Wednesday, April 24, 2013

How Negligence Can End One’s Life

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Nobody wants any of their loved ones subjected to great danger, right? In as much as possible, you’d want to be able to protect the people you love from harm. You’d do no matter what to ensure their safety. However, one should learn to accept that you can only try so hard to protect one from injuries and pain. You would never be able to always be by your loved one’s side to protect them from being exposed to the many dangers in life.

Knowing that you can’t always protect your loved ones from the dangers in life, it is even more painful to see them get injured or worse, die because of somebody else’s negligence. Take the case of the Valenzuela family in Palmdale, California. They are now facing great pain and despair after their kid, 18-year-old Michael, was struck and killed by a school bus while biking.

According to the California Highway Patrol, Michael just left for his first day of work and was about to go to a park nearby to play soccer with the kids. However, just as he was crossing the street, a bus carrying more than 40 students from Los Amigos School hit him.

Friends and family of Michael Valenzuela are all mourning now as they can’t comprehend why such unfortunate incident happened to their loved one. All of them are remembering how kind-hearted and passionate Michael was and how this unfortunate tragedy prematurely ended his life.

Residents in the area said that this is not the first time that such an incident happened. They have repeatedly asked the city to install warning lights at the intersection since a lot of kids are using the park’s soccer fields. This way, the residents believe that accidents such as this could be prevented. Sadly though, the City government hasn’t complied to their request yet.

Accidents like these should have not happened if the authorities were only quick to react in fixing what needs to be fixed in their areas of responsibility. In cases like these, you can file for personal injury claims if you can prove that there are negligent parties and actions that have caused the accident.

So if you or your loved one has suffered from incidents such as these and you believe that someone is responsible for such things, you can ask the help of Los Angeles personal injury lawyers to assist you in filing for claims. With the right cases filed, you don’t only get monetary compensation as payment for all of the damages that this incident has caused you and your family. Stand up for your rights and don’t let negligent people get away from their actions or the lack of it. By filing the necessary complaint, you can finally get the justice that they deserve.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Some Statistics and Other Valuable Information about the Risks of Teenage Driving

teen driving: causes of car accident in los angeles

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It is often said that teenagers are highly at risk of getting involved in crashes than any other age group. Fortunately enough, there are valuable statistics that back up this proof. While the same can be said for other age groups, the risks of injuries and deaths related to teenage driving are usually due to various factors.

Therefore, it is important for both young drivers and their parents to be as educated and aware as possible with regard to the entailed risks of teenage driving. Education and awareness are two key components in helping change the behavior towards the wheel, especially for the specific age group.

Meanwhile, here are some statistics and other valuable information about the risks of teenage driving, taken from the
  • The leading cause of death among teenagers in the United States is due to crashes involving teen drivers. While it is a common notion that teenagers behind the wheel always take risks when it comes to driving, most of these crashes are caused by their inexperience and/or other activities that distract them from operating their vehicles.
  • Young drivers account for more crashes than any other age group in the U.S. In fact, about 25 percent of deaths every year involve drivers between the ages of 16 and 24.
  • The crash fatality rate is highest for drivers aged 16 to 17 years old. Said rate remains high until the age of 24.
  • About 20 percent of 11th grade drivers were involved in at least one accident, according to the National Young Driver Survey. Nearly 3 percent experienced two or more crashes.

Among many things to blame for the teenage driving crashes is the technology, particularly the use of cell phones, coupled with inexperience behind the wheel. According to Thomas Milewski, manager of operations at Driver’s Ed Direct, said that teenagers today “have now a multitude of items to go to and everybody is doing it (using cell phones while driving).”

Incidentally, legal experts, including Los Angeles personal injury attorneys believe that being aware of the entailed risks of teenage driving would help younger drivers become more responsible and safer motorists.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Did You Know that California Has the Third Most Number of Pedestrian Deaths in U.S.?

Los Angeles pedestrian Accident, Personal Injury

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Walking down the street may seem like a regular, daily activity for you. For thousands of pedestrians in Los Angeles however, walking by the side of the street can be a matter of life and death. Did you know that the State of California is currently the 16th most dangerous state for pedestrians in the United States? Furthermore, California has the 3rd most number of fatalities in pedestrians?

That is why the state government with the help of town and city governments has been doing its best efforts to make roads much safer. Over the years, city streets have been re-engineered and fitted with modern equipment to further increase pedestrian safety.

However, the government alone can only do so much. As it is your life is in danger, you more than anybody has the responsibility to protect yourself from the dangers on the road. Here are some very simple tips that you keep in mind to help ensure your safety and you walk to where you want to go.

