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California accident lawyerEveryone has an equal right to use the road, whether they are driving a car, truck, or SUV, operating a tractor-trailer truck, or riding a motorcycle. However, out of these groups of drivers, motorcyclists are often at the highest risk of injury, since they do not have the protection or safety features provided by larger vehicles.

When you drive, you should do everything you can to follow good safety practices. This will not only reduce your own risk of injury, but it will help everyone else who shares the road with you stay safe as well. Unfortunately, many drivers have difficulty seeing motorcycles, or they do not pay enough attention to them. By following these tips, you can help keep everyone safe on the road and avoid motorcycle accidents:

  1. Watch for lane splitting - In California, it is legal for motorcyclists to ride in between lanes of vehicles traveling in the same direction, although the California Highway Patrol recommends that motorcycles should not drive more than 10 miles per hour faster than surrounding vehicles, and they should only drive between lanes when vehicles are moving at 30 miles per hour or slower. Drivers should be aware of any motorcycles that are lane splitting when they change lanes.

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California accident attorneyRecreational marijuana use will be legal in California starting on January 1, 2017. As the state prepares for this change in the law, lawmakers are looking to ensure safety on the road when people use marijuana. A recent new law brought the regulations for marijuana in line with those for drunk driving.

Prohibitions Against Marijuana Use While Driving or Riding in a Vehicle

Governor Jerry Brown recently signed SB-65 into law. This bill makes it illegal to smoke or consume cannabis while driving or riding in a vehicle in California, and it will go into effect on January 1. Violating this law is punishable by a fine of $70.

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California accident attorneyNew technologies are constantly being made available that improve our lives and offer a great deal of convenience. As the use of these technologies increases, legal questions also often arise about what happens when someone is injured while using them. One of the primary examples of a technology that may revolutionize our lives while raising questions about legal liability is that of self-driving cars.

Autonomous vehicles have the potential to change the way we use the road, but while manufacturers have been touting these vehicles’ safety features, and ride-sharing companies like Uber have been working to implement these cars in their fleets, the potential for auto accidents and injuries still exists. This was demonstrated in August 2017, when a car that was part of Uber’s autonomous vehicle test program was involved in an accident in San Francisco.

Legal Issues Surrounding Self-Driving Cars

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California accident lawyerDistracted driving is one of the greatest threats to safety on the road today, and using a cell phone or texting while driving results in thousands of deaths and hundreds of thousands of injuries in traffic accidents every year. While 14 states (including California) have banned the use of cell phones while driving, the number of accidents involving distracted driving continues to increase. In order to combat this trend, some states are looking to implement new solutions for enforcing distracted driving laws.

Possible New Technology for Detecting Distracted Driving

Some cities and states are looking into the possibility of using technological solutions to determine whether a driver was using their cell phone when an accident occurred. This type of “textalyzer” would be used by police officers to access a phone’s logs and see whether the phone was being used to make a call, send a text, or use an app prior to the accident.

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California injury laawyerThere are millions of semi-trailer trucks on the road in the United States, and the large size of these vehicles can make them especially dangerous in motor vehicle accidents. In order to provide a safe environment for drivers, the trucking industry must follow safety regulations that have been defined at both the state and federal levels. Updates to these regulations can have a major impact on road safety since thousands of people die in truck accidents every year.

Federal Law May Override California Regulations on Truck Driver Break Time

California has some of the most strict laws in the United States for transportation employees, requiring employers to provide drivers with a 30-minute meal break for every five hours they work and a 10-minute rest break every four hours. This law applies to any truck drivers who are driving through the state. However, a bill that was recently introduced to the United States House of Representatives would overrule any state-level regulations, forcing states to use less stringent federal regulations that mandate a 30-minute break for truck drivers after eight hours of work.

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San Jose car accident lawyerWhen you are involved in an auto accident, it is understandable that you may feel confused, angry, shaken, and frightened all at the same time. If you have been injured in any way, your emotions are likely to be amplified even more. It is important, however, to regain your composure, at least for a short time, and to make note of certain elements of the accident that could be very valuable in the future. Fortunately, advancing technology has made doing so easier than ever before.

A Look Back

A generation or two ago, it was almost entirely up to the police and insurance company investigators to determine exactly what happened in a car accident and which party was at fault. Those involved in the accident could do very little but notify the police and wait. They exchanged insurance information with one another, but unless one person happened to have a camera with him or her, documenting the accident scene was the responsibility of the responding officer.

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San Jose car accident lawyerAttention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a mental disorder that most people associate with school-aged children—for good reason. Estimates vary, but as many as 11 percent of American children aged 4-17 have received a diagnosis of ADHD in their lifetime, a percentage that represents about 6.4 million boys and girls. The condition can also persist into adulthood, and the nature of the disorder can make it difficult for adults to remain focused on certain tasks. In fact, ADHD has even been found to present an increased danger of a car accident among drivers who have been diagnosed. A new study, however, suggests that those who receive treatment for the disorder can help reduce their risk of an accident.

