PERSONAL INJURY BLOG

Los Angeles Pedestrian Seriously Injured in Hit-And-Run Accident

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Los Angeles police are still looking for a hit-and-run motorist allegedly believed to have been responsible for a serious pedestrian accident over the weekend.  According to the LA Times, the pedestrian, an 18-year-old man was walking on Vanowen Street when he was struck by a car.  The motorist simply drove away from the scene.  The pedestrian sustained serious injuries.

Pedestrian safety has always been a concern to Los Angeles pedestrian accident attorneys.   Unfortunately, Los Angeles is home to a car-centric culture with the result that there is little consideration for the rights of pedestrians.  Most accidents are caused because motorists simply fail to notice pedestrians.  There are a number of causes for this.  For instance, a motorist who is driving under the influence may not be able to spot a pedestrian in time.  Someone who is distracted because he is on his cell phone is also likely to miss a person walking in front of the car until it's too late. 

However, far too many accidents in Los Angeles occur because motorists simply don’t look out for pedestrians.  This is especially true of pedestrian accidents that occurred near crosswalks or intersections.  These are areas where motorists need to look out for people crossing the street.  That very often doesn't happen.  The result is a number of serious accidents that can leave pedestrians permanently injured or dead.

Besides, Los Angeles is a city that has been designed for automobiles, and as a consequence, pedestrian safety enhancements here are a work in progress.  Los Angeles could definitely do with some more initiatives to create walkable communities.  This is a trend that's been supported even by the federal government, which this week announced the Walk Friendly Communities initiative, to encourage pedestrian safety programs across the country.  This city could definitely benefit from more resources on pedestrian safety.

 

Los Angeles Pedestrian Accidents Spike Around on Halloween

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The risks of a child being involved in a pedestrian accident are much higher on Halloween than during any other night of the year.  This particular night every year, approximately 4,000 children between the age of five and 14 are injured in pedestrian accidents, compared to 1,000 children during the rest of the year. 

It's not just the fact that there are more numbers of enthusiastic little children on the streets.  It's also the fact that these children are in cumbersome costumes that can cause them to trip and fall while walking on a crosswalk, or prevent them from seeing the road clearly.  Besides, ornate masks and eye gear might obstruct visibility, preventing the child from noticing your car.  Driving in Los Angeles can be a challenge any day of the year, but Los Angeles child injury lawyers would encourage extra special care on Halloween.

Obviously, driving under the influence increases your risk of striking a little child.  Also, ensure that your attention is 100% focused on the road by switching off your cell phone.  Be prepared for little children darting from behind cars or at intersections. 

Parents can minimize the risks of an accident involving their little ones by making sure that they chaperone or escort their children on Halloween.   For very young kids, opt for a group celebration at a common venue instead.  Teach your child basic traffic safety rules, and avoid visiting busy streets.  Give your child a flashlight or glow stick to make him easily visible to drivers.  Keep the costume simple, and avoid long flowing gowns that can trip your child.  Avoid elaborate masks and huge hats that can reduce visibility.  Bright reflective costumes can make your child more visible to motorists.  If the costume is dark, add reflective strips to it.

 

 

Pedestrian Killed & 19 Injured in Los Angeles School Bus Accident

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

At least one person was killed and 19 were injured in an accident involving a school bus and a BMW in Los Angeles on Monday.  According to Los Angeles police, a black BMW ran a red light, and broadsided the school bus at an intersection in the Boyle Heights area.  The impact of the accident caused the bus to flip over onto its side.  A pedestrian, who was crossing the street, was struck and fatally injured. 

The school bus had about 43 students of the Roosevelt High School on board.  18 students on the bus were injured, and had to be taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.  The driver of the bus was initially reported to be critically injured, but has now been upgraded to “serious” condition.  The remaining students on the bus were not injured in the accident.