Be Predictable. As much as possible, stay away from freeways and other restricted zones as these places are very dangerous for pedestrians like you. Also, make it a point to only cross or enter streets where you are legally allowed to do so. By doing these things, drivers can better predict your presence and exercise more care as they pass along.

Always try to walk facing road traffic. Especially in places where no sidewalks are available, make it a point to walk opposite the direction of the traffic flow. This way you will be able to see where vehicles are going to, helping you be aware of their presence and avoid them if necessary. Also in cases of accidents or in instances where a wayward vehicle passes, you can immediately react to the situation to avoid getting harmed.

Be conspicuous. One major reason why pedestrians get hit is because drivers can’t see them. Avoid walking in dark areas where it will be harder for motorists to see you. If you could wear clothes in light shades, please do so. Being seen will help minimize the chances of you getting struck by vehicles on the road. In dark areas, carry along a flashlight with you.

Be wary. While most drivers are nice, there are ones who are not. Make sure that you don’t trust them to just notice you. Watch out for them coming and try to avoid them if you can.

Don’t drink and walk on the side of the road. Drinking and driving is bad. The same goes for people who hit the road. Do not walk around drunk or drugged as you are not in your best self and you might just end up in an accident.

Be cautious. You must always cross multiple-lane or streets with high-speed traffic with caution. This way you’d be able to better react to situations whenever it is called for.

If you however get involved in a vehicular accident in Los Angeles, it is best that you have yourself treated immediately for the injuries you have sustained. After that, try to find a good lawyer to represent you in court. But you should only trust the best Los Angeles personal injury attorneys that you can find. They will help you with every step of the way to ensure that you get the reparation that you deserve for all of the injuries that you have sustained due to the accident.

Monday, April 15, 2013

About Wrongful Death: Existing California Laws

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Most forms of personal injury results to the injury of a person involved in an accident. However, there’s one form of personal injury that ultimately results in the person’s death. This is what we call wrongful death. Just like any form of personal injury, this stems from the liable party’s negligence or misconduct.

Basically, the defendant or the liable party in a wrongful death accident could either be an individual or an entity. More importantly, the surviving members of the deceased person, or any qualified person not-blood-related to the person, can file a wrongful death lawsuit against the liable party.

Wrongful death lawsuits often stem from the most common personal injury accidents, including but not limited to the following:
  • Vehicle accidents (e.g. cars, motorcycles, trucks, buses, or motorcycle accidents)
  • Pedestrian accidents;
  • Dog bites and other animal attacks;
  • Product liability caused by defective goods; and
  • Medical malpractice.

Moreover, every state has its own wrongful death laws, including the State of California. Here, such claim can be filed against the liable party by any of the following eligible persons:
  • The decedent’s spouse;
  • The decedent’s children, stepchildren, or grandchildren;
  • The decedent’s parents, especially if they were dependent on him before the decedent died; or
  • Any qualified person who oversees the decedent’s estate; especially if the deceased doesn’t have children or grandchildren.

Like every state in the U.S., the State of California has its own statutes of limitations with regard to filing wrongful death cases. If the death of your loved one stemmed from a motor vehicle accident, slip and fall, or any other form of personal injury, you and your surviving members may file a wrongful death lawsuit within two years from the date of the decedent’s death.

Meanwhile, if it is caused by medical malpractice, you have three years from the date of the injury, or, if it is determined weeks or months after the decedent died, one year from the date of discovery. Also, if the death of your loved one was caused by a defective product, you have two years to file for wrongful death.

Indeed, taking on such a high-profile lawsuit can be very difficult. Apart from dealing with the legal battle to get compensated for the damages you and your family incurred, you’d also have to mourn for the sudden demise of your loved one. In this regard, it is important that you seek the expertise of any Los Angeles personal injury lawyers who can help represent you.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Educating Yourself on the Perils of Distracted Driving

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Not all drivers are able to maintain their focus and attention to the road, no matter how long or short the distance of the trip is. More often than not, their one hand is on the steering wheel while the other is clutching on their cell phones, speaking with a friend or office colleague or texting a loved one.

Looking up ahead on the road and then on the phone screen and back again is just a piece of cake for those who are used to it. However, doing so puts them in danger of getting seriously injured or killed. Such is distracted driving.

To begin with, distracted driving is any activity that disrupts the attention of the driver to his or her primary task, which is, of course, driving. In other words, taking your eyes off the road for just a few seconds, or even removing your hands off the steering wheel, could spell disaster not only for you, but also for your passenger/s, pedestrians, and other motorists that share the road with you.

Distractions that drivers do while behind the wheel include using mobile phones to text or call, grooming, reading, tinkering with the car stereo, and talking to passengers, among many others. Moreover, distracted driving is one of the key factors as to why accidents occur on America’s roadways.

