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Articles Posted in Personal Injury

The lockdowns that all states, including California, instituted during the coronavirus pandemic affected all aspects of life. As workplaces and other businesses shut down, the volume of traffic on roads and freeways declined dramatically, which was predictable. What was perhaps less expected was the uptick in extreme speeding and in fatal crashes during the lockdown. Those two facts are not unconnected. Driving at very high rates of speed greatly increases the risk that a crash will occur and, when it does, the odds also go up that someone will die. Whether you were injured, or a loved one was killed, because someone was driving dangerously fast, that driver’s speeding may be a key in helping to get the substantial sum of damages that you deserve. An experienced Oakland car accident attorney can help you get that done.

According to ABC 10 in Sacramento, the California Highway Patrol witnessed the effects of the pandemic in the tickets they wrote. In the first month of the lockdown (March 19 – April 19,) they wrote more than 2,493 tickets to drivers traveling at speeds of 100+ mph. That was 87% increase over that same March 19 – April 19 period in 2019, when 1,335 drivers were ticketed for going 100+.

Law enforcement officers urged drivers to slow down, but to no avail. From April 19 – May 19, the problem actually got worse, with officers writing an additional 3,550 tickets for drivers going 100+. Across the two-month span of March 19- May 19, officers wrote 6,043 tickets for speeding at 100 mph or greater, ABC 10 reported. That represented a 124% uptick over those same two months in 2019, when officers wrote roughly 2,700 such tickets.

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Because of the very nature of physical science and medical science, motorcyclists and motorcycle passengers necessarily are some of the most vulnerable people on the road. While many drivers are vigilant to keep an eye out for all others on the road, too many are prone to overlooking smaller vehicles like motorcycles. When they do, the results can be fatal and tragic. If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle crash in California, you need the right Oakland motorcycle accident attorney on your side to help you as you go through all of the necessary legal steps and processes to get compensation.

A crash from the central coast is yet another example of how deadly these motorcycle accidents can be. 76-year-old K.K. was driving a yellow motorcycle along Highway 1 in Cambria, according to a calcoastnews.com report. At the same time, the driver of a Jeep Cherokee was also traveling along Highway 1. The Jeep’s driver pulled onto the shoulder of the highway in order to execute a U-turn. In making the U-turn, the driver of Jeep pulled into the motorcycle’s path. The vehicles collided and K.K. died as a result of his injuries, according to the report.

Fatal motorcycle crashes are sadly common in California. According to statistics published by the state’s Office of Traffic Safety, more than 1,060 motorcyclists died on California roads and highways in 2017-2018. Many of those tragedies were regrettably avoidable, as they result from a car, truck or SUV driver’s failure to maintain a proper lookout, failure to see a motorcycle and their resulting failure to yield the right of way to the motorcyclist. That error can occur when making a turn, making a lane change or, as was the case in Cambria, making a U-turn.

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If you’ve been involved in an auto accident, you know that the pain resulting from the injuries you suffered in that crash may “hit” you right away, or its onset may be delayed. You may first feel the pain the next day, a week later, or maybe not for months. Just because the symptoms of your injuries were delayed in emerging, that doesn’t mean that they weren’t caused by the accident and it doesn’t mean that you can’t still get compensation from those who were to blame for the accident. If that happens to you, don’t be discouraged, but do reach out to an experienced Oakland injury attorney right away to learn more about your options.

A recent case (Ventura County Superior Court Case No. 56-2016-00483594-CU-PA-VTA) from Southern California is an example of that kind of scenario, and is an example of how it doesn’t have to be devastating to your injury lawsuit. K.F. was making a left turn inside a Thousand Oaks mall parking lot when B.R. hit her. K.F. experienced some symptoms shortly after the crash and underwent treatment from a chiropractor for two months, but received no more treatment after that until she underwent steroid injections and spinal fusion surgery… four years later.

