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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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San Jose personal injury attorneyMany people consider Memorial Day to be the unofficial start of summer fun. You may have plans to take a boating trip, enjoy a backyard barbeque, or visit family this Memorial Day. Whatever your plans may be, make sure you are always taking steps to keep yourself and your family safe. Memorial Day is considered one of the riskiest days on which to operate a motor vehicle in the United States. The increase in the number of vehicles on the roads plus the common presence of alcohol at Memorial Day celebrations can be a deadly combination. Boating accidents are also common on Memorial Day for similar reasons.

Drunk Driving on Memorial Day

According to The National Safety Council, approximately 400 people may lose their lives in traffic accidents this Memorial Day weekend across the country. This estimate is based on the number of fatal accidents from previous Memorial Day weekends plus other data. Drunk driving is an especially concerning risk factor during this time because many people attend gatherings in which alcohol is served.

If you are planning on driving during the holiday period, make sure to take extra precautions to keep yourself and other motorists safe. Avoid drinking and driving, and always wear a seatbelt. Additionally, keep your eyes open for motorists who are making erratic lane changes, speeding, drifting between lanes, or otherwise driving dangerously as these motorists may be intoxicated.

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San Jose personal injury attorneyWalking instead of using a car for transportation has many environmental and health benefits. Unfortunately, recent studies show that simply walking down the street is now more dangerous than ever. According to a report published earlier this year from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), pedestrian deaths from car accidents are higher than ever. In 2008, a little over 4,000 pedestrians lost their lives in the United States. In 2017, that number had risen to just under 6,000 deaths. If you or someone you love was struck by a vehicle, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages.

Night Continues to Be the Most Dangerous Time for Pedestrians

The overall number of pedestrians who were killed in traffic incidents has risen dramatically in recent years. In fact, pedestrian fatalities for 2018 are projected to be the worst in nearly 30 years. Interestingly, daytime pedestrian fatalities have remained relatively constant while nighttime incidents have increased dramatically. During the period from 2008-2017, approximately 90 percent of pedestrian deaths happened at high. Experts suggest wearing reflective clothing when walking at night whenever possible.

Intoxicated Drivers are a Major Risk to Pedestrians

Not surprisingly, being under the influence of drugs or alcohol drastically increases the chances of being involved in a car accident. Nearly half of all pedestrian fatalities in 2017 involved a driver under the influence of one or more substances. Federal regulators are working to figure out other reasons for the extreme rise in pedestrian fatalities. Some believe that the rise in deaths could be related to the increasing number of larger vehicles like trucks and SUVs on the road. Distracted driving is also a major concern for both motorists and pedestrians. Texting and driving is a disturbing trend which is especially hazardous.

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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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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 personal injury attorneyAnyone who has ever been in a car accident can probably remember the feelings of confusion and uncertainty in the moments immediately following the crash. If you were the one driving, such feelings may be amplified as you replay the incident in your head, wondering what you may have done wrong and what you should do next. Your initial impulse may be to get out of your car, check on the occupants of the other car and apologize for causing the accident—even if you are not certain that the wreck was your fault. Doing so, however, may not be the best idea.

You Do Not Know What You Do Not Know

When a car accident occurs, treating any physical injuries should be the top priority. The next most important concern is to determine who was at fault for the accident. The at-fault party is likely to be liable for any and all damages—including property damage and injuries—caused by the crash. Determining fault can be very complicated, as there may be a large number of factors involved.

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San Jose rollover accident attorney, rollover accidentsEstimates show that 10,000 lives are lost on an annual basis due to rollover vehicle accidents. This type of vehicle accident is so dangerous that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports how those involved in a rollover accident have a 33 percent chance of not surviving.

Although a rollover can occur in any model of vehicle, these accidents are regularly linked to sports utility vehicles or SUVs, pickup trucks, or the modern day mini van—all vehicles which are considered “top heavy” because they have a higher center of gravity.

A rollover accident can occur when sideway forces, such as navigating a curve, shift the center of gravity to one side and therefore affect the vehicle’s ability to balance evenly. This reaction is extremely dangerous if a driver is speeding or driving while under the influence. The result can be the loss of control of one's vehicle.

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San Jose car accident attorneyThe moment you find yourself in a car accident, your mind races with a slew of concerns. You must assess whether or not you or any of your passengers are injured, check on the other drivers involved in the crash, exchange information, and speak with the police. Then, you will probably be forced to relive the whole scene again and again as you recall and give an account to law enforcement and insurance companies of what led to the collision.

