Difference Between Personal Injury Cases and Wrongful Death Cases

If you suffered injuries in an accident due to someone else’s negligence or if your loved one died as a result of someone’s negligence, you may have the right to file either a personal injury case or a wrongful death case to receive justice and compensation for your injuries and losses. Understanding the difference between personal injury cases and wrongful cases can help you better understand which type of case is right for you.

Personal Injury vs. Wrongful Death Cases

When you suffer injuries or losses as a result of someone else’s negligence, you have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit in order to receive compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering. If a person dies as a result of their personal injuries resulting from someone else’s negligence, the family of the deceased person has a legal right to file a wrongful death case. A wrongful death case the same as a personal injury case a victim would file if they had lived after the accident. A family of a victim who dies due to someone else’s negligence may have the legal right to receive compensation for funeral expenses, remaining medical bills, loss of wages, property damage, loss of consortium, loss of companionship, and pain and suffering of the victim.

Types of Personal Injury Cases and Wrongful Death Cases

Many personal injury cases and wrongful death cases stem from similar accidents.. The difference is that in some cases, a victim receives serious injuries (personal injury cases) versus when a victim passes away from their injuries (wrongful death cases). Some of the types of accidents that result in either personal injury cases or wrongful death cases include the following:

  • Car accidents
  • Trucking accidents
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Bicycle accidents
  • Construction accidents
  • Manufacturing defects
  • Defective drugs
  • Medical malpractice
  • Railroad deaths
  • Defective medical devices
  • Drunk driving accidents
  • Premises liability accidents
  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Nursing home neglect and abuse cases
  • Product liability cases

Parties Who May File a Personal Injury or Wrongful Death Claim

Any person who suffers injuries as a result of someone else’s negligent, careless, or reckless actions may file a personal injury claim in order to receive compensation for their injuries and losses.

If a person dies as a result of their injuries related to an accident due to someone else’s negligence, some family members may have the legal right to bring a wrongful death claim on behalf of their loved one. In most cases, spouses, children, or siblings of the victim can bring a wrongful death claim. In the instance that none of those parties exist, a court may appoint a plaintiff ad litem to prosecute the negligent party in the wrongful death claim.

Contact an Experienced Attorney Today

If you suffered injuries or if you have a loved one who died as a result of someone else’s negligent actions, you may have the right to file a personal injury claim or wrongful death claim. Consider visiting with our experienced attorneys at The Law Office of Daniel H. Rose. We will work on your behalf to ensure that you received the full compensation you deserve. Contact our experienced attorneys at 415-946-8900 or online today.

How Can Hearsay Issues Affect a Wrongful Death Case?

Hearsay is a statement made outside of the court that is then presented as evidence by another person during a trial for purposes of submitting that statement as evidence and as fact. In most cases, hearsay is typically inadmissible evidence when a proper objection is made in a timely manner. However, in wrongful death cases, a deceased plaintiff (victim) may offer testimony prior to his or her death. Learn more about hearsay and how it may impact a wrongful death case.

Wrongful Death Cases

A wrongful death case is one in which the victim dies from the injuries inflicted upon them resulting from someone else’s negligence. If the victim lived, they would have had the legal right to bring a personal injury case to receive justice and compensation for their injuries and losses. Because the victim died, the family members of the victim have the legal right to pursue this justice and compensation on behalf of their loved one.

Testimony of the Victim

Many wrongful death cases include testimony from different parties as well as evidence that is presented to the court in order to make a determination of liability and responsibility for negligence with respect to an accident. If the victim lived, they would have had the legal right to testify on their own behalf. However, due to the fact that they passed away from their injuries prior to a trial, the question remains whether or not any statements made by the victim can be introduced as evidence.

Hearsay Exception – Dying Declaration

There is a hearsay exception which is the “former testimony” exception, where evidence is admissible if the other side had an opportunity to cross-examine or introduce the testimony at a prior time. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 804(b)(1); Conn. Code Evid. § 8-6(1); Mass. G. Evid. § 804(b)(1); R.I. R. Evid. 804(b)(1); see also Lohrmann v. Pittsburgh Corning Corp., 782 F.2d 1156 (4th Cir. 1986).

