Nordstrand Black - April 2020

L AW Y E R S F O R J U S T I C E

PERSONAL INJURY LAW JOURNAL

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APRIL 2020

MY BOOKSHELF A FEW OF MY FAVORITE READS

In preparation for a family road trip, I recently took my daughters to our local library to pick out some books for the drive. The librarian’s a family friend who happens to have kids around the same age as mine, and she not only helped the twins find a few great stories but also introduced us all to two great apps. Kanopy and Hoopla let users check out e-books, movies, and more from their devices. So, with National Library Week landing this month, I want to share a few reading recommendations you can pick up using these free services. Of course, I have to start with Doug’s and my favorite: “Kane and Abel” by Jeffrey Archer. Not to be confused with the biblical story, this New York Times bestselling novel was first recommended to me by my father when I was young, and I still enjoy giving it a read from time to time. The story follows two titular characters through their very different lives. William Lowell Kane is born into wealth and power, while Abel Rosnovski is born a peasant. The two share the same birthday, however, and end up being

each other’s greatest rivals. Their multigenerational rivalry is quite the rollercoaster, and it’s a great examination of how where you come from can shape your identity. Of course, Doug and I are also constantly looking for books that can help us in our personal and professional development. One we really enjoyed recently was “Never Split the Difference” by Chris Voss. The subtitle reads “Negotiating as if Your Life Depends on It,” and Voss isn’t exaggerating. As the former lead FBI international kidnapping negotiator, lives really were on the line when he set out to make an agreement. Drawing on his experience, this work is full of the author’s insights on how to get the upper hand in any discussion. Naturally, as lawyers, this was an ideal read for my husband and me, but as Voss points out, “Life is a series of negotiations you should be prepared for.” Whether you want a boost of confidence when asking for a raise or want to get a good deal on your next car, “Never Split the Difference” can help.

Meanwhile, thanks to my mother, who recruited me to join the League of Women Voters book club, I’ve been exposed to books that have given me a window into some of the most important issues facing our world today. From tracing the political corruption tied to the oil and gas industry in Rachel Maddow’s “Blowout” to David Wallace-Wells’ alarming ecological predictions in “The Uninhabitable Earth,” I’ve had the chance to pick up many enlightening reads. The most powerful was Ta-Nehisi Coates’ “Between the World and Me.” This award-winning work of nonfiction takes the form of a letter from Coates to his teenage son about the realities of being a person of color in the United States. As someone who didn’t grow up with that background, I found Coates’ account nothing short of eye-opening.

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PROTECT YOUR As our case spotlights on the previous page illustrate, premises liability cases can be particularly difficult here in California. Because you or your representatives have to prove the property owner knew, should have known, or negligently created the hazard that hurt you, evidence is vital. While an expert personal injury firm may be able to uncover more evidence after the fact, you can take many actions to protect your claim.

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Of course, reading too many hard-hitting books about the world today can be a significant source of stress if you’re not careful. So, taking some advice from my yoga instructor, I decided to pick up “365 Tao Daily Meditations” by Deng Ming-Dao. This contemporary collection of Taoist meditations is the perfect read before bed. Having that reminder to seek harmony within myself and the surrounding world helps keep me centered in otherwise high-pressure situations. And, of course, Doug’s a big fan of John Grisham novels. As he points out, “the lawyer’s always the hero” in those stories. Whatever your taste in books, you can explore more titles than ever thanks to Kanopy and Hoopla. Your next great read can be delivered right to the palm of your hand — without fear of late fees. – Renée Nordstrand

TAKE PICTURES

Much like after a car accident, you want to capture the scene of your injury in as much detail as possible. After all, conditions can change or be made to look less hazardous. Having proof of the way things were at the moment of your accident can be a deciding factor in proving your right to compensation. If your injury prevents you from being able to do this important documentation yourself, ask a friend or bystander to give you a hand.

CASE SPOTLIGHTS

CHALLENGES OF PROPERTY LIABILITY

Last month, we took a look at some of the slip-and-fall cases our firm has handled in the past, but falls aren’t the only accidents that happen on someone else’s property. For example, when stairwells are uneven or lack legally required railings, people often get seriously injured. But, as this next case shows, even a walkway can be dangerous when a property owner doesn’t do their due diligence to keep it free of hazards. While on Catalina Island, a client walked past a shop where wheelbarrows were parked in front of the shop encroaching onto the sidewalk. One of these carts, used for hauling scuba gear, had a cotter pin sticking out of the wheel, which slashed our client’s leg open as he walked by, causing a deep wound, permanent scarring, and nerve damage. It was clear the wheelbarrow was to blame, but this case ended up being a real fight. According to California premises liability law, a plaintiff needs to prove the property owner knew about or negligently created the hazardous conditions that caused the accident. Essentially, it’s up to you and your

legal representatives to prove the property owner was at fault for your injury. This is what makes the wheelbarrow case difficult; we had to prove the wheelbarrow either belonged to the store or had been parked on the premises with the business’s knowledge. During the case, the store in question claimed the wheelbarrow wasn’t theirs, stating that they removed these dangerous cotter pins from their barrows. Thankfully, our client’s friend took pictures of the scene and of the particular wheelbarrow. We then used the “street view” feature on Google Maps to view the storefront and found that the wheelbarrow, which had a unique sticker on it, had been parked outside the shop a full year before the accident. We had an expert compare the street view image to the photos our client took at the scene, to determine it was the same wheelbarrow. Meeting the burden of proof on any property liability case can be a challenge. That’s why taking pictures at the scene of any accident can support your side of the story and greatly help your case.

