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Is a Pet Sitter Liable for a Dog Attack?

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Archive: Nov 2020

Is a Pet Sitter Liable for a Dog Attack?

A dog bite injury claim is difficult to litigate in California. You will need to have at least a basic understanding of California’s dog bite laws to determine who is liable for your losses. A dog attack claim can be even trickier to navigate if the dog bit you while under the control of a pet sitter. In general, a dog sitter can be held liable for a dog attack in California.

What Is California’s Dog Bite Law?

Unlike many states, California does not use a one-bite injury rule for dog attack claims. Instead, it uses a strict liability doctrine. California Civil Code Section 3342 states that the owner of a dog will be liable for any of a dog bite victim’s damages, whether or not the owner was negligent in failing to prevent the attack. In a one-bite state, on the other hand, a dog bite victim will need to prove that the pet owner knew or reasonably should have known of the dog’s violent propensity due to a previous attack.

In California, you generally will not need to prove the pet owner’s negligence to hold him or her liable for your dog bite injuries and related medical costs. The animal’s owner will be strictly liable regardless of his or her contributions to the attack. Note, however, that if a dog injured you by something other than a bite, such as by jumping on you, the strict liability rule will not apply. You would need to prove the dog owner’s negligence in this scenario.

Rules Regarding a Pet Sitter vs. a Pet Owner

Although the language of California’s dog bite law uses the word “owner,” anyone with physical control of or responsibility for the pet at the time of the attack absorbs liability for a victim’s injuries. Accepting physical control or supervision of someone else’s pet means accepting the responsibility if an injury occurs. Under California’s strict liability law, the argument that the pet sitter was not aware of the dog’s vicious propensities is not a usable defense during a dog bite claim.

In general, you will be able to hold a pet sitter liable for a dog attack in California. If the attack occurred under a pet sitter or dog walker’s supervision, that person will assume financial responsibility for your injuries and related losses. These may include the costs of an emergency room visit, stitches, an IV, a rabies shot and follow-up care. In a severe dog bite injury case, it may also cover the costs of surgery or permanent scarring and disfigurement. The pet sitter may also owe you for any property damage repairs, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

What If the Pet Sitter Was Under the Age of 18?

A special rule called the vicarious liability doctrine will apply to cases involving a pet sitter under the age of 18 in California. The rule of vicarious liability states that the parent of a minor child will absorb liability on behalf of the child. If the pet sitter at the time of your dog attack was under the age of 18, his or her parent or legal guardian will pay for your damages.

What If the Pet Sitter Was Providing Professional Services?

If the pet sitter was part of a company that offers professional pet sitting, dog boarding or walking services, it may be possible to hold the company liable instead of the individual sitter, depending on the circumstances. To hold a company liable, the pet sitter would have to be an employee, not an independent contractor. Companies are only vicariously liable for the actions of their employees, not contractors. If the contractor has business insurance as a dog sitting professional, his or her insurance policy will cover your losses.

California dog attack claims can be confusing. For more information about pet sitter liability for a dog attack in California, contact a Orange County dog bite lawyer near you.

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Can You Recover Damages for Emotional Distress?

A bad accident will do more than just injure a victim physically. The average accident survivor also suffers emotional distress, such as post-traumatic stress disorder or mental anguish. Emotional distress is an intangible loss during a personal injury claim. In California, the civil justice system permits an injured victim to demand compensation for intangible as well as tangible damages. Finding out if you qualify for damages for emotional distress can help you seek a fair amount of compensation during your claim.

Economic vs. Noneconomic Damages in California

The two main categories of damages available in a personal injury claim in California are compensatory and punitive. The courts break compensatory damages down into economic and noneconomic damages. Economic damages are the most common type sought during an injury claim. They refer to the tangible losses that are specific to the victim and the accident, such as medical costs, future health care needs, losses of income, property repairs and travel expenses.

Noneconomic damages are intangible and general in the sense that an average person would have them under the same or similar circumstances. Noneconomic damages include emotional distress, physical pain and suffering, fright, inconvenience, grief, mental anguish, psychological trauma, lost quality of life, diminished enjoyment of life, and loss of consortium. Noneconomic damages are available in most California personal injury claims. They are more common in serious and catastrophic injury cases, however.

