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Month: October 2014

Is It Time to Ban Dangerous Dogs?

German Shepherd Attacks
German Shepherd Attacks – 3D Render

Recently, authorities shot several animals. The facts show a woman and her son were mauled in Modesto, California. Many consumer attorneys and safety organizations are clamoring for an outright ban on these types of animals.

After all, California government has successfully passed laws banning “assault” weapons, like AR15’s. And they did this even though these sporting rifles are used in less than 1% of gun crimes.

So it makes sense that the senate and house in the Golden State would outlaw certain types of dogs. After all, these dogs remain responsible for many maimings, deaths, and disfigurement of children.

Highlighting the new calls for more dog laws is this most recent and tragic case. According to Stanislaus Sheriff Adam Christianson, the incident took place at approximately 5:45 p.m. in the 800 block of Glenn Avenue in Modesto. The Sheriff said emergency officials received several 911 calls reporting the attack.

Deputies arriving at the residence found three pit bulls attacking a man. Also, a fourth dog was circling the attack in the man’s backyard, Christianson said. One organization on Facebook remains dedicated to banning pit bulls. Some opine the only way to stop them is to kill them and end their breeding.


It appears that the police agree, at least in the most recent instance. The sheriff said deputies shot and killed two of the dogs. Afterward, the other pit bulls became frightened by the gunfire. So they ran to a nearby yard. After securing the backyard where the attack took place, sheriff department investigators found a senior woman located inside of the home. She too had been attacked by the pit bulls.

The woman had sustained multiple traumatic bite wounds. The Sheriff’s Department did not release the identity of the elderly woman or man. Deputies set up a perimeter in the neighboring yard. And this was done to contain the other two pit bulls. They too were shot and killed.


A Threat to the Community.

Both the mauling victims were treated and transported to an area hospital by paramedics at the scene. Officials are still determining who owned the dogs. Christianson said the were acting viciously. In fact, they were charging the deputies. He stated that they were a threat to the community.

According to officials, detectives are investigating witnesses and gathering evidence in conjunction with the Stanislaus County Animal Services. The goal is to find whether other reports of the dog’s bad behavior or attacks exist.

Also, authorities are checking the dogs for micro-chipping. One neighbor identified as Celeste Vaughn stated the dogs are known in the community. She also said they have attacked other dogs, but not people. She said she avoided the pit bulls.


Compare Pitbulls to an AR15 Sporting Rifle.

Authorities said criminally, and civil charges await the pit bull’s owner. That is all well and good. But where is the outrage from politicians? I mean, an AR-15 cannot jump off a table and shoot someone. But a dog trained to kill bulls sure can. Isn’t it only fair to ban pit bulls, or have their teeth removed?

The so-called “high capacity” magazine ban compares to this. This limits how many rounds law abiding citizens can have in their weapons for self-defense. So why not pull the teeth out of a guard dog’s mouth so that only police dogs can have teeth?


Only The Government Should Have Guns and Dangerous Dogs?

Won’t the world be a safer place if only the government has weapons and dangerous dogs? I mean, after all, look at how great King George was. That is what he wanted right? In any event, this should not be hard to achieve. Also, it will probably garner a lot of votes from soccer moms.

Nothing in the Bill of Rights comes close to the “shall not be infringed” language of the Second Amendment. Only the government can have over ten rounds in their firearms in the Golden State. Even sillier is that citizens voted for politicians who voted to deny their constituents unalienable rights.

Of course, this is presented in jest. But this should give us all food for thought. And the outcomes are potentially disastrous considering the terrible and unfair state of California law. Legislation on the books already exists to prevent and mitigate dog attacks. Also, dog owners are accountable for recklessness. I will keep you updated on the outcome as the legal cases progress.

Modesto Pitbull Attack: http://www.kcra.com/news/group-of-pit-bulls-mauls-elderly-couple-in-modesto/29134148

How Did Pit Bulls Get Such a Bad Rap?: http://www.cesarsway.com/dogbehavior/basics/How-Did-Pit-Bulls-Get-a-Bad-Rap

Ban Pitbulls: https://www.facebook.com/banpitbullssavelives

Insurance Carriers and Driver-less Vehicles

Disaster approaching catastrophe.
Los Angeles catastrophe meter.

Cases of the main insurance corporations underpaying victims of tragic car accidents happen each and every day. Hardworking policy holders that pay their premiums on time every year are held up by stipulations and claims adjustors looking to minimize the risk of their bosses.

Claims that should cover the cost of replacing or repairing cars damaged in a crash and any medical bills are often pared down to nearly nothing. At the end of the day, it is the insurance company that believes that it holds the cards.

