Wednesday, July 25, 2012

3 Basic Roles of Los Angeles Car Accident Attorneys

Los Angeles Car Accident | Basic roles of los angeles personal injury lawyer

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Sports utility vehicle (SUV) accidents are not uncommon in the State of California. In fact, with hundreds of people killed in such accident each year, it could be said that SUV mishaps are becoming more and more prevalent in the state when compared to the past decade.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2009 alone, about 622 people were killed in California due to SUV accidents. This only proves that the frequency of SUV accidents should not be overlooked but be taken seriously by California motorists.

Accordingly, Los Angeles motorists or pedestrians who get involved in SUV accidents are advised to do the following:

•    Get medical assistance.
•    Secure all medical records and documents.
•    Secure and make copies of receipts from medical treatment, medication, and auto repair.
•    Get the other driver’s personal and contact information.
•    Contact a Los Angeles car accident attorney.

Hiring a personal injury attorney is vital in claiming for damages in an SUV accident case in Los Angeles. Although SUV accident victims may claim for compensations on their own, it is still best to have a legal representative on their side. The expertise and legal know-how of Los Angeles accident attorneys will be very beneficial to SUV accident victims in getting just amount of injury payments from the liable driver.

The following are some of the many roles that a personal injury attorney can perform for the benefit of his or her clients:

Case assessment and analysis – Personal injury lawyers can help their clients in determining how much they can recover. Also, they can help their clients determine the legal steps in claiming for personal injury damages. Accordingly, SUV accident victims who are not certain with the actions they have to do are advised to get assistance from an accident lawyer for proper guidance and legal aid.

Proving the fault of the liable party – The first step in claiming for personal injury damages is proving the negligence of the liable individual/group of individuals involved. However, proving one’s fault in an SUV accident is not easy, which is why it is vital for claimants to seek assistance from an experienced car accident attorney.

Negotiating with insurance companies – Claimants can negotiate with the insurance company’s agents and adjusters without the help of a personal injury lawyer, but doing such is not advisable. Negotiating with insurance company is both complicated and tricky. For one, certain insurers would do anything to trick claimants in receiving unjust amount of payments. Hence, it is important for SUV accident victims to get help from an accident attorney who can represent them in the negotiation process.

Friday, July 20, 2012

California Drivers Will Be Allowed to Use Cell Phone Starting Jan. 1

Texting while Driving in los angeles california
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Starting January 1, 2013, California drivers will be able to use their cell phone while driving – somewhat. However, texting drivers should not celebrate because physically using their cell phone is still against the law.

California Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 1536, a bill that would allow Golden State drivers to use hands-free technology to create and send text-based messages on their cell phones.

According to a Contra Costa Times report, “Starting Jan. 1, cops will allow you to send, dictate and listen to text messages while driving, but only if you're using a separate, voice-activated device that's connected to your phone -- something like a headset or Bluetooth earpiece or a program inside your car like OnStar.”

The new piece of legislation gained mixed reaction from the public. Some people are not very enthusiastic about the new law because they fear that using hands-free devices to text while driving can still distract drivers. However, police officials are quick to say that drivers cannot touch their devices while using any hands-free way of texting. They say that merely touching your phone will driving is considered a violation of the state’s texting ban laws.

Traffic safety experts agree that drivers can still be distracted even without physically using their cell phone; thus, they suggest that motorists must only focus on their driving rather than on other activities like texting. Hence, iPhone users who want to use Siri to text while driving may still not be able to do so because they have to touch their cell phone in doing so.

In addition, current California traffic laws prohibit drivers from touching their cell phone while operating their vehicle. Thus, California drivers may have to wait for more advanced technology to take advantage of AB 1536.

Incidentally, California drivers who get involved in a distracted-related accident caused by another party should consult with a Los Angeles car accident attorney to know the legal actions they have to take for them to recover for injury compensations.

Friday, July 13, 2012

California Car Accident Statistics and Causes of Road Accidents

California Road Accident | Vehicle Accident Statistics
If numbers do not lie, California indeed is nearly synonymous with car accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2006, the State of California recorded the most number of traffic fatalities among U.S. states. Out of the 42,642 total deaths caused by car accidents, some 4,236 people were killed in California.

In a separate data, the NHTSA reported that in 2009, almost 4,000 people were killed in California due to road accidents.

Below is the ranking of California counties in terms of road accident fatalities in the year 2006:

1. Los Angeles County – 799 deaths
2. San Diego County – 303 deaths
3. Fresno County – 155 deaths
4. Sacramento County – 128 deaths
5. San Francisco – 42 deaths

Meanwhile, the following is the breakdown of California fatal car accidents by vehicle type in 2009:

•    Cars – 1,275 deaths
•    Sports utility vehicles (SUVs)/Pickup trucks – 622 deaths
•    Pedestrians – 563 deaths
•    Motorcycles – 383 deaths
•    Large trucks – 27 deaths

There are various reasons why road accidents are common in California. The following are some of the common causes of fatal California car accidents:

Intoxicated driving – It is estimated that every 525 minutes, a person gets killed in an alcohol-related road accident in California. In fact, according to the California Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV), in 2009 alone, about 950 people were killed in California alcohol-related road crashes.

