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Many San Jose and Santa Clara residents understand that driving on today's roads requires a driver to pay attention to a myriad of signals, signs and potential dangers. In addition to other drivers speeding around turns and changing lanes, a driver must also be aware of those not in vehicles in order to prevent pedestrian accidents. Unfortunately, a recent vehicle-pedestrian collision occurred in California.

A pedestrian was hit and injured on a Wednesday during the morning hours, leaving him with injuries that were life-threatening. He was taken to the hospital. The male was not identified and only a baseball cap and pool of blood were left behind at the scene of the accident. The driver of the vehicle, whose identity was not reported, fortunately did stop and is reported to be cooperating with the investigation. It is not yet known if the pedestrian was in the crosswalk.

Whether it's a Santa Clara or a San Jose car accident, the accident victims may have legal recourse if the driver was negligent in his or her actions. After an accident has occurred, victims are encouraged to record the incident with as much detail as they can. For instance, victims should obtain notes on conversations with potential witnesses and others involved in the accident as well as get their names and contact information. They should also get any other evidence such as the details on medical treatment.

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Posted on in Car Accidents

For the parents of teenage drivers, perhaps their worst nightmare is their teen getting into a car accident. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, seven teens die every day from car accidents. These accidents can cause serious injuries, or even death, and can change lives forever.

Recently, a Jeep SUV driven by a teenage driver crashed into another car on the highway, and flipped over onto the shoulder. Three teens were in the Jeep, and one was injured. The driver of the other car was not injured in the accident. Authorities stated that the driver "made an unsafe turning movement," and said that it did not appear that drugs or alcohol were involved.

Drivers of all ages are held to the same standard when it comes to liability in a car accident: they must have exercised reasonable care under the circumstances. Failing to meet this level of care, such as by speeding or not using turn signals, can constitute negligence. If that negligence causes damage to someone else's property, or causes injury to another person, that driver could be held liable.

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The occurrence of a traumatic brain injury in a traffic accident is devastating; life changes for that person in an instant, often due to circumstances beyond the victim's control. Whether an animal ran out onto the road or another vehicle suddenly collided with the victim without warning, there's usually little that can be done to stop the accident from happening.

But when the brain injury is caused as a result of a hospital or nursing home staff's negligence, it's even harder to accept the victim's fate. Medical errors or lapses in care are inexcusable when the patient expects to be in good hands. The state of California appears to agree, having recently fined the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center $100,000 -- the maximum fine allowable under state law -- for an error that led to the severe brain injury of a patient.

The patient was a vibrant man in his early 80s who was taken to the hospital after a fall at his home. Once admitted to the transitional care neurosurgery unit, he was hooked up to a heart monitor. But somehow the man fell out of his bed and landed facedown on the floor. Nine minutes passed before a nurse discovered him, even though a technician who kept track of the man's monitor signals paged for help as soon as he fell and became disconnected from the monitor. Getting no response, the technician made a second announcement on the overhead page system, right around the time the nurse found him.

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With the beginning of the holiday season, traffic will undoubtedly increase with people traveling to visit family and running holiday-related errands. The day after Thanksgiving, often called Black Friday, marks the beginning of holiday shopping, which can be a fun family activity. However, as any San Jose car accident attorney knows, a serious car accident is always a risk on high-traffic days.

A San Bruno family is mourning the death of two sisters in a Black Friday car crash. The SUV in which the girls were riding crashed into a California Highway Patrol vehicle that was pulled ov er on the shoulder, then rolled over several times. The two sisters who were killed were thrown from the vehicle. The rest of the vehicle's occupants, the parents and two other sisters, became accident victims as well, and are still receiving treatment in local hospitals. Authorities state that it is unclear what caused the SUV to hit the highway patrol vehicle, but that they do not suspect that drugs or alcohol were involved. The family had been on their way home from shopping in Gilroy when the accident happened.

Drivers must exercise reasonable care when driving otherwise they may be deemed negligent, and thus potentially liable for injuries caused to others. A determination that a driver was acting negligently involves consideration of several factors, including whether the driver obeyed traffic signals, whether the driver was speeding and whether the driver acted appropriately for the weather or amount of traffic.

