangerous conditions lawsuit, contact the top Sacramento negligence attorneys at the Law Office of Frederick J. Sette for an immediate consultation.

California Worker's Compensation - California Supreme Court Reviews Cost Of Living Adjustments In Christine Baker as Administrator v. Workers' Compensation Appeals Board and X.S.

Generally, if you've been hurt on the job California worker's compensation determines your right to recover. However, in some cases a tort remedy (i.e. filing a civil lawsuit) may be available. Other times, both types of claims may be filed. Consulting with a Sacramento worker's compensation lawyer is the best way to determine your next steps and your best options to obtain compensation when you've been injured.

On the job injuries include a variety of situations, from obvious injuries requiring medical care - such as head and brain injuries, back injuries and slips and falls - to diseases acquired from working around toxic substances such as asbestos and conditions that develop as the result of repeated strain or continuous trauma.

Where workers' compensation provides recovery to victims of work place accidents, you may be able to recover medical costs, lost income, expenses related to vocational training, permanent disability compensation and death benefits. A recent California worker's compensation case reviewed just how damages from work place injuries should be measured. Specifically, it evaluated how cost of living adjustments (COLAs) should be determined. This is a significant decision because it determines whether payments are measured prospectively from January 1st of the first year after a worker is injured or retroactively to January 1st after the year in which a worked is injured.

Here, a worker was injured in 2004 and asserted that his weekly payment should be adjusted based on his injury date. The appeals court agreed. However, the California Supreme Court overturned this decision. The Court reasoned that COLAs are intended to be "calculated and applied prospectively commencing from January 1st following the date on which the injured worker first becomes entitled to receive, and actually begins receiving such benefit payments."

Workers' compensation laws are complex and can be very confusing. An experienced Sacramento workplace accident lawyer can evaluate your circumstance and determine whether alternative avenues to compensation exist. Because recovery of damages may be limited in a worker's compensation case, filing a tort claim may provide an opportunity for greater recovery. 

Workplace accidents that may allow you to file a civil lawsuit include where a third party is somehow involved in causing the accident. This may be where a manufacturer provides malfunctioning equipment used at a work site and this equipment injures you, where you are exposed to toxic substance, if you are injured in a traffic accident caused by another driver or where a third party contractor creates a dangerous condition that leads to harm. In fact, many different types of negligence third party actions exist that may allow an individual harmed in a workplace accident to bring a civil lawsuit. Types of lawsuits available may include product liability or premises liability. If successful, you may be able to recover past and future medical costs, past and future lost wages, emotional distress and other damages, often substantially more than is available through California worker's compensation laws.

Because workplace accidents involve so many different factors and considerations, it is best to contact a Sacramento personal injury attorney to determine the best strategy for you to ensure you are compensated for your harm.

For more information, or to speak with a dedication Sacramento injury lawyer, contact the experienced Sacramento accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Frederick J. Sette for a confidential consultation.

Dangerous Conditions - Toddler Dies After Falling Into Glenn County Canal

The Contra Costa Times reports that a toddler has died after falling into an irrigation canal near Bayliss, California. According to the report, the young boy fell into the Glenn County Canal and was in the water for nearly 10 minutes before his mother was able to pull him out and begin CPR.

Emergency responders were initially able to restore a faint heartbeat and the boy was taken to a Sacramento area hospital. He subsequently died. The sheriff's department notes, "We don't suspect negligence."

Whenever a tragic accident occurs on public property the question of safety arises and whether adequate measures were taken to protect against dangers. Generally, property owners have a duty to maintain their property in a reasonably safe manner. This means they must take measures to eliminate dangers they know of or should have been aware of or adequately warn of such dangers.

A warning may be a simple as placing a sign setting forth the potential hazard however, if a sign is not placed in a manner that is visible or sufficiently descriptive, the warning may not be adequate. Similarly, in many instances affirmative steps must be taken to protect against known dangers.

Premises liability cases can occur on any type of property and may involve any type of danger - from an open canal to a spilled liquid at a grocery store, the lack of a fence around a public pool, or the failure to warn of a dangerous construction zone. If an unreasonably dangerous condition exists and you are harmed as a result, it may be possible to recover compensation for your injuries.

