Law Office of Frederick J. Sette
Personal Injury Attorney
Serving the Stockton and Petaluma California Regions
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Will 2016 Bring Fewer Petaluma Car Cash Injuries?

Our Petaluma personal injury attorneys look back on 2015 and hope that a year of daily car crash injuries has come to an end. The region around Petaluma, our personal injury attorneys recall, seemed like a magnet for car accidents. However, since little new has been done to enhance safety, our personal injury law attorneys are concerned the risks will remain escalated in and around Petaluma. Car crash injury and death, in fact, may even worsen if traffic officials and the public fail to manage current and potential new threats. Our Petaluma personal injury law attorneys consider a few top concerns as we look at a new year of driving.

Serious Petaluma car accident injuries and deaths happen on Hwy. 101 where excessive speed congestion is not uncommon. In addition, our Petaluma personal injury lawyers say, winding rural roads also tempt dangerous driving that contributes to accidents. Some of the causes of Petaluma car crash injury and death can be prevented, according to our personal injury attorneys. In this blog, we look at three areas of driving safety that call for attention if we are to diminish the incidence of Petaluma car accident injuries and deaths.

DUIs get more complicated
A frequent factor in Petaluma car accident injuries and death is alcohol. Our Petaluma personal injury law attorneys know that drunk driving is preventable and that it’s a factor in too many Petaluma car crash injuries. In this case, our Petaluma personal injury attorneys feel that public education is essential to mitigating the problem. When law enforcement determines alcohol is a factor in a Petaluma car accident with injuries, DUI motorists are dealt with swiftly and harshly. However, our Petaluma personal injury law attorneys know that punishment isn’t enough to prevent intoxicated motorists from getting behind the wheel. Drivers must fully understand their responsibilities in Petaluma. Car crash injury and death due to intoxication won’t diminish until people think before they take a drink.

This leads our Petaluma personal injury lawyers to highlight a new threat to safety on the roadways of Petaluma. Car crash injury due to intoxicated driving will likely get a boost if California moves to legalize the use of marijuana. Like you, our personal injury law attorneys have taken note of a new Caltrans campaign regarding “buzzed driving.”  Electronic signs over our freeways warn that DUI driving includes the effects of a marijuana high. Our Petaluma personal injury law attorneys are pleased to see this proactive move to prevent Petaluma car accident injuries and deaths even before recreational pot is legal here. However, personal injury lawyers know that it’s not simple for law enforcement to determine the DUI level of buzzed drivers. After a Petaluma car crash causes injury, the standard sobriety tests may not prove a driver was too high on pot to drive.  This is because, according to our Petaluma personal injury attorneys, certain metabolites in marijuana are present in users for days or weeks after use. If a driver causes a Petaluma car accident with injuries, but passes physical sobriety tests, our personal injury attorneys say, a subsequent blood test can’t conclusively show when the pot was used.  This is a new challenge for law enforcement to face in handling suspected Petaluma DUI car accidents and injuries.

Petaluma personal injury attorneys say that Colorado’s legalization of pot highlighted the DUI challenges. And, if Colorado is a model of what can happen, our personal injury attorneys fear that Petaluma car crash injury and death will likely rise if California also legalizes marijuana. Personal injury law attorneys report that, after legalization of recreational marijuana, Colorado logged a 32 percent increase of car crash injury or death. Our Petaluma personal injury law attorneys hope that field and lab testing for DUI driving will eventually meet the challenges of marijuana legalization.

Are drivers distracted in Petaluma?
Car accident injury and death due to distracted driving is a serious problem throughout California and in Petaluma. Personal injury law attorneys say distracted driving is yet another offense that’s hard for law enforcement to prove after a Petaluma car accident. An injury or death that happens because a driver was texting or using electronics may be suspected – but without an admission by the driver is only that – a suspicion. Our Petaluma personal injury attorneys say this is yet another opportunity for aggressive public education. Car accident injuries and deaths will only rise as technology offers more mobile distractions for drivers in Petaluma, and more car crash injuries. Our Petaluma personal injury law attorneys say that public education and public policy are critical to prevent car crash injury and death. In this arena, our Petaluma personal injury lawyers report that new California legislation will prohibit the wearing of ear buds and headphones while driving. Our Petaluma personal injury law attorneys hope more common sense regulations will be adopted to stem the rash of Petaluma car crash injuries and deaths due to distracted driving.

Awareness of others needed in Petaluma
Car accident injuries and deaths to pedestrians and bicyclists is yet another source of preventable car crash injury. Our Petaluma personal injury law attorneys know that bicyclists are a particular concern in the region. Rural roads invite avid bicyclists and consequently lead to Petaluma car accident injuries or death. Our Petaluma personal injury lawyers believe that motorists and bike riders need to be aware of each other on the beautiful byways of Petaluma. Car accident injuries can be avoided if bikers and drivers are mutually courteous and share the road. However, we know that Petaluma car accident injuries almost always do the most harm to the bicyclist. Consequently, our personal injury law attorneys advise bike riders to be extremely vigilant and never to assume the behavior of motorists.

As 2016 progresses, our Personal injury law attorneys will continue to support programs that focus on preventable Petaluma accidents. Injury and death do not have to be commonplace on our freeways and rural roads. Our personal injury lawyers believe that safety from Petaluma car crash injuries is a mutual responsibility of both individual motorists and law enforcement officials.

Petaluma Injury Attorneys Protect Victims’ Rights

People who have been harmed due to the negligent acts of another person often suffer extreme financial hardship and physical pain. It’s our job as Petaluma accident and injury lawyers to help victims regain their losses and continue to physically heal. As legal professionals were are keenly aware of how complicated our legal system is when it comes to personal injury law, and attorneys at Petaluma’s Sette Law firm know what it takes to navigate this challenging legal arena. Unfortunately, personal injury law requires attorneys who specialize in injury law and is generally well beyond the capacity of someone lacking a juris doctorate degree, along with significant experience in personal injury law.