Can You Only Recover for Emotional Distress Without a Physical Injury?

The courts generally award noneconomic damages along with economic damages, not on their own. Pain and suffering represents only a portion of the overall damages awarded. Depending on the state where you live, however, it may be possible to obtain compensation for only emotional distress without having a physical injury.

In California, you can file a claim for emotional distress without a physical injury if you can prove the defendant intentionally inflicted the harm in question. You will need proof that the defendant intentionally or recklessly caused your emotional distress or mental anguish through an outrageous act or egregious wrongdoing. In general, you cannot recover for only emotional distress during an ordinary negligence claim. You will need proof of a physical injury in this scenario.

How to Calculate Emotional Distress Damages

If you wish to seek damages for emotional distress during a personal injury claim in California, you or your Orange County personal injury lawyer will need to calculate a reasonable amount to claim. It can be difficult to calculate a pain and suffering award, as its value does not come from medical bills or receipts. Instead, your lawyer will need to prove your pain and suffering through other types of evidence.

  • Personal injury journal
  • First-hand testimony from you
  • Testimony from friends and family members
  • Expert testimony, such as from a therapist or medical expert

It is a jury’s job to award damages for emotional distress during a personal injury lawsuit. A jury will typically use the Multiplier Method to do so, although it does not have to use any particular equation to valuate pain and suffering. The Multiplier Method takes a number from one to five – chosen based on the severity of the injury – and multiplies it by the total amount of the plaintiff’s economic damages. If you have $100,000 in economic damages and a multiplier of three, for example, you would recover $300,000 in pain and suffering damages.

Calculating emotional distress comes down to how significantly the accident and injury impacted your mental and emotional health. If your injuries were catastrophic, for example, you may be eligible for greater pain and suffering damages due to permanent disabilities and lost quality of life. A lawyer can fight for maximum compensation for emotional distress during a personal injury case in California on your behalf. Contact an attorney for assistance with your emotional distress claim.

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Who Is At-Fault for a Multi-Vehicle Accident?

Vehicle accidents occur all the time throughout California. In most cases, these crashes involve two vehicles, but there are times when multi-vehicle collisions occur. Anytime a vehicle accident involves more than two vehicles, determining liability can become incredibly difficult. Often, an investigation uncovers that multiple drivers were negligent in causing the incident. Here, we want to discuss how liability is determined after a multi-vehicle accident in California.

Determining fault for California multi-vehicle accident

In most cases, the driver who initiated the first impact in a collision is going to be the person at fault. However, that will not always be the case. There are other instances in which other drivers or even public agencies or companies could share fault for a collision. The key to determining fault is to show which party or parties were negligent.

There are various types of collisions that occur that can involve multiple vehicles. This includes rear-end collisions, side-impact collisions, and head-on collisions.

  • Multi-vehicle rear-end collision. The most common type of multi-vehicle accident is a rear-end car collision. These are often referred to as chain-reaction collisions. Typically, the first vehicle to strike the rear-end of another vehicle is going to be at fault for these collisions. This is because the first rear vehicle that strikes the other vehicle had the most opportunity to avoid the collision. Any subsequent impacts will likely have been caused by this first collision.
  • Multi-vehicle side-impact collision. Side-impact collisions typically occur at intersections, often when a vehicle is turning left. These collisions can also occur when one driver runs a traffic control device such as a stop sign or red light. When a side-impact collision results in a multi-vehicle crash, the driver who failed to yield the right of way or who disregarded the traffic control device is typically going to be the at-fault party.
  • Multi-vehicle head-on collision. In a head-on collision, the driver that crosses into the path of other drivers who have the right of way is typically at fault. Common causes of head-on collisions include one driver drifting into oncoming traffic and striking a car going in the opposite direction. This can lead to both of the initial vehicles then striking others in the vicinity.

