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California is known for having a booming tech industry, and new ideas often extend to automobiles and motorcycles. To be sure, connected cars and motorcycles used to be fictions of the future, but they’re slowly becoming a reality on streets throughout the state. When it comes to motorcycles, the California-based company Zero Motorcycles, according to a recent report from Information Week, was the first to create a prototype for a connected motorcycle (back in 2006). Now, the company is thinking more carefully about motorcycle safety and the ways in which the Internet of Things (IoT) might be able to help prevent deadly motorcycle accidents.17381329995_608d618937

Connecting Riders to Improve Safety

As the article emphasizes, “connected motorcycles may sound cool, but researchers are delving into more serious aspects of them.” For instance, dedicated short-range communications (DSRC) applications might be able to reduce the number of injuries and fatalities that occur in motorcycle accidents. If connected motorcycles become the norm, riders who have been involved in an accident can quickly reach out for assistance. And some applications might even be able to connect riders involved in collisions immediately with emergency medical responders.

Up until recently, connected motorcycles weren’t common like connected cars. In 2013, however, Zero Motorcycles produced a mobile app that allowed riders to communicate via Bluetooth, and it also allowed the company to diagnose mechanical problems with a bike while being hundreds—or even thousands—of miles away. This kind of connectivity has recently been added to Zero’s lightweight electric bikes. As a result, according to the director of consumer experience at the company, “our bikes’ owners can communicate with us from anywhere in the world using our mobile application and its connection.”

And what does such connectivity produce? When it comes to traffic collisions, “the result is a 50% faster response than before for emergency service.” Zero and other motorcycles companies also hope to add vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) technology to bikes in the near future, allowing riders’ bikes to communicate with one another. The goal of V2V, ultimately, is “to prevent accidents,” and such technology could be mandatory as early as 2017.

New Age of Smart Helmets

In addition to connected vehicles, technology is also improving the safety of motorcycle helmets. The smart helmet entered into its first stages of development in 2013, and the owners of the Skully AR-1 smart helmet expect to delivery the first batch of orders by December of this year. What is a smart helmet?

Smart helmets provide riders with “full situational awareness with GPS navigation, a blind-spot camera view, and transparent heads-up display (HUD)” With these tools, the helmets deliver essential information to motorcyclists without causing distractions. And as many of us know, distracted driving (or, in this case riding) can quickly lead to a deadly auto accident. In addition to preventing crashes, smart helmets can also be synced with the bike’s fuel tank, for instance, to alert the rider that she or he needs to stop for gas.

Although connected motorcycles and smart helmets aren’t yet the norm, Californians who are in the process of developing these products hope that they’ll ultimately lead to a drastic reduction in the number of motorcycle accident injuries and fatalities on our roads each year. In the meantime, if you or someone you love suffered serious injuries in a motorcycle accident, you should contact an experienced San Diego motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your case.

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Single-load laundry detergent pods became available to consumers in 2012, but a news release from Consumer Reports emphasizes that this product can pose serious child injury risks. It’s true that the laundry pods are convenient, but they’re “a serious health hazard for young children,” the magazine explained. Manufacturers have a duty to provide products that aren’t unreasonably safe for use.2075433092_a2dbf94911

While companies who make detergent pods have attempted to make these hazardous products safer for households with young kids, the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) continues to receive reports about severe child injuries. As such, Consumer Reports recently decided not to include laundry detergent pods on its list of recommended products, and the magazine even went so far as to “strongly urge households where children younger than 6 are ever present to skip them altogether.”

Dangers of Laundry Detergent Pods

Between January and June of 2015, poison control centers across the country have received thousands of reports about laundry detergent pods. Indeed, more than 6,000 reports in six months alone have described “kids 5 and younger ingesting or inhaling pods, or getting pod contents on their skin or in their eyes.” In 2014, the AAPCC reported a total of 11,714 poisonings connected to laundry detergent pods. If the current rates for 2015 stay on pace, the number of incidents this year will surpass those in 2014. And this wouldn’t be an anomaly—the total number of injuries linked to laundry detergent pods has been on the rise since the product was introduced nearly four years ago.