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CLAIM

STEPS TO TAKE TO DEFEND YOUR PREMISES LIABILITY CLAIM

GATHER WITNESSES

Speaking of bystanders, if there is anyone around who witnessed your injury, talk to them. Ask if they would be willing to talk to you later and write down what they saw, and if they agree, be sure to get their contact information. Having a third-party account of events can help establish liability in a case. You may also consider calling law enforcement to have a report filed after the incident. But be sure someone gets contact information of all witnesses before they leave the scene. It can be as easy as using your cell phone to take a picture of their driver’s license or identification card.

STAY OFF SOCIAL MEDIA

The other side won’t be idle during the claims process. Likely, the property owner’s insurance company will have professionals on the hunt for anything that might discredit you, or downplay the severity of your injury. Increasingly, this means they will look at your social media accounts and those of people close to you. A photo wherein you appear happy and healthy or a post assuring friends that “everything is fine” can easily be taken out of context and used against you. Best to not take any chances.

Premises liability cases are often an uphill battle, but taking these actions can be a huge step in the right direction. Then, you can consider bringing on an expert personal injury firm, like our team at NordstrandBlack, to help you take the next steps toward compensation.

EASY DEVILED EGGS

If you have a legal matter that needs attention, let us know. If we can’t handle the matter, we will refer you to a firm that can. Please feel free to refer us to your friends and family for their legal needs. We welcome the opportunity to help! We Want You to Think of Us as Your Law Firm

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/2 tsp ground mustard Salt, paprika, garlic powder, and pepper, to taste

• • •

• •

2 tbsp milk

1 tsp dried parsley flakes 1/2 tsp dill weed

WORDSEARCH

12 large eggs, hard-boiled

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1/2 tsp fresh chives, minced

BUNNY DAISY EARTH EASTER

Fresh parsley, minced, and paprika for garnish

DIRECTIONS

1. In a large bowl, combine mayonnaise, milk, parsley flakes, dill, chives, mustard, salt, paprika, garlic powder, and pepper. Mix well and set aside. 2. Cut eggs lengthwise and remove yolks carefully to preserve egg whites. 3. In a small bowl, mash yolks. 4. Mix mashed yolks with mayonnaise mixture. 5. Spoon or pipe the mixture back into the egg whites. 6. Garnish with fresh parsley and paprika. Refrigerate before serving.

EGGS FOOL GARDEN PASSOVER POLLEN PRANK RAMADAN TAXES

If you’ve loved working with our firm, please leave us a review on NordstrandLaw.com/Review !

Inspired by TasteOfHome.com

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33 W. Mission Street, Suite 206 Santa Barbara, CA 93101 805-962-2022 NordstrandLaw.com Keep up with the latest changes in the laws affecting consumers and learn how to protect yourself at NordstrandLaw.com.

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L AW Y E R S F O R J U S T I C E

INSIDE THIS ISSUE

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Renee’s Reading Recommendations

Renee’s Reading Recommendations (continued)

Case Spotlights

3 Steps to Protect Your Claim

Easy Deviled Eggs

The Best Locations for Spring Blooms

ANTELOPE VALLEY The California Poppy Reserve in Lancaster, California, is a 1,780-acre park that features sloping hills covered with fields of vibrant orange, yellow, and red poppies in the spring. Warm temperatures and heavy rainfall across Southern California during this time of year create a brief period of thick blooms as far as the eye can see. And while the poppies can be enjoyed from the comfort of your car, the best way to experience them is to walk the leisurely Antelope Loop Trail for a breathtaking, up- close adventure. SANTA YNEZ VALLEY Figueroa Mountain in Santa Yuez is only a 30-minute drive from Santa Barbara. In the spring you have the opportunity to see the mountain covered with vibrant orange wild poppies and bright purple lupines. Check out FS.USDA.gov/lpnf for more information on wildflower updates in that area. Spring flora is gorgeous and naturally attracts large crowds of people every year. If you plan to visit any of these destinations, just remember that their ecosystems are delicate. Respect park signs, stay on designated trails, and do your part to make sure these flowers return year after year for future generations to enjoy.

See Spring Bloom

IN THESE BEAUTIFUL LOCATIONS

Spring is here, which means beautiful flowers are finally showing themselves after a long winter. Here are some of the best places in the U.S. to see flower blossoms and welcome the season. CRESTED BUTTE Crested Butte, Colorado, is best known for its winter sports and summer hikes. But recently it has drawn the attention of flower enthusiasts for its unique pink, orange, and gold alpine wildflowers that appear in the spring. This natural phenomenon even inspired the creation of the annual Wildflower Festival in midsummer, which features nature walks, art, photography, culinary experiences, and more. For a truly unique experience, you can even ascend the town’s titular Crested Butte to spot some rare alpine sunflowers next to the picturesque West Elk Mountains.

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