Archives for category: Dog Bites

We wrote recently about the devastating impact of not having sufficient automobile insurance and how critical that becomes when you’re involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist. These days it comes down to the idea of buying sufficient insurance to cover yourself in the event the person hitting you doesn’t carry enough or any insurance.  By doing this you accept that if you are in an accident the other driver will be uninsured.  In California the Insurance Resource Council estimates there are more than 4 million drivers without insurance.  Better covered than sorry!

With that said what coverage limits should you have in place to adequately cover yourself against an uninsured/underinsured driver?  In reality you should purchase as much insurance as you can up to a point.  A minimum level of coverage of $100,000/$300,000 for Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist is reasonable… buy more if you can afford it.  Having medical payments coverage is extremely affordable and allows you to direct your care and enlist the services of Chiropractors and other allied health care professionals of your choice.  Many insurance agents will steer you away from medical payments coverage by telling you that you already have health insurance and based on our experience this is almost always bad advice.

Another aspect of insurance that often goes unexplored is listing all licensed drivers in your home on your policy.  Some insurance companies will not cover drivers that live in your home if they aren’t listed on the policy.  The last and possibly most important thing you should do is actually read and understand your policy.  Your agent wants to sell you insurance and it’s up to you to know what you’re actually buying and then be certain that it’s want you want and need.

We help with serious issues that require serious representation. We are the Law Offices of Guenard & Bozarth.  We have over 70 years of experience on our legal team and we also have a former insurance company defense attorney in our plaintiff’s only law firm.  Call GB Legal 24/7/365 at 888-809-1075 or visit www.gblegal.com  We Can Help!

 

For some unexplainable reason there has been a recent increase in dog attacks..  This is a trend we are seeing not only in California but Nationally as well.  Again, the reasons are unclear but the impact on the victims often lasts a lifetime.

As a society we love our dogs.  They are an integral part of many families and life is better with them than without.  Having said that there are realities we have to face.  Pit Bulls are responsible for more deaths than all other breeds combined and this is a case where the owner of the dog may contribute to the aggressive nature of the breed it is also a factor in the breed of dog.  I suppose there are aggressive Labradors and yet they are seldom encountered.

While dog attacks on children in California are fairly rare they happen with far too much frequency and with horrible consequences.  When an attack happens it will often negate the companionship that a dog can provide forever. Most people have grown up with dogs, either in their home of the home of a loved one and never have a problem. Even a previously friendly dog can turn violent without warning and in these cases, children and infants are the most common victims. Kids are attracted to animals but don’t necessarily have experience interacting with them. Children are especially susceptible to injuries and they don’t always understand the power of a dog’s jaws, sharp teeth and muscular body. The reality is that often the behavior of kids and dogs doesn’t mix.

There are approximately 68 million dogs that are kept as pets in the United States and every year there are nearly 5 million attacks by domesticated dogs, according to the CDC . Almost half of these attacks are on victims between the ages of 5 and 10.  A sobering fact is that most of people are bitten by a dog that they have interacted with previously. Injuries can happen at your own home, in the park, in a backyard or at the home of a friend or relative.

Victims under the age of 5 are much more likely to have head, neck or face injuries than any other group. Late teenage and adult victims are more likely to get bit on the hand, arm, leg or foot. Dogs inflict deep puncture wounds and lacerations and when the victim is a child you may be looking at the potential for amputations and crushing injuries due to the power and ferocity and often dog bite victims require reconstructive surgery to repair disfiguring injuries. Also, a mauling from a dog is a physically and emotionally traumatic experience and can leave the victim with permanent injuries, severe scarring, long term medical expenses and a lifetime of pain and fear.

California has unique problems with dog bites and fatalities. In the past several years there have been both infants and youngsters that have died after being attacked by family dogs. Dog ownership rates in California are about average for the nation, but the Golden State has more home insurance claims for dog bites than any other. In 2013, California led the nation in fatal dog attacks. All deaths were attributed to pit bulls.

