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What Are the Different Types of Distracted Driving?

Posted on December 20th, 2017

Too many drivers today overestimate their abilities behind the wheel. They use commutes as time for multitasking – eating and drinking on the way to work, finishing last minute personal grooming, or sending emails and texts. According to the FCC, every day 8 people are killed and 1,161 are injured because of distracted driving. Most do not consider the dangers of distracted driving until it’s too late. Learn the different types of distracted driving, the most common culprits, and how to avoid becoming a distracted driver. Visual Distraction: Eyes Off the Road Visual distractions mean anything in the cab of the car or outside the car that draws the eyes away from the road. Many drivers mistakenly believe they can take their eyes off the road long enough to read a text, fiddle with the radio, unwrap fast food, or rubberneck a crash without losing control of their vehicles. This dangerous misconception has led to thousands of fatal accidents in the past. Roadside billboards, looking into rearview mirrors too long, or looking at a passenger as you chat can present dangerous visual distractions. If you’re prone to taking your eyes off the road, take some steps to change this behavior.…

How Safe Are Indoor Fireplaces?

Posted on November 27th, 2017

When the cold of winter settles in, fireplaces become a very popular way to spend some time inside warming up. When people use them safely, they provide a nice, comfortable setting around which families can make memories. However, if the fireplace has a defect, what could have been a nice family moment could prove disastrous. Those present could suffer serious consequences, even if not in the room. From smoke inhalation to severe burns, injuries from a defective product could mean a company owes you compensation for medical care, lost wages, and even pain and suffering. Product Liability Where liability lies depends greatly on the injury someone suffers. If, while using or enjoying a fireplace, some mechanism in the fireplace injures you, then the liability will lie with one of three entities: the maker, the seller, or the distributor of the fireplace. Additionally, if the injury resulted from a defect caused by the installation, the provider of that service could bear responsibility. Most manufacturing and distributing companies carry “product liability insurance” in case a defect in a product they make or deliver causes an injury. In this case, you should contact a personal injury attorney like Estey & Bomberger, LLP to…

I Was Injured as a Passenger in a Car Accident. Can I Sue the Driver?

Posted on October 12th, 2017

Many car accident posts focus on what injured drivers can do after an accident, but few explain what happens to injured passengers. As an injured passenger, you can take action against the at-fault drivers involved. Who is Liable for Passenger Injuries? In every personal injury claim, proving liability determines who will face legal responsibility for associated injuries. A driver will usually face liability in a passenger’s third-party liability claim. One or more drivers may bear some percentage of responsibility in multiple-vehicle accidents. Most rear-ending collisions have a clear at-fault driver, but other accidents are not as straightforward. In a case involving one speeding, distracted driver and one drunk driver, a passenger may file a claim against both parties for their respective percentages of liability. In multi-defendant claims, the jury will divide the total worth of the claim among at-fault parties. The drunk driver, for example, would likely face responsibility for a large percentage of the damage award (80%) while the speeding and distracted driver may only face liability for 20%. In single-vehicle incidents, the driver may or may not face legal liability depending on the circumstances. Some accidents are outside of a driver’s control. The passenger may be able to…

Can You Sue for Pet Injuries After a Car Accident?

Posted on July 31st, 2017

Driving around with your pet is sometimes necessary – trips to the vet, the dog park, or just around town require your pet to come along for the ride. Unfortunately, this puts your beloved friend at risk should you get into an accident. If an auto accident results in injury or death to your dog, cat, or any other domesticated animal, you may be able to sue the responsible party for damages. Contact an attorney for help with these complicated cases. What Damages Are Available for Pet Injuries after an Auto Accident? After a car accident that injures you pet, you have a right to bring a claim against the liable driver or other party like you would if you were the one with injuries. California courts allow plaintiffs to bring claims on behalf of their pets in certain situations – namely, accidents involving someone else’s negligence. If a drunk, distracted, or careless driver caused your crash and your pet’s harms, you may have a claim on the grounds of negligence. Bringing a claim might be the right move if you need to seek recovery for damages such as: Costs of your pet’s treatment. Veterinarian bills can escalate quickly, especially if…

Connecting Driver Fatigue & Truck Accidents: What are the Limits?

Posted on May 24th, 2017

Truck accidents can easily be fatal for occupants of passenger vehicles. The enormous vehicle size and weight of commercial trucks can crush or completely obliterate smaller cars. In 2015, 296 people died in large truck accidents in California. One of major causes of truck accidents is truck driver fatigue. Long hours on the road, no passengers, an abnormal sleep schedule, and sleep apnea can all contribute to making truckers too drowsy to drive safely. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) enacted hours of service (HOS) rules to help prevent this type of accident, but they still occur around the country. Why Do Truckers Drive Drowsy? Researchers believe that statistics on drowsy driving are largely underrepresented since it’s difficult to attribute sleep as the cause of fatal accidents. That being said, an FMCSA crash study used crash scene data, interviews with drivers and witnesses, and inspections of the drivers’ logbooks to gauge the number of fatigue-related accidents. The study found driver error caused 87% of the truck accidents, and driver fatigue caused 13% (18,000 truck accidents). Truck drivers are at a high risk of fatigue due to several different job-related factors. Drivers who must do long-haul drivers overnight may have…

Where are the Best Places to Bike Around San Bernardino?

