Personal Injury

Janssen Malloy LLP Recovers $500,000 Policy Limits in SF Ladder Case

Janssen Malloy LLP recently obtained a $500,000 policy limits recovery for a client injured after falling from a ladder with rotten rungs in San Francisco.  Our client was visiting family in San Francisco over the holidays when she went up a fixed wooden ladder that ascended to the roof to look at the view.  Unbeknownst to our client, the top rungs were rotten, and gave way when she had nearly reached the top.  She fell almost two stories, landing on concrete below, suffering a skull fracture, brain bleed and fractured femur.  She was in San Francisco General Hospital for several days, undergo

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Criminal Restitution and Insurance in Personal Injury Cases

While representing individuals who have been harmed by the intentional, or in some instances, negligent, criminal conduct of others in personal injury cases in civil suits, Janssen Malloy LLP's attorneys work to help crime victims and their families secure a criminal restitution order to offset damages that the civil lawsuit alone may not cover.  Insurance policy limits, medical expense liens, or other factors that apply in the civil case may leave the crime victim with uncompensated economic losses.  In California, all people who suffer losses as a result of criminal activity have a constitut

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Trial Preference for Those Over 70

The California Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) provides for expedited trial setting for those over 70 if the court finds that 1) the party has a substantial interest in the action as a whole, and 2) the health of the party is such that preference is necessary to prevent prejudicing the party’s interest in the litigation (CCP Section 36 (a)).  This issue most often arises for elderly plaintiffs, whose age and ill health raise questions about their longevity and their ability to participate meaningfully in their own case.  The CCP also provides for expedited trial setting where there is medical do

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Avoid the Affordable Care Act’s (Rising) Tax Penalty – Be Insured!

A key – and controversial – provision of the 2010 Affordable Care Act is the “individual mandate,” which requires that unless you qualify within one of a few, limited exemptions, you must obtain qualifying health insurance coverage or face paying a fee.  In 2016, that fee is the higher of either a) 2.5% of household income or the total yearly premium for the national average price of a plan rated “Bronze” through the Marketplace, or b) $695 per adult, $347.50 per child under 18, or a maximum of $2,085.  This fee and th

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Loss of Household Services: An Overlooked Element of Damages

When we ask our clients questions about the “loss of household services,” they usually don’t realize that they should be compensated for this element of damages.  In a personal injury action, common items of damage include economic damages, such as medical expenses (past and future), lost wages, and lost earning capacity, and non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering,etc.  But recoverable damages also include the value of “loss of household services.”  For example, let’s suppose that our plaintiff, due to her injury in a motor vehicle collision, is unable to do all the usual things she

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Janssen Malloy LLP Criminal Restitution Award Upheld on Appeal

In People v. Clark, Janssen Malloy LLP represented a victim of a sexual assault.  Pursuant to statute, victims of Penal Code (PC) section 288 are entitled to recover in criminal courts for pain and suffering as part of restitution.  PC section 1202.4(f)(3)(F) provides for the recovery of non-economic losses, including but not limited to psychological harm caused by a violation of PC section 288 (lewd act on child or dependent adult).
 

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Advocating for Victims in a Companion Criminal Case

Often in personal injury and wrongful death cases the District Attorney’s ("DA") office will be in a position to consider filing criminal charges.  In such circumstances the attorney you hire to represent you in the civil case should protect your rights and give voice to your concerns in the associated criminal case. 
 

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Breaking the Logjam: CCP Section 998 Offers

Lawyers have their own peculiar jargon, often using just numbers to convey positions, settlement offers, and tactics.  One of the most commonly used numbers is found in Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) Section 998, technically an “Offer to Compromise” in a dollar certain amount that settles the litigation.   An “Offer to Compromise” pursuant to CCP Section 998 can be made up to 10 days before the commencement of trial, by either side.  If that offer is not accepted, it is deemed withdrawn after 30 days have passed.  Then, if the party to whom the offer is made fails to obtain a verdict less than

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Mitigation of Damages in Personal Injury Cases

In personal injury cases, a plaintiff is not entitled to recover damages for harm that a defendant proves the plaintiff could have avoided with reasonable effort.  This concept is known as the plaintiff’s duty to mitigate damages.  The rule of law is stated in the standard jury instruction on the topic “Mitigation of Damages,” found in the Judicial Council of California’s Civil Jury Instructions (CACI) No. 3930.

