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CA injury lawyerWhen a driver takes their attention away from the task at hand, everyone is in danger. Not only are other motorists in danger, but pedestrians and bicyclists are also put at risk - and it is a big issue. The National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) reported that in 2016, around 3,450 people were killed in distraction-related accidents, or nine percent of all fatal accidents that year. Most of the conversation surrounding distracted driving focuses on cell phone usage, but many other things are actually included in the distracted driving conversation.

Manual Distractions

These type of distractions occur when a driver takes one or both hands off of the wheel for any reason. Even seemingly simple things like adjusting the air conditioner or turning up the music can distract you from actually driving. Examples of manual distractions include:

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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 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 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 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 lawyerAlthough bicycles are a great mode of transportation, they can also be dangerous due to the risks of sharing the road with larger and faster vehicles. Despite the use of bicycle lanes and other safety measures, cyclists are still likely to get into accidents with cars and pedestrians, although fatalities are more common with car accidents. When riding, cyclists are generally expected to follow the rules of the road as car drivers do, however, cyclists are not required to carry vehicle insurance. This can be a problem when a cyclist causes an accident with a car.

Liability Insurance

Car drivers are required to carry minimum insurance limits or otherwise show financial responsibility when operating cars in California. Cyclists are not required to carry any kind of insurance, however, there are some cyclists who opt to carry what is known as bicycle insurance, that offers coverage similar to that offered by car insurance. Depending on the individual insurance policy, this insurance can pay out a claim if the cyclist is responsible for causing an accident with a driver.

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San Jose car accident lawyerAnyone who owns and operates a car or a motorcycle on California roads is required to carry insurance to cover property damage and personal injury in the event of an accident. The liability insurance a car or motorcycle owner secures must cover minimum property damage as well as personal injury. The minimum limits on the insurance are the same for motorcycles and for vehicles. The minimum insurance coverage required is as follows:

  • $15,000 for injury or death to one person;
  • $30,000 for injury or death to more than one person; and
  • $5,000 for damage to property.

Anyone purchasing insurance may purchase additional coverage beyond these minimum amounts, and that is often the smart thing to do because these minimums would not be likely to cover the medical bills or property damages in a major car accident that results in catastrophic injuries.

Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage

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San Jose personal injury lawyerRecovering compensation after a car accident is not always easy. In some cases, the other driver’s insurance company works fast and resolves the issues of fault and damages relatively quickly and all parties are able to move on without any significant delays. In other cases, the insurance companies drag their feet and can keep a case pending for months and maybe years before it is settled. If a driver is injured in an accident with a negligent driver who is a government employee operating a government car, there may be additional delays due to the law governing how claims against the government may be handled.

Government-Related Accident Claims

It is not easy to sue the government in California, as in many other states, because government entities and some employees are immune from liability for acts that they take in their official capacities. Before deciding to sue the government or a government employee, you have to ensure that the conduct you are alleging is exempt from the broad immunity from liability enjoyed by the government, its employees, and, in some cases, its contractors.

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San Jose car accident lawyerWhile a number of situations can lead to injuries, motorcycle and car accidents are by far some of the most common causes for personal injury claims. A simple mechanical error, careless driving due to distraction, or operating a vehicle under the influence can mean tragic consequences for everyone involved in the collision.

Fortunately, reducing the number of auto-related injuries is possible when simple, proactive measures are taken behind the wheel. Avoid all of the following driving habits to prevent costly traffic violations, dangerous accidents, and needless injury:

  • Speeding - Driving too fast is an easy way to earn a ticket, but it is also one of the leading causes of car crashes. It often only takes one vehicle to cause an accident, so every driver on the road makes a difference. Under California law, speeding is considered a moving violation, which can mean fines of $435 or more and a requirement to appear in court;
  • Running red lights - It is easy to coast through a yellow light, but it is even easier to cut it dangerously close and accidentally run through a red light. Just like speeding, running a red light is considered a moving violation and will not only earn you a ticket, it also puts you at risk for causing a serious pedestrian or auto accident;
  • Driving with a known mechanical problem - A minor mechanical problem like a broken tail light can seem like a petty issue, but even simple mechanical problems can cause your vehicle to operate less efficiently on the road. In addition to being less safe, should police pull you over due to such a problem, you could be issued a citation; and
  • Inattention - This is possibly one of the most talked about dangers on the roadways today in addition to driving under the influence. Texting, playing with the radio or other devices, putting on makeup, eating, or tending to children while driving are all activities that endanger everyone on the road.

You can combat also combat potential roadway dangers by staying abreast of all changing weather and road conditions and planning ahead before you drive so you are focused on the road alone.

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fatal car accident, negligence per se, San Jose car accident lawyerLast week, a Los Gatos woman was killed in a car accident on Interstate 280 when her vehicle hit a bridge rail and flipped. According to reports, the 47-year-old driver—the car’s sole occupant—was pronounced dead at the scene and no other injuries were reported.

The California Highway Patrol received several reports from witnesses who said they saw the woman’s black Hyundai travelling north on I-280 and driving very fast. They also reported that she was passing other vehicles by going into the center median. As she approached the overpass at Elena Road in Los Altos Hills, her car hit the concrete and steel bridge rail, flipped over, and landed on its roof in the highway divide, killing the driver and igniting a grass fire.

Negligence Per Se in California Car Accidents

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pedal confusion, San Jose car accident lawyerIn late February, a driver crashed his vehicle into the front of a Walnut Creek restaurant. Investigators believe that the elderly driver accidentally hit the gas instead of the brake while trying to park in front of the building. Fortunately, no one sustained serious injuries, although authorities remain concerned, as the incident was the third car accident of this type to occur in the Contra Costa County town in recent months. If you have been injured in such an incident, a San Jose car accident lawyer can help you get the compensation you deserve.

Pedal Error Accidents

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), pedal error accidents usually have one of three causes:

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