Posted on March 1st, 2017

You have your gear and your bike ready to go. Sometimes, getting ready is the easy part. Finding fun, low traffic, and challenging bike paths is harder. We’ve compiled a list of seven of the best bike-enthusiast frequented trails, roads, and loops in San Bernardino.  Always remember to use safe biking practices while driving in and around vehicle traffic in order to avoid potential bicycle accidents. The top 7 best places to bike in San Bernardino county are:   #1. Santa Ana River Trail Bike part or all of this 50.3-mile trail through Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino Counties. The path of the Santa Ana River Trail is paved and routinely receives great online reviews for its accessibility, points of interest, and multiple access points. Depending on where you start, you may need to travel to the trail to bike it, but the trail makes for a great weekend activity with friends or on your own. #2. Pacific Electric Inland Empire Trail The 18.1-mile trail winds through San Bernardino and offers riders paved and crushed stone surfaces. Some riders on the Pacific Electric IE Trail take the path on their commute into work, while others prefer to use it for recreation. Along the…

What is the Recovery Process for a Brain Injury & Medical Costs?

Posted on January 26th, 2017

Traumatic brain injuries, or TBI’s for short, can occur in a variety of types of accidents. Common causes of TBI’s include car accidents, birth injuries, anesthesia errors, assaults, sports-related accidents, and slip, trip, and fall accidents. Every brain injury is different and affects victims in different ways. The prognosis, short- and long-term health effects, recovery process, and medical costs for treatment can all vary considerably depending on each unique case. Here is an overview of some things you might expect after a brain injury. Basic Recovery Process for a TBI There are four main types of brain injuries: Closed Head Injuries – Occurs when the brain hits the inside of the skull. Penetrating Injuries – Happens when something such as a bullet fractures the skull and damages the brain. Toxic Injuries – A result of the brain’s exposure to hazardous chemicals. The recovery process for a TBI will depend on the type and severity of the injury. All brain injuries require emergency medical care. Anoxic Injuries – Stem from lack of oxygen to the brain, such as during a birth injury. Treatment for a mild TBI, such as a concussion that did not result in loss of consciousness, typically involves…

Important Rules of the Road for Bicyclists in California

Posted on December 19th, 2016

Many Californians are choosing to eschew cars in favor of bicycles for many reasons. Some want to improve their personal health and wellbeing, while others want to cut commuting costs or simply enjoy riding outdoors. While bicycling is great for the environment and cost-effective, cyclists in California should know the laws surrounding bicycles. And doing this will help reduce the frequency of bicycle accidents with cars and other hazards on the road. Liability in Bicycle Accidents California law considers bicycles as vehicles, meaning that bicyclists must follow the same rules of the road as any other motor vehicle. The same is true in all other states. If a bicycle and a car collide, the courts determine fault through concept of negligence. The fact that a bicycle doesn’t afford its operator the same level of protection as a car affords its driver does not necessarily weigh in as a factor. If a bicyclist is negligent and causes an accident, he or she cannot sue for injuries and damages. California follows a comparative negligence law, meaning that the courts may reduce the compensation they award to plaintiffs in a personal injury case if they find the plaintiff to be partially at fault…

Five Important Things to Do After a Motorcycle Accident

Posted on November 21st, 2016

After any automobile crash you may feel scared, disorientated, and confused about what to do next. Motorcycle accidents can result in more severe injuries than other crashes, making them particularly traumatic. Your actions immediately following a motorcycle accident can affect your recovery, liability, and eligibility for legal compensation. Protect your rights as a motorist by knowing what you should and should not do after an accident. #1. Check for Injuries Directly after a crash, stay on the scene and move to a place of safety. Get out of traffic and remain somewhere off the roadway where you can safely gather information. If a vehicle is on fire or leaking gasoline, stand a safe distance away to call the police. Whether you’re the motorcyclist or passenger vehicle driver, check yourself and others for injuries. Few motorcyclists walk away without injury after a collision. Neck, back and head injuries are common in motorcycle accidents. If you suspect injuries to your neck, back, or spine, avoid movement until paramedics arrive on scene. Agitating a serious spinal cord injury can worsen physical damage. Other common motorcycle accident injuries include: Concussions and traumatic brain injuries Bone fractures, especially in the lower extremities Abrasions or “road…

What If I Am Partially at Fault for a Car Accident? Can I Still Seek Compensation?

Posted on November 21st, 2016

It’s not always easy to determine who was responsible for a car accident. Not every car crash is as cut and dry as a drunk or wrong-way driver. In many cases, the motor vehicle accident involves a variety of factors, from roadway conditions to manufacturer error. In accidents where more than one party is partially responsible, the California courts reward compensation based on comparative fault laws. California Comparative Fault Laws When it comes to motor vehicle accidents, California abides by pure comparative fault, or comparative negligence, laws. Pure comparative fault enables the court to award damages to multiple victims in an auto accident, based on the relative liability of each party involved. The plaintiff and the defendant are each liable only for their percentage of fault. This means that even if you’re partially at fault for a car accident, you can still seek and potentially recover compensation. The “pure” part of California’s rule means that a party can still recover damages even if he or she was 99% responsible for the crash. In states with modified comparative negligence laws, there is a maximum percentage of fault (typically 50% or 51%) that once crossed means the party will receive zero in…

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