Attorneys recognize that personal injury law is widely misunderstood and, even, maligned. Nonetheless, our Petaluma injury lawyers know that the clients we’ve represented are resoundingly grateful for our representation. Until a person experiences the painful and costly consequences of an injury accident, our attorneys know the importance of our expertise as personal injury lawyers may be underestimated. When medical costs, financial losses and physical harm are the result of negligence, it’s only right that victims of an injury accident have attorneys to help them recover to the fullest extent possible. Our Petaluma personal injury lawyers are committed to this singular goal and we are proud of our ability to serve the community as specialized legal professionals.

Unfortunately, people (and entities) seldom take responsibility for being the cause of an accident. Attorneys know that admitting culpability after an accident goes against common sense, and that most people adopt a defensive position – denying responsibility for an accident. Injury lawyers help accident victims to legally establish the facts and circumstances that caused injury. Our attorneys  are committed to bringing justice to people harmed by the negligent acts of others that have caused financial loss and personal injury.

Attorneys Outline Array of Petaluma Injury Accidents
Lawyers at Sette Law say the nature and variety of personal injury accidents our attorneys handle is almost endless.  Often, the only common element is that our client has received a serious personal injury. Attorneys say the most frequent causes include the wide array vehicle collisions, from truck and motorcycle, to car accidents. Lawyers for personal injury clients in vehicle accidents must clearly establish that a defendant has clear liability for the accident. Attorneys for the defense, on the other hand, will work to absolve their client of liability. Lawyers for the plaintiff may be able to prove a number of incriminating driver behaviors on the part of the defendant such as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, breaking traffic laws or driving recklessly as contributing to the Petaluma accident and injury.

Attorneys also represent people who have been injured by medical malpractice. Lawyers explain that, although physicians may be the source of an injury, a hospital or representative medical professional such as a nurse or therapist, may also be party to medical malpractice. Injury lawyers admit this arena of injury law can be very complicated and the legal process lengthy. In addition, malpractice lawsuits may involve wrongful death. Our attorneys say the emotional burden is often overwhelming for the survivors of a loved one who was the victim of a malpractice wrongful death. Our lawyers add that medical malpractice lawsuits can pit an individual of family against health provider groups that unite to fight legal challenges, heightening the importance of engaging a professional and competent personal injury attorney.

Yet another arena of personal injury that lawyers frequently encounter involves defective products that have caused injury. Attorneys often work on behalf of individuals who may face teams of lawyers protecting their corporate client. On occasion, liability and accident lawyers will represent groups of clients who claim harm from a common source. Petaluma personal injury lawyers explain that defective product litigation can be further complicated by the possibility that more than one point in a chain of responsibility may share liability. Attorneys may identify, say, the designer of a faulty product, the manufacturer, the marketer or others involved in producing the defective product.

Personal injury lawyers also handle premises liability cases in which someone on private (or public) property has sustained a personal injury. Attorneys say the common ‘slip and fall’ accident comes under this category of personal injury. But lawyers are quick to caution that there is nothing “simple” about such cases. When someone is injured on private property, such as a retail store, an office building or a personal residence, the responsible owner (or manager) must be proven liable for the injury. Attorneys explain that negligence must be a factor. Here’s a brief example: A child drops a jar on the floor of a supermarket. Her mother picks up the glass, severs a finger and sues the store for her injury. Lawyers for the supermarket would rightly argue that the store owner had no knowledge of the danger and, therefore, could not have prevented the dangerous condition. Petaluma personal injury attorneys say that property owners are protected from frivolous and/or malicious lawsuits and claims of injury.

Attorneys Step Up for Victims of Injury
Lawyers who choose personal injury law as a focus represent individuals who, on their own, would have little chance of recovering losses caused by their injury. Our attorneys have dedicated many decades of education and active practice to building our expertise so that aggrieved members of our community can successfully recover financial losses incurred because of someone’s negligence that caused their injury. Our attorneys have a passion for the practice of personal injury law, coupled with a commitment to serve our neighbors in Petaluma. Our injury lawyers not only guide clients through an unfamiliar and daunting process, but we also provide people with comfort and confidence. An adept and experienced personal injury attorney can lighten the burden of an accident victim and help them to focus on the future. From the countless letters and comments received by our Petaluma personal injury attorneys, we know that our clients appreciate our work and benefit from our dedication to a proud legal profession.

Petaluma Premises Liability Lawyers Look at Slip and Fall Details

At Sette Law, our Petaluma personal injury attorneys know that most people are at least vaguely aware of slip and fall litigation. For instance, someone falls in a retail store, breaks a leg and subsequently sues the store owner to recover financial losses due to the serious injury. Lawyers, however, are quick to point out that this kind of law is under the umbrella of premises liability and is often anything but simple. In this July blog our Petaluma injury and accident attorneys will discuss a few of the complexities and details included in this arena of law.

Personal injury attorneys say that slip and fall incidents are very common civil court actions nationally and in Petaluma. Accident lawyers say that slip and fall liability allows the average person to recoup often significant costs incurred due to the negligence of another party. Certainly, our injury personal lawyers agree that this legal option creates greater vigilance on the part of property owners, provides financial redress for losses suffered by slip and fall victims and helps to protect people from injury. Attorneys believe that premises law serves the cause of justice, but has also been abused by litigants in the past. Consequently, laws have been refined and increasingly included protections for property owners from people who claim harm when there has been no verifiable injury accident. Lawyers must be aware of provisions that protect both the public from harm and the property owner from frivolous claims of losses due to injury. 

