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San Jose personal injury attorneyBy now, you have probably already heard about the dangers of texting while driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, AT&T, AAA, nonprofits, and other organizations have spent millions of dollars on campaigns to stop texting and driving. However, there are many other ways that drivers become dangerously distracted on the road.

Children Can Be More Distracting Than Texting

If you have children, you probably spend a lot of time transporting them from after school activities, to friend’s houses, or back and forth from school. According to several studies, you may be driving while distracted. One study showed that children were twelve times more distracting to a driver than texting was. Research has also shown that parents with children in the car spend, on average, three minutes and twenty-two seconds with their eyes off of the road for every sixteen minutes they are diving.

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San Jose personal injury attorneyIf you have ever driven on the highway, you have probably noticed the grey metal guardrails which line the sides of the road. These guardrails are intended to protect vehicles from going off of the road or crossing into the oncoming traffic lane. However, not all of these guardrails are protecting motorists the way they were intended. At least three lawsuits in several different states have recently been filed alleging that X-LITE guardrail is defectively designed and does not effectively protect motorists.

 X-LITE End Terminal Fails to Operate as Designed

The beginning and end of guardrails are called end terminals. These sections of guardrail may look simple, but they are intricately designed to serve several purposes. The X-LITE End Terminal is rounded on the ends and gently slopes toward the ground. This eliminates the sharp ends of the guardrail which, if hit by a car, would do a significant amount of damage to the vehicle and passengers in it.

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San Jose car accident attorneyBy now you have probably heard one of the many public service announcements reminding drivers to keep their hands off of their cell phone while driving. Ever since cellular telephones exploded in popularity, there have been car accidents caused by people talking or texting on their phones. Texting while driving is a highly-reported issue, but you should know that there is another cause of dangerous distracted driving. Drowsiness, or simply being sleepy, is also a factor in many distracted driving accidents.

New Research Shows Sleepy Drivers Are Prevalent

A recent study released by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that the rate at which motor vehicle accidents happen is much higher than previously estimated. While government statistics indicate that only about 1 to 2 percent of all car accidents involve a drowsy driver, AAA’s research shows that the actual rate of drowsiness-caused car accidents is about ten times that. Behind-the-wheel sleepiness was found to be a factor in almost 11 percent of all car accidents which resulted in injury, significant property damage, and/or airbag deployment.

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San Jose personal injury attorneyIf you are like most people, you probably get slightly nervous driving behind an eighteen-wheel truck carrying cargo. Although it is rare, cargo and debris falling off the back of a truck is extremely dangerous. Motorists who run over cargo can spin out of control and crash, often causing other cars to be involved in the accident as well. Other times, cargo can fly out and hit the windshield or body of a vehicle, damaging it. Trucks can become unbalanced when cargo shifts inside the vehicle and topple over. In the most tragic cases, some motorists are severely injured or even die in accidents caused by shifting cargo.

Federal Law Mandates That Trucks Have Cargo Properly Secured

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is the agency which regulates the U.S. trucking industry. In 2004, the agency updated it rules regarding the transportation and securing of cargo in order to reduce the number of accidents caused by cargo shifting or falling from commercial motor vehicles. Cargo must be firmly secured by structures of sufficient strength such as wedges and tiedowns. Additionally, inflatable bags or other materials should be used to fill space between pieces of cargo and the walls of the truck so that cargo cannot move around during transportation. Trucking companies who fail to take appropriate securing measures can be held liable for accidents caused by shifting cargo.

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Posted on in Car Accidents

Santa Clara County personal injury attorneyGetting into a car accident can have devastating consequences for those in the vehicles affected. Astoundingly, almost 1.3 million people die each year in car accidents and an additional 20-50 million are injured or disabled. Whenever a person gets into a vehicle, they are taking a risk. Drivers can lessen the risk that they will get into an accident by never driving after consuming drugs or alcohol, avoiding distractions like cell phones, and keeping a lookout for careless drivers. There are many things that can trigger a car accident, but you may be surprised as to the main causes of such accidents.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving has become a more serious problem every year. Having the world at our fingertips on a cell phone has made it more tempting than ever to take your eyes off of the road. The National Safety Council reports that 1.6 million crashes each year are caused by distracted drivers. In fact, distracted driving is so dangerous that 1 out of 4 of all car accidents are caused by it.

