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While many Southern Californians don’t immediately think about train transportation when considering ways to commute, Metro trains are popular ways of traveling for students and other residents of the Los Angeles area. To be sure, both local railroads and national passengers trains run through California, and it’s important to be safe when it comes to the possibility of a train accident.

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According to a recent article from NBC Los Angeles, a Metro light rail train collided last week with an automobile near the University of Southern California, leaving a film student in “grave condition.” Officials reported that nine people who had been on the train, including the operator, were taken to the hospital following the car crash.

Details of the Metro Train Collision

How did the accident happen? Based on initial reports from investigators, the driver, Jacob Fadley, a 31-year-old film production graduate student, “may have made an improper turn to his left, crossed the tracks, and collided with the train.” The collision with the train resulted in the car being “wedged between the train and a pole,” which resulted in a train derailment. The automobile driver became trapped inside his badly damaged vehicle. In total, 21 people required medical attention from the accident, reported the Los Angeles Fire Department.

One witness, a USC freshman, told authorities he heard “a big, loud crash of metal” while inside his dorm room. He added that “it was huge, so we knew it wasn’t just a car crash. We figured something big happened, so we looked out our window and we saw half of a car smashed into the rail.” The driver was rescued from his “crumpled Hyundai Sonata” and rushed to the hospital for treatment. Several other victims sustain serious injuries, including the train operator.

Dean Elizabeth Daley of the USC School of Cinematic Arts reported that the driver, Fadley, “was very seriously injured,” but that he “is currently in stable condition.” Officials aren’t yet certain what caused the crash. The Los Angeles Police Department is looking into the possibility that there was a signal failure. The Department currently is in possession of an onboard camera that may provide some clarification.

Signal Failure and Train Crash Causes

Some suspect a possible signal failure, given that left turns, such as the one made by Fadley, “are regulated by a red or green left turn arrow, and there are flashing alarms for approaching trains, which are supposed to get ‘train stop’ signals if cars are turning across the grade crossing.” According to Najmedin Meshkati, a civil engineering professor at USC, train crossing could prove dangerous and should be the focus of a new study.

The Federal Railroad Administration’s Office of Safety Analysis recently reported that nearly 10,000 train accidents occur each year, with more than 6,000 reported serious injuries. Of those injured in train collisions and derailments, more than 600 fatalities occur annually. If drivers and pedestrian thought more carefully about safety, many of these severe and deadly injuries could be prevented. Some important safety tips include the following:

  • Don’t assume you can cross train tracks simply because you don’t see a train coming. No matter what, abide by the safety signals at railroad crossings.
  • Don’t walk along train tracks. It’s illegal, and you’re far more likely to suffer a serious or fatal injury.
  • Don’t stop on the tracks for any reason while you’re driving. Always come to a complete stop before the tracks if the safety signals alert you that a train is nearby.

Train accidents can be extremely dangerous. In many cases, negligence is a primary factor in derailments and serious collisions. If you or someone you love has been injured in a train crash, contact an experienced San Diego personal injury lawyer today to learn more about how we can assist with your claim.

Photo Credit: Ayton via Compfight cc

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Back in 2010, a deadly bus accident in Fresno resulted in the death of six people, including the bus driver and two passengers. According to a recent article in the Fresno Bee, a jury just decided in favor of Greyhound Lines, Inc. in a lawsuit related to the case, prompting the newspaper to report that, “this time, Goliath won.”

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Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed By Victims’ Families

Sylvia Garay, Vanessa Gonzalez, and Stephanie Cordoba were among the victims killed in the deadly bus crash on Highway 99. The victims sustained fatal injuries “when a streaking bus plowed into” their SUV. Their families filed a wrongful death claim in Fresno County Superior Court, but the jury voted 10-2 in favor of Greyhound Lines, Inc. Reports indicate that the jury deliberated “less than three hours after a six-week trial, then left without speaking to attorneys in the case.”

