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San Jose Highway 17 accident lawyerHighway 17 between San Jose and Santa Cruz has been a consistently dangerous stretch of road for decades. The “Safe on 17” commission of the late ‘90s led to a temporary decline in the number of car accidents, but over the last few years, crashes have once again been on the rise. For example, in 2019, Highway 17 was the site of 521 accidents from just January to the middle of March, an increase of 30 crashes from that same time period the year before. To help keep yourself safe, it is important to be aware of why accidents are so common on this road, and what you can do if you are injured in a crash.

Risk Factors on Highway 17

Area law enforcement notes several factors that contribute to accidents on Highway 17. These include:

  • Heavy traffic: More than 60,000 vehicles travel Highway 17 each day, and the simple fact of this many drivers in close proximity to each other increases the risk of accidents.

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San Jose truck crash lawyerAny driver who is distracted by his or her cell phone poses an injury risk to other people on the road, but a distracted truck driver can be especially dangerous. A semi-truck traveling at 55 miles per hour can take more than 5 seconds to come to a complete stop, but sending a text message can remove a driver’s attention from the road for at least this long, so a distracted truck driver may not even have the opportunity to start slowing down before a serious collision occurs. For this reason, cell phone use is strictly regulated for truck drivers throughout the U.S.

Cell Phone Regulations For Commercial Truck Drivers

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) prohibits truck drivers from not just sending and reading text messages and other electronic communication while driving, but all handheld cell phone use. This includes holding a phone while making a call, dialing that requires pressing more than one button, and reaching for a phone. Drivers who violate these restrictions can be fined up to $2,750 and disqualified from driving, and truck driver employers who fail to enforce these restrictions can be fined up to $11,000. Handheld cell phone use while driving is also a violation of California law in most cases, and can result in a fine of at least $20 for a first offense and $50 for additional offenses.

Pursuing Compensation from a Texting Truck Driver

These regulations and penalties may prevent many truck accidents, but if you are injured by a truck driver who was distracted by a cell phone, you can file a personal injury claim to further hold the driver accountable and pursue compensation for your damages. It is not always easy to demonstrate that a driver was distracted, but an attorney can help you collect crucial evidence that potentially includes camera footage of the accident, police reports, and the driver’s phone records.

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Santa Clara County personal injury attorney car accident

In 2017, almost 12,000 people suffered severe injuries in California car accidents, meaning that their injuries prevented them from walking, driving, or performing other activities that they were able to do before the accident. Many of these severe injuries involve damage to the spinal cord, which can have long-lasting effects and may require many years of recovery for the victim to even approach his or her condition before the accident, if recovery is possible at all. If you have suffered a spinal cord injury in an accident caused by another driver, a personal injury lawsuit can help you obtain compensation to cover your extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation.

Signs that You May Have a Spinal Cord Injury

Sometimes spinal cord injuries are immediately apparent after a car accident. If you find that you are paralyzed or have lost the ability to move body parts below the neck or waist, it is likely that you have suffered spinal cord damage. However, sometimes the extent of the injury is not obvious right away. Other signs that you may have a spinal injury include extreme back or neck pain, weakness, numbness or tingling, and difficulty walking or breathing. You may also be able to visibly detect a possible spinal cord injury if your neck or back is in an unnatural position after the accident. If you suspect that your spinal cord has been injured, you should seek medical attention immediately to prevent the damage from getting worse.

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Santa Clara County personal injury attorney car accident

In 2018, an estimated 400,000 people in the United States were injured and almost 3,000 were killed in car accidents involving distracted driving, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Distracted driving is a serious problem nationwide and in California, and if you have been injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver, you need an attorney who understands the legal strategies that give you the best chance of obtaining the compensation you need and deserve.

Common Causes of Distracted Driving

Distracted driving refers to any situation in which a driver removes his or her attention from driving to focus on another task. One well-known cause of distracted driving is cell phone use, especially texting, which can remove a driver’s eyes from the road for five seconds or more. In California, texting while driving and any other handheld cell phone use is against the law. Other common distractions are not explicitly forbidden, but they can be dangerous, nonetheless. Some of the most frequent causes include:

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South Bay Area personal injury attorney construction site accident

In California, a wide variety of occupations may expose employees to injury risk throughout the course of their work. As such, the state requires employers to provide workers’ compensation benefits for employees who are injured on the job, whether those injuries were the fault of the employer, the employee, or a third party. However, as an employee, your eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits does not mean that you cannot also file a personal injury claim against a third party. In fact, in many severe workplace accident cases, it is necessary to pursue a liability lawsuit in order to receive full compensation for the extent of your damages.

