Is the Employer of the Person Who Caused My Car Accident Liable?

Were you recently injured in an auto accident in Woodland Hills? Sometimes, the parties who may be ‘at fault’ are not always apparent at first glance. This means that you may be able to file a claim against more than one individual or entity.

Many employees are on the road for work-related reasons and/or are driving work vehicles. If an employee was acting within the “scope” of his or her employment when he or she caused the car accident that injured you, the employer may also be liable for the employee’s actions. The scope of employment is defined by those actions that either have a reasonable relation to the employee’s job performance or are reasonably foreseeable by the employer and an experienced auto accident attorney can discuss this legal concept with you in further detail.

What is Scope of Employment?

While it is not always clear if an employee is driving for a reason within the scope of his or her employment, some scenarios have long been considered within the scope of employment rule, including:

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Construction-Related Auto Accidents

As any driver in Southern California can attest, our roads and highways are always “under repair”. While these construction zones not only slow down traffic, adding to your already slow drive home from work, they can also be a safety hazard to both the construction workers and the drivers trying to maneuver safely around them. According to the Federal Highway Administration, auto accidents in work zones are not uncommon. Indeed, of the more than 37,000 work zone accident-related injuries reported, many involved passing motorists.

Road Construction-Related Auto Accidents

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What is a Brachial Plexus Injury?

Were you recently injured in a car accident only to find that your fingers are tingling or numb? An injury which causes trauma to the nerves in the neck can result in a brachial plexus injury. Injuries to the brachial plexus are quite common and can result from a variety of personal injuries, including:
• Car or motorcycle injuries;
• Slip and fall accidents;
• Motorcycle accidents.

A brachial plexus injury involves injuries to the group of nerves that connect your spinal cord to your shoulder, arm and hand regions. Brachial plexus injuries can be severe, resulting in nerve damage, weakness in the hands or forearms, pain, lack of muscle control, numbness or even complete paralysis in these regions. Many times, slip and fall accident and/or automobile accident victims find themselves suffering from such an injury.

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Steps to Take After Being Involved in a Car Accident in Woodland Hills

Being involved in an auto accident is often a disorienting, stressful event, especially when you are not at fault. Fear and anxiety are natural under such circumstances, but it helps to stay as calm as possible.

If you are involved in an auto accident in the Woodland Hills, the following are a list of “dos and don’ts” to consider in the moments and hours following the accident.

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1. Seek immediate medical attention for yourself and anyone else who may have suffered an injury. Do not move an injured victim until medics arrive unless they are in continued risk of danger in their present position.

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When an Accident Results in a Spinal Cord Injury

Spinal cord injuries can be among the most serious form of injuries caused by a Woodland Hills auto accident. Your spinal cord carries is your body’s “communication highway” and its vital, sensitive nerves act as messengers between your brain and other parts of your body. Traumatic spinal cord injuries can result in on-going pain, loss of control over bodily functions, numbness and tingling, impaired movement, and, in extreme cases, even complete paralysis. Learn more about paralysis and the expenses associated with a paralysis injury here.

Spinal cord injuries can result from a number of personal injuries, including:

  • Car or auto accidents
  • Motorcycle and bike crashes
  • Slip-and-fall accidents
  • Pedestrian accidents

This list is not exhaustive. If you were injured by another person’s negligent driving or behavior, contact an experienced Woodland Hills personal injury attorney about your legal rights and potential for financial recovery.

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CA Laws Pertaining to Texting and Driving

The number of auto accidents in the San Fernanda Valley that are caused by distracted driving has jumped in recent years, fueled primarily from an increase of drivers who attempt to text or use their cell phones while operating their vehicles. Distracted driving results in hundreds of thousands of injuries and thousands of fatalities each year – many of which are the result of younger drivers using cell phones. If you or a loved one were injured by a distracted driver, whether in an auto accident, pedestrian accident, or bike accident, contact an experienced personal injury attorney.

CA Vehicle Codes and Texting and Driving

California has a number of laws that address cell phone use and texting while driving. One such law prevents drivers from using handheld cell phones, another which prevents drivers under 18 from using any form of cell phone in the car (even if it is “hands free”), and another law which bans texting while driving.

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Whiplash Signs and Symptoms

While often made fun of, whiplash is a serious and, in many cases, debilitating condition that results in damage to the soft tissues or joints in the neck. Auto accident victims suffer from a “snapping” sensation where their body and head move in different directions along the axis of their neck joints, causing short-term and long-term pain and suffering. If you or a loved one are suffering from whiplash after being involved in a Woodland Hills auto accident that wasn’t your fault, contact an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss your rights and potential for financial recovery.

Many cases of whiplash occur after a rear-end auto collision, but whiplash can also result from things such as bicycle accidents, motorcycle accident, and slip-and-fall accidents. It does not take a particularly high-speed or forceful crash to cause whiplash; even low-speed “fender-bender” auto accidents can result in this injury. For more information on whiplash injury risk factors, view this colorful infograph.

Common symptoms of whiplash

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Statute of Limitations for Filing a Personal Injury Claim

Should you ever have a legal claim against a party, including a personal injury claim after being in a Woodland Hills car accident, one of the most important reasons to consult an experienced attorney is to avoid problems with the statute of limitations that can eventually bar you from bringing suit and recovering financial compensation if you delay too long.

What is a statute of limitations?

A statute of limitations sets a deadline for filing a lawsuit. Most of the time, the clock begins to run from the time an injury or wrong occurs. Each state sets its own statue of limitations for different sets of claims, with the federal government having a separate statute of limitations for federal claims as well. In California, an auto accident victim generally has two years to file a claim. If the injury was not discovered right away, then it is 1 year from the date the injury was discovered if they delay in the discovery was reasonable.

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When a Car Accident Results in Paralysis

Paralysis, which is most often the result of a serious injury to one’s central nervous system, is one of the most catastrophic injuries a car accident victim can suffer. Muscle functions cease in one or more regions of the victim’s body, making long-term care a necessity in many cases. Bills for hospital stays, physical therapy, in-home care, and more quickly add up. If you or a loved one was paralyzed after being involved in a San Fernando Valley car accident, speak to an experienced personal injury attorney about obtaining financial compensation for your injuries.

Paralysis from direct physical injury to one’s body can be the result car accidents, truck accidents, pedestrian accidents, and motorcycle or bicycle accidents.  Sometimes, the paralysis is partial, or localized, meaning it only affects certain limbs or regions of the body. More severe forms of paralysis can affect nearly the entire body and leave a paralysis victim immobile from the neck down. As we addressed earlier, such conditions require extensive and expensive medical care. In some case, long-term bedding in medical facilities, wheelchairs, nursing care, and in-home ramps and other handicap accessible improvements may be required; resulting in bills that even the most robust insurance plans might not fully cover.

If you have suffered from paralysis or a debilitating injury as of the result of a someone’s negligence or wrongful act (such as driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol), contacting a personal injury lawyer with experience handling cases similar to yours can provide peace of mind and help you recover financially. A qualified car accident attorney in the San Fernando Valley can provide a free evaluation of your case and determine if you are entitled to compensation for damages and expenses such as:

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