High-Speed, Alcohol Blamed for Fatal Los Angeles Car Accident

Monday, July 19, 2010

Alcohol and speed can be a dangerous combination.  A Los Angeles family found this out the hard way after their car was involved in a crash allegedly caused by a drunk and speeding driver.  The accident occurred in East Los Angeles County this week on a road between La Puente and the City of Commerce. 

According to preliminary investigations, a white sedan carrying a family of four was struck by a Jeep Cherokee traveling at high speeds.  The man, who was driving the white sedan, was killed in the accident.  At least four people, including the man's children and a woman in the car, were seriously injured in the crash.  Damage from the accident was severe, and the survivors had to be extricated using the Jaws of Life. There was only one passenger in the Jeep Cherokee, and he's expected to survive his injuries.

Traffic investigators with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department say they have no idea yet what speeds the Jeep Cherokee was traveling at the time of the crash, but the speed was high judging from the impact of the accident.  The impact broke the wheel assembly and the axle of the Jeep Cherokee, and instantly killed the driver of the sedan.  The drunk driver has now been arrested. 

It's not uncommon to see speed being involved in accidents caused by drunk driving.  Driving under the influence severely impairs a person's judgment, and his ability to make rational decisions.  It leads to lack of inhibition and recklessness, and the person may indulge in dangerous behaviors, like driving at high speeds.  Speeding and alcohol use are two of the most common causes of accidents.  Nationwide, speeding is the number one killer, contributing to 31% of all accident fatalities.  It is followed closely by intoxicated driving. 

Strong efforts by auto safety advocates and Los Angeles car accident lawyers to bring awareness to this problem, has led to a decline in the number of people being killed every year in alcohol-related accidents over the past decade.

Rollover Accidents

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Rollover accidents are some of the most dangerous of auto accidents. They only makeup of a small percentage of the total number of motor vehicle accidents in the United States, but comprise a large number of fatalities.

In 2002, only 3% of accidents involving passenger cars, pickup trucks and sport-utility vehicles, were rollovers. However, these accidents resulted in 33% of the total number of fatalities that year. That same year, more than 10,000 people died in rollover accidents. On an average, approximately 8,000 people are killed every year in rollover accidents.

Often, rollover crashes are caused because of hydroplaning, a tire blowout, loss of control of the car and other such causes. There are some things that motorists can do to prevent rollover risks.

The important thing to do is not to panic when you feel like your car is going off the road, or that you're losing control. Experts advise you to gradually reduce speeds if your vehicle begins to go off the road, and slowly attempt to steer it back onto the road. Make sure that your tire pressure is optimum. Avoid overloading your vehicle.  Check the maximum load limit which will be included in your vehicle user’s manual. Check tire treads often. A tire blowout is very often the cause of rollover accidents.

If you're in the market for a new car, consider models that come with Electronic Stability Control systems. These technologies have proved to be very effective in preventing rollover crashes. These technologies help drivers retain control of the vehicle by steering the car in the intended direction.

Of course, the simplest thing you can do to prevent the risk of injury during a rollover, is the one Los Angeles car accident attorneys never tire of stressing. Always wear your seatbelts. Approximately 70% of all fatalities in rollover accidents were not wearing seat belts at the time of the crash. Ejection is a major cause of serious or fatal injuries during rollovers.

Check if your car has side-impact airbags that can be deployed as rollover airbags. Not all side impact airbags are deployed during a rollover. Check with your dealer to see if you have this feature. Auto safety features like these can dramatically reduce your chances of injuries during a rollover.

Focus on Trailer Towing Accidents this Summer

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Many Americans tend to schedule a move for a summer, which means the next two months will see more numbers of passenger vehicles towing trailers on the highways. It's the right time to draw attention to the fact that every year hundreds of people are killed or seriously injured in accidents caused when unsecured or poorly secured trailers come loose from vehicles.

USA Today has a report on how states around the country are acting to toughen existing laws aimed at preventing runaway trailers. According to federal data, every day one person dies in such accidents across the country. Most of the accidents occur when a poorly secured trailer goes out of control. Such trailers can careen into traffic around the vehicle, causing serious collisions, multi-vehicle accidents, and pileups.

