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Motorcycle Safety Gear All Riders Should Wear

Traveling by motorcycle also offers a fun, practical, and inexpensive way to travel. The significance of donning appropriate safety gear cannot be emphasized enough. Motorcycle accidents often cause serious injuries or deaths, so it’s crucial for riders to do things to keep themselves safe. Safety gear serves as a critical line of defense against the elements and potential hazards on the road, significantly reducing the risk of injury in the event of an accident.

When it comes to motorcycle safety gear, riders in California face unique considerations due to the state’s diverse climate and specific traffic laws. California’s varied terrain and weather conditions require riders to adapt their gear accordingly to ensure optimal protection and comfort. Additionally, California’s traffic laws, particularly regarding lane splitting, necessitate a thorough understanding of safety gear requirements to navigate the roads safely and legally.

Essential Motorcycle Safety Gear

DOT-Approved Motorcycle Helmet

A helmet is the most critical piece of safety gear for motorcyclists. In California, wearing a Department of Transportation (DOT) approved helmet is mandatory for all riders, regardless of age. A helmet protects the head from traumatic brain injuries in the event of a crash, making it a non-negotiable component of motorcycle safety gear.

Protective Clothing

Protective clothing, such as armored jackets and pants, provides an additional layer of protection for riders. These garments are designed to minimize abrasion injuries in case of a fall or collision. In California, where temperatures can vary widely across different regions, riders should opt for breathable yet durable materials that offer protection without causing discomfort in warmer weather.


Gloves are essential for maintaining a firm grip on the handlebars and protecting hands from injuries in an accident. In California, where lane splitting is legal, gloves also provide added protection against debris and road hazards while maneuvering through traffic.


Proper footwear is crucial for maintaining control of the motorcycle and protecting the feet and ankles in the event of a crash. Sturdy, closed-toe boots with non-slip soles are recommended for riders in California, providing traction and stability on varied road surfaces.

Eye Protection

Eye protection is vital for safeguarding the eyes from wind, debris, and insects while riding. In California, where sunny days are abundant, riders should opt for sunglasses or tinted visors to reduce glare and enhance visibility on the road.

Unique Considerations for California Riders

California’s diverse climate, ranging from coastal regions to mountainous areas, requires riders to be prepared for varying weather conditions. Riders should invest in versatile safety gear that can protect against both heat and cold, ensuring comfort and safety throughout their journeys.

Compliance With California Traffic Laws

Riders in California must adhere to specific traffic laws, including lane-splitting regulations. Lane splitting, the practice of riding between lanes of slow-moving or stopped traffic, is legal in California but requires caution and awareness. Riders should choose safety gear that enhances their visibility and maneuverability while adhering to legal requirements.

Awareness Of Heavy Traffic In The Bay Area

The Bay Area, known for its bustling cities and congested highways, presents unique challenges for motorcyclists. Heavy traffic conditions require riders to remain vigilant and agile, making safety gear that enhances visibility and protection even more critical.

Understanding Lane Splitting Regulations

Lane splitting is a common practice among California riders, but it requires a thorough understanding of the state’s laws and safety considerations. Riders should choose safety gear that allows for ease of movement and provides adequate protection in close proximity to other vehicles.

Benefits of Proper Safety Gear in California

Protection From Weather Elements

Proper safety gear shields riders from California’s varying weather conditions, including intense sunlight, strong winds, and occasional rain. By wearing appropriate gear, riders can stay comfortable and focused on the road, reducing the risk of accidents due to weather-related distractions.

Enhanced Visibility In Heavy Traffic

Safety gear with reflective elements or bright colors enhances riders’ visibility to other motorists, particularly in heavy traffic conditions. Increased visibility reduces the likelihood of collisions and improves overall safety on California’s congested roadways.

Mitigation Of Injuries In Case Of Accidents

Proper safety gear can significantly reduce the severity of injuries in the unfortunate event of an accident. Helmets, protective clothing, gloves, and footwear serve as a barrier between the rider’s body and the pavement, minimizing abrasions, fractures, and other traumatic injuries.

Compliance With California Laws

Wearing proper safety gear is not only a matter of personal safety but also a legal requirement in California. By complying with state regulations regarding safety gear, riders can avoid fines and legal consequences while ensuring their protection on the road.

Motorcycle safety gear is a non-negotiable aspect of responsible riding, offering protection against injuries and enhancing overall safety on the road. In California, where riders face unique challenges due to the state’s climate, traffic laws, and heavy traffic conditions, prioritizing proper safety gear is essential for staying safe and compliant with regulations.

Contact Our Oakland Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

If you or a loved one has suffered a significant injury due to another driver’s negligence in California, you don’t need to face this legal ordeal alone. At Bracamontes & Vlasak, P.C., we are committed to providing compassionate and effective legal representation for motorcycle accident injury victims throughout the Bay Area. Contact our Oakland motorcycle accident lawyer at 415-835-6777 to receive your free case assessment and consultation. Let our experienced legal team help you seek the justice and financial compensation that you deserve.

How to Choose the Right Oakland Rideshare Accident Attorney

In Oakland, rideshare services like Uber and Lyft have become ubiquitous modes of transportation. Accident injury claims involving rideshare vehicles are complex, necessitating experienced legal guidance to navigate the complexities of insurance claims and determining liability. Choosing the right attorney for your Oakland rideshare accident case is necessary to protect your valuable legal rights and receive the monetary compensation your accident injury case deserves.

Experience Matters When Selecting a Skilled Attorney

When selecting an attorney to represent you in a rideshare accident case, it’s vital to consider their experience and track record in handling motor vehicle accident cases. Look for an attorney with a proven history of success representing clients injured in complex traffic accident claims. An experienced Oakland rideshare accident lawyer will have a thorough understanding of California’s laws and regulations governing rideshare services and the nuances of insurance policies and liability coverage.

In addition, experience in negotiating with rideshare companies and their insurance providers is essential. Rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft have complex insurance policies that may come into play in the event of an accident. An attorney knowledgeable about these policies and who knows how to negotiate with insurance companies effectively can help ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries and damages.

Reputation and Reviews: Gauging Professionalism and Satisfaction

Consider the attorney’s reputation within the legal community and among past clients. Look for reviews and testimonials from previous clients to gauge the attorney’s professionalism, communication skills, and dedication to client satisfaction. A reputable Oakland rideshare accident lawyer will have positive reviews and a strong reputation for providing compassionate and effective legal representation. Remember that no law firm is perfect, and it is normal for a firm to have a few low reviews. The idea is to find a firm with an above-average rating.

Advocacy and Communication: Traits of a Quality Attorney

When consulting with potential attorneys, be sure to ask about their approach to handling rideshare accident cases and how they plan to advocate for your legal rights. A quality attorney will take the time to listen to your story, thoroughly investigate the circumstances of the accident, and develop a personalized strategy to pursue maximum compensation on your behalf. They should also be readily available to answer any questions or concerns you may have throughout the legal process.

Fee Structures and Payment Options: Financial Considerations

Consider the attorney’s fee structure and whether they offer flexible payment options. Many personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they only collect a fee if they successfully recover your financial compensation. Contingency fees are particularly advantageous when facing economic strain due to medical bills and other expenses resulting from the accident.

Finding the Right Representation for Your Accident Injury Case

Selecting the right Oakland rideshare accident attorney for your injury case is essential to achieving a favorable outcome. Be sure to pick an attorney with experience handling motor vehicle accident cases. By doing so, you can rest assured knowing that your legal rights are in capable hands and that you have the best possible chance of obtaining the compensation you deserve for your injuries and damages. If you’ve been injured in a rideshare accident in Oakland, don’t hesitate to contact our qualified Oakland rideshare accident lawyer to receive a free consultation and explore your legal options.

Call Our Oakland Rideshare Accident Lawyer For Exceptional Legal Help!

If you or a loved one has been involved in a rideshare accident resulting in severe injuries in Oakland, you don’t have to face the legal complexities alone. At Bracamontes & Vlasak, P.C., we are committed to providing compassionate and proficient legal representation for rideshare accident victims throughout the Bay Area. Contact our Oakland rideshare accident attorneys at 415-835-6777 for a free case evaluation and consultation. Let our experienced legal team assist you in seeking the justice and compensation you deserve during this challenging time.

What Is Considered A Catastrophic Injury In California?

In California’s personal injury law, “catastrophic injury” is a critical term that denotes injuries far beyond mere severity. These injuries profoundly alter the lives of those affected, permanently changing their ability to function and quality of life. For legal professionals, individuals who have suffered such injuries, and their families, recognizing and understanding the scope of catastrophic injuries is crucial. This understanding shapes the course of legal actions, influences the financial compensation that may be pursued in a personal injury lawsuit, and dictates the need for ongoing care and support.