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Motorcycle Crash Case Settles for $300,000

Janssen Malloy LLP partner Michael J. Crowley last week settled a motorcycle/truck collision case for the defendants’ $300,000 liability insurance policy limit.  Christopher Brimley was riding his motorcycle northbound on R Street in Eureka onto the Samoa Bridge when a southbound truck suddenly and illegally turned left in front of him just before the intersection of R Street and 4th Street (Hwy. 101).  Mr. Brimley was ejected from his motorcycle in the collision, and thrown onto the pavement, while his motorcycle was dragged over 50 feet underneath the truck.

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Oregon Jail Death Case Settlement

Janssen Malloy attorneys Michael Crowley and Megan Yarnall recently negotiated a $450,000 settlement with the City of Cottage Grove, Oregon in a civil rights lawsuit filed following the May 2012 death of twenty four year old Nathan Cooper in the Cottage Grove Municipal Jail. Mr. Cooper was in custody serving a ten day sentence for possession of a single Xanax pill without a prescription. While in custody, Mr. Cooper suffered from pneumonia, but was denied appropriate medical care.

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Devil's Playground Accident Settlement

Janssen Malloy's Patrik Gregio recently negotiated a $400,000 settlement with the City of Eureka for a client, Kathleen Anderson, who was injured in an accident at Devil's Playground behind the Bayshore Mall in Eureka .  Prior to the settlement the case went to trial on liability, and Ms. Anderson received a jury verdict finding the City to have been 70% negligent and Ms. Anderson 30% negligent.  Ms. Anderson's injuries sustained in the fall resulted in a shoulder replacement surgery and a permanent limitation in the use of her right arm.

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Auto Insurance Policy Med-Pay: What is it?

Most California automobile insurance liability policies include (or offer to include) medical payments coverage, or “med-pay,” for short. Most people aren’t familiar with med-pay coverages, don’t know whether they have this coverage, and don’t know how to open up or engage such coverage, even though they have paid a premium for it. This column will address and explain the concept, and how it applies in auto insurance coverage.

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An Overlooked Injury: Loss of Smell (Anosmia)

People who sustain traumatic injuries display the more obvious signs of trauma, such as broken bones and wounds, but often their more significant injuries may be overlooked or undiagnosed. Particularly with head trauma, damage to the olfactory system (the sense of smell) can result. Damage to the olfactory nerve and bulb (anatomical components of how a person can sense smell) can result in anosmia, the total loss of one’s olfactory function. Most people don’t appreciate how devastating the loss sense of smell can be.

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Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Claims

California’s Uninsured Motorist Act (Insurance Code Section 11580, et seq.) requires that every automobile liability insurance policy include uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, a type of bodily injury insurance designed to compensate the insured for damage inflicted by a financially irresponsible motorist. Underinsured motorist coverage applies when bodily injury is caused by an “underinsured motor vehicle” – a vehicle that is insured, but in an amount less than the uninsured motorist limits carried on the injured person’s vehicle (Insurance Code Section 11580.2(p)(2)).

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Video Surveillance: All Around Us

Almost everywhere we go in our daily lives, a camera somewhere is capturing our image. Most stores have video surveillance cameras (initially installed for theft prevention purposes), stoplights have cameras for red light runners, and even residences often have surveillance cameras for security purposes. In handling cases that end up in litigation, inquiring about, locating and reviewing such video evidence can be crucial in proving or disproving essential facts in a case.

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Jury Verdict Against CalTrans

On July 15, 2014, after a six week trial, a Humboldt County jury found CalTrans and State Parks liable for maintaining a dangerous condition of public property. Three years prior to that verdict a Humboldt County woman attempted to turn left from Grizzly Creek Redwoods State Park on to Highway 36 and was struck by an eastbound truck. Her husband, the passenger, died as a result of the collision. Janssen Malloy was retained by the widow because the CHP officer found her at fault for failing to yield the right of way.