However, the more common hearsay exception that occurs within wrongful death cases is the “dying declaration” exception. If a victim made a statement under the belief that their death was either “imminent” or “impending” and their statement was directly related to the cause or circumstances surrounding their death, it can be admitted as evidence as an exception to the hearsay rules. See Fed. R. Evid. 804(b)(2); R.I. R. Evid. 804(b)(2).

It is important to note that Dead Man Statutes (allowing a hearsay exception for the admissibility of a decedent’s statements) is available only in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. While some plaintiffs still attempt to admit the testimony of a deceased victim under these Dead Man Statutes, in most cases, they will not be allowed within a wrongful death case.

Contact an Experienced Attorney Today

If your loved one died as a result of someone else’s negligence, you may have the legal right to submit their testimony at a wrongful death trial under a “dying declaration” exception to the hearsay law. The laws surrounding wrongful death cases remain complex and legally challenging. Call our experienced attorneys at The Law Office of Daniel H. Rose. We will work on your behalf to ensure that the legal rights of your loved one remain protected. Contact our experienced attorneys at 415-946-8900 or online today.

What Are Non-Economic Damages in Wrongful Death Cases?

If your loved one died as a result of someone else’s negligence, as a family member you may have the legal right to file a wrongful death lawsuit to receive justice in the State of California. While no amount of money will bring back your loved one, you may have funeral expenses, remaining medical bills, lost wages during the time your loved one was too injured to work, or property damage. However, as a family member who lost a loved one, you may have the legal right to also bring non-economic damages as part of your wrongful death lawsuit. Learn more about the different types of non-economic damages that you may have the legal right to receive in a wrongful death case.

Understanding Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages represent more intangible items that represent the loss that a family experiences following a loved one’s death. While these items are truly non-economic, the courts will attempt to assign a financial amount to these damages in an attempt to allow a family to receive justice because they lost their loved one due to someone else’s negligence, carelessness or recklessness. Some of the types of non-economic damages are explained in more detail below.

Spouse and Family Loss

When someone loses a family member, they lose the ability to share a life with them. Spouses lose their life partner, and children lose a parent to guide them through life. This loss of comfort, loss of instruction for children, loss of services in the home and in life, loss of guidance, loss of support, loss of counsel, and loss of training for children is devastating. This loss of consortium and loss of companionship impacts the family permanently. The calculations regarding loss of consortium and loss of companionship are incredibly complex and legally challenging. Visiting with an experienced wrongful death attorney can help you understand your legal rights and realize how you may have the right to file for these types of non-economic damages in your case.

Loss of Income

Your loved one likely was unable to return to work following their accident, resulting in lost wages. Lost wages may include not only a salary or wages, but also missed bonuses, missed promotions, lost employee contributions, lost pension contributions, lost vacation or sick leave, lost transportation allowances, and more. However, if your loved died, then you may also have the ability to include loss of future income as part of your wrongful death claim. The calculation for the loss of future income can also be legally challenging and complex.

Contact an Experienced Attorney Today

There are other types of non-economic damages including the pain and suffering your loved one experienced as a result of their injuries in their accident. Visiting with an experienced attorney can help you better understand what types of non-economic damages you may have the right to file in your wrongful death case, and what amount of compensation you may receive on behalf of your loved one. We understand you are likely grieving during this emotional time and look forward to helping you through this process. Call our experienced attorneys at The Law Office of Daniel H. Rose. We will work on your behalf to ensure that you received the full compensation you deserve. Contact our experienced attorneys at 415-946-8900 or online today.

Tips for Driving Safely After Quarantine

Car accidents can happen at any time to any person on the roadways. Our nation has now faced an unprecedented modern crisis due to the global pandemic of COVID-19. As a result, many states and counties have made the decision to have their residents shelter-in-place and quarantine. After quarantine measures are lifted, you may want to reconsider how and when you drive, as your health and safety may depend on it.

