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Articles Posted in Vehicle Accident

Any time you have lost a loved one in a pedestrian accident, your family’s loss is monumental. Sometimes, though, the facts surrounding your loved one’s death may be unclear or incomplete. When they are, you have no less need for compensation, but you may have a significantly more complex pathway to getting that compensation. Whether your case is straightforward or anything but, make sure you have a strong San Mateo injury attorney representing you to put forward the strongest possible case.

Anyone who’s watched enough crime shows or sat through first-year law school classes has probably heard the tale of the man who, extremely depressed, jumped off a building. Before he hit the ground, however, he was shot and killed instantly. The scenario is intended to probe the question, “Was this death a suicide or homicide?”

You might reasonably wonder what this fictional story has to do with your injury case. Much like this fictional circumstance, your injury case may involve unusual facts that make determining who was responsible particularly complicated and potentially unclear. A Contra Costa County accident reported by the East Bay Times presents an example of how this can happen and how it can complicate an injury case.

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A senseless act in Sunnyvale left a man dead and a woman injured, according to a KPIX report. A driver and his passenger were shot in what police believed was an act of road rage. Road rage is a danger to everyone on the road as it often leads those consumed by it to do dangerous things, with crashes, injuries, and sometimes deaths occurring as a result. If you’ve been hurt in a road rage accident, then the law may entitle you to recover a substantial sum in compensation. To help you in the pursuit of your legal action, an experienced San Mateo car accident attorney can help guide you effectively along the way.

In the Sunnyvale accident, a 23-year-old man apparently experienced road rage due to the driving of a 20-year-old man nearby. The former raced in front of the latter and slammed on his brakes. The younger man crashed into the rear of the vehicle in front of him. The 23-year-old man approached the rear vehicle and fired several shots that killed the 20-year-old man and injured his female passenger, according to reports.

Road rage is a massive problem, including here in Northern California. According to SafeMotorist, road rage triggered a total of 218 murders and 12,610 injuries nationwide over a period of seven years. The Insurance Information Institute found that, from 2003 to 2007, more than one-half (56%) of all fatal accidents involved at least one driver driving aggressively.

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Four, six, and eight-lane roads offer many benefits, including allowing drivers to get to their destinations more quickly. They also create a degree of risk, particularly when it comes to lane changes. An unsafe lane change has the potential to create a “domino effect” of reactions from other drivers, and may trigger an accident involving many vehicles. If you’ve been hurt in an accident caused by a driver’s unsafe lane change, the legal issues related to liability can be intricate and complex, so make sure you have an experienced San Mateo injury attorney handling your case.

In early December, an unsafe lane change right here in San Mateo County was the basis for one man’s tragic death. According to Patch.com, a man in a silver Toyota was traveling northbound on Highway 101 near the San Francisco Airport when he executed what police investigators believed was an “unsafe right lane change.” That lane change caused the Toyota to hit the rear of another vehicle.

The Toyota then struck a concrete wall and overturned several times. The accident killed the driver of the Toyota. The driver of the other vehicle was not hurt, according to the report.

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Whenever you sue for injuries suffered in a vehicle accident, it is important to give the jury all the medical evidence they need to rule in your favor. This may often include testimony from your treating physician, as well as other physicians offering opinions as expert witnesses. These doctors can help the jury understand exactly what happened to you, why that injury is so harmful to you and why you needed the treatment you received and will need more treatment going forward. To help you determine what type of medical expert evidence, and how much, you need to best strengthen your case, be sure you have retained an experienced San Mateo injury attorney to guide you through making this and other vital decisions.

As an example of just how important these medical experts can be, look at the case of V.P., an inmate at a Los Angeles County jail. V.P. who was reportedly injured while being transported by the county when the bus in which he was riding struck a pillar. That impact allegedly caused him to suffer substantial injuries, including one that a doctor concluded surgery was needed to address.

Testimony by medical professionals played a pivotal role in V.P.’s case. He presented testimony from both an orthopedic surgeon and a chiropractor. This testimony from doctors can be particularly helpful if you’ve been involved in more than one injury accident over the years, as V.P. had been. If you’re in that situation, the defense will likely try to argue that the injuries you’ve suffered actually were the result of a different accident. Testimony from your doctors can help defeat that.

When you’re hurt in an accident, there are several questions that must be answered. Do you have a case? If you do, how much is your case “worth”? These are some of the kinds of questions where an experienced attorney can be invaluable on your behalf. Your counsel can help outline for you how you might proceed, what kinds of claims you might pursue and how much those claims might possibly yield in terms of a damages award.

This assessment of the value of your case can be especially critical if the other side makes you a settlement offer. Settlement offers, even modest ones, can be tempting. A settlement payment represents a sure thing and cash in hand. There is no delay and no uncertainty, making a desperate plaintiff prone to accepting, even when the offer is far too low. A knowledgeable San Mateo injury attorney can help you avoid this trap.

Need an example of what we mean? Look at the case of D.A., a maintenance worker for a railroad, which was reported by the Northern California Record. D.A.’s job involved operating a grapple truck. One day, the Southern California worker was struck in the leg, back and head when an 83-pound rail rack fell off his truck and hit him. The worker allegedly was attempting to remove a guard rail when the entire rail rack slammed into him. The worker sued the railroad for the serious injuries he allegedly endured as a result of the accident.

Generally, in a personal injury lawsuit, there are two broad categories of damages for which you can receive compensation: economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages refer to things for which you can readily prove the dollar amount of your loss. Your medical bills could demonstrate your past medical expense damages. Your past income documents might prove your past lost wages. An economics expert might give evidence about your future lost earnings. A medical expert might give testimony about your future need for care and the cost of that care.