Comparative fault in a multi-vehicle crash

In some cases, there may be more than one party at fault in a multi-car crash in California. When this occurs, even parties who are partially at fault can recover compensation for their losses. That is because California operates under a “pure comparative negligence” system in which injured parties can recover compensation even if they are up to 99% at fault for the incident. However, the total amount of compensation a person receives will be reduced based on their percentage of fault.

For example, suppose Driver B rear-ends Driver A who stopped to let a pedestrian cross the road. Driver C strikes Driver B from behind because Driver B came to a sudden halt after striking Driver A. In this scenario, it may be determined that Driver B was at fault for striking Driver A. Driver C may also share fault for their part of the collision, though perhaps not complete fault. In this scenario, Driver C may be found to be 50% at fault for their part of the collision.

Multi-vehicle collisions can be incredibly complicated when it comes to securing compensation. You should work with a skilled Orange County car accident attorney who can help obtain evidence and determine fault so that you receive all compensation you are entitled to.

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What To Do After a Semi-Truck Hits Your Vehicle

Semi-truck accidents often result in severe injuries for victims. These incidents can be incredibly scary, and the aftermath of the crash will be chaotic and confusing. Any person injured due to the careless or negligent actions of a truck driver or trucking company may be able to recover compensation for their injuries and other losses. However, there are various steps that victims need to take in the immediate aftermath of a crash, as well as in the weeks that follow, in order to help ensure they receive maximum compensation.

Important steps to take after a tractor-trailer crash

The steps that you take in the aftermath of a tractor-trailer collision will play a significant role in the amount of money you receive in a settlement with insurance carriers or through a personal injury lawsuit against the alleged negligent party.

  1. Get a medical evaluation immediately. Regardless of the severity of the truck crash, any party involved needs to seek medical care. If any injuries are serious, victims need to be treated by emergency medical professionals and taken to the hospital in an ambulance. However, even non-life-threatening injuries must be evaluated by a trusted medical professional. Seeking medical care in the aftermath of a truck crash not only ensures a victim’s well-being, but also establishes a direct link between the crash and the injuries.
  2. Report the truck accident to the police. Police need to be called in the aftermath of any semi-truck crash in California. The police are going to want to conduct a complete investigation into the incident to determine fault. Law enforcement agencies take semi-truck crashes very seriously, and you need to have a police report to give to your insurance carrier.
  3. Gather as much evidence as possible. If you can safely do so at the scene of the crash, and if your injuries are not severe, you should gather as much evidence as possible that can be used to help determine liability. This can include using a phone or other camera to take photographs of everything at the scene, including vehicle damages, injuries, causes of the crash, traffic and weather conditions, and more. You also need to get the names and contact information of any eyewitnesses to the crash as well as the driver’s license number and insurance information of other drivers involved.
  4. Refuse to sign anything. In the aftermath of a crash, the insurance carriers of the other parties involved may try to get you to sign settlement agreements or medical record release authorization forms. Do not sign anything in the immediate aftermath of a crash. If you do, this could result in other parties gaining access to information that could be used against you. If you sign a settlement agreement, you will be unable to go back later to obtain more compensation if you realize that you have suffered more significant losses than originally thought.
  5. Continue all medical treatment. Any person injured in a truck crash in California needs to continue all medical treatment recommended by their doctor. Discontinuing care early, before reaching maximum medical improvement, could result in insurance carriers delaying or denying settlements.
  6. Work with a skilled truck accident lawyer. If you or somebody you care about has been injured in a semi-truck crash in California, contact a skilled attorney as soon as possible. An Orange County truck accident lawyer will be able to handle every aspect of your case. They can use their resources to obtain any evidence needed to prove liability and negotiate with all parties involved to ensure you are treated fairly.
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What To Do After Getting Into a Bicycle Accident

Bicycling is an incredibly popular activity in California. Regardless of whether or not a person is a recreational bicycle rider or if they use their bicycle as their primary method of transportation each day, the fact remains that bicyclists face a higher risk of injury in the event of a collision occurs. According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, there were 155 bicyclist fatalities and more than 11,000 bicyclist injuries during the latest reporting year across the state. Here, we want to discuss what you need to do in the aftermath of being involved in a bicycle crash in California.

