Skip to main content
Darren O'Leary Aitken

Darren Aitken’s Answers

12 total


  • My dog broke his rope and ran after a lady jogging by my house. My landlord is being sued. The bite happened off the property.

    My dog broke his rope when a woman was jogging by the house.The rope went under my feet and knocked me down.By the time I got up the lady was across the street and on the sidewalk when my dog approached her.As I approached the lady to grab my dog,...

    Darren’s Answer

    Yes, your landlord can be sued. The injured party, however, must show that he/she did something negligent (or unreasonable) in overseeing your tenancy. For example, knowingly allowing a dangerous dog on the premises, or knowing that you let the dog run free in the neighborhood without trying to stop that practice, etc. Absent facts like that, the claim is not likely to be successful. That will not necessarily stop the suit from being filed however.

    See question 
  • Do I seek an attorney because of an assault on my fiancee?

    Recently aboard a Carnival ship my fiancee was punched in the face sustaining severe facial injuries. The man was detained with security in his cabin after they found him and investigated the issue themselves. Upon arrival to the port in Mexico ...

    Darren’s Answer

    Definitely consult an attorney who knows admiralty law. What can be done will be influenced by where the ship was when the assault occurred since that will dictate what laws apply. Also, one additional challenge is that the assailant's insurance (if any) may not cover him since he intentionally hurt your fiance. If there is no insurance, for your boyfriend to recover the assailant must have personal assets to pay. Good luck,

    See question 
  • Should I file a suit against the school for injuries my daughter sustained in the classroom?

    My daughter is 8 years old and in the 3rd grade. Presentations were being done on "how to" the day of incident. Boy was doing how to scramble eggs, my daughter was asked to help by teacher & hot oil spilled down her leg & into her shoe causing 3r...

    Darren’s Answer

    Based on those facts, I believe your daughter would likely have a successful claim for the injuries she suffered. Since a school district is involved, there are pretty tight time deadlines in regard to filing, so I suggest you retain a good attorney who is experienced in bringing cases against a public entity as soon as possible.

    See question 
  • Is it necessary to cote Codes ?

    During my time at a hearing the attorney stated "Plaintiff did not even quote any Codes", I am not sure of why I should have to when I am giving the complete truth, what would they serve anyway? Thanks

    Darren’s Answer

    The codes contain the laws that apply to the facts in any given situation. Perhaps the attorney was indicating that your testimony, even if completely true, does not allow you to win under the applicable laws. As an easy example, one can truthfully testify that one ran a red light. It is true, but contrary to the law.

    See question 
  • Can a bartender/bar be sued for over serving obvious intoxicated person in California? Do they have to stop a fight?

    LONG story short...was at dive bar, got wayyyy to drunk and ended up in a fight and ended up going to jail blah blah blah. Mind you I remember absolutely nothing. Never has that happen. On surveillance video police used for court it shows me lite...

    Darren’s Answer

    in Caliornia, a bartender (or the bar itself) cannot be sued for serving alcohol unless to an "obviously intoxicated minor". A bar can be sued for providing negligent security under the right facts . It doesn't sound like your situation looks promising in that regard, however, since it sounds like you were the aggressor.

    See question 
  • I WANT TO KNOW CAN SUE RT BUSS CAUSE I SLIPPED AND FELL ON THE BUSS THE BOTTOM LINE I HAVE TWO TORN LIGAMENTS AND I AM GOING TO

    DEAR MS WIGNER THE CLAIM YOU PRESENTED TO THE SACRAMENTO REGIONAL TRANSIT DISTRICT ON JAN 9 2014 IS BEING RETURNED BECAUSE IT WAS NOT PRESENTED WITH IN SIX MONTHS AFTER THE EVENT OR OCCURRENCE AS REQIRED BY LAW SEE SECTION 901 AND SECTION ...

    Darren’s Answer

    California law does require that an "administrative" claim be filed within six months of injury or the right to sue in Court is lost. If that is not done, a petition to file a late claim needs to be filed within one year of the injury. That will likely be denied by the Transit District. At that point, the only thing that can be done is to ask a civil judge for "relief" from the claims filing statute. Unfortunately, the grounds for relief are very narrow, and not knowing of the filing deadline is not a recognized exception. This situation falls into the "ignorance of the law is no excuse" category.

