Law Office of Frederick J. Sette
Personal Injury Attorney
Serving the Stockton and Petaluma California Regions
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Petaluma Premises Liability Lawyers Look at Slip and Fall Details

At Sette Law, our Petaluma personal injury attorneys know that most people are at least vaguely aware of slip and fall litigation. For instance, someone falls in a retail store, breaks a leg and subsequently sues the store owner to recover financial losses due to the serious injury. Lawyers, however, are quick to point out that this kind of law is under the umbrella of premises liability and is often anything but simple. In this July blog our Petaluma injury and accident attorneys will discuss a few of the complexities and details included in this arena of law.

Personal injury attorneys say that slip and fall incidents are very common civil court actions nationally and in Petaluma. Accident lawyers say that slip and fall liability allows the average person to recoup often significant costs incurred due to the negligence of another party. Certainly, our injury personal lawyers agree that this legal option creates greater vigilance on the part of property owners, provides financial redress for losses suffered by slip and fall victims and helps to protect people from injury. Attorneys believe that premises law serves the cause of justice, but has also been abused by litigants in the past. Consequently, laws have been refined and increasingly included protections for property owners from people who claim harm when there has been no verifiable injury accident. Lawyers must be aware of provisions that protect both the public from harm and the property owner from frivolous claims of losses due to injury. 

Attorneys Outline Slip and Fall Liability
Petaluma personal injury lawyers will first verify that the condition or item that caused a slip and fall accident can be linked to the premises owner or to his or her employee. Secondly, our liability lawyers will seek to establish these parties knew about the danger and still did nothing to remedy the condition that led to the injury. Attorneys know that current law indicates that owners exert the most control over their property and therefore bear significant responsibility to protect users of their property from harm and injury.

Our personal injury lawyers use the following example – If the owner of a boutique hotel in Petaluma knows an air conditioning unit is leaking water onto the entry stairs below and does nothing to remedy that condition, a patron or visitor who slips and falls would likely have a valid claim for personal injury. Attorneys would point to the building owner (or an employee) as responsible for the Petaluma injury. 

But lawyers say that other circumstances could change potential liability. Consider a guest on the second floor of hotel property who decides to have a smoke and chooses to do so sitting atop the window air conditioning unit. It breaks free and crashes to the ground, leaving the guest with a debilitating back injury. Here, attorneys for the property owner would have a strong case against liability for the injury accident. Lawyers would rightly point out that air conditioners were never intended for use as chairs and the responsibility lies with the guest. Our Petaluma personal injury attorneys say that uses outside the “normal” and commonly understood can imply a lack of liability on the part of the property owner.

Slip and fall injury accidents send lawyers into investigations that can involve several layers of potential liability. Often a building will have an owner, a manager, a lessee or tenant and employees. Petaluma personal injury attorneys are tasked with making certain an injury plaintiff identifies the proper responsible party. When this is not initially clear, an accident and injury lawyer can issue a notice of claim for more than one party – for example, an owner and a manager. If the responsible person is not noticed in the initial claim, the plaintiff may lose the ability to file at a later time. Slip and fall injury attorneys often leave the determination of responsibility up to insurance companies for the respective parties.

Liability Statutes Protect the Public from Injury
Attorneys explain that property owners have a specific responsibility that’s defined as a Duty of Care. This comes with the privilege of owning real property. The law says that a property owner must take reasonable care to provide a safe environment that protects visitors and others from injury.  But attorneys say this concept really can’t be exactly defined and universally applied to specific conditions that contribute to a Petaluma slip and fall accident. Lawyers for the injured party will have to carefully scrutinize the details of each case.

Our Petaluma personal injury lawyers offer the following example: A young child spills a bottle of water on the floor of a neighborhood grocery store and mom and toddler run off to find a store employee. Within seconds another shopper comes along and slips and falls, sustaining a serious knee injury. Lawyers say it’s not likely the store would be held responsible because the owner or employees had no notice or knowledge of the spill. However, if store management knew about the spill, left the water in the floor for thirty minutes and then a shopper slipped and fell, the store would likely shoulder liability. Attorneys further explain that property owners can take precautions to protect themselves. If store employees had surrounded the spill area with barriers and “caution” signs and someone breeched those barriers and fell, the property owner may not be held liable for the accident. Attorneys point out that ideas such as reasonable judgment pay a role in slip and fall injury claims.

Petaluma personal injury lawyers don’t expect average consumers to know all the nuances of slip and fall cases. Our most experienced liability attorneys continue to encounter new circumstances that call for additional research. But, one practice we can advise for people who experience a slip and fall accident is to pay attention to the details of the accident. Our attorneys say that noting the substance on the floor that caused the fall is very important for injury attorneys presenting evidence to the court. Our Petaluma liability attorneys know that memory can change and fade with the passage of time, and slip and fall victims must be very clear and consistent about their experience.