Steps to take following a California bicycle accident

The aftermath of a bicycle collision can be chaotic, but the steps that you take can affect the outcome of any insurance settlement or lawsuit resulting from the incident.

  1. Seek medical care immediately. If you have been injured in a bicycle crash, you need to seek medical care for your injuries. Even if you do not feel much pain in the aftermath of a bicycle collision, please understand that the signs and symptoms of many injuries may not appear for hours or even days after the crash occurs. If the injuries are serious, call 911 to get treatment from emergency medical personnel. Even if the injuries are not life-threatening, you should go to the emergency room or an urgent care facility to be evaluated by a doctor.
  2. Wait for the police to arrive. It is crucial that you wait for the police to arrive at the bicycle crash so they can conduct a preliminary investigation and file a police report. Insurance carriers often rely on information in a police report in order to make a determination about possible settlements. A police report will also ensure that there is official documentation of every party’s statements.
  3. Gather as much evidence as possible. If you are able to do so safely, and you do not need to seek immediate medical care, you should use a smartphone or other device to take photographs of everything at the scene. This can include causes of the crash, damages to any vehicles, any injuries, debris around the scene, and more. You also need to get the names and contact information of any eyewitnesses as well as the driver’s license number and insurance information of any other driver involved.
  4. Continue all medical treatment recommended. Even after you seek initial medical treatment after a bicycle crash in California, you need to continue any medical care recommended by your doctor until you have reached maximum medical improvement. Discontinuing care could signal to insurance carriers or at-fault parties that you are not really injured and do not need any payments for your losses.
  5. Contact an attorney. If you or somebody you care about has been injured in a bicycle crash caused by the careless or negligent actions of another, you need to seek assistance from an attorney as soon as possible. A skilled Orange County bicycle accident lawyer in California will be able to evaluate your case, use their resources to gather and preserve evidence, and help negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf.

A bicycle crash can be a scary experience, but the steps that you take in the immediate aftermath of the incident, as well as the days and weeks that follow, will determine how successful your insurance settlement or potential lawsuit will be.

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What Damages Can You Recover in a Wrongful Death Case?

Wrongful death cases arise anytime somebody loses a loved one due to the careless, negligent, or intentional actions of somebody else. Losing a loved one is incredibly difficult, and family members are often left wondering what steps to take moving forward. Wrongful death claims are a way for grieving family members to gain some closure and receive compensation from the alleged negligent party. Here, we want to discuss the various types of damages that could be recovered by surviving family members in these cases.

What compensation is available in a California wrongful death case?

Wrongful death damages are intended to provide compensation to the heirs of the deceased for the value of what they could have reasonably expected to receive should their love one not passed away. These damages can include both economic and non-economic losses.

Economic damages

Economic damages in a California wrongful death case can include:

  • The financial support the deceased would have provided to the family during their lifetime
  • The reasonable value of household services the deceased would have provided during their lifetime
  • The loss of gifts for benefits heirs could have expected to receive from the deceased during their lifetime
  • Funeral and burial expenses

There is no limit to the amount of economic damages that can be awarded in a wrongful death claim in this state.

Non-economic damages

Non-economic damages in a California wrongful death case revolve around providing compensation for the loss of the deceased’s:

  • Protection
  • Moral support
  • Affection
  • Society and companionship
  • Training and guidance
  • Sexual relations

There is no set amount of non-economic damages that are awarded in a wrongful death claim in this state. A jury is allowed to award any amount that is reasonable based on the evidence provided. It should be noted that, in California, non-economic damages cannot include compensation for the heirs’ pain and suffering or sorrow caused by the loss of their loved one.

Is a survival action the same thing?

In California, wrongful death lawsuits and survival actions are two different claims, though they are often combined together. Wrongful death claims are designed to compensate a deceased’s surviving family members for their losses. However, a survival action is designed to compensate the deceased person’s estate for the following:

  • Claims unrelated to the death for which the deceased would have had the right to sue for at the time of their death.
  • Claims for the injury that caused the death, so long as the deceased survived those injuries for some period of time after they occurred.