Making sure you are covering all the necessary bases in the midst of the shock that comes with the immediate aftermath of a crash can be overwhelming. It is just as important, however, to take note of what you should not do following the crash

Do Not Run

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San Jose Auto Accident LawyerThe moment you are involved in a car accident, your to-do list instantly begins to grow. After you have assessed the situation, addressed any injuries, notified authorities, and exchanged insurance information with the other drivers, it is time to handle the collision report and account for any citations and fines you might have received due to the crash.

The Purpose of the Report

The collision report process begins at the scene of the accident. Its purpose is to accurately document all of the details that led up to and caused the crash. These details help assist Highway Patrol and the other drivers and their insurance companies with the case. Everything from the traffic and weather conditions to the time of day, as well as witness accounts, are important details and should be noted for the report. It is also important to make note of any events that led up to the crash, as these details give everyone involved a clearer picture of how the collision actually unfolded and why.

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after an accident, San Jose Car Crash LawyerIn the seconds after a car accident, your mind and body experience a state of shock, some confusion, and then, in many cases, panic settles in. How bad was the accident? Are you or your passengers hurt? What about the other drivers involved in the collision? Who will pay for your medical bills and the costs to fix your vehicle? What if your insurance policy does not cover all the damage?

While your mind is assaulted with a barrage of questions and concerns, the most important thing to do the moment after the accident takes place is to move to action. No matter how serious or minor the damage might be, your safety and communication during those first initial moments following the collision are crucial.

The Crash Happened. Now What?

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pain and suffering, San Jose Auto Accident LawyerAfter you have been injured in a car accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you have the right to collect damages. While the amount of damages for your out-of-pocket medical expenses may be easy to calculate, how do you calculate the damages for your pain and suffering? What is pain and suffering under California law?

How the Law Views Pain and Suffering

Pain and suffering, as a principle of law, is also sometimes referred to as general damages or non-economic damages. California law allows for you to be compensated for the physical and emotional discomfort, inconvenience, and negative effects that a physical injury has on your life.

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San Jose auto accident lawyer, documenting your claimWhen making a personal injury claim based on a car accident, you will need to have thorough documentation if you want to be fully compensated for your injuries. While your primary duty after a car accident is to listen to your doctors and get better, you should also be documenting your injuries and losses.

Medical Records

Your medical records are among the most valuable types of information to your car injury claim. While you may be able to describe in great detail where you hurt and for how long, the rules of evidence will require more detailed proof of your injuries. The main reason, of course, that it is important to see a doctor and follow up on your injuries is to make sure you recover as fully as possible, but having medical records generated that substantiate your claim is another key benefit.

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work-related car accidents, San Jose personal injury attorneyWhen are injured in a work-related accident, many people assume that a workers’ compensation claim is their only way to get compensated for their injuries. However, California law allows you to pursue a claim against someone other than your employer if the other party's negligence caused or contributed to your injuries.

Role of Workers’ Compensation and Personal Injury Claims

The workers’ compensation system was designed to help make sure workers were compensated for injuries sustained in the course of their employment and to protect employers from litigation. Under the workers’ compensation system you cannot usually sue your employer. The type of compensation you are able to collect is also limited.

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personal injury claim, San Jose personal injury attorneyIf you have been in a car accident that was caused by another driver, you may have a personal injury claim. Under California law, there are some very specific steps you have to take to protect your rights and to pursue a claim for compensation for your damages. A personal injury claim is a process, not a single event.

Understanding Negligence

Before you can successfully bring a claim for personal injury, you will need to show that the other driver acted negligently and that that their negligence caused your injuries. All drivers have a duty to operate their vehicles with reasonable care. Negligence is when this duty to drive with reasonable care is breached.

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drugged driving, DUI, San Jose car accident lawyerWhen you hear about car accidents caused because of a DUI, you probably think of drinking and driving. But, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), drugs other than alcohol are involved in 18 percent of all motor vehicle deaths. Driving under the influence of drugs is just as illegal as drunk driving and just as dangerous.

Drugs and Driving

In California you can be found guilty of DUI if you are on drugs and those drugs interfere with your ability to operate a motor vehicle safely. It does not matter if the drugs are illegal such as methamphetamine or a legal prescription drug such as Vicodin. If you have a valid medical marijuana card and prescription, it is still illegal to drive while under the effects of the drug.

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As most California drivers know, some days are better than others for driving. In general, many of these days are associated with national holidays or other days where it can be expected that there will be more drivers on the road. However, some of the days may be more unexpected than others.

National holidays are always going to be more dangerous for drivers than other days. For example, on Memorial Day weekend, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that there are approximately 400 driving fatalities every year. New Year's Day, St. Patrick's Day and July 4th also sees a number of fatalities. For these three holidays, alcohol consumption appears to be a leading factor in any car accidents that occur. Thanksgiving and Christmas are also dangerous due to the number of drivers on the road. Many drivers during these two holidays also often drive while stressed, which potentially leads to more aggressive driving.

Other days where driving can be more dangerous may be more unexpected. For example, the start of daylight saving time, when many drivers lose sleep, the number of collisions rises. Collisions also rise on Black Friday and NFL game days. This may be due to the number of vehicles on the road or to aggressive driving. Finally, the number of car accidents appears to rise on Friday the 13th, though it is not known why.

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California residents may be interested to learn about a fatal car accident that took place at the Walt Disney World Speedway in Florida. The crash happened on April 12 and resulted in the death of a man who had been working at the Speedway for the past 14 years. Since 2013, he worked as the operations manager for the Exotic Driving Experience and the Richard Petty Driving Experience.

The fatal car accident occurred at the Exotic Driving Experience section of the Speedway while a 24-year-old man was driving a Lamborghini. After losing control of the vehicle, the man hit a guardrail. His 36-year-old passenger, who was employed by the Speedway, was declared dead at the scene. The driver was treated for minor injuries at Celebration Hospital and then released.

The Walt Disney World Speedway is a park where guests have the opportunity to ride in or drive around a racetrack in NASCAR vehicles and exotic cars. The park is located outside of the Disney Transportation and Ticket Center, which not far from the Magic Kingdom. According to an announcement that was issued by Disney in February, the Speedway is going to be closed for the summer of 2015.

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An accident involving a motorcycle and a passenger car resulted in the death of two people on April 12. The fatal motor vehicle accident occurred in the San Fernando Valley at about 11 p.m. According to police, both the motorcyclist and the passenger car driver were declared dead at the scene of the accident.

Police say a 30-year-old man riding a motorcycle was traveling at excessive speeds near the intersection of Reseda Boulevard and Collins Street. The motorcyclist collided with the driver's side window of a Honda Accord while the 60-year-old driver was starting to make a left turn. As a result of the impact, the motorcycle landed approximately 50 feet away, and the motorcyclist crashed through the car window.

A Los Angeles Police Department detective said that when the motorcyclist went through the driver's side window, the woman who was driving the Honda was impacted. The motorcyclist ended up on the passenger side. While investigators were looking into the details of the collision, the intersection was shut down until early the next morning. According to an LAPD detective, another fatal motorcycle accident involving speed had occurred in the same area only a couple days before.

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On April 7, a San Jose man was killed in a car accident that may have been caused by a drunk driver. According to authorities, the man was driving in the northbound lanes of Highway 101 in a Ford Taurus when a 2011 Nissan pickup rear-ended him. The pickup then reportedly left the scene of the crime by taking the Great America Parkway exit. The collision left the Taurus stalled on the highway.

Following the initial accident, the driver of a 2008 Ford pickup came across the stalled vehicle; however, he was unable to avoid striking the Taurus. The impact of the collision caused the Taurus to travel across multiple lanes of the freeway before striking a wall. The vehicle then caught fire. The vehicle was reportedly fully engulfed in flames when the rescue authorities arrived at the scene, killing the 37-year-old driver.

The vehicle that reportedly caused the accident was recovered at a nearby IHOP by local authorities. It has sustained major damage to its front end and tires. Once the local authorities contacted the State Police, the vehicle was ultimately linked to the hit-and-run accident. The driver was taken into police custody where he was charged with manslaughter and DUI.

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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.

Someone who has suffered a serious spinal cord injury is more likely to die prematurely than someone who did not suffer an injury. This is likely because there are a number of secondary conditions associated with spinal cord injuries, including osteoporosis, respiratory complications and deep vein thrombosis. Further, mental illness, such as depression, is not uncommon, as many who suffer injuries are less likely to participate in school or be employed.

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