Abramson Smith Waldsmith LLP

San Francisco Legal Blog

You may claim for potholes damages to your vehicle in CA

According to ABC News, California’s Bay Area has the worst roads in America. The roughest roads are in the San-Francisco-Oakland area, where a whopping 71% of these are in poor condition. The pot holes are so bad that some drivers claim it feels like driving through a third world country.

There is more to this problem than a bumpy ride and bad esthetics, however. Drivers complain that the pot holes damage tires and sometimes even crack their wheels. Cracked wheels cannot be fixed. A driver’s only option is to replace them. Estimates place the cost of tires and repairs at $1,000 for residents and other people who frequent the area for work.

Purchasing liability insurance may protect your assets

According to Market Insider, California is one of the worst states to file an accident claim. California gets ranked second after Michigan and Louisiana. What did researchers use to arrive at this conclusion? They looked at the states where drivers pay the most on average after filing auto accident claims. Michigan and Louisiana average $3,502 and $3,348 respectively. California averages $3,081.

One of the biggest contributing factors to the higher insurance premiums is repair costs. Note that the cost of repairing vehicles climbed 66% higher in June 2019, compared to where it stood in June 2000. The pricier components in vehicles is one reason for this. It is also reasonable to assume the cost of labor has increased. The best recommended protection from the researchers is the purchase of more liability coverage.

When one party in an accident is uninsured

In the ideal world, drivers all have car insurance and no one drives stolen cars or on a revoked or suspended license. Unfortunately, no one lives in a perfect world and Californians are no exception. USA Today notes that nationwide, one in eight drivers have no insurance. This may result from either lapsing on insurance payments or never buying insurance because they do not own a car.

The general expectation is that the uninsured motorist caused the accident, but this is not always the case. Luckily, in California, uninsured drivers may recoup damages for medical bills, car repairs and other accident-related costs. However, they are not able to seek damages for pain and suffering, while insured motorists usually can.

Forgetfulness isn't just an aging issue

As people age, they tend to have trouble with their memories. Some people just forget where they put their glasses, while others have dementia or Alzheimer's disease. The point is that the severity of memory issues can vary widely.

The same could happen if you suffered a moderate to severe traumatic brain injury. Memory problems are more common than you may realize when it comes to this type of injury. The question is how severe the condition is and whether you can do anything to manage your memory loss in order to live your life much as you did before your injury.

Determining who is at fault after a motor vehicle accident

Virtually every driver in California experiences a car accident in their life at some point. Sometimes they are the drivers and other times they are a passenger. Sometimes it is just a fender bender, while other times it may be more serious. Despite how common car accidents are, many people do not know what to do after a car crash. They may also not realize that how they handle the accident may determine who is at fault and therefore has to pay the bill.

Personal finance company, NerdWallet, advises drivers to take a deep breath and calm down after an accident. Too many people become anxious or fly into a rage and forget the important steps, remembering when it is too late, if they remember at all. Once they have calmed down, drivers need to assess the situation. If someone is hurt, one person is becoming belligerent or there is significant damage, call the police. If possible, move both vehicles to the shoulder of the road.

Educating teens about the 100 deadliest days of summer

Most teens in California spend years looking forward to that big moment when they can get their license and drive. Whether they get to borrow mom’s car or get a car of their own, the freedom of the road is something they look forward to. Teens naturally are most excited about this freedom during the summer, when they have a lot of free time on their hands and there are more social events they can attend.

Because summer introduces more teen drivers than usual to the roads, Forbes and other publications call the summer time America’s 100 Deadliest Days. Teens have a much higher likelihood than other drivers of being involved in a crash. In addition to this, when teens are involved in motor vehicle accidents, two-thirds of the 700 people who are killed or injured are other people, not the teen that was driving. Deaths involving teen drivers also spike by about 17% throughout the summer.

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.

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