Motorists, who are unfortunate enough to be in the vicinity when the trailer breaks loose, are at serious risk of catastrophic injuries. Nationwide, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 15,211 people were killed in trailer accidents between 1975 and 2008. According to Ron Melancon, who is a trailer safety activist from Virginia, California has seen major loss of life and property in trailer accidents. Since 1975, 1,706 people have died in trailer accidents in California. Since 1988, 51,806 people have been injured, and 91,268 cars have been destroyed in these accidents. The toll in damage and fatalities has been devastating. During this period of time, the cost of property damage from these accidents has touched $189 million, and the cost of fatalities from these accidents has topped $4 billion. Overall the economic cost of such accidents has topped $4.87 billion.

California is one of several states that require safety chains that prevent a trailer from going out of control when it breaks free from the vehicle. Safety chains in California must have a breaking strength that is equal to or greater than the total weight of the towed material. According to trailer safety activists and Los Angeles personal injury attorneys, the only ways to prevent these accidents is education, awareness, enforcement and enhanced engineering and design that can minimize the impact of human error.

Top 10 Most Aggressive Dogs

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Pit-bull lovers will tell you that their favorite breed is one of the most maligned breeds of dogs out there. However, it's not entirely without reason that pulls are considered some of the most dangerous dogs. These dogs, along with a few more in the list below, comprise a majority of the dog bite attacks that take place in the US annually.

According to dog bite experts and dog bite attorneys in Los Angeles, the most dangerous breeds of dogs in the US are

Pit Bulls

These are probably one of the most common breeds that Los Angeles dog bite lawyers come across. These are very aggressive breeds, and it's the reason why they are some of the most sought after dogs for dog fights. Pit bulls don't nip or bite. They lock their jaws onto the flesh of the person or animal, and don't let go.


These dogs have strong territorial instincts which is why they're so aggressive. Owners love them because they're strong guard dogs. Unfortunately, it’s these very qualities that often involve them in dog bite attacks.

German Shepherds

These are the favored dogs of local law enforcement agencies, and can be very aggressive when provoked.  


These are highly intelligent animals. According to a study, between 1979 and 1997, Huskies were involved in more than 15% of all dog bite-related fatalities in the US.

Alaskan Malamutes

These are highly energetic animals, and should only be reared by owners who can devote the time needed to exercise these dogs often. When they become bored, they become fidgety and restless.


These are often used as guard dogs because of their aggressiveness and intelligence. They can be very aggressive when provoked.

Chow Chow

These are relatively small animals, but can be aggressive. In the case of these animals, it's usually poor breeding that leads to the aggressive behavior.

Presa Canario

These dogs were originally bred to guard cattle. They can be intimidating animals, because they have a complete lack of fear and are very powerful.


Boxers are not typically regarded as an aggressive breed. However, poor training can lead to the development of aggressive tendencies.


Everybody’s favorite dog from the 101 Dalmatians movies can actually be quite aggressive. These dogs can be very energetic, and need plenty of exercise.

Treating a Dog Bite

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Dog bites are some of the most common causes of injuries in children. Every year, about 1.4 million dog bites are recorded in the United States, and an overwhelming majority of these involve little children. Many of these bites end with serious and mutilating injuries.

Treatment of a dog bite will always include first aid and cleaning. Soon after the bite has occurred, wash the area with warm water. If there is any bleeding, stop it by placing pressure around the wound. Besides, your child might require a tetanus shot, and the doctor may also prescribe antibiotics. An antibiotic program of between 3 to 7 days is considered ideal. If your child has had less than three doses of tetanus shots, here she might need a shot after a dog bite.  An additional shot may be necessary if it has been more than five years since the last tetanus shot, or if the bite was serious.

In case of a stray dog or a dog whose owner is not available, it can be hard to verify if the dog has been vaccinated. Your pediatrician may therefore recommend a rabies immunoglobulin vaccine. In such cases, your child may need a vaccine within 48 hours of the bite. If you're not sure whether your child needs a rabies shot, it's best to contact your pediatrician. You can also ask your local animal control office.  However, the chances of a rabies-infected dog biting your child, are rare. Rabies has been largely eradicated from the US, and most rabies cases now only involve wild animals like raccoons.