Two teenagers in the BMW got out of the car, and began to flee the scene on foot.  Fortunately, they were detained by witnesses at the scene until officers arrived.  According to the Los Angeles Times, there were three youths in all in the BMW.  Two of the teenagers have been arrested, and the third teenager who was injured in the accident, is being treated at a local hospital.  Authorities are considering the possibility of filing criminal homicide charges against the three teenagers.

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report which indicated that there had been a substantial decline in teen driver-related accidents and fatalities in these accidents between 2004 and 2008.  However, Los Angeles bus accident lawyers believe it is highly likely that this decline occurred in large part because of the dismal economic conditions during this period of time.  Teenage motorists continue to be a highly at-risk motorist group in the country, with a greater accident rate and risk than any other group.

Teen Driver Report Shows Decline in Accident Deaths

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have released a Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report focusing on teen motorists.  According to the report, fatal car accidents involving teen drivers have dropped substantially between 2004 and 2008.  The numbers of teen drivers aged 16 or 17 years old involved in fatal accidents declined particularly sharply between 2007 and 2008.  During this period of time, the decline in accident rates was approximately 23%. 

According to the CDC report, there were a total of 9,644 drivers aged 16 or 17 years involved in a total of 9,494 fatal accidents.  87 percent of these accidents resulted in at least one death, while 10% resulted in at least two fatalities, and 3% resulted in three or more fatalities.  In all, 11,019 people died in these accidents. 

Los Angeles car accident attorneys were not surprised to find that 65% of the drivers aged 16 or 17 years old who were involved in fatal accidents were male.  36% of the drivers were believed to be speeding at the time of the crash. 

The CDC Report is attributing a number of factors to this decline in fatal teen driver accidents.  The main factor continues to be abnormal economic conditions during this period of time.  There was a decrease in the number of vehicle miles traveled by teen drivers, who tend to have limited funds for driving.  During times of economic difficulty, teen drivers have their driving behaviors affected the most.  Besides, a spike in gas prices during this time also cut down on teen driving.  The economic uncertainty also resulted in fewer teen drivers applying for and obtaining driver’s. 

More states now have extended their GDL programs, contributing to a decline in the number of fatal accidents involving teenagers between 16 and 17 years of age.  The program restricts the ability of these teen motorists to drive at night time or drive with teen passengers.

October Is the Most Dangerous Month for Teen Drivers

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Accident and injury claims filed by teen drivers spike in the month of October.  Nationally, new data by insurer State Farm shows that this is the month in which the accident injury claims filed by 16 to 17-year-olds, increases significantly.  Nationwide, the number of injury claims filed by teenagers spike by about 15% in October compared to other months.  The insurer looked at data from 2003 to 2009, and this increase was seen every year.  In California, October is the second most dangerous month for teen motorists.  The highest numbers of accident injury claims are filed by teen motorists in February, followed by October. 

There are some reasons why Los Angeles car accident attorneys see more teen car accident claims in October.  For one thing, teenagers may be returning to school after the long summer vacation.  Besides, the fall season also sees some important events in the high school calendar, including homecoming.  At this time of the year, high school students are likely to be very busy with school schedules and extracurricular events, making it more likely that they will be distracted or indulge in dangerous practices, like speeding.

Another survey conducted by State Farm shows that most teenagers are very concerned about the possibility of being involved in an accident, but that doesn't deter them from indulging in dangerous practices like texting.  About 70% of the drivers said getting involved in an accident was foremost on their minds, but 56% percent of the teenagers admitted to texting while driving.  It appears that staying connected is more important to this generation of American motorists than for others, in spite of the evidence showing that texting while driving increases the risk of an accident. 

Besides, it appears that we haven't yet been able to do a good job of making the link between texting while driving and accidents as clear to teen motorists, as we have been able to do with drunk driving and accidents.

Police Looking for Owner of Pit Bull in Fatal Accident

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

It’s not every day that Los Angeles car accident lawyers come across a case where an auto accident is caused by an aggressive dog.  Yet that is exactly what apparently happened in Georgia last week. 