Overworked Emergency Rooms

If you are in a serious accident, there is a significant chance you may have to receive emergency treatment for your injuries. Oftentimes, medical conditions need to receive an evaluation by a medical professional or additional medical complications or even death may occur. As a result, ambulances typically arrive on the scene of a car accident and are ready to take any victim who needs emergency medical evaluation to an emergency room. However, many states are feeling the serious burden of patients suffering from COVID-19. Emergency rooms as well as hospital beds are reaching capacity in many different areas around the country. If you suffer injuries as a result of a car accident, you will be placed in an environment that likely has had COVID-19 patients, causing you additional health risks. Also, there may simply not be enough room for you in a hospital depending on its current capacity and staffing levels.

Drive Safer After Quarantine

Make sure that no matter how you drove prior to quarantine or shelter-in-place ordinances, that you take extra care on the roadways. Some tips for driving safer after quarantine include the following:

  • Drive slower and obey all traffic signals and signs
  • Check your mirrors
  • Stay out of the way of anyone that appears to weave through traffic or exhibit road rage
  • Never drink and drive
  • Put away your cell phone and avoid texting or talking while driving.

The last thing you want is a car accident, and given the current climate in the United States, the last place you want to be is in an emergency room.

Additionally, even if you do not need emergency medical treatment, if you suffer injuries or losses as a result of a car accident, the process to file a personal injury case in a courtroom may be slower as courts are overwhelmed and often shut down or have reduced hours. As our entire society learns to live in this “new normal,” your best course of action is to stay as safe as possible, and only drive when necessary.

Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney

If you were involved in a car accident recently, many procedures have changed with respect to filing a personal injury lawsuit in court. We are prepared to handle your case and ensure your legal rights are protected. Our office can visit with you by phone or video conferencing. Even though there is a global pandemic, you have the right to still receive compensation if you suffered injuries as a result of someone else’s negligence. Contact the experienced attorneys at The Law Office of Daniel H. Rose at 415-946-8900 or online today.

What Happens Next If You Can’t Identify a Hit and Run Driver?

Being involved in a car accident is always stressful and overwhelming. This only intensifies if the other driver involved in a car accident makes the decision to leave the scene of the accident. While being involved in a car accident is not illegal, making the decision to leave the scene of a car accident in which you were involved is actually a crime. If you suffered injuries related to a “hit and run” accident, you should understand that you still have legal rights.

California Penalties for Hit and Run Accidents

California law Vehicle Code 20002 VC specifically addresses misdemeanor hit and run accidents and makes it a crime in the State of California to leave the scene of an accident in which you were involved. Every person must provide their name, contact information, and insurance information after being involved in an accident in the State of California. If a person fails to do so and leaves the scene of the crime, then the person may be charged with a misdemeanor. If there was a serious accident that involved physical bodily injury or death, then the State of California will charge Vehicle Code 20001 VC, which is a felony charge.

Receiving Compensation Following a Hit and Run Accident

If you suffered injuries related to a hit and run accident, you may still have the ability to file charges against the other driver if the police are able to discover their identity through an investigation. In this case, the car accident insurance claim or personal injury case would move forward, and you would have the ability to receive compensation for medical expenses, property damage, lost wages as a result of being unable to return to work, and pain and suffering.

Uninsured/Underinsured Insurance Claims

If the other driver is not found through an investigation, you may still be able to receive compensation for your injuries. While you are required to have car insurance coverage in the State of California, you are not required to have uninsured or underinsured insurance. All car insurance companies in California are required to offer these types of insurance, but a driver has the legal right to refuse to pay for these additional coverages.

If you are involved in a car accident with a hit and run driver, you may have the right to receive compensation from your own insurance company through uninsured coverage if you selected this type of insurance coverage and protection. Visiting with your insurance company directly is typically the best practice in order to determine your coverage and if you have this type of insurance in your policy.

Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney

If you were involved in a car accident and the other driver leaves the scene of the accident, you may still have the legal right to pursue compensation for your injuries and losses. Contact the experienced attorneys at The Law Office of Daniel H. Rose at 415-946-8900 or online today.

Who Is Liable When You Are Hit by a Delivery Driver?

Delivery drivers often carry substantial loads and are on a tight time schedule with strict deadlines. As a result, some truck drivers fail to appropriately follow speed limits and traffic rules in order to reach their destination as quickly as possible. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) established very specific regulations regarding large commercial trucks as well as any trucks that deliver goods that meet certain specifications. If you suffered any kind of injury or losses as a result of being hit by a delivery driver, there are several different parties that you may have the legal right to hold liable.