When Is a Third-Party Personal Injury Lawsuit Possible?

You may have grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit if you suffered an injury during the course of your work, and that injury was caused by the negligence of someone other than you or your employer. A few examples of work-related injury situations that may involve third-party liability include:

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Santa Clara County personal injury attorney motorcycle accidentAccording to the California Office of Traffic Safety, approximately 500 motorcyclists die and many more are injured in accidents each year, often because of another driver’s negligence. The physical, emotional, and financial costs for motorcycle accident victims can be extreme. If you have been injured in a crash, it is important that you understand how to pursue the compensation you need and deserve with the help of an experienced personal injury attorney.

Available Compensation for Motorcycle Crash Injuries

Although California law requires all motorcyclists to wear a helmet, they are still mostly unprotected compared to occupants of other vehicles. When accidents occur, injuries are often severe and have lasting impacts. When another party is at fault, you can pursue compensation through a personal injury lawsuit for damages including:

  • Medical expenses: Motorcycle accidents can cause traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries, paralysis, loss of limbs, lacerations, and more. You can seek compensation for the cost of emergency treatment, surgeries, medication, and rehabilitation.

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Santa Clara County personal injury attorney dog bite

Dogs have a reputation for being “man’s best friend,” and for many children, a good family dog can be a source of joy and companionship. However, when dogs feel scared, angry, or threatened, they may become aggressive, and young children are often the ones who suffer the consequences. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), children are not only more likely to be bitten by a dog than adults, but their dog bite injuries also tend to be more serious. As a parent, you can help your children avoid dog bite injuries using a few effective strategies. Regardless, a California pet owner may be held liable for injuries inflicted by his dog depending on the circumstances. 

How to Reduce the Risk of a Dog Bite

The key to preventing dog bite injuries is often helping your children understand a dog’s behavior and how they should act around a dog. Here are some suggestions that can keep your children safe:

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Santa Clara County personal injury attorney truck accident

According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the number of people injured and killed in accidents involving large trucks has risen significantly in recent years. The primary danger is not to the truck drivers themselves, but to the occupants of the other involved vehicles, who account for over 70 percent of the annual fatalities. Truck accidents are dangerous not only because of the vehicles’ large size but also because of the heavy loads they carry. When those loads are not properly secured, they can lead to accidents in a number of ways.

How Unsecured Cargo Loads Cause Accidents in California

Semi-trucks are built to haul heavy weight, but in order to do so safely, they must be loaded properly with their cargo fully secured. When loose cargo shifts in transit, accidents often result because of one of the following reasons:

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Santa Clara County personal injury attorney

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that approximately 90 percent of vehicle occupants in recent years use a seat belt and that seat belts save almost 15,000 lives each year. However, failing to wear a seat belt is still a significant factor in many vehicle-related deaths, as 47 percent of people killed in vehicle accidents in 2017 were not wearing a seat belt at the time. Even if you survive a car accident in which you were not wearing a seat belt, you may experience serious injuries resulting in costly medical expenses and a lasting impact on your quality of life. Furthermore, your failure to wear a seat belt may actually result in less compensation in a personal injury case.

How Do California Seat Belt Laws Affect Negligence?

California law requires vehicle occupants to wear a seat belt under most circumstances in recognition that doing so is the most effective way to save lives in the event of an accident. If you are wearing a seat belt and driving responsibly and you are involved in an accident caused by another driver’s negligence, you may be able to reduce or avoid serious injuries entirely. If you are seriously injured under these circumstances, you can make a strong claim that the other driver was completely at fault for the accident and seek full compensation for any damages resulting from your injuries.

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Santa Clara County personal injury attorney premises liability

Due to the perennially warm climate, residential and commercial properties in California may require regular fumigation to help protect the health of both the buildings and their residents from infestations. Among the nastier types of insects, Californians may have to contend with are bed bugs, cockroaches, and termites. A report released by Orkin Pest Control ranking the top 50 cities most at risk for termite damage in the United States placed three major California cities within the top 15: San Diego in 11th place, San Francisco at 9th, and Los Angeles as the 2nd most at risk for termite damage in the entire country.

Due to the high risk of infestation, especially along coastal cities including San Jose, CA properties may require pest control operations—including fumigation—from time to time in order to ensure the structural integrity of buildings and the health of their residents. Although the process of fumigation is often considered low risk for humans when proper precautions are taken, the recent death of a Whittier resident as reported by The Mercury News highlights the fact that pest control operations are not without risk. “Pest exterminators were not actively working at the house at the time, but it was still filled with toxic chemicals,” the news agency reported.

