The Most Dangerous Lines of Work in San Diego

With years spent representing San Diego residents injured both on and off work, We understand the dangers present in all manner of workplaces and also that some lines of work feature more hazards than others. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there was an average of 118 injuries per 10,000 full-time workers in 2010. While injuries range from minor trauma that is quickly recovered from to fatality-causing injuries, every worker is in danger of suffering some form of injury during his or her career. But what jobs have a greater likelihood of injuring employees?

To stay as safe as possible, San Diego workers must understand the dangers of the professions they work in or are considering joining. Some of the most dangerous jobs commonly found in and around the San Diego area include:

  • Fishing Work: High injury and fatality rate due to harsh weather conditions and heavy equipment that can cause serious injuries during an accident.
  • Truck Driving: Long driving hours and grueling schedules put drivers at a higher likelihood of a crash, which is often much more devastating than a normal car accident.
  • Industrial Repair: Working with malfunctioning heavy equipment can cause unexpected accidents affecting repair workers attempting to fix the machine.
  • Construction: Unfinished structures, heavy machinery, dangerous equipment, large motor vehicles, and high work zones can easily cause an accident that is severe in nature.
  • Electrical Installation/Repair: Working with electrical equipment can electrocute a worker during an accident, equipment malfunction, or co-worker mistake.

Work injuries are common, but thankfully workers’ compensation can help an injury victim recover from their trauma and not suffer the financial consequences of being unable to work. Unfortunately, compensation is often denied for valid claims. San Diego workers’ compensation attorney can aid you in your search for proper injury compensation. For a free consultation on your case, contact us.

San Diego Bus Accident Injures Nine People

Nine people were injured in a San Diego bus accident that occurred between a Metropolitan Transit System and a Mitsubishi Eclipse in the City Heights area of San Diego on March 24, 2010 around 3:40 p.m.

The car driver was apparently drunk and ran a red light at the University Avenue intersection with 37th Street. He then collided into the bus that was eastbound on the 37th Street. The car rammed into the bus just behind its front wheels which made the Eclipse spin. The drunk driver fled from the scene on foot. The collision caused back and neck pains to nine of the forty passengers.

Our office hopes for the young driver of the Eclipse is caught as soon as possible and prosecuted. He should be charged for such reckless behavior and for felony drunk driving causing injury. Driving while intoxicated is inexcusable, particularly when it causes serious injury.

We sincerely hope and pray that none of the injured victims sustain any-life threatening injuries

One of Tort Reform’s Biggest Lies Disproved….Again

We’ve written twice now about Oklahoma’s current tort reform efforts led by Republican Senate President Pro Tem Tom Glenn Coffee (R–Oklahoma City), a former medical malpractice defense lawyer.

One of the big myths leading the Oklahoma tort reform movement and tort reform, in general, is that without tort reform, doctors will flee to other jurisdictions with tort reform. The argument goes that with tort reform, medical malpractice insurance rates go down and attract doctors–while high insurance rates drive doctors away.

The problem is that the data does not support the myth. That is the case again in Oklahoma. According to this Edmond, OK news story, the number of Oklahoma doctors is increasing even while the tort reform movement is claiming they are fleeing. In addition, the doctor-owned medical malpractice insurance carrier, Physicians Liability Insurance Company, is in the best financial shape in its three-decade-long existence. The company is posting record profits and will be the clear winner if the Oklahoma tort reform bill passes limiting injured medical patient’s right to be compensated for injuries caused by their professionally negligent doctors.

Like any political issue, it is always important to look and investigate the real data underlying the tort reform movement. Is there a real reason to substantially limit injury victim’s right to justice? If so, what is the purported benefit? And, last, is that benefit worth the cost? In almost all cases, the answer to these tort reform questions is “No”.

If you or any of your loved ones have been injured or killed due to medical malpractice, contact San Diego medical malpractice lawyer and the San Diego personal injury attorneys.

Will California Courts Force San Diego Personal Injury Victims to Disclose Private Facebook Information?

Recently, an Ontario, Canadian court held that parties to a civil lawsuit must disclose social media posts and information during discovery–even if the user believed the post was made privately to his “network”.

We look at the ruling and whether California judges will require the same disclosure from San Diego injury victims.

Oklahoma Tort Reform Measure Revisited

Clayton Hasbrook, an Oklahoma City personal injury lawyer with the law firm Hasbrook & Hasbrook, recently cited our blog and our post about the Oklahoma Tort Reform bill.

Given that he represents the very people this bill will affect, Clayton has some strong opinions about the bill.

Oklahoma Tort Reform: An Unfounded and Misguided Attack on Injury Accident Victims

About a month ago, we wrote about the emerging and ongoing efforts by Oklahoma Republican legislators and former medical malpractice defense attorney and Oklahoma Senate President Pro Tem Glenn Coffee (R-Oklahoma City) to initiate a new batch of tort reform measures. In our post, we argued that the Oklahoma tort reform plan does not go far enough because it does not require doctors to take substantive positions regarding their own negligence.