    My recommendation is to seek legal counsel in your area immediately to see if you situation justifies relief from the failure to file within six months. Good luck.

    See question 
  • Wondering if I should obtain a lawyer for a hit and run.

    I was involved in a hit and run, luckily my daughter jotted down the plate. Police were called to the scene and officers dispatched to the address of the plates. I am currently dealing with the other parties insurance company, and they are being e...

    Darren’s Answer

    In a perfect world, the insurance companies would treat people such as yourself with respect and cooperation so that claims can be resolved amicably without the need for lawyers. Unfortunately, in the real world, that is not always the case. Here, it appears that the adjuster involved has already closed his mind on the issue. Therefore, legal assistance may be necessary.

    Every claim at has two basic components: fault and compensation. Given the situation you described, the insurance company will not likely dispute that their driver is at fault. Accepting that fault, however, does not mean that the insurance company is willing to pay fair compensation for the damages caused, or any compensation at all. Based on what you have written, payment of fair compensation seems to be the sticking point. Unfortunately, a lawyer may be required to break through the logjam given the hostility already displayed by the adjuster.

    Good luck.

    See question 
  • Is a lawyer needed?

    Dad was driving straight through a greenlight intersection. Guy from opposite side turned left in front of my dad. Dad didn't see him, and hit his truck near the passenger side door. Dad says he has a green light and the left turns are arrowed, no...

    Darren’s Answer

    Your Dad's insurance company will handle any claim brought by the other driver, and hire an attorney to defend your Dad if it gets that far. From your description, it sounds like the other driver is at fault, but that will not prevent him from making a claim, especially if he has a different version of events.

    The insurance covering the other automobile should cover that driver unless he stole the vehicle or is specifically exempted from the policy by name. I cannot tell if either of those situations apply from your description.

    If the other driver is uninsured, than your father can make a claim under his own uninsured motorist coverage policy for any injuries he suffered.

    See question 
  • Who do i go after?

    I was involved in a 3 car accident. The car that caused the accident doesnt have insurance. I have a list of medical bills and still being treated. Do i go after the guy that caused the accident or the lady that hit me? What are my options since ...

    Darren’s Answer

    You have a right to claim damages or sue someone even if they do not have insurance. Of course, if they do not have any substantial assets (a description that applies to nearly all the uninsured drivers out there), there may be no practical reason to do so.

    From your description, it sounds like you were the third car in a three car accident. If there is evidence that the middle car's driver was also negligent (in other words, careless), you could file a claim against her as well. California recognizes that more than one person's carelessness could cause an accident. You would just need the facts to demonstrate that this second driver did something careless (for example, following too close, or not reasonably reacting to the first car's poor driving).

    Your own insurance policy should have uninsured motorist coverage. On your insurance card, it is usually listed as coverage "U" or "UM". If you have that coverage, you should be able to make a claim against your own policy just as you would against the insurer of the person who caused the accident (if that person had insurance). Under an uninsured motorist claim, you can recover all your damages, both economic and non-economic, up to the amount of your UM coverage limits.

    As the first poster indicated, an attorney in this field can help your sort this issue out.

    See question 
  • Personal Injury - the other party

    Recently, on a dark night, I hit 2 pedestrians at a cross-section with my car. One complained of a scrapped elbow, while the other complained about lower back soreness. I stopped at the red light, looked both ways to see if I could make a right tu...

    Darren’s Answer

    I agree with the above answers. Just make sure to fully cooperate with the attorney your insurance company hired for you. For example, if your attorney asks for permission to release your policy limits, give it to him or her. Also, if you are informed that the injuried pedestrians have made a demand to settle that is within your insurance limits, be sure to ask that the case be settled for that amount. If you that and the insurance company decides not to pay the demand, and if the matter later goes to trial and the pedestrians get a verdict that is greater than your limits (which puts your personal finances at risk), you have a strong argument that your insurance company should pay the entire verdict.

    See question