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fault, San Jose personal injury attorneyThe cause of injuries in a car accident is not always clear. Often people focus on who was at fault for the car accident, but the sometimes the real legal question is who is at fault for the injuries. It is possible for the insurance company to blame you for at least partially causing your own injuries.

Comparative Negligence

California law recognizes the principle of comparative negligence. This means that if your negligence was a partial cause of your injuries, your award for damages can be reduced by the percentage of your fault.


truck accident, liability, San Jose truck accident lawyerTruck accidents have the potential to cause catastrophic injury and harm. Of course, most trucks are operated safely, but due to their size and cargo, when a truck is in an accident, occupants of other vehicles are more likely to be permanently injured, or even killed. The true cause of a truck accident, however, is not always immediately apparent.

Causes of Truck Accidents

Common causes of truck accidents include:


Distracted driving impacts the risk of auto accidents regardless of the age of the driver, but a study has indicated that teenage drivers may be dismissing the risks associated with multitasking while driving. Though the study suggested that teenagers recognize that texting and driving or driving while under the influence of alcohol could cause an accident, many did not observe the same potential for danger in other behaviors.

According to one report, any behavior that causes a driver to look away from the road could be considered a form of distracted driving, including talking on a cellphone, eating, changing radio stations or actively using a GPS system. The findings of the research stated that 27 percent of the adolescents admitted to changing clothes while driving. Some claimed to have applied make-up or tended to a homework assignment. A lack of available resources for educating youths on what constitutes distracted driving could be one of the contributing factors to this trend.

Survey results indicated that the awareness campaigns regarding the risks of texting and driving have influenced adolescent drivers, suggesting a lower number of occurrences than previous studies. Implementing educational material about multitasking behind the wheel in driver education programs for teenagers might be instrumental in bringing awareness to other types of distracted driving. In an effort to demonstrate how distractions can affect basic tasks, the survey participants were asked to take a course that provided opportunities to observe how multitasking affects driving.


Posted on in Car Accidents

In Fair Oaks, a town near Sacramento, California, a 2003 Subaru Outback going north on San Juan Avenue was hit head-on by a 1932 Buick LeSabre going south. The Buick crossed over the centerline and hit the Subaru head on, causing critical injuries. The accident occurred at about 1:30 a.m. on Friday.

The Buick was engulfed in flames by the time authorities arrived on scene, and three of its occupants had already died. A local resident pulled two other victims out of the Buick but one of them, a woman, died at the scene. The other woman was taken to the hospital in critical condition. The driver of the Subaru is in serious condition. A CHP spokesman stated that several of the passengers were not wearing seat belts, and the accident is difficult to investigate because things were tossed around inside the vehicle.

The investigation is ongoing and it is suspected that speed may have been a factor. Crash scene investigators will need to determine if road conditions, driver fatigue or distractions contributed to the accident. It was determined that the driver of the Subaru was not under the influence of alcohol, and a toxicology test will be performed on the other driver to determine if alcohol consumption contributed to the crash.


Authorities report that a chain-reaction collision occurred in California on the evening of Aug 4. Five vehicles were involved, resulting in one death and injuries for three others.

According to police, a 52-year-old man driving southbound on Interstate 405 in a Ford Windstar rear-ended a 2013 Toyota Prius because he did not realize that traffic had stopped. The Prius was pushed into a Volkswagen Passat, which hit a Chevrolet Trailblazer. Finally, the Trailblazer collided with a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder.

The first car hit, the Prius, was driven by a 34-year-old man who became trapped in the car and suffered traumatic injuries. He was taken to a nearby hospital where he died. Three other victims of the accident were also injured and required treatment at the hospital.

Tagged in: liability police

Traffic accidents caused by drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol are some of the most difficult for victims and their families to handle, particularly because they are so preventable. Some might say that they're not accidents at all, considering that the at-fault driver made a choice to drive intoxicated.