Attorneys Outline Slip and Fall Liability
Petaluma personal injury lawyers will first verify that the condition or item that caused a slip and fall accident can be linked to the premises owner or to his or her employee. Secondly, our liability lawyers will seek to establish these parties knew about the danger and still did nothing to remedy the condition that led to the injury. Attorneys know that current law indicates that owners exert the most control over their property and therefore bear significant responsibility to protect users of their property from harm and injury.

Our personal injury lawyers use the following example – If the owner of a boutique hotel in Petaluma knows an air conditioning unit is leaking water onto the entry stairs below and does nothing to remedy that condition, a patron or visitor who slips and falls would likely have a valid claim for personal injury. Attorneys would point to the building owner (or an employee) as responsible for the Petaluma injury. 

But lawyers say that other circumstances could change potential liability. Consider a guest on the second floor of hotel property who decides to have a smoke and chooses to do so sitting atop the window air conditioning unit. It breaks free and crashes to the ground, leaving the guest with a debilitating back injury. Here, attorneys for the property owner would have a strong case against liability for the injury accident. Lawyers would rightly point out that air conditioners were never intended for use as chairs and the responsibility lies with the guest. Our Petaluma personal injury attorneys say that uses outside the “normal” and commonly understood can imply a lack of liability on the part of the property owner.

Slip and fall injury accidents send lawyers into investigations that can involve several layers of potential liability. Often a building will have an owner, a manager, a lessee or tenant and employees. Petaluma personal injury attorneys are tasked with making certain an injury plaintiff identifies the proper responsible party. When this is not initially clear, an accident and injury lawyer can issue a notice of claim for more than one party – for example, an owner and a manager. If the responsible person is not noticed in the initial claim, the plaintiff may lose the ability to file at a later time. Slip and fall injury attorneys often leave the determination of responsibility up to insurance companies for the respective parties.

Liability Statutes Protect the Public from Injury
Attorneys explain that property owners have a specific responsibility that’s defined as a Duty of Care. This comes with the privilege of owning real property. The law says that a property owner must take reasonable care to provide a safe environment that protects visitors and others from injury.  But attorneys say this concept really can’t be exactly defined and universally applied to specific conditions that contribute to a Petaluma slip and fall accident. Lawyers for the injured party will have to carefully scrutinize the details of each case.

Our Petaluma personal injury lawyers offer the following example: A young child spills a bottle of water on the floor of a neighborhood grocery store and mom and toddler run off to find a store employee. Within seconds another shopper comes along and slips and falls, sustaining a serious knee injury. Lawyers say it’s not likely the store would be held responsible because the owner or employees had no notice or knowledge of the spill. However, if store management knew about the spill, left the water in the floor for thirty minutes and then a shopper slipped and fell, the store would likely shoulder liability. Attorneys further explain that property owners can take precautions to protect themselves. If store employees had surrounded the spill area with barriers and “caution” signs and someone breeched those barriers and fell, the property owner may not be held liable for the accident. Attorneys point out that ideas such as reasonable judgment pay a role in slip and fall injury claims.

Petaluma personal injury lawyers don’t expect average consumers to know all the nuances of slip and fall cases. Our most experienced liability attorneys continue to encounter new circumstances that call for additional research. But, one practice we can advise for people who experience a slip and fall accident is to pay attention to the details of the accident. Our attorneys say that noting the substance on the floor that caused the fall is very important for injury attorneys presenting evidence to the court. Our Petaluma liability attorneys know that memory can change and fade with the passage of time, and slip and fall victims must be very clear and consistent about their experience.

Product Liability Info for Petaluma

Attorneys at Sette Law in Petaluma feel it’s important for the community to be better informed about many aspects of law, such as what happens when a product causes an injury. Our lawyers are well aware that the prospect of facing off in court against a corporation is daunting for any individual who has suffered a personal injury. Attorneys in our firm understand this is intimidating for anyone who is not a legal professional in Petaluma. Liability lawyers have extensive experience in the courtroom environment and help guide clients through the complex process of product liability. Our attorneys, however, want to equip the public with some basic information about product liability and this blog will cover items that just might clarify what it takes to file a lawsuit in Petaluma.

Injury attorneys outline requirements
Petaluma personal injury lawyers work within California statutes that define product liability, which may differ from state to state. In general, there are some key conditions that must be met to show a manufacturer’s product is responsible for personal injury. Attorneys will first establish the fundamental fact that verifiable harm was done and that a plaintiff experienced financial losses because of the personal injury. A lawyer would not agree to accept a case in which someone was ‘nearly’ hurt because of a manufacturer’s defect. Indeed, the condition of “real harm” would not be satisfied. Petaluma liability attorneys offer a hypothetical case: A family buys a glass table top. The manufacturer’s sticker says the glass is tempered and therefore should not break into sharp shards that could cause very serious injury.

Lawyers would agree the sticker serves as evidence of the quality and type of the glass. Upon installing the glass on the table base, the purchaser drops it. The glass beaks into large, sharp chunks and one severs his little finger, causing medical urgency and verifiable injury. Attorneys have medical bills for emergency treatment, a sticker claiming the glass was tempered and a client who lost two weeks of work due to the personal injury. Lawyers know this scenario would likely rise to the level needed to satisfy the first criteria for liability and injury.

Attorneys then will investigate to determine how the glass was defective. Our Petaluma liability lawyers say this may not be as simple as it appears. A defect in a product can be traced to more than one source. Perhaps it happened in the design or the manufacturing process or even in the marketing of the product that caused the injury. Attorneys look carefully to identify the source that caused the Petaluma injury. Adept lawyers might consider the engineering of the glass or even the marketing company that assigned that ‘tempered glass’ sticker to the table top assuring consumers it would not break into life-threatening shards and lead to serious personal injury. Attorneys consider the entire chain of manufacture when assessing a claim for product liability.

