California residents may soon see more compensation in personal injury cases. The California Supreme Court this month agreed to take up a case that could result in the guilty driver owing an accident victim the full price of her medical care, rather than a lower negotiated rate that was actually paid to the hospital.
A Hamilton Meats & Provisions truck driver made an illegal U-turn and hit Rebecca Howells car. Howells spinal fusion surgery and other treatments cost her insurance company $60,000, but the full hospital rate for the procedures was $190,000.
A horrific bus crash in Arizona, on March 19, that killed six and injured 17 passengers drew attention to the problems of illegal motor carriers. The owner of the Tierra Santa Inc. bus company, Cayetano Martinez, is a serial illegal bus operator. When the federal government closed down his prior operation, he started up Tierra Santa. Shut down by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) in April for lack of insurance, Tierra Santa continued in business as an interstate motor carrier nonetheless while its application for an interstate licensing was pending. That application was denied in December. On the day of the fatal bus crash, the Tierra Santa bus was passing through Arizona en route from Mexico to California when it rear-ended a pick-up and rolled over.
The trucking industrys primary regulator, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), has proposed Comprehensive Safety Analysis 2010, a new measurement, enforcement and compliance program designed to measure drivers safety habits and training.
The programs goals are to improve federal and state enforcement of safety and regulatory laws, identify and address behavior that increases risk and encourage the use of technology to track safety and performance data. The data will be compared among carriers to pinpoint at-risk companies.
One of the worst feelings for any parent involved in a motor vehicle accident with a young child as a passenger is being told that the child suffered an injury because he or she was improperly restrained in the car seat. Yet in one random screening conducted by the California Highway Patrol (CHP) in Bakersfield in June 2010, they found that of the 121 child safety devices they checked that day, 90 percent were incorrectly installed.
The most common issues the officers found were that the car seats were not age- or weight-appropriate, had missing straps and buckles and were loosely connected or not connected at all to the vehicle. Some restraints used had been recalled from the manufacturer for safety or design faults.
Millions of families have opened their homes and their hearts to pet dogs, and with good reason. Dogs are, after all, "man's best friend." That being said, it can be easy for many of us to forget that dogs were once wild animals whose hunting and fighting instincts ensured their very survival. Sometimes those instincts can kick in at most inopportune times, resulting in bites that cause serious injuries and could even be fatal.
The Insurance Information Institute (III) reports that dog bites have increased five percent year-over-year, and that the rate at which dogs in California are attacking people is the highest in the country. If you should be unlucky enough to suffer a dog bite injury, do you know that you have rights under California law that might allow you to seek compensation to cover your medical bills and other related costs? Having a basic understanding of the state laws that govern these cases and how you should proceed can aid you greatly if you or a loved one is attacked by an animal.
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