Drunk driving is the suspected cause of a fatal car accident on central California's Route 152 this week. According to the California Highway Patrol, a San Jose man was traveling the wrong way on 152 in his SUV when it collided head-on with a pickup truck in the eastbound fast lane of the highway. The crash was severe enough to kill two people. One of those was the passenger in the front seat of the pickup truck, a 30-year-old woman. She was pronounced dead at the scene, but another passenger in the back seat of the truck, also female, was flown to a Modesto hospital before succumbing to her injuries.

Yet another passenger in the pickup truck, a 23-year-old woman, suffered serious injuries and was also flown to a hospital. Both the truck and SUV drivers were hurt less severely.


According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, data from 2013 shows that motorcycle fatalities are dropping across the nation. From 2012 levels, California alone saw fatalities drop 13 percent. Though this may seem like excellent news -- and it is by all standards -- our San Jose readers should remember that the number of traffic fatalities in any particular state often rely on several factors.

One of those factors has to do with helmet laws. Here in California, both drivers and passengers on motorcycles are required to wear helmets while riding. In some states though, this isn’t the case. As a former National Highway Traffic Safety Administration official noted in a new study, states where mandatory helmet laws were not enforced saw higher fatality rates than those where laws were mandatory.

Another factor is weather. Winter was particularly harsh in many states across the nation, meaning the number of motorcycling miles was decreased because of poor road conditions. This significantly dropped the number of motorcycle fatalities nationwide to 7 percent in 2013. As our readers know, poor road conditions can happen anywhere though and have been known to be factors in serious motorcycle accidents in the past.

Tagged in: liability

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.


As we've previously discussed in this blog, a criminal case that stems from a traffic accident very often affects the outcome of a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. Even if criminal charges aren't filed, when police assign blame to a driver in a car accident and that driver is found guilty, the accident's victims or their families may have a better shot at winning an award in a civil case.

So what happens when police turn out to be wrong? We may find out soon whether anything will come of a revised conclusion by police regarding a fatal accident on Highway 1 this past spring. The head-on collision killed a 20-year-old San Jose woman and critically injured the other driver, a 44-year-old woman from San Gregorio.

California Highway Patrol troopers who investigated the crash at first believed that the critically injured driver caused the collision when her northbound vehicle veered into oncoming southbound traffic. But the woman's father disputed the facts of the report. He insisted his daughter was actually heading south, and to prove it he gave investigators an ATM receipt from a bank where she'd stopped on her way home. The evidence suggested that she was traveling south, and witness reports supported his theory.


A recent California Supreme Court ruling changes the amount of money that a car accident victim can claim from a lawsuit. In the past, car accident victims could sue the wrongdoer and be awarded a settlement for the total cost of the treatment and medical expenses.

The holding came out of a case that was initially filed in Southern California. A woman was hit by a meat truck and sustained severe injuries to her spine. As a result, she had to undergo expensive surgery and get treatment for her recovery. An appeals court awarded her the full amount for the hospital bills after she filed a lawsuit against the owner of the meat truck. But the dispute was whether she should be awarded the full amount or the amount that her insurance company paid.

In this woman's case, her insurer had made a deal with the hospital, paying less than a third of the actual cost of the surgery and treatment. But after the appeals court ruled that she should be awarded the full amount and not the discounted amount, the meat company appealed.


It was early Thursday morning, just a little after midnight. More than 80 people were enjoying food, karaoke and company at a Los Angeles establishment. There were probably a lot of entertaining sights. But one sight that those people were not likely expecting to see was a car crashing through the front of the club.

The car accident, according to one witness, sounded like a gunshot. But when the debris settled, witnesses found a car had smashed through the front of the establishment. Surprisingly, none of the people inside the building were hurt and the driver of the car also appeared to escape injury.

So how did the car end up crashing into the building? The driver of the vehicle had been asked to leave the club earlier that evening. Because the investigation is still ongoing, there is no information as to whether the driver intentionally drove through the wall or whether it was an accident.

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