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  • If a doctor was negligent in performing a surgery, do I have a case against the doctor?

    The simple answer is, maybe.  Isn’t that just like a lawyer?  But that answer is accurate.  Not all negligent acts by a physician result in a recoverable claim. 

    Let’s look at this through an example.  Sarah has  surgery to remove her gallbladder.  During the surgery, an error is made and damage is caused to an internal organ.  During the surgery, the error is seen and repaired.  The recovery took a bit longer due to the error, but the ultimate recovery was complete.  So was there negligence, and is it actionable? 

    First, with all surgeries there are risks, including possible injury to adjoining organs.  The occurrence of a  known risk is not  negligence if the doctor followed accepted procedures. 

    Second,  even if the doctor failed to follow proper procedures, but that conduct did not cause significant injury, then this error would not result in an actionable claim. 

    Finally, if the doctor improperly performed the surgery and the patient had serious injury as a result of the error, then a claim may exist against the doctor.  The patient would need to prove that the doctor fell below the standard of care accepted in the medical field, that there was significant damage and that the damage was actually caused by the negligence.

    80% or more malpractice cases are lost by the patient.  Therefore, a trained malpractice lawyer needs to carefully review the facts before bringing a claim against any doctor.  David H. Ricks, the principal attorney at the Inland Empire Law Group a Rancho Cucamonga malpractice attorney, has been handling medical malpractice claims for nearly 20 years and can evaluate your case.  Call 1-888-MYIELAWYER or 909-481-0100 to schedule an appointment.




  • How is my property damage resolved when my car is damaged in a California car accident?

    Car accident damages Most car accidents result in some property damage to the vehicles involved in the accident. Not all accidents result in injuries to the occupants of the cars, but other accidents result in both serious damage to the vehicles and serious injuries to the driver and passengers of the cars. So how do you resolve property damage that is partial or the total destruction (total loss) of the car?

    There Are Three Possible Ways to Resolve Property Loss Under California Law

    1. The damage to the car can be repaired and returned to its original condition (or at least as near as possible). The insurance company or the negligent party (if not insured) is to pay for the cost of the repairs.
    2. If the damage to the car is so substantial that the cost to repair the vehicle exceeds the value of the vehicle then you are to be paid the “fair market value” for the damaged vehicle. In many instances, even if the cost of repair is close to the value of the vehicle, the insurance company may still “total” the vehicle just to avoid the possibility of additional unknown costs coming into play as the repairs are made.
    3. The third way is that you just get paid the cost of the repairs and you can decide to have the car repaired or just pocket the money.

    Even though it does not seem fair, it is the responsibility of the person with the damaged car to prove the reduction in the automobile’s value (2 above) or the reasonable cost of repairing it (1 above), whichever is less. Ultimately, you are entitled to the lesser of the two amounts. To determine the reduction in value of the car, you must determine the fair market value of the car before the harm occurred and then subtract the fair market value of the auto immediately after the damaged occurred. For example, if the value of the car was $15,000.00 prior to the accident, but the salvage value of the vehicle after the accident is only $1,000.00, then the reduction in value is $14,000.00. If you give the damaged car to the insurance company, then you will receive $15,000.00.

    “Fair market value” is defined as the highest price that a willing buyer would have paid to a willing seller, assuming:
    1. That there is no pressure on either one to buy or sell; and
    2. That the buyer and seller are fully informed of the condition and quality of the automobile.

    Finally, “It is well established that under [Civil Code] section 3333, the measure of damages for the loss or destruction of personal property is generally determined by the value of the property at the time of such loss or destruction.” Pelletier v. Eisenberg (1986) 177 Cal.App.3d 558, 567.

    A Car Accident Attorney Can Make Sure You're Treated Fairly by the Insurance Company

    So property damage is often resolved with a mathematical calculation with the help of a good auto body repair shop. If the cost does not exceed the value of the vehicle, and the car can be repaired, choose a repair shop of your choice and have your car repaired and require the insurance company to pay for the cost. If the vehicle is a total loss, then determine the “fair market value” of the car at the time of the accident. Settle only for that which is fair and reasonable to you.

