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San Jose personal injury attorneyWe have all done it. You are driving along the highway when your phone rings. You know you should ignore the incessant ringing until you are not driving, but temptation wins and you reach for your phone. Distractions like cell phones contribute to nearly 80 percent of car crashes, according to some estimates The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 3,450 lives were lost in accidents involving a distracted driver in 2016. If you have been in a car accident caused by a driver who was not paying attention or was distracted, you may be able to recover compensation for your damages through a personal injury lawsuit.

Distractions Which Can Cause Traffic Accidents

For many, driving a motor vehicle becomes second nature. Although most people exhibit cautious behavior when they are first learning to drive, after a while, many people become careless regarding safe driving habits. About 2 percent of all distracted driver traffic fatalities are caused simply by drivers who take their hands off the wheel to adjust the radio or climate controls. Driving with other people in the vehicle can be a major source of distractions as well. About 5 percent of traffic fatalities in relation to distracted driving are attributed to the passengers in the car. This phenomenon is especially true of teenaged drivers. Research shows that when a teen drives with two or more passengers, the likelihood that they will be involved in a fatal car accident increases by a factor of five.

Mental Distractions Are Just as Dangerous as Physical Distractions

Some may assume that if they wait until they are no longer driving to check their text messages or change the radio station that they avoid the dangers of distracted driving. However, experts say that distractions outside of the car can be dangerous too. About 7 percent of distracted driver fatalities are caused by people or other distractions outside of the vehicle. The leading cause of distracted driving car accidents is simply drivers who are lost in thought. Research shows that over half of distracted driving accidents, about 62 percent, are caused by daydreaming.


San Jose personal injury attorneyAll drivers must re-evaluate their driving abilities and skills as they age. Mental acuity and physical strength change and decline as we grow older, putting us and others we share the road with at greater risk for car accidents and injuries. Re-assessing our abilities on a continual basis over periods of time is key to knowing where we stand behind the wheel.

Tips for Prevention

It is important to constantly be alert to any physical and mental changes that may affect our ability to operate a vehicle, and more importantly, to recognize which skills we need to work on to improve our driving as we adjust to those changes. Whether you are aging yourself or you have a loved one who is growing older, here are some ways you can help prevent an accident on the roadways:


In downtown areas, drivers may naturally be on the look-out for pedestrians, especially where there are many office buildings or tourist areas. However, pedestrian accidents can occur anywhere at any time, even where there are sidewalks and designated crossing areas.

Recently, an elderly man was hit by a car that was making a right turn while he was crossing the street. The man experienced head trauma and is in critical condition at a local hospital. The accident occurred near Mt. San Antonio College at about 6:40 a.m., and authorities are still investigating the cause. At this time, the driver has not received a citation.

Pedestrians are particularly susceptible to injury when stuck by vehicles. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA), over 78,000 pedestrians are injured per year by car accidents. Pedestrians who are injured by a driver may be able to recover damages against that driver if the driver acted negligently. Generally, drivers are required to use reasonable care, which typically means abiding traffic signals and the speed limit. Drivers must exercise a special, greater, duty of care where children are likely to be present, such as near schools and residential areas.


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.


Major interstates can be rife with danger. The high speeds along with the variety of vehicles--cars, motorcycles and big rigs--can make for potentially devastating highway accidents. And when big rigs are carrying heavy cargo, or cargo that is inherently dangerous, the risk of injury rises.

Recently, on Interstate 280, a cement truck crashed into a dump truck. The collision caused the cement truck to roll over, blocking three lanes of traffic. One of the trucks spilled diesel fuel, which fire crews cleaned up. A police officer stated that it was unknown which truck spilled the fuel. Fortunately, no injuries were reported.

An accident involving an 18-wheeler can easily wreak havoc on a smaller vehicle because a fully-loaded big rig can weigh 80,000 pounds, whereas a car usually only weighs around 3,000 pounds. In addition to the weight of a commercial truck, big rigs are also susceptible to jackknifing, which can cause sudden accidents, particularly when roads are slippery. These factors can lead to unpredictable and dangerous highway accidents.


