Articles Tagged with San Francisco personal injury law firm

david-klein-407116-unsplash-copy-240x300In early March, a video was released showing a 5-year-old dangling from a chairlift at Bear Mountain Ski Resort. The young child slipped from the chairlift shortly after it started moving. The child’s ski instructor caught her by her hoodie. During the time she was dangling from the lift, the child was choked by her the hoodie and her helmet. Thankfully, the young girl was able to safely drop to a tarp. She suffered bruising to her neck.

From initial reports, it appears at least two things went wrong. The night before, rain in the area froze, causing ice on the equipment. The child’s parents believe the lifts were not properly cleaned in the morning before being put to use. Also, when the child, her sibling, and the instructor got on the chairlift, the safety bar was not brought down. Bear Mountain officials are investigating the accident to determine what went wrong and how to prevent similar occurrences.

Ski Resorts are Not Liable for All Injuries

jacob-ufkes-102143-copy-300x200In mid-August, Edwin Gomez-Zarate, 35, was working for SiteOne Landscape Supply and operating a forklift to load and unload paver stones for a residential driveway project. Details are not immediately known, but Gomez-Zarate became trapped in the forklift in some way. Police were sent to the worksite that afternoon and Gomez-Zarate died shortly after 3 p.m. before arriving at a hospital.

This tragedy is an example of the dangers of many common workplace vehicles and equipment. While forklifts are routinely operated across the country, they require special training and a great deal of care. If the operator and workings around vehicle are not careful and observant, deadly accidents can occur.

The situation that led to Gomez-Zarate’s death is currently under investigation by the California Division of Occupational Safety & Health (CAL/OSHA), which may lead to more information. If there is evidence of a health and safety violation, SiteOne Landscape Supply may be sanctioned. Additionally, evidence of a violation or another person’s negligence may support a legal claim by the surviving spouse.

It is no surprise to hear that car accidents are a danger to passengers, other drivers, pedestrians, motorcyclists, bicycle riders, and even bystanders.  Fewer recognize another place where people can be at risk – inside buildings.  While it may seem like a rare, headline-grabbing event, incidents involving cars crashing into building happen every day, injuring thousands and causing hundreds of fatalities every year.  Our San Francisco injury law firm is concerned.  Our team is dedicated to helping the victims (both the injured and the grieving) and preventing future tragedies.

Three Injured When Accident Sends Car Crashing into San Francisco Building

According to KRON, on Sunday afternoon, three people were taken to the hospital after an accident sent a vehicle crashing into a downtown San Francisco building.  The crash occurred near the intersection of Sutter and Taylor Streets at around 1:45 PM.  A fire department spokesperson confirmed that at least two vehicles were involved in the incident.  One of the victims suffered serious injuries while the injuries to two others were described as minor.

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.

As your San Francisco personal injury law firm, we fight for compensation for the injured and we know our client’s need money to move forward after tragedy.  To put it bluntly, money helps.  Still, we understand that no amount of money can take away the pain of an injury or the grief of a loved one’s death.  This is why we believe in prevention first.  While many entries on this blog include cautionary tales and evidence-backed advice that we hope will further support our commitment to safety, this post will focus on hope and the ambitious prevention goals embodied in the Vision Zero SF plan.


What Is Vision Zero SF?

Vision Zero SF is a road safety policy and a commitment to protect our city’s residents and visitors by making the streets safe and livable.  According to the program’s website, 30 people die and more than 200 are seriously injured each year as they travel the city’s streets.  The Vison Zero program, which originated in Sweden and is spreading to U.S. cities, is based on the belief that these numbers are unacceptable and these accidents preventable.  San Francisco adopted the policy in 2014.  The collaborative effort involves policy changes and cultural shifts with the lofty but firm goal of eliminating all traffic deaths by 2024.  The initial Two-Year Action Plan calls for completing at least 24 traffic safety improvements in the first 24 months

Many people assume that personal injury law is a rather static field; after all, while the mode of injuries may change, injuries themselves are far from a new concept.  Nonetheless, injury law does indeed evolve.  As your San Francisco personal injury law firm, we work to stay informed about new legislation and updated interpretations of existing law.  Earlier this summer, the Supreme Court of California handed down a decision clarifying when a government entity can be held liable for injuries stemming from a dangerous condition of public property.   The ruling is important in itself and as a signal of California’s continued commitment to protecting her people.

Background: The Case & Rulings Below

magnoliaAccording to the court (decision available online), a woman was driving in Los Angeles when another driver veered into her vehicle.  The woman’s car spun out and crashed into a magnolia tree, one of several planted in the median about seven feet away from the inside lane.  The woman and three passengers, including two of her siblings (identified by the Metropolitan News-Enterprise as between 15 and 19 years old), were killed while a fourth passenger was badly injured.  Police arrested the other driver and he was later convicted of four counts of vehicular manslaughter without malice.