Personal Injury FAQ

  1. Compensation after an auto accident?

If you suffer a personal injury you'll likely require medical attention and may need rehabilitation. You may lose income because of the injury, and while treatment and recovery takes place. You may have sustained property damage to your car and other property. You may have to rent a car while your car is being repaired. You may lose the ability to perform various activities of normal daily living. You may endure pain and suffering. The law allows you to seek recovery after an accident to "make you whole again." The central concept is that you should be compensated in a manner that, as best as the law can arrange, places you back in the same position as you were before the accident.

  1. What is a wrongful death claim?

A wrongful death lawsuit alleges that the decedent was killed as a result of the negligence on the part of the defendant's, and that the surviving dependents or beneficiaries are entitled to monetary damages as a result of the defendant's conduct.

  1. What is a "slip and fall"?

A "slip and fall" is the generic term for an injury which occurs when someone slips, trips or falls as a result of a dangerous or hazardous condition on someone else's property. It includes falls as a result of water, ice or snow, as well as abrupt changes in flooring, poor lighting, or a hidden hazard, such as a gap or hard to see hole in the ground. If you are on someone else's property and injure yourself as a result of a dangerous condition on the property, the land owner or business proprietor may be liable for your in


What To Do If You Are In An Automobile Accident

  1. If I am in an auto accident, do I have to stop?

Yes. California law says you must stop – whether you are in an accident that involves a pedestrian, a moving car, a parked car, or someone's property. If you drive away, you are guilty of "hit and run," even if the accident is not your fault and even if the only damage is a small dent in a parked car or a neighbor's fence.

  1. Should I call the police if the accident causes injuries or death?

The police officer who comes to the scene will make a written report. If the other person was at fault, this report will help you and your attorney if you are injured and later file a claim against the other person for damages.

  1. What should I do if someone is injured?

The law requires you to give reasonable assistance to injured persons. For example, you may need to call an ambulance, take the injured person to a doctor or hospital, or give first aid, if you know how.

  1. What information should I gather at the accident scene?

The law says you must show your driver's license to the other driver, if he or she asks to see it. You also should be prepared to give your car license number and vehicle registration, the year and make of your car, and the name and addresses of your insurance company. If the car is not yours, give the name and address of the owner as well.

Be sure to get the same information from the other driver. Ask to see the person's driver's license and vehicle registration and copy the information from both front and back. Get the names and addresses of any passengers in the car too.

If there were witnesses to the accident, you will need their names, addresses and telephone numbers. Ask them to stay at the scene of the accident and talk to the CHP or police officer. If they insist on leaving, ask them to tell you what they saw, and write everything down.

If a police officer comes to the scene of the accident, write down the officer's name and badge number. Then ask the officer when you can go to get a copy of the accident report and when it will be ready.

As soon as you can, make a simple diagram of the accident. Draw the position of both cars before, during and after the accident. If there are skid marks on the road, pace them off. Draw them on the diagram, noting the distance they cover. Mark the positions of any crosswalks, stop signs, traffic lights or street lights.

Make notes, too, on weather and road conditions. If the accident happened after dark, say whether street lights were working. Try to estimate your speed and the other driver's.

Be sure to note the exact time and place the accident happened.

If the accident caused a death or serious injury, ask the CHP or police officer to take photographs.

  1. If I think the accident is my fault, should I say so?

Do not volunteer any information about whose fault the accident was. You should talk to your insurance agent, your lawyer or both before taking the blame. You may think you are in the wrong and then learn that the other driver is as much or more to blame than you are. Anything you say to the police or the other driver can be used against you later. You also should not agree to pay for damages or sign any paper, except a traffic ticket, without first checking with your insurance company or lawyer.

However, you certainly should cooperate with the police officer investigation the case. But stick to the facts; do not give opinions. Be as specific as you can without guessing. For instance, if you were driving 30 miles an hour, say so. Do not say, "I wasn't speeding."

  1. Should I see a doctor after the accident?

You do not have to see a doctor, but it may be a good idea to get a check-up. You could be injured, even quite seriously, and not know it right away. If you are in doubt, it is best to at least call your doctor. He or she can help you decide what your medical needs may be. The same is true for passengers in your car. Your automobile insurance may pay for your doctor bills.

  1. Do I have to report the accident?

Yes. First, of course, you may need to call the local police or the CHP. Second, report the accident to your insurance company. Call or go see your agent and ask what forms you should fill out. Get in touch right away to make sure there is no question about your coverage. Ask your insurance agent to help you make other necessary reports on the accident. Third, both you and the other driver(s) must report the accident to the DMV within 10 days and fill out an SR-1 Form if:

a) the damage to either car is more than $750 or

b) anyone is injured or killed in the accident.

You can get the right form, called the Report of Traffic Accident or SR-1 form, from your local DMV office, California Highway Patrol, local police, insurance company or online from the California DMV's Web site.



When someone is arrested for DUI, there are actually two separate cases brought against the accused: a criminal court case and an administrative DMV hearing.

Those arrested for a DUI are generally charged with having violated two separate statutes in the criminal court case. The first statute is driving under the influence in violation of California Vehicle Code section 23152, subdivision (a). The second statute is driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or greater in violation of California Vehicle Code section 23152, subdivision (b).

To avoid lifelong consequences, you must act quickly or your DUI arrest may haunt you long after the initial shock and anger has worn off. You must contact the DMV within 10 days of your arrest to request a hearing.  If you fail to contact the DMV within 10 days your license will be automatically suspended.


DUI Defenses & DUI Defenses to the Breath Test:

  • Contamination can cause inaccurate breath results to occur.
  • Medical Conditions: Reflux, heartburn, burping, belching, regurgitation, GIRD (gastro-intestinal-reflux-disease), Gastroesophageal Reflux-Hiatal Hernia Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) Esophageal Manometry (Esophageal Motility) Upper Gastrointestinal Series (Barium Swallow Test) Barrett's Esophagus, Heartburn
  • Failure to Comply with Procedure: A police officer's failure to conduct a proper 15-minute observation before the test can be crucial.
  • Machine errors
  • Operator errors

Defense and Challenges to the Blood Test Results:

  • Challenges to accuracy are available
  • Gas chromatograph calibration, maintenance, and repair records can reveal startling problems which violate scientific standards and state law requirements.
  • Demand a blood re-test at an independent lab for BAC alcohol level and proper preservation. We consults with qualified experts regarding individual cases to determine whether the accuracy of the reported BAC alcohol level is reliable or not.
  • Was your blood taken by a licensed individual?
  • Was your sample properly preserved by chemical preservatives?
  • Was your sample properly refrigerated? Preservation is crucial because of the specter of fermentation could increase the alcohol level in the sample to be tested.
  • Is the Chain of Custody of the sample properly documented? Did you know that these crime labs routinely analyze multiple samples of different people in the same time frame?
  • Did a qualified licensed lab person do the analysis in the presence of a qualified Supervisor?
  • Was the Gas Chromatograph device properly calibrated, maintained, and repaired according to State law and the terms of the lab's license?



In plaintiff’s suit for negligence under the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur, arising from injuries plaintiff sustained when he fell off of a counter stool at a restaurant operated by defendant, trial court’s grant of defendant’s motion for summary judgment is reversed as, although the presumption of negligence established by Evidence Code section 646 disappears upon the introduction of evidence tending to rebut the presumed fact, the plaintiff is still entitled to rely on the logic of the underlying common law inference of negligence if the evidence supports it, and here, the unrebutted predicate facts were enough to raise a triable issue of material fact requiring denial of defendant’s motion for summary judgment – Howe v. Seven Forty Two Co., Inc., No. B218939

Watch Before You E-mail, Court Says

E-mails are just as binding in real estate negotiations as traditional ink-on-paper contracts, according to a state court ruling in New York regarding a real estate dispute.

“Given the vast growth in the last decade and a half in the number of people and entities regularly using e-mail,” handwriting and e-mail should now basically be considered one and the same, ruled the Appellate Division, First Department of State Supreme Court in Manhattan, N.Y.–which handed down its ruling on Oct. 5, but it mostly went unnoticed by the public. The ruling was appealed this week to New York’s highest court, the Court of Appeals.

The case–Naldi v. Grunberg–stems from accusations of a breach of contract in a commercial real estate transaction. The court’s ruling, which also applies to residential transactions, is expected to bring some clarity to how legally binding e-mail is in real estate.

“As much as communication originally written or typed on paper, an e-mail retrievable from computer storage” is proof of a deal, the court said.

Robert J. Braverman, a Manhattan real estate lawyer, told The New York Times, “you need to be mindful of what it is you are saying in electronic communications.” For example, a broker or seller who uses a phrase such as “$700,000 was more of what I had in mind” in an e-mail “might have a problem,” Braverman says.

Mario J. Suarez, a lawyer at Thompson Hine, says adding a disclaimer on e-mails may help. The e-mail disclaimer may read something like the communications “shall not be deemed an offer, as no documents are binding unless and until executed.”


When people are accused of a crime, they face the terrible prospect of going to jail, or of it affecting future possibilities. Whether you are charged with a misdemeanor or a felony, you cannot afford to waste a moment in obtaining a competent and experienced criminal defense lawyer. Or if you are facing divorce or any other family law issue, you need to receive fast and effective solutions that restore your peace of mind. Family legal issues are emotional and difficult, involving the most personal matters such as relationships and children. You need a knowledgeable, determined and compassionate lawyer who will explain your legal rights in easy-to-understand terms.

Our Criminal Law Representation Includes:

  • DUI and DMV Hearings
  • Misdemeanor / Felonies
  • Assault, Battery
  • Grand / Petty Theft
  • Assault
  • Warrants
  • Expungements/Cleaning Criminal Records
  • Our Family Law Representation Includes:

  • Divorce
  • Child Support
  • Child Custody
  • Separations
  • Domestic Violence
  • Paternity

    Our firm represents individuals who have been injured in car crashes, motorcycle crashes and medical malpractice incidents. We also protect against insurance companies who deny the claims of individuals who have legitimately sustained injuries and pain and suffering and incurred expenses that should have been reimbursed.

    Personal Injury Cases We Represent Include:

  • Automobile / truck accidents
  • Bus accidents
  • Boating and bicycle accidents
  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Hit and run accidents
  • Food poisoning accidents
  • Accidental death
  • Wrongful death
  • Individuals must realize that todays insurance Companies Do not Have their best interest at heart! If your having issues With your insurance Company don’t wait. Call us Today! Law offices of Douglas Borthwick We can Help You settle Today!.