Product Liability Info for Petaluma

Attorneys at Sette Law in Petaluma feel it’s important for the community to be better informed about many aspects of law, such as what happens when a product causes an injury. Our lawyers are well aware that the prospect of facing off in court against a corporation is daunting for any individual who has suffered a personal injury. Attorneys in our firm understand this is intimidating for anyone who is not a legal professional in Petaluma. Liability lawyers have extensive experience in the courtroom environment and help guide clients through the complex process of product liability. Our attorneys, however, want to equip the public with some basic information about product liability and this blog will cover items that just might clarify what it takes to file a lawsuit in Petaluma.

Injury attorneys outline requirements
Petaluma personal injury lawyers work within California statutes that define product liability, which may differ from state to state. In general, there are some key conditions that must be met to show a manufacturer’s product is responsible for personal injury. Attorneys will first establish the fundamental fact that verifiable harm was done and that a plaintiff experienced financial losses because of the personal injury. A lawyer would not agree to accept a case in which someone was ‘nearly’ hurt because of a manufacturer’s defect. Indeed, the condition of “real harm” would not be satisfied. Petaluma liability attorneys offer a hypothetical case: A family buys a glass table top. The manufacturer’s sticker says the glass is tempered and therefore should not break into sharp shards that could cause very serious injury.

Lawyers would agree the sticker serves as evidence of the quality and type of the glass. Upon installing the glass on the table base, the purchaser drops it. The glass beaks into large, sharp chunks and one severs his little finger, causing medical urgency and verifiable injury. Attorneys have medical bills for emergency treatment, a sticker claiming the glass was tempered and a client who lost two weeks of work due to the personal injury. Lawyers know this scenario would likely rise to the level needed to satisfy the first criteria for liability and injury.

Attorneys then will investigate to determine how the glass was defective. Our Petaluma liability lawyers say this may not be as simple as it appears. A defect in a product can be traced to more than one source. Perhaps it happened in the design or the manufacturing process or even in the marketing of the product that caused the injury. Attorneys look carefully to identify the source that caused the Petaluma injury. Adept lawyers might consider the engineering of the glass or even the marketing company that assigned that ‘tempered glass’ sticker to the table top assuring consumers it would not break into life-threatening shards and lead to serious personal injury. Attorneys consider the entire chain of manufacture when assessing a claim for product liability.

Attorneys even look closely at product warnings and directions. These features are intended to further protect consumers from injury. Our Petaluma product liability lawyers know this as possible defective marketing that often plays a role in defective product law. In the former example of the table top, a marketing error could have led to the glass being mislabeled. Instead, installation directions and warnings should have indicated the danger of using un-tempered glass because mishandling can cause grievous injury.

Product Liability Law for Petaluma
Attorneys, however, also explain that manufacturers are protected from frivolous claims of personal injury. Our lawyers say that when a person uses an item for a task it wasn’t intended for, claim of a defect may not be credible. Consider this: A woman comes to our Petaluma personal injury attorney and explains she has damaged her appearance after using hair color to color her eyebrows. She says she now looks like Groucho Marx and the hair dye burned her eyes so badly she had to see a doctor. The hair color instructions, however, specifically warn against using the product anywhere except on hair located on the head, her Petaluma injury lawyer tells her. She argues that hair is hair – no matter the location and the product was defective and caused her harm and financial injury. Her lawyer further learns she stopped going to work because she was embarrassed. She wants her Petaluma liability attorney to argue for medical reimbursement and lost wages. Sorry, our injury attorney says. The consumer was warned and paid no attention. Her case would not meet the criteria necessary to qualify as a defect injury.

But lawyers point out that cases are not always so black an,d white. As an example our Petaluma injury attorneys offer this scenario: A man uses a barbeque fork, designed for turning meat, to pierce a potato, and stabs his hand in the process. He punctures a vein and must get medical attention for his personal injury. Our attorney would initially suspect that no product defect caused the accident but, rather, the cook’s poor judgment was responsible for the injury.

Lawyers delve closely into the details of product liability law. Our Petaluma personal injury attorneys understand that most people don’t encounter defective product law until after suffering a personal injury. A lawyer’s education, practice and interests can help people prepare to seek just compensation for losses suffered due to a product defect that’s cause injury.

Our attorneys, for example, are closely monitoring the nation’s current (and largest) product defect news involving automobile manufacturers and Takata, the maker of defective airbags that have allegedly cost deaths and injury. Our lawyers know the legal process may be lengthy and, almost certainly, very complicated. Petaluma personal injury attorneys are interested to see how many links in the manufacturing chain may be involved in upcoming legal actions and how the courts will treat individuals and families of those who suffered death or injury.

Our Petaluma injury lawyers believe that people suffering losses because of a manufacturing defect – physical, mental and/or financial losses – should be compensated by those responsible for their injury. Attorneys who specialize in defective product law facilitate and fight for justice within the often complex structure of the judicial and legal system.



Petaluma DUI Lawyers Urge Driver Awareness of Risks

In Petaluma, DUI attorneys at Sette Law want drivers in our community to be aware of the physical effects of alcohol that too often lead to a serious accident. As injury lawyers, we see first-hand the terrible results of the decision to drink and drive. Concrete, scientific information, our accident attorneys hope, may educate people and help prevent Petaluma accidents.

