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Accountability for medical costs after a car accident

The impact of motor vehicle collisions can lead to extensive medical costs associated with treatment and recovery. FindLaw.com explains that who is responsible for those costs depends on who was responsible for the accident, as determined by California car accident compensation laws covering "at fault" and "pure comparative negligence" statues.

In cases in which a single vehicle crashes into an object, building, fixture or other structure, determining accountability for medical expenses is fairly simple. If the crash was caused by driver negligence, the driver or their insurance provider is responsible for any medical expenses associated with the crash, including those resulting in catastrophic, life-changing injury.

Proper driving procedures when in or around recreational vehicles

A recreational vehicle is a great way to have fun in California, but such a large vehicle may be part of a larger accident than a small car. An RV owner should take the time to understand their vehicle and the legalities around driving it. Likewise, those who share the road with RVs should know the best ways to avoid an accident with this much larger vehicle.

Proper licensing should be the first concern of an RV owner. Unlike a few other states in the US, California does not require a CDL to drive an RV. Instead, whether you need a Class A, B or C license depends on the size and type of your RV. For example, the State of California Department of Motor Vehicles requires a non-commercial Class B license for RVs between 40' and 45'. RV owners without the proper licensing may face steeper penalties in the event of an accident on the road.

Comparative negligence divides fault between parties

California state law offers more than one option for litigating damages in motor vehicle accident cases. Determination of fault in cases involving vehicular accidents can impact the outcome of lawsuits and settlements, including any damages owed by one or more parties.

When dealing with a comparative negligence case, damages may be reduced or increased by negotiating terms during litigation or settlement agreements. Outcomes depend on the severity of the case and the balance of fault between the plaintiff and the defendant.

Personality: Feeling like a new person after a brain injury

You hit your head in the car crash, and it left you with a brain injury. You thought you were recovering well, but people have said you don't act like yourself. What happened, and it is reversible?

Changes in personality are common among those with brain injuries. Referred to as "Jekyll and Hyde syndrome" by some, brain injuries sometimes result in pronounced, or subtle, changes in personality. Damage to the brain, especially the frontal and temporal lobes, hippocampus or amygdala, could result in personality changes that cause aggression, verbal attacks, problems with memory or impaired impulse control.

Know the different consequences for drunk and distracted driving

Before cellphones, distracted driving in California often entailed a motorist who was changing radio stations, eating fast food or applying makeup while at the wheel. With so many digital technologies readily available, distracted driving has become more common. Another familiar road hazard is drunk driving, but the two impaired states and their consequences are not as similar as a person might think. 

The California Office of Traffic Safety conducted a survey in 2016 asking drivers if they had ever been hit or nearly hit by a distracted driver. Over half of the participants answered yes. Among drivers under the age of 20 who were involved in fatal crashes, 10 percent were reported as distracted.

What exactly is an FMRI?

An FMRI, also known as a functional MRI, is an updated version of the MRI, or magnetic resonance imaging, machines that are used in the medical field today. The MRI is employed to detect brain activity and to scan other parts of the body for more information on injuries and illnesses.

A typical MRI scan does not detect blood flow or metabolic processes. FMRIs, on the other hand, do recognize activated areas of the brain along with increased blood flow, which can give medical providers a better idea of the injuries someone has.

No recall issued on semiautonomous car after crash

Automobile manufacturers continue to add safety features to vehicles to reduce the number of traffic accidents each year, and many people in California are enthusiastic about the technology. In addition to the airbags and anti-lock brakes that drivers may now take for granted, there are lane departure warning systems, cameras that detect other vehicles in blind spots and automatic braking. When people rely too heavily on new technology, though, they could be putting themselves at greater risk of a crash. 

The National Transportation Safety Board has released information indicating that a Florida man did not have his hands on the steering wheel for more than 30 minutes before he collided with a tractor-trailer. The documents stated that the vehicle's autopilot system was on and had given the man repeated warnings to take control of the steering. However, safety features on the vehicle should have responded by slowing down and leaving the road rather than just providing visual and audible alerts, according to the victim's family.

What you need to know about vehicle recalls

If you are one of the millions of Americans who received a recall notice because your vehicle includes a Takata airbag, you might be familiar with the process of getting a defective part replaced at a local California dealership. However, not everyone who owns a defective car knows that safety may be compromised. At Abramson Smith Waldsmith LLP, we understand the critical importance of identifying and replacing defective vehicle parts before they cause injuries, or even deaths.

SaferCar.gov explains that one of the primary reasons that vehicle manufacturers must issue a recall is when the defect causes a safety issue. The flaw could be the following:

  • A problem with your vehicle's performance
  • A faulty component or material
  • A defect in the way it was constructed

Whiplash and its consequences

Drivers and passengers in California who are in car accidents often get whiplash from the impact. The consequences from whiplash can vary from mild muscle irritation to major nerve damage. Being aware of the symptoms and treatment strategies is important to decrease the chances of long-term effects.

According to Live Science, whiplash affects more than two million people every year. The jerking of the head can cause damage to the muscles of the neck, intervertebral discs, neck joints, nerve roots and ligaments. Depending on the severity of the accidents, whiplash can lead to muscle strain in minor cases and fractures or dislocations in more severe situations.

Marijuana and driving

Now that marijuana use is legal in California, law enforcement is struggling with ways to prove that marijuana is involved in cases of driving under the influence. The lack of appropriate road-side tests and the fact that evidence of marijuana sticks around for weeks are just some of the issues.

According to CBS News, there is no scientific test that proves immediate impairment from the use of marijuana. A blood test can determine levels of this drug in the system, but it typically takes more than a couple of hours before the test can be conducted. By then, blood levels have usually fallen below the legal limit. Also, the effects of marijuana vary greatly from one individual to another. Someone who is a frequent user can handle higher amounts compared to someone who is not used to it, and the levels of frequent users persist longer than they do for occasional users. 

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