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San Jose personal injury attorneyRetail product manufacturers and distributors have the responsibility to ensure that their products are safe and reliable. Unfortunately, defective or otherwise dangerous products do still reach consumers. When a company learns that a product that they manufacture or sell is defective, they have the responsibility to fix the problem and warn customers who have already purchased the product. Often this is done through a product recall. Recalls, however, are usually prompted by reports of injuries caused by the products in question.

Major Retailer Faces Lawsuit

Target has come under scrutiny after serious injuries were allegedly caused by a product sold by the retail giant. A family from Riverside, California has filed a lawsuit against Target regarding a potty trainer that they purchased there that severely injured their 3-year-old son. The young boy’s parents and grandparents claim that the boy was nearly dismembered. According to the family, the boy’s genitals became stuck in the polypropylene weePOD Basix potty trainer causing severe lacerations. The boy’s parents rushed him to the emergency room, and the lasting effects of the injury are unknown.

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San Jose car accident lawyerThe moments after a car accident can be frightening and overwhelming. Even as the vehicles are coming to a stop, many people have a variety of thoughts racing through their heads, all at the same time. Is everyone okay? Is anyone injured? Am I hurt?

While you are taking stock of your situation following a crash, you should, of course, check yourself for injuries, keeping in mind that injuries are not always immediately apparent. Car accident victims may suffer whiplash, damage to soft tissue, concussions, spinal injuries, broken bones, and other serious injuries that may not become obvious for several hours or even days after the accident. Many of those who are involved in a car accident are quick to conclude that they are not injured, but these assumptions can be dangerous.

Fight or Flight Hormones Mask Pain

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San Jose personal injury attorneyThis is a busy time of year for many of us. Whether celebrating Kwanza, Hanukkah, or Christmas, millions of Americans will be traveling by car this holiday season, putting you and your family at an increased risk of getting into a car accident. The National Safety Council estimates that there were about 300 traffic fatalities last year and 37,000 injuries due to traffic accidents during the days surrounding Christmas of 2016.  Every time that a person gets into a vehicle, they are taking a risk, but there are steps you can take in order to mitigate that risk.

Experts encourage drivers to make sure that their car is properly maintained. If you are going to drive a long distance this holiday season, it is a good idea to take the car to a service station to be inspected. Check the tires for correct air pressure and ensure that the tires still have adequate tread depth. Top off all the fluids in the car and replace old or worn out wiper blades. Ensure that the car’s battery is working correctly. It is also a good idea to be prepared with an emergency car kit. In it, place extra phone chargers, blankets, flashlights, batteries, flares, reflective markers, water, snacks, and tools. Check your route and be aware of increased traffic patterns and accidents due to the holiday rush.

If You Get into an Accident, Take These Steps

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San JOse distracted driving accident lawyerAccording to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, distracted driving behaviors such as reading a text, making a call, or simply changing the radio station while driving causes at least 12 percent of car accidents worldwide and 14 percent of U.S accidents. A recent study published in Frontiers in Psychology has shed even more light on the subject. Ole Johansson, a researcher at Norway's Institute of Transport Economics, led the study that sought to identify which demographic of people was most likely to engage in dangerous distracted driving.

A Revealing Survey

Young men, frequent drivers, and those with neurotic and extroverted personalities were found to be the most likely to be dangerously distracted while driving. Older women were the least likely group of people to be distracted. The researchers acknowledged that their findings might be slightly skewed, however, because their method relied on self-reporting.

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san jose personal injury attorneyWhether it be by a yellow school bus, the Santa Clara Valley Transit Authority (VTA), an intrastate bus line connecting various cities throughout California, or an interstate bus line that transports people from one state to the next, public transit buses are a valuable and affordable transportation option for all. Unfortunately, they can also be exceedingly dangerous when an accident occurs, and the dangers are not limited to passengers only. When it comes to bus accidents, anyone in the vicinity, including pedestrians, bicyclists, other drivers, motorcyclists could be at risk—children and adults alike.

