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San Jose personal injury attorneyGetting into a car accident can be terrifying. In the moments after an accident, most people are not considering the financial cost the accident will bring. However, after the accident is over and their injuries have been treated, the question of expense arises. If you have been hit by a distracted driver, you may wonder whether or not you have a valid personal injury claim. There are many factors which can contribute to the success or failure of accident injury claims. If you have been injured in a car accident due to someone else’s negligence, read on to learn more.

Drivers Texting and Driving Are Usually Considered Negligent

Texting and driving has become a serious danger in the United States. A shocking number of car accidents are directly linked to distracted, including texting or otherwise using a cell phone while driving. The statistics involving the dangers of distracted driving are sobering. Over 1000 people are injured every day in traffic accidents involving a distracted driver and approximately nine individuals die from these accidents each day.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones while driving at any one point in the day. Texting and driving is expressly illegal in California. The Wireless Communications Device Law states that drivers must not write, send, or read text messages while driving. Bluetooth technology or other hands-free devices may be used by drivers 18 years old and older, but certain restrictions still apply. If you can prove that the diver who hit you was illegally using his or her phone or other electronic device when the accident occurred, you will likely have a successful personal injury suit. 

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San Jose personal injury attorneyWe have all done it. You are driving along the highway when your phone rings. You know you should ignore the incessant ringing until you are not driving, but temptation wins and you reach for your phone. Distractions like cell phones contribute to nearly 80 percent of car crashes, according to some estimates The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 3,450 lives were lost in accidents involving a distracted driver in 2016. If you have been in a car accident caused by a driver who was not paying attention or was distracted, you may be able to recover compensation for your damages through a personal injury lawsuit.

Distractions Which Can Cause Traffic Accidents

For many, driving a motor vehicle becomes second nature. Although most people exhibit cautious behavior when they are first learning to drive, after a while, many people become careless regarding safe driving habits. About 2 percent of all distracted driver traffic fatalities are caused simply by drivers who take their hands off the wheel to adjust the radio or climate controls. Driving with other people in the vehicle can be a major source of distractions as well. About 5 percent of traffic fatalities in relation to distracted driving are attributed to the passengers in the car. This phenomenon is especially true of teenaged drivers. Research shows that when a teen drives with two or more passengers, the likelihood that they will be involved in a fatal car accident increases by a factor of five.

Mental Distractions Are Just as Dangerous as Physical Distractions

Some may assume that if they wait until they are no longer driving to check their text messages or change the radio station that they avoid the dangers of distracted driving. However, experts say that distractions outside of the car can be dangerous too. About 7 percent of distracted driver fatalities are caused by people or other distractions outside of the vehicle. The leading cause of distracted driving car accidents is simply drivers who are lost in thought. Research shows that over half of distracted driving accidents, about 62 percent, are caused by daydreaming.

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San Jose personal injury attorneyThe holidays can be the most magical time of the year. Seeing old friends and family, watching children open presents, or sharing a favorite holiday meal can put a smile on anyone’s face. The holidays are also the time of year that many people travel. The increase in traffic combined with hurried drivers eager to make it to their destination on time can make travelling during the holidays challenging. When individuals add drinking and driving to the equation, the risk of getting into an auto accident skyrockets. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that drunk driving usually contributes to approximately 30 percent of highway fatalities. However, this number doubles to nearly 60 percent during the time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. This holiday season, make a commitment not to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Always Have a Travel Plan that Involves a Sober Driver

For many, the holiday season is filled with social events. People visit with relatives, have gift exchanges, and often enjoy a cocktail or two together. Most workplaces have a holiday parties as well. If you plan to celebrate the holidays with a few drinks, always make sure to have a plan for getting home. Waiting until you are already drinking to make transportation arrangements can be disastrous. This is partly because in addition to giving drinkers that warm feeling of holiday cheer, alcohol also affects the decision-making parts of the brain. Alcohol use stimulates a neurotransmitter called norepinephrine. High levels of norepinephrine lower drinkers’ inhibitions and increase impulsivity. As a result, those who normally make rational decisions about road safety may find themselves impulsively getting behind the wheel after a few drinks. A driver is much less likely to consider the potential consequences of his or her actions after consuming alcohol. This is why it is so critical to have a plan for transportation in place before you start drinking.

Contact a South Bay Car Accident Injury Attorney If You Have Been Injured in a Car Crash

Car accidents can lead to life-altering catastrophic injuries like traumatic brain injury, spinal injury, or paralysis. Even milder injuries like whiplash, soft tissue injuries, and broken bones can leave an individual unable to work and burdened with medical bills. To learn how you may be able to receive compensation for your injuries, contact our highly knowledgeable San Jose car accident lawyer. Call us at 408-293-7777 to schedule your free initial consultation.

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San Jose personal injury attorneyWhen you have been hurt in a car accident, you may be facing a myriad of challenges, including recovering from your injuries, getting back to work, and generally dealing with the aftermath of the crash. Unfortunately, things can become even more difficult when the insurance companies get involved.

While insurance coverage is a consideration in virtually every car accident, it is not uncommon for carriers to offer much less than you would need to start putting your life back together properly. Insurance companies are well-known for their “lowball” settlement offers that seek to minimize their payouts and avoid costly litigation.

Protecting Yourself from Insurance Companies

If you were injured in a crash and are in the process of negotiating with an adjuster—either from your own insurer or that of the party who caused your accident—it is important to keep in mind that:

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San Jose personal injury attorneysFor years now, public awareness campaigns have been reinforcing the inherent danger of cell phone use while driving. In fact, one could argue that the war against texting and driving is nearly equivalent to the anti-drunk driving efforts of the 1980’s. Today, 47 states and the District of Columbia have instituted complete bans on texting while driving, while Texas and Missouri maintain bans for younger drivers. Only Montana and Arizona have no laws prohibiting such mobile device use. However, a new study suggests that simply hearing a cell phone notification may be just as distracting as actually using the device.

Interesting Research

Conducted by researchers at Florida State University, the study was published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology. Lead author Cary Stothart and his team examined the impact to an individual’s attention caused by a cell phone notification—either an audible tone or vibration—while performing a task that demanded concentration. Using a non-driving computer project, test subjects were asked to perform an attention-intensive task twice. During the second round, participants received either a call, a text, or no notification, but were not permitted answer the call or read the message. The subjects were not aware that the texts and calls were part of the study.

According to the team’s results, participants who received notifications were three times more likely to make mistakes on the task that those that did not receive a call or text. Those who received calls were the most distracted of any group. When compared with similar studies related to actual cell phone use, the effect of the simple notification was found to very comparable to the distraction created by talking on the phone or texting.

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San Jose personal injury attorney Auto accidents happen so quickly and are so traumatizing that a person’s adrenaline can mask the symptoms of an injury. Unfortunately, some of those injuries may be severe. In some cases, they may even be life-threatening. With that in mind, it is recommended that every accident victim know the most commonly experienced delayed injury symptoms. Learn more about them, and discover where you can find assistance with your claim, with help from the following information.

Head and Brain Injuries

Of all the types of injuries a victim can sustain during an accident, those involving the head are among the most common. They are also one of the easiest to miss. Victims may not be aware of hitting their head, may lose consciousness, and often lack any open wounds. Furthermore, it does not take an actual blow to the head to sustain a head injury; all that is needed is enough of a force to jar or shake the brain inside the skull. If you experience persistent headaches; changes in mood, personality, or physical function; or feel dizzy or lose consciousness, seek immediate medical help. You may have a head or brain injury.

Whiplash and Other Soft Tissue Injuries

Whiplash occurs when a sudden movement of the muscles in the neck, shoulders, and upper back area become torn, inflamed, or otherwise injured. The same can happen with other muscle groups, such as the lower back or arms. If you experience persistent pain, numbness or tingling in your extremities, headaches, or pinching in your neck or upper back, contact a healthcare professional for an appointment. Though not necessarily an emergency, lack of treatment for whiplash and other soft tissue injuries can leave victims with severe and long-lasting problems.

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San Jose car accident attorneyAccording to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, between 2 and 3 million Americans experience an auto accident injury that requires emergency medical attention each year. Overall, that same care is expected to cost victims some $18 billion throughout the course of their lives. Those accidents also cost victims about $33 billion in lifetime employment earnings.

While not all accidents can be prevented, there are ways that victims can mitigate their risks. This is especially true when it comes to reducing the risk of serious injury—and it all starts with choosing the right vehicle for you and/or your family.

Using Safety Ratings to Choose Your Vehicle

Safety ratings come from all kinds of sources, but not all are unbiased or reliable. For example, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) tests and rates cars, but the agency only sets mandatory standards. In contrast, the U.S. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a non-government agency. They are actually funded mostly by insurance companies, so they have a good reason to keep drivers safe behind the wheel.