Genetic makeup may affect how intensely a person experiences pain. According to two new studies that examine the effects of genetics on pain sensation, this is true for those injured in car accidents, as well as other painful or stressful events.

The recent studies examined data involving 948 adults injured in car accidents. Both right after the accident and as long as six weeks after it, the genetic makeup of the studies' participants had an impact on the intensity of the pain each person experienced.

The pain may be excruciating, despite not showing up on a test or X-ray in some cases. Some patients may not receive the medical treatment they actually need, or receive adequate compensation for pain and suffering in a personal injury lawsuit because their account of their pain is not credited.


Posted on in Truck Accidents

Highway driving, particularly during times such as rush hour or late at night, can be dangerous. Any number of things can cause a highway accident, such as poor road conditions, tiredness, mechanical malfunctioning and even unexpected or dangerous driving by other drivers. High speeds coupled with high volumes of cars on the road are often a dangerous combination.

Recently, two people were injured and one person was killed in a crash between a semi-tractor trailer and a car in Gilroy. According to reports, the car merged behind the tractor-trailer. Shortly thereafter, the car crashed into the rear of the truck. It is unclear what caused the accident, though police indicated that neither alcohol nor drugs were involved. All three victims were in the car. The driver of the truck was not injured.

When someone is injured in a truck accident, several people can potentially be held liable, including the drivers of the vehicles involved. In some accidents with 18-wheelers, the trucking company may also be held liable, depending on the cause of the accident. The injured person or the family of someone who was killed in a truck accident may be entitled to compensation from the person found liable for the accident. Damages can include compensation for the cost of medical treatment, lost income and pain and suffering.


Drunk driving can be dangerous in any situation, but especially when pedestrians or other motorists fall into the path of a drunk driver. Pedestrians have almost no protection from vehicles, especially those driving erratically or at high speeds. Drunk driver accidents can leave pedestrians with serious injuries and can even be fatal.

A San Jose pedestrian became a victim of a drunk driving accident last year. The 72-year-old pedestrian was riding a Segway in a crosswalk when he was hit by a car. The car was being driven by an 84-year-old man who was driving under the influence of alcohol. The driver had run a red light. The pedestrian was taken to a local hospital but died a short time later.

Recently, the driver pleaded guilty to felony vehicular manslaughter and was sentenced to jail. The driver will serve 18 months behind bars and an additional six months of probation.


Back in July we discussed the case of a fatal car accident in which the wrong driver was blamed for causing it. Although police eventually cleared her name by declaring that it was the deceased victim who drove into oncoming traffic, the woman who survived the crash continues to struggle with her own debilitating injuries.

The May crash on Highway 1 resulted in a confusing mess for accident investigators to untangle. When the surviving San Gregorio, California, woman awoke in a hospital bed, she had no memory of the incident. She was simply told that another woman had died and that it was her fault. It wasn't until two months later that police, acting on information provided by the surviving victim's father, recanted their accusation. An ATM receipt from a withdrawal the night of the crash proved that the woman was driving south, not north as police had assumed. That piece of evidence exonerated the woman, but it didn't lessen the serious injuries she'd suffered, nor did it take away her mounting medical bills.

The 54-year-old woman, a math and music teacher on the San Mateo County coast, continues to use a wheelchair and a walker and has not been able to return to work. It was only recently that she became well enough to start physical therapy. Meanwhile, she's been struggling to support herself and her 10-year-old daughter, relying on her own savings and loans from friends to pay the bills. With almost $1 million in medical expenses piling up, she's unsure what the future holds both physically and financially.


Bay Area residents are probably aware that San Francisco is a pedestrian-friendly city, with its multiple forms of public transportation, traffic lights catering to walkers and tightly packed shops and restaurants. The city even closes off streets to traffic on a monthly basis in the warmer months for people to more easily enjoy the city on foot.

