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Suzanne Skolnick wins appeal, gets attorneys’ fees in injury case paid by the Defendant

Wright Family, LLC dba Roadrunner Club (Roadrunner Club) is about a 200 acre manufactured home park consisting of home sites, a golf course, common areas and a large “greenbelt” common area lawn. Don Hemphill purchased a home at the park and leased the space under a written lease agreement with Roadrunner Club. Roadrunner Club is required to maintain the common area lawns, which are open to residents 24 hours per day, seven days a week. While on the lawn area near his home, Hemphill stepped into a sunken and uncovered drainage hole causing him to fall and suffer serious injuries.

 

Read the whole story:
Hemphill v. Wright published opinion

Suzanne Skolnick wins $520,000 for car crash victim

Russell S. Kohn and Suzanne Skolnick Attorneys Kohn and Skolnick represented a 60-year-old man in an under insured motorist claim against Farmers. The plaintiff was injured in a 2010 rear-end collision that occurred while he on duty as a school district security officer. He sustained back, neck, and shoulder injuries and had undergone 4 ½ years of treatment, including neck and back epidural injections and 2 lumbar radio frequency ablation procedures by the time the matter reached arbitration. The claim against the under insured motorist settled for the $15,000 minimal policy limit. After the worker’s compensation case was resolved, the case was mediated unsuccessfully with Farmers offering only $30,000. The case then proceeded to arbitration before Judge Herbert Hoffman. Less than one week before the hearing, Farmers increased its offer to $175,000. Judge Hoffman determined damages in the amount of $681,606.20. After reduction for the worker’s compensation benefits and the third party recovery, Judge Hoffman’s net award totaled $520,000.

Trial Bar News August 2015

 

Suzanne Skolnick wins $149,250 attorneys’ fee award for client

ORDER GRANTING ATTORNEY FEES

Establishing Liability in California Trucking Accidents Caused by Roadway Hazards in Southern California

Roadway hazards are responsible for a significant number of trucking accidents; when you consider that a truck traveling at 60 mph requires a full football field length to come to a complete stop, you can see how an unexpected roadway hazard could be responsible for a serious or fatal trucking accident. Many commercial vehicles also drive too fast for current roadway conditions. Even a few miles of excess speed above the posted speed limit can result in a serious truck accident since most trucks (due to their size and weight) cannot stop in time to avoid certain roadway hazards. The most common roadway hazards include the following:

  • Inclement weather conditions such as wet or icy roads can cause a truck to be involved in a serious accident, particularly when the driver does not take the weather and road conditions into account, decreasing the speed accordingly.
  • Debris on the road, including the sand used on snowy and icy roads or road litter can threaten the truck driver’s ability to safely navigate the large truck.
  • Uneven roadways or potholes in the road can trigger a truck accident, particularly in an overloaded truck or one being driven by an inexperienced truck driver.
  • Pedestrians who cross the street unexpectedly in front of a large truck can cause the trucker to hit the brakes hard, resulting in a potential jackknife or rollover. Children are also extremely unpredictable, and in city conditions can dart across the road, leaving the truck driver few good options.
  • On more rural roads animals on the roadways are a distinct hazard. Should the truck driver swerve to avoid hitting the animal, a severe collision can occur.

Determining Liability in Trucking Accidents

California trucking accident cases are often complex since they may involve a number of responsible parties, including:

  • The Truck Driver – The determination of liability following a trucking collision whether caused by roadway hazards or other issues can be difficult because of the number of potential defendants. Perhaps the truck driver was the liable party. The driver could have been distracted, fatigued from driving too many hours, inexperienced, or could be driving under the influence. Since the trucker’s livelihood is totally dependent upon the speed with which he or she delivers the loads, many truck drivers continue to drive long after federal regulations mandate they stop and rest. Truck drivers who routinely keep two sets of logbooks are fairly common; the trucking companies are aware of this practice, but have little interest in stopping it as the quicker loads are delivered, the more money they make.
  • The Trucking Company – The vast majority of truck drivers work for large trucking companies who have a responsibility to the other drivers on the road to only hire experienced drivers with a clean driving record. Background checks should be mandatory, and a trucking company should never allow an inexperienced truck driver to get behind the wheel of a large commercial truck. The truck driver must be thoroughly trained in regular truck maintenance and must have the mental and physical strength to be a safe driver.
  • A Third Party – Depending on the circumstances, it could be that an outside company is liable for a trucking accident. Most trucking companies employ third-parties to load trucks, secure cargo and perform routine maintenance. If an accident is the result of poorly secured cargo, then the company who was responsible for loading the truck may be liable for the accident. If the accident is the result of faulty brakes or tires, then the company responsible for truck maintenance could be held liable. Even the manufacturer of the truck could be held responsible for a trucking accident if it is found that a part on the truck was defective and caused the accident.