ADHD and Driving

In recent years, much has been said and written about the dangers of distracted driving—most notably in regard to cell phone use and texting while driving. But distractions are almost a way of life for those who have ADHD, even without a cell phone nearby. The disorder’s primary symptoms include difficulty with sustained attention, absent-mindedness, impulse control issues, and excitability, all of which can be extremely dangerous if they manifest while driving.

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San Jose car accident lawyerA traffic accident is almost always an extremely stressful experience, but hit and run accidents can be especially challenging to manage. There is often an increased sense of confusion and uncertainty because the other driver has fled the scene. However, it is important to understand the best way to respond to hit and run accidents because according to statistics compiled by AAA, as many as 11 percent of crashes that get reported to the police are hit and runs. If you have been involved in a hit and run, you have a number of paths to recovering damages for your injuries. Of these, the most efficient may be finding the other driver so he or she can be held liable.

Finding the Other Driver

Despite the fact that the other driver has left the scene of the accident, it may be possible to find him or her and hold him or her responsible for the damage that they caused. The immediate aftermath of the accident will likely be hectic for everyone in the vehicle, but the more identifying details that they can gather, the better off they will be. This includes noticing things like the other car’s make and model, its color, and its license plate number. Additionally, victims of hit and runs should also talk to any pedestrians or other witnesses who may have had a better view of the other vehicle to see if they have any information to share.

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San Jose car accident lawyerStatistics indicate that nearly two and a half million people are injured in car crashes each year, and many of those injures involve the victims back and spine. Capable of keeping an injured person out of work for extended periods of time or completely disabling a once able-bodied individual, these injuries can range significantly in their prognosis and potential compensation.

Soft Tissue Injuries 

Of all the back injuries, those to the soft tissue tend to be the most common. Experienced both in high-speed and low-impact crashes, injuries to the soft tissue in the back may include sprains, strains, or tears to the ligaments, muscles, or tendons. While these injuries typically heal over a relatively short time period, victims may need medical treatment or physical therapy. They may also miss time at work to heal from their injuries.

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San Jose car accident lawyerCalifornia roadways, it seems, are becoming more unsafe. While motor vehicle fatalities are up nationwide, the death rate in the Golden State rose faster than the national average. If a loved one has died in a car accident in California, you need an attorney with enough experience to handle such an important case. Accidents involving serious injury or death are often complex, requiring legal counsel who understands insurance companies and who is willing to take the case to trial.

Recent Data on Fatal Car Accidents

The troubling data concerning California’s rising roadway fatality rates comes from the National Safety Council (NSC). The NSC estimates that there were 3,680 motor vehicle deaths in California in 2016, representing an increase of about 13 percent from the previous year. Across the country, the number of roadway deaths also increased, but by not as much. Data shows that the United States saw a 6 percent increase in motor vehicle fatalities last year, meaning that California’s increase in fatal accidents was more than twice that of the country as a whole.

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San Jose car accident lawyerAccording to a published study, individuals who have trouble sleeping are more prone to car accidents than those who sleep normally. These drivers present a huge safety risk to other motorists and themselves.

A Look at the Numbers

The research was conducted by a team of European academics and the results were published in the Journal of Sleep Research. Their findings suggest that people who suffer from sleep disturbances are likely to be involved in accidents of all types, including car accidents. The study focused on those with sleep disturbances such as insomnia or sleep apnea. Of those surveyed:

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San Jose car accident lawyerWhen you are injured in a car accident caused by another party’s negligence, you will, most likely, have the right to collect compensation for your injuries. The amount of damages you may collect depends on a number of considerations. Some—such as medical expenses and lost wages—are relatively easy to calculate while others—such as pain and suffering—are much more complicated. If you hope to collect damages for your pain and suffering following an accident, it is important to understand what rights the law provides.

What the Law Says About Pain and Suffering

In a personal injury case, compensation for pain and suffering may also be called noneconomic damages or general damages. Under California law, the party who caused your accident may also be responsible for the physical and emotional discomfort you have suffered, as well as the negative impact—including inconvenience—of your injury on your life.

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San Jose car accident lawyerWhile cars and bicycles are supposed to share the road, every year thousands of bicyclists are injured by drivers who fail to follow all the safety rules. If you have been injured in a bicycle accident you need to understand what your rights are.

Who Is at Fault?

California law gives you the right to recover damages when you are injured because of someone else’s negligence. Deciding who is at fault for an accident, unfortunately, is not always straightforward.

