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San Jose Personal Injury Law Blog

Can distracted drivers face legal action after a crash?

Distracted driving continues to cause many car accidents in San Jose and throughout California every year. It is not too surprising that so many accidents are being attributed to distracted drivers since everyone seems to be on their cellphones all the time, including while behind the wheel. Drivers involved in a car accident may want to ask if distracted driving caused the crash.

You may be wondering if it really matters that the other driver was on his or her cellphone at the time of the crash. Even though it may not seem like a big deal, drivers who are distracted at the time of an accident can be held liable for your injuries in California. 

Study finds that hands-free devices no safer than handheld

We've all been trained to think that hands-free devices are the safe option for using your cellphone when you are driving the car. They have to work, right? After all, since it's a hands-free device, we can keep our hands on the steering wheel and our eyes on the road. Therefore we are not distracted. It's a perfect world! The driver is able to get all of his or her texting and phone calls done, and the road doesn't become any less safe.

However, it appears that this line of thinking is more myth than reality. A recent report by the National Safety Council (NSC) says that using hands-free devices still leaves a driver distracted, and it points to more than 30 studies that have shown handheld devices are just as safe as hands-free devices. In other words, those headsets or that dashboard monitor won't save you from being a distracted driver if you use them to text or make a phone call.

Could deadly bike crash lead to wrongful death claim?

While the family of a 22-year-old California man are grieving their loss this month, investigators with the San Diego County Sheriff's Department are looking into the events that led up to the young adult's death. In the end, the driver responsible for hitting the 22-year-old bicyclist may be considered negligent, which begs the question: could a wrongful death claim soon follow?

Some of our readers here in Santa Clara may not have heard about the fatal bicycle accident that happened this month in San Marcos. According to police, the 47-year-old driver of a cement truck had briefly stopped at the intersection of Grand Avenue and Las Posas Road before making a right turn. Unfortunately though, at this very moment, the 22-year-old was trying to cross the street on his bicycle. The collision with the large commercial vehicle caused fatal injuries from which the bicyclist died.

Union City Marine on motorcycle killed by drunk driver in Fremont

Behind every tragic drunk-driving accident there is a victim; and behind every victim, there is a story. For a deadly crash in Fremont recently, the story was that of a 23-year-old Union City Marine. And although his family and friends are likely still grieving their loss, his story will not be soon forgotten and will stand as a reminder to everyone in California about the dangers of drinking and driving.

Just days ago, in Fremont, the Marine lance corporal was riding his motorcycle shortly after 1 a.m. when he was suddenly struck by a drunk driver who had failed to yield the right of way at an intersection. Reports indicate that the drunk driver was fleeing from police at a high rate of speed when he collided with the 23-year-old soldier who died at the scene.

California jury finds helmet maker not liable for football injury

The family of a former high school football player may be feeling a sense of injustice this month because of a decision that was handed down by a Los Angeles jury recently. The complaint before the Los Angeles Superior Court was against Riddell Inc., a company that manufactures safety helmets for sports players. The plaintiffs sought damages for the injuries the helmet failed to prevent.

According to the complaint, which was filed on behalf of the victim by his father, the helmet his son was wearing in a 2009 football game did not have special forehead padding that may have prevented the then 17-year-old from suffering a traumatic brain injury. The injury caused his son to lose consciousness shortly after leaving the field. He spent 11 days in a coma and needed to be hospitalized for 4 ½ months. The lawsuit contends that he will require around-the-clock care for the rest of his life.

Who's to blame when a tire flies off a car?

The question in this week's post title comes to us courtesy of a story out of Florida where a freak car accident killed a 33-year-old man and injured a 45-year-old man. And although the accident occurred far from residents here in San Jose, California, we wanted to highlight the accident in this week's post because it raises important questions about liability and who is at fault in an accident like this.

According to reports, a man was driving his vehicle northbound on U.S. 41 when his left front tire broke free from his car. After hitting a driveway apron, the tire flew into the air, clearing a 6-foot-tall fence before landing on the 33-year-old man. He was killed instantly. The tire then hit the 45-year-old man who was airlifted to a hospital, having suffered serious injuries.

Using Google Glass while driving an accident waiting to happen?

California is the home of Internet giant Google, and for anyone who hasn't heard by now, the company has a new cutting-edge product: Google Glass. The device is basically a wearable computer, with an image displayed in front of a person's eye as they wear the device like a set of eyeglasses. The device definitely sounds futuristic and fascinating, but there's trouble brewing.

According to a recent report, Google finds itself on the defensive in a number of states, as efforts are undertaken to make wearing the device while driving illegal. The main concern appears to be the perception that the device would be too much of a distraction for drivers, resulting in more car accidents that could cause serious injuries or even fatalities.

Do San Jose residents think older drivers are worse drivers?

There are certain groups of people who are viewed as worse drivers than the rest of us. Younger people, particularly teenagers, fall into this category. Traditionally this perception has been due to their limited experience operating automobiles, but in the last several years the use of cell phones and other distractions may have actually emerged as the more dangerous aspect of teenagers behind the wheel. Older people, especially senior citizens, are also viewed by many people to be a greater risk on the road. However, this is one category of drivers where the perception may not be reality.

According to a recent report, drivers on the road today who are over the age of 70 are less likely to be involved in a car accident. And, if they are involved in an accident, they are less likely to be killed in the crash or suffer serious injuries.

Construction site accident in nearby San Leandro

Workers in certain occupations are at a greater risk of getting injured on the job, but they accept the risk and go to work anyways. Construction accidents, in particular, are all too common in America, despite all of the efforts undertaken to make worksites safe for workers. An unfortunate example of the risky nature of construction worksites popped up in the news recently from an incident in nearby San Leandro.

According to the reports, a 48-year-old man was killed on February 13 when a piece of heavy equipment that he was repairing fell on him and crushed him. The equipment was reported to be what is known as a "front-end wheel loader," which is used to move heavy objects. Initial details of what caused this construction site accident were scarce, but there will be an OSHA investigation. Hopefully the investigation will reveal more information as to how this unfortunate accident claimed the life of the mechanic.

San Jose car accident leaves one man dead, another facing charges

Although car accidents are just about a daily occurrence in San Jose and throughout the nation, most collisions fortunately do not result in serious injuries. The most common accidents could be labeled as the classic "fender-bender," which may lead to a police report and an exchange of insurance information, but not much else. Unfortunately, however, drunk driver accidents are also common, and the major difference with these types of crashes is that accidents victims more often than not do suffer from serious injuries, and in many cases these accidents involve a fatality.

That was the case in a recent San Jose car accident, in which an alleged drunk driver is said to have been the cause of a crash that led to the death of a 19-year-old man. The victim, a San Jose resident, was said to have been driving a Volkswagen on Highway 85 on January 30 when he was struck from behind by Nissan being driven by a 27-year-old man.

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