The high cost of TENS unit seen by many personal injury clients.  Some clients involved in a collision will be seen by their physician and will be prescribed physical therapy and/or a TENS unit. A TENS (Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) unit is small portable battery operated device with electrodes to attach to the skin in the area where the source of pain is located. The unit sends an electrical signal to relieve pain.

TensBefore your doctor orders your TENS unit or you sign an agreement to purchase one, find out what you would be paying for it. I have seen instances in which a provider has charged a patient an exuberant amount for a TENS unit ($650.00) that you could purchase yourself on line directly from a medical equipment supplier for under $100.00.

At the Law Offices of Edward A. Smith, we recommend that you find out what make and model your doctor recommends for your treatment regimen and compare the price of the TENS unit your provider sells with those of a reputable medical equipment supplier.  Oftentimes, you can find the same or similar model on line for a fraction of the cost.  Oftentimes, a client might be able to be reimbursed for the out of pocket expense under the medical payments coverage  of their own automobile policy.

I’m Edward A. Smith, a personal injury attorney.  I have been helping victims  in Sacramento and throughout California for over thirty years.  If you or a loved one has suffered personal injuries  caused by the negligence of another, please contact my office for a free consultation or free friendly advice in Sacramento at 916-921-6400 or if your out of the area toll free at 1-800-404-5400. More information about my office can be found at Reviews can be found on Yelp and Avvo.

The “coming and going” rule is an important concept in many motor vehicle accidents. It’s used to determine whether or not a worker who is injured in a motor vehicle collision while traveling to or from work may be covered by their employer’s workers compensation benefits for their own injuries, as well as whether their employer’s liability insurance coverage may apply to other people injured in the accident when the worker is responsible for causing the crash.

coming and going ruleThe Coming and Going Rule in General

Generally, the coming and going rule (sometimes cleverly called the going and coming rule) basically says that a worker is usually not covered by their employer’s workers comp or liability insurance when in the course of their regular commute to and from their regular workplace. If a worker is injured in this type of situation, then they must look to their own automobile insurance and the policies of other people involved in the accident to find coverage for their own injuries or for injuries they have negligently caused to other people.

Exceptions to the Coming and Going Rule

There are many instances, however, where the rule does not apply. For example, if the worker is running errands for the employer when the accident occurs — making a delivery for the employer or shopping for the employer — then the rule does not apply, and coverage may be available. In other instances, where the worker is driving to a special job site, or where the worker does not have a regular, specific work location, the rule also may not apply. A salesman who works out-of-office, driving from one client site to another, is likely to be covered. In these types of cases, the test will frequently be, “Was the worker doing something to further the employer’s business?” or “Will the employer receive some incidental benefit from the worker’s trip?”

The coming and going rules will also not apply to employees who are paid for their travel time as part of their work arrangement. Being called to work at an irregular time may create an exception to the rule, and an employee who is performing an errand for their employer while on their way home, may still be covered by the employer’s insurance even after they have completed the errand but haven’t yet reached home.

coming and going ruleConsiderations for Workers Compensation and Liability Coverages

The coming and going rule can have several important implications for people injured in motor vehicle collisions. For a worker who is injured, knowing whether or not the workers compensation benefits from their employer may be available is very important, especially if the workers has inadequate health insurance coverage or their injury was caused by another party who has inadequate automobile liability coverage to deal with the worker’s injury. Where workers comp is available, the worker may want to pursue a claim under work comp, under the liability coverage of the person who caused their injuries, or both. The decision-making process for this is often not simple, but the first step is knowing what coverage — including workers comp — is or isn’t available.

For a person who has been injured by the negligence of a worker who may have been “on the job” at the time they caused an accident, having that negligent worker fall under one of the exceptions to the coming and going rule may make their employer’s liability insurance — typically with a significantly higher coverage limit than a personal auto liability policy — available to cover the injury victim’s damages.

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento personal injury attorney with the primary accident information site on the web,

If you or a loved one has an injury in a motor vehicle collision — especially one where an employer’s workers comp or liability insurance coverage is in question — call me now at (916) 921-6400. If you are outside the Sacramento area, you can call at (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly advice.

You can find out more about our office by looking for us either on Yelp or on Avvo, the attorney rating site.1

Cruise Ship

There are over 9 Million People a year who take cruise vacations. Occasionally, however, your vacation in the sun may be interrupted. You can find yourself on the deck after having suffered a serious fall.

Having a fractured hip can have very serious consequences for an elderly person and ships, especially those who cater to an older crowd, should take precautions to prevent accidents.

Although many ships have anti slip surfaces on their decks,  many have not updated

There can also be insufficient lighting or lack of tread on incorrect riser heights on stairways.

A cruise line must act reasonably to inspect and repair their vehicles. Spills in ships are common and there should be procedures in place to inspect the ship for spills and a log should be kept of such inspections.

In most cases where there is a fall because the ship owner did not have proper procedures in place, the cruise ship will nonetheless blame the passenger.

In a lawsuit, you must prove that the cruise ship did something wrong or that they had constructive notice that there was some substance or problem with the floor or deck.

It’s important to keep the shoes you wore in a safe place as they will be examined later by experts. Please try to get names and contact information from witnesses.

If you can get photographs, please do so.

Make note if there was a lack of warning signs.

Cruise ship accidents can be very serious but most attorney’s are not familiar with the complicated procedures they involve.

If you fall and are injured on a cruise ship, please call an experienced cruise ship accident lawyer.

I’m Ed Smith, and you can reach me anytime at 916-921-6400 or 800-404-5400 for free, friendly advice.

See our firm reviews on Yelp and Avvo.




A Recent article   on Fox hi-lited a San Diego accident where a father was pushing a baby carriage across an intersection while walking with the mother, when he and the baby were struck

by an SUV and both suffered serious head injuries.

As a pedestrian injury attorney , accidents involving speeding SUV’s striking pedestrians with strollers are more and more common. Here is another such accident.


Parents pushing a stroller should be aware that drivers may see them but be oblivious to a stroller. Additionally, parents and drivers should realize that it is difficult for a parent pushing

a stroller to change directions quickly.

Parents should also realize that some drivers get anxious and are afraid that the stroller pushing parent will slow them down, so they actually accelerate when the see someone with

a stroller.

If you were a pedestrian and injured by a negligent driver, or if your child was injured, call me anytime for free, friendly advice. In Sacramento, 916-921-6400 or Elsewhere


I’m Ed Smith and you can find my firm’s reviews on Avvo and on Yelp.




All information regarding the motorcycle accident statistics compiled here comes from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).  A rider is the operator only, a passenger is seated on the vehicle but not in control.  Multiple parties on a motorcycle referenced together are called “motorcyclists”.

In 2013, 4,668 motorcyclists suffered fatal crash injuries, which is a decrease from 4,986 in 2012.
88,000 motorcyclists suffered non-fatal crash injures, which is a decrease from 93,000 in 2012. Motorcyclists accounted for 14% of all traffic fatalities in this year.



Older motorcyclists make up over half of all fatalities among motorcyclists. NHTSA data reveal that 56% of motorcyclists that suffered fatal crash injuries in 2012 were 40 years old or older. This represents a 63% increase from 2003 when that statistic equaled 46%.   Meanwhile, fatalities among young motorcyclists have dropped in relation to other age groups – from approximately 32% in 2003 to 26% in 2012.  According to NHTSA, the average age of motorcyclist fatalities was 43 in 2012 vs. 38 in 2003.


In 2012, 27% of motorcycle riders that suffered crash fatalities had a B.A.C. greater than 0.08% vs. 23% of passenger car drivers and 2% of large truck driver fatalities.  An additional 8% of motorcycle fatalities registered blood alcohol levels that were lower than 0.08%.  Riders aged 40-44 were the most likely to have alcohol as a factor in a fatal crash.  Of those riders involved in a single-vehicle fatal crash, 43% had B.A.C.’s greater than 0.08.  Alcohol as a factor increases as a statistic for riders that were killed at night.


34% of motorcyclists involved in a fatal crash in 2012 were speeding, which is higher than the rate for passenger vehicles (22%).


Nearly a fourth of motorcyclists that were killed in 2012 did not hold a valid license.

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento motorcycle accident attorney with the primary accident information site on the web,

If you or someone you love has been injured in a motorcycle crash, call me now at (916) 921-6400. If you are outside the Sacramento area, you can call us at (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly advice.

Find out more about our office by reading our reviews at Yelp and Avvo.

With so many large vehicles still on the roads in American, how smart is it to drive a “smart” car, especially considering the ability to walk away unharmed from an accident.

American automobiles are on a diet – getting smaller and more lightweight in order to comply with mileage regulations.  This means that auto makers are replacing steel with light metals and plastics, which lowers gas mileage but also decreases the protection of the occupants.  Some studies show that “smart” car drivers are up to 12 times more likely to suffer fatal injuries in a car accident.  The likelihood of severe injury is even higher.