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San Jose car accident lawyerAre you a millennial? If not, perhaps your son or daughter is. As you are probably aware, simply being part of a particular generation does not mean that you exactly the same as those of a similar age, but, over time, habits and trends begin to emerge—not all of them are positive or healthy. In fact, a recent survey found that those in one segment of the generation commonly known as millennials are among the most dangerous drivers on the road.

Who Are Millennials?

While there is no clear-cut dividing between one generation and the next, the media and sociologists often characterize people of a particular age group by using common, descriptive names. Those born during post-World War II baby boom—from about 1945 to 1965—are called Baby Boomers while those born in the two decades that followed are collectively known as Generation X. Individuals born between roughly 1982 and 2004 are generally referred to as millennials. These young men and women were the first to “come of age” in the new millennium; hence, the descriptive designation.

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San Jose car accident lawyerIf you have been in an auto accident, you may wonder if you need an attorney or if you can handle your case yourself. While not every accident requires professional legal assistance, an attorney can help make sure that you are fully compensated for your injuries

Case Valuation

One of the most important things a lawyer can do is value your case. He or she can help you develop an understanding of you how much you should be able to collect for your injuries. This is a complicated calculation as no two cases are the same. An attorney will look at previous, similar cases from the same area to value your case. In addition, an attorney will estimate the future medical treatment you will likely require.

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San Jose car accident lawyerOnce you purchase your auto insurance policy, you may hardly think about it again other than to pay the bill. If, however, you are involved in a car accident, it is important to understand how your insurance works and what the policy covers.

Auto Insurance Basics

California is a “fault” state which means that, unless you have certain types of coverage, your insurance will not pay for your own injuries or property damage. You will need to file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company, presuming he or she was at fault for the accident.

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San Jose car accident lawyerWhen you have been hurt in a car accident or any other type of incident caused by the actions or negligence of another, you may be entitled to seek compensation for your injuries. Such compensation is usually intended to cover your medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and other measurable losses, but may also include non-economic damages such as pain and suffering or considerations for scarring or disfigurement. Collecting any kind of compensation can be challenging, however, and it is important to understand the steps that may be involved.

Filing a Claim

In most cases, your first step after an accident is to file a claim with the insurance company of the party responsible for the accident. The claims process typically includes the exchange of pertinent information between the parties, as well as any reports filed with the police or other law enforcement agencies. While the case is in the claims stage, you will likely need to offer some proof to the insurance company to show that their insured was at fault. Depending on the circumstances, the insurance company may offer you a settlement to offset your losses. If you accept the settlement, you waive your right to future legal action, so you should never accept a proposal without speaking with your attorney.

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San Jose car accident lawyerOver the last several years, ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft have become part of the global culture. There have been controversies in many areas, as one might expect, but most consumers—especially those in younger demographic groups appreciate having additional alternatives to traditional car services and taxi cabs. What happens, however, when an Uber ride ends in an accident and you are injured? Is the driver liable for your injuries or does the company bear some responsibility as well? This is the question that will need to be answered by the courts once again as a 24-year-old woman has sued San Francisco-based Uber over an accident which left her paralyzed from the chest down.

Ridesharing Confusion

The concept of “ridesharing” can be rather misleading. Ridesharing has long been a staple on college campuses where students looking for a convenient and inexpensive way home for the weekend could connect with a driver headed in the same direction. The term, however, as it has been adopted by car-for-hire companies like Uber is somewhat of a misnomer. Uber drivers are not really picking up additional rides en route to a similar destination; they are dispatched similar to a taxi or limousine service. As such, riders expect their drivers to be courteous, safe, and professional.

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San Jose Car Accident LawyerAs modern technology continues to progress, we rely on it more and more in our daily lives. We use GPS on road trips instead of asking for directions. We count on airbags in our cars to help reduce the risk of injury in an auto accident. And soon, we will be able to pay minimal attention during our daily commute as self-driving vehicles do most of the work.

The road toward technological advances, however, is often littered with obstacles. In some cases, it is people who are reluctant to embrace change. In others, it is the innovation itself that does not quite meet expectations. Such has been the case with electric vehicles, especially those equipped with anti-collision systems, and now, a renowned electric car manufacturer is facing a federal lawsuit over alleged defects in a popular model.

California Crash Injures Two

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San Jose car accident lawyerCalifornia recently expanded its distracted driving laws to include activities such as taking selfies and surfing the internet. The new law goes into effect January 1, 2017, and aims to reduce the number of car accidents caused by distracted driving.

Old Law vs. New Law

The existing law in California prohibits drivers from using cell phones to write, send, or read texts or emails unless the wireless device can be operated by voice, hands-free. By comparison, the new law prohibits a wider range of behavior. The new law says that a driver is also prohibited from “holding and operating” a wireless device.

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Janoff Law,
A Professional Corporation
1570 The Alameda, Suite 221, San Jose, CA 95126 408-286-2300
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