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Posted on in Catastrophic Injuries

catastrophic injuries, San Jose injury lawyerDepending on the severity, back and neck injuries can be considered catastrophic injuries in the medical sense, as well as the in the legal realm. Catastrophic injuries usually refer to severe, chronic injuries to the spine, spinal cord, or brain and directly affect the central nervous system. They can be caused by any number of events, with the most common being auto accidents. All too often, victims of these injuries are left with lifelong complications, long-term medical care, and the possibility of never being able to work again, not to mention waking up and going to sleep with pain every day. Catastrophic back and neck injuries are serious and, unfortunately, insurance companies tend to downplay how severe cases are.

Most Likely Causes

Anything can happen in a day, whether you leave the house or not. Accidents are named such because no one plans for such events to happen to them when they start their day. However, many victims of catastrophic injuries are enjoying very common everyday activities when their accidents occur. Catastrophic injuries may result from:


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:


According to the American Burn Association, about 3,500 Americans are killed in fire-related incidents every year - 3,000 from residential fires and the remaining 500 from electrical, chemical or hot liquid sources or from vehicle or airplane fires following a crash. Altogether, about 45,000 people are hospitalized for burn injuries every year.

Although fatalities and injuries caused by residential fires have gradually declined in recent decades, fires and burns are still the third leading cause of home injury deaths, ranking the U.S. in eighth place among the 25 developed countries that track burn statistics, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Hundreds Injured Annually in California Residential Fires


There are many reasons why a motorcycle accident can occur. Often it is the other motorist, not the motorcyclist, who is at fault. The main reason for an accident with a motorcycle is that the other driver simply does not see the motorcycle due to its relatively small size compared to the other cars and trucks on the road. Motorcyclist inexperience can also play a large part in an accident. Someone who is not familiar with the specifics of driving a motorcycle versus a car can have difficulty safely operating a motorcycle. Another risk factor is speed.

Motorcycle accidents, like any vehicular accidents, can have tragic and long-lasting effects. However, due to the significant power of a motorcycle and the lack of a protective barrier between a motorcyclist and the road or another vehicle, the consequences of an accident are frequently catastrophic. Only one out of every five riders escapes a motorcycle accident with minor injuries. In most occurrences, the motorcycle operator is at least seriously injured. Additionally, the chance of having an accident in the first place is magnified just through the operation of a motorcycle.

Simple Steps to Follow


Red Light, Green Light is a popular children's game where children are only allowed to move when the person running the game calls "green light" and need to stop when the person running the game shouts "red light." It shows that even small children can master the concept of "red means stop." Somehow many adults seem to forget that when they fail to stop at red traffic lights. Driving through red lights can cause car accidents with serious consequences and California authorities are taking steps to stop drivers from running red lights.

Dangers of Running Red Lights

Drivers going through red traffic lights is one of the leading causes of auto accidents in the U.S. According to the Federal Highway Administration, drivers running red lights cause accidents resulting in about 1,000 deaths and 90,000 injuries annually. Half of the people who die in red light running accidents are not those who failed to stop; they are other drivers, bicyclists or pedestrians.


Dogs are often referred to as "man's best friend". However, this may not be entirely accurate, as they often become more than just a mere friend and become members of the family. Even with all the love that we show our dogs, or they show us, one thing remains certain, they are still animals.

One of the most common reminders of the fact that these furry members of the family are still animals is when they or another dog bites a person. From small nibbles to severe maulings that leave both physical and mental scars, even the most loveable dogs may pose injury risks to people.

Growing Number of Dog Bite Cases


Pacific Gas & Electric recently turned over further documents to the California Public Utilities Commission and claimed that the deadly San Bruno gas pipeline explosion had nothing to do with the accuracy of the utility giant's record keeping. This follows closely on the heels of an investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), which concluded that PG&E records did not properly identify welds in a natural gas pipeline that exploded in San Bruno in September 2010. The deadly blast and resulting fire killed eight people and destroyed nearly 40 homes.

The 110-page filing acknowledges the record discrepancy, which involved misidentification of the segment of pipe where the blast occurred as containing a seamless weld. The NTSB released documents and transcripts in March that revealed an apparently flawed seam weld discovered by PG&E inspectors a short distance from the San Bruno blast site.

Some commentators speculate that PG&E's ultimate liability for the explosion could have a major financial impact on the company. Two recent departures of prominent executives suggest the possibility of management failures that would underscore the company's responsibility for the wrongful deaths, business disruptions and widespread property damage that resulted from the explosion. In addition, proof of such problems could allow the company's insurers to void liability policies and require the company to compensate homeowners, surviving family members and other plaintiffs out of its own revenues.


In 2006, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) was petitioned by the American Trucking Association and Road Safe America to start requiring speed limiters for heavy trucks (trucks with a gross vehicle weight rating that is more than 26,000 pounds). As a result, the NHTSA has been gathering comments and information on the issue. According to the NHTSA, the administration will publish a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in 2012. This does not mean that a speed limiter requirement for commercial trucks will be made. However, it does suggest that the NHTSA recognizes the merits of the argument and deems further inquiry into trucking accidents, causes and prevention necessary.

Will Speed Limiters on Big Rigs Increase Safety?

The NHTSA's Notice of Proposed Rulemaking could include speed limits of 68 mph for heavy trucks (as requested in both 2006 petitions). Speed limiters are electronic control modules (ECM) that would be tamper-resistant and able to "limit the maximum speed of the vehicle", according to the NHTSA's notice in the Federal Register (49 CFR Part 571). Additionally, manufacturers would be required to install the ECM's in all heavy trucks manufactured after 1990.

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