A 14-year-old girl was killed when she was struck by a car, as she was trying to get away from an aggressive dog.  The girl, Miracle Parham, was walking home when she came across the pit bull, which immediately began to act aggressive towards her.  As she was backing away from the dog, fearing for her safety, she was struck by a car.  Miracle died of her injuries.

Police will not be filing charges against the motorist because the girl was in the center of the road at the time of the accident.  They are however, looking for the owner of the pit bull.  From the information available, it seems that this accident could have been avoided if the owner of the pit bull had simply restrained his dog in his yard and prevented it from escaping. 

Police efforts to trace the owner of the pit bull are going in several different directions.  Neighbors in the area say there are at least two owners of aggressive pit bulls in the area.  Both of these dogs have, on earlier occasions, managed to escape from their yards and make it out into the streets where they have displayed aggressive behavior towards people.

It wouldn't surprise any Los Angeles dog bite lawyer to learn that both the owners of the dogs here deny that their dog was the one that Miracle encountered.  The unfortunate part of this entire incident is how preventable it was.  Owners of these breeds must understand that these animals can be extremely aggressive, and can intimidate other people, especially children, with disastrous consequences as happened here.

CA Woman Reportedly Fired for Reporting Bite Involving Boss's Dog

Monday, October 11, 2010

A case out of Oakland combines all elements of a dog bite lawsuit with facts that would interest any California employment and wrongful termination lawyer.  A woman there has filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against her employer, after reportedly being fired because she dared to report a bite involving her employer’s dog.  The woman, Pamela Reid, a former executive assistant to Mills College President Janet Holmgren, says that in August 2009, she suffered a dog bite involving Holmgren's dog.  The attack took place during a campus fundraising event that was held at Holmgren's house.  Reid suffered minor injuries during the bite.

She reported the bite to Oakland Animal Services, claiming that the dog, a Chihuahua terrier called Holly, was a vicious animal.  Five months later, she was terminated from her position.  She has now moved ahead with a wrongful termination lawsuit, but Holmgren thinks that the lawsuit is without merit.  The lawsuit seeks damages for lost wages, benefits and fees.

Most dog bite claims that Los Angeles dog bite lawyers come across involve aggressive breeds like pit bulls and Rottweilers.  But there are other breeds that are just as likely to bite.  

The fact is that a Chihuahua is just as likely to bite as other breeds.  In fact, these dogs have a reputation for biting, most likely because of a hyperactive disposition.  A Chihuahua that bites is typically doing so because of a history of abuse, or because they feel threatened because everyone and everything around them is so much bigger than they are.  That doesn't mean that if your Chihuahua is in the habit of nipping at people's heels and biting them ferociously, you should just stand back and laugh about it.  These bites can result in injuries that require a visit to the doctor.

Lederer & Nojima LLP Obtains More Than $2.5M for Injured Worker

Thursday, October 07, 2010

We are pleased to announce that the Los Angeles personal injury law firm of Lederer & Nojima LLP has obtained a judgment of $2,506,432.76 for a worker who sustained serious personal injuries while on a job site in Los Angeles.

The construction site accident occurred on April 18, 2008. Sergio Quintana had been hired by a contractor to perform work on a property belonging to Alvin and Carla Pittman. On the day of the accident, Mr. Quintana was told to undertake painting work on the property, as well as some other tasks. He was standing on scaffolding when the scaffolding shifted, causing Quintana to fall to the ground. He sustained several serious injuries, including severe fractures to his left ankle. He also developed an infection resulting from his injuries which required skin and muscle grafts. The scaffolding had been improperly designed and constructed, and had been erected on an unstable surface.

What made Mr. Quintana’s situation even more difficult was the fact that he was not eligible for worker’s compensation benefits. He had worked on the Pittman’s property less than 36 hours before his serious injuries and did not constitute an employee under California's workers compensation laws as defined in Labor Code section 3352(h). Our Los Angeles personal injury lawyers argued that the Pittman couple retained Quinata’s employer as a contractor without first verifying the competence and fitness of this contractor to perform the work. For instance, they failed to determine whether the contractor they hired had the proper license to perform the construction work. The Pittmans also maintained a dangerous condition on their property by having unstable scaffolding on the job site.

