Articles Posted in Automobile Accidents

Automobile Accidents. Legal causes in California including rules of the road. Personal injury law issues related to auto and car accident claims.

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Los-Angeles-Freeway-Accident-LawyerIn accidents that are caused by the defendants’ violation of the law, people may be able to claim negligence per se. When an accident results from breaking a traffic law, it is enough to prove the element of negligence. Once a defendant’s negligence has been established, the plaintiff will then need to prove that the negligence resulted in the accident and that he or she suffered injuries and harm because of the defendant’s breach of his or her duty of care.

In Baker-Smith v. Skolnick, Cal. Ct. App. Case No. B282946, the court considered whether the defense can raise a defense of excuse in cases that involve negligence per se. While the court found that excuse can be raised in some negligence per se cases, it is not available when the potential harms are serious.

Factual and procedural background

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Multiple companies are working to bring driverless technology to the highways in California and across the country. According to a report by Wired, driverless trucks are now transporting refrigerators from Texas to California. As the push for more driverless vehicles on the roads continues, the likelihood of these trucks being involved in accidents is also going up.

Accidents that are caused by driverless trucks may result in liability issues. The victims might not know which party is responsible for paying damages to them when they have been injured or their loved ones have been killed in accidents with driverless trucks. It is possible that the families may be able to hold the companies that own the trucks and the manufacturers who make them liable in the event of an injury or fatality accident. The experienced personal injury lawyers at the law firm of Steven M. Sweat APC might be able to help injured victims and the families of those who have been killed to identify all of the defendants who should be named so that their compensation might be maximized.

Driverless trucks transporting goods from Texas to California

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When you are in the market for a new vehicle, you likely want to find a car that has the most safety features to protect you in an accident. While safety technology can help you to prevent injuries, they may not be able to prevent all accidents from occurring. One feature of a vehicle that you might not think about when it comes to safety is the color of your vehicle. Most people choose the color of their cars based on how they look. You might want to think carefully about the color of the car that you choose, however. Researchers have found that the color of a vehicle is linked to its risk of being involved in a collision. If your vehicle is one of the riskier colors, it might increase your risk of being involved in an accident.

Which car colors are associated with a higher accident risk?

According to a report in Reader’s Digest, several studies have found a link between the color of cars and their accident involvement rates. This might make it important for you to consider the color of your vehicle more carefully when you are ready to make a purchasing decision. Here are the colors that are associated with the greatest risk of accidents.

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big-rig-accident-lawyerIn California, people who are injured in accidents may still be able to recover compensation for their losses when their own negligence contributed to the accidents’ causes as long as the other drivers were also negligent. A driver may be found to be negligent per se if he or she violated a statute and the violation was a proximate cause of the accident. In

Taulbee v. EJ Distribution Corp., Cal. Ct. App., Case No. G054545, the court considered a case in which both drivers violated a statute approximately eight minutes apart, and the second driver suffered serious injuries when he collided into the first driver’s truck.[1]

Background of the case

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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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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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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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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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High-speed police pursuits in Los Angeles and across California place the lives of innocent bystanders at risk. When police pursue suspects, they sometimes cause accidents with other motorists or pedestrians. People who are injured and the families of those who are killed in police pursuits may have little recourse because of governmental immunity. The California Supreme Court will soon hear the case of Ramirez v. City of Gardena, Cal. Ct. App. No. B279873, a case in which there is a question of how broadly the immunity from lawsuits should be interpreted when police engage in high-speed pursuits.

Factual and procedural background

On Feb. 15, 2015, Mark Gamar was riding as a passenger in a vehicle. A report had been made to law enforcement that cell phones had been stolen at gunpoint, and the vehicle in which Gamar was riding matched the description. Police officers who saw the truck in which Gamar was a passenger engaged in a high-speed pursuit of it. An officer performed a pursuit intervention technique maneuver in which the officer struck the left rear end of the truck to get it to stop. The collision caused the truck to spin out of control and strike a streetlight pole. Gamar was killed in the collision, and his mother filed a lawsuit against the city and the police department. The city filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that it was protected from lawsuits by governmental immunity. The court agreed and granted the motion. Gamar’s mother, Irma Ramirez, appealed the dismissal to the California Court of Appeals. The appellate court affirmed the lower court’s decision. She then filed an appeal to the California Supreme Court, which will decide how broad qualified immunity for officers engaged in pursuits is when accidents happen.

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