Unfortunately, pedestrians can still encounter danger, such as in motor vehicle accidents. Just last week a woman in her 60s was seriously injured, possibly after being struck by a San Francisco Municipal Railway bus in the Rincon Hill neighborhood.

Authorities are still investigating the crash, and it's not entirely clear how it happened. But a witness told police the woman was standing on a traffic island as the bus traveled south through the closest intersection. Just after the bus passed by the island, the witness saw the woman lying in the street. Police are working with the Municipal Transportation Authority to determine whether the bus actually struck the woman. If it did, then it's possible the bus driver fled the scene without stopping and rendering aid after the woman was hit. She suffered life-threatening injuries, but may be able to tell police at a later point exactly what happened.


People who operate heavy machinery as part of their job typically receive extensive training on the equipment to avoid injuries and mistakes in their work. As soon as an accident happens, an employer typically tries to determine whether it was caused by an operator error or a problem with the machine. It's the first step in deciding who or what was at fault for the accident.

Two heads of a San Francisco, California, printing shop are currently facing criminal charges in connection with the death of a worker more than three years ago. The CEO and pressroom manager are charged with felony involuntary manslaughter and felony labor code violation.

The charges stem from the 2008 death of a pregnant worker in her 20s. The Oakland woman apparently leaned into a cutting and creasing machine to set it up for its next job. The machine started suddenly, and the bottom plate rose up and crushed the woman's body. She died at the scene.


Thanksgiving is tomorrow and a lot of preparation and planning has gone into the meal and festivities of the day. But for many families, a lot of planning has also gone into the day after Thanksgiving: Black Friday. With so many deals and door prizes, shoppers often plan out what route they will take in order to find the best deals.

But even the best shopper cannot plan for everything. One of the biggest concerns surrounding Black Friday is customer safety. If a store fails to take reasonable steps to protect customers on one of the biggest shopping days of the year, shoppers could find themselves leaving the store with serious injuries instead of a good deal.

Stores across the nation are opening even earlier this year. In the past, 3 a.m. and 4 a.m. were early times. But now some stores like Target will be opening at midnight; ToysRUs is opening at 9 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day.


It's the week of Thanksgiving. One thing that can quickly ruin a wonderful holiday weekend is the carelessness or negligence of another driver. Getting into a car accident can leave victims with serious injuries and damaged property.

Several individuals may have injuries that could hamper their holiday plans after they were involved in a crash this past weekend. California Highway Patrol responded to the accident that affected three different vehicles.

At this point, investigators believe that the accident was caused by one of the drivers who ran a red light. The collision occurred in the early afternoon. One of the cars was getting ready to turn left when another vehicle ran through a red light. That vehicle then spun and hit another car. Two of the three drivers were quickly brought to a hospital nearby with minor and moderate injuries.


It was the early hours of the morning when the accident occurred. Anyone who happened to be on the road near Vacaville in Northern California may have witnessed a strange sight. While many people expect to see eggs and toast in front of them in the morning, drivers who came upon the accident were instead greeted by chickens running amok in the road while authorities chased after them.

The accident involved two big rigs and an SUV who swerved into a ditch to avoid the chaos. Apparently a big rig was traveling on the highway with a load of chickens. 5,000 live chickens to be exact. The truck carrying the chickens began swerving on the road after the driver allegedly fell asleep behind the wheel.

Despite a few warning calls over the radio from another truck driver, the chicken-bearing truck hit another truck on the side of the road, causing a trailer full of chickens to jack-knife. As a result, the trailer broke open and thousands of chickens poured out onto the road.


Across the state of California, there are a number of different amusement parks that boast different themes to attract families from all over the country. Young and old alike can find something they enjoy at the parks, whether it is a thrilling rollercoaster or a relaxing water ride.

But an enjoyable trip can be cut short if an amusement park accident occurs. Instead of finishing the day with a family dinner, parents may find themselves rushing to the hospital because their child sustained a serious injury. Nearly two years ago, a family was visiting Knott's Berry Farm when a cable snapped on a rollercoaster, injuring the son. Earlier this week, the amusement park reached a settlement with the victim for the 2009 incident.

