Law Office of Frederick J. Sette
Personal Injury Attorney
Serving The Stockton California Region
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Stockton Injury Lawyers eye Fitness Apps for Data

At Sette Law in Stockton, personal injury attorneys are adept at using technology to create efficiency for our clients. We know that electronic systems offer enormous advantages to our Stockton personal injury clients; our lawyers help people save time and money so that they can expect better outcomes for their personal injury claims. Lawyers can consult with distant experts, medical doctors and clients using Skype, Face Time, messaging and other tools while working on a Stockton personal injury action.
Attorneys are also aware that this helpful technology is now rising up as a developing issue in courts worldwide as wearable technology and powerful applications come under the scrutiny of the courts in personal injury cases. Attorneys explain that wearable fitness apps collect data that might be used as evidence of physical condition after a personal injury. Lawyers in a Canadian case are currently testing the legal waters in just such an instance.

Briefly, here’s a scenario: A woman sues the driver who caused a serious personal injury. Her attorney wants to establish that she was no longer fit for her job after the accident that caused her personal injury. The lawyer representing the defendant counters that the accident is unrelated to her job loss. The plaintiff’s personal injury attorney wants to submit the data from the fitness tracker worn by this active woman before the accident as evidence in the personal injury trial. Lawyers believe they can show a dramatic difference in the woman’s physical condition before and after the accident. Attorneys are interested to know if data like this can be subpoenaed and used in court. There is also a question of privacy – Stockton injury attorneys on either side of a case may argue that such data is private – owned by the person who purchased and used the wearable device. 

How Private is Fitness App Data in Stockton?
Injury attorneys say that fitness trackers may include digital feedback on heart rate, blood oxygen levels, sleep quality and are even able to determine what activity is being done. This may create an entree into proprietary information. Stockton personal injury lawyers know that certain data contained in medical records may be off-limits due to laws governing privacy. Our injury attorneys wonder if the boundaries of privacy might shift slightly should fitness data become fair game in personal injury cases. Lawyers ask if  access to such information might open the door to other medical information that’s previously been unavailable to personal injury lawyers and the courts?

Clearly, these questions can extend beyond fitness trackers to other applications that record medical data. Stockton personal injury lawyers say that courts will move cautiously in developing opinions about how smart technology might be used in court rooms – how it may either impeded or clarify claims of personal injury. Attorneys point out there are already instances of requests for data in injury cases that have set precedents for court rooms in the U.S. and Stockton. Injury lawyers have successfully subpoenaed Face Book, for example. And email communications can be requisitioned in legal actions. But, personal injury lawyers acknowledge that with wearable technology that records medical information, individuals may have a reasonable expectation of privacy. Stockton injury attorneys will need to monitor developments and integrate changes to best serve clients in cases of personal injury.

Lawyers who specialize in personal injury law know that their arena of expertise is already complicated. Although the premise seems simple – we represent people who have been harmed through the negligence of others – the laws governing personal injury require attorneys to reach a high bar of proof with numerous, detailed stipulations around the definition of “negligence.” Stockton personal injury lawyers must be experts in Tort Law – a discipline that’s fundamental to all personal injury actions. Attorneys seek to establish recognition of damage done to a person’s physical well-being, reputation or individual rights. In Stockton, our injury lawyers generally help individuals injured in a variety of accidents including defective products that lead to grave personal injury. Attorneys point out such accidents can happen anywhere – at work, on roadways, at home or on public and private property.

Injury Lawyers Tap Tech in Courtrooms
Now, technology in the court room is not only creating new issues for personal injury attorneys, it’s becoming a tool! Google Glass, for example, could be used by Stockton personal injury lawyers to capture depositions and record witness comments. We might even imagine the wearable tech used during trial to do instant research while litigating a personal injury case. Imagine a defendant claims to have been golfing and not traveling on the day he is accused of causing a Stockton personal injury. The lawyer for the plaintiff could jump online and check weather conditions on the day of the personal injury. His attorney might discover that the valley was wrapped in fog on the day in question and no one was golfing at any course in Stockton. Injury lawyers may, with their own wearable tech, tap into instant research to benefit personal injury clients.

Attorneys often use experts in their client’s case. When experts are engaged on behalf of a personal injury client, attorneys expect that substantial traveling costs may be passed along to their client. But technology can eliminate costly travel by opening digital communication channels for Stockton personal injury attorneys. Just one example might be the use of experts in jury selection. A Stockton personal injury attorney using Google Glass may include a jury selection expert in, say, Seattle, in the process and bypass the travel expense. 