Legal Definition and California Statutes

Under California law, a catastrophic injury is defined by its profound impact on the victim’s life. While no California statute encapsulates all aspects of a catastrophic injury, various legal provisions and case law provide guidance. Generally, these injuries are so severe that they leave the victim with permanent disabilities, significantly altering their ability to lead a life they had before the injury. The California Civil Code and decisions from the California Supreme Court have set precedents in understanding and defining the scope of catastrophic injuries through interpretations and rulings.

Types of Catastrophic Injuries

Catastrophic injuries can manifest in various forms, each with its unique challenges and implications for the victim. Some of the most recognized types under California law include:

Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) – These injuries are among the most severe, often resulting from blunt force trauma to the head. TBIs can lead to a wide range of physical and cognitive disabilities, with symptoms varying from mild concussions to severe brain damage.

Spinal Cord Injuries – Damage to the spinal cord is another form of catastrophic injury, potentially resulting in partial or complete paralysis. The impairment level typically depends on the injury’s location along the spinal column.

Severe Burns – Burns that cover a significant portion of the body or are of third-degree severity can be life-threatening and are considered catastrophic due to the long-term physical and psychological effects they impose on the victim.

Amputations – The loss of a limb or other body part significantly impacts a person’s mobility, ability to work, and quality of life, thus classifying such injuries as catastrophic.

Multiple Bone Fractures – While a single broken bone might not qualify as catastrophic, multiple fractures, especially those requiring extensive surgical intervention and leading to long-term disability, may be considered under this category.

Legal Implications in California

The classification of an injury as catastrophic has profound legal implications in California. It affects the types of damages a victim can pursue, including medical expenses, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, pain and suffering, and sometimes punitive damages. Given the long-term and severe nature of these injuries, compensation claims often involve substantial sums to cover lifelong care and support.

Moreover, the statute of limitations for filing a claim involving a catastrophic injury might be subject to specific exceptions, given the time it may take to fully realize the extent of the injuries and their long-term impacts. Legal practitioners specializing in catastrophic injuries are well-versed in navigating these complex cases, ensuring that victims receive the comprehensive support and compensation they are entitled to under California law.

A Final Word About Catastrophic Injuries

Catastrophic injuries irrevocably change lives, posing significant challenges not just to the victims but also to their families and support systems. In California, the legal framework surrounding these injuries is designed to provide a pathway for justice and compensation, reflecting the profound impact these injuries have on individuals’ lives. Understanding the legal definitions, the types of injuries considered catastrophic, and their implications is crucial for anyone navigating this challenging legal landscape.

Call Our Bay Area Personal Injury Attorneys

If you or a family member has experienced a severe injury as a result of another person’s negligence in California, you don’t have to deal with this legal matter on your own. At Bracamontes & Vlasak, P.C., we are dedicated to delivering empathetic and effective legal assistance for personal injury victims in California. Contact our Bay Area personal injury attorneys at 415-835-6777 for your free case evaluation and consultation. Allow our skilled legal professionals to assist you in pursuing the fairness and compensation that you and your loved ones merit during this difficult period.

Who Can Make A Wrongful Death Claim In California?

In California, wrongful death claims are governed by specific statutes that determine who is eligible to file a lawsuit in the event of an individual’s death caused by the wrongful act or negligence of another. Here’s an overview of who can make a wrongful death claim in California based on California’s Wrongful Death and Intestacy Statutes:

Statutory Beneficiaries

Under California Code of Civil Procedure Section 377.60, the following individuals are typically eligible to bring a wrongful death claim:

  • Immediate Family Members – This includes the deceased’s surviving spouse, domestic partner, and children. Given their direct and intimate connection with the deceased, these members are often considered first in line for such claims.
  • Dependent Minors – If they resided in the deceased’s household for at least 180 days before the death and were dependent on the deceased for at least 50% of their support. This provision recognizes the economic and emotional impact on minors who were dependent on the deceased, even if they are not biologically related.
  • Putative Spouse and Children of the Putative Spouse – A putative spouse, defined as someone who believed in good faith that they were married to the deceased, along with their children, also have rights under this statute. California law acknowledges relationships that are substantively akin to marriage despite lacking formal legal recognition.
  • Stepchildren – They can file a claim if they were dependent on the deceased for support. This provision extends eligibility to stepchildren, reflecting the diverse family structures and recognizing the support role deceased step-parents may have played.
  • Parents – This applies if they were dependent on the deceased for financial support. This inclusion is particularly significant in cases where the deceased was a primary caregiver or financial provider for elderly or dependent parents.

If there are multiple claimants, California’s Wrongful Death and Intestacy Statutes prioritize closer family members (like spouses and children) over more distant relatives (like parents or siblings). This hierarchy is designed to reflect the typical emotional and financial impact of the loss. In cases where multiple parties have an equally strong claim, the court may distribute the settlement among them in a manner deemed just and fair.

Damages That May Be Recoverable in a Wrongful Death Action

Depending on the circumstances of the accident and the facts of the case, claimants might be able to seek the following damages:

  • Loss of financial support the deceased would have contributed, calculated based on the deceased’s expected lifetime earnings and potential.
  • Loss of gifts or benefits the claimant would have expected to receive from the deceased, acknowledging the tangible aspects of the relationship lost.
  • Funeral and burial expenses.
  • The reasonable value of household services the deceased would have provided, recognizing the non-financial contributions to the family unit.
  • Damages for the loss of love, companionship, comfort, care, assistance, protection, affection, society, and moral support.

California’s Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations

According to California Code of Civil Procedure Section 335.1, wrongful death claims in California must be filed within two years of the date of the deceased’s death. This statute of limitations is strictly enforced, with few exceptions. The time frame is intended to ensure timely resolution of claims and preserve the integrity of evidence.

Our experienced Bay Area wrongful death attorney helps clients navigate these complex laws, ensure timely filing, and maximize the compensation for the beneficiaries. Our law firm plays a crucial role in gathering evidence, negotiating with insurance companies, and representing the family’s interests in court.

Contact Our Bay Area Wrongful Death Lawyers for Legal Help Today!

If you have suffered the loss of a loved one due to someone else’s negligence in California, you don’t have to handle this claim alone. At Bracamontes & Vlasak, P.C., we are committed to providing compassionate and effective legal representation for wrongful death claims in California.

Contact our Bay Area wrongful death attorneys at 415-835-6777 for your free case evaluation and consultation. Let our experienced legal team help you seek the justice and compensation you and your family deserve during this challenging time.

How To Choose Top Rated Oakland Personal Injury Lawyers

In the state of California, personal injury law is designed to protect individuals who have been injured due to the negligence or wrongdoing of another party. This legal framework encompasses a range of injuries, from car accidents and workplace incidents to slip-and-fall cases and medical malpractice.

Under California personal injury law, victims of personal injuries are entitled to seek compensation for various damages. These damages can include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and in some cases, punitive damages. It’s essential to recognize that California operates under a comparative negligence system. This means that if the injured party is found partly at fault for the incident, their compensation may be reduced proportionally to their degree of fault.

When navigating personal injury claims, it’s important to be aware of the statute of limitations in California. Generally, personal injury claims for negligence must be filed within two years from the date of injury. However, this timeline can vary depending on specific circumstances, such as cases involving government entities, medical malpractice, or discovering an injury later. You always want to consult an attorney as soon as possible after an accident.

Identifying Your Personal Injury Legal Needs

California personal injury law encompasses a broad spectrum of cases where individuals suffer harm due to the negligence or misconduct of others. This includes wrongful death, where families seek justice for the loss of a loved one caused by someone else’s actions or inactions. Product liability is another significant area, addressing injuries resulting from defective or unsafe products, and holding manufacturers and distributors accountable.

Traffic accidents, encompassing car, motorcycle, bicycle, and pedestrian accidents, are a common focus, addressing injuries sustained in road incidents.

Additionally, California personal injury law extends to other areas such as medical malpractice, slip and fall accidents, and animal bites, ensuring legal protection and compensation avenues for a wide range of injury scenarios. Each of these areas requires a nuanced understanding of specific laws and regulations, highlighting the diversity and complexity within the area of personal injury law in California.

The first step in seeking legal recourse for a personal injury is to thoroughly assess the nature of the injury. This assessment is not just about the physical injuries sustained but also about understanding the broader impact of these injuries on one’s life and livelihood. The severity of the injury, the circumstances under which it occurred, and the long-term implications play a critical role in shaping the legal strategy. For instance, a minor injury in a low-impact car accident may require a different legal approach compared to a severe injury resulting from medical negligence.

Documenting every aspect of the injury, from medical reports to personal accounts of pain and disruption to daily life, is vital. This comprehensive documentation forms the foundation of a personal injury claim and is instrumental in articulating the extent of the damages suffered.

Once the nature of the injury is assessed, the next critical step is to determine the scope of legal assistance needed. Not all personal injury cases require the same level of legal intervention. Some cases might be straightforward, involving clear liability and minimal dispute over compensation. Others might be complex, involving multiple parties, disputed liability, or significant negotiation and litigation.