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San Jose personal injury attorneyAmerica is full of busy people. There are workers rushing to their jobs, and parents shuffling their children off to school and soccer practice. Then there are those who are running late to a doctor’s appointment, or in a hurry to get to the airport. Unfortunately, all that hustle and bustle means that some drivers are going faster than they should. That can increase their risk of causing an accident, and may also lead to more serious injuries for victims. If one has happened to you or someone you love, know your rights, including your right to pursue full and fair compensation.

Respect for Speed Limits is Deteriorating

While most people do recognize that speed limits are the law and not a suggestion, researchers suggest there is an erosion of respect for those laws. In fact, a 2002 study found that one-third of drivers admitted to regularly driving at least 10 miles an hour faster than other road users. These were all self-reported incidents, which suggests the numbers could be much higher.

In a more recent study, researchers from Purdue asked 988 drives a single question: at what point did they feel like speeding became a personal threat to them or their family. They were given three options to choose from: 5, 10, and 15 miles per hour over the speed limit. Nearly half (43 percent) said they felt safe driving up to 10 miles per hour over the speed limit. Another 36 percent asserted that safety did not become a concern until they exceeded 20 miles per hour over the posted speed limit.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_vitamin-d-spine-personal-injury.jpgSpinal cord injury victims often experience depression and fatigue after their injury. Caused, perhaps, by a mixture of issues that range from decreased social interaction, lack of sunshine and mobility, decreased social interaction, pain, trauma, and more, these ailments can be further exacerbated if the patient also suffers from vitamin D deficiency. Thankfully, one study has found that high-dose vitamin D supplementation could ease the severity of both symptoms, even among those who are not deficient.

Vitamin D Supplementation for Spinal Injuries

Scientists have previously found that spinal cord injury victims are between four and five times more likely to develop a vitamin D deficiency than those without such injuries. As it turns out, depression and fatigue are some of the most commonly experienced symptoms among those who have deficient vitamin D stores.

This common issue of deficiency was partly responsible for the study, which examined the effect of high-dose and low-dose vitamin D supplementation of 42 spinal injury patients. Those in the low-dose group received 800 IU (international units) of vitamin D daily for a total of six months. Those in the high-dose group were given either 2,000 IU daily for six months or 4,000 IU for one month and 2,000 IU for five months (dependent upon their vitamin D levels prior to starting the study). Study authors then tracked the progress of patients at one month, three months, and six months after starting supplementation.

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San Jose premises liability lawyerInjuries—they can happen anywhere. Sometimes, they are simply accidents with no real traceable cause. But, defective staircases and sidewalks, falling objects, wet or sticky floors, a lack of security, or improper restraint of an animal are, most often, a case of premises liability.

What you do in the days, weeks, and even months after such an incident can determine whether you receive fair compensation for your any injuries you may have sustained. The following steps will guide you, regardless of whether the incident occurred at another person’s home, a government establishment, public place, or business.

#1 –  File a Report

If you are personally injured while on a homeowner’s property, you should notify the owner of the property that the incident occurred. Similarly, if you were injured while at a store, government establishment, or place of business, you should speak with the manager or a member of security and request an incident report. Fill it out, to the best of your abilities, and always request a copy before leaving the premises. This is an important, but often forgotten, piece of evidence by many people injured in premises liability cases.

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San Jose personal injury attorneyGetting into a car accident is most of the most stressful things a person can experience. Finding out that the person who caused the accident did not have auto insurance can be even more devastating. Generally, when a person causes a car crash, their insurance is responsible for compensating the other individuals involved in the accident. Without this insurance, the process of recovering costs associated with the accident can be significantly more complicated.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage

Automobile insurance is required by California law, but some individuals choose to drive without insurance anyway. Because of this, car insurance companies offer uninsured motorist coverage and underinsured motorist coverage. Uninsured motorist coverage is insurance which guarantees that the policyholder will be covered if they are involved in an accident caused by an uninsured motorist or are in a hit-and-run accident. California state law requires an uninsured motorist provision to be included in all auto liability policies. However, you may voluntarily decline this coverage via written request.

Even individuals who have purchased uninsured motorist protection can find themselves without enough financial compensation to pay for damages caused by an uninsured driver. The coverage included through an uninsured motorist policy is often not enough to cover the extensive costs incurred by a serious auto accident.

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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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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, #1250
San Jose, CA 95113
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