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Sacramento California Personal Injury Law Blog

President Trump draws attention to driving while impaired

While most California residents understand the need for personal responsibility to avoid driving while impaired, not everyone shares the sentiments. In the United States, one person dies in an alcohol-related automobile accident approximately every 50 minutes. Each one of these accidents drastically changes the lives of the family members of the victims. Every time someone gets behind the wheel while impaired, he or she risks harming bystanders, passengers in his or her vehicle and other drivers.

The extent of the damage that driving while impaired can cause is emphasized by statistics showing that in 2016 alone, more than 10,000 people died in accidents connected to alcohol. This means alcohol-related accidents accounted for 28 percent of traffic fatalities in that year. This is a sobering trend and one that must be reversed.

3 questions about how to handle a dog bite

Dogs can be a bit unpredictable at times and hard to read. If they could speak to us like Doug in the Pixar movie Up, things would be a lot easier.

A dog you may expect to be friendly could end up turning aggressive without warning, leading to a bite injury. If you are bitten by a dog, there are likely a few questions you may have about the situation. Here are some answers.

Truck driver drug arrests go unnoticed by trucking companies

California motorists might be surprised to learn that when truck drivers are taken into custody after being suspected of drug use, the trucking companies they work for may not be notified. Further, according to a report from the Governors Highway Safety Association, illegal drugs played factors in at least 40 percent of accidents that left drivers fatally injured in 2015.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration does require drug testing for some drivers under specific circumstances. For example, new CDL drivers are required by law to be drug tested before they can be permitted to operate a commercial vehicle on public roads. After a fatal truck accident, drivers must also be tested for drugs or alcohol. Further, drivers may be required to undergo random drug testing or if there is a reasonable suspicion that a truck driver is using drugs.

Study shows rise in car crashes after launch of Pokémon Go

Many people still remember the reports of people injuring themselves and others while playing the smartphone-based game called Pokémon Go. While the game has lost many of its millions of players since its launch back in July 2016, the danger that the game poses, especially to drivers, is still great. Residents of California should know about a study that two Purdue University professors undertook to show how the game can contribute to the rise in traffic accidents.

The authors analyzed nearly 12,000 accident reports made in Tippecanoe County, Indiana, in the months before and after the launch of Pokémon Go. They then cross-referenced this with the location of Pokéstops, which are various places that players must visit as the game progresses. Intersections within 100 meters of a Pokéstop saw a greater than 25 percent increase in accidents.

Traumatic brain injuries can have life-changing consequences

Big rig accident injuries are often the cause of open wounds and fractured bones for which victims receive immediate treatment. However, if you have suffered head trauma, it may only become evident later. Sometimes, diagnosis of traumatic brain injury takes place weeks or even months after the injury occurred. For that reason, a medical examination immediately after any accident is essential.

A bump, blow or jolt to your head, or a penetrating injury can disrupt the standard functions of your brain. The result may be traumatic brain injuries, which could be deadly.

What to know after being involved in a truck crash

When accidents occur between large truck and smaller vehicles, those who are in the smaller vehicles generally fare worse than the truck drivers. An accident may occur even if drivers are operating their cars or motorcycles safely on California roadways. This is because truck drivers may be distracted, impaired or other driving in an unsafe manner. In the aftermath of an accident, it is a good idea to call 911 for help.

If a driver can get his or her vehicle off the road, it is worth doing so. Keeping roadways clear after a crash may help to prevent secondary accidents or other issues that may jeopardize a person's safety. As with any other crash, drivers should call police, exchange information and gather as much evidence as possible from the scene. This may be done by taking written notes or photographs.

Don't take dangerous property conditions lying down

A slip-and-fall accident occurs when you slip or trip and suffer an injury as a result. Sometimes these types of accidents are the result of the poor maintenance efforts of the owner of the property where your accident occurred.

Property owners in California have a duty to make sure that those who visit their properties can move about safely. Thus, if a property owner's carelessness caused you to suffer injuries due to dangerous property conditions, you have the right to seek to hold him or her accountable.

Thanksgiving, a day of car wrecks and heart attacks

California residents know how hectic it can get around Thanksgiving. What many don't know is that Thanksgiving day gives rise to more crashes and coronary events than any other holiday. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has stated that in 2012, there were 764 fatal crashes on Thanksgiving, compared to 654 on Christmas in that year. In addition, there were over 50,000 non-fatal accidents.

Furthermore, the NHTSA's data showed that 40 percent of those fatalities involved a drunk driver. Also, 60 percent did not wear a seatbelt. The agency advises drivers every Thanksgiving season to make sure their vehicle tires are properly inflated and their windshield wipers are working optimally. It also stresses the importance of planning ahead and leaving enough time for delays arising from adverse weather.

Many slip and falls caused by poor surface resistance

CNA Financial Corporation has released a study on slip and fall accidents that may make business owners in California and across the nation think twice about the safety of their floors. Researchers studied the records of all the slip and fall liability claims that were filed against the company between January 2010 and December 2016, coming to several expected and unexpected conclusions.

About 50 percent of surveyed sites had flooring with poor slip resistance. The American National Standards Institute has set a minimum for what are called dynamic coefficient of friction (DCOF) levels; these floors failed to reach this important minimum. The businesses that had the most claims filed against them were in the retail trade and real estate fields.

Factors involved in trucking accidents

Many California motorists have experienced driving near large trucks and the fear that often elicits. Large truck accidents resulted in 3,852 fatalities in 2015, with 69 percent of the victims being occupants in passenger vehicles, while 15 percent were bicyclers, pedestrians and motorcyclists. A 2016 study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety revealed some of the factors involved in large truck accidents and explored some ways to prevent this.

While the situation has improved over the years, there is still concern with the high number of casualties resulting from semi truck accidents. The IIHS study found that vehicle defects, such as brake violations, loading or mechanical defects, significantly increase the chances of trucks being involved in accidents. Driver age also played a role. Drivers 60 and older had a higher risk of crashing than drivers 30 to 59. Fatigue also played a role in the collisions, with drivers who had been behind the wheel for at least 12 hours after they had had an extended sleep being 86 percent more likely to crash than drivers who were more refreshed. People who drove for more than five hours without a break had double the risk of crashing than those who did not.

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