Delivery Trucks

Delivery trucks are on the roadways far more frequently, as more and more people make the decision to quarantine at home due to COVID-19 and have their goods or groceries delivered. As a result, there is an increased pressure on delivery trucks to make substantial deliveries within strict timelines. Delivery trucks are often filled with significant cargo, which may not have been loaded appropriately. Safety requirements may not be followed as a result of hurrying to load cargo or deliver goods. If any accident results from the failure to follow safety regulations, a victim may have the legal right to pursue charges against several different entities.

Determination of Liability and Responsibility

Depending on the facts and circumstances of an accident involving a delivery truck or delivery vehicle, a victim of a delivery vehicle accident can file a claim against the following parties:

  • The driver of the delivery truck or delivery vehicle
  • The delivery company that hired the driver
  • The company that has a fleet of delivery vehicles for its business that was responsible for hiring the delivery driver
  • The owner of the delivery vehicle (which may be different than the parties listed above)
  • Any third-party company that has the responsibility to load cargo in the delivery vehicle
  • A manufacturer that designed or distributed a faulty part or component of the delivery vehicle that caused the accident.

Making a determination of legal liability and responsibility can be a complex and challenging legal task. Contacting an experienced personal injury attorney can help ensure that you receive a full and fair investigation of the accident, that a spoliation letter is issued to preserve evidence, that all parties are interviewed, and expert witnesses are available to testify to the determination of liability and responsibility for your injuries.

When Is a Personal Injury Considered Catastrophic?

In the best circumstances, a car accident victim will only have minor injuries that resolve quickly and require minimal medical intervention. If you are a victim of a minor fender-bender, you likely will not need weeks, months, or even years of medical treatment. However, in many car accidents, trauma victims suffer severe injuries requiring emergency medical care, hospitalization, surgeries, extended hospital stays, continued medical treatments and therapies, and ongoing medical prescriptions. In some cases, victims suffer permanent or life-altering injuries. Victims receive compensation comparable to their severity level. Learn when a personal injury is considered catastrophic and how you can receive compensation for your injuries and losses.

Catastrophic Injuries

In most cases, catastrophic injuries are considered those that require extensive medical attention and treatment following a car accident. A victim has the legal right to pursue compensation for any injuries that they receive as a result of someone else’s negligence, however the more severe the accident, the greater the chance the injuries will also be severe. Victims are allowed to receive additional compensation for their injuries, damages, and losses if their injuries are considered catastrophic. Some examples of catastrophic injuries resulting from an accident include the following:

  • Permanent or long-term disabilities
  • Any permanent or long-term bodily impairment or loss of functionality
  • Any major body system suffering permanent damage
  • Incapacitation in any way
  • Severe pain and suffering
  • Diagnosis of a terminal medical condition or death of the victim
  • Severe traumatic brain injuries, or serious injuries to the head, neck or spinal cord
  • The victim remains unable to return to any kind of employment
  • Amputations
  • Paralysis
  • Vision loss or hearing loss
  • Multiple fractures or broken bones
  • Severe damage to the central nervous system or severe nerve damage
  • Neurological conditions or disorders
  • Severe burns that result in pain and suffering, disfigurement or scarring

Catastrophic Injuries and Insurance Companies

If you were a victim of a serious accident and suffered catastrophic injuries, you may have astronomical bills associated with your injury that may include ambulance bills, doctors’ visits, surgeries, hospitalizations, prescription medications, continued physical therapy treatments, diagnostic testing, and a need for mental therapy as well. Many victims of severe accidents suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, as they endured a traumatic event that resulted in catastrophic injuries. A victim has a legal right to receive compensation for their lost wages as a result of remaining unable to return to work due to their injuries. Additionally, victims of serious accidents that result in catastrophic injuries typically suffer severe pain and suffering which can increase the total amount of compensation received in settlement packages from insurance companies. Visiting with an experienced attorney can help ensure that the calculations for pain and suffering are fair and just for a victim with catastrophic injuries.

Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Today

You have the legal right to receive compensation for injuries, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering resulting from a serious accident resulting from someone else’s negligence. If you suffered catastrophic personal injuries as a result of an accident, learn how an experienced personal injury attorney can help you develop a strong case. Contact The Law Office of Daniel A. Rose as soon as possible, and our experienced accident lawyers will help you understand your legal rights. Call for a free consultation today at 415-946-8900 or visit us online.

What to Do About the Nationwide Increase in Electric Scooter Accidents

Electric scooters, also known as e-scooters, are becoming increasingly popular in several cities throughout the United States. However, there are risks associated with riding this convenient form of transportation. In fact, the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission’s National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) research showed that electric scooters can result in serious internal injuries, concussions, traumatic brain injuries, and are over three times as likely to involve pedestrians who also suffer serious injuries. Learn more about your legal rights if you suffered any kind of injuries or losses because of an electric scooter accident.

Causes of Electric Scooter Crashes

There are several different causes of electric scooter crashes that can result in catastrophic injuries or even death. Some of the most common causes include the following:

  • Road hazards such as debris and potholes which pose significant dangers to electric scooter riders
  • Lack of visibility of electric scooter riders to other drivers on the roadways
  • Manufacturing defects and flaws in electric scooters
  • Being “doored” by vehicles when electric scooters attempt to ride between lanes on the road

Types of Electric Scooter Injuries

Electric scooter accidents often result in serious injuries or even death. Consumer Reports research shows that over 1,500 people suffered injuries as a result of either E-bike or electric scooter accidents. The types of electric scooter injuries suffered in an accident are typically severe and often include traumatic brain injuries, concussions, internal organ damage and bleeding, nerve damage, bruising, lacerations, bilateral forearm fractures, nasal fractures, broken or fractured bones, spinal cord injuries, head and neck injuries, or death.

Electric Scooter Safety Precautions

If you ride an electric scooter, there are safety precautions you can take to not be included in the statistics of increasing accidents involving this form of transportation. Some of the best practices involving electric scooter safety include always wearing a helmet, following the rules of the road to ensure that other drivers and pedestrians see you, and always making the assumption that no one else can see you, and riding defensively. Always take safety precautions to minimize the opportunity for any serious accident to occur.

Determining Liability

If you do suffer injuries as a result of an accident involving an electric scooter, the determination of liability can often be legally challenging and complex. Oftentimes, an independent investigation is needed in order to accurately determine liability. Visiting with an experienced attorney can help ensure that a correct determination of liability occurs, as well as seeing to it that you do not miss any statute of limitations deadlines that would prevent you from receiving compensation for your injuries and losses.

Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney

If you suffered injuries because of an electric scooter accident, you may face substantial medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Contact The Law Office of Daniel A. Rose as soon as possible, and our experienced accident lawyers will help ensure your legal rights remain protected and help you build a strong personal injury case. Call for a free consultation today at 415-946-8900 or visit us online.

Top Five Things Car Insurance Companies Don’t Want You to Know

If you are ever involved in a car accident that results from someone else’s negligence, you will likely have to deal with an insurance company in order to obtain a settlement to compensate you for your injuries and losses. You should never expect that an insurance company has your best interest in mind during these negotiations. Learn the top five things car insurance companies do not want you to know regarding the process of attempting to receive the compensation you deserve after an accident.

They Will Make Filing and Paying a Claim Obnoxiously Long

The longer an insurance company draws out the process regarding a settlement offer, the longer they do not actually have to pay a victim. Additionally, some insurance companies hope that the long process will frustrate a victim so much that they will simply accept a lower settlement offer than they deserve. With mounting medical bills and life expenses, coupled with an inability to return to work, insurance companies know that victims count on settlements in order to pay daily expenses. Additionally, if they wait long enough to pay, a victim may fail to realize that the statute of limitations to file a claim in court has passed, leaving them with no legal ability to file a claim for the compensation they deserve.

Insurance Company Doctors Are Not Trustworthy

Insurance adjusters will always refer you to one of their doctors regarding your medical injuries in an attempt to find reasons to not fully pay a fair settlement claim. Doctors recommended by insurance companies will often attempt to find pre-existing conditions, arguing that your medical injuries are not the result of an accident at all. These tactics are simply used to discredit victims and minimize the amount of compensation offered as a settlement. Always make sure to visit your own doctor or medical professional in order to receive proper evaluation and treatment.

