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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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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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Fatal auto accidents can happen in a split second and can have devastating consequences on a family and community, especially when the victim is a child. A serious car accident involving a child can leave the accident victim and his or her family wondering just what went wrong. Where children are likely to be present, drivers must use increased care.

San Jose residents are mourning the tragic death of a child hit while riding a "pocket bike." The boy, age eight, was attempting to make a turn onto a busy road while riding his miniature electric motorcycle when he was struck by a pick-up truck. Riding pocket bikes is illegal on streets, sidewalks and parking lots, and at the time of the accident, the boy was not wearing a helmet.

Area residents agree that the accident calls for increased safety measures, such as speed bumps. Neighbors noted that the serious car accident could also have occurred if the boy had been chasing a ball in the street or riding a skateboard.

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Pedestrians are always at risk near busy roadways because they have little protection when cars and trucks speed past them. Just because traffic laws require that drivers yield to pedestrians crossing roads, sometimes motorists neglect to do so, often resulting in catastrophic injuries or death to the victim.

During a recent accident in San Jose, an 81-year-old woman was hit and killed by a car as she crossed a road at daybreak. Police report that there was no indication that the 50-year-old driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Drivers must exercise reasonable care to avoid accidents and failure to do so is considered negligence. Some common instances of negligence include:

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A debate is heating up in California regarding age limits for motor vehicle drivers. Some believe that the Department of Motor Vehicles should establish an age limit for licensing while others adamantly disagree. Recently, a 100-year-old man backed his car into a group of people mostly made up of children, injuring 11.

Many argue that chronological age matters less than driving skills and believe the current licensing standards in California are sufficient. Young motorists in the state are granted up to two five-year license renewals without retesting, whereas individuals over the age of 70 must submit to regular eye and written tests.

According to the American Automobile Association, 10,000 people turn 65 every day and, by 2030, there will be about 57 million older drivers on the road. For those that age well, there may not be a problem with driving, but the issue lies in the fact that some no longer have the reflexes they once had but will not voluntarily give up their keys. Many seniors cling to the freedom driving offers them and have no intention of giving up their licenses.

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In July, The U.S. House of Representatives introduced a bill to prevent rental car companies from hiring out cars that have recalls due to safety risks. The new law was proposed after two women died in a rented car that had been recalled by its manufacturer. The car they rented apparently started to leak steering fluid, abruptly starting the car on fire, causing a collision with an oncoming semi-truck.

A 2010 ABC News investigation found that the car was under a safety recall for the potential fire hazard, yet the rental company still leased the car to the two women. The news report caused the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to open an investigation into how fast rental car companies repaired their vehicles after a recall has been issued.

The surviving family sued the rental company, winning after a long legal battle. The company ultimately admitted negligence, and was ordered to pay $15 million in damages to the family.

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An auto accident can be a truly devastating experience. While minor fender benders might be little more than a small inconvenience, a severe crash can be life changing, and even deadly. Victims often lose weeks or months from their lives, and the consequences of an accident can affect the quality of their life circumstances for years to come.

Car accidents tend to occur most often at intersections, i.e. spots where two or more roads going in different directions cross one another. This is because intersections are places where cars can be heading directly toward one another, and the potential for conflict during activities such as turning left or right, or crossing lanes is high.

Efforts are now being made to study intersections, especially in areas that seem to be accident-prone. The National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Survey collects data, information and statistics related to accidents and crash scenes. As time goes by, patterns and tendencies related to accidents are gradually being identified. The goal of data collection is to be able to determine the factors that tend to contribute most to the occurrence of auto accidents so that more accidents can be avoided and the number of serious injuries and fatal intersection accidents lessened.

The accident data collected tends to focus on these main factors

  • Gender and age of driver
  • Traffic control device at the intersection
  • Driver distractions
  • Traffic violations by drivers

If you have been injured in an intersection-related car accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Speak to a San Jose personal injury attorney to learn more about your legal options.

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An estimated 2 million car accidents each year have an avoidable cause: proper use of turn signals. Although using a turn signal to make a turn or change lanes may seem like a simple procedure, a study from the Society of Automotive Engineers shows that the procedure is often neglected.

Drivers are especially prone to neglecting their turn signals during lane changes. Statistic reveal drivers neglect their signals 48 percent of the time, either by not turning them on prior to a change or not turning them off when a change has been completed.

Signal neglect while making a turn is lower than during a lane change, but no less hazardous. Statistics show drivers fail to use their turn signals while making a turn about 25 percent of the time. That means one out of every four turns carries an increased risk of a car accident due to simple neglect on the part of the driver, an increased risk that could cause injury to others on the roadways.