Attorneys even look closely at product warnings and directions. These features are intended to further protect consumers from injury. Our Petaluma product liability lawyers know this as possible defective marketing that often plays a role in defective product law. In the former example of the table top, a marketing error could have led to the glass being mislabeled. Instead, installation directions and warnings should have indicated the danger of using un-tempered glass because mishandling can cause grievous injury.

Product Liability Law for Petaluma
Attorneys, however, also explain that manufacturers are protected from frivolous claims of personal injury. Our lawyers say that when a person uses an item for a task it wasn’t intended for, claim of a defect may not be credible. Consider this: A woman comes to our Petaluma personal injury attorney and explains she has damaged her appearance after using hair color to color her eyebrows. She says she now looks like Groucho Marx and the hair dye burned her eyes so badly she had to see a doctor. The hair color instructions, however, specifically warn against using the product anywhere except on hair located on the head, her Petaluma injury lawyer tells her. She argues that hair is hair – no matter the location and the product was defective and caused her harm and financial injury. Her lawyer further learns she stopped going to work because she was embarrassed. She wants her Petaluma liability attorney to argue for medical reimbursement and lost wages. Sorry, our injury attorney says. The consumer was warned and paid no attention. Her case would not meet the criteria necessary to qualify as a defect injury.

But lawyers point out that cases are not always so black an,d white. As an example our Petaluma injury attorneys offer this scenario: A man uses a barbeque fork, designed for turning meat, to pierce a potato, and stabs his hand in the process. He punctures a vein and must get medical attention for his personal injury. Our attorney would initially suspect that no product defect caused the accident but, rather, the cook’s poor judgment was responsible for the injury.

Lawyers delve closely into the details of product liability law. Our Petaluma personal injury attorneys understand that most people don’t encounter defective product law until after suffering a personal injury. A lawyer’s education, practice and interests can help people prepare to seek just compensation for losses suffered due to a product defect that’s cause injury.

Our attorneys, for example, are closely monitoring the nation’s current (and largest) product defect news involving automobile manufacturers and Takata, the maker of defective airbags that have allegedly cost deaths and injury. Our lawyers know the legal process may be lengthy and, almost certainly, very complicated. Petaluma personal injury attorneys are interested to see how many links in the manufacturing chain may be involved in upcoming legal actions and how the courts will treat individuals and families of those who suffered death or injury.

Our Petaluma injury lawyers believe that people suffering losses because of a manufacturing defect – physical, mental and/or financial losses – should be compensated by those responsible for their injury. Attorneys who specialize in defective product law facilitate and fight for justice within the often complex structure of the judicial and legal system.

Petaluma DUI Lawyers Urge Driver Awareness of Risks

In Petaluma, DUI attorneys at Sette Law want drivers in our community to be aware of the physical effects of alcohol that too often lead to a serious accident. As injury lawyers, we see first-hand the terrible results of the decision to drink and drive. Concrete, scientific information, our accident attorneys hope, may educate people and help prevent Petaluma accidents.

Our DUI lawyers, like you, have heard individuals say “I drive better drunk than sober!” Of course, nothing is further from the truth. As Petaluma injury attorneys we know that even small amounts of alcohol can, and do, cause changes in the brain. With current medical technology, researchers are able to identify exactly what happens when people drink alcohol – our Petaluma DUI lawyers may not be medical experts but we too can observe the results from PET and MRI studies now available.

Elements of alcohol can penetrate the brain from the body’s blood circulatory system. DUI accident lawyers know that it isn’t the ‘kind’ of alcohol imbibed but, rather, how much over time. Generally, more than one drink per hour can affect neurons in the brain and impair judgment that may lead to a Petaluma DUI accident. Our attorneys point to an accident in April on West Hammer lane in which a young male pedestrian was killed by a driver who was booked at the scene for a DUI. Our lawyers note that the motorist was driving on a license that had been suspended for a previous Petaluma DUI.

Accident attorneys know that tragic events like this are preventable. Just being aware of the physical effects of alcohol on the brain should discourage irresponsible drinking that distorts judgment, vision, perception, reaction time and other alterations that can, and do, lead to Petaluma DUI accidents. Lawyers will, most likely, be looking at this recent case as a potential wrongful death accident.

Attorneys Cite Disturbing Statistics
Petaluma accident lawyers draw upon many sources for data including Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), the FBI and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), among others tracking DUI’s. Our attorneys believe these statistics ought to add to the case for greater attention to prevention. The numbers of people injured and killed in DUI accidents, our attorneys say, is proof that greater education on the topic is needed.

Our Petaluma accident attorneys say that almost one-third of the nation’s traffic deaths involved DUI drivers. According to the CDC, 10,322 individuals died in 2012 due to DUI drivers. Sadly, our injury lawyers note that 239 of those victims were under the age of 14 and half of that number were passengers of a driver impaired by alcohol, headed for an accident.

Injury attorneys report that about 30 people lose their lives every day due to a drunk driving accident. Our lawyers know that untold pain and hardship accompany each of these accidents that happen once every 51 minutes, according to the CDC. And, although Petaluma injury attorneys focus on the loss to victims, the cost to the entire country for DUI crashes tops $59 billion. Although California statistics are generally lower than national DUI accident numbers, our Petaluma injury lawyers believe there’s lots of room for improvement.

Education is Essential for Youth in Petaluma
Accident attorneys are aware that teens are particularly tempted to experiment with alcohol. In Michigan, a study found that almost 50% of kids in 10th grade say they drink, and 30% of youngsters in the eighth grade admit to the same. Nationwide, our Petaluma DUI lawyers say that about 4,700 teenagers are killed each year due to alcohol use that led to accidents. Our lawyers further report that the National Academies Press published a finding about the prevalence of binge drinking among teens. While one in six teens reported they indulged in binge drinking, just one out of 100 parents thought it possible of their son or daughter.

