What Catastrophic Injuries Could I Sustain from a Slip and Fall Accident?entry-title

Photo Of Head Injury

Slip and fall accidents are one of the most common accidents that can happen at any place, any time, and to anyone. This is because there are many different ways you could slip, fall and become seriously injured. Whether you’re inside of your own home, at work, at a swimming pool or hotel, or just walking down the street, you can slip and fall if you’re not paying attention or if someone was negligent. Sometimes, these injuries can be minor, but they can also be catastrophic injuries that you or a loved one has to live with for a long time.

What Types of Catastrophic Injuries Result from a Slip and Fall?

Traumatic brain injury. One common catastrophic injury that can occur after a slip and fall accident is a TBI, or traumatic brain injury. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, slip and falls account for over 35 percent of all TBIs, especially if someone falls backward. TBI’s can include multiple type of head injuries, including concussions, brain contusions, and internal bleedings (hemorrhages).
Spinal cord injury. Many people can also experience severe whiplash while they are slipping and falling, which can result in spinal cord injuries. Falls result in about 25 percent of spinal cord injuries, and many of these injuries are permanent.
Bone fracture. Depending on how someone falls and in what direction, he or she can sustain a bone fracture from the slip and fall they experience. Fracturing a wrist or arm is common if the person grabs for a railing or another object while falling, and many people also land on their hips which can result in hip fractures.
Knee injury. Cartilage or ligament damage to the knees can occur while twisting into a fall. Our knees bear a lot of our body weight, so if we experience an injury, the recovery process can be particularly long and painful. Over time, knee injuries usually require expensive surgery to repair serious muscle and nerve damage.
Shoulder injury. Slip and falls can easily result in a shoulder injury because many people will try to fall forward and to the side in order to avoid falling on their head. Strains, sprains and tears to the shoulder structure of your upper arm can be painful and hard to heal.

If you have experienced any of these catastrophic injuries after a slip and fall accident due to someone’s negligence, you could potentially file an injury lawsuit. You should first contact Steve Gnau, who is a serious personal injury attorney for the Murrieta, California area. Contact our offices today for a free case evaluation.

What Are Common Spinal Cord Injuries Resulting from a Serious Car Crash?entry-title

Car accidents can result in a variety of different injuries, depending on the circumstances of the crash. For example, a rear-end collision from a car accident will result in injuries that are different from a roll over car accident. One of the most common catastrophic injuries that drivers can sustain from a serious car accident is a spinal cord injury. Airbags and seat belts are designed to keep your body from absorbing a full impact, but sometimes this force will shift to your spine and cause spinal cord injuries.

What Are the Different Spinal Cord Injuries That I Could Sustain From a Car Accident?

  • Whiplash. This is a very common injury that results from rear-end collisions, which send the driver’s head snapping backwards. Whiplash usually affects the upper section of your spine near the neck, and symptoms can include stiffness, headaches, dizziness, soreness and blurred vision. Physical therapy and rest are two ways to manage whiplash symptoms.
  • Spinal fracture. This injury can occur during a car accident because the seat belt doesn’t always properly keep your body in one place. Your chest and head can move a lot more than the lower half of your body. This extreme force can leave a compression fracture on the spine, which can result in pain, numbness and muscle weakness. Some fractures might have to be treated with surgery, and others with physical therapy and rest over time.
  • Disc herniation. Your spinal discs between your spine vertebrae absorb a lot of force during a car accident. One or more of these discs can shift, and when this shift happens it can compress surrounding nerves, which causes extreme pain or numbness. Surgery can fix a herniated disc or any nearby damaged structures.
  • Vertebrae shifts. Also known as “spondylolisthesis,” this happens when a vertebra shifts due to a stress fracture in the backbone. This injury is similar to a herniated disc, and the displaced bone can also compress surrounding nerves or the spinal canal. This may cause weakness, numbness and radiating pain.

If you have suffered a spinal injury in a car accident due to someone else’s negligence, you could possibly receive compensation for your injuries. Contact Steve Gnau today for a free case evaluation.

Who Is Liable for Injuries From an Autonomous Vehicle Accident?entry-title

Photo of wreck involving sedans

If you have read any recent technology news in our country, then you are probably familiar with the term “autonomous vehicle,” or AV. An autonomous vehicle is also known as a self-driving vehicle. Ridesharing companies such as Uber want to start incorporating this new technology into their services in certain states. However, in the past few years since AVs have been introduced, there have been a few deadly accidents involving these special cars. Experts are now asking who is liable if there are injuries or fatalities in an autonomous vehicle accident.

