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Law Office of Frederick J. Sette
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    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.

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    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.

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    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.