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San Jose personal injury attorneysSchools, daycares, and other institutions responsible for the safety of children are held to very high standards. These facilities have a legal obligation to make the premises safe and free from unreasonable dangers. This includes keeping the buildings and grounds free from hazards like broken stairs as well as making sure children are adequately supervised. Sadly, one California family is grieving after their teenaged son passed away in an incident at a Colorado school.

Drunk Driver Hits 15-Year-Old Student Who Wandered from Campus

The young teen who tragically lost his life was adopted by his parents at age three. He had been in foster care and was suffering from symptoms related to a traumatic brain injury. The parents struggled to find a school which could appropriately meet their son’s unique needs, so they sent him to a school specializing in behavioral health issues. In August of last year, the 15-year-old wandered off of the school campus and was stuck and killed by a drunk driver. The driver, who had a blood alcohol content of 0.189 percent, fled the scene of the crime but was later found and arrested by the police. He pled guilty to vehicular homicide-DUI and leaving the scene of an accident involving death.

Parents Say Special Needs Teen Was Not Properly Supervised

Parents of the young man who passed away believe that their son would still be alive if school personnel had been more vigilant. The school is designed for students who suffer from intellectual and developmental disabilities and mental health issues. The young man’s parents say that school staff knew that their son needed constant monitoring and close supervision. They believe that the school was negligent in their failure to properly supervise their child and keep a secure facility. They are suing the facility for negligent supervision and wrongful death. If they are successful in their suit, the school will likely be forced to pay the parents compensation for damages related to the teen’s death. These damages could include compensation for medical bills related to their son’s death, funeral expenses, the loss of love and companionship of the child, and for destruction of the parent-child relationship.

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Posted on in Wrongful Death

San Jose wrongful death attorney, social media, personal injury claimSociety has changed over the last few decades. With the emergence and development of social media accounts, everything from the birth of our children to the funeral arrangements of a family member is on public display for those on our contact lists to see. In daily life, this is fine to do and even has several benefits for many Americans. However, when an individual is involved in a courtroom battle of any kind, including wrongful death or personal injury, it is best to avoid posting anything on social media accounts.

Prove it to Win it

Although a wrongful death claim and a negligence case are different in various ways, the aspects necessary to create a winning case are similar. Insurance companies and other attorneys understand that these types of cases must be treated similarly to a criminal investigation—both sides scour social media posts and all other avenues for evidence on either side.

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California wrongful death lawyerOn Friday, December 2nd, 2016, the city of Oakland experienced a significant tragedy. An old converted warehouse, known as the “Ghost Ship,” caught fire with more than 100 individuals reportedly inside. The incident is still under investigation. This location functioned as a workplace as well as a living facility for a number of struggling artists and musicians from the Bay Area. Several reports indicate that structure was dilapidated and not in compliance with municipal building and safety codes. While officials have not released the cause of the blaze, questions abound regarding the possible liability for wrongful death.

Deadliest Fire in Recent History

According to official reports, the fire claimed the lives of 36 individuals, at least one a legal minor. The location was run by a husband and wife team, who also lived there with their children. Early reports claim that the couple collected rent from tenants and had even gone so far as parking half a dozen RVs on the first floor for residents. The converted warehouse was also full of rugs, pianos, old sofas, and statues, which blocked exit routes and ignited quickly once the fire started. It also appears that a nightclub of sorts operated inside of the building.  

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Posted on in Car Accidents

San Jose fatal car accident attorneyWhen an auto accident occurs, families are left to deal with the aftermath. If the accident results in the death of a loved one, many families are severely affected in every aspect of their life, from the pain of the loss to the costs incurred and the life-long lasting memories of the event. After the occurrence of a fatal car crash, families often seek answers and assistance in putting a new version of their lives back together.

What Happens to the Families

Accident numbers have been on the rise in the last couple of years. In California alone, over 3,000 fatal car accidents were reported in 2013. Not only is a family likely reeling from an unexpected loss of a significant portion of their life, they then are forced to make a quickly pull together a funeral, make necessary repairs, and attend doctor’s appointments themselves. If the victim earned the primary source of income, the family may also face:

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car accident deaths, San Jose wrongful death lawyerWhen you lose a loved one, there is nothing that can ever fully heal the broken hearts they leave behind. When a family member is killed in a car accident because of someone else’s negligence, the only thing the law can offer for the loss is monetary damages. Even though no amount of money will ever bring your loved one back, you and your family may need the money you recover from damages to cover bills and provide future economic security.

Wrongful Death Claims

When you bring a claim for damages after the death a family member it is called a wrongful death claim. In California, a wrongful death claim can be brought through the probate court or by a qualifying family member individually.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_blog-container.jpgA bicyclist in California was killed on Oct. 27 when a cargo container fell on top of him. The accident took place at around 5:05 p.m. while the victim was riding his bicycle along Santa Fe Avenue in Long Beach. A large container fell off of the truck right as it was passing the bicyclist.

