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What to expect when filing a claim for a hit-and-run accident

One of the worst accidents to become involved in, in California, is a hit-and-run. It is especially terrible for pedestrians and cyclists who have less protection and may be left to die from the injuries they sustain. Some people may think hit-and-run accidents are not very common, but they are wrong.

According to ABC News, a study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that hit-and-runs are actually at an all-time high. There has been a 62% increase in hit-and-run accidents in 2016 compared to 2009. Note also that of the fatal hit-and-run cases, 65% were cyclists or pedestrians. Hit-and-run accidents accounted for 20% of pedestrian fatalities and 1% of driver fatalities.

Why should I not sign a release form right away?

It may be a while before the full extent of injuries sustained in an auto accident on a California road can be known. So when an insurance company for the party that caused your accident tries to get you to sign a release of all claims form, you should not rush to sign it. It is in your best interests to wait and assess the entire scope of how an accident has affected your life before you waive your right to make further claims for your damages.

As FindLaw explains, since you might not know all the damages that have arisen from your accident, signing a release form shortly after a wreck can cause you to lose out if you find you need additional medical care. It is a better idea to wait until your treatment is concluded and that your health has recovered or at least your medical prognosis is firmly established. Some injuries have long lasting effects, and you should know the extent of them before you sign a release form.

A spinal cord injury affects nearly every part of your body

The most obvious part of a spinal cord injury is the restriction of or nonexistent movement of your legs and/or arms, depending on the location and severity of your injury. Even if your inability to move is temporary, other parts of your body could suffer the effects.

What many people don't realize about a spinal cord injury is that it affects much more than just the limbs. Other bodily systems experience the affects as well. Below are some of the complications that often arise for victims of this particular injury.

Pedestrian deaths highest in 30 years in America

Californians enjoy prime access to outdoorsy lifestyles. From surfing to biking to desert treks and mountain hikes, people spend more time outdoors than most other states. In fact, as Americans become more focused on a healthy lifestyle, pedestrians are up and about in higher numbers all across the U.S. Unfortunately, this has correlated with the highest rates of pedestrian deaths in three decades.

According to CNN, experts projected that 2018 was the deadliest year for American pedestrians since the 1990s. While traffic deaths overall are on the decline, pedestrian deaths have consistently trended upward since 2009 by about 35%. California sits on the high end of this trend. In the first six months of 2018, California reported 432 pedestrian deaths compared to just one in New Hampshire.

Most wrong way drivers are under the influence

While driving in California, almost everyone has encountered a wrong-way driver at least once. In fact, it may even be fair to say that most people have been a wrong-way driver before, too. This may happen when someone is unfamiliar with an area and turns onto a one-way street or turns onto an exit ramp from the highway. Many people escape these scenarios with only a racing heart and honks from angry drivers who slow down while they pull off a hurried three-point turn.

Unfortunately, not everyone is this lucky. According to NBC News, wrong-way traffic crashes killed 4,000 people in the past ten years. Wrong-way drivers are especially deadly because they tend to cause head-on collisions. One in five of head-on collisions are fatal. Also, alcohol plays a role in 80% of wrong-way crashes.

Drive safely around motorcycles

Summer is around the corner and people across the country are taking their motorcycles out of winter storage. To mark the event, the United States Department of Transportation has ordained May Motorcycles Safety Awareness Month.

Even if you're not a motorcyclist yourself, it's important to keep an eye out for those on bikes and to drive cautiously as you share the road.

Do bicycle lanes present hazards?

Many California cyclists ride in bike lanes hoping to find a safe haven from the dangers of pedaling around large motor vehicles. However, sometimes automobiles have to make turns into bike lanes, which is just one of a number of possible hazards that bike lanes can present. To properly enjoy a bike lane in the Golden State, cyclists should be on watch for perils that can cause severe injury or death.

Cycling Savvy explains that bike lanes can be a magnet for debris. Pieces of metal, glass, foliage, just about anything you would find in a street can get swept to the side, and since bike lanes reside just up against a curb, they can collect a lot of debris that can cause real trouble for bicycles. Small debris, like broken glass, can puncture a bike tire. Big debris, such as tree branches, may cause a bike to crash if the cyclist cannot turn around it in time.

How can you protect your interests after a car accident?

A car accident can change a person's life in an instant. If you suffered injuries in an accident, you experienced first-hand how physically, emotionally and financially devastating even a low-speed accident can be. You may find yourself struggling with injuries, damage to your personal property and other consequences that can affect many areas of your life.

It can be helpful for you to learn more about what you can do to protect your interests after a crash. When you know the right steps to take, you will be able to avoid complications, and it can help you lay the groundwork for a personal injury claim. The aftermath of a car accident can be complicated and confusing, but you have the right to purse a full and fair recovery.

When are school sports liability waivers enforceable?

For just about every school sport, you as a parent must sign a liability waiver to allow your child to play. Many parents do not think twice about these waivers. After all, if your son is going to play on the lacrosse team, he needs to have his waiver signed. However, does signing the waiver mean that you cannot pursue any legal action against the school if your child suffers an injury?

The short answer is no. Liability waivers do not necessarily prevent you from suing the school. In extreme cases, a liability waiver may not be enforceable after an injury caused from gross negligence.

Ride safe around motorcycles

Drivers in California need to know how to drive safely around motorcycles because the year-round nice weather means there are many of them on the road. Not only are motorcyclists more difficult to see than other motorists, they operate in ways that vehicle drivers do not always understand.

According to the National Safety Council, there has been a two-time increase in fatal accidents involving motorcycles in the last 20 years. While motorcycles make up only 3% of the registered vehicles, they make up 14% of fatalities. Both motorcyclists and other drivers can do their parts to reduce these numbers. Motorcyclists need to be aware that it can be difficult for others to see them. To be more visible, all riders should wear bright, reflective clothing and always signal their intentions. To reduce injuries in the event of a crash, they should always wear helmets, durable clothing and boots.

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