Popular laundry detergent companies such as Tide and Gain produce these pods, and amidst reports of child injuries a number of manufacturers have taken steps to help make them safer in homes with kids. For instance, companies have switched “from clear to opaque plastic for outer containers and, on some, adding child-resistant latches to make it more difficult to get to the pods.” However, children continue to come into contact with these hazardous products.

Why are laundry detergent pods attractive to young children? A fact sheet presented by the AAPCC explains of these packets that, “because they are colorful and squishy . . . they can look like candy or something fun to play with.” But when children swallow the highly concentrated detergent or get it in their eyes, they can sustain serious injuries. To be sure, many kids “have become very ill and have been hospitalized.”

Unknown Variables Affect Kids’ Treatment After Exposure

A recent report from The Wall Street Journal attempted to explore the reasons why these laundry detergent pods are so dangerous. The question is a significant one, as “children have been sampling regular detergent for years without such harm.” But with the pods, emergency department physicians have seen a wide range of outcomes among kids who ingested or were otherwise exposed to the concentrated detergent in these packets. According to Brandon Wills, a toxicologist, “we don’t know why some children get so sick from laundry pods.” As the article explains, “while the contents of the packets are highly concentrated, and the detergent can shoot out with force when the packets are burst, it isn’t clear what substances in them can cause life-threatening injuries.”

Currently, emergency room doctors simply don’t have enough information to best treat these injuries. Knowing precisely why some kids are gravely affected would help tremendously in healing injuries, but “consumer-product manufacturers have closely guarded the details of how they formulated and what kind of testing they did with laundry packets.” Makers of these pods aren’t required to give a full listing of ingredients, but the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is urging companies to adopt voluntary safety standards that would make the pods safer.

Researchers continue to explore some of the variables that they believe can result in laundry detergent pods affecting different children in dissimilar ways. If your child suffered an injury from a laundry detergent pod, you should discuss your case with an experienced San Diego product liability lawyer. You may be eligible to file a claim for compensation.

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If you’re a nurse employed in a Southern California hospital, are you at a particularly high risk of sustaining a workplace injury? Over the last several months, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) has been investigating healthcare workplace injuries due to a “sharp uptick” in reported incidents, according to a recent article from Fierce Healthcare. In response to its findings, OSHA has “announced a new initiative to drastically increase scrutiny among hospital nursing staff.” In other words, nurses are at serious risk of sustaining injuries on the job, and OSHA wants to curb these incidents.8116070408_bd74655b13

High Rates of Nonfatal Injuries Among Nursing Staff

According to a news release from OSHA about its new initiative, patient handling plays a significant role in healthcare workplace injuries. What kinds of numbers are we talking about? OSHA articulates that, “on average, U.S. hospitals recorded 6.4 work-related injuries and illnesses for every 100 full-time employees in 2013, compared with 3.3. per 100 full-time employees for all U.S. industries combined.”

In the hospital setting, nearly 35 percent of injuries that prevented hospital employees from working were linked to patient interactions. Indeed, more than half of all injuries to nursing assistants were classified as musculoskeletal disorders that may have been avoidable through the implementation of a comprehensive safe patient handling program. How do nurses sustain these injuries?

In general, moving and lifting patients can be hazardous to a nurse’s health. While hospitals encourage nurses to use “body mechanics” strategies to prevent injuries, those tactics simply aren’t sufficient. Special equipment used to lift patients has proven to be the only way to keep hospital staff free of preventable injuries.

Preventing Healthcare Workplace Injuries

How will OSHA help to make a change? OSHA inspectors will look into the devices hospitals are using to lift patients, and they’ll seek to determine whether major hospitals have sufficient supplies for moving and lifting patients. And if they do, are they properly training their nursing staff? The OSHA investigators will get answers to some of these questions by interviewing nurses and hospital managers, as well as through analysis of hospital documents. OSHA will also examine whether hospitals are keeping count of nursing injuries and taking steps to prevent them.