As parents, our Petaluma DUI attorneys know that kids are under lots of peer pressure. That’s why our injury lawyers support heightened education about the dangers posed by alcohol. From scientific facts to the gruesome details of DUI accidents, our attorneys believe information is essential to preventing teenage alcohol use that can lead to a tragic DUI accident.

Attorneys say the focus should start in the teenage years so that when youngster get to the “drinking age” they are aware of alcohol’s effect on brain and body. This is when young people face the greatest threat of a DUI accident, our attorneys explain. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration showed that, in 2011, drivers from the age of 21 to 25 logged the most DUI accidents. Attorneys also reference a NHTSA study for the same age group showing that 32 percent drove while drunk.

Petaluma DUI Lawyers Urge Awareness

The numbers are pretty staggering, according to our Petaluma accident attorneys. Although masses of people admit to driving drunk (21.9 million drivers) far fewer are ever arrested. A 2013 study by the FBI indicated that each day 300,000 people drive while drunk – however, a mere 4,000 arrests were made for DUIs. Attorneys and law enforcement officials are also aware that about one-third of drivers nabbed are repeat offenders.

Sette’s Petaluma DUI lawyers are also aware of recent accidents in nearby Sacramento in which alcohol likely played a deadly role. This spring, xx people were killed by wrong-way drivers on Sacramento freeways. Our injury attorneys hope Petaluma drivers take a lesson from these tragedies. Also, it’s useful to know that 36 percent of DUI accidents happen after dark, and just 8% during daylight hours, according to a 2011 survey by the National Highway Transportation Association.

Our work as Petaluma DUI accident lawyers forces us to be hyper aware of the dangers of mixing alcohol and driving. As wrongful death attorneys we’ve seen the lifetime loss and pain caused by a driver losing his or her judgment after too many drinks. The results are irreversible – our wrongful death lawyers can fight for financial compensation but nothing will restore a life lost in a Petaluma DUI.

Our attorneys urge people to be cognizant of the dangers and risks taken when people choose to drink and drive.

Springing into Bicycle Season in Stockton

Bicycle accidents and car accidents may not seem to have a lot in common, but according to Stockton personal injury attorneys, at least one facet is shared. And that is related to the actions that people involved should take after an accident that may have caused an injury. Our lawyers advise drivers and riders to minimize post-accident conversation. According to Stockton personal injury lawyers at Sette Law, comments made after any accident can come back to haunt both plaintiff and defendant in court. Personal injury attorneys say that even an innocent “I’m sorry” may be interpreted as admission of guilt. Consequently, our accident and injury lawyers suggest that conversation is only about insurance and contacts, and little else after an accident in Stockton.

Personal injury attorneys also encourage the victims of bicycle accidents to pay attention to details surrounding the incident that led to injury. Lawyers suggest that people take note of events leading up to the accident, and use a cell phone camera to document the physical environment. Our Stockton personal injury attorneys can use such documentation to support the case of a plaintiff or defendant whom we represent.

Yet another practice our Stockton personal injury lawyers advise is that bicycle accident victims promptly get medical attention. When plaintiff’s claim injury, our attorneys must show that harm was done specifically by the accident. However, when a victim waits for many hours or days, the defendant’s accident and injury lawyer might seek to prove the injury was pre-existing or, even, fabricated.

In summation, our Stockton personal injury attorneys say that post-accident behavior is essentially the same for car accidents and for bicycle accidents. But that’s where the similarity stops.

Injuries Are Often Severe for Bicyclists in Stockton
Personal injury lawyers at Sette Law are keenly aware that bike riders are most at risk in any traffic accident. Our attorneys point to the physical vulnerability and lack of protection available for bicycle riders on the streets of Stockton. Accident lawyers also know that nationwide statistics support the reality of increased risk of injury to bicyclists in collisions with motorists. Among the organizations monitoring bicycle accidents is the Pedestrian and Bicycle safety Center. In 2012, the group found that at least two bicyclists died due to accidents each day of the year. But, Stockton injury lawyers say that figure pales compared to the 29,000 bike riders who were injured that year. And, since many bike accidents are never reported to authorities, our personal injury attorneys believe the figure could be significantly larger.

How can bicyclists keep themselves safer of the streets of Stockton? Accident and injury attorneys at Sette Law offer a few best practices to follow, starting with the most fundamental protection of all – always wear an approved bicycle helmet to avoid head injury. Our lawyers point out that head injury is one of the major outcomes of a serious bicycle accident – an outcome that’s, at least partly, avoidable.

Our Stockton accident attorneys are aware of numerous studies that show how effective helmets are in preventing grave head injury. Our lawyers, in fact, are vigilant about insisting their families don helmets for each and every bike ride. Our legal experience has exposed us to the very significant, sometimes life changing, impacts of brain injury, and attorneys take that knowledge home!

Stockton Accident Attorneys Say Small Precautions Matter
In addition to making a habit of wearing a bicycle helmet, there are other safety measures that help prevent bicycle accidents. Our lawyers say it may sound a bit surprising but the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) suggests that riding bikes in the street should be one of the safest places to ride. That’s because the rules of the road apply to vehicles as well as cars. Our personal injury attorneys say this creates a more predictable environment for both riders and drivers. The exception to this suggestion is youngsters under the age of ten. Our Stockton injury lawyers report that experts find the brain development and maturity of riders under ten is not sufficient to manage the demands of street traffic. However, knowing that children may be riding bikes on sidewalks places onus on motorists backing out of their driveways to be very aware! Our Stockton personal injury lawyers do not want to represent an injured youngster or an unaware motorist who struck a child and caused serious injury. Attorneys see pain on both sides of this kind of incident. Caution on the part of motorist and young rider are fundamental to prevention of Stockton bicycle accidents.

