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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 attorneyOfficials in California have given the approval for three Fire Ball rides to reopen following a deadly accident at the Ohio State Fair last month. The accident occurred on opening night of the fair, killing one and sending seven others to the hospital with injuries.

A Tragic Situation

On July 26, fairgoers in Columbus, Ohio, watched in stunned horror as the ride known as the Fire Ball came apart while it was in motion. The Fire Ball is a pendulum-type ride which rotates riders as it swings back and forth in a large arc. Videos taken of the incident show pieces of the ride being thrown—along with several riders—as it reached the furthest point of its swing. Witnesses said that they saw at least two riders ejected from the ride and flying up to 20 feet before landing on their backs on concrete.

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Posted on in Car Accidents

San Jose fatal car accident attorneyWhen an auto accident occurs, families are left to deal with the aftermath. If the accident results in the death of a loved one, many families are severely affected in every aspect of their life, from the pain of the loss to the costs incurred and the life-long lasting memories of the event. After the occurrence of a fatal car crash, families often seek answers and assistance in putting a new version of their lives back together.

What Happens to the Families

Accident numbers have been on the rise in the last couple of years. In California alone, over 3,000 fatal car accidents were reported in 2013. Not only is a family likely reeling from an unexpected loss of a significant portion of their life, they then are forced to make a quickly pull together a funeral, make necessary repairs, and attend doctor’s appointments themselves. If the victim earned the primary source of income, the family may also face:

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A California mental health care facility has been accused of negligence in a wrongful death lawsuit by the soap opera star Kristoff St. John and his wife. The litigation follows the 2014 suicide of the couple's 24-year-old son Julian. The young man took his own life after a long battle with schizophrenia. However, 'The Young and the Restless" star claims that the tragedy was foreseeable and could have been prevented if his son had received adequate care.

The wrongful death lawsuit claims that staff at the Long Beach facility attempted to cover up their allegedly negligent actions by falsifying documents. The St. Johns say that their son had tried to kill himself with a plastic bag three weeks prior to his suicide, which should have placed medical staff on high alert.

In addition to not taking adequate steps to protect their son, the St. Johns allege in their lawsuit that the facility altered records to show that several regular checks had been made on Julian. They say that the checks were recorded in the facility's books even though they did not take place. The lawsuit also claims that the facility continued to receive Julian's welfare checks after his suicide. A representative for the facility said that the Los Angeles Department of Mental Health had conducted an investigation and determined that Julian St. John was provided with care appropriate to his condition.

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The question in this week's post title comes to us courtesy of a story out of Florida where a freak car accident killed a 33-year-old man and injured a 45-year-old man. And although the accident occurred far from residents here in San Jose, California, we wanted to highlight the accident in this week's post because it raises important questions about liability and who is at fault in an accident like this.

According to reports, a man was driving his vehicle northbound on U.S. 41 when his left front tire broke free from his car. After hitting a driveway apron, the tire flew into the air, clearing a 6-foot-tall fence before landing on the 33-year-old man. He was killed instantly. The tire then hit the 45-year-old man who was airlifted to a hospital, having suffered serious injuries.

So who is to blame for this fatal accident? Who should be held liable for the death and injuries this accident caused?

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Most of our San Jose readers are probably used to seeing wrongful death lawsuits most commonly associated with fatal accidents, such as car accidents or motorcycle accidents, where a death occurred due to one party's negligence. However, one wrongful death claim that was recently filed against the city of Modesto and the Modesto Police Department arose under much different circumstances.

According to the reports, the incident in question in the lawsuit occurred back over the course of the late evening hours of June 21 and into the early morning hours of June 22. The reports indicate that a young mother, a 26-year-old Modesto resident, died in her home after she set fire to the residence. As sad as that sounds, it appears that the lawsuit is alleging that the death of this young woman should have been prevented.

It seems that police officers responded to this woman's home after she placed a call to 911. After the law enforcement officials arrived at the scene and evaluated the situation, which the reports indicate included seeing the woman holding a knife and, in general, acted distraught, the decision was made to remove the woman's 4-year-old daughter from the situation. But, the biggest mistake that the lawsuit alleges was made by the authorities was to leave the 26-year-old mother alone at the scene afterward. The fire at the woman's residence started shortly thereafter.

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Most of our San Jose readers would probably expect to see a wrongful death lawsuit when car accidents and motorcycle accidents are alleged to have occurred due to someone's negligence. In fact, these types of lawsuits are, unfortunately, all too common in a society where driving cars and riding motorcycles is just part of daily life - and so are fatal accidents. However, many California residents have probably been caught off guard by another type of wrongful death lawsuit making headlines throughout the state.

According to reports, the grandparents of an 8-year-old boy have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against a number of Los Angeles County government entities. The case is heartbreaking, as the main act at the center of the situation is the abuse of the young boy, allegedly by his mother and her boyfriend, which led to his death. The lawsuit has targeted the county agencies because there were reportedly over 60 reports of abuse at the household - reports that the boy's grandparent's claim were not fully investigated by the appropriate government agencies.

Both the boy's mother and her boyfriend have been arrested for the abuse and death of the young boy. The reports indicate that several different people, including family members and neighbors, had made reports about suspected abuse in the household prior to the unfortunate and gruesome end to the situation.

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Tagged in: fatal accident

Across the Bay Area and right here in San Jose, college campuses are gearing up for the influx of returning students preparing to start classes in the next few weeks. Many colleges and universities in the area are using this week and next to make last-minute improvements to their facilities to ensure a smooth transition for their students and faculty as the academic year begins.

San Jose City College is one of those institutions doing just such work but it recently experienced a tragic accident during a construction digging project on campus. While operating a large tractor, a worker backed the vehicle up and drove on to a sidewalk. A 49-year-old grandmother was on the sidewalk at the time and was hit by the tractor. Though the work crew immediately came to her aid and she was taken to Santa Clara Valley Medical Center for treatment, the woman succumbed to her injuries and died.

At this time the cause of the fatal accident is unclear though an investigation into this matter is now in the hands of the San Jose Police Department. While it is not uncommon to hear about construction site accidents such as fatal falls or roofing accidents where workers are hurt or killed, the death of a bystander in this case raises serious questions as to how well the site was secured to keep non-workers out of danger.

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Tagged in: fatal accident

A 36-year-old California woman was recently killed after the car in which she was riding crashed and was involved in a subsequent collision. The fatal accident occurred during the early morning hours of Memorial Day. At this time, a car driven by a 43-year-old man hit a center divider on Highway 101. The force of the collision resulted in the car spinning around and coming to rest facing oncoming traffic. At this same time, a bus carrying several partygoers crashed into the car.

A 36-year-old woman who was a passenger in the car was killed in the crash. She was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident. Police investigating the accident believe that alcohol may have been a factor, and results from toxicology reports are pending.

In addition to the 36-year-old passenger who was fatally injured in the accident, eight additional passengers on the bus also sustained injuries which required medical attention. No charges have been filed in the accident, but it's likely the 43-year-old driver will face criminal charges related to the accident and 36-year-old woman's death.

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It was supposed to be a fun evening to celebrate a couple's love and marriage. A town car limousine was rented and nine women crammed inside, laughing and talking excitedly. As the limo driver maneuvered the vehicle over a bridge, tragedy struck resulting in five of the nine woman dying.

Survivors of the fatal accident recalled the desperate moments prior to the fire engulfing the limo. They reported smelling smoke and knocking on the glass partition that separated the back seat passengers from the front seat  limo driver. The driver relayed how he too smelled smoke. He stopped and pulled the vehicle over onto the shoulder of the bridge. By the time he exited the vehicle, however, it was too late.

 

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Tagged in: fatal accident

Though the fatal explosion at the fertilizer plant in Texas last week isn't directly related to California, everyone around the country must look at the recent incident for safety purposes. Something went extremely wrong for the blast to have taken place.

An investigation continues into the severe explosion, though reports thus far suggest that major lapses in following safety procedure might have led to the boom that has killed at least 14 people so far. Among the victims are firefighters, other emergency responders and unsuspecting civilians.

While authorities try to come to a firm conclusion about what happened, an investigation into the explosion and the plant where it occurred presents a scary and frustrating picture. Within the fertilizer plant there was a significantly excessive amount of a chemical called ammonium nitrate stored. That chemical is so hazardous and poses such a threat to the world that the Department of Homeland Security is in charge of regulating the storage of it.