Our personal injury lawyers know that the use of wearable technology in the court room is a new and largely untested development. Stockton injury attorneys don’t expect a rapid integration of digital devices into the trial system. But we are aware that some personal injury lawyers are cautiously pushing boundaries. By its very nature, the legal and judicial system evolves slowly. Our Stockton personal injury attorneys are anxious to offer enhanced services but at the same time, know that justice is the prime concern for everyone. Personal injury lawyers might be able to speed up a process using technology but at what cost? There are many questions that must be answered in this emerging arena of personal injury law for attorneys as well as for the public we serve.


Stockton Pedestrian Accident Lawyers explain State Law

It’s common knowledge who suffers greatest injury in most car vs pedestrian accidents. But attorneys at Sette Law in Stockton this caution: when it comes to liability, the driver does not always shoulder all the responsibility for a Stockton pedestrian accident. Our lawyers say that California practices Comparative Negligence and Duty of Care.  Accident attorneys explain that this principle requires that walkers, runners and bicyclists must perform in a safe and responsible manner – adhering to traffic laws and basic common sense, as are drivers of motor vehicles.

Consider this; a young man chooses to run across three lanes of a freeway rather than using an overhead pedestrian crossing. He’s hit by a motorist, badly injured in a Stockton pedestrian accident. His lawyer cautions him that the driver of the car may bear little or no responsibility for the pedestrian accident. The attorney for the car’s driver may argue that the young man bears complete responsibility and his reckless behavior caused the pedestrian accident. The attorney representing the pedestrian, on the other hand, will look for aberrant behavior on behalf of the driver. Was he speeding, under the influence of alcohol or some mitigating factor that contributed to the Stockton accident? Lawyers for both parties will impact the outcome of this case, seeking to establish percentages of liability in the pedestrian accident.

Injury attorneys say that most people know the rules of the road as drivers, but laws governing pedestrian behavior are not as well understood in Stockton. Our accident lawyers believe that more education about this topic should be provided in an effort to prevent pedestrian accidents. Lawyers, for example, are familiar with a California Vehicle Code section that states pedestrians not in an unmarked or marked crosswalk, are required to give right-of-way to vehicles that may present an “immediate hazard.”  Of course, drivers still have responsibility for pedestrian safety. But, as our Stockton accident lawyers point out, safety is a shared responsibility.

Injury attorneys point out many people know that California law prohibits what used to be known as hitch-hiking. It is clearly risky to solicit a ride while standing on a roadway in Stockton and accident lawyers point out that it’s also illegal. A little more complicated is a code stipulating that pedestrians shall not cross a street that is between two traffic signals that are adjacent, unless there is an official crosswalk. Our accident lawyers say another lesser known rule requires pedestrians to walk on the left side of a street in business and residential locations, unless it is clearly unsafe to do so. Clearly, our Stockton accident attorneys don’t run across many instances in which this code is strictly enforced. However, we feel it’s important for people to be educated about conditions that can lead to pedestrian accidents. Attorneys believe drivers and pedestrians should both operate out of awareness and caution.

Our Stockton accident lawyers know that our city, like so many big cities in California, was built around commuting, not walking. Wide streets and high speed limits are conditions that contribute to pedestrian accidents. Attorneys tracking data report that about 22 % of deaths in California accidents from 2009 to 2011 were pedestrians. Additionally, accident lawyers say California Walks recorded at least 1,600 pedestrian accidents in 2011 that resulted in significant injury. Our lawyers believe better information about pedestrian responsibilities and rights could bring these figures down.

Our Stockton accident lawyers pay close attention to the work of Smart Growth America.org. Along with compiling pedestrian accident statistics, the group advocates for more thoughtful development that makes walking and running safer for pedestrians. Our Stockton accident lawyers support his work. We find it troubling that from 2009 to 2011 Smart Growth America reports 676,000 injuries nationwide to pedestrians along with 47,025 fatalities.  According to Smart Growth analysts, many of these accidents are preventable. Our accident lawyers say that although education can help raise awareness of safety, municipalities can prevent pedestrian accidents through city planning that includes awareness of Stockton pedestrian safety. Injury attorneys encourage new development that incorporates walking and biking as alternatives to wide streets made for automobile traffic. These conditions have proven dangerous in the past with high speeds that contribute to Stockton pedestrian injury. Our lawyers have families too, so awareness of pedestrian safety is close to home!

Although many precautions that pedestrians can take for their safety are quite simple, our Stockton accident lawyers suggest families review these rules, particularly for children and elders. One of our injury lawyers says he tells his children to “Assume that you are invisible to drivers.” This basic message encourages pedestrians to be watchful and aware of the potential for an accident. This attorney, who also rides a motorcycle for recreation, reports his cautious approach has many times saved him from a serious accident.

Lawyers add that parents should make sure their entire family dresses appropriately. Pedestrians walking or running, particularly in evening hours, should wear light colored clothing and even carry (or wear) a warning light to prevent an accident. Our attorneys are gratified to see that such affordable safety equipment is now sold in stores throughout Stockton.

Injury lawyers also have some important advice for pedestrians who do meet with an unfortunate accident. Our attorneys suggest that, outside of medical needs, pedestrian victims should not freely express themselves at the scene of a Stockton accident. Our lawyers know that seemingly innocent comments can be used in court to influence a decision. One of our Stockton accident attorneys recalls that a pedestrian injured by a bicyclist actually apologized at the scene for her part in the crash. Later, the bicyclist’s lawyer claimed the victim’s comment was an admission of responsibility for the pedestrian accident. Attorneys advise accident victims to focus on their physical condition, exchange only necessary information and only talk to law enforcement or to an accident lawyer.

As a final precaution, our Stockton accident injury lawyers want people to know that statistics collected by traffic and safety organizations do not reflect reality. There is an admission that countless pedestrian accidents go unreported. Our injury attorneys caution that the dangers are many and real for pedestrians on the roadways of Stockton.

Stockton Dog Bite Lawyers explore Complexities of Laws

We’ve all read frightening news stories about dog Bite injuries and deaths.  Our Stockton dog bite lawyers know of many local cases that never made front page headlines. Every year people are harmed by out-of-control dogs in Stockton. Dog bite attorneys at Sette Law say that owner liability for dog bite injuries has some specific requirements if victims are to be compensated for their many personal losses.

The statutes governing dog bites often vary among jurisdictions and in some regions “common law” applies. According to our Stockton dog bite lawyers, generally, a few key factors are considered. Personal injury attorneys representing a dog bite victim will investigate whether or not the dog had a known reputation for being aggressive and also consider if the animal had suffered abuse. But, essentially, the focus of any Stockton dog bite legal case will also be on the owner of the animal.

Several Layers of Dog Bite Laws may Apply
Stockton personal injury lawyers reference California code that says an animal’s owner bears responsibility for its behavior. Whether in public or on private property, dog bite lawyers say owners most often bear liability for a dog bite. However, Stockton dog bite lawyers point out that dog owners also have certain protections. If, for example, a person trespasses onto private property and is bitten by the resident dog, the owner may be shielded from responsibility in Stockton. Conversely, dog bite attorneys say that owners usually have liability for injuries when the victim was legally on his or her property when the dog bite happened. Lawyers at Sette report that courts have ruled that dog bite victims who were trespassing on private land played a role in the attack and also took on a risk. Our Stockton dog bite lawyers say this determination can be complicated and may result in the court assessing a percentage of liability to both parties – the injured plaintiff and the dog owner.

However, personal injury lawyers say that dog owners have basic responsibilities. If, for example, an owner knows a dog can be aggressive and takes no steps to protect the public, the owner may be deemed liable. According to Stockton dog bite lawyers, indications that an owner was aware of a dog’s dangerous temperament include posting a warning sign or having to muzzle a dog in Stockton. Dog bite lawyers say common law requires the victim of a dog bite to prove the animal’s owner knew about the dog’s potential to be aggressive.

To further complicate the issue of liability, a person suffering a dog bite in the course of his or her employment can also bear some legal responsibility in Stockton. Dog bite lawyers say that contractual employees at a kennel or boarding facility, for example, may accept the inherent risk of their occupation. Our Stockton personal injury attorneys must look very closely at the details of each dog bite lawsuit or court case to determine liability.

Dog Bites associated with Certain Breeds
In general, common law indicates dogs that have no history or demonstrated behavior of viciousness are to be considered harmless. Our Stockton dog bite lawyers explain this principle can be flexible in interpretation by including specific breeds of dogs with a reputation for being aggressive. Pit bulls, Rottweilers and Dobermans, for example, may be among such breeds. Stockton dog bite lawyers say that breeds identified in this category may inherently bear the description of “dangerous.” However, dog bite lawyers recognize it’s important to note that individuals within these breeds are often harmless in nature and do not exhibit vicious tendencies.

Both common law and state statutes can influence the outcome of any Stockton dog bite case. Lawyers should be familiar with landmark cases that established precedents in dog bite law and victims of dog bites are advised to be very clear about the circumstances under which they were injured when consulting with a Stockton dog bite attorney.