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Santa Clara County defective product injury attorney

Injuries associated with consumer products accounted “for nearly one-third of all unintentional fatal injuries and nearly half of medically attended nonfatal injuries,” according to a report released by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in 2018. Based on the latest data available—41,200 Americans are fatally wounded by a consumer product-related injury every year, and 39.8 million will require medical treatment for their injuries. This means nearly one out of every 10 Americans will receive medical attention due to such an injury.

What Is a Consumer Product?

The CPSC is a government agency created to protect citizens “from unreasonable risk of injury and death associated with consumer products.” The regulatory body excludes some common items from the definition of a “consumer product” because these items fall under the jurisdiction of other government agencies, including, but not limited to boats, firearms, tobacco, automobiles, and more.

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San Jose premises liability lawyersFor many people, there is little else they would rather do on a nice day than go golfing. While we do not typically think of golf as a sport that is likely to cause a player injury, serious golf resort injuries do occur. In some cases, the injury is simply caused by bad luck. In other cases, the injury is a direct result of the golf resort’s failure to maintain a safe premises. If you or a loved one have suffered a major injury at a golf course, you may wonder whether or not you will be entitled to compensation. Determining fault for a golf-related injury is often a tricky process, so getting help from an experienced personal injury attorney is crucial.

Premises Liability Injuries on a Golf Course

Golf is not a high impact sport, however, there are still many ways that someone playing golf can be seriously injured. Sometimes, the injury is the result of the player’s own actions. For example, if a golfer is driving a golf cart in a wildly erratic manner and crashes the vehicle, it is unlikely that the golf resort would be held liable for the golfer’s injuries. However, a golf resort may be liable for injuries caused by an unreasonably dangerous condition on the property.

Examples of injuries that may occur on a golf course include but are not limited to:

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San Jose personal injury attorneysIf you are like most people, you probably think of Memorial Day as the official beginning of summer activities. You may enjoy a cookout or day at the lake to commemorate the holiday, or you may simply enjoy the long weekend at home with your family. Whatever your Memorial Day plans, you should know that the risk of being a car accident or boat accident will be higher than normal during the holiday weekend.

Car Accidents Increase During Holidays

Memorial Day is considered one of the most dangerous days to be on the road for several reasons. For many, the holiday would not be complete without a summer cocktail or cold beer. Unfortunately, some people underestimate the amount of alcohol they are consuming and end up intoxicated behind the wheel. Drunk driving accidents peak during holidays such as Memorial Day. During the 2016 Memorial Day weekend, 36 percent of fatal car accidents involved a driver impaired by alcohol. Drugged driving is also a serious concern. People under the influence of cannabis, prescription drugs, or other substances may experience delayed reaction time and other effects that make them more likely to cause an accident. If you are planning to be on the roads during the upcoming holiday, make sure to be extra vigilant for drivers who are impaired by drugs or alcohol.

Boating Accidents Are Often Taken Too Lightly

Nothing beats the feeling of cruising around in a boat. Unfortunately, boating can be a risky activity. Each year, hundreds of people lose their lives in boating accidents, and thousands more are injured. Alcohol use is also a leading contributing factor in serious boat accidents. People who would never consider driving drunk justify boating under the influence of alcohol because they mistakenly believe that it is not as dangerous. Operator inexperience, operator inattention, excessive speed, improper lookout, and machinery failure are also top contributing factors in boat accidents.

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San Jose personal injury attorneysAn unexpected accident such as slip and fall can happen to anyone at any time. Every year, millions of individuals are injured in accidents on both public and private properties. Some of these injuries are caused by defective conditions on the property itself. Buildings that are not in compliance with state and local building codes can present an unreasonable risk to guests to that property. If you or a loved one were injured in an accident involving building code violations, you may be entitled to compensation.

Understanding the Importance of Building Codes

“Building codes” refers to the standards that regulate building design and construction. Building codes require materials, building practices, and structures to meet certain standards for reliability and safety. Common building code violations include:

  • Structural defects
  • Broken or unstable stairways or guardrails
  • Leaky gas fittings
  • Improper electrical wiring
  • Inadequate signage

Both residential properties and commercial properties must be built according to code. As a building ages, the property owner is required to maintain the property in such a way that it does not represent an unreasonable risk of injury to guests. If a building does contain an unreasonably dangerous hazard and a person is hurt by the dangerous condition, the building owner or building manager may be legally responsible.

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San Jose personal injury attorneysMany people do not realize that many physical injuries also cause serious mental injuries. A person who is involved in a brutal car accident may experience extreme anxiety and fear for months or even years after the accident. An individual who is hurt in an attack caused by negligent security may experience flashbacks and nightmares of the incident that leave him or her unable to live a normal life. If you have been involved in a serious accident and are now suffering psychological symptoms as a result, you may be able to get compensation for these mental injuries through a personal injury lawsuit.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

One of the most common types of mental injuries that a person involved in an injury-causing incident can develop is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The symptoms of PTSD include flashbacks, nightmares, emotional numbness, insomnia, problems with concentration, being easily startled, and more. A person suffering from PTSD may go out of his or her way to avoid activities or places that remind him or her of the traumatic experience. Someone involved in a car accident may find it hard to even ride in a vehicle let alone drive after the incident. The symptoms of PTSD can dramatically affect a person’s ability to function normally.

Proving Mental Pain and Suffering

Unlike most physical injuries, a mental injury is not obviously evident. It can be challenging to prove the extent of mental anguish a person suffers because of an accident. Getting a formal diagnosis from a mental professional can significantly strengthen your case. If you have experienced stress, anxiety, depression, or PTSD symptoms after an accident caused by another’s negligence, you may be able to get compensation for these symptoms. A personal injury lawyer experienced in pursuing noneconomic damages such as these is essential in bringing a personal injury claim.

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San Jose personal injury attorneysAccording to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drivers between the ages of 16 and 19 years old are at a higher risk for a car accident than those in any other age group. In facts, teenage drivers are three times more likely per mile driven to be involved in a fatal accident that drivers over the age 20. Some teens, of course, are very conscientious drivers, but unfortunately, accidents still happen. A recent study suggests that that monitoring levels of a certain stress hormone may help predict how likely a teen is to be involved in an accident.

Testing Cortisol Levels

The study found that newly-licensed teenagers who produced lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol were more likely to be involved in an accident or near-accident. According to Dr. Dennis Durbin, co-scientific director of the Center for Injury Research and Prevention at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, this may indicate that people who experience heightened emotions in stressful situations use those emotions to learn more quickly when behind the wheel. Dr. Durbin did not conduct the study, but he did co-write an editorial that was published along with the findings.

The study was conducted by a team of researchers at the University of Sherbrooke in Quebec and involved newly-licensed drivers from the state of Virginia. Each of the drivers was 16 years old and had received their probationary driver's licenses less than three weeks prior. Saliva samples were tested while the subjects were subjected to increased stress during a timed math test. The teens' vehicles were then fitted with technology to record accidents or near-accidents for the next 18 months. Those who had the highest levels of cortisol had the lowest crash or near-crash results.

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San Jose trucking accident lawyersThe trucking industry is absolutely essential to the flow of goods across the United States. An estimated 80 percent of U.S. cargo is transported by hard-working men and women who drive tractor-trailers, 18-wheelers, and other large trucks. Driving a semi-truck across the country can a tedious and isolating job. Truck drivers are expected to endure harsh road and weather conditions, long periods of time away from family and friends, and erratic sleep schedules. Unfortunately, some truck drivers turn to drugs and alcohol to cope with the strenuousness of their job. Considering how destructive truck accidents can be, the prevalence of drug and alcohol use in truck drivers is extremely concerning.

Fatal Truck Accidents on the Rise

The same features that make 18-wheelers and other large trucks so useful for transportation make them deadly during a traffic accident. A large truck cannot maneuver through traffic the way an averaged sized vehicle can. If a stalled vehicle suddenly blocks the road ahead, for example, cars may have enough time to dodge the stalled vehicle or come to a stop. A fully-loaded tractor-trailer takes approximately 20-40 percent farther to come to a stop than a small car does. This difference in stopping time can mean the difference between life and death. Data shows that there were just under 4000 fatalities caused by truck crashes in 2016. This number represents a 27 percent increase from the number of fatalities in 2009.  

Half of Truck Drivers Admit to Drinking and Driving

In an extensive worldwide study of truck drivers published in the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine, it was found that half of truck drivers admitted to driving under the influence of alcohol. Nearly one-third of truck drivers surveyed admitted to using amphetamines. When participants in the study were tested for drugs and alcohol, 12.5 percent of U.S. truck drivers tested positive for alcohol. Although many truck drivers are already required to submit to drug testing, many people are advocating for stricter rules regarding truck driver drug and alcohol use. If a truck driver causes a serious auto accident while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, he or she can be held liable for the damages caused.

