Attorneys at Sette Law fully appreciate how our niche of Northern California beckons to tourists. But along with the increased traffic comes heightened risk of Petaluma automobile accidents. Our injury lawyers want to provide some information that’s intended to help our local families remain safe from a traffic death or injury.
Our attorneys are (sometimes painfully) aware of the sudden and costly shock that often accompanies a serious car accident. Our lawyers also know that the summer season calls an increased number of visitors to our beautiful region, drivers unfamiliar with the winding, rural roads that surround Petaluma. An accident, our attorneys observe, can happen anywhere, including on our peaceful city streets and country byways. And, whether it’s a slow speed crash or high speed on the 101, most people involved never anticipated a car accident.
Lawyers focused personal injury and accident cases know that many car crashes are preventable. A prime example, our injury lawyers say, is drinking and driving in Petaluma. Accident attorneys report that, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), DUI fatalities rose this year over last year and represent 28.9 percent of the state’s traffic deaths. This news is particularly concerning to our Petaluma accident lawyers because California is already the second ranked state (just behind Texas) for alcohol related deaths due to a car accident. Attorneys say that Alcoholalert.com attributes 34 percent of the state’s traffic related deaths to DUI drivers. This high number puts our personal injury attorneys on high alert, particularly since wine tasting attracts so many visitors to the Wine County and Petaluma.
Accident lawyers, however, know that local drivers add to the grim DUI statistics. In June of 2014 a drunk driver from our city killed a young mother and seriously injured her 8-year-old daughter. Our Petaluma injury lawyers say the driver was found guilty and sentenced to a five year prison term. And this June, another Petaluma man was arrested for an alleged DUI, sending the driver he hit to Queen of the Valley hospital with injuries due to the accident. Our attorneys know that drunk driving is a preventable. Accident lawyers say that options are available to keep drunk drivers off the road.
Of course, car crashes also happen because of distracted driving, yet another source of preventable accidents, according to our Petaluma personal injury attorneys. Who has not seen a motorist driving fast and chatting on his or her hand-held cell phone in Petaluma? Lawyers, of course, know this practice is illegal. Nonetheless, it’s all too common. Yet another growing and dangerous distraction is texting. Just a split second of looking at a phone screen can cause a potentially deadly car accident. Injury attorneys are frustrated by the lack of adherence to traffic laws that are simple to follow, yet so widely ignored. We know that, in retrospect, someone who caused a car crash due to distracted driving quickly realizes that no text or phone call is worth a car accident.
Injury lawyers deal with the painful aftermath of car crashes, whether from a preventable cause or sheer accident. Attorneys represent people who seek compensation for losses because of physical injury and attendant financial losses suffered because of a car accident. Our lawyers must establish four conditions to show a court that a driver’s “Negligence” caused our plaintiff’s accident injury. Lawyers explain that the principles of harm, breach, duty and causation are necessary elements in Negligence.
Let’s briefly look at each item that contributes to negligence in a car accident. Our attorneys define “harm” as injury that happened directly because of the accident; lawyers define “breach” as a failure of the potential defendant to act on the legal obligation of a driver; our injury attorneys say that duty includes the mandate that drivers follow traffic regulations and laws, and, finally, our Petaluma accident lawyers add that causation means a direct link between the accident and the injury. For a personal injury attorney to represent a car crash victim in court and fight for compensation for losses incurred due to the accident, all of these conditions must be verified.
Of course, once in a court of law, the defendant’s accident lawyer will work to protect his or her client. That means our plaintiff’s accident attorney must be confident about the details of the incident and often be able to call on expert witnesses to testify. For example, the personal injury attorney for the defense may claim that our plaintiff’s injury was pre-existing and caused by the car accident. Our injury lawyer may call, say, a physician to testify to the court why our client’s injury is due to the ‘negligence’ of the defendant – a ‘harm’ directly inflicted by the accident. Our attorney may be able to demonstrate there was a ‘breach’ because, for example, the defendant’s blood alcohol level was .08 at the scene of the accident. The attorney for our plaintiff might also counter that the defendant didn’t fulfill his ‘duty’ as a motorist because he was, say, speeding at the time of the Petaluma accident. Finally, our lawyer will then demonstrate the clear link of accident to injury and establish ‘causation.’
After an Accident in Petaluma
Personal injury lawyers at Sette Law counsel all car crash victims to follow some simple rules that can protect them after a Petaluma car accident. Attorneys urge all involved to get medical examination and treatment. Not only does this practice safeguard health, it also can protect people should their incident come to trial. Our Petaluma personal injury lawyers know that a defendant’s lawyer can allege an injury was pre-existing or happened after the accident. Our injury lawyers for the plaintiff trying to recover losses, is better supported if a medical report is available.
In addition, Petaluma accident attorneys suggest that accident victims keep verbal communication to a minimum, sharing only basic information such as contact information for insurance companies. Engaging in conversation or argument, according to our injury lawyers, can lead to problems later in court as we seek compensation for losses from the car accident.
Our attorneys in Petaluma are hoping for safe motoring for members of our community through increased awareness of the dangers of the road as summer is upon us.
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.