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.
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.