Articles Posted in Accidents

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hit-run-car-accident-lawyerHit-and-run crashes and fatalities are increasing and have reached a record high in California and across the nation. There are several reasons that are attributed to the rise in hit-and-run accidents. With the improvements in the economy, more people are sharing the roads. Smartphone use while driving has led to an increase in distracted driving accidents, including hit-and-run crashes. At the same time, more people are choosing to walk or to ride their bicycles to get where they need to go. Finally, drunk driving and speeding continue to be real problems. It is important for you to understand the risks of hit-and-run collisions and to take steps to protect yourself in the event that you are involved in one.

Prevalence of hit-and-run crashes

According to an investigative report by ABC News, hit-and-run fatalities have reached an all-time high.[1] When hit-and-run drivers are caught, ABC found that many are able to avoid jail time. The penalties that are imposed vary widely from state to state. Even in states in which the penalties have been increased, prosecutors still have the discretion to offer plea deals that limit or avoid incarceration even in cases in which the victims are killed.

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Pedestrian-Accident-Injury-LawyerThe number of pedestrian accident injuries and fatalities has sharply risen both in California and across the U.S. People can be seriously injured or killed when they are struck by motor vehicles while they are walking. There are several factors that have contributed to the increase in pedestrian deaths and injuries. Both pedestrians and motorists should take steps to minimize the risk of being involved in accidents. Pedestrians who are injured and the families of pedestrians who are killed in accidents may have legal rights to recover compensation for the losses that they have suffered.

Pedestrian accident statistics

The Governors Highway Safety Association recently released a report that showed that pedestrian fatalities in 2018 were at a 28-year high. During 2018, 6,227 people were killed in pedestrian accidents. This was a 4 percent year-over-year increase from 2017 and was the highest number of pedestrian deaths since 1990.

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In California, drivers are mandated to carry minimum liability insurance that pays $15,000 per injured party or $30,000 per accident to protect others if the drivers cause accidents. However, these policy limits are often insufficient to pay for the losses that injured accident victims might suffer. In some cases, it is possible for injured plaintiffs to recover more compensation than the limits on an at-fault driver’s policy, as was demonstrated by the recent case of Marcia Arreola v. Susan Hanson, Los Angeles Superior Court, Case No. BC600875. The case also demonstrates how fault can be apportioned in situations in which there are multiple tortfeasors.

Factual background

The plaintiff, a 48-year-old woman named Marcia Arreola, was stopped at a traffic light in Cerritos on Dec. 23, 2014. She was stopped at a light on Artesia Blvd. at its intersection with Norwalk Blvd. facing westbound. Defendant Susan Hanson was traveling eastbound on Artesia, and defendant John Austin Deapera Ella was heading north on Norwalk. The two defendants collided in the intersection, causing both vehicles to careen into Arreola’s vehicle.

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Traffic-Accident-Attorneys-Los-AngelesWhat are the new California traffic laws for 2019?  As we roll into a new year, Californians need to be aware of a number of new traffic laws that might affect them in 2019. These laws may have an impact on cyclists, motorists, minors, scooter riders, DUI offenders, and others. It is important for you to familiarize yourself with these laws so that you do not commit any traffic violations in the upcoming year. Here is a description of each of these new laws and what they might require you to do.

SB 1046

SB 1046 was sponsored by Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo. The law was effective on Jan. 1, 2019, and it deals with the installation of ignition interlock devices on vehicles of repeat DUI offenders. People who are convicted of a first DUI offense in which they caused injuries are also required to install ignition interlock devices under the law. Previously, this law had existed in Los Angeles, Alameda, Sacramento, and Tulare as a pilot program.

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work-accident-attorney-los-angelesIn California, people who suffer work-related injuries that are permanently disabling may recover disability compensation from their employers’ workers’ compensation insurance. However, if a part of the disability is caused by an underlying condition, the law requires that the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board apportions the cause between the work injury and the underlying condition. City of Petaluma v. Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board, Cal. Ct. App., Case No. A153811 dealt with a case in which a police officer had an asymptomatic underlying condition that was triggered by a workplace injury. The California Court of Appeals looked at when apportionment is required and when it is not.

Factual and procedural background

Aaron Lindh worked as a police officer for the City of Petaluma. During a canine training course, Lindh received three to six blows to the left side of his head. Following the injury, Lindh began suffering severe headaches that lasted for several hours. A month following the work-related injury accident, Lindh lost nearly all of the vision in his left eye. Lindh saw two different doctors. Neither of the doctors attributed his vision loss to the work accident. Lindh submitted a claim for workers’ compensation for his disability.

