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Sacramento California Personal Injury Law Blog

I got hurt in an hotel. Who is liable for my injuries?

When you check into a California hotel, you likely assume that you will be safe and free from unnecessary risks. Unfortunately, even the nicest of hotels can be guilty of negligent maintenance, and the result could be injuries to innocent guests. If you were hurt while staying in a hotel, it is possible that your accident was not your fault. 

One of the most common sources of accidents and injuries on public property are wet floors or conditions that cause slip-and-fall accidents. These are not the only reasons that hotel guests can experience injuries, but factors such as poorly lit stairwells, electrical hazards, broken elevators and other issues can cause harm as well. If you were hurt in a hotel, you may have grounds to move forward with a premises liability claim.

Airbag recall impacts millions of vehicles in the U.S.

Auto parts company Takata Corp. has issued recalls for 3.3 million defective airbag inflators, adding to a recall that was already the largest in U.S. history. Drivers in California may want to check if their vehicles are impacted, though it is focused on vehicles in other states. At least 15 car manufacturers made use of Takata airbags, including major brands like Toyota, Honda, General Motors, Tesla and BMW. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released a letter saying the recall covers vehicles from the 2009 model year.

The NHTSA letter said the recall addressed vehicles that were ever registered in one of twenty-two states, including Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Michigan, Montana, New York, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. The problem with the airbags is their inflators, which may explode as a result of propellant degradation. The degradation may result in tiny pieces of metal being sprayed in the vehicle's cabin when the airbag deploys. The defective inflators have been blamed for the deaths of 13 people.

Tips for coping with road rage

Road rage can happen any time or any place, and California with its crowded freeways is no exception. Encountering an angry motorist is often stressful; however, there are some ways a calmer driver can defuse the situation.

When encountering a driver showing signs of road rage, calmer motorists should resist the temptation to honk their horns, make obscene gestures or flash lights. While doing so may seem warranted, it could inflame the enraged driver even more, making the situation worse. In a worst-case scenario, road rage could lead to a car accident. If a motorist discovers an angry driver behind them, they should signal their intent to move into a right lane so that driver can pass them. Doing so may defuse the situation.

Getting into an accident with an Uber driver

As ride-sharing companies, like Uber and Lyft, become more popular, some California residents may be interested in learning what would happen if a driver for one of those companies gets into a car accident. According to some lawyers, it is very difficult to file a lawsuit against the companies directly as the drivers are independent contractors and not employees.

However, those who are injured after being struck by an Uber or Lyft driver or are in a car accident involving these drivers may still have legal recourse. For example, if a person is a passenger in a vehicle that is being driven by a driver working for a ride-sharing company, it is recommended that they do several things. He or she should take pictures of the Lyft or Uber crash, call 911, write down the names, numbers and email addresses of anyone who witnessed the accidents and take screenshots of the ride-sharing vehicle and the receipt that is on his or her smartphone. If there were injuries or medical bills incurred, the person should contact an attorney.

Car accidents can happen to anyone

California residents or others may assume that accidents are caused by drivers with low skill levels. However, the truth is that anyone can get into an accident, and there are several common scenarios in which crashes occur. One of the most common scenarios involves drivers that fall asleep while behind the wheel. In some cases, drivers experience what is known as microsleep, where a person goes dormant for a few seconds at a time without knowing it.

Losing control of a vehicle is another reason why many car crashes occur. For instance, a person may take a turn too fast or drive faster than is safe for his or her vehicle. Individuals may also overrate their driving skill. A study found that roughly half of the respondents thought they were in the top 20 percent when it came to driving skill.

I've been in a motor vehicle crash. What should I do?

You make your way to town, ready to conquer the day. However, you notice a car quickly approaching you, and you know that something is not right. The car never comes to a stop; instead, it crashes into your car, leaving you with injuries.

Unfortunately, car accidents sometimes happen due to the carelessness of other drivers. A few tips may help you to take the necessary steps to protect your best interests following a motor vehicle crash in California.

Driver safety improved by automobile technologies

From people texting and driving to drunk or dangerous drivers, there are an array of risks that present themselves to people in California on the state's roadways. From crawling through congested highways to negligent drivers not keeping their eyes on the road, drivers and passengers are at risk due to others' behavior. At the same time, the situation has improved in many ways; the chances of death in a car crash have dropped significantly due to advanced safety technologies and other features that strengthen protection for people in late-model cars and other passenger vehicles.

These safety improvements have meant that deaths have dropped significantly in auto accidents, according to a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. For vehicles produced in 2011, nine had driver death rates of zero through the year 2012 according to IIHS statistics. Improved car design, including the construction and popularity of different types of vehicles and the installation of advanced safety technologies, have contributed to the decline in deaths. The IIHS researchers estimated that 7,700 additional lives were saved in 2012 that would have been lost had safety technology remained the same as it was in 1985.

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.

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