Injury attorneys further say that bicyclists riding on roadways are advised to adopt extreme safety measures. From our extensive experience as Stockton personal injury lawyers, we know that bicyclists almost always suffer the most serious injuries in a collision with a vehicle. Consequently, it’s in the best interest of bike riders to develop consistent safety practices such as constantly monitoring surrounding traffic and anticipating unexpected maneuvers that could cause accident and injury. Attorneys agree that bicycle safety experts put a lot of the responsibility for safety on the shoulders of the bike rider. But, from our experience as Stockton personal injury lawyers representing seriously injured bicyclists, we agree that this ‘defensive riding’ approach only makes sense. Anticipate car doors opening from parked cars, or drivers swerving in traffic. Our Stockton accident lawyers have seen many accidents that may have been avoided by conscientious bike riders and vehicle drivers.

Other precautions supported by our Stockton accident and injury lawyers include the practice of bicyclists wearing clothing that stands out. No, not everyone wants to wear bright ‘race team’ type bike garb but most bicyclists can afford colored tee-shirts or jackets as one simple measure to prevent a bicycle accident.

Injury attorneys at Sette Law have many years of experience, backed by many years of legal training in accident and injury law. However, that doesn’t make it easy for our Stockton accident lawyers to represent a badly injured bicyclist. We know the lifelong challenges faced by accident victims suffering traumatic brain injuries so common in bike accidents. Our Stockton personal injury attorneys urge bicyclists to adopt strict safety practices.

Awareness can Prevent Stockton Motorcycle Accidents

Attorneys at Sette Law understand the lure of riding motorcycles in and around Stockton. Our lawyers, however, also understand the often dire consequences of a serious motorcycle accident. As attorneys we are aware of grim statistics that clearly indicate the high risk factors attributed to riding motorcycles. Our Stockton injury lawyers have access to state and national data bases that show how vulnerable riders are in any kind of motorcycle accident.

Our attorneys point out that it’s not just the obvious factors – such as driving while intoxicated – that contribute to Stockton motorcycle accidents. Lawyers, however, highlight the fact that drinking and riding a bike is a particularly bad combination. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 27 percent of motorcycle accident deaths in 2012 were attributed to drunk driving. A full 2,000 deaths involved single car accidents. Attorneys add that 43 percent of all motorcycle crashes that year involved drunk driving – except on weekends when the figure rose to 64 percent! Stockton injury lawyers note that this is one kind of crash that can, in fact, easily be avoided.

Clearly, drinking and driving is a bad idea for all drivers, but Stockton injury attorneys emphasize, particularly so for motorcyclists. Alcohol diminishes balance and judgment – critical to avoiding any accident but more so for Stockton motorcycle riders. Injury lawyers say that, all too often, an alcohol impaired rider will be the cause of an accident. Irresponsible riding while under the influence can easily lead to the rider being held liable for a motorcycle accident, our injury lawyers say.

Bike Riders at Higher risk of death and Injury
Attorneys are alarmed at the disproportionate number of injuries and deaths to motorcycle riders, compared to motorists. According to a 2006 NHTSA report 13.10 percent of 100,000 car accidents led to deaths. But our Stockton injury lawyers observe that figure pales compared to the 72-plus percent of deaths for motorcycle riders in the same period.

Stockton accident and injury attorneys say that additional NHTSA data highlights even greater risk inherent in motorcycle accidents. Attorneys say Administration figures for 2012 showed a 7.1 percent increase in motorcycle accidents over 2011. This translates to far greater risk of death in a motorcycle accident. Injury lawyers know that bike riders are five times more likely to die in an accident than are vehicle drivers. In 2012, NHTSA recorded 93,000 injuries suffered in motorcycle accidents. Our Stockton personal injury attorneys believe these figures are a wake-up call for all motorcycle riders.

Older Riders face Higher Risk of Stockton Accidents
Our injury lawyers reference 2011 data from the NHTSA showing that riders over the age of 40 accounted for 56 percent of motorcycle deaths. Older riders seem to favor big bikes – comfortable for touring and traveling the byroads of Stockton. Injury attorneys, however, say the weight of such bikes makes them harder to handle. Roll overs of big bikes are not uncommon in Stockton accidents. Attorneys say the heft of such bikes, coupled with somewhat diminished physical condition of older riders adds to the risk of injury and death in Stockton motorcycle accidents. Our lawyers say that NHTSA looked at accidents from 2002 to 2011 and found a 78 percent rise in fatalities of riders 40-plus. During the same period, fatalities to younger motorcycle riders actually declined.

Stockton injury lawyers also report that riders of so-called super bikes, favored by young and often inexperienced riders, also faced an increased risk of death in a Stockton accident. Injury attorneys say these light and very fast bikes (some can get up to 190 mph) were four times more deadly in an accident. Lawyers posit that although speed is a factor, young riders are often inexperienced and lack mature judgment.

Tactics to prevent Stockton Motorcycle Accidents
Injury attorneys at Sette Law first highlight the obvious – no one should ever drink alcohol and drive a motorcycle. Clearly, impaired riding is a major factor in deaths and injuries to motorcycle riders. But accident lawyers say there are many other precautions that can make it safer for bike riders in Stockton.

Injury lawyers completely support helmet laws. Head injuries are the leading cause of fatalities in motorcycle accidents. Without a helmet a rider faces a 40 percent greater chance of death and 15 percent increase chance of injury in a Stockton accident. Injury attorneys consider this as basic safety equipment for all motorcycle riders.

