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Orange County Premises Liability Law Blog

$175 million verdict calls one guardrail design unsafe

In 2005, the Federal Highway Administration approved a guardrail design that was supposed to absorb the impact of a motor vehicle crash, leading to fewer injuries in a serious accident. Called the ET-Plus, the guardrail made Trinity Industries, the manufacturer of the guardrail, $33 million in the first three quarters of this year when states across the nation began purchasing and installing the guardrail systems.

But in 2011, a whistleblower claimed that a minor change had been made to the system just after FHWA approval that was never reported to the government. That change, the whistleblower claimed, may have compromised the guardrail's structural integrity, meaning the guardrail might not perform as it was designed in a serious motor vehicle accident.

Injured Giants fan recovering but there's still a long way to go

In 2011, a San Francisco Giants fan made headlines for a terrible reason. While attending a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, he was physically assaulted. The damage was so extensive that he suffered a traumatic brain injury. It left him with very serious disabilities, that led to a $14 million lawsuit against the Dodgers.

As a personal injury blog focused on incidents such as the one mentioned above that lead to serious injuries, it is easy to focus only on the front-end of the situation. It is often harder to understand exactly what damages awarded in a premises liability settlement or jury award are intended to do for a victim of another's negligence. 

TSA worker's death was due to negligence, lawsuit claims

The loss of a loved one is often a difficult tragedy for many people to get over. But when it's discovered that the loved one's death may have been the direct result of someone else's negligence, then the overwhelming grief that follows may lead a victim's family to seek compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit.

A case before a California Superior Court is doing just that. Some of our Santa Ana readers may have heard about the wrongful death lawsuit that was filed by a California family after their loved one was shot and killed while on the job at the Los Angeles International Airport last November. The terrifying event that led to the TSA agent's death was one that many in this state will not soon forget.

Who is liable for injuries caused by an escalator?

It's a parent's worst nightmare: you are riding on the escalator with your child when suddenly the child's leg gets stuck in the machine. The child suffers catastrophic injuries in the incident, leaving them permanently disfigured for life and you with large medical bills.

If you're like most parents and this situation happened to you, you'd likely worry about your child's future -- will this negatively impact them for the rest of their life? -- and begin to wonder if there is any remedy for what has happened to you and your child. Though the answer is yes, it also raises another question: who is liable for injuries caused by an escalator?

Top 5 things that present dangers to motorcyclists

No matter how strict the laws are in our state or how good of a driver most people think they are, motor vehicle accidents will continue to be a feature on America's roadways. Naturally, there are some accidents that present more of a danger to drivers than others. Take for example motorcycle accidents.

Because of the intrinsic nature of the motorcycle, collisions with these vehicles are far more likely to involve serious or fatal injuries. Some accidents result because of someone else's negligence, while others occur because of factors out of the rider's control. Today we will take a look at a few dangers motorcyclists in California should be aware of.

How to avoid a case of premises liability this fall

In some parts of California, where there are a lot of deciduous trees, this fall will mean a lot of falling leaves and the need to do copious amounts of yard work. But while it might be tempting to call over the neighborhood kids to help take care of your yard while you read the latest New York Times Best Seller novel, there are a few things to consider about premises liability first, which could save you from litigation later on.

The first thing to consider is whether there are any potential dangers present on your property that could lead to a serious or even fatal injury. Do you own a dog that is particularly aggressive with strangers and could bite them? Are there any holes or large divots in your yard that could cause a person to injure their ankle? Do you have any large tree branches that could break and fall on someone's head?

Gibson & Hughes can help victims of spinal cord injuries

Brain trauma, a large burn, loss of sight -- these are just some of catastrophic injuries that can change a life. One of the most egregious injuries is one to the spine. If a catastrophe results in a spinal cord injury, an injured person may be plagued with lifelong consequences. Gibson & Hughes has experience working with spinal cord injury victims.

This type of injury occurs when there is trauma to the back. In such cases, the neurological communication between the brain and the body is blocked on the spinal cord. The blockage interferes with a person's physical control, resulting in impaired motor skills, reflexes, sensory messages and more. An accident that results in a spinal cord injury will severely alter one's quality of life.

Wrongful death claims rise to 19 in GM ignition switch case

When GM announced earlier this year that it would be conducting recalls on a number of its vehicles because of faulty ignition switches, no one really imagined how bad the situation would get. Although the first recalls included a wide range of models and years, vehicle numbers were relatively low -- maybe only a few hundred thousand at a time. Hardly enough to cause panic, right?

But then the number kept rising; and before the nation knew it, GM had recalled roughly 29 million vehicles across 65 recalls, says a recent CNN Money report.

College rental properties: the danger your student could face

As college students return to school here in California, we are once again reminded of the danger that could be present near any college campus across the nation: unsafe rental properties. We bring up this issue to our Santa Ana readers because of a tragic case from the opposite side of the country in which a 22-year-old college student was killed in an apartment fire.

The wrongful death lawsuit believed to have been filed last month by the victim's parents cites major flaws in the apartment's structure and fire-alarm system as causes for the college student's death. According to reports, by the time the 22-year-old was alerted to the presence of the fire below her, smoke and flames were already blocking her only path out of the building.

Does California law allow motorcyclists to lane split?

Stop and go traffic. It's something most Californians are familiar with and see quite often on roadways all over the state. During these periods of rush-hour traffic though you may have also seen something else: a motorcyclist driving in the same direction as traffic but travelling between lanes of vehicles.

If you've witnessed this happening then you may have wondered if this practice is legal. If you've had this question then you're not alone. It's a question some of our Santa Ana readers also have, which is why we are going to address it in this week's blog post.

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