The families had sought at least $6 million from Greyhound, but given that the jury found in favor of the bus company, the families of the deceased victims will not receive any financial compensation. Prior to the outcome of this case, Greyhound reportedly “spent more than $3 million to settle with the two dozen injured bus passengers,” as well as the families of two of the bus passengers who sustained fatal injuries. However, Greyhound didn’t offer any compensation to the families of the young women who had been passengers in the SUV that was struck by the bus.

What evidence existed in favor of the plaintiffs? According to the article in the Fresno Bee, the bus driver, James Jewett, caused the accident by driving aggressively. Indeed, the plaintiffs’ attorney argued that “the evidence clearly showed he was speeding in the fast lane and wasn’t wearing his eyeglasses when he slammed into the overturned SUV.” In other words, the SUV had already overturned when the bus crashed into it. The plaintiffs also presented evidence that “Greyhound’s own mechanics said Jewett’s bus had bad brakes, but supervisors wanted the bus on the road.”

Contradictory Evidence from the Defense

Why would the jury decide in favor of the defense if Greyhound didn’t properly maintain its bus and if the Greyhound driver hadn’t been obeying the rules of the road when the accident took place? The defense relied on information supplied by the California Highway Patrol, which “blamed the deadly crash on Garay, saying she was drunk when she overturned the SUV.”

In addition, the California Highway Patrol indicated that Jewett had in fact been wearing his glasses and, even with them on, he “couldn’t see the dark undercarriage of the SUV.” The defense also presented evidence showing that Jewett had been driving Greyhound buses for 32 years and maintained a clean driving record.

While it can be difficult to prove that a big company is liable for injuries in an accident, it is important to seek compensation when you have been injured because of another person’s negligence. Bus accidents often result in serious and fatal injuries. If you or someone you love has recently been injured in a bus crash, you may be eligible to file a claim for compensation. Contact an experienced San Diego bus accident lawyer at the Walton Law Firm today to learn more about how we can assist with your case.

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Did you know that March is brain injury awareness month? Millions of Americans sustain traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) each year, while many more continue to live with the effects of serious head trauma. In order to raise awareness about the severity of a brain injury—both to the victims themselves, as well as to the family members, friends, co-workers, and employers of the victims—and the ways we can help to prevent serious accidents from taking place.

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Not Alone in Brain Injury Awareness, Treatment, and Prevention

Each year, the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) observes Brain Injury Awareness Month and develops a theme for its advocacy work. Between 2015-2017, the theme is “not alone.” According to the BIAA, “the Not Alone campaign provides a platform for educating the general public about the incidence of brain injury and the needs of people with brain injuries and their families.” In addition, the campaign “lends itself to outreach within the brain injury community to de-stigmatize the injury, empower those who have survived, and promote the many types of support that are available.”

According to a recent article from US Newswire, the Brain Injury Association of California (BIACAL) has recognized Brain Injury Awareness Month by hosting the “Walk For Brain Injury.” The event took place at the State Capitol on March 22md, raising tens of thousands of dollars for brain injury awareness. This year, 40 percent of the gross proceeds benefitted UC Davis Medical Center, which served as the local host organization. BIACAL was founded in 2005, and it helps California residents by “providing information and resources, education, prevention and awareness, and legislative advocacy.”

To aid efforts on a local basis, the BIAA provides a state advocacy toolkit aimed to help “state level advocates, both seasoned and new to the world of advocacy,” when it comes to brain injury awareness campaigns. The more you know about preventing head trauma, the more likely we’ll be able to reduce the number of injuries that occur each year. You can follow the BIAA’s campaign at #NotAloneinBrainInjury.

