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As a result of an $8 Million Dollar verdict, Yellow Cab in San Francisco is considering filing Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. This move comes 6 months after the verdict found them responsible for the brain Injury and partial paralysis suffered by a passenger in a Yellow Cab vehicle.

Yellow Cab, like the entire taxi industry has seen its business ravaged by companies like Uber and Lyft who charge lower fares and can flood the street with cars at a moment’s notice. These new companies also benefit from looser restrictions.  Yellow Cab has tried to duck liability by claiming that their drivers are independent contractors and that argument echo’s the claim that both Uber and Lyft drivers have made in California courts and are asking to be classified as employees.  The lawsuit by Lyft and Uber drivers is waiting for its day in court as well.

It’s interesting and terrifying to note that Yellow Cab only carries $1 Million in liability insurance and that’s only a fraction of the $8 Million dollar judgment. In fact the Attorney in that case calls that “grossly underinsured.”  Even in the past when Yellow Cab has been hit with lawsuits they have not increased their insurance limits and instead pretend that they don’t own or operate many of the cabs and then hang their drivers and passengers out to dry claiming the drivers are independent contractors. While the injured party in this case would have a voice in bankruptcy court that adds a layer onto what is already a sad situation.

A similar situation happened in Chicago where Yellow Cab lost a $26 Million dollar verdict and in that case they filed for Bankruptcy less than 9 hours after the verdict was read in court. Yellow Cab in San Francisco asserts that business and fares are strong with an average of 15,000 people riding in a Yellow Cab on average.

This is another great reason to have as much insurance as you can reasonably afford. Your car insurance follows you and in a case like a ride in Uber, Lyft  or even Yellow Cab you will have insurance that you can use and count on.  As we incorporate new services into our lives that cost less money and are seemingly better it is wise to look at the ramifications and how they affect you.

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!

 

 

I hate delivering news that falls into the category of really bad news. Last week was not good!

We had a family that was recently involved in a horrible accident here in town.  They came to our office for help.  We made certain that their medical issues were being taken care of first (they were) and that the status of their car repair was being seen to.  It was as well.  The next action was to contact the insurance company of the driver that caused the accident and notify them that we were on the case.  That’s where the horrible news came into play.  The driver that hit them let their insurance lapse and there is NO INSURANCE!  We have a family with injuries, they cannot work as a result of their injuries and their agent saved them a few dollars and wrote minimum coverage.  That now means minimum coverage for their own injuries.

They will get their car repaired.  We will be able to offer some monetary help for their injuries but this accident will cost them time, money and pain with no one that can really be held accountable.  The reality is that when this family first came into the office they said they were not the “type to sue” but based on how severe the injuries are they knew they needed some help.  We will give them as much help as we can.  The grim reality is that the other driver having no insurance and our client having minimal insurance there will be only so much we can do.  Please take a look at your personal policy and make certain you have limits that you are comfortable with.  If you want to know more just leave us an e-mail and we will talk about this in our next blog.

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!

 

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!

 

There was an accident in Southern California recently that took the life of a 53 year old woman.  There is nothing about this accident that had to happen.  The grim reality is that there is a family who has to move on without a mom, a daughter and a sister as a result of a mattress that fell onto the freeway because it was not secured properly.  Here is what happened and what should happen next.

Cynthia Brock was driving on the 55 freeway when a mattress that fell from another vehicle caused a chain of events.  Ms. Brock attempted to avoid the mattress and as a result the car she was driving struck the center barrier which in turn caused the driver of a Honda to hit her head on.  The accident and subsequent collision resulted in fatal injuries to Ms. Brock.  It was later learned that the driver of the Honda was under the influence at the time of the collision and was taken into custody.  In all there was 1 person killed and at least 2 others seriously injured.

Certainly the mattress on the freeway appears to be the initial cause of the accident.  However, we can never know for certain if the driver of the Honda had been sober that Ms. Brock would still be alive today.  This is a terrible tragedy for the families of Ms. Brock and for the other 2 people that were injured.  Our thoughts are with all of the victims.  Situations like this require skilled attorneys and investigators to review the facts so they can be presented to those that are responsible.  It is natural to deflect as much blame as possible such as those responsible for dropping the mattress saying it was the person driving the Honda that caused the accident and the person in the Honda saying it was the person dropping the mattress that bears the blame.  We know that they are both to blame and that is why we investigate.

The next time you see something like a mattress, ladder or chair on the freeway keep this case in mind and drive accordingly.  If you are involved in an accident like this your next call should be to the Law office of Guenard & Bozarth at 888-809-1075 or by visiting www.gblegal.com   We have the experience and investigators to get to the bottom of situations like this and we can do it for you as well.

The children of the comedian who was killed in the same accident that seriously injured Tracy Morgan are getting a $30 million dollar settlement from Walmart according to court documents.  A portion of the payments to the children are being structured in the form of annuities.

The documents filed show that the children, Jamel McNair aged 26 and Denita McNair aged 19 are putting part of the payments toward annuities that will pay them ever increasing amounts and the initial amount will be $3000 per month.  The manner in which the payments are structured assure that the payments will continue for the rest of their natural lives.  The $10 Million that is being invested in the annuities was disclosed in documents filed in New York’s Westchester County where the Comedian lived until the June 7 accident that took his life.

The facts of the accident show that a Walmart truck hit a limo van that was carrying McNair, Morgan and others from a comedy show in Delaware.  It is currently alleged that the driver of the Walmart truck was sleep deprived and Walmart had reason to know he was sleep deprived.  The families have taken action against Walmart and the truck driver Kevin Roper.  The driver has been changed with death by auto and other offenses in the state of New Jersey and has not yet been indicted.

We applaud the diligence of the attorneys who are representing Jamel and Denita McNair in working toward a settlement that is fair and assures compensation for a death that should not have happened.  At Guenard & Bozarth we often represent families where a loved one has been killed by someone else’s negligence as it appears happened in this case.  The pain of the family and friends is real and devastating.

If you have had a loved one that you suspect has been killed or seriously injured due to anothers negligence it is imperative that you contact the Law Office of Guenard & Bozarth.  We have the experience and compassion you need at a time like this.  We can be reached at 888-809-1075 or on line at 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!