    Most property damage claims can be resolved without an attorney. However, if you do not feel you are being treated right or were injured in the accident, consult an attorney and get the right advice and representation to resolve your damages claim.

    Attorney David H. Ricks and the Inland Empire Law Group is an excellent personal injury and liability lawyer and law firm in Rancho Cucamonga and is handling cases throughout the Inland Empire, including the High Desert Region. Please call our firm to discuss your legal rights and how we can really make a difference for you at 909-481-0100 or 1-888-MY-IELAW.

  • Can you lose your license for drinking, possessing or purchasing alcohol without being in your car?

    Teenage drinking and drivingYes.  If you are under 21 and are cited for underage drinking, at a party or some other locations, the State of California has the right to suspend your license, even if you were nowhere near your car.  Any person aged 13 to 21 cited, even if not convicted, may have their license privileges delayed, restricted or suspended for up to one year for each offense involving possession, consumption, and purchase of alcohol.  [V.C. sec. 13202.5; B. & P.C. secs. 25658, 25662(a)].


  • Do I Need Medical Treatment Following a Car Accident?

    Ambulance and medical treatment after car accidentIf you’re involved in a car accident, it is essential that you seek prompt medical attention. Even if you do not feel injured at first, it is still a good idea to get checked out by a doctor, either by your primary physician or at an urgent care or emergency room facility. It’s not unusual for the initial shock of the accident to mask pain or bodily injury until several days later. Other times, injury victims actually feel embarrassed or guilty for having been involved in an accident and don’t want to seek treatment. However, it is generally not their fault and should be proactive to address their injuries from an accident.

    Some automobile accidents result in injuries that are clearly evident, resulting in neck and back injuries, broken bones, bleeding or internal injuries. Immediate medical attention is required and paramedics and/or ambulance services should be utilized to prevent further injury from delayed treatment. You should insist on getting a full evaluation, including, X-rays, MRIs or other internal medical examinations. Expect to receive and take muscle relaxers, anti-inflammatory medications, and pain medication to provide you some degree of immediate relief from the injuries, including muscle strains, pulls, or whiplash injuries.

    Delaying Treatment Will Delay How Soon You’re Able to Heal, and May Harm Your Claim for Compensation

    Delayed therapy and medical treatment following an injury causing accident will most likely result in a poorer recovery or a delayed recovery. Many insurance companies that are defending against your injury claim will use your delayed treatment against you. The insurance company claims that if you did not need to get medical treatment immediately after the accident then you could not have been injured too badly. Since back and neck injuries, which have resulted in herniated disks or other similar injuries, are not always immediately determinable, delayed examination and treatment may result in ammunition for the insurance company to say that something else caused your injury instead of the accident. These injuries often are first diagnosed as "soft tissue" injuries. But after treatment has not resolved the injuries, an MRI or CT scan may be taken to reveal a more serious disc injury.

    After a car accident, this is what you should do: Seek some medical care right away, even if you feel okay at first. Do not delay further treatment when you realize there is something wrong. Follow the treatment protocol advised by the physician or chiropractor. Seek legal advice to determine whether you are entitled to recover compensation to cover the medical expenses, loss of earnings, property damage and pain and suffering compensation.

    Finally, keep detailed records of your injury, treatment and problems from the accident. We naturally forget information over time. This is why you must write down your information then provide it to your attorney so he or she can clearly communicate to the insurance adjuster what you experienced from this accident. It is hopeful that between your journal and the doctor’s records this information will help the attorney establish the causal link between the accident and your injury.

    Medical treatment, even if it is just an examination, is better than not taking affirmative action to treat your injuries. Proactive medical treatment and efforts in recovering from an injury will always be better for you than to ignore your injuries from an automobile accident or some other injury.

    Our Car Accident Attorneys Are Here to Help With Your Claim

    If you’ve been injured in a car accident that was caused by someone else, you may be able to recover compensation for your injuries, the damage to your car, lost wages from missing work, and more. The car accident attorneys of the Inland Empire Law Group are here to help you with your claim. From our offices in Rancho Cucamonga and Victorville, we proudly serve the entire Inland Empire and High Desert region. Get a free, no-obligation consultation today, call 909-481-0100 to get started.