Articles Posted in Auto Accidents

nabeel-syed-2856-copy-300x200Pedestrian accidents happen a lot more frequently than they should in Encinitas, according to a recent article in The San Diego Union-Tribune. The city recognizes the particular risks for pedestrians who walk along El Camino Real, and the city is taking steps to try to make this stretch safer for anyone who is on foot. The city recently hired an expert to conduct a “walking audit” of El Camino Real with a group of participants and to make recommendations for preventing a pedestrian accident and improving safety in general for pedestrians in the area.

What can the city do to make Encinitas a more pedestrian-friendly place?

The “Walking Audit” and its Outcome

david-cohen-249124-copy-300x160Could a multi-vehicle accident caused by road rage and aggressive driving happen in Vista, California? According to a recent report from ABC News, a motorcyclist’s road rage and aggressive driving caused a serious crash around Santa Clarita. The collision involved a sedan and a pickup truck, and that pickup truck overturned as a result of the crash. The motorcyclist—who was caught on film by other drivers, fled the scene of the car accident. The incident should alerts drivers throughout Southern California to the serious risks associated with road rage and other forms of aggressive driving.

Details of the Road Rage Accident

According to report, the accident happened at approximately 5:45 a.m. on a recent weekday morning. While witnesses could not say precisely what started the altercation, those heading southbound on State Road 14 managed to film a motorcyclist who “appears to try to kick the sedan” the approaches on his right. As a result of the motorcyclist’s behavior, the “sedan veers to the left and briefly collides with the motorcyclist before losing control and crashing into the highway divider wall.”

aaron-burden-60068-copy-300x212For families living in Carlsbad, it is extremely important to ensure that your children are wearing seatbelts and are properly restrained in the event of a car accident in Southern California. According to a recent report from NPR, 43% of kids who die in motor vehicle crashes are not properly restrained, which means that these children either were not wearing seatbelts at all or were not wearing seatbelts or other safety harnesses in the proper manner. What can parents learn from this information? It is extremely important to require your kids to wear seatbelts whenever they are in the car, and it is also necessary for parents to educate themselves about the proper restraints for children of all ages.

Traffic Accidents on the Rise

As the report explains, deadly traffic accidents are on the rise in the U.S., and many of them are preventable. In particular, in fatal crashes involving children, the simple act of properly restraining your child could prevent deadly injuries. We do know that some parts of the country have higher rates of child fatalities than others. All in all, however, more than 18,000 children across the U.S. were involved in car accidents between the years 2010 and 2014, and of those children, 15.9% died as a result of the car accident.

igor-ovsyannykov-219657-copy-300x200If you live in Valley Center or elsewhere in Southern California, now is a great time to learn more about motorcycle safety. According to a recent article in the Patch, May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month in California, and the California Highway Patrol (CHP) is taking steps to prevent serious and deadly motorcycle accidents throughout the state. Although the weather is warm enough year-round for motorcyclists to enjoy the streets and highways of Southern California, it is a fact that more bikers are on the road in the spring and summer months. As such, it is an important time to assess previous motorcycle safety problems and to institute better practices going forward.

High Rate of Motorcycle Accidents Last Year in California

As the article explains, we are not seeing a noticeable reduction in the rates of motorcycle accidents in California. In 2015, there were 494 motorcycle accident fatalities and more than 13,500 accident-related injuries. By 2016, the number of nonfatal accidents had increased to more than 14,000, while the fatality rate dropped, although not considerably, to 476.

bethany-legg-14229-copy-300x200For residents of Vista, California who regularly commute to work in San Diego County or have teen drivers on the road, it is extremely important to be aware of the dangers of distracted driving. As a fact sheet from the National Safety Council (NSC) explains, April is distracted driving awareness month. It is always a good idea to think about how distracted driving can impact our lives and to discuss safe driving and car accident prevention tips with your teen drivers. What else should you know about distracted driving and the risks of a crash in Southern California?

Using Technology to Prevent Distracted Driving in Vista

We often link technology with the increased risks of distracted driving. For instance, according to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), texting or talking on a cell phone while driving can greatly increase the risk of a serious motor vehicle crash. However, sometimes technology can actually help when it comes to distracted driving prevention.

kalu-ci-146209-300x200For many San Diego residents, the relatively recent and seemingly ever-expanding Takata air bag recall was a source of anxiety and frustration. As you may remember, the Takata air bags installed in dozens of different automobile makes and models ran the risk of exploding as a result of a defective inflator, causing severe and life-threatening shrapnel injuries, and some victims even died as a result of their injuries. Over the last several weeks, Takata news stories have largely focused on culpability for the Takata executives who may have known about the serious product defect yet did not take steps to remedy the issue before consumers got hurt. However, according to a recent article in CNET.com, there is a new Takata air bag safety issue that has prompted another recall.

