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Who is Liable in Drunk Driving Accidents?

- SimpleSEO Group

Drivers who are under the influence of alcohol are far more likely to get into an accident than sober drivers. This is because alcohol affects a driver’s ability to control their car, visually track their surroundings, and respond quickly to changes in their environment. Drunk driving is so dangerous, in fact, that it is causes one death every 51 minutes.

Who is liable when someone is injured or killed in an accident that was caused by a drunk driver? There are several different parties that could be responsible for injuries or fatalities that occur in a drunk driving accident. Here’s a look at when each of these parties can be held liable:


Many drunk drivers consume alcoholic beverages at a bar, restaurant, or other public place before getting behind the wheel. In some drunk driving accidents, the alcohol vendor that supplied the driver with alcohol can be held liable for the victim’s injuries.

The laws that hold alcohol vendors liable, known as dram shop laws, vary by state. In California, vendors can only be held liable if the drunk driver was a minor who was obviously intoxicated when they were served alcohol.

For example, let’s say a bartender continues to serve alcohol to a 16-year-old who is slurring their speech and stumbling. The 18-year-old leaves the bar and crashes into a vehicle on the way home, injuring the driver of the other vehicle. In this case, the bar would be held liable for the victim’s injuries since the bartender continued to serve alcohol to a minor that was clearly intoxicated.

Remember, the law only holds vendors accountable for serving minors. This means the vendor would not be held liable in the example above if the driver was over the age of 21, even if they were obviously intoxicated when consuming alcohol at the bar.

Holding a vendor liable in a drunk driving accident case can be challenging. An attorney will need to conduct an investigation to determine where the driver was prior to getting into the accident. Then, evidence will need to be gathered that proves the minor was obviously intoxicated at the time the vendor was serving them alcohol. To hold a vendor liable, it’s important to work with an experienced personal injury attorney.

Social Hosts

Bars and restaurants are not the only places where people can consume alcohol. Many drunk drivers consumed alcoholic beverages at a private residence prior to getting behind the wheel. Someone who serves alcohol within a private setting is known as a social host, and in some cases, the social host can be held liable for a drunk driving victim’s injuries.

Similar to dram shop laws, social host laws also vary by state. In California, a social host can only be held liable if they knowingly served a minor alcohol. For instance, let’s say a family friend serves a 17-year-old boy alcohol even though they are know it is not legal to do so. The 17-year-old then gets into an accident on the way home and seriously injures the passengers in the other vehicle. Because the family friend knew the driver was a minor when they served him alcohol, the family friend can be held liable for the victim’s injuries. Unlike dram shop laws, social host laws do not mention anything about the drunk driver being obviously intoxicated at the time they are served. This means a social host can be held liable even if the minor was not showing any signs of intoxication when being served alcohol.

The Drunk Driver

The drunk driver who causes the accident is typically held liable for the victim’s injuries in car accident cases. This is because personal injury law states that if a victim is injured due to another person’s negligence, the victim can hold the negligent party liable.

Legally speaking, negligence refers to the defendant’s breach of duty of care owed to the victim. Every driver on the road has a duty of care, or legal obligation, to drive responsibly in order to prevent accidents. A driver breaches this duty of care, or fails to fulfill their legal obligation, by driving while under the influence of alcohol. Since driving while intoxicated is negligent, the victim has the right to file a personal injury claim against the drunk driver. If the drunk driver has insurance, the insurance company will handle the claim and be responsible for compensating the victim.

Multiple Defendants

Multiple parties can be held liable for a victim’s injuries in any type of personal injury case, including drunk driving accident cases. For example, let’s say a case involves a bartender serving a minor alcohol who is showing obvious signs of intoxication. The minor then runs a red light on their way home and crashes into another vehicle that is legally making its way through the intersection. In this case, both the driver and the bar would be liable for the victim’s injuries. The bar is liable for serving an intoxicated minor alcohol, whereas the driver is liable for getting behind the wheel while intoxicated.

It’s important to identify all liable parties in a drunk driving case to ensure that you are fairly compensated. But, since the laws regarding liability in drunk driving accidents can be so confusing, it’s best to let a personal injury attorney review your case to determine who is liable.