Non-economic damages include things like pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life and mental anguish. These can be more subjective determinations that a jury must make in your case, but the amount of these damages (and the amount of compensation you can receive for them) may be very large. If you’ve been hurt in an accident, you want to be sure that you get the most from all the forms of damages to which you are entitled, which is why you should retain the services of a knowledgeable California personal injury attorney to handle your case and provide the representation you need.

An example of a case that could have been a situation involving significant amounts of both economic and non-economic damages was the case of R.C. According to a report by the San Diego Union Tribune, R.C. was operating a Segway device along Camino de la Costa in San Diego County when she encountered a large area of roadway that was cracked and broken. The broken roadway caused R.C. to lose control of her Segway and crash to the ground. The injuries she suffered in the accident were very severe. Specifically, the woman shattered her pelvis in the crash, requiring medical providers to screw in metal plates, the report indicated.

A Southern California security guard recovered a judgment of $17 million for the injuries he suffered at work when a forklift ran over his leg, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reported. The injury was so severe that it ultimately necessitated the amputation of part of the guard’s right leg. The guard was able to succeed, in part, because his California personal injury attorney persuaded the jury that, although the guard was negligent, his negligence did not play a substantial role in causing the injuries that eventually cost the guard part of his leg.

The injured security guard worked at the Mira Loma facility of a now-bankruptcy publication. He was injured when a moving forklift at the facility struck him in the leg. The forklift was traveling in reverse at the time of the accident. The forklift actually dragged his leg for several feet and, in the process, crushed the guard’s leg and tore the skin off the leg. The business had to retrieve a second forklift and use the second forklift to get the first forklift off the guard’s leg.

Almost two years after the accident, doctors concluded that the man’s leg could not be completely saved and he underwent a partial amputation. By that time, he’d undergone “11 surgeries, several infections and months spent in hospitals and nursing homes,” according to the Press-Enterprise report.

The California Court of Appeal recently affirmed a jury award in a personal injury claim against a negligent truck driver and his employer. In this recent case, the plaintiff was rear-ended by the defendant, who was operating a vehicle in the course of his employment. The plaintiff brought suit against the defendants for the back injuries he sustained in the collision. Although the defendants admitted that they were responsible for the collision, they disputed the cause of the plaintiff’s injuries and the amount of his damages. Following a trial, the jury awarded the plaintiff over $2 million in damages. The defendants appealed, contending that the trial court erred in excluding expert testimony from their witness and that there was insufficient evidence to support the $200,000 award for future medical costs.

In the case, the plaintiff stopped on the road to allow another vehicle to make a turn. The defendant failed to use his brakes and rear-ended him at a speed of approximately 10 to 30 miles per hour, causing the plaintiff’s car to lurch forward 5-10 feet. The plaintiff experienced major back pain and went to the emergency room later that night. For the next several years, the plaintiff sought treatment for his neck and back pain. At trial, the plaintiff presented expert testimony from his doctors that his preexisting degenerative disc disease was exacerbated by the motor vehicle accident, and that the condition was permanent. The defendants rebutted with expert witnesses who testified that the accident did not cause the plaintiff’s injuries, which were the result of ongoing degenerative change in his back. The defendants also sought to present testimony from a biochemical engineer to attest to the medical causation of the injury. However, the trial court ruled that the expert could not testify as to the medical effects caused by the impact of the car accident, since the evidence would be more prejudicial than probative.

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In a pivotal opinion reversing both the trial and appellate courts’ decisions, a California Supreme Court holding alleviates the burden on plaintiffs bringing a wrongful death action against the government based on an alleged dangerous condition of public property. The issue before the court in this case was whether the Government Claims Act requires a plaintiff to establish that a dangerous condition not only caused a decedent’s fatal injury but also the third-party conduct that brought about the accident. The court held that it did not.

In this case, the decedents were in a fatal car accident, in which a collision by another car forced their vehicle over the curb and onto the grassy center median of the boulevard, where the car hit one of several large magnolia trees in the median. Although they were all wearing seat belts, the driver and passengers died from their injuries. A jury subsequently convicted the other driver of vehicular manslaughter.

The plaintiffs filed a wrongful death action against the City of Los Angeles, alleging that the particular road constituted a dangerous condition because the magnolia trees on the median were too close to the roadway, posing an unreasonable risk of harm to drivers who lose control of their cars, and in this case causing the decedents’ fatal injuries. In support of their case, the plaintiffs submitted affidavits from several experts who stated that the proximity of the trees in the median to the roadway was a foreseeable danger to the public. In addition, the plaintiffs presented evidence of 142 accidents on the boulevard between 1998 and 2009, as well as publications discussing roadside safety. The city moved for summary judgment, arguing that the public property did not cause the accident, and the other driver did. The motion was granted by the trial court and upheld by the court of appeals.

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With gas prices hovering near record highs in the San Francisco Bay area, hybrid vehicles are in high demand. This is especially true of the Toyota Prius, which is arguably the most popular hybrid on California roads today. Prius owners boast of needing to fill up only every few weeks, since an electric motor saves gas when idling or travelling at low speeds.

Even with the popular fuel efficiency, Prius owners are reporting unusual safety issues. Specifically, they report that the car’s windshield can distort traffic lights (as well as lights from oncoming vehicles) at night. These lights can appear blurry or larger than normal. In some instances, drivers can have double vision when looking through Prius’ windshield.

Prius owners have made their concerns known through an online forum called PriusChat. More than 40 owners have acknowledged the problem that they call a “ghosting” effect. Essentially, when travelling down dark roads, multiple images for far away lights can be seen. As the objects get closer, the images merge into one true image. However, the danger of seeing blurry, inaccurate images (especially at night) could be dangerous.

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