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Category Archives: Motor Vehicle Accidents

driverless car, San Jose peronsal injury attorneyFor the first time, according to reports, one of Google’s driverless cars was at fault for causing an accident in California. While there were no reported injuries in the crash, which occurred at very low speed while the car was attempting to merge back into traffic, the incident has raised some serious concerns about the ability of driverless technology to keep passengers and other drivers safe.  

Low-Speed Fender Bender

Last month, as part of the ongoing testing of the technology, a Google-owned Lexus with driverless capabilities was cruising the streets of Mountain View in Santa Clara County. Compliant with Google’s normal testing protocol, there was also a driver in the vehicle to supervise the process and to take over control in the event of a problem. As the vehicle approached an intersection to make a right turn, its sensors determined that the turn was blocked, so it began to merge back into the flow of traffic proceeding through the intersection. In the process of merging—reports indicate the Google car was travelling at about 2 miles per hour—the car brushed the side of a bus passing at about 15 miles per hour.

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auto insurance, car accidents, San Jose personal injury attorneyAfter you purchase your auto insurance, you rarely give it a second thought, other than to pay the bill. But, after you have been in a car accident, you will need to know how your insurance works and what it covers.

The Basics

California is a “fault” state. This means that unless you have a special type of coverage, your insurance will not pay for your injuries or property damage. You will need to file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company.

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blackout wednesday, drunk driving accident, San Jose Car Accident AttorneyAs you and your loved ones get together this week to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday, there is likely to be a vibrant discussion of plans to take advantage well-publicized sales the next day. For some, the shopping may even begin Thanksgiving night. The retail event known as Black Friday has been a part of American culture for many years now, however its bookend counterpart on the opposite side of Thanksgiving is quickly developing a reputation of its own, but for vastly different reasons. The day once innocently called Thanksgiving Eve by those anticipating the next day’s celebration, has become known as Blackout Wednesday to bartenders and law enforcement, and hospitals around the country are preparing for a marked increase in drunk-driving injuries and deaths. If Black Friday represents consumer indulgence, Blackout Wednesday is synonymous with overindulgence, but with much higher stakes.

Contributing Factors

There are number of reasons that the day before Thanksgiving has become one of the year’s busiest nights for bars and clubs. Among college students and recent graduates, many are able to make it home for the long weekend, taking at least one night to meet up with classmates and friends who have all gone their separate ways. Established professionals, likewise, are often off work early on that day and do not have to work Thanksgiving, so a happy hour beer can quickly turn into a full night out. Many also look forward to a big meal the next day, hopefully one that will provide relief from the inevitable hangover.

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truck accident, event data recorder, San Jose personal injury attorneyUncertainty surrounding a fatal tractor-trailer accident from last year has demonstrated to regulators the need for so-called black boxes on commercial vehicles. Event data recorders, or black boxes, have been in use in the aviation industry for more than half a century, and their installation on trucks, buses, and other vehicles could provide investigators with additional resources in determining what factors may have contributed to accidents and roadway incidents. 

Charter Bus Tragedy

In April of 2014, a FedEx truck pulling two 28-foot trailers and headed southbound on Interstate 5 in Northern California crossed the median into northbound traffic. The truck collided head-on with a charter bus carrying Los Angeles-area high school students on their way to a college orientation program, killing ten, including the drivers of both the truck and the bus. Investigation into the cause of the accident began immediately, with many suspecting that a mechanical failure or a medical episode on the part of the truck driver may have led to tragic accident.

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cell phone notification, distracted driving, San Jose Personal Injury LawyerFor years now, public awareness campaigns have been reinforcing the inherent danger of cell phone use while driving. In fact, one could argue that the war against texting and driving is nearly equivalent to the anti-drunk driving efforts of the 1980’s. Today, 46 states and the District of Columbia have instituted complete bans on texting while driving, while Texas and Missouri maintain bans for younger drivers. Only Montana and Arizona have no laws prohibiting such mobile device use. However, a new study suggests that simply hearing a cell phone notification may be just as distracting as actually using the device.

Interesting Research

Conducted by researchers at Florida State University, the study was published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology. Lead author Cary Stothart and his team examined the impact to an individual’s attention caused by a cell phone notification—either an audible tone or vibration—while performing a task that demanded concentration. Using a non-driving computer project, test subjects were asked to perform an attention-intensive task twice. During the second round, participants received either a call, a text, or no notification, but were not permitted answer the call or read the message. The subjects were not aware that the texts and calls were part of the study.

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