Thursday, March 29, 2012

California Traffic Accidents in a Nutshell

car crash | car accident

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Despite the fact that automobile accidents are common in California, only few people are truly aware of the dangers of traffic crashes. Californians who get involved in a road accident are subjected to various types of physical and emotional injuries. Hence, it is imperative for anyone in California to learn beforehand the real dangers of traffic accidents.

Learning the statistics

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2009, 3,995 people were killed due to California road accidents. Below is the breakdown of California fatal traffic accidents by car type:

•    Automobile accidents – 1,275 (42.9%)
•    Sports utility vehicle (SUVs) and pickup accidents – 622 (20.9%)
•    Pedestrian accidents – 563 (19%)
•    Motorcycle accidents – 383 (12.9%)
•    Bicycle accidents – 99 (3.3%)
•    Large truck accidents – 27 (0.9%)

Common causes of California road accidents

In order to safely and effectively avoid road mishaps, it is vital for all California drivers and pedestrians to learn beforehand the common causes of traffic accidents. According to traffic experts and agencies, the following are the most common factors that contribute to the prevalence of road accidents in California:

Driving under the influence of alcohol – The California Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) estimates that every 525 minutes, a Californian is killed due to an alcohol-related road accident.

Distracted driving – One of the common causes of California traffic accidents is distracted driving. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 15 people are killed in the United States due to distracted driving. The most common form of distracted driving is using electronic handheld devices while operating a vehicle.

Speeding – Speeding or aggressive drivers are more vulnerable to auto accidents than law-abiding motorists. According to California DMV, 28.4 percent of all California fatal car accidents in 2008 were caused by speeding drivers.

Driver fatigue – NTHSA traffic safety studies found out that roughly 100,000 car accidents occur in the country every year due to driver fatigue or drowsy driving. Furthermore, drowsy driving-related road accidents result in death of 1,550 people annually.

Legal rights of car accident victims

Tort law is implemented in the State of California; hence, car accident victims have the right to lawfully claim for personal injury damages. Under the tort law, individuals who get injured due to negligent actions of other people may assert for personal injury compensations. Additionally, accident victims have the right to be represented by legal counsels like Los Angeles attorneys in claiming for damages.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Mary Ward’s Story “First Fatal Car Accident Victim”

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The first ever fatal road accident occurred in Irish Midlands, Ireland in 1869. The first fatal victim recorded? Mary Ward, a prominent scientist, artist, and astronomer. According to historical accounts, Ward fell from the steam carriage she was riding and was crushed by the vehicle’s iron wheels.

Ward is known to be one of the earliest amateur scientists of her time. She devoted her time studying specimens through the use of the microscope. Her passion for studying specimens led into her inclination towards microscopy. Ward never had formal schooling because during her time, women are not allowed to go to higher education schools. But, the lack of formal knowledge did not hinder Ward to become an amateur scientist. She expanded her knowledge in the field of science by studying microscopy by herself and by sending mails to established scientists.

In addition to her feats in the field of science, Ward is also renowned for her artistic skills. Ward has precise hands in sketching, and she even published Sketches with the Microscope. She independently published the book because she thought no publisher will accept it, knowing that she is a woman. She initially published 250 copies of the book, and after a few weeks, they were sold out. A London publisher was amazed with the book and decided to publish it. From 1858 to 1880, Ward’s sketch book was reprinted eight times.

Ward’s expert knowledge about science was not able to save her from the laws of physics, though – things on Earth tend to fall downward. On August 31, 1869, Ward became the first fatal accident victim. She fell from the steam carriage that his cousin’s sons made. After falling from the carriage, the steel wheels of the steam-powered vehicle instantly crushed her neck, causing her death.

Hundreds of years after the first fatal car accident, traffic collisions, crashes, and mishaps are now unfortunately common these days; which is why road safety must be a top priority of all California drivers. Los Angeles attorneys always remind California motorists to drive responsibly to avoid such fatal accidents.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Filing a Disability Discrimination Complaint with the EEOC

Disabled employees in the United States need to know that they have the right not to be subjected to employment discrimination. In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), employers with 15 or more employees are prohibited to discriminate against disabled employees as well as applicants. Furthermore, ADA implores covered employers to provide reasonable accommodation to disabled employees.

Unfortunately, amidst the strict implementation of ADA, certain employers still find ways to discriminate against disabled individuals. According to the data of the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), in 2011 alone, 25,742 disability discrimination complaints were submitted to the agency.

Employees or applicants who were discriminated because of their disability are advised to file a formal complaint with the EEOC. The following are the steps involved in asserting for a disability discrimination complaint:

1. Visit EEOC – Disability discrimination complainants should visit the nearest EEOC office to learn the basics in filing a claim. Complainants may also visit the Commission’s website ( to learn the proper procedures in filing a discrimination complaint.

2. Fill up questionnaires and complaint forms – Upon contacting EEOC regarding the claim, the next step complainants need to do is to complete certain questionnaires and forms. These documents will be used by EEOC officials for initial investigation purposes.

3. Investigation phase – Upon receiving the completed forms, EEOC will investigate and review the complaint. This phase is considered as the investigation stage. During the investigation phase, EEOC will assign investigators to determine whether or not the complaint is valid. Complainants, on the other hand, will need to cooperate with investigators to address the complaint as soon as possible.

3. EEOC decision – After reviewing and investigating the nature of the complaint, EEOC will come up with a decision. In case EEOC officials find that there is a reasonable cause for the complaint, the Commission will attempt to resolve the dispute between the complainant and the defendant. EEOC may either ask both parties involved to settle the complaint or file a case in court.

For complainants to maximize their chances of getting the justice they deserve, they are advised to hire an employment law attorney who is adept in handling employment disability discrimination cases. Although it is not required to have a lawyer during the complaint process, it is very advisable. Complainants who are backed by an employment lawyer can be certain that they would not need to deal with the time-consuming and complicated procedures involved in the complaint process.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Some of the Important California Traffic Laws That You Should Know


From 1990 to 2009, only four US states have maintained a recorded amount of more than a thousand deaths caused by road accidents. These States are, from the highest to the lowest; California, Texas, Florida, and New York.

The reason why California records the highest number of road-related accidents among all US states is because of high traffic volume that are situated in key cities such as Los Angeles and Santa Monica. Because of this, the state strongly imposes certain traffic laws that help decrease the ever growing number of deaths, injuries and property damages caused by single, dual, and multiple vehicle collisions.

Here are some of the important traffic laws being implemented all throughout California:

•    Mandatory seat belt law
Every driver and passenger must be restrained by seat belts and/or safety seats. However, those with medical ailments are not required to wear seatbelts unless a notice from the physician is provided.

•    Laws related to the use of safety helmets
Motorcycle users aged 18 and above are required to wear a safety helmet when driving. A safety helmet must meet the standards of the Department of Transportation and other driver safety institutions. Minors and children who use bicycles, roller skates, non-motor scooters, and skateboards are also required to use helmets suitable for the use of the aforementioned vehicles.

•    Laws regarding the use of mobile phones while inside the vehicle
Drivers must always use hands-free equipment when receiving a call or trying to call someone using the mobile phone while driving. The year 2009 saw the implementation of a text messaging law, wherein reading, writing or typing down a text message using text-based communication is prohibited. This applies to all drivers, licensed or not.

Injuries and fatalities in road-related accidents cannot be avoided. However, trying to ease the ever-growing statistics must always start with the compliance of every driver and passenger to these important California laws. For more information about other related traffic laws, it would be helpful to contact a vehicle accident lawyer based in the California area.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Logical Reasons why Street Racing is Illegal in California

Los Angeles Street Racing | Street Racing | Illegal Racing
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Street racing is exciting and adrenaline-pumping – and illegal.

In California, automobile speed contests are strictly prohibited to ensure not only the safety of the racers, but also of other drivers and pedestrians. According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), illegal street races in California have caused 135 fatal crashes in 2001 alone.

Pursuant to California Vehicle Code (VC) 23109, it is illegal for any person to participate in a car speed contest on roadways, highways, and on public streets. Violators of the said VC may be subjected to imprisonment for not less than 24 hours, but not more than 90 days, or $355 fine, or both. The main intention of VC 23109 is to ensure the safety of the driving public including drivers, pedestrians, and bystanders.

Speed racing is not only illegal but also dangerous. People who participate in illegal street races are susceptible to different severe physical injuries such as:

•    Traumatic brain injury
•    Spinal cord injury
•    Whiplash injury
•    Multiple bone fractures
•    Severe bruises
•    Paralysis

People who get injured due to an act of an illegal street racer should file a personal injury lawsuit against liable individuals involved. Under California’s tort law, any person who gets injured or harmed due to a civil wrongdoing of another individual has the right to file a personal injury claim. Under the law, a personal injury victim may be entitled to both economic and non-economic damages like reimbursement for hospitalization and medical treatment bills, income lost, property damage repair, and other expenses caused by the accident.

California drivers should never participate in any illegal street race to protect themselves and other people from harm and legal troubles. Los Angeles attorneys advise California citizens to immediately report to authorities any speed racing activity that they witness to ensure public safety.