This woman’s case is not completely out of the ordinary. A few years ago, KTAR in Arizona reported on seven accident symptoms that may not onset until a substantial period of time has passed following your accident. These include headaches (which can be symptoms of blood clots on the brain or a brain bleed,) neck or shoulder pain, back pain (which, as was the case in K.F.’s lawsuit, can be the result of vertebrae damages,) changes in personality (which may be caused by an undiagnosed brain injury) or abdominal pain.

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Generally, any time you are suing to recover compensation for your injuries, you are asserting that the defendants either engaged in some sort of intentional misconduct or, more commonly, were negligent. Typically, in an auto accident, your lawsuit pursues the other driver for operating his vehicle in a negligent way and causing the crash. In California, though, there may be other people and/or entities who were negligent in causing your accident, meaning that those additional individuals and/or entities may be liable and owe you payment for your damages. To find out how best to go about pursuing them to get the full recovery you deserve, be sure to retain an experienced Oakland car accident attorney to handle your case.

A tragic East Bay crash spawned a case that is an example of this kind of lawsuit. J.H. suffered a seizure while driving a Toyota pickup truck in Danville. Under the effects of the seizure, J.H. ran a red light while going 62 mph in a 45-mph zone. The pickup slammed into a Dodge SUV. The crash killed both the 51-year-old driver of the SUV, E.P. and her 72-year-old mother, M.D.

In a lot of incidents like that, the family of the deceased would be able to pursue J.H. and his insurer… and only J.H. and his insurer. This case, however, was not like most cases. The Toyota pickup truck that J.H. was driving at the time of the fatal crash was not 100% his own; it belonged jointly to him and his father, D.H.

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Statistics regarding motorcycle accidents in California are ominous, and the numbers are getting worse. In 2017, there were 16,505 motorcycle accidents in the Golden State. Those crashes caused 15,527 injuries and 541 deaths. If you’ve been hurt in a motorcycle accident, keep in mind that you only have a limited period of time to seek the compensation you deserve. In California, the law says that you only have two years from the date of the accident to file your lawsuit. If you wait more than two years and there is no justification for that delay, the defense can get your case thrown out of court before trial based upon a “statute of limitations” argument. To be sure you’re not losing out on much-needed compensation, reach out to an Oakland motorcycle accident attorney right away.

A few months ago, a motorcyclist tragically died in an accident on I-880 in Oakland. According to KPIX, the motorcyclist was “lane splitting” when a silver car moved left and struck the motorcycle. (Lane splitting, which is when a motorcycle passes “other vehicles proceeding in the same direction within the same lane,” is legal under California law.)

That impact threw the 31-year-old motorcyclist from the bike and onto the ground. The man died at Highland Hospital, according to the report. Tragically, stories like this are becoming more and more common. In 2016, the number of motorcycle deaths was more than twice the number that occurred in this state a decade prior.

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Sometimes, in your bicycle accident, it may be a near certainty that one person was 100% to blame. Other times, the cause may be less clear and there may be more than one person who was responsible, including you. If you made some mistakes that led to your crash — in fact, even if you were the person primarily to blame for the accident — don’t let that convince you cannot recover compensation for the harm you’ve suffered as a result of that accident. Instead, be sure to reach out to an experienced Oakland bicycle accident attorney to find out about the legal options available to you.

Bicycle accidents, including fatal ones, are tragically common. In mid-January, a 54-year-old woman died in Concord after her bicycle collided with a vehicle along Port Chicago Highway, the Mercury News reported. Other than a statement from police that intoxication “did not appear to be a factor,” details about how the accident occurred were few.

Across the country in New York, a Brooklyn bicyclist died in late October after being struck by a minivan, according to the New York Daily News. Police said the minivan had the right of way, but witnesses at the scene said the van ran a red light, according to the report.

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We all know that speeding has the potential to make bad accidents worse and make serious accidents fatal ones. Statistics from NHTSA back this up. However, you may wonder, “what if my case did not involve a speeding driver? What if I was seriously injured even though the driver who hit me was traveling at a very low speed? Can I still get compensation that will fully cover the extent of my serious harm?” The answer is “Yes, you can.” Start by contacting an experienced Oakland car accident attorney.