Our DUI lawyers, like you, have heard individuals say “I drive better drunk than sober!” Of course, nothing is further from the truth. As Petaluma injury attorneys we know that even small amounts of alcohol can, and do, cause changes in the brain. With current medical technology, researchers are able to identify exactly what happens when people drink alcohol – our Petaluma DUI lawyers may not be medical experts but we too can observe the results from PET and MRI studies now available.

Elements of alcohol can penetrate the brain from the body’s blood circulatory system. DUI accident lawyers know that it isn’t the ‘kind’ of alcohol imbibed but, rather, how much over time. Generally, more than one drink per hour can affect neurons in the brain and impair judgment that may lead to a Petaluma DUI accident. Our attorneys point to an accident in April on West Hammer lane in which a young male pedestrian was killed by a driver who was booked at the scene for a DUI. Our lawyers note that the motorist was driving on a license that had been suspended for a previous Petaluma DUI.

Accident attorneys know that tragic events like this are preventable. Just being aware of the physical effects of alcohol on the brain should discourage irresponsible drinking that distorts judgment, vision, perception, reaction time and other alterations that can, and do, lead to Petaluma DUI accidents. Lawyers will, most likely, be looking at this recent case as a potential wrongful death accident.

Attorneys Cite Disturbing Statistics
Petaluma accident lawyers draw upon many sources for data including Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), the FBI and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), among others tracking DUI’s. Our attorneys believe these statistics ought to add to the case for greater attention to prevention. The numbers of people injured and killed in DUI accidents, our attorneys say, is proof that greater education on the topic is needed.

Our Petaluma accident attorneys say that almost one-third of the nation’s traffic deaths involved DUI drivers. According to the CDC, 10,322 individuals died in 2012 due to DUI drivers. Sadly, our injury lawyers note that 239 of those victims were under the age of 14 and half of that number were passengers of a driver impaired by alcohol, headed for an accident.

Injury attorneys report that about 30 people lose their lives every day due to a drunk driving accident. Our lawyers know that untold pain and hardship accompany each of these accidents that happen once every 51 minutes, according to the CDC. And, although Petaluma injury attorneys focus on the loss to victims, the cost to the entire country for DUI crashes tops $59 billion. Although California statistics are generally lower than national DUI accident numbers, our Petaluma injury lawyers believe there’s lots of room for improvement.

Education is Essential for Youth in Petaluma
Accident attorneys are aware that teens are particularly tempted to experiment with alcohol. In Michigan, a study found that almost 50% of kids in 10th grade say they drink, and 30% of youngsters in the eighth grade admit to the same. Nationwide, our Petaluma DUI lawyers say that about 4,700 teenagers are killed each year due to alcohol use that led to accidents. Our lawyers further report that the National Academies Press published a finding about the prevalence of binge drinking among teens. While one in six teens reported they indulged in binge drinking, just one out of 100 parents thought it possible of their son or daughter.

As parents, our Petaluma DUI attorneys know that kids are under lots of peer pressure. That’s why our injury lawyers support heightened education about the dangers posed by alcohol. From scientific facts to the gruesome details of DUI accidents, our attorneys believe information is essential to preventing teenage alcohol use that can lead to a tragic DUI accident.

Attorneys say the focus should start in the teenage years so that when youngster get to the “drinking age” they are aware of alcohol’s effect on brain and body. This is when young people face the greatest threat of a DUI accident, our attorneys explain. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration showed that, in 2011, drivers from the age of 21 to 25 logged the most DUI accidents. Attorneys also reference a NHTSA study for the same age group showing that 32 percent drove while drunk.

Petaluma DUI Lawyers Urge Awareness

The numbers are pretty staggering, according to our Petaluma accident attorneys. Although masses of people admit to driving drunk (21.9 million drivers) far fewer are ever arrested. A 2013 study by the FBI indicated that each day 300,000 people drive while drunk – however, a mere 4,000 arrests were made for DUIs. Attorneys and law enforcement officials are also aware that about one-third of drivers nabbed are repeat offenders.

Sette’s Petaluma DUI lawyers are also aware of recent accidents in nearby Sacramento in which alcohol likely played a deadly role. This spring, xx people were killed by wrong-way drivers on Sacramento freeways. Our injury attorneys hope Petaluma drivers take a lesson from these tragedies. Also, it’s useful to know that 36 percent of DUI accidents happen after dark, and just 8% during daylight hours, according to a 2011 survey by the National Highway Transportation Association.

Our work as Petaluma DUI accident lawyers forces us to be hyper aware of the dangers of mixing alcohol and driving. As wrongful death attorneys we’ve seen the lifetime loss and pain caused by a driver losing his or her judgment after too many drinks. The results are irreversible – our wrongful death lawyers can fight for financial compensation but nothing will restore a life lost in a Petaluma DUI.

Our attorneys urge people to be cognizant of the dangers and risks taken when people choose to drink and drive.


Stockton Injury Attorneys analyze Product Liability Law

In the U.S. there are high standards for the manufacturing process that help prevent products from causing personal injury. But lawyers at Sette law in Stockton know that this area of product liability is quite complicated. Although laws governing product liability may vary from state to state, our Stockton personal injury attorneys say that consumers are well protected. Should a product defect cause a personal injury, attorneys have several avenues to pursue on behalf of clients in Stockton.
Injury lawyers observe that most any participant in the entire manufacturing process may be held liable for a product defect that leads to personal injury. Attorneys may identify the source of a product defect, from its engineering and manufacture to the marketing and distribution, as directly causing a personal injury. And, lawyers say that it’s not just tangible goods that can lead to a Stockton injury. Attorneys say that products such as real estate, gas and even written material can be identified as the cause of a personal injury.

Attorneys and the courts often refer to a federal act designed by the U.S. Dept. of Commerce that offers voluntary guidelines for product liability. Because adherence to the Uniform Products Liability Act is ‘voluntary,’ our Stockton liability lawyers must consider state regulations and laws in individual cases of personal injury. 

Attorneys explain that although laws governing product liability are complicated, the underlying principle is simple: If an individual was using a product as intended at the time he or she was injured and the product specifically caused the harm, the manufacturer can be held liable for the personal injury. But there is a caveat – Stockton personal injury lawyers explain that the consumer also has a responsibility. He or she must read instructions and manufacturer’s warnings. Thus, responsibility is shared in the goal of preventing personal injury, and attorneys will seek to establish both requirements are fulfilled in a case of defective product liability. Lawyers say this is known as Strict Liability.

Attorneys further say that Negligence can also be a factor in a Stockton personal injury claim. Lawyers will seek to establish if all products in a category are defective, or if an isolated batch was responsible for the injury. Lawyers may look at the manufacturing process, packaging or even delivery of a defective product. Further, Stockton injury attorneys will assess the accuracy of warnings and instructions included with the product. Scrutiny by injury lawyers may extend to the marketers of the defective product that caused the injury. Attorneys will analyze the veracity of claims made in marketing materials – are those claims misleading or outright untrue? As you can see, at any step in the entire manufacturing process, personal injury lawyers can establish responsibility or negligence.

When in a court of law, Stockton personal injury attorneys can also solicit the support of expert witnesses to testify about specific aspects of a product in a liability and injury action. Attorneys practicing in this demanding realm of product liability must be able to grasp both detailed processes as well as general concepts on behalf of their Stockton personal injury clients.


Stockton Truck Accidents alarm Injury Lawyers

In our niche of Central California there is one unavoidable traffic factor - trucks and big rigs are ever-present on freeways surrounding Stockton. Truck accidents attorneys at Sette Law deal with many victims, from truck drivers themselves to people injured in a truck accident. Our lawyers know that such accidents often result in very serious injury owing to the weight and size of big rigs. Even though the trucking industry is well regulated and motorists become accustomed to heavy truck traffic on our freeways, we continue to experience a significant number of Stockton truck accidents. Our attorneys support greater safety and awareness from both motorists and truckers traveling highways 99 and 5 through Stockton.

Accident lawyers say the CHP tracks trucking accidents, and their findings demonstrate the serious nature of road safety in California and in Stockton. Truck accidents, attorneys report, have remained fairly steady from 2008 to 2012, according to CHP figures. Approximately 7,500 to 8,700 people have been killed or injured each year in truck accidents. Our attorneys add that this figure is likely somewhat low because some truck accidents go unreported. But, our Stockton accident lawyers say the CHP data shows some positives for Stockton where truck accidents are far lower than in some other regions of California. For example, our Stockton accident lawyers point out, Los Angeles County logged ten times as many truck accidents as did San Joaquin County.
Nonetheless, if you or a loved one are involved in a Stockton truck accident, attorneys know comparative figures offer little comfort for personal pain. So, like many people, our accident lawyers look at ways to prevent Stockton truck accidents. Attorneys know that, sometimes, driver behavior – for both motorists and truckers – contributes to Stockton accidents. Lawyers, for example, have had to deal with long distance truckers affected by too little sleep and too many hours on the road. Of course, the trucking industry has established rules to mitigate against driving with too little rest. But our Stockton accident lawyers know that deadlines and pressure to deliver goods sometimes motivates truckers to maximize their driving.

Of course, our truck accident attorneys also recognize that big rig drivers face hazards of their own. Every year, about 600 truck drivers nationwide are killed – some because of fuel fires and others due to accidents. Our lawyers also point out that truckers may face several health problems from inhaling toxic fumes among other inherent hazards. Stockton accident and injury lawyers acknowledge industry efforts make trucking safer. It’s important for motorists to realize that truck driving is a demanding and strenuous skills. For example, our accident lawyers say that truckers must learn to signal turns well in advance of the maneuver to alert cars. In addition, motorists likely don’t realize how long it takes for a truck to stop due to its great weight. Stockton truck accident lawyers are keenly aware of this due to the speed vehicles travel on our two major freeways. In addition, truckers must resist frequent lane changes. Accident lawyers say truckers are aware that their “blind spots” are large. But, motorists may not share their awareness and make an unwise maneuver that causes a serious Stockton accident.