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The number of car accidents caused by distracted drivers seems to be growing every year. We live in a society that favors immediate gratification and this seems to include communicating with our friends and loved ones at all times, even while driving. Public awareness efforts have been in full force to educate people about the dangers of inattentive driving. Additionally, many state legislatures have banned using cell phones or texting while operating a motor vehicle. Now cell phone carriers are joining the fight to curb distracted driving practices.

Cellular companies, such as T-Mobile, Sprint Nextel and AT&T, are developing and exploring technological innovations to stop drivers from using their products while their cars are in motion. The specific technologies may vary, however all are intended to dissuade drivers from using their cell phones in the car by interrupting service in a moving vehicle. For instance, T-Mobile has announced a new paid service that stops call or text notifications when the cell phone is in a moving vehicle. Other companies are working on technologies to intercept a call or text to a cell phone in a moving vehicle.

Will New Technologies Reduce Distracted Driving?

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We all depend upon the freedom that our driver's license provides. Whatever we need to do, we can get in the car and go. However, as we get older, we change physically. Some of those changes can make driving difficult and more dangerous, potentially putting others in harm's way. With the numbers of elderly drivers continuing to rise, legislatures are struggling to find the appropriate ways to help reduce the amount of serious car accidents caused by elderly drivers.

The California Department of Motor Vehicles estimates that there are currently more than 5.5 million drivers aged 55 or older, and 2.5 million are 70 or older. The numbers nationwide are similar, and by 2025, nearly 20 percent of all drivers in the U.S. will be 65 or older. The National Transportation Safety Board recently held a forum to study the issue of elderly driving, to discuss safety measures in greater detail.

While officials consider the appropriate avenues to improve senior driving safety, many states' Department of Motor Vehicles have started their own safety campaigns. In California, the DMV has many tips for elderly drivers available on their website, including a self-assessment test. The state also has a mature driver improvement course, which discusses issues most relevant for older drivers. Those who complete the course may receive a discount from their insurer.

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Fall is an exciting time for families as children start back to school. A new school year often brings new routines, and it's beneficial to start good habits at the outset in order to keep kids safe. Maybe your child is walking or biking to school for the first time, and safety concerns have moved to the top of your list. These tips will help keep children safe on their way to school even if you're not around.

First of all, children should be taught to be aware of vehicles and motorists at all times. This goes further than just looking both ways when crossing the street; kids should keep an eye on vehicles - even if parked - while walking to school. School bus drivers are generally well-trained to look out for children in and around bus stops and school zones, but kids should also be alert and mindful of their own safety when walking in front of or behind a school bus. If riding on a school bus, it is important to follow the bus driver's instructions to stay seated, and to keep all extremities inside the bus. Many communities are organizing "walking school buses," which are groups of kids who walk to school together, usually with one or more adults. Consider spearheading this if it might work for your neighborhood.

San Jose is well-regarded for its proactive safety precautions when it comes to school pedestrian safety. A special committee has been designated to evaluate school walking routes and to implement the use of a paid crossing guard if an area meets certain criteria. If you feel that your child's walking route should have an official crossing guard, you can go to the city's website and learn how to request an evaluation.

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Crosswalks are designed to give pedestrians a place to safely cross to the other side of the street. A recent California case has examined the safety of crosswalks at uncontrolled intersections. Emily Liou was crossing over State Route 82 in Millbrae in the evening. The intersection has six lanes of traffic, a raised median, but no traffic signals. While using the crosswalk, she was hit by a car. She suffered serious injuries, which will require round-the-clock care for the rest of her life.

The lawsuit filed by her family alleged that the crosswalk actually made her less safe as she crossed the road. Liou's attorneys examined the safety of the crosswalk. Caltrans was told by legislators to make pedestrian safety a high priority prior to Liou's accident. Caltrans did not study the crosswalk where Liou was injured. Caltrans was found negligent and was ordered to pay the family more than $12 million in damages.

False Sense of Security?

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Posted on in Car Accidents

With summer in full bloom, motorists are streaming to the nation's highways for trips to the lake, beach, cabin and other vacation destinations. Before embarking on a trip that could take from several hours to several days, however, be cautious and make sure that you, your passengers and your vehicle are well prepared.

Conduct a pre-trip inspection of the vehicle to check for proper tire inflation, worn treads, a working spare tire, operating headlights and taillights, and fluid levels. With overloaded vehicles and summer heat, worn treads or underinflated tires can result in accidents. Take along an emergency roadside kit that contains water, first-aid equipment and packaged food.

Infants and toddlers should be securely and properly seated in child safety restraints. Of course, everyone needs to have a seat belt. Children can be entertained easily on long trips with books, portable DVD players or video games. Stopping at planned intervals at restaurants, museums, play areas or other attractions can also make a long drive less onerous on everyone.

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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
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San Jose, CA 95113
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