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When accident victims or their families make the decision to file a civil lawsuit, there is often a palpable bitterness that goes along with it. An accident that causes serious injuries or loss of life also creates long-term emotional trauma, not to mention a tremendous financial burden. So it's understandable that those who file personal injury or wrongful death lawsuits often do so with anger and resentment.

But those negative feelings can take their own toll on plaintiffs and prevent them from getting on with their lives. Is it possible to seek financial compensation and inner peace at the same time after an accident? One San Jose family seems to have done so. The couple lost their daughter in a horrific car accident caused by two men who were racing each other down a Santa Clara street in March 2011. The 23-year-old woman was leaving her job at a bowling alley when one of the speeding cars crashed into hers.

The men, ages 19 and 25, were charged with felony speeding and causing injury; both faced up to six years in prison. But a letter to the judge from the young woman's parents led to a jail sentence of just under a year for both men. The couple asked the judge to be lenient on the defendants, both of whom had apologized and taken responsibility for the crash.

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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.

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Even on the best driving days, with clear visibility for miles and very little traffic, riding a motorcycle can be dangerous. Obstacles and poor driving conditions that cars can often easily and safely overcome pose a greater risk to motorcyclists. Motorcycle accidents can take lives in an instant, leaving surviving family members and friends grieving.

One family is grieving for the loss of a father in a tragic highway accident. The man was riding a motorcycle on the road when a tractor attempted to make a left turn. The tractor driver did not see the man on the motorcycle, and the motorcyclist attempted to swerve around the tractor. Unfortunately, the attempt was unsuccessful. The motorcycle caught on the tractor wheel, causing the motorcyclist to be thrown from the bike, which resulted in fatal injuries. No other vehicles were involved in the accident, and no one else was injured.

The lack of a protective frame and other safety mechanisms, such as air bags, make riding motorcycles dangerous in the event of a crash. While many states have laws that require motorcyclists to wear helmets to prevent serious brain injury in the event of an accident, the rest of a motorcyclist's body is left unprotected, and accident victims are susceptible to serious bodily injuries.

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When a 39-year-old San Jose woman left home on the morning of just another normal day, she didn't know she would be involved in a crash that would leave her in critical condition. No one expects tragedy to strike as they go about the everyday routines of daily life, yet brain injuries like the one this woman suffered do happen -- even in such a typical exchange as being cut off by another driveway on a highway.

The woman was driving a Toyota Camry when she swerved to avoid colliding with a driver who cut her off around 5 a.m. The Toyota then rolled several times before landing sideways across the fast lane and median, with traffic coming at the passenger side of the car. Her car was broadsided when another driver in a Toyota MR2 struck her stopped vehicle. She was subsequently rushed to a nearby hospital and was in critical condition after being diagnosed with serious head trauma.

The driver who initially cut off the woman in the Camry sped away, never stopping. The California Highway Patrol has no information regarding that vehicle.

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The death of a loved one can be devastating to friends and family members. This is particularly true when deaths are the result of car accidents involving impaired drivers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2009, over 18 percent of drivers who were killed in a car accident had evidence of illegal or prescription drugs in their blood stream.

In some cases, damage awards from civil lawsuits may assist a family in dealing with the expenses associated with a death or catastrophic or serious injury. However, for some families, the best way to deal with the loss is to educate the public so that such a fatal accident will not happen to others.

A San Jose woman is finally able to see the resolution that she sought in the death of her daughter in the form of a memorial in her daughter's name. In 2006, a 20-year-old woman and her boyfriend were killed when their car was struck by a truck. The driver of the truck was diabetic and blacked out behind the wheel due to extremely low blood sugar. The driver blamed a malfunctioning insulin injector as causing his low blood sugar.

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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.

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Although San Jose has its share of pedestrians, it's not always the most walker-friendly. Many areas of the city are not designed for heavy foot traffic and car accidents involving pedestrians happen when drivers speed through intersections or fail to pay close attention to their surroundings. It only takes one failure to look for walkers or runners crossing the street for a serious crash to occur.