Survival actions are complicated in California, but they can include punitive damages, which are not available in a wrongful death claim.

Is there a time limit for wrongful death claims in California?

Family members in California need to be aware that there is a time limit in place for them to file these claims against the alleged negligent party. The wrongful death statute of limitations in this state is two years from the date of death. This means that family members or the estate of the deceased have a two-year window with which to file a wrongful death claim in California. Failing to file a claim within this statutory timeframe will likely result in the family members or the estate being unable to recover any compensation for the loss.

If your loved one has passed away due to another’s negligence, contact us today to speak with an Orange County wrongful death attorney.

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Is There a Time Limit to File a Personal Injury Claim?

Anytime a person sustains an injury caused by the careless or negligent actions of another individual, business, or entity, they should be entitled to compensation for what happened to them. Most personal injury claims are resolved through insurance carrier settlements, but that is not always the case. Sometimes, a personal injury lawsuit needs to be filed against the alleged negligent party. However, injury victims need to be aware that there is a time limit called the statute of limitations that dictates how long they have to file these claims.

The California personal injury statute of limitations

Every state is responsible for setting a time limit for how long victims have to file civil personal injury lawsuits. When we turn to the California Code of Civil Procedure section 335.1, we can see that the state’s personal injury statute of limitations is two years from the date an injury occurs. This means that any injury victim will have a two-year window with which to file a lawsuit against the person or entity who allegedly caused the injury.

What if you miss the filing deadline?

If a personal injury victim fails to file a civil lawsuit against the alleged negligent party in their case within the required time frame, they will likely lose the ability to recover any compensation at all. The court will almost certainly dismiss the case. Regardless of how significant their injuries may be, and regardless of how clear the other party’s liability is, the time will have passed to recover the compensation the victim is entitled to.

There are various reasons why an injury victim may miss a deadline to file a case. Often, this occurs because the injury victim simply was not aware that there was a statute of limitations for personal injury claims in California. It is strongly suggested that any person injured by the careless or negligent actions of others seek immediate legal assistance. A skilled Orange County personal injury attorney will be able to offer a free consultation for your case, and they will likely make you aware of any time limits pertaining to your case.

Are there any exceptions to the California personal injury statute of limitations?

There are very few exceptions to the California statute of limitations. In some circumstances, the statute of limitations “clock” may be delayed or paused, which can extend the two-year deadline mentioned above. These delays or pauses can occur under the following circumstances:

  • The injury victim did not discover and was not aware have any facts that would cause them to suspect that they had suffered some sort of injury caused by the wrongful conduct of another individual.
  • The injury victim was under the age of 18 or was “lacking the legal capacity to make decisions.”
  • The person who allegedly caused the injury left the state of California at some point after the incident but before a lawsuit could be filed.

Personal injury cases arise in various ways

California personal injury claims can arise in a variety of ways, including the following:

  • Car accidents
  • Commercial truck accidents
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Slip, trip, and fall accidents (premises liability)
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Bicycle accidents
  • Defective products (product liability)
  • Nursing home abuse
  • Bus accidents
  • Workplace injuries
  • Medical malpractice
  • Crime or violent attacks
  • Dog bites
  • Dangerous premises

This is not an exhaustive list of the ways injuries occur in this state, and victims should seek assistance from a skilled Orange County injury lawyer as soon as possible so they can get started on their claim.

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Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries

Riding a motorcycle can be an exhilarating experience, but this activity also comes with risks. Motorcyclists have very little protection if they are involved in an accident, and it is not uncommon for a motorcycle crash to lead to severe injuries. According to the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), nearly 14,000 motorcyclists were injured during the latest reporting year of data we have available for the state. That same year, 488 motorcyclists lost their lives in traffic accidents. Here, we want to discuss some of the most common injuries that motorcyclists sustain in California.

