Proving Negligence in Inadequate Security Claims in the Bay Area

Victims of violent crimes, sexual attacks or robberies have a theoretical right to sue the perpetrator for damages suffered. After all, practically any crime with an individual victim is also an intentional tort, and the plaintiff in a civil action against the criminal does not need to prove the claim beyond a reasonable doubt, as a prosecuting attorney would in a criminal case. Unfortunately, this right of civil action against a criminal is almost always merely theoretical. Even if the assailant or robber is brought to justice, only in rare circumstances will the perpetrator have assets available to meet the damages proven.

Civil Damages for Criminal Acts through Premises Liability Litigation

The law of negligent security has developed to provide an alternative means of civil relief for the victims of violent crimes, especially in situations where the victim had reason to expect at least some degree of protection on the part of a business or property owner. California law recognizes a general right of recovery in favor of the victim of a violent crime who can prove that the crime would probably not have occurred if someone else had taken reasonable steps to prevent it.

What makes negligent security litigation especially challenging for the plaintiff is the law’s vague guidance as to what constitutes a duty of reasonable care to prevent crime and the specific measures a property owner should take to meet that responsibility under the facts of a given case. Whether or not a negligence action will succeed can typically be assessed under a “totality of the circumstances” test — in other words, a property owner’s negligence will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis rather than under a single set of rules.

Establishing the Case for Negligence through Focused Investigation

An experienced personal injury lawyer who is familiar with the demands of negligent security litigation under a variety of situations will use the tools of pretrial discovery and expert evaluation to develop a theory of liability that matches the facts of the case at hand. The investigation will consider such issues as the prevalence of crime in the immediate area, the preventive measures taken previously by past or current owners, negligent maintenance of lighting or electronic surveillance systems and other questions of fact.

These inquiries will focus on the reasonableness of the protective steps actually taken by the property owner in light of the known risks to visitors, residents or patrons of the premises where the attack took place, and the ways necessary measures were ignored or discontinued. In that way, the owner’s duty of care under a premises liability theory of negligence can be specifically defined in terms of the facts of the case and not an abstraction of general security responsibilities.

Call a San Francisco Premises Liability Attorney: 866-288-6010

With offices in San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose and San Rafael, the personal injury attorneys of Weber & Nierenberg offer reliable advice and energetic advocacy to people throughout the Bay Area who need to know their civil litigation options in the aftermath of a serious criminal attack. Contact us for a free consultation at any of our locations, or visit our website.

Spinal Disc Injuries – Causes and Treatment

San Francisco Bay Area Back Injury Attorney

Back pain is a common problem, afflicting millions of Americans. Back pain is typically caused by personal injury, age, conditions such as osteoarthritis or Paget’s disease, and weight. As a result, the cause of back pain generally involves injuries to ligaments and muscles, fractures, and torn or ruptured discs. In cases involving pulls or strains, back pain usually goes away by itself in about four weeks. In cases involving herniated discs or fractures link to herniated discs or fractures, matters can be complicated by nerve pressure and inflammation. If flare ups continue with some regularity, eventually chronic pain and decreased mobility may require back surgery.

Herniated Discs and Back Pain

A disc sits above the spinal canal containing nerves that run from the brain to the rest of the body. A disc contains gelatinous matter that helps confer flexibility on the spine. In a back injury where excessive weight or pressure is transferred to the spine, the outer membrane of a disc may tear, allowing its gelatinous core to create a bulge that compresses nerve roots along the spinal canal. This can result in pinched nerves, leading to loss of sensation or tingling in the extremities. If the disc does not heal or is prone to herniation, the result may be chronic pain that is difficult to treat. In these kinds of cases, spinal fusion surgery may be necessary.

Spinal Fusion Surgery and Herniated Discs

When rest or physical therapy is not enough to heal a herniated disc, spinal fusion surgery may be required. Spinal fusion surgery involves taking a bone graft and using it to fuse two bones together to create a stable encasement for a bulging disc. This involves fusing the vertebra above and below the herniated disc to prevent movement between them. Screws and plates are then affixed to make sure the vertebrae are secure until the bulging disc heals. While expensive, spinal fusion surgery may be the only option people have when a herniated disc will not heal properly.

Contact Bay Area San Francisco Back Injury Attorneys

Any award or settlement in a personal injury case involving back injuries should take into consideration the considerable costs of spinal fusion surgery. If a car, truck, motorcycle, or construction accident has left you with a herniated disc, it’s important to consult an experienced back doctor to determine whether you need spinal fusion or surgery or may need it in the future.

For more information regarding back pain and personal injuries, contact San Francisco personal injury attorneys Weber & Nierenberg today.

When Your Insurance Company Gives You the Runaround

San Francisco Bay Area Bad-Faith Insurance Attorneys

When you buy an insurance policy from an insurer, your insurer is responsible for providing coverage under the terms of the policy, acting in good faith toward you and defending you if you are sued, and the insurer must consider your interests to be equal to those of the insurer itself. When an insurer fails to pay a claim for coverage you have or takes an inordinate amount of time to pay a claim, they can be held financially liable for bad faith practices. When this happens, the financial consequences for you, the policyholder, can be significant, as unpaid medical bills and lost wages continue to create financial difficulty for you and your family.

If your insurer has rejected a personal injury claim or takes an unusually long time to pay a claim, it’s important to read the Declarations section of your policy and contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss the options available to you.

Claim Denials — When Insurers Reject a Claim

In general, an insurer may deny a claim for one or more of the following reasons:
• A “loss event” is not covered under the terms of a policy
• A claims agent incorrectly decided to deny benefits that should have been provided under the terms of your policy
• Your claim contained misleading or inaccurate information, leading a claims agent to mistakenly decide you are not covered for the losses incurred
• A claims agent failed to properly review the evidence associated with your claim, mistakenly issuing a denial as a result

Depending on the specifics of your case, a simple review of your policy may be enough to correct any mistakes on the part of your insurer in your initial filing or claims presentation. If your insurer is unwilling to revisit the issue, it may be necessary to hire a personal injury attorney who can send a demand letter and prepare for litigation.

Bad-Faith Insurance Practices — When a Claim Takes Too Long

If you have a valid claim and have submitted a properly prepared injury claim, your insurer should issue payment in a timely fashion. When an insurer fails to return calls, insists everything is in order but won’t release a check or continues to ask you to resubmit documentation, they may be stalling while their legal department decides what to do. If you hire an attorney to represent you as soon as you encounter unreasonable delays, you can often preempt further problems and resolve the issue.

In another form of bad-faith insurance practice, an insurer may offer to pay your claim but for less than what the policy indicates. An insurer may think you’ll simply take what you can get rather than risk going to court and waiting months for a claims payout. Should this happen, consult a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Insurance companies that engage in bad-faith practices can be held financially liable for any harm suffered as a result.

Contact San Francisco Bad-Faith Insurance Attorneys at Weber & Nierenberg

Policyholders have a right to expect prompt payment on losses they’re insured for. If you’ve encountered difficulties with your insurer, contact San Francisco Bay Area personal injury attorneys today to learn how we can help you.

 
 
Locations & Contact Information
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Locations

1 Sansome Street, Suite 3500 San Francisco, CA 94104
map
P. 415-788-3900

1999 Harrison Street, Suite 600 Oakland, CA 94612
map
P. 510-663-6000

Read Our Blogs

San Diego Pair “Impounding” Abandoned Scooters

Scooter Companies File Suit Alleging Unlawful Taking Two San Diego men have formed a fledgling business on the heels of the current scooter... [Read More...]