In most cases severe bites are inflicted by unneutered male dogs that have been bred for their aggressive behavior. California does not permit breed-specific legislation although it does support mandatory neutering programs for certain breeds.

If you or a loved one was injured in a dog attack, contact the Law Office of Guenard & Bozarth today.  You need an experienced advocate on your side to help you recover compensation for medical expenses, emotional trauma and any additional losses.  We will investigate the attack, look into the behavioral history of the animal and help prove your case.  Our lawyers have represented many children and adults who have been attacked by a dog need medical help.  Call our 24/7/365 injury hotline at 888-809-1075 or by visiting http://www.gblegal.com/dogbite.php

A 32 year old pregnant mom was crushed to death by a gravel trailer in her driveway and she was scheduled to have her first ultrasound the following week.  In what was described as a totally avoidable accident, a pregnant hairstylist was asked to move her car after the contractor had his loaded gravel truck in place when something went horribly wrong.

When Lindsey Combs got in to move her car the gravel truck tipped on top of her as her 4 year old daughter looked on.  While the accident is under investigation by Cal/OSHA and City of Martinez authorities, we know that is seldom sufficient for the purposes of the family and especially her 4 year old daughter.  While Cal/OSHA and City officials are no doubt working hard to determine the answers to why this happened and how to keep it from happening again (as they should) common sense dictates that a portion of the ongoing investigation must include both the liability and financial responsibilities of an accident such as this.

As a result of the actions of this crew there is a 4 year old girl who will grow up without her mother and a father who will grow old without his life partner.  Their lives will never be the same and while nothing can bring Lindsey back there are other ways to support them.  Cal/OSHA will interview witnesses and construction employees to figure out what went wrong and why, there are other questions that demand answers.

What pictures were taken at the accident scene, what blood tests were done on those involved to check for staff that may be under the influence, is the equipment maintained and what is the track record of those that maintain the equipment, construction staff training of those involved and the results of this investigation determines what is looked at next.  Having a legal representative involved with the State and City investigators is crucial and could yield dramatic and valuable information.

At the Law Offices of Guenard & Bozarth we are proactive with investigations like this.  The sooner we have the relevant information to more thoroughly we can represent your interests and have a positive outcome.  Call on us anytime 24/7/365 at 888-809-1075 or by visiting www.gblegal.com  We Can Help!

As a local business in Elk Grove we are to some extent responsible for our community. Before we ever started this firm some of the goals we had were to become profitable, hire local staff and to give back to the community we live in and share.
This is the reason we are involved in groups like the Boy Scouts, The Elk Grove Food Bank & Family Services and local Elk Grove High School Athletics. Being involved at the level we are keeps us informed about local events and demonstrates to local youth that everyone is concerned about the city they will soon inherit.
We lose our Managing Partner Ross Bozarth for a full week when the Boy Scout Pacific Coast Bike Challenge comes around. Ross will spend a full week with Scouts and will guide them and mentor them on a very challenging event that these kids will never forget. These kids will learn the value of giving back and what they need to do as productive adults in the future.
Our Senior Partner Glenn Guenard is on the Board of Directors for the Elk Grove Food Bank and Family Services and further volunteers him time, expertise and connections when anything law related come up. Guenard & Bozarth loves this organization and organizes a turkey Drive at Thanksgiving and sponsors other Food Bank Fundraisers during the year.
When someone chooses Guenard & Bozarth to represent them they are in effect giving back to the community and the entire community benefits. If we can be of service to you or a loved one please let us know. We are available 24/7/365 at 888-809-107 or at http://www.gblegal.com We Love To Help!

