Practice Areas

Personal Injury

There are many types of personal injury claims. To learn more about personal injury claims, please follow the links below. If you feel you have a claim and would like to discuss it with an attorney, feel free to contact our office. Please remember, this web site is for informational purposes only. No attorney-client relationship is established by using this site. This site should not be used as a substitute for legal advice from qualified counsel. The information provided on this web site is provided “as is” without warranty of any kind.

Construction Related Injury

Construction sites are notoriously dangerous places where countless things can and often do go wrong. Unsafe scaffolding, defective or worn-down machinery, unsafe working conditions and lack of proper training are all factors that may lead to construction accidents. Unfortunately, construction accidents are not uncommon and frequently result in serious injury to workers as well as innocent bystanders.

We understand the devastating physical, emotional and financial effects a serious injury can have on a person’s life. If you have suffered injury in a construction accident, we can help. Please contact us today for a complimentary consultation with a respected and dedicated personal injury lawyer.

Why Construction Accidents Happen

Construction accidents can happen for any number of reasons but usually because of:

  • Safety violations at the construction site.
  • Improper or inadequate worker training. Especially on machinery such as forklifts, cranes and scaffolding.
  • Defective or out-of-date machinery.
  • Negligence or wrongdoing of a contractor, equipment supplier or manufacturer or other third party.
  • Alcohol or drug use on the job.
  • Inattention/Distraction.

When construction accidents happen, the consequences can be life altering. Medical expenses, loss of income or earning capacity, physical pain and mental anguish are just some of the many devastating effects of construction accidents. Fortunately, victims of construction accidents -workers and innocent bystanders alike- have certain legal rights and may be eligible to recover some, if not all, of their losses.

Recovering Your Losses

If you or a loved one has suffered serious injury or death in a construction accident, you may be entitled to compensation. To ensure your legal rights are protected, it is of vital importance to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after the accident. This is especially crucial since all construction accident cases are subject to specific time limitations.

Our attorneys have extensive experience handling complex personal injury cases and are committed to helping injury victims obtain the justice and compensation they deserve. Let us help you. Please contact us today for a FREE consultation with one of our highly skilled personal injury lawyers. We can evaluate your claim, explain your rights and help you maximize your legal interests.

Workers’ Compensation

Workers’ compensation is a system set up by the State of California to compensate workers when they have been hurt on the job. If you are injured while working or become ill because of your employment, your employer is required by law to pay workers’ compensation benefits to you.

There are two types of injuries that can occur in the work environment. The first type of injury is a specific injury. This may occur when the employee is engaged in either apprehension and detention, or physical methods of arrest, or involved in fire suppression activity, and lifting, pushing and pulling. A specific injury is an event that occurs at a particular time and place. It could be akin to lifting an item and your back is injured.

The next type of injury is a cumulative trauma or continuous injury which evolves over a period of time. It is not necessarily one event, but a combination of many exposures throughout the career. This is similar to bending a paperclip, you bend it and bend it and eventually it breaks. It is not one bend but a combination of bends.

Repeated exposures at work such as damage to your hearing from continuous loud exposure, hurting your hands, back, neck from doing the same or similar motions over a period of time, exposure to toxic or carcinogen chemicals, or exposures to stress-related events at work. Workers’ Compensation may cover some stress-related injuries caused or made worse by one job (heart, high blood pressure, psychology).


California provides a rebuttable presumption for many safety officers and the presumption is that if they develop a medical problem to a particular system or body part, it can be presumed to be work related. It should be noted that this is a rebuttable presumption and if the proper foundation is not developed, the employer can successfully deny any and all benefits.

The presumption may have application for heart trouble, back trouble, hernia, pneumonia, meningitis, blood-borne pathogens, tuberculosis and cancer. Again, the key on the presumptive cases is to have an adequate foundation that articulates exposures.

Medical Care

Once the medical condition has been found to be job related, the California worker is entitled to medical treatment to cure or relieve the effects of the job-related injury. This medical treatment can be a lifetime award of medical treatment for that body part or system that is involved. The medical care or treatment can be expansive. Example: If the worker has a heart condition and the only way to control the work-related heart condition is to control the non work-related diabetes, the employer can be responsible not only for the work-related heart condition but also the non work-related diabetes that impacts the heart.

