Sandoval v. Qualcomm Inc., Cal. Ct. App., Case No. D070431 shows, there is an exception to the general rule. When the hiring companies have negligently retained control of the safety conditions at the facilities, the hiring companies may be liable to pay damages if their negligence was a contributing factor to the resulting accidents and injuries. If you have suffered an injury while working for a contractor at a job site, you might want to talk to an experienced lawyer to find out if you might have the basis to file a legal claim against the hiring company.
Nursing home abuse in California is still a huge problem. By way of example: The case of an 88-year-old Sacramento, California woman found dead in 2013 after living in a residential nursing home was unbelievably tragic. According to press reports, the elderly woman had developed severe bedsores, triggering sepsis–a life-threatening bacterial infection–and ultimately her death.
Who was to blame for this terrible neglect of an elderly Californian?
To the Department of Justice, it was the owner of the elder-care facility in which she had lived for many years. The federal government lodged felony charges, including manslaughter, against the operator. Local media called it one of the first prosecutions of its kind.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has just released its “Most Wanted” list, which reflects what it feels should be priorities for transportation safety in the U.S. moving forward into 2014. These priorities are all well in line with what I see as transportation safety needs for California as well. They include the following:
- Subways, Commuter and Light Rails: The report indicates that there are still active, pending investigations of rail crashes causing injury or death in various light rail incidents across the U.S. including incidents involving Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) in the San Francisco Bay Area. As cities in California including Los Angeles and San Diego continue to develop more light rail projects such as the Metro Lines in L.A. or the San Diego Trolley system, there will inevitably be light rail crashes that prompt calls for further safety measures in the Golden State. Los Angeles intends to extend their subway system further into West Los Angeles / Santa Monica and the San Fernando Valley, for instance and increased ridership will, no doubt result in some additional mishaps. The key is determining cause in these incidents and trying to use this information to improve railway safety by modifying equipment and / or operational practices.
- Helicopter Operations: The NTSB article points out that helicopter traffic continues to increase especially in urban areas as more and more copters are being used for various purposes like law enforcement support, news gathering, medical services, and transportation. Between 2003 and 2013, there were 1,470 helicopter crashes nationwide, which resulted in 477 deaths and 274 serious injuries. Urban areas of California like Los Angeles have seen an increase in aviation traffic including helicopters and will no doubt need to heed the call for further safety to prevent such mishaps here in CA.
California law on punitive damages are the legal remedies provided to the citizens of the Golden State when they are harmed by egregious or reckless conduct. What does California Law say on punitive damages? To answer this question, we first have to explain what punitive damages are and when they might apply to a claim for personal injury in California.
What are punitive damages?
These are damages that a defendant in a civil action may be ordered to pay to punish them for particularly egregious conducting including personal injury and employment claims. They are meant to have a deterrent effect on the defendant from acting in a same or similar way in the future. They can be awarded to the plaintiff in addition to “compensatory” damages like medical bills, lost wages, and property damage. Generally the cannot be awarded for a simple breach of contract but, can be awarded in cases such as insurance “bad faith” claims where an insurance company wrongfully refuses to pay a legitimate claim. In order to obtain such an award against a corporate employer for the acts of an employee, there also needs to be proof that the employer (through a manager or officer) had advance knowledge of the conduct or “ratified” (approved) of the conduct.
What is the process of bringing a personal injury claim in California? As a California personal injury attorney, I find that many people have questions about this process. I would break this down in stages as follows:
From The Date of The Accident to Filing a Lawsuit
Obviously, it is not a pleasant thing to be involved in a car, motorcycle or other type of accident but, if one happens, it usually follows this course: