Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)
About Your Personal Injury Legal Case
Q: Can I be compensated for an injury from a car accident in San Diego?
A: California law provides for compensation for lost wages, medical bills, medication costs, pain and suffering, permanent disfigurement, physical impairment, loss of consortium and other reasonable damages in order to put you back as closely as possible to the place you were before the injuries. Also, you are entitled to compensation of your damaged ...
Q: Should I accept a settlement offer from either my insurance company, or the other driver's insurance company if I've been injured in an auto accident in San Diego?
A: Be wary when dealing with an insurance company. Seeking professional advice from an accident attorney in San Diego before accepting any settlement offers is the best way to attain what is fair and reasonable for your car and your bodily injuries. Insurance companies make their money by collecting premiums and paying as little claims as possible. In...
Q: Should I take pictures of my San Diego County auto accident?
A: Yes! Take pictures as both, or all, cars come to rest after the accident. Capture any relevant street signs, landmarks, vehicle positioning, vehicle damage (of all vehicles) and any injuries. Photos may become important if there's any discrepancy as to whose fault it is and/or what damages each party sustained. From there contact a San Diego auto a...
Q: What if I need medical attention after a car cash in San Diego?
A: Always seek immediate treatment immediately if you've been injured in a car crash in San Diego. As soon as you are able, contact a trusted San Diego auto accident attorney for counsel and advice on how to best proceed with your case and any injuries you have sustained.
Q: What is the most important first step to take at the scene of the accident in San Diego County?
A: Identify any eyewitnesses and get their contact information. The police officer may neglect to identify and report any witnesses to the accident. When this happens and the negligent party later denies fault, or tries to blame you for the accident, independent witnesses become indispensable for countering this defense tactic. It is advisable that yo...
Q: What are common types of Auto Defects seen in San Diego?
A: Auto defects commonly responsible for grave injuries in San Diego include blowouts from defective tires, faulty braking systems, insufficient roof supports, poorly or nonfunctioning airbags, sticking gas pedals, unsafe construction of seat backs, malfunction of seat belts, and others.
Q: What is an Auto Defect?
A: When a defect in the design, construction or manufacturing of an automobile causes an accident resulting in injury to the driver or passengers in the vehicle, this is often considered an auto defect liability case.
Q: What should I do, if I believe my car had a defect leading to an accident and injury in San Diego?
A: At Mission Legal Center, our experts will inspect the vehicle, survey the road conditions, and the following to determine fault: Design Defects, Component Defects, and Manufacturing Defects.
Remember, each case is unique, and only an experienced automobile product liability attorney can help you plan a competent strategy for the best possible outc...
Q: What is the statute of limitations for bike accidents in San Diego?
A: The statutory period for a person involved in a bicycle accident to file a claim is 2 years. If the lawsuit to seek damages isn't filed within that period, a judge may deny the claim. There are exemptions to the statutory period, for example, if a person suffered a concussion, and extensions can be granted if injuries from the accident weren't disc...
Q: What should I do if I've been injured in a bicycle accident in San Diego County?
A: If you suffered serious injury as a result of a motorist's carelessness, contact Mission Legal Center. We are San Diego Personal Injury Attorneys with a proven record of success in helping those who have been a victim of a bicycle accident, to receive the necessary medical attention, care and treatment you need, in addition to compensation for futu...
Q: Who is at fault in a San Diego bicycle accident?
A: Although some states conclude that the driver is always at fault in a car vs. bike accident, California is a little different. In San Diego, the fault lands on the negligent party and that party is responsible for all of the damages. According to California law, "everyone is responsible, not only for the result of his or her willful acts, but also ...
Q: What is a Pedestrian?
A: A pedestrian is anyone on foot: walker, jogger, runner; however, sometimes they can include a person on a skateboard, scooter, using skates and a person in a wheelchair.
Q: What kind of vehicles can be involved in pedestrian vs. auto collisions?
A: Motorists (often intoxicated), commercial vehicles, semi-trucks, buses, taxicabs and public transportation vehicles can all result in injury to pedestrians in San Diego. Click here to read more about pedestrian injuries in San Diego County.
If you have any questions about filing a claim regarding an injury you've suffered as a pedestrian in San ...
Q: What should I do if Ive been involved in an accident with an automobile?
A: There are some basic things to do if youve been a victim of an accident:
Before anything else, seek medical attention. There could be serious injuries (like head injuries) that may not be visible or may not cause symptoms right away.
Call the police and have them complete a report.
Take pictures of the scene, the vehicle(s) involved and any...
Q: Who has the right of way, the pedestrian or the automobile in San Diego?
A: In California, pedestrians have the right of way as long as they're crossing legally and safely, like in a crosswalk.
Q: What are the FMCSA Hours of Service (HOS) regulations?
A: These are strict regulations that dictate how long the drivers of passenger-carrying vehicles and property-carrying vehicles may drive without a rest or "off-duty" time. The regulations are specific and must be adhered to, ensuring both public and driver safety.
Q: What can happen when commercial drivers fail to abide by the HOS regulations?
A: Drivers start to experience dangerous and potentially fatal impairments such as:
A delay in reaction time
A lack of attention
A risk of falling asleep at the wheel
A decrease in alertness to dangerous road conditions or other drivers
A loss of vehicle control
Q: What is a commercial truck driver?
A: Commercial truck drivers have specific driver training and have special regulations that control how and when they can drive. These professionals have the responsibility of maneuvering very large vehicles up to 20x bigger than the average passenger car.
Q: What should I do if I've suffered an injury as a result of a commercial truck accident in San Diego?
A: There are 5 important steps that you should take:
Seek medical attention if you are injured. There are many potentially dangerous injuries that can be hidden or may not present themselves at the time of the accident, like head trauma and spinal cord injury.
Take pictures of the scene, any injuries and any damage to vehicles.
Collect any witness...
Q: Am I required to wear a lifejacket while boating in San Diego?
A: Adult boaters are not required to wear a life jacket while on the water. However, every boat is required to carry one size-appropriate, easily accessible life jacket for each passenger.
Q: Are there penalties for boating under the influence of alcohol or drugs in San Diego?
A: Yes. Penalties for BUI are very serious and can include: large fines, revocation of boat operator privileges and jail time.
Q: I'm a kayaker. Should I still have a float plan?
A: All boaters should always have prepared float plans.
If you experience an injury as a result of a boating or watercraft accident, contact Mission Legal Center. We are San Diego, California based Personal Injury and Boating Accident Attorneys. Call for a free consultation and case specific guidance: (619) 564-4455. You may also contact us...
Q: Are there limits on the amount of monetary damages that can be awarded in a wrongful death case in California?
A: In cases where "non-economic damages" are awarded, the State of California caps the amount that may be awarded to $250,000. Non-economic damages include, but are not limited to:
Loss of love and companionship
Loss of affection
Loss of moral support
Loss of training and guidance (restricted to cases of children who survive the death of a p...
Q: Can a petition for wrongful death be filed against a public entity?
A: A wrongful death petition may be filed against a state or other government entity where conditions are present that waive the right of sovereignty.
If you have lost a loved one due to wrongful death, contact Mission Legal Center. We are a San Diego Personal Injury Wrongful Death Law Firm dedicated to helping those who have suffered the loss of a ...
Q: Is there a statute of limitations that will restrict the amount of time that a wrongful death case can be filed?
A: The standard for filing a wrongful death case in the State of California is generally two years. However, special circumstances may provide for an extended filing period of your petition. To better understand if this applies to you, contact an experienced wrongful death lawyer based in San Diego.
Q: What are the economic damages associated with wrongful death cases?
A: Judgments for monetary damages in wrongful death petitions in San Diego County are typically classified in two ways; there are compensatory damages and there are also punitive damages.
Compensatory damages provide compensation directly to the benefit of the heirs or plaintiffs in amounts that are commensurate to a number of different factors, b...
Q: What is a wrongful death lawsuit?
A: A wrongful death is a death in which a person dies because of the action of a person, or group of persons, where if a normal standard of care was applied, the actions would have been avoided.
Q: Who can sue for wrongful death in San Diego?
A: A petition for wrongful death in San Diego County is typically filed on behalf of the deceased, by their estate.
Q: Can I sue for medical bills if I've been hit on my motorcycle?
A: Motorcyclists who have been injured due to another's negligence or wrongdoing may be entitled to compensation for physical impairments, bodily disfigurement, pain and suffering, medical care, future care, payment for lost wages and decreased earnings ability along with compensation for legal fees accrued in pursuit of justice. For more information ...
Q: What are common causes of motorcycle accidents in San Diego?
A: Motorcyclists are often severely injured, or even killed by others on the road as the result of aggressive driving, wherein a truck or automobile driver tailgates, refuses to let motorcyclists change lanes. In other cases, drivers are distracted via texting, using a phone, eating, or otherwise not paying attention. Drivers who fail to check their m...
Q: What are the different types of brain injuries?
A: Brain injuries may include: Acquired Brain Injury, Concussion, Contusions, Coup-Countercoup Injuries, Diffuse Axonal Injuries, Hematomas, Loss of Consciousness, Skull Fractures, Penetration Injuries, and others.
Q: What are the symptoms of Traumatic or Moderate Brain Injuries in San Diego County?
A: Confusion, headache, dizziness, loss of balance, periods of unconsciousness, amnesia, inability to concentrate, changes in moods, blurred vision, ringing in the ears, unusual or bad taste in the mouth, seizures, convulsions, recurrent vomiting or diarrhea, recurring headache, difficulty or inability to wake up, numbness or weakness in extremities, ...
Q: What are symptoms of spinal cord injuries in San Diego County?
A: Symptoms that you may have experienced a spinal cord injury include, Loss of sensation, including the ability to feel heat, cold and touch, loss of bladder and bowel control, difficulty breathing, spasms, pain or intense stinging, body weakness, paralysis in any part of the body, pain or pressure in the neck, back, or head, numbness or tingling in ...
Q: What causes spinal cord injuries in San Diego?
A: The earmarks of a spinal cord injury are bruising, swelling or crushing of the spinal cord tissue. Spinal cord injuries result most often from automobile accidents, violent acts, slips and falls, sports injuries, and other injuries including those that under the influence of drugs or alcohol, as the result of cancer, arthritis or osteoporosis....
Q: How do I know the property owner of a commercial building/business in San Diego is responsible for the dangerous condition that led to my slip and fall?
A: A property owner must have been able to foresee the dangerous condition in order to be held liable.
Q: In terms of slip and fall accidents, what is considered a dangerous condition?
A: A dangerous condition in San Diego County can range from spilled drink on the floor of a public place, to rotting or weakened wooden steps at a house, or apartment. A dangerous condition can be anything that causes injury to another on the property which the property owner should have been reasonably aware of; and the injured victim couldn't have a...
Q: What if I was injured on government property in San Diego County?
A: Determining liability for an injury on federal, state and local government property can be more complicated than on private property, and should be discussed with an experienced San Diego Personal Injury Attorney. To learn more about premises liability cases and injuries click here.
If you or a loved one has been injured on another person's proper...
Q: What is a
A: The most common premises liability cases are those involving a slip and fall accident. Slip and fall cases in San Diego are filed against the owner of a personal or commercial property.
Q: Are dog bite injuries covered under a homeowners or renters insurance policy?
A: Many home owners insurance policies in California provide coverage for injuries sustained after a dog bite, but not all.
Q: Is it more cost effective for me to negotiate on my own behalf after I've been bitten by a dog, rather than use a dog bit attorney for assistance?
A: Typically, insurance adjusters and negotiators will provide settlements that are valued at less than 25% of the case's worth. As a victim, you deserve a settlement that is fair, equitable, and commensurate with the injuries sustained.
Q: Is there a statute of limitations for reporting dog bites?
A: If you have sustained an injury from a dog bite in the State of California, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of occurrence If you have sustained an injury, it is best to file your case as soon as possible. By filing early, you preserve evidence and increase the likelihood of receiving your settlement sooner.
Q: Should I collect information or other evidence from the dog bite incident to help my case?
A: Document injuries sustained in the attack by taking pictures. If possible, also take pictures of the surroundings and the physical injuries related to the attack.
Also document the following:
What happened during the attack?
Was the dog leashed?
Were there witnesses to the attack?
Additionally, report the incident to San Diego County Anima...
Q: The dog is not known to be vicious and is generally friendly, but I still was bitten. Can you help?
A: The State of California, to include San Diego has enacted the "One Bite Rule" law to act as a preventative measure to protect communities. This law makes dog owners responsible for the actions of their dog. For more information about your rights if you've been bitten by a dog in San Diego County, click here.
The personal injury lawyers at Mission ...
Q: What steps can I take to prevent dog bite attacks from dogs in the neighborhood?
A: Refrain from approaching, or allowing your children to approach unfamiliar dogs. Likewise, report stray dogs to San Diego County Animal Control. Avoid disturbing sleeping feeding dogs, and stay away from dogs caring for puppies. It is also wise to prohibit children from playing with dogs unless supervised by an adult
Q: When considering attacks to individuals, are there some breeds that are more dangerous than others?
A: The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has compiled a list of what it considers to be the most dangerous dogs to humans, based on reported attacks.
Q: Can a daycare center in San Diego be held responsible for sexual abuse occurring?
A: Yes. In some instances, in addition, other parties such as employers, apartment complexes, businesses, schools or other property owners may be held responsible for abuse. They may have negligently acted, or failed to act, therefore contributing to the sexual abuse.
Q: What are some examples of sexual abuse crimes in San Diego County?
A: Sexual abuse may include, broadcasting sexual acts or history without consent of one of the parties, child prostitution, child sexual abuse, incest, indecent exposure, knowingly/wittingly transmitting sexually transmitted diseases to others, molestation, rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment, statutory rape, lewd behavior and more.
Q: What can happen if a victim doesn't seek legal action against the offender?
A: If legal action isn't taken against the sexual offender, there is a greater likelihood that they will continue to offend and harm someone else. It's important for the individual in San Diego who committed sexual abuse to be held responsible for the heinous crime they've committed. A civil lawsuit can help the victim and their loved ones recover med...
Q: Can OSHA issue construction workplace citations?
A: Absolutely! OSHA will, and does, issue citations for workplace violations. A few of the most common construction violations citations are for head protection, fall protection and scaffolding.
Q: What causes Construction Site Injuries in San Diego County?
A: Injuries on construction sites result from many dangerous conditions including: contact with hazardous materials, carbon monoxide poisoning, electric shock/electrocution, falls, improper use of protective equipment, machinery accidents, repetitive movement accidents, scaffolding collapses, being struck by an object, trench collapses and more....
Q: What is OSHA?
A: OSHA stands for Occupational Safety and Health Administration, a federal agency under the United States Department of Labor. OSHA's main focus is to protect workers and ensure workplace safety with training, outreach, education and assistance.
Q: What steps can I take to help prevent construction falls?
A: Studies have shown that using safety nets and body harnesses, installing guardrails and control line systems, covering up floor holes and using aerial lifts can help prevent serious and fatal construction site falls.
Q: What types of treatment are available after suffering a construction site injury in San Diego?
A: Cosmetic surgery, dental work, doctor specialist treatment, long term care, nursing care, physical therapy, and rehabilitation. For much more information about construction site injuries in San Diego County, click here.
If you or a loved one has been injured in construction accident, contact Mission Legal Center, a San Diego, CA based Personal Inj...
Q: Can first and second-degree burns cause complications?
A: Absolutely. First and second-degree burns carry the risk of causing an infection like Sepsis (an infection in the bloodstream) as a result of bacteria entering through the broken skin.
Q: How can I safely use a space heater?
A: The Mayo Clinic suggests that space heaters be kept at least 3 feet away from bedding, curtains, furniture and other flammable materials. Also, never leave a space heater on while you're sleeping.
Q: How often should a smoke detector be replaced in San Diego?
A: As long as the smoke detector is functioning properly, it's recommended that detectors only need to be replaced once every ten years.
Q: What are common symptoms of burn injuries?
A: Burns may range from superficial, minor inflammation, redness near the burn site, to blisters, sore burn sites, damage to the skin including thickening. More severe burns, such as third degree burns may present symptoms of a large area of white leathery appearing skin, damage that permeates multiple layers of the skin, and even reaches the bone, or...
Q: What are common types of burn injuries in San Diego County?
A: Burn injuries include chemical burns, extreme or excessive sun exposure, result from faulty ovens, stove, furnaces, microwaves, poor electrical wiring, poor building or home maintenance, scalding from hot liquids/foods, and more.
Q: What is a defective product?
A: A defective product may be something as seemingly harmless as a baby or child's toy, or may include vehicles of all kinds, prescription medications, food items, household appliances, tools, medical devices, heating and cooling systems, and many other commonly owned products frequently cause harm to the average consumer. What defective products all ...
Q: Who is responsible if I am injured by a defective product in San Diego?
A: The sellers, distributors, and manufacturers of these defective products can legally be held accountable for their negligence, breach of warranty, defect in design, improper labeling and much more. To read more about injuries suffered as the result of a defective product in San Diego County, click here.
If you've been injured as the result of a d...
Q: If I've been injured in a train accident in San Diego County, who is responsible?
A: This will depend on specific circumstances involved with your accident. For example, if you are an injured employee of the railroad company, you may have a claim against your employer.
Q: What are common types of train accidents and injuries?
A: Train accidents may result in damage to personal property, derailment causing personal injury to passengers, and release of hazardous products. Trains also may collide with motorcycles, individuals, other trains, or vehicles. For more information about train accidents and injuries in Southern California, click here.
If you or a loved one has been ...
Q: What causes train accidents and injuries in San Diego?
A: Train accidents and subsequent injuries are typically caused by equipment malfunction, human error or conductor fatigue, signal defects, or tract defects.
Q: What is the RSAC?
A: RSAC stands for the Railroad Safety Advisory Committee, a Federal advisory committee under the Federal Railway Administration (FRA). This advisory committee, completely dedicated to railway worker safety, is comprised of representatives from various organizations, including: rail labor organizations, railroads, state associations, manufacturers, su...
Q: What is the Train Horn Rule?
A: It's a federal regulation that mandates the use of horns at all grade crossings, to alert anyone within earshot of an approaching train. A national study showed that crossings that only had flashing lights and gates, without the sound of the horn, had an increased risk of collision by 66.8% than crossings that included the horn.
Q: What is a "common carrier?"
A: It's a broad term for a company whose business it is to transport people or goods from one place to the next, for a fee. Buses, taxicabs and passenger trains are all examples of "common carriers."
Q: What is the statute of limitations for injury compensation for San Diego victims of a bus accident?
A: The amount of time a bus accident victim has to file an injury claim in San Diego can be as little as 6 months, although that depends on several factors. It's important to seek the advice of an experienced personal injury attorney, to ensure the claim is filed in time.
For more information about bus accident injuries in San Diego County, click her...
Q: Who is liable in the case of a bus accident in San Diego?
A: Depending on the cause of the accident, the bus driver, as well as the company he/she drives for, can be liable for damages and injuries sustained by individuals, including property damage in San Diego County. For example, if a bus driver causes an accident while under the influence of alcohol, the company and the driver can be held liable....
Q: Doesn't the public health departments, like the (CDC), track foodborne illness?
A: Yes. The CDC routinely monitors what they classify as important diseases. It's often up to the State to decide which diseases are under surveillance. Usually a person in San Diego who has suffered from a foodborne illness won't see a doctor and so it goes unreported to the CDC.
Q: How do I know if I've been a victim of food poisoning?
A: Symptoms from diseases resulting from food poisoning in San Diego include, diarrhea, flu-like symptoms, gastroenteritis, kidney dysfunction, liver problems, nervous system problems, breathing/respiratory difficulty, nausea and stomach pain, vomiting, and weight loss, to name a few.
Q: Isn't heating food supposed to kill bacteria?
A: Yes, and no. When food is heated to an internal temperature of 160 degrees F, this is enough to kill parasites, viruses and most bacteria. Unfortunately, there are some types of bacteria that can be killed only after boiling. To learn more about food poisoning in San Diego, click here.
If you have suffered from food poisoning after dining in a Sa...
Q: What is APS?
A: APS is Adult Protective Services, a county social services agency in San Diego that, among many other things, looks into reported suspicions of elder abuse.
For more information about nursing home abuse and neglect in San Diego, click here. If you have reason to believe an elder you love is being abused in their home, or in a nursing home, conta...
Q: What is domestic elder abuse?
