Catastrophic Damage in Car Accident Cases Can Come from Tiny Culprits

 

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Last month an elderly California man was killed in a car accident. This tragic occurrence would not likely have gained must attention by the news but for the manner in which the accident occurred. The man was traveling northbound on the highway at about the time a state-owned Caltrans water truck was traveling that same highway, going southbound. According to investigators, a metal cap used to seal the opening on the top of the truck’s water tank detached and flew across several lanes of traffic, striking the elderly man in his neck. The cap was described as being about the size of a baseball and about two to three inches in width. The man crashed into the center median before his car came to a stop. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

 

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When a “Simple” Car Accident is Not So Simple

When one hears of an injury or death resulting from a car crash, one might naturally assume that the cause for the crash is simple and straightforward: One or both drivers drove their cars in a careless fashion and the crash ensued as a result. For investigators and others looking at this case, determining the precise cause of the crash is not so simple. While it can be said that the cause of the crash was the metal cap that became detached and hit the man in his neck, this does not necessarily explain who or what entity was actually at fault. There could be any number of culprits responsible in this crash:

  •      The truck driver, if he or she failed to ensure that the cap was properly secured before driving;
  •      The truck’s maintenance department, if the cap was damaged in some manner and a maintenance worker should have or could have discovered the damage through routine inspection;
  •      The agency or office responsible for maintaining the road, if a defect in the road (such as a large pothole) caused the cap to come loose;
  •      The manufacturer of the cap, if a design or manufacturing defect resulted in the cap not being safe for its intended use.

Answering the questions necessary to determine liability in a case such as this (unfortunately) takes time – the sort of time that surviving family members and/or injury victims do not generally have. The sooner such an investigation is completed and responsible parties identified, however, the sooner the victim(s) can obtain compensation and monetary damages for their losses.

The Case for an Attorney

This is why hiring an experienced car crash attorney is crucial: The attorney’s experience and resources can be used to complete the requisite investigation in a timely manner. Injury victims who attempt to “go it alone” (unfortunately) find out quickly that obtaining adequate compensation for their losses is no easy task.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident or collision, contact Case Barnett Law right away for assistance. Our years of experience helping numerous car accident clients means that you can trust our firm to identify and pursue compensation against those responsible for your injuries in a prompt manner. Call our firm at (949) 861-2990 to learn how we can help you or your loved one. You can also contact our firm online for assistance.

Missouri Finds CrossFit and Gym Liable for Exercise Injury

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A Missouri man has become the first individual to successfully sue CrossFit after an exercise at his local gym left him injured. The man was found 50 percent responsible for his injuries: CrossFit and a gym trainer involved in the accident were each found 25 percent responsible for the man’s injury accident. The man was attempting to perform a deadlift exercise, an exercise move in which the individual attempts to lift the maximum amount of weight he or she can. According to the lawsuit, the man attempted to lift the weight from the floor, felt a pain in his back, and then collapsed. As the gym trainer attempted to “roll out” the man’s back, the man complained that he could not feel his legs.

No Waiver Allows the Lawsuit to Proceed

Not all individuals in the same situation as this Missouri man are able to sue CrossFit and/or their local gym. CrossFit is a strenuous exercise program that if done incorrectly or by a person who is not in appropriate physical shape can cause serious injuries (like some other forms of exercise). Because of this, many gyms will have new members sign waivers of liability before allowing them to participate in the exercise program. These waivers are meant to shield the gym (and the parent company) from liability in the case the member gets injured.

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The Limits of Personal Injury Waivers

Even if the man in this story had signed a waiver before his injury, the wavier may not have been effective to prevent him from suing CrossFit and his gym. Waivers may be invalidated by the court where:

  •      The individual signing the waiver is not afforded an opportunity to learn of the risks he or she might face or the rights he or she is giving up, or he or she is not afforded an opportunity to consult with another before signing the waiver;
  •      The waiver is not clearly identified as a waiver of rights;
  •      The waiver requires the individual to give up all of his or her legal rights and affords the person no recourse in the event of any type of injury (for example, a waiver may not be effective in the case where someone intentionally causes injury to the signor); and/or
  •      The waiver is signed after an injury has occurred.

Tips for Individuals Looking to Join a Gym

Before starting a new exercise program or joining a gym, be sure to read any paperwork given to you carefully. If you are unsure as to the rights you are giving up, have a trusted friend or family member – or even an attorney – review the document with you. Signing these documents without reading them and considering the risks involved can leave you with a serious injury and no effective recourse for your losses and injury.

The southern California law firm of Case Barnett can assist you if you or your loved one have been injured in an accident at the gym or health club. Even if you believed you signed a waiver at the time you joined the gym, we may be able to successfully argue that the waiver is not effective, allowing your lawsuit to proceed. Contact Case Barnett Law at (949) 861-2990 or using the firm’s website to schedule your free case evaluation today.