According to David Michaels, the OSHA Assistant Secretary for Labor, the agency has noted the seriousness of nursing injuries based on statistics, but its investigators haven’t examined some of the conditions firsthand. Now, Michaels explained, “it’s time for us to start doing some enforcement to make sure fewer workers are hurt.”

When OSHA inspectors start making hospital visits, they’ll be paying particular attention to ways in which facilities are preventing injuries caused by lifting patients. But they’ll also be examining hospitals’ injury- and illness-prevention methods for risks like tuberculosis or slip and fall accidents. Fines for violations will range anywhere between $7,000 and $70,000, “depending on the extent of the problem and the likelihood that hospital leaders knew about it and took no action.”

If you or someone you love recently suffered a workplace injury, it’s important to learn more about seeking financial compensation. Contact an aggressive San Diego personal injury lawyer today to discuss your case.

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When most of us think about unintentional injuries we’re at risk of sustaining, we rarely think about harms that could come to our eyes. However, according to a recent article in The San Diego Union-Tribune, eye injuries occur more often than you’d think. Indeed, the source of such an injury can “come from anywhere,” and “there’s nearly no limit on the ways that particles, chemicals, foreign objects, or small fragments can enter—or injure—an eye.” Yet as the article points out, there are important ways to prevent eye injuries from taking place, and there are proper ways to handle an eye emergency if it does happen.2579766928_9a5b9063fd

Common Types of Eye Injuries

As the article points out, unintentional eye injuries can result from activities that most of us are unlikely to expect, including but not limited to:

  • Household cleaners;
  • Pool chemicals;
  • Grease from kitchen cooking;
  • Champagne bottle corks;
  • Curling irons;
  • Mascara wands;
  • Tree trimmings; and
  • Construction work debris (for passersby).

The list above is largely incomplete, as San Diego residents are at risk of sustaining a serious eye injury in many everyday activities, from walking near a construction zone to eating dinner at a local restaurant. And in many situations, someone else’s negligence is to blame. For instance, if proper safety measures aren’t taken at a construction area, debris can cause serious injuries to passersby, including eye injuries.

According to Dr. Sandy Felman, the medical director of San Diego’s Clearview Eye & Laser Medical Center, eye injuries typically result from one of the following types of objects:

  • Blunt objects (such as fist or a ball);
  • Sharp objects (like a stick); or
  • Liquids (such as a splash from a chemical cleaner).

Each type of object can cause different kinds of harms to the eye, and many of them require treatment in an emergency department.

Preventing Common Eye Injuries

When we look at eye injuries from sports alone, we learn that these preventable injuries occur about 100,000 times every year, and a little less than half of those injuries lead to a visit to the emergency room. Of those injuries, around 13,500 people will go blind. And approximately one-third of all sports-related eye injuries are attributed to kids, typically from “high-risk sports such as baseball, basketball, martial arts, and hockey.”

How can you prevent serious eye injuries? The most important preventive measure is to wear protective eyewear anytime you’re playing a sport or engaging in an activity that could result in harm to your eye. Parents can buy “sports-specific goggles made of polycarbonate lenses,” which help to protect kids’ eyes while they’re on the field. And protective goggles are also extremely important when you’re doing any home cleaning or home improvement projects.

If you do suspect that you or someone you love has sustained an eye injury, you should seek medical attention. Signs of an eye injury commonly include:

  • Pain;
  • Blurry vision;
  • Red eye; and/or
  • Bleeding eye.

In short, if a person with a suspected eye injury has trouble seeing, cannot move her eye, has a pupil that looks misshapen, or has a noticeable foreign object or blood in the eye, see a medical professional. And if a chemical splashes in the eye, wash it immediately and then seek medical care.

Did you recently sustain an eye injury that resulted from another person’s carelessness? You may be able to file a claim for compensation. Contact a San Diego personal injury lawyer today to discuss your case.

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Do helmets really help to prevent children and teens from sustaining serious and life-threatening traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)? According to a recent report from Fox 5 San Diego, a teen athlete at Torrey Pines High School recently shared how wearing a helmet while skateboarding could have changed his life by preventing the severe head trauma he sustained.4388608397_ebb4de8f49

Head Injury Left Teen in Coma, Required Multiple Surgeries

Brian Applegate, a 17-year-old former star athlete and water polo player in Southern California, was forced to “relearn everything after a skateboarding accident in May left him with a severe brain injury.” Indeed, Applegate “spent 5 weeks in a coma and underwent several surgeries.” Now that his life is no longer in danger, he “spends hours in daily rehabilitation, relearning everything from walking, to talking, to basics like catching a ball.” And he knows that his life-threatening injuries could have been prevented if he had only worn a helmet.

Brian and his family want to raise awareness about the important link between helmet use and brain injury prevention. As Brian explains, “you could die if you hit your head when you’re skateboarding.” As such, he emphasizes that “it’s just so important to remember” to wear a helmet. Brian’s mother hopes that other California families will hear the story about her son or listen to his words in order to prevent child injuries in the future. After all, her son’s injury simply “was avoidable,” as she articulates.

Although Brian is in the process of recovery, he isn’t living life like a normal San Diego-area teenagers. To be sure, his mother emphasizes that Brian has “a long road ahead” as he continues to make progress after sustaining the severe TBI that nearly took his life.

Required Helmet Use for Teens in California

California actually requires teens on skateboards, bicycles, and scooters to wear a helmet if they’re under the age of 18. According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles and Section 21212 of the Vehicle Code:

  • “A person under 18 years of age shall not operate a bicycle, a nonmotorized scooter, or a skateboard, nor shall they wear in-line or roller skates, nor ride upon a bicycle, a nonmotorized scooter, or a skateboard as a passenger, upon a street, bikeway . . . or any other public bicycle path or trail unless that person is wearing a properly fitted and fastened bicycle helmet . . . .”

The helmet law is intended to prevent precisely the type of injury that Brian sustained as a result of failing to wear protective gear. To be sure, a 2009 study from the Journal of Pediatrics reported that injury rates for children and teens are approximately 20 percent lower in states with helmet laws, suggesting that helmets really are an important preventive tool.

It’s important to impress upon our children that helmets can prevent serious brain injuries. Whether our kids are riding bicycles, playing contact sports, or using skateboards, helmets are an essential piece of protective equipment. If your child recently sustained a TBI, it’s important to contact an experienced San Diego brain injury attorney. You may be able to file a claim for compensation.

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Regardless of age, car accidents can cause serious and fatal injuries. Yet all auto accidents don’t produce the same level of damage or personal injuries. Indeed, some traffic collisions are more severe than others. However, when younger people sustain minor or moderate injuries in an auto crash, they tend to recover more quickly than older adults, according to a recent article in Science Daily. Given that information, it’s important to think carefully about the long-term injuries and problems the elderly can face after a car accident.Four Wheels In The Air, Plate 4

Measuring Quality of Life After a Traffic Collision

A recent study published in Annals of Emergency Medicine reported that “many seniors injured in motor vehicle crashes remain in pain for months afterwards, which negatively affects their quality of life, including the ability to live independently.” Indeed, according to Timothy Platts-Mills, MD, MSc, “the types of injuries that younger people recover from relatively quickly seem to put many seniors into a negative spiral of pain and disability.” Platts-Mills is the lead author of the study, and his academic home is in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.

Many seniors suffer injuries in car accidents, and Platts-Mills emphasizes the importance of analyzing their ability to recover after they’re involved in a collision. His research is particularly relevant given that America’s senior population is expected to double in the next twenty years.

