Abramson Smith Waldsmith LLP

San Francisco Legal Blog

Did you wake up in unexpected pain after a car accident?

Car accidents are never something you expect to happen on any given day, and in the confusion of the moment (or relief that no one seems hurt), many people drive away thinking that they got very lucky by not suffering an injury. In this case, a person who just experienced a car accident may choose to go on with one's day without making time to seek out quality health care.

Unfortunately, many of those same individuals wake up the next morning and find that they have pain they can't explain. While many types of injuries are apparent at the scene of an accident, other injuries may not cause pain until hours or even days following a collision. These are known as delayed onset injuries.

Steps to take in a hit and run accident

People in California who are involved in, or witness, a hit and run accident should know the steps to take to make sure damage and injuries are kept to a minimum. A hit and run often involves an unattended parked vehicle, but in more serious cases it involves either a moving vehicle, bicyclist or pedestrian.

According to Findlaw, there are a number of steps to take in the event an accident occurs. The first is that the scene should be assessed for safety, and medical help needs to be given for any injuries. Next, the police should be called to make an official record of the incident. In a hit and run situation, as many witnesses as possible should be sought for information that helps law enforcement track down the offender. Details such as license plate state and number, color and type of vehicle and any other identifying information should be recorded. Finally, the insurance company should be called in order to file a claim for the accident.

Making mass transit safer

High numbers of California residents and visitors take some type of mass transit on a weekly, and often daily, basis. Convenience and concern for the environment have increased the role of mass transit in many communities throughout the state. Public transportation consists of buses, subways, commuter and light rail, ferries, trolleys and streetcars. In order to enhance safety, these systems must constantly be maintained and monitored to prevent catastrophes from occurring.

According to the Federal Transit Administration, public agencies are granted funds to improve current systems and develop new ones. The FTA regularly monitors these projects to make sure the agencies are following state and federal regulations, have the technical and financial capacities to carry out projects and provide the proper supervision and inspection.

Post-concussion syndrome is complex and life-altering

You knew it would take time to recover from your concussion, but you didn't realize how serious the symptoms would be. Known as post-concussion disorder, the disorder is one with various symptoms that last for weeks to months after an injury that results in a concussion.

Your concussion likely resulted from a blow to the head. This might have caused the brain to impact the skull or sheer in a way that resulted in damage. Even if you didn't pass out and were aware the entire time, you could still be suffering from post-concussion syndrome now.

Texting while driving in California

The state of California has put in place a variety of driving laws to cut down on the number of accidents and fatalities on the road. According to the Federal Communications Commission, distracted drivers were responsible for just over 390,000 injuries and almost 3,500 deaths in 2015 in the United States. Because of this, California has made texting illegal for drivers of all ages, which is in addition to the law prohibiting talking while holding the phone.

According to the Department of Motor Vehicles, California has added a new law regarding wireless devices that took affect the beginning of 2017. Designed to broaden the restrictions when driving, the law is estimated to help decrease the number of distraction-caused accidents dramatically. Operating, and even holding, a wireless communication device such as a phone is now illegal. If a driver wants to use the phone, it needs to be attached to the car in a place that does not interfere with the driver's view. This may include the dashboard, windshield or middle console. The only touching of the phone that is allowed by the driver is a tap or swipe of the finger.

Children and traffic accidents

On this blog, different issues related to car crashes have been covered, from drunk driving to fatal motor vehicle accidents. Sadly, some of these wrecks involve children, which can be devastating for a child's future and their entire family. At Abramson Smith Waldsmith, we know the different forms of pain that families often go through when a child is involved in a traffic accident. If you have found yourself facing these hardships, you should do what you can to help your child and family recover.

For starters, some children pass away in these accidents. Sadly, far too many lives have been cut short because of a driver's negligence, leaving friends and loved ones with emotional pain that will last for the rest of their life. Even when children are lucky enough to survive a crash, they may have a long road forward. Sometimes, injuries can interfere with performance in school or on a sports team. Additionally, these wrecks frequently lead to physical pain, injuries that may have long-term consequences, and financial problems for the family.

What is aggressive driving, and why is it so bad?

When you spend a good part of each day in traffic on the roadways of California, it may be tempting to treat the trip like a game, zipping around the slow cars and shaking a fist at the ones who cut you off. Some people take these attitudes too far, though, and put those around them in danger. The Insurance Information Institute reports that aggressive driving causes thousands of deaths on America’s highways each year. Which behaviors are responsible?

It may seem as if you have your vehicle under control, even if you happen to be going a bit over the posted limit. However, speeding killed more people in 2015 than DUI and distracted driving put together. In all, 8,778 drivers were involved in speed-related crashes that resulted in fatalities, and that made up 18.1 percent of the total fatal crashes that year. Behaviors in this category included racing and driving too fast for conditions, as well as driving over the posted limit.

Going swimming? Here's who could be liable if you're hurt

One of the best parts about the summer is the ability to go swimming at the beach, at local pools and in your neighborhood. You enjoy the water and heat along with the ability to meet new people, hang out with friends and see family in a relaxed environment.

One of the problems with going swimming at local pools or the beach is that if the area is not monitored or maintained, someone could get hurt. If that happens, then it's up to you to figure out who is liable so that you can make a claim for compensation.

Hands-free devices and distracted driving

In California and other areas of the country, hands-free devices have become more prevalent in passenger vehicles for the purpose of decreasing accidents caused by holding the phone, looking up contacts and dialing or texting. However, recent studies show that while using these devices may decrease the incidents of some accidents, they still pose a risk to drivers on the road.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that driving while using tools such as hands-free cell phones, speech to text systems and even listening to audio tapes causes cognitive distractions. As opposed to visual and manual distractions, cognitive ones can cause a variety of issues, such as:

  • Longer time to react to issues and take action to prevent accidents
  • Decreased brain activity needed to stay safe
  • Tunnel vision, with decreased ability to scan vicinity
  • Lack of accuracy  

How dangerous are distracted drivers?

Many people are aware of the dangers associated with drunk driving, and the threat posed by those who operate a vehicle while intoxicated by alcohol or drug use. However, there are other behaviors that can put the lives of everyone on the road at risk, such as distracted driving. In San Francisco, and in cities across all of California, distracted drivers can be incredibly dangerous and sometimes cause crashes which result in severe injuries and death.

During 2015, the loss of 3,477 lives were attributed to distracted driving, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports. Moreover, 391,000 people sustained injuries due to this dangerous behavior over the course of the same year. Distracted driving is dangerously common among teenagers, but drivers of all ages may become distracted while behind the wheel.


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