The complexity of the case, the anticipated resistance from the opposing party, and the potential compensation involved are key factors in deciding whether to seek a highly experienced attorney or a more general law practitioner. In cases where the stakes are high, such as severe injuries or significant financial loss, retaining an experienced personal injury lawyer becomes crucial. This decision influences not only the potential success of the claim but also the overall experience of navigating a personal injury lawsuit.

The Importance of Choosing a Personal Injury Lawyer in Oakland

When seeking legal representation for a personal injury case in Oakland, one of the most crucial decisions involves choosing a lawyer who has significant experience and results in personal injury law. This focus is a critical factor because personal injury law in California is a complex and dynamic field, requiring an in-depth understanding of legal precedents, negotiation techniques, and trial strategies specific to this type of law. Larger cases also require significant resources, and your personal injury lawyer will often forward the costs of litigation for you, recovering those costs only after compensation is obtained.

A lawyer who focuses on personal injury law brings more than just legal knowledge; they bring a wealth of experience in dealing with insurance companies, understanding medical terminology and procedures, and navigating the intricacies of personal injury cases. Such experience ensures that your lawyer is up to date with the latest legal developments and court rulings that could affect the outcome of your case.

Moreover, an experienced lawyer is better equipped to accurately evaluate the compensation you are entitled to, which includes not only immediate medical expenses but also long-term care costs, lost earnings, and compensation for pain and suffering and emotional distress.

Once you have narrowed down your search to lawyers who practice personal injury law, the next step is to evaluate their experience, particularly with cases similar to yours in Oakland. Every city and region have their own unique legal environment, and Oakland is no exception. An attorney experienced with the Oakland Alameda County courts and legal system can offer insights and advantages that might not be apparent to outsiders. They may have relationships with local insurance adjusters or experience with judges who may be assigned your case.

Experience in handling similar cases is invaluable. It means the lawyer is not only familiar with the type of injury and its implications but also with the tactics that might be employed by the defense. For instance, if you are a victim of a vehicular accident in Oakland, a lawyer with a track record of handling such cases can investigate aspects such as road conditions, city traffic patterns, and the behavior of local drivers. On the other hand, you may not want a mere car accident attorney for an injury or wrongful death case due to fire. Each case is different and poses its own challenges. Interview your prospective attorney to make sure they have the relevant experience for your case.

An experienced lawyer in Oakland personal injury cases would have established relationships with various entities involved in the legal process, such as court personnel, insurance companies, and medical professionals. These relationships can be beneficial in efficiently navigating the legal process, negotiating settlements, and, if necessary, litigating to verdict in court.

In essence, the combination of a personal injury law focus and relevant experience in Oakland is a powerful asset in your pursuit of justice and fair compensation. It positions you to better understand the nuances of your case, anticipate challenges, and achieve a favorable outcome.

The Significance of an Attorney’s Reputation in the Legal Community

A lawyer’s reputation within the legal community is a critical factor to consider. Reputation is built over time and is a reflection of a lawyer’s professional integrity, ethical standards, and competence in handling cases. A lawyer with a strong reputation is often one who has demonstrated commitment to their clients, has a history of successful outcomes, and is respected by peers and adversaries alike. This respect can translate into more effective negotiations and, when necessary, a stronger presence in the courtroom. Advertising on billboards or buses is not enough and tells you nothing about that attorney’s skill level or commitment to the profession.

The reputation of a lawyer can also give insights into their working style and how they are likely to interact with clients. A lawyer who is known for being approachable, communicative, and empathetic can make the legal process less daunting for clients, which is particularly important in personal injury cases where clients may be dealing with significant trauma and stress. Finding the right attorney should feel like a relief.

Analyzing their Success Rate in Personal Injury Cases

The success rate of a lawyer in personal injury cases is another crucial aspect to evaluate. A high success rate is often indicative of a lawyer’s experience and skill in securing favorable outcomes for their clients. It is important to delve into what these success rates entail – whether they refer to court victories, successful settlements, or both. It is important to know that your attorney will prepare your case for trial and try your case if a reasonable settlement is not offered.

In examining a lawyer’s success rate, it is also beneficial to consider the context of these successes. This includes looking at the types of cases the lawyer has handled and the complexities involved. A lawyer who has successfully handled cases that are complex and challenging, or that involve significant injury or compensation, is likely to have a high level of skill in personal injury law. On the other hand, it is easy to “win” every case for a lawyer who only takes rear-ender car accident claims and settles them quickly with insurance companies.

In conclusion, when choosing a top-rated personal injury lawyer in Oakland, it is vital to consider their experience in the field, along with their reputation and success rate. These factors collectively provide a comprehensive view of a lawyer’s capabilities and can guide you in making an informed decision that aligns with your specific legal needs.

What Questions to Ask During the Consultation

During the consultation, it’s important to ask questions that will help you understand the lawyer’s experience and approach. Some key questions include:

1. How much of your practice is devoted to personal injury cases?

2. Have you handled cases similar to mine, and what were the outcomes? What were some of your most significant cases?

3. How do you communicate with clients throughout the case? Will you be working on my case yourself? If not, who will?

4. What is your assessment of my case, and what strategy would you recommend?

5. How are your fees structured? Will you forward costs?

Discussing Legal Strategy and Approach

Different personal injury cases require different legal strategies. Some cases may be best served by aggressive litigation, while others may benefit from negotiation and settlement. Understanding the lawyer’s approach to different scenarios is crucial.

Discuss with the lawyer their preferred approach. Some lawyers may lean towards negotiation to avoid the uncertainties of a trial, while others may prefer taking cases to court if they believe it will result in a better outcome. Understanding their approach will give you more insight into how they will handle your case.

Finally, discuss the next steps in your case with your lawyer. This includes their plan of action, any immediate steps you need to take, and how they will keep you informed as your case progresses. Ask about what they expect discovery to uncover and what their discovery plan for your case would be. This discussion will set the stage for your working relationship and the path forward in your personal injury claim.

Contact Our Top-Rated Oakland Personal Injury Lawyers

Our legal professionals collaborate with our clients and medical professionals to assess the extent of injuries and their broader implications on work, daily activities, and future well-being. We have successfully recovered millions in financial compensation for individuals with severe accident-related injuries and families who tragically lost loved ones in accidents.

Our Oakland personal injury lawyers have won significant courtroom victories. We prioritize obtaining comprehensive and just compensation over obtaining quick, small settlements, to ensure you receive the full value of your claim.

In Oakland, our legal team provides free consultations and operates on a contingency fee basis. To discuss your case, contact our Oakland Personal Injury Lawyers at 415-835-6777 or view our Case Results and Client Testimonials for more information.

How Much Can I Receive For A Permanent Back Injury?

Permanent back injuries are often life-altering, affecting not only an individual’s physical health but also their emotional well-being, livelihood, and overall quality of life. If you or someone you know has suffered a permanent back injury in the Bay Area, understanding the potential financial compensation that may be recoverable is essential.

Back injuries range in severity and type. Common ones include sprains and strains, herniated or ruptured disks, fractured vertebrae, spinal cord injuries, and conditions like chronic back pain or spondylolisthesis (one vertebral body slips over another). The amount of financial compensation often correlates with the injury’s severity and its long-term implications.

Scenarios That Lead to Back Injuries

There are various situations where one might suffer a permanent back injury:

  • Workers’ Compensation Claims – Workers’ compensation may cover you if you’re injured at work.
  • Workplace Accidents – In some situations, third parties may be liable beyond standard workers’ compensation.
  • Car Accidents – Collisions can lead to severe spinal injuries.
  • Slip and Fall Accidents-  Property owners might be liable if they neglect a hazard.
  • Product Liabilities – Defective products causing injury.

California has specific statutes that cater to different scenarios:

In California, strict timeframes dictate when you can file a claim, referred to as the Statute of Limitations. Workers’ compensation claims must be initiated within one year, personal injury claims have a two-year window, and property damage claims should be filed within three years of the incident. Failing to file your claim within the specified Statute of Limitations will legally bar you from pursuing your claim. At BV Law, we can handle your personal injury or property damage claim, and refer you to a worker’s compensation attorney if necessary. 

Filing For Monetary Compensation

To claim compensation:

  1. For Workers’ Compensation: Notify your employer, get medical treatment, and file a DWC-1 claim.
  2. For Personal Injury: Gather evidence, undergo a medical evaluation, and consider hiring a personal injury attorney.

An experienced Oakland back injury attorney is necessary for identifying all insurance coverage. They can delve deep into identifying all parties at fault and uncovering relevant insurance policies, ensuring that you don’t miss out on any potential compensation.

Choosing Your Back Injury Attorney

Finding the right attorney can make a significant difference:

  • Depending on your case, you’ll either need a workers’ compensation attorney or a personal injury attorney.
  • When vetting potential attorneys, ask about their experience with back injury cases, their past successes, their strategy for your situation, and their fee structure.
  • Seek an attorney with a proven track record, clear communication, and a solid community reputation.

Estimating the Compensation

Compensation varies based on several factors: injury severity, quality of life impact, medical bills, lost wages, and intangible aspects like pain and suffering. While workers’ compensation is influenced by disability ratings, personal injury claims can range widely, from thousands to millions, depending on the case’s unique circumstances.

Back injuries can have profound implications on one’s life. While no amount of money can truly compensate for the pain and challenges faced, securing rightful compensation can aid in the healing process. Always consult with an experienced Oakland back injury lawyer to make sure that you receive full compensation.

Factors That Determine Compensation for Back Injury Claims

Back injuries can be a life-altering experience, often leading individuals to seek compensation to cope with medical expenses, loss of income, and the emotional strain that comes with it. While the nature of the injury itself plays a central role in determining compensation, several other elements can sway the compensation amount.

Firstly, the nature and severity of the injury significantly influence compensation. While milder injuries like sprains might result in lower compensation, more severe injuries, especially those requiring surgeries or long-term treatments like spinal cord injuries, often lead to higher compensation.

Medical expenses are a prime consideration. This doesn’t just mean the immediate bills post-injury, but also future medical costs, encompassing expenses from surgeries, physical therapies, chiropractic care, and any other treatments deemed necessary for recovery.

The injury’s impact on one’s professional life is also paramount. Lost wages due to missing work immediately after the incident and potential loss of earning capacity if the injury affects the claimant’s ability to work or earn at the same capacity as before are crucial factors in determining compensation.

The emotional and physical pain post-injury, termed as pain and suffering, also play into the compensation amount. Given that the implications of a back injury can vary widely, this compensation aspect can range significantly based on the injury’s specifics and its long-term consequences.

Moreover, if the injury hampers one’s day-to-day activities or hobbies, the impact on the quality of life comes into the compensation equation. This consideration acknowledges that injuries sometimes rob individuals of enjoying life as they once did, be it in sports, hobbies, or even simple recreational activities. Permanent disabilities resulting from the injury are also factored in here.

In some instances, especially in severe injuries, a partner or spouse might find their relationship with the injured individual strained. Compensation for this is categorized under loss of consortium, acknowledging the injury’s ripple effect on close personal relationships.

For those with severe injuries requiring prolonged treatment, rehabilitation and future care needs are an added financial strain. From ongoing care requirements to extended physical therapies, these anticipated expenses can be factored into the compensation.

Lastly, the skill and experience of the attorney representing the claimant cannot be stressed enough. A seasoned attorney, especially one experienced in back injury cases, can often negotiate more favorable compensation, particularly when dealing with insurance companies or arguing the case in court.

In summation, while back injuries and their implications are multifaceted, by understanding these key determining factors and aligning with a competent attorney, claimants can better navigate the complex terrain of compensation claims, ensuring they get what they rightfully deserve.

Contact Our Oakland Back Injury Lawyers Today!

If you or a loved one has sustained a serious back injury, you could be entitled to monetary compensation. Contact the Oakland back injury lawyers at Bracamontes & Vlasak for your free consultation. We are ready to fight for your legal rights today, so please call us at (415) 835-6777 for exceptional legal assistance.

Are There Limits On Wrongful Death Settlements In California?

If you lost a loved one in a car crash or other accident, only you can understand the pain you are experiencing. Suddenly, someone you count on daily is gone, and your life is in turmoil. While legal action might be the furthest thing from your mind, you may want to consider it if another person caused your loved one’s death.

You will learn below about essential aspects of California’s wrongful death laws, including limits on certain types of settlements. If you want to maximize your financial recovery in a wrongful death lawsuit contact the Oakland wrongful death lawyers at Bracamontes & Vlasak. We have an impressive track record of favorable settlements and verdicts. We are ready to put our formidable legal skills to work for you.

Caps On Wrongful Death Settlements In California

If you file a lawsuit for wrongful death in California, it is natural to wonder if there are caps on the settlement or verdict you can receive. Generally, there are no caps on wrongful death damages, with one exception for medical malpractice cases. In 2023, AB 35 took effect, increasing the cap for med mal wrongful death claims from $250,000 to $500,000. The cap is scheduled to increase $50,000 annually through 2033 to $1 million. Note that the bill is not retroactive and only applies to cases filed on or after Jan. 1, 2023.

Wrongful death cases other than medical malpractice, such as car accidents, and slip and fall mishaps, do not have any cap on damages. The amount of economic and non-economic damages recoverable in a wrongful death case depends on what evidence the loved ones present to the jury about the personal and economic relationship they had with the loved one who died. If you have additional questions about lawsuit damages, talk to one of our Oakland wrongful death lawyers at (415) 835-6777.

California Statute Of Limitations

Like every state, California has a statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death lawsuit. The wrongful death statute of limitations in California is two years from the date of the person’s death. Ensure that you retain an experienced wrongful death attorney well before the deadline. It is always best to retain an attorney early, so they can collect evidence and begin working on the case.

How A California Wrongful Death Attorney Can Help

If you lost a primary breadwinner in your home, you may lack the income to pay your mortgage or rent, utilities, food, college expenses, etc. An experienced California wrongful death attorney can review the case circumstances, determine how the death occurred, and determine if another party could be held liable. While a financial settlement or favorable verdict will not bring your loved one back, it could provide much-needed economic security and a sense of justice for your grievous loss.

You Can Count On Our Oakland Wrongful Death Lawyers

Losing a loved one in an accident is an agonizing ordeal that people rarely anticipate. If it happens, it can devastate you emotionally and financially. No amount of money will ever replace someone dear to you, but money in our system is a form of justice and you may be entitled to justice.

If another party caused the death, you should consider pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit to ensure your family is provided for. You can rely on the Oakland wrongful death lawyers at Bracamontes & Vlasak to fight for your rights and compensation. Call (415) 835-6777 for a free initial consultation today.

How Is Wrongful Death In California Proven?

California’s wrongful death laws allow a surviving family member to file a wrongful death claim to receive compensation when another person’s actions lead to the death of their loved one. Learn below how to prove wrongful death, and if you have questions about a case, the Oakland wrongful death lawyers at Bracamontes & Vlasak can answer them today.

California Wrongful Death Overview

A wrongful death claim can arise from many kinds of accidents, including car accidents, truck accidents, criminal activity, medical malpractice, and exposure to dangerous chemicals. Regardless of why the accident happened, you must prove the following to obtain compensation in a wrongful death claim in California:

  • Your loved one died.
  • The death was caused by someone’s negligence or another person’s intent to cause harm.
  • The surviving family suffered monetary damages because of the death.
  • A personal representative for the deceased’s estate has been appointed.

Proving wrongful death in California only requires you to show a preponderance of the evidence to determine liability. This is a lower standard than beyond a reasonable doubt, which is needed for a criminal trial.

Who Can File A California Wrongful Death Claim?

Those who can file a wrongful death claim in California are the deceased’s surviving spouse, domestic partner, children, and the issue of deceased children. Please consult a wrongful death attorney to determine who has standing to bring the wrongful death claim.

How Long Do You Have To File A Wrongful Death Claim?

California has a two-year statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death lawsuit, stating that you have two years from the date of the deceased’s death to file suit. If you fail to file the claim within two years, the family will probably lose the right to obtain compensation.

What Compensation Can You Receive In A Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

If your wrongful death lawsuit succeeds, you can receive economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages can include:

  • Any financial support the deceased would have provided to the family.
  • Loss of benefits or gifts that the family would have received from the deceased.
  • Funeral and burial expenses.
  • Reasonable dollar value of the household services that the deceased would have provided.

Non-economic damages may include the following:

  • Loss of the deceased’s companionship, love, care, comfort, assistance, protection, moral support, and affection.
  • The spouse’s loss of an intimate relationship with the deceased.
  • Loss of the deceased’s guidance.

There is no cap on wrongful death damages in California in most cases. However, one exception is the cap on damages for medical malpractice cases. For 2023, the medical malpractice damages cap was $350,000 for injuries related to medical malpractice that do not cause death and $500,000 for injuries that resulted in wrongful death.

Contact Our Oakland Wrongful Death Lawyers Today

Did you lose a loved one in an accident caused by someone’s negligence? You could be entitled to compensation for funeral and burial expenses, lost future earnings, loss of comfort, care and guidance, loss of inheritance, and more. Contact our Oakland wrongful death lawyers at Bracamontes & Vlasak. We are ready to fight for your rights today, so please call (415) 835-6777.

Who Can Sue For Wrongful Death?

The wrongful death laws in California allow certain family members to file a wrongful death claim to obtain compensation when a person’s or entity’s actions lead to the death of a loved one. You may be entitled to compensation in a wrongful death action whether the death was because of negligence, such as running a stop sign, or malice, as with a murder. Speak to our Oakland wrongful death attorney at Bracamontes & Vlasak for more information about the state’s wrongful death laws and your case.

What Is A Wrongful Death?

