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San Jose Personal Injury Law Blog

Spinal cord injuries caused by car accidents

Any California driver who becomes involved in a car crash is at risk for suffering a severe back or spinal cord injury. These types of injuries, which are often permanent, can result in the loss of movement or sensation in the arms and legs. If the injury is severe enough, the injured person may even lose the ability to control their bodily functions.

It is estimated that 250,000 to 500,000 people worldwide suffer a spinal cord injury every year. Men are at least twice as likely than women to suffer a spinal cord injury; while men mostly risk injury when they are between ages 20 to 29 and 70 or older, women are most at risk during the ages 15 to 19 and when they are 60 years and older.

Head-on crash claims life of 13-year-old girl

A major crash in California claimed the life of a 13-year-old girl. The accident happened on March 14 in Madera County on Highway 41.

According to law enforcement authorities, a 70-year-old man driving a pickup truck crossed the centerline of the highway, striking an oncoming sedan head-on. The 13-year-old girl was reportedly riding in the backseat of the sedan. She succumbed to her injuries. A 19-year-old woman who was also riding in the car suffered injuries reported as major. She had to be extricated from the vehicle by emergency personnel. The sedan's 48-year-old driver also suffered injuries characterized as major.

California teens multitask while driving

Distracted driving impacts the risk of auto accidents regardless of the age of the driver, but a study has indicated that teenage drivers may be dismissing the risks associated with multitasking while driving. Though the study suggested that teenagers recognize that texting and driving or driving while under the influence of alcohol could cause an accident, many did not observe the same potential for danger in other behaviors.

According to one report, any behavior that causes a driver to look away from the road could be considered a form of distracted driving, including talking on a cellphone, eating, changing radio stations or actively using a GPS system. The findings of the research stated that 27 percent of the adolescents admitted to changing clothes while driving. Some claimed to have applied make-up or tended to a homework assignment. A lack of available resources for educating youths on what constitutes distracted driving could be one of the contributing factors to this trend.

California head-on collision kills one, injures another

A head-on collision on Highway 1 near Lompoc left one man dead and another seriously hurt on March 10. The crash happened at approximately 6:30 a.m., according to the California Highway Patrol.

Authorities said a man driving to work in a Toyota Tacoma drifted over the double-yellow line and collided head-on with a Chevrolet Silverado just south of Jalama Road. The Toyota driver, a 32-year-old man from Lynwood, died at the scene. The Chevrolet driver, a 33-year-old man from Lompoc, was trapped in his vehicle following the accident. A representative of the Santa Barbara County Fire Department reported on Twitter that it took 30 minutes to free him. He was transported to Cottage Hospital with major injuries.

DUI suspected in fatal crash that killed 4 young people

The California Highway Patrol and Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office were on the scene of a deadly accident that occurred in the community of Aptos at about 8 p.m. on March 1. Alcohol bottles were found at the scene of the crash, and DUI is a possible factor in a fatal head-on collision in which the 22-year-old driver of a Mercedes was killed. There were seven people in the vehicle designed to seat five, and none of the occupants were wearing a seat belt according to authorities. A 19-year-old woman and 18-year-old man riding in the front seat along with a 16-year-old girl riding in the back seat were all pronounced dead at the scene.

The accident happened when the westbound driver of the Mercedes was allegedly driving recklessly on Freedom Boulevard. He suddenly crossed into oncoming traffic and collided head-on with a Ford F-150 pickup driven by a 56-year-old man. According to a spokesperson for the CHP, the driver suffered severe injuries and remained hospitalized at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center the following day. There were no passengers in the pickup truck.

Alcohol-fueled crash results in 4 deaths

California Highway Patrol confirmed that four people were killed in a head-on collision on March 1. The fatal motor vehicle accident took place on a rural road in Santa Cruz County at about 8 p.m. According to CHP reports, the driver of a black Mercedes sedan entered the path of oncoming traffic and struck a gray Ford F-150 head on.

Following the crash, firefighters had to tear the Mercedes apart in order to free some of the injured victims. The 22-year-old driver of the Mercedes and two of his teenage passengers were pronounced dead at the scene. Another teenage passenger in the Mercedes was pronounced dead after being rushed to the hospital. Three other Mercedes passengers and the 56-year-old driver of the Ford were treated at the hospital for injuries.

What to do after a California car accident

Individuals who have been involved in a car accident are obligated to stop and call the proper authorities. If anyone involved in the accident has been injured, someone must make an effort to provide reasonable assistance. This may include calling 911, taking that person to the hospital or rendering first aid. To ensure that safety of those involved in the accident and other motorists, it may be worthwhile to place warning cones or flares at the scene.

Although state law says that those involved should render aid to injured car accident victims, they should only do so under certain circumstances. For example, it may only be safe to pull someone from a car before it becomes engulfed in flames. However, if the car is already on fire, it may be more prudent to simply call 911 and wait for help. Outside help may consist of first responders or it may involve other passing motorists.

Major collision starts with dropped mattress

A multiple-vehicle collision that killed a woman started with a mattress that had fallen on the 55 Freeway in Santa Ana. According to the California Highway Patrol, the accident happened on Feb. 13 just before 12:00 a.m. in the northbound lanes.

A 53-year-old Costa Mesa woman was reportedly driving her 1982 Toyota Celica in the fast lane of the roadway when she struck the mattress. The force of the collision sent her car into the center divider. Following that initial collision, her vehicle landed sideways on the freeway. She was then struck by a 19-year-old Irvine man who was driving a van.

California on-ramp closed after fatal wreck

A Feb. 17 accident left one dead and one seriously injured in Chollas View. The 2 a.m. incident occurred as a 32-year-old man lost control after he attempted to travel from I-805 onto Route 94. The dark Nissan truck flipped after slamming into the guardrail on the outer edge of the ramp.

After the truck overturned, a Toyota Matrix driven by a 37-year-old individual collided with it. This individual reportedly experienced major injuries as a result of the collision. The truck's driver, meanwhile, expired at the scene of the serious car accident. Authorities indicate that there is no suspicion of drugs or alcohol causing this car wreck. The accident resulted in a shutdown of the on-ramp for several hours.

California woman dies in crash on Highway 101

The woman driver of a blue Honda SUV who died in an accident with a pickup truck on Feb. 6 was not immediately identified at the time of the accident. The California Highway Patrol reported that the fatal crash took place on Highway 101 near Gilroy.

It was south of Masten Avenue where a white pickup truck left the road and went on to the shoulder. The driver swerved in an attempt to get back on the road and T-boned a Honda SUV in the left lane. Both vehicles flipped over and finally stopped on the center highway divider, according to the CHP report.

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John J. Garvey III

Attorney John J. Garvey, III

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