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San Jose drunk driving crash attorneyOn an annual basis, around 18,000 people are injured and more than 1,000 people are killed in car accidents involving alcohol throughout California. Suffering a serious injury or losing a loved one in a crash with a drunk driver can be devastating, and it is important to know how you can obtain compensation and find some degree of solace for your losses. Fortunately, an attorney can help you do so through a personal injury or wrongful death claim.

Building Your Case for Compensation

If you have been injured in an accident caused by a drunk driver, there are important steps you should take to give yourself the best chance at recovering compensation. Namely, you should:

  • Seek medical attention: This ensures that you receive the proper treatment for your injuries, and it also serves to create a record that demonstrates the extent of your medical expenses and other damages and connects your injuries to the accident.

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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 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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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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According to the latest information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of deaths related to car accidents is greater in rural areas than it is in urban ones. The results of the study suggests that it is safer to drive in urban, Santa Clara County than it is to drive in Santa Clara County's southern and more rural neighbor county, San Benito County. The authors of the study say the difference in fatality rates between rural and urban areas is urban sprawl.

Motor vehicle accidents are among the leading causes of death in the U.S. In 2009, car accidents caused the deaths of nearly 34,500 people. According to the latest information released by the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control at the CDC death rates due to car crashes are lower in urban areas than rural areas. The study found that the death rate related to car accidents in urban areas was 8.2 per 100,000 residents, and in rural areas it was 11.1 per 100,000 residents. Although the 50 most populous metro areas of the U.S. are home to more than half of the population, urban areas account for only 40 percent of motor vehicle deaths.

The study also found that the rate of motor vehicle deaths is associated with urban development. The more urban development the fewer deadly car accidents there are. However, urban development is growing most rapidly in traditionally rural areas like the South instead of already urbanized places. The authors of the study say urban planners should factor car-related deaths in the plans of growing areas.

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During our last post we wrote about electronic driving aids that are supposed to warn drivers about impending collisions. While those systems will help more drivers in the future as more vehicles become outfitted with technology, many drivers lack the assistance of electronic driving aids. Three recent crashes in Santa Clara County show how drivers face the risk of car accidents everyday and why additional technology in our vehicles is helpful.

Last week, two lanes of Highway 17 were shutdown for two hours when a 10-car pileup occurred north of Redwood Estates Road in Los Gatos. A report of an accident involving four to five cars was initially reported to police around 10 a.m. The crash was reported north of Summit Road and fortunately no injuries were reported. The area north of Madrone Drive is known to be a dangerous portion of the highway, and motorists should travel with care in that area.

Tragically, last week's Independence Day also did not go without an accident. Just before 2 p.m. on July 4, a driver in his late 20s or early 30s was seen weaving on northbound Route 87 near Taylor Street in San Jose. According to NBC Bay Area, the driver hit the guardrail and flipped his truck. The man died from his injuries the same day, and it is not clear if drugs or alcohol were a factor. Fortunately, no other drivers or passengers were injured.

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John J. Garvey, III
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