Most common motorcycle accident injuries in California

There are a significant number of injuries that motorcyclists can suffer from in the event a collision occurs. The severity of these injuries usually revolves around the speed of all parties involved at the time of the collision, as well as what type of protective gear the motorcyclist is wearing. Some of the most common injuries motorcyclists sustain include the following:

  • Muscle damage. There are more than 600 muscles in the human body, and any of them can be damaged in a traumatic incident. Most motorcycle accident injuries result in muscle sprains as opposed to muscle tears, but the impact of a collision with the vehicle or the impact with the ground can lead to significant muscle damage.
  • Foot and leg injuries. A motorcyclist’s feet and legs are often the first places to impact either a vehicle or the ground in the event a collision occurs. Data indicates that lower extremity injuries make up nearly half of all motorcyclist injuries that receive treatment after an accident. This can include severe road rash on the lower extremities, major sprains or strains, and even broken or dislocated bones.
  • Biker’s arm. This is a term commonly associated with an arm injury after a motorcycle accident or fall. This term can be used to describe a multitude of incidents that can occur, including muscle injuries, tendon injuries, deep bruising, fractures or dislocations, severe lacerations, and more. These injuries are typically associated with the inclination a person may have to put their hands and arms forward to brace themselves when they are falling.
  • Head injuries. Head and brain injuries can occur even if a motorcyclist is wearing a helmet. However, helmets have been proven to greatly reduce the chances of a severe brain or head injury in the event a motorcycle accident occurs. Head injuries can range from relatively minor concussions to severe traumatic brain injuries that alter a motorcyclist’s life forever.
  • Facial injuries. Helmets can also prevent major facial injuries from occurring. A motorcycle collision can lead to significant lacerations, bruising, or facial fractures that lead to permanent scarring or disfigurement.
  • Spinal injuries. Spinal cord injuries are much more likely to occur in a motorcycle collision than any other type of vehicle accident. Spinal cord trauma can lead to various types of paralysis, including partial paralysis (tetraplegia) or complete paralysis (quadriplegia).
  • Emotional injury. Not all motorcycle accident injuries are necessarily visible on the surface. The emotional and psychological trauma sustained by a motorcycle accident victim can be significant and affect the everyday life of a victim. Emotional and psychological trauma can be caused by the accident itself as well as the subsequent injuries.

Victims of motorcycle accidents must seek medical care as soon as possible so they can be treated for their injuries. Any person who sustains an injury caused by the careless or negligent actions of another individual should be entitled to receive compensation for what happened. Speak to an Orange County motorcycle accident lawyer to review your case for free.

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Common Causes of Neck Pain After an Auto Accident

Getting into a vehicle accident can be a scary and traumatic experience for those involved. Unfortunately, accidents can also lead to various types of injuries, including neck pain. Neck and back injuries in the aftermath of vehicle accidents can be complicated to diagnose, often because the signs and symptoms of these injuries may not appear until hours or days after the crash occurs. It is crucial that all vehicle crash victims seek medical assistance so they can be evaluated and treated for any injuries, even those they may not be aware of right away. Here, we want to discuss the common causes of neck pain after a vehicle accident.

Is all neck pain called whiplash?

Whiplash is one of the most common injuries a person can experience in the aftermath of a vehicle accident. Whiplash occurs anytime a person’s head and neck is jerked back and forth rapidly due to some sort of outside force. Whiplash injuries must be taken seriously, and victims often require rest in order to make a recovery. Sometimes, whiplash victims need to use a neck brace. Some of the most common symptoms of whiplash include the following:

  • Pain and stiffness in the neck
  • Difficulty turning your neck
  • Pain that worsens with neck movement
  • Headaches beginning at the base of the skull
  • Tingling or numbness in the arms
  • Tenderness or pain in the arms, shoulder, or upper back
  • Fatigue and dizziness

However, while some people may assume they only have a mild case of whiplash after a vehicle accident, some of the common neck aches and pains can be early signs of a more serious injury.

