Articles Posted in Vehicle Accident

forkliftA 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.car accident

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.highway-by-night-1514341-640x466

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.

The speed, excitement and sense of freedom that riding a motorcycle brings can be exhilarating. However, with the riding experience comes certain dangers, especially if the bike is not in perfect working order. Bay Area motorcycle owners have their preferences, but a recent Consumer Reports survey shed light on which bikes are the most reliable.

According to a study of 4,000 motorcycle owners, Yamaha, Kawaski and Honda fared better than traditional powers BMW and Harley Davidson. Some who were surveyed cited repair costs, high costs of accessories, and premium gas as their reasons for choosing Japanese models. Nevertheless, riders of the lighter and more agile models were more likely to be injured in accidents.

Regardless of the hazards associated with each motorcycle, riders have to be diligent on the roads because drivers often do not see them (even though they should). With that, below are a few tips to stay safe on the road.

bus carrying a group of tourists near Yosemite crashed on Saturday. According to a KGO News.com report, the bus was nearing the south entrance on Highway 41 when it lost control on a winding road. It went off the road and crashed down a ravine before hitting a tree.

Fortunately, no one was killed in the crash, but 15 passengers suffered injuries as they were reportedly thrown from one side of the bus to the other as it crashed. They were taken to local hospitals for treatment.

While the crash is still under investigation, authorities believe that excessive speed played a large part in the accident. A CHP officer explained to KGO that the bus was travelling at an unsafe speed at the time, and that other factors were still being considered (such as intoxication, mechanical failures, etc.).

A ferry boat accident has left one person dead, and another severely hurt.

According to an ABC 7News.com report, the MS San Francisco collided with a small pleasure boat on Sunday afternoon. The accident occurred in Racoon Strait, just south of Tiburon. The ferry was on its way back to San Francisco from Sausalito. Authorities believe that the smaller boat was travelling at a high rate of speed before hitting the ferry, but the accident is still under investigation.

Onlookers from the ferry, which had about 500 people on board, described a chaotic scene. One witness explained how first responders administered CPR to one of the pleasure boat passengers who was completely unresponsive. He later passed away. The other passenger appeared to be in shock over the ordeal.

Since a law allowing California motorists to dictate and send text messages using hands-free systems, the practice of “texting while driving” has taken on a different connotation. While thousands of Bay Area drivers stuck in traffic every day, using voice-command systems has made communication easier and ostensibly safer.

However, if a new lawmaker has his way, the new law could be replaced, and hands-free texting would become illegal.

Assemblyman Jim Frazier (D-Oakley) wants to ban all forms of text messaging (manual and hands-free) while behind the wheel. He relies upon a recent Virginia Tech study (the institution that analyzed the dangers of cell phone use while driving) finding that use of hands free texting is equally as dangerous as traditional text messaging.

Cars driving themselves: it sounds like something out of a science fiction movie. But all around the world, car makers are taking steps to turn that dream into a reality. Nissan, Toyota, Audi, and even Google are hard at work creating the first generation of autonomous vehicles. Proponents say that when human drivers are taken out of the equation, safety will improve. Others, however, are uneasy with the thought of allowing humans to step back from the responsibility that comes with driving a car, and fear that without human intervention, faulty machinery could cause a car accident.

Car manufacturers are taking a number of different technological approaches towards autonomous driving, and each has a different philosophy. Toyota, for example, is particularly reserved. Executives there feel that assisted driving should enhance the experience for the human driver, rather than remove him or her from the picture.

Google, on the other hand, believes in replacing the human element completely. Their autonomous cars have racked up over 300,000 incident-free miles, including trips down San Francisco’s winding Lombard Street and across the Golden Gate Bridge.

Crash-test ratings released by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) have historically informed publications like Consumer Reports and have influenced auto buyers as a result. Although the IIHS is not a federal agency, its crash-test results are both respected by motorists and manufacturers alike and are highly-anticipated when new models are released into the marketplace.

Until recently, common car accidents known as overlap crashes were not tested for by either the IIHS or federal authorities. Given the prevalence of overlap crashes and the devastating nature of both property damage and injury that result from this kind of impact, this crash-test oversight was a disservice to the public. However, the IIHS now tests for overlap impact consequences in new models and its initial results were released just a few weeks ago.

Of the 18 midsize family vehicles tested by the IIHS, two 2013 models rated “good” while two rated “poor” and the remaining 14 were categorized as either “acceptable” or “marginal.” In addition, only three of 11 vehicles considered to be either luxury or near-luxury 2013 models earned a good or acceptable rating.