What do you need to know about the new recall, and what should you do if you drive one of the affected vehicles?

New Takata-Sourced Air Bag Product Defect

Lately, we have had several clients who were treated at Palomar Medical Center after being injured in car accidents (or other accidents), and were asked by hospital staff how the accident occurred, and whether the patient/client intended to hire a lawyer (remember, the accident just happened). The Palomar employee then informs the patient that it will not likely be billing the patient’s health insurance, but will wait and submit medical bills to the patient’s lawyer, and wait to get paid out of the case.

This situation causes a fair amount of confusion to the patient, and a high dose of concern. Some of these patients call to see if the hospital can do this, and worry that they will personally be on the hook for medical bills.

Can Palomar Hospital do this? The short answer is Yes. Under California’s Hospital Lien Act, a hospital that provides medical services to a person injured by an accident or some other wrongful act may place a lien on the damages recovered from the negligent party “to the extent of the amount of the reasonable and necessary charges of the hospital.” Civ. Code § 3045.1.  But what the hospital can recover is not absolute. For example, it cannot take more than half of any amount recovered by the injured party. Also, its lien is secondary to other liens. So, for example, if you hired a lawyer before the hospital perfected its lien, the hospital’s lien would be secondary to your attorney’s lien for fees. Since most personal injury fee arrangements are one-third of the recovery, Palomar could only make a claim for up to half of the rest, which is roughly 33%.

anja-137284-300x225What are some of the most common causes of fatal teen driving accidents in San Diego? According to a recent report from NBC San Diego, a survey conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety showed that speeding, a form of aggressive driving, and distracted driving top the list for common causes of deadly, yet preventable, crashes involving teens. It is important for teens who are getting behind the wheel in Southern California to recognize their own limited experience and to take extra precautions to avoid a dangerous or life-threatening car accident, but the impetus should also be on parents to ensure that their teenage drivers understand the serious risks associated with aggressive and distracted driving.

Details of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety Report

As the report explains, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety recently conducted a large-scale study that aimed to determine the common causes of fatal accidents among teenage drivers. What did the survey determine? Over the last five years, “speeding was one of the top mistakes made by teen drivers in fatal crashes across the country.” The report indicated that teenagers have been drivers in around 14,000 deadly collisions during the time period, and of those crashes, about “4,200 involved speeding.” To put that number another way, around 30% of all fatal teen car accidents involved speeding. Yet it is often the other driver or drivers in the crash who suffer the consequences of the teen’s choices.

bm0y9zmka1m-sean-brown-300x109What should Carlsbad drivers know about drowsy driving? It is extremely dangerous, and it may result in impaired driving car accidents that are similar to those involving alcohol. According to a recent study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, reported in a CBS News article, the risks of drowsy driving are actually quite comparable to those of drunk driving. Specifically, missing anywhere from two to three hours of sleep per night (or more) can quadruple a driver’s risk of being involved in a crash. What is the ideal amount of sleep for an adult? Adult drivers should sleep for at least seven hours per night. With that figure in mind, losing two to three hours of sleep on any given night means that driving after sleeping for only four or five hours can drastically increase the risk of an accident.

Whether you are driving locally in Carlsbad or are on the I-5 heading to work, it is extremely important to avoid drowsy driving. What else can California drivers learn from the recent AAA study?

Drowsy or Fatigued Driving Can Be More Dangerous Than Other Risky Behaviors

School_Crossing_Marji_11218998325-300x200In and around San Diego, there are a number of initiatives underway to help prevent accidents and child injuries in 2017. According to a fact sheet from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 12,000 children between the ages of 0 to 19 sustain fatal injuries each year in accidents. In addition to child fatalities, more than 9.2 million kids in the same age group sustain nonfatal injuries each year that result in treatment in emergency departments. Many of these incidents are preventable if we take safety precautions.

What steps are being taken around San Diego to help lower the number of child accidents and injuries? One recent report from The CW 6 San Diego indicates that new crosswalks have been installed around Point Loma schools, while another report from The CW 6 San Diego notes that a new car seat law in California aims to provide better protections to children under the age of two. What else do you need to know about recent safety steps and car accident precautions in the area?

Point Loma Crosswalk Aims to Prevent Child Pedestrian Accidents and Injuries

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