Law Office of Frederick J. Sette
Personal Injury Attorney
Serving The Petaluma California Region

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Nothing Simple about Petaluma Car accidents

Attorneys at Sette Law in know that proving liability in a car accident is no easy task. Car accident law is more complicated than it might first appear – even though people injured in an accident may be certain of the other driver’s negligence, according to our Petaluma personal injury attorneys. States generally govern accident law which is fairly consistent across the nation, including in Petaluma. Car accident attorneys are required to present evidence relevant to a set of four principles we’ll outline here.

The first is Cause, meaning your Petaluma personal injury lawyer must prove to the court that the car accident was directly responsible for injuries received in Petaluma. An Accident attorney representing the defendant may allege the injury is unrelated to the car crash. The plaintiff’s personal injury attorney can present medical evidence and expert testimony to support the victim’s case. Conversely, the Petaluma injury lawyer for the defendant could do the same. Consequently, it makes good sense for accident victims to engage a Petaluma car accident lawyer, rather than face the opposition’s lawyer in a court of law.

Your Petaluma injury lawyer will also seek to prove a Breach has been committed by the defendant. This means the other driver violated a law or acted irresponsibly - for example a plaintiff’s accident attorney may be able to prove the defendant was texting or talking on a cell phone at the time of the Petaluma car accident. Your attorney will carefully examine police reports and any evidence from you or witnesses to the accident in Petaluma. A personal injury lawyer may find the defendant had been driving under the influence or speeding – any number of negligent behaviors that may have contributed to your car accident.
Your attorney also has the job of proving that harm was done to you in the car accident. The lawyer for the defendant may allege you were not injured or an injury you have is unrelated to the car accident. Your attorney will establish facts for the court to prove that harm was done to you directly because of the Petaluma car accident.

Your lawyer essentially needs to highlight facts that establish the defendant was not in accordance with the last principle of Duty. This principle is fundamental to car accident law and dictates that it’s the responsibility of all motorists to drive safely and heed traffic laws. Your Petaluma injury attorney will highlight behavior such as speeding, distracted driving, intoxication and other behaviors that indicate the defendant violated his or her Duty, leading to the Petaluma car accident. Lawyers will access evidence, witness testimony and law enforcement data to demonstrate the defendant’s lack of performance of Duty.

Our Petaluma accident attorneys point out that victims can be a big help in supporting their case in court. Capturing evidence with photos or video at the scene of the car accident helps lawyers build your case. Cell phones make it easy to do this! And, our Petaluma personal injury attorneys urge people to keep their wits about them after a car accident. Our lawyers say that remaining calm and quiet is the best approach in the aftermath of a crash. Words said in anger or apologies made can come back to haunt victims after a car accident, leaving attorneys with a problem later in court.

Recalls may Play Role in Petaluma Car Accidents

Lawyers with Sette Law in Petaluma are closely monitoring the upsurge in recalls of automobiles over the past year.  The spotlight has been on GM’s recalls involving a variety of defects, according to our Petaluma personal injury attorneys. However, many of the problems have been traced to faulty airbags and that issue can be complicated by other mechanical and design problems. In Petaluma, our injury lawyers are also concerned about the recall of the Routan made by Volkswagen as well as Range Rover’s recall of five models spanning 2013-2014. Yet another recall by GM is the Chevy Cruze, with serious defects in airbag deployment.

In some cases, our Petaluma car accident lawyers point out, the issues involve other mechanisms that can cause airbags to malfunction. For example, Volkswagen’s Routan is plagued by ignition switch problems that are identified as the source of problems with brakes, airbags and power steering. In Petaluma our personal injury attorneys also point to GM’s recall of 1.8 million SUVs due to airbags that could fail to deploy if car owners don’t pay attention to an airbag warning light on the dashboard. SUVs are a very popular choice for families in Petaluma and injury attorneys are urge owners to get the repairs made immediately. If you purchased a GMC Acadia, Saturn Outlook, Chevy Traverse or Buick Enclave in Petaluma, our car accident lawyers advise you to check GMs website for the years included in the recall.


Petaluma Injury Lawyers Note Reluctant Recall

In this particular recall, that began making headlines early this year, our Petaluma personal injury attorneys are particularly concerned about GMs reticence to launch a full recall earlier. The air bag problem had been known for many years but as late as March 13 of this year, the company launched a customer satisfaction campaign aimed at drivers in the U.S. and Petaluma. Our injury lawyers note this non-urgent campaign did not acknowledge the seriousness of the problem for car owners in Petaluma. Personal injury attorneys know that such campaigns are more economical than recalls and are not done under the eye of watch dog government agencies.

According to data from the National Highway Transportation Administration (NHTSA), GM escalated the problem to full recall status the next day, March 14 – right after notifying the NHTSA of its “satisfaction campaign.” Our Petaluma injury attorneys suspect GMs reluctance to deal with serious, life threatening issues for so many years (since at least 2008), indicates that drivers involved in related accidents may not make the link between the car make and their experience. This, according to our Petaluma injury lawyers, in an unfortunate result of corporate inaction and a lack of accountability.

For years, GM had been handling the air bag issue with service bulletins, despite a significant rise in calls to the company’s Technical Assistance Center and increased buy-backs of the affected models in cities like Petaluma. Car accident lawyers are concerned that crash victims in these years may be unaware their accident was caused by a defect.

At Sette Law in Petaluma, injury attorneys believe in public accountability and responsibility. That it took an influx of new leadership at GM, plus congressional hearings and a national spotlight to spur the company to action is not encouraging to car owners in Petaluma. Our personal injury attorneys continue to follow the progression of cases involving victims of GM airbag crashes. We are confident that, had the company stepped forward with recalls of these serious defects years ago, countless accidents could have been prevented throughout the nation and in Petaluma. Our car accident lawyers hope this public scandal will serve as a lesson to car makers – life threatening conditions demand a swift and substantial response.