Have you been injured in a drunk driving accident? If so, contact Carpenter, Zuckerman, & Rowley as soon as possible to discuss your case. Our team of personal injury attorneys will fight tirelessly to recover the compensation that you deserve. Let us handle the legal aspect of your case so you can focus solely on recovering from your devastating injuries.

33 Jury Trial Wins In 2017

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Once again CZR has kept its promise as a leading law firm committed to preserving and further developing the jury trial method of achieving justice for injury victims and families.  CZR shows up for trial when the insurance industry and government refuse to pay.  With 33 jury trial wins in 2017 totaling $182,252,739.67, the trial lawyers at CZR are leading the way for the trial lawyer community and is of the belief that raising the tide for one benefits all.

Court Case (P v. D)Verdict AmountVerdict Date
Blaylock v. Shchwartz Family Holding$131,000,00011/1/2017
Pellock v. Mississippi$10,000,0009/10/2017
Beltran v. Home Depot$8,500,0003/16/2017
Mena v. Perlman$7,100,0009/28/2017
Lopez v. Rich’s Nightclub and XL Staffing$6,500,0008/1/2017
Martin v. Avalon Bay Communities, Inc.$3,000,0007/26/2017
Dixon v. Hunziker$2,548,2444/5/2017
Avila v. Gabriel$2,375,0002/28/2017
Hojjaty v. Zakeri$2,265,0004/6/2017
Frank v. COSTCO$1,500,0005/3/2017
Dombrowski v. Morton$1,384,876.127/31/2017
Avila v. Torres$1,275,0002/28/2017
Hernandez v. LAUSD$825,0009/15/2017
Park v. Oh$500,00012/6/2017
Franks v. Kosecki$465,0003/3/2017
Brown v. Germain$450,0009/24/2017
Ayala v. Super A Foods, Inc.$412,225.528/16/2017
Anguiano v. Home Depot$367,806.923/8/2017
Di Pietro v. Jerrols$234,871.512/1/2017
Cobb v. D’Elia$195,959.767/13/2017
Rivera v. Superior Grocers$191,902.422/2/2017
Hickland v. Smith Fischer$166,643.667/28/2017
Kazemi v. Messmer$150,0004/25/2017
Myung v. Washington$133,0006/17/2017
Cortez v. City of Long Beach$116,00011/22/2017
Lodwig v. Tan & Tan$114,552.931/19/2017
Jauregui v. Walgreens$104,8007/21/2017
Wagner v. Pulido$100,0001/12/2017
Mehrabanian v. Lansing Empire$91,122.945/15/2017
Katz v. Brown$70,00012/14/2017
Strykowski v. O’Loughlin$47,2008/8/2017
Marinovic v. Serrano & Maguin$45,00012/6/2017
Wilson v. Ditzel$23,533.892/14/2017

How to Recover Compensation After A Dog Bite

- SimpleSEO Group

The Los Angeles Times once referred to California as the dog bite capital of the U.S. due to the large number of dog bites that are reported every year. Dog bites may not seem as serious as car crashes or other personal injury cases, but they certainly can be. While many dogs leave minor, shallow wounds on the victim’s skin, some dogs are powerful enough to rip through skin and muscle to create a deep, painful wound. If open wounds like these are not treated properly, serious complications could occur.

Like other personal injury victims, dog bite victims have the right to file a personal injury claim to recover compensation for their injuries. Here’s what you should know about recovering compensation for a dog bite injury in California:

Who is Liable For Dog Bite Injuries?

Each state has its own dog bite laws. California is a strict liability state, which means that dog owners can almost always be held liable if their dog bites and injures someone. Since California is a strict liability state, dog owners cannot try to escape liability by arguing they did not know the dog was aggressive. Even if this is the first time the dog has hurt someone, the dog’s owner is liable.

However, the dog’s owner will not be liable if the victim was trespassing on private property at the time of the bite. In this case, it is the victim’s fault that they were attacked by the dog, who was most likely guarding the property. Dog owners can also avoid liability if they can prove that the victim was provoking the dog prior to the attack.