Mere physics dictate that size is a key component of safety, since mass times acceleration equals force of impact, and that force is what causes injuries and fatalities in vehicle occupants involved in a car accident.   The vehicle’s size often dictates how close driver’s legs and torso are to the front of the vehicle – because of this, crash tests repeatedly show that occupants of smaller cars are at a greater risk for injuries.  A look at this clip from Fifth Gear shows a great impact to a tiny car (test starts at 5:00):

There are many reasons that people choose to buy a “smart” car.  Top reasons are they are supposedly better environmentally and they save money at the gas pump.  Another added benefit is they are easier to park in congested cities.  Although many “smart” car manufacturers add the newest safety features and reinforce the small vehicle with steel safety cages, ability to walk away uninjured from a car crash is not likely one of the reasons anyone will offer as a justification for buying such a vehicle.

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento “smart” car accident attorney with the primary accident information site on the web,

If you or someone you love has been injured while occupying a “smart” car, call me now at (916) 921-6400. If you are outside the Sacramento area, you can call us at (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly advice.

Find out more about our office by reading our reviews at Yelp and Avvo.


As an experienced personal injury lawyer since 1982, it gives me no pleasure to write the above headline.  Many of my friends (indeed my family) are cops, and overall they do a great job protecting us from the bad guys.

Nonetheless, when I see a practice everyday that hurts my clients, I need to speak up. Lately, throughout Sacramento, officers have been coming to accident scenes and failing to write a police report.

Last week, I had a call from a lady in a new BMW who was involved in a collision on Folsom Boulevard with over $30,ooo in damage to her car.

When the police officer arrived he asked ” Are you OK”, she took quick stock and answered “I guess so” and he just had the drivers exchange information and went on his way.

Now the medical profession is well aware that most people have no idea at an accident scene if they are injured or not. Sure, if they break a bone they’ll know it, but the vast majority of cases involve injuries that show up later.

It takes awhile for edema (swelling) to show up. Further, many times, people in accidents are in a state of shock.  It may be many days  or even weeks before the drivers or passengers make their way to a local hospital or doctor for treatment.

In a fair percentage of those cases, the injury treated will  be a permanent one  involving long term disability or surgery.

And in those cases, it is often difficult or impossible for the injured party to prove fault because an officer failed to ask for witness addresses,  make a quick assessment of the scene, and otherwise help document the facts that would pinpoint liability.

Most citizens in accidents are taxpayers who deserve better.

Just to be clear, it’s technically the officer’s choice to write a police report or not if someone says they are not injured , but in the  past most officers realized the harm lack of a report would cause, recognized the mental state of people involved in the collision and would take the time to write a report.

No longer.

My suspicion is that some pen pusher who hasn’t been on the streets in years, is behind this not the officers themselves.

Nonetheless, it’s hurting people every day who should be helped and not punished.

Until the Sacramento police policy changes, I’d suggest in any decent property damage accident that, if the officer asks if you’re injured, to tell him “Yes”, because you likely ARE.

I’m Ed Smith, an injury lawyer in Sacramento since 1982. Call me anytime at 916-921-6400 or 800-404-5400, for free friendly advice.

Look up my Firm’s ratings on Yelp or Avvo.

Photo Attribution: By California Highway Patrol (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


fender benderAnytime you are hurt,  you should report an accident to your insurance and make a police report.

But what if no-one is hurt, the accident is your fault, and the property damage is relatively minor?

Should you report it to your insurance company and let them take care of it or should you pay the other driver yourself to avoid an insurance rate raise? Not an easy question, but here are some guidelines.

If you’re in an accident that is your fault, your insurance premium will go up the next time they change rates. It’s difficult to say by how much but the average care insurance premium in California is $1700 a year and typically rates may go up by an average of 40%. Of course if you have other traffic violations or accidents on record, it could go up much more.  Further, if you had a safe driver discount on your policy you will likely lose that as well.  If the rates go up, they will stay up for 3 years.  Therefore, reporting an accident may raise the average insurance rate you pay by around $2000 over 3 years.

Now there are some policies that forgive minor accidents and that is spelled out in your policy. If there is a forgiveness clause, you likely want your insurance to cover the accident.

As a rule of thumb, if an accident were my fault, and the property damage was under $1000, I’d likely pay it myself to avoid an insurance hike….

Unless I had a policy that forgives minor accidents.

I’m Ed Smith, a personal injury lawyer from Sacramento since 1982. Call my office anytime for free, friendly advice at 916-921-6400 or 800-404-5400.

See our reviews on Yelp or Avvo.


People who have sustained catastrophic injuries (and their families) are often in need of very specific, specialized information regarding the injury suffered, the latest care and support options, research into new treatment options, and the psychological and emotional support that can come from connecting with other people who have suffered similar losses.  For some of the categories of catastrophic injuries, the following resources may be helpful:


resources for catastrophic injuriesBurn Injury Resources

The Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors is an online collection of information and resources for the victims of serious burn injuries and their families.  In addition to being an information resources, the society organizes an annual meeting for burn survivors, medical professionals and fire fighters.

The Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center provides information for survivors of several types of devastating injuries, including burn injuries.  It’s resources address both the immediate needs, such as wound care, and long-term needs, including emotional and social issues, rehabilitation and employment.

The American Burn Association is primarily aimed toward medical professionals, however it also includes useful information both for coping with burn injuries and for burn prevention.


Amputation Resources

The Amputee Coalition is a nationwide dedicated to preventing, treating, and helping people live with limb loss.  It includes a resource center with both a variety of printed materials available and free resource specialists available by telephone.

ActiveAmp provides information and contacts for “adaptive sports” — activities designed to accommodate amputees.

The National Amputation Foundation was founded in 1919 to provide assistance to military amputees, and it has since come to provide services to civilian amputees, as well.


resources for catastrophic injuriesQuadriplegia and Paraplegia Resources

Information for victims of spinal cord injuries is another of the areas covered by the Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center.  It provides information for those living with spinal cord injuries, with both documents and videos covering topics from the latest research studies to techniques for coping with activities of daily living.

The United Spinal Association has been in existence for nearly 70 years.  It is a large, national non-profit that provides information and other resources to both military and civilian victims of spinal cord injury.

The Christopher Reeve Foundation — named after he actor who suffered a spinal cord injury in a riding accident — provides information on current research studies, grants to non-profits that provides services to paralysis victims, and a large variety of print and video resources.


Blindness Resources

The National Federation of the Blind was begun in 1940 with the goal of fully integrating the blind into society.  They offer resources to help the newly blind adjust to their condition, particularly by meeting with people experiencing blindness to learn how they accommodate the condition in their daily lives and work.

The American Foundation for the Blind was founded in 1921 to help people with vision loss reach their fullest capabilities.  Their most famous member was Helen Keller.  They provide support and knowledge to blind people and their families, along with supporting the development of “accessibility” tools and products to help people work.

The Society for the Blind is a non-profit offering support and resources in Northern California for people who are blind or have limited vision.  They offer special programs just for youth and for the elderly, along with a store that offers numerous assistive products for the blind and visually impaired.


Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) Resources

The Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome Association is a national organization devoted to providing patient resources and supporting research into this devastating condition.  Their resources page provides a large quantity of information on this condition, which is also known as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS).

The American Chronic Pain Association offers information on medications, treatments, and pain management techniques for the severe pain that is the most challenging symptom of RSD/CRPS.


resources for catastrophic injuriesTraumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Resources

The Brain Injury Association of America is the oldest nationwide organization devoted to this condition.  In addition to supporting research and prevention efforts, the association has a great deal of information available to TBI victims through the website and local affiliates.

In addition to the burn injury and spinal cord injury resources mentioned above, the Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center is also a storehouse for valuable information about traumatic brain injuries.

BrainLine is an online multimedia project offering information, support, and an opportunity to connect with others who have sustained traumatic brain injuries.


I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento catastrophic injury attorney with the primary accident information site on the web,

If you or a loved one has suffered a catastrophic injury, call me now at (916) 921-6400. If you are outside the Sacramento area, you can call at (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly advice.

You can find out more about our office by looking for us either on Yelp or on Avvo, the attorney rating site.

A traumatic dog bite injury can result in amputation of a limb. Oftentimes, losing a finger, hand, foot or leg is not uncommon.  In California alone, there have been many severe dog bite attacks where a victim has lost a limb.  There are many factors in handling a California dog bite case involving these kind of life threatening injuries and requires the help of only an experienced dog bite attorney.

Recently, in Southern California, a four year old boy had to have his leg amputated (below the knee) after a serious dog bite attack. See full news report here.

Amputation resulting from a dog bite can occur under the following circumstances;

1. The dog bite is so severe that the nerves and bones were injured making it difficult to reattach the limb.

2. An infection can develop in the wound site and get into the bone.
When an infection gets into the bloodstream, it can result in septic shock where blood flow is cut off to the limbs. Without the limb being amputated, a person can lose his or her life.

In a dog bite case, if an infection develops, you may be entitled to recover damages for the infection as well.

Losing a limb due to a dog bite injury is traumatic and life-altering. The medical costs alone associated with an amputation are substantial. A dog bite victim who loses a limb will need the help of an experienced dog bite attorney to ensure a recovery for not only current medical costs but also extensive costs for ongoing medical care, prosthetics and physiotherapy rehabilitation.

The Law Offices of Edward A. Smith has over three decades of experience helping clients that have been severely injured including dog bite injuries resulting in amputation. If you or a loved one has suffered from a dog bite injury, contact our office for a free case evaluation at 916-921-6400 or toll free at 1-800-404-5400., Reviews can be found on Yelp and Avvo.