Articles Posted in Auto Accidents

anja-137284-300x225If you are in a car accident in Vista and file a lawsuit against the negligent driver, how will your case be impacted if the defendant says you are partially to blame for the accident? This question concerns “comparative fault,” which is sometimes known as contributory negligence or contributory fault. In short, when a plaintiff files an accident claim against the responsible party, that defendant can raise the issue of comparative fault as a defense to avoid paying the plaintiff the full amount of compensation he or she is seeking. While each state has its own laws concerning comparative fault, it is important to know that a plaintiff in California can still recover damages even if the court says the plaintiff is partially to blame.

We want to tell you more about California’s comparative fault law, and to explain how it may affect a car accident lawsuit in Vista.

California Follows a Pure Comparative Fault Rule

razvan-mirel-1308596-unsplash-copy-300x188Whether you are in North County or another part of San Diego County, it is important to know that motorcycle crashes, and auto accidents more generally, are on the rise. While California does not have the deadliest roads in the U.S., it certainly does not have the safest ones, either.

According to a recent report in the Patch, traffic collisions are the leading cause of death for Americans under the age of 55. Motorists in California should know that there were 3,623 deaths in motor vehicle crashes in 2016—one of the highest rates in the country—and that the road death rate is 9.2 per 100,000. Those figures place California at a rank of 38th in terms of the deadliest state roads in the country. Many of those collisions could be prevented, and the numbers are even worse when we look at motorcycle accident fatalities.

Motorcycle Accidents are Common in California

michael-mroczek-199379-copy-300x200Parents in Vista and throughout San Diego County should learn more about a recent bus crash that occurred when a school bus crashed into a tree and left several children with injuries. According to a recent article in U.S. News & World Report, the charter bus collided with a tree with 43 students on board. A report from NBC 7 San Diego indicated that the tree smashed through all of the windows on one side of the bus, shattering the glass and causing lacerations to a number of the children on board. Some of those kids suffered injuries to the face.

How did this bus accident happen? What can parents in Vista do to help prevent child injuries in school bus accidents?

San Diego County Bus Accident

nabeel-syed-2856-copy-300x200If you live in Rancho Bernardo and regularly commute within the San Diego area, you probably know that self-driving cars have become a frequent topic of conversation and concern in California. Many Southern California residents are not yet ready to share the road with autonomous vehicles, while others in the industry are pushing for the expansion of the self-driving car market. On the one hand, those in favor of self-driving cars argue, for instance, that these vehicles “will help create a safer, cleaner, and more mobile society,” according to a recent article in Science Magazine. On the other hand, some consumer safety advocates contend that the costs associated with autonomous vehicles may not outweigh the safety benefits, according to a recent report in USA Today.

Where does California law stand on autonomous vehicles and auto accidents? How should Rancho Bernardo residents assess the risks and benefits of self-driving cars?

Liability and Manufacturer Specifications

steve-halama-324710-copy-177x300As many residents of San Marcos know, California law allows adults aged 21 and older to buy, possess, and consume marijuana as long as it is one ounce or less in a private residents or in an area in which marijuana consumption is legal. In addition, the law permits adults to grow marijuana plants in a small number (up to six of them), as long as they are growing the marijuana plants in a secure place where the public cannot view them. What does this have to do with car accident rates in San Marcos? According to an article in The Washington Post, two studies conducted earlier this year “came to seemingly opposite conclusions on whether marijuana use is causing an increase in car crashes in states that have legalized the drug.”

Since California is one of those states, it is important for residents to consider the potential link between marijuana use and motor vehicle crash rates. If you or someone you love got hurt in a traffic collision caused by a drugged driver, you should learn more about filing a claim for compensation.

Are Car Accident Insurance Claims Higher in States Where Marijuana is Legal?

kalu-ci-146209-300x200When you live in Encinitas or in a nearby part of North County, you likely know about the risks of alcohol-impaired driving. We often hear about DUI laws in California and the serious consequences of driving under the influence of alcohol. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) highlights how an average of 28 people sustain fatal injuries in car accidents each day caused by drunk drivers (or, to put that number another way, one person dies every 51 minutes because a driver decided to drink and drive).

What about drugged driving? How does smoking or otherwise consuming marijuana affect a person’s ability to drive safely? How often do prescription drugs or illegal substances play a role in serious and fatal car accidents in Encinitas? According to a recent report from the Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society (RAPS), the FDA’s newly finalized study provides guidance on drugged driving.

Drugged Driving Laws in California

bethany-legg-14229-copy-300x200Many Valley Center residents have heard about the risks of distracted driving. Indeed, as a report from ABC News 10 discusses, on January 1, 2017 additional cell phone laws took effect that prevent California drivers from holding a phone or doing anything more than making a single tap or a single swipe. While drivers are still permitted to use cell phones as GPS devices, provided that they are mounted somewhere in the vehicle, the change to the law aims to prevent distracted driving accidents. What about distracted walking? While the term might sound like an odd one, it is becoming a relatively serious problem in California and throughout major urban areas in the country.

According to a recent report from KEYT News 3, a local official is proposing a change to the law. In short, in order to improve public safety, San Mateo County Supervisor David Canepa is hoping to institute a distracted walking law that “would make it illegal to use the crosswalk while using your cell phone.” Is such a law likely to pass? Is it necessary to prevent pedestrian accidents?

Pedestrian Accidents on the Rise Due to Smartphone Use

michael-mroczek-199379-copy-300x200For parents and their neighbors in Rancho Bernardo, it is important to understand important school bus safety laws as kids throughout California return to school. We can all take steps to prevent bus accidents. However, according to a recent report from CBS News, many drivers do not always obey school bus safety laws simply because they do not know them. Now is the time to learn because the California Highway Patrol (CHP) plans to conduct pedestrian safety enforcement operations along the California coast in the coming school days.

What are School Bus Laws in California?

In short, it is important for motorists to know how to behave around a school bus (and how to obey the law). In particular, if you are driving behind a school bus that is picking up or dropping off children, or if you are approaching such a bus from the opposite direction, what does the law require you to do? The report emphasizes the importance of understanding and abiding by the following laws to prevent child pedestrian accidents and fatalities:

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.”