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Our Recent Blogs

Understanding Wrongful Eviction in California

If you have been evicted from your rental home in a way that violates local or state tenant laws, you may file a lawsuit against your landlord for wrongful eviction. However, you need to have an in-depth understanding of the legal process and the law in order to prove that the actions of your landlord were illegal and you suffered damages for which you should be compensated. The best way to ensure that your wrongful eviction case is presented in the best possible light is to work with an experienced San Francisco tenant lawyer.

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Understanding the Duties of a Bay Area Landlord

Residential landlords are businesses or individual property owners that rent out houses, condos, or apartments in exchange of money. When a residential landlord in San Francisco, Oakland or Berkeley rents out their property to a tenant, it is essential for the rented space to be habitable, or in other words, fit to live in. During the tenure, the landlord is required to take care of maintenance work and carry out repairs whenever necessary to ensure the rented property remains habitable.

The legal duties of both landlord and tenant are generally laid out in residential leases. Whether or not the landlord and tenant make a written agreement (or have an oral rental agreement), the obligation to carry out these duties remain in place as they are enforced by California tenancy laws.

Duties of a Landlord in San Francisco

A property is considered untenantable if it lacks any of the following standard characteristics and is a residential unit as elucidated in California Civil Code section 1941.

  • Gas facilities should be in good working order.
  • Effective weather protection and waterproofing of exterior walls and roof, including unbroken doors and windows.
  • Heating facilities should be in good working order
  • Plumbing facilities should be in good working order, such as having cold and hot running water and proper connection to a sewage disposal system.
  • Proper trash receptacles in good repair.
  • Clean and sanitary appurtenances, grounds, and building
  • A proper electrical system, including equipment, wiring, and lighting, in good working order.
  • Railings, stairways, and floors in good repair.
  • Each residential unit should have a locking mail receptacle, as required by California’s Health and Safety Code.

In addition to the above, the following must be available in the rented property:

  • A kitchen with a sink that should not be made of an absorbent material.
  • A wash basin, working toilet, and shower or bathtub. These must be in a room that allows for privacy and is ventilated.
  • Emergency exits leading to a hallway or street. Stairs, exits, and hallways should be litter free, and basements, garages, and storage areas are required to be kept free of combustible materials.
  • Working smoke detectors in all residential units and common stairwells.

These are just minimum requirements, and there may be other conditions that may render a rented property inhabitable. For example, if the residential unit does not comply with the safety guidelines of building and housing standards that may affect the health and safety of tenants.

California has some of the most strict tenancy laws in the entire country. Both tenants and landlords have been given certain duties and responsibilities that are enforced by state law, even if there is no written residential lease in place to define them. Local Bay Area rent ordinances in San Francisco, Berkeley, and Oakland impose additional obligations on landlords and provide for civil statutory damages when landlords do not live up to their obligations to tenants. As a tenant paying high rent in the Bay Area it is important to know the legal rights you have by paying rent.

If you want to get more information regarding the legal obligations of a landlord in tenancy related matters, please contact Bracamontes & Vlasak today at 800-392-1427 to schedule a free consultation.

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Bike crash claims life of 9-year-old elementary school student

A California family who recently relocated from another country is devastated by the death of their 9-year-old son. Family and friends gathered to hold a vigil for the deceased boy two days after he was killed on a recent Friday. This bike crash reportedly occurred at an intersection in Irvine. (more…)

The Ghost Ship Warehouse Tragedy: Who’s at Fault?

The Ghost Ship warehouse tragedy has captured the attention of the nation as new facts come to light every day. (more…)

New Rent Control Laws Strengthen Tenant’s Rights in Oakland, Berkeley, Richmond and Mountain View

After the November 8, 2016 election, voters in Oakland, Richmond, and Mountain View have successfully amended or created some form of rent stabilization or eviction protection legislation.

New Oakland Rent Ordinance Amendment

 
Oakland’s Just Cause for Eviction Ordinance and Rent Adjustment Ordinance has been amended by Measure JJ to require landlords to file a petition with the Rent Adjustment Program prior to any rent increases above the Consumer Price Index and has expanded the Just Cause Eviction Protections for buildings built before 1996. The new amendments will go into effect on February 1, 2017. (more…)

Pedestrian killed in hit and run crash in Bakersfield

A woman was killed in an accident in Bakersfield on a recent Sunday morning. This was one of those sad situations in which a person who had too much to drink struck a pedestrian and then drove off without checking on the victim. The person who was the alleged hit and run driver was later located and arrested.

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Car wash company faces premises liability claim after fall

California business owners who offer services at which members of the public can move about their premises must ensure that no hazards exist that may cause physical harm. Known hazards must be addressed, and if they cannot be rectified or removed, clear warning signs must be posted. Injuries suffered on dangerous property may lead to premises liability lawsuits. (more…)

Man killed in California bike crash

Traffic in both directions of a roadway in the California city of Fontana was delayed for several hours on a recent Wednesday morning. This followed a fatal bike crash in which a cyclist lost his life. An incident report indicates that the accident occurred shortly after midnight, and police have confirmed the identity of the cyclist. (more…)

Bike crash follows rider traveling on wrong side of the highway

Road users in California will always be at risk of suffering injuries in accidents regardless of the form of transport. However, a victim of a bike crash will likely suffer more severe injuries than a person who has the protection of a car. Bicycle accidents sometimes result in catastrophic injuries such as brain trauma and internal injuries that may even be fatal. The circumstances of a bicycle accident will determine financial liability in a resulting civil lawsuit. (more…)

Berkeley cyclist suffers critical injuries in bike crash

According to the California Highway Patrol, 10 bicycle accidents had been reported from 2001 through 2014 at a particular intersection in the Berkeley Police Department’s jurisdiction. It was also reported that almost 10 percent of employed Berkeley residents use bicycles to commute. The safety and convenience project for cyclists have reportedly not been updated since 2005. Every bike crash serves as a reminder that an updated plan is overdue. (more…)

Child’s traumatic brain injury might have been avoided by CPR

California residents may have empathy with a child in another state who is fighting for his life in a hospital after he was hit by a car. He apparently suffered a traumatic brain injury because none of the bystanders at the accident tried to do CPR after he was struck. A spokesperson for the Red Cross says CPR is actually easy to do and can even be done without breathing into a victim’s mouth when people feel uncomfortable doing so. (more…)

Jury awards $90,000 to amputee in medical malpractice suit

California residents, like those in other states, have the right to medical care of an acceptable standard. This means that no one should be worse off after medical treatment than what they were before. Unfortunately, many medical malpractice lawsuits result from such circumstances. (more…)

Fatal pedestrian accident kills California great-grandmother

A California family is grieving the loss of a beloved great-grandmother who lost her life while crossing a South Sacramento road. At the same time, they are grateful that her great-granddaughter was not with her on that day. The family says the grandmother walks that route every day, usually with the child in tow. The California Highway Patrol is investigating this fatal pedestrian accident. (more…)

Medical malpractice suit: Settlement reached over death of fetus

The debate about when a fetus can legally be regarded as a person sparked arguments in a recent lawsuit in another state. California readers may be interested in this medical malpractice lawsuit that was recently settled shortly before the trial. The suit was filed by a couple who alleged that the doctor caused the 2011 death of their fetus at 22 weeks. (more…)

Pedestrian accident in crosswalk sends 2 to hospital

Under the vehicle code of California, vehicle operators are required to slow down and take due care in yielding the right of way to pedestrians who are in marked crosswalks. Unfortunately, not all drivers obey this law. A Petaluma driver was recently arrested after a pedestrian accident in which two people suffered injuries. (more…)

Premises liability suit after stairway fall on dangerous property

Just like in other states, owners of commercial properties in California are bound by law to provide safe premises in and around stores, parking lots and apartment buildings. Slip or trip and fall accidents can happen anywhere and often wreak havoc in the lives of injured victims. Negligent maintenance can result in a dangerous property condition that may lead to premises liability claims. (more…)

Alleged medication impairment causes fatal pedestrian accident

Drivers on medication can threaten their own lives and the lives of others. A 34-year-old California woman recently lost her life in a pedestrian accident that was caused by a driver who was alleged to be under the influence of prescription drugs. Authorities reported that the fatal accident occurred in the late afternoon of a recent Sunday in San Diego County. (more…)

Medical malpractice suit follows death caused by clerical error

Many California families have lost loved ones due to medical errors or negligence. Such unanticipated deaths often leave surviving family members with many questions and the desire to hold somebody accountable. A woman recently filed a medical malpractice claim against a hospital, two physicians and several other parties in another state following the avoidable death of her husband. (more…)

Premises liability claim follows death in staircase collapse

When a 26-year-old California man went to visit a friend in an apartment complex in July, the staircase collapsed while he was on his way to the third floor. The man died after falling from a height of more than two stories. The surviving family of the deceased man recently filed a premises liability lawsuit, claiming wrongful death. (more…)

Medical malpractice: Parents claim option of abortion was denied

Lawsuits against medical professionals and facilities for wrongful deaths of patients are not uncommon in California. However, wrongful birth or wrongful life lawsuits are quite unique. In a recent medical malpractice claim against a Long Beach medical center and a doctor, those are exactly the alleged claims. (more…)

Palo Alto man loses his life in bike crash when struck by car

Bicyclists are always more vulnerable than motorists, even if they are wearing helmets. For this reason, it is not surprising that bicycle accident victims often suffer severe injuries, and in many cases a bike crash can result in death. A recent bicycle accident in Palo Alto claimed the life of a man believed to be about 30 years old. (more…)

Premises liability: Restaurant sued after Shigella outbreak

Almost 100 people may have been affected by a Shigella outbreak that has been traced back to a Mexican seafood restaurant in San Jose. Two lawsuits have been filed against the California restaurant and more may follow. When business owners expose patrons to dangerous conditions, they may have to face premises liability claims. (more…)

Fatal pedestrian accident involves motor home in parking lot

Several pedestrians were recently involved in an unusual accident in a San Juan Capistrano parking lot. An officer of the California Highway Patrol indicated that the pedestrian accident occurred when a 54-year-old man tried to maneuver a motor home into a parking spot in a park-and-ride lot. Several pedestrians were nearby, waiting for public transportation. (more…)

Teenage car accident: NHTSA urges parents to set good examples

Far too many teenagers suffer life-threatening injuries on California roads. With National Teen Driver Safety Week around the corner, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has urged parents to have regular talks their teens about driving safety. Many a car accident, hit-and-run collision or bicycle accident caused by negligent teenage driving resulted from bad examples set by adults. The NHTSA believes that ongoing conversation about the dangerous aspects of driving may ultimately serve to save lives. (more…)

Car accident: Pedal error may have caused crash into gym

Older drivers in California are governed by a law that prevents motorists from renewing their driver’s licenses by mail once they turn 70. Those applicants have to complete a mandatory vision and written test at a DMV office. A driving test is not compulsory, but it can be ordered by a DMV worker or suggested by police, family members or doctors. After a recent car accident in Livermore, the number of pedal errors by elderly drivers is raising concern. (more…)

Rear-end accidents often cause traumatic brain injury

It is not uncommon for many victims of car accidents in California and elsewhere to refuse medical care — especially when there is no evidence of blood or broken bones. However, the impact of a car accident can cause a brain injury that might not be immediately evident. A school teacher in another state recently described why she would never again take a seemingly minor crash lightly. (more…)

Premises liability suit follows slip and fall outside elevator

Owners of buildings in California are responsible for providing safe surroundings for tenants, visitors and anybody who is lawfully on the property. Neglecting those responsibilities may lead to premises liability claims against the property owner and/or others in control of the premises. One such lawsuit was recently filed against the owner of a condominium complex in another state. (more…)

Class Action Lawsuit Filed On Behalf Of Volkswagen Owners

Bracamontes & Vlasak, P.C. will be filing a class action on behalf of Volkswagen owners affected by VW’s emission scandal. The EPA and California Air Resources Board have accused Volkswagen of intentionally defrauding both consumers and regulators concerning the amount of pollutants that its diesel powered vehicles emit. Volkswagen is said to have installed software that detects when the vehicle is being tested and, only at that time, activates the car’s emission controls. When the car is operated under normal driving conditions, none of the same emission controls are active. VW is recalling all affected models and the EPA is seeking fines and penalties against the manufacturer. (more…)

Child injured in bike crash, car driver blames blinding sun

California drivers are sometimes challenged by weather conditions such as heavy downpours or blinding sunlight. However, a driver must be equipped to drive safely in all conditions. A child was recently severely injured in a bike crash, and the driver who knocked him down claimed to have been blinded by the sun. (more…)

Chris Brown and nightclub face premises liability claim

In January, a VIP event was organized to celebrate the birthday of the manager of recording artist Chris Brown. The venue was a California nightclub that was selected after two previously selected venues reportedly declined to host the occasion. Those venues were reportedly warned by police of potential violence, as was the nightclub that ultimately hosted the party. As was expected, violence broke out during the evening, and it ultimately led to a premises liability claim. (more…)

Car accident: Delayed injury symptoms may lead to high expenses

Injuries suffered by California victims of accidents that involve vehicles are often ignored because no broken bones or bleeding wounds are evident. However, there are several injuries that are known to present delayed symptoms that could ultimately lead to high medical expenses. Regardless of whether a person was in a car accident, bicycle or motorcycle accident or a pedestrian accident, medical evaluations immediately after the incident may ensure timely care. (more…)

Hit and run driver located, child fights traumatic brain injury

An 11-year-old boy is reportedly slowly recovering in the intensive care unit of a California hospital after he was knocked off his bicycle on a recent Monday evening. The boy was reportedly riding with friends when the hit and run accident occurred. His friends suffered no injuries and reported that the woman who struck the boy stopped and yelled at them before driving off. (more…)

Father with brain injury advocates against underage drinking

A husband and wife couple in another state is advocating against underage drinking. The husband was a police officer until a 19-year-old decided to get behind the wheel of a car while he was drunk and smashed into the officer’s patrol car. The tragic accident occurred in October 2010. The accident killed one officer and caused traumatic brain injury to the other officer, and it forever changed the lives of several families. (more…)

Bike crash: Hit-and-run driver causes critical injuries to teen

The 14-year-old daughter of a family who is on vacation in California is fighting for her life in a trauma center in Newport Beach. She suffered critical injuries in a bike crash that occurred on a recent Tuesday evening. Police reported that this was a hit-and-run accident, and the driver was still at large at the time of the media report. (more…)

After brain injury, 18-year-old has to wear medical helmet

One of the leading causes of disability and death in the United States, including in California, is traumatic brain injury. Despite calls for motorcyclists, bicycle riders and sports participants to wear helmets to protect their heads, catastrophic head injuries — and deaths — of people who prefer not to wear helmets continue to be reported. A June incident in another state left a high school graduate with a severe brain injury after he went long boarding without wearing a helmet. (more…)

Pedestrian accident: Driver strikes 6-year-old boy on skateboard

Losing a child in an accident is an experience not wished upon any parent. A California family has to cope with such a tragedy after their 6-year-old boy was recently killed in a pedestrian accident. The incident reportedly occurred on the property of an apartment complex in Santa Ana at which the young boy and a friend were riding their skateboards. (more…)

Victim of California bike crash succumbs to injuries after 5 days

Drivers on California roads may not always be as observant as necessary. This is evident from a fatal bike crash that also involved a passenger vehicle. The victim of this accident was a 63-year-old man from Palo Alto. (more…)

Premises liability: Woman sues airport after trip and fall

Those who manage places such as airports have an enormous responsibility to provide safe surroundings. The high number of people moving about airports nationwide, including California, greatly increases the potential for someone suffering a personal injury while on the premises. An airport company, a maintenance company and a city in another state were named defendants in a premises liability lawsuit that was recently filed by a couple after the wife allegedly suffered injuries when she fell to the ground. (more…)

Pedestrian accident kills 54-year-old woman in California

Pedestrians in California are vulnerable, especially when they are out walking in foggy and misty weather conditions. Motor vehicle operators must be able to drive safely in any circumstances and cannot be distracted by weather conditions. In fact, they must be extra vigilant and operate their vehicles in accordance with prevailing conditions. A pedestrian accident recently caused the death of a woman in such circumstances when she was struck by an automobile. (more…)

Medical malpractice suit follow delayed diagnosis of cancer

Cancer survivors in California may agree that they might not have beaten the disease had it not been diagnosed in a timely manner. Misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis are some of the common errors made by medical professionals, and unfortunately, the results often lead to prolonged suffering or untimely deaths. A doctor and a home health care company in another state are facing a medical malpractice lawsuit related to allegations of a delayed diagnosis.

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Medical malpractice lawsuit follows blindness after eye surgery

The smallest mistake made by a doctor can have devastating consequences. California residents have the right to take action to seek recovery of financial damages brought about by doctors’ negligence. A couple in another state has done so by filing a medical malpractice lawsuit against two ophthalmologists. (more…)

Were you displaced by the Mission & 22nd Street fire in January?

On the evening of Jan. 28, a three-story, mixed-use building on the corner of Mission and 22nd streets caught fire. It was a three-alarm blaze that wasn’t contained until after midnight and continued to smolder. One person died in the fire and at least six more were injured by smoke inhalation. At least 60 residents of the building and at least 15 businesses were displaced. (more…)

Not only sports people are at risk of suffering brain injury

California readers will likely know that brain injuries are prevalent among sports people; however, anybody can be a victim of such injuries. Pro cyclist Ian Crane suffered a severe brain injury while he participated in the USA Pro Challenge in August of last year. He was riding behind a crew vehicle that was associated with the race when the car unexpectedly stopped. Ian collided with the rear of the vehicle and was sent flying into its rear window. (more…)

Pedestrian accident: Underage driver admits to fatal hit-and-run

Families who lose loved ones in hit-and-run accidents typically have many questions. One question that will likely never be answered is how a driver could simply drive off after killing another person. A California family is heartbroken after a 53-year-old loved one was killed in a pedestrian accident on a recent Wednesday morning. (more…)

Salmonella outbreak leads to medical malpractice lawsuit

Losing a child is an experience not wished on anybody. The newborn son of a California couple died in a Modesto hospital only 43 days after his birth in 2012. The family has had to cope with many unanswered questions since that sad day. Three years later, they were provided with some answers that resulted in their filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. (more…)

Unexplained 7-hour surgery may prompt medical malpractice suit

A surgical procedure that lasted for seven hours caused the Medical Board of California to look into the actions of a surgeon and physician in Merced. Whenever surgery is suggested, the doctor is expected to discuss the procedure and alternative treatment options with the patient. Leaving a patient uninformed may give rise to a medical malpractice lawsuit. (more…)

80-year-old hospitalized after pedestrian accident on bike path

After improvements to the Mill Valley-Sausalito Path had been completed, officials launched a program to promote safety for everyone who uses the pathway. The program is called Share the Path and aims to encourage cyclists and pedestrians to be responsible and courteous while using the pedestrian/bike trail. Despite this campaign, an elderly woman was injured in a pedestrian accident when she was knocked down by a bicycle rider on a recent Tuesday evening. (more…)

Health club sued for premises liability after treadmill accident

The California Third District Court of Appeal recently overturned an order for summary judgment issued by a Superior Court judge. The case involves a premises liability claim made by a non-English-speaking member of a health and fitness club. The woman claims to have suffered severe injuries when she a fell from a treadmill at the defendant’s premises. (more…)

Understanding the severity of a brain injury can be difficult

Brain injuries can result from various causes, including blunt force trauma, whiplashes, falls and assault. Being exposed to toxic substances or deprived of oxygen can also lead to traumatic brain injury. Unfortunately, in some cases, even the most advanced medical techniques cannot reverse the damage, and some California families may spend years hoping for miracles to improve the conditions of injured loved ones. (more…)

Gangrene after pinky surgery leads to medical malpractice claim

It is not uncommon for residents of California and elsewhere who suffered injuries to want to give it some time to see if the pain will subside. Ignoring pain may not be a good idea, as it could lead to conditions that are even more serious. A California man whose injured finger caused relentless pain filed a medical malpractice claim against a doctor’s office, claiming a doctor’s mistake. (more…)

Loss of consciousness and traumatic brain injury affects memory

The findings of a recent study show that decreased verbal memory can be the result of loss of consciousness (LOC) at the time of suffering a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). Many veterans in the U.S.A. — including some in California — who served in other war-torn countries suffer various consequences. This study determined that those with mild traumatic brain injury can also be diagnosed and treated. (more…)

Father injured, 3-year-old killed in California bike crash

While many California residents have crashed while riding bicycles at some point in their lives, few may be aware of the increase in the severity of such crashes when vehicles are involved. Bicycle riders have no protection against the weight and force of cars, and it is not uncommon for such a bike crash to lead to catastrophic injuries and even death. When a pickup truck recently struck a bicycle in Kings County, a child lost his life, and his father suffered severe injuries. (more…)

Medical malpractice: $17.8 million judgment for medication error

One of the biggest fears most people in California and other states have for their unborn or newborn babies is the presence of abnormalities or conditions that are present or are caused at birth. Unfortunately, congenital diseases are not uncommon, and when such a condition is present at birth, the appropriate treatment immediately after birth is vital. A medication error or doctor’s mistake at that stage could adversely affect the child for the remainder of his or her life. (more…)

Cyclists and motorists may be responsible for bicycle accidents

Authorities in California and other states believe that both bicyclists and motorists should obey the rules of the road in order to reduce the numbers of fatalities and traumatic brain injuries suffered by bicycle riders. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s records show that the high number of 682 deaths in bicycle accidents in 2011 rose to an even higher number of 726 in 2012. A police officer in the crime prevention department of another state notes that safe driving habits by all can improve the situation. (more…)

Young mother brain-dead, baby injured after pedestrian accident

Car accidents that cause life-threatening injuries to pedestrians are naturally tragic affairs. Nevertheless, some such accidents may seem more tragic than others. A 21-year-old California mother of an 11-month-old boy was declared brain-dead a few days after she and her baby were hit by an SUV in a recent pedestrian accident. (more…)

Cal/OSHA exposes risks that may lead to medical malpractice

California residents who need dental care may be interested to learn about the risks to which they may be exposed when they visit dentists. After receiving a complaint from a worker who felt his or her safety was threatened at the dental practice where he or she worked, the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal/OSHA) assigned an inspector to investigate the claim. It was ultimately determined that not only employees, but also patients, were exposed to life-threatening hazards caused by the dentist’s disregard for safety regulations. Such negligence may lead to patients filing medical malpractice claims. (more…)

Video: Is workers’ compensation the only option after a workplace accident?

If you were injured on the job, you might think that workers’ compensation insurance is your only avenue of recovery. Under what is called the “exclusive remedy rule,” recovery and benefits related to a workplace accident are generally limited to those secured under the workers’ comp system. (more…)

Unsterile medical devices may lead to medical malpractice claims

Hospital officials in California reported the death of two patients and the illness of five others after contaminated duodenoscopes were used in surgical procedures. Such incidents often give rise to medical malpractice lawsuits against medical facilities, doctors and the manufacturers of medical devices. By inserting these devices down a patient’s throat, the duodenum area can be reached via the stomach and problems in the pancreas, liver and bile ducts can be diagnosed and treated. Following these incidents, the Food and Drug Administration announced that it will be beefing up the procedures whereby manufacturers test reusable medical devices. (more…)

California bicycle accidents: Woman, 30, struck on Highway 1

When motor vehicles and bicycles collide, it is not uncommon for cyclists to suffer life-changing or catastrophic injuries. Fractures, back and/or neck injuries and traumatic brain injuries are all too common results. Victims of bicycle accidents caused by the negligence of another party are fully entitled to pursue claims for recovery of monetary damages in a California civil court proceeding. (more…)

Video: Avoid an eviction after a 3-day notice to pay rent or quit

Before filing an unlawful detainer action – commonly known as eviction – in San Francisco, a landlord must issue a three-day notice. If you receive notice to “pay rent or quit” from your landlord, it is crucial to understand your legal options and take action as soon as possible. (more…)

Premises liability: What to do after suffering a dog bite

When California residents are attacked by dogs on other people’s properties, they retain the right to pursue compensation for the resulting medical expenses. However, as a premises liability claim can take a long time to process, there are some steps to be taken immediately after the incident. Regardless of the severity of the injury, accurate records should be kept as evidence to protect the rights of the victim. (more…)

Medication error leads to patient’s blindness

Most people would expect a facility such as the University of California at San Francisco Medical Center to have proper procedures in place for controlling the supply chain of medicines. However, this facility was recently penalized after the state Department of Public Health found there was a lack of safety in obtaining and storing medicines. In addition, procedures in distributing and dispensing of medicines were also handled in manners that could lead to a medication error. (more…)

Carbon monoxide poisoning may lead to premises liability claim

The extreme cold conditions of winter pose dangerous risks, not only to stranded travelers and the homeless, but also to California homeowners and those renting apartments. A case where six occupants of an apartment building in another state suffered carbon monoxide poisoning may underscore the importance of landlords ensuring proper maintenance of their buildings. Premises liability claims may follow incidents where tenants suffered personal injury or worse as the result of a landlord’s negligence. (more…)

Distracted doctoring can lead to medical malpractice claims

Patients in California hospitals would naturally hate to have to compete with their doctor’s smartphone for his or her attention. Advocates of patient safety are concerned about the increasing number of incidents where patients are harmed by medical errors of physicians and other healthcare personnel who are distracted by their cell phones. A significant number of medical malpractice lawsuits in recent years arose from such distractions. (more…)

The consequences of a brain injury can be life-changing

Brain injuries are commonly caused by accidental head injuries, such as is often suffered in car accidents. The number of brain injuries in California and other states are rising, and according to the American Academy of Neurology, approximately 1.5 million people in the U.S. were living with a brain injury by the end of December of last year. Although many brain injuries result from sports activities, a large percentage result from vehicle accidents — including motorcycles, ATVs and bicycle accidents. (more…)

Medical malpractice claim may follow alleged medical negligence

Women who have medical conditions that may endanger the lives of mother and child need to be able to trust their physicians completely during pregnancy to avoid additional stress. In some cases, doctor negligence may have devastating consequences. Medical malpractice claims may result from injuries or death caused by medical errors or negligence. (more…)

Distracted driving can cause a life-altering brain injury

The number of distracted driving accidents on California roads, along with their devastating consequences, are causing rising concern. Although it is unlawful to text or talk on a handheld mobile device while driving, many car accidents caused by texting drivers occur on a regular basis. A victim of such an accident, who suffered a traumatic brain injury and lost both her parents, recently described how the accident had changed her life. (more…)

State, county, city and driver sued after pedestrian accident

In California, the right of way in crosswalks belongs to pedestrians. However, many motorists disregard this law and rush through intersections regardless. Unfortunately, the consequences of a speeding or distracted driver causing a pedestrian accident are often catastrophic. Vehicle drivers must be cognizant of road signs warning them of upcoming pedestrian crosswalks, as a moment’s distraction may cause a driver to be unprepared for pedestrians in a crosswalk. (more…)

Proving medical malpractice after a failed or erroneous diagnosis

When California residents suffer unfamiliar symptoms, they typically consult with a physician. Most people trust the doctor’s years of training and experience to enable him or her to make an accurate diagnosis of an illness. However, this is not always the case as doctors sometimes fail to accurately diagnose the condition, and at times, an incorrect diagnosis is made. Such doctor errors may lead to medical malpractice claims. (more…)

New California law may reduce concussions and brain injury

Brain injuries occur in a number of different sports, including football, ice hockey, boxing, soccer and snowboarding. Repeated concussions pose potentially dangerous long-term effects, and more than 4,500 former professional football players took legal action against the NFL last year, claiming it failed to inform players of the dangers of repeated brain injury from head bumps and concussion. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that almost four million students at high schools nationwide suffer injuries to their heads annually. (more…)

When tourists become injured in a pedestrian accident

Thousands of visitors choose to spend their vacations in San Francisco every year. Because of the large volume of traffic on San Francisco roads, pedestrian accidents are regular occurrences and may spoil an otherwise perfect holiday. A tourist who has suffered injuries in a pedestrian accident while on vacation may be at a disadvantage if he or she delays taking legal action to pursue compensation. (more…)

Are you considering filing a medical malpractice claim?

California residents who believe that they are suffering the consequences of a medical professional’s negligence may consider taking legal action. However, this area of the law is very complex and determining whether you have a valid medical malpractice claim may prove to be more difficult than you thought. Will you be able to prove that a medical professional made an error that could have been prevented? Even if you are convinced that you have reason to file a lawsuit, it may be wise to consult with an attorney who is experienced in the field of medical malpractice. (more…)

Parking lot injuries often lead to premises liability claims

It is not uncommon to suffer personal injury in the parking areas of California shopping malls, businesses and apartment complexes, or parking garages. The owners, lessees and/or managers of such properties are responsible for maintaining parking lots free of personal injury hazards. When individuals suffer injuries that are caused by the negligence of those with responsibility for the premises, they are entitled to pursue claims for recovery of any resulting damages by filing a premises liability claim against the appropriate parties. (more…)

Steps to take to pursue fair compensation after a bike crash

California bicyclists are likely aware of the dangers they are exposed to on the busy roads of our state. The consequences of a bike crash can be life-changing and may include fractured bones, internal trauma, catastrophic injuries or brain damage. Sadly, fatalities are also not uncommon in bicycle accidents. Victims of bicycle crashes may decline medical attention immediately after an accident, but should keep in mind that some injuries only become apparent later, and a thorough medical examination may benefit any future claim. (more…)

Bus crash kills one – causes severe head injuries to many others

A chartered bus crashed just south of the California Oregon border killing one person and causing severe head injuries to many others. Earlier that same day, the driver of the bus, Jose Victor Garcilazo, had crashed into a Denny’s restaurant. While no one was injured during the earlier crash, it is unknown why Mr. Garcilazo continued driving. The California Highway Patrol have not stated whether drugs or alcohol were a factor in the deadly crash. (more…)

What common factors can contribute to a pedestrian accident?

Pedestrians who are struck by motor vehicles commonly suffer severe injuries, and even death is a high probability. Accidents involving pedestrians and vehicles remain a serious problem on California roads. Statistics show that more pedestrian accidents happen in urban areas than in rural areas, and although many pedestrian accidents occur at crosswalks and intersections, more occur in other areas where vehicles travel at higher rates of speed. Another interesting fact is that most fatalities and injuries for pedestrians are recorded in the late-night hours on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. However, official sources say that children and elderly people are most vulnerable to being a victim of a pedestrian accident. (more…)

Unauthorized treatment may lead to a medical malpractice lawsuit

Most California residents experience anxiety when they are diagnosed with an illness that requires unfamiliar treatment. In such cases, most patients trust their physician to fully explain the illness and treatment. The patient should have the right to decide ultimately whether he or she wants to go ahead with the procedure or treatment. Unauthorized treatment may lead to a medical malpractice lawsuit. (more…)

How do I prove negligence in a premises liability claim?

Premises liability claims in California may arise from numerous dangerous conditions that could be present on public property or the premises of home or store owners. The hazards could include staircases that are poorly lit or without handrails, uneven or damaged walkways, wet floors and defective elevators. Inadequate security, dog bites and falling merchandise have also been known to lead to premises liability actions. (more…)

Seeking recovery after brain injury may prove to be complicated

California residents who have a loved one who is suffering the consequences of brain damage may be overwhelmed by the complexities of gathering the necessary information to pursue recovery of damages. When a brain injury is caused by the negligence of another party, the medical expenses could be astronomical, and in many cases ongoing for many years. While insurance companies may be quick in offering settlements, victims may be wise to retain the services of an experienced personal injury attorney to ensure full and fair compensation. (more…)

What are your rights when it comes to premises liability?

Anytime a California resident enters a public place such as a store, apartment building or other public building, the owners and managers are required to take reasonable steps to ensure your safety. When those steps are not taken, someone could be injured. If you suffer an injury while on the property, you may be entitled to seek damages under premises liability laws. (more…)

New San Francisco Rent Ordinance Amendment Regulates Tenant Buyouts

The San Francisco Administrative Code (Rent Ordinance) has been amended by adding Section 37.9E to address tenant buyouts. The new section is designed to respond to the housing crisis in San Francisco and provide information to tenants concerning buyouts in their neighborhood, their right to legal counsel, and to require that landlords file buyout agreements with the Rent Board for public disclosure. Pursuant to new Section 37.9E of the San Francisco Rent Ordinance, tenants also have 45 days to rescind buyout agreements entered into, and have the right to file civil suits against landlords who fail to provide the required disclosures about tenant’s rights when negotiating a tenant buyout. (more…)

Pedestrian accident in California kills small boy

Pedestrian accidents can often be severe enough, but when a child is killed, it can create massive amounts of emotional pain for the parents. If the accident is a hit-and-run, it can make the act of coming to terms with their loss even more difficult for the parents, as they are not able to face those at fault. One recent pedestrian accident that killed a child in California was a hit-and-run, but two individuals have recently turned themselves in. (more…)

Study suggests marijuana may help prevent death from TBI

When people play sports, such as football and baseball, they typically wear helmets to protect them from brain injuries. However, there are some instances where California residents do not wear a helmet to protect themselves from injury. One such instance is when individuals are within an enclosed motor vehicle on a roadway. While a car offers a certain level of protection, it cannot always protect against a traumatic brain injury, or TBI. (more…)

Driver crashes into coffee shop in California pedestrian accident

Car accidents involving pedestrians are often, by their nature, severe. The pedestrians involved in these types of accidents can be left with serious injuries — or worse — since their size and lack of protection cannot compete with that of a vehicle. Unfortunately, a recent pedestrian accident in California injured multiple victims. (more…)

California pedestrian accident injures 2

A car accident involving a pedestrian can leave the pedestrian with physical injuries, but if the driver leaves the scene of the accident, it can often cause emotional pain as well. This emotional pain can impact the victim’s daily life in a major way, and even hinder the individual’s ability to heal hir or her physical injuries. Unfortunately, one driver ran away from the scene of the pedestrian accident that she had allegedly caused in California. (more…)

California pedestrian accident kills mother in front of child

Pedestrian accidents occur every day throughout the United States and often have varying injury severity. The small profile of pedestrians can make it difficult enough for most drivers to see them, but if a driver is intoxicated, it can be even more difficult to see pedestrians. Unfortunately, this can often lead to accidents that injure or even kill the pedestrian involved. A pedestrian accident in California recently killed one woman. (more…)

Pedestrian accident in California kills 1 person

Car accidents that involve multiple vehicles can sometimes be serious enough to injure those involved, but if a pedestrian is involved, the severity of the accident can increase rapidly. The lack of protection that a pedestrian has, combined with the numerous cars involved, can often leave the pedestrian with serious or even fatal injuries. If the pedestrian is tragically killed, then the family of the victim can suddenly be flooded with emotional pain from the loss of a loved one. Unfortunately, one person was killed recently in a pedestrian accident in California. (more…)

Pedestrian accident in California may be caused by DUI

Although drinking alcohol in moderation is socially acceptable in certain environments, it is never acceptable or safe for an individual to drink alcohol and get behind the wheel of a vehicle. Impaired judgment can put both the driver’s and others’ lives at risk when an intoxicated person decides to drive, as that impaired judgment can easily lead to an accident. These accidents can often injure or even kill those involved. Unfortunately, one pedestrian accident in California may have been caused by drunk driving. (more…)

Pedestrian accident in California kills 1

Pedestrian accidents are not uncommon on the various roads that wind through the United States, but the severity of these types of accidents can vary greatly. If the accident occurs at relatively low speeds, the injuries suffered may only be minor, however the severity of the accident can be increased rapidly if it takes place at high speeds. These high speeds combined with the lack of protection that a pedestrian has can leave the victim with serious or even fatal injuries. One pedestrian accident in California recently killed an individual. (more…)

Pedestrian accident kills 1 in California

Car accidents can be serious enough if two motor vehicles are involved, but the severity of the accident can quickly increase if a pedestrian is involved. The lack of protection that a pedestrian has in a car accident can sadly often leave them with serious or even fatal injuries. Unfortunately, many pedestrians are not seen by those drivers who are less observant than is safe, even if the pedestrian is in an intersection. One pedestrian accident in California recently killed one victim and injured another. (more…)

Bike crash in California injures numerous people

Bicyclists are safe when riding along main roads the majority of the time, but when a driver drives in a negligent manner near bicycle riders, it can often create severely dangerous situations. If the driver is driving under the influence, these situations can quickly become accidents that leave those involved seriously injured. One woman has pleaded not guilty to charges against her that stemmed from a bike crash in California. (more…)

Pedestrian accident kills 1 in California

Car accidents between two motor vehicles can often be serious enough but, if a pedestrian is involved, the severity of the injuries can increase dramatically. Some drivers are not always aware of their surroundings, which can be detrimental to pedestrians near the vehicle. This type of negligence can quickly create collisions that can leave those involved seriously injured or worse. Unfortunately, one pedestrian accident in California recently took the life of one person. (more…)

California pedestrian accident injures 6

Accidents involving pedestrians and motor vehicles can often have devastating outcomes, with the pedestrians being seriously injured or even killed in the accident. Unfortunately, the lack of protection that pedestrians have when walking near roads can often leave them with injuries that are far more severe than those that are received by the driver of the vehicle. One pedestrian accident in California recently injured six people. (more…)

California pedestrian accident kills 1 man

Car accidents take place throughout the United States every day, but many of these accidents are not severe enough to injure the individuals involved. However, if a pedestrian is involved in an accident with a motor vehicle, the severity of the collision can increase drastically. The pedestrian can often be left with serious injuries that can even be fatal in certain circumstances. Unfortunately, one pedestrian accident in California recently killed one man. (more…)

Medical malpractice suit after alleged early discharge

A medical center and two of its doctors are being sued by a patient treated at the center. In the medical malpractice suit, the man accuses the doctors of a failure to make a proper diagnosis, while accusing the facility of insufficient training and supervision of their employees as well as an inability to ensure the required standard of care. Medical malpractice suits in the United States, including California, provides patients who feel they have been let down by the medical profession a means of recourse. (more…)

San Francisco Ordinance Regarding Tenant Relocation Payments in Ellis Act Evictions Goes Into Effect

Effective June 1, 2014, a landlord who evicts a tenant with a rent-controlled unit in San Francisco under the Ellis Act will be required to pay the tenant an amount equal to the difference between the tenant’s current rent and the market rental rate for a comparable unit over a two year period. (more…)

Car accident in California kills 1

Fatal accidents can be tragic enough for the family members of the deceased victims, but when the person at fault leaves the scene, it can be even more emotionally trying on the family. If the person at fault is not found, it can create large amounts of pain for those looking for justice for the fatalities, and may inhibit the family’s ability to heal. Unfortunately, one driver in California recently left the scene of a car accident. (more…)

California bike crash in California kills 52-year-old woman

Car accidents can often injure those involved if the circumstances surrounding the accident are serious enough. When a bicyclist is involved, the injuries to the cyclist can be severe. The lack of protection that a bicycle offers when involved a car accident can often leave the rider seriously injured or even killed. Unfortunately, a bike crash in California recently caused the death of one victim. (more…)

California bike crash injures 1

Car accidents that involve two standard motor vehicles can often be dangerous enough, but when a bicyclist is involved the situation can be even more tragic. The lack of protection that bicyclists have can add to the danger since they are often near other vehicles that are massive in comparison. If an accident occurs, it can often leave the rider of the bicycle with serious injuries that alter their lives for an extended period of time. Unfortunately, one bike crash in California recently sent one man to the hospital. (more…)

Pedestrian accident in California kills 1 woman

Large machinery is often used by various companies to complete tasks such as hauling items throughout the United States. However, these massive motor vehicles can sometimes have large blind spots that do not allow the drivers to properly see their surroundings. This can lead to accidents that injure or even kill those involved, especially if pedestrians are involved. Unfortunately, one pedestrian accident in California recently killed one person. (more…)

California woman convicted for car accident death

Car accidents that end in the death of the victim can be emotionally trying for the family of the victim, but the months after can be even harder for the family. If the driver who caused the accident is charged criminally, the case can be a constant reminder for the family of their loss. However, one family in California recently received some closure as the driver was convicted for her involvement in the car accident. (more…)

Dangerous property may be to blame for California accident

Accidents take place across the United States, but when an individual is injured or killed, those responsible must be held accountable. However, if a child is killed by the accident, after those at fault were warned about the dangerous object that caused the accident, the parents may wish to file a claim against those responsible. Unfortunately, one young child was killed recently in California by the dangerous property of one place of business. (more…)

Pedestrian accident kills 1 in California

Use of tractor-trailers is often a popular way for goods to be transported throughout the United States, but when these massive vehicles are in an accident with other vehicles, it can have catastrophic results. However, when these individuals are pedestrians, the accident can be even more tragic, especially if the victim is killed in the accident. These types of accidents can leave huge emotional tolls on the families of those killed. Unfortunately, one pedestrian accident in California killed one person recently. (more…)

Pedestrian accident in California kills 1

Serious car accidents can be tragic enough, but, if a pedestrian is involved, the collision can become much more severe. Unfortunately, negligent driving around a pedestrian can quickly create a dangerous situation that becomes an accident. The lack of protection that pedestrians have can mean that they are left with serious or even fatal injuries while the occupants of the vehicles are uninjured. One man was killed recently in California in a pedestrian accident. (more…)

Pedestrian accident in California injures 1

Car accidents occur every day in the United States, although many of these accidents are not severe enough to cause injuries. However, if a pedestrian is involved in the accident, the severity can quickly increase and the pedestrian can be seriously injured. The lack of protection that pedestrians have can put them at a higher risk of injury than an individual in a car. Unfortunately, one pedestrian accident in California recently injured on individual. (more…)

Pedestrian accident leaves leaves college student badly injured

Although the actual accident took place a few years ago, a driver recently entered a no contest plea before a California criminal court in reference to a 2012 pedestrian accident. The pedestrian accident left a Chico State University student severely injured. Tragically, drugs and alcohol played a role in this preventable incident. (more…)

San Francisco In-Law Units Can Now be Legal

Ordinance No. 43-14, which provides a process for real property owners to legalize existing in-law units, goes into effect on May 17, 2014. The ordinance applies to existing residential in-law units that were constructed prior to January 1, 2013 without a permit. Generally, the ordinance does not apply if a notice of eviction was served on a tenant after March 13, 2014 pursuant to the no-fault eviction provisions in sections 37.9(a)(8) through 37.9(a)(14) of the San Francisco Residential Rent Stabilization and Arbitration Ordinance.

To legalize an in-law unit, an owner, or an authorized agent of an owner, must first go through a screening process to determine whether the in-law unit is eligible for legalization. After completion of the screening process, the owner or agent may then apply for the necessary permits to legalize the uni. If a tenant must be temporarily displaced due to work required to legalize an in-law unit, the landlord must provide relocation assistance pursuant to section 37.9C of the Rent Ordinance or California Civil Code § 1947.9, where displacement is for less than 20 days.

Once the screening process is initiated, enforcement of any pending notice of violation issued by the Department of Building Inspection for the in-law unit is temporarily suspended if all violations in the notice would be corrected by legalization of the unit. Additionally, the notice of violation is rescinded if the in-law unit is legalized within one year upon commencement of the screening process.

The legalization of an in-law unit will not affect whether the unit is subject to the San Francisco Residential Rent Stabilization and Arbitration Ordinance. Accordingly, if an in-law unit was subject to the Rent Ordinance prior to legalization, it will remain subject to the Rent Ordinance after legalization. Further, a landlord may not pass the costs of legalization of an in-law unit to tenants via a rent increase.

For years, tenants who resided in unpermitted in-law units were at risk of losing their rent-controlled tenancies under section 37.9(a)(10) of the Rent Ordinance, which allows a landlord to recover possession of unit in order to demolish or permanently remove the rental unit from housing use. Many tenants in in-law units have also been left without administrative recourse for housing code violations, as an inspection by the Department of Building Inspection for habitability issues would often lead to a notice of violation being issued for the unpermitted in-law unit. With the passing of this Ordinance, these tenancies can now be given legal status, eliminating the fear of eviction pursuant to section 37.9(a)(10) and providing tenants with a means to force the landlord to maintain habitable premises. Although legalization of in-law units can only be initiated by owners, owners are incentivized to take advantage of this Ordinance, as they will be able to continue to collect rent for their in-law units without the fear of being forced to demolish them after being cited with a notice of violation from the Department of Building Inspection.

California speaks up after too many car versus bicycle accidents

Many people are beginning to become more concerned with the safety of bicyclists. Bicycle accidents are becoming far too common for the fully exposed cycling enthusiasts. As a result, efforts are being made by local California bicyclists to find a way to make automobile drivers share the roadways. (more…)

California residents not immune to medical malpractice concerns

Most people do not go to the doctor unless they feel that there is a significant reason for the visit, and they usually expect to get a proper diagnosis. However, medical misdiagnosis is something for which all people are at risk when they seek medical attention. Most people in California may not be aware of just how alarming the statistics are for medical malpractice cases. (more…)

DUI driver may be liable for deadly California car accident

When alcohol is consumed in any amount, the likelihood of impaired judgment and slower reaction time increases. These changes in the body’s functionality can result in severe damages when combined with the operation of a vehicle. A recent car accident in California is likely to have resulted from the combination of alcohol and driving. (more…)

Will coming innovations make drivers and pedestrians safer?

CNN recently took a look at how coming innovations might make driving safer, less stressful and more environment-friendly. Some of the innovations are already in place, some are in the pipeline, while others are in a more distant future. (more…)

California woman frozen by mistake, medical malpractice alleged

Losing a loved one is an understandably difficult situation, even when it is a natural death. The emotions that can come with a loss can be confusing and overwhelming. What can make the death of a family member or friend even harder is finding out that there was an error and that the loved one may still be alive if not for that mistake. This is sadly the case that may have led to a medical malpractice lawsuit in California. (more…)

NTSB wants to make pedestrians, others safe from truck accidents

On the Bay Area’s crisscrossing web of highways, there are no vehicles more dangerous than tractor-trailers. Because of their sheer size and weight, they are difficult to maneuver and to bring to a stop. Because of design flaws, blind spots exist for truckers behind the wheels of the behemoths, making it impossible at times for them to even see objects and people near their vehicles. (more…)

Woman prematurely declared dead alleged to be placed in freezer

In what we would hope would be an extremely unusual medical malpractice matter, a California hospital is being sued for prematurely pronouncing a woman as dead and then placing her inside of a hospital freezer. The woman’s family is now alleging that the woman froze to death. (more…)

Fraternity cited in deaths and injuries ends pledging, hazing

Sigma Alpha Epsilon is one of the largest fraternities, with chapters stretching from San Francisco to New York and from Arizona to Florida. A look at the map of chapters on the frat’s website shows it crisscrosses the nation. (more…)

Can high-tech make San Francisco bicyclists safer?

Experts say that one of the best ways for San Francisco bicyclists to stay safe on city streets is to be predictable. Drivers come to expect certain behaviors from bicyclists and when new bicyclists deviate from the norm, they can quickly find out how little attention is paid to them by motorists often distracted, speeding or ignoring traffic signs. (more…)

San Francisco launches effort to reduce pedestrian accidents

We live in one of the most scenic cities in America, but it is also one of the most dangerous. (more…)