Lewis, Marenstein,
Wicke, Sherwin & Lee, Llp

Woodland Hills California Legal Blog

A truck accident could occur due to many contributing factors

Truck drivers have a job to do, which is why California residents often see so many tractor-trailers on the roads. Of course, knowing that they have a job to do does not necessarily make other drivers feel more comfortable traveling the roads with them. This feeling is understandable, as a truck accident could happen at any moment.

Hundreds of thousands of truck-related accidents happen in the United States every year. Unfortunately, there are many factors that can contribute to these accidents, such as distracted driving, drowsy driving, failing to change speed for road conditions and others. Though driver error does account for many of these incidents, issues with tractor-trailers can also cause problems, and brake failure is the main malfunction-related issue that leads to crashes. Tire blowouts are also a common contributing factor.

Detailing the attractive nuisance doctrine

One of the main benefits of living in California is being able to enjoy relatively good weather throughout the year. While you might certainly enjoy not having to deal with seasonal changes, you might experience stress over the fact that outdoor activities are available to your kids all year round. Your older children may have the understanding needed to discern which of these activities are safe, but what about your younger kids? Many have come to us here at Lewis, Marenstein, Wicke, Sherwin & Lee, LLP after their children have been injured from such activity wondering what sort of legal recourse is available to them.

Swimming pools, construction sites, junkyards, and abandoned buildings may all be enticing attractions to your kids. Yet each of these attractions also present dangers that your children might not appreciate. Because of this, the law places the responsibility on the owners of the properties on which these attractions are found to protect children from them. This legal principle is known as the attractive nuisance doctrine, and according to the Cornell Law School, it even applies to scenarios where your child might have been on a person’s property without their permission.

First responders gain PTSD benefits

All across the nation, including in California, it seems that the need for police officers and firefighters to address serious and disturbing events only keeps growing. Mass shootings were once a shocking experience but today are sadly all too common. In recent years, the wildfire season has become one of extreme destruction, and the loss of life. Police, firefighters, paramedics and other emergency responders are routinely put in situations that would logically leave anyone with symptoms of trauma.

Unfortunately, California's first responders have struggled to gain access to the level of care they needed to address these experiences and heal from them before enduring even more such events. Some attribute this to a rise in the number of suicide deaths among this cohort. In 2017 alone, 140 police officers in the state died by suicide. That was more than the 129 officers who died from work-related events or conditions. In the same year, line-of-duty deaths among firefighters numbered 93. A total of 103 firefighters took their own lives.

Has a fatigued driver hit you?

California residents share the road with plenty of other people. Unfortunately, with a higher number of drivers on the road, there is also a higher chance of you running into problematic drivers or drivers who are not engaging in safe behaviors. We at Lewis, Marenstein, Wicke, Sherwin & Lee, LLP, are here to discuss the dangers of driver fatigue and its potential impact on you.

Drowsy driving occurs when a driver gets behind the wheel even though they are exhausted. Fatigue is a condition that affects someone mentally, physically, and emotionally. Drivers who are fatigued are more prone to getting irritated and having fits of road rage. Their ability to react to surprise situations is dampened, making their reflexes slower. They might be too slow to avoid the possibility of a crash.

Is cumulative PTSD in police officers a presumptive injury?

Most people associate post-traumatic stress disorder with soldiers and others in the military; however, PTSD is as prevalent among police officers in California and elsewhere. The difference is that soldiers often develop PTSD as the result of a single, exceptionally traumatic incident, while the ongoing stress and trauma that police officers experience are part of their daily lives. Experts call this type of PTSD cumulative PTSD, and it typically takes a heavy toll not only on their lives but also on the lives of their families.

If you, as a police officer, witnesses a fatal shooting that kills your partner or another single traumatic event, you will have access to professional counseling. However, the progressive buildup of stress from daily exposure to traumatic situations often go unnoticed and untreated -- creating conditions that could cause you to become a risk to others and yourself.

Why you shouldn't be ashamed of dog bite trauma

Californian residents who are attacked by dogs can end up with severe wounds. Some victims have been described as being "in shreds" by the time they reach the emergency care unit, with the damage they have suffered through making them virtually unrecognizable. Naturally, some individuals who go through these attacks may also suffer from mental or emotional trauma because of the intensity of the damage faced.

The Seattle Times goes into detail following the stories of several residents who have suffered from brutal dog attacks. These individuals talk of developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or PTSD-like symptoms, anxiety disorders, depression, and even agoraphobia. Some may develop a fear of dogs which can be so strong that they have difficulty going out in public out of concern that they might see one.

Suing an employer for intentional harm

In California, insured workers will usually be compensated for any damages they receive on the job through workers' compensation. However, there are some situations in which it a worker has the option of suing either a third party or even their own employer as well.

Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines workers' compensation as an insurance system that allows an injured worker to be reimbursed for their injury. The amount can vary, and sometimes an injured worker may feel as though the amount they have received is not equivalent to the damage that has been done.

Most common injuries faced by firefighters

Firefighters face a variety of risks in a demanding job which can force them into complex and dangerous situations, exposing them to injury or even death. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reported 60 on-duty firefighters died in 2017, and 58,835 were injured while on the job.

Firefighters in California and elsewhere are also exposed to hazardous chemicals and infectious diseases, which are better cataloged than in the past.

The hidden risks associated with dog bites

In California, there are laws in place that make it so an owner is held responsible for their pet if said pet happens to bite someone. This can come in handy, because an animal bite attack may actually leave an individual with more expenses than they initially assumed.

Dog bite injuries in particular can cause massive amounts of physical trauma. Because of the design of a dog's teeth and jaw, they can tear large chunks of flesh, break bones, and potentially disfigure a victim in mere seconds. This may result in the victim requiring reconstructive surgery and spending a long time in the hospital recovering. Potentially deadly wounds to the face and neck also require emergency treatment in many cases. This means they will face additional expenses for the emergency room, surgery, and the ambulance ride.

Balancing trucker fatigue and public safety

Most California residents are quite used to seeing semi-trucks and other large commercial vehicles gracing their area roads and highways. Whether a truck is delivering goods to a local grocery store, transporting oil or something else, the importance of commercial trucking in the United States cannot be underestimated. However, the importance of keeping people safe should be even more important.

It is safety that led the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to enact its Hours of Service rule six years ago. This rule caps the number of hours a trucker can drive in a single day or week. Before this rule went into effect, a trucker could work 82 hours per week. Now, that limit is 70 hours over an eight-day work week or 60 hours over a seven-day work week. There are also specific guidelines that dictate when a driver must take a break and how long that break must last.

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Lewis, Marenstein,
Wicke, Sherwin & Lee, Llp

20750 Ventura Boulevard
Suite 400
Woodland Hills, CA 91364

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