Facts and Statistics from the Brain Injury Association of America

What do you need to know about traumatic brain injuries? According to the BIAA, you should have an idea of some of the following facts and figures:

  • At least 2.5 million Americans sustain brain injuries every year. Of those injury victims, more than 2 million require emergency room treatment, and nearly 300,000 must be hospitalized.
  • 50,000 people die from TBIs each year.
  • Falls are the leading cause of serious and fatal TBIs. Other causes of severe head trauma include by struck by an object, being involved in an auto accident, and being the victim of an assault.
  • More than 12 million Americans currently are living with the effects of an acquired brain injury.

If you or a loved one recently sustained a traumatic brain injury in an accident caused by another person’s negligence, you should speak with an experienced San Diego brain injury lawyer about your case. Contact the Walton Law Firm today to discuss filing a claim for financial compensation.

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Back in September of 2012, Andre Walker, 30, suffered a serious injury due to a “gopher-infested soccer field in Ocean Beach,” according to a recent article in U-T San Diesoccer-ballgo. Earlier this month, Walker won a $450,000 settlement after filing a claim against the city in August 2013. While the specific facts of the case may seem like something out of a fictional narrative, the settlement emphasizes the importance of seeking compensation for injuries resulting from premises liability injuries.

Have you suffered a personal injury because improperly maintained premises? You may be able to file a lawsuit to seek compensation for your injuries. Don’t hesitate to discuss your case with an experienced San Diego personal injury attorney.

Improperly Maintained Soccer Field

How did the plaintiff’s injury happen? In short, Robb Field, or the Ocean Beach Recreation Area, had serious hazards on its premises. While it doesn’t seem like the most likely cause of a severe personal injury, the field was littered with gopher holes. One of those gopher holes caused serious injury to Walker’s knee, which ultimately “required total knee reconstruction.”

A number of recreational users filed complaints with the city, urging it to properly maintain the soccer field. Indeed, during arbitration, Walker’s attorney presented letters from other soccer players “noting that dangerous conditions had led to injuries ranging from sprained ankles to fractured femurs.”

Walker’s lawyer also presented proof that “the city contracted with the lowest bidding pest control company in order to reduce the number of pocket gophers at the site.” And despite the fact that the city knew about the problem and sought bids to eradicate it, players continued to suffer injuries. To be sure, even after Walker’s knee injury, players continued to get hurt from the poorly maintained field.

Why? In short, the grounds manager at Robb Field indicated that the pest control firm from whom the city entered into a contract, Epic Pest Control Company & Landscape Services, Inc., “entered a bid too low to cover the costs of exterminating the gophers.”

Severe Injury and Long-Term Disability

Walker’s injury was an especially severe one. Stepping in the gopher hole caused a “complete rupture of his anterior cruciate ligament, lateral collateral ligament, meniscus, and other injuries to his knee.” As a result, he required a total knee reconstruction, and has also developed a condition called drop foot. This condition prevents Walker from “lift[ing] his foot up and down or us[ing] his lower leg for almost two years.” In addition, he’s likely to “experience long-term disability as a result of his injury.”

Since Walker filed his lawsuit and settled, the city has reportedly “taken steps to improve the condition of Robb Field.” The field still has gopher holes, but there are fewer than when Walker sustained his injury. In addition, the city has managed to “substantially reduce the gopher population,” which will result in fewer gopher holes over time.

Premises liability is a broad area of the law that allows injury victims to seek compensation when they’ve been hurt because of a property owner’s negligence. Property owners have a duty to keep their premises free of hazards. If you have sustained an injury on another person’s property, you may be eligible for financial compensation. Contact an experienced San Diego personal injury lawyer at the Walton Law Firm today to learn more about how we can assist with your case.

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emergency roomWhen you’re admitted to a Southern California hospital for treatment or a routine surgery, are you at risk of being injured because of medical negligence?

According to a recent article in the Los Angeles Daily News, ten different California hospitals received fines last month “after state health inspectors found deficiencies in care that resulted in one patient being abandoned on the side of the road to wait for transportation and another dying because a feeding tube was inserted incorrectly.” In short, investigators discovered serious issues relating to medical mistakes and medical malpractice.