Buses on American Roadways Experience Thousands of Accidents per Year

Although buses are thought to experience fewer accidents than the collective of individual drivers each year, a 2010 study from the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute shows that these accidents occur far more often than most realize—and many are catastrophic. According to the study’s findings analysis, approximately 63,000 accidents involving buses occur each and every year. Furthermore, a comparative study from the Journal of Safety Research found that, while bus accidents account for an overall small share of the traffic accidents in America each year, their accident per million passenger miles is comparable to those of individual automobile drivers.

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San Jose personal injury attorneyOver the next week or so, children throughout the Bay Area will take to the streets dressed as comic book superheroes, movie characters, spooky creatures and more. Trick-or-treating on Halloween, for many families, is a tradition that traces back several generations, and as October draws to a close, the excitement begins to grow. Amidst the fun, sweets, tricks, and treats, however, accidents can and do happen, and it is important for you and your young ones to stay safe this Halloween.

Plan Ahead

As a parent, you may have spent hours, days, and even weeks preparing costumes for your children. Yet when trick-or-treating time rolls around those same parents often do not have a plan for where to go or how long to stay out. Decide ahead of time which parts of your neighborhood you would like to visit. If your children want to trick-or-treat in another part of town—near a family member or friend, for example—it is a good idea to drive through that neighborhood a few times. Check out the area both during daylight hours and at dusk so you can identify any potentially dangerous intersections while understanding what your children will be seeing as the sun sets. 

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San Jose personal injury attorneyYou have probably seen commercials for car insurance advertising the benefits of having the state minimum coverage. While bare-bones car insurance plans are often less expensive and get drivers the legally-mandated car insurance their state requires, they leave a lot to be desired. Having even a very small amount of coverage is better than not having any automotive insurance, but it may leave drivers vulnerable. Minimum coverage is often not enough protection in the event of an accident.

Cheaper Is Not Always Better

Although a cheaper option, there are many problems that can arise when a driver only has the minimum amount of car insurance. For instance, if the driver is in an accident which injures another party, he or she will probably have to pay damages. If the driver’s insurance does not pay the complete amount he or she owes, the injured party can pursue damages against him or her until the debt is paid. The costs can add up quickly. An at-fault driver can be required to liquidate his or her assets, including their car and home in order to pay the debt. In some cases, the driver’s wages may be garnished.

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San Jose personal injury attorneyGetting into a car accident is a terrible experience for anyone. Being the victim of a hit and run can be even more devastating. A hit and run accident is any accident in which a driver intentionally leaves the scene without providing contact information. This can include when a car hits you and then speeds away or when a driver hits your parked car and leaves no contact information. Many victims of hit and run accidents are unsure of how to get compensation for their damages and injuries.

Collect Information and Gather Evidence

The first step to take after you have been involved in a hit and run is to collect as much information as you can. If possible, take note of the car and driver who hit you. Write down the model, make, and color of the car. Write down the license plate number or snap a picture of it if you have time. Note the time and location of the accident. Collecting this information helps the police find the person who hit you as well as help your car insurance company to make decisions about your claim.

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Posted on in Personal Injury

San Jose personal injuryFor many communities across California and around the nation, Friday nights during the fall season mean just one thing: high school football. The game, in many areas, has become more than just recreation or competition; it is an institution with roots going back several generations. Of course, youth sports are available to children as young as four years old, with soccer and T-ball usually among their options. In the course of a game or practice, unfortunately, it is not common for young athletes to get hurt, and many coaches will tell you that such injuries are simply “part of the game.” But, how far does “part of the game” include, and what responsibility do parents have for assuming the risks?

Risks Inherent to the Activity

Regardless of the sport or physical activity and age level, there will always be the possibility of getting hurt. Certain types of injuries are considered acceptable dangers of the sport or activity. For example, recreational or competitive cyclists may be susceptible to pulled muscles and crash-related bumps, bruises, and broken bones. Likewise, a baseball or softball player is at the reasonable—yet accepted, in most cases—risk of being hit by a pitch or a batted ball.

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San Jose premises liability accidentIn a few short months, the winter holidays will be upon us again. At this point, only the best planners have started their holiday shopping, but soon they will be joined by millions across the country looking for great deals on the best gifts. With the increase in shoppers will come the inevitable increased risk of shopping accidents and injuries. Wet floors, exposed trip hazards, and falling merchandise can all lead to serious injuries to unsuspecting customers. While premises liability laws in California require property owners and occupants to ensure their property is safe for others to enter, there are a few things you should know about how such laws work.

