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San Diego Personal Injury Law Blog

Intentional auto accidents a frightening reality

By name, car accidents are usually just that: an accident. California drivers do everything they can to avoid such a scenario. Strangely, a recent headline aims to make the public aware that sometimes auto accidents are intentional -- an attempt to harm others on the part of a wayward driver. 

Recently, a California driver, for reasons yet unknown, decided to drive straight into a group of pedestrians. It is not suspected at this time that the man is affiliated with any sort of criminal or terrorist organization, but the ordeal was so strange, investigators continue to hunt for clues. Witnesses and evidence suggest that the driver made no attempt to slow down or avoid striking the people on foot, and when the chaos settled, eight pedestrians had suffered serious injuries. 

State prison reform may lead to increase in wrongful death suits

The state of California made a valiant effort to reduce the population of residents incarcerated in the overcrowded prison system. Experts saw overcrowding as a major factor in the problems faced by the state prison system. Despite the noble effort, the initiative had some unintended side effects, and one of them is the increased potential for a wrongful death to occur in a county jail.

While trying to keep additional offenders out of the state prison system, many defendants who would have formerly been sentenced to time in a state prison are being mixed into the population at county jails. This has unfortunately resulted in inmates known to be violent or to have severe mental health issues being housed with offenders who may have not even been convicted of a crime yet, because they are awaiting trial. There have already been several incidents that ring alarm bells.

U.S. pedestrian deaths hit 28-year high

Walking is good for you. It’s good exercise, a chance to get outdoors and it’s environmentally friendly. But, increasingly, walking is dangerous.

A February report by the Governor’s Highway Association found that an estimated 6,227 pedestrians were killed in motor vehicle accidents in 2018. This marks the highest number of deaths since 1990.

Workers' compensation claims drop, but not in every industry

Many industries can rejoice at the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showing that on-the-job fatalities have dropped to their lowest rate since 2003. Unfortunately, those California workers in the construction and transportation sector do not have much to cheer about. Workers' compensation insurers may be paying less for injuries overall, but these two industries make up almost half of the fatal accidents in recent years.

Analysts suggest that a big part of the problem in transportation and construction is that employers are accepting more temporary and contract workers. These gig employees often get little or no training for the difficult and dangerous work they must do. This seems to be especially true in small companies where employees may come and go in the space of a day and companies where employees may have a language barrier that prevents them from understanding basic safety instructions.

Auto accidents claim lives on and off the road

California residents are no strangers to traffic. Drivers know that extra caution must be used at night, especially in areas where there may be pedestrians out and about. Drivers also know it is against the law to get behind the wheel under the influence of drugs or alcohol, but each day, people continue to break the law and wind up causing fatal auto accidents. 

Recently, a woman police now suspect of driving under the influence ran a red light. This caused a terrible collision with two other vehicles. Two people suffered serious injury and were taken to a nearby hospital for treatment. 

Under construction: Every day risk of personal injury

When a California neighborhood is considered to be safe, people usually mean that there is not a high risk of becoming the victim of a crime. While certainly, this is an important aspect to consider before taking a walk around one's community, crime is certainly not the only risk. Sometimes, a person can suffer a serious personal injury quite unexpectedly, and in many cases, a victim may hit be aware he or she is in danger until it is too late. 

Recently, a small group of people were making their way on foot through Hollywood. As they approached a building that was under construction, they likely had no idea that disaster would soon strike. For reasons that are still largely unknown, scaffolding collapsed on the pedestrians. 

What should I do after being in a car crash?

Being in a car crash can be so unexpected and frightening that you may feel a little stunned once it is all over. Because the experience can be so startling, people sometimes find it difficult to determine what actions they should take after the crash. To help avoid this moment of confusion, it can be helpful to know ahead of time what actions you should take in this situation.

Actions to take immediately following the crash

Wrongful death: Support is available for grieving families

Learning that a loved one has died due to injuries suffered in a California car accident is devastating. Coping with the aftermath of such news often wreaks havoc upon grieving family members. When accident victims are children, grief is intensified. Many collisions are the result of negligent driving behavior; in cases of fatal injury, an immediate family member may file a wrongful death claim to seek justice on behalf of the decedent.

It is impossible to replace the loss of a human life. Such tragedies often leave grieving families completely unprepared to meet funeral expenses or other costs associated with their loved ones' deaths. When driver negligence has taken a person's life, those grieving the loss should not have to bear the financial burden prompted by the situation.

Workers' compensation benefits for slip, trips and falls

Occupational injuries occur in all settings, and while each industry has its unique safety hazards, some risks are inherent to all workplace environments. The number of workers' compensation claims that are filed for injuries resulting from slips, trips and falls is an obvious indication that more attention must be paid to the mitigation of these hazards. The consequences of such accidents could be life altering, and California safety authorities say that both slips and trips can be prevented with minimum effort.

The lack of traction or friction between feet and walking surfaces cause slips, and trips typically result from a worker losing his or her balance when a foot strikes an object. Typical circumstances that lead to slip-and-fall accidents in workplaces include slippery conditions caused by spills, oily walking surfaces, loose floor mats and flooring with various degrees of traction in different areas. Wearing non-slip footwear and cleaning up spills immediately can prevent most slip-and-fall accidents.

Reckless driving often leads to personal injury

All licensed drivers in California and beyond are legally obligated to adhere to traffic and safety regulations when they get behind the wheel. Such regulations are governed at the state level and may slightly vary by state; however, most states have laws against reckless driving, as such behavior places drivers, other motorists and pedestrians at great risk for personal injury. An incident occurred near a children's hospital recently that prompted an investigation by state highway patrol officers.

It was a Tuesday afternoon when the accident occurred. Two vehicles were involved. Preliminary investigations reportedly showed that one of the drivers was being reckless moments before the crash. He was allegedly weaving in and out of traffic when he suddenly lost all control of steering, veered over the line and hit an oncoming vehicle in the other lane.

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