Hospitals Fined Across Three Southern California Counties

When the California Department of Public Health issues fines to hospitals for medical mistakes, it releases inspection reports, along with a list of penalties, which “offer details into why and how the medical errors occurred.” Just last month, the department levied a total of $700,000 in fines to hospitals in Los Angeles county, San Bernardino county, and Riverside county.

What kinds of medical errors took place? The medical errors varied immensely from hospital to hospital, ranging from preventable medical mistakes to neglect.

Medical Mistakes and Hospital Liability

At Kaiser Permanente, a facility in Woodland Hills, inspectors confirmed that “a patient received 19 doses of three types of narcotic medications within a few hours and then died nine days later.” For that violation, the hospital received a fine of $50,000. While one of the medical professionals on staff might not have been the ones to improperly administer those fatal doses—investigators from the department learned that “a device that administers medications may have been too accessible to the patient’s family members”—the hospital still has a duty to that patient.

At Loma Linda University Medical Center, a resident physician’s mistake led to another $50,000 fine. At that hospital, the doctor “inserted a feeding tube that went into the patient’s lung instead of the stomach.” The error proved to be a fatal one. A statement from the facility emphasized that it’s “a teaching hospital,” and that its staff “carefully stud[ies] critical events to identify opportunities to improve systems and practices of patient care.” The adverse event occurred in 2010, and the medical center hasn’t been implicated in similar medical mistakes since then.

Patient Neglect and Preventable Deaths

In addition to active mistakes committed by the hospitals and their employees, some facilities were fined for injuries and deaths that resulted from neglect. For instance, at Southwest Healthcare in Murrieta, a “47-year-old patient suffering from pulmonary disease, diabetes, hypertension, and kidney dysfunction” died in the emergency room “as a result of a delay in care and medications.”

The California Department of Public Health fined the facility $100,000.

Southwest Healthcare has been implicated in a number of serious and fatal medical errors in recent years, and the $100,000 fine was the 13th one it has received. Safety advocates are urging state officials to take specific actions against hospitals that “repeat medical errors.”

Medical errors and medical malpractice are much more common than any of us would like to believe. Indeed, an article in NPR cited medical mistakes as the third-leading cause of preventing deaths in the country. If you or a loved one has suffered a personal injury as a result of medical negligence, you should seek legal counsel. Contact an experienced San Diego medical malpractice attorney today to discuss your options.

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Late last month, a commuter train crash led to 30 serious personal injuries. Now, the top prosecutor in Ventura County is deciding whether or not to bring criminal charges, according to a recent article in U.S. News & World Report.

Train accidents and derailments can be devastating, often resulting in severe and fatal injuries. If you or someone you love has been injured in a train collision, you shouldn’t hesitate to speak with an experienced San Diego personal injury lawyer. You may be able to file a claim for compensation.

Details of the Train Accident

What happened in Oxnard? According to reports, three out of five train cars on a Metrolink commuter train derailed after it crashed into a truck in the early hours of the morning. Images from the crash show that the derailed cars “tumbled onto their sides,” leaving four people with critical injuries. Investigators initially arrested the truck driver, Jose Alejandro Sanchez-Ramirez, 54, for “leaving the scene of an injury accident.” Given that many Southern California cities have witnessed a rise in hit-and-run accidents over the last year, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that law enforcement agencies are taking the train crash very seriously.

Investigators have indicated that they continue to seek information about the crash, and a video of the train derailment was sent to the National Transportation Safety Board in Washington, D.C. for additional analysis, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times. By and large, investigators aren’t exactly sure how the accident happened.

Sanchez-Ramirez argues that, while driving his Ford F-450 truck and trailer over the track, it “became stuck,” and Sanchez-Ramirez “tried unsuccessfully to get it moving again.” When he saw the train coming, he got out of the vehicle and “ran for help,” his attorney indicated. The driver’s lawyer pointed out that Sanchez-Ramirez did all that he could to prevent the accident, as he “turned on his high beams and tried to extricate the truck from the tracks, even getting out to push it, but it wouldn’t move.”