Here, it is unknown how the accident occurred and how the boy was able to get into the irrigation canal. Many times, simple steps such as placement of a barrier or fence may be able to avert a tragedy.

For more information, or if you have been injured as the result of a dangerous condition on public property, contact the experienced Sacramento premises liability lawyers at the Law Offices of Frederick J. Sette for a free consultation.

Boat Accident Leads To $2.998 Million Judgment

A woman injured in a slip and fall accident while on a Carnival Cruise was awarded $2.998 million. A federal judge determined the cruise line had known about several prior accidents on the resin surface it installed on its pool deck - both on this ship and on other ships. The surface was hard and slippery as ice, leading the woman to fall and suffer a fractured patella. As a result of the fall, she needed six surgeries and will require one to two total knee replacements.

When boat accidents occur - whether a privately owned boat or a commercially owned cruise ship - the laws governing your right to recover damages and the boat owner's responsibility for reporting and providing medical attention may be complex. An experienced boat accident litigation lawyer can provide needed answers and help you obtain the compensation you are entitled to.

Here after initial discovery the cruise line admitted liability, leaving only the question of damages for trial. However, often times boat owners or operators will deny any wrongdoing requiring a skilled boat accident lawyer to show that it was the owner or operator's failure to use reasonable care that caused the accident. This may be shown in the same manner as for any personal injury - i.e. was the boat owner or operator careless or reckless and did this carelessness or recklessness injure the passenger? Where the negligence of a boat owner or operator causes an injury, compensation may be recovered.

For more information, or if you have been harmed in a boat accident, please contact the experienced Sacramento personal injury lawyers at the Law Office of Frederick J. Sette, dedicated to helping those injured for more than 15 years.

Serious California Injuries From PG&E Electrical Explosions And Fires Blamed On Aging Gear

The Silicon Valley news reports that at least 78 PG&E electrical accidents have occurred in the Bay Area since 2005, with dozens of serious injuries, including burn injuries, as a result of nearly 31 explosions.

In one instance, Lisa Nash of Redwood City was burned over half her body when an electrical vault exploded underground. She received a $20 million settlement after suing PG&E. In-depth investigations are now underway after the September 9th San Bruno explosion in which 8 people died and 38 homes were destroyed.

If you or a family member has been injured in an electrical accident, it is important to contact an experienced California personal injury lawyer to discuss your options and determine your next steps. In many situations, it may be possible to be compensated for your losses.

As a result of the San Bruno incident, along with the fires and manhole blasts caused in part by aging underground electrical equipment, PG&E is evaluating how it can improve safety. With the vast majority of the accidents occurring in San Francisco, Bay Area residents and officials are fed up.

Hopefully with improved safety measures the frequency of these accidents will diminish.

For more information, or if you have received burn injuries or any other harm as the result of an electrical accident, please contact the experienced Sacramento personal injury lawyers at the Law Office of Frederick J. Sette, dedicated to helping those injured by the carelessness or recklessness of others.

Cal/OSHA To Investigate Sacramento Construction Accident

The Mercury News reports that Cal/OSHA will begin investigation into the circumstances surrounding a fatal construction accident at the Woodlake Shopping Center. A Sacramento man, Cristobal Reyes-Segura, suffered fatal injuries after falling 15 feet from a beam where he was standing to install metal studs in building frames.

Under California law, when work-place accidents occur you may have remedies both through workers' compensation and traditional tort law. The general rule is that you cannot sue your employer form on-the-job injuries. However, you may be able to submit a claim for benefit to the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board. Where a death occurs, these benefits are paid to your dependents. The type of compensation recoverable includes medical bills, lost income, permanent disability and death benefits. Often the amount of compensation is much lower than you would be able to recover in a civil proceeding.

Although you may not sue your employer in civil court for your workplace injuries, in some circumstances it is possible to file a lawsuit where a third party is responsible. In construction cases this may be a third party contractor, the owner of a site [who is not your employer] or other party on the premises. If one of these parties is responsible for creating an unreasonable risk of harm, providing faulty equipment, or otherwise engages in reckless or negligent conduct, they may be held responsible and required to compensate you or your family for the injuries sustained.

For more information, or if you have been injured in a construction accident or other work environment, contact the Law Office of Frederick J. Sette, dedicated to helping those injured for more than 15 years.