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Articles Posted in Negligence

Uber_screenshotPassengers using rideshare services like Uber and Lyft know (or at least should know, as these terms and conditions are posted on each ridesharing company’s website) that the ridesharing companies consider their drivers to be independent contractors. When a passenger is involved in a crash while riding in an Uber or Lyft vehicle, the process of obtaining compensation can be complicated enough. However, passengers who are deliberately injured by an act of violence committed by their Uber or Lyft driver are left in a vulnerable legal position. Neither Uber nor Lyft allow themselves to be sued for such acts, meaning that the passengers will likely have difficulty holding the responsible party accountable for his or her actions.

While a new law signed by Governor Jerry Brown does not solve this dilemma completely, it does aim to make passengers who use rideshare platforms a little bit safer.

Criminal Background Checks Now Required

There are many benefits to living in California.  We have gorgeous weather, wonderful people, and beautiful natural spaces that range from beaches to mountains and deserts to forests.  Of course, there are downsides and perhaps the most-voiced concern (aside from cost of living!) is the ever-present risk of earthquakes.  While earthquakes are a natural phenomenon, the actions or inaction of people/entities can add to the risk of injury or property damage.  At the Brod Law Firm, our Northern California earthquake lawyer helps people bring civil lawsuits after a California earthquake.  These include suits against various parties whose negligence had tragic results as well as suits against insurance companies who deny valid claims.

Major Earthquakes Strike Italy and Myanmar Bringing Tragedy to Two Nations

This week, the world was reminded of the havoc and tragedy that earthquakes can unleash.  As CNN reported, a 6.2 magnitude earthquake struck central Italy in the early hours of Wednesday August 24.  Early reports put the death toll at 73 (Note: The number has since increased to at least 241.).  The mayor of Amatrice, where most of the fatalities occurred, told CNN: “The town is no more.”  At least 100 people were injured.  Officials expect death and injury tolls to rise in as rescuers dig through the rubble.  The risk is far from over as aftershocks are expected to roll through in the coming days.

Trust is a fundamental part of almost all human relationships.  We trust that our spouse will be loyal, that our mechanic will be capable, and that other drivers will follow the rules of the road.  Perhaps there is no relationship in which trust is so important as that between a patient and a doctor.  We put our health and our lives in their hands, as well as the well-being of our children, because we believe they have adequate training and will remain true to their oath to do no harm.  Sadly, as our San Francisco wrongful death lawyer knows all too well, sometimes things go horribly awry.  While not every negative outcome is cause for a lawsuit, when medical providers fail to adhere to a proper standard of care and the result is harm to the patient, a medical malpractice lawsuit, wrongful death, or another civil claim may be appropriate.

Tragic Death of a Young Girl Following Dental Procedure in San Ramon

While it is far too early to know what went wrong and if someone is legally at fault, a tragedy occurred at a Northern California dental office last weekend.  According to SFGate.com, a three-year-old girl died last Saturday following a dental procedure at a medical office in San Ramon.  Emergency responders were called to the office around 10 AM on Saturday when someone reported that the child had stopped breathing following treatment.  The girl was taken to San Ramon Regional Medical Center where doctors pronounced her dead.  It is not known whether the child was under anesthesia nor do officials know the nature of the dental procedure performed that morning.  Medical and fire personnel declined to release details or comment on the case citing patient privacy laws.

The ability to make and use fire is one of the things that has set the human race apart from other species.  We use fire to stay warm, provide light, and cook food.  However, fire is strong and when it is out of control it can cause serious injuries or death.  When residential fires happen because of human negligence, such as when an apartment is not equipped with working smoke detectors or when a wiring issue causes a home to ignite, our San Francisco fire injury lawyer helps hold those at fault financially accountable.

Home Fire in San Francisco Leaves Man in Critical Condition

Earlier this week, CBS SF reported on a residential fire that left a man in critical condition in San Francisco’s firealarmVisitacion Valley.  The fire department was called to the first block of Cora Street at 2:10 PM on Tuesday afternoon.  Upon arrival, firefighters saw flames and smoke inside a single-family home and there was smoke emanating out of the residence.  It was only after they forced their way into the home and began a search that firefighters found a male victim inside.  Emergency officials transported the man to the hospital in critical condition.

pool2As summer nears, pools and lakes are becoming (forgive the pun) hot spots.  With the arrival of the water recreation season comes an increased danger of drowning and children are particularly at risk.  Often, drowning is a tragic accident.  However, sometimes drowning, in particular swimming pool drowning, occurs because a company or individual is negligent.  When negligence puts people in danger, our Santa Rosa pool injury lawyer fights for the victims and for their families.

Fatal Drowning in Rohnert Park Condo Pool

One of the first reported drowning deaths of the 2016 season occurred on Sunday according to a report from the Santa Rosa Press Democrat.  Police believe that a young child was using a kickboard in the swimming pool at a Sonoma condominium complex when he slipped off the board.  Officers suspect that the 4-year-old boy was underwater for several minutes before he was spotted.  Bystanders attempted CPR and rescue workers, who arrived within four minutes of the 911 call, continued the efforts, but they were unsuccessful and the boy was pronounced dead at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital.  A representative from the police office urged great care as the water activity season begins stating, “Whether you’re swimming or boating, in a lake, a pool or the ocean, it doesn’t matter the age, be observant, be aware.”