Most Common Retail Customer Injuries

Black Friday stampedes and fights over the season’s hottest toys may make headlines, but other types are much more common in most stores and shopping centers. Slip and fall accidents due to wet or poorly maintained floors are statistically the most likely to occur. Shoppers can also trip over exposed edges of carpet, cords, displays, or other items. Falls may result in sprains, strains, back injuries, and broken bones, leading to long-term medical care and hefty bills.

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San Jose personal injury attorneyWhen you have been hurt in a car accident, a slip and fall accident on someone else’s property, or any other type of incident, your first priority should be making a full physical recovery if at all possible. Of course, depending on the circumstances of your case, you may be entitled to collect compensation for your injuries from the party who caused or allowed the accident to happen. While there is no legal requirement for you to hire a personal injury attorney following an accident, doing so could be the key to getting the money you need to put your life back together.

Analyze the Situation

If your accident left you with a few bumps and bruises and relatively minor damage to your property—common in minor fender-benders—you might be able to navigate filing an insurance claim on your own. While the insurance company may still try to offer you a lowball settlement, there are not very many uncertainties to be addressed. However, if your accident totaled your car, put you in the hospital for a few days, and caused long-lasting injuries that will affect you for years to come, you should probably call a lawyer. An attorney is also useful if the insurance company refuses to pay, regardless of the severity of the accident.

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San Jose workplace accident attorneyWhen you have been injured at work, your thoughts may initially turn to filing for workers’ compensation benefits to cover the costs and damages associated with your injuries. Such a reaction is reasonable, as workers’ compensation is intended to offer coverage for a large majority of workplace accidents and injuries. There are, however, many situations in which workers’ compensation is either insufficient or inappropriate, and a separate lawsuit may be necessary.

Personal Injury and Third-Party Lawsuits

The best and most appropriate route for obtaining the compensation you deserve following a workplace injury depends on a number of factors. First, the cause of your injury is important. If you were injured in an accident that nobody else caused while in the normal scope of your job, a personal injury lawsuit will probably not be necessary.

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San Jose personal injury attorneyBy now, you have seen them everywhere. You can buy them at toy stores, dollar stores, and even many gas stations and flea markets. They are called fidget spinners, and they are among the most popular toys to hit the market in recent years. Unfortunately, however, there have been reports throughout the United States and Great Britain of fidget spinners causing injuries. It seems that the trendy toy could be more dangerous than many people realize.

What Are Fidget Spinners?

In recent years, several products have become available that are designed to help individuals channel nervous energy and to soothe anxiety. Among the first such products were fidget cubes—cubes of about an inch and a half on each side with various dexterous and tactile activities on each face. A person with anxious tendencies could hold the cube in his or her hand while manipulating a switch, dial, or rollerball to ease tension and reduce fidgeting—hence the name “fidget cube.”

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San Jose personal injury attorneyOfficials in California have given the approval for three Fire Ball rides to reopen following a deadly accident at the Ohio State Fair last month. The accident occurred on opening night of the fair, killing one and sending seven others to the hospital with injuries.

A Tragic Situation

On July 26, fairgoers in Columbus, Ohio, watched in stunned horror as the ride known as the Fire Ball came apart while it was in motion. The Fire Ball is a pendulum-type ride which rotates riders as it swings back and forth in a large arc. Videos taken of the incident show pieces of the ride being thrown—along with several riders—as it reached the furthest point of its swing. Witnesses said that they saw at least two riders ejected from the ride and flying up to 20 feet before landing on their backs on concrete.

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San Jose personal injury attorneyOver the last week, national headlines have been abuzz with the story of an 18-year-old California woman who was broadcasting a video live to social media while behind the wheel. During the course of filming the video, she lost control of her car, resulting in an accident that killed the woman’s sister—and the whole thing was immediately posted to Instagram.

Despite warning after warning and countless advertisements and public safety messages, some drivers cannot seem to resist the temptation to use their cell phones while driving. Many convince themselves that it is fine to send a quick text message or read an email. In reality, however, using a hand-held cell phone while driving is simply unsafe.

Fatal Accident in Los Banos

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John J. Garvey, III
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