Vehicle accidents are a mainstay of personal injury practice

But for how long?

Spencer Lucas
2016 May

This month’s Advocate explores important issues dealing with personal injury cases arising out of motor vehicle accidents. The writers are all accomplished trial lawyers and expert witnesses who share with us the knowledge accumulated in reaching outstanding verdicts on behalf of their catastrophically injured clients. We are thankful to them for taking time to share this hard-earned knowledge.

Brian Panish and David Rudorfer break down the medical-emergency defense, once uncommon but now seen ever more frequently. This defense is narrowly defined under California law. From discovery through trial, you will learn how to make it backfire on defense counsel. Panish and Rudorfer practice at Panish, Shea & Boyle.

Cioffi Remmer, who was an engineer working on targeting systems for fighter planes before he became a trial lawyer, provides us with insightful analysis of how future vehicle-to-vehicle electronic communications will enable cars to avoid most collisions, and how likely that development is to affect our business in the personal injury world. Don’t panic until you read the entire article. Remmer practices at AlderLaw.

Adam Shea and Ryan Casey share an in-depth explanation of how to identify and pursue a tort action even when the injury occurs at work. This is the often overlooked workers’ compensation third-party crossover case. The article provides a roadmap to identify the crossover case from the various factual scenarios that can give rise to one. The authors provide key practice pointers to maximize your client’s recovery. Shea and Casey practice at Panish, Shea & Boyle.

Kurt Weiss,  a veteran accident reconstructionist and forensic engineer, explains the nuts and bolts of collecting and using footage of auto collisions recorded by surveillance cameras at nearby businesses. Hint – you have to move quickly. Weiss is with Automotive Safety Research Inc. in Santa Barbara.

We all know that helmets can be important in assessing comparative negligence by our clients. Craig Good discusses modern improvements in the design in helmets and how they affect head impact protection. Good holds a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering and specializes in biomechanics. He is president of Collision Analysis, Marina del Rey.

Lastly, I address how to effectively cross examine the defense biomechanic expert in a “minor impact” collision. The article stems from a recent trial Tom Schultz and I conducted in which the defense claimed that all of our client’s injuries were pre-existing and that the “minor” collision could not have possibly caused his ongoing spinal issues and pain. Shultz and I practice at Panish, Shea and Boyle.

Spencer Lucas Spencer Lucas

Spencer Lucas is a trial lawyer at Panish Shea & Boyle and specializes in litigating catastrophic personal injury, products liability and wrongful death cases. He has received numerous recognitions for his work including being named as CAALA Trial Lawyer of the Year Finalist (2014) and CAOC Trial Laywer of the Year Finalist (2011). Mr. Lucas is from Seattle originally and graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in Business Administration. He graduated from Pepperdine University School of Law and has been practicing since 2004. He has been a board member of the Los Angeles Trial Lawyers Charities (LATLC) since 2012.

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