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Checklist: Steps to Take After an Auto Accident

Friday, March 11, 2016

Drivers who are in an auto accident are often unsure of what to do immediately following the crash. They are overwhelmed with emotions and find it hard to think clearly. Therefore it is wise to be aware of the steps to take if you are ever in a collision BEFORE you face the situation. Consider the following checklist of steps to take after an auto accident.

Injuries:

Check all occupants of all vehicles involved in the collision to see if anyone is injured and in need of medical attention. Call for an ambulance if needed. Keep in mind that some injuries do not show up immediately after the accident but surface hours later. Check yourself and your passengers again at a later time to verify no one is experiencing any pain or discomfort.

Record Information:

Many people know to exchange insurance information but there are more details that should be recorded immediately following the accident. Include the following:

  • Insurance information for all vehicles.
  • Contact information for all drivers and any witnesses.
  • Number of passengers and approximate age in each car.
  • Injuries that occurred.
  • Make and Model of all vehicles.
  • License plates of all vehicles
  • Weather conditions at the time of the accident.
  • Traffic level at the time of the accident.
  • Your version of what happened. Include a sketch of the accident scene.
  • Photographs of the scene of the accident and damage to the vehicles.

Don't Apologize:

Avoid apologizing to the other driver at the time of the accident. This may be taken as you admitting you caused the accident. It is best not to say anything about who was responsible at this time.

Don't Accept a Settlement:

The insurance company may want to settle the claim right away. Although this seems wonderful because you can start repairing your car and recovering from your injuries it is most likely an attempt to get you to accept less than you deserve. Keep in mind that your injuries may require a considerable amount of medical attention in the future. Contact us before you settle so we can help you determine the value of a settlement you will really need to fully recover.

If you are in a car accident in the future keep the above checklist in mind immediately following the crash. These steps will help protect you financially.

Investigating Truck Accident Causes

Thursday, March 03, 2016

Truck Accidents are often devastating. Trucks outweigh cars by a significant amount. Therefore the car often suffers major damage and occupants of the car are injured. In some cases the car occupants do not survive the crash. Truck accidents can be due to the negligence. Therefore if you or a loved one was injured or killed in a truck accident it is important to evaluate the cause. You may be entitled to damages.

Maintenance

In some cases the accident was because proper maintenance was not conducted. For example the load on the back of the truck may not have been properly secured. If it falls off causing an accident that is negligence on the part of the driver. Or maybe the truck brakes may not have been maintained as they should be and a mechanical failure occurred.

Driver Issues

Accidents have been caused due to a fatigued driver. Truck drivers are required to follow specific regulations about how many hours they can drive before they must take a break. If they fail to comply with those regulations an accident may result. Drivers should also obviously not be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. They should not be texting while driving. Distracted driving is dangerous.

Proper Driving

Was the driver speeding? Did the driver ignore a stop sign? Sometimes the situation is a little less obvious. Were they going the appropriate speed for the weather conditions? Did they make an improper or illegal turn? A driver that has not driven in a safe manner is responsible for causing the accident.

If you have been involved in an accident with a truck contact us. We can help you determine if the driver was negligent. In some cases we may find that a manufacturing defect in the truck was the cause. Another option is the road was not properly maintained resulting in the crash. No matter the reason, we can help you attain the settlement you need to recover from the accident.

Warning Signs of Drowsy Driving

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Most drivers have been in a situation in which they were too fatigued to drive safely. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that there are at least 100,000 accidents every year caused by drowsy driving.

These are only those accidents that were reported to police, and in which drowsy driving was confirmed to be a factor. The actual number of accidents caused by drowsy motorists is likely to be much higher, simply because many motorists are unlikely to admit at the scene of an accident that they dozed off at the wheel, or were fatigued. Drowsy driving causes more than 6,000 accident fatalities every year.

Automakers are focusing on bringing attention to the problem, and in fact, the 2015 Nisan Murano will roll out with a brand-new drowsy driving detection system. The system will analyze the driver’s steering patterns to detect drowsiness. When the system detects signs of drowsiness, it will issue an audible and visual alert that will flash on the car’s instrument panel.

This sounds like an exciting, promising technology, but until such time that such technology is available on all automobiles, take steps to reduce your risks of drowsy driving. Look out for these signs of drowsiness, and stop somewhere safe for some sleep before you resume driving.

  • Frequent yawning
  • Wandering thoughts
  • Inability to focus on the road ahead
  • Heaviness in the head
  • Frequent dozing off
  • Inability to recall or remember the last few minutes of driving
  • Frequently veering off your lane
  • Missing traffic signs or signals
  • Having difficulty keeping your eyes open

If you notice any of these signs, take a break as quickly as possible. Pull over somewhere safe and take a nap. Quick fixes like caffeine can help avoid sleeplessness for some time, but the best antidote to drowsiness is sleep.

50% of Teen, Young Driver Car Accident Fatalities Linked to Pot, Alcohol

Friday, January 16, 2015

Alcohol and marijuana use seriously increase the risk of accidents involving teen and young adult drivers. According to new statistics, approximately 50% of teen and young adult motorists, who are fatally injured in car accidents, are driving under the influence of marijuana, alcohol or a combination of both.

The findings were based on an analysis of accident data in those states where it is mandated to conduct toxicology screening tests on fatal accident victims. The study found that accident victims above the age of 21 and of legally drinking age, were much more likely than younger victims to have used a combination of alcohol and marijuana, just before the accident. This seems to prove that even when people are of the legal age for drinking alcohol, it doesn't reduce their risk of engaging in destructive driving practices that include both marijuana and alcohol.

The researchers also found that more than half of the young motorists, who died in the accidents, were either high on marijuana, or drunk at the time of the accident. About 6.8% of the victims tested had alcohol in their systems at the time of the accident, while 5.9% had traces of marijuana. 7.6% had used both marijuana and alcohol before the accident.

The researchers were also looking for evidence to indicate that lowering the minimum drinking age from 21 to 18, would lead to a reduction in the use of marijuana among young adults. They found that this was not the case at all. Rather, they found that lowering the drinking age could actually lead to increased consumption of a combination of alcohol and marijuana by young drivers.

Accidents involving teen and young drivers typically tend to involve speeding and aggressive driving. If you have recently suffered injuries in an accident, speak to a Burbank car accident lawyer about filing a claim for compensation.

Primary Texting Bans Do Contribute to Lower Accident Fatalities

Saturday, August 02, 2014

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 3, 300 people were killed in 2011, in accidents directly caused by a distracted driver. There has been a lot of debate on California’s ban on text messaging devices while driving, and its effectiveness in helping prevent accidents. According to the results of a new study released recently, bans that come with primary enforcement do a much better job of helping lower accident and fatality numbers.

The research was conducted at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health. The researchers analyzed laws against texting while driving like the one that exists in California, and the effect of these laws on traffic accident fatalities. Several states have passed laws banning texting while driving. In some states, these laws are linked to secondary enforcement, while in other states, the law is linked to primary enforcement. The study found that states that had secondary enforcement did not see a significant drop in traffic accident fatalities as a result of the new laws. On the other hand, states that had primary enforcement for texting while driving bans saw a drop in traffic accident death numbers among all age categories. According to the researchers, that translates into an average of 19 saved lives every year in states that had primary enforcement.

Further, when anti-texting laws were primarily enforced, and banned only young motorists from texting while driving, they were the most effective in helping reduce traffic accident fatalities in the 15-to-21 age category. In states with primary enforcement, police officers can pull a driver over to cite him when they see him using a texting device while driving, and do not have to see or notice any other traffic infraction to pull him over.


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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.