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It is natural for people to want to place blame in response to an accident. To some extent, it is important to do so. When it comes to motorcycle safety, the danger is that the public tends to prematurely place blame on motorcyclists.

A recent report related to motorcycle accidents in California takes a somewhat different perspective on the motorcycle danger theory. Researchers suggest that it is "Generation Y" that is making for more motorcycle crashes in the state. The following are some of the researchers' traffic safety points:

  • Relatively younger drivers (those born between the 1980s and 2000s) are choosing motorcycles as their mode of transportation.
  • More drivers are using cell phones behind the wheels of their vehicles and too distracted to drive safely.

Those trends combined mean that there are more distracted drivers on the road and also more motorcycles on California roads. At the same time, those realities put riders at risk of getting into an accident. A distracted driver is not likely to see a motorcycle, thereby causing an accident.

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Taking commuter trains, such as California's Caltrain rail line, can make life much easier for those who live in suburban areas but work in cities. Trains allow people to travel quickly and free of the vehicular traffic found on highways. However, trains are not immune from accidents, including pedestrian accidents. Such accidents can devastating.

Recently, a Palo Alto pedestrian was struck and killed by a northbound train. The accident happened at a crossing between Palo Alto and Mountain View. The incident, which happened at about 6:50 a.m., caused a 90 minute delay. According to Caltrain, trains were making all stops, but were slowed to 10 miles per hour between stations.

According to the Federal Railroad Administration Office of Safety Analysis, there were 121 highway-rail incidents in California in 2012. Of these, about 29 percent of the incidents involved a fatality.

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Some professions, including those that require workers to drive frequently, are generally considered more dangerous than office or retail work. The sheer amount of time that these workers are on the road and behind the wheel automatically increases the opportunity for car or motorcycle accidents to happen. But what they may not expect is to get into an accident when they are off the clock.

That unfortunate circumstance happened to a San Benito bus driver, who was killed in a car accident on his way to work. He was riding a motorcycle to an elementary school at about 6:30 a.m. when he was involved in the crash, killing him. The driver of the car, a 21-year-old was taken to a local hospital and treated. Authorities are investigating the cause of the accident.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 34,000 motorcyclists were involved in a fatal accident, and about 1,222,000 people were treated for motorcycle accident injuries between 2001 and 2008. Motorcyclists are at a higher risk for injury or death when they are involved in an accident than those who are in passenger vehicles, because they are physically more exposed without the protections of the steel fame of a car, air bags and seatbelts.

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Tagged in: fatal accident

California is one of the best states for motorcyclists to enjoy their rides, with mild temperatures year-round and thousands of miles of coastline to explore. Unfortunately, these advantages also put our state near the top of the list when it comes to fatal motorcycle accidents. There is a fine line between accidents that result in serious injuries and those that kill riders and passengers. That's because in any crash, a motorcyclist has little protection beyond a helmet and clothing.

Two recent crashes highlight the importance of keeping a sharp eye out for motorcycles. One of the accidents happened in Hayward just after noon on Wednesday. A 24-year-old motorcyclist was heading south on a city street when a car pulled out of a driveway and collided with his bike. Emergency responders attempted to revive him as he was taken to a local hospital, but he succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead after he arrived. Police said neither driver appeared to be impaired, but the motorcyclist had the right of way and the car driver may not have seen the man before directly blocking his path.

Meanwhile, authorities are still looking for a car driver who caused a crash that seriously injured a motorcyclist in San Diego at the end of last month. The driver made a U-turn in the Linda Vista area of the city -- directly into the path of an oncoming motorcycle, police said. The rider, a 32-year-old man, tried to avoid a collision by laying down his bike before the impact. In the process he was thrown from the bike, resulting in injuries that required him to be hospitalized.

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A man who hit and killed a pedestrian in South Lake Tahoe, California, may have been driving while intoxicated, according to police who are investigating the crash. Accidents like these are especially difficult for a victim's loved ones, who must go on with life knowing that such a devastating loss could have easily been prevented.

The fatal accident occurred Friday evening in front of a fast-food restaurant as a 51-year-old man attempted to cross the street. After he was found lying in the road emergency responders tried to resuscitate him as he was rushed to a hospital, but he was pronounced dead shortly thereafter. Police, meanwhile, questioned the driver, a 49-year-old South Lake Tahoe man, and ultimately arrested him on suspicion of driving under the influence.