Now with the advent of self-driving cars entering into the marketplace, the big insurance companies will likely have something to fear. With innovations driving policies at Tesla, Volvo, and other auto manufacturers, the face of driving and insurance may be permanently altered.

The idea that severe automobile accidents may be slashed to near zero is one that should be celebrated. However, for the insurance companies, their main concern may be their bottom line, rather than the safety of their current policy holders. In fact, considering that the average auto insurance policy is likely going to be a thing of the past, what major hurdles could be faced?

  • Comprehensive coverage could become a thing of the past. For many drivers, the prospect of never facing an accident or even a speeding ticket will reduce their personal and financial risk. With fewer medical and crash claims, the need for current policies will fade.
  • Competition will drive the price curve down. Different insurance companies squeezed by a reduced demand for extensive coverage will offer cheaper policies covering a lighter package of more flexible options. This could spark a race to the bottom where any company that does not rapidly shift its priorities will be left in the dust.
  • The chance of insurance companies, soon to be stretched out of the current model, attempting to take advantage of their policy holders could increase. There are already copious examples of insurance companies not following through on their promises. Now, with smaller profit margins and the bottom line becoming smaller, the impetus to pay out for the victims of car accidents may be reduced to keep the slimmer profits alive.

All of these issues play a role in consumer protection. Drivers that are planning to switch over to driverless cars should understand that beyond the key concepts are changes in how insurance and corporate responsibility works. For the consumer, being protected is key.

Limb Loss and Rehab

Dictionary
Dictionary definition of the word “Justice” in English. Shallow DOF.

Dismemberment is one of the hardest injuries for a person to undergo. Whether there is a full shear of a limb due to an accident or an amputation due to injury, disease, or drug reaction, the after effects are all severe and life altering. When faced with such an issue, many victims do not know their legal rights. So they have no idea what they should be doing next.

Strong legal counsel is often vital for the next stage of recovery, both medically and financially. We hear horror stories from victims who still think they have their limb, and say they can still feel it there, even though it was lobbed off. These poor souls are going through some terrible times indeed.

The price of the loss of a limb is far steeper than that shown upfront. Beyond just the absence of that limb, the person will face years of rehabilitation and the possible need for long-term medical treatment and nursing care. There could be severe side effects and infections that could arise as well as the mounting medical bills. All of this can be overwhelming for someone just involved in a terrible accident. The need for an attorney to help sort through these many problems is apparent.

The aftermath is a long and costly process that the patient must go through. This person will have to be educated about the restrictions that the amputation will cause them. And they must also cope with the long-term effects of the injury or surgery. The actual amputation or surgery dealing with the event is often long and intensive and will require special care to allow a prosthesis to be fitted.

After surgery, extensive physical therapy and continued medical treatment will be needed. And this is particularly true since the patient is dealing with the condition for the first time. This person now has to deal with learning how to function, drive, and work. And this is all new without a valuable limb. So they will need to work through issues for years.

When faced with all of these factors, you are not alone. Not only are the doctors and nurses there to try and make the transition easier, but an experienced attorney can also assist in dealing with many of the long-term ramifications. They can help in countering the party possibly at fault for your injury or dealing with your insurance company.

Call Ehline Law for a free consultation to assist in this troubling time, or make sure and do a lot of research before giving any statements to anyone as to the cause of your loss. Insurance companies are notorious for using statements made by victims against the victims at a later date.

It is easy to say something out of context that will harm your case later on. The rehab is always better when there is significant money to pay for it. Therefore, most lawyers will advise the victims to never speak to anyone about how the injury occurred, unless it is through their attorney.

Citations:

“Standard of Care: Lower Extremity Amputation” – BRIGHAM AND WOMEN’S HOSPITAL
Department of Rehabilitation Services – Physical Therapy:
http://www.brighamandwomens.org/patients_visitors/pcs/rehabilitationservices/physical%20therapy%20standards%20of%20care%20and%20protocols/general%20-%20le%20amputation.pdf

Why Medical Care After an Accident Should Not be Refused

Neglect Care Switch Showing Neglecting Or Caring
Neglect Care Switch Showing Neglecting Or Caring

Refusal of medical treatment after being in an automotive accident is a large mistake. This is on several points. First, there is harm that may not be immediately apparent. Also, in some instances, it may take hours, days or weeks until symptoms are present. Secondly, refusing medical care can impact a legal claim. So the value of the personal injury case can get knocked down.

