Essential Advice in Dealing With Vicious Dogs

The most recent statistics reveal that in 2014 there were 42 dog bite-related fatalities in the United States. In California, further reports show that the largest number of animal attacks are due to pit bulls. If you happen to find yourself in a situation with a vicious dog, there are certain steps that can be taken to minimizing the potential damages in the event that dog bites do occur.

The following pieces of advice may help you avoid being bitten by a vicious dog. If possible, avoid dogs. If the dog is off leash, act as if the dog views you as a threat even if you are familiar with the dog. If you are approached by a roaming dog, the American Kennel Club recommends that you drape your arms over your chest, stand still, do not make eye contact with the dog, and if possible throw something to distract the dog’s attention. Also, realize that dogs naturally become startled when wakened, so avoid disturbing a sleeping dog and respect the animal’s personal space.

Understand California law. In accordance with California law, anyone who owns a dog is responsible for ensuring that the dog does not bite or cause injury to anyone else. Courts in California do not require plaintiffs to prove that the dog had a previous biting history or that the owner knew about the dog’s propensity to bite. Dog owners, however, do not owe a responsibility to protect trespassers against dog bites. Also, military or police dogs that bite while performing their duties are not subject to liability.

If a dog bite does occur, be sure to take the following steps:

  • Identify the Dog and its Owner. If at all possible, obtain the name and address of the individual who owns the dog. If the dog’s owner cannot be identified, you will likely be forced to go through a series of rabies shots to minimize potential risks.
  • Obtain Medical Care. Contact medical emergency personnel or have someone drive you to a hospital. Medical treatment is necessary if you are attacked or bitten by a dog.
  • File a Dog Bite Report. Once you have receive adequate medical treatment, file a dog bite report with the proper city or county authorities. This document initiates a paper trail for law enforcement.
  • Gather Information. If at all possible, identify the dog’s owner. Obtain the dog’s license information and any recorded information about prior attacks made by the dog.
  • Photograph Your Injuries. Photograph your injuries. Make sure that photographs are made periodically as the wounds continue to improve.
  • Contact an Attorney. Do not hesitate to contact a skilled and experienced attorney who can ensure that your dog bite case is handled in the proper manner and that you receive the compensation that you deserve for your injuries.

If you are bitten, attacked, or otherwise injured by a vicious dog, it is imperative that you follow the above mentioned steps to minimize the potential damages from the accident. It is also important that you do not hesitate to contact a skilled and experienced California personal injury attorney today.

Bringing a Personal Injury Suit Against a Driver on Prescription Drugs

Have you or a loved one been injured as the result of the negligent or reckless conduct of a person driving while experiencing side effects related to a medical prescription? Did you know that the law holds these drivers accountable just the same as drivers who caused personal injuries or property damage as a result of other types of careless, reckless, or intentionally wrongful driving? Neither the legality of a prescription nor ignorance of its side effects are valid bases for avoiding liability for the damages caused by a breach of the duty of safe driving. So, if you have been injured by driver under the influence of even a legal prescription medication, it is within your right to seek compensation from them for your injuries, medical bills, lost income due to missed work, pain and suffering, and other losses. To hold the at-fault driver responsible for these damages, contact a skilled and experienced California criminal defense attorney.

Driving Under the Influence of Prescription Drugs is Dangerous

Properly prescribed and responsibly consumed, most medications pose little danger to driving safety. However, some medications come with serious side effects including drowsiness, audio-visual distortions, irritability, and even seizures. These side effects, which can result from either the presence or absence (e.g. withdrawal) of a prescription medication, pose serious – even lethal – risks when coupled with driving. Just imagine if a driver, traveling at 65mph on the highway, unexpectedly falls asleep or experiences convulsions or a seizure. Terrifying, isn’t it?  

Of course you may know firsthand of the terrible consequences if you or a loved one have been seriously injured by a driver who lost control of a vehicle while experiencing medication-related side effects. While you may not harbor the same bad feelings for this type of driver as you would a drunk driver, you may still hold him or her responsible for the tragic toll taken on your person and property. Ignorance of the existence of side effects or the possibility of their occurrence while driving is no excuse. It is the responsibility of a driver to know the effects of the prescription medications they are on, just as it is the responsibility of the driver’s prescribing physician and pharmacist to inform the driver, in writing, of any possible side effects.  

When lack of awareness or forgetfulness leads to an accident, legal liability may still be rightly imposed.  This is the basis for you seeking compensation for your personal injuries, medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost income due to missed work, and other losses – even from a driver who was unaware of the potential side effects that played a role in the accident that caused your injuries. To seek the compensation you need and deserve for your losses, contact a dedicated and skilled San Diego personal injury attorney. Time is of the essence in filing a personal injury lawsuit, so do not delay in contacting an experienced attorney.