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Electrical-Burn-InjuryIn California, companies that hire contractors and subcontractors are generally not liable when the negligent actions of the contractors or subcontractors cause injury accidents. However, as

Sandoval v. Qualcomm Inc., Cal. Ct. App., Case No. D070431 shows, there is an exception to the general rule. When the hiring companies have negligently retained control of the safety conditions at the facilities, the hiring companies may be liable to pay damages if their negligence was a contributing factor to the resulting accidents and injuries. If you have suffered an injury while working for a contractor at a job site, you might want to talk to an experienced lawyer to find out if you might have the basis to file a legal claim against the hiring company.

Factual background of the case

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Turo-Car-Rental-Accident-Injury-Lawyer-AttorneyVisitors to Los Angeles as well as California residents rely on rental cars to meet their transportation needs sometimes. While most people are familiar with traditional rental car agencies that you might see at the airport and dotted throughout the city, fewer might be familiar with a rental car app called Turo. This app allows individuals who own vehicles to rent them to others at deep discounts as compared to rental car agency prices. However, rentals from an app come with some risks to both the drivers and others who are traveling around them. If you have suffered an injury in a collision with a vehicle that was rented on the app, getting help from an experienced lawyer is important. Here is what you need to understand about the app and how to protect yourself.

Overview of the car rental service

Turo Inc. is a company that was originally founded in Boston, Massachusetts in 2009 and is now headquartered in San Francisco, California. The company offers an app that people can use to list a car rental or to rent a vehicle. People who want to rent cars can sign up with their email addresses, Facebook accounts or Google accounts. After submitting photocopies of their drivers’ licenses, they are able to browse and book vehicles. The owners who have listed the cars can take up to eight hours to respond and may accept or decline the booking. Once a booking is accepted, the renter and the vehicle owner arrange to meet and exchange the vehicle. The owners can choose to purchase accident insurance from the company at the time that they rent out the vehicles or may opt to waive coverage if they have their own policies. Turo states that people who rent vehicles on their website do not have to have their own insurance policies.

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fake-bike-helmets-injuryCycling is a great way for people to exercise, enjoy some scenery or commute to their jobs in California. More Californians are turning to bicycles as an alternative form of transportation because of a desire to help to protect the environment while enjoying the health benefits of cycling. When bicycle riders share the roads with motor vehicles, they have a higher risk of suffering serious injuries or being killed in accidents because they have little protection from the forces of collisions.

Wearing bicycle helmets every time that cyclists ride their bicycles can help to protect them from severe injuries when they are thrown from their bicycles or struck in the head in accidents. Unfortunately, however, cyclists must be careful when they purchase bicycle helmets. According to a report in NPR, counterfeit bicycle helmets that do not meet U.S. safety standards are flooding the market via the internet.

Why counterfeit helmets are dangerous

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Los-Angeles-Car-AccidentsBecause of the high accident fatality rate in Los Angeles, the city implemented its Vision Zero initiative in 2015. The initiative is focused on reducing traffic deaths to zero by 2025. However, the city has some of the highest fatality rates in the U.S., leading the city to try new approaches to curb fatalities. One of these new efforts is adding new speed limits and better signs on streets throughout the city. If you have been injured in an accident or have lost a loved one, getting help from an experienced personal injury lawyer at the Law Offices of Steven M. Sweat might help you to recover compensation for your losses.

New speed limits announced

Mayor Eric Garcetti announced that the city was implementing new speed limits on 71 different streets around Los Angeles on Feb. 28. The new speed limits were implemented in an effort to address the city’s high motor vehicle fatality rate. Garcetti stated that the new speed limits would also come with increased enforcement efforts in order to gain higher compliance with them. He also stated that many drivers in the city simply drive with the flow of traffic and have no idea of what the speed limits are on the roads on which they travel. Most streets did not have their speed limits changed. However, 45 streets had their speed limits decreased while 26 had their limits increased. The mayor indicated that the changes were necessary to reduce the city’s fatality rate even further with the goal of reaching zero fatalities by 2025.

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work-injury-lawyer-los-angeles
In California, the family members of people who are killed while they are working may recover benefits through workers’ compensation. When the accidents are caused by the negligence of third parties, the families may be able to file third-party lawsuits against the third parties in addition to their workers’ compensation claims. In some cases, failures to act may be compensable if they are negligent. In Peredia v. HR Mobile Services, Inc., Cal App. # F074083, the court ruled that a third-party safety consultant could be held liable for omissions if the plaintiff is able to prove all of the elements of the negligent undertaking by the consultant.

Factual background of the case

Oscar J. Perdia, Jr. was a 19-year-old man who was employed by Double Diamond Farms. Double Diamond Farms had hired HR Mobile Services to help the farm with workers’ compensation issues, training, loss prevention and human resources. HR Mobile agreed that it helped Double Diamond with workplace safety issues. Double Diamond Farm paid HR Mobile $24,000 per year for its services.

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