Other types of neck injuries caused by a vehicle accident

The spine, shoulders, and head are all other areas of the body commonly injured in a car accident. Injuries to any of these areas can result in neck pain. Some of the most common injuries that can affect the neck in the aftermath of a vehicle accident include the following:

  • Herniated discs. The discs in your spine are essentially jelly-filled shock absorbers located between your vertebrae. When a collision occurs, the force of the incident can cause the disc’s contents to push against their exterior, resulting in bulges or ruptures. A herniated disc can be painful, and the bulge or rupture could pinch the spinal nerves and crowd other spaces around your vertebrae.
  • Cervical spondylolisthesis. When a person has cervical spondylolisthesis, this means at least one of the vertebrae has dislocated or fallen out of alignment. This is commonly caused by the aging process, and some people suffer from this without even realizing it. However, a traumatic crash can also cause these dislocations, particularly at the top of the neck. Vertebrae that move too far out of alignment can result in significant pain. Cervical spondylolisthesis may need to be treated with stabilization surgery.
  • Compression and other spinal fractures. Compression fractures are the most common type of vertebrae fracture that can occur. High impact collisions are much more likely to cause a fracture to the sturdy bones in your spine. If the force is strong enough, the impact can shatter or compress vertebrae and even send bone fragments into the spinal canal. Most of these fractures occur in the mid to lower back, but they are also possible in the neck. These injuries could lead to significant pain as well as paralysis.

If you’ve been injured in an auto accident, speak with an Orange County car accident lawyer for legal assistance.

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Common Causes of Burn Injuries

Each year, around 450,000 people in the United States seek medical treatment for burn injuries, according to the American Burn Association. Burn injuries can be devastating for victims, and they can lead to pain and suffering, significant scarring and disfigurement, as well as limited mobility. Burn injuries can occur in a variety of ways, and sometimes these injuries are caused by the careless or negligent actions of others.

What causes burn injuries?

Injuries caused by fire, scalding injuries, steam burns, electrical injuries, and chemical burns happen every day. These injuries can occur inside of a person’s home, at their place of business, and many other areas. Some of the most common causes of burn injuries include the following:

  • Vehicle accidents. There are various ways that a person can sustain a burn injury in a vehicle accident. The most obvious of these is the gasoline inside of a vehicle catching on fire and bursting into flames. However, burn injuries can also occur due to the airbag being deployed.
  • Defective products. Faulty products are a major source of injuries in the United States, including burn injuries. Dangerous products can spark or overheat and lead to burn injuries, and they can also start fires. A wide variety of products can be defective and cause burns, particularly those that use combustible fuel sources or batteries.
  • Workplace fires. Some jobs are more inherently dangerous than others, particularly those where employees operate around dangerous or flammable equipment.
  • Apartment or hotel fires. Structure fires lead to thousands of injuries each year in the United States. Fires can be particularly dangerous in apartment or hotel settings where there are many people living or congregated together all at once and where the fire can spread quickly.
  • Scalding injuries. Children and older adults are more susceptible to scalding injuries than others. According to data from Electrical Safety Foundation International, more than 100,000 people are treated in the ER each year as a result of scalding injuries. Hot water is a significant source of these injuries, as is hot grease.
  • Gas explosions. Gas explosions are a significant concern for those in both residential areas as well as industrial settings. Gas lines stretch for millions of miles across the United States, and many of these lines were constructed decades ago. This aging infrastructure increases the chance of a dangerous or deadly explosion.
  • Electrocutions. Electrocutions can occur in a residential setting as well as in the industrial setting. Electrical burns are common after a person is exposed to an electrical current, however flash arc burns and thermal contact burns are also common on worksites due to exposure to electricity. Electrocutions are particularly dangerous because they affect not only the outside of a person’s body but also the internal systems (respiratory system, central nervous system, cardiovascular system).
  • Chemical accidents. Chemicals are not just located at work sites or in labs. They can also be in the home and school settings as well. Household products such as pool chemicals, cleaning products, bleach, concrete mix, and more can all cause serious chemical burns.

This list shows only some of the ways that burn injuries can occur throughout the U.S. Burn injuries can happen in a variety of ways, and they can lead to victims needing extensive medical care in order to make a recovery.

If you or a loved one have suffered burn injuries as a result of someone’s negligence, an Orange County personal injury lawyer can help. Contact us online to request a free initial consultation to discuss your case.

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