A California wrongful death claim can arise from many situations, including motor vehicle accidents, medical malpractice, workplace accidents, criminal activity, and more. To receive compensation in a lawsuit, you must prove the following:

  • A person died
  • The death was due to someone else’s negligence or desire to cause harm
  • The surviving family suffered financial losses because of the death
  • There is a personal representative for the deceased’s estate that has been appointed

Note that proving wrongful death only requires showing a ‘preponderance of the evidence’ to prove liability. This is a lower standard than needed to obtain a guilty verdict in a criminal case, which is ‘beyond a reasonable doubt.’

Who May Sue For Wrongful Death In California?

CCP 377.60 (a) in California states that the following parties may sue for wrongful death:

  • The deceased’s surviving spouse or domestic partner, and the issue of deceased children. If there is no surviving issue of the deceased, the persons – such as the surviving domestic partner or spouse – can receive the deceased’s property according to intestate succession. Intestate succession means a person who is authorized by the law to inherit the deceased’s property if the person died without a will.
  • The putative spouse, his or her children, stepchildren, or parents, if they were dependent on the deceased. According to the statute, ‘putative spouse’ means a surviving spouse of a marriage determined by the court to have thought in good faith it was a valid marriage.
  • A minor, if, when the deceased died, he or she resided for the previous six months in the deceased’s household and was a dependent for 50% or more of the minor’s financial support.

What Are The Available Damages In A California Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

If you are eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit in California and receive a settlement or favorable verdict, you may be entitled to some or all of the following:

  • Medical expenses to care for the deceased before their death
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • The amount of money the decedent would have earned if they had not died
  • Loss of financial support for the family members who survived
  • Loss of affection and companionship for the surviving family members

How Long Do You Have To File A California Wrongful Death Claim?

You have only two years from the death to file a wrongful death lawsuit in California. If the case is not filed in the appropriate court at that time, the family usually loses the right to file a lawsuit.

Contact Our Oakland Wrongful Death Attorney Today

If you lose a loved one in an accident because of someone’s negligence, the wrongful death laws in California protect you. You may be entitled to compensation for your terrible loss, so please contact our Oakland wrongful death attorney at Bracamontes & Vlasak, P.C., today at (415) 835-6777.

When Is An Independent Fire Investigation Important For A Lawsuit?

If you are a tenant and have a claim against your landlord for a fire, the fire investigation and evidence preservation are critical parts of the case. While many firefighters understand the basics of evidence preservation and will work to preserve the scene to a degree, their primary focus is on fire suppression and ruling out arson. An independent comprehensive fire investigation should often be conducted to determine the cause and origin of a fire with more specificity.

First, the fire investigation team must preserve evidence at the scene. This information is vital to understanding what happened and could be an essential part of a lawsuit. Learn more about fire investigations below, and speak to our California landlord-tenant attorneys if you need help with a claim.

Why Are Fire Scene Investigations Important?

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) offers extensive guidance for fire investigations. Following NFPA guidelines is critical to the investigation and a lawsuit. It also offers a strong foundation for fire investigators whose views on the fire could be challenged in litigation.

What Do Independent Fire Scene Investigators Do?

Fire investigators conduct their investigations within the NFPA 921 guidelines using a systematic approach to inspecting and documenting fire scenes. Investigators carefully study burn patterns, gather and preserve evidence, and document the fire scene. Independent fire investigators also perform comprehensive fire scene investigations, submit reports, and may offer expert testimony in a tenant lawsuit.

Additionally, fire scene investigators often reconstruct, as much as possible, the original condition of the structure, appliances, equipment, and vehicles. This allows them to determine how and where the fire started and understand what could have been altered, removed, or destroyed from the scene before the investigation started.

Pinpointing And Handling Physical Evidence

One of the investigator’s key roles is identifying and handling physical evidence. NFPA 921, Section 17.2.1 states that physical evidence is a tangible or physical item that may prove or disprove a fact or issue. Fire scene physical evidence can be critical to understanding the cause, origin, spread, and the person responsible for the incident.

Physical evidence could be smoke alarms, appliances, sprinkler systems, furniture, portions of burned structures, and machinery. This evidence could show charring or burn patterns that help investigators determine the origin and cause of the fire, which may or may not support a tenant lawsuit related to the fire. It is up to the investigator to decide which evidence must be gathered from the scene.

The Importance Of Evidence Preservation

After fire investigators collect evidence, the next step is to preserve it. NFPA 921, Section states that the responsibility for preserving evidence is with the police, firefighters, and fire investigators. However, improper evidence preservation by first responders and scene contamination could lead to the destruction or loss of physical evidence. This is why firefighter commanders, and later, the investigator should ensure the scene is secure and no unauthorized intrusions are allowed. If a party, such as a landlord, fails to preserve critical evidence of a fire, that could result in an adverse evidentiary presumption in court later.

An independent fire investigation is often critical for determining the cause of a fire, and a tenant claim or lawsuit may hinge on that determination. Working with a landlord-tenant attorney ensures a fire investigation is conducted to provide critical evidence for your case.

Contact Our Oakland Landlord Tenant Attorneys Today

If you are making a claim against your landlord for a fire, an independent fire investigation may be a critical part of the case. Tenants who need assistance with a fire claim or lawsuit should contact our Oakland landlord-tenant attorneys at Bracamontes & Vlasak today for a legal consultation at (415) 835-6777.

What Are Special Damages In A California Lawsuit?

Were you injured in an Oakland accident recently that someone else caused? California law states that every person who suffered injuries or losses because of another person’s unlawful act can receive financial compensation. Learn about special damages in this article, then speak to our Oakland personal injury lawyers at Bracamontes & Vlasak if you have a case.

Two Types Of Damages In A Personal Injury Lawsuit

There are two kinds of damages in a California personal injury case: general damages and special damages. General damages, also called noneconomic damages, includes pain and suffering and emotional distress compensation.

On the other hand, special damages, also called economic damages, refer to medical bills, lost earnings, and additional out-of-pocket costs stemming from the injury:

Medical Expenses

Special damages include medical expenses for the past and future. To prove your damages, you must show the medical costs were reasonably required because of the injury, and that you received them.

Medical expenses can be proven to the insurance company or in court by showing medical bills, the medical diagnosis, and medical records. Your Oakland personal injury lawyer can also call your doctor to testify about your injuries. Or, a medical expert witness can provide this critical testimony.

Remember that the medical bill amount that may be paid in a settlement might not be the total amount on the bill. Many health insurance organizations in California contract with other providers at a lower rate. Your attorney will negotiate the best costs for the medical services rendered. Even if you had insurance and your carrier paid your medical bills, you are entitled to compensation for medical specials because you own the policy and paid the premiums.

Lost Earnings

Lost earnings, lost future earnings, and the inability to earn a living are the other special damages in many personal injury lawsuits. Lost earnings include wages, commissions, bonuses, and other earnings and benefits you would have enjoyed if you were not hurt.

If you have a regular job, you may be entitled to receive this compensation because you could not be at work because of your injuries. Sufficient proof of lost earnings for traditional W-2 employees includes pay stubs, W-2s, and other documents that show your wage or salary.

Loss of future earnings includes what you would have earned at your regular wage or salary if the injury did not happen. This compensation includes benefits, such as Social Security, for lost time. Proving loss of future income requires you to show how long you will not be able to return to your job, and how much you would have earned absent the injury.

Your physician’s testimony usually proves how long it takes to return to your job. They should be able to offer their expert opinion, backed by medical evidence, about what will prevent you from going back to your old job or if and when you can return to work. An economist or other financial expert also can be called to testify to demonstrate what you would have earned.

Contact Our Oakland Personal Injury Lawyers Today

If you were injured in an accident in Oakland, Montclair, or Glen View, you might be entitled to compensation for your injuries and losses. Contact our Oakland personal injury lawyers at Bracamontes & Vlasak today at 415-835-6777 for a complimentary consultation. If another party caused your injuries, we will fight for the best personal injury settlement or take the case to court.

What Are The Most Common Brain Injuries In California?

California Brain Injuries

 You can get many types of injuries in an accident in California. But a brain injury is a severe injury that can affect the rest of your life or even be fatal. Common brain injuries in California are outlined below. If you or a loved one have a brain injury after an accident, contact our Oakland personal injury attorneys at Bracamontes & Vlasak, P.C., for assistance.


A concussion is the most common brain injury after a variety of accidents. A concussion is brain trauma that happens because of a sudden momentum change, impact, or change in direction or movement. Many concussions cause a loss of consciousness. However, you may have less severe symptoms, such as difficulty maintaining balance or confusion. If you watch NFL football this has been a big concern in the league with player safety.

Always seek immediate medical attention if you suspect you or a loved one has a concussion. The concussion could get worse, and even a brain bleed is possible.


A brain contusion is a bruise on the brain. This can happen when you have a severe blow to the head. Brain contusions are common in auto accidents and trip and fall cases. While many brain contusions will heal independently, they can also cause serious medical issues. For example, a minor contusion could lead to bleeding on the brain or blood clots.