A witness to the fatal accident said that he had seen another container fall off of a different truck the day before. No injuries apparently occurred as a result of the first incident, but the witness expressed concern about trucking companies cutting corners on safety. He said that while truck drivers in Los Angeles and Long Beach have been on strike, trucking companies have been hiring flatbeds and strapping 40,000-pound containers onto them.

While the investigation into the fatal bicycle accident was going on, the Teamsters union called for more safety precautions to be taken by transportation companies. A spokesperson for the Teamsters said that truck drivers are under pressure to drive faster because they are being paid by the load rather than by the hour. She went on to say that the large trucking companies have a responsibility to ensure that the cargo they are delivering is being transported safely.

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Tagged in: Wrongful Death

California residents know that breaking the rules of the road, such as by speeding or driving while under the influence, can have very serious consequences. Most people would assume that a driver who does so and then ends up in an accident is responsible for the ensuing damages. However, there have been cases where it has been found that a motor vehicle defect may have been a contributory factor as well.

This is the situation in the case of the late actor Paul Walker, whose daughter recently filed a lawsuit against Porsche for wrongful death. Walker was riding in a 2004 Porsche GT Carrera, which has been described as practically a race car on the street. He died when the vehicle crashed into a lamppost and subsequently burst into flames. The official police investigation report concluded that the driver of the vehicle had been going at about 94 miles per hour when it crashed. However, according to the lawsuit, the vehicle was actually going between 63 and 71 miles per hour.

The lawsuit claims that the automaker is responsible because it failed to make this car safe enough to protect its riders from car accidents by not installing a stabilization sensor system, which it has installed in many of its other vehicles. Additionally, the suit also states that the actor was trapped in the burning vehicle due to a defective seat belt system.

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Tagged in: Wrongful Death

The filming of a commercial for the upcoming film "Straight Outta Compton" turned deadly on California streets in January 2015 when a dispute erupted among Suge Knight, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, and other workers near the set. Knight, age 50, appeared uninvited at the commercial shoot, and the resulting fight ended with Terry Carter dead and three other people injured after Knight ran them down with his truck in the parking lot of a Los Angeles burger restaurant.

Carter's family has filed a wrongful death suit against Knight, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, Universal Studios, and other named defendants. The lawsuit named the movie studio because it allowed the commercial to be shot in a dangerous neighborhood and also allegedly allowed gang members to be hired for security. Negligent hiring and premises liability are the basis for the claims against Universal .

Dre and Knight had at one time been business partners, founding the rap label Death Row Records. Their subsequent falling out was so severe that Dre eventually won a restraining order against Knight. Knight, whose real name is Marion Hugh Knight Jr., also faces criminal charges for Carter's death. Claiming self-defense, he has pleaded not guilty. In the civil wrongful death action, the family is seeking compensation for funeral bills, lost income and punitive and other damages.

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Tagged in: Wrongful Death

On May 28, it was reported that Bruce Jenner, who was involved in a car accident that killed a woman in California in February, asked the court to dismiss the lawsuit that was filed against him. The lawsuit was filed against Jenner in early May by the deceased woman's stepchildren.

In February, Jenner reportedly collided with a Lexus, which resulted in the vehicle being pushed into oncoming traffic. The Lexus slammed into a Humvee, killing the 69-year-old female driver of the Lexus. Five individuals who were in the Humvee suffered injuries that were considered to be non-life-threatening. Jenner was reportedly uninjured in the crash. The plaintiffs claimed in their lawsuit that they suffered enormous damages and that Jenner was driving negligently when the accident occurred.

Jenner's legal team stated that the two plaintiffs, ages 57 and 60, were financially independent and that Jenner should not be responsible for any damages they may have sustained. No charges were filed against Jenner and it did not appear that he was under the influence when he collided with the Lexus.

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A California mental health care facility has been accused of negligence in a wrongful death lawsuit by the soap opera star Kristoff St. John and his wife. The litigation follows the 2014 suicide of the couple's 24-year-old son Julian. The young man took his own life after a long battle with schizophrenia. However, 'The Young and the Restless" star claims that the tragedy was foreseeable and could have been prevented if his son had received adequate care.

The wrongful death lawsuit claims that staff at the Long Beach facility attempted to cover up their allegedly negligent actions by falsifying documents. The St. Johns say that their son had tried to kill himself with a plastic bag three weeks prior to his suicide, which should have placed medical staff on high alert.

In addition to not taking adequate steps to protect their son, the St. Johns allege in their lawsuit that the facility altered records to show that several regular checks had been made on Julian. They say that the checks were recorded in the facility's books even though they did not take place. The lawsuit also claims that the facility continued to receive Julian's welfare checks after his suicide. A representative for the facility said that the Los Angeles Department of Mental Health had conducted an investigation and determined that Julian St. John was provided with care appropriate to his condition.

