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Personal Injury Blog


Minimum Auto Insurance Requirements in California

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Motorists in California are required under the law to maintain minimum auto insurance coverage. Broadly, these are the types of auto insurance that you must maintain as a motorist in the state.

You must possess bodily injury liability coverage, which will pay for any injury or death caused to any other person in an accident involving your car. Additionally, bodily injury liability coverage will also take kick in if you are involved in a personal injury lawsuit filed by a person injured in an accident involving your car.

Under California law, you must maintain minimum bodily injury liability coverage of $15,000 for one death or injury in an accident, or $30,000 for death or injury of more than one individual in one accident.

You must also maintain minimum property damage liability coverage. Property damage liability coverage will kick in if someone sues you after an accident for property damage. You must maintain a minimum of $5,000 in property damage liability coverage for any one accident.

Meeting the minimum insurance requirement in California is a legal obligation for motorists in the state. If you're caught driving without minimum insurance, then you are in violation of the law, and you could have your license suspended. If you're pulled over by a police officer, and are unable to furnish car insurance documentation, you could be either ticketed or fined for driving without insurance.

It's important to go through the fine print of your insurance policy documents, and make sure that you know exactly what type of insurance coverage must kick in when you are involved in an accident. All too often, motorists are unaware about the kind of insurance that they have signed up for, and may be at risk of having their rights compromised. Speak to an attorney if you do not know what kind of insurance benefits you're eligible for after an accident.

Injury Toll Linked to Takata Airbags Increases

Sunday, April 12, 2015

New updated statistics released by Japanese auto parts company Takata show that the number of injuries now linked to the company’s defective airbags, is now at 105. Additionally, six deaths are confirmed linked to the defective airbags.

One thing is clear-the investigation into the defective Takata airbags is ongoing, and as the investigation progresses, we are more likely to come across even more reports of injuries linked to the defective airbags. Already, more than 20 million cars have been recalled for injury risks to customers from the malfunctioning airbags. Those injury risks involve pieces of debris flying out from airbags that can inflate with ferocious force. The fragments or debris can fly in to the faces of the occupants, posing a serious risk of catastrophic injury.

There is a serious risk of eye injuries, or even vision loss. Additionally, occupants may be at risk of puncture wounds, lacerations, abrasions, and all types of other injuries. The excessive force can cause trauma, eye injury, head injuries and neck injuries. These airbags are meant to save lives. However, when these malfunctioning airbag inflators, they can either kill the occupant, or leave him with severe injuries or disability.

What makes the problem even worse is that even after the recalls were announced, Takata has been very slow to repair the recalled car. It plans to replace the airbag inflators in these cars. However, it has admitted that it has been having a problem manufacturing enough numbers of airbag inflators to fix the recalled malfunctioning vehicles. Takata has announced that it will soon significantly increase production of replacement airbags. The federal administration has also been very critical about the company’s slowness in announcing the recall, and also its tardiness in providing the information that the federal administration needs in order to complete the investigation.

If you were injured in an accident that you believe was caused by a defective airbag, talk immediately with an injury lawyer in Burbank to explore your legal options.

Distracted Motorists Admit to Engaging in Array of Dangerous Behaviors

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Many studies have indicated that an overwhelming majority of American motorists are very aware of the risks of texting while driving. However, while Americans seem to be attuned to the risks that are involved when they use electronic communication devices while driving, they are not as careful with other forms of distractions while driving.

In fact, a recent study finds that many Americans are engaging in very dangerous practices, including grooming, combing their hair, brushing or flossing their teeth, playing the guitar, taking selfies, and applying makeup while driving. About 3% percent of the respondents in a recent survey admitted to going to the bathroom while driving. Clearly, the concept of distractions is one that is unclear to many American motorists.

Distraction is any activity that can take your attention away from the task of driving. You don’t necessarily have to be texting while driving or talking on your cell phone for you to be distracted. Anytime you perform an activity that takes your eyes away from the road, your hands off the steering and your mind from the task of driving, you are at a higher risk of a distracted driving accident.