Monday, March 12, 2012

List of Famous People Who Were Killed in Car Accidents

News stories about celebrities getting in trouble with traffic laws are not new these days, but stories about famous people getting killed in road accidents are always depressing and alarming. Historically, there were many celebrities and famous people who were killed due to traffic mishaps, including Steve Prefontaine, General George Patton, James Dean, and Princess Diana.

Steve Prefontaine

During the 1970s, Prefontaine was one of the country’s rising proficient track and field runners. However, months before his debut in the Summer Olympics in 1975, he died in a car accident when he avoided an incoming vehicle. His car crashed into a stone wall causing the runner’s death. He was only 24 when his run for life ended.

General George Patton

General Patton is one of the most prominent American figures during the World War II. He was known for brainstorming and executing prolific war strategies against Nazi Germany. General Patton is considered by many as the father of tank warfare. He did not die in combat but was killed in a car accident in Germany. The Cadillac that Patton was riding collided with a truck in Germany on December 9, 1945, killing the 60-year-old general.

Princess Diana

Diana Princess of Wales, was known not only for marrying Prince Charles in 1981, but was also recognized as a champion of charity works. The interesting life story of Diana unfortunately ended too soon. On August 31, 1997, she, her boyfriend, and two others were killed in a car crash on a road tunnel in Paris. Investigations found out that Diana’s Mercedes was trying to evade a group of paparazzi.

James Dean

Considered as one of Hollywood’s most promising young actors of his time, James Dean was a popular celebrity during the 1940s until the 1950s. Unfortunately, his career ended when his 1955 Porsche Spyder crashed with another car in California. The untimely accident caused the death of Dean.

James Dean is not the only fatal victim of car accidents in California. Hundreds of people are killed each year in the State due to vehicular accidents, which is why it is always convenient to know an experienced Lawyer for Car Accident in Los Angeles who can help you out when a road accident occurs.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Tips on How to Avoid Car Crashes in California

night driving, safe driving at night

Certain California drivers think that the roadways are much safer during nighttime; however, none can be farther from the truth.

Traffic safety experts claim that the probability of road crashes is higher during nighttime than daytime. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), road fatality rate is three times higher at night than at day.

Experts found out the following as common causes of nighttime driving road accidents in the State of California:

Drowsy driving – Nighttime drivers tend to feel sleepy or exhausted; hence, making them more prone to commit driver errors and to cause road accidents. Drowsy driving is regarded as one of the major causes of fatal road accidents in the United States.

Drunk driving – According to NHTSA, 54 percent of vehicular accidents at night are alcohol related. Alcohol can impair a driver’s senses and driving skills; thus, making him or her susceptible to traffic crashes.

California nighttime drivers who do not want to injure themselves and others should practice all necessary safety measures. The following are suggested tips for nighttime drivers on how to avoid getting involved in a road mishap:

Check your car before driving – Make sure that your car’s headlights, tail lights, signal lights, and other vital controls and parts are functioning properly.

Do not drink and drive – Consuming alcohol before or during driving can adversely alter your driving performance; thus, drivers must refrain from consuming alcoholic beverages.

Take a rest if tired – The best way to avoid drowsy driving is by occasionally stopping on roadsides and taking time to rest.

Do not smoke – Avoid smoking while driving because cigarette smoke can restrict your vision.

People who get involved in a road accident during the night in California should find a way to get legal help to claim for personal injury compensations. Getting the services of an experienced and skilled Los Angeles Injury Attorney should be considered if claimants want to receive fair and well-deserved injury payments.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Serious Consequences of Distracted Driving

car accident, distracted driver

Inattention to the road when driving, although seems like a basic driver error, can actually result in tragic vehicular accident. In fact, government data show that thousands of people die each year due to car accidents caused by inattentiveness of certain motorists.

In the United States, statistics reveal that in 2009 alone, at least 5,474 Americans were killed, while some 448,000 were injured due to distracted driving.

Studies show that there is a wide variety of factors that may distract a driver from driving cautiously, and these include:

•    Eating or drinking
•    Reading maps
•    Communicating to passengers
•    Using of cell phones or other electronic handheld devices
•    Daydreaming
•    Dealing with strong emotions
•    Changing the dial of on-board car stereo
•    Watching video

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving may be categorized into these three types:

1. Visual distraction – This involves inattention of the driver to the road or traffic situation.
2. Manual distraction – This pertains to failure of drivers to keep their hands on the steering wheel.
3. Cognitive distraction – This kind of distraction is associated with drivers who take their mind off from driving per se.