It’s important to note that the strict liability laws only apply to injuries caused by a dog bite. For example, let’s say a dog aggressively jumps on you and scratches your arms and face. In this case, the dog hurt you, but he never actually bit you. Therefore, the strict liability law would not apply. Instead, the state’s negligence laws that apply to all other personal injury cases would apply. In order to hold the dog’s owner liable, the victim would have to prove that the owner’s negligence directly led to their injuries.

What Should Dog Bite Victims Do Immediately After An Attack

Your first priority should always be your safety, so call for emergency medical assistance if you are seriously injured as a result of a dog bite. If there is a lot of bleeding, apply pressure on the wound with a clean cloth until help has arrived.

Even if you think it’s only a minor wound, it’s best to seek medical treatment from a doctor instead of treating the injury at home. About 50% of dog bites introduce various strains of bacteria into the victim’s body. If the wound is not cleaned properly, an infection can develop that can lead to serious complications. To avoid this problem, it’s recommended that you let a doctor clean the wound.

If possible, try to identify the owner of the dog so you can exchange information with them, just as you would do with another driver after a car accident. In addition to getting their contact information, you should also ask the dog’s owner to provide you with the dog’s vaccination history. This is an important question to ask since it can affect your health. If they don’t have the dog’s paperwork handy, ask them to list the vaccinations that they can remember, and then get the name of the dog’s vet so you can access the dog’s full medical history later on.

If anyone else saw the dog bite you, ask for their contact information as well. Your attorney will need to interview these witnesses later on to determine if they have any information that can be used in your case.

After seeking medical attention, it’s recommended that you file a report with the local animal control agency. This helps local authorities keep track of the dog bites that are occurring within the community. If the same dog has been reported multiple times, the dog could be labeled as a potentially dangerous dog or a vicious dog in the state of California.

Dog bite victims should also document their injuries throughout their recovery. Take photos of the injuries as soon as possible after the bite, and then continue to take photos as the injuries heal. If you can, keep an injury journal so you can document the pain that you are experiencing on a daily basis as well.

How Long Do Dog Bite Victims Have to Take Legal Action?

Dog bite victims need to act quickly in order to recover compensation. In the state of California, victims only have two years from the date of the dog bite to file a personal injury lawsuit. If a lawsuit is filed after the two years has passed, the judge presiding over the case will most likely toss it out.

Do not wait until the two years is almost up before seeking legal representation. It’s best to hire an attorney as soon as possible after the dog bite. It is much easier to gather evidence from the scene of the incident shortly after the accident than it is months or years later. Plus, witnesses may not remember the details of the dog bite if you contact them months after it happened.

Have you been bitten by a dog? If so, contact Carpenter, Zuckerman, & Rowley as soon as possible to discuss your case. Our team of compassionate personal injury attorneys will hold the negligent parties responsible for your injuries. With our help, dog bite victims may be able to recover compensation for their medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Most Common Types of Medical Malpractice

- SimpleSEO Group

Doctors, nurses, dentists, and other healthcare professionals go through years of training before they are allowed to treat patients. But despite all of this training, healthcare professionals can still make mistakes. If a healthcare professional makes a negligent error when treating a patient, this is referred to as medical malpractice. Sadly, medical malpractice can lead to serious injuries that are often fatal. In fact, the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that medical negligence is the third leading cause of death, right behind heart disease and cancer.

There are many different types of errors that healthcare professionals can make when working with a patient. Here’s a look at some of the most common types of medical malpractice:

Misdiagnosis or Delayed Diagnosis

Misdiagnosis, which is sometimes referred to as delayed diagnosis, is the most common type of medical malpractice. Misdiagnosis occurs when a doctor fails to correctly diagnose a patient’s condition. Doctors make this mistake when they don’t spend enough time with the patient, fail to order the appropriate tests, misread test results, forget to review the patient’s medical history, or don’t listen when the patient describes their symptoms.