Unless you have predesignated your doctor prior to your industrial injury, you are required to see the employer’s doctor for the first 30 days. If you have taken a PROACTIVE step, you then can receive medical care from the doctor that you have designated. (Form for Predesignation)

The importance of designating your own personal physician to treat you or have your personal physician refer you to a specialist in the event that you have a job-related injury is a must for the California worker that wants to protect himself/herself from employer interference in their medical care.

If your employer has created a Medical Provider Network known as the (MPN) by law the employer is allowed to perform an economic profile on the doctors within the MPN. This means that many of the treating physicians develop an economic fear of being patient advocates. If they are patient advocates they are aware that the employer or third-party administrating the medical care can unilaterally remove the doctor from the MPN.

If you have designated your own treating doctor, this allows your doctor to have economic independence from your employer and they can be a true patient advocate without concern for reprisal by the employer or its agent (economic profile).

Labor Code Sections 4850, 4800.5, Industrial Leave Temporary Disability Payment

If you are unable to work because of the job-related injury, you may have eligibility for benefits pursuant to Labor Code Sections 4850, 4800.5, or industrial leave. These benefits, i.e. 4850, 4800.5 provide a regular salary up to one year or until your treating physician releases you to full or light duty. Such pay is not subject to State of Federal income taxation. If you remain totally disabled beyond one year, you may be eligible for weekly temporary disability benefits. For injuries occurring after January 1, 2009, the maximum temporary total disability rate payable is $958.01 per week or 100% of the State average weekly wage, whichever is higher. Effective 1/01/2012, the maximum temporary total disability rate payable is $1010.50.

Some employers do not provide to the safety members benefits pursuant to Labor Code Section 4850 or 4800.5 and they have their own industrial leave program. Each program has to be examined on its own and determined the qualifications or limitations placed. Temporary disability monies might be an option – of these benefits are to be paid during a healing period after the injury. There are limitations regarding the length paid.

Permanent Disability / Impairment Benefits

For the California worker that has a residual disability or impairment, they may be entitled to a permanent disability or permanent impairment rating. It does not make a difference as to whether you have returned or not returned to work as to the eligibility of this rating, but the amount of disability can be raised or lowered by 15% depending if you return back to work. New case law that developed in 2009 and 2011 has created a new avenue to determine levels of impairment. There existed what is now characterized as the old system that generally had application to injuries that occurred before January 2005. This old system gave the California worker a more equitable level for their disability or impairment.

The new system that commenced as of January 2005 is inequitable. This lack of justice is demonstrated by the worker that lost their leg from below the knee, they are entitled to $150,000. The new system established in 2005 would pay the same worker for the same loss $50,000. This unfair system continues to be challenged because of its inequities.

The case law that has developed since this implementation has allowed some California workers with injuries after 2005 to approach the level of justice that was available to them under the old system.

This requires additional knowledge and expertise of the attorney to reach this goal.

Vocational Rehabilitation / Supplemental Job Displacement Voucher

For the California worker that cannot return to his previous occupation because of his job-related injury that occurs after January 1, 2004, the vocational retraining program has been eliminated. It has been replaced with an inferior supplemental job displacement benefit. The inferior supplemental job displacement benefit has a range of monies that may be accessible by the worker. This is a non-transferable voucher for education related to training or skill enhancement.

Death Benefits

The California worker who sustains death as a result of a work-related injury or disease, his/her family may have eligibility for death benefits. There are restrictions as to the time line from the date of injury to date of death that controls the family’s eligibility. The death benefits can be paid to family members whether partially or totally dependent, or to individuals who can prove dependency regardless as to family or lack of family involvement. Currently, the maximum death benefit payable for three or more total dependents would be $320,000. If there are minor children, there may be eligibility for additional benefits beyond the $320,000.

Proactive Steps

The California Workers’ Compensation System has many pitfalls. If the injured worker or the family is not knowledgeable or relies upon the employer to take care of them, they are at great risk in not receiving the full cup of justice that the injured worker has entitlement to receive.