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On May 1, it was announced that a wrongful death lawsuit was filed against former Olympian Bruce Jenner. Jenner was accused of causing a car accident in California that left a 69-year-old woman dead.

In the accident, which occurred on Feb. 7, Jenner was driving a Cadillac Escalade while hauling an off-road vehicle on a trailer when he attempted to steer around vehicles that had slowed down in front of him. He collided with a Prius that was directly in front of him. The impact from this collision caused the Prius to be pushed into a Lexus, which was being driven by the 69-year-old woman. The Lexus was pushed into oncoming traffic, where it was struck by a Hummer.

The wrongful death lawsuit was filed by the woman's two step-children, who claimed that they sustained serious damages. The amount of compensation they were seeking was not known. It was argued that that Jenner was driving negligently, which allegedly resulted in the crash, though videos of the incident reportedly showed that Jenner was not using a cellphone at the time the incident occurred. Jenner was not charged in the incident.

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California Highway Patrol said a tour bus that was already involved in a minor accident earlier in the day left the road and flipped over on Nov. 23, killing one passenger and hurting 30 others. The second crash happened at approximately 7:30 a.m. about 100 miles south of the Oregon border.

After rolling over, the 1996 Vanhool bus came to a rest on its roof. One passenger, a 33-year-old Parlier man, was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash. Approximately two dozen other passengers were taken to local hospitals for treatment. Three were critically injured, three were seriously hurt and the rest suffered minor injuries.

According to authorities, the bus, which is owned by Yellow Arrow LLC in Othello, Washington, also hit a Denny's restaurant in Red Bluff earlier in the day. No one was hurt in that accident.

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An auto and bicycle accident turned fatal for three Sacramento residents on Oct. 23. Authorities from the California Highway Patrol reported that a female bicyclist was killed when a male Chevrolet Tahoe driver collided with her at Howe Avenue and Birney Way. Witnesses reported that the SUV was speeding at a minimum of 50 miles per hour as it suddenly changed from the southbound to the northbound lane of Howe Avenue.

The 53-year-old bicyclist riding against traffic in the northbound lane. She was struck and thrown 100 feet away from her bicycle when the Tahoe driver veered into the same lane. The SUV then caught fire after it struck a nearby tree in Belleview Park.

Both the bicyclist and the 24-year-old female passenger were pronounced dead at the scene. Authorities report that the passenger, who was not wearing a seat belt, was killed instantly from the impact of being thrown into the rear of the SUV. A civilian responder arrived at the scene of the accident with a fire extinguisher and attempted to pull the driver and his passenger out from the vehicle. The driver was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment of his serious injuries before he died.

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After any fatal crash, the first question that is usually asked is whether compensation can be sought against the liable driver. Some of our San Jose readers may have asked similar questions about the crash that happened north of us near Orland. The crash involved a FedEx truck and a tour bus carrying high school students on their way to Humboldt State University in Northern California. But when the FedEx truck crossed the center median, slamming into the tour bus, the resulting crash caused both vehicles to burst into flames, killing both drivers, three adults and five students.

Now, the first of potentially many personal injury lawsuits has been filed against FedEx by the mother of one of the victims. According to her wrongful death claim, the crash could have been avoided if FedEx had maintained its vehicles better. She claims that truck was on fire prior to the collision that killed her daughter -- a problem that the package delivery company has had a history of with other vehicles. But the woman claims that the company has not done anything to remedy this problem, which some are considering to be negligent.

On behalf of her daughter, the woman is seeking $100 million in compensation in attempt to not only hold FedEx accountable for its negligence but to prevent a similar accident from happening again to another family. And because California does not have any cap of damages in tort cases such as this, it’s possible that the settlement amount may not be decreased.

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While the family of a 22-year-old California man are grieving their loss this month, investigators with the San Diego County Sheriff's Department are looking into the events that led up to the young adult's death. In the end, the driver responsible for hitting the 22-year-old bicyclist may be considered negligent, which begs the question: could a wrongful death claim soon follow?

Some of our readers here in Santa Clara may not have heard about the fatal bicycle accident that happened this month in San Marcos. According to police, the 47-year-old driver of a cement truck had briefly stopped at the intersection of Grand Avenue and Las Posas Road before making a right turn. Unfortunately though, at this very moment, the 22-year-old was trying to cross the street on his bicycle. The collision with the large commercial vehicle caused fatal injuries from which the bicyclist died.

Although news reports indicate that the bicyclist may not have had the right-of-way at the intersection, it's possible to argue that neither did the truck driver who, according to reports, had a red light at the time of the collision. According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles, drivers are supposed to yield right-of-way to pedestrians crossing roadways, even if they are not in a marked crosswalk. Provided the pedestrian also heeds caution to the traffic around them and does not suddenly move into traffic, a driver must exercise caution and slow their vehicle.