Coup-contrecoup is a brain injury that causes trauma to both sides of the brain. For example, in a car accident, the brain can be thrown forward into the front of the skull, then rebounds and hits the back of the skull. Many violent car accidents cause serious coup-contrecoup brain injuries, which can lead to brain damage on both sides of the brain.

Acquired Brain Injury

This brain injury is not caused by a jolt or blow to the head. Instead, it is due to another problem in your body, such as a lack of oxygen, which is called an anoxic brain injury. A brain injury from a lack of oxygen can happen in a medical malpractice case, a fire case from smoke inhalation, near drowning, and other accidents when the brain is deprived of required oxygen or nutrients. There can be severe health consequences if the brain does not receive enough oxygen for a few minutes.

Diffuse Axonal

A diffuse axonal injury happens when the brain structure is torn because of head rotation in an accident. This is a severe kind of concussion; you could have serious headaches, seizures, difficulty walking or speaking, and even memory loss. In the most serious diffuse axonal injuries, severe brain injury can lead to coma or death.


This severe brain injury happens when an object penetrates the skull and brain. This is a relatively easy brain injury to identify because of the apparent external injuries. For example, in a car accident, a penetration injury could occur when your head hits something in the vehicle or a flying object penetrates the skull.

Contact Our Oakland Personal Injury Attorneys Today

If you or a loved one suffered a brain injury in a recent accident, you could be saddled with piles of medical bills and other financial difficulties. The attorneys at Bracamontes & Vlasak, P.C., may be able to obtain compensation for you in a personal injury lawsuit. Contact our Oakland personal injury lawyers for a complimentary consultation at  (415) 835-6777.

How To Prevent Head Injuries In Sports

Children and adults play sports for fun, relaxation, and exercise. But sometimes that fun can turn into tragedy when someone suffers a serious head injury on the field. While there is an understood risk of injury while playing sports, the team, league, coach, or school district must ensure the correct safety procedures are followed.

If you want to avoid head injuries in sports, the tips below will help. But if someone suffers a head injury while playing a sport, the Oakland personal injury attorneys at Bracamontes & Vlasak can help.

Concussion Protocols In Place In California

Most states today have concussion protocols to protect children and teens from head injuries during athletic events. For example, in California, public, private, and charter school students must have limited full-contact practices. Young players also must be removed from the activity if there is a concussion risk.

The school also should follow ‘return to play’ rules to ensure the athlete does not go back and play too fast. For example, a child diagnosed with a concussion cannot return to the sport without getting a medical clearance.

Tips For Avoiding Concussions

First, every student-athlete should wear the appropriate safety gear and helmet when engaging in most sports, such as football and baseball. Proper safety gear should also be worn for biking, rollerblading, skateboarding, skiing, and snowboarding.

Second, headgear is the most important thing to avoid concussions and head injuries. Make sure you always wear an approved helmet during sports that require them. You also should not take excessive risks just because you have on a helmet.

Coaches should teach athletes the correct techniques and skills to avoid head injuries. For instance, in football, it is imperative not to lead with your head when tackling. Keep your head up and lead the tackle with your shoulder, not your head or face.

 When Can You Go Back In The Game After A Head Injury?

The basic answer is when the doctor says you can play again. Concussions are problematic. You could feel like usual, but your behavior, thinking, and balance could be out of whack. Only your physician can tell if you can return to the field. Your doctor should provide you with a written order that you can go back to sports after your head injury is healed. 

You should see your doctor regularly after suffering a head injury in sports. The doctor will see if you still have symptoms and when or if you recover all of your concentration and memory. They also will watch that you do not have symptoms when sprinting, jogging, or doing sit-ups and push-ups.

Call Our Oakland Personal Injury Lawyer Now

If you or a loved one suffered head injuries playing a sport, you could have a pile of unpaid medical bills and significant stress and uncertainty in your life. However, in some cases, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover damages. For example, if the school allowed your child to go back to the field too soon after a concussion, you could have a case. The Oakland personal injury attorneys at Bracamontes & Vlasak are ready to help, so contact our Bay Area attorneys today.

What Is A Policy Limit Demand In California?

Accidents can happen at any time and cause severe injury and monetary losses. In some cases, the accident will result in an insurance “policy limits demand” to the insurer covering the person or business responsible for your injury. In California, pending law changes will affect policy limit demands in Oakland and across the state. Please contact our Oakland personal injury attorneys if you need legal assistance involving policy limit demands after reviewing this article.

What Is A California Policy Limit Demand? 

It is well understood in California that an insurance company should accept a reasonable policy limits demand when there is liability and damages exceed the policy. The concepts of good faith and fair dealing in insurance contracts require the insurer not to expose their client to personal liability if a claim exceeds policy limits. 

California Code of Civil Procedure Sections 999-999.5

California Code of Civil Procedure sections 999-999.5, which takes effect on Jan. 1, 2023, establishes critical statutory requirements for making policy limit demands in the state. The purpose of the new law is to lay out guidelines for using time-limited demands within insurance policy limits to settle civil injury lawsuits for auto, motor vehicle, commercial, and homeowner premises liability claims before filing suit.

A time-limited demand means the following, according to C.C.P 999 (b) (2): “an offer before the filing of the complaint or demand for arbitration to settle any cause of action or a claim for personal injury, property damage, bodily injury, or wrongful death made by or on behalf of a claimant to a tortfeasor with a liability insurance policy for purposes of settling the claim against the tortfeasor within the insurer’s limit of liability insurance, which by its terms must be accepted within a specified period.”

The California statute, Senate Bill 1155, sets the following requirements when a claimant makes a time-limited demand. The demand letter must have the following attributes: 

  • It must be in writing.
  • It needs to be referred to as a time-limited demand.
  • It must provide a minimum of 30 days to accept the demand if it is delivered by email or 33 days by regular mail.
  • It should offer a clear demand to settle the claim within the insurance policy limits, and it must satisfy all liens.
  • It should offer a full release of liability for the incident.
  • It must provide the loss date, where the loss happened, and the claim number, if it exists.
  • It must offer a description of all known personal injuries that the claimant sustained.
  • Finally, it must offer proof of the civil claim and damages and can include medical bills and records.

When the insurance company receives the policy limit demand, it is authorized by the new law to ask for more information or clarification. Making such a request does not mean there has been a counteroffer or demand rejection. If the insurance company opts to reject the demand, the claimant must be informed in writing before the demand expires and the insurer must state its grounds for rejecting the demand. 

Contact Our Oakland Personal Injury Attorneys Now

If you were injured in an Oakland accident, you may be overwhelmed with bills and uncertainty. Perhaps you have lost months of income and have piles of medical bills on the table. What can you do regarding a policy limit demand in your case?

The Oakland personal injury attorneys Bracamontes & Vlasak, P.C., have the experience and knowledge to get you the compensation you deserve. Contact our personal injury lawyers for a complimentary consultation at  (415) 835-6777. Our attorneys serve people who have been injured in Oakland, the Bay Area, and Northern California.

What Are Special Damages In A Lawsuit?

If you are injured in an accident in California, you could be entitled to compensation if someone was negligent. Once the claim or lawsuit has been resolved, you can receive money for your losses. When speaking to a lawyer about your case, there are two major types of damages to be aware of.

Find out below about special damages in a personal injury claim. If you have questions about a case, talk to the Oakland personal injury attorneys at Bracamontes & Vlasak, P.C.

What Are Special Damages?

Special damages refer to out-of-pocket costs you incur after an accident caused by someone else. Special damages also can be referred to as economic damages. The idea behind awarding special damages is to put you in the same financial position as before the accident happened.

The most common special damages are:

Lost earnings

If the accident affects your ability to earn a living, you could receive compensation. You should receive compensation for the work you lost already. Also, you may be entitled to lost earnings in the future. To show you lost income, you must verify that the injury prevented you from working.

Medical bills

These damages are all medical costs from the moment of the accident and into the future. Injured clients need to realize they may be due medical expenses for weeks, months, or years of treatment, not just for treatment in the past.

Out-of-pocket costs

There are other costs from an accident you may not think of. For example, what did it cost you in gas expenses to drive to and from the doctor? What did you have to pay for prescriptions?

Repairing or replacing the vehicle

If you were in a car accident, you could be entitled to having your vehicle repaired or replaced. In addition, if the car contained personal property such as a cell phone or computer, you could be compensated for that.

Rehabilitation expenses

If you need physical therapy and rehabilitation to regain lost function, you could receive money for those expenses.

Funeral costs if a loved one is deceased

You could receive funeral and burial costs if you lost a loved one in the accident. If so, filing a wrongful death lawsuit could be necessary.

Special damages should be calculated. This includes past and future special damages. Your Oakland personal injury attorneys will request your medical and other out-of-pocket expenses. Then, they will add them up with other categories of damages before presenting the negligent party’s insurance company with a demand letter.

Whether you were injured near Oakland Ice Center, Roof Garden, or another Bay Area location, a personal injury attorney can help you get the money you deserve.