Distracted driving – According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in the year 2009, more than 5,400 people were killed in road accidents caused by distracted drivers. It is estimated that more than 15 people are killed and more than 1,200 get injured in the United States each day due to distracted driving.

Drowsy driving – The NHTSA reports that approximately 100,000 car accidents happen every year due to drowsy drivers. Sleepy driving accounts for around 40,000 injuries and some 1,550 deaths every year.

Speeding – According to the DMV, about 28.4 percent of all fatal road accidents in the State of California in 2008 were caused by speeding or violation of speeding laws.

In this light, California drivers who do not want to be part of the unfortunate statistics should always put safety on a pedestal.

Also, Los Angeles motorists or pedestrians who get injured in a car mishap should promptly contact a Los Angeles car accident attorney in order to properly and timely claim for personal injury damages from the liable parties involved. Under the law, car accident victims have the right to claim for economic and non-economic damages from people who caused their injury and inconvenience.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Top 3 Gadgets that Can Distract Drivers

Los Angeles Car Accident | Mobile Phones | Cellphone
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Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of fatal accidents in the United States. Statistics say that in 2010, more than 3,000 people were killed and some 416,000 were injured in road accidents that involved distracted drivers.

Distracted driving may be cause by a variety of reasons, and these include:

•    Using electronic gadget
•    Eating and/or drinking
•    Smoking
•    Grooming
•    Talking to vehicle occupants
•    Reading/using navigation system or map
•    Watching on-board video
•    Adjusting on-board sound system

Incidentally, using electronic handheld device is the leading cause of distracted driving in the country. The availability of such devices is so convenient these days that almost any person can have one. According to statistics, teenage drivers are the common victims and/or culprits of electronic gadget-related distracted driving.

Additionally, there are particular electronic gadgets that can easily distract a driver, and these are:

Cell phones/smart phones – Drivers who text or communicate using their mobile phones are considered at-risk motorists. When a driver divides his or her attention into driving and using his or her cell phone, it is highly unlikely that he or she can effectively focus on driving, which can result in a deadly car accident.

Navigation system – This device is designed to help drivers to conveniently reach their destination; however, it can also make everything complicated for motorists. Drivers who are busy using the vehicle’s navigation system can miss the traffic situation, which can cause them to make driving errors.

Tablet PCs – Tablets are becoming more and more popular these days, but drivers who own these gadgets should refrain from using them while driving because they could end up in an accident.

In the State of California, under the state’s vehicle code, drivers are not allowed to operate their vehicle while using any electronic handheld device. Drivers who will violate the said code may be ticketed or fined by authorities.

Los Angeles accident attorneys always remind California drivers not to be distracted while driving to ensure their own and other people’s safety on road.

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Monday, July 2, 2012

Renowned Journalist Anderson Cooper Reveals that He is Gay

Anderson Cooper Announces that he is a gay

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There are many homosexual men who rose into the media’s spotlight because of their innate talent and charisma. Some of these talented men are Elton John (musician), Ricky Martin (singer), Freddie Mercury (musician), Neil Patrick Harris (actor), Jim Parsons (actor), and many more.

Just recently, the public learned that there is another talented and charismatic gay man in the media industry, and that is no other than Anderson Cooper, a renowned journalist and television host.

In Andrew Sullivan’s column The Dish (The Daily Beast), he reported that Cooper sent an elaborate email that revealed his true sexuality. In the said email, the 45-year-old journalist said:
“I’ve also been reminded recently that while as a society we are moving toward greater inclusion and equality for all people, the tide of history only advances when people make themselves fully visible. There continue to be far too many incidences of bullying of young people, as well as discrimination and violence against people of all ages, based on their sexual orientation, and I believe there is value in making clear where I stand.

The fact is, I'm gay, always have been, always will be, and I couldn’t be any more happy, comfortable with myself, and proud.

I have always been very open and honest about this part of my life with my friends, my family, and my colleagues. In a perfect world, I don't think it's anyone else's business, but I do think there is value in standing up and being counted. I’m not an activist, but I am a human being and I don't give that up by being a journalist.”

In this regard, Cooper’s revelation of his sexuality can serve as an inspiration to employees who are members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. Cooper is just one of the many talented professionals who happen to be gay or lesbian. This suggests that one should not discriminate against people because of their gender.

Additionally, being bias against employee members of the LGBT community creates hostile environment in the workplace, which is why the California government implements the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). Under this state law, employers are not allowed to discriminate against employees and applicants based on their gender identity and expression.

Regarding this, California workers and applicants who were discriminated based on their gender are advised to seek assistance from a Los Angeles discrimination attorney who can help them in claiming for damages.