Misdiagnosis can seriously affect a patient’s health. For example, let’s say a doctor misreads a patient’s test results and tells the patient their tumor is benign when it is actually cancerous. The patient will not start to treat the cancerous tumor since they are under the impression that it is benign. By the time another doctor catches this error, the cancer may have spread to other areas in the patient’s body.

Medication Errors

Patients can also be harmed by medication errors. A medication error can be made by a doctor, nurse, or even a pharmacist. Some medication errors occur when a doctor accidentally prescribes the wrong type or amount of medication. In other cases, the doctor prescribes the right medication, but the nurse administers the wrong type or amount of it.

Medical professionals can also be held liable when they prescribe or administer a medication that could have a negative interaction with another medication the patient is taking. Drug interactions can be dangerous, which is why doctors need to be incredibly careful when reviewing patients’ charts and prescribing medications.

Anesthesia Errors

Anesthesiologists are responsible for administering anesthesia to patients who are about to undergo surgery. If an error occurs during the administration of anesthesia, the patient can suffer immensely. Some examples of anesthesia errors include:

  • Giving the patient too much or too little before or during an operation
  • Not monitoring the patient’s condition after the anesthesia has been administered
  • Failing to discuss preoperative procedures with the patient prior to the surgery
  • Not looking into the patient’s medical history prior to the surgery to determine if the patient will have a bad reaction to anesthesia
  • Not recognizing that the patient is experiencing complications from anesthesia

Anesthesia errors are not as nearly as common as misdiagnosis errors. But, even a small anesthesia error could lead to serious life-threatening injuries.

Pregnancy and Childbirth Errors

The healthcare providers that treat pregnant mothers are responsible for caring for the lives of both the mother and the unborn baby. Healthcare providers should closely monitor the mother’s condition throughout her pregnancy and identify any conditions that could harm the baby, such as preeclampsia or gestational diabetes. If these conditions are not diagnosed and the mother or baby is injured as a result, the doctor could be liable for medical malpractice.

Most medical malpractice cases that fall under this category are related to injuries that occur during childbirth. As soon as the mother goes into labor, the doctor and team of nurses need to closely monitor her condition. Healthcare providers should recognize and immediately respond to any signs of distress shown by the mother or baby. If immediate action is not taken, both the mother and baby could be seriously injured. Sadly, babies can quickly lose oxygen and suffer permanent brain damage as a result of a healthcare provider’s inaction.

Doctors can also be held liable if they make mistakes when pulling the baby out of the birth canal. If a doctor forcefully grabs the baby or uses a tool incorrectly, the baby could suffer temporary or permanent injuries.

Surgical Errors

Another common type of medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare professional is operating on a patient. There are many different types of surgical errors. A surgeon could accidentally perform the wrong type of surgery, perform the surgery on the wrong person, or perform the surgery on the wrong part of the person’s body. Sometimes, surgeons accidentally leave tools inside the patient after the surgery is over. Although this is not as common as other errors, it is one of the more dangerous mistakes that a surgeon can make.

Another type of surgical error occurs when the surgeon’s nurses and assistants fail to properly prepare for the surgery. These healthcare professionals are responsible for sanitizing all of the surgeon’s equipment prior to the surgery. If an unsanitized tool is used to perform surgery, the patient could develop a serious infection.

It’s important to note that not every problem that arises during surgery is medical malpractice. Every surgery carries a unique set of risks that doctors should tell their patients about prior to the operation. A problem that is not one of these known risks, but rather is a preventable error or mistake, is medical malpractice.

Have you been injured as a result of a negligent healthcare provider? If so, contact Carpenter, Zuckerman, & Rowley as soon as possible to discuss your case. Our team of personal injury attorneys has years of experience representing clients in medical malpractice cases. Let us fight for the compensation that you deserve for your injuries.


Nick Rowley Interviewed About The Destiny Reyes Case

- SimpleSEO Group

Nick Rowley, trial lawyer for little Destiny Reyes, speaks on camera about Destiny Reyes, a young girl who was injured in a car accident, and how he and his trial team stepped in to fight for justice against a large insurance company to ensure she would receive compensation for her injuries and be able to receive the medical attention she needs now and for the rest of her life.

Listen along to the interview below: