Recently in Auto & Car Accidents Category

March 28, 2014

Seven Injured in Lake Los Angeles Car Accident

Seven people were injured, at least one critically, in a two-vehicle crash in Lake Los Angeles the evening of March 27, 2014.

According to a CBS Los Angeles news report, the major injury collision occurred at the intersection of 165th Street and Avenue S east of Palmdale.

Initial reports state that as many as three people were in critical condition and that the crash involved two vehicles colliding head on.

Some of the crash victims were airlifted to a regional hospital. Two of those victims were children. Four others suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

Officials say that the crash occurred on a dark and isolated stretch of road. The cause of the crash is under investigation.

Officials say the accident

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February 14, 2014

Report Shows Fewer Children Are Dying In Car Accidents

A new government report is showing that fewer children are dying in car accidents.

According to a CBS News report, a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report shows that over the last 10 years, child traffic accident deaths declined by 43 percent. Health officials say the use of car seats and booster seats drove this decline.

However, sadly, one-third of the children 12 and under who died in 2011 were not buckled up. The CDC report focused on crash deaths of children 12 and under and covered 2002 through 2011 when traffic deaths overall declined to levels not seen since the 1940s.

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December 2, 2013

Three Injured in Perris after Car Crashes into Restaurant

Three people were injured, one seriously, after a car plowed into a crowded restaurant in Perris the afternoon of November 24, 2013. According to a news report on CBS Los Angeles, the injury crash occurred at the Sol y Mar Mexican Grill in the 2900 block of Perris Boulevard. One diner suffered major injuries and two others who were hit suffered minor to moderate injuries. All three were transported to the hospital. Police say the 19-year-old driver, later identified as Mario Balverde, was trying to leave the parking lot when he lost control of the vehicle. He was arrested and booked on suspicion of felony DUI resulting in injuries.

My thoughts and prayers are with those who were injured in this incident. I wish them all the very best for a speedy and complete recovery.

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November 22, 2013

Former NFL Player Thomas Howard Killed in California Car Crash

Former NFL linebacker Thomas Howard suffered fatal injuries in a car crash in Alameda, California. According to a news report in the San Jose Mercury News, the fiery crash occurred early morning on November 18, 2013 on the Interstate 880 in Oakland. California Highway Patrol officials say Howard was driving his BMW northbound at speeds as high as 110 mph when he hit the back of a big rig he was swerving to miss.

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October 25, 2013

Couple and Toddler Killed in Fontana Car Crash

A young mother, her boyfriend and her 2-year-old daughter were killed in a Fontana car crash when a driver rammed into their stopped car near a street intersection. According to a CBS Los Angeles news report, the collision occurred the night of October 21, 2013 near the intersection of Citrus Avenue and Foothill Boulevard. The deceased were identified as Helen Amaya, her boyfriend Shawn Scott and Amaya's 2-year-old daughter.

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October 21, 2013

Two Killed in Separate Santa Ana Pedestrian Accidents

Two people have been killed and two others were seriously injured after being struck by vehicles in Santa Ana within the past week. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, 68-year-old Petra Perez Jimenez died from injuries sustained on October 11, 2013 when she was struck by a Toyota Camry at the intersection of Grant Street and Standard Avenue. Jimenez was pushing a shopping cart in a marked crosswalk when the northbound vehicle hit her. The driver of the Camry, who was driving without a license, remained at the scene. No charges have been filed yet.

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October 11, 2013

One Killed, Several Injured in Fullerton Car Crash

A driver identified as 57-year-old Adrian Davis was killed and several others were injured in a Fullerton crash that involved eight vehicles. According to a CBS Los Angeles news report, the fatal crash occurred the afternoon of October 10, 2013 near the intersection of Harbor Boulevard and Valencia Mesa Drive. Police say Davis, who was driving a yellow Ford F-150 pickup truck, was traveling in the wrong direction when he swerved into lanes on Harbor and struck several vehicles that were stopped at a signal. Davis died from his injuries. Five others were injured, but the nature and extent of their injuries is not known.

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June 3, 2013

Focus on Summer Travel Safety: Driving under the Influence

This is the fifth in a series of five blogs about staying safe during your summer travels and road trips. Read first four posts here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5.

