What Do I Do if My Child Has Been in an Bus Accident?

It’s every parents’ nightmare: their child was in a bus accident on their way home from school. The accident can range from a simple fender bender to an all-out collision on the highway. Either way, parents of the accident victims will no doubt feel a rush of absolute horror when hearing the news. Are their children okay? Should they visit the school? Or go to the site of the accident? What should they do while their child is being recovered from the wreckage? Here are a few steps to take in to best prepare for these tough events.

Stay Calm

Take a deep breath and try to settle your racing heart. While situations like these bring out a multitude of emotions, the best thing you can do for your child is to stay calm. A clear mind will allow you to communicate effectively with doctors, nurses, school administration and staff, making the acquiring of information easier and a little less stressful than usual. If you can visit your child, remember that they will be looking to you for support. Keeping calm will help keep your child calm and more willing to be worked on by professionals.

Seek Medical Attention

Regardless of the severity of the accident or injury, always insist on medical attention when your child has been in an accident. Some injuries are hard to see under the surface, such as brain injuries, internal bleeding, or bruised ribs. While your child is being seen, take notes of any symptoms or a diagnosis, and ask the doctor any questions you might have. As your child recovers, follow up with the physician to ensure your child is recovering at the appropriate pace. You’ll also want to keep any medical paperwork should your child be absent from school or if you’ll be speaking to an accident attorney.

Gather Evidence and Be Cautious

School bus accidents place educational institutions and administration under high stress. Staff will be keeping an eye out for any lawsuit that may arise due to a school bus accident. Some may even attempt to absolve the driver, school, or other involved parties by having parents sign paperwork or make a statement to do so. Exercise caution, do not sign anything given to you by the school regarding the school bus accident, make sure your words are neutral and cannot be used against you in court, and reach out to an experienced accident attorney to review your accident case.

Outside of collecting medical paperwork, make sure to also keep track of any other related bills as they come in. Take pictures of your child’s injuries as well. If you can visit the accident site, take pictures of the accident and see if you can also get witness statements from parents or children who witnessed the crash. If you’re working with an attorney, this evidence could greatly help in court.

Has your child been in a school bus-related accident and you’re unsure where to turn? When the Modesto personal injury lawyers at Arata, Swingle, Van Egmond & Goodwin take you on as a client, we focus on carrying the burden of protecting your legal rights and bringing those that did you harm to justice, so you can concentrate on healing and getting your life back on track.

Wildfires have devastated California’s forests once again. This frequency is causing homeowners to prepare their homes and their families for the worst. If you live in an area prone to this natural disaster, here are some steps to take in order to keep your property and yourself safe.

Before the Fire:

It is highly encouraged to clear any debris or dry matter around your home in order to limit fuel for spreading fires. Make sure to:

  • Remove dried leaves and pine needles.
  • Remove any vines that are on the side of the property.
  • Have enough garden hose available to reach any part of the property and make the hose easily accessible to rescue teams/firefighters.

It is also encouraged to build a safety plan with family. Make sure all family members are aware of evacuation routes, meeting spots, and emergency procedures should the worst happen. This can lessen stress when evacuating and further help designated drivers to be more aware of their surroundings. It is also recommended to create an emergency safety kit should you be displaced from the property for more than a day.

After the Fire:

If you were injured during the wildfire, seek help as soon as you can. While minor burns can be treated by some first aid kits or basic medical supplies, for more severe burns, it is recommended to seek professional help. You can file an insurance claim due to injury during a natural disaster, so prepare any documentation necessary. While it will be tempting to return to the property as soon as possible, resist the urge and wait until it is safe or the all clear has been given for your area. Once you have access to the property, document any damage and contact your insurance company immediately.

If you’re having trouble pushing a claim through, reach out to an attorney for assistance. Arata, Swingle, Van Egmond and Goodwin can help you with your personal injury claims after a natural disaster. The last thing you need during such a trying time is getting the run around on your claims. Let us help ease the stress so you can focus on your personal healing.

For some time now, the opioid painkiller epidemic has been growing throughout the US. When people think of drug epidemics, illegal drug use usually comes to mind first. While illegal drug use does contribute to the painkiller epidemic, legal painkiller use, such as those prescribed for work injuries is also playing a part in the continued growth of painkiller addiction in America.

How Are Work Injuries Leading to Painkiller Addiction?

Work injuries can often be catastrophic, such as severe back injuries, carpal tunnel syndrome, amputation, traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and broken bones. Therefore, after suffering such injuries, workers are many times prescribed pain relievers in the form of opioids.

In many cases, following a workplace accident, employees are prescribed opioids to relieve the pain of their work injury. Unfortunately, in the process, injured workers can end up being over-prescribed opioid painkiller or in some cases, unnecessarily prescribed pain-relieving medication. As a result of being prescribed opioids unnecessarily or being over-prescribed painkillers, injured workers can become addicted to these types of drugs, which can lead to overdose or even death.

At Arata, Swingle, Van Egmond & Goodwin, our work injury lawyers are dedicated to ensuring work injury victim get the assistance they need after an on-the-job accident. The work accident attorneys at our law firm will be there for you throughout the process. We will help you apply for workers’ compensation benefits and make sure you receive the medical treatment you need. We strive to ensure you are properly cared for both in the short term and long term following your injury.

Modesto Personal Injury Lawyers Escalon pic2As more and more sexual assault and harassment allegations come out involving embattled Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, female politicians in California are joining forces to help make changes they hope will prevent sexual harassment.

How California Lawmakers Plan to Prevent Sexual Harassment

Per The Sacramento Bee, over 140 female lawmakers, lobbyists and political consultants released an open letter condemning California’s lack of checks and balances when it comes to sexual harassment and sexual assault. The letter calls on “good men” to believe sexual assault and harassment victims and have their backs in the fight to bring their abusers to justice.

Christine Pelosi, who is the chairwoman of the California Democratic Party Women’s Caucus, is calling on the California Legislature to publicly disclose any sexual assault or harassment claims involving lawmakers. In addition, Pelosi would like to see an independent commission formed to investigate those claims.

The Modesto employment lawyers at Arata, Swingle, Van Egmond & Goodwin have been fighting for the rights of the victims and sexual harassment and abuse for years.

Passenger Injured in a Car AccidentPeople can have their driver’s licenses suspended for all kinds of reasons. In some cases, if the state has a points system and a driver gets too many points for traffic violations within a certain amount of time, his or her license can be suspended. In other situations, a driver may have been pulled over for one major violation, such as driving without insurance or driving while intoxicated, and had his or her license suspended for that reason. However, no matter the reason, a person with a suspended license has no business being behind the wheel.

Recently, The Union Democrat published an article about a woman who was driving with a suspended license who caused a head-on collision. Reportedly, she was on probation for starting the Willow Fire in Calaveras County and driving under the influence (DUI) without a license. She was injured in the crash and as of this writing, was in critical but stable condition at University of California, Davis, Medical Center. She will reportedly be cited for driving without a license.

How Injury Lawyers Help Car Accident Victims and Their Families

Following a car wreck, your life can be turned upside down. The last thing you want to be worrying about is pursuing a legal claim. Instead, you just want to concentrate on healing and being there for your family. Therefore, it may be best for you to speak with a car accident lawyer in the aftermath of your auto crash. An attorney can carry the burden of handling your legal claim, including holding those at fault for your pain and suffering accountable and securing the financial help you need for hospital bills, loss of income, rehabilitation costs, damage to your vehicle and physical therapy.

When the Modesto personal injury lawyers at Arata, Swingle, Van Egmond & Goodwin, take you on as a client, we focus on carrying the burden of protecting your legal rights and bring those who did you harm to justice, so you can concentrate on healing and getting your life back on track.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.