In fact, deaths related to distracted driving increased by 1.9 percent in 2011, in which 3,331 such deaths were recorded. Injuries, however, decreased by 7 percent that same year, in which an estimated 387,000 such injuries were recorded. Said data shows how deadly getting distracted while driving can be.

Fortunately, states and other localities have made strides to end distracted driving on their roadways. In fact, many of them have passed and implemented stringent laws that prohibit texting, talking on the cell phone, and other non-driving activities while driving.

Aside from that, distracted driving-related information through websites allow people to become educated and be informed about the perils of driving distractions, which would enable them to make decisions on what they should and should not do behind the wheel. Meanwhile, Los Angeles personal Injury Lawyers and other legal experts believe that learning from distracted driving and its perilous effects to drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and other motorists can help promote better and safe driving on the road.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Top U.S. Holidays That Are Dangerous for Drivers

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Holiday celebrations in the United States create opportunities for friends or families to be together. Whenever these festivities fall on a weekend, people often go to bars to basically enjoy some company. Families go out on long-distance car trips and enjoy the mood of going on vacation. However, heavy traffic and high rate of car crashes are already a given in these times of the year.

Basically, the rate of motor vehicle accidents in the United States tends to become much higher whenever holidays approach. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) always make it a point to advise motorists who are planning to go out on holiday weekends to drive safely, because the agency knows the implications of road activity in such events.

The NHTSA even identified the holidays in which drivers are to experience the dangers of being in the receiving end of collisions and other forms of accidents on the road. Here are some of them:

•    St. Patrick’s Day. It may not be a legal holiday in the U.S., but celebrating the third Sunday of March has always been a tradition of wearing green and consuming alcohol. However, the latter has always been a problem, especially for the roads. In 2011, NHTSA analyses showed that crashes as a result of alcoholism claimed a person every 53 minutes. Moreover, about 34 percent of crashes during said day were connected to drunk driving.

•    Christmas. Aside from family dinners and being with the whole family, the Christmas celebration is often accompanied with last-minute shopping. In fact, the days leading to the 25th of December is often regarded as one of the deadliest days to be on the road, according to the NHTSA.

•    Halloween. Most children go out on Halloween night to score some treats in the neighborhood. However, they are often at risk of getting hit by moving vehicles. In fact, it is regarded as the no. 3 holidays for collisions among pedestrians.

•    Thanksgiving. Family bonding is the main theme of the Thanksgiving celebration, where the members go out to eat turkey and satisfy themselves with food. However, traveling on such important day is often unbearable, which results in an aggressive driving mood, which would then result in an accident. On average, deaths due to crashes during Thanksgiving weekend reach up to 573.

On the next holiday, always remember to keep safe when going out with friends or family, especially on driving. Every Los Angeles car accident lawyer also advises drivers to exercise caution when driving at any time of day, holidays or not.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Toy Recalls: Some of the Worst Ever

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Things really do change a lot, especially in terms of appearance. Such can be said on toys, and rightfully so. Toys before were manufactured in such a way that it is possible for any kid to get injured. Apparently, decades ago, safety standards for these products were considerably lower or none at all. In fact many toy products have been outlawed because of reports of injuries.

But then again, some manufacturers in the toy industry still create products that could endanger children and inflict themselves with injuries. A lot of recalls have been made, all of which stemmed from complaints of parents about their kids getting injured because of certain hazards present in toys.

Here are some of the worst toy recalls in recent history:

•    Sky Dancers Flying Dolls. These toys consist of a pull-string base and a doll with foam wings. The doll would launch into the air and spin like a propeller after pulling the string on the base. However, there were over 100 injuries reported with regard to the use of the toy, and the toy company Galoob decided not to report the units to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). The company was instead fined a total of $400,000.00, not to mention issued a recall of the said products that were only less than 6 years in the market.

•    Yoyo Ball. Famous in the early 2000s, this toy is basically a yo-yo but consists of a ball attached to a stretchable string. But then, the usage of the toy led to more than 400 reports of near-choking incidents among children. In fact, a girl was nearly strangulated while trying the “Helicopter” maneuver in which she swung the toy and went around her throat. Because of this, Canada and the UK decided to ban the distribution of the Yo-yo Ball into their respective countries.

•    Jarts. These famous lawn toy darts were used in a game wherein a kid throws one underhanded and tries to hit a target on the ground. Apparently, in the 70s and 80s, they caused more than 7,000 injuries and 4 deaths. Because of this, all lawn dart games were banned by the CPSC in 1988.

Every adult must be responsible enough when buying toys for their children. They should see first if there are no apparent defects on the products, and that they should be aware of any toy recalls. For many Los Angeles personal injury lawyers, those whose children have been injured because of a defect or safety issue on toys must seek an attorney who can file a claim against the liable party, including the manufacturing company.