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Janssen Malloy Settles HSU Police Brutality Case

Janssen Malloy LLP recently obtained a six figure settlement for a victim of police brutality by a Humboldt State University (HSU) police officer. Janssen Malloy understands that many police officers are falsely accused of excessive force. And we have taken pride in defending such officers when they are falsely accused. But when we reviewed the video of what occurred recently to a local young man who was pulled over without any legal basis and then maliciously kneed in the head by an HSU police officer who came to our community from Oakland P.D.

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Even the Smallest Victims Have Rights

The statistics on childhood victimization rates are staggering even before one considers the problem inherent in counting the victims—i.e., underreporting by the victims themselves. According to the Crimes Against Children Research Center, 1 in 12 children have experienced sexual victimization, including sexual assault or rape. In addition to physical injuries, the psychological injuries can be life-altering. Abused children may become prone to depression, anxiety, substance abuse, or other psychiatric disorders lasting well into adulthood.

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Motorcycle Accidents: On the Rise in Humboldt?

The frequency with which motorcyclists are struck by unsafe/inattentive drivers seems to be on the rise in Humboldt County. Janssen Malloy LLP is currently handling several motorcycle/vehicle collision cases in which the driver of a car, truck or delivery van was speeding, turned unsafely into the motorcyclist, or rear-ended the motorcyclist. All motorcyclists (and bicyclists) have stories of how they felt like some magic dust had rendered them invisible on the road to drivers of cars and trucks. Most motorcyclists are careful, defensive drivers, because they absolutely have to be.

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Pedestrian Accidents in Humboldt County

Anyone who decides to walk across a street in Humboldt County is at risk of being injured by an inattentive driver. In 2010 4,280 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents in the United States and another 70,000 pedestrians were injured. This averages to 1 crash related pedestrian death every 2 hours and a pedestrian injury every 8 minutes. Pedestrians are 1½ times more likely than passenger vehicle occupants to be killed in a car crash.

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Logging Accidents/Injuries: A Complex Picture

The recent news that there were three separate logging-related accidents resulting in deaths in Humboldt County underscores the dangers involved with one of our region’s traditional occupations.  The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) lists logging as one of the most dangerous of our nation’s work categories.  Logging occurs in rough, remote terrain, with heavy equipment and risk exposures unique to this industry.  When a serious injury or death occurs in the course of timber falling, yarding, or loading, uncovering liability is challenging and requires counsel familiar wi

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A Plaintiff's Practical Guide to Motions In Limine

Every plaintiff’s attorney has a “love/hate” relationship with motions in limine. On the one hand these motions serve the vital function of preventing defendants from introducing irrelevant and prejudicial evidence. On the other hand defendants use these same motions to try to handcuff plaintiff’s counsel and sabotage the plaintiff’s case. This article briefly discusses how plaintiff’s attorneys can use such motions to achieve their goals while preventing or limiting the damage done by defendants.

What is a Motion in Limine?

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CalTrans Found Liable for Dangerous Highway

Janssen Malloy LLP is currently involved in a case against CalTrans, who along with Department of Parks and Recreation, has refused to make Highway 36 safe for drivers trying to exit Grizzly Creek State Park.  As a result, there have been multiple accidents at this location and near accidents occur every week according to at least one park employee.  In 2011 an elderly woman lost her husband in one such accident attempting to leave the park.

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1/4 Million Settlement in Wrongful Death Action

Janssen Malloy LLP by partner Michael Crowley recently obtained a $260,000 recovery in a wrongful death matter arising out of a motorcycle/vehicle collision near Lakeport, California.  The plaintiffs were the adult sisters of the motorcyclist, 57 year old David Criswell who was driving his motorcycle on Soda Bay Road near Clear Lake when the defendant driver ran a stop sign at Park Road, causing fatal injuries to Mr. Criswell.  Mr.

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Representing Children: What's Best for the Child?