However, the Oklahoma tort reform measure keeps growing additional reform measures–all of which hurt Oklahomans and are being sold to the public as a way to prevent “greedy plaintiffs’ lawyers” from profiting from “frivolous lawsuits”. Never mind the fact that the job of barring frivolous plaintiffs from recovering is the role of the insurance defense lawyer and judge, not the Oklahoma legislature.

The most recent Oklahoma tort reform attacks include special class action rules for lawsuits brought against tobacco companies, a cap on non-economic damages (also known as “pain and suffering”) at $300,000, expert certification before a lawsuit can proceed, and requiring consumers to “opt in” rather than “opt out” of class action litigation.

One of the more egregious tort reform measures interferes with an injury accident victim’s ability to find a lawyer by placing compensation restrictions on that attorney. Contingency fees, meaning fees which are only collected upon a successful completion of litigation, are capped at 33 percent of the first $1 million dollars recovered under the proposed measure. For higher awards, the contingency fee award is limited at 20 percent.

While some may not appreciate the effect the contingency fee cap would have on the civil justice system, I can personally tell you that the proposed cap would make it nearly impossible, if not completely impossible for some people with legitimate injury accident claims to find an attorney. A contingency fee arrangement allows someone who cannot afford to hire an attorney at $300 or $400 per hour (rates normally charged by insurance defense counsel, and paid by insurance companies to defend lawsuits) to hire an attorney. A contingency fee spreads the risk of failure from the client alone to both the client and his attorney. The rate charged reflects the anticipated value of services provided to the client (as well as the risk of failure) relative to the anticipated value of the case. It is not unusual for lawyers in simple, straightforward claims to charge less than 33%. Similarly, it is not unusual for lawyers in far riskier cases to charge as much as 40-50% for their fees. The fluctuation in the rate reflects the additional risk that the attorney might not ultimately be paid for his time.

What happens if the rate is artificially capped? Injury accident victims in riskier cases might not be able to find an attorney on a contingency fee basis because the anticipated risk calls for a fee that is higher than the capped rate set by the legislature. In those cases, lawyers might decline a contingency fee relationship and propose an hourly fee arrangement that most injury accident victims simply cannot afford.

Meanwhile, like all tort reform measures, the Oklahoma tort reform bill does not place any additional restrictions or requirements upon insurance companies or insurance defense counsel regarding their fees. Insurance companies can still pay however much they decide is appropriate to hire the best legal defense team they can. This is simply not fair and Oklahomans bear the sole cost of this unfairness.

If you live in Oklahoma, write to your governor and legislator and inform them that you do not support the Oklahoma tort reform bill.

Understanding the Effects of a San Diego Spinal Cord Injury Accident

While modern medical treatment can cause full recovery from a variety of injuries, even the most sophisticated treatment cannot undo the damage caused by many spinal cord injury accidents. Accidents such as falls and car crashes in San Diego have violent impacts which can cause long-term and possibly permanent damage that alters how a person’s body functions.

The spinal cord is commonly injured by being twisted, extended, or compacted in an unnatural way that damages it suddenly. Additionally, swelling or broken vertebrae can put pressure on the cord or pierce it, which can cause temporary or permanent damage depending on the severity of the injury.

The spinal cord is categorized into sections, and injury to each section has different effects. The higher the injury, the more widespread the effects, with all injuries that would result at a lower level also occurring when injured at a higher point in the spine.

Cervical
Starting at the neck, this section is separated into levels C1 –C7 based on the vertebrae, with the highest injuries affecting neck movement and breathing through the lowest, which affect the shoulder, arm, and hand movement.

Thoracic
Beginning at the high back and continuing to the lower back, this section includes T1 – T12. Injuries here affect body control of the abdomen and trunk below the arms when they occur high in the section and partial loss of abdomen and trunk muscle control when they occur lower.

Lumbosacral
The bottom portion of the spinal column and tailbone is made up of sections L1 – L5 and S1 and S2. Injuries here affect various leg muscle control abilities, bowel and bladder control, and sexual function.

While some spinal cord injuries are temporary or only have a limited effect on an accident victim’s body, many others are permanent and have widespread effects. In either case, victims have the right to seek compensation for their losses from at-fault parties and should immediately seek experienced legal help following an accident. The San Diego spinal cord injury lawyers can aid you in your case and apply their years of experience to your lawsuit. Contact us today for a consultation.

Quick Safety Tips to Avoid San Diego Motorcycle Accidents

The best way to avoid a San Diego motorcycle accident is simple: Motorcyclists need to make sure that they are visible to car and truck drivers. 

There are several easy ways to do that. They are:

First of all, remember that San Diego drivers tend to have a difficult time spotting motorcyclists and reacting in time. Therefore, making sure that your headlight works and is on day and nights is imperative to staying visible.
In order to be even more visible, increase the reflection of light and use reflective decal strips on your clothing and motorcycle.
Make sure to be aware of blind spots that cars and trucks have and try not to stay in those blind spots for a long period of time.
When braking, flash your brake lights a few times to catch a driver’s attention and make it a point to let them know that you are slowing down.
Last but not least, if a San Diego driver does not see you, don’t be afraid to use your horn.