There are many types of distractions at the wheel, and this is one of the reasons why it’s hard to determine whether a motorist was inattentive at the wheel at the time of an accident. If you were involved in a distracted driving accident, for instance, it may be challenging for you to prove that the other motorist was inattentive, or had his concentration elsewhere at the time of the accident. If the other driver was texting while driving, you may be able to access records of the cell phone company to prove that he was texting.

However, in the case of other distracting behaviors, proving negligence may become challenging. You may have to rely on eyewitness accounts or the motorist’s own testimony that he was engaged in other distracting behaviors at the time of the accident.

Young Males More Likely to Survive Crashes

Sunday, November 16, 2014

According to a new study, young males have a much higher chance of surviving a head-on accident. Other factors that seem to increase a person's chances of surviving an accident are driving a new vehicle, and driving a large vehicle like an SUV.

The study was conducted by researchers at the School of Public Health at Indiana University, and the findings were presented recently at a meeting of the American Public Health Association. The study's findings were based on an analysis of more than 1,100 head-on accidents. The researchers found that people in the 15- to- 24 age group were involved in 21% of the accidents, but had a fatality rate of 39%, which was among the lowest.

Not surprisingly, the size of the vehicle was another huge factor in determining a person’s chances of survival in a serious head-on accident. People riding in cars were found to be 17 times more likely to die in an accident, compared to those in light trucks. They were also 19 times more likely to die, compared to those in an SUV. Other factors associated with a higher chance of surviving an accident included using seatbelts, airbag deployment during an accident, and driving a newer vehicle.

Many accidents are caused by circumstances beyond our control. There isn't much that you can do to avoid an accident if you're traveling in the direction of a wrong way driver. Accidents are also often caused because of other people's errors and negligent driving. Driving under the influence of alcohol, driving while using a cell phone, driving while fatigues and driving while distracted by passengers in the car-all of these increase a person's risk of being involved in an accident significantly. Those behaviors can endanger not only the motorist and the occupants of his car, but also motorists in the vicinity.

Parents Fail to Strap Newborn Babies into Car Seats Correctly

Saturday, October 04, 2014

For many newborn babies, injury risks begin right from the very first car trip from the hospital to the home. According to a new study, newborns are at risk because their parents fail to install the car seat correctly while taking the baby home from the hospital. Children who are not appropriately restrained in a car are at a much higher risk of being killed or suffering injuries in an accident.

The researchers analyzed 167 families with newborn children, and monitored their trip home from the hospital. They found that 93% of the parents actually made at least one mistake, while placing their infant in the car seat. Those mistakes were also made during installation of the car seat.

Some of the more common mistakes while placing the baby car seat, were leaving the safety seat harness too loose with 69% of the parents making these mistakes. Approximately 20% used an after-market product, that was not approved with the car seat and 15% did not know how to adjust the harness.

There were also serious mistakes made in installing the car seat. At least 43% of the parents installed the car seat too loosely, or installed at an incorrect angle. In 23% of the cases, the parents used the safety belt, but did not lock it, and in 17% of the cases, the parents left incorrect spacing between the seat and the front seat.

Not surprisingly, most of these mistakes were made by families who did not speak English or were from a lower economic background. Non-white families or parents who were not married or single women without a partner were more likely to make these mistakes. The study also found that families that had worked together with a certified car safety seat technician were much more likely to install the seat correctly, and position the baby correctly. The correct installation rates were as much as 30% higher in the case of these families.

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From our offices in Woodland Hills, California, Freeman & Freeman, LLP, provides legal advice and representation for clients in communities throughout the state, including those in Burbank, Glendale, Encino, Sherman Oaks, Van Nuys, Tarzana, Santa Clarita, Agoura Hills, Reseda, Canoga Park, Chatsworth, Northridge, Granada Hills, Pacoima, Panorama City, North Hollywood, Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Lancaster, Palmdale and Alhambra.