Our attorneys say responsibility for safety has to be shared. Motorists need to respect the challenges of driving a big rig and the nature of the vehicle itself – extremely heavy, very long and potentially deadly in an accident. Our attorneys advise motorists to be prepared for an emergency on the roads surrounding Stockton. Accident attorneys say that crashes, particular one involving a truck, are seldom anticipated but some simple preparation can make a bad situation better for drivers in Stockton. Our injury attorneys say that carrying a simple first aid kit, a blanket and flares is smart planning. In addition, our accident lawyers say drivers should have a hammer to break window glass and an implement to cut through a seatbelt. Of course, motorists should have a flashlight ready for emergencies in Stockton.

Accident attorneys at Sette Law also advise motorists on smart behavior after an accident. Medical attention, of course, is primary. Then, if it’s safe, victims should use a cell phone to record photos of the Stockton accident scene. Attorneys know that this kind of evidence can be extremely useful in court. An accident involving a truck verses a car most often happens on our freeways in Stockton. Personal injury lawyers acknowledge that taking photos may be difficult, even dangerous, in such circumstances. However, if possible, take photos of skid marks and the immediate environment surrounding the Stockton accident. But, our injury lawyers emphasize that your safety comes first. Don’t take any chances at the scene of an accident.

Injury lawyers add that it’s also important to exchange information – but no more than basic identification and insurance contacts. Personal injury lawyers caution against being angry or, even, apologetic as statements may later be use against you in court. This advice holds true for motorists as well as commercial drivers who are involved in a Stockton accident.

Attorneys, the media and public and the trucking industry are aware that in an accident with car verses truck, the smaller vehicle usually suffers the greatest harm. Our injury lawyers know the trucking industry makes sincere efforts to train, advise and support long haul and big rig drivers. Similarly, our injury attorneys say that motorists should also be more educated about sharing the road with trucks. There is no focused effort to better inform the public about sharing the road with big rigs in Stockton. Accident lawyers admit that there is more work to be done. But, since a family sedan is no match for a big rig on the freeways around Stockton, injury lawyers say it’s important for automobile drivers to recognize that size, power and speed can be a dangerous combination. At the same time, our accident injury attorneys know that professional drivers are educated and aware of their responsibilities behind the wheel of a big rig in Stockton. Our injury attorneys, like you, share the road with trucks that transport goods and materials important to our quality of life. It’s important to respect each other!

Stockton Accident Lawyers explain Liability

Liability is generally defined as an act or as an omission that resulted in harm to a person, according to Sette’s Stockton personal injury attorneys. But, liability is not a simple concept and accident lawyers representing an injured plaintiff must prove the defendant was indeed responsible for causing the accident in Stockton. A personal injury attorney is focused on winning fair compensation for the plaintiff who has experienced physical and financial losses as the result of an accident.

Our Stockton injury lawyers deal with a wide range of liability, from contractual to industrial accidents and car accidents. Injury attorneys specialize in this niche of law that is often challenging and complicated. For example, liability in a car accident might initially appear simple to establish. But, our Stockton personal injury lawyers know that many factors can affect the outcome of a lawsuit.

Let’s present a scenario: Our Stockton injury attorney gets a call from a woman, June, who was riding her bicycle through a marked cross walk when she was hit by a young man driving a truck. She tells Catherine, her Stockton personal injury lawyer, she thinks the driver was texting and didn’t see her. She received injuries to her neck and back in the accident. Her personal injury lawyer examines the medical report to verify this claim. June also gives her Stockton accident lawyer invoices for her mounting medical bills. She is clearly injured and financially harmed by the accident. It seems pretty straight forward, right?

But Catherine, her Stockton personal injury attorney is not so confident this is a simple case. Catherine asks June why she waited for two days before seeing a doctor. An experienced injury lawyer knows that the attorney for the driver will also question this hesitation. In our practice at Sette Law we emphasize how important it is that accident victims seek immediate medical attention. We know that some muscle injuries may not manifest for 24 hours or more, but our Stockton accident lawyers also anticipate the defendant’s personal injury attorney can allege the injuries were not caused by his client but perhaps happened earlier or after the accident. June’s accident attorney will have to firmly establish the direct link between the accident and the injuries in light of the fact that June didn’t ask for prompt medical attention.

And, there’s another challenge for June’s injury lawyer to tackle. The defendant says that June pulled out in front of him and that, after the accident, she apologized, saying she was distracted by a call on her cell phone. Her Stockton injury attorney now has to counter June’s statement – that could been regarded as admission of fault in the accident. Our personal injury lawyers know that the best response to an accident is silence! Anything beyond the exchange of basic information is discouraged. Based on experience with many clients, our Stockton accident attorneys know that emotionally charged situations like car accidents can lead to people saying things they will later regret. In June’s case, that polite apology adds to the other burden she’s put on her Stockton injury attorney. Now Catherine has to explain both the comment as well as June’s failure to get immediate medical attention.