Janssen Malloy LLP has extensive experience in representing children who have been injured through the careless conduct of others. There are special considerations unique to representing children (minors under the age of 18, or legal majority).   First of all, the Statute of Limitations (S/L) for a minor is different than that for an adult. Generally, the S/L for an adult in a personal injury matter is two (2) years from the date of injury, which means that a lawsuit against responsible defendants must be filed within two years from the date of the injury.

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Dangers of Texting and Cell Phone while Driving

Here in Eureka we have recently seen a rash of car/pedestrian accidents caused by cell phone use. Vehicle Code  §23123 (a) provides that “a person shall not drive a motor vehicle while using a wireless telephone unless that telephone is specifically designed and configured to allow hands-free listening and talking and is used in that manner while driving.”

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$250,000 Policy Limit Recovery

Janssen Malloy LLP attorney Michael Crowley recently obtained the $250,000 insurance policy limit in a motorcycle crash case for one of his clients.   Plaintiff Kitty Braley, a 49 year-old community college student from Olympia, WA, was a passenger on a motorcycle that crashed on Highway 299 outside Arcata, CA. The motorcycle’s driver lost control of the motorbike, and Ms. Braley was ejected, sustaining a serious left shoulder injury, an acromioclavicular separation which required reconstructive surgery.  Unfortunately, post-operatively Ms.

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The Problem of the Uninsured Employer

A laborer on a home construction site falls from a second story platform, suffering serious orthopedic fractures which require air ambulance transport and surgery.  Only after the injury does the injured worker learn that his employer failed to carry worker’s compensation insurance coverage for his employees.  Such a scenario is not hypothetical;  it describes a current case being handled by Janssen Malloy LLP.

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Policy Limits Recovery for Victim of Drunk Driver

Janssen Malloy LLP recently obtained the defendants' combined insurance policy limits for a client who was the victim of a drunk driver in Eureka, California.   Plaintiff, Paula Paine, was driving on Broadway near Pierson Building Center when a drunk driver lost control of her vehicle, striking Ms. Paine's vehicle head-on.  Ms. Paine's vehicle was totaled in the collision, and she was transported by ambulance to St. Joseph Hospital, where she was hospitalized for four days.  In addition to abdominal, shoulder and knee injuries, she also lost time from work.

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Help for Injured Humboldt County Residents

A recent federal ruling may help injured Humboldt County residents with employer based health plans.  Those injured by the negligent acts of others have been facing increasing hurdles in obtaining compensation if they are covered by an employment health insurance plan covered by ERISA.  Many employer based plans take the position that the insurer is entitled to recover every dollar paid for health care, even if that position results in the injured party and their attorney receiving nothing.  And when injured parties seek to view the actual health plan which purportedly entitles the insurer

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$1,000,000 Settlement in Mendocino County Case

Janssen Malloy LLP recently resolved a case for a Eureka resident for the defendant’s million dollar policy limit arising out of a head on collision that occurred in Southern Mendocino County last year. Janssen Malloy LLP’s client was a passenger in a Jeep Cherokee that was struck by a truck that crossed the median directly into their path, causing a head on collision.  Plaintiff sustained serious injuries, and required two hip surgeries.

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Don't Sign It!!!

Every time we get into a case against a nursing home for elder abuse, one of the first things we look to is whether or not the patient or their family member signed an arbitration agreement requiring the patient and family to give up the right to a jury trial.  The nursing homes include these arbitration agreements as part of the stack of documents that the person is to sign on admittance.  Because it is simply “part of the stack,” that agreement invariably gets signed without any understanding that the patient is giving away substantial and significant rights.  On the rare occasion where q

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Wrongful Death - A Measure of Damages

When a  loved one has died due to the negligent or careless conduct of another, the lawsuit that may follow is termed a wrongful death action.  This posting will focus on the concept of reasonable compensation for the non-economic aspects of the loss of a loved one.

In a wrongful death action, the applicable jury instruction states provides that reasonable compensation should be awarded for the loss of love, companionship, comfort, affection, society, solace, or moral support.  This is non-economic damage.