A dog bite attorney in Los Angeles would advise you to focus harder on preventing dog bites. Teach your child about the right way to behave around dogs. Teach your child never to tease, pull or even pet a strange dog.

Stem Cell Therapy Used to Treat Blindness Caused by Burns

Friday, June 25, 2010

It’s being hailed as one of the most dramatic breakthroughs in the use of stem cell therapy to treat medical conditions. A group of Italian researchers announced this week that they have successfully used stem cell therapy to reverse blindness caused as a result of burn injuries to the eye.

The researchers treated these patients with transplants consisting of the patient’s own stem cells. In all, 107 patients were treated with stem cell therapy to treat their blindness. The treatment was found to be completely successful in 82 of the patients, and partially successful in 14 others. The researchers monitored the patients over a period of years, and found that in some patients, the benefits of the stem cell therapy lasted for up to 10 years.

These persons had become blind because of burn injuries to the eye from splashing heavy-duty cleansers and cleaning solutions at home or in the workplace. These burn injuries had caused corneal damage, and until now, the only treatment programs that these patients could hope for, were corneal transplants in which the patients received artificial corneas, or stem cell transplants from a cadaver. Both procedures are very risky. In a corneal transplant, there's always the risk of infection and glaucoma, while in a stem cell transplant from a cadaver, there is a high risk of rejection.

In this new study however, researchers used stem cells from the healthy eye, and transplanted these into the damaged eye. That means there was no chance of rejection. However, the patients who might benefit from this therapy need to have at least one healthy eye. This treatment will not work in persons who are blind in both eyes. It can also offer no benefits to persons with optic nerve damage or macular degeneration.

Stem cell therapy has been used with some degree of success in treating a number of cancers, and research into its use is ongoing in the treatment of brain injury, spinal cord injury and other debilitating injuries. However, its use in the treatment of blindness and eye injuries has been relatively low profile, at least until now. California burn injury lawyers, who follow stem cell therapy research initiatives, will be very encouraged at these new developments.

Postal Service Investigating Death of Mail Carrier in Dog Bite

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The death of a California letter carrier earlier this month, after a serious injury sustained during a dog bite in May, has once again highlighted the special dangers that postal workers face from vicious dogs.

Eddie Lin had been going about his normal mail delivery duties on May 23rd, when he happened to catch the attention of a Rottweiler in a house. What happened next was the stuff of every letter carrier's nightmare. The animal managed to make its way out of the house, and chased Lin down the road. It finally lunged at the letter carrier, knocking him to the ground. Lin hit his head on the ground, and suffered serious brain injuries. He was found by a passerby a little while later. He was rushed to the hospital, where he remained in intensive care until he died on June 3rd. It's not known yet if the Rottweiler managed to bite Lynn.

Oceanside police are investigating the incident, and the US Postal Inspection Service has already started its investigations into the attack. The Rottweiler has since been euthanized. Police have not determined if they are going to bring criminal charges against the owner of the dog.

The attack came just at the end of National Dog Bite Prevention Week, a nationwide effort supported by dog bite attorneys in Los Angeles, and aimed at bringing attention to the approximately 1.4 million dog bites that occur in the US every year. Postal workers, because of the nature of their duties, are at a much higher risk of suffering a dog bite than the general population. According to the Postal Service, last year more than 2,800 mail carriers suffered dog bite incidents. Letter carriers in California seem to be especially prone to dog bite attacks. Most of these attacks occurred in the Orange County and Los Angeles county areas.

There is much that property owners can do to prevent their dogs from attacking postal workers. Have warning signs posted outside the gate, informing visitors of a dog on the premises. Make sure your dog is totally secured when the mail carrier comes in to deliver the mail. Make sure your dog is restrained, and unable to escape your property.

Britney Spears Headed Toward a Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

It's back to Scandal Island for Britney Spears. This time, the troubled pop queen is facing the prospect of an embarrassing sexual harassment lawsuit filed by a former bodyguard. The bodyguard in question, 29-year-old Fernando Flores alleges that he was the object of unwanted attention from the pop queen. Flores has just quit his job as Spears’ bodyguard.