Reports indicate that the Metrolink train crashed into the truck, turning Sanchez-Ramirez’s vehicle into “a fireball,” which resulted in 28 passengers being rushed to nearby hospitals. The train engineer, in addition to two other passengers, remained in critical condition as of late last week.

Liability for the Dangerous Crash

Who is liable for the accident? Sanchez-Ramirez’s initial arrest suggests that the truck driver may have behaved not only negligently, but also criminally, when he fled the scene. However, investigators have emphasized that they need to finish their investigation before any decisions will be made about a criminal prosecution.

We do know that the police located Sanchez-Ramirez more than a mile from the scene of the crash. The driver also has a history of traffic violations, including a DUI, failure to obey a police officer, and failure to obey a traffic control device.

Even if prosecutors don’t elect to file criminal charges, the driver still may be liable for damages. When a loved one suffers injuries in a serious automobile accident, it’s important to talk with an experienced California accident lawyer about your case. Contact the Walton Law Firm today to learn more about how we can assist you.

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Home fires can be extremely dangerous, and they can result in severe and often fatal burn injuries. According to a recent article in U-T San Diego, an Oceanside woman died after her mobile home started on fire last week. In addition to this accidental death, the victim’s husband suffered serious burn injuries on his face and upper body.

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The victim of the recent fire-related death was in her 60s, and emergency responders found her inside her bathtub. She and her husband lived in a mobile home at Lamplighter Mobile Home Park on North River Road in Oceanside. According to reports, firefighters arrived at the mobile home park at around 6:30 p.m. after receiving reports of “a double-wide home on fire” with “three people inside.”

Members of the fire department found a man inside the mobile home who suffered serious burn injuries and smoke inhalation. He was identified as the husband of the deceased, and he was rushed to the burn unit at UC San Diego Medical Center. Felipe Rodriguez, the Oceanside Battalion Chief, reported that the man “was in serious condition but was expected to survive.”

The adult son of the deceased was also reported to have been in the mobile home at the time of the fire, but emergency responders did not locate him. Two dogs also were found underneath the home and had suffered from burns, but they’re expected to survive.

The Oceanside police department, along with fire officials, are investigating the cause of the fire. In addition to the serious and fatal bodily injuries that occurred in the blaze, authorities predict that the home fire caused approximately $150,000 in financial damage, as the “mobile home was determined to be a complete loss.”

Home Fire Statistics

How often do home fires result in serious and fatal personal injuries? And, how frequently do these blazes lead to other significant damage? According to a news release from the U.S. Fire Administration, the total number of deaths and injuries from home fires has declined in recent years. However, the numbers are still higher than you might think:

  • In 2011, nearly 1.4 million home fires occurred throughout the country. That number actually shows a significant decrease from just a decade prior, when nearly 20 percent more home fires were reported.
  • Fire-related deaths have decreased by more than 20 percent in the last decade, yet more than 3,000 people die each year from fire-related injuries.
  • The total number of serious (but not fatal) fire-related injuries hasn’t declined as sharply (only by about 5 percent over the last decade). More than 17,000 Americans suffer injuries each year in fires.
  • Home fires result in billions of dollars of damage. Indeed, fires lead to more than $11 billion in damages annually.

What causes home fires? The U.S. Fire Administration lists the following as the most frequent causes of fatal home fires:

  •      Cooking;
  •      Smoking;
  •      Heating; and
  •      Electrical malfunctions.

Fire-related injuries and deaths often result from a homeowner’s or renter’s own negligence, but they also happen because of another party’s negligence. If you or a loved one has been injured in a home fire and has suffered serious burn injuries, it’s important to discuss your case with an experienced San Diego personal injury lawyer.

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Dangerous Recalls and Children’s Products

When we hear about a product recall, many of us worry that we may be at risk of a serious personal injury. However, those concerns tend to increase dramatically when we learn that our children have been using defective products. After all, child injuries can be particularly serious and life-threatening. According to a recent article from CBS News, children’s product recalls decreased in 2014, yet many recalled products continue to circulate in the used marketplace.

What should you do if your child suffered serious or fatal injuries from a product defect? It’s important to discuss your case with an experienced San Diego product liability lawyer. You may be eligible to file a claim for compensation.

Recall-254x300Child Safety Product Defect Report

How effective is the recall system in our country when it comes to children’s products? Do recalls actually result in these hazardous items being removed from the shelves? According to a report from the child safety advocate group Kids in Danger, fewer children are “being injured or killed” by defective products. Recalls have also declined. Yet, do these statistics account for used products that continue to make their way to our homes through second-hand stores and garage sales?

Some child advocates urge daycares to step up and to “play a key role to assist parents” when it comes to product recalls. If daycares pay close attention to recalls, then their employees can ensure that none of these products are purchased for or used by the children at the facility.

For instance, last year a napping chair (the “Nap Nanny”) was part of a recall last due to the danger of suffocation it posed. While many parents who owned these products discarded them, many of these chairs ended up in donation piles and ultimately at daycare centers and other places where they can continue to pose a serious risk to the safety of young kids. In situations like these—which arise with more frequency than most of us would like to assume—it’s important simply to know about recalled products and to avoid using them.

More Vigilance Needed for Kids’ Safety

What can we do to ensure that parents, daycare centers, schools, and babysitters know about dangerous product recalls? According to the recent Kids in Danger report, a very important tool that isn’t used as often as it should be is social media.

To be sure, social media platforms can play a very important role in publicizing product defects and recalls, but not all children’s companies use Facebook or Twitter, for example. And, for companies that do have these social media accounts, “less than a quarter of those with Facebook pages and less than a third of those with Twitter accounts posted recall information on those channels.”

As such, consumers should encourage companies to make information about recalls as salient as possible, which likely involves using social media. The Juvenile Product Manufacturers Association recently emphasized that companies making kids’ products do post recall notices in many different places (e.g., in-store notices, direct-mail notices). However, making better use of social media channels could make a big impact.

Not only do many young parents check Facebook and Twitter regularly, but daycare centers can also monitor these channels for news about dangerous products and the risk of child injury.

If your child has been injured because of a defective product, your child deserves compensation for his or her injuries. Contact the Walton Law Firm today to speak with an experienced San Diego product defect lawyer.

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Bike-Accident-InsuranceAlthough it’s wintertime, many Californians have the luxury of riding bicycles at any time of the year. However, bicycle accidents can be deadly, especially when they’re caused by distracted or aggressive driving. A recent article in the Santa Cruz Sentinel reported that a bicycle advocacy group, People Power, is hoping to create “bikeways near highway interchanges” in order to make those intersections safer for cyclists.

While these changes would only affect the Santa Cruz area in the most immediate terms, it’s very likely that bicycle advocacy groups across the state could push for additional measures to make bicycling a safer activity in the San Diego area.

Making Bicycle Transportation Safer

Cycling accidents can happen anywhere—in bike lanes, at interchanges, and even when a cyclist is stopped at a traffic light. However, interchanges pose significant risks for auto accidents, and bicyclists can get caught in the middle. To be sure, the bike community in California “knows these areas as dangerous places to ride.” Why? Most notably, “when motorists are getting on or off the freeway, they’re driving much faster than cyclists.”

Many freeway intersections in California don’t even have cameras, so it’s impossible to know how many times a bicyclist has been cut off or almost involved in an accident with a speeding driver. According to one cyclist in the Santa Cruz area, riders often feel as though they’re risking their safety when they ride through a freeway interchange. “There are a lot of avoided and unreported accidents,” the rider explained.