Recovering Compensation for Personal Injuries From a Drunk Driver

Have you or a loved one been injured as a result of another person’s decision to get behind the wheel after drinking too much alcohol? May, for all its beauty, is also a time of danger. With millions of young people celebrating graduation, whether from secondary school, college, or beyond, alcohol will inevitably be consumed. All too often, when alcohol is consumed in the context of celebration, it is consumed to the point of excess. Excessive alcohol consumption leads to drunkenness, and when this state of impaired mental faculties is combined with the poor and dangerous decision to get behind the wheel of a car, truck, or other vehicle, tragedy can ensue. This grave possibility lingers around every graduation celebration in which alcohol is involved – and especially those in more remote areas in which there is no access to public transportation, taxis, Uber, or Lyft.

If this dark possibility has become a reality and resulted in an accident in which you or a loved one were injured by a drunk driver, contact a skilled and experienced California personal injury attorney. An experienced attorney will hold the at-fault driver responsible for his or her dangerously selfish decision-making, and seek the full compensation you are entitled to for your injuries, medical and auto repair bills, pain and suffering, and other losses.

Damages Awarded in a Personal Injury Suit Against a Drunk Driver

When a person chooses to get behind the wheel of an automobile while under the influence of alcohol, he or she has acted negligently. Negligence is a legal doctrine. Specifically, negligence is a breach of a duty of care owed to another person that results in damages. Driving under the influence (DUI) is a breach of the duty of safe driving. Alcohol impairs the mental faculties, slows reaction times, and can lead to speeding, swerving, and even passing out at the wheel.  This brings us to damages, the final aspect of establishing negligence. It is the element of causation – of linking the breach of the duty of safe driving – to the personal injuries you have suffered that completes the tort of negligence. This linking is what justifies imposing legal and financial liability on the at-fault driver.  It is about justice – about holding the at-fault party responsible for the harm suffered by the innocent party.  

While court imposed liability cannot, unfortunately, “unbreak” your bones, it can provide financial restitution. Specifically, in a personal injury lawsuit against a drunk driver, you may seek compensation for your injuries, medical bills, car repair bills, lost income due to missed work, pain and suffering, and other losses. Finally, if you were not injured, but instead tragically lost a loved in an accident caused by a drunk driver, you may be able to bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault driver. To discuss the specifics of your situation, contact a skilled and experienced California personal injury attorney. A dedicated attorney will fight to obtain the full compensation to which you are entitled.  

When Reckless Driving Causes Personal Injuries in California

This week, a star NBA player posted an image on Snapchat of his speedometer reading 118 miles per hour while driving his BMW on one of California’s highways. The question has since been asked “why would someone post evidence of themselves breaking the law?” After all, 118 mph is well over the speed limit on any California street or highway – a flagrant violation of state law.  Secondly, while driving at such a dangerous and unlawful speed, why would someone take his or her eyes off the road – even for a moment – to document the unlawful activity? Finally, why would that person then brag about breaking the law and potentially endangering other drivers or pedestrians?

The answer to all three questions likely involves a combination of youth, stupidity, and daft “brand building” in the age of social media. What if the driver’s decision to speed and take his eyes of the road had caused an accident in which personal injuries resulted? For the speeding driver, potentially career-ending injuries, criminal prosecution by the state, loss or restriction of driving privileges by the state’s department of motor vehicles, and potential financial liability stemming from a civil suit by any injured parties. If you have been injured by the reckless and unlawful driving of another person, you may be entitled to recover financial damages in a personal injury lawsuit. To defend your legal rights and hold the other driver responsible for your losses, contact a skilled and experienced California personal injury attorney.

Driver’s Owe Other Drivers and Pedestrians a Duty of Safe Driving

There is a social contract between drivers and other drivers and pedestrians encountered on the state’s roads, streets, highways, and freeways. This contract imposes a duty of safe driving in accordance with the rules and regulations of the state of California. As a part of this duty, we are required to abide by the speed limit, possess car insurance to protect others and ourselves in the event of an accident, drive free from distraction, and refrain entirely from driving while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or medications. When a driver violates this duty of safe driving and causes an accident resulting in property damage, personal injuries, or fatalities, that driver may be held both criminally and financially responsible for their breach of the duty to drive safely.

The criminal side of the equation punishes the driver for his or her decision to drive reckless, carelessly, or in an intentionally wrongful manner. But what about the property damage or personal injuries inflicted on others? Liability for causation of these losses is the province of the civil justice system. So, if you have been injured by a reckless, careless, or intentionally malicious driver, you may file a personal injury lawsuit in the civil justice system to recover the damages you have suffered, including repair costs, medical bills, lost income due to missed work, and much more. To discuss the specifics of your losses, contact an experienced California personal injury attorney.