A: Harm or mistreatment of an elderly person in San Diego and surrounding communities committed by a close relative (spouse, sibling, child), friend or caregiver.
Q: What is institutional elder abuse in San Diego?
A: Harm or mistreatment of an elderly person occurring in a residential facility like an assisted living facility, group home or nursing home in greater San Diego. The violator is typically the legal or contractual caregiver.
Q: Regarding my personal bad faith claim in San Diego County, how long will a negotiation with an insurance company actually take?
A: Settlement negotiations with insurance companies following a claim of bad faith in San Diego can take several days, months or even years. It's important to make sure that your adjuster isn't purposefully delaying the process. That's precisely why a San Diego insurance bad faith plaintiff's attorney should be retained immediately if you've been inju...
Q: What can I do if I feel my insurance company has acted in bad faith?
A: There are laws in place to protect the insured against bad faith insurance claims and you may be able to sue for compensation and punitive damages. It's important to seek the advice of an experienced San Diego Personal Injury Attorney, who has been successful in advocating for victims of insurance bad faith, to ensure the statute of limitations doe...
Q: What types of insurance claims can be made in bad faith in San Diego?
A: All types of insurance claims have the potential to be considered bad faith. The most common types of insurance include: auto, health, homeowner, life, long-term care, pet, renter and worker's compensation.
Q: Which California state agency handles insurance complaints in San Diego?
A: The California Department of Insurance (CDI) handles consumer complaints against insurance companies.
Q: I was injured at a theme park in San Diego, who is to blame?
A: Amusement Park Injuries sustained in Southern California are often the result of park employees or ride operator mistakes or negligence. This may include inattention on behalf of park employees or ride operators, insufficient training of ride operators, failure of park employees and ride operators to follow rules, procedures and regulations, failur...
Q: What should I do if I was injured at an amusement park in San Diego?
A: Because each case is different, it is highly advisable that you contact a San Diego Amusement Park Accident Attorney to discuss your case and protect your rights. If you are able to photograph or video the accident at the park prior to receiving medical treatment, this evidence is likely to work in your favor. Try to collect names and contact infor...
Q: What causes aviation accidents in San Diego County?
A: Weather and mechanical error can be a cause for a plane accident, but pilot error accounts for about 50% of the causes for plane crashes. Pilot errors include loss of control, impairment, distractions, fitness for duty, and procedural compliance. For more information about aviation accidents in San Diego, click here.
If you or a loved one has been...
Q: How do chemicals enter the body in the San Diego?
A: In most cases chemical toxicity occurs through skin contact, ingestion, inhalation and eye contact.
Q: How is chemical toxicity measured in San Diego?
A: The toxicity of a substance varies from chemical to chemical, but largely depends on: how much of the substance is absorbed into the body, the chemical structure and the body's ability to eliminate the substance from the system.
Q: How long does it take for a toxic side effect to appear?
A: This will vary. Some side effects may appear immediately after initial exposure in San Diego. Conversely, side effects may take several years to appear. For more information about chemical environmental poising in San Diego, click here.
If you have suffered harm or an injury following chemical exposure or exposure to environmental toxins in San Di...
Q: What makes a chemical toxic?
A: Chemicals are toxic if they have the ability to cause harmful effects to the human body. Toxic effects can be visible (like a sore, burn or blister) or measured with a test (using a blood test, MRI, x-ray).
Q: Are pipeline markers always placed on top of the actual pipeline?
A: Pipeline markers in San Diego are used to show the approximate location of the pipeline and can't be relied on to show exact location. Read more about pipeline explosions and injuries here.
If you have been a victim of a pipeline explosion in Southern California, contact Mission Legal Center. We are San Diego Personal Injury, Accident and Wrongful...
Q: What is being done to promote pipeline safety in San Diego?
A: There are federal and state regulations in place to help with pipeline safety. The regulations are meant to prevent personal injuries including overseeing: where and how pipelines are built, how San Diego pipelines are tested, how pipelines are inspected, and by whom they are inspected.
Q: What's the Call 8-1-1 System?
A: This is the direct line that anyone, typically construction crews, can use to coordinate a dig (among other things) so that the underground utilities are safely protected from damage, thus preventing injuries to people or property in San Diego.