Contact the Skolnick Law Group Now for Superior Personal Injury Representation!

At the Skolnick Law Group, Attorney Skolnick will fight tirelessly for the compensation you deserve. She will also take the time necessary to answer all of your questions, guide you through the legal process, and assist you in making informed decisions about your case. Attorney Skolnick serves clients in Carlsbad, Encinitas, Vista, Oceanside, San Marcos and throughout North County San Diego. To learn more about the firm’s comprehensive legal services, contact Skolnick Law Group at (760) 585-7092, or, feel free to visit us online to schedule your free and completely confidential initial consultation. Suzanne Skolnick also offers evening and weekend appointments available, and will also visit you at home in the event you can’t come to her office. For the personal attention and aggressive representation you need, contact Attorney Skolnick today.

The 411 on Rear End Accidents & Whiplash Injuries in California

Many people today associate the word “whiplash” with a fraudulent injury dreamed up by an individual attempting to seek financial gain at another’s expense.  This is largely due to the fact that whiplash injuries can be extremely difficult to diagnose and, has often been overdramatized in the media.  The term whiplash is generally associated with any injury to the soft tissue of the cervical spine including muscles, nerves, ligaments and discs.  In truth, whiplash is a very real, very painful and potentially debilitating injury. In fact, research suggests that as many as 10% of all whiplash injuries can lead to permanent disability with chronic pain and other serious conditions.  With this in mind, it is important to understand how most whiplash injuries are caused, the symptoms associated therewith, the ways of diagnosing and treating whiplash, and its potential long terms effects.  Considering the following:

What Happens During a Rear End Accident that Causes Whiplash?

During a relatively low-speed rear-impact collision, the front vehicle is pushed very rapidly forward from the initial impact. The automobile seat pushes the passenger’s body forward at the same rate of speed, but because the head lacks the same support as the body, the neck is compressed and there is a rapid forward bending (much like the snap of a whip) of the neck followed by an equally rapid backward bend. This “snapping” motion occurs before the head actually makes contact with the seat’s head restraint.

This violent snapping motion can not only force the vertebrae from normal positions, it can lead to serious levels of pain which radiate through the entire upper body and can greatly reduce range of motion. The level of injury will depend on the size of both vehicles, the speed of the collision, the type of headrests installed in the vehicle and whether they were properly adjusted for the driver or passengers, awareness of the impending collision and the prior medical condition of those involved.

What are the Symptoms of Whiplash?

The most common symptoms of whiplash include the following:

  • stiffness or tenderness in the neck area
  • chronic headaches
  • vertigo or dizziness
  • nausea, jaw pain
  • shoulder or arm pain
  • vision blurriness or numbness
  • tingling in the back, shoulders or arms.

Particularly severe cases of whiplash can lead to memory loss, irritability, depression, insomnia, extreme fatigue, difficulty swallowing and other negative cognitive symptoms.

How are Whiplash Injuries in California Diagnosed and Treated?

While the injuries may not show up on x-rays, MRI’s or CT scans, a thorough patient history combined with a comprehensive physical exam can diagnose whiplash injuries. Pain medication, anti-inflammatory drugs, and muscle relaxants may be the only treatment available to those with whiplash injuries, although chiropractic care can offer positive results for many.

What are the Potential Long Term Effects of Whiplash?

In some cases, once the soft tissue of the neck is injured, the patient’s health may never be restored to anything resembling “normal” again.  Severely injured soft tissue can generate pain for the rest of the patient’s life and damage done to the ligaments could cause arthritis conditions to develop even years later.

Contact the Skolnick Law Group Now for Superior Personal Injury Representation!

Have you or a loved one been diagnosed with whiplash as a result of a car accident?  At the Skolnick Law Group, Suzanne Skolnick will fight tirelessly for the compensation you deserve.  She will also take the time necessary to answer all of your questions, guide you through the legal process, and assist you in making informed decisions about your case.  Our law firm serves clients in Carlsbad, Encinitas, Vista, Oceanside, San Marcos and throughout North County San Diego. To learn more about the firm’s comprehensive legal services, contact us at (760) 405-4397, or, feel free to visit us online to schedule your free and completely confidential initial consultation. Attorney Skolnick also offers evening and weekend appointments available, and will also visit you at home in the event you can’t come to us.  For the personal attention and aggressive representation you need, contact Skolnick Law Group today.