San Diego spinal injury lawyersStatistics from the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center indicate that there are approximately 17,000 new spinal injury cases per year. Many of them were the result of a serious accident, such as a motorcycle accident, car accident, bicycle accident, or pedestrian accident. All of them are at risk for serious and life-long complications. Learn more about the challenges that spinal injury victims face, and how some might be eligible for compensation.

Immediate Consequences and Complications

Spinal injuries can range drastically in severity, going from a minor impairment that may limit the use of the lower extremities or cause a loss of sensation to those that leave the victim bedridden. Some may recover at least some of their motor skills or sensations. Others may never heal. Regardless, the immediate consequences and complications are often similar.

Victims are likely to need extensive medical care, which can result in costly medical bills. They may be unable to walk or care for themselves. Many must also endure the pain and frustration of physical therapy, and depression is extremely common, especially in the initial weeks and months after the accident. In addition, spinal injury victims may have an overall diminished life expectancy because of the long-term complications that may arise.

Long-Term Consequences and Complications

The long-term consequences and complications that spinal injury victims experience are often dependent upon the severity of their injury and the amount of healing they do or do not achieve. For example, individuals who suffer cervical spinal injuries may be bedridden for the rest of their lives, which can place them at risk for conditions like pneumonia, septicemia, and bed sores. Individuals who have only lost partial use of their lower extremities may, instead, be at risk for conditions like urinary tract infections and other diseases of the genitourinary system.

Re-hospitalization is common, even for those that seem to do well in the months after injury. Further, the victim may be unable to return to work, may require round-the-clock assistance, or may experience debilitating depression. These issues can drive up the costs that they experience from their injuries. Thankfully, situations involving negligence may be compensable.

Contact Our San Diego Spinal Injury Lawyers

If you or someone you love has experienced a spinal injury caused by negligence, contact Martinez & Schill, LLP for assistance. Our San Diego spinal injury lawyers aggressively protect the rights of victims and always pursue the most favorable settlement possible. Learn how we can assist with your case by scheduling a free initial consultation. Call 619-512-5995 today.


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San Diego truck accident lawyersLarge, heavy, and difficult to stop, accidents with semi-trucks are often catastrophic. They are also likely to result in severe or fatal injuries for the victims involved. Sadly, many of them can be prevented. Learn more about the causes of semi-truck accidents, and how you may be entitled to compensation if you or someone you love has experienced an injury or fatality, with help from the following information.

Other Road Users a Common Cause

Perhaps one of the most disturbing statistics regarding truck accidents is the sheer number caused by other road users. Often unaware of the limitations of a semi, these drivers may:

  • Drive in the truck’s blind spot,
  • Move to the right of a truck trying to make a right turn,
  • Pull in front of the truck to merge into traffic,
  • Not accelerate quickly enough while merging into traffic in front of the truck,
  • Misjudge the truck’s approaching speed and try to cross or turn in front of it,
  • Abruptly change lanes in front of the truck,
  • Try to pass the truck and get caught in its crosswind,
  • Park a disabled vehicle without fully getting it onto the shoulder, and
  • Drive between large trucks.

In these types of accidents, the driver of the other vehicle may be considered negligent. Sadly, though, they may injure more than just themselves. The truck driver and other road users around the truck are also at risk. Should any of them experience injuries, the vehicle driver may be held liable. However, an investigation would need to be done to determine the direct cause and of the accident. Further, the driver of the truck may have also acted negligently, which creates yet another layer of complexity for injured victims.

When a Truck Driver is Negligent

Although commercial truck drivers are trained to safely maneuver through traffic, not all act responsibly. In fact, drunk and drugged driving are common issues. Distracted driving also occurs. Furthermore, the driver may have failed to follow basic safe driving rules, such as not practicing defensive driving, speeding, or not getting enough sleep. Health complications, such as sleep apnea may also be an issue. In such situations, victims may be eligible for compensation from the driver. Keep in mind, however, that an investigation may still be needed, and there may be other negligent parties involved (i.e. the trucking company, a loading company, etc.).

Contact Our San Diego Truck Accident Lawyers

If you or someone you love has been injured or killed in a semi-truck accident, contact Martinez & Schill, LLP. Dedicated and experienced, our San Diego truck accident lawyers will fight for the most compensation possible. Learn more by scheduling a free initial consultation. Call our offices at 619-512-5995.