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$8 Million Verdict Against Nursing Home

A Jefferson Circuit Court jury on Monday awarded $8 million in damages to the estate of a retired surgeon whose legs were broken while he was in the care of Treyton Oak Towers in Louisville.

The verdict against the nonprofit nursing home was returned after a two-week trial before Judge Brian C. Edwards.

Attorneys said that Dr. David Griffin died less than two months after he was improperly transferred from a chair into his bed - and that Treyton Oak tried to cover up what happened.

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Humboldt Harley Riders - Recall Information

Janssen Malloy has been working for years to increase awareness of motorcycle safety in our community and recently partnered with Redwood Harley Davidson to sponsor an event to raise money for services for our local veterans.

This past week it came to our attention that Harley Davidson issued a recall for 250,757 touring motorcycles from years 2008-2011 due to a issues with the brakes. Harley officials said the rear brake-light switch could be damaged by heat from the bikes' exhaust systems. There has been one reported accident attributed to the brake defects.

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Arcata Traumatic Brain Injury Film Today

Janssen Malloy LLP recommends that individuals interested in the difficulties facing persons in our community with traumatic brain injuries attend tonight's film at Humboldt State University ("HSU").

HSU's Disability Awareness events continue with “When Billy Broke His Head,” on Tuesday, October 18th, 2011, at 6:30 p.m., HSU Gist Hall 218.  This is a first-person road movie about disability, civil rights and the pursuit of an intelligent life after traumatic brain injury, and includes a post-film interactive workshop, free admission, and refreshments.

 

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Eureka Lawyer Obtains $725,000 Settlement

On June 8, 2011 Patrik Griego of  The Janssen Law Firm achieved a $725,000 award for a client injured in a car accident with an uninsured driver, Mr. Lewison.  Mr. Lewison suffered severe back injuries requiring a bi-level spinal fusion.  Mr. Lewison's insurance company initially offered to pay Mr. Lewison $60,000.  The Janssen Law Firm rejected that offer and after almost three years of litigation Mr. Lewison's insurance company offered $725,000 on the first day of arbitration after it became clear that Mr. Lewison would not accept less than full value for his injuries.

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Bike Law 101: Beyond the Safety Corridor

May was Bike Awareness Month, with crowds of people gathering in Eureka and Arcata for bike to work rallies on designated bike to work days.  In a timely proposal, the City of Eureka is also considering installing striped bicycle lanes on Harris Street, providing additional bicycle friendly streets, but reducing the number of parking spaces available on Harris.  The Parking Place Commission will be discussing the issue at their public meeting in City Hall this Thursday (June 9, 2011, 4:40 p.m.).

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$800,000 Settlement for Hand Crush Injury

Janssen Law Firm partner, Michael J. Crowley, recently settled a log landing hand crush injury case for $800,000.00.  Log truck driver, Richard Neves, was in the process of attaching a second trailer to an already loaded trailer stacked full of redwood logs when the heel boom operator unsafely lifted the grapples of the loader, causing Mr. Neves’ hand to be crushed against a redwood log.  The defendant disputed both liability and damages until shortly before trial.

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$16 Million Verdict for Pedestrian

A Sacramento jury returned a verdict of $16 million in a lawsuit involving a young doctor who was hit by a car and permanently disabled while using a crosswalk the city knew to be dangerous.

Eureka and Arcata residents know that the fate of the young woman who was hit in Sacramento could have easily been visited upon any number of pedestrians attempting to cross our city streets each day.

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Auto Accident - Important Things to Remember

That automobile accidents are a fact of modern life is undisputed, yet most of us assume such things happen to others.   When a paralegal and lawyer from the Janssen Law Firm, while out serving papers in Eureka, California, were struck by a car darting out of an alley  it was a bit of a struggle to remember just what to do.

The obvious was easy-- anybody hurt?  When the answer to that is "no" the police do not have time to investigate and you must be sure to get the pertinent information.   Following is a list of the type of  information you should obtain.