Platts-Mills’ study looked at patients who required emergency room treatment for injuries they sustained in car crashes. At the time of the emergency room evaluation, about three-quarters of those in the study indicated they were experiencing “moderate to severe pain.” Six months later, more than one-quarter of those patients “were still reporting moderate to severe motor vehicle crash-related pain.”

And for those patients with persistent pain, nearly 75 percent of them “experienced a decline in their physical function,” while nearly 25 percent “experienced a change in living situation in order to obtain additional help.” In other words, car accident injuries can dramatically impact the daily lives—in the long term—of older adults who suffer moderate to severe injuries. Older adults who experienced lasting pain after a car accident were also “twice as likely to have visited the emergency department at some point during the 6 months after the motor vehicle crash.”

Preventing Car Accidents Among the Elderly

For Platts-Mills, learning about ways to identify patients who are likely to experience lasting pain upon a first emergency visit can allow physicians to begin therapies early on to deal with chronic pain. But in such cases, older adults still suffer significant pain from auto accident injuries. How can we prevent accidents from happening in the first place? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stresses that “the risk of being injured or killed in a motor vehicle crash increases as you age.” To be sure, more than 580 seniors, on average, suffer injuries each day in auto accidents.

The CDC recommends the following for preventing traffic collisions among the elderly:

  • Wearing seatbelts anytime you’re behind the wheel;
  • Only driving when conditions are good: driving during daylight hours and avoiding inclement weather can help seniors to avoid car accidents;
  • Exercising on a regular basis to improve flexibility and strength behind the wheel;
  • Having eyes checked on a regular basis;
  • Planning or mapping out your route before you get into the car;
  • Avoiding driving distractions, including cell phone use; and
  • Considering driving alternatives, such as public transportation or riding with a family member to your destination.

If your elderly parent or loved one recently sustained injuries in an auto accident, you should contact a San Diego car accident lawyer to learn more about filing a claim for compensation.

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San Diego officials recently announced the launch of a program called “Vision Zero,” which aims to “eliminate traffic deaths by 2025” and to “make the city more pedestrian and bike-friendly,” according to a report from NBC San Diego. Many of us have read news stories about hit-and-run accidents in the San Diego area, as well as severe pedestrian and bicycle accidents that occur on our streets. The new program aspires to put an end to such accidents in the next ten years.2300190277_360853ae0d

Slowing Down the Speed with “Vision Zero”

What’s involved in a program created to end traffic fatalities within a decade? According to Jim Stone, the Executive Director of Circulate San Diego, the most important part of the initiative is its focus on safety. In other words, we need to take a look at the reasons for the program in order to understand how it might help to reduce traffic-related deaths in the city. As Stone explained, “We have a traffic fatality rate in San Diego that’s greater than our murder rate.”

One of the first orders of business is speed of travel. Speeding is a serious problem, and it’s a type of aggressive driving that’s responsible for numerous preventable accidents. For instance, Juniper Aavang suffered fatal injuries in a traffic collision caused by speeding just a couple of months ago “as her father pushed her in a stroller through a crosswalk at the intersection of Catalina and Cannon in Point Loma.”

Stone elaborated on the cause of the death, explaining, “we know that if someone is hit by a car going 40 miles per hour they have a 20 percent chance of surviving a crash.” Given those statistics, one of the primary goals of Vision Zero is “to slow things down to a safer speed.”

City Planning Measures Can Help to Reduce Speeding

If we know that speeding is a serious problem, what steps can be taken to help reduce it? The architects of Vision Zero are looking to areas such as Allison Street, which is next to La Mesa City Hall. There, “diagonal parking lines reduce the size of the street.” According to Stone, “studies show smaller streets help slow traffic.”

But it’s not just about reducing the urge to drive fast. To be sure, Vision Zero will also need to take steps to increase pedestrian visibility. Crosswalk lights on the ground, for example, can help to alert drivers that they need to stop. In addition, more signs pointing to crosswalks and curb extensions can help to reduce pedestrian fatalities. As you might imagine, some of these methods are relatively easy to implement—adding pedestrian-crossing signs to crosswalk areas can be accomplished with relative ease, and diagonal parking lines should be relatively straightforward to implement. However, curb extensions could take more time.

Curb extensions are very important in the Vision Zero scheme, though. With curb extensions, pedestrians “can see cars coming, but more importantly the cars can see them coming.” As such, Stone articulates, “it’s a great way to improve pedestrian safety.”

Vision Zero will hone in on “eight major corridors” in San Diego, including University Avenue, Market Street, and El Cajon Boulevard. News agencies recently reported that University Avenue is the most dangerous street for pedestrian accidents in our city. Getting the program underway will cost about $15 million.

Contact a San Diego Accident Attorney

Let’s hope that “Vision Zero” can help to eradicate the car crashes and traffic fatalities that plague Southern California. In the meantime, traffic-related accidents do happen. If you or someone you love has been injured in an auto collision or a pedestrian accident, you should discuss your case with an experienced San Diego car accident lawyer. An advocate at the Walton Law Firm can speak with you today.

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When you take your child to see the doctor, do you worry about preventable medical errors? Most parents aren’t immediately concerned about the risks of surgical mistakes when their children go into the hospital for a routine surgery. Yet a recent article in MedPage Today indicated that pediatric medical errors happen much more often than most of us assume, and “nearly half” of them are preventable.234461207_9f28bf606f

Tool Developed to Prevent Pediatric Medical Mistakes

A pilot study developed a tool aimed at preventing medical errors in pediatric patients. The study recently determined that, when it comes to pediatric inpatients, “nearly half of the harms in patient charts were preventable.” The study looked at 600 different pediatric medical charts. Of those, 240 charts—or 45 percent of those in the study—had recognizable harms that researchers determined to be “potentially or definitely preventable,” according to one of the researchers. The study has been published in Pediatrics.

The authors of the study, including David C. Stockwell, the medical director of the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, developed the Pediatric All-Cause Harm Measurement Tool (PACHMT) in order to determine the causes of pediatric medical errors and whether they’re preventable. Specifically, the tool detects “triggers,” which the researchers define as “a medical record based ‘hint’ that ‘triggers’ the search of the medical record to determine whether an adverse event might have occurred.” In other words, the PACHMT allows researchers to search pediatric inpatients’ medical records to determine whether a medical mistake might have taken place.

The PACHMT is more predictive of some types of injuries than others. To be sure, the positive predictive value depends largely upon the trigger. For instance, preventable infections that occurred in the hospital had the highest predictive value at nearly 86 percent. Oppositely, the positive predictive value of elevated pain was only about 7 percent.

Types of Preventable Pediatric Injuries

When the authors of the study reported on preventable pediatric injuries, what were the most common harms they identified? The following represent some of the most common preventable injuries experienced by young patients:

  • Intravenous catheter infiltrations or burns;
  • Respiratory distress;
  • Constipation;
  • Pain; and
  • Surgical complications.

The harms occurred in patients with hospital stays between 24 hours and 6 months, with a median stay of 4 days. The study data looked almost equally at male and female patients, whose median age was 4 years old.

Currently, the PACHMT isn’t perfect, as its developers have noted. And the study also had limitations, with a “relatively small sample size and the lack of two physician reviewers.” However, their study emphasizes how trigger tools, such as the PACHMT, can “lead to a better understanding of the epidemiology of harm in hospitalized children, as well as allow tracking of change with patient-safety-focused interventions.”

While some medical errors don’t result in serious harms, many medical mistakes lead to severe and even fatal injuries. If you or someone you love recently sustained injuries because of a medical error, you should contact a dedicated San Diego medical malpractice attorney. You may be eligible for financial compensation.

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Is it safe to ride rollercoasters at amusement parks? Recent reports from the Los Angeles Times and ABC 7 News indicated that California rollercoaster rides recently led to the serious injuries of two visitors to a Santa Clara park, and the death of a third at a Six Flags theme park in Valencia. Thousands of people visit amusement parks each year, but do the thrill rides put us at serious risk of a life-threatening accident?2479906084_ed3e23f92d

Child Death at Six Flags Park

According to the Los Angeles Times, 10-year-old Jasmine Martinez exited from the Revolution ride at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, California after losing consciousness. Theme park officials reported that the girl “came into the ride station unconscious” after the rollercoaster route had concluded. The Revolution rollercoaster, as Six Flags describes it, “climbs up a 113-foot hill, then swoops through slopes and a long, steep straightaway to a 90-foot-tall vertical loop.”

Emergency responders airlifted Jasmine to Northridge Medical Center, and she was later transferred to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Jasmine died at Cedars-Sinai the day after she was found unconscious at the park.

California state officials determined that Jasmine’s injuries weren’t “related to the operation of the ride,” and the park quickly reopened the looping roller coaster ride. However, following the girl’s death, Six Flags again closed the ride in order to re-investigate. According to the park, “there is no evidence to suggest that this was in any way ride related,” but Jasmine may have had a pre-existing condition. Since the park opened the ride almost 40 years ago, more than 45 million people have ridden it without incident.

However, injuries are somewhat common on rollercoaster rides. Based on an analysis conducted by the Los Angeles Times that looked at about 2,000 accident reports between 2007 and 2012, about 16 percent of accident reports indicated that a park guest had suffered back or neck pain. Worse yet, about 12 percent of reported accidents cited head injuries. At theme parks, most injuries occur on rollercoasters and waterslides, with an average of about 350 injuries each year.

More Serious Rollercoaster Injuries in Santa Clara

In the wake of Jasmine’s death, two people at Santa Clara’s Great America amusement park suffered injuries on a rollercoaster. As the Flight Deck rollercoaster was coming back into the station, a park employee sustained traumatic injuries when he was struck by the train, according to an ABC 7 report. Witnesses indicated that the worker “stepped into the path of the rollercoaster while trying to retrieve a rider’s cellphone.” At the same time, one of the guests on the rollercoaster reported a serious hand injury and was taken to the hospital for evaluation.

Due to the serious nature of the incidents, the theme park closed the rollercoaster in order to complete an investigation. News of the injuries brought back memories of a 1998 incident at the park in which a guest suffered fatal injuries from the Top Gun rollercoaster.

While a day at an amusement park can sound like a great summer activity, theme park rides can also pose serious risks of injury. If you or your child sustained an injury at an amusement park, you should discuss your case with an experienced San Diego accident lawyer. You may be eligible to file a claim for compensation.

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GuardrailA driver near Cal State San Marcos may lose his legs after the compartment of his car was impaled by a guardrail on Twin Oaks Valley Road in San Marcos. The guardrail was made by Trinity Industries, who has come under fire recently after it was fined $663 million for defrauding the US Government. In that case, a competitor Trinity sued in 2012 alleging that it failed to notify the Federal Administration before it made a design change in 2005. The design change was small, but it has been alleged made the guardrails less safe.

Last Monday morning in San Marcos, a man lost control of his car, hitting a fire hydrant, and then driving right into the end of the guardrail. As the dramatic News10 video shoes, the guardrail pierced the compartment, slicing through the driver’s legs.

In an interesting twist, News10 contacted the City of San Marcos, which stated that the guardrails were not Trinity rails, despite an allegation that there were Trinity markings on the rails. The city apparently changed its position, and later said the rail was standard Trinity guardrail.

Since the fine was levied against Trinity just last month, there have been at least 14 lawsuits filed against Trinity for injuries related to the guardrails, including five deaths.

The initial cause of the San Marcos accident has not been determined, but it is believed that alcohol may have played a role.

Walton Law Firm is a personal injury law firm based in San Marcos, California. Mr. Walton represents individuals in a wide variety of personal injury and wrongful death matters, including cases product liability. All consultations are free and confidential. (760) 571-5500.