Talk To Oakland Personal Injury Attorneys Today

Many personal injury lawsuits are settled out of court. The Oakland law firm Bracamontes & Vlasak, P.C., has helped injured clients in northern California for years to get the most special and general damages in their claims. Our attorneys will also fight aggressively for a favorable outcome if your case goes to trial.

Contact our Oakland personal injury lawyers at Bracamontes & Vlasak, P.C., to learn how we can get the most compensation for your personal injury claim. Our attorneys are pleased to serve clients in Oakland, the Bay Area, and Northern California. Please call (415) 835-6777 to set up a free consultation.

Lawsuits Against Veritas Investments, Yat-Pang AU, And Greentree Property Management Company


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Over the past 5 years Bracamontes & Vlasak, PC, as co-counsel with the Law Offices of Greenstein & McDonald, have successfully prosecuted 7 multi-plaintiff cases against Veritas Investments, Greentree Property Management, and Yat-Pang Au, who owns both companies. The lawsuits have alleged that Veritas and Greentree, at the behest of Au, have engaged in an unlawful business plan throughout the City and County of San Francisco, namely, a modus operandi of attempted wrongful eviction (acquiring large, residential, rent-controlled buildings and immediately commencing prolonged, nuisance construction designed to force out long-standing tenants to profit by raising rents to market).

Cases filed and successfully resolved to date by BV Law and G&M include cases spreading over 45 Veritas buildings on behalf of approximately 175 tenants, i.e., McGlynn, et al. v. 634 Powell I5, LLC, et al. (CGC-18-566137), Stoops, et al. v. 300 Buchanan I3, LP, et al. (CGC-18-566646), Evander, et al.  v. Veritas Investments, Inc., et al. (CGC-18-570435), Consos, et al. v. Veritas Investments, Inc., et al. (CGC-20-585034), Annison, et al. v. Veritas Investments, Inc. (CGC-20-585904), Belman, et al. v. Veritas Investments, Inc., et al. (CGC-20-585954), and Amoedo, et al. v. Veritas Investments, Inc., et al. (CGC-21-589712).

More lawsuits are anticipated in the coming months. For questions about Veritas Greentree litigation, contact attorney Ryan Vlasak.

BV Law Files Lawsuit For 44 Tenants Against Hines Corporation And 41 Tehama LP

October 25, 2022:  BV Law files lawsuit for 44 tenants against Hines corporation and 41 Tehama LP for unfair business practices and wrongful eviction in connection with June and August 2022 major water leaks and tenant displacement at 33 Tehama, San Francisco. A link to the Complaint is provided here. Contact attorney Ryan Vlasak at 415-835-6777 for questions about the case.

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What Are General Damages in a Lawsuit?

general damages

If you are hurt in an accident, you face tremendous uncertainty. How will you cover your medical bills? What about your earnings? Will you need to file a personal injury lawsuit? 

Whether your attorney reaches a settlement or the case goes to court, general damages are one type of compensation you may be owed. California Civil Code 3281 states that every individual who suffers because of an act of another person may be eligible for damages in a lawsuit. Learn more about general damages below, and contact an Oakland personal injury attorney if you have questions. 

General Damages Overview

General damages in a California lawsuit are also referred to as non-economic damages. General damages usually cover: 

  • Pain and suffering: These damages are often the most significant part of a personal injury settlement or verdict award. Your attorney will attempt to determine fair compensation for pain and suffering by showing the types of injury you suffered. Also critical is how long your recovery takes. 
  • Mental anguish: This category refers to your injuries and accident’s emotional and psychological stress. Compensation may be for PTSD, depression, anxiety, and more. Your attorney will probably call on a mental health professional to demonstrate the emotional impact of the accident and injuries. 
  • Loss of your quality of life: If your personal injuries prevent you from, for example, exercising and playing with your children, you could receive this compensation. You may receive money for almost any activity you cannot enjoy now and in the future. 

General damages may be available to you in many personal injury cases. Partnering with a skilled Bay Area personal injury attorney is essential because general damages can sometimes be larger than economic damages. Therefore, having an attorney who can maximize your general damages compensation pays. 

Your attorney will have access to recent settlements and verdicts in California, which can be a way to indicate what your injuries might be worth. 

Economic Damages Overview

General damages are different than economic damages. Economic damages, also called special damages, include:

  • Lost earnings: If your personal injuries affect your ability to make money now or in the future, you should seek compensation. Your attorney will attempt to prove loss of income by using your doctor’s testimony to show you cannot work. 
  • Medical bills: These damages include all the medical costs related to your injuries, both in the past, present, and future. You must show the insurance company or jury proof of your medical and rehabilitation costs, including bills and receipts. 
  • Out-of-pocket costs: This category of economic damages includes the costs you have had since the accident. For example, you may have gas costs to go to medical appointments. Or, you had to come up with co-pays for your treatments and prescripts. 
  • Personal property: These are the expenses for repairing your car or what it was worth if it was totaled. You also may be entitled to compensation for personal property lost in the accident, such as a computer or cell phone. 

Past economic damages can usually be easily calculated, but future economic damages can be more complicated to compute, because it may depend on what medical treatment you need in the future or whether or when you are able to return to work and at what job. It’s important that you work with the right attorney and expert(s) to accurately project all your future economic damages if you are significantly injured. 

General damages are just as objective and real as special damages but only you fully experienced them (i.e., you know your own pain best). Therefore, it is important that you work with the right attorney who can understand your pain and effectively communicate what you are going through to the defense team on your case or to a jury in court. 

For instance, say you are rear-ended at a traffic light and have $25,000 in medical bills and lost wages. These are economic damages that your attorney will attempt to prove with medical bills, receipts, and other documented evidence. 

However, your pain and suffering may be more significant than the bills and could include pain and discomfort, inability to enjoy daily activities, and depression over being injured. These damages could be worth far more than $25,000. It all depends on how much pain and discomfort you endure. Also critical is how long it takes to recover. 

Calculating General Damages in California

General damages require the judgment of people to determine. Also required is good listening, communication and advocacy from your lawyer. The Judicial Council of California Civil Jury Instructions states that the jury should rely on their judgment to determine a ‘reasonable amount’ of general damages based on evidence and common sense. Your lawyer should help inform the jury what constitutes the ‘reasonable amount’ for your situation and injury. 

Calculating compensation for all damages is challenging and complicated in a personal injury lawsuit. Even with medical bills and lost earnings documented, getting the insurance company to pay can be difficult. And with general damages, your attorney must present a strong case. 

It also is essential to have an attorney who is experienced with both settlements and going to court. You never know when an insurance company will dig in its heels and refuse to compensate fairly for your pain and suffering. 

Claims That May Be Eligible For General Damages

General damages may apply to most personal injury claims, depending on the nature of your injuries, including: 

  • Auto accidents
  • Truck crashes
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Slip and fall cases
  • Defective products
  • Medical mistakes and malpractice

Caps on General Damages in California

Fortunately, there are few cases where general damages are capped in California, with the exception of medical malpractice cases. However, in other personal injury claims, there is no cap on your award. 

The lack of a general damages cap for most claims means your attorney can pursue the most damages possible. That is why it is so critical in California to hire an attorney who knows how to determine the full value of your pain and suffering. 

Talk to an Oakland Personal Injury Attorney Today

Many personal injury lawsuits settle before the case goes to court. The Oakland law firm Bracamontes & Vlasak, P.C., has the skill and experience to get you the most for your personal injury case. Also, if your case goes to trial, our attorneys know how to win the compensation you are entitled to. 

Contact our personal injury lawyers at Bracamontes & Vlasak, P.C. to find out how we can help. Our lawyers Michael Bracamontes and Ryan Vlasak are proud to serve Oakland, the Bay Area, and Northern California and work hard to safeguard your rights. Please call (415) 835-6777 to set up a free consultation.

Will I Have To Go To Court If I File A Lawsuit?

If you have been in an accident caused by another party, you are likely saddled with piles of medical bills, debilitating pain, and lost work time. You need compensation for your injuries and wonder if you must go to court if you file a California personal injury lawsuit.  

Many personal injury lawsuits never go to court because the plaintiff’s attorney settles with the insurance company. However, having your case reviewed by an Oakland personal injury attorney is essential to obtain a better idea if your case can settle before a trial. Learn more below about settling or going to court if you file a lawsuit.

Going To Court In California Is Unlikely But Possible

When you are injured, going through a trial for weeks or months to get compensation can be daunting. You have so many personal, emotional, and financial issues to confront that you may not want to deal with going to court.

While about 90% of Bay Area personal injury claims settle, it’s best to have a lawyer who is prepared for trial in order to leverage a fair settlement. More aggressive trial lawyers like the lawyers at BV Law go to court more often than other firms because they expect better results for their clients. While your personal injury attorney will most likely be able to reach a fair settlement with the defendant’s insurance company before trial, beware of firms that never go to trial because they will have to take whatever the insurance company offers on your case. 

Insurance companies are usually reluctant to offer you a fair settlement, at least right away. That is why they are rich and a lot of people are not. It is essential to work with a personal injury attorney with the skills and experience to win your case in court, if necessary. 

Also, there is a difference between making a pre-litigation demand and settling a case after filing a lawsuit. Your lawyer should explain the differences and choose the right strategy for your situation, whether that be a pre-litigation demand, settlement after filing suit, or jury verdict.  

Why You May Want To Go To Court

If you go to court and the jury finds in your favor (i.e., if you win), you will probably get more compensation than a settlement. A settlement is usually a compromise to avoid risk. On the other hand, juries can favor personal injury victims when they were harmed by a bad actor or large corporation engaged in unfair business practices. 

Your case also can bring light and public attention to a social issue that can bring about social change. You may have public policy reasons for a trial, as many settlements entail confidentiality. 

Why You May Want To Settle

Many lawsuits settle before trial because the plaintiff’s and defendant’s attorneys know that going to court is risky. The process can take months, critical evidence could be thrown out, or the decision could be appealed. That is why fewer lawsuits have gone to trial in recent years. As a result, settlements can be less risky and expensive and provide a speedier resolution of your claim.

Contact An Oakland Personal Injury Attorney Today

Many lawsuits result in a settlement before the trial begins. The boutique law firm Bracamontes & Vlasak, P.C., possesses the experience and approach to maximize your personal injury settlement or award. Whether you settle or go to trial, their litigation attorneys are ready to help you.

Contact our Oakland personal injury attorneys at Bracamontes & Vlasak, P.C., to learn how they can help you with your injury case. Attorneys Michael Bracamontes and Ryan Vlasak serve Oakland, the Bay Area, and Northern California and will fight for your legal rights. Please call (415) 835-6777 to set up a free consultation.

What is Joint and Several Liability?

During a personal injury claim, you may come across the term ‘joint and several liability.’ It is a legal principle that holds that each individual defendant in a personal injury case can be held individually liable for the entire accident. In California, there are special rules and regulations in place regarding joint and several liability. Below, our Oakland personal injury attorney provides a more comprehensive guide to joint and several liability in California,


What is A Delta-V in a Car Accident?

A recent report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that car accident fatalities hit a 16-year high in the United States in 2021. If you or your loved one is involved in a crash, you need to know how to protect your rights. You may be entitled to financial compensation through a car accident injury claim. One of the concepts to litigating a car accident claim is Delta-V—a scientific formula used to help determine the severity of a crash. In this article, our Oakland car accident attorneys provide an overview of the key things to understand about Delta-V in auto accident claims.


What is Post Concussive Syndrome?

Concussions are one of the most common serious injuries reported in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that approximately 225,000 people are hospitalized for brain injuries each year. The road to a complete physical, mental, and emotional recovery after a serious concussion can be long and daunting.


33 Tehama Tenants – Legal Recourse

On June 3, 2022, there was a major water leak at 33 Tehama in San Francisco and all tenants were forced to evacuate. There is expected to be substantial property damage and prolonged displacement. BV Law is providing free consultations to displaced tenants about their legal rights and potential legal recourse.

If you are a displaced tenant at 33 Tehama, contact Ryan Vlasak at BV Law for a legal consultation about your options going forward. Call 415.835.6777 today!

What are the Advantages of New California Law Expanding Wrongful Death Damages?

On October 1st, 2021, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill (SB) 447 into law. The bill allows heirs of a victim to pursue general damages (pain and suffering) through a survival action claim. While eligible family members have always been able to recover general damages for loss of companionship, guidance, and comfort through a wrongful death claim, general damages were previously not recoverable through a survival action claim.


What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?

Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are among the most common serious injuries reported in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), concussions and TBIs are a ‘silent epidemic.’ There are approximately 4.5 million TBIs nationwide each year. Nearly 225,000 brain-injured victims require extended hospitalization and, tragically, 60,000 lose their lives.


Will a Homeowner’s Policy Cover A Personal Injury on the Property?

In California, property owners and property occupiers have a legal responsibility to ensure that premises are in a reasonably safe condition to avoid personal injury to guests. You may be wondering: What happens if an injury occurs on residential property, does the homeowners’ policy cover the claim?


California Increased FEHA Claim Statute to Three Years With SHARE Act

The Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) is a California state law that protects employees against workplace discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. For most of its history, FEHA had a strict one-year statute of limitations. Employees had to act quickly to protect their rights.


Can I Recover Money for Pain and Suffering Without Any Medical Bills?

A serious accident can bring your entire life to a screeching halt. In California, injured victims have the right to seek compensation for economic and non-economic damages from the at-fault party, including for pain and suffering. The terms pain and suffering are explained in the California Civil Jury Instructions (3905A). By definition, pain and suffering is intangible damage. It is meant to cover the real, but hard to define loss associated with physical pain and mental trauma.


Court Sides With California Workers Against Mandatory Arbitration

According to a report from Reuters, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of employees in a dispute over the validity of California’s bar on forced arbitration provisions in most employment contracts. In the case of Chamber of Commerce of the US, et al v. Rob Bonta, et al, the appeals found determined that California’s state law does not violate the Federal Arbitration Act. Here, our Oakland employment law attorneys provide a more detailed overview of the decision.


Do You Have to Hit Your Head to Get a Concussion From a Car Accident?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), motor vehicle collisions are one of the leading causes of concussions in the United States. A concussion is a brain injury caused by a blow to the head or the violent, forceful shaking of the body.


Is it Legal to be Fired While on Medical Leave?

Medical leave is a leave of absence that an employee takes to deal with the effects of a health condition. In California, a worker may be legally entitled to guaranteed medical leave. This raises an important question of if your employer can fire you while you are out on medical leave. Technically speaking, the answer is yes. This is only true, though, if the reason for termination is wholly unrelated to the medical leave. In this article, our Oakland employment lawyers explain the most important things workers need to know about state and federal medical leave laws. (more…)

Can You Sue Another Driver’s Insurance Company?

A car crash can change your entire life in a matter of seconds. It can leave you with stacks of medical bills, missing paycheck, and severe pain and suffering. You need money to repair your vehicle, cover your bills, and support your family. This raises an important question: Can you sue another driver’s insurance company after an accident? (more…)

What is Underinsured Motorist Coverage and How Do I Make a Claim?

Having automobile insurance in San Francisco is a wise idea and an important one that will protect you when you are hit and injured in a crash, or if you hit another party on the road. It is impossible to get in your car to go to work, run an errand, take your child to school, or go on a road trip, and know for certain if you will be in a Bay Area car accident.


What is the Statute of Limitations For Personal Injury Lawsuits In California?

What You Need To Know About The Statute Of Limitations For Personal Injury Lawsuits In California

A serious accident can change your entire life in a matter of seconds. Injured victims need financial compensation to pay hospital and medical bills, cover lost income, and support their families. In California, you have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit against any defendant(s) who were at fault for your accident.


Excessive Speed Causes Serious Injuries

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports serve as another unfortunate reminder of how often excessive speed causes serious accidents. For some, this may seem like common sense but when you look at the data on how speed corresponds not only with more serious injuries but also more accidents, it is eye-opening.


Can I File A Personal Injury Claim If I Am Injured As An Oakland Uber Driver?

Many people work as Uber drivers on a part-time or full-time basis in California. A recent report estimates that approximately 210,000 people drive for Uber at least once per quarter in the state. With so many Uber vehicles on the road, some ridesharing accidents are going to happen. You may be wondering: What are my rights if I am injured in a crash while working as an Oakland Uber driver? Here, our Oakland personal injury lawyer explains what you need to know if you were injured in an accident as an Uber driver in California. (more…)

What Are General Damages In A California Lawsuit?

Following a major accident, injured victims need monetary compensation to pay their bills and support their families. In California, you can file a personal injury lawsuit to seek financial relief for the full extent of your losses. Personal injury damages fit into two primary categories: (more…)

What Are Non-Economic Damages?

Dealing with a personal injury can take a serious emotional and financial toll on a victim and their family. Following a serious accident, you need monetary support to cover your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. In California, you have the right to recover compensation for both economic and non-economic damages from the at-fault party.


How New California Employment Laws Protect Independent Contractors

In the fall of 2019, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill (AB) 5 into law to protect independent contractors in California. The primary goal of the legislation is to ensure independent contractors are properly protected under state and federal employment laws. Here, our San Francisco employment law attorneys explain the key things workers need to know about how new California laws protect independent contractors. (more…)

California Tenant Rights – What You Need To Know

Tenant rights protect renters from unlawful acts by unscrupulous landlords. In California, residential tenants have important legal rights. You may have questions about your rights under state or local law. Whether you are a couple days late on your rent, trying to get your landlord to make a basic repair or fighting to get your full security deposit back, it is crucial you know how the law protects you. In this article, our San Francisco landlord-tenant law attorneys highlight four (4) key things to know about tenant rights in California.