Our Stockton personal injury lawyers know that no one can totally prepare for an accident. But, with a little presence of mind, victims can protect themselves after a Stockton car accident. Attorneys advise crash victims to document the scene with cell phone pictures or videos, to get badge and report numbers from law enforcement and to immediately call a Stockton accident lawyer. Keep emotions under control and conversation down to a minimum. Save the details for your personal injury lawyer.

Principle of Shared Liability
Stockton personal injury attorneys may also find that responsibility for injuries does not rest solely with the driver in a car accident. June’s lawyer, for example, may discover that the driver was delivering items for his employer in Stockton. Injury attorneys are well versed in Vicarious Liability in which an employer, under many circumstances, will share responsibility for an accident caused by an employee. When June’s Stockton injury lawyer has overcome the previous objections regarding her statements and medical condition, the injury lawyer may establish the Statutory Liability of the business owner who hired the delivery driver in Stockton.
Personal injury lawyers say that business owners assume a great deal of responsibility in such cases. But, if June’s injury attorney is successful in establishing shared liability, she will not be fully compensated for her injuries from each source. Instead, her Stockton injury attorney will seek to establish a reasonable shared percentage for each party.

Further Liability Risks for Car Owners in Stockton
Our accident lawyers say that owners who loan their cars to friends and family may face serious consequences if the driver is involved in an accident. Attorneys say this is true if the driver is just an acquaintance or a son or daughter. In the case of children, a parent may face a charge of Negligent Entrustment due to awareness the child was an inexperienced driver in Stockton. Our injury attorneys explain that parents are likely in a position to also know their child may be reckless and at risk of a car accident. Lawyers for an injured person may seek damages from a parent by showing relevant evidence and testimony.

There are a few classes of drivers that laws consider unfit to drive, including people suffering severe illness, those using drugs or alcohol and drivers lacking a license in Stockton. But personal injury attorneys say that many other factors contribute to liability for Stockton car accidents. Our injury attorneys face the complexities of liability law on a daily basis, even with an accident that on the surface appears to be open-and-shut for a victim of a Stockton car accident. Personal injury lawyers understand  the many requirements of proving liability, as well as the defense that will be offered by a defendant’s accident attorney. 

As Stockton personal injury attorneys we seek to represent the best interest of our clients through a thorough understanding of liability law and our highly effective legal practice.



Car Accidents – Stockton Injury Lawyers share their Insights

In Stockton, car accident lawyers experience first-hand, some of the crucial mistakes made by injured parties at the scene of an accident. The minutes after an accident are often charged with emotion that, our personal injury attorneys say, can either help or harm subsequent claims for compensation by injured victims in Stockton.

Car accident lawyers at Sette Law advise victims to remain calm, quiet and observant. We are familiar with the natural urge to be angry or even apologetic after a Stockton car accident. But lawyers explain that a simple apology might, in a court of law, be perceived as an admission of responsibility for the car accident. Injury lawyers, consequently, say it is wisest to say very little beyond the essential exchange of information after a Stockton car accident.

Conversely, lawyers advise accident victims to listen, observe and record the aftermath of the car accident. Our personal injury attorneys, like most people today, depend on their Smart Phones. Individuals involved in car accidents can also use the technology to capture details that a personal injury lawyer may later use to help them recoup medical costs and damages from the driver at-fault in the Stockton car accident. Our attorneys can reference photos and videos taken at the accident scene – cell phone pictures of damages, road conditions and other factors that may have played a role in the Stockton car accident. Lawyers (and law enforcement) know that human recall is often imprecise, particularly at after a car accident. Injury attorneys at Sette Law suggest people use the recording device on their phones to capture information, comments and observations at the scene. In addition, it’s helpful to record the names of law enforcement officers and report numbers to facilitate the work of our Stockton personal injury lawyers on your behalf.

No one wants a lengthy drama after a car accident. But, car accident lawyers say it’s important to be examined for injuries, either at the scene of immediately after. Personal injury attorneys know that if a plaintiff refuses medical care or fails to seek it, a defendant’s accident attorney may suggest to a court that you were not harmed in the car accident. Further, our Stockton car accident lawyers know that some injuries are often not immediately apparent. Whip lash (common in car crashes) may not bother a victim until days after the car accident. Our lawyers therefore advise victims to take the simple precaution of being checked out immediately after a Stockton car accident so lawyers have evidence of your medical concern.

When car accident victims can stay reasonable and focused in the highly charged environment of an accident, our personal injury attorneys can work faster and more efficiently toward a resolution that compensates victims for financial losses from a Stockton car accident.

Lawyers have High Bar to prove Driver Liability in Stockton
Accident attorneys must satisfy four principles to establish liability in a car accident. Courts, based on state law, want Stockton personal injury lawyers to present evidence of causation, harm, duty and breach – four core principles. Causation means that your accident injury attorney can directly link your injuries to the actions of the defendant. To support this claim, your personal injury lawyer may ask a medical expert to testify about the cause of your injuries. If that testimony supports your claim, your Stockton injury attorney will have satisfied this category for the court.