Motorcycle associations across America offer further guidelines for safer riding. Stockton injury lawyers admit that most of the responsibility for riders’ personal safety rests with the motorcyclist. Although this may seem a bit ‘unfair’ the NHTSA statistics on motorcycle deaths and injuries support heightened awareness for rider in Stockton. Our injury attorneys say that cars making left turns in front of a bike rider is both common and dangerous. Unfortunately, it may be up to the motorcyclist to monitor his surroundings because many times, vehicle drivers seem blind to motorcycles. Stockton accident lawyers also say that motorcycle associations caution riders about the potential for car drivers to change lanes without signaling their intentions. Fair or not, our Stockton injury lawyers say that vigilance on the part of motorcyclists can prevent an accident in which they have the most to lose.

Deaths, disabilities and the risk of injury are ever present in the recreational pastime of motorcycle riding. Our Stockton injury attorneys understand the allure of riding and, at the same time, deal directly with the outcome of motorcycle crashes. A serious accident can change lives and take lives of riders in Stockton. Our injury lawyers believe that riders must step up their safety game so that they can enjoy the thrill of riding while minimizing risk. Since bike riders face the biggest risk of death and injury, our Stockton accident attorneys encourage riders to access safety courses offered by the California Highway Patrol. By developing consistent safety habits, Stockton motorcycle riders can enjoy the thrills of riding minus the perils and pain of accidents our Stockton injury attorneys deal with all too often.

Stockton Injury Attorneys analyze Product Liability Law

In the U.S. there are high standards for the manufacturing process that help prevent products from causing personal injury. But lawyers at Sette law in Stockton know that this area of product liability is quite complicated. Although laws governing product liability may vary from state to state, our Stockton personal injury attorneys say that consumers are well protected. Should a product defect cause a personal injury, attorneys have several avenues to pursue on behalf of clients in Stockton.
Injury lawyers observe that most any participant in the entire manufacturing process may be held liable for a product defect that leads to personal injury. Attorneys may identify the source of a product defect, from its engineering and manufacture to the marketing and distribution, as directly causing a personal injury. And, lawyers say that it’s not just tangible goods that can lead to a Stockton injury. Attorneys say that products such as real estate, gas and even written material can be identified as the cause of a personal injury.

Attorneys and the courts often refer to a federal act designed by the U.S. Dept. of Commerce that offers voluntary guidelines for product liability. Because adherence to the Uniform Products Liability Act is ‘voluntary,’ our Stockton liability lawyers must consider state regulations and laws in individual cases of personal injury. 

Attorneys explain that although laws governing product liability are complicated, the underlying principle is simple: If an individual was using a product as intended at the time he or she was injured and the product specifically caused the harm, the manufacturer can be held liable for the personal injury. But there is a caveat – Stockton personal injury lawyers explain that the consumer also has a responsibility. He or she must read instructions and manufacturer’s warnings. Thus, responsibility is shared in the goal of preventing personal injury, and attorneys will seek to establish both requirements are fulfilled in a case of defective product liability. Lawyers say this is known as Strict Liability.

Attorneys further say that Negligence can also be a factor in a Stockton personal injury claim. Lawyers will seek to establish if all products in a category are defective, or if an isolated batch was responsible for the injury. Lawyers may look at the manufacturing process, packaging or even delivery of a defective product. Further, Stockton injury attorneys will assess the accuracy of warnings and instructions included with the product. Scrutiny by injury lawyers may extend to the marketers of the defective product that caused the injury. Attorneys will analyze the veracity of claims made in marketing materials – are those claims misleading or outright untrue? As you can see, at any step in the entire manufacturing process, personal injury lawyers can establish responsibility or negligence.

When in a court of law, Stockton personal injury attorneys can also solicit the support of expert witnesses to testify about specific aspects of a product in a liability and injury action. Attorneys practicing in this demanding realm of product liability must be able to grasp both detailed processes as well as general concepts on behalf of their Stockton personal injury clients.

Stockton Accident Attorneys review State Laws

 Stockton personal injury attorneys at Sette Law want drivers to be aware of state laws that may impact legal actions following car accidents. Attorneys say many people are not aware that all drivers of vehicles must have insurance, throughout California and in Stockton. Injury attorneys know that drivers, whether they are licensed, unlicensed or driving with an expired license are required to have insurance at least at minimum levels. Uninsured drivers involved in an accident risk losing their driver’s licenses for 12 months, according to Stockton accident attorneys.

Policies must cover the owner as well as people who may be driving their car. Our Stockton injury lawyers say state law requires $15,000 minimum coverage for death or injury and $5000 for property damaged in a Stockton car accident.  Our attorneys explain that it’s the insurer who pays damages awarded in a lawsuit related to a car accident.

Further, our injury lawyers explain that many accident lawsuits are not open and shut actions. Personal injury attorneys assist people harmed due to an accident – that harm may be medical costs, vehicle damage, income loss and, even, legal costs. In the case of a tragic death, Stockton injury lawyers can help families through a wrongful death lawsuit – gaining compensation for losses of love, financial support and future companionship. But, to provide this service to accident victims, our Stockton injury lawyers must meet a very high bar of proof that the accident directly caused the losses claimed.

Accident attorneys work to establish that a defendant failed to demonstrate reasonable duty of care that resulted in the Stockton car accident. Our lawyers say that plaintiffs often feel the cause of their accident is perfectly clear, but our Stockton injury attorneys remind clients that the defendant will also be represented by an injury lawyer who may argue that injuries were pre-existing or happened post-accident. If the debate is intense and can’t be resolved, it’s possible Stockton personal injury lawyers may end up pleading the case in front of a jury.