You, as the California worker, are entitled to take proactive steps to protect you and your family:

  1. Designate your personal physician to treat you in the event you have a job-related injury, keep a copy of this designation, many employers seem to lose this form. (Form for Predesignation)
  2. Report all job-related injuries or illnesses to your supervisor as soon as possible. Again, keep a copy of this claims form, known as DWC form 1, and have yoursupervisor sign your copy of the document. Again, this is a document that is lost by some employers.
  3. Keep a record of all the periods of time that you have missed from work, copies of your medical expenses, and a log of mileage incurred for treatment.
  4. If your case is important enough for the adjuster or a private investigator, or other third-party to seek a written or recorded statement from you, your case is important enough for you to obtain your own attorney.

Medical Malpractice

Millions of Americans put their trust in medical professionals everyday. Unfortunately, this trust is sometimes misplaced. When a healthcare professional, including doctors, nurses and other medical staff, fail to meet a standard of care or acts negligently, errors can -and do- happen. In fact, medical malpractice represents a leading cause of death in the United States. As many as 100,000 people die every year because of mistakes made by doctors and other medical professionals.

If you or a loved one has suffered injury that you suspect may be the result of medical malpractice or negligence, it is crucial that you consult with an experienced medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible to ensure your legal rights are protected. Please contact us today for a FREE case evaluation with a skilled and respected medical malpractice attorney.

Common Medical Mistakes

Doctors, nurses and other medical staff are human and thus prone to error. Most medical errors can be prevented by the exercise of proper care and caution. Some of the more common preventable medical mistakes that result in serious injury and/or death include:

  • Failure to diagnose.
  • Misdiagnosis.
  • Wrong site surgery.
  • Anesthesia errors.
  • Obstetrical errors.
  • Surgical Errors.
  • Post Surgery Care.

Medical Malpractice and the Law

Victims of medical malpractice have the right to hold responsible parties legally accountable for their losses and to seek compensation for damages incurred. An individual who has suffered injury or harm as a result of medical malpractice may be able to recover damages including lost income or earning capacity, medical bills and related expenses, pain and suffering, and more. All medical malpractice lawsuits are subject to a statute of limitations restricting the time a person has to file a claim so it is always wise to consult with an attorney as soon as possible.

Our attorneys have extensive experience handling complex medical malpractice cases and are dedicated to helping victims and their families obtain the justice and compensation for their losses and suffering. If you or someone you love has suffered injury because of the negligence or wrongdoing of a medical professional, we can evaluate your case and work aggressively to ensure your legal rights are protected. Please contact us today for a FREE consultation.

Wrongful Death

If an individual’s death was caused by the negligence or wrongdoing of another party then the incident is considered wrongful death. Legal action may be instituted against that party. Heirs of the deceased may file a wrongful death action in civil court. Through a wrongful death lawsuit, family members may be eligible to seek compensation for loss of love, support, comfort, society, companionship, income and more.

If you have lost a loved one as a result of someone else’s negligence or wrongful action, you do not have to suffer alone. The caring attorneys at our office have advocated on behalf of our clients a wide range of wrongful death claims. From medical malpractice to motor vehicle accidents, our attorneys can help you get the compensation to which you are entitled. Please contact us today for a FREE case evaluation.

Wrongful Death Lawsuits

Essentially, a wrongful death constitutes any death that was directly caused by the careless or negligent action or inaction of another person, company or entity, etc. Numerous wrongful death claims are filed every year in the U.S. Some of the more common stem from:

  • Medical Malpractice.
  • Nursing Home Abuse.
  • Defective Products.
  • Premises Liability (dangerous property conditions).
  • Dangerous Drugs.
  • Motor vehicle accidents.

The laws that enable family members, beneficiaries and dependents of a wrongful death victim to bring a lawsuit vary from state to state. Some states allow only the children or spouse of the deceased to file a suit while others allow siblings and grandparents to bring a claim. A knowledgeable personal injury attorney can inform you of the laws in your state.

Recover Your Damages

If you have suffered the death of a loved one because of another party’s negligence it is vital to consult with a skilled and trusted personal injury attorney who can help you seek compensation for your loss. Economic and non-economic damages that may be recovered include: pain and anguish, burial expenses, medical costs, past and future earning capacity of the deceased, loss of companionship, affection, guidance and more.