All of these safety precautions are easy to reach and will keep you much safer on our San Diego roads. For more useful information for motorcyclists, visit the Motorcycle Safety Foundation’s library.

If you or anyone you know has ever been injured on a San Diego motorcycle accident, please contact your San Diego motorcycle lawyer and the other San Diego personal injury attorneys.

Study Finds Hospital Stays May Result in Cognitive Problems for Seniors

Senior citizens have a high likelihood of ending up in the hospital at some point, whether it is for a minor or major injury or illness, but the complications of such visits may extend beyond the merely physical. A Chicago-based study recently published results of 12 years of research that found hospital stays for adults over the age of 65 may result in a vastly increased rate of decline in cognitive and memory function.

According to a report by CBS News, the study, which followed 1,870 adults at least 65-years-old over the course of 12 years, found that those who were hospitalized at some point experienced double the decline in memory and cognition than they did prior to entering the hospital and compared to other subjects that were never hospitalized. The study involved researchers performing thinking and memory tests on subjects every three years and assigning scores based on their performance. Over the course of the study, 71 percent of the subjects were hospitalized at least once.

While scores decline as subjects grew older, decline rates quickly jumped after a hospital stay, with long-term memory declining three times faster and attention 1.5 times faster after the first hospital stay. The increased rate of decline was marked as similar to a person 10 years older. While the severity of injuries and treatment were taken into account in relation to cognitive function, only three percent ever entered a critical care unit. Researchers believe that those with mental problems may be more likely to be hospitalized in the first place, but also stated that cognitive function is the least considered factor in acute medical care, with hospital environments and care often worsening it.

Being injured or contracting an illness while in a hospital is a misfortune that can befall a person at any age, as medical errors can take many forms and result in many types of accidents. If you or a loved one has suffered from such negligence, contact the San Diego personal injury lawyers today for assistance in finding compensation in your lawsuit.

Recognizing the Signs of San Diego CO Poisoning

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless, and tasteless gas that is produced by many gas-operated products found in homes throughout San Diego. It is also incredibly deadly when a person has been exposed to enough of it. While most products that create carbon monoxide gas are meant for outside use only, there are many defective household items, such as heaters and stoves, that may cause a major CO leak that endangers the lives and health of anyone exposed.

If exposed, carbon monoxide prevents a person’s red blood cells from taking in oxygen, thus keeping a person’s vital organs from receiving the oxygen they require to function. When exposed to enough, a person may die from poisoning. In order to protect oneself and family, install several CO detectors throughout the home and be on the lookout for symptoms of exposure. If suspicious, get everyone out of the home and outside and call 9-1-1 for help and aid to those who have been exposed.

Be on the lookout for these symptoms of CO poisoning:

  • Dizziness;
  • Drowsiness;
  • Headache;
  • Shortness of Breath;
  • Vomiting;
  • Chest/abdomen pain;
  • Nausea;
  • Weakness;
  • Hallucinations;
  • Seizure; and
  • Loss of consciousness.

Any of these symptoms may be a sign that a carbon monoxide leak is present. To prevent serious illness and permanent damage, get everyone out of the air immediately.

Often, CO poisoning accidents occur through no fault of the victim, but rather through defective products or the negligence of another party. If you or a loved one has suffered from CO poisoning, the San Diego carbon monoxide poisoning attorneys can help you find proper compensation from those responsible. To find out more, contact us today.

Pedestrian Struck by Car, Killed in Chula Vista Accident

When cars driven by drunk drivers strike pedestrians in San Diego County, the result is never good. Unfortunately, that was the case again this past Sunday, March 22, when Ester Quinette Monroe, 28, of Spring Valley, was struck by a suspected drunk driver as she walked on Broadway between C and D Streets in Chula Vista.

The 2 a.m. Chula Vista pedestrian accident caused Monroe to be rushed to the hospital where she passed away. The 26-year-old female car driver was arrested of driving under the influence.

Oklahoma Tort Reform: An Unfounded and Misguided Attack on Injury Accident Victims

About a month ago, we wrote about the emerging and ongoing efforts by Oklahoma Republican legislators and former medical malpractice defense attorney and Oklahoma Senate President Pro Tem Glenn Coffee (R-Oklahoma City) to initiate a new batch of tort reform measures. In our post, we argued that the Oklahoma tort reform plan does not go far enough because it does not require doctors to take substantive positions regarding their own negligence.

However, the Oklahoma tort reform measure keeps growing additional reform measures–all of which hurt Oklahomans and are being sold to the public as a way to prevent “greedy plaintiffs’ lawyers” from profiting from “frivolous lawsuits”. Never mind the fact that the job of barring frivolous plaintiffs from recovering is the role of the insurance defense lawyer and judge, not the Oklahoma legislature.