What activities are so inherently “dangerous” that they should require extra caution under the laws of the State of California? The legal term used for activities which involve a high degree of risk and require a high level of care is “ultrahazardous”. Whether something rises to the level of being ultrahazardous is a “question of law” (i.e. it is for the court or judge to decide rather than a jury). The factors analyzed in answering this question are as follows:
• The existence of a high degree of risk of some harm to people or property;
• The likelihood that harm from the activity or use of the product will be great;
• Inability of the elimination of the risk by exercising reasonable care;
• The extent to which the activity is not a matter of common usage;
• Does the activity take place in an inappropriate environment; and
• To what extent will the value of the activity to the community as a whole is outweighed by its dangerous attributes.
The term “common usage” means the activity carried on by large percentage of the population or it is something that is fairly uncommon and still inherently dangerous. An example would be the use of noxious potentially toxic materials like sulfuric acid. While this may be common in small quantities the storage of large amounts of such chemicals may be uncommon. If a mining company were to engage in blasting in an isolated area, this may not be deemed “ultrahazardous” but, the same explosion in a populated area may very well be determined to be extremely dangerous to life and limb.

Specific Examples Of Ultrahazardous Activities

California Appellate Courts have provided examples of these activities and the handling of items that are deemed extremely dangerous as follows:
• The use of hydrocyanic acid gas in fumigating a commercial structure.
• Test firing of a large rocket
• Oil well drilling causing a natural gas pressure blow out
• The use of explosives near a residential area.
• Electric power lines are considered dangerous instruments.
• Dangerous instruments can also include fire, firearms, ammunition, explosives, and highly flammable, corrosive or noxious fluids.
Adherence To A Specific Standard Of Care Is Required

California Law states that people engaging in hazardous activities are required to use more than “reasonable care” but, rather “extreme caution”. In fact, California Civil Jury Instruction reads:
“People must be extremely careful when they deal with dangerous items or participate in dangerous activities. The risk of harm is so great that the failure to use extreme caution is negligence.”

One example of this is the participation in a sporting event when that participation includes signing a waiver of liability. People frequently sign these without a second thought and they often have no idea what they are voluntarily signing away. The entity asking you to sign one of these contracts is well aware of the inherent risks and that is why they want a release. When something negative happens there is a clear and immediate need to retain an experienced attorney who is familiar with personal injury claims related to dangerous activities. When something goes wrong the injuries can be catastrophic or even fatal. Consulting a lawyer familiar with the California legal process and duties required of institutions charged with the utmost duty of care to use “extreme caution” can make a huge difference in being able to obtain full and complete compensation for medical costs and expenses and for the physical pain and emotional toll these incidents can cause.

If you or a loved one has been injured during participation in a hazardous event please give The Law office of Guenard & Bozarth a call. We have worked with numerous victims of participation in hazardous events and we can help you! Call us at 888-809-1075 or visit us at http://www.gblegal.com We Can Help!

Motorcycle riding season has arrived along with a sobering new statistic from the California Highway Patrol. Nearly 16 percent of all fatal vehicle accidents in California happen to motorcycle riders or their passengers. This statistic is even more shocking when you take into account that rider deaths are actually down for 3 years in a row!
The State says they are doing a better job of promoting rider training and they say that car drivers are being more attentive to the presence of riders. The CHP came out last year with a set of guidelines that affirm that lane splitting is legal within certain parameters. A rider should not be traveling at more than 10 MPH over the prevailing speed and they should never lane split when traffic is moving at 30 MPH or more. The best part is that both the riders and the drivers are listening and the numbers bear that out!
The CHP also says that while many riders are considered to be thrill seekers they may need to evaluate their behavior. Slow downing, not tailgating and staying off their cell phone (hard to imagine riding or driving while using a phone) also contribute to decreased injuries while riding. At the end of the day this is all about keeping people safe.
If you or a loved one has been injured give The Law office of Guenard & Bozarth a call. We have worked with numerous injury victims and we can help you! Call us at 888-809-1075 or visit us at http://www.gblegal.com We Can Help!

egherdbaseball
Congratulations to Coach Carlson and the Elk Grove Thundering Herd on a tremendous season. With a final record of 26-6 and ranked #2 last week in the State, #12 Nationally and senior players with Division 1 scholarships, this season was a success. Elk Grove beat Davis in 2 out of 3 games to win the Delta Valley Conference it was Davis who was the last team standing and we congratulate them as well. Thank you all so much! See you next year and “Go Herd”