One such accident happened last month on San Jose's North Jackson Avenue. An 81-year-old woman was crossing the street in the early-morning hours of Sept. 12 when she was struck by a car. She died instantly from her injuries.

Although the driver of the Toyota Tercel that hit the woman stopped and cooperated with police, it's possible that the car was speeding at the time of the accident. Not helping matters is the fact that the accident happened on a busy stretch of road in an area with a high number of elderly residents. These residents usually aren't able to see or hear as well as other pedestrians, nor can they dodge vehicles as quickly should they come too close.

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Being involved in a car accident is upsetting even when the damage is minor, but when a crash results in serious injuries or death, some drivers become so overwhelmed and panicked -- even if the accident isn't their fault -- that their first instinct is to leave the scene. It's not until later that their thinking clears and they realize it wasn't a smart or ethical move. But by then, they face a high risk of a hit-and-run charge. It's then up to the driver to decide whether to admit to driving away and face the consequences.

San Jose police are hoping that the driver who hit and fatally injured a bicyclist recently will make the right decision and come forward. The bicyclist was discovered lying in a road near the city's border with Campbell, California, on the night of July 27. The 50-year-old man was later declared brain dead at a hospital. He was expected to be taken off life support soon afterward, though it's not yet clear when or whether that has happened.

Police said that judging from the accident scene, the man likely collided with a small or midsized SUV, but that damage to the man's bicycle suggests the car driver may have struck the bicyclist without knowing. If that's the case, police hope the motorist will learn of the accident and come forward.

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Although the vast majority of personal injury lawsuits are the result of accidents, there are plenty of other circumstances under which one or more people may be held liable for another person's injury or wrongful death. Negligence comes in many forms, and sometimes doesn't happen until after someone is already injured.

An example is the case of a San Jose woman who was shot two years ago in the upstairs hallway of her family's apartment, just a few blocks away from a medical center. Her family members claim that just after the shooting a police dispatcher told them that paramedics were on their way. But when police arrived, they went across the street instead. The woman's husband, sister and other family members shouted that it was safe to come inside the building and that the woman was inside, in need of help.

After some time passed, the woman's husband went down to the street and begged the officers and paramedics to come inside the building and help his wife. But police instead were responding to a woman whom they found bleeding from a stab wound on the lawn outside the apartment complex, and told the husband of the gunshot victim to go back inside. They later said that with an assailant still inside the building, they didn't want to charge upstairs to the victim. Little did they know that the man accused of shooting her was inside his apartment, calmly waiting for police to arrest him.

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Recovery from a serious car accident requires more than just good medical care. Injury sufferers also need money to afford that care. The parents of a San Jose woman who suffered a traumatic brain injury in a collision three years ago are all too aware of the costs of her recovery, which is ongoing without an end in sight.

The young woman, now 21, was on her way to church when her car was hit head-on by another vehicle. The collision left her in a vegetative state, and although she continues to improve, her medical costs continue to pile up. Both her parents, who are divorced, quit their jobs to care for her around the clock. The family does have insurance but it doesn't cover all of the costs , including her physical, occupational or speech therapy. One form of this therapy began in May 2011, almost two years after her accident. "Waking" treatment allowed her to communicate with her family for the first time using "yes or no" buttons. But this treatment isn't covered by insurance, either.

To help offset the cost of the treatments that are helping her improve, her family has collaborated with the International Brain Research Foundation to hold a 5 kilometer run benefit. The third annual event will take place at the end of this month and aims to raise $100,000.

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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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A San Jose woman who lost control of her car and struck a grandmother outside her home has been sentenced to six years and eight months in prison. The fatal accident happened on the first day of May 2011 -- in theory, a perfect day for the 79-year-old woman to garden in her front yard. There would have been no way for her to predict that an SUV would come speeding down her street and onto her property.

The accident was actually the second of three the driver of the Chevy Suburban caused that day. Shortly before the fatal crash, the woman struck a sedan just off Highway 85 in San Jose. Although the damage was minor, the driver left the scene, according to police. The Honda's driver followed the SUV as it went south, then attempted to make a sudden left turn. That's when it jumped the curb and a stone wall in front of the gardening woman's house.