Bringing a Personal Injury Lawsuit Against a Hit-and-Run DUI Driver

Imagine that you are enjoying a quiet Monday evening in Pacific Beach. The sun is setting, the breeze is warm and light, and you are strolling peacefully down the sidewalk. Then, suddenly out of nowhere, a car crashes into you, breaking your bones, traumatizing you, and entirely upending your life. Then, to add insult to very serious injury, the driver, instead of apologizing, offering to help, and be held accountable for injuring you, attempts to flee the scene.

This nightmare scenario actually happened in Pacific Beach this month. The pedestrian was a 23-year old man just minding his own business. The driver was a 26-year old woman traveling with a 3-year old child in the back seat, and was arrested on suspicion of DUI, hit and run, and endangering a child after causing a second accident – a collision with a parked car – shortly after the initial incident. Shocking as the whole account may be, it really happened. What you need to know is what to do if something like it happens to you. Step 1 is getting to the hospital for treatment of your injuries. Step 2 is contacting a skilled and experienced San Diego personal injury attorney to seek compensation for your medical bills, lost income due to missed work, pain and suffering, and other losses.

A Personal Injury Lawsuit is a Civil Claim For Damages

The DUI, hit and run, and child endangerment suspect described in the nightmarish account above will face two kinds of liability: Criminal and Civil. The state California hates drinking and driving, and punishes it harshly. That is the case even when no one is hurt or endangered. When an injury or fatality results from drinking and driving, or when a minor or child is endangered, the criminal actions are prosecuted as a felony rather than a misdemeanor, and punishments stemming from conviction increase dramatically. This is all just on the criminal side of the justice system. On the civil side, the DUI, hit and run, and child endangerment suspect is looking at a personal injury lawsuit for damages from the pedestrian  This person – the pedestrian – suffered a broken leg and pelvis. These are very serious injuries that require substantial medical treatment and recovery time. 

During the treatment and recovery time, the victim may not be able to work, and thus lose much-needed income. In addition, there is the severe emotional trauma that results from being violently struck by a vehicle while walking down the sidewalk. All of these wrongs caused by the allegedly drunk driver are termed “damages” by the law. A personal injury lawsuit seeks to recover these damages, in the form of financial compensation, from the party responsible for causing them. If you have been injured by the careless, reckless, or intentionally wrongful acts of another, contact a skilled and experienced California personal injury attorney to bring a personal injury lawsuit to recover financial compensation for the damages you have suffered.

San Diego Wrong-Way Car Crash Wrongful Death Claims

Late year in San Diego more than a dozen drivers and passengers died in car crashes caused by a driver driving the wrong way down the city’s freeways. The tragedies have shaken the San Diego community, leaving loved ones in anguish. To lose someone in an automobile accident is difficult enough. To know that their last moments involved the sight of another vehicle traveling in the wrong directions towards them at high speeds is, if possible, even more difficult – and disturbing. For families, along with the grief and loss, there is the effect of the loss of income and financial support provided by the loved one. While nothing can replace a loved one lost in a wrong-way car crash, a wrongful death lawsuit can bring compensation for present and financial losses – compensation that can make a substantial difference in life after loss. If you have lost a loved one in wrong-way or other automobile accident, contact a dedicated and experienced San Diego wrongful death attorney.

Why are So Many Wrong-Way Crashes Occurring on San Diego’s Freeways?

Why on earth are so many fatal wrong-way crashes happening on San Diego’s freeways?  Based on Caltrans, the state agency in charge of highway, bridge, and rail transportation, planning, construction, and maintenance, making recent efforts to improve freeway off-ramp signs, it stands to reason that the poor quality, visibility, or content of the signs have played a role – causing some drivers to be confused about the right direction to drive in. To reduce confusion and, most importantly, further injuries and fatalities, Caltrans is increasing the size of off-ramp signs, as well as including flashing lights in an effort to reduce the number of drivers who mistakenly attempt to enter the freeway on off-ramps (as opposed to on-ramps). This is all well and good for the state and its drivers, but what about for individuals and families who have lost a loved one to a wrong-way wrongful death on San Diego’s freeways?