The Insurance Adjuster is Not Your Friend

Insurance adjusters will always come across as friendly and helpful. Many will ask simple questions such as how are you feeling today? If you say fine, they could use this answer against you regarding a lower settlement offer. Never make the assumption that the insurance adjuster is your friend. Most will sound very friendly and have manipulative tactics that attempt to endear themselves to victims. However, they have a vested interest in attempting to have you accept the lowest settlement offer possible. Never discuss anything with your adjuster that you do not have to, never offer complete medical records, and never allow yourself to be recorded.

The Insurance Company Does Not Want You to Sue

While an insurance company may use manipulative tactics in order to delay providing victims with appropriate settlement offers, they truly do not want a victim to sue for compensation following an accident. If a victim makes the decision to sue an insurance company for a fair and just settlement, they will have to expend additional resources and money in order to fight that lawsuit. This will only provide additional financial losses to the insurance company. Therefore, make sure to always stand your ground as it will likely provide you more of an opportunity to get the fair and just settlement that you deserve.

You Will Have a Lower Settlement Amount Without an Attorney

The truth is that you will likely have a lower settlement amount offered by an insurance company if you are not represented by an attorney. Insurance companies have adjusters who know manipulative tactics in order to get a victim to accept a lower settlement amount than they deserve. However, attorneys know these deceptive tactics and how to address them directly. If you suffered injuries and losses as a result of a car accident, make sure you have strong legal representation to get the settlement you deserve. Contact The Law Office of Daniel A. Rose as soon as possible, and our experienced accident lawyers will help you negotiate with the insurance company. Call for a free consultation today at 415-946-8900 or visit us online.

Steps to Taking Legal Action After Being Involved in a Pedestrian Accident

If you were involved in an accident as a pedestrian, you likely suffered serious injuries. The steps you take following your accident with a vehicle, bicycle, or motorcycle can help ensure that your legal rights are protected and that you receive justice for your suffering due to someone else’s negligence.

Contact the Police

The first step after any accident is to call the police. Even if you feel you were not injured that badly, there should be an official report of the accident. This police report will serve you well at a later time if you make the decision to pursue charges against the negligent party for your injuries and suffering. Make sure to request a copy of the police report when it is completed.

Seek Medical Evaluation and Treatment

Even if you feel your injuries are minor, you should always seek immediate medical treatment following any kind of accident. Many injuries do not appear until hours or days following an accident (such as traumatic brain injuries and whiplash), and only a medical professional will be able to ascertain what your injuries are and their severity. Go to the hospital immediately, or at least to your healthcare provider as soon as possible for a complete medical evaluation, and to determine your best course of treatment. Also, if you ever decide to pursue a claim in the future, the official medical examination will prove that your injuries are a direct result of the accident.

Documentation

You should obtain as much of the following documentation as possible:

  • Obtain contact information of all parties involved in the accident, including any witnesses.
  • Take photographs of the accident, any injuries, the weather conditions, the road conditions, the traffic lights, and the entire area.
  • Keep all documents regarding all medical treatments, medical bills, doctors’ notes, diagnostic testing, lost wages due to your inability to return to work, physical therapy, mental health therapy, and any treatment plans or diagnoses.
  • Keep a personal diary and log of any mental/physical symptoms, the amount of pain you are in, and any daily tasks you are unable to perform due to your injury.

Insurance Companies

Take care when talking with insurance companies to never reveal too much information or admit fault. Also, never allow an insurance company full access to your complete medical records, only allow them to see medical records when you are finally finished with treatment and only those records pertaining to your injury. Never agree to be recorded during a phone call, and do not accept any first settlement offer, as it is likely too low to cover your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering appropriately.

Contact a Pedestrian Accident Attorney

If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident, you are likely facing significant medical bills, and the inability to return to work to pay for them. While you may feel overwhelmed, contact the experienced pedestrian accident attorneys at The Law Office of Daniel H. Rose. We will work to build you a strong personal injury case and help you understand your legal rights. Contact our attorneys at 415-946-8900 or online today for a free consultation.