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San Mateo Personal Injury Law Blog

When owner negligence leads to animal bites in California

Suffering an animal attack can be a traumatic experience, even if you only suffer minor injuries. When these attacks lead to significant physical damage, the trauma runs even deeper and can result in emotional as well as physical harm. Making matters worse, serious animal bites can cause additional medical issues such as infections or exposure to disease.

Naturally, victims of serious attacks will need medical treatment to recover from their injuries and prevent further damage. The problem with this is that medical care, even at its most basic, can be very expensive. Why should you have to pay for the negligence of an animal owner who cannot or will not control a pet? We don't believe you should have to pay. Instead, we believe the pet owner should be the one to take legal and financial responsibility for damage suffered in an animal bite.

Tips for driving safely in smoky conditions

As wildfires become more frequent, widespread and serious in California, many of us find ourselves driving in smoky conditions even if we're nowhere near a blaze. Smoke can be as blinding as rain and snow. Moreover, people driving through smoke may be looking around to catch a glimpse of the fire, worried about getting home to their families or in the process of evacuating to a safe location.

Therefore, it's essential to exercise extreme caution when driving in smoky conditions. The following are some things to remember.

A premises liability claim may be the answer to daycare injuries

In most San Mateo families, both parents hold down full-time jobs. This means that the children of these families spend at least some time in a daycare facility. It is safe to say that most California daycare centers provide excellent care and strive to protect their vulnerable young clients. However, accidents can still happen, leaving children suffering from an injury.

Many daycare injuries are minor and require little more than a band-aid to treat. However, some injuries are much more severe and result in serious consequences for the entire family. Often, one parent must take time away from work to care for the injured child during recovery resulting in reduced income. This, combined with costly medical expenses, typically results in financial hardships.

Pedestrian struck by police car last month dies from his injuries

A man who was struck and seriously injured by a Redwood City police officer last month has died. The San Mateo County Coroner's Office released news of the 25-year-old man's death, but did not say specifically what day he passed away. He had been hospitalized in critical condition since the crash on Sept. 16.

The officer was responding to a call that morning regarding a home invasion robbery on Poplar Avenue. He reportedly lost control of his patrol car on El Camino Real because the road was wet. He hit the median where the man was standing. The car continued moving into oncoming traffic and struck two vehicles. It eventually stopped on a sidewalk.

Dealing safely with an off-leash dog

You're a responsible dog owner. You always have your dog on a leash when you go for a walk. Unfortunately, many other people aren't so responsible. People walk their dogs off-leash all the time -- particularly in townhome and condominium complexes.

They're convinced that their dogs will remain by their side no matter what. Unfortunately, that's simply not true. Too often, the sight of another dog is too irresistible to pass up. Maybe the dog who's on a leash starts barking at them, and they take that as an invitation to fight.

Seeking compensation for subway and train injuries

Many San Mateo residents rely on Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) to get to and from San Francisco, Oakland and other destinations around the area. Fortunately, derailments and crashes are rare. Unfortunately, when they occur, they can result in multiple serious injuries and fatalities. You're more likely to be injured by something more mundane (yet painful and potentially debilitating) like a fall caused by missing floor tile or a sudden jolt of the train.

If you suffer an injury in a subway, train or light rail vehicle or station that could or should have been prevented by those responsible for it, whom can you hold liable? It can be a bit complicated because public transportation systems are usually managed and owned by government entities.

Know what to do when you encounter a service dog

Those of us who love dogs often find it hard to resist talking to or petting service dogs when we see them out in public. However, it's essential to remember that these dogs are working. They have to focus on what they've been trained to do. If they lose that focus -- even for a second -- they can put their owner in serious danger.

Even if you encounter a service dog who's in training or "off duty," it's still imperative that you ask their handler or owner if you may interact with them. To summarize: Never interact in any way with a service dog without first getting the permission of the person they're with.

Making a car insurance claim? Do these things

If you're involved in any type of car accident, there's a good chance you'll need to file an insurance claim.

While this sounds as simple as contacting your agent, there's more to it than that. If you don't take the right steps, it could hinder your ability to obtain compensation for your injuries and related damages.

What should you do if a driver is using their high beams?

If you're driving down a dark, two-lane road, the last thing you need is a vehicle driving in the opposite direction with their high beams on. High beams should be used cautiously. However, many drivers use them whenever they're on a poorly lit road, regardless of their blinding effect on oncoming traffic.

The initial reaction to seeing someone with their high beams on is to flash their headlights to try to alert the other driver to switch to their low beams. Unfortunately, that can be dangerous.

When is a sidewalk defect illegal?

California's cities are not famous for being accessible to pedestrians. Many of the roads in northern California have tight curves and no sidewalks, while the streets of San Francisco and Los Angeles cover so much territory that walking does not often feel like an option. But the rights of pedestrians to expect a clear path cannot be ignored.

  • Who is responsible for sidewalks and other passages?

Pathways from streets to homes or within institutions like universities are often privately owned and therefore the responsibility of the private owners to maintain them. They may be liable for damage or injury if a badly maintained walkway is open to the general public.

  • When is a public sidewalk a problem?