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San Diego personal injury lawyersBefore cars, roads were made for people and bicycles. Now there are entire cities where the roads are well-designed for motorized vehicles, but not for the road users who are biking or on foot. Sadly, this has created a sort of baseline for the deaths and injuries among pedestrians and cyclists throughout the country. Now, with the distracted driving issue, those numbers are increasing. Learn what you can do if you or someone you love is injured in a pedestrian or bicycle accident in California.

The Concerning Statistics

In March of 2017, the Governors Highway Safety Association released a statement on the concerning increase in pedestrian deaths over the last year – a whopping 11 percent, which amounts to about 6,000 fatalities. This is just six years after a 2011 study had determined that pedestrian deaths were up three percent from the previous year. Not all pedestrian accidents result in death, however; there are many more accidents that result in serious injury to the victim.

Serious accident injuries can keep the victim from working, or they may result in significant temporary or lifelong disability. Either situation can place their family at a serious risk for financial devastation. Both may entitle the victim and their family to compensation. Bicyclists, who are at an increased risk of death or serious injury in a car crash, may also be entitled to compensation.

Compensation for a Pedestrian or Bicycle Accident

While victims do not have to seek out an attorney for their case, it is highly recommended. Not only will doing so ensure that the victim’s rights and best interests are protected throughout the entire legal process, but it can also relieve some of the stress for victims and their families. An attorney can also decrease the risk of a denied, delayed, or reduced payout. So, if you or someone you love has been injured by a driver while walking or biking, seek legal assistance for compensation related to your:

  • Medical bills,
  • Pain and suffering,
  • Lost time at work,
  • Loss of vitality,
  • Loss of a loved one, and
  • Disability.

Contact Our San Diego Personal Injury Lawyers

If you are looking for an aggressive but compassionate advocate to assist you in your pedestrian or bicycle accident case, contact Martinez & Schill, LLP. Dedicated to protecting your best interests and committed to helping you receive the compensation that you deserve, our San Diego personal injury lawyers will fight for you. Schedule a personalized consultation to learn more. Call our offices at 619-512-5995 today.


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San Diego personal injury lawyersWhen a victim is injured in an accident, or because of someone else’s negligent actions, they have the right to file a personal injury claim against the negligent party. Of course, accidents are not always the fault of just one person. The injured victim may have also acted negligently, which means they ultimately contributed to their own injuries. California uses comparative negligence to balance fault with the actual recovery amount that victims receive. The following information can help you learn more about this law, including how it may impact your case.

What is Comparative Negligence?

Comparative negligence is considered a defense in personal injury cases. It may be used by either the negligent party or their insurance provider to reduce the settlement payout. To be successful in using this defense, the defendant must be able to show that the victim was at least partially responsible for the accident and that the negligent actions of the victim were a substantial factor in the accident that caused the injury. If the defendant can, in fact, provide proof, the victim’s payout amount would be reduced by the percentage of his or her fault.

As an example, a victim who is hit by an intoxicated driver may be able to seek compensation. If the victim happened to be using their cell phone behind the wheel, they could be named partially at fault for the accident. Ultimately, their payout could be reduced by the amount of their fault (i.e. a settlement of $100,000, if reduced by 40 percent for comparative fault, would amount to a $60,000 payout for the victim).

California’s Pure Comparative Negligence

Comparative fault is not the same in every state. Some states have a cap on the amount of negligence a victim can hold before they forfeit their payout (typically 50 percent). Even California used to have different rules. Previously, the state was considered a contributory one, which meant a victim could not receive compensation if they were even partially at fault for an accident (as little as 1 percent). Thankfully, that law was replaced with comparative fault in 1975. Now a victim can receive compensation for an accident, even if they are 99 percent at fault. Of course, that would mean the victim would only receive the 1 percent in damages, but in many instances, that one percent is worth pursuing.

Contact Our San Diego Personal Injury Lawyers

If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident, contact Martinez & Schill, LLP for assistance. Dedicated and experienced, our San Diego personal injury lawyers will aggressively protect your rights and fight for the most compensation possible. Learn more about how we can help with your case by scheduling a personalized consultation. Call us at 951-200-4630 today.