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San Jose personal injury attorneyIn decades past, a diagnosis of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) was akin to a death sentence. However, incredible advances in both HIV treatment and prevention have significantly reduced the number of people who die from Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS). By simply taking a pill, many people have been able to successfully reduce their chances of acquiring the HIV virus while others are able to take medications to slow the progression of AIDS. However, a product liability lawsuit aimed at a company who manufactures these types of drugs asserts that the drugs are not as safe as the public has been led to believe. The AIDS Healthcare Foundation is now asking one HIV/AIDS drug manufacturer to compensate victims for exposing them to unnecessary medical risks associated with these drugs.

HIV Litigation Attorneys Demand Victim Compensation

A lawsuit filed in Alameda County seeks to hold HIV/AIDS drug manufacturer Gilead Sciences Inc. accountable for purportedly failing to fix a defect in one popular medication. The lawsuit alleges that a medication manufactured by Gilead Sciences Inc. which is designed to prevent and treat HIV/AIDS was not as safe as it could have been.

According to the lawsuit, there were known defects with the formulation of a medication called tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF), but these issues were not resolved. Supposedly, a safer version of the drug, called tenofovir alafenamide (TAF), was available but Gilead Sciences chose instead to continue manufacturing and selling the defective drug for financial reasons. The lawsuit also alleges that Gilead did not adequately warn patients of the dangerous side effects associated with TDF and even purposely mislead the public about TDF’s safety and efficacy.

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Santa Clara County personal injury attorneyIf you are a parent, you probably already know how difficult it can be to leave your child in the care of others. Working parents across the nation trust daycare, before and after school program, and other child care workers to take care of their precious loved ones. They trust that the staff at the child care facility will keep a sanitary and hazard-free environment and that their child will return from the facility without injury. Unfortunately, this not always the case. If your child was injured by a negligent child care facility, you may be able to recover compensation for your damages.

Daycare Injuries and Illnesses Should Be Assessed by a Medical Professional

If your child was injured or contracted an illness at daycare, it is crucial that you have their injuries checked out by a doctor or other qualified medical professional. If the injury is due to a negligent facility or staff member, you may consider seeking compensation for the damages at a later date. Evidence in the form of an official medical record is almost always necessary to bring a successful personal injury claim and child care injuries and illnesses are no exception. Some injuries and illnesses can seem minor at first, but then develop into more serious conditions. Getting your loved one checked out by a professional not only secures your ability to seek compensation in the future, it may also prevent the child’s condition from worsening.

When Is a Daycare Injury or Illness Caused by Negligence?

Of course, not every injury or illness sustained at a childcare facility is the fault of the facility or staff. Sometimes accidents just happen. According to the law, childcare workers have a “duty of care” to children. This means that they must take reasonably competent steps to prevent children from being hurt. Many childcare facilities and programs have certain adult-to-child ratios which they claim to maintain. If a child was injured because there were too many children being supervised by one adult, or there was no supervision, the facility would likely be considered negligent.

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San Jose hit and run accident lawyerBeing in any type of car accident can be a terrifying ordeal, but being involved in a hit and run may be the worst type of accident to be involved in. When a driver causes a car crash and then intentionally leaves the scene of the accident without providing contact information, the victim may incorrectly assume there is nothing they can do to get compensation for their damages. However, there are several things hit and run victims can do to maximize their chances of getting reimbursement for their injuries and property damage.

Always Call the Police Immediately After a Hit and Run

It can be infuriating to be the victim of a hit and run accident. Understandably, some people feel tempted to chase after the person who hit them and sped away from the accident scene. However, doing this can make your situation much worse than it already is. You could cause another accident or exacerbate your injuries by attempting to catch the person who caused the crash. You could also face criminal charges if you break traffic laws in your pursuit of the other driver. Instead, call the police immediately after being involved in a hit and run. A police report chronicling the details of the accident is almost always needed to pursue a civil claim for a hit and run. Furthermore, a police report will likely make your auto claims process faster.

Collect Evidence and Speak with Witnesses

If you are not too injured to do so, make sure to gather as much information as you can about the circumstances of the accident. Take pictures or make note of the make, model, and color of car that hit you. Also speak with any witnesses to the accident and write down their contact information. These witnesses may be a valuable asset when it comes time to proving your claim.

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While this website provides general information, it does not constitute legal advice. The best way to get guidance on your specific legal issue is to contact a lawyer. To schedule a meeting with the attorney, please call at 408-293-7777 or complete the intake form below.

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John J. Garvey, III
10 Almaden Blvd, #1220
San Jose, CA 95113
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