The defendant’s personal injury lawyer may allege that your injury is unrelated to the car accident – perhaps received before or after the Stockton car accident. Your attorney will seek to prove the harm was, in fact, directly related to the accident. The ability to present this kind of evidence is just one reason why  representation by a Stockton personal injury attorney is so important.

Much of the responsibility drivers share on the road is linked to the principle of ‘duty.’ Our Stockton injury lawyers say we all have an obligation to obey the rules of the road and operate vehicles safely. In fact, we often make the assumption that other drivers on the road will do so. But, as our accident injury lawyers well know, it’s not always the case. People do drive recklessly and with little regard for others on the road. Your Stockton personal injury attorney will work to affirm you, as the injured plaintiff, were driving in accordance to duty and that the defendant failed to do so.

This leads to proving breach – your injury attorney can establish facts about the plaintiff’s driving behavior that led to your accident. Lawyers may look at evidence from the scene of the crash – perhaps identifying skid marks that indicate high speeds, or submitting evidence the plaintiff tested positive for alcohol consumption after the Stockton car accident. Attorneys have access to reports and other evidence from police reports, as well as from witnesses.

A person injured in a car accident may feel their case is “open and shut” and opt to represent himself in court. But, our Stockton injury lawyers know that people without legal training and experience may find themselves overwhelmed by the legal system. Knowledge of court room dynamics and rules, the ability to satisfy the four court principles just outlined, and practice in examining witnesses and defendants in court, are attributes of qualified Stockton injury attorneys after many years of education and practice. Being able to step back from the emotion of an injury suffered in a car accident, a car accident lawyer can objectively look at the strengths and weaknesses of court room testimony and assess strategies to benefit the victim of a Stockton car accident. Injury lawyers have extensive experience in court, with juries and judges, and thus are able to work efficiently toward a resolution.

In addition, a personal injury attorney can protect car accident victims from potential abuse. Sometimes, without a Stockton injury lawyer, a defendant’s insurance company might offer a settlement that is less than fair to the victim of a car accident. A personal injury lawyer for the plaintiff can evaluate settlement offers to make certain the client is receiving just compensation.

In summary, our Stockton injury attorneys advise the victims of a car accident to apply the “listen-don’t-talk” strategy after an accident and make that all important call to a personal injury attorney.



Stockton Dog Bites present Lawyers with Challenges

In Stockton, dog bite lawyers at Sette Law know that broad knowledge of state and local laws is critical to helping victims receive just compensation for their injuries. And, it’s important to recognize that although victims have legal protections, dog owners also have rights in Stockton dog bite incidents. Lawyers explain that individuals who are trespassing on a dog owner’s private property and attacked by the animal, may, in court, be assessed with at least part of the responsibility for the Stockton dog bite. Personal injury attorneys state that courts have ruled that trespassers knowingly take a risk and bear some, perhaps all, of the responsibility for a Stockton dog bite injury. Lawyers provide courts with evidence on behalf of their client in such cases.

At the same time, victims who are injured by vicious dogs while lawfully on private property or on public property may not bear such responsibility in Stockton. Our dog bite lawyers explain that state code places responsibility for an animal with the owner, who will have liability for any bite or attack in Stockton. However, personal injury attorneys say there will still be an investigation into a dog’s past behavior to determine known aggression or establish a history of complaints.

Stockton dog bite lawyers know that determining liability can be a lengthy and complex process. Essential to helping a victim or owner, is clear recollection of the circumstances surrounding the Stockton dog bite. Lawyers will conduct a thorough investigation to establish the facts in dog bite cases to achieve a just resolution.




Safety First for Bicyclists in Stockton

Bicycle accident lawyers at Sette Law in Stockton look at national trends regarding safety for residents who enjoy bike riding for fun and recreation. Those statistics, according to our Stockton personal injury attorneys, show a heightened need for vigilance and adherence to traffic laws for both bicyclists as well as motorists in Stockton.

Bicycle accidents increased from 2011 to 2012, according to the Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Center. This trend may be due to an increase in riders nationwide and, our Stockton bicycle accident attorneys say, probably underestimates the number of people injured in bicycle accidents. Law enforcement is often not notified about minor accidents, victims may not visit hospital emergency rooms and many bike injuries go unreported. Safety Center researchers estimate the number of Stockton bicycle accidents reported may be as low as 1- percent. Our Stockton bicycle accident lawyers believe that a great deal of education needs to happen to create a safer urban environment for bicycle riders.

Stockton bicycle accidents are most threatening to youngsters. According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, the number of accidents involving riders under the age of 15 earned a dubious ranking for Stockton. Bicycle accident lawyers explain that, out of 13 similar cities, Stockton ranks the second most dangerous for these young riders. The city placed ninth on the scale for riders over 15 in Stockton. Bicycle accident lawyers say the reported 138 bicycle accidents logged in 2011 probably represent a fraction of actual Stockton bicycle accidents.