In law school, students learn about someone called the “eggshell” plaintiff. Though this may sound like an insult, it really isn’t. It just refers to someone who has a unique potential to be seriously harmed even from a relatively minor accident. That person may be in generally poor health or may have a special medical condition that makes him/her uniquely fragile. The law says that the reason for a person’s peculiar fragility is largely irrelevant. If the person who hit you was at fault, then the law says that he must “take his victim as he finds him,” meaning that he must compensate you for all of the damages that you can prove were caused by the accident.

In a recent Southern California case (Los Angeles Superior Court Case No. BC688739), W.O. was that sort of eggshell plaintiff. The 61-year-old man was injured at a 4-way stop intersection by a man who was going 8 mph when he ran into W.O.’s front passenger side.

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Sometimes, the key to obtaining a positive result in your injury case is proving that the person or entity you sued was liable. You argue they were… they argue they weren’t… and your ability to obtain much-needed compensation hangs in the balance.

Other times, though, the defense admits that they were liable. When that happens, you “have it made,” right? Not necessarily. Sometimes, the key to success isn’t necessarily about establishing liability, it is about getting an award of damages that fully and fairly addresses the extensive damages you’ve suffered. Proving damages is often the most important part of an injury case, and doing so effectively is one of the essential reasons why your case needs the skill of an experienced Oakland truck accident attorney.

Take, as an example, the case of C.W.H., a woman injured in a Southern California crash. The Signal reported that, as C.W.H. passed through a green light at a Santa Clarita intersection, she was t-boned by the driver of a food processing company’s box truck. The truck driver told police that he was “half asleep” when the accident took place and that he had run the red light, according to the report.

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When you’re injured in a rear-end crash with a distracted driver, there is a lot of potential evidence that can help you achieve the full compensation you deserve. Because yours is a rear-end accident, the rear driver will generally be considered to be at fault, so you may not need as much proof of fault, unless the defendant driver alleges that you caused the crash with some inappropriate and unexpected maneuver.

Nevertheless, you may still need to do extensive discovery and put on considerable evidence in order to show the court how bad your wreck was and how extensive your harm was, among other things. In other words, you need an experienced Oakland car accident attorney on your side to be sure you have what it takes to get what you deserve.

A few months ago, there was a ruling from a court in the Central Coast involving a rear-end crash with a distracted driver. According to news reports, a Santa Maria police officer, who the city alleged was on a call, was viewing suspect information on his in-dash computer while driving. Because of that, he was delayed in noticing stopped traffic in front of him. He eventually did notice and, though he slammed on his brakes, he rear-ended the truck of two plumbers on their way to a job.

In some vehicle accidents, determining which driver was at fault can be something close to obvious. In a rear-end accident, the blame very often (but not always) lies with the rear driver for following too closely. Other accidents, such as a “T-bone” collision, are not so obvious. A T-bone collision may be the result of the either of the two drivers improperly failing to yield the right of way.

When you are faced with the latter type of scenario, you need all the evidence you can get to establish that your version of events is the correct one, that your version matches the physical evidence of the accident scene and that you are entitled to compensation. To get that proof you need to put on the most persuasive case possible, be sure you have an experienced Oakland injury attorney representing you.

With the necessary evidence, the outcome can be one that results in a substantial payout. Take, as an example, the recent case (Los Angeles Superior Court Case. No. BC660851) of J.M., a Southern California driver. J.M. was driving home in afternoon rush-hour traffic on Victory Boulevard in Van Nuys when she suffered a serious injury. Reportedly, J.M. was traveling in the outside westbound lane when a limo driver tried to cross all seven lanes of Victory Boulevard. He made it across the first six OK, but when he slid into the seventh lane — J.M.’s lane — it was mere moments before J.M. reached that spot. J.M. t-boned the limo.

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