After hitting the woman and her house, the front corner of which was crushed in the accident, the woman driving the SUV fled that crash scene, too, according to police. After making several more turns the vehicle struck a parked car. Police said the driver and her three passengers got out of the SUV and tried to abandon it, but police were able to stop them before they fled.

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Most of us have found ourselves standing or parked on the side of a busy road at some point, whether it was due to a stalled vehicle or because we were pulled over by law enforcement for speeding or another traffic violation. You may have even stopped to get some shut-eye to avoid driving while you were too tired.

Whatever the reason, if you pull over to the side of a highway or other road with heavy traffic, you should keep in mind that you're still in proximity to speeding cars and risk being involved in a serious car accident. Even vehicles whose drivers can see you may hit a slippery spot in the road and veer into you or your vehicle. Some motorists may even be distracted enough by your presence that they forget to watch for cars in front of them, which could lead to a multi-vehicle crash -- easily involving you.

A San Jose, California, man was killed in a car accident last weekend on northbound Interstate 680 in Milpitas while he was parked on the shoulder of the freeway. According to a California Highway Patrol officer, the 29-year-old man pulled over his BMW, stopped and "passed out" behind the wheel. Someone had reported the car on the side of the road at 3:13 a.m. By the time police arrived about 10 minutes later, another car had crashed into the BMW. Both drivers, who were wearing seat belts, were rushed to a hospital, where the BMW driver was pronounced dead. The other driver, a 40-year-old woman, suffered moderate injuries and was expected to survive.

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The death of a close family member is hard for anyone to overcome. But when a hit-and-run crash is involved, those emotions seem to remain raw for a much longer time.

The family of a San Jose, California, woman who was run over by an SUV after an argument with her date is still struggling with her death, in part because she left two young sons behind. Considering the nature of her death and the need for someone to support her children, the family may consider filing a civil wrongful death lawsuit against the man accused of killing her.

It was late March when the 28-year-old mother met a man for a date in nearby Sunnyvale. After arranging to meet the man at a liquor store, a friend dropped her off there, according to police. While on the date, she and the 25-year-old man she was with got into an argument. According to a witness, the woman was pushed out of the SUV the two were riding and fell onto the road. The witness said he saw the driver put the vehicle in reverse, causing him to crash into a group of garbage and recycling bins on the road before he accelerated forward again and drove over the woman before taking off. She was later pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

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Being injured in a traffic accident is undoubtedly a traumatic event. Even if you aren't seriously hurt, you're likely to experience some degree of shock in the aftermath. You may also feel angry at the person who caused the accident if you're not at fault. But no matter how upset you are, you should resist the urge to take revenge immediately after the crash.

That's precisely what happened after a motorcycle accident last month in Belmont, California. A San Jose man driving a Toyota Prius was traveling north on Highway 101 when he came upon a group of more than 20 motorcycles in the fast lane. He decided to use his cellphone to record video of the group, but he failed to notice when traffic slowed down. As he swerved suddenly to avoid the vehicles in front of him, he struck one of the motorcycles, bounced off the center divider and hit another motorcycle. Another two motorcyclists lost control of their bikes as they tried to avoid the crash.

The Prius driver got out of his car, which was stopped in a center lane of the highway. According to witnesses, that's when some of the uninjured motorcyclists approached and began punching him in the head. At one point the driver was also threatened with a knife, California Highway Patrol officers said.

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Family members of a San Jose woman who was killed in a crash involving an overturned tractor-trailer say she died doing what was most important to her: protecting her children. The car accident could have been more deadly if not for the 49-year-old woman's warning, her children say.

The woman was riding in the front passenger seat of her daughter's car last Thursday morning as they drove north on Interstate 680. It was the morning after her daughter's high school graduation ceremony, and the woman was accompanying her daughter to her high school to pick up her diploma.

But just as they were preparing to get onto the offramp for their exit, a tractor-trailer on the adjacent cloverleaf onramp was heading toward them. The driver's mother saw that the truck was losing its balance and was about to tip over toward their car. She told her daughter to veer left to avoid it, but just as her daughter did so, the trailer toppled over and landed on the passenger side of the car, killing her instantly.

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