Distracted driving, regardless of its form, can result in serious or even fatal road accidents. The following are miscellaneous facts about the dangers of distracted driving as determined by NHTSA’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS):

•    In 2009, at least 20 percent of car accident-related injuries were associated with distracted driving
•    People under the age of 20 are most prone to committing distracted driving
•    Drivers who use cell phones while driving are four times more likely to be involved in a road crash

In the State of California, people who get injured due to distracted driving may be eligible to claim for personal injury damages. The State’s tort law requires negligent drivers who have caused injury or harm to another person to provide compensatory payments. A car accident victim may be entitled to economic and non-economic damages, to wit.

Economic damages:

•    Payments for hospitalization and medication expenses
•    Payments for income lost (if the accident caused incapability of the victim to go to work)
•    Payments for property repair and/or replacement

Non-economic damages:

•    Pain and suffering damages
•    Emotional distress damages
•    Loss of consortium damages

Victims of distracted drivers can increase their chances of winning personal injury damages by getting the services of an expert lawyer. In California, victims may consult with an experienced Santa Monica Attorney to appropriately and timely claim for damages.

Monday, March 5, 2012

The Disappointing Truth Regarding Motorcycle-related Injuries and Deaths

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It is not a surprise to most people that motorcycle accidents are a bit commonplace than that of car accidents. One reason this is so is because of the nature of the vehicle, which runs on two wheels and requires balance from the user. Another reason is the fact that motorcycles are unenclosed, and when an accident strikes, expect the user to be thrown out of his motorbike and come crashing to the ground.

The year 2008 saw a decrease in the car and truck crashes in the United States, which was deemed as the lowest in recent years. However, that same year also saw an increase in the number of deaths related to motorcycle crashes. Not only did it beat the number of car and truck crash deaths on that same year, but it also statistically beat the average number of motorcycle deaths in the US from 1999 to 2008.

Injury and death rates in the use of the two-wheeled vehicle are common among the young adult group. Motorcycle users aged 20-24 years old are most likely to experience either an injury or instant death, followed by the 25-29 year old group.

From 2001 to 2008, injuries have been recorded based on the body parts that are commonly injured. Many would think head and neck injuries have the highest number of percentage, but it was leg and foot injuries that were common during that stretch. About 30 percent of non-fatal injuries were recorded that involved the lower limbs, while head and neck injuries account for only 22 percent.

Preventing motorcycle accidents must always start by making it a habit to wear safety helmets. Many US states, such as California, have a traffic law mandating all motorcyclists to wear helmets. Also, wearing protective gears would decrease the chances of getting injuries to other body parts aside from the head.

Accidents can occur at any place and any time. Handling the legal perspective of such situations can be tough, which is why hiring a motorcycle injury attorney will lessen the burden of the injured person.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Two Types of Sex Discrimination in the Workplace

sex discrimination, employment discrimination

Sex discrimination is unfortunately common in the United States employment sector. According to the data of the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), in Fiscal Year 2011, 28,534 sex discrimination complaints were filed with the agency. 

Discrimination based on an individual’s sex is against the law. Under the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, employers with 15 or more employees are prohibited to discriminate against employees and applicants based on their sex.

Despite the prevalence of sex discrimination in the country, only few employees and employers know the facts involved in the said employment discrimination issue. Workplace discrimination based on a person’s sex may be categorized into types: direct discrimination and indirect discrimination.

Direct discrimination – This involves explicitly discriminating against individual due to his or her sex. Under the law, employers are not allowed to:

• Deny applicants’ application because of their sex
• Terminate employees due to their sex
• Demote employees because of his or her sex
• Deny promotion to workers because of his or her sex
• Refuse to provide training to employees
• Deprive workers of employment benefits due to their sex

Indirect discrimination – Unlike direct discrimination, indirect sex bias does not discriminate an employee or applicant in an outright manner; instead, the discrimination may occur due to implied discriminatory practices. Common examples of indirect sex discrimination are:

• Implementing company policies, criteria, guidelines, and rules that favor a particular sex
• Imposing company rules only to employees of a particular sex

Employees or applicants who have experienced sex discrimination in the workplace have the right to file a formal complaint with EEOC. Complainants may be entitled to compensatory and punitive damages.
Settlements for discriminatory act by an employer have limits, whether compensatory or punitive, depending on the size of the company:

• $50,000 limit for companies with 15-100 employees
• $100,000 limit for companies with 101-200 employees
• $200,000 limit for companies with 201-500 employees
• $300,000 limit for companies with more than 500 employees