Flores has not yet gone ahead with his sexual harassment lawsuit against Spears, but is reportedly considering doing so. According to his friends and family, Spears had a propensity for parading around naked in front of him. She often made unwelcome advances, including inviting him into the bedroom. Flores says he was under constant pressure to respond to her advances, and feared that if he didn't do so, he would lose his job.

Being bodyguard to one of the world's most desirable women might be a dream job for many, but Flores says it was a complete nightmare. She constantly ran around the house without any clothes on, and was always yelling at her bodyguards. However, he bore it all until the day Spears was photographed without wearing underclothes. Her father blamed her bodyguards, including Flores, for allowing her to run out of the house without wearing a bra. While all the bodyguards seem to have taken the brunt of Spears’ behavior, it seems to have been Flores to whom Spears took a special liking.

Inviting someone into your bedroom and running around naked in front of them might constitute harassment under California law. Typically, a Los Angeles sexual harassment lawyer might be able to file a claim if the situation includes:

  • Unwanted sexual advances
  • Making comments of a sexual nature
  • Making sexual slurs
  • Making obscene gestures
  • Making offers of promotions and other employment benefits in exchange for sexual favors
  • Making threats after the victim rejects sexual advances
  • Mistreatment based on gender
  • Physical harassment by touching and groping

Metrolink Engineer Found Tampering with Surveillance Cameras

Thursday, June 10, 2010

There are many factors that Metrolink accident lawyers would blame for the declining standards of safety recently on Southern California’s commuter system. These include lack of oversight, regulatory apathy, and poor employee training. It seems like we can also add sabotage to that list. According to Metrolink, one of its engineers was found tampering with the surveillance cameras that were recently installed in response to the deadly Chatsworth train accident in 2008.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the engineer who works for an operating contractor was found trying to block the cameras at least three times. The engineer has now been barred from working on any Metrolink train. This was not the first time that engineers and conductors have been found trying to sabotage - which is what this really is - video surveillance systems. In March, another engineer was found trying to use a piece of paper to block the camera. Investigations into that incident are still ongoing.

Any Los Angeles personal injury attorney would be shocked to learn that this particular engineer is still running Metrolink trains. We’re almost afraid to ask why this engineer is still being allowed to run the trains. It shouldn't take an investigation to know when a crew member simply does not believe in high adherence to safety standards. It was an engineer texting at the controls of the train that resulted in the deadly crash which killed 25 people and injured more than 130 others. It was the deadliest train accident in Southern California in recent history, and soon after, Metrolink installed the surveillance cameras.

The unions have been opposed to the surveillance cameras from the very beginning. In fact, the union currently has a lawsuit pending against the use of the surveillance cameras. Earlier this year, the union also created a ruckus over the use of psychological assessment testing to screen potential candidates for important operator positions at Metrolink.

Los Angeles Mayor Villaraigosa Takes No Texting While Driving Pledge

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

The next step in the battle against distracted driving seems to be The Pledge. Talk show queen Oprah Winfrey set off the trend on 30 April this year, when her show featured a special segment called “National No Phone Zone Day.”

On that show, which was graced by the likes of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, as well as representatives of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Governor’s Highway Safety Association, Oprah took the pledge to never use a cell phone while driving and to make the car a “no phone zone.” She also asked for viewers to do the same. People were asked to sign up for the pledge on the website, and promise never to use their cell phones while at the wheel.

This week, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa took the pledge to never indulge in text messaging while driving, although not on Oprah's website. The mayor has written a special piece for Huffington Post, announcing his pledge and calling on the more than 37,000 employees of the city to do the same. The mayor is taking part in a special anti-distracted driving campaign by AT&T to combat texting while driving. The campaign is supported by the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles Fire Department. These are some of the people who see firsthand the effects of texting while driving-related accidents.

Any Los Angeles personal injury attorney however, will be even more excited to note that the Los Angeles Unified School District is participating in the campaign. Teenagers are some of the biggest users of texting devices, and distracted driving has added another risk to the already high accident potential of these motorists. Getting school authorities to become more involved not just in raising awareness about the problem, but in nudging students to switch off their cell phones while driving, is no small feat, and is likely to reap great results.


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