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California car crash lawyersWhen a car crash results in the death of a pregnant mother and her child, the surviving family takes a double hit. Not only have they lost a loving mother or wife, but they have also experienced the loss of an unborn child or sibling. Unfortunately, there are some confusing elements to the personal injury laws in California that could impact the compensation payout for such cases. Learn more with help from the following information.

Wrongful Death of the Mother

When an expectant mother is killed in an auto crash caused by the negligence of another, the family has the right to pursue compensation. Negligence can include distracted driving, drunk driving, speeding, reckless driving, and more. Elements that may be covered under compensation can include:

  • Loss of income,
  • Loss of life,
  • Loss of companionship for surviving spouses,
  • Loss of relationship with deceased parent (minor children), and
  • Pain and suffering.

To improve the overall outcome of a case, and to reduce the stress that the surviving family experiences, it is highly recommended that victims seek experienced legal assistance with their claim. Doing so can also decrease the risk of a denied or underpaid claim.

Wrongful Death of the Fetus

Because a fetus has not reached “person” status under California state law, compensation is rarely awarded to families for the wrongful death of an unborn child. This unfortunate truth remains, despite the perceived viability of the fetus. However, there may be extenuating circumstances that could result in compensation (i.e. the fetus is born alive but then dies shortly after). Preemptive injuries are also a rarity for families that experience injury to an unborn fetus, but each case is unique, and yours may contain elements that make a pre-birth injury compensable. An experienced attorney can examine your case and help determine your options.

Navigating the Painful and Complex Claims Process

The loss of a family member is painful, and the loss of two family members is downright devastating. Thankfully, you do not face your claim alone. Instead, you can seek the experienced assistance of Martinez & Schill, LLP. Understanding of the extreme loss you and your loved ones have suffered, our San Diego wrongful death lawyers will protect your family’s rights and best interest. In every situation, we aggressively pursue the most favorable outcome possible. Schedule your free initial consultation to get started. Call 619-512-5995 today.



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San Diego taxi cab accident lawyersPassengers in taxicabs are at just as much risk for an accident as other vehicle passengers. Unfortunately, there are some extra unique challenges that cab passengers may face when they attempt to pursue a taxicab accident claim. The following explores some of these little-known obstacles and explains how you may be able to overcome them in your case.

Cab Drivers Are Held to Higher Safety Standards

Taxicabs are considered “common carrier” vehicles. Because of this, the state of California holds them to a higher standard of safety. Even the smallest amount of negligence could make the driver responsible for the injury of a passenger, pedestrian, or another road user. Drivers and cab companies are also required to maintain their vehicles to ensure safety. Again, any failure to do so could make them liable for the injuries that a passenger experiences.

Drivers May Not Be Employed by the Company

Unlike other “common carrier” drivers, taxicab drivers are not always employed by a specific company. Instead, many are independently contracted and are only affiliated with the company listed on the side of their vehicle. This can create some complexities in pursuing a claim, and victims often struggle to make it through this confusing process.

Lack of “Employment” May Not Excuse the Cab Company from Liability

Taxicab companies may not always employ their drivers, but that does not necessarily excuse them from fault. There may still be circumstances in which they could be considered liable. For example, if a cab company contracts a driver with a history of driving under the influence and a passenger is injured because of driver intoxication, the company could be held liable.

Multiple Parties Could Be Considered Liable

Cab drivers may not be the only negligent party in a taxi cab accident. Other drivers, pedestrians, truck drivers, and other individuals could also be responsible. While this could ultimately increase a victim’s compensation, it can also increase the complexity of the claim.

Not pursuing one or more negligent parties for compensation could reduce the overall payout. As an example, consider an accident in which the cab driver is considered only thirty percent negligent; the victim may receive a settlement, but the settlement would have been far more if they had pursued the party who holds the additional 70 percent of the fault.

Contact Our San Diego Taxicab Accident Lawyers

At Martinez & Schill, LLP, we fight for the rights and best interests of accident victims. Seasoned and experienced, we can handle even the most complex of personal injury cases. Schedule your consultation with our San Diego taxicab accident lawyers to learn more about how we can help with your case. Call 951-200-4630 today.


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California hit-and-run accident attorneysFew things are more frightening, or harder to deal with, than a hit-and-run accident. Not only were you in an accident and perhaps injured, but you also may not have any idea who crashed into you. Worse yet, you may not have even seen the other vehicle, which could complicate the claim filing process. Thankfully, there are some steps you can take after a hit-and-run accident. Learn them here, and discover where you can find assistance.

Check for Signs of Injury

Your first inclination might be to try and chase down the other driver or talk to nearby witnesses to see who hit you. Unfortunately, following this instinctual desire could make serious injuries worse. Often, adrenaline masks the symptoms of pain or injury, so before you step out of your car, take a few deep breaths and assess your body. Does anything hurt? Are you bleeding? Did you hit your head during the crash? Immediately call emergency responder if you notice any pain, bleeding, or believe you may have suffered a head or neck injury.

Call the Authorities

While it is likely that a nearby witness has already called the police, you should not rely on them to do so. Instead, call them yourself. Let them know where you are, and inform them if your vehicle is blocking traffic but cannot be moved. You should also notify them if you suspect injuries but believe them to be minor. In most cases, they will go ahead and send emergency responders, just to be safe.

Talk to Witnesses and Collect Information

Once you have determined that you are not in immediate danger from any potentially serious injuries, it is safe to talk to potential witnesses of the accident. Gather as much information as you possibly can, including what they saw and their name, phone number, and address. Their testimony may be critical to your case.

Seek Further Medical Attention

Emergency responders tend to deal with serious or potentially fatal injuries. To ensure you are not at risk for insidious injuries that cannot be seen, and to establish a point of injury for other, less severe injuries, it is important to seek additional medical treatment from your doctor. This visit should be made, even if you do not believe you have suffered from anything more than bumps and bruises; internal bleeding, head injuries, and conditions like whiplash can easily be missed by an emergency responder or even you, the victim.

Contact an Experienced San Diego Car Crash Lawyer

Although you can file a personal injury claim on your own, it is highly recommended that you seek the experience and assistance of a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer. Not only does this improve your odds of receiving a fair claim for your injuries, but it could also make the difference between an award of compensation and a denial of your claim. Dedicated to your best interests, our San Diego car crash lawyers at Martinez & Schill LLP will fight for the most compensation possible. Schedule your free consultation by calling 619-512-5995 today.


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The Hollywood Casino recently opened in Jamul, California.  The local community fought long and hard for years to stop this Casino from disrupting this small town and bringing increased traffic to an already dangerous roadway – Highway 94.

According to the San Diego Union Tribune: “Driving rural State Route 94 can be deadly.”  Partner, Michelle Schill at Martinez & Schill can verify the same, after growing up in Jamul and knowing multiple people injured or killed on this dangerous roadway.  According to the California Highway Patrol, there have been 1,150 collisions on Highway 94 from Rancho San Diego to Jamul since 2005 with hundreds of people being injured and twenty-two people killed.

Additionally, to make matters worse, Caltrans allowed the Hollywood Casino to open without completing traffic improvements such as turning lanes, retaining walls and traffic signalization at the intersection.

Diane Jacobs, San Diego County Board of Supervisors, stated: Highway 94 has seen 100 DUI-related collisions in the past decade.  Jacobs went on to call Route 94 a “death trap.”  Prior to the opening of the casino an estimated 17,000 vehicles daily make the commute on the highway starting near Steele Canyon Road and ending at the Mexican border. However, with the opening of Hollywood Casino, Jacob estimated at least 9,000 more trips are projected to be taken on the roadway.

Given the above the number of car accidents on Highway 94 is likely to increase.  As locals know the roadway is dangerous, but many first-time travelers are may be coming from the new casino after consuming alcoholic beverages and then driving on a high speed winding roadway, which creates a significant concern for safety.  Less than one year ago, a motorist died on state route 94, when a driver who was suspected of DUI took a curve in the road too fast on state Route 94 in Jamul causing her vehicle to run off the road and overturn.  There is a real concern that more accidents like this will occur.

Since the opening of the casino six months ago, there have been multiple occasions in which highway 94 has been at a standstill due to traffic.  Thus, far we have not seen any accidents but we fear it is only a matter of time.

If you are involved in an accident on Highway 94 and need legal representation please contact Martinez & Schill LLP at 619-512-5995.

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San Diego TBI lawyersTraumatic brain injury (TBI) has recently been connected to a slew of ongoing issues, including sleep problems, depression, and even a possible increased risk of Alzheimer’s. As more research is done, scientists are discovering more about the strange connection between TBI and other conditions. For example, one study recently revealed that women who have suffered a brain injury may be at an increased risk for mental health issues. What might this mean for your personal injury case? The following information explains.

Taking a Closer Look at the Study

Blast injuries, which are especially common among individuals in the military, have long been associated with an increased risk of post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and other neuropsychiatric disorders. Even more interesting is that men, who are more likely to experience TBI, are less likely to experience such disorders after a brain injury. Yet no one understood why; the recent study sought to change this.

In analyzing mice exposed to mild blast injuries, researchers found that the neuroendocrine stress axis reacts differently in female mice than it does in male mice. This difference could explain why women are more prone to fear and anxiety after a brain injury. Such emotions could also tie into the increased risk of depression and other neuropsychiatric disorders.

Understanding How This May Impact a TBI Case

While the data is still new, and more studies will need to be done to confirm the potential link between TBIs and an elevated risk of mental illness among women, it could eventually be used as a risk factor in personal injury cases. Overall, this could increase the potential compensation that some TBI victims may be owed in their settlements. This may be especially true if it is determined that debilitating disorders are far more common in women than they are in men.

Other factors that may impact the settlement of a TBI victim include:

  • Time lost from work,

  • Loss of vitality,

  • Medical expenses,

  • Long-term disability, and

  • Pain and suffering.

Because the factors are many, and each case is unique, it is important that victims contact an experienced personal injury attorney for assistance with a traumatic brain injury case.

How Our San Diego TBI Lawyers Can Help

At Martinez & Schill, LLP, we understand the difficulties that TBI victims face. Dedicated to the best interest of our clients, our San Diego traumatic brain injury lawyers fight aggressively to ensure they get the compensation they deserve. Learn how we can assist with your head injury case. Call 619-512-5995 and schedule your personalized consultation today.


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San Diego car accident lawyersAlthough single and two-car accidents are the most common, multi-car crashes and pile-ups do occur. Often, such crashes are the result of a chain reaction – one car sets it off, and others may aggravate the circumstances. Unfortunately, this can make determining who is at fault rather difficult. As such, it may be difficult to determine how one can go about pursuing compensation for any injuries they may have sustained. If you or someone you love has been involved in a multi-car accident, the following information may help.

Determining Who is At Fault

While the at-fault driver may be evident in some cases (a red-light runner, a driver who was speeding) in some cases, others may be difficult to discern. It should also be noted that the driver who set off the chain reaction may not be the only one at fault. For example, if a car crashes into a vehicle behind you, and that vehicle hits you, both could be considered liable. So, whom do you file your claim through? This may not be a cut-and-dry decision.

Law enforcement will often investigate the accident to determine who may have been at-fault in a multi-car accident. However, they generally look at all involved parties to determine if more than one driver may have been negligent. A copy of their final analysis may be necessary for those wishing to pursue a personal injury claim.

Taking a Proactive Approach

Since it may not be possible to determine who was at fault for an accident until after the investigation is complete, you may have to act proactively. Gather information from all the drivers, including their plate number, driver’s license number, insurance policy number and provider, personal and work phone numbers, and physical address. You should also attempt to collect information from any witnesses at the scene. Also, request a copy of the police report; this will give you the information you need to follow up on any pending investigations.

Getting Assistance with Your Claim

Legal assistance can be beneficial for any car accident victim, but it can be crucial in situations involving multi-car pile-ups. Not only do you have to submit your claim to the right insurance company, and under the correct policy, you may have multiple claims to file. With all of them considered time-sensitive, the task of going it alone can be overwhelming.

Do not face your personal injury claim alone. Instead, contact Martinez & Schill, LLP for assistance. Dedicated and experienced, our San Diego personal injury lawyers can handle the legal complexities of your case to ensure you and your loved ones have the time to heal. In every situation, we pursue the most compensation possible. Schedule a free consultation to learn more. Call 619-512-5995 today.


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