I was a Passenger Injured in a Car Accident

If you were a passenger injured in a car accident, it is important to recognize that you have legal options available to you that can help you recoup losses from medical bills and other damages. For serious injuries that include a significant hardship that will extend indefinitely such as a spinal cord injury resulting in paralysis, there are additional claims that your attorneys can make to provide lifelong care and make up for lost earnings from work.

The first step to filing a personal injury claim is finding a lawyer or legal team who specialize in personal injury law, particularly when it comes to passengers. When passengers in auto accidents file personal injury claims, there are certain third party insurance claim problems that can arise. You must be able to provide significant proof of damages with medical reports, police reports, and other evidence. This process can also be lengthy because in some cases investigations will be needed in order to determine compensation because there is not an existing contractual obligation between the injured passenger and the at-fault driver’s insurance. This changes when you choose to bring a claim to your insurance provider. To determine which insurance company the claim should be filed with, you will need to consult with your lawyer.

If you are interested in pursuing your rightful claim for compensation as a passenger injured in a car accident, you need to collect the necessary information and bring it with you to a consultation with your new legal team. At Arata, Swingle, Van Egmond & Goodwin in Modesto, CA, we ask all of our clients to bring insurance information for each driver. We also ask our passengers to bring with them any medical reports that they have had or their medical visit information with them to a consultation. It is helpful for our team to be able to assess the damage and draft up a strategy as well as an understanding of what we need to ask for in compensation. It is very important to think long-term in this respect because many car accident injuries require further treatments later on in life.

Ready to begin? Arata, Swingle, Van Egmond & Goodwin can help you with your personal injury claim in Modesto, CA. We specialize in personal injury law and are a personal injury law firm. Contact us today to begin the process of moving forward with your personal injury lawsuit. As a passenger injured in a car accident, you deserve to be compensated and we can make sure that you will be.

Top 5 Summertime Injuries

At Arata, Swingle, Van Egmond & Goodwin, we know that there are five common summertime injuries that occur from accidents.

Summertime Accident 1: Lawn Care Accidents

Many of our clients want to perform lawn care or gardening chores in the summer. Unfortunately, it is easy to incur summertime injuries from equipment such as push or riding lawn mowers. Additional accidents can occur while using digging equipment, chain saws or weed trimmers. The most common types of injuries from gardening or lawn care equipment include deep lacerations and amputations of body parts.

Summertime Accident 2: Near Drowning Accidents

Summer is the perfect time for using a swimming pool at home or in the community. Alternatively, one of our clients might go swimming at a beach. Accidents on a beach or in a swimming pool are common. One of our clients might slip and fall from a defective diving board, or a hotel might have defective water-pumping equipment in a pool.

Summertime Accident 3: Bicycle Accidents

Many children, teenagers, and adults want to ride a bicycle in the summer, but when someone doesn’t wear a helmet or protective pads, it is possible to have a serious injury from a fall. In addition, a bicyclist might ride directly in front of an automobile, leading to a collision.

Summertime Accident 4: Vehicular Accidents

In the summertime in California, more drivers are on the road, and many of the individuals are tourists who are unfamiliar with the area. This leads to numerous summertime injuries from vehicular collisions that require emergency visits to local hospitals.

Summertime Accident 5: Motorcycle Accidents

More individuals want to ride motorcycles in the summer, and we assist numerous clients who have been injured after a collision. Additional problems that occur from motorcycle accidents are losing control of the motorcycle and sliding off the road or into a hard object. Summertime injuries from motorcycle accidents are serious because the driver does not wear a seat belt.

Arata, Swingle, Van Egmond & Goodwin

Contact Arata, Swingle, Van Egmond & Goodwin at 209-522-2211 today for more information about legal assistance for personal injuries in the summer.

Injured at a Public Pool? Who’s liable?

Temperatures are beginning to climb, so naturally, people are heading to the public pool to cool off. Everyone wants to have a good time while beating the heat. But not every pool trip is a pleasant one. Often tragedy strikes at the happiest times. When accidents happen you have rights, though you will need an attorney to defend those rights, as well as to prove who was at fault.

There are many factors that can lead to injury at the public pool, and premises liability law will generally make the owners and operators of the pool liable for injuries suffered there. That doesn’t mean that they are always responsible. Some deciding factors will be if the injured person was partially or wholly responsible for their own injury, as well as if they had permission to be on the premises.

In this type of case, we determine what caused the injury in the first place. If there were not adequate warning signs or there was no safety equipment, fences, and alarms, or no supervision was in place could have been the cause. It is up to the owner to provide these safety measures, and when they don’t they can be held accountable. It’s possible that it is a case of negligence. This can happen if any of the equipment on the premises was installed incorrectly or was damaged. Owners have the responsibility to make sure that all equipment is safe and functioning properly.

Do keep in mind that a swimmer does have responsibility for their own safety as well. For instance, if you are running at the public pool and you slip and get injured as a result of that fall, you may be responsible if there were signs clearly posted stating that the area is slippery when wet.

When working on your claim the personal injury lawyers of Arata, Swingle, Van Egmond & Goodwin will investigate the accident scene and communicate with medical professionals to determine the cause and extent of your injuries, or file a wrongful death claim for cases of drowning. We’re here to help you get compensated for your public pool injuries.

Latest Ford Recall Involves Thousands of American Vehicles

More than 360,000 Ford vehicles in North America are now subject to a recall due to potential defects that can cause engine fires or doors to fly open. The Ford recall involves the 2014 Escape SUV; the 2014 and 2015 compact Fiesta ST; the 2013 and 2014 midsize Fusion; and the 2013 through 2015 small van Transit Connect.

Ford says inadequate coolant circulation may cause the engines in these vehicles to overheat, leading to a crack in the cylinder head. If the cylinder head cracks, hot oil could escape, causing an engine fire. And while the company says it has reports of 29 vehicle fires in the United States and Canada, so far no one has been reported injured.

The vehicles can continue to be driven and parked in garages or other structures, according to company officials. Ford will mail vehicle owners instructions from their owner’s manual with instructions on how to check and replace their coolant. Officials stressed that if vehicles are overheating or leaking coolant, they should be taken to their dealers for service.

This most recent Ford recall also adds an additional 211,000 vehicles to a 2015 recall involving the replacement of faulty door latches. Now involved in that recall are the 2014 Fiesta and the 2013 and 2014 Fusion and Lincoln LKZ. The National Transportation Safety Board has been investigating problems with Ford’s door latches for three years, leading to recalls of over 3 million cars, trucks, vans and SUVs.

A broken pawl in the door latch is the reason behind the latest recall. When broken, the pawl can stop the door from closing or cause it to open when the vehicle is being driven. Company officials say they have had no reports of crashes or injuries as a result of the latest recall.

In a recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company said the Ford recall would cut pretax earning by approximately $295 million. If you believe you have been injured as a result of this recall, call Arata, Swingle, Van Egmond & Goodwin at 209-522-2211 or visit the firm online.

Factors Considered During Insurance Defense

Insurance policies demand attention and investment in our daily lives as we spend thousands of dollars on reliable coverage. Faced with a personal injury case, we likely hold an insurance policy intended to protect us, whether that policy concerns automobile accidents, property damage, medical malpractice, among other areas. Most likely, the policy should provide defense against claims in a personal injury lawsuit. Often, policyholders feel poorly compensated by insurance companies after a loss and request further review. Therefore, prudent and adequate defense assists and protects insurance companies and their policy stipulations during contentious lawsuits. The following factors deserve consideration during proper insurance defense.


Insurers and policyholders often negotiate outside of court to discuss proper compensation. Unfortunately, not all negotiations end amicably and require further review by proper legal counsel to ensure the fairness of compensation under the written policy, which insurance companies and the insured commonly dispute.

Stipulated Coverage and Payout

Policyholders often seek maximization of gains while securing a certain degree of coverage. They pay less for an insurance plan that provides coverage commensurate with lower costs. Attorneys must establish the exact nature of an insurance plan, which claims receive coverage, and that the policyholder knowingly paid for such coverage outlined in a written contract.

Intense Emotions 

Understandably, injuries inflict physical, financial, and psychological pain. Facing a loss and anticipating compensation, policyholders sometimes find themselves in an unstable emotional state. They delay contacting an insurance company out of fatigue or a desire to forgo a time-consuming process, but some individuals reach out to insurers months after an incident, placing their claims’ legitimacy in question. Some individuals fabricate details of their claims, placing insurers at risk for unjustified losses.

Defense of an insurance policy saves further time, costs, and possible damages to the insurer. For competent, proactive insurance defense, contact Arata, Swingle & Van Egmond today.