Please contact us today to learn more about your legal rights and options. We will examine your case and help to determine the best course of action.

Spinal Injury

A spinal injury is one of the most traumatic injuries -physically, emotionally and financially- a person can sustain. Often the result of auto accidents, motorcycle accidents, ATV rollovers and other motor vehicle crashes (including boats and personal watercrafts), nearly 15,000 people per year sustain a spinal injury in the U.S. More than 10,000 victims per year suffer permanent paralysis or death.

If you or a loved one has suffered a spinal injury as the result of another party’s negligence or wrongdoing you may be eligible to seek compensation for your loss. Our attorneys have extensive experience dealing with spinal injury cases and can help you through this rough time. Please contact us today for a complimentary case evaluation.

Types of Spinal Injuries

The spinal cord extends down from the bottom of the brain to the waist. Consisting of bundles of nerves, the spinal cord relays impulses and messages to and from the brain, thus making a healthy spinal cord an essential component of a fully functioning central nervous system. If these nerves are severed or damaged, it may result in the complete or partial loss of bodily function, including movement and/or sensation. Typically, the higher the spinal injury, the more severe the consequences. A spinal injury is classified in one of two ways:

Tetraplegia (formerly called quadriplegia) Paralysis, or loss of feeling and movement, throughout the upper and lower body.
Paraplegia Paralysis affecting only the lower parts of the body.
Other physical effects of a spinal injury may include bladder or bowel dysfunction, possible loss of fertility in men, loss of ability to control the lungs, low blood pressure, minimized body temperature control, chronic pain and more.

Common Causes of Spinal Injuries

Severe spinal injuries including paraplegia and tetraplegia can happen to anyone at anytime. In fact, up to 44.5 percent of all spinal cord injuries are the result of car crashes, motorcycle accidents, SUV and ATV rollovers and other motor vehicle accidents. Other common causes of a spinal injury include violence, falls and sporting accidents.

Your Legal Rights

Losing function in any body part is physically and psychologically devastating. Implications of such an injury are likely to include reduced enjoyment of life, loss of earning or income capacity, lifelong medical expenses and the physical, psychological, vocational and or occupational adjustments to daily life. If you or someone you love has suffered a spinal cord injury due to recklessness or negligence of another party, you have rights…including the right to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover monetary damages both actual and punitive. Let us help you. Please contact us today for a FREE of charge consultation to learn more about your legal rights and options.

Brain Injury

A brain injury can have serious and devastating effects on a person’s life. Sadly, brain injuries affect more than one million Americans each year. At least 50,000 per year are fatal. Most brain injuries are the result of a sudden direct blow to the head such as in a car accident or fall. Other causes, however, include violence, explosion, fire/smoke, improper medication and medical malpractice.

If you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury we are here to help you. Please contact us today for a complimentary case evaluation with an understanding and experienced personal injury attorney.

Brain Injuries, Causes & Consequences

Auto accidents are the most common cause of brain injury in the U.S. In individuals over the age of 65, the leading cause of brain injury are slip and fall accidents. A less common but no less devastating cause of brain injury is medical malpractice. Examples of medical malpractice include misdiagnosis or oxygen deprivation during a procedure.

Whatever the cause, the consequences of a brain injury are often severe and many times permanent. Consequences of brain injury may include:

  • Headaches
  • Vision problems
  • Loss of memory
  • Depression
  • Speech impairment
  • Cognitive Impairment

In addition to these physical and emotional consequences, brain injury victims also frequently suffer tremendous financial losses. Experts estimate that a serious brain injury can cost between $600,000 and $2,000,000 or more to treat over a lifetime.

Legal Help

Individuals who have suffered a brain injury due to someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing may be entitled to recover damages including medical expenses, lost wages or earning capacity, mental anguish and more.

If you or a loved one has been the victim of a traumatic brain injury, it is important to understand that you have certain legal rights and options. By contacting our attorneys you can be assured that your rights are protected. Please contact us today for a FREE consultation with a trusted and caring personal injury attorney who can evaluate your case and work vigorously on your behalf to ensure you get the compensation you deserve for your losses.