This worker was put to great anguish and trauma because of improperly designed and constructed scaffolding, erected on unstable ground. A construction worker may be greatly incapacitated and unable to work because of injuries like the ones that Mr. Quintana suffered. Accidents like these do not need to occur on a construction worksite. Scaffolding accidents are some of the most common on a construction worksite, and can be prevented if scaffolding is designed properly, constructed using high-quality materials and correctly placed on stable ground.

Current System Fails to Weed out Medically Unfit Truck Drivers

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s current rules fail to ensure that medically unfit truck drivers are kept off the roads.  As a result, thousands of truck drivers continue to drive with dangerous health conditions that range from diabetes and obesity to cardiac disease, with nothing to prevent them from doing so.  That dismal situation is the subject of an investigation by news21, a college journalism coalition.

In 2002, the National Transportation Safety Board recommended stronger medical health standards for truck drivers, and strict procedures in place to prevent medically unfit drivers from operating tractor-trailers.  The recommendation came in response to a bus accident in 1999 in Louisiana that killed 22 passengers, and was ultimately linked to a seriously ill driver who became incapacitated at the wheel.  Since the time those recommendations were made until 2008, there are estimated to have been 826 fatal commercial truck accidents involving medically unfit drivers.  These accidents include those that involve drivers with sleep apnea, because this is considered a medical condition that induces sleeplessness, drowsiness and therefore, fatigue.

The current system is rife with too many problems for Los Angeles truck accident lawyers to believe that there will be a solution soon.  For instance, there are a total of 400,000 medical practitioners across the country who are deemed eligible to issue medical certificates for more than 6 million commercial truck drivers.  The law isn't even very specific about the kind of medical practitioner who can conduct a medical exam.  A truck driver could be certified by a nurse assistant or a chiropractor.  That's just the situation with truckers who want to go the legal route in order to obtain a medical certificate.  Truckers who don't want to do so can simply go to the FMCSA website and download a Medical Examination Report for Commercial Driver Fitness Determination certificate.  The website also includes the Medical Examiner Certificate.  Drivers and doctors can then use these templates to forge their own fake medical certificates.  There is no system in place to check who issued a medical certificate, and there is no registry to track medical examination results.

The feds need to wake up to the complex problems involving commercial vehicle driver health.  Too many lives are lost every year in accidents caused by truck drivers too sick to be at the wheel.

California Budget Cuts May Impact the Safety of Los Angeles Motorists

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A directive by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger ordering several state agencies to immediately stop overtime payments, could mean that several essential functions are blocked because of lack of staff to carry them out.  For instance, one of the agencies that will be affected by the budgetary cuts is the California Highway Patrol. The block on overtime will mean that the agency will not be able to spare essential troopers for important accident prevention and safety functions.

That means that you will not see any more California Highway Patrol cars stationed outside construction zones to slow down traffic.  This would constitute a nonemergency function, and will not be eligible for state funds as long as this directive is in effect.  Besides, the California Highway Patrol will not be able to send any of its officers for sobriety checkpoints anywhere in California.  The California Highway Patrol has been doing essential work, conducting drunk driving crackdowns and sobriety checkpoints around California.  With the ban on non-emergency overtime, the agency will not be able to pay additional troopers, who can carry out these essential functions.

Los Angeles car accident lawyers believe the situation could get worse if the directive continues.  The California Highway Patrol says that in the absence of additional staff officers, calls to 911 centers may begin getting delayed.  We could also have fewer California Highway Patrol officers stationed at car safety seat inspection locations.  These are important functions of law enforcement officers, and the budget cuts could impact motorist safety.

The ban on overtime spending is part of the administration’s moves to deal with California's budget crisis.  It's not the first time that essential state spending has been impacted as the government struggles to find ways to respond to its financial crisis.  However, cutting funding to essential programs and placing citizens at risk is hardly the way to deal with California’s economic problems.

 


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