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Wrongful Death Case Resolved for Policy Limits

The Janssen Law Firm recently resolved a tragic wrongful death matter from the Hoopa area for the defendant’s policy limits.   Michael Crowley of the Janssen Law Firm represented the adult children of Filmore Harvey, Sr., regarding his tragic death on December 16, 2009.

Mr. Harvey was run over by the defendant driver, who was driving under the influence at the time of the incident.  The defendant is currently being prosecuted for vehicular manslaughter in Humboldt County Superior Court.

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Homeowner’s Policy Covers Fire Related Death

The Janssen Law Firm recently successfully resolved a wrongful death matter for the $300,000.00 homeowner’s insurance policy limits of a defendant property owner whose burn barrel fire got out of control in a Eureka, California residential neighborhood.  The defendant property owner allowed an un-permitted “burn barrel” fire to get out of control on an extremely gusty, fall day (winds in excess of 30 miles an hour) which caught the back deck, picnic table and a fence on the property line on fire.  John “Happy Jack” Van Lieu rushed into the smoke with tubs of water to knock down the fire, an

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Trucking Claim Settles for $1,000.000 policy limit

The Janssen Law Firm recently resolved a semi-truck/vehicle head-on collision case for the trucking insurer’s one million dollar policy limit.  The semi-truck driver employed by a trucking company out of Washington State fell asleep at the wheel while traveling Southbound on Interstate 5 North of Williams, California.  The big rig traversed the center median area and collided head-on with a young couple driving Northbound on Interstate 5.  The impact demolished the car our clients were in, and caused serious injuries to the driver, including an open left humerus fracture, splenic laceration

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Medical Liens

One main responsibility of a personal injury lawyer is negotiating and reducing medical liens on behalf of an injured client.  If you have received medical treatment due to an injury where another person or business is at fault, a medical provider, insurance company, public source, or hospital may assert a lien for amounts they have paid or are owed for your medical treatment.

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The Importance of Uninsured Motorist Coverage

As noted elsewhere on our website, a significant number of motorists are driving without liability insurance (“uninsured”) or inadequately insured (“under-insured”).   Many law abiding Humboldt County drivers learn to their distress that the careless driver who injured them or one of their family,  either has no insurance at all or only the minimum required under the California law ($15,000.00 of liability coverage).  Most people don’t think about securing the appropriate amount of uninsured or under-insured coverage for themselves, because they don’t plan on being seriously injured by a ju

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THE RECORDER recognizes success

THE RECORDER  recognizes the Janssen Law Firm's successful defense of Pacific Gas & Electric Company in Humboldt Country personal injury lawsuit arising out of injury in Ferndale.

On September 29, 2009, THE RECORDER highlighted the Janssen Firm's recent success in defending Pacific Gas & Electric Company against a personal injury lawsuit involving an electrical contact injury with the following article:

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$3.6 million judgment for Huntzinger

On Friday September 25, 2009, Attorney Michael Crowley of the Janssen Law Firm presented testimony from Nancy Huntzinger and other evidence before Superior Court Judge John Feeney regarding the wrongful death damages in her lawsuit against Defendant Stephen Hash, who killed her then fourteen year old son, Curtis Huntzinger, in 1990.  Judge Feeney awarded Ms. Huntzinger a 3.6 million dollar wrongful death judgment commenting to her in court, “Clearly, no monetary judgment can compensate you for the loss of your son,” and offered his condolences for her loss.

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SLIP AND FALL

Proper handling of premise liability “slip and fall” cases requires a lawyer to be familiar with the applicable building codes in order to prove liability and establish damages.   Slips,  trips, and falls caused by negligently maintained property or premises result in serious injuries to members of our community.   Recognizing the failure to comply with required building codes is essential to the successful prosecution of a premises liability

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Protecting the Rights of Bicyclists

As more members of our community bicycle to work, school, and for exercise, there's been an unfortunate increase in fatalities and serious injuries to bicyclists.  Many motorists do not realize that bicyclists have the same rights under the California Vehicle Code to occupy the roadway as does a motor vehicle.  Further, many motorists are inattentive and even unaware of the presence of bicyclists on the roadway.

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