Daly City woman struck by SF Muni bus over weekend dies

Eileen Barrett, 72-year-old Daly City, California, resident hit by a San Francisco Municipal Railway bus near Lake Merced. She passed away on Monday, February 18th.MUNI Bus Eileen Barrett was struck by an outbound 18-46th Avenue bus at about 4:30 p.m. at Lake Merced Boulevard. Although doctors initially thought she would survive this catastrophic accident, despite having been transported to a hospital with serious injuries, she did not make it. As is standard protocol for these kinds of accidents, the bus operator was expected to undergo drug and alcohol testing. San Francisco authorities expressed their condolences to the family and friends of Eileen Barrett and stated that a full investigation as to the cause of this accident is underway. Full article.

In many instances, an insurance company or public entity will dispute who is at fault for an accident of this measure. If the settlement offer is insufficient, a lawsuit may be filed to take your case to trial. Under California, a surviving spouse, children or parent has up to two years to file a wrongful death claim. The case does not necessarily have to be completed within this two year time period, however, it must be filed in the appropriate court before the time period ends.

At the law firm of Weber & Nierenberg, our attorneys work hard to help those who have lost loved ones seek justice. We are personal injury lawyers with offices throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, including Oakland, San Rafael and San Jose. Our wrongful death attorneys have handled many types of wrongful death claims. You can feel confident in and comfortable with our ability to vigorously protect your interests. Even if you are not certain that you want to file a wrongful death claim, you may have questions that our attorneys can answer.

To discuss your concerns or just gain an understanding of your rights regarding a wrongful death claim, please contact our office by calling: 1-866-288-6010. The attorneys of Weber and Nierenberg have spent their entire career (almost 70 years of combined experience) representing injured persons exclusively. Our law firm offers a free initial consultation and represents clients on a contingency basis in wrongful death claims.

After Your Case is Settled – Structured Settlement or Special Needs Trust

What can I do to Provide Future Care for My Loved One?

When a serious accident leaves a spouse or child debilitated with a need for lifelong medical care, a number of legal and financial issues must be addressed in order to provide future care for them. While a large settlement or personal injury award is important for providing financial support for in-home nursing care, medical equipment, hospitalizations, future surgery, and physical therapy, planning for how your family member’s care will be paid for after you’re gone is essential. In general, there are two options – a structured settlement or establishing a special needs trust (also referred to as “supplemental needs trust”). In both cases, there are certain tax advantages that should be considered, as well as how each could affect Medicaid eligibility calculations.

Structured Settlements

If the settlement or award won in a personal injury case involves a large sum of money, you can choose to have the money paid in installments over a specified period of time. Payment schedules can be on a monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, or annual basis. Structured settlements can last for the lifetime of a recipient with a beneficiary named for any remaining amount should the recipient pass away before all of the funds are distributed. Alternatively, a lump sum option can be included or a date named after which the amount disbursed can be increased. Regardless of which option you choose, structured settlements are not taxable.

Here, structured settlements can be customized to meet the unique needs of an injured person and his or her family. For instance, if a debilitating head injury or spinal cord injury has left you or your spouse unable to work, a structured settlement can provide you with monthly funds to pay your mortgage, rent, utilities, medical bills, and needs for your children. The amount paid can be increased once your children are of college age and need to attend school.

Special Needs Trust and Medicaid Eligibility

A special needs trust allows you to set up a trust using money from a personal injury settlement or award in order to provide for the upkeep and care of the person injured. Not only are the funds in a special needs trust exempt from federal income tax, they are also exempt from Medicaid eligibility calculations. This is especially important since, in order to qualify for Medicaid, you must first spend down your asset or be impoverished. Consequently, a catastrophically injured person with a special needs trust doesn’t have be impoverished to received long-term care benefits from Medicaid that can help defray the costs of institutional or in-home care.

San Francisco Bay Area Car Accident Injury Attorneys Weber & Nierenberg

If you or a family member has been seriously injured due to a car accident, truck accident, motorcycle accident, construction accident, or slip and fall, email San Francisco, California personal injury attorneys Weber & Nierenberg today. We’re experienced personal injury attorneys who can discuss whether a structured settlement or special needs trust makes sense for you and your family.

For more information regarding our practice or to speak with one of our attorneys for a free consultation, call Weber & Nierenberg at 415-788-3900.

Suspected Section of Pipe in San Bruno Fire Known to be a Problem

Update on the San Bruno Natural Gas Explosion

New information in the San Bruno natural gas explosion that killed 4, left 3 missing, and injured others indicates the section of pipe that exploded was part of a line that ranked in the top 100 “highest risk line sections.” In fact, three years ago PG&E asked state regulators for permission to spend $4.87 million in order to replace a portion of pipe in South San Francisco that is part of the same line that exploded in San Bruno. Additionally, as reported by the San Francisco Chronicle, it was learned that last year, PG&E suggested upgrading a portion of the same line 8 miles south of where it exploded in San Bruno. At a cost of $13 million, PG&E wanted to upgrade the line along 32 miles of pipe, all the way to the south to Milpitas.

Upgrading the Gas Line – An Important Project Moved Down the List

Needless to say, neither project was started or completed. In fact, the South San Francisco project was moved down the list of priorities and the money allocated elsewhere. Currently, the project slated to upgrade the line to the south down to Milpitas is still waiting for approval by state regulators. As a result of last week’s explosion has led some critics of PG&E to wonder if the San Bruno explosion could have been avoided had either of these projects gone forward.

Although Peter Knudson, a spokesman for the NTSB, indicated the section of pipe that exploded was not “piggable” – that is, it was too narrow to allow camera and inspection equipment to be used on it – others have wondered whether or not other problems could have still been discovered. Mike Florio, a senior staff attorney for The Utility Reform Network, suggested if the work had been done problems might have been uncovered on the ageing gas pipeline. In fact, PG&E wanted to install new valves and make a number of upgrades along the pipeline in question so a pig could be used to inspect the safety of the line in the future.

Liability and Foreknowledge – Tough Questions for PG&E

While more information continues to come to light, PG&E may have had foreknowledge of certain dangers associated with the gas line that exploded, increasing their liability for the disaster. If they knew of certain kinds of dangers and hazards and did not act to remove them, they could be held liable for a failing to act on their duty of care towards homeowners in the area. In the case of the explosion, even though PG&E did not directly cause it by striking a line, they failed to act on their foreknowledge of dangers associated with the explosion. As a result, their failure to remove these dangers may constitute negligence on their part.

Contact San Bruno Gas Explosion Attorneys at Weber & Nierenberg

As investigators continue to determine what happened and why, it’s important to have an experienced team of personal injury attorneys who can protect your rights and interests in any discussions with insurance companies, investigators, or other lawyers. At Weber & Nierenberg we have represented numerous clients in cases involving carbon monoxide poisoning and burn injuries. We understand the issues involved when dealing with negligence on the part of a public utility – especially involving natural gas.

For more information regarding our practice or to speak with one of our attorneys for a free consultation, call San Bruno gas explosion attorneys at Weber & Nierenberg at 415-788-3900 today or email us and we will respond shortly.

 
 
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