This wasn't the first time the man had driven drunk, according to police. The man had been previously convicted of DUI and in fact was not supposed to be driving at the time of Friday night's accident because his license had been suspended for the previous offense.

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Using the highways may be sometimes be an efficient way to get from point A to point B, particularly because of the higher speed limits. But highways can just as often be dangerous. Those higher speeds, coupled with any number of factors, including poor weather conditions, driver distractions or even drunk driving, can turn an everyday trip into an accident resulting in serious injuries.

Recently, a Saturday afternoon drive turned deadly for one Hayward man. A rollover accident happened on I-80, involving at least one vehicle. Authorities indicated that another man was injured in the accident and taken to a local hospital for treatment, but that the extent of his injuries was not known.

Liability in a car accident is governed by the legal theory of negligence. Drivers are required to exercise reasonable care under the circumstances, and a failure to meet this level of care may be found to be negligence. If a driver is found to be negligent, and that negligence is deemed to be cause of another's injuries, that driver could be liable. Negligence can take many forms, including speeding, failing to use turns signals and ignoring dangerous weather conditions. Drivers can also be liable for behavior such as drunk driving, which may be considered reckless conduct, or conduct undertaking with a clear disregard for the probability that such driving may cause an accident.

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Often when someone is injured in an accident, the victim's family is quick to provide emotional and financial support. They may also physically take care of the accident victim if the injuries are serious and require a long recovery. This caretaking is done out of love, but can take a toll on everyone. Immediate family members may need to take off work or adjust the household budget to pay for medical expenses. There's also a risk of emotional exhaustion from the stress of the situation.

Imagine, then, what it must be like to have several family members involved in a single car accident. That's the tragedy that a Redwood City family is trying to overcome, having lost two sons in a single-vehicle accident at the end of last month. A third son survived, but doctors are unsure he will ever walk again.

The accident happened as the brothers and two friends were leaving a party at their uncle's house in San Mateo. One of the friends was driving when for unknown reasons the car drifted off the road, hit a guardrail and flipped over. The driver, a 21-year-old man, was killed in the crash along with the two brothers, who were just 12 and 16 years old. They were sitting in the back seat with their 18-year-old brother, who made it through the crash but remains in a hospital with his parents by his side.

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Family vacations have the potential to be relaxing or full of adventure, which are both things to look forward to. However, no one expects his or her family vacation to turn fatal. Recently, that became a reality for those who became involved in a California tour bus accident.

A family of three, which was on a ski vacation, is among the seven people killed after their tour bus was involved in an accident while traveling through Southern California. An eighth person, a driver of pickup truck that was hit by the bus, also died. There were twelve others on the bus who sustained injuries.

Authorities are investigating the cause of the crash, including the possibility of driver error or faulty brakes. Right before the crash, the driver is reported to have shouted to passengers that the brakes failed, and asked them to call for help. Interestingly enough, this model of bus has a history of brake issues.

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One of the most difficult parts of losing a loved one in a car accident is the shock upon hearing the news. The death of any close friend or relative is heartbreaking, no matter how it happens, but when we don't see it coming, the news hits us like a ton of bricks. There is no time to say goodbye or tell the person how we feel, and that regret can build up and make the healing process all the more difficult.

Of course, for the victim there is usually no time to prepare, either. Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration tell us that car accidents remain a leading cause of death, yet we rarely consider the possibility of being killed in a car accident before getting behind the wheel or into the passenger seat of another person's car. We simply assume that we'll get to our destination safely.

Unfortunately, that doesn't always happen. The family and friends of a 47-year-old Santa Clara, California, man are dealing with that reality after he was killed in a car accident on Interstate 80 late last month. The man was one of four passengers in an SUV that was traveling west on I-80 when the driver suddenly lost control of the wheel and swerved into oncoming traffic. A driver heading east tried to avoid the SUV when it entered her lane, but the two vehicles collided. The SUV then hit the median and rolled over. The Santa Clara man was ejected and the SUV came to rest on top of him. He was pronounced dead at the scene and the others in the SUV were taken to a hospital for minor injuries.

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