Case Type Overview

The Los Angeles attorneys of Girardi | Keese represent people who are hurt physically and financially because of someone else's negligence or wrongdoing.

We focus primarily on representing people hurt in motor vehicle accidents, by defective products, and in toxic tort claims (claims involving the environment). We also represent people facing serious employment and business law challenges, such as wrongful termination and pregnancy discrimination, to name two.

At Girardi | Keese, our clients have suffered greatly and need help rebuilding their lives. Schedule a free consultation by calling 800-401-4530.

Learn About Different Types of Cases Below

In general, personal injury cases involve what we call a "tort." A tort is a wrongful act, which opens up the negligent party to civil liability. To hold a person or company liable is to file a civil lawsuit demanding compensation for an injured person. Personal injury lawsuits may also involve changing a person's behavior or a company's policy to prevent future wrongful acts that may hurt others.

That is what we mean when we say that we not only work to change your life, but we work to change the system.

Motor Vehicle Accidents

Accidents and crashes involving motor vehicles – planes, trains, cars, buses, semi-trucks, motorcycles, bicycles, etc. – are one of the most common personal injury cases. Of these, those involving cars and SUVs are the most common, for the simple reason that there are more of these vehicles on the roads.

In our practice, we've seen the causes of motor vehicle accidents change and evolve over the years. The underlying wrongful act, however, nearly always centers on careless or reckless driving.

Typical causes of motor vehicle accidents include:

  • Speeding
  • Driving while sleepy or fatigued
  • Driving while impaired (alcohol, drugs, prescription medication)
  • Driving while distracted (texting, reading email, radio, passengers, etc.)
  • General inattentiveness to the driver's surroundings and to road conditions

Complex cases involving airplanes, helicopters, and trains are understandably rarer, but when they happen, they involve more than one and often dozens or hundreds of seriously injured people, if not fatalities. In general, the law categorizes these as "mass tort" cases. Finding the underlying cause (and proving liability in court) requires the help of experts who can testify as to the cause of the accident, as well as weeks or even months of intensive investigation and preparation. A plane crash, for example, may stem from pilot error, improper maintenance, a design defect, or a combination of these factors.

In addition to the countless number of car crash cases we've handled since we first opened our doors in 1965, the lawyers of Girardi | Keese have handled an impressive number of aviation accidents, in California, elsewhere in the United States, and in other countries on behalf of U.S. citizens.

Workplace Accidents

Third party workplace claims and workers' compensation are two separate types of cases.

In general, workers' compensation is defined by statute. The law provides compensation for employees based on the extent of their injuries, assuming those injuries were sustained in the normal course of job performance and day-to-day duties.

By contrast, third party claims involve negligence or wrongdoing on the part of a third party, such as the maker of a defective tool used in the construction of a single-family home or commercial building. Many workplace accidents, however, do involve both the third party and the employer in terms of liability.

While Girardi | Keese does not handle workers compensation cases we handle a variety of third-party workplace accidents involving:

  • Falls off ladders
  • Collapsed scaffolding
  • Exposure to toxic chemicals or other substances
  • An explosion or electric shock due to faulty equipment
  • Dangerous and/or defective construction tools
  • The negligence or wrongdoing of a coworker

At the start of 2017, the Orange County Register reported on a rise in workplace fatalities in Southern California, due largely to an improving economy that has put more people to work. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2015, there were 96 worker deaths in Los Angeles County and Orange County combined. In California as a whole, 388 people lost their lives while on the job that year. Workplace deaths (and accidents resulting in serious injuries) are an unpleasant fact in many occupations.

Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice is probably the most hotly debated area of personal injury law. Some lawmakers claim that medical malpractice lawsuits play a role in driving up the cost of health care in the United States, whereas others believe that negligent actions – including a doctor's negligent actions – are not acceptable.

Few people like the idea of bringing a lawsuit against a doctor or other health care professional – except in the many cases in which the patient suffers serious harm because of the doctor's negligence. In those cases, we justifiably hold physicians hospitals and other healthcare workers accountable for their medical mistakes.

Medical malpractice law includes a broad range of issues:

  • Birth injuries, including cerebral palsy, shoulder dystocia, and oxygen deprivation
  • Surgical errors, such as wrong-site surgery and retained foreign objects, i.e. sponges, scalpels, or other items left behind inside the patient's body
  • Failure to diagnose or misdiagnose serious health conditions, such as cancer, heart disease, heart attack, and stroke
  • Medication errors resulting in temporary illness or long-term organ damage and chronic health conditions

Taking retained foreign objects (like sponges) as an example, the Journal of the American College of Surgeons reports that these medical errors "are serious events with a high potential to harm patients," and this happens once in every 5,500 surgical operations. In 2012, the New York Times reported on an estimated 4,000 such cases in the U.S. annually. But that's just a small piece of the puzzle.

In general, medical negligence is responsible for an estimated 250,000 deaths every year, according to a Johns Hopkins study, as reported by ProPublica in 2016.

Products Liability

When a manufacturer of anything from children's toys to pharmaceutical drugs markets and sells a dangerous or defective product, it puts consumers at risk. Any entity in the supply chain, including distributors and retailers, can be held liable for injuries to consumers. Products liability is an area of personal injury law that holds companies accountable for defective products.

Contact Girardi | Keese Today

Call 800-401-4530 or contact us online to get started. We represent clients in Los Angeles and throughout California.