Lawyers at Sette Law believe riders and motorists must step up vigilance and build greater awareness of safety on the streets of Stockton. Bicycle accidents most often result in serious injuries to riders, given the vast difference in speed, weight and protection between bikes and cars. Consequently, our Stockton injury attorneys call for mutual respect on the roads. Motorists should be on the watch for bike riders and bicyclists must not only anticipate movement in vehicle traffic but also ride responsibly.

Unfortunately, because bike riders are so vulnerable in Stockton, bicycle accident lawyers advise riders to adopt consistent rules for riding in traffic. A first basic rule would be to always, unfailingly, wear a helmet on the streets of Stockton. Our personal injury attorneys know that most bicycle accidents result in head injuries – damage that can impact victims for a lifetime.

Another simple prevention practice is for riders to dress in brilliant colors to make themselves clearly visible to vehicle drivers in Stockton. Bicycle accidents can, and do, happen because the rider seemed to blend with the environment. Our bicycle accident lawyers encourage riders to be colorful when riding on the streets of Stockton.

Bicycle accidents can also be minimized if bikes are outfitted with good lights, reflectors and mirrors. Making eye contact with vehicle drivers signals awareness of both rider and car for mutual safety in Stockton. Furthermore, our Stockton bicycle accident lawyers say riders need to think ahead about the intentions of drivers. Something as simple as a car door swinging open can cause serious injury or death in a resulting bicycle accident in Stockton.

If these suggestions seem to place the greatest responsibility on riders to avoid bicycle accidents, our lawyers agree. After all, the bicyclist is almost always at greatest risk in a bicycle accident. Ultimately, if the result is serious injury or death in a Stockton bicycle accident, lawyers know that, despite monetary recovery that may be won, the rider suffers the greatest harm. It is in the rider’s personal interest to adopt consistent safety habits when riding in Stockton.

Bicycle accident lawyerrs urge riders to take these simple precautions and to also recognize that their actions can contribute to Stockton bicycle accidents. Our attorneys are watching a case in nearby Sacramento in which a rider hit a pedestrian and left her disabled for life from a bicycle accident. The bicyclist was riding on a sidewalk and hit the woman from behind. In this case, the bicycle was the dangerous vehicle. The victim is suing for damages in the bicycle accident, contending that the city vehicle code regarding riding on sidewalks is unclear. The rider who caused the bicycle accident has not been identified. Our Stockton bicycle accident lawyers know that riding on busy streets can be a frightening experience. Proper bike lanes are often nonexistent and bicyclists are drawn to the safety of sidewalks. But, Stockton personal injury attorneys point to the Sacramento incident as a case in which a bicycle proved as dangerous as a car to a pedestrian.

Clearly, responsibility for bicycle and pedestrian safety is shared. Our Stockton bicycle accident lawyers believe it is time for state and local traffic laws to adapt to an increase in bicycle use. This requires education and vigilance of bike riders and motorists to keep themselves and pedestrians safe from Stockton bicycle accidents.

How a Stockton Personal Injury Attorney Helps People Heal

Accidents happen. At Sette Law in Stockton our personal injury lawyers know this is a simple fact of life. But, when harm is done to a person through the negligence or intent of another person, the injured party should not have to bear the financial burden caused by an accident in Stockton. Personal injury attorneys are focused on “tort law.” It is our job to fully understand the many nuances and legal aspects of personal injury law to advocate for clients in Stockton. Personal injury law covers an almost endless array of circumstances.

Most people think of headline-grabbing cases such as the lawsuit against McDonald’s in 1994 for its dangerously hot coffee. But our Stockton personal injury lawyers know most cases never make headlines. Injuries suffered in everyday life such as car accidents, slip and fall, malpractice, wrongful death and dog bites are more common in Stockton. But, injury attorneys know the circumstances of each event will be unique. Consequently, our Stockton personal injury lawyers closely follow new cases across the nation to best represent clients in Stockton.

Injury attorneys are currently watching the development of emerging cases of lawsuits involving death and injury in vehicles with defects. The number of cases has been rising each passing week and being educated about those actions helps us to represent clients in Stockton. Our personal injury lawyers also pay attention to cases of libel and slander with new, emerging issues related to the use of the Internet to cause personal injury.

Attorneys point out that personal injury often involves harm that was accidental. It’s only when the accident was caused by negligence – or the creation of a dangerous environment – that litigation offers relief to victims in Stockton. Personal injury lawyers explain that people and entities (like businesses and corporations) have a Duty of Care. This is a legal obligation embedded in tort law and applies to all our Stockton personal injury cases. Lawyers must determine that harm was done due to a failure to exercise a “standard of reasonable care” in Stockton. Personal injury lawyers help establish the facts of such cases.
This principle applies to big corporations – like General Motors – and to individuals, such as dog owners in Stockton. Personal injury lawyers frequently deal with dog bite lawsuits. Dog owners have an obligation to the safety of the public. Dogs that are out of control and off-leash can caused serious injury and even death to dog bite victims in Stockton.

Our Personal injury lawyers reference cases nationwide to support clients in Stockton. Injury attorneys help clients to heal from physical, emotional and financial harm done to them due to personal injuries caused by negligence.