The most recent Oklahoma tort reform attacks include special class action rules for lawsuits brought against tobacco companies, a cap on non-economic damages (also known as “pain and suffering”) at $300,000, expert certification before a lawsuit can proceed, and requiring consumers to “opt in” rather than “opt out” of class action litigation.

One of the more egregious tort reform measures interferes with an injury accident victim’s ability to find a lawyer by placing compensation restrictions on that attorney. Contingency fees, meaning fees which are only collected upon a successful completion of litigation, are capped at 33 percent of the first $1 million dollars recovered under the proposed measure. For higher awards, the contingency fee award is limited at 20 percent.

San Diego Judge Orders Starbucks to Return $100 Million to California Employees

Earlier today, San Diego Superior Court Judge Patricia Cowett ordered Starbucks to pay $100 Million to its’ California baristas in back tips and baristas that had been wrongly directed to shift supervisors. In addition, Starbucks’ shift supervisors were enjoined from sharing in future tips.

Judge Cowett found that the sharing of tips with shift supervisors violated state law. Starbucks called the ruling “unfair” and “beyond all common sense and reason.”

The lawsuit started after a La Jolla barista complained about shift supervisors sharing the employee tips left in the front counter tip jar. After filing suit, a class of nearly 100,000 past and present Starbucks baristas was certified.

California Senate Reviews Boating Under the Influence Bill

The Daily Point of Orange County reported last Thursday, March 12 that the California State Senate is reviewing a new bill that would allow California and San Diego authorities to treat boating under the influence in our San Diego waters just like they would treat driving under the influence on our San Diego roads. If passed, the bill would allow San Diego and California authorities to suspend boaters’ licenses if caught boating under the influence. You can learn more in this Daily Pilot story.

The California BUI bill was introduced by California State Senator John Benoit that represents Senate District 37, just north of San Diego County. Senator Benoit’s bill will give the DMV the power to treat a BUI just as they would treat a DUI. Previously, the DMV had the power to do just that but last year, a court of appeals verdict deemed that they did not have the power to do so.

San Diego harbor officials and officials in other California counties would like to see the bill passed. They believe that even though boating is a recreational activity, there are still many responsibilities that a boater has. According to the California Department of Boating and Waterways there were 55 boating accident fatalities in 2007, half of which happened in Southern California. Also, about 20 of the 55 victims were intoxicated.

If you or a fellow boater are ever injured or killed in a San Diego boating accident, please call the San Diego boat accident attorneys.

St. Patrick’s Day Brings Increased Drunk Driving Dangers to San Diego

Drunk driving crashes, unfortunately, happen every day across the country, with many such auto accidents in San Diego happening, as well. However, holidays often see an increase in drunk driving due to festivities and increased access to alcohol.

Of all of these holidays, St. Patrick’s Day is typically seen as the one with the greatest connection to drinking and, in relation, drunk driving. In order to prevent a rash of drunk driving car crashes from breaking out on the holiday this March 17, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is highlighting the dangers everyone needs to know this St. Patrick’s Day.

According to the NHTSA, 103 people died on St. Patrick’s Day in 2009 due to auto accidents, with 37% involving at least one driver who had a blood alcohol content of at least .08%, the legal limit in all states. Because of the high rate of drunk driving, the NHTSA reminds all partygoers to secure a safe ride home that does not involve them driving after indulging in alcohol. All St. Patrick’s Day celebrators should use public transportation or a designated driver to arrive safely home, and should also report all possible drunk drivers to police immediately.

However, St. Patrick’s Day isn’t the only time when drunk driving happens. The NHTSA reports that over 10,000 people died in the United States in 2010 due to some form of impaired driving and that, on average, someone dies every 51 minutes in a drunk driving crash.
The San Diego drunk driving victim lawyers understand that reckless and dangerous drunk drivers can injure even the most responsible and careful driver in a crash. For more information on how we can aid you in finding compensation for your injuries in a drunk driving crash, contact us today.

San Diego Trolley Accident Lawyers

People often wonder what they should do if they are ever involved in an accident with a trolley or while riding on the trolley as a passenger. The San Diego trolley system, despite being a beneficial service to this city, is involved in numerous accidents each year. People can be injured while riding on the trolley, or they can collide with the trolley while driving or walking or riding a bicycle.

The lawyers at the San Diego personal injury law firm, represent people who are involved in trolley accidents. We are experienced trolley accident attorneys and we can help guide you through the process. It is important that you know your rights if you are ever in this situation.

The San Diego Trolley Can Injure or Kill It’s Passengers, Pedestrians and Bicyclists Walking Nearby, and Car Drivers Who Cross on the Trolley Tracks. Our San Diego Trolley Accident Attorneys are Here to Help.

San Diego has a great public transportation system. The most popular of which is the “red-line” trolley system operated by the Metro Transit System (MTS) that runs throughout San Diego County. San Diego’s trolley system can take you pretty much anywhere you need to go throughout the City. Nearly 120,000 people ride it every day and it is the 6th oldest trolley system in America.

Unfortunately, the San Diego trolley system has been the site of serious and fatal injuries throughout recent years. These injuries can occur both inside and outside the trolley car. People have been injured while riding the trolley when the operator makes a sudden stop or if the train gets detailed.

Outside the trolley car, many people have been struck and killed by a moving trolley car. At times, these collisions are not the fault of the pedestrian or bicyclist. Sometimes an operator will fail to honk their horn and warn the pedestrian of the train’s presence. Other times, the trolley car’s lights won’t work, and the pedestrian does not see the trolley car until it is too late.

Primary Causes of Trolley Accidents:

  • Sudden stops made by the trolley operator.
  • Pedestrians and bicyclists that step onto the trolley tracks.
  • Worn and improperly maintained trolley tracks.
  • Negligent operation of the trolley.
  • Defective trolley car.

How Can We Help?

The San Diego personal injury lawyers are experienced trolley car accident attorneys. We have represented people that have been injured while riding on the trolley, and also people who were struck by a trolley. We have been able to attain favorable settlements for our client’s claims because we have been handling trolley accidents for years. If you or someone you know has ever been in an accident involving the San Diego trolley, please contact our law office for a free consultation.

San Diego Train Accident Attorneys

Trains are a great way to transport goods and people in a quick and efficient way. Regardless of the type, trains have the capacity to cause catastrophic accidents. In the past, many people have been seriously injured or even died from train accidents.

We are skilled train accident attorneys. We have taken on train accident cases in the past and they have yielded successful results.

Commuter and Freight Train Accidents in San Diego are Usually Very Serious and Even Deadly. Our San Diego Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help.

Because of a train’s large size, it can be disastrous if you are involved in a train collision. Selecting an attorney is hard enough, but you must make sure you hire a competent train accident attorney if you or someone you know is injured or killed in a serious train accident in San Diego or California.

Freight Train Accidents:

Freight trains are what you generally think of then you think of a “train.” They carry all types of good and supplies to different cities. These trains are very long and have numerous boxcars. They can be very dangerous if they collide with a person or car, and the collision can often be fatal to anybody the train comes into contact with or for the operators and workers on the train.

Commuter Train Accidents:

Trains are also used to transport people from one place to another via commuter train. San Diego has a train system, most notably the North County Transportation District’s (NCTD) Coaster that runs from Oceanside to San Diego, that people can ride to different destinations. It is another form of public transportation that San Diego provides. Many people use this train to travel to and from Downtown San Diego or use the Amtrak train system to travel to Los Angeles and Orange County. Although it is a great service, many passengers, cars, and pedestrians have been involved in a collision with the train in the past.

What Can a Train Accident Attorney Do to Help?

  • File a claim on your behalf.
  • Help you find a good doctor and set up medical leins.
  • Negotiate with the train company for an acceptable settlement.
  • Take the case to trial if necessary.

We are experienced train accident attorneys. Our San Diego personal injury law firm knows the ins and outs when it comes to handling your train accident claim. Our former clients can attest to the fact that we know how to handle train accidents. If you or someone you know is involved in an accident involving a train, please contact our office for a free consultation.

Vista Drunk Driving Suspect Arrested After Car Accident and Abandoning Injured Passenger

On Thursday, March 12, at about 5 p.m., a 19-year-old teenage drunk driver was heading southbound on North Indiana Avenue in the North San Diego County city of Vista. The teen failed to stop before the turn, which caused the car to hit the curb and blow a tire out. The car then accelerated and crashed into the Vista Clock Tower. According to the story, right after the car crash, the driver took off leaving his 16-year-old injured passenger behind.

San Diego Sheriff’s Deputy Laura Hurtado said that the passenger, riding in the front seat, suffered a cut lip and burns from the deployed airbag.

The drunk driver was arrested a short distance away and was taken to the hospital where he was treated for injuries on his forehead. The teen driver has been booked on charges of driving under the influence, felony hit-and-run, and child endangerment.

San Diego Union Tribune Takes on Progressive’s Property Damage Division

In an article printed in today’s newspaper, the San Diego Union Tribune takes on Progressive Insurance’s property damage program.

According to the article, critics argue that Progressive’s program violates California’s anti-steering laws by allowing its adjusters to write their own property damage estimates and direct their insureds to pre-approved body shops for the work. In addition–and wait until you hear about this–critics claim that Progressive’s program seeks to reduce repair costs by cutting corners! Shocker!

Sarcasm aside, this seems to be the usual modus operandi for insurance companies. Why replace when cosmetic patching will do? Why use new parts when refurbished products can be found? And don’t get me started on the repeated failure of insurance adjusters to ignore alignment and other structural issues in favor of concentrating on cosmetic damages. Too many of our office’s auto accident clients have complained that their car just doesn’t drive the same afterwards for it to be a coincidence.

The public shouldn’t be so gullible to believe the commercials–the insurance companies are not out there to act in your best interests. They make money by collecting premiums and paying out less than the premiums they collect. If they have to actually use quality labor and parts, it just makes it that much harder.

Improving Car Safety Technology to Reduce Auto, Pedestrian, & Cyclist Accidents

On March 5, 2013, Volvo Car Group officially announced the world-first cyclist detection technology. A radar sensor is placed in the car’s front grille and a camera is installed in the central control panel and interior rear-view mirror facing the street ahead. The technology can distinguish between pedestrians and now cyclists, which is called Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection with full auto brake.
If a cyclist or pedestrian were to get too close in front of the vehicle, a red flashing warning light would go off inside the vehicle and would automatically activate full braking power. This saves the driver from potentially hitting and injuring a pedestrian or cyclist in the event of a delayed or lack of reaction to instant danger.
Although Volvo’s new technology can reduce injury and damage, the technology is limited since the sensors protect the front of the car and not the back.

For Mercedes-Benz, it all started when engineer Karl-Heinz Baumann took a look at his daughter’s biology book and saw a picture of a cat twisting and stretching to get in the best position possible before landing on the ground. That picture sparked the idea in Baumann’s mind of creating that same concept for car safety. The concept to create technology that allows a vehicle and its occupants to be in the best position possible in anticipation of an accident. This idea turned into Mercedes-Benz PRE-SAFE® technology.
PRE-SAFE® technology was first introduced in 2002. The technology uses many sensors built in the vehicle that can recognize conditions prior to an accident and adjusts seats, head restraints, seat belts, and more. Throughout the years, the anticipatory occupant protection system has evolved and will introduce the following features later this year:

  • PRE-SAFE PLUS focuses on rear-end collision preparation.
  • PRE-SAFE IMPULSE will trigger the seatbelts to pull front occupants away from the collision area of the vehicle earlier.
  • PRE-SAFE BRAKE will stop a vehicle completely if a pedestrian or object is detected on the road ahead.

It is exciting to see these auto manufacturers safety technology evolve to protect not only the drivers that purchase the vehicle but other unprotected road users as well. We applaud the hard work that has been done and will continue to do to help reduce injury accidents.
If you were a victim of a bicycle or pedestrian accident, get legal help from the experienced San Diego personal injury attorneys.

Carlsbad Pedestrian Accident Kills Teenager

An 18-year old pedestrian lost his life in a Carlsbad pedestrian accident on March 5, 2010. The incident took place along Palomar Airport Road between El Camino Real and Camino Vida Roble, near where Carlsbad, Vista, and San Marcos intersect in North San Diego County, around 9:45 p.m.

A witness to the accident called in the paramedics immediately following the auto vs. pedestrian accident. According to reports, the man was struck by two cars as he was crossing Palomar Airport Road. The first vehicle did not stop and the driver of a second vehicle was stopped by the Carlsbad Police after it struck the man in the road. The second driver did not realize he had struck the man in the road. The Carlsbad Police is continuing investigation after inspecting the crime scene.

Our office forwards our condolences to the family and loved ones of the deceased. We also wish that the police will track down and arrest the driver of the first vehicle—the one that struck and killed this pedestrian. There is nothing more infuriating than a careless and negligent driver who causes significant injury or death who does not stop to assist the person they just hurt. We understand that it is scary when you realize that you have injured someone with your car, but there is no excuse to ever leave the scene of an accident. Your presence is necessary to contact emergency service personnel and to perhaps provide basic life-saving techniques until the ambulance can arrive. When you leave the scene of an accident, you take away that hope.

New Study Links Parkinson’s Disease Drug to Faster Brain Injury Recovery

Traumatic brain injuries claim the lives of thousands every year and leave thousands more with long-term debilitating injuries. As such, the hunt for better treatment for traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) is an ongoing process for doctors, scientists, and researchers around the world looking to increase the rate of recovery and chances for survival. The latest breakthrough comes courtesy of a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, which found that the drug amantadine, commonly used to treat Parkinson’s disease, helped TBI victims in a vegetative state recover more quickly and regain the ability to understand others and communicate than those who did not take the drug.
During the course of the six-year study, 184 patients were submitted to tests and observation, with 97 receiving a placebo and 87 receiving regular doses of amantadine. According to the study, fewer people who received the medication remained in a vegetative state after four weeks than those who did not. After four weeks, these patients were more likely to be able to follow simple commands, sustain attention, and recognize and use common objects.

Currently, the full effects of amantadine on the patients are not completely understood, but the drug helps to increase dopamine in a patient’s brain, increasing his or her attention, drive, and wakefulness.

The use of the drug is seen as promising by researchers as it helps to aid in the recovery stage of patients with TBIs who enter a vegetative state. Often, these types of patients switch from trauma centers to nursing facilities with no time specifically dedicated to rehabilitation, according to the lead author of the study.

Victims who suffer a TBI are often subjected to lengthy recovery times and injuries that may never fully heal. As such, it is important to find compensation from those responsible for these injuries to aid in the treatment and care necessary for a TBI. If you or a loved one has suffered such an injury, call the San Diego traumatic brain injury attorneys to find out how we can aid you in your case.

Jens Roger Noet Identified as Man Killed in Ramona Pedestrian Accident

Yesterday we posted a story about an unidentified pedestrian killed in Ramona car crash. That pedestrian turned out to be Jens Roger Noet, a 34-year-old man, or, according to 10 news, a “transient.” Noet was headed down Main Street between Fifth and Sixth Streets in Ramona on Wednesday when he was fatally struck by a semi-truck.

This information was brought to our attention through 10 news and our hats off to them for providing the story, which helps remind San Diego residents about being cautious when walking next to a street and also when driving. However, it is very unnerving to see that they have the audacity to tag him, not once. but twice as a “transient.” Jens Roger Noet was just killed by a truck driver and instead of writing a tactful article about the events they instead belittle him.

As stated yesterday, if our Law Group was asked to represent the pedestrian’s family, our lawyers would work diligently to discover the facts about the accident and give Noet, a member of our community, the respect he deserves.

Workers’ Compensation Coverage is Still Effective for San Diego Workplace Accidents Even When Worker is at Fault

Most of the time, when San Diego workers are injured on the job, worker’s compensation should cover the costs of the injury. It usually does not matter whether the worker is at fault for the injury or if the injury is caused by an unsafe condition on the site. Even if a San Diego worker at work is clumsy or stops paying attention while operating on a machine, worker’s compensation will most likely cover the costs of the injury. Carelessness and even recklessness are not enough to prevent compensation for a San Diego injured employee.

Worker’s compensation may be denied to San Diego workers when they self-inflict injuries while committing a crime, or if they hurt themselves while violating a company policy such as drinking on the job. However, if none of these situations are true and a San Diegan is hurt on the job, they are entitled to rights and financial pay-offs for the costs.

In addition, if a San Diego laborer is injured while on the job due to the negligence or carelessness of an employee or agent of another company (one other than his employer), then he may have a civil workplace accident claim against the other company for its’ employee’s negligence.

Fatal Motorcycle Accidents by Marines Reduced by Nearly Half in 2009

The Marine Corps announced that it significantly reduced the number of fatal motorcycle accidents involving Marines in 2009. In 2008, the Marines reported a record high of 25 deadly motorcycle crashes. They year before, the Marine Corps 19 Marines were killed in motorcycle wrecks. However, in 2009, the total number of Marines who lost their life was reduced to only 14–a reduction of more than 40%.

San Diego has three Marine bases–Camp Pandleton, Miramar Air Station, and the Marine Corps Recruiting Depot. Camp Pendleton and MCAS Miramar accounted for 4 deaths each during 2009. In 2008, 9 Camp Pendleton Marines and 2 MCAS Miramar Marines were killed due to motorcycle accidents. No data was released for MCRD San Diego.

In the wake of the rising Marine casualties from motorcycle crashes, the USMC hired contractor Cape Fox Professional Services to provide suitable training programs to Marines in motorcycle riding and safety. In the past five years, the number of Marine motorcycle fatalities has constantly increased from 13 in 2005, to 16 in 2006, 19 in 2007, 25 in 2008, before significantly reducing to 14 in 2009. Citing the significant drop as a success of Cape Fox Professional Services, Washington has renewed their contract for the 2010 fiscal year. The Marine Corps will soon also launch an interactive website, SemperRide.com, where professionals featured in $500,000 safety movie, Semper Ride, can be contacted by Marine motorcyclists.

Our office celebrates and appreciates the effort of our local San Diego Marine community to be safe motorcyclists and hope that the new safety program will continue to reduce the number of motorcycle accident fatalities. However, two issues are still concerning. First, 14 Marines were killed due to motorcycle accidents–which is still far too many to have lost their lives. Second, 8 out of the 14 fatal motorcycle wrecks involved San Diego based Marines–that is nearly 60% of all Marine motorcycle deaths occurring in San Diego! Our office supports the Marines and their mission and recognizes the risk and sacrifice they make when they put themselves in harms’ way defending our country. It is therefore tragic when Marines unnecessarily lose their lives in motorcycle accidents that can be avoided.

Ramona Pedestrian Killed After Being Hit by Truck

Ramona Pedestrian Killed After Being Hit by Truck

An unidentified pedestrian, in the Ramona section of San Diego, was killed after being hit by in a semi-truck accident Wednesday morning while crossing the street.

The accident happened just after 2:30 a.m. when the driver of the truck was heading west on Main Street at the intersection with 7th Street. According to the driver, the pedestrian appeared to come out of nowhere and appeared in front of the truck. The truck driver stopped after the impact and found the man’s body pinned under the truck.

Both lanes of Main Street were closed until 5 a.m. while the California Highway Patrol investigated the accident. At the time of publishing this entry, the cause of the accident was still under investigation.

If our office was approached by the pedestrian’s family, we would first have to determine what happened that early morning. We would hire a professional accident investigator and a private investigator to track down witnesses and to document the facts of the accident, including sight lines for the truck driver, the traffic controls available at the intersection and obtaining witness statements. If the pedestrian was in the crosswalk, had the right of way, or even if the driver was not paying attention while he was driving, the pedestrian’s family might have a strong case for their wrongful death claim.

If you or a loved one has ever been involved in a pedestrian accident, including one that results in a wrongful death claim, please contact the experienced trial lawyers.

San Diego Wrongful Death Verdict to be Reviewed by California Supreme Court

A San Diego jury awarded the widow of a motorcycle rider and his two children $4.9 million after he was struck on a motorcycle by a truck driver. After the verdict was read, the judge–as is typical–polled the jurors for their votes. However, the judge forgot to get the answers from one juror to two of the 13 questions asked during the polling process.

The juror did agree with the other jurors that the truck driver was negligent and caused the trucking accident. However, the judge forgot to ask him if he agreed with the other jurors on the apportionment of damages. The jury verdict found to the truck driver to be 80% responsible for causing the accident but also found the motorcycle rider to be 20% responsible.

On appeal by the insurance defense counsel for the truck driver, the judge’s mistake led to a reversal of the verdict by the Fourth District Court of Appeals. The Court of appeals held, in part, that:

…the trial court erred in accepting the juror declarations to inquire into and resolve the results of the jury’s decision making process, and also when it made a credibility determination that Santana could not effectively have voted other than 80/20 at any relevant time.

The Keeners, the family of the motorcyclist, have appealed to the California Supreme Court to reinstate the jury verdict.

El Cajon Psychiatrist, Dr. Wayne Funk, Accused of Collecting And Dispensing Surplus Medication Pills to Patients

Dr. Wayne Funk, a longtime psychiatrist in El Cajon, is fighting to keep his medical license after being accused of medical malpractice by the Medical Board of California. The 87-year-old doctor is thought to have been collecting powerful surplus painkillers and sedatives, such as Oxycodone, Diazepam, Lorazepam and Temazepam, from his patients and then redistributing them to other patients as a means of making them cheaper.

Funk, licensed in California since 1954, was subject to an investigation started a year ago by the Medical Board of California and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency. According to the accusation filed in the Administrative Law Court, “the investigators observed a counter with numerous sample medications and a basket containing prescription bottles, including controlled substances, which were returned by patients.”

The University of Kansas school of medicine graduate is also being accused of prescribing the anti-anxiety drug, Xanax, to a patient over a two month period without any proper reviews or examinations. The patient had to later seek medical attention from another doctor for detoxification.

During the investigation, Funk surrendered his DEA certificate to dispense controlled substances but denies any wrongdoing. No hearing date has been set.

Goodyear Recalls 40,000 Tires for Dangerous Defect

Akron, Ohio-based tire manufacturer Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company has issued a recall through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for 40,915 tires due to a serious defect. The tires, all under the model Wrangler Silent Armor, contain a defect that could cause tread separation, which can easily lead to a serious auto accident.

Although the recall was only recently announced, problems with the tire have been traced back to May 2010, when warranty and property damage claims involving the Wrangler Silent Armor tires began to increase.

However, serious investigation into the tires did not begin until August of 2011, when tread separation in one of the Goodyear tires caused a fatal rollover accident in Texas that took the lives of two people. It has been found that if the tire were to separate, a crash could result or the separated tire tread could strike and damage the vehicle. While there have been no more serious accidents reported since then, problems with the tires have warranted a recall.

Goodyear will be notifying owners of the tires shortly and will replace them for free beginning March 22. The specific models of Goodyear Wrangler Silent Armor that have been recalled were manufactured from March 31, 2009 through May 31, 2009, and the tire sizes are:

  • LT235/80R17 LRE
  • LT245/75R17 LRE
  • LT265/70R17 LRE
  • LT275/70R18 LRE
  • LT285/70R17 LRD
  • LT325/60R18 LRE

Tire defects are very serious problems as anything that is wrong with the tire can result in a serious accident due to a vehicle’s reliance on the performance of its tires. If you or a loved one has been injured because of a defective vehicle part, the auto product defect lawyers in San Diego can find proper compensation for your losses from the companies responsible. For more information, call us today.

Orange County Man Struck and Seriously Injured by Trains Twice in Two Weeks

A 57-year old California man faced grave injuries in an Orange County train accident as he fell onto the tracks at a station in Irvine on February 23, 2010. Ironically, the man was hit exactly two weeks before by a train in Laguna Nigel in which he got dragged 90 feet causing amputation of his wrist.

Although the man’s injuries are said to be serious, they are not life-threatening. He is also being mentally evaluated. Being struck by trains twice in two weeks indicates a heightened possibility that the man played a part in causing one or both accidents. He may have, in fact, been trying to commit suicide. However, such conclusions are premature and we have to wait for the treatment and evaluation to be completed.

Trains are extremely dangerous. They have a huge mass capable of seriously injuring or killing multiple persons at one time given the speed at which they travel and that they cannot stop quickly to avoid collisions. It is always a smart idea to give trains and trolleys wide berth and to stand back away from train tracks when trains pass.