Californians love adventure.  From extreme sports like skateboarding to adventure sports like zip lining and kayaking, countless people live in and visit California because they enjoy a thrill.  While an element of risk is almost a requirement for these activities, adventurers should also be able to trust that the companies that market these thrills are taking steps to ensure participants are kept safe.  People who’ve suffered an extreme sports or adventure sports injury (and families left with a void after a death) should not assume they are without recourse.  Our San Francisco recreational injury lawyer can help.

Bay Area Woman Injured in Zip Line Fall

Recently, a vacation adventure turned into a nightmare for a Bay Area woman who was vacationing in Mexico.  According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the Cloverdale mom said she was riding a zip line across a forested gorge in Puerto Vallarta when she suddenly began to fall and landed upside down in a tree.  The woman’s husband, fellow travelers, and employees of the zip line company reportedly worked for about thirty minutes before they were able to free her from the branches.  She suffered cable burns, substantial bruising, open wounds, and a possible torn ACL in the incident.

Last summer, Californians and the nation watched in disbelief as the story of the Berkeley balcony collapse unfolded.  Six people died and many others were injured in the tragedy.  The pictures were shocking and made many of us think twice before stepping out onto our own balconies and terraces.  Some ten months later, lawmakers and others are trying to figure out what went wrong.  As a San Francisco construction law firm committed to helping people injured or left grieving by dangerous structures, the Brod Law Firm is following the developments.

State Senate Looks at Safety Records and State Law in Balcony Collapse Review

As KPIX reports, a California State Senate subcommittee is looking into what caused the deadly balcony collapse last June.  State Senator Jerry Hill focused the discussion on the history of the construction company that has been accused of performing shoddy construction that allegedly led to the structural failure.  Hill noted that the company has paid some $26.5 million to settle construction defect cases in the past.

Our San Francisco, Oakland, and Santa Rosa plaintiffs’ law firm believes in keeping our clients informed and educated, whether it is a personal injury matter, a False Claims Act case, a small business dispute, or any other claim within our firm’s purview.  We make this a key commitment in our work because it helps make the process of claim resolution a bit easier and makes the system a bit less intimidating.  Today’s focus, explaining two of the key divisions within the court system, is intended to help you to understand some of the different courts in California where your potential claim might be filed and heard (note: often, our cases are settled prior to actual trial).

Civil versus Criminal: The Two Faces of Justice


The first distinction is one we refer to often in these posts, the separation between the civil and criminal courts.  Criminal law is about punishment and guilty verdicts result in fines and/or incarceration (or, in some places, the death penalty).  In contrast, the object of civil cases is the redress of a wrong which, if the plaintiff prevails, is scalestypically accomplished through monetary compensation and/or restitution.  Criminal cases are brought by the government, while civil cases are between two private parties.

droneOne of the most controversial tools used by the military and domestic government authorities has become the season’s most in-demand gift.  Drones are becoming more powerful and more accessible, with hobbyists of all ages taking the controls.  Drones are fascinating, but drone injuries are a very real danger.  From interfering with aircraft to injuring an operator or a bystander, drone accidents happen and our Northern California drone injury lawyer is prepared to use a variety of legal theories to advocate for those injured by drones in San Francisco and the surrounding regions.

Drone Nearly Collides with CHP Helicopter Over Martinez, CA

A close call in our area last weekend highlights a potential safety threat from privately operated drones and has the California Highway Patrol (“CHP”) urging operators to take care when flying the devices.  According to ABC7, on Saturday night a CHP helicopter was working with Martinez police and flying above Highway 4 when they spotted a small red light.  The light turned out to be a drone flying at nearly the same altitude as the helicopter, approximately 800 feet, despite the Federal Aviation Administration’s (“FAA”) recommendation that drones remain under 400 feet.  Luckily, the CHP pilots, travelling nearly 100mph, spotted the drone in time and banked allowing the drone to fly by the helicopter.  CHP officials believe they have identified the drone’s operator and have turned the incident over to the FAA to determine an appropriate response.

For many women, and an increasing number of men, a day at the spa is a small luxury that leaves them relaxed and feeling attractive.  Nail salons and spas offer a wide range of services, especially if you include so-called “health spas” in the mix.  Recently, a news story brought national attention to an extreme service offered at some spas after an employee died while using a treatment device that is increasingly popular with athletes and celebrities.  However, the risks lurking at salons are not limited to the more unusual services.  The danger of spa and nail salon injuries is very real, lurking behind even popular, wide-spread services like manicures and pedicures.  As a salon injury lawyer in San Francisco with additional salon injury law offices in Sonoma and Oakland, Attorney Brod is prepared to help individuals who went to a spa seeking bliss and instead found injury and pain.

The Extreme: Worker Dies Using Cryotherapy Chamber at Nevada Spa

An Associated Press (“AP”) report carried by SFGate.com details the disturbing death of a young spa employee in Las Vegas.  According to the article, a fellow employee found the 24-year-old woman frozen to death inside a cryotherapy chamber earlier this month.  It appears the deceased used the chamber after closing a day prior.  Cryotherapy involves putting users into a chamber for just a minute or two and using liquid nitrogen to achieve sub-zero temperature.  Proponents, including athletes, say it can relieve post-exercise pain, improve healing, and increase circulation.  Some salons also tout the treatment as a weight loss aid and anti-aging remedy.

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