Without bikeways near highway intersections, numerous California cyclists are dissuaded from riding bicycles as a primary mode of transportation. However, with more bikes on the roads, the safer cycling becomes. Indeed, according to Amelia Conlen, the director of People Power, “with more cyclists, there’s more of a perception of safety.” She went on to explain that, “by making cyclists more visible on the road, it can make them feel like they belong on the road.”

Bicycle Accident Facts and Figures: What You Need to Know

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “bicyclists face a higher risk of crash-related injury and deaths than occupants of motor vehicles do.”

What are some of the risk factors linked to cycling? For one, adolescents aged 15-24 and adults aged 45 and older are at greatest risk of a fatal bicycle accident. Children between the ages of 5 and 14 years old and adolescents between the ages of 15-24 are at greatest risk of injuries in a serious cycling-related accident. And if you’re wondering whether your child’s gender can play a role in his or her risk of a bike accident, males are at much greater risk than females of sustaining serious or fatal injuries in a bicycle crash.

What can you do to prevent a serious or deadly bicycle collision? The CDC recommends the following:

  • Wear a helmet, even if it’s not required by law.
  • Wear fluorescent clothing, even if you’re riding during daylight hours. It will make you more visible on the road, and if it gets dark while you’re riding, other drivers are more likely to see you.
  • Install active lighting on your bicycle, including front white lights and rear red lights. You want to do everything in your power to increase your visibility to other motorists.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a serious bicycle accident or pedestrian accident, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced San Diego personal injury lawyer to discuss your case.

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Construction work takes place every day in sunny California. While many construction projects reach completion without any dangerous accidents or injuries, construction work can be extremely hazardous. Indeed, construction accidents often result in severe and fatal injuries. According to a recent article from ABC 7, a freeway bypass collapse in Willits left four construction workers with serious injuries and another trapped beneath debris.

Details of the Mendocino Bypass Collapse

How did this accident happen? Caltrans has been working on a freeway bypass in Mendocino County. It’s intended to be a nearly 6-mile overpass, but it has encountered a number of problems along the way. Most notable, it “has been beset by lengthy delays and cost overruns.” The bypass is projected to cost around $210 million, but it has only reached approximate 50 percent completion. It’s also two years behind schedule.

According to officials, when the construction workers began to pour concrete for the project, “a 150-foot temporary steel and wooden structure known as falsework suddenly collapsed.” The collapse took place in an area only accessible to construction workers.

In addition to the serious accident dangers posed by the bypass project, California residents have contested its construction due to environmental concerns. To be sure, both opponents of the project have filed lawsuits in hopes of preventing unnecessary damage to the environment. Such opposition has been a notable contributing factor to the construction project’s delay. Authorities report that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will be looking into the bypass collapse.

Serious and Fatal Workplace Accidents

Construction accidents are among the most frequent and deadly workplace accidents in America. But how often do they happen? And what steps can construction workers take to prevent serious and fatal accidents?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2013, more than 4,600 employees sustained fatal injuries at work. In connection with a news release that reported the high number of deadly workplace accidents, the BLS released some of the following information about fatal workplace incidents:

  • About 15 percent of all workplace deaths involve contractors. In many cases, these contractors are employed by the construction industry.
  • Fatalities in the construction industry have risen in recent years. Between 2011 and 2012, construction fatalities rose by nearly 10 percent (to a total of 806 deaths in 2012).

Employers can help to prevent deadly construction site accidents by taking the proper safety precautions. In particular, employers must take steps to reduce the following types of accidents:

  • Falls, which lead to more than one-third of all construction accident deaths;
  • Being struck by an object, which results in about 10 percent of construction fatalities;
  • Electrocution, which leads to almost 10 percent of all deadly construction accidents; and
  • Being caught in or between a structure or operating device, which accounts for approximately 2 percent of deaths that occur in the construction industry.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a construction accident or in another workplace accident, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer. A San Diego construction accident attorney at the Walton Law Firm can discuss your options with you today.

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