A Wrongful Death Claim May Result in Compensation for the Loss of a Loved One

If your loved one was killed in a wrong-way car crash, you may be able to bring a wrongful death claim for damages against the party or parties responsible. Wrongful death law is a subset of negligence law. Negligence is the breach of a duty owed that results in damages. Damages in the wrongful death context are many, and include medical bills for treatment prior to death, funeral and burial expenses, loss of income and financial support, loss of love and consortium, and more. In a wrong-way fatality, the negligence can take multiple forms. If your loved one was killed as a result of another driver wrongly entering an off-ramp, the negligence is likely attributable to the other driver and the state. If your loved one was killed as a result of inadequate traffic signs leading them to attempt to enter the freeway via an off-ramp, the negligence is possibly attributable to the state of California. For either scenario, contact a skilled and experienced California wrongful death attorney.

Bringing a Personal Injury Lawsuit Following a Hit and Run Accident

Unexpected personal injuries suffered in an automobile accident are a nightmare. In the midst of living your life, pursuing your goals, and enjoying the good times, you are sidelined or worse through no fault of your own. Besides the injuries, there is partial or total damage to your vehicle, leaving you to deal with repairs or a replacement, as well as the hassle of filing an insurance claim. As bad as this scenario sounds, it is far worse when the driver responsible for your personal injuries flees the scene of the accident. When you are injured by a hit and run driver, you have to track down the driver in addition to recovering from your injuries and dealing with vehicle repairs – all while missing work and income while recovering from your injuries.  

When this catastrophe happens because of someone else’s negligence, reckless, or intentionally wrongful conduct, it is time to rely on a dedicated and experienced California personal injury attorney. A skilled attorney will work to track down the hit and run driver and explore all avenues in both the criminal and civil justice systems to punish the hit and run driver for cowardly and criminal conduct, and seek the full compensation you are entitled to for your injuries and other losses.

Separating the Accident from the Leaving the Scene of the Accident

A hit and run automobile accident that causes personal injuries represents an interesting set of facts in the eyes of the law. To understand the legal recourse available to you, it is helpful to separate the accident from the at-fault driver’s leaving the scene of the accident. The accident itself is commonly the result of negligence. Negligence is a legal term for when a duty owed by one person to another is breached, thereby causing the non-at-fault party to suffer damages. In the hit and run car accident context, the duty is that of safe driving. All drivers owe a duty to all other drivers to drive safely in accordance with the rules and regulations of the road. This duty can be breached by driving drunk, driving too fast or too slow, swerving, texting while driving, failing to obey stop lights and turn signals, and much more. When a breach causes an accident to happen, the negligent driver may be held legally responsible for the non-at-fault driver’s personal injuries, property damage, lost income due to missed work, pain and suffering, and other losses.

In a hit and run accident, the at-fault, fleeing driver may be held criminally responsible. Leaving the scene of an accident involving personal injuries without identifying oneself to the other party or parties involved is a felony in the state of California and is subject to harsh punishments. If you have been injured in a hit and run car accident, contact a skilled and experienced California persona injury attorney today.

Auto Accidents In the News: Drunk Driver Flees Crash Scene, Walks to Gas Station

Garrett Gelrud was involved in a deadly crash at approximately 5:30 a.m. on August 6th. He initially fled the scene, but was detained shortly afterwards at a nearby gas station. The California High Patrol evaluated Gelrud for DUI after his vehicle and two others crashed approximately 50 miles from downtown San Diego. The accident occurred southbound on Old Highway 395, south of highway CA-76.

According to California High Patrol Officials, Gelrud was driving his Chevy Suburban heading north on Old Highway 395 when he drove through a curve in the roadway. Simultaneously, Juan Corza Gonzales, a 62-year old man from Escondido was driving his Nissan Versa heading south, and Alfonso Sumano, 56, and his wife Antonia Juarez, 58, both from Escondido, were driving in their Toyota Prius. As Gelrud drove into the curve, his Suburban crossed the yellow lines and crashed into Gonzales’ Nissan head-on. Gonzales was killed as a result of the impact. Sumano saw the crash and applied his brakes to avoid it, but he ended up rear-ending Gonzalez’s Nissan. Sumano and Juarez escaped with minor injuries.

NBC San Diego caught aerial footage of the aftermath of the crash, which showed a white SUV in one lane, a blue car in the middle of the road and the silver car half in the road, half on a rock wall that lines the road. The Nissan (the blue car) was completely destroyed. The other vehicles sustained damage to the front of each.

Gelrud was apprehended just after 6:00 a.m. He was leaving the crash site barefoot. Officials apprehended him at a nearby gas station. He sustained minor injuries. Gelrud will be charged with suspicion of felony DUI, vehicular manslaughter, and felony hit-and-run. The accident is still under investigation.

Contact the Leslie Legal Group

If you or a loved one have been injured or killed in a DUI auto accident, it is essential that you retain an experienced attorney as soon as possible. The Leslie Legal Group has extensive experience helping clients obtain damages in auto accident cases. Contact us today for a free consultation.