The fact is, refusing medical examination and treatment reduces the ability to win. You can easily lose or blow out a lawsuit or settlement by not acting swiftly. The defense will use this as leverage to prove their case. Also, without medical documentation, it will be difficult if not impossible to prove damages. So forget about money for harm suffered.

Insurance companies will also use this as a way to offer a low settlement or deny a claim. In conclusion, there should be no delay in seeking medical care. After getting involved in an accident, you must go directly to the emergency room. Also, this must get done to maintain the value of the claim against a negligent party.


What are The Interworkings of Insurance Company Claims?

Insurance companies are not on the side of the injured individual. Also, they are likely to negotiate or offer a larger settlement amount with documentation. Almost always, this shows the damage was accident related. A hospital emergency room medical professional provided the diagnosis. That care provider was the one that tended the treatment for the harm suffered during the mishap.

When Your Doctor is Not A Member of Mainstream Medicine, You Have a Problem.

There is one issue that may impact an insurance claim that is new. When the medical professional is not a member of mainstream medicine claims, get reduced. Examples include acupuncturists, pressure therapists, and holistic healers. Shamans and witch doctors are also not considered real doctors. Caveat emptor, the insurance company, may use this as a reason to lower the offered settlement or validity.

They will often claim the diagnoses or treatment was invalid. The best choice is a physician who practices within the mainstream medical community. Still better is when he or she has an affiliation with hospitals.

Another issue that determines the value of insurance company offers is the length of treatment. So along with the pain and suffering, this gets factored into the settlement amount. Furthermore, the insurance company often looks at care provided by chiropractors and physical therapists. Sometimes defendants say the victim extended treatment beyond what may be necessary. They will claim this was to increase the settlement amount.

The claimant who can show they were under the care of their primary physician is in a better position. The more qualified the doctor ordering this, the more valid it will be to a court. So this type of treatment for the amount of time the care consisted of, will show a more valid argument. The insurance company will take a claim more seriously too. So when immediate medical treatment happens, the payouts are higher. In some cases, diagnosis and treatment are dependent upon testing. But that can be expensive. And it is to confirm or rule out particular harm, especially in traumatic head injuries.

Scans and Tests.

These tests may include CT scans, MRI’s and x-rays. These will show if individuals have a traumatic brain injury. So this could include concussion or another type of head injury. Testing of this kind can be a significant portion of the medical expenses in an insurance claim. But alas, if the proper steps don’t get taken from the start, testing reimbursement gets denied.

Delaying Medical Care is a Major No No.

The medical professional’s documentation and testing results can mean obtaining a higher settlement. Conversely, delaying medical care will provide insurance companies with reasons something else hurt you. They will then refuse to pay for the testing and treatment. Or they will outright lower or deny the claim.

When medical treatment is immediate, the insurance company will be more cooperative. Also, they become more agreeable to the initial expenses for treatment. The fight may be stronger with diagnostic tests or lengthy therapy treatments involved. However, insurance companies are apt to pay the initial costs when treatment is immediate.


What Things that Can Damage an Accident Claim?

The most damaging issue in personal injury claims is refusing medical treatment. Failure to do so at the crash scene or lying is often fatal to your case. Each can cause damage to the allegation. Most of all, they provide the defense with ammunition. They will argue against the plaintiff or the validity of the claim. So not getting medical treatment right away lets defendants question if it was accident related.

Almost always they say it was a later injury in some other incident. So it may get wondered whether the injuries are fake. Hence there needs to be a post-accident medical record. Also, another defense is that extra costs could have gotten avoided with timely care. Particularly relevant here, law schools teach this as “mitigation of damages.” So a plaintiff who fails to stabilize him or herself is not allowed to argue exacerbation of the injury later.

Create a Causal Connection With the Injury and the Incident With Medical Records.

When symptoms appear later, first medical care evidence connects conditions to the accident. Also, with a medical professional reviewing/validating the documents, it helps eliminate the defense’s arguments.

Namely, it strips them from arguing the validity of the injury and claim. Every issue discussed will affect the chance of obtaining the deserved settlement. The goal here is winning a lawsuit for the value your case is worth. It is easier for the court to rule in the plaintiff’s favor with validated evidence.

So to recover what a claim is worth, physicians need to review medical records. Specifically, they need to focus on the diagnosis and treatment. If it’s related to the accident, it is recoverable in court. Independent examination and review will enhance the validity of the claim. Also, it helps to avoid problems with injuries not immediately plain.


How Attorneys Determine Worth in Personal Injury Claims.

The personal injury attorney will review the medical treatment undergone. This lawyer will examine the duration of treatment and the type of injuries sustained. Most lawyers will use experts to determine the worth of the overall claim. So in seeking damages, the attorney will rely on medical specialists and economists. Then they will assess the expenses involved in the initial damages and future damages if any.

The experts that review the claim will provide testimony to support the case. Evidence helps recover the compensation the injured victim deserves. If you or a loved one has gotten injured, you need legal advice. Contact Ehline Law Firm. Get a free consultation today. Do this by calling our negligence law attorney’s toll-free at (213) 596-9642. Our lawyers will never ask for upfront legal fees. And if we don’t recover compensation in your case, you won’t pay attorney fees.

 

Common Areas and Elevator Accidents

Elevator in office builidng. Downtown Los Angeles.
The red carpet may lead to an elevator and an accident.

Elevator accidents are caused by some malfunction of the elevator. As a matter of fact, this causes them to stop suddenly between floors or to collapse. Serious injuries and deaths have occurred in these incidents. Los Angeles is notorious for elevator problems. With its older buildings and busy traffic, these machines are bound to fail absent serious attention.

Also, the elevator company responsible for installing and maintaining elevators could be at fault. But also, the maintenance department of a building may be responsible. And their failure and mismanagement could lead to mass casualties and even wrongful death.

And this is called negligence, since if it was working properly and in good condition, the accident could be prevented. Ehline Law takes on many elevator-related accidents.

Examples of cases we take include arms getting stuck in elevators and limbs becoming lacerated, or amputated. Examples of people we would sue to include South Coast Plaza or Del Amo Mall in Torrance. With millions of dollars in recoveries for those poor folks without protection, Ehline has acted as a sword and a shield for many needing to get back on their feet. Here, we discuss the lesser known causes and effects of these negligence claims.

“Common Areas” and Elevators.

There are common areas where lifts are installed in office buildings, shopping malls, government buildings, hotels, schools, factories, work sites and some private residences.

Trapped in an Elevator – Pain, and Trauma.

When an elevator incident occurs, the person who is injured suffers pain, psychological problems, and expenses that intensify the suffering causing more difficulties. An individual trapped in an elevator that is stuck between floors is terrifying and may result in shock or suffocation.

If a person walks into an open shaft, which has no elevator and survives the fall, they will suffer severe injuries and emotional trauma.

Elevator Malfunction Causes.

The most common causes of elevator accidents are mechanical defects and elevators that are not adequately aligned with the floor, resulting in irregular leveling. Defective wiring can cause electrocution, door defects, poor maintenance, rider carelessness can cause accidents and wet floors can result in a slip and falls.

At least 27 people get killed, and 10,000 injured annually in elevator accidents. (read more). And some of the injuries being far-reaching.

General Injuries.

There are some injuries associated with elevator failures. These could be head injuries or back injuries. Many may involve severe back pain, injuries to legs, knees, elbows and wrists.

Negligence typically causes injuries by an individual or entity responsible for the elevator maintenance. And they should be held accountable. However, the maker or designer may also be at fault.

The wounded person, or the family of a loved one, have the unalienable right to file a lawsuit, naming the responsible party(ies), and successfully recover compensation for the injuries or death.

How Elevator Injuries Happen.

Elevator accidents are frequently the result of human error. Elevators are the age of the building or older. Sometimes in newer buildings, old elevators are installed to save money. Every day lifts are used for hundreds of trips up and down.

Any machinery and equipment that has a significant amount of use are bound to have parts that wear. In this case, it is the shaft and other elevator parts. When not maintained properly, injuries are sure to follow.

Elevator Mishaps Are Arbitrary and Staying Calm Saves Lives

Typically, this type of out of the blue event occurs to a rider without any warning. But sometimes, the owner or operator is on notice that there is a problem. So apparently, they know of the possible tragic consequences related to the continued operation of the lift device.

While it is not always possible to predict an accident, precautions can be taken. That way avoiding catastrophic events is possible. These precautions start with not rushing into an elevator just because the doors are closing.

Stuck Between Floors.

If the car gets stuck between floors, remain calm, and do not attempt to spread the sliding doors and leave the elevator, without assistance from professionals.

If the elevator doors are forced open, be certain they will not close before leaving. By not panicking, it can help to reduce or even prevent being injured. When you get rescued from a bad situation, get medical and legal help right.

Afterward, never give a statement to anyone until you speak with a lawyer. And make certain the attorney knows the danger zones and courts. Ehline suggests you hire someone who has taken on these cases and won. Call us now at (213) 596-9642.

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Ehline Law Firm
Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC

633 W 5th St #2890
Los Angeles, CA 90071

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