How Can Liability Be Determined in an Autonomous Vehicle Accident?

When a human is not behind the wheel of a car involved in an accident, it is difficult to determine who is at fault if that car caused an injury or fatality. Since this technology is still being developed, and since there are only a few accidents to base facts and evidence off of, the answer is still not clear.

In March, a pedestrian was fatally hit by an autonomous vehicle in Arizona. After seeing a video of the crash, the city’s law enforcement claimed that it would have been difficult to avoid the collision based on the specific circumstances of the event. Volvo, who has manufactured and supplied many of these self-driving vehicles, could be potentially liable for the accident if litigation occurred. Volvo admitted that its vehicle was involved in this crash, but that the software controlling the vehicle was not its own. In 2015, Volvo stated that they would accept full liability when one of its AVs, equipped with the company’s own self-driving system, crashed while in autonomous mode.

Car accident litigation for autonomous vehicles could involve design or manufacturing defects. A plaintiff would have to prove that a defect directly caused the injury or fatality. Besides this claim, however, any other litigation involving AVs so far have been handled behind closed doors. Accidents like the Arizona tragedy are still being investigated. Litigation will depend on the certain circumstances of the event.

If you have been involved in an accident with an autonomous vehicle, then you will want an attorney to help you answer questions you might have about recovering compensation. Contact Steve Gnau today for a free consultation.

What Types of Serious Injuries Can I Sustain from a Bicycle Accident?entry-title

bicycleaccident

Riding a bicycle is an easy and fun way to travel to and from any local destinations. California’s metro areas have many bicyclists who use this form of transportation to get to work and other places. However, riding a bicycle in California can be dangerous. There were over 800 bicycle-related fatalities in 2015 alone. Not all bicycle accidents end in death, but many do result in serious injuries that could affect the bicyclist’s life forever.

What Are the Serious Injuries that Bicyclists Face?

Bicycle injuries can be attributed to rider error, motorist error, environmental hazards, or bicycle mechanical failures. Faster riding speed usually always contributes to serious injuries and fatalities on the road, so the number one rule to protect yourself is to follow a safe riding speed at all times. Common serious injuries that can result from these bicycle accidents are:

  • Head trauma: Head injuries occur in up to 48 percent of serious bicycle accidents, often as a result of a crash with a motor vehicle. They are also responsible for over 60 percent of bicycle-related fatalities and long-term disabilities. Head trauma can include skull fractures, concussions, brain contusions, and hemorrhages.
  • Bone/skeletal injuries: These can include any fractures, dislocations or strains of the arms or legs from a serious bicycle accident.
  • Chest injuries: Rib fractures and lung injuries may result from a bicycle accident.
  • Skin and soft tissue injuries: “Road rash” abrasions, lacerations, contusions, bruises and scrapes are included in these types of injuries.

Serious bicycle injuries can be minimized if the bicyclist is wearing the appropriate head gear and outfit. Also, following all traffic and road rules is very important if you want to reduce your chance of a bicycle accident. Our Murrieta bicycle accident attorneys know what your rights are a cyclist, and we can help you pursue a compensation claim for your injuries caused due to someone’s negligence. Contact Steve Gnau today for more information.

Who Is Liable for My Injuries on California Public Transportation?entry-title

bus accident

If you ever get injured on public transportation, such as on a bus, train or subway, you could possibly be entitled to file a lawsuit against the public transportation company that was running the transport line at the time. However, every situation is different, and there are multiple circumstances that could affect this decision.

How Can I Determine Liability for an Injury on Public Transportation?

Most personal injury cases are based on negligence, or rather, whose action caused the accident and why. Public transportation injuries are still based on negligence, but the public transportation companies in some states are subject to “common carrier” law. A common carrier is a legal term that applies to people and businesses which provide transportation. Examples are public buses, trains, trolleys, and taxis. For states like California, common carriers owe their passengers a high degree of care, and they are held responsible for providing safety over and above what is considered “reasonable.” However, an injured passenger must still prove that the public transportation company was negligent in order to win his or her case.

How Do I Bring a Claim Against a Public Transportation Company?

Public transportation companies are usually owned by the state, so there are special state laws that apply to any claims brought against them. There is almost always a time deadline for filing any injury claims against a government agency, such as a public transportation company. If you or a family member were injured by a public transportation vehicle, or received injuries as a passenger on public transportation, you will need to speak to an attorney. Steve Gnau is an experienced personal injury attorney who can help obtain compensation for your injuries, so contact our firm today.