In addition, accident attorneys often face harsh questioning about the injury client from the defense. For example, a defense lawyer may allege the plaintiff did not get prompt medical care after the Stockton accident. Our attorneys must establish details such as this well before a case goes to trial. Or, the defense may claim the plaintiff apologized after the car accident. Injury lawyers know this is a tactic to create shared responsibility for the plaintiff’s injury. The attorney may even seek to shift blame entirely. Our Stockton personal injury lawyers must anticipate all these approaches and more to effectively represent our personal injury clients.

Our accident attorneys say personal injury actions are anything but “slam-dunk” and require deep legal expertise. Our Stockton accident attorneys know that most drivers are not naturally aware of the complexities of legal actions as the outcome of a car accident. Attorneys like ours have invested decades of education and experience to understand and navigate the legal system that manages California’s personal injury process. Lawyers at Sette Law stand ready to help accident victims recover financially and move forward.

Stockton Truck Accidents alarm Injury Lawyers

In our niche of Central California there is one unavoidable traffic factor - trucks and big rigs are ever-present on freeways surrounding Stockton. Truck accidents attorneys at Sette Law deal with many victims, from truck drivers themselves to people injured in a truck accident. Our lawyers know that such accidents often result in very serious injury owing to the weight and size of big rigs. Even though the trucking industry is well regulated and motorists become accustomed to heavy truck traffic on our freeways, we continue to experience a significant number of Stockton truck accidents. Our attorneys support greater safety and awareness from both motorists and truckers traveling highways 99 and 5 through Stockton.

Accident lawyers say the CHP tracks trucking accidents, and their findings demonstrate the serious nature of road safety in California and in Stockton. Truck accidents, attorneys report, have remained fairly steady from 2008 to 2012, according to CHP figures. Approximately 7,500 to 8,700 people have been killed or injured each year in truck accidents. Our attorneys add that this figure is likely somewhat low because some truck accidents go unreported. But, our Stockton accident lawyers say the CHP data shows some positives for Stockton where truck accidents are far lower than in some other regions of California. For example, our Stockton accident lawyers point out, Los Angeles County logged ten times as many truck accidents as did San Joaquin County.
Nonetheless, if you or a loved one are involved in a Stockton truck accident, attorneys know comparative figures offer little comfort for personal pain. So, like many people, our accident lawyers look at ways to prevent Stockton truck accidents. Attorneys know that, sometimes, driver behavior – for both motorists and truckers – contributes to Stockton accidents. Lawyers, for example, have had to deal with long distance truckers affected by too little sleep and too many hours on the road. Of course, the trucking industry has established rules to mitigate against driving with too little rest. But our Stockton accident lawyers know that deadlines and pressure to deliver goods sometimes motivates truckers to maximize their driving.

Of course, our truck accident attorneys also recognize that big rig drivers face hazards of their own. Every year, about 600 truck drivers nationwide are killed – some because of fuel fires and others due to accidents. Our lawyers also point out that truckers may face several health problems from inhaling toxic fumes among other inherent hazards. Stockton accident and injury lawyers acknowledge industry efforts make trucking safer. It’s important for motorists to realize that truck driving is a demanding and strenuous skills. For example, our accident lawyers say that truckers must learn to signal turns well in advance of the maneuver to alert cars. In addition, motorists likely don’t realize how long it takes for a truck to stop due to its great weight. Stockton truck accident lawyers are keenly aware of this due to the speed vehicles travel on our two major freeways. In addition, truckers must resist frequent lane changes. Accident lawyers say truckers are aware that their “blind spots” are large. But, motorists may not share their awareness and make an unwise maneuver that causes a serious Stockton accident.

Our attorneys say responsibility for safety has to be shared. Motorists need to respect the challenges of driving a big rig and the nature of the vehicle itself – extremely heavy, very long and potentially deadly in an accident. Our attorneys advise motorists to be prepared for an emergency on the roads surrounding Stockton. Accident attorneys say that crashes, particular one involving a truck, are seldom anticipated but some simple preparation can make a bad situation better for drivers in Stockton. Our injury attorneys say that carrying a simple first aid kit, a blanket and flares is smart planning. In addition, our accident lawyers say drivers should have a hammer to break window glass and an implement to cut through a seatbelt. Of course, motorists should have a flashlight ready for emergencies in Stockton.

Accident attorneys at Sette Law also advise motorists on smart behavior after an accident. Medical attention, of course, is primary. Then, if it’s safe, victims should use a cell phone to record photos of the Stockton accident scene. Attorneys know that this kind of evidence can be extremely useful in court. An accident involving a truck verses a car most often happens on our freeways in Stockton. Personal injury lawyers acknowledge that taking photos may be difficult, even dangerous, in such circumstances. However, if possible, take photos of skid marks and the immediate environment surrounding the Stockton accident. But, our injury lawyers emphasize that your safety comes first. Don’t take any chances at the scene of an accident.

Injury lawyers add that it’s also important to exchange information – but no more than basic identification and insurance contacts. Personal injury lawyers caution against being angry or, even, apologetic as statements may later be use against you in court. This advice holds true for motorists as well as commercial drivers who are involved in a Stockton accident.

Attorneys, the media and public and the trucking industry are aware that in an accident with car verses truck, the smaller vehicle usually suffers the greatest harm. Our injury lawyers know the trucking industry makes sincere efforts to train, advise and support long haul and big rig drivers. Similarly, our injury attorneys say that motorists should also be more educated about sharing the road with trucks. There is no focused effort to better inform the public about sharing the road with big rigs in Stockton. Accident lawyers admit that there is more work to be done. But, since a family sedan is no match for a big rig on the freeways around Stockton, injury lawyers say it’s important for automobile drivers to recognize that size, power and speed can be a dangerous combination. At the same time, our accident injury attorneys know that professional drivers are educated and aware of their responsibilities behind the wheel of a big rig in Stockton. Our injury attorneys, like you, share the road with trucks that transport goods and materials important to our quality of life. It’s important to respect each other!