Amusement park accidents can occur for several reasons. One of the reasons why something can break or go wrong on a roller coaster is if there was poor maintenance. After the incident, the California division of Occupational Safety and Health investigated the accident to determine what could have caused the cable to snap while the ride was in operation. Their final report was that the manufacturer did not properly maintain the ride, contributing to the accident.


Imagine being with three friends, driving down the road early in the morning. Even though the sun is still coming up, the four of you are enjoying the ride. As you come to an intersection, you glance around while still a ways a way to determine whether there is a stop sign. Not seeing one, you continue to drive.

As you reach the intersection, a semi truck flies out on the road in front of you, failing to stop at the stop sign. You have no time to react, only a few moments to realize what is about to happen. Before you know it, you are the victim of a serious car accident.

In these types of situations, the injuries that result can be severe. A semi truck is a large vehicle, and even traveling at slow speeds can cause a lot of damage.


Being struck by another vehicle while riding on a motorcycle can be a scary experience. Motorcycles are typically smaller than other vehicles that they share the road with; even the slightest nudge can push a motorcycle off course. A motorcycle accident can leave a rider seriously injured.

But what can a motorcyclist do if he or she is hit by a car and the driver had been negligent? One California woman is likely going to file a lawsuit against the negligent driver who ran into her. In this particular situation, the negligent driver was a California Highway Patrol officer.

According to the report, the woman had been riding her motorcycle in the evening last week. She was traveling down the highway and was hit by the CHP officer's vehicle as he was trying to pull someone over. Apparently he was not aware that a motorcycle was in the lane to his right and sideswiped her.


For a parent, there are likely few things more devastating than the loss of a child. One family is currently dealing with the death of their son, a 10-year old. He had been in a car accident along with his twin brother and his older brother. Both brothers were injured in the crash.

California Highway Patrol is still investigating the accident. The young boy's 16-year-old brother had been driving the vehicle. Under California law, the older brother should not have been driving with passengers in the vehicle unless he had been with a guardian, driving them to school, or had no other option. CHP is still not certain whether any exceptions existed.

The crash occurred in the early afternoon. The car transporting the boys had been about to turn into a state inmate camp where their father works. The car had to cross oncoming traffic but when the vehicle turned, it was hit by a pickup truck. The truck hit the side of the car where the little boy was sitting.


When on the road, drivers should be aware of the vehicles around them. Especially when it comes to motorcycles, being attentive can help prevent a motorcycle accident. Unfortunately, there are instances where an inattentive driver causes a crash, resulting in serious injury to the motorcyclist who happened to be in the lane next to them.

An inattentive driver may have been what caused the crash that took the life of a local police chief. The police chief and his wife had been on a motorcycle ride last Friday evening. A vehicle traveling in the lane next to them suddenly veered into their lane and collided with them.

The car had been speeding down the road and the impact was so great that the police chief died at the scene of the accident. His wife was injured but appears to be recovering and is doing well, given the circumstances. But she and the rest of her family, along with the community, are mourning the loss of a man known for his kindness and willingness to help others.


Car accidents can happen in an instant, unexpectedly. Often victims of car accidents can suffer severe injuries or even be killed in the event of a crash. On Friday last week, a Japanese Olympian got into a car accident in California.

The professional snowboarder had been driving in an SUV when the vehicle flipped over that evening. Investigators believe that the vehicle flipped several times before coming to a stop, seriously damaging most of the vehicle. Responders initially believed that the driver did not survive. But somehow the snowboarder walked away from the wreck with minor injuries.

There are a number of ways that car accidents can occur. The driver could be distracted behind the wheel, an animal could jump out in front of the vehicle, or the road conditions could be dangerous. California Highway Patrol who is investigating the crash has proposed the theory that the crash occurred because the snowboarder fell asleep behind the wheel.

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