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Behind every tragic drunk-driving accident there is a victim; and behind every victim, there is a story. For a deadly crash in Fremont recently, the story was that of a 23-year-old Union City Marine. And although his family and friends are likely still grieving their loss, his story will not be soon forgotten and will stand as a reminder to everyone in California about the dangers of drinking and driving.

Just days ago, in Fremont, the Marine lance corporal was riding his motorcycle shortly after 1 a.m. when he was suddenly struck by a drunk driver who had failed to yield the right of way at an intersection. Reports indicate that the drunk driver was fleeing from police at a high rate of speed when he collided with the 23-year-old soldier who died at the scene.

Sources say that the Marine had recently returned home from a tour in Afghanistan, which is considered to be one of the more dangerous warzones for U.S. troops. But for this particular soldier, the danger did not lie overseas but rather back here in California. Even though we know that drunk driving can lead to serious -- if not fatal -- accidents, people all across the nation continue to make the bad decision of driving while intoxicated. Unfortunately for the marine’s family and friends, this fact became personal this month.

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Most of our San Jose readers are probably used to seeing wrongful death lawsuits most commonly associated with fatal accidents, such as car accidents or motorcycle accidents, where a death occurred due to one party's negligence. However, one wrongful death claim that was recently filed against the city of Modesto and the Modesto Police Department arose under much different circumstances.

According to the reports, the incident in question in the lawsuit occurred back over the course of the late evening hours of June 21 and into the early morning hours of June 22. The reports indicate that a young mother, a 26-year-old Modesto resident, died in her home after she set fire to the residence. As sad as that sounds, it appears that the lawsuit is alleging that the death of this young woman should have been prevented.

It seems that police officers responded to this woman's home after she placed a call to 911. After the law enforcement officials arrived at the scene and evaluated the situation, which the reports indicate included seeing the woman holding a knife and, in general, acted distraught, the decision was made to remove the woman's 4-year-old daughter from the situation. But, the biggest mistake that the lawsuit alleges was made by the authorities was to leave the 26-year-old mother alone at the scene afterward. The fire at the woman's residence started shortly thereafter.

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Losing a loved one can be devastating under any circumstances. However, it can be even more difficult for the surviving family members when that loved one was just on the rise after a tough childhood. That is, unfortunately, the case with a 23-year-old victim of a bicycling accident.

The victim was riding her bike to her new job when she was killed in a truck accident-as she approached her workplace, two trucks crashed into one another, and one truck overturned, pinning her underneath. The San Jose Police Department is still investigating the accident.

However, the young woman's family has recently filed a wrongful death lawsuit, on behalf of the woman's 2-year-old daughter, against both truck drivers and their employers. The suit alleges that the drivers were distracted by their cellphones at the time of the accident. According to the filing, the driver of the first truck ran a red light because he was distracted; the driver of the second truck failed to see the first truck in the intersection because he was also distracted by a cellphone.

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Tagged in: Wrongful Death

A 36-year-old California woman was recently killed after the car in which she was riding crashed and was involved in a subsequent collision. The fatal accident occurred during the early morning hours of Memorial Day. At this time, a car driven by a 43-year-old man hit a center divider on Highway 101. The force of the collision resulted in the car spinning around and coming to rest facing oncoming traffic. At this same time, a bus carrying several partygoers crashed into the car.

A 36-year-old woman who was a passenger in the car was killed in the crash. She was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident. Police investigating the accident believe that alcohol may have been a factor, and results from toxicology reports are pending.

In addition to the 36-year-old passenger who was fatally injured in the accident, eight additional passengers on the bus also sustained injuries which required medical attention. No charges have been filed in the accident, but it's likely the 43-year-old driver will face criminal charges related to the accident and 36-year-old woman's death.

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While the working conditions throughout the American workforce have greatly improved since the federal government first created the Occupation Health and Safety Administration, many workers continue to work in dangerous professions. In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were more than 4,500 workers killed on the job in the U.S. in 2011, with industrial and construction accidents continuing to be the most prevalent

According to a recent news report, a 21-year-old man from Sonoma County, California was recently killed in a fatal workplace accident while working for Thermalsun Glass Products. The employee was allegedly using a cart at the production plant to move multiple large sheets of glass when the cart tipped over and the load of glass toppled onto him. According to a co-worker at Thermalsun Glass, each pane of glass weighed more than 100 pounds.

The 21-year-old worker was crushed to death from the weight of the glass. According to one of the deceased's co-workers, the young man appeared to freeze when the glass began to tip towards him. He had reportedly only been with the glass company for four weeks when he was killed. While Thermalsun Glass Production has not received any safety violations, California state workplace safety regulators are currently investigation the fatal accident.

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