Drunk driving crashes are an epidemic in Orange County and California - even more so in the summer. According to California Office of Traffic Safety, 10 Orange County cities rank among the worst statewide for rates of injuries and fatalities caused by driving under the influence. Of all the cities in the state with a population of 100,000 to 250,000, the city of Orange ranks number one for drunk driving collisions and fatalities. Newport Beach ranks number one for DUI crashes among cities with a population between 50,000 and 100,000. Santa Ana ranks third and Anaheim is at number 10 for worst cities with populations greater than 250,000.

Tips to Prevent DUI Collisions

Taking into consideration these horrifying statistics, it is important to take several precautions whether you are going on a long summer trip:

• If your plans include a gathering where alcohol is served, please make sure that your group has designated a sober driver to take you home safely. If you have trouble finding a designated driver, take a cab or stay at the location of the event, if possible, until you are sober.
• If you have been drinking, do not drive at all. Your ability to operate a motor vehicle can be compromised even if your blood alcohol content is below the legal limit.
• If you know someone who is about to drive away after drinking, take their keys and help them make arrangements to get to their destination. You could help save your friend's live and potentially, the lives of others on the roadway.
• Alcohol is not the only dangerous impairment. Pharmaceutical drugs - even over- the-counter medications - can impair judgment and gross motor skills.
• If you suspect that another driver is driving under the influence, stay clear of them and promptly call 911 to report the driver to the authorities.
• Be alert and watch out for cars driving with headlights off at night, driving considerably below the speed limit or following too closely.
• If you are hosting a party, make sure your guests are sober.

Protecting Your Rights

If you or a loved one has been injured by a drunk driver this summer, please get in touch with an experienced Orange County personal injury lawyer, who has been successful in financially pursuing drunk drivers on behalf of injured victims and their families. Please understand that you do have legal rights. Drunk drivers can be held criminally and civilly liable for the injuries and damages they cause.

May 23, 2013

Focus on Summer Travel Safety: Tire Safety is a Serious Issue

This is the fourth in a series of five articles that will focus on traveling safely during the summer. Read the other posts here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5.

Before hitting the roadways this summer, it is critical that drivers take a few minutes to check the condition of their tires. Not only do well-maintained tires keep your car safer and help it last longer, but it also helps you save money. It is especially important during the summer travel season that motorists pay attention to aging or degraded tires, particularly when they decide to embark on a road trip.

Tire Failure Statistics

According to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2004, tire life was estimated to be 44,700 miles accumulated over 3.6 years. This means that one of the first things you should do when buying a used car particularly from a private owner is to determine the age of the tires. What you do not know may seriously hurt you. NHTSA estimates that about 400 fatalities a year are caused by tire failures. In terms of aging, tires exposed to heat and the sun are likely to wear out quickly.

Tips for Tire Safety

Here are some tips to help keep your tires in good shape and your travels safe all summer:

Pick your tires carefully: Tire selection should be based on the right size recommended for the vehicle and its loading recommendations. It is important to consult with a knowledgeable tire or auto dealer about selecting the right tire for your typical driving patterns. It is also important to buy a tire gauge and keep it handy in your car at all times.
Checking tire pressure: This should be done at least once per month and especially before a long trip. Under-inflation can cause tire damage, which could in turn lead to tire failure. Use the manufacturer's recommended air pressure listed on the sticker of your vehicle's door jamb or the owner's manual.
Slow down during wet weather: You reduce the risk of hydroplaning when you drive at a slower speed.
Rotate your tires: Tire rotation should be done every 6,000 miles. Any misalignment, imbalance or other mechanical problem will be noticed before tires are rotated.
Vehicle alignment: It is important to have a mechanic check your vehicle's alignment, especially when you notice that your car is pulling to one side when you are driving.
Check your tire tread: Inspect and measure your tire tread. This is easily done by placing a penny in the tread groove. If you can see the top of Lincoln's head, then it is time to change your tires. Also, check the tire sidewalls to ensure that there are no gouges, cuts, bulges or other damages.
Do not overload your vehicle: Doing so can create excessive heat inside your tires causing damage and leading to tire failure.

If you or a loved one has been injured as the result of a defective tire, an experienced auto product liability lawyer can help you better understand your legal rights and options. Please stay safe this summer!

May 17, 2013

Focus on Summer Travel Safety: Avoid Drowsy Driving This Summer

This is the third in a series of five blogs about staying safe during your summer travels and road trips. Read the other posts here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5.

Summer vacation for many is a time to relax and rejuvenate. However, it is also a hectic time when most families choose to travel. Americans tend to try and pack in as much into a short time as possible. This is also true of road trips. If you are driving on your vacation this summer and have a number of destinations and activities planned, at some point, you may find yourself driving while sleepy or drowsy. Many motorists try to drive late at night to avoid congestion on long road trips. This is asking for trouble because it is when a number of drivers tire themselves out. Traffic safety experts have recognized that driving while drowsy is just as dangerous and risky as driving under the influence.

Drowsy Driving Statistics

According to the National Safety Council (NSC), studies show that 37 percent of drivers in 2008 reported having fallen asleep at the wheel. The Council estimates that about 75 million drivers operate a vehicle while fatigued in just a month nationwide. More than one-third of drivers reported in 2008 that they drove while drowsy between 6 a.m. and 5 p.m. and 17 percent said they nodded off between 5 and 9 p.m. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that drowsy driving causes more than 100,000 crashes a year, resulting in 40,000 injuries and 1,550 deaths.

Risk Factors and Symptoms

Those who are most at risk for driving while drowsy are those who have been sleep-deprived. Six hours of sleep or less triples your risk. If you have been suffering from insomnia, driving long distances without proper breaks, driving through the night when you would normally be asleep, you may be at risk. Those who take sedatives or alcohol also run the risk of falling asleep at the wheel.

You know you are fatigued when you have difficulty focusing, blinking or have "heavy eyelids." If you have trouble remembering the last few miles you drove or missed exits or traffic signs, you may have dozed off. Other signs of fatigued driving include trouble keeping your head up, feeling restless and irritable, yawning repeatedly and drifting away from your lane.

Preventing Drowsy Driving

There are several steps you can take to avoid fatigued driving:

• Get a good night's rest. Experts at the National Sleep Foundation recommend seven to nine hours of sleep per night for adults and between eight and nine hours for teenagers.
• Plan to drive long trips with a companion.
• Schedule regular stops every 100 miles or once every two hours.
• Avoid alcohol and any medications.
• Consume the equivalent of two cups of coffee. However, caffeine is not a substitute for rest or breaks.

As California personal injury attorneys who represent victims of car accidents, we see all too often that a crash is caused by a sleepy or fatigued driver. Please do not put yourself or your family at risk this summer. If you have been injured by a drowsy or negligent driver, please contact a reputed personal injury law firm to obtain more information about pursuing your legal rights.

May 16, 2013

Woman Killed in Westminster Pedestrian Accident

Hang Vu, 60, died from injuries she sustained in a Westminster car crash after a vehicle struck her at the parking lot of a supermarket. The Orange County Register reports that the fatal pedestrian collision occurred the morning of May 13, 2013 in the parking lot of the A Dong Supermarket at 9221 Bolsa Avenue in Westminster. Police and paramedics arrived at the scene and found two female pedestrians were injured as a result of the crash.

A woman later identified as Hang Vu had been struck and critically injured while she was standing in front of the supermarket. Vu died later from her injuries. The other pedestrian was taken to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Police are still investigating the cause of this crash. No arrests or citations have been reported.

Pedestrian Crash Statistics

There were four fatalities and 28 injuries reported as a result of pedestrian accidents in Westminster, according to California Highway Patrol's 2010 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System. During the same year, 32 people died and 770 were injured due to pedestrian collisions in Orange County.

What Caused This Fatal Crash?

Based on this news report, it appears that the woman was just standing in front of a large supermarket in Orange County's Little Saigon when she was struck by a vehicle and critically injured. There are several questions here. Was the driver of the vehicle under the influence? Was the driver distracted or inattentive? Was there a dangerous condition on the property, which may have caused or contributed to this fatal incident? I trust officials are looking into these and other issues in order to determine precisely what occurred here and why.

Fault and Liability

If the driver is determined to have been at fault here, he or she could be held liable for Vu's wrongful death and the injuries caused to the other pedestrian. If a dangerous condition on the supermarket's parking lot caused or contributed to the incident, the property owner can also be held liable. Families of deceased victims can seek compensation for medical and funeral expenses, lost future income and loss of love and companionship. Injured victims and families of deceased victims would also be well advised to contact an experienced Westminster personal injury lawyer who will stay abreast of the official investigation and ensure that the rights of victims and their families are protected.

May 15, 2013

Two Injured in Fullerton Car Accident

Two people suffered injuries in a Fullerton car crash after two Toyota sedans collided head-on at a street intersection. The Orange County Register reports that the injury collision occurred the morning of May 10, 2013 at the intersection of Bastanchury Road and Morelia Avenue. Fire officials say both drivers were treated at the scene and transported to an area trauma center. The nature and extent of the injured victims' injuries is not known. The investigation is still ongoing.

OC Crash Statistics

There were five fatalities and 665 injuries reported as a result of Fullerton car accidents, according to California Highway Patrol's 2010 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS). Countywide, 100 people died and 13,368 were injured due to car crashes during the same year.

Right-of-Way Issues

Based on this news report, it appears that the collision occurred at a T-intersection, which is regulated by traffic lights. There are still several unanswered questions here. How did the accident occur? Who was at fault? Did one of the drivers run a red light at the intersection? Did a driver fail to yield the right-of-way? Did speed, impairment or distraction play a part?

California Vehicle Code section 21453 (a) states: "A driver facing a circular red signal shall stop at the limit line before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection or, if none, then before entering the intersection, and shall remain stopped until an indication to proceed is shown." Also, According to California Vehicle Code section 21800 (a): "The driver of a vehicle approaching an intersection shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle which has entered the intersection from a different highway."

Fault and Liability

In such cases, the at-fault party can be held liable for the injuries and damages caused. Injured victims can seek compensation to cover damages including medical expenses, loss of wages, cost of hospitalization, rehabilitation, pain and suffering and emotional distress. Injured victims would be well advised to contact an experienced Fullerton personal injury lawyer who will analyze all aspects of the incident and ensure that the negligent parties are held liable.

A knowledgeable lawyer will also be able to determine whether a dangerous intersection caused or contributed to the incident. If that was the case, the city or governmental agency responsible for maintaining the roadway can also be held liable. Under California Government Code Section 911.2, any personal injury claim against a governmental agency must be filed within six months of the incident.

May 10, 2013

Focus on Summer Travel Safety: Summer Can Be a Deadly Time for Distracted Drivers

This is the second in a series of five blogs about staying safe during your summer travels and road trips. Read the other posts here: Part 1 Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5.

Summer is just around the corner and for most American families that usually means long road trips and vacations. However, summer is also the most dangerous time for travelers. The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) came out with statistics recently that 21 of the top 25 deadliest days for teen drivers in particular fall between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

Distracted driving has been cited as the top reason for car accidents involving teens followed by speeding, inexperience and additional teen passengers. These factors apply to adult drivers as well. In fact, distracted driving is often referred to as an epidemic in our society today. Distracted driving is not only texting and driving. Any type of activity that takes a driver's attention away from the roadway or from the act of driving is distracted driving.

Distracted Driving Statistics

According to NHTSA, in 2011, 3,331 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver, compared to 3,267 in 2010. An additional 387,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver, compared to 416,000 injured in 2010. Also,
18 percent of injury crashes in 2010 were reported as distraction-affected crashes.

Preventing Distracted Driving

There are several steps drivers can take this summer to avoid a distracted driving crash:

• Turn off your cell phone or try not to answer it. If you need to, check your messages when you stop at a rest stop or pull over if you need to make a call or answer a call. Do not text, check your email or browse the Internet while driving. Statistics show that these are the activities that are most dangerous for drivers.

• When you are traveling on vacation, make sure you set the GPS before you begin driving. Do not try to read a map or change your GPS setting when you are driving. If you must do so, pull over.

• Pay attention to the traffic around you.

• Do not eat or drink while driving.

• Limit talking to passengers. A number of distracted driving accidents occur when drivers turn around to talk to passengers.

• Be careful about getting distracted by children in the car.

If a distracted driver injures you this summer, please contact an experienced California personal injury lawyer who will remain on your side, fight for your rights and ensure that the negligent driver is held liable.

May 9, 2013

Woman Killed in Mission Viejo Car Crash

Ana Martinez, 36, was killed in a Mission Viejo car crash, which officials say involved a wrong-way driver. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, the fatal crash occurred along Santa Margarita Parkway near Los Alisos Boulevard the night of May 7, 2013. Police say the woman was headed north in a Toyota Sienna minivan while a 43-year-old man was going south on the northbound lanes in a Ford truck. The two vehicles collided head-on. Martinez died from her injuries and the man was also transported to an area hospital with unknown injuries. It is not clear why the man was going the wrong way. The investigation is still ongoing.

OC Crash Statistics

According to California Highway Patrol's 2010 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), one person died and 267 were injured as a result of traffic accidents in Mission Viejo. During the same year, 100 fatalities and 13,368 injuries were reported as the result of car accidents countywide.

What Caused This Head-On Collision?

Based on this news report, it appears that the driver of the Ford truck was on the wrong side of the road at the time. California Vehicle Code section 21651 (a): "Whenever a highway has been divided into two or more roadways by means of intermittent barriers or by means of a dividing section of not less than two feet in width, either unpaved or delineated by curbs, double-parallel lines, or other markings on the roadway, it is unlawful...to drive any vehicle over, upon, or across the dividing section."

In this case, there are still a number of unanswered questions. What caused the driver of the Ford truck to go the wrong way on the roadway? Was he intoxicated or under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time? Did he suffer a medical condition? Was he driving an excessive rate of speed? Did reckless or distracted driving play a part? I trust officials are looking into these and other issues in order to determine precisely what occurred here and why.

Liability Issues

In cases where negligence or wrongdoing is involved, families of deceased car accident victims can file what is known as a wrongful death claim against the at-fault parties seeking compensation for medical expenses, funeral costs, lost future income and loss of love and companionship. Victims' families would also be well advised to contact an experienced Orange County personal injury lawyer who will analyze all aspects of the incident and ensure that the negligent parties are held accountable.

May 8, 2013

Street Racing Involved in Fatal South Los Angeles Crash

Jose Cuevas, 39, was killed in a Los Angeles car crash, which officials say, may have involved street racing. According to news report on KABC and CBS Los Angeles, the fatal collision occurred in the 200 block of West Manchester Avenue the night of April 30, 2013. Police say the driver of a Pontiac was racing a Dodge Charger that was traveling the wrong way on Broadway.

The Dodge slammed into a pickup truck and the Pontiac collided with a Saturn that was being driven by Cuevas. The drivers of the Dodge and the pickup truck were transported to area hospitals. Police are still looking for the driver of the Pontiac and two passengers in the Dodge who fled the scene on foot. In total, eight cars and one bicyclist were involved in the two collisions. A third person was also transported to the hospital, but the nature and extent of his or her injuries is not known. Anyone with information about this case is asked to contact LAPD's South Traffic Division at 323-421-2577.

Violation of Laws

Based on this news report, it appears that the fatal crash involved a driver who was racing on a public roadway. California Vehicle Code section 23109 (a) states: "A person shall not engage in a motor vehicle speed contest on a highway. As used in this section, a motor vehicle speed contest includes a motor vehicle race against another vehicle, a clock, or other timing device. For purposes of this section, an event in which the time to cover a prescribed route of more than 20 miles is measured, but where the vehicle does not exceed the speed limits, is not a speed contest."

In addition, the driver of the Pontiac also left the scene of the crash, which is illegal under California Vehicle Code Section 20001 (a). Under California law, motorists are required to stop immediately at the scene of a crash, exchange information with all the parties involved and most importantly render aid to the victims. In this case, the driver did none of the above, but took off leaving several injured victims at the scene. Appalling!

Holding Wrongdoers Accountable

I certainly hope officials are able to apprehend this driver and bring him or her to justice. If you have any information about this incident, please visit our Hit-and-Run Reward Program's web site at www.hitandrunreward.com to offer an anonymous tip and to become eligible for a $1,000 reward.

Injured victims and families of deceased victims would also be well advised to contact an experienced Los Angeles personal injury lawyer who will stay abreast of the official investigation and ensure that their legal rights and best interests are protected. A knowledgeable